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John Morrison, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives


Scope and Contents

From the Record Group:

MF167.1 consists of interviews conducted by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on Prince Edward Island between 1969 and 1970, as part of his work to document the folk songs of Prince Edward Island, specifically the songs “made by” Joe Scott, Larry Doyle, and Larry Gorman. Material included in this collection served as source material for Ives’ later publications, Lawrence Doyle: The Farmer-Poet of Prince Edward Island (1971); Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs (1977); Joe Scott: The Woodman Songmaker (1978); and Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island (1999). This collection includes recordings of interviews, Ives' field journal, and 17 photographs taken by Ives.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1955-1970


Conditions Governing Access

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From the Record Group: 203 items

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English


NA4370 John Morrison, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives, August 30, 1965, at Morrison's home in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Also present, Mrs. John Morrison, the couple's son and two of his young children who can be heard playing. Pet parakeets also singing. Morrison, age 53, sings a couple verses of his version of “Howard Carey” and explains how he makes an active effort to remember the song. Morrison is originally from Conway but worked "around the shore" [fishing] and in the lobster cannery for 16 years. At night, the fishermen would retire to "the shanty" where they would sing as entertainment before lights out at 9p. Learned "Howard Carey" from Acif "Ace" Walfield who married his sister. Morrison explains later that Carey had VD which was why he killed himself. Acif used to work in the woods. Morrison "words off" [speaks] the lyrics he remembers from "The Norway Bum" that he also learned from Acif. Unable to recall all the lyrics, Morrison indicates he will get the words from the wife of Acif's nephew. Morrison "words off" "John Ladner" that he also learned when working "along the shore." Morrison called the music, "Shanty Songs." Describes fishing shanties where fishermen slept or spent foul weather. Discusses musical instruments including the mouth harp, the spoons, bones, and describes how one man used a thin blade from a circular saw as a percussion instrument. Morrison recites the opening verse of "Gracie M. Parker" and recalls Johnny Oliver, the schooner's cook and father of Frank Oliver, drowned when the Gracie M. Parker went down. Morrison recalls a song made about a stowaway being found aboard a schooner bound for Alberton Harbor. The young man was tied by the thumbs to one of the crossarms for nine days without food or water. When the situation was seen from shore, towns people boarded the schooner and shot the captain dead as the stowaway was cut down. Ives' notes on the visit are recorded in his "Field Diary, Aug. 20, 1965, to Sept. 10, 1965." (NA2539, p. 23) Recording: mf167_1.1_ives065.07 & 065.08_cd084_12 - mf167_1.1_ives065.07 & 065.08_cd084_18. Time: 00:15:10

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States