“The Steamer Alexander”


Tuesday, July 30, Alexander leaves Newcastle. Galley, a passenger, falls overboard and drowns. The song wonders who he was, and what his girl will feel

Supplemental text

Steamer Alexander, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Louise Manny and James Reginald Wilson, Songs of Miramichi,
#1, pp. 47-48. From the singing of Allen Kelly, Chaplin Island Road,

Come, listen to a story
  Which no one can deny
It happened on a Tuesday,
  The thirtieth of July.
A Steamer Alexander,
  Going on her (appointed way)
Left the wharf at Newcastle,
  And landed (laden?) with human freight.

(6 additional stanzas, some of them fragmentary)


Manny/Wilson: "The song was made up by 'a man from Neguac.' It tells of a moonlight excursion on the passenger steamer _Alexandra_, and how Theodore Galley fell overboard and was drowned. These excursions were popular entertainment on the Miramichi River in the 1890's and early 1900's... The composers of these laments like to fix in them the day and date and the time of day of the incident they describe."

Taking that statement for what it's worth, Tuesday, July 30, occurred in 1891, 1896, 1902, 1913 and 1919. - BS


  1. Manny/Wilson 1, "The Steamer Alexander" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST MaWi001 (Partial)
  3. Roud #9206
  4. BI, MaWi001


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1963 (Manny/Wilson)
Keywords: drowning river ship death
Found in: Canada(Mar)