Imagining Nation: - Music and Identity in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland

Imagining Nation:
Music and Identity in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland1

Glenn Colton
Lakehead University

1 ASK A NEWFOUNDLANDER to explain what Francis Forbes’s "The Banks of Newfoundland" means to him or her, and many would likely respond with one or more extra-musical interpretations. Most would immediately recognize the tune as "Up the Pond," the familiar incidental music to the annual St. John’s Regatta and a piece steeped in the tradition of North America’s oldest continuing sporting event. Some would point to its historic associations with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Others might recall its status as the nineteenth-century anthem of the Newfoundland fishery and, for much of that century, an anthem of sorts for all Newfoundlanders. A few savvy listeners might even recall the original title or composer, Newfoundland’s Chief Justice, who wrote the piece circa 1820 before departing for the balmier climes of Australia. At the root of each of these explanations lies a strong sense of identification and, through active listening, engagement with Newfoundland history and tradition. As a living expression of Newfoundland’s cultural heritage, "The Banks of Newfoundland" has achieved iconic status within a collective national consciousness.2 It is, for those born prior to Confederation, a perception rooted in the collective memory of an independent Newfoundland.3 The oft-heard expression "I’m a Newfoundlander first" is for these individuals not merely a nationalistic state of mind but a statement of historical authenticity.4 Irrespective of whether one ever lived in an independent Newfoundland, the idea of Newfoundland remains for many a communal attachment that transcends the potentially polarizing forces of ethnicity, denominational allegiance, and social class that have coloured the province’s past.5 The story of how competing identities intersected in the formation of a new society, and how this society developed a collective national consciousness, is one of the more compelling narratives in Newfoundland history.

2 That aspects of Newfoundland culture — specifically musical culture — should both express and motivate feelings of national identity is hardly surprising. As John Beckwith reminds us, "anthropologists and behaviourists are said to regard music as one of the best indices to a culture: perhaps because of its inability to convey concepts, music is in an unusually good position to reveal feelings — the feelings of the individual artist, the feelings of a period, of a region, of a society."6 By the early decades of the twentieth century, the intellectual climate was ripe for a cultural revival aimed at preserving and disseminating aspects of Newfoundland culture in the face of impending social and political change. Among the many manifestations of this revival were Arthur Scammell’s idyllic portraits of outport life as told through song and story,7 the folksong recordings of Ignatius Rumboldt that helped create a new audience for Newfoundland traditional music, the college lectures of Frederick Emerson that instilled in a generation newfound appreciation of their musical heritage, and the landmark song books of Gerald S. Doyle that helped establish an indigenous "canon" of Newfoundland popular song.8 Other notable examples of this impulse include the evocative Newfoundland Verse of E.J. Pratt, the imagined out-port of Margaret Duley’s novels, the locally inspired radio broadcasts of Robert MacLeod, the message-laden scripts of the Irene B. Mellon and Barrelman radio programs,9 and J.R. Smallwood’s encyclopedic Books of Newfoundland. Of note here is the fact that several members of this intellectual circle were close acquaintances who met on a regular basis to share ideas and engage in creative acts. The home of Gerald S. Doyle, in particular, was the scene of many such gatherings in which song sessions and poetry recitations were frequently held (not unlike a modern Newfoundland version of the nineteenth-century Parisian salon).10

3 The seeds of Newfoundland cultural nationalism, firmly planted in the decades prior to Confederation, sprouted a new wave of creative acts amongst Newfoundland writers, artists, and musicians active in the second half of the twentieth century. The development of programs in folklore and music and the establishment of a Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland were central to this intellectual and creative revival, as was the birth of the St. John’s Folk Arts Council and (under its auspices) the rise of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. For author Bernice Morgan, herself an exemplary creator of Newfoundland-inspired fiction, renewed awareness of a distinctive musical heritage has long been at the forefront of this movement:It was music that came first, I think — hearing Newfoundland singers John White and Joan Morissey and others, singing our own songs ... Slowly a sense of place was being born — or reborn. The past was being found, gathered in. Newfoundland songs were being collected, printed and recorded. We began to hear of Rufus Guinchard and Émile Benoit, of Freeman Bennett, John Devine and long-dead Johnny Burke.11

4 Responding to the legacy of Doyle, as well as that of visiting folksong collectors such as Maud Karpeles, Elizabeth Greenleaf, and later Kenneth Peacock, a new generation of Newfoundland musicians — among them Anita Best, Pamela Morgan, Kelly Russell, Jim Payne, and others — pioneered a revival of Newfoundland traditional music through a process of rediscovery and reinvention. Similar tendencies could be discerned in the music of groups such as Figgy Duff, the Wonderful Grand Band, and more recently, Great Big Sea and the Irish Descendents. Best describes in vivid detail how this process of rediscovery took hold at a personal level. Her words are well worth quoting at length: When I was growing up in Placentia Bay I often heard songs at weddings, soup suppers, and similar gatherings in people’s kitchens and parish halls. They captured my imagination at the time, but held little meaning for me ... In the 1950s and 1960s we jumped headlong into the sea of rock ’n roll. Our parents hated it, so we loved it all the more. We’d never be caught dead listening to the "Newfie" music they played on VOCM. The old songs persisted, though, and we were mildly surprised when we found ourselves enjoying them at dances or caught ourselves humming a few verses as we waited for busses. Then along came the Clancy Brothers, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, and the folk revival of the sixties. Suddenly, the old songs we half-knew rose to the surface. They had merely been biding their time. With a prod from Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and Planxty we began to examine and delight in our own songs. We talked about them all the time, wrote down versions from our aunts and grandmothers, and passed them along to our friends. We discovered Maud Karpeles, Kenneth Peacock, and Greenleaf and Mansfield. We listened to Laverne Squires singing "Who Is at My Window Weeping" and we wept; we heard Ronnie Tilley singing "The Bloody Gardener" and we fell victim.12

5 Similar movements were quickly gaining momentum in theatre, the visual arts, and literature. The theatrical comedy of the Mummers Troupe and CODCO, the modernist canvases of David Blackwood and Christopher Pratt, and the satirical musings of Ray Guy are all varied expressions of what Sandra Gwyn referred to as the "Newfoundland mystique."13 In the 21st century, this mystique is garnering unprecedented attention as multiple examples of scholarly "Newfoundlandia" hit the bookshelves and popular bands such as Great Big Sea garner worldwide acclaim with a musical style firmly rooted in the Newfoundland folk music tradition.

6 While the existence of cultural nationalism in post-Confederation Newfoundland is a widely acknowledged phenomenon, I would like to suggest that the roots of this movement originated much earlier than is generally recognized. Few would question the central role of Gerald S. Doyle in inspiring the Newfoundland folk music revival of the late twentieth century.14 Yet the Doyle songsters are themselves part of a vibrant song tradition with links to the earlier ballads of the "Bard of Prescott Street" John Burke, who, in turn, was influenced by the potpourri of nationalistic songs, ballads, and poems that flourished in the Newfoundland popular press for much of the nineteenth century. Inherent in Gwyn’s conception of a Newfoundland Renaissance is the notion of rebirth, and to fully understand this movement, it is incumbent upon us to ask the fundamental question, "a rebirth of what?" Recent manifestations of cultural nationalism, while often inspired and shaped by contemporary events, are deeply rooted in history and form part of a continuum that can be traced to the early nineteenth century and the formative stages of an emerging Newfoundland society.15


7 As the new century dawned, there were tangible signs of an incipient Newfoundland society in the making. The permanent population had risen to more than 20,000 and visitors were increasingly making reference to Newfoundlanders as an identifiable people. As early as 1794, in fact, Aaron Thomas could make the following observation: "You frequently meet with Familys whose Grandfathers were born in Newfoundland. These are what I call the Natives. They speak English but they have a manner peculiar to themselves ..."16 Similar distinctions were being drawn in the first recorded history of Newfoundland, John Reeves’s History of the Government of the Island of Newfoundland (1793). For Reeves, Newfoundland history comprised "the struggles and vicissitudes of two contending interests — the planters and inhabitants on the one hand ... and the adventurers and merchants on the other,"17 a nationalistic stance that would influence generations of Newfoundland historians.18 Given the social upheaval that was unfolding in Europe and the unprecedented transformation of Newfoundland society that was about to take place, Reeves’s remarks could not have been more timely.

