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Hanging Johnny : hang, boys, hang

Leggi in italiano

“Hanging Johnny” is an halyard shanty in which we talk about the hangman who hangs all those who bother him! Immediately, the scholars wanted to find a historical figure who incarnated this executioner in Jack Ketch notorious executioner in the seventeenth century London.

But for the sailors the phrase “hanging Johnny” has a whole other meaning.

THE WORK OF THE HANGED SAILOR

In order to hoist the heavier sails, they followed a strange procedure : the younger and nimble sailors (and less paid as they were apprentices) climbed up on the masthead and, after grabbing a halyard, jumped in the air, hanging like so many hangers. As they descended, they were helped by the efforts of the remaining sailors to slowly reach the deck.
Joys explained that “hanging Johnny” did not refer to a sheriff’s hangman, but instead to nimble young sailors who, when a topsail was to be hoisted, would climb to the masthead and “swing out” on the proper halyard. They would then ride to the deck as the men at the foot of the mast brought them down by their successive pulls. Joys recalled one chanteyman who would always tell the boys when to swing out by shouting up to them, “Hang, you bastards, hang!” Then, while the boys were hanging on the halyard fifty feet or more above the deck, he’d start his song and the crew would make two pulls on each chorus. When the boys hit the deck, they would tail on behind the other men and pull with them until the work was finished.
Joys added that the word “hang” was “the best goddamn pullin’ word in the language, especially on a down haul.” Ashley said the tune was “a bit mournful, but a good one for hoisting light canvas,” noting that the words enabled the sailors to find fault, good-naturedly, with all their real and fancied enemies, “if the work lasted long enough.”
 (from “Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors” by Ivan H. Walton and Joe Grimm, 2002 here)

So on Mudcats a heated debate has opened up: “The words “Hang, boys, hang,” are used in a topsail-halliard hoist, when sweating up the yard “two blocks” where, in swaying off, the whole weight of the body is used. The sing-out, from some old shellback, usually being words such as “Hang, heavy! Hang, buttocks! Hang you sons of ——-, Hang.” After setting the topsails, we gave her the main-topgallant sail, which was all she could carry in a heavy head-sea. The decks were awash all day. “…. the chantey was sung with a jerk and a swing as only chanteys in 6/8 time can be sung. While the words were of Negro extraction, yet it was a great favorite with us and sung nearly every time the topsails were hoisted.” (from Frederick Pease Harlow, 1928, The Making of a Sailor, Dover reprint of Publication Number 17 of the Marine Research Society, Salem, MA here)

Definitely a perfect “pirate song”! I found this piece of film about the golden age of the great vessels in which the song is sung.

Oh they call me hanging Johnny.
Away, boys, away.
They says I hangs for money.
Oh hang, boys, hang.
And first I hanged my Sally
and then I hanged my granny.

JOHN SHORT VERSION

Sharp publishes a set of words in which the shantyman does not himself hang people and indeed sings, I never hung nobody. Hugill is adamant (as is Terry) that no shantyman ever claimed that anyone other than himself was the hangman, and that “Sentimental verses like some collectors give were never sung – Sailor John hanged any person or thing he would think about without a qualm.” Checking these ‘some collectors’, one finds several who elect only to hang the bad guys – liars, murderers, etc. – are these the verses Hugill means by ‘sentimental’ or is he having a go at Sharp for the shantyman not being the hangman himself? Sharp’s notebooks show that he recorded from Short the same as he published. It could be that Short is self-censoring but it seems unlikely given that Short seems happy, in various other shanties, to sing text that might not be regarded as genteel (e.g. Nancy, Lucy Long, Shanadore). Short was, however, a deeply religious man and, if this is not simply an early and less developed form of the shanty, then he may have deliberately avoided casting himself as hangman – we will never know! Notwithstanding, and contrary to Hugill’s assertion, there was at least one shantyman who actually sang I never hung nobody.

Collectors’/publishers’ reactions to the shanty are curiously mixed: Bullen merely notes that “shanties whose choruses were adapted for taking two pulls in them… were exceedingly useful”, Fox-Smith that it had an “almost macabre irony which is not found in any other shanty”, and Maitland that “This is about as doleful a song as I ever heard” but, in an almost poetic description points out that “there’s a time when it comes in. For instance after a heavy blow, getting more sail on the ship. The decks are full of water and the men cannot keep their feet. The wind has gone down, but the seas are running heavy. A big comber comes over the rail; the men are washed away from the rope. If it wasn’t for the man at the end of the rope gathering in the slack as the men pull, all the work would have to be done over again.” – Horses for courses! (from here)

Tom Brown from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 1


They called me hanging Johnny,
urrhay-i-, urrhay-i-,
They called me hanging Johnny
so hang, boys, hang
They hanged me poor old father
They hanged me poor old mother
Yes they hanged me mother
Me sister and me brother
They hanged me sister Sally
They strung her up so canny
They said I handeg for money
But I never hanged nobody
Oh boys we’ll haul and hang the ship
oh haul her ropes so neat
We’ll hang him forever,
We’ll hang for better weather,
A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’ll hang ye all together

ADDITIONAL VERSIONS

Stan Ridgway from  Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI 2006. Masterful interpretation that transforms the shanty into a melancholy folk song

The Salts live in a jaunty version

 Stan Ridgway lyrics
I
They call me hanging Johnny,
yay (away )-hay-i-o
I never hanged nobody
hang, boys, hang
Well first I hanged your mother
Me sister and me brother
I’d hang to make things jolly
I’d hang all wrong and folly
A rope, a beam, a ladder,
I’ll hang ye all together
Well next I hanged me granny
I’d hang the wholly family
They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody
II
Come hang, come haul together,
Come hang for finer weather,
Hang on from the yardarm
Hang the sea and buy a big farm
They call me hanging Johnny,
I never hanged nobody
I’d hang the mates and skippers,
I’d hang ‘em by their flippers
I’d hang the highway robber,
I’d hang the burglar jobber;
I’d hang a noted liar,
I’d hang a bloated friar;
They say I hung a copper,
I gave him the long dropper

