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Discover, explore & remember the traditions of Newfoundland’s Cape Shore.

Explore the
Cape Shore

Listen to songs, music & stories. View photos of the people & places. Meet the singers & musicians from Ship Cove, Patrick’s Cove, St Bride’s, and Branch. This interactive map of the Cape Shore is a great way to start navigating your way around the outports of this short stretch of Newfoundland’s coastline.

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Placentia

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Ship's Cove

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Patrick's Cove

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St. Bride's

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Cape St. Mary's

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Branch

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Discover & Explore

John Joe English, Anita Best, and Elsie Best on stage at the Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

John Joe English, Anita Best, and Elsie Best on stage at the Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Anita Best and her mother Elsie Best sing at the Newfoundland Folk Festival. 

Georges Banks

Henry Campbell & Gerald Campbell

Georges Banks / Henry Campbell & Gerald Campbell

Georges Banks, song (Ye roving sons of Newfoundland, I hope you will draw near …) Georges Bank is a large plateau-shaped shoal off the coast of Massachusetts. It is part of a series of banks and shoals that extend along the edge of the North American continental shelf—the most northern of which are Newfoundland’s Grand Banks.  This ballad tells the story of a ship, the Morning Star, whose crew was fishing on Georges Banks. The ship was caught in a November gale that resulted in many fisherman freezing or being swept overboard before they could return to Newfoundland.  Other versions of this song are included in Greenleaf and Mansfield’s Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland (1933:260–263); Kenneth Peacock’s Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 3 (1965:916–21); and among the recordings of MacEdward Leach.

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Colonna's lone shore

Denis McGrath

Colonna's lone shore / Denis McGrath

Colonna's lone shore, song (I will sing the word of young wandering Nellie ...) Written by Andrew Sharpe during the early 19th century, this song describes the death of a soldier at the Battle of Corunna on 16 January 1809. The focus, however, is on the reaction of the soldier’s sweetheart when word of his death arrives back in Scotland. Song collector Robert Ford writes in Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland:  “Andrew Sharpe had observed that, since Herdman’s departure, Ellen Rankine was greatly changed. Her passionate blue eyes had begun to fade, and her luxuriant brown hair, the pride of better days, to get tangled and dry; but when the news of his death came she sank into helpless idiocy, and despite the careful watchings of her distressed parents, she stole from them in a luckless moment, and, taking the back of the hill, went crooning and singing for a whole week away through the Howe of Strathmore” (1904:84).

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The broken-hearted milkman

Tom Murphy

The broken-hearted milkman / Tom Murphy

The broken-hearted milkman, song (I’m a hard-working milkman in grief I’m arrayed …) Originally published as “Polly Perkins of Paddington Green” during the mid-19th century, this song was composed by Harry Clifton (1832–1872), a London-based music-hall songwriter. The version sung by Tom Murphy replaces the references to the London locality with references to Ireland.

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Aidan and Joyce O'Hara performing at the Newfoundland Folk Festival, 1978 / Len Penton, photographer

Aidan and Joyce O'Hara performing at the Newfoundland Folk Festival, 1978 / Len Penton, photographer

Aidan O'Hara plays the guitar while Joyce O'Hara sings. Their three sons play in front of the stage (Conor, Brian, and Sean). Several singers and musicians sit at the back of the stage (left to right): John Joe English, Anita Best, Caroline Brennan, John ‘Skinny’ White, Joe Byrne, Pius Power Snr, Pius Power Jnr.

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