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Songs About Horses: Tickle Cove Pond

One of my favorite Pandora stations is my Great Big Sea mix, which I have carefully cultivated to be mostly rousing songs that I can sing along to, even if they’re more sad than not. It’s a good cleaning channel.

Tonight I turned it on and up came a song called Tickle Cove Pond, which I hadn’t heard before. It’s about an accident with a draft horse on an icy pond. Don’t worry, it has a happy ending!

(um, also ignore the awful videographer commentary, I couldn’t find a clean version of this on YouTube.)

Lyrics:
In cuttin’ and haulin’, in frost and in snow
We’re up against troubles that few people know
And it’s only by courage and patience and grit
And eatin’ plain food that we keep ourselves fit
The hard and the easy we take as it comes
And when ponds freeze over we shorten our runs
To hurry my haulin’ with spring coming on
Near lost me a mare out on Tickle Cove Pond
Chorus:
Lay hold William Over, lay hold William White
Lay hold of the cordage and pull all your might
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can
And give me a lift with poor Kit on the pond
I knew that the ice became weaker each day
But still took the risk and kept haulin’ away
One evening in April bound home with a load
The mare showed some halting against the ice road
She knew more than I did as matters turned out
And lucky for me had I joined her in doubt
She turned round her head, with tears in her eyes
As if she were sayin’, “You’re riskin’ our lives”
All this I ignored with a whip handle blow
For man is too stupid; dumb creatures to know
The very next moment the pond gave a sigh
And down to our necks went poor Kitty and I
Chorus
For if I had taken wise Kitty’s advice
I never would take the shortcut on the ice
Poor creature she’s dead; poor creature she’s gone
I’ll ne’er get my mare out of Tickle Cove Pond
Chorus
So I raised an alarm you could hear for a mile
And neighbours turned up in a very short while
You can always rely on the Overs and Whites
To render assistance in all your bad plights
To help a poor neighbour is part of their lives
The same I can say for their children and wives
When a bowline was fastened around the mare’s breast
William White for a shanty song made a request
There was no time for thinkin’, no time for delay
Straight from his head came this song right away
Chorus Final
Lay hold William Over, lay hold William White
Lay hold of the cordage and pull all your might
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can
And with that we brought Kit out of Tickle Cove Pond

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