LINK
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72779
http://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/hangingjohnny.html
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20774/20774-h/20774-h.htm#Hanging_Johnny
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/hanging.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/thycalme.htm

My Bonnie Highland Lassie sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

Under the title Hieland laddie (Highland lassie) a series of texts are grouped with the same melody (a traditional Scottish air) entitled “If thou’t play me fair play” or “The Lass of Livingston””The melody appears in the Drummond Castle Manuscript inscribed “A Collection of Country Dances written for the use of his Grace the Duke of Perth by Dav. Young, 1734.” However the earliest printing of the tune is in Robert Bremner’s 1757 collection. A variant appears under the title “Cockleshell’s” in Playford’s Apollo’s Banquet (London, 1690) and the Dancing Master of 1701.” (from here)

MILITARY MARCH

In Scotland, the “marcing song” is synonymous with bagpipes! “Hieland laddie” was the march of all Scottish regiments before “Scotland the Brave”.

THE SCOTTISH DANCE

A particularly energetic dance competition

SEA SHANTY: Bonny Laddie, Heiland Laddie (My Bonnie Highland Lassie)

The melody was also used as a capstan and a “stamp and go” shanty, and (without the grand chorus) as a halyard shanty. It was popular on the Dundee Whalers, then later used (c. 1830’s and 40’s) as a work song for stowing lumber and cotton in the Southeastern and Gulf ports of the United States. Highland Laddie was used for long and slow maneuvers: hoisting sails above (2 pulls per chorus) or hauling up the anchor. It was sung in two voices: a solo asking the question (Where have been ye all the day, my Bonnie Laddie Hieland?) and the answer given in chorus by the crew (Way hay and away we go, Bonnie Laddie, Laddie Hieland). (from here)

Pete Seeger live

I
Was you ever in Quebec?
Bonny laddie, Highland laddie,
Stowing timber on the deck,
My bonny Highland laddie.
CHORUS
High-ho, and away we goes,
Bonny laddie, Highland laddie,
High-ho, and away we goes,
My bonny Highland laddie.

II
Was you ever in Aberdeen
Prettiest girls that you’ve ever seen(1).
III
Was you ever in Baltimore
Dancing on the sanded floor?
IV
Was you ever in Callao(2)
Where the girls are never slow?
V
Was you ever in Merasheen(3)
Where you stayed fast to tree(4)?

NOTES
1) scottish song and scottish beauty
2) large port of Peru
3) or Merrimashee: there is an island of Merasheen in Newfoundland (Canada), but more likely is Miramichi, a small town in Canada, located in the province of New Brunswick; Merrimashee is also a large river that gives its name to the bay where flows into the Gulf of San Lorenzo. Often the sailors crippled the names of the places that they  did not know.
Italo Ottonello found this note: Merasheen, located on the southwestern tip of Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay, was one of the larger and more prosperous communities resettled. Settled by English, Irish and Scottish in the late 18th century, the community eventually became predominantly Roman Catholic with families of Irish descent. In an ideal location to prosecute the inshore cod fishery along with the herring and lobster fisheries in the ice-free harbour during winter and spring, it appeared that Merasheen would not succumb to the same fate as other small resettled communities.
This is how Ottonello observes: “it seems to hint at a generic stormy place, rather than a particular site”.
4) or “you tie up to a tree”, “Where you make fast to a tree”;

The Kingston Trio.
The checked stanzas are an addition of the group

Was you ever in Quebec
Bonny Laddie, Hielan’ laddie
Stowing timber on the deck
Bonny Hielan’ Laddie

Was you ever in Dundee
There some pretty ships you’ll see
“This Boston town don’t suit my notion
And I’m bound for far away
So, I’ll pack my bag and sail the ocean
And I’ll see you on another day”
Was you ever in Mobile Bay
Loading cotton by the day
Was you ever ‘round Cape Horn
With the Lion and the Unicorn (1)
“One of these days and it won’t be long
And I’m bound for far away
You’ll take a look around and find me gone
And I’ll see you on another day”
Was you ever in Monterey
On that town with three months pay
Was you ever in Aberdeen
Prettiest girls that you’ve ever seen
“Farewell, dear friends, I’m leaving soon
And I’m bound for far away
We’ll meet again this coming June
And I’ll see you on another day”

NOTES
1) it is the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, the lion symbolizes England and the unicorn of Scotland;

Bonnie Highland Lassie

Nils Brown, Sean Dagher, Clayton Kennedy, John Giffen, David Gossage from Assassin’s Creed Rogue (sea shanty edition)

I
Were you ever in Roundstone Town (1)?
Bonnie Lassie Hieland Lassie,
Were you ever in Roundstone Town?
My bonnie hieland lassie-o
I was often in Roundstone Town
Drinking milk and eating flour
Although I am a young maid
Come lately from my mammy-o
II
Were you ever in Bombay
Bonnie Lassie Hieland Lassie,
Were you ever in Bombay
My bonnie hieland lassie-o
I was often in old Bombay
Drinking coffee and bohay (2)
Although I am a young maid
Come lately from my mammy-o

III
Were you ever in Quebec?
Bonnie Lassie Hieland Lassie,
Were you ever in Quebec?
My bonnie hieland lassie-o
I was often in Quebec
Stowing timber up on deck
Although I am a young maid
Come lately from my mammy-o
IV
Are you fit to sweep the floor?
Bonnie Lassie Hieland Lassie,
Are you fit to sweep the floor?
My bonnie hieland lassie-o
I am fit to sweep the floor
As the lock is for the door
Although I am a young maid
Come lately from my mammy-o

