“The Flemings of Torbay”

Author: Johnny Burke
Earliest date: 1920 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
Keywords: sea rescue fishing
Found in: Canada(Mar,Newf)


Two "fine young men" of Torbay are cast adrift for six days. They are unconscious by the time they are rescued by the coal ship "Jessie Maurice." Cared for by the captain, they are taken to Quebec


Schooners left manned dories in different strategic places to fish. Getting lost from the schooner was almost a constant hazard. - SH

According to the notes in Creighton-Nova Scotia, the end of this story was not quite as happy as the song might imply; the two brothers both had their legs amputated. Creighton's informant said that Queen Victoria herself paid for artificial legs, but Creighton could not verify this; the Flemming brothers were dead and Johnny Burke no longer remembered the details. - RBW

Historical references


  1. Laws D23, "The Flemings of Torbay"
  2. Greenleaf/Mansfield 141, "The Fishermen of Newfoundland" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Peacock, pp. 912-915, "The Flemings of Torbay" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  4. Leach-Labrador 76, "Flemings of Torbay" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Creighton-NovaScotia 115, "The Flemmings of Torbay" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 202-203, "The Flemings of Torbay" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Doyle2, pp. 50-51, "The Fishermen of Newfoundland; or, the Good Ship Jubilee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. DT 322, FLMTORBY
  9. Roud #1821
  10. BI, LD23