8 The Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 produced unprecedented demand for fish (the island’s unofficial currency), which in turn fuelled a sustained wave of immigration that caused the island’s population to grow to more than 40,000 by 1815. Slowly but unmistakably the seeds of change were planted as the cultural markers of a society began to emerge. Newfoundland’s first newspaper, the Royal Gazette, began operation in 1807 and, not long after, advertisements for music lessons and the sale of musical instruments began to appear.19 A group of visiting actors from Québec presented what is believed to be the first professional theatrical performance in 1806 and by 1817 the first locally produced play was performed.20 Chamber music often accompanied these early theatricals and in 1820 the first local operatic production, an interpretation of Thomas Linley’s The Duenna, took place. A defining moment in the early history of the performing arts in Newfoundland was the establishment of a new Amateur Theatre at St. John’s in 1822. The festive occasion, a patriotic spectacle rarely seen in Newfoundland up until that time, was marked by a grand procession of dignitaries, members of the theatrical community, and a military band playing a selection of unspecified "national airs," while a series of comic songs were composed expressly for the occasion by Scottish-born court clerk Aaron Hogsett. The Amateur Theatre would become a focal point for the performing arts for years to come, a communal venue in which Shakespearean drama, comic plays, songs, and instrumental music offered local audiences an eclectic array of entertainment to enliven the often arduous winter months. Public concerts soon provided musical enrichment to the long-standing practices of traditional music, sacred music, and military band music. Aside from their entertainment value, events such as these signified a nostalgic connection to the musical culture of the old world and a sense of buoyant optimism for the emerging culture of the new. As one commentator exclaimed prior to a concert in St. John’s in March of 1827, "The number as well as excellence of the musicians will far exceed any estimate which those unacquainted with the actual state of the harmonic science here could imagine. We wish our friends on the other side of the Atlantic could witness the display."21

9 The years following the advent of representative government in 1832 were pivotal to a developing national consciousness and, with the establishment of a Newfoundland Natives’ Society in 1840, the rhetoric of independence reached a fever pitch. According to Phillip McCann, nativist rhetoric "penetrated the psyche of both Protestant and Catholic Newfoundlanders and was to be extraordinarily effective in creating a patriotic consciousness."22 Not unlike the model of the Benevolent Irish Society, the Newfoundland British Society, the St. George’s Society, and other comparable organizations in Newfoundland at the time, the Natives’ Society sponsored celebratory festivals, balls, and soirees that provided camaraderie and social interaction to enliven the winter season. The Natives’ Society, however, was unabashedly political and uniquely dedicated to the formation of a Newfoundland national consciousness. The brand of nationalism espoused by the Natives’ Society contrasted sharply to the expression of British patriotism on the one hand and church-inspired Irish nationalism on the other.23 As newspaper editor Robert Parsons proclaimed at the society’s inaugural meeting, "this night we proclaim ourselves a people — we proclaim our nationality, and we shall fail to do our duty, if henceforth we do not make that nationality to be respected."24 Drawing its membership primarily from the emerging middle class, the Natives’ Society became a powerful force in Newfoundland politics during the early 1840s and a potent vehicle for nationalistic expression.25 A song text published in the Harbour Grace Herald entitled "Our Native Rights" (1843) gave voice to the society’s ideology through the recurring motif of native identity:Nor shall our prayer unheeded be
While heart with hand unites,
We claim our freedom, liberty,
Our own — our native rights.26

10 The Natives’ Society held its first festival in July 1841, replete with speeches, toasts, and appropriate airs played by a military band (see Example 1). One of these airs was "The Banks of Newfoundland," played immediately after the following toast by society president Edward Kielley:Our Native Isle — May we never forget its interests; dear be to us our early associations with its rocks and wilds and its unsophisticated socialities; prosperity to its trade, its fisheries, and its agriculture, Our Native Isle, Hurrah!!!27

Example 1: Francis Forbes, The Banks of Newfoundland, mm. 1-12.28

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11 "The Banks of Newfoundland" enjoyed a populist appeal in nineteenth-century Newfoundland that would have likely astounded Forbes, who had long since left the island to become the first Chief Justice of Australia. Initially published as a gigue for solo piano by Oliver Ditson of Boston, the piece became best known as a regimental march performed by the Band of the Royal Newfoundland Companies and a variety of other military and civilian ensembles active in Newfoundland at the time.29 Processions, festivals, dinners, soirees, and the like were frequently enlivened with renditions of the popular tune, a tradition that began in the 1820s and proliferated in the years following the granting of representative government. One of many such occasions was a civic procession to commemorate the third anniversary of the Association of Newfoundland Fishermen and Shoremen in 1832. As the Newfoundlander tells us, the members of the association "met at the Orphan Asylum to make the preparatory arrangements, and though the weather was extremely unfavourable, drew up three deep, to the number of 400 men. In despite of the drenching shower which fell during the whole day, they proceeded in admirable order with the usual insignia, banners, etc., through the principal streets. Upon the return of the procession to the school, an excellent amateur band, who had very handsomely volunteered their services, occupied the orchestra, and enlivened the meeting with several spirit-stirring and appropriate airs."30 One of these airs was "The Banks of Newfoundland," played following a toast to prosperity for the Newfoundland fishery.

12 Frederick Emerson, in one of his pioneering lectures on Newfoundland music during the 1940s, concluded that "the tune that is perhaps most associated with the Newfoundland people — thanks perhaps to the Newfoundland Regiment — is the lively and captivating dance tune, ‘The Banks of Newfoundland’."31 The work’s storied association with the Regiment dates from the third year of World War I and the founding of a Newfoundland Regiment Band overseas under the direction of Scottish bandmaster L.L. Worthington. Patriotism was for these bandsmen not merely an idea expressed but a concept lived. A song of tribute by Worthington entitled "The First Newfoundland Regiment" dates from this period, the introduction of which contains a quotation from the opening of "The Banks of Newfoundland." In November 1916, just four months after the regiment suffered catastrophic losses at Beaumont Hamel, the band led a procession of allied troops through the streets of London where "The Banks of Newfoundland" was played before thousands of spectators who lined the route. In September of the following year, the city of London hosted a special "Newfoundland Week" series of events commemorating the 420th anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland and the war-time heroics of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. As part of the festivities, the regimental band performed "The Banks of Newfoundland" in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 at Hyde Park, including a rather imaginative if somewhat bewildered music critic who characterized the piece as "curious ... a mixture of Irish and Red Indian strains, as stirring as it is weird!"32 As G.W.L. Nicholson recalls, "during the First World War the stirring tune was to lighten the step of thousands of marching Newfoundlanders and cheer the heart of many a wounded or convalescent soldier in hospital or nursing home; and in the years that followed, ‘The Banks of Newfoundland’ came to serve as a lasting memorial to the famous Regiment whose troops rallied to its historic and stimulating strains."33 On 1 July 1924, at the unveiling of the National War Memorial in St. John’s, the Church Lads’ Brigade [CLB], Catholic Cadet Corps, Methodist Guards, Newfoundland Highlanders, and a large assemblage of servicemen marched before tens of thousands as the CLB Band played "The Banks of Newfoundland."

13 Echoing Emerson’s words on the work’s close association with the Newfoundland people, a number of twentieth-century composers — principal among them Canadian composer/arranger Howard Cable — contributed to the iconic history of the "Banks" by creating new performance contexts and fostering heightened awareness of the piece among listeners in Canada and abroad. Cable was first introduced to the piece by Robert MacLeod during a tune-seeking Newfoundland sojourn with fellow composer Leslie Bell (Cable’s former teacher and an acquaintance of Emerson) in late 1940s,34 and his impressions culminated in the oft-played "Newfoundland Rhapsody" for wind band, where it is used as the thematic basis for the climactic closing section.35 Composed in celebration of Newfoundland’s union with Canada during the Confederation era and broadcast widely on CBC Radio, it is arguably Cable’s most popular composition and a staple of the wind band literature.36 MacLeod would later describe Cable’s evocative treatment of "The Banks of Newfoundland" thus: "He uses it in many ways in his rhapsody. He uses it straight through; he uses it as a bridge from one part of the music to the other and he has slide trombones imitating the effort of the people rowing the boats. You can almost hear the fellows pulling the oars."37 Considered in another light, the unmistakable strains of the "Banks" (integrated into Cable’s celebratory rhapsody) became one of the first recognizable tunes that Canadians came to view as indigenous to the province of Newfoundland.38 Not unlike the appropriation of Newfoundland folksongs by Canadian song collectors, composers, and arrangers in the post-Confederation era, Forbes’s quintessential example of Newfoundland musical nationalism had, in a sense, entered the mainstream of Canadian culture.

14 Emerson, for his part, would later integrate themes from "The Banks of Newfoundland" into his own "Newfoundland Rhapsody" for orchestra, an evocative piece reminiscent of the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Composed in the mid-1960s for the newly founded St. John’s Orchestra (later the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra), it is an exceedingly rare instance of orchestral music composed by a Newfoundlander of his generation. In Newfoundland and Labrador today, the enduring legacy of "The Banks of Newfoundland" lives on in a multitude of modern arrangements by an eclectic array of popular musicians. One recent performance context of note is the annual George Street Festival, a series of outdoor rock concerts in the heart of the St. John’s entertainment district. In what has become something of a George Street Festival tradition, "The Banks of Newfoundland" is typically played at the close of the final night’s festivities (the eve of the Regatta notably), and never fails to draw a tumultuous response from the thousands of revellers in attendance.

15 While wind bands provided a communal forum for a developing national consciousness, individual expressions of identity could be found in the many song texts that permeated the local print media for much of the nineteenth century. David Gregory, in a recent article on twentieth-century vernacular songs in Newfoundland, postulates that "extensive research in Newfoundland newspapers and periodicals might provide much more evidence than is currently available about popular song on the island before the twentieth century."39 Based on my analysis of several thousand music-related articles from nineteenth-century print media, Gregory’s hypothesis appears to be correct. While the political leanings of nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals need to be carefully scrutinized before judging the veracity of their contents, they are nonetheless important repositories of primary source material that await further exploration. The fact that the views expressed were often contentious and highly polemical tells us much about the politically charged, fractious environment in which they were written, as well as the contrasting perspectives expressed by a cross-section of Newfoundlanders in the formative stages of a society.40 These publications, then, formed an integral part of an emerging sense of nationhood. The rise of the print media enabled the creation of imagined communities of Newfoundlanders who could participate in an intellectual discourse that helped shape the nation’s political and cultural future.

16 By the mid-nineteenth century, the composition of nationalistic songs was very much in vogue in the local press as contributors revelled in extolling the virtues of Newfoundland life (either real or imagined). An emerging tradition of nationalistic songs — a tendency mirrored by developments in other parts of colonial North America — formed part of a broader culture of printed song texts that also included sea songs, love songs, memorial tributes, nostalgic reminiscences of Europe, and a variety of other topical subjects. One of the more buoy-antly nationalistic songs of the era is the anonymously composed "Newfoundland," a piece that first appeared in the local press in 1856 not long after the advent of responsible government. It is described as "an original, locally composed song, composed and set to music by a resident of St. John’s."41Hail, Island of Newfoundland!
Emporium of the west; —
Famed colony of England,
With temperate climate bless’d;
The key of the Saint Lawrence,
Grand shelter to the gulf,
A beacon in the distance
To guide another Wolf.

I fain would sing thy praises,
My own dear native Isle!
Thy fame to future ages
Will native hearts beguile;
Thy soil, considered sterile,
Abundant crops doth yield,
For lo! o’er many a mile
Extends each fertile field.

Thy rivers, bays, and harbours
Indent the Island round,
There merchant ships and others
Are ever to be found.
Some are employed in sealing,
(Another source of wealth),
And some are foreign sailing

O’er the Atlantic breadth.
And tho’ thy trade may stagnate,
And fisheries decline,
And, as in other climates,
May languish for a time;
Thy many great resources
Will yet conspicuous shine,
Thy fishery alone is
To thee a golden mine.

The steamers from old England,
Bound for Columbia’s shore,
Will hail thee, favoured Island!
All other lands before.
Place in the western ocean,
In bold relief she stands,
A haven, I’ve a notion,
To ships from foreign lands.

And now to close my praises,
Of thee my native land!
With joy each heart expandeth,
And hope on every hand;
To see improvement moving
O’er all with giant stride,
Steam, telegraph, and free-trade,
We hail with native pride!42

The national consciousness McCann identified as part of the mid-century Newfoundland psyche is expressed vividly in this and other songs of the period through descriptive imagery symbolizing economic progress and prosperity. Newfoundland’s climate is "temperate," its fields "fertile," its fishery "a gold mine." Steamship service, the telegraph, and free trade are all heralded as progressive milestones in the building of a local economy. As Richard Taruskin reminds us, nineteenth-century nationalism was "at least originally, an inherently modernizing and liberalizing force driven by mercantilism and by the economic and political interests of the emergent bourgeoisie."43 The emergence of national identities was directly linked to notions of political independence and economic progress, and Newfoundland was no exception.44

17 If incipient Newfoundland nationalism was driven in part by mercantile and political interests, it quickly grew into a grassroots movement of much broader appeal. For McCann, invented expressions of nationalism "rapidly came to be seen as ‘traditional,’ and together with the institutionalization of denominationalism entered the social consciousness of Newfoundlanders in the succeeding period."45 The song "Hurrah for Newfoundland," which first appeared in a local newspaper in 1857, serves as an interesting case in point. The song text, brimming with historical references to political issues of the day, is one of the more militant expressions of Newfoundland nationalism of its era. The main issue was the "French Shore Question" of 1857 whereby France received what many considered to be highly favourable fishing rights to the detriment of Newfoundland.46 Newfoundlanders were outraged at what they perceived to be an unjust agreement and throughout St. John’s the British flag was lowered in protest. The song text reflects this indignation as both France and Britain are portrayed in scathing terms to construct a native identity defined by resilience in the face of oppression:The world may show, than Newfoundland,
More fertile scenes and fair,
More brilliant skies and sunnier shores,
A warmer, balmier air.

But happy in our snow-clad Isle.
No Ministerial band,
Nor Foreigner, shall drive us forth
Our home in Newfoundland.

We’ve given the Frenchman bait to fish
To which he had no right,
And given him a friend’s right-hand,
And help by day and night.

But he! — ungrateful, in the dark
Has sought our ruin now;
Would steal our bait, our land, our fish,
And starve our children too.

Yet worse than guileful Frenchmen, come
Our own to lay us low,
Bid us forsake our cherished home,
And force us thence to go.

Yes! — Britain’s power destroys our Rights,
By fools or traitors led,
And yields to grasping foreigners
Her distant children’s bread.

But up Newfoundland’s hardy sons!
And shout to England’s Queen!
And to the British Parliament!
That ever stood between.

Th’ oppressor and th’ oppressed of yore,
Nor will desert us now;
For never to the Tri-color
The British flag shall bow.

The Treaty is our Island right,
The Treaty will we have!
And for the Treaty will we fight,
Upon the Atlantic wave.

Nor Southern bait — nor Labrador,
Nor Seal — nor Salmon catch —
Shall go from us to John Crapeau —
He’ll find John Bull his match.

For when old John finds out the fact
— Betrayed by Labouchere! —
And Clarendon’s Convention, too! —
He’ll make them rue it dear.

Th’ Alliance, will not save them then,
Nor China’s chastisement
by brave old Pam! — They both will to
The right about be sent.47

The public expression of a Newfoundland identity as distinctive from a perceived British identity might have been unthinkable a generation earlier. Its defiant appearance here serves to underscore how far the concept of nationalism had evolved in a relatively short period and perhaps, too, how the French Shore question had galvanized public opinion.48 A similar tone of defiance could be observed in song responses to the pivotal confederation debate of the 1860s, most notably the famous "Anti-Confederation Song" quoted in the second edition of Gerald S. Doyle’s Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland (1940) and later (ironically perhaps) in Edith Fowke’s Canadian Folk Songs (1973). The similarly inspired "Antis of Plate Cove" had appeared previously in the first edition of the Doyle songbooks (1927), and the "Confederation Song of 1869" earlier still in James Murphy’s Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland (1902).

18 In a sequence of events eerily reminiscent of the French Shore question, a flag protest over resource ownership would re-ignite the flames of Newfoundland nationalism nearly 150 years later.49 Despite the obvious disparities between Newfoundland society then and now, the similarities between the French Shore crisis of 1857 and the no less crucial offshore question of 2004-2005 are striking. Both centred on the perception that Newfoundland’s resources were under threat of exploitation at the hands of outside government interests, both galvanized public opinion like few events of their respective eras, and in both cases individual "villains" perceived as enemies of Newfoundland provoked an outpouring of nationalistic sentiment. One perceived enemy identified in the 1857 song text was Henry Labouchere, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, while in 2005 the role of villain was played with notable conviction by the seemingly unlikely figure of Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente.50 Just as the French Shore controversy sparked a torrent of protest in the Newfoundland press (of which Bishop Mullock’s letter to the Newfoundlander stands as a particularly forceful example), Wente’s perpetuation of the "welfare state" myth at the height of the flag debate provoked similar outrage.51 The fact that Wente was writing in Canada’s self-proclaimed "national newspaper," combined with the rare blend of arrogance and ignorance displayed in the article, only served to fan the fires of public opinion.52 For many Newfoundlanders, Wente stirred up old antagonisms and confirmed their worst suspicions of how Central Canada perceived them. It was as if the clichéd "Newfiejoke" phenomenon had resurfaced, only with none of the humour and ten times the nastiness.53 The vociferousness of the response to Wente and the re-emergence of the "Pink, White, and Green" flag as a prominent symbol at the height of the debate mark the winter of 2005 as a defining moment in the history of Newfoundland nationalism.

19 Shortly after "Hurrah for Newfoundland" appeared in the local press, an editorial appeared imploring a visiting singer to set the words to music. The editor proclaims that "we have had the author’s permission to print a number of copies for distribution,"54 suggesting that the song was in great demand. The visiting singer was George Henry Russell, nephew of the English composer Henry Russell. He was in St. John’s to give a series of concerts and while there are no records of him composing a musical setting of "Hurrah for Newfoundland," he did sing a well-known composition of his father entitled "The Newfoundland Dog." A song entitled "Hurrah for Newfoundland" did however appear on the programme of a concert given at the Temperance Hall in St. John’s in July 1878, where it was warmly received by a large and enthusiastic audience. With "Hurrah for Newfoundland," the "Anti-Confederation Song," and other similarly inspired works of the era, Newfoundland’s nationalistic songs had entered the realm of popular culture.55


20 The late nineteenth century ushered in an era of renewed nationalism as rejection of the Confederation option fuelled a spirit of independence that informed government policy and permeated the social consciousness. The proposed Newfoundland railway was one tangible product of this outlook, a tendency reflected in the musical community by the growth of public concerts, operettas, and music societies.56 It was against this historical backdrop that a tradition of locally composed and published songs and ballads flourished and, as George Story notes, the period from 1850 to 1914 represented something of a golden age for Newfoundland popular song in print.57 Arguably the greatest of the balladeers was the singer and songwriter known affectionately as the "Bard of Prescott Street." John Burke (1851-1930)58 was part of an intimate network of Newfoundland balladeers, songwriters, and song compilers, an intriguing and talented circle that included his collaborator and fellow balladeer James Murphy, Burke’s classically trained cousin Charles Hutton (of whom more will be said presently), and in the early part of the twentieth century, Gerald S. Doyle.59 Burke possessed an uncanny ability to capture in verse something of the essence of Newfoundland life, from minute descriptions of local events (often parodic or satirical) to epic tales of tragedy and heroism, all told from the perspective of an insider who was as much a part of Newfoundland society as the varied aspects of that society he chronicled. J.H. Devine mused that "had Burke lived a thousand years ago he would have been a great minstrel,"60 to which we could add that had he lived today, Burke might well have found himself at home as a host of the CBC television program This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