NOTE
1) Roundstone is a small fishing village near Connemara (County Galway)
2) Roundstone is a small fishing village near Connemara (County Galway)
2) bohea is a blend of black tea originating in the Wuyi mountain region of southeastern China; in practice it was once synonymous with tea

second part

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/danze-scozzesi.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/bonnie-hieland-lassie.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/wasuever.htm
http://cornemusique.free.fr/ukhighlandladdie.php
https://thesession.org/tunes/1524
http://www.rampantscotland.com/songs/blsongs_laddiegone.htm
http://compvid101.blogspot.it/2009/11/ktpete-seegertommy-makemludwig-von.html
http://cornemusique.free.fr/ukhighlandladdie.php
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/donkey-riding.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/donkeyriding.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=41062
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=54643
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/h/hielandl.html
http://www.tannahillweavers.com/lyrics/3031lyr5.htm

Boney was a warrior

Leggi in italiano

A sea shanty  originally born as a street ballad on the Napoleonic wars: Napoleon embodied the hopes for independence and the revolutionary demands of the European populations and the American colonies (Ireland in the lead); loved by the poorer layers as well as by intellectuals, it is the romantic hero par excellence, in its greatness and its fall. Nowadays, no one siding with Napoleon, but two centuries before, the spirits flared up for him!

Napoleone Bonaparte

SEA SHANTY VERSION

AL Lloyd wrote “A short drag shanty. These simple shanties were uses when only a few strong pulls were needed, as in boarding tacks and sheets and bunting up a sail in furling, etc. Boney was popular both in British and American vessels and in one American version Bonaparte is made to cross the Rocky Mountains.”: there are many text versions that all portray the victories and defeats of Napoleon in a few lines. The melody recalls the Breton maritime song “Jean François de Nantes” (with text in French)
C’est Jean François de Nantes OUE, OUE, OUE
Gabier sur la fringante Oh mes bouées Jean François
(here)
The adventure “Asterix in Corsica” pays homage to the shanty giving the name Boneywasawarriorwayayix to the chief of the resistance in Corsica

Paul Clayton


Boney(1) was a warrior,
Wey, hay, yah
A warrior, a tarrier(2),
John François (3)
Boney fought the Prussians,
Boney fought the Russians.
Boney went to Moscow,
across the ocean across the storm
Moscow was a-blazing
And Boney was a-raging.
Boney went to Elba
Boney he came back again.
Boney went to Waterloo
There he got his overthrow.
Boney he was sent away
Away in Saint Helena
Boney broke his heart and died
Away in Saint Helena

NOTES
1) Boney diminutive for Napoleon. The origin of the name is uncertain may mean “the Lion of Naples”, the first illustrious name was that of Cardinal Napoleone Orsini (at the time of Pope Boniface VIII)
2) terrier = mastiff
3) or Jonny Franswor! quote from the Breton maritime song Jean-François de Nantes

.. the punk-rock version with irony
Jack Shit in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI 2006

I
Boney(1) was a warrior
A warrior a terrier(2)
Boney beat the Prussians
The Austrians, the Russians
Boney went to school in France
He learned to make the Russians dance
Boney marched to Moscow
Across the Alps through ice and snow.
II
Boney was a Frenchy man
But Boney had to turn again
So he retreated back again
Moscow was in ruins then
He beat the Prussians squarely
He whacked the English nearly
He licked them in Trafalgar’s Bay(1)
Carried his main topm’st away
III
Boney went a cruising
Aboard the Billy Ruffian(2)
Boney went to Saint Helen’s
He never came back again
They sent him into exile
He died on Saint Helena’s Isle
Boney broke his heart and died
In Corsica he wished he stayed

NOTES
1) The battle of Trafalgar saw the British outnumbered but Nelson’s unconventional maneuver (a position called in military jargon to T) displaced the enemy line up arranged in a long line (the excellent study in see), the only blow inflicted by the French was the death of Nelson. England was an unequaled naval power for the French and the Spanish, so Napoleon renounced the invasion of Great Britain who became the mistress of the seas until the First World War
2) the ship that brought Napoleon into exile on Saint Helena was Bellerephon but the name was crippled in Billy Ruffian or Billy Ruff’n by his sailors not sufficiently well-known to appreciate the references to Greek mythology.

JOHN SHORT VERSION


The authors write in the short Sharp Shanties project notes “Short’s words were few—a mere two and a half verses—but sufficient to indicate that his, like every other version of the shanty, essentially followed Napoleon Bonaparte’s life story to a greater or lesser extent depending on the length of the job in hand (although, as Colcord points out, some versions introduced inventive variations on his life). We have simply borrowed some (of the true) verses from other versions—but by no means all that were available!.. Perhaps, we are again dealing with a shanty that changed its purpose—Jackie has chosen a slower rendition which may be more appropriate to the time. Sharp noted: “Mr. Short sang ‘Bonny’ not ’Boney’, which is the more usual pronunciation; while his rendering of ’John’ was something between the French ’Jean’ and the English ’John’.” (tratto da qui)

Jackie Oates from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 2

Boney was a warrior,
Wey, hay, yah
A bulling fighting tarrier,
John François
First he fought the Russians
then he fought the Prussians.
Boney went to Moscow,
Moscow was on fire oh.
We licked him in Trafalgar’s
Billy ??
Boney went to Elba
he came back to make another show
Boney went to Waterloo
and than he maked his overthrow.
Boney went to a-cruising
Aboard the Billy Ruffian.
Boney went to Saint Helena
Boney he didn’t get back
Boney broke his heart and died
in Corsica he should stay
Boney was a general
A ruddy, snotty general.

