I Live in Newfoundland

I’m from Nova Scotia, but I live on the island of Newfoundland in St. John’s. It looks something like this…

…except it’s normally not as well lit due to all the rain and fog and snow…

…and although most people I know in St. John’s are rarely on time for anything, they do move slightly faster than depicted here.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

8 Replies to “I Live in Newfoundland”

  1. So beautiful! What is it with the little houses? We saw something similar on P.E.I. I’ve been to P.E.I. (to visit the daughter at the bagpipe college) and I’ve been to Dartmouth, NS twice to visit Mr. Mean’s nephew. I just walked around slack-jawed most of the time from the awesomeness of it all. Mr. Mean’s dad was stationed at Gander during WWII, but we’ve not visited YET. Needs to happen.

    • Small houses? You mean those little houses built around the rocks? Or you mean the miniature houses? Yeah, I don’t know anything about that. I’d be the worst tour guide for Newfoundland. I live here but I’m not from here and I have no sense of direction in Newfoundland like I do in Nova Scotia. I don’t know where most places are or how to get there. I get lost trying to get out of St. John’s. I don’t have my hand on the pulse of this province. Most people who meet me can tell I’m not from around here.

  2. Jody…Mean Jean has been to the homeland….

    Mean Jean…interesting that you mentioned Dartmouth in a positive light….often it has been referred in a derogatory sense as the best place to view Halifax…my wife grew up about a ten to fifteen minute walk from the ferry terminal…I am assuming you did the ferry ride thing…

    I have not yet viewed Phillips post on Newfoundland as it will make me pine for life in the Atlantic Provinces once again…..

    • We rode the ferry, went bar hopping in Halifax, saw the Titanic memorial/graveyard, went to Peggy’s Cove and ate a HUMONGOUS chunk of warm, exquisite gingerbread with ice cream. Perfect timing for the wild strawberries which we gobbled up dirty.

      The Halifax outing was delightful as the US Navy was in port for war games so there were lots of sailors walking about and the buskers were quite prolific and very entertaining. You could hear crowds of people singing in every bar. It was like a scene from the movie “Popeye” except cheery and colorful.

  3. Mean Jean….sniff sniff….glad it was a great time for yous…I used to spent a lot of time at the Maritime Museum…doing research and working as an interpreter

    I have made my home here in ontario but I still long for a nostalgic return to the maritimes….I am going to go in a dark room and listen to out on the mira…and cry my self to sleep :-}

    I used to sing out on the mira, barretts privateers and peter street to the kids as babies to get them to sleep….by the third song they would be asleep…

    anjas grade one teacher commented on anja’s language one time cause she was heard on the playground singing the chourus to barretts privateers…. a proud parenting moment….

    wow thanks Mean Jean for jogging the ole memory farts…

    • Is Barretts Privateers as rowdy as The North Atlantic Squadron? Mr. Mean, Ottawa born and bred taught me several xxx rated verses and his dad taught us both the blue-est verse we know ON HIS DEATHBED!

      away away with fife and drum
      here we come
      full of rum
      looking for women
      to paddle their bum
      The North Atlantic Squadron

  4. ha ha nice

    In the course of a variety of research projects on the Maritimes I undertook in my youthful, academic folly…one provided a most disquieting account in regards to the working songs of seafaring folk… I came across an account of the son of a fisherman who was recounting an interview his father was having with Helen Creighton (an author) in regards to working songs. She had set up a tape recorder and asked the father to sing…he begins and then is chastened for the language used…and is told to sing the song but to censor the ditty….I think there is a book by an author MacKay that addresses this in depth…but it is kind of sad to know that much of this type of folklore knowledge at best has been sanitized and at worst lost…

    for the cairn boys here and others from the maritimes…nights at the lower deck in downtown halifax watching mcginty were not complete without this stan rogers classic being performed….and on many a nights when I was there there was an elderly women who had become somewhat of a fixture and she would sit up next to the stage playing her spoons

    the chorus in question..which is far from x rated…peter street is perhaps a bit more risque

    goddam them all
    I was told we’d cruise the seas for american gold
    we’d fire no guns shed no tears
    I’m a broken man on a halifax pier
    the last of barrett’s privateers

    if you get a chance look up peter street by the irish descendants…always brings a smile…especially as the fella returns to his “boat”….met by his captain and crew…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.