I's the B'y

Great Big Sea:  I's the B'y

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

"I'se the b'ye that builds the boat, and I'se the b'ye that sails her. I'se the b'ye that catches the fish And brings 'em home to Lizer "

 "Codfish in the spring of the year, fried in maggoty butter"  

Map of Newfoundland

artists:  Great Big Sea

songwriter:  unknown. 

date released:  1992 by Great Big Sea 

"Ise The B'y" is a traditional sea shanty which has been performed for decades in the province of Newfoundland.  The expression "I'se the B'y" is in the Newfoundland English dialect, translating into standard English as "I'm the Boy." People from Newfoundland have a unique dialect with words and phrases that cannot be heard anywhere else in the world and some think is incomprehensible to the rest of Canada.

Great Big Sea is a Canadian folk-rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador.  This trio performs traditional Newfie sea shanties from the island's 500-year-old Irish, English and French heritage. They also record their original material.  

Formed in 1993, GBS started playing at a Memorial University winter carnival talent show.  They won first prize.  Larger venues came next with the band performing under "Rankin Street" in a pub in downtown St. John's.  The Rose and Thistle paid them $100 a night and beer.

One recording was made on a cassette.  

After a few internal changes, the band became a core of three players:  Alan Doyle, Kris MacFarlane, and Murray Foster.  According to Doyle, the band had "a match made in heaven":  a PA and a van with which they toured the province constantly.

Their Gaelic perseverance paid off.  Their popularity rose to national recognition with several nominations for Juno Awards including Group of the Year in 1998 and 2005.  In 2002, their album "Sea of No Cares" went platinum hitting Number One on Canadian music charts.