An interesting version in the folk environment comes from Maddy Prior who sings it like a nursery rhyme with the cannon shots and the drum roll in the background
Maddy Prior from Ravenchild 1999


Boney was a warrior
Wey, hey, ah
A warrior, a terrier
John François
He planned a distant enterprise
A great and distant enterprise.
He is off to fight the Russian bear
He plans to drive him from his lair.
They left with banners all ablaze
The heads of Europe stood amazed.
He thinks he’ll beat the Russkies
And the bonny bunch of roses. (1)

NOTES
1) english soldiers

FRENCH SHANTY: Jean-François de Nantes

Les Naufragés live

C’est Jean-François de Nantes
Oué, oué, oué,
Gabier de la Fringante
Oh ! mes bouées, Jean-François
Débarque de la campagne
Fier comme un roi d’Espagne
En vrac dedans sa bourse
Il a vingt mois de course
Une montre, une chaîne
Qui vaut une baleine
Branl’bas chez son hôtesse
Carambole et largesses
La plus belle servante
L’emmène dans la soupente
En vida la bouteille
Tout son or appareille
Montre et chaîne s’envolent
Attrape la vérole
A l’hôpital de Nantes
Jean-François se lamente
Et les draps de sa couche
Déchire avec sa bouche
Il ferait de la peine
Même à son capitaine
Pauvr’ Jean-François de Nantes
Gabier de la Fringante.

LINK
https://anglofolksongs.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/boney-was-a-warrior/
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/boney.html http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/boney.html http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/boneywas.htm http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=84540 https://mudcat.org/detail_pf.cfm?messages__Message_ID=1560890
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/french.htm

Puck Fair: a rebellious billy-goat

Leggi in italiano

In the Irish village of Killorglin, County Kerry (South-West Ireland), the most curious feast is celebrate in August: a wild goat is brought to the village and crowned king for three days and three nights (10, 11 and 12 August) . Put unfortunately in a cage, he is hoisted on a high scaffolding that dominates the houses of the village, to look curiously the activities to which his subjects are dedicated: up there, although imprisoned, the beak is abundantly fed of food and water, and at the end of the fair he is returned to his mountain!

VIDEO

VIDEO

KILLORGLIN FAIR

The fair is full of events: horse fair, livestock, craft stalls, street performers, music, parades with the band, dance and fireworks. As is the case with these traditional festivals, the origins are remote and lost in the Middle Ages, so legends are never lacking: the origins are presumably related to the Celtic religion when to celebrate a good harvest they interceded with the god Lughsee more); the legend tells of two rival clans, and of a mountain beak that has had the promptness to warn the village from the armed attack; so the warriors of the village in turn armed themselves and prepared their defense, succeeding in defeating the enemy clan. The beak instead of roasting was crowned King Puck and taken to parade. Other stories bring the legend back to the times of Oliver Cromwell and the “invaders” become the English who went to Ireland to subdue the Irish to the Crown. The soldiers bothered a group of goats, but the head of the pack the “puck” instead of fleeing to the hills, rushed to the town of Killorglin to “warn” the inhabitants.

Other legends indicate the origin of King Puck at the beginning of the nineteenth century: the fair was already flourishing and, as usual, the sellers paid heavy tax to local lord; when the British government made illegal to impose tolls at livestock, horse and sheep fairs, attorney Daniel O’Connell suggested to devote the fair exclusively to goats, as they were not mentioned in the document (August 10, 1808 ); and to show of good faith, a goat was hoisted on a stage at the top of the fair banner.

Historically the fair has obtained legal status from King James I of England and Ireland (and James VI of Scotland) in 1603.

re capro
“Kings may come and Kings may go. But King Puck goes on forever.” The sculpture was inaugurated on August 5, 2001

THE GOATS IN MYTHOLOGY

Heidrun

The goat is not an unusual animal in the Celtic tradition and generally represents fertility. The Amaltea goat fed baby Zeus and the Norse goat Heidrun dispenses mead from its udders to the Valalla warriors.
Fauns and satyrs in Greek and Latin mythology personify sexual desire and libido, the horned god with deer antlers or goat-ram horns became the syncretic god of pre-Christian religions and lent his image to the Devil.

Thus in mythology and religions, the female of goat was represented with a positive image, symbol of nourishment, fertility and abundance, while the male of goat had negative connotations.

In Irish folklore, the bocánach (a goblin-goat) infests the battlefields while in the Scottish Highlands the Glaistig (half woman and half goat) is a of the guardian waters of the cattle. With long, beautiful blonde hair, she hides her animal bottom under a long green dress and attracts men with a song or dance to drink their blood, but in many parts of Scotland, glaistig are considered protectors of livestock and of shepherds, as well as of children left alone by their mothers watching over grazing animals. (see more)

gruagach

An Poc ar Buile – The Mad Billy Goat

The song was composed by Dónal Ó Mulláin (1880-1965) in 1940, and made famous in the 60s by Seán Ó Sé: singer-farmer of Scrahans, violin and organ player, as well as a gifted dancer, he composed poems and songs in gaelic that were prized and immediately become popular.
Ar buile = bulling means “being angry” that the term in Irish Gaelic translates as “madness, frenzy”.
The beak thus becomes the symbol of the combative and indomitable Irish spirit!

The Chieftains from Water from the Well 2000

Liam Devally 1966 (what a voice!)

