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The Sound of Newfoundland...

By Daniel Payne


The dance tunes of Newfoundland and Labrador are played “low down and close to the floor”.
Powerfully rhythmic, the fiddle or accordion clips along with a sense of near-urgency, bringing
to mind the need in days past to celebrate aliveness in the face of hard work and uncertain
fate. The singing tradition is a rainbow of style and theme, from songs of contemporary life to
humorous ditties to ancient ballads, their many verses weaving a spell to while away the dark winter nights.

While travelling on this cruise to the coastal communities of Newfoundland and Labrador, music is our constant companion, greeting us on the wharves and in the halls, our visits often culminating in dances to buckle the floors that have buckled so many times before. It’s my pleasure and honor to visit these places, to meet, learn from and play with the bearers of these traditions, and to do my part to keep the flame of rhythm and melody flickering. May it warm us for years to come!

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