Sourced from the singing of Alan Mills, "Folk Songs of Newfoundland," 1953
In cuttin' and haulin', in frost and in snow,
We're up against trouble that few people know
And only with patience and courage and grit,
And eatin' plain food can we keep ourselves fit.
The hard and the easy we take as it comes,
And when ponds freeze over, we shorten our runs,
To hurry my haulin', with spring comin' on
Near lost me my mare out on Tickle Cove Pond.
Lay hold, William Oldford, lay hold William White
Lay hold of the cordage and pull all your might,
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can,
And give me a lift for poor Kit on the pond
I knew that the ice became weaker each day
But still took the risk and kept haulin' away,
One evenin' in April, bound home with a load,
The mare showed some haltin' upon the ice road.
She knew more than I did, as matters turned out,
And lucky for me had I joined in her doubt,
She turned round her head and with tears in her eyes
As if she were sayin', "You're risking our lives!"
All this I ignored with a whip-handle blow
For men are too stupid dumb creatures to know:
The very next moment, the pond gave a sigh
And up to our necks went poor Kitty and I.
Now if I had taken wise Kitty's advice
I never would take the short cut on the ice,
Poor creature, she's dead and poor creature, she's gone,
I'll near get my wood out of Tickle Cove Pond.
I raised an alarm you could hear for a mile,
And neighbours turned up in a very short while;
You can always depend on the Oldfords and Whites
To render assistance in all your bad plights.
The bowline was fastened around the mare's neck
William White for a shanty song made a request
There was no time for thinkin', no time for delay,
So straight from his head came this song rightaway:
Lay hold, William Oldford, Lay hold, William White,
Lay hold of the hawser and pull al your might,
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can -
And with that we got Kit out of Tickle Cove Pond