21 Burke’s output is diverse, ranging from broadside ballads and songsters to comic operettas that imparted a distinctly local flavour to the popular theatrical tradition in vogue in late nineteenth-century St. John’s. One such work, The Top-sail Geisha, was a Newfoundland-inspired adaptation of British musical comedy The Geisha while another, The Battle of Foxtrap, presented a satirical chronicle of an infamous confrontation between the women of the town of Foxtrap and well-known judge and historian D.W. Prowse that occurred when the latter sent in police to prevent the obstruction of railway surveyors. Prowse was lampooned in the operetta through the character of "Judge Spruce." In these operettas, as well as in his many popular songs and ballads, Burke struck a resonant chord with Newfoundlanders who saw in his view of the world reflections of themselves. Of the enduring appeal of Burke’s songs — "The Kelligrews Soiree," "Cod Liver Oil," "Clara Nolan’s Ball," and "The Trinity Cake," among others — much has been said and written, although it is worth noting here that their popularity was by no means bounded by the insular world of Burke’s St. John’s. According to Devine, "the advent of a new Burke Ballad was as eagerly greeted by the public as the best seller ... is today. Boys sold them throughout the city ... and they were eagerly bought. Outport people brought them home to the local reciter, and soon all Newfoundland was hearing the ‘latest’."61 As Story, John White,62 and others have suggested, Burke’s songs remain immensely popular in rural Newfoundland (arguably more so than in his native St. John’s), where they have merged with traditional songs to become seamlessly integrated into the vernacular popular culture. "The Kelligrews Soiree" and "The Trinity Cake" are among several Burke songs enshrined in the Doyle songbooks. Despite the enduring legacy of his songs, Burke himself remains an elusive figure about whom much remains to be written and the full impact of his legacy on North American popular culture is only beginning to be recognized by scholars: "The shadow he casts is a long one ... His influence as a Canadian troubadour extends to contemporary poet-lyricist-singers such as Leonard Cohen and Gilles Vigneault. His influence as a balladeer can be heard in the folk music of Atlantic Canada, notably in the cadences of legendary fiddler Don Messer."63

22 In some respects, Burke may seem a rather unlikely nationalist. His predisposition to satirize members of the Newfoundland social elite could not have won him favour with the governing powers and the critical commentary embedded in many of his humorous songs and ballads paints a picture of Newfoundland society that is hardly idealized. Yet a strong vein of local identity runs through much of Burke’s work and, though his style owes as much to earlier British and Irish broadside traditions as locally produced songs and ballads, his was a highly personalized brand of Newfoundland nationalism that was virtually without peer. For Story, Burke’s "intimate knowledge of his society, and the fineness of his balance between identification with and description of that society"64 set him apart from his Newfoundland contemporaries and predecessors, and it is in the process of negotiating this balance that Burke’s "native" voice may be found. In the song "The Terra Nova Regatta," Burke chronicles events at an early running of the St. John’s Regatta in 1860 with characteristic wit:Yes boys, sure boys, faix you’ve all been there,
To see the pretty girls and smiling faces,
And it’s many a city dude
Got paralyzed, and slewed,
In Betsy Colbert’s tent down at the Races.65

Whimsical, light-hearted, and rich in colloquial imagery, Burke’s descriptive prose invites readers into a convivial world of distinctly local "characters." The subject of the regatta — a social occasion enshrined in Newfoundland history — was a nationalistic one to begin with, a perception heightened by the song’s allusions to regatta music and, by extension, "The Banks of Newfoundland": "Where the tents are in full swing, and the music sweetly ring ..." This was not just any regatta, however, but one in which the Prince of Wales made an appearance during an era when nationalist sentiment was running high. Beneath the rippling wake of Burke’s comedic prose one encounters a somewhat more serious undercurrent of native heroism in his description of a race between the crew of the Prince’s ship, the Hero, and a boat comprised of Newfoundland fishermen in Verse 2:We remember well the year,
When the Prince of Wales came here,
And a picked crew from the Hero,
Came to face us;
But before they turned the stake,
They were beaten half the Lake
By our Fishermen who rowed them at the Races.

Whether Burke may have embellished the facts of the race under the guise of creative license is a matter of conjecture; however, there can be little doubt as to which boat he was cheering for. The overt symbolism of a crew of Newfoundland fishermen defeating a hand-picked crew of the British navy would not have been lost on Burke’s audience and the implied commentary links this song decisively to the defiant nationalism of works of an earlier era such as "Hurrah for Newfoundland" and "The Anti-Confederation Song."

23 Expressions of national identity are pervasive in Burke’s more serious songs and ballads and, while these have perhaps not achieved the lasting popularity of his comic pieces, they form a significant portion of his output and offer a revealing glimpse into a seldom-explored side of his artistic temperament. In his many tragic songs such as "Loss of the S.S. Titanic" (one of no less than four pieces Burke wrote in memory of the Titanic disaster) and "Terrible Disaster on the South West Coast" (inspired by the Newfoundland tsunami disaster of 1929), Burke is not merely a bearer of news (although such songs serve that purpose well), but a sympathetic commentator responding to events with a unique blend of spirituality and national pride. Such subjects were no doubt ones of great personal conviction for Burke, who as a youth had lost his father, Captain John Burke, to maritime disaster. Witness for example, his description of Newfoundlanders’ generosity in the wake of the tsunami:Success in this world’s goods they’ll have,
And God’s blessing fall for sure,
On those who give out freely
To assist the hungry poor.
For Newfoundland was always known
And always did its share,
And never let a Christian die
When she had a crust to share.66

In songs such as "Great Bravery of a Newfoundlander" and many similarly inspired works, the recurring theme of native heroism comes emphatically to the fore:Come all ye fearless sailor boys,
Who at the wheel must stand,
And hear about one, Billy Doyle,
A boy from Newfoundland.
Who proved a hero of renown
When danger did take place,
Like all true sons of Newfoundland,
A plucky, hardy race.67

24 Of special note here are songs inspired by military heroism. Burke was at the height of his fame when World War I struck, and the event spawned a compilation of patriotic music entitled The Allies’ Patriotic War Songster (1917) as well as a series of newly composed nationalistic songs.68 Included among these are the "March of the Newfoundland Volunteers" (1915), a piece sung in concert at the Mechanics’ Hall in St. John’s on 2 February of that year,69 "Three Cheers for the Boys of the Newfoundland Regiment," and two separate versions of a song commemorating the war-time heroism of decorated Newfoundland soldier Thomas Ricketts. A broadside version was published entitled Winner of the Victoria Cross, T.R. Ricketts, Middle Arm, White Bay of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, as well as a rare musical score entitled "Newfoundland Hero" (see Example 2). One of only a handful of Burke songs to be published in sheet music format, it is his only known score to be published in Newfoundland.70 No doubt Burke the entrepreneur felt the subject matter to be especially marketable to the Newfoundland musical public given the patriotic spirit of the times, yet there can be little doubt that the sentiments are genuine and that the unusual importance accorded the song was reflective of the fact that Burke, like most Newfoundlanders, viewed Ricketts as a national icon. As with Burke’s "We’ll Take Off Our Hats to the Yankees," the music to accompany the verses was written by the American song composer Raymond A. Browne (1871-1922). Marked "Marcia," the music is harmonically simple yet memorably tuneful in a style consistent with the popular song idiom of the day.

Example 2 : Title page of John Burke and R.A. Browne, Newfoundland Hero.71

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25 No less of a proud Newfoundlander in his own right was Burke’s cousin Charles Hutton (1861-1949), the indefatigable composer, organist, pianist, conductor, music teacher, and well-known music shop owner whose business serviced the needs of the entire island for more than a century. If Burke bore the title of "the people’s poet," Hutton might rightly be regarded as "the people’s musician" and his dynamic presence towered over musical life in Newfoundland for much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1906, Hutton published an important yet seldom-explored collection of music entitled the Newfoundland Folio of Over Fifty Old Favorite Songs. Although not generally accorded the same notoriety as the more widely circulated Doyle songbooks of a later era, Hutton’s collection shares many similarities with that of his illustrious successor. Both, the work of astute businessmen, craftily blended words, music, and promotional advertisements,72 both served as compendia of Newfoundland popular culture (something akin to "greatest hits" compilations of their respective eras), and both were informed by an ardent nationalism. The first compilation of its kind in Newfoundland, Hutton’s Folio is an invaluable record of Newfoundlanders’ popular tastes in the late nineteenth century, preserving for posterity the music that helped define an emerging Newfoundland society. The songs contained therein, while not all of local origin, typified the breadth of musical repertoire that many late-nineteenth-century Newfoundlanders experienced and suggest that the oft-held notion of an isolated, culturally static society is more illusory than real. Included in the collection are songs of British and Irish origin, yet one also finds a substantial body of music imported from continental North America. American songs include Emmett’s "Dixie Land" and Foster’s "My Old Kentucky Home" among others, while Canada is well represented by Thomas Moore’s "Canadian Boat Song" and the quintessentially nationalistic "Maple Leaf Forever" by Alexander Muir.73


26 Included in the folio are seven works of Newfoundland origin, including Forbes’s "The Banks of Newfoundland" (arranged by Hutton),74 William Stacy’s "Newfoundland Volunteers Band March,"75 no less than three settings of Sir Cavendish Boyle’s ode "Newfoundland" (including two contrasting settings by Hutton himself), Hutton’s setting of Archbishop Michael Howley’s popular nationalistic song "The Flag of Newfoundland," and the landscape-inspired "Dear, Old South-Side Hill," another Hutton setting of Howley’s poetry. Of the ode settings more will be said presently; however, the presence of "The Banks of Newfoundland" and the "Newfoundland Volunteers’ Band March" in a folio of "songs" confirms the integral role of band music in the popular culture of the day and the prominent position of both works in an emerging canon of local compositions.76 One of Hutton’s original compositions is a choral setting of Howley’s "The Flag of Newfoundland," a buoyantly nationalistic piece in the tradition of James Paton Clarke’s "Lays of the Maple Leaf," Alexander Muir’s "The Maple Leaf Forever," and Calixa Lavallée’s "O Canada." There can be no doubt that the cosmopolitan Hutton was well aware of the achievements of his Canadian contemporaries, a fact convincingly affirmed by the presence of "The Maple Leaf Forever" in the collection and the subtle, yet unmistakable allusions to "O Canada" in the chorus of "The Flag of Newfoundland."77 Howley’s text, which appeared earlier in Murphy’s "Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland," heralds the unifying symbolism of the tri-colour flag:Then hail the pink, the white, the green,
Our patriot flag long may it stand;
Our Sire-lands twine their emblems trine,
To form the flag of Newfoundland.78

