Bay St. Mary/In the Cove

Music © 1977, BMI / words © 1981 Bill Leavenworth


I made (or captured) this tune coming down the French Shore of Nova Scotia.  Nick Apollonio helped me remember it, all the way home across the Bay.


Bill was working as skipper on the crew boats for the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and he made this poem while driving home one winter.


Gordon – laud, 12-string guitar

Carol – harp


On my last trip long ago

I rolled in the swells off Isle Au Haut

And sang to myself with every seam

The song that sleeping whales dream.

From the whale path 'round Isle Au Haut

A sleeping whale answered, singing so,

Each to the other we gave the song

Till morning fetched a chance along

And they swing me off and headed home,

Whalesong trailing back in foam.

They passed my berth, nor brought me 'round

But up the cove and hard aground

They drove me; here I'll lie

While time and whales pass me by.

But summer evenings through my sides

Phosphorescent sluicing tides

Bring singing of a far off whale

Along the roads I used to sail.

When nothing's left but mud and frame

And all are gone who knew my name

May my simple boat's soul go

To a whale, singing off Isle Au Haut.



Bay St. Mary/In the Cove is recorded on the albums Apples in the Basket and Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal