“The Six Horse-Power Coaker”


An old run-down motor that still has a lot of life left in it fails one day as the weather worsens and they have a dory in tow. An orphan boy comes to the rescue in a skiff and is able to start the motor. They take on the boy from that time forward.


The author, Arthur Reginald Scammell (mistakenly spelled with one "l" in [Doyle]), has written many poems, songs and even stories with Newfoundland themes. One of his more famous songs is, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground." Some collections of his works include: _My Newfoundland: Stories, Poems, Songs_ (St. John's: Harry Cuff Publications, 1988) and "Newfoundland Echoes" (St. John's: Harry Cuff Publications, 1988). _Collected Works of A. R. Scammell_ was also published by Harry Cuff in 1990.

The boy in the song is referred to as being a "bedlamer boy" which is a corruption of the French phrase, "bete de la mer" used in Newfoundland to refer to half-grown seals and boys. See: Harold Horwood, _Newfoundland_ (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada , 1969), p. 84. - SH


  1. Doyle2, p. 74, "The Six Horse-Power Coaker" (1 text)
  2. Blondahl, pp. 68-69, "The Six-Horsepower Coaker" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #7310
  4. BI, Doy74


Author: A.R. Scammell
Earliest date: 1940
Found in: Canada(Newf)