"The Flag of Newfoundland" enjoyed considerable popularity, as did a somewhat more elaborate setting of the same words (not included in the folio) by Sister Josephine O’Sullivan, an Irish-born Sister of Mercy in St. John’s (see Example 3). O’Sullivan’s version, for solo voice, piano, and SATB chorus, commences with a con spirito piano introduction that establishes a mood of buoyant nationalism with thundering octaves and driving dotted rhythms. In comparison with the Hutton setting, O’Sullivan’s song evokes a heightened sense of contrast deriving from varied dynamics, rhythm, and timbre. Choral voices join in at the refrain, at which point there is an emphatic reprise of introductory material. The principal melody was later included in the fourth edition of the Doyle songbooks, suggesting that it may have been considered the more definitive of the two "Flag" settings. Ostensibly a song about a national symbol, "The Flag of Newfoundland" invokes a dialogue with the past that links words and music to the mid-nineteenth century and the formative stages of a Newfoundland national consciousness. While the legendary creation of the "Pink, White, and Green" by Bishop Michael Fleming as an amalgam of banners from the Natives’ Society and the Irish flag has been discussed elsewhere, the unifying symbolism it represented was monumental as competing identities merged and national pride superseded religious factionalism.79

27 A pivotal moment in the evolution of Newfoundland musical nationalism occurred at the Casino Theatre in St. John’s on 21 January 1902. It was there, during a stage production by the visiting W.S. Harkins theatre company, that words which would soon become etched in Newfoundlanders’ collective memory were first sung. The surprise musical selection — composed by the conductor of the theatre orchestra, the German-born music teacher and bandmaster E.R. Krippner,81 and sung by actress Daisy Foster of the company — was of course the first of many settings of the now famous ode "Newfoundland" by then governor Sir Cavendish Boyle.82 The poetically inclined governor was no doubt expressing a genuine affinity for his newly adopted home, yet the verses of the ode — a romantic hybrid of personified landscape imagery ("When sun rays crown thy pine-clad hills"), generational connectedness ("Where once they stood we stand"), spirituality ("Their prayer we raise to Heaven above"), and unconditional pride of place ("We love thee, Newfoundland"), were deftly molded to trigger feelings of identity and national pride.83 James Murphy, with inimitable flair, exclaimed that Boyle possessed "the poetical talent which marks the sons of Erin," adding somewhat prophetically that "his poem, ‘Newfoundland,’ will live in the hearts of future generations of my countrymen."84 The new song was greeted enthusiastically by the large house in attendance, many of whom joined in the singing of the refrain, while critical reception was unequivocal:Miss Frances Daisy Foster rendered with exquisite feeling a new song entitled "Newfoundland." It proved a pleasant surprise and the general appreciation of it was marked by the audience joining spontaneously in the chorus. It now transpires that the song was composed by our own esteemed and popular Governor, Sir Cavendish Boyle. The music for the Governor’s poem was arranged by Professor E.R. Krippner and reflects much credit to his musical ability. The colourful anthem bids fair to become our national anthem.85Not surprisingly perhaps given the nature of the event, the world premiere of the ode was marked by all of the pageantry the theatre company could muster:The climax was reached when at the singing of the last verse, two soldiers, a red coat and a khaki boy, entered form either side of the stage bearing, respectively the Royal standard and the "Pink, White and Green" Those they crossed behind the singer and enthusiasm ran high. During the chorus, in which the Company all joined with telling effect, the staffs were placed horizontally in front of the singer Miss Foster and the effect as she tenderly gathered up the folds of the two flags, carefully intertwined them and clasped them lovingly to her breast created among the audience an atmosphere of emotionalism charged with patriotic fervor and sentiment.86

28 Krippner’s ode caused something of a sensation, prompting the composer to engage the Leipzig music publisher C.G. Roder to meet the surging demand for sheet music87 (see Example 4). The conscious appeal to nationalist sentiment is vividly illustrated by the lavish cover design of the published version, framed by a Newfoundland fisherman and a British naval reservist clasping the "Pink, White, and Green" and Union Jack, respectively. The premiere of the ode marked the beginning of a new era of nationalistic songs as local composers responded to the Boyle legacy in their own individual ways. One such work was "Newfoundland Isle of the Free," a spirited march composed by Bishop Feild College headmaster William Walker Blackall with image-laden text by his brother, the Rev. D.W. Blackall. The song text evokes striking connections to the romantic landscape of Boyle’s Newfoundland: "What land like thee, our island home, Strong amidst the ocean foam ..." As a review of the premiere of Blackall’s song suggests, Newfoundlanders were becoming increasingly cognoscente of an emerging canon of national songs: "The sentiments contained in it are so full of the real Newfoundland spirit, that it will take its place beside Governor Boyle’s ‘Ode’ and Archbishop Howley’s ‘Flag of Newfoundland’."88

Example 3 : Sister Josephine O’Sullivan, The Flag of Newfoundland, mm. 1-16.80

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Example 4 : Title page of E.R. Krippner, Newfoundland.89

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29 Inspired by Krippner’s example, Charles Hutton and the English-born choral director Alfred Allen composed their own musical settings of the ode, a patriotic response that may be partly attributed to collegial rivalry amongst the small coterie of local composers as well as a growing perception that Krippner’s lively setting (despite its flashy premiere) had failed to capture the true sentiments of the text.90 Boyle, in a letter to Sir Robert Bond dated 20 February 1904, refers to a setting by a second English composer; however, the musical score for this version has not been located. While the identity of this composer remains something of a mystery, it may well have been St. John’s music teacher Peter LeSueur, a theory supported by the existence of another LeSueur setting of Boyle’s poetry entitled "Newfoundland Is Calling, Welcome Home Again." Two versions of Hutton’s ode to Newfoundland were composed, the first for vocal quartet or unaccompanied chorus, and a simpler accompanied setting "dedicated to the children" (see Example 5). Both settings were published in the Newfoundland Folio, although the second version is more accessible to non-music specialists and likely in wider usage at the time. Critics might argue that the closing line, with its echoes of "Auld Lang Syne," is derivative, yet unlike the more theatrical setting of Krippner, the music possesses a poignant simplicity not inconsistent with the style of a national anthem. As expressions of musical nationalism at the turn of the century, Hutton’s versions are the first and only ode settings composed by a native Newfoundlander.

30 Arguably the most elaborate setting of the ode is that of Allen, choir director at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in the early years of the last century and founder and director of the Newfoundland Bach Choir. Written for four-part chorus and piano, there is a richness of texture, harmonic interest, and dramatic intensity that is conspicuously absent in the other versions (see Example 6). Note, for example, Allen’s word painting for dramatic effect at the beginning of the second verse that stands in stark contrast to Krippner’s treatment. Fortissimo triplets in the piano part evoke the "blinding storm gusts," while bass tremolos accompany the words "wild waves lash thy strand." At 75 measures in length, Allen’s version is longer than the Krippner and Hutton settings combined. Allen’s ode was published in 1907 and premiered in a Bach Choir concert in April of that year at the Methodist College Hall in St. John’s. The ode was the closing work on the program, which also included selections from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and several madrigals and part songs. Critical response was warmly receptive:The ode "Newfoundland" which came last on the programme had a most enthusiastic reception. The music was composed by Mr. A.H. Allen, and this was the first time that it had been performed. The setting is stately and dignified and there is an air in it which will very likely become popular. The general opinion seems to be that this is the best music to which the words have been set.91The reviewer’s final sentence is especially interesting since, by 1907, Hubert Parry’s definitive version of the ode was well known.

Example 5 : Charles Hutton, Newfoundland.92

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Example 6 : Alfred Allen, Newfoundland, mm. 25-36.93

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31 Ultimately, however, none of the local settings were deemed suitable to be endowed with official anthem status. But unsuitable for whom? Wasn’t Krippner’s original version, despite its flaws, widely popular with the Newfoundland public? Couldn’t the well-crafted setting of native son Hutton or the sophisticated treatment of Allen fit the bill? Adding to the confusion is the fact that Allen’s ode was published and premiered more than three years after Boyle had departed Newfoundland, raising the question of whether the governor even knew of his version at all. And if Allen was not one of the two English composers to whom Boyle referred in his 1904 letter to Bond, who was? While many mysteries remain, it appears that the decisive figure in the intriguing history of the ode to Newfoundland was Boyle’s musically gifted niece, Adelaide Lane. As Boyle’s biographer Frank Graham tells us, Lane was in her late twenties when she arrived in St. John’s from England to visit her uncle in July 1903. Although her stay in Newfoundland lasted only ten months, she revolutionized life at Government House by organizing a house orchestra and convincing her uncle to purchase a new grand piano, which was imported from London.94 As her opinions on musical matters were valued highly, Boyle consented to her suggestion to seek out a new musical setting for the ode, one that conformed to her conception of what an anthem should be. Tunefulness was apparently the main criterion, a feature she found lacking in the existing settings; however, it remains to be seen if any setting by a composer living in Newfoundland would have satisfied her. Fresh from the concert halls of London, Lane’s reluctance to accept a local setting may well have had as much to do with colonial attitudes as any aesthetic considerations.

