I’s the B’y


“I’s the b’y” = “I’m the boy.”

“I’se The B’y That Builds The Boat” was sung by men who built and sailed their fishing schooners from secluded outports just like Fogo, Twillingate and Morton’s Harbor. This lively dance ditty has always been one of Newfoundland’s favorite sea shanties. (source)


(Canadian folk song, Newfoundland)

1. I’s 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 takes them home to Liza.

Swing your part-ner, Sally Tibbo, Swing your partner, Sally Brown.
Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbor, all around the circle.

2. I took Lizer to a dance, and faith, but could she travel.
Ev’ry step that she did take was up to her knees in gravel. Refrain

3. I don’t want your maggoty fish, that’s no good for winter,
I could buy as good as that down at Bona Vista. Refrain

Recorder Notes D, F#, G, A, B, C, D’

See also

or purchase here (printables only)

  • Song with chords in 2 keys, Adapted version with dance steps, Orff arrangement
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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