Gaelic Storm from Tree 2001

English translation
I
As I set out with me pike in hand To Dromore(1) town to join a meithil (2) Who should I meet but a tan puck goat(3)
And he’s roaring mad in ferocious mettle.
Chorus
Aill-il-lu puill-il-iu – Aill-il-lu it’s the mad puck goat.
II
He chased me over bush and weed And thru the bog the running proceeded,
‘Til he caught his horns in a clump of gorse
And on his back I jumped unheeded.
III
He did not leave a rock that had a passage through
Which he did not run with force to destroy me
And then he gave the greatest leap
To the big slope of Faille Bríce…
IV
When the sergeant stood in Rochestown(4)
With a force of guards to apprehend us
The goat he tore his trousers down And made rags of his breeches and new suspenders
V
In Dingle(5) Town the next afternoon The parish priest addressed the meeting
And swore it was The Devil himself He’d seen ridin’ on the poc ar buile
Irish gaelic
I
Ag gabháil dom sior chun Droichead Uí Mhóradha
Píce im dhóid ‘s mé ag dul i meithil
Cé casfaí orm i gcuma ceoidh
Ach pocán crón is é ar buile…
[curfá] Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!
Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!
II
Do ritheamar trasna trí ruillógach,
Is do ghluais an comhrac ar fud na muinge,
Is treascairt do bhfuair sé sna turtóga
Chuas ina ainneoin ina dhrom le fuinneamh…
III
Níor fhág sé carraig go raibh scót ann
Ná gur rith le fórsa chun mé a mhilleadh,
S’Ansan sea do cháith sé an léim ba mhó.
Le fána mhór na Faille Bríce…
IV
Bhí garda mór i mBaile an Róistigh
Is bhailigh fórsa chun sinn a chlipeadh
Do bhuail sé rop dá adhairc sa tóin ann
S’dá bhríste nua do dhein sé giobail…
V
In Daingean Uí Chúis le haghaidh an tráthnóna
Bhí an sagart paróiste amach ‘nár gcoinnibh
Is é dúirt gurbh é an diabhal ba Dhóigh leis
A ghaibh an treo ar phocán buile…

NOTES
1) Dromore (County of Tyrone, Northern Ireland) in 1798 was a notorious den of rebels so whoever braced the pike did it to fight against the British
2) Meithil (pronuncia MEH-hill) = work gang is a group of farmers who go to help for an “extraordinary” job in the nearby farm. In America, tradition is still rooted and is called “barn raising”
3) a crazy goat !! that is the billy goat (also called beak).
4) Cork County of Munster
5) Dingle (County of Kerry) and its territory were the scene of the “Second Desmond Rebellion” (1579-80)

LINK
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMANF6_King_Puck_Killorglin_County_Kerry_Ireland
http://www.irishpage.com/songs/pocbuile.htm
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Irish/AnPocArBuile.html
http://celtana.ie/tag/daniel-oconnell/http://puckfair.ie/historyorigins
http://amayodruid.blogspot.it/2011_06_01_archive.html
http://stancarey.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/bulling-ar-buile-in-irish-english/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=43534 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27881

Pulling the dulse

Leggi in italiano

For centuries people living along the coasts have learned to collect, for habitual consumption, different qualities of algae.
In particular in Scotland and Ireland, dulse algae and Irish moss have always been part of the diet of coastal inhabitants.

dulse_3276643cSimilar to a little hand with the open fingers of a purple red, the dulse algae grows along the coasts of the North Atlantic and the North-Western Pacific and it is a superfood, rich iron, calcium, potassium vitamins, amino acids (high quality protein ) and mineral salts. Eaten raw it has an elastic consistency like chewingum and as such was consumed by the English sailors of the seventeenth century who chewed it instead of tobacco. It has a very salty taste, also called spicy and is a very versatile food.

DULSING

The dulse algae are harvested mainly in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Scandinavia, Iceland and Brittany in the months between June and October during the low tide and they are sold in leaves or minced: the harvesters (in danger of extinction) leave the first hours of morning at high tide, when the sea withdraw they hand-picked dulse from rocks. For self-consumption, the collection of small quantities is done directly on the shore, among the rocks. The algae are then laid out on the beach to dry, at the end they are rolled up in large bales and are brought to the production plants for treatment and packaging.
It is essential that the waters of the sea where the harvest takes place are unpolluted (algae absorb large amounts of pollutants -fertilizers and heavy metals, so they are also good sweepers from the sea ..) and that the production chain guarantees high quality standards .

ADÓ, ADÉ

“Pulling the sea-dulse” is a worker song from the Hebrides collected by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser and translated into English for her “Songs of the Hebrides”

Quadriga Consort (solist voice Elisabeth Kaplan)

The Salt Flats from The Salt Flats 2011  ♪
Same melody but new arrangement, from Northern Ireland (Belfast) in the notes they wrote: “Pulling the Sea Dulse is a working tune detailing the harvest seaweed at the shore. It is surprisingly upbeat and the Dulse in question resonated with childhood memories of Dulse and Yellow Man at the Auld Lammas Fair in Northern Ireland.” (see more)


CHORUS
Adó, Adé
Clings dulse to the sea rock
Clings heart to the loved one
Be’t high tide or low tide
Adó, Adé.
I
Pulling the dulse
by the sea rocks at low tide,
Ne’er pull I thy love(1), lad,
be’t high tide or low.
II
Shoreward the sea mew
comes flying at low tide,
But seaward my heart flies out
seaward to thee(2).

NOTES
1) she keeps loyalty to his lover
2) probably emigrated to America or embarked on some ship as a sailor (for example on a whaling boat).

THE SEAWEED-GATHERER IN IRISH BALLADRY

LINK
http://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/it/arca-del-gusto-slow-food/alga-duileasg/
http://www.materiarinnovabile.it/art/100/Alghe_meno_raccolta_piu_produzione

Ould Lammas Fair ( Ballycastle)

Leggi in italiano

The longest (as an extension) fair in Northern Ireland that runs along the central street of the town of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim is held on the last Monday and Tuesday in August: it is the Lammas Fair whose origins date back to the seventeenth century .

The Lammas Fairs as they say in the British Isles or the Country fairs as they are more commonly called in America are the big fairs that take place after the wheat harvest: already Medieval Fairs connected to the patron saint who attracted crowds of visitors and street vendors.
As the fairs grew, all kinds of entertainment were added: country games and tournaments, but also shows.
At one time it was mainly a livestock market (especially horses) where farmers gathered to sell and buy summer products, but also an important socialization event for isolated farms.
In the season of abundance, the earth was thanked for its fruits, and joy was shared with music, dance and games. In the Celtic tradition it was Lughnasad, the time of the plenary assemblies, of great markets and fairs, of horse races together with other games for the warriors, but also of poetic and musical certams in homage to peace.

