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Learner story archives

April 29, 1996

This week's story selection was written by Geraldine White on Father's Day, 1995. Geraldine, a mother of six, graduated from an Adult Basic Education program in St. Vincent's, Newfoundland. At the time of this works first publication, Geraldine had planned to study Newfoundland literature and culture at Memorial University.

Daddy

by Geraldine White

(For my father William Fleming and all those old-time fishermen)

I wandered today on the beach, Daddy
To watch the waves roll in
They rolled just the same today, Daddy
As when you were a young fisherman.

(Chorus)
Not a cod or a caplin to see, Daddy
Not a head or a sound are in sight.
Not a boat or a frape, now it's June, Daddy.
I wonder how we sleep at night.

The smells and sounds have all changed, Daddy,
But in memories they always remain
The stages, the frapes and the boats, Daddy
I guess it will never be again.

CHORUS

It brought tears to my eyes to recall, Daddy
The days of my youth as a child.
When you fished on this beach with a crew, Daddy.
You sure did work hard a long while.

CHORUS

The big companies come and took over, Daddy.
We thought it was wonderful then.
When we worked in a fish plant ashore, Daddy
Our lot was our loss. Ah! Amen!

CHORUS

I thanked God today for the memories, Daddy.
And asked him to forgive us in time,
For destruction of what Newfoundland is about,
For those memories will die too with time!

CHORUS

Well, I guess we have outlived our time, Daddy.
From the fishery, we all now must steer.
As we go forth in life with a new way, Daddy.
Those memories of you, I'll hold dear.

(Chorus)
Not a cod or a caplin to see, Daddy
Not a head or a sound are in sight.
Not a boat or a frape, now it's June, Daddy.
I wonder how we sleep at night.

[used with permission, A Newfoundland Spell, published by Harrish press, St. John's Newfoundland, 1995. Edited by Helen Woodrow]

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