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The Schooner Annie

Roud #3227

Composed by Peter Leonard (1890–1964) under the title “Jim McCarthy,” this song recounts the story of a ship (the Annie) that left St John’s in 1915 with a cargo bound for Placentia Bay. The schooner was caught in a gale and, despite the best efforts of the crew, was eventually lost. The crew, however, was rescued by a passing ship, the Monarch.

Listen to Caroline Brennan sing “The schooner Annie,” view an annotated transcript, and download your own copy of the words.

The schooner Annie / Caroline Brennan

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The schooner Annie / Caroline Brennan

The schooner Annie, song (Young and old I pray make bold, and listen to my tale ...) Composed by Peter Leonard (1890–1964) under the title “Jim McCarthy,” this song recounts the story of a ship (the Annie) that left St John’s in 1915 with a cargo bound for Placentia Bay. The schooner was caught in a gale and, despite the best efforts of the crew, was eventually lost. The crew, however, was rescued by a passing ship, the Monarch.


Caroline Brennan's version of “The schooner Annie”

Young and old I pray make bold, and listen to my tale,
While I relate the hardships, of that last November gale.
Which did burst forth the 17th, as you may understand,
The like was seldom seen before, on the coast of Newfoundland.

Now my boys I’ll do my best, the truth for to relate, Concerning the Schooner Annie, that left St. John’s the 8th. With a full cargo of supplies, bound for Placentia Bay, And in that most tremendous storm, was driven far to sea.

Fermeuse was the last port she left, right early in the morn,
With wind from the nor’west my boys, the day before the storm.
And early the next morning, they were in Trepassey Bay,
When the wind burst forth like fury, and mountainous ran the sea.

They tried with great endeavour, Trepassey for to gain,
But the sea and wind arose so strong, their object proved in vain.
They made fast their horser, like brave and hardy men,
But to their surprise it parted, and they were adrift again.

Three times she tried to take them, but the wind blew with such force At 10 o’clock she left them there, steamed back Aquafort. They left the little Annie, with the angry waves to fight, And those poor boys will never forget, the hardships of that night.

Wednesday still the gale was on, and they saw no helping hand,
They expected to be driven, about fifty miles from land.
The storm increased to a violence, and the sea did rage all around,
They expected every moment that, the Annie’d she’d go down.

Thursday and Friday, the storm it did decrease,
We reached her forward to the land, and according to the breeze.
But Saturday night a gale arose, followed by heavy rain,
Sunday veered out from the north, and drove them back again.

The day being gone and night came on, more heavier ‘ho the sea,
They knelt out on the open deck, most fervently did pray.
To the blessed virgin Mary, for mercy to implore,
They thought that they would never see, their friends again on shore.

At 10 o’clock a Thursday, they shipped an awful sea,
McCarthy and the dory, they both were washed away.
But he being an able swimmer, and his courage did not fail,
So by a rope thrown o’r her side, they pulled him o’r the rail.

At 10 o’clock a Monday, a whistle they did hear,
I’m sure they were delighted, when they found ‘twas drawing near.
They sighted her and signalled her, and on them she bore down,
It proved to be the Monaduck[1] for London she was bound.

The commander of the Monaduck,[2]  had everything to hand,
He made fast the steel cable, to toe them to the land.
But the Annie she began to leak, her crew was weak and tired,
So they agreed to leave her there, and set the hull on fire.

Now we’re on board of the Monaduck,[3] our grief is turned to joy,
We had not been long seeming, when the Cabot we did spy.
She being searching for the men, she was so near at hand,
She took them from the Monaduck,[4] and brought them safe to land.

Now we’re safely landed, all in good health again,
Here’s to you Jim McCarthy, and your brave hearty men.
Will Rogers and Ger Whelan, were known amongst us all,
They’re hearty sons of Newfoundland, can answer every call.

Now for Captain Blackmore, his praises I’ll fulfil,
To save us from that frail craft, he used his utmost skill.
And to He that fed five thousand, on five loaves and fishes too,
He hovered round and helped to save, our poor dejected crew.


[1] Editor’s note: Monarch.
[2] Editor’s note: Monarch.
[3] Editor’s note: Monarch.
[4] Editor’s note: Monarch.