Somers, Dan

Dan Somers was from the same area as Hugh MacDonald, in St. Georges. He used to print up the stories he created and sell them for profit. Apparently, he sold copies of ballads for 10 cents apiece. He attended tea parties, fairs, picnics and other country gatherings. People recall him as a splendid singer - and “good for nothing else. “ He would travel around and earn a few extra cents here and there, people getting him to sing for them.

The song that Somers is best known for is 'The Crooked Rib'. Locals consider it quite funny; hysterical, even, for the individuals that understand the meaning behind the story. This is one of his rare 'local' stories; most of his stories were made to appeal to crowds outside of his community. As the song has passed through various people, its form has varied. The song itself is about his wife, who had him put into jail because of his drunken behavior. They used to fight when he would be drinking, and she would have him put to jail. One person added that he was careful not to mention specifically his wife’s name in 'The Crooked Rib', fearing that she would have him locked up again. He made it seem as if he was talking about women in general; however he was specifically talking about his wife. The lyrics go as follows:

When woman were first created they were created out of man,
Out of a long and crooked rib, deny it if you can;
Out of a long and crooked rib created women were
And this is the crooked nature that shows how crooked some women are.

To be a faithful wife for Adam the Lord crated Eve,
But they were not long in the garden she did him then deceive;
Oh, Satan whispered in her ear her husband to betray,
And some women are subject to that sin up to the present day.

On, I often heard men boast and say they had a splendid wife,
And that they were enjoying all the comforts of his life;
But if you would mislist them, ‘tis quick they’d let you know,
No bridle reins would hold them in, no spurs would make them go.

When woman were first created it was for a man’s sake,
So proud they are like Lucifer, deceitful as the snake;
They’ll dress themselves all in their best, like mermaids they will sing
And when they get men in their snares, like serpents they would sting.

But now to conclude and to finish out my rhyme
I hope it will a warning be for all young mankind;
From trouble and strife and a bad wife kind fortune set me free
And from great guns and bad women’s tongues, O Lord, deliver me.

You can sense his impression of women and strong opinion of womankind though his writing. He also wrote other songs that focused more about situations and events that happened outside of his home province. This is only a brief description of a character that entertained many in his life. I imagine he provided many laughs and good times to brighten up the community.

Written By Crystal Callaghan

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