Join us each month in song!

Since 2016—our designated Year of Song—CDSS has featured a traditional song each month. Lorraine Hammond spearheaded this effort, and it was such a popular feature that Judy Cook volunteered to continue the tradition in 2017 and beyond. 

Note: Many of these old songs should be looked at as “fairy tales for adults” in that they often address very strong, and sometimes scary, subject matter. They allow us to deal with difficult situations and emotions with the distance afforded by putting it in a song. They are cautionary tales, and had their use as such.


This month’s song:

  • February 2023: The Rose in June
    Submitted by William Pint

    This moving song came to me forty years ago by way of Louisa Jo Killen. It demonstrates the amazing power locked within a ballad when delivered by a brilliant singer.

    The story is that of a fishing vessel capsizing in a storm off the coast of Scotland in the late 1800s, the fate of the captain and first mate, and the power of faith to give strength and comfort in terrifying circumstances. I am not a religious person by any means, but this song has a profound effect on me every time I hear it. Listen to it and marvel at how it conveys such tremendous emotional content. 

    Listen to Louisa singing “The Rose in June:”

    Sheet music for "The Rose in June"
    Download the sheet music for “The Rose in June.”

    Lyrics

    On the rocky coast of Scotland, in a little village there,

    There dwelt a righteous man, serving God without a care
    He was not a man of honour, but a humble fisherman,

    Working hard to earn his living, his name was Andrew Davidson.

    He was the master of a vessel, and he claimed her as his own.

    She was fitted with all was needed; she was called The Rose in June.
    
And with eager expectation he was waiting for the day

    When the time would come for fishing and the boats would sail away.

    Now, Andrew had been lately married, and before he left his home,
    
Andrew and his wife together knelt in prayer before the Throne,

    Asking God for His protection on his wife while he was gone,

    Praying nothing would befall her, not of danger nor of harm.

    And his wife was kneeling by him, and she heard his fervent prayer

    Asking God for her protection, not a word for his was there,
    
And her heart did sink within her as she rose from her bended knee,

    Thinking on those terrible dangers and those perils of the sea!

    Now when the Summer winds blew softly, herrin’ fishing season came.
    
Andrew Davidson preparing, herrin’ fishing was his game.

    Andrew Davidson preparing with his crew to go to sea,

    Not thinking this would be his last time ever with his friends to be.

    Many vessels now are sailing and The Rose in June is one

    Swiftly gliding out the harbour at the setting of the sun

    Many fishing vessels sailing out that fateful afternoon
    
Out of sight of friends and loved ones swiftly glides The Rose in June.

    In that night a storm came raging and the angry billows roared,

    Many a vessel was tossed and driven all along that rocky shore.
    
Their crews were clinging to them, all seamen strong and brave,
    
Praying the Lord would save them from a seaman’s watery grave.

    And all along the coast next morning, anxious eyes did watch and wait,
    
The children of those absent seamen, those returning ships did sight.
    
And one by one, those vessels sailed in, through morning until noon,

    Till all were safely anchored, all but one, The Rose in June.

    Whom the seas turned bottom upwards, dashed against that rocky shore.
    
Her crew was clinging to her, thinking the storm would soon be o’er.

    Andrew Davidson, their captain, in that time of sudden fear,

    Called on Jesu, Christ the Savior, and he bowed his head in prayer.
    Saying, “Come on and sing God’s praises,” and at last they all begun:

    Dearest Jesus, I am dying, what a comfort divine,
    What a comfort to know that the Savior is mine.

    Hallelujah, send the Glory, Hallelujah, amen,

    Hallelujah, send the Glory to revive us again.

    But these words were scarcely ended when the out-wave struck her side.

    Tore their captain from his holdings, and he sank beneath the tide,
    Gone to join those friends and shipmates on that heavenly shore,

    Welcomed by his lovin’ Savior singing praise forevermore.

    And John Allen was the young mate, and he knew he was forgiven.

    “Let us keep on with our singing, our captain is in Heaven.”
    
And they sang so loud and trialled, till they came to this last verse:

    Slowly onward we haste to the heavenly place,

    For this is the glory and this is the grace.

    Hallelujah, send the Glory, Hallelujah, amen,

    Hallelujah, send the Glory to revive us again.

    But these words were scarcely ended when the out-wave burst around.

    Tore the young mate from his holdings and his body too was drowned.
    
Going to join those friends and shipmates on that heavenly shore,

    Welcomed by his lovin’ Savior singing praise forevermore.

    And the rest of the crew was rescued, but they’ll ne’er forget the scene,
    
In that hour and that moment when that song they tried to sing,

    Oh! Were no sermons ever preached or experience ever known,

    Like the power in that moment, that hour of sudden doom!

    So sinners, give your souls to Jesus, it can never be too soon.
    
If in heaven you meet the captain, meet the mate of The Rose in June.
    Oh, sinners, give your souls to Jesus, it can never be too soon.
    
If in heaven you meet the captain, meet the mate of The Rose in June.

    William Pints heart was captured by traditional music at the impressionable age of seventeen, and sea shanties and maritime songs by his twenty-fifth birthday. He and his partner, Felicia Dale, have released numerous recordings of mostly traditional material with innovative and highly energetic arrangements.


Past Songs