“Come All Ye Jolly Ice-Hunters”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Doyle)
Keywords: hunting sea ship storm
Found in: Canada(Newf)


"Come all ye jolly ice-hunters and listen to my song; I hope I won't offend you; I don't mean to keep you long." The sealer Daniel O'Connell leaves Tilton Harbour March 14, 1833. Captain William Burke gets the badly damaged ship through a storm

Supplemental text

Come All Ye Jolly Ice-Hunters
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

As printed in Ryan & Small, Haulin' Rope & Gaff, p. 17. From the first (1927)
edition of Doyle's Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland.

Come all you jolly ice-hunters and listen to my song.
I hope it won't offend you, I don't mean to keep you long;
'Tis concerning an ice-hunter from Tilton Harbour sailed away,
On the fourteenth day of March, eighteen hundred and thirty-three.

(6 additional stanzas)


Greenleaf/Mansfield notes, per G.S. Doyle that "This song was written in 1833. It is about the oldest song of a sealing nature now in existence." - BS

Roud lumps this with "The Wreck of the Steamship Ethie." The two of course share plot components as well as some stylistic elements, but this one is apparently about a much older incident. Still, I have been cautious; I don't think we can trust Doyle's 1833 date for the song; it appears to be derived from a date found in Doyle's first stanza. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Greenleaf/Mansfield 122, "Come All ye Jolly Ice-Hunters" (1 text)
  2. Ryan/Small, p. 17, "Come All Ye Jolly Ice-Hunters" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST GrMa122 (Partial)
  4. Roud #6345
  5. BI, GrMa122