“Sealer's Song (I)”


"The Block House Flag is up today to welcome home the stranger." The sealing fleet is returning. The ships are named, their feats recounted [how they "kill their foe"," i.e. the seals], and they go home to parties and dancing

Supplemental text

Sealer's Song (I)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

As printed in Ryan & Small, Haulin' Rope & Gaff, pp. 33-34. From the third (1955)
edition of Doyle's Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland.

The Black House flag is up today to welcome home the stranger
And Stewart's House is looking out for Barbour in the Ranger;
But Job's are wishing Blandford first who never missed the patches,
He struck them on the twenty-third and filled her to the hatches.

And Bowring too will bet a few
On Jackman in the Howler,
The little Kite she bore in sight
With Billy Knee the Jowler.

(11 additional stanzas, of the short lines used in stanza 2 rather
than the long lines of stanza 1)


A very widely cited song, though the author is unknown. The list of captains mentioned implies a date in the period between 1865 and 1880. For Captain William Jackman, see "Captain William Jackman, A Newfoundland Hero." Chafe reports that Captain Bowman later became a member of the House of Assembly. - RBW


  1. Doyle3, pp. 52-53, "Sealer's Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Blondahl, pp. 73-74, "The Sealer's Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Ryan/Small, pp. 33-34, "Sealer's Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. ST Doyl3052 (Partial)
  5. Roud #7307
  6. BI, Doyl3052


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1955 (Doyle)
Found in: Canada(Newf)