Newfoundland is all about music. Everywhere you go on the island you’ll hear people singing, whistling, humming or playing tunes that are written by Newfoundlanders about Newfoundland. Even the children, from toddlers to teens, adore the distinctive music of their home, and chances are you will, too.
Our music is inspired by our culture, and it often reflects day-to-day life, with lyrics that come from the heart and touch the soul, and eloquent strains that harken back to our Irish, English, French and Scottish roots. You may not understand the difference between a jig and a reel, but the one sure thing you can say about our melodies is that they’ll have your feet moving in time with the rhythm. You just can’t stop them!
Jig, reels, love songs, ballads and shanties played on accordion, fiddle, bodhran, and ugly stick (an instrument fashioned out of a stick of wood and an old boot and adorned with cymbal and bells) all reflect the nature and deep seated culture of our proud land. And those songs that don’t make you want to dance will make you feel, transporting you to a time when life was as simple and deeply meaningful as it still remains in the hearts of Newfoundlanders.
Here, for your listening and toe tapping pleasure, is a sampling of some of the very fine musical efforts—old and new—to come out of Newfoundland. Enjoy!
Emile Benoit – Christina’s Dream from the album Vive la Rose
Get your own copy of Vive la Rose featuring Christina’s Dream and other Emile Benoit favorites here!
Bob Porter – Up She Rises from the album Wave the Flag
Get your own copy of Up She Rises and other Bob Porter favorites here
Ron Hynes – Sonny’s Dream from the album Face to the Gale
Get your own copy of Face to the Gale featuring Sonny’s Dream and other Ron Hynes favorites here!
The Fables – Fella from Fortune from the album St. John’s
Get your own copy of Fella from Fortune and other Fables favorites here!
Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne – Sailors by Choice from the album How Good Is Me Life
Get your own copy of Sailors By Choice and other Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne favorites here!
Great Big Sea – Lukey (Lukey’s Boat) from the album Up
Get your own copy of Up featuring Lukey (Lukey’s Boat) and other Great Big Sea favorites here!
Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers – Salt Water Joys from the album The Serious Stuff
Get your own copy of The Serious Stuff featuring Salt Water Joys and other Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers favorites here!
Fine Crowd – Parting Glass from the album Poverty’s Arse
Get your own copy of Parting Glass and other Fine Crowd favorites here!
Note: Encounter Newfoundland collects no revenue from the sale of works by artists featured in this article. The artists do, however, profit when you purchase their songs and albums, and rightly so.