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Seal Oil
Omega-3 Seal Oil

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Music Browse By Artist
Johnny Burke Songbook Johnny Burke

Price: CDN$23.95
    • The Night Paddy Murphy Died - Mark Hiscock
    • Old Brown’s Daughter - RASA
    • The Kelligrew’s Soiree - Dave Panting
    • Murphy Broke The Pledge - The Irish Descendants
    • Excursion Around The Bay - Murphy’s Law
    • The Wedding In Renews - Arthur O'Brien
    • Never Been There Before - The Punters
    • Cod Liver Oil - Mike Hanrahan
    • Why Didn’t You Say So - The Celtic Connection
    • The Trinity Cake - Allan Ricketts
    • The Valley Of Kilbride- Tickle Harbour

    Johnny Burke (1851 – 1930) was affectionately known as the "Bard of Prescott Street." Prescott Street being where he lived and worked for most of his adult life.

    He was a singing poet; he recited poems of his own composition; and he wrote verse for the purpose of historical commentary. Newfoundlanders came to see Johnny Burke as the pre-eminent commentator on the fast-breaking events of the day, an editorialist, satirist, and busker all rolled into one.

    His work as a popular artist was his consuming avocation: the public ate him up. Burke's practice was to write variously humorous, satirical, witty, and sentimental ballads on current events, as the occasion arose and with all the immediacy he could muster, then print them on broadsheets and hire boys to sell them in the streets of St. John's at two to five cents per copy. His kind of commentary on Newfoundland attitudes was immensely popular. Burke did much to consolidate opinion in his day and the public came to believe nothing in Newfoundland was really finished, until Johnny Burke had written a song about it.

    Burke's balladry ranges from parodic to satiric in mood. One of his most popular and enduring songs, and his personal favorite, "Cod Liver Oil" is a parody of a popular nineteenth century Irish song. In all his ballads Burke wrote original words but no musical accompaniment, relying instead on the well-known melodies of music-hall and stage-Irish songs of the day. Burke's best-written and most enduring songs gauge the tensions of social gatherings as captured in songs like "The Kelligrew's Soiree" and "The Trinity Cake”.

    Johnny Burke's songs became very well known, due in part to the broadsheets and songsters that he printed and sold as well as through local publications, the Gerald S Doyle Songbooks and the great oral tradition of folk music. And to this day Burke's songs are very much a staple for many well known and up and coming performers in Newfoundland & Labrador.

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P.O. Box 26120, St. John's, NL, Canada, A1E 0A5
Phone (local): 709-738-3435 ; Toll Free: 1-877-738-3435
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