The Banks of Newfoundland


by Francis Forbes

The following text is from A Newfoundland Songbook - A Collection of Music by Historic Newfoundland Composers, 1820-1942", compiled and annotated by Paul G. Woodford and published by Creative Publishers, St. John's (1987).

This well known tune was composed by Chief Justice Francis Forbes about 1820 and published in a piano arrangement by Oliver Ditson of Boston. According to one source it was performed in the composers presence in 1820 at a Benevolent Irish Society dinner at St. John's by an Irish piper. It is described as a dance on the original printed copy but was better known in later years as a march. At the turn of the twentieth century it was considered an unofficial national anthem of Newfoundland and has remained the march commonly associated with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

A sea shanty with the same title also exists. There is no connection between the two as far as I know.