32 On the advice of his niece, Boyle called upon noted English composer Sir Hubert Parry, a boyhood friend, to seek out an appropriate composer to set the words to music. It is worth noting here that none of this would have been possible without the consent of Herr Krippner who, with Boyle’s permission, had obtained the copyright to the ode in 1902. Had Krippner not relinquished ownership, the ode as we know it may never have come into existence. Parry’s response exceeded all expectations. Accompanying a letter of reply to Boyle in April 1904 were two new versions of the ode composed by Parry himself, the first of which was presented in separate unison and four-part settings. The composer writes:The first has more masculinity about it, the second more sentiment. The first treats the words better in the refrain; but if the extra reiteration in the second is not objectionable, I fancy that may seem the more possible of the two. It has been assumed that a sort of four part hymn tune was not wanted but something direct that people could shout in unison. But an alternative version of Number One for four voices is given. I hope one of the tunes will turn out to your liking.95In hindsight, it is a little difficult to fathom Parry’s characterization of the first setting as "treating the words better in the refrain." The sequential repetition at the close of the definitive second version is arguably the emotional climax of the ode and one can scarcely imagine it being replaced today by the simple scale pattern that closes Version One. As for the alleged "masculine" qualities of the first version, it is unclear precisely what Parry had in mind, although he may have been referring to its somewhat more militaristic rhythm and/or angular melodic contour. With Lane seated at the Government House piano and Boyle listening intently, both versions were performed. Consistent with Parry’s judgment, the second version was proclaimed the unanimous winner, a verdict with which history has likewise concurred (see Example 7).

33 With promotional efforts in the schools and support from organizations such as the local Rotary clubs, Parry’s ode to Newfoundland gradually supplanted Forbes’s "Banks of Newfoundland" as the accepted national anthem, although the former still invoked strong feelings of identity and, as mentioned, served as the official marching tune of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War I. The ode was further popularized through its inclusion in the third edition of Doyle’s Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland. However, unlike most songs in the collection by known composers, Parry’s name is conspicuously absent, raising the question of whether Doyle may have purposefully omitted the name of a foreign composer to enhance public perception of the piece as "native" to Newfoundland.97 Arguably one of the most meaningful performance contexts in which the ode was disseminated was via a BBC radio program broadcast to Newfoundland listeners during World War II. Entitled "Hello Newfoundland," the program was hosted by Margot Davies and gave Newfoundland servicemen stationed overseas the opportunity to read messages to loved ones back home. The ode to Newfoundland was given a stirring rendition by the soldiers at the opening and close of each broadcast, serving as a unifying gesture of musical nationalism framing the spoken portion of the broadcast.

34 In one final bizarre note to the story of the ode, government legislation that would have given official recognition to the piece was inexplicably overlooked for more than 70 years. Remarkably, it was not until 1979, with the intervention of then Lieutenant-Governor Gordon Winter, that the piece was officially adopted as Newfoundland’s anthem. More than 100 years after its illustrious premiere, the ode continues to evoke strong feelings of identity for generations of Newfoundlanders in a manner exceedingly rare in 21st-century North American society. It is played at concerts, sporting events, and a variety of civic and festive occasions, where it occupies a place of honour next to "O Canada" and, on occasion, "God Save the Queen." One Newfoundland television station, NTV, has gone so far as to include an electronically synthesized motive from the ode as theme music for its nightly Evening News Hour. For novelist Kevin Major, the ode today has "additional significance, because it’s a remnant of our independence ... It holds us together as a people,"98 while Bernice Morgan adds with discernible nostalgia that "it seems to evoke a feeling of lost aspirations."99 Powerful, nostalgic, and emphatically nationalistic, the ode is the musical embodiment of the spirit of communality that continues to shape Newfoundlanders’ sense of collective identity.

Example 7. C. Hubert Parry, Newfoundland, An Ode.96

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35 Space does not permit me to address the many nationalistic works of the twentieth century, nor to delve deeply into the rich treasure of nationalistic folksongs. However, we do well to remember George Story’s assertion that oral and print traditions were by no means unrelated spheres of activity. Many of the themes explored through music in print — pride of place, heroism, triumph in the face of adversity — are vividly represented in the folksong literature, and there can be no doubt that both traditions informed one another in the formative stages of Newfoundland’s emerging national consciousness.100 Forbes’s "Banks of Newfoundland," with its multiple performance contexts and layers of extra-musical meaning, is unquestionably an integral piece of Newfoundland popular culture. Its inclusion in the landmark collections of Hutton and Doyle is compelling evidence to support this fact, as is the mass popular appeal the piece continues to enjoy at events such as the annual St. John’s Regatta or in the less traditional setting of the annual George Street Festival.101 Yet it originated as a composed piece of "classical" music by a court judge who, in turn, may well have been inspired by traditional fiddle music he heard upon arriving in Newfoundland. John Burke, a quintessential St. John’s "townie" if there ever was one, nonetheless composed songs and ballads that struck a resonant chord with listeners throughout rural Newfoundland, where they became just as much part of vernacular culture as the songs of antiquity.102 And then there are the widely circulated Gerald S. Doyle songbooks, those eclectic compendia of "musical Newfoundlandia" that synthesized traditional melodies (e.g., "Harbour Le Cou"), songs of the balladeers (e.g., Burke’s "Trinity Cake"), and "classical" songs (e.g., Parry’s ode "Newfoundland") into a canonized anthology with decidedly nationalistic overtones. "Let me make the Songs of my Country/And I care not who makes the Laws," reads the passionate declaration at the heading of each volume.103

36 Ralph Vaughan Williams, a composer eminently acquainted with Newfoundland’s musical heritage through his arrangements of songs collected by Maud Karpeles, once wrote that "the art of music above all the other arts is the expression of the soul of a nation, and by a nation I mean not necessarily aggregations of people, artificially divided from each other by political frontiers or economic barriers. What I mean is any community of people who are spiritually bound together by language, environment, history, and common ideals, and above all a continuity with the past."104 It is just such a bond — conditioned by environment, informed by history, and held together by an intangible sense of continuity with the past — that has made possible an internalized musical heritage within the collective national consciousness of Newfoundlanders.


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Colton, Glenn D. "‘In Flanders Fields’: Music of Remembrance in the Songs of Frederick Emerson." Sharing the Voices: The Phenomenon of Singing V. Proceedings of the International Symposium, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 28 June-1 July 2005. St. John’s: Memorial University of Newfoundland, forthcoming.

———. "The Athenaeum Concerts: Music and Society in 19th-century Newfoundland." Newfoundland Quarterly 96.3 (Fall 2003): 27-31.

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———. "The Barrelman Radio Programme, 1937-1943: The Mediation and Use of Folklore in Newfoundland." PhD diss., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1994.

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1 An earlier version of this paper was presented in March 2005 as part of the Music, Media and Culture Lecture Series sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place [MMaP], School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland. I wish to thank the director of MMaP, Dr. Beverley Diamond, for inviting me to lecture in this series. Much of the research presented here was undertaken during my research sabbatical in Newfoundland during the 2004-2005 academic year. This research was made possible with the assistance of a research grant from the J.R. Smallwood Foundation for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, which I gratefully acknowledge. I also wish to thank the following individuals for kindly assisting me with various aspects of this project: Dr. Beverley Diamond, Dr. Tom Gordon, Dr. Anna Guigné, Dr. Philip Hiscock, Dr. Martin Lovelace, Dr. Ronald Rompkey, Dr. Neil Rosenberg, Mr. Bert Riggs, the friendly staff of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, the equally helpful staff of the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive, Major Walter Learning and Major William Tilley of the CLB, Mr. Jim Duff, Dr. R.W. MacLeod, Dr. Paul O’Neill, Mr. Jim Payne, and a special thank you to Mrs. Carla Emerson Furlong.

2 As Richard Taruskin reminds us, a nation, unlike a state, is not primarily defined by territorial boundaries but by "some negotiation of the relationship between the political status of communities and the basis of their self-description, whether linguistic, ethnic (genetic/biological), religious, cultural, or historical" ("Nationalism," New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., ed. Stanley Sadie [London: Macmillan, 2001]). Few would argue that a strong sense of cultural nationalism exists (and has existed for some time) in Newfoundland and Labrador today; however, its existence is by no means predicated upon the political aim of separation. Just as it is possible to be both a proud Newfoundlander and a proud Canadian, aspects of recent Newfoundland popular culture (notably the folk-inspired music of the band Great Big Sea) have been described as emblematic of Canadian culture.

3 As Keith Matthews observed, "Today Newfoundland is a province of Canada and many might feel that we cannot talk of it as a nation at all. All will admit that Newfoundlanders share a certain outlook on life; an attitude towards themselves and others which mark them out from other Canadians, but that nevertheless they are not a nation but a region within the larger nation. In that case should we not talk about the rise of Newfoundland regionalism or group Newfoundland identity rather than a Newfoundland nationalism? This may be true today, but we must remember that between 1855 and 1949 Newfoundland was as much a nation as any other part of the Commonwealth and Empire — certainly as much so as Canada or the mainland colonies — and that its identity developed before and during that period of separation" (Lectures on the History of Newfoundland, 1500-1830 [St. John’s: Breakwater Books, 1988], 181).

4 According to a 1994 survey cited by Robert Christian Thomsen, Newfoundland respondents identified with their home province more closely than respondents in any other part of Canada. In response to the question, "Do you think of yourself as a Canadian first, or as a resident of a particular region or province?," 57 percent of Newfoundland respondents answered with the latter option. This was the highest percentage response of any province (Québec was next with 49 percent). Thomsen further points out that this figure, taken from a 1994 survey, represented an increase over a similar survey taken several years earlier ("Selves and Others of Political Nationalism in Stateless Nations: National Identity-Building Processes in the Modern Histories of Scotland and Newfoundland" [PhD diss., University of Aarhus, 2001], 92). Given the somewhat loose wording of the question, it would be interesting to see what difference (if any) there might be had the question been, "Do you think of yourself as a Canadian first or a Newfoundlander?"

