This page is for single songs that haven’t been previously released on CD. Watch for a steady stream of them to appear on this site, especially while we can no longer participate in live performance events. The songs, and accompanying notes, are listed below. Thanks to my brother Ray and sister-in-law Valda for the photos of their jukebox.
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1. The Lower North Shore of Quebec -- Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne. The LNSQ is home to several communities of people whose ancestry is on the island of Newfoundland. While many Newfoundlanders are vaguely aware of the links, Jim and Fergus spent part of the last two springs there and were really impressed with how strong those connections still are. They listen to radio from the island, send their children to post-secondary institutions here, listen to and play traditional music, and are quite knowledgeable and protective of the unique history that bridges the two sides of the Gulf. Jim wrote the song to acknowledge and highlight those connections.
2. Twin Lakes -- Jim Payne and Fergus O‘Byrne. We recorded this song from the lumber camps of Central Newfoundland on request from retired logger Calvin Noble from Middle Arm, who heard Jim sing it years ago. Calvin says it was composed by Roland Hall of Leading Tickles. Subbers were independent loggers sub-contracted to the paper companies, and the Twin Lakes are just south of the coast of Badger Bay, a region which supplied a great deal of wood for the AND Co. paper mill in Grand Falls.
3. What Price Prosperity -- Jim Payne. April 28 is the National Day of Mourning for workers injured, suffering from work related illness, or killed on the job. Jim wrote this song some years ago after the Cougar helicopter crash, but in today‘s climate with so many essential workers putting themselves in harm's way to keep us all safe, it seemed like a good time to record it.
4. April Showers -- Jim Payne. Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, here’s a little bit of whimsy on how we’re dealing with the shutdown, notwithstanding the terrible and sometimes tragic effects of this disease.
5. According to the Act (Legalizing the Recreational Use of Cannabis) -- Jim Payne. Jim read a news report recently about how the pot shops were doing a booming business during the shutdown, so he dusted off this little ditty that he'd written during the legalization process and tweaked a couple of lines, just for fun.
6. Paddy O'Brien -- Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne. Fergus found this little ditty about Paddy’s encounter with a whale in Greenleaf and Mansfield’s Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland collection. They had collected it from John Thomas Edison of Fleur de Lys on the Baie Verte Peninsula in 1929.
7. Hats Off -- Jim Payne. Someone asked me last weekend why I hadn’t written a song about our dependence on essential workers in these difficult times. I didn’t want to admit that I thought it too daunting a task to try and do justice to them and the incredible work they do in helping us all through the public health crisis, so I figured I’d have a go at it. This is the result.
8. Live Like a Bayman--Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne. Just in time for the real May 24th weekend, it's really a song about two of my neighbours and I, baymen to the core, living in St. John's and lamenting the non-essential travel ban. With all the fuss last weekend about whether people were allowed to go their cabins or not, it seemed like a good time to record this song.