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"I's the B'y" is in the Newfoundland English dialect, and translates to standard English as "I'm the Boy" or "I'm the Guy". The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame decided to honour the song in 2005, officially accepting it as part of the Canadian Song Hall of Fame.
Native Newfoundland folk songs have fared well in terms of continued popularity, due in part to their appearance in widely circulated publications such as Gerald S. Doyle's songsters. Doyle's company published five free and popular collections of Newfoundland songs, the first in 1927, as a means of promoting his patent medicine business. These songs included "I'se the B'y", "Tickle Cove Pond", "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor", "Old Polina", "The Ryans and the Pittmans", and "Lukey's Boat".