Ould Lammas Fair

A fair number of Celtic ballads are about a market day, particularly a fair day, “Ould Lammas Fair” was written by John Henry MacAuley of Ballycastle, owner in the 20-30 years of the Bog Oak Shop on Ann Street: he was a violinist and a skilled wood carver, renowned for his music and his sculptures. Bog oak (or more generally bog wood) is a wood that has been imprisoned in the marshy mud and has been “mummified” (dried) by the natural acidic processes in such a way as to present itself compact and without cracks, particularly suitable for fine workmanship. In English it is said “morta”.
Ottilie Patterson 1966 (which omits the verses written in brackets)

Ruby Murray from ‘Irish and Proud of it’ 1962

I
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen
who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy
buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle-O
(Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O )
CHORUS
At the ould Lammas Fair boys
were you ever there
Were you ever
at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
to some Dulse and Yellow Man(1)
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O

II
In Flander’s fields afar
while resting from the War(2)
We drank Bon Sante (3)
to the Flemish lassies O
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky
from eating Yellow Man
(As we passed the silver Margy (4)
and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O)
III
There’s a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde (5)
It’s lit by love and sunshine
where the heather honey’s made
With the bees ever humming (6)
and the children’s joyous call
Resounds across the valley
as the shadows fall
(Sure I take my fiddle down
and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem’ry
of the Lammas Fair )

NOTE
1) dulse and yellowman (red alga and toffee) is a typical combination of the fair, a street food with sweet and savory taste by biting a gummy red seaweed dried with a sticky yellow toffee.
Yellowman is a specialty of the fair in the county of Antrim: it is a toffee with a strong yellow color: the preparation is based on sugar, butter, corn syrup, water with the addition of bicarbonate and vinegar to obtain the honeycomb effect (aerated) and the yellow color. The preparation is simple but you need to be careful about the temperature because the caramel sugar does not burn (or crystallize because it is too mixed); the caramel must reach a temperature of 150 ° C to be at the “hard crack” stage (when it has cooled it will break into relatively hard pieces)
Pulling the sea-dulse
2) the first world war which MacAuley did not participate in because he was disabled following an accident on his father’s farm when he was a boy
3) French for toasting
4)  Margy river
5) Knocklayde is a hilltop overlooking Ballycastle excellent vantage point to admire the sea and the surrounding countryside
6) the image recalls Yeats and his Innisfree isle

The fair in a vintage movie of the 1950s

LINK
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/shemoved.htm
https://www.ballycastlehistory.com/ould-lammas-fair-by-margaret-bell.html
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/ould-lammas-fair
https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/dulse-and-yellowman-northern-ireland
http://oakden.co.uk/yellowman/

Ould Lammas Fair

Read the post in English

La più lunga (come estensione) fiera dell’Irlanda del Nord che si snoda lungo la via centrale della cittadina di Ballycastle, Co. Antrim si tiene l’ultimo lunedì e martedì di agosto: è la Lammas Fair le cui origini risalgono al XVII secolo.

Le Lammas Fairs come si dice nelle isole britanniche o le Country fairs come sono più comunemente chiamate in America sono le grandi fiere che si svolgono dopo il raccolto del grano: Già Fiere Medievali  collegate al Santo protettore che attiravano folle di visitatori e i venditori ambulanti.
Man mano che le fiere si ingrandivano si aggiunsero divertimenti di ogni tipo: giochi campestri e tornei, ma anche spettacoli.
Un tempo principalmente mercato del bestiame (in particolare cavalli) dove gli agricoltori si ritrovavano per vendere e comprare i prodotti dell’estate, ma anche un importante evento di socializzazione per le fattorie isolate.

Nella stagione dell’abbondanza si ringraziava la terra per i suoi frutti, e si condivideva la gioia con musica, danze, giochi. Nella tradizione celtica era Lughnasad, il momento delle assemblee plenarie, di grandi mercati e fiere, delle corse di cavalli unitamente ad altri giochi nei quali si cimentavano i guerrieri, ma anche di certami poetici e musicali in omaggio alla pace.

Ould Lammas Fair

Un discreto numero di ballate celtiche hanno come sfondo un giorno di mercato o più in particolare un giorno di fiera, Ould Lammas Fair
è stata scritta da John Henry MacAuley di  Ballycastle, proprietario negli anni 20-30 del Bog Oak Shop di Ann Street: era un violinista e un abile intagliatore di legno rinomato sia per la sua musica che per le sue sculture. Il Bog oak ( o più in generale bog wood) è un legno che è rimasto imprigionato nel fango paludoso e che è stato “mummificato” (essiccato) dai processi naturali di acidità in modo tale da presentarsi compatto e privo di fessurazioni, particolarmente adatto a lavorazioni di pregio. In inglese si dice morta. Più conosciuto da noi è il legno portato dal mare (in inglese definito con una parola sola on una sola parola, driftwood).
Ottilie Patterson 1966 (che omette i versi scritti tra parentesi)

Ruby Murray in ‘Irish and Proud of it’ 1962


I
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen
who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy
buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair
in Ballycastle-O
(Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O )
CHORUS
At the ould Lammas Fair boys
were you ever there
Were you ever
at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
to some Dulse and Yellow Man(1)
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O

