“I’se the B’y that builds the boat
And I’se the B’y that sails her.
I’se the B’y that catches the fish
And brings ‘em home to Liza.
“Hip yer partner, Sally Tibbo,
Hip yer partner, Sally Brown,
Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour
All around the circle.”
It’s safe to say that every Canadian knows this folk song from Newfoundland, our easternmost province. I remember singing it boisterously as an 8-year old, proud that I could translate “I’se the B’y” as “I’m the boy”. Newfoundland’s psyche is wrapped up in the sea, and many young boys would indeed sail the boat and catch the fish. (Take a minute and check out the song on Youtube. I dare you not to sing along.)
When we planned our family trip to Newfoundland in 2007, there were a few things we couldn’t miss. Ches’s Fish and Chips in St. John’s. The pageant in Trinity. And visiting one of those magical destinations that the song alludes to – Fogo, Twillingate or Morton’s Harbour. I’m sure they’re all lovely, but we had the wonderful fortune to visit Twillingate in northeast Newfoundland and to take its marvellous Top of Twillingate trail.
This beautiful walk, part boardwalk and part forest trail, took us through the wooded areas just outside of town. We climbed the lookout towers for a wonderful vista over the whole area. Ocean, trees, town and even a far-off iceberg (yes, in August!) were all part of the view. The hike gave two lively young girls a chance to stretch their legs after a long drive, and their parents a chance to admire the natural beauty of this small town and the wilderness that surrounds it.
And there may even have been a verse or two of “I’se the B’y” sung on our way back to the house.