Jack Hinks 

                                    Traditional Newfoundland: Quigley/Apollonio


            Many years back my old shipmate Geordie Jennings brought me a fine little pamphlet of songs.  It was Gerald  S. Doyle's "Old Time Songs of Newfoundland" (Third Edition 1955).  Doyle says  "The author …was 'Johnny Quigley', the bard from Erin, as he was wont to be styled by Newfoundlanders in the old days…"  The first time I ever sang this for Nick Apollonio, his immediate comment was to sing the "O was ye drunk…" lines to another traditional tune.


January Men and Then Some


            Ye muses so kind who are guided by wind

          On the ocean as well as the shore

          Assist a poor bard how to handle his card

          Without ceasing where billows do roar

          Not of cupid he sings, nor of country nor kings

          Nor of any such trifles he thinks

          But of seafaring, sail making, gambling, capering

          Grog-drinking heroes like Hinks


          When Jack comes ashore he's got money galore

          For he's seldom cut short of a job

          He can dress as well now as any can tell

          With a good silver watch to his fob

          For Jack in his life was ne'er plagued with a wife

          Though sometimes with the lassies he links

          That seafaring…


          When inclined for to spend he comes in with a friend

          And with pleasure he sets himself down

          And he tips up his glass and he winks at the lass

          And he smiles if she happens to frown

          Like some rattling true-blue when the reckoning is due

          On the table his money he clinks

          That seafaring…


          One evening last fall we fell in with a squall

          On the northernmost head of Cape Freels

          We were cast away without further delay

          At the thought, how my spirit it chills

          When cast on the rocks like a hard hunted fox

          Then on death and destruction he thinks

          That seafaring…


          Now Jack without fail was out in that same gale

          Having drove across Bonavist Bay

          Old Neptune did rail as they handed all sail

          And he had his two spars cut away

          But Providence kind who so eases the wind

          And on sailors so constantly thinks

          Saved that seafaring…


          Ah, but death it will come like the sound of a drum

          For to summon poor Jack to his grave

          There's naught he can do, for you all know 'tis true

          'Tis the same for both hero and slave

          And his soul soars aloft, so doleful and soft

          While the bell for the funeral clinks

          Oh peace to that seafaring…


          Nick's comment:

          Oh, was ye drunk or was ye blind

          When ye left your two fine spars behind?

          Or was it stivvering over the sea

          Took the two fine sticks from your decks away?

          To me too rye a, fall the diddle da

          Toorye, oorye, oorye a



Jack Hinks is recorded on the album Herrings in the Bay