II
In Flander’s fields afar
while resting from the War(2)
We drank Bon Sante (3)
to the Flemish lassies O
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky
from eating Yellow Man
(As we passed the silver Margy (4)
and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O)
III
There’s a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde (5)
It’s lit by love and sunshine
where the heather honey’s made
With the bees ever humming (6)
and the children’s joyous call
Resounds across the valley
as the shadows fall
(Sure I take my fiddle down
and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem’ry
of the Lammas Fair )
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Alla vecchia fiera di Lammas
a Ballycastle una volta,
incontrai una graziosa ragazza
che mi ha attizzato il cuore.
Sorrideva al suo papà
che comprava agnelli da Paddy Roe
Alla vecchia fiera di Lammas
a Ballycastle
(ovvio che  andai a trovarla a casa
quella sera con la luna che  speldeva luminosa, alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle
Coro
Siete mai stati alla vecchia fiera di Lammas ragazzi,
siete mai stati alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle?
Avete regalato alla vostra Mary Ann
Dulse e Yellowman
alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle

II
Nei campi delle Fiandre, mentre riposavamo lontano dalla Guerra
bevevamo alla salute
delle ragazze fiamminghe;
ma la scena che ossessiona i miei ricordi è baciare Mary Ann, le sue labbra imbronciate tutte appiccicose per aver mangiato Yellowman
mentre superavamo l’argeneo Margy
e passeggiavamo per il corso
alla vecchia fiera di Lammas a Ballycastle
III
C’è una bella casupola sui pendii del bel Knocklayde
riscaldata dall’amore e dal sole
dove si produce il miele d’erica
con le api sempre ronzanti
e le grida allegre dei bambini
risuonano per la valle
mentre scende la sera;
prendo il mio violino
e la mia Mary che sorride,
richiama un felice ricordo
della Fiera di Lammas

NOTE
1) dulse e yellowman (alga rossa e caramelle mou) è un’accoppiata tipica della fiera, uno street food con un abbinamento di gusto dolce e salato che viene addentando una gommosa alga rossa essiccata insieme a un appiccicoso toffee giallo-
Yellowman (in italiano l’uomo giallo) è una specialità da fiera nella contea di Antrim: è un toffee dallo spiccato colore giallo: la preparazione è a base di zucchero, burro, sciroppo di mais (corn syrup), acqua con l’aggiunta di bicarbonato e aceto per ottenere l’effetto honeycomb (areato) e il colore giallo. La preparazione è semplice ma occorre stare attenti alla temperatura perché lo zucchero caramelli senza bruciare (o si cristallizzi perché troppo mescolato); il caramello deve raggiungere la temperatura di 150° C per essere allo stadio definito “hard crack”, (quando dopo essere stato raffreddato si romperà in pezzi relativamente duri)
Approfondimento sull’alga dulse 
2) la prima guerra mondiale a cui peraltro MacAuley non partecipò essendo disabile a seguito di un incidente nella fattoria paterna quando era ragazzo
3) francese per toasting
4) il fiume Margy
5) Knocklayde è una montagnola che sovrasta Ballycastle ottimo punto panoramico per ammirare il mare e la campagna circostante
6) l’immagine richiama Yeats e la sua Isola di Innisfree

La fiera in un filmato d’epoca anni 1950

FONTI
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/shemoved.htm
https://www.ballycastlehistory.com/ould-lammas-fair-by-margaret-bell.html
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html
http://www.countysongs.ie/song/ould-lammas-fair
https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/dulse-and-yellowman-northern-ireland
http://oakden.co.uk/yellowman/

Blow the Wind Southerly

Read the post in English

Blow the Wind Southerly card, disegno di Natalie Reid

Una vecchia melodia del Border (Northumbrian Folk Song) “Blow The Wind Southerly” con un testo andato in stampa nel 1834 nella raccolta The Bishoprick Garland compilata da Sir Cuthbert Sharpe, resa famosa da Kathleen Ferrier (che la registrò nel 1949); così scrive Robert Cummings “il testo di Blow the Wind Southerly u pubblicato per la prima volta in Inghilterra in una raccolta del 1834, canzoni, ballate e vari altri scritti, intitolata “The Bishoprick Garland” a cura di J. Ritson. In realtà, solo una piccola parte di quella poesia è stata usata per questa canzone tradizionale. La melodia probabilmente precede le origini del testo del diciannovesimo secolo. Gli autori di entrambe le parole e la musica sono anonimi, ma la canzone può essere rintracciata nella Contea del Northumbria, nel nord dell’Inghilterra. La piacevole melodia del ritmo è adorabile nel suo fascino sentimentale e nei modi spensierati e folk. Ha un contorno a forma di U [il fraseggio della melodia è a forma di U] e, stranamente, la sua frase di chiusura ha una sorprendente somiglianza con le ultime note della famosa melodia di “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. I due temi sono d’altra parte di una diversa espressione emotiva, Blow the Wind Southerly è a stento gioviale nel suo significato di desiderio, ma è dolce e leggero nella sua malinconia. Il testo parla di una giovane donna che implora il vento di soffiare a sud per portare a riva la nave del suo amante. Questa deliziosa canzone piacerà alla maggior parte degli ascoltatori interessati alla canzone tradizionale.” (tratto da qui)

Una melodia romantica ma triste che è eseguita spesso nel canto lirico con ensemble orchestrali o cameristici: sebbene la versione in frammento non sia esplicita, sappiamo che si tratta di un lamento, l’uomo è morto in mare e la donna che canta ritorna ossessivamente a scrutare il mare nella vana speranza del suo ritorno.