5 For Anthony P. Cohen, Newfoundland’s geographical insularity and historical isolation help provide a focus for "a communality over and above the enormous internal variety and diversity in which Newfoundlanders have always rejoiced" ("The Anthropology of Proximate Cultures: The Newfoundland School and Scotland," Scottish Journal of Sociology 4.2 [1980], 221). While "rejoicing in diversity" may be perhaps somewhat of an overstatement given sectarian conflicts of the past (the combatants in the infamous Harbour Grace Affray of 1883 could hardly be characterized as "rejoicing in diversity"), the notion of communality continues to resonate in the 21st century.

6 John Beckwith, The Canadian Musical Repertoire (Sackville: Centre for Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University, 1993), 14.

7 Of particular note here is Scammell’s celebrated song "The Squid Jiggin’ Ground," a piece that became widely popular both in Newfoundland and internationally through commercial recordings, a published musical score, and inclusion in the Gerald S. Doyle songbooks. See A.R. Scammell, My Newfoundland (Montreal: Harvest House, 1966), and Collected Works of A.R. Scammell (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications, 1990).

8 See Neil V. Rosenberg, "The Gerald S. Doyle Songsters and the Politics of Newfoundland Folksong," Canadian Folklore Canadien 13.1 (1991), 45-57; "The Canadianization of Newfoundland Folksong; or the Newfoundlandization of Canadian Folksong," Journal of Canadian Studies 29.1 (Spring 1994), 55-73.

9 See Philip D. Hiscock, "Folklore and Popular Culture in Early Newfoundland Radio Broadcasting: An Analysis of Occupational Narrative, Oral History, and Song Repertoire" (MA thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1986); and "The Barrelman Radio Programme, 1937-1943: The Mediation and Use of Folklore in Newfoundland" (PhD diss., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1994).

10 As musician R.W. MacLeod (son of Robert MacLeod Sr.) recalls, "regulars" at Doyle’s gatherings included MacLeod, Rumboldt, and the writer/historian P.K. Devine, among others (interview with author, 4 November 2005).

11 Bernice Morgan, "Culture of Place," Newfoundland Studies 19.2 (2003), 375.

12 Anita Best, foreword, Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, ed. Genevieve Lehr (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), x-xi.

13 Sandra Gwyn, "The Newfoundland Renaissance," Saturday Night (April 1976), 38-45.

14 Bob Hallett, in the liner notes to Great Big Sea’s folk-inspired 2005 CD release The Hard and the Easy (Warner Music CD 262606), acknowledges "the work of Gerald S. Doyle and Kenneth Peacock, without whom many of these songs may have been lost forever."

15 Morgan, in her discussion of "culture of place," alludes to a similar concept: "Newfoundland and Labrador has always been here — and if a place exists and is inhabited, a culture must exist — but today it has been made visible. This explosion of creativity is not a thing that happens suddenly, not a thing that happens by chance. It happened here because thousands of people, whose names we will never know; teachers and historians, fishers and farmers, librarians, doctors, nurses and midwives, missionaries and miners — forgotten people — cared enough to write down our sayings, our songs, and our stories" ("Culture of Place," 376).

16 Aaron Thomas, quoted in Ronald Rompkey, "The Idea of Newfoundland and Arts Policy Since Confederation," Newfoundland Studies 14.2 (1998), 267.

17 John Reeves, History of the Government of the Island of Newfoundland (New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1967), 1.

18 As historian Jerry Bannister has noted, Reeves’s history was framed as a struggle between heroes (exploited inhabitants and planters) and villains (European merchants) (The Rule of the Admirals: Law, Custom, and Naval Government in Newfoundland, 1699-1832 [Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003], 17-18).

19 As early as 1811, advertisements for private musical instruction could be observed in the Royal Gazette, where Nicholas LaTour had placed an ad for lessons in flute and violin. Interestingly, supplementary instruction in dancing and "the art of fencing" could likewise be obtained.

20 For further discussion of early theatrical events in St. John’s, see Paul O’Neill, The Oldest City: The Story of St. John’s, Newfoundland (Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s, NL: Boulder Publications, 2003).

21 Public Ledger, St. John’s, 27 March 1827. The writer’s optimistic outlook is supported by the assessments of visiting commentators. The Swiss-born clergyman and historian Lewis Amadeus Anspach, also writing in 1827, noted favourably that Newfoundlanders’ "aptitude to improve in the arts or in learning, are as remarkable as their courage, perseverance, and industry" (cited in Ronald Rompkey, "The Idea of Newfoundland," 268).

22 Phillip McCann, "Culture, State Formation and the Invention of Tradition: Newfoundland 1832-1855," Journal of Canadian Studies 23 (1988), 93-94.

23 As John Edward Fitzgerald notes, "the early nineteenth century Irish in Newfoundland began to imagine themselves as members of a different community, and combined cultural patterns and invented Irish nationalism with new traditions invested with symbols and meaning in order to give pattern and comprehension to their lives" ("Conflict and Culture in Irish-Newfoundland Roman Catholicism, 1829-1850" [PhD diss., University of Ottawa, 1997], 3).

24 Newfoundland Patriot, 12 September 1840.

25 Fitzgerald notes that the Natives’ Society was "an amalgam of Tories, merchants, Dissenters, Congregationalists, other political and ideological enemies of the reformers, and most importantly in the society’s relationship to the church, disaffected Irish Liberal Catholics, many of whom had been born in Newfoundland" ("Conflict and Culture," 296).

26 "Our Native Rights," as quoted in James Murphy, Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland (St. John’s, 1902).

27 Newfoundlander, 1 July 1841.

28 Reproduced by kind permission of the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland Labrador [PANL].

29 By the mid-nineteenth century, a long-standing military band tradition had been supplemented by an emerging tradition of civilian bands. Many of these were associated with various religious denominations or the fashionable temperance movement aimed at curbing the consumption of alcohol.

30 Newfoundlander, 21 February 1833.

31 Frederick R. Emerson, unpublished lecture on Music in Newfoundland, undated.

32 G.W.L. Nicholson, The Fighting Newfoundlander: A History of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (St. John’s: Government of Newfoundland, 1964), 433.

33 Ibid.

34 Neil Rosenberg, interview with Howard Cable, November 1993. MUNFLA Accession No. 93-370, Shelf No. C15067.

35 In addition to the "Newfoundland Rhapsody," published in 1956, Cable utilized Newfoundland-inspired themes as the basis for the following works: "Newfoundland Sketches" for strings (1948), "On the Grand Banks" for men’s chorus (1957), "Newfoundland Sketch" for brass quintet (1978), and most recently, the "Banks of Newfoundland" (1986), an arrangement of "Newfoundland Rhapsody" for brass band with three new folksong-inspired movements — "The Badger Drive," "I’se the B’y," and "The Kelligrews Soiree." Despite the overt reference to Forbes’s piece in the title, the actual quotation from "The Banks of Newfoundland" is condensed from the wind band version.

36 The piece exists in multiple recordings, including a recent one by the Edmonton Wind Ensemble entitled "Concert in the Park" (CBC Records SMCD5079).

37 Carole Carpenter, interview with Robert MacLeod. MUNFLA, Collection 78-57, Tape 3926.

38 Other songs quoted by Cable in "Newfoundland Rhapsody" included "We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar Like True Newfoundlanders," "The Sealing Cruise of the "Lone Flier," "Petty Harbour Bait Skiff," and "Wreck of the H’Emmer Jane."

39 David Gregory, "Vernacular Song, Cultural Identity, and Nationalism in Newfoundland, 1920-1955," History of Intellectual Culture 4.1 (2004), 2-3.

40 Patrick O’Flaherty, in a similar vein, notes the importance of such publications as vehicles for rhetoric of change: "Pamphlets and newspapers were to become vital to the reformers in encouraging a sense of grievance against established authority ..." ("The Seeds of Reform: Newfoundland, 1800-18," Journal of Canadian Studies 23 [Fall 1988], 47).

41 Times and General Commercial Gazette, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 5 January 1856.

42 Ibid.

43 Taruskin, "Nationalism," 690.

44 Of note here is the fact that this song was published in the Times and General Commercial Gazette, a publication known for its moderate political views and support of mercantile interests.

45 McCann, "Culture, State Formation and the Invention of Tradition," 86.

46 The intertwining of resource ownership and cultural nationalism has served as a recurring motif in Newfoundland history. As James Overton has observed with respect to nationalist tendencies in late twentieth-century Newfoundland, "resource issues have become central to the nationalist/regionalist movement. Economic and political themes are to be found in much popular music, in poetry, the theatre, and in other art forms produced in the province. Strong links exist between the themes of resource controls, economic independence, cultural survival, natural justice, and popular sovereignty" ("Living Patriotism: Songs, Politics and Resources in Newfoundland," Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 12.2 [1985], 256).

47 Times and General Commercial Gazette, 8 April 1857.

48 Nationalistic song responses to the French Shore question could still be observed nearly a half century later with the anonymously composed "French Shore Treaty" compiled in James Murphy’s Songs and Ballads of Newfoundland (1902).

49 In December 2004, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams ordered Canadian flags removed from government buildings in the province to express dissatisfaction with the progress of negotiations with the federal government over offshore oil and gas revenues. Some businesses and homeowners followed suit.

50 Wente’s controversial remarks were published in an article entitled "Oh Danny Boy, pipe down," Globe and Mail, Toronto, 6 January 2005, A19.

51 In a bizarre litany of regional and ethnic stereotypes, Wente writes, "I wish Danny Williams would explain why it’s a good idea to keep picking the pockets of Chinese dry cleaners and Korean variety-store owners who work 90 hours a week in order to keep subsidizing the people who live in Carbonear, no matter how quaint and picturesque they are" (see n. 50).

