Hard, Hard Times

« Hard, hard Times ». Adaptation faite par William James Emberley (originaire de Bay de Verde, T.-N.-L.) d'une ancienne chanson qui décrit les dures conditions de vie des pêcheurs terre-neuviens pendant la grande dépression des années 1930.

Hard, Hard Times

« Hard, hard Times ». Adaptation faite par William James Emberley (originaire de Bay de Verde, T.-N.-L.) d'une ancienne chanson qui décrit les dures conditions de vie des pêcheurs terre-neuviens pendant la grande dépression des années 1930. À cette époque, l'effondrement des marchés internationaux rend quasiment impossible l'écoulement des produits de la pêche et, pendant des années, les Terre-Neuviens vivent d'une maigre allocation gouvernementale de six cents par jour. Les vers d'Emberley - rapidement passés à la postérité - constituent une version locale d'un type de chanson satirique, né de l'Angleterre du XVIII<sup>e</sup> siècle, qui ridiculise diverses situations et qui est souvent utilisé pour décrire les temps difficiles. La chanson, qui n'a jamais été publiée en français, est enregistrée par Alan Mills (Folksongs of Newfoundland, 1958, Folkways Records FW-8771) ainsi que par Dick Nolan, Omar Blondahl, Kenneth Peacock et les Travellers. Elle est publiée par Gerald S. Doyle (Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland, St. John's 1955), Blondahl (Newfoundlanders, Sing! A Collection of Favourite Newfoundland Folk Songs, St. John's 1964), Peacock (Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, Ottawa 1965) et Edith Fowke (The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, Harmondsworth, Angl. 1973). Chantée au rythme d'une valse entraînante, ses paroles, transcrites en 1950 par MacEdward Leach, sont les suivantes :

Now I am intending to sing you a song,About the poor people and how they get on,They start in the spring and they work till the fall,And when they clue up they have nothing at all,And it's hard, hard times.

It's out with the jiggers the first of the spring,And over the gunwale you can hear the lines ring,Perhaps now the jigger gets froze with the cold, And the first of the starting of going in the hold,And it's hard, hard times.

Then out with the traps and the trawls likewise,Perhaps get a quintal good start for a voyage, You'll fill up with spirit and work with a will,Next morning a drifting you're in the hole still,And it's hard, hard times.

When so much is caught it's put out for to dry,And then comes the labour to keep off the flies, They will buzz all around and make trouble for you,And out comes the sun and splits it in two,And it's hard, hard times.

In comes the schooners go get your supply,It's a good price this summer you'll make a good buy,Seven dollars for large and five for your small,Pick out your West Indies and wait till the fall,And it's hard, hard times.

Then comes the carpenter to build you a house, He will build it so snug you can scarce see a mouse,There's a hole in the roof and the rain it will pour,The chimney will smoke and it's open the door,And it's hard, hard times.

Next comes the doctor the worst of them all,He says what's the matter with you all the fall,He says I will cure you of all your disease,And when he gets your money you can die if you please,And it's hard, hard times.

Now all you good people you'll work with a will,For all of us soon will be hauled on the hill, It's there they will lay us down deep in the cold,And when you are finished you're in the hole still,And it's hard, hard times.

Bibliographie

Paul Mercer, « A Supplementary Bibliography on Newfoundland Music », Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, vol. 2, 1974


Lecture supplémentaire

  • Mercer, Paul. "A Supplementary Bibliography on Newfoundland Music," Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, vol 2, 1974

Liens externes