“When the Flippers Strike the Town”


"You may talk about the pancakes That your mother used to fry... But this I got to tell you... The pancakes won't be 'in it' When the flippers 'strike the town.'" The song describes the enjoyable times when the flippers come back to home and family


The reference is to eating seals, and to the sealers coming back from the ice with their carcasses. According to Bob Bartlett (who should know; see his biography under "Captain Bob Bartlett"), "The flesh [of the seal] is by no means disagreeable, though it has a general flavor of fish, which constitutes the seal's chief food" (see p. 54 of _The Last Voyage of the Karluk_, as told to Ralph T. Hale; published 1916; now available with a new introduction by Edward E. Leslie as _The Karluk's Last Voyage_). - RBW


  1. Ryan/Small, p. 70, "When the Flippers Strike the Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, RySm070


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1959 (Newfoundland Ballads and Stories)
Keywords: sea hunting reunion food