29 April 2012 0 Comments

The Jane

Words and Music by Bob Large (c) 2008

The life of a ship is threaded right through
The lives of her owners, masters and crew
And ‘The Jane’ would sing if she had a voice
That a ship is as good as the skippers last choice

They found her washed high on the shoreline that day
On Ruapeke Island, the wreck of The Jane
In Caroline Harbour, her timbers and spars
Talk to the rocks, the sand and the stars

A cutter won’t tack when the wind is too slack
A lee shore, foul ground, the anchor drags back
The rock pierced her hull and under she slipped
They took to the boat and abandoned the ship


Sixteen years before shipwright McPhee
Settled at Catlins where he laid her keel
A fast, sweet cutter just fifty foot long

In hardwood timbers her built her right strong
Rimu and matai loaded her down
Bound for Dundedin to help build the town
Supplies to Shag Point returning with coal
The Jane and her crew worked the Otago coast


Just off the Nuggets ‘The Dagmar’ capsized
The crew clutched her riggin’ and prayed for their lives
Captain Turnbridge, noble and brave
Rowed them back to the decks of the Jane

Now a cutter sails with a shorthanded crew
But a man must be nimble and know when to move
A jibe in steep seas and John Kidd was drowned
Swept overboard as the boom whipped around


Cook Strait, Wellington, Wanganui
Foveaux, Auckland Islands, the deep Southern seas
Weathering breakers and hurricane gales
Stranded, repaired and floated again

Galley washed out to sea bulwarks torn
She sailed and survived in storm after storm
But a cutter won’t tack if the wind is too slack
One bad choice and she never came back

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