“Cecil Gone in the Time of Storm”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (recording, Frederick McQueen & group)
Keywords: grief travel death drowning mourning sea ship disaster storm wreck family mother
Found in: Bahamas

Description

In 1933, young Cecil sails to Mastic Point; he vanishes. After eight days they search. Cecil's mother finds the boat but not him; singer says Cecil's been drowned, and the mother falls on the ground in agony, asking God to make peace with his soul

Long description

In 1933, young Cecil decides to sail to Mastic Point; he gets in the boat and sets off, but vanishes. After eight days his family and friends search; his uncle says he made it as far as Nicholas Town, but he hasn't been seen since. Singer meets Cecil's mother, who says she's found the boat but not him; singer says Cecil's been drowned, and the mother falls on the ground in agony, asking God to make peace with his soul

Notes

Although Frederick McQueen certainly shaped the song into its most-sung form, Samuel Charters notes that there is evidence Willie Bullard from Long East Cay was singing the song in the 1930s. As a result, I've left the author field "Unknown." - PJS

Recordings