52 In the weeks following Wente’s article, public response was overwhelming as politicians, journalists, and citizens alike weighed in on the issue. In addition to official letters of condemnation from Williams and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, and a crafty rebuttal by well-known journalist and media commentator Rex Murphy, the many individual letters of private citizens are especially revealing. Writers such as Michael Chan of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, quoted here, did much to refute Wente’s patronizing misconceptions: "I am a Chinese Canadian who moved to Newfoundland from Ontario six years ago with my family. I am sorry to inform Margaret Wente that I did not operate a dry-cleaning operation in Ontario and similarly did not open one upon moving to Newfoundland. I work for a company outside the fishery and oil-and-gas sectors, one that does business globally. The people of this province are proud — they are proud to be both Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and they are proud to be Canadians. The last thing they want is a handout" (Globe and Mail, Toronto, 8 January 2005, A20).

53 At one point in her article, Wente uses the derisive slang term "Newf" to refer to Newfoundlanders.

54 Times and General Commercial Gazette, 8 April 1857.

55 "The Newfoundland Fisherman," a popular song heralding the legendary Newfoundland character traits of bravery and perseverance, enjoyed a similar vogue after first appearing in the Times in the late 1850s. The song’s enduring popularity prompted its inclusion in the first edition of the Gerald S. Doyle songbooks.

56 For further information on concert life and music societies in late nineteenth-century Newfoundland, see Glenn D. Colton, "The Athenaeum Concerts: Music and Society in 19th-century Newfoundland," Newfoundland Quarterly 96.3 (Fall 2003), 27-31.

57 George M. Story, "The St. John’s Balladeers," in People of the Landwash: Essays on Newfoundland and Labrador, ed. Melvin Baker, Helen Peters, and Shannon Ryan (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications, 1997), 66-75.

58 Son of sealing captain John Burke, Burke held a variety of jobs in his native St. John’s, including auctioneer, shop keeper, and theatre manager.

59 Other notable balladeers of the era included John Grace, John Quill, John Doyle, John Quigley, T.M. Lannigan, Michael Power, M.A. Devine, and Dan Carroll.

60 J.H. Devine, "The Bard of Prescott Street," Newfoundland Stories and Ballads 1.1 (1954), 21.

61 Ibid., 16

62 John White, foreword, John White’s Collection of the Songs of Johnny Burke, ed. William Kirwin (St. John’s: Harry Cuff Publications, 1982), ix.

63 Paul Matthew St. Pierre, "De-Burking Johnny Burke, an Excluded Canadian Troubadour," Canadian Poetry 36 (Spring/Summer 1995), 119.

64 Story, "The St. John’s Balladeers," 70-71.

65 John Burke, The Terra Nova Regatta, quoted in The Ballads of Johnny Burke: A Short Anthology, ed. Paul Mercer (St. John’s: Newfoundland Historical Society, 1974).

66 John Burke, Burke’s Popular Songs (St. John’s: John Burke, 1929), 1.

67 White, 21.

68 A more reflective musical response to war-time events by a Newfoundlander could be observed in Frederick Emerson’s art song "In Flanders Fields," one of the earlier settings of John McCrae’s poem of remembrance.

69 Paul Mercer, "A Bio-Bibliography of Newfoundland Songs in Printed Sources" (MA thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1978), 200-201.

70 The title page of the manuscript bears the inscription "published by John Burke, 62 Prescott Street, St. John’s, N.F." Recent research by Michael Taft has revealed the publication of three other scores through American publishers. One, a 1912 edition of the famous "Kelligrews Soiree" (replete with cosmopolitan substitutes for many local references) was published by H. Kirkus Dugdale of Washington, DC, while the remaining songs — "Lieutenant Jim Donnelly," "The Hero of Caribou Hill" and "We’ll Take Off Our Hats to the Yankees" — were printed by Knickerbocker Harmony Studios of New York. (See Michael Taft, "The Bard of Prescott Street Meets Tin Pan Alley: The Vanity Press Sheet Music Publications of John Burke," Newfoundland Studies 6.1 [1990], 56-73.)

71 Reproduced by kind permission of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

72 Doyle first included musical notation in the second edition of his Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland (1940).

73 For further examples of nineteenth-century Canadian musical nationalism, see Frederick A. Hall and Lucien Poirier, eds., The Canadian Musical Heritage, Vols. 3 and 7 (Ottawa: Canadian Musical Heritage Society, 1985, 1987).

74 Hutton’s piano arrangement makes several subtle, but not insignificant changes to Forbes’s original published version, including an enriched chordal texture in the left hand accompaniment and slight rhythmic changes in the right hand melody. The most noteworthy of these occurs in the third section of the piece, in which Hutton adds a touch of rhythmic variety by substituting dotted patterns for Forbes’s triplet eighth notes.

75 Stacy, bandmaster of the Queen’s Own Volunteers Rifle Brigade and organist and choirmaster at the Queen’s Road Congregational Church in St. John’s, composed the Newfoundland Volunteer’s Band March and Quick Step in 1860. Dedicated to Governor Banner-man, it was first published in an arrangement for violin and piano by Chisholm’s Bookstore of St. John’s.

76 In this regard, it is interesting to note the contrasting reception histories the two works have enjoyed. While "The Banks of Newfoundland" remained in vogue into the twentieth century and is still universally recognized today, the "Newfoundland Volunteers’ Band March" has faded into relative obscurity.

77 At the beginning of the chorus in m. 17 ("Fling out the flag o’er creek and crag"), Hutton alludes to the ascending minor third — descending perfect fifth melodic progression of the opening of "O Canada," a connection further strengthened by the presence of dotted rhythms.

78 Charles Hutton, Newfoundland Folio of Over Fifty Old Favorite Songs (St. John’s: Charles Hutton Limited, 1906).

79 For further discussion of the flag legend, see Fitzgerald, "Conflict and Culture," and O’Neill, The Oldest City.

80 Reproduced by kind permission of PANL.

81 After arriving in Newfoundland shortly before the turn of the century, Krippner became actively involved in varied facets of musical life in St. John’s. In addition to his theatrical performances, he taught music, conducted the Catholic Cadet Corps Band, and operated a small music store from his residence on Military Road.

82 Boyle wrote at least two other Newfoundland-inspired poems during his brief tenure on the island: "To the Boys of Newfoundland" and "Newfoundland Is Calling, Welcome Home Again." The latter, written for a "come home" celebration of expatriate Newfoundlanders in 1904, was set to music by Peter LeSueur.

83 For a probing textual analysis of Boyle’s poem, see Tracy Ann Whalen, "Rhetorical and Discursive Constructions of Newfoundland Regionality" (PhD diss., University of Waterloo, 2000), 30-41.

84 Murphy, 1.

85 Daily News, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 22 January 1902.

86 Evening Telegram, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 22 January 2002.

87 I wish to thank PANL for granting me access to Krippner’s musical scores, as well as other settings of the ode to Newfoundland.

88 The Feildian (September 1907-July 1908), 95.

89 Reproduced by kind permission of PANL.

90 Krippner’s almost jovial treatment of the words "When blinding storm gusts fret thy shore, And wild waves lash thy strand" (marked by a triadic, F major melody and lilting 6/8 metre) comes across as being particularly incongruous in this respect.

91 Evening Telegram, St. John’s, 25 April 1907.

92 Reproduced by kind permission of PANL.

93 Reproduced by kind permission of PANL.

94 Frank W. Graham, "We Love thee, Newfoundland": Biography of Sir Cavendish Boyle, k.c.m.g., Governor of Newfoundland, 1901-1904 (St. John’s: Creative Printers, 1979), 157-166.

95 C. Hubert Parry, letter to Cavendish Boyle, 15 April 1904, quoted in Graham, "We Love thee, Newfoundland," 171.

96 Reproduced by kind permission of PANL.

97 For Rosenberg, nativity was central to Doyle’s conception of a "national" culture: "He borrowed phraseology from the Irish literary revival (‘racy of the soil’) to convey his interest in preserving and perpetuating that which was purely local and therefore truly national" ("The Gerald S. Doyle Songsters," 47).

98 Kevin Major, quoted in Susan Newhook, "Ode to the Rock is Still Rolling," The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 29 January 2002, A13-14.

99 Ibid.

100 Story writes: "The traditional songs and ballads of Newfoundland have been well studied; what I am suggesting is that this tradition should not be studied in isolation from the composed songs and ballads which are equally part of the popular culture; that in Newfoundland as elsewhere innumerable songs were spread through writing and reading (as well as orally), and that this strongly affected the oral tradition" ("The St. John’s Balladeers," 74).

101 The piece continues to be performed at every Regatta by the CLB Band, under the direction of long-time conductor Major Walter Learning.

102 Maud Karpeles, recalling her Newfoundland expeditions in 1929 and 1930, lamented singers’ lack of distinction between "traditional" and "composed" songs in her attempt to locate "authentic" songs of an older tradition, yet in retrospect the singers’ inclusiveness was no doubt more reflective of actual practice and in that sense, a more "authentic" reading of Newfoundland culture (Folk Songs from Newfoundland [London: Faber and Faber, 1971]).

103 Doyle, in the introduction to the first edition of his Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland, remarked with a discernibly nationalistic tone that "all these songs are of the people and from the people of our Island Home, and are redolent of a happy past, and breathe a spirit of co-mingled freedom, independence, and human sympathy that characterized the good old days of our forefathers" (The Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland [St. John’s: Gerald S. Doyle Limited, 1927], 1).

104 Ralph Vaughan Williams, National Music and Other Essays, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996), 68.

Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. ISSN: 1715-1430