Words and tune: April Grant (c) 2010
I walked along Oak Island’s shore, one cold and foggy summer night;
The seals were sleeping in the sand, the moon still cast a milky light.
If I told everything I know, I’d be as rich as rich could be —
The Downeast sands are full of gold that summer people never see.
I heard men laugh like roaring bulls, a ship at anchor in the bay;
Their boat pulled in across the surf and up the beach they made their way.
They dug a ditch and buried gold for one whose beard was curled and black;
He shot a man to guard the place, then buried him and rowed on back.
I didn’t touch it when they’d gone; I simply didn’t have the heart.
Though I’ve a soul that yearns for gold, this stuff was dirty from the start.
Across the bay a foggy light, a ship I’d never seen before.
I went to watch the red-cross knights and pallid pilgrims come ashore.
“We are the Knights of Solomon, poor fellow-soldiers of the cross;
We’re here to bury gold and gear we carried from our final loss.
These pilgrims are the Cathares; we set our differences aside,
We had to bury treasure too, and so we gave them all a ride.”
I didn’t touch it when they’d gone. Now, how would that have made you feel?
Though I’ve a soul that yearns for gold, I didn’t want to be a heel.
Across the jetty and the dunes, I walked the northern head of land,
Until I saw to my surprise a warrior before me stand.
“In life men called me Metacom; King Philip never was my name.
Why don’t you damn colonials pack up and leave the way you came?
I hid my mighty treasure here from bastards who I fought and scorned,
And any man who digs it up will get his head bashed in. Be warned!”
He strode away across the dunes, and I rejoiced at my escape;
Though I’ve a soul that yearns for gold, I like my head its current shape.
Across the bay a foggy light: a boat of reeds came rowing in,
And after it a ship that bore the banners of the Duke of Ch’in.
I turned from all their work and walked the dune lands in the cold night air.
Though I’ve a soul that yearns for gold, I still could see a pattern there.
Oak Island keeps her ancient trust; her gold is never brought to light.
The Downeast sands are full of gold, and they will keep it. So goodnight!
This song covers only some of the eminent historical characters who apparently had nothing better to do with their spare time than to acquire gold and bury it in Oak Island, Nova Scotia.
Lyrics are here in a Google doc.
“Oak Island” on Soundcloud.