Andreas Scholl & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Wayfaring Stranger – Folksongs 2001

Lisa Hannigan live, 


Chorus
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow the wind south
o’er the bonny blue sea;
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow bonnie breeze, my lover to me.
I
They told me last night
there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down
to the deep rolling sea;
But my eye could not see
it wherever might be it,
The barque (1) that is bearing
my lover to me.
II
I stood by the lighthouse
the last time we parted,
Till darkness came down
o’er the deep rolling sea,
And no longer I saw
the bright bark of my lover.
Blow, bonny breeze
and bring him to me.
III
Oh, is it not sweet to hear
the breeze singing,
As lightly it comes
o’er the deep rolling sea?
But sweeter and dearer by far
when ‘tis bringing,
The barque of my true love
in safety to me.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Soffia vento del Sud,
del Sud, del Sud
soffia vento del sud
sul mare azzurro
Soffia vento del Sud,
del Sud, del Sud
portami dolce brezza, il mio amore
I
Mi hanno detto ieri sera
che c’erano delle navi in vista
e mi sono precipitata giù
verso il mare profondo,
ma i miei occhi non riuscivano a scorgere dove potesse essere
il brigantino che porta
il mio amore verso di me
II
Stavo accanto al faro
l’ultima volta che ci siamo separati finchè sopraggiunse l’oscurità
sul mare profondo
e non vedevo più
il bel brigantino del mio amore.
Soffia dolce brezza
e portalo da me!
III
Oh non è dolce sentire
mormorare la brezza
mentre leggera
viene sul mare profondo?
Ma di gran lunga più dolce e cara quando porta
il brigantino del mio amore
in salvo da me.

NOTE
1) barque significa genericamente barca (bark) e nello specifico indica un brigantino (o brigantino a palo)

Stessa melodia per THE BOSTON COME-ALL-YE

FONTI
https://musescore.com/churchorganist/scores/156777
https://www.8notes.com/scores/3606.asp

Blow The Wind Southerly

Blow the Wind Southerly card, design from Natalie Reid

Leggi in italiano

An old melody of the Border (Northumbrian Folk Song) “Blow The Wind Southerly” with a text printed in 1834 in the collection “The Bishoprick Garland” compiled by Sir Cuthbert Sharpe, made famous by Kathleen Ferrier (who recorded it in 1949); Robert Cummings writes  “The text to Blow the Wind Southerly was first published in England in an 1834 collection of songs, ballads, and various other writings called The Bishoprick Garland and was edited by J. Ritson. Actually, only a small part of that poem was used for this traditional song. The melody probably predates the early nineteenth century origins of the text. The authors of both the words and music are anonymous, but the song can be traced to Northumbrian County in northern England. The leisurely paced melody is lovely in its sentimental charm and carefree, folk-ish manner. It has a U-shaped contour, and, oddly, its closing phrase bears a striking resemblance to the last notes in the famous melody to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The two themes are otherwise of a different emotional cast, Blow the Wind Southerly is hardly jovial in its sense of longing, but it is gentle and light in its melancholy. The text speaks of a young woman beseeching the wind to blow southerly to bring her lover’s ship to shore. This delightful song will appeal to most listeners with an interest in traditional song.” (from here)

A romantic but sad melody that is often performed in lyric singing with orchestral or chamber ensembles: although the fragmented version is not explicit, we know that it is a lament, the man died at sea and the singing woman returns obsessively to scrutinize the sea in the vain hope of his return.

Andreas Scholl & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from Wayfaring Stranger – Folksongs 2001

Lisa Hannigan live, 


Chorus
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow the wind south
o’er the bonny blue sea;
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow bonnie breeze, my lover to me.
I
They told me last night
there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down
to the deep rolling sea;
But my eye could not see
it wherever might be it,
The barque (1) that is bearing
my lover to me.
II
I stood by the lighthouse
the last time we parted,
Till darkness came down
o’er the deep rolling sea,
And no longer I saw
the bright bark of my lover.
Blow, bonny breeze
and bring him to me.
III
Oh, is it not sweet to hear
the breeze singing,
As lightly it comes
o’er the deep rolling sea?
But sweeter and dearer by far
when ‘tis bringing,
The barque of my true love
in safety to me.

NOTE
1) barque generally means boat (bark) and specifically indicates a brig 

Same melody of THE BOSTON COME-ALL-YE

LINK
https://musescore.com/churchorganist/scores/156777
https://www.8notes.com/scores/3606.asp

Windy old weather (Fishes Lamentation)

Leggi in italiano

The songs of the sea run from shore to shore, in particular “Windy old weather”, which according to Stan Hugill is a song by Scottish fishermen entitled “The Fish of the Sea”, also popular on the North-East coasts of the USA and Canada.
TITLES: Fishes Lamentation, Fish in the Sea, Haisboro Light Song (Up Jumped the Herring), The Boston Come-All-Ye, Blow Ye Winds Westerly, Windy old weather

A forebitter sung occasionally as a sea shanty, redating back to 1700 and probably coming from some broadsides with the title “The Fishes’ Lamentation“. “This song appears on some broadsides as The Fishes’ Lamentation and seems to have survived as a sailor’s chantey or fisherman’s song. Whall (1910), Colcord (1938) and Hugill (1964) include it in their chantey books. We also recorded it from Bob Roberts on board his Thames barge, The Cambria. It also appears in the Newfoundland and Nova Scotia collections of Ken Peacock and Helen Creighton“. (from here)

A fishing ship is practicing trawling on a full moon night, and as if by magic, the fishes start talking and warning sailors about the arrival of a storm. The fishes described are all belonging to the Atlantic Ocean and are quite commonly found in the English Channel and the North Sea (as well as in the Mediterranean Sea).
The variants can be grouped into two versions

FIRST VERSION  Blow the Man down tune

In this version the fish warn (or threaten) the fishermen on the arrival of the storm, urging them to head to the ground. The text is reported in “Oxford Book of Sea Songs”, Roy Palmer

Bob Roberts, from Windy old weather, 1958

David Tinervia · Nils Brown · Sean Dagher · Clayton Kennedy · David Gossage from Assassin’s Creed – Black Flag
“Windy Old Weather”

Dan Zanes &  Festival Five Folk from Sea Music 2003 a fresh version between country and old time.

I
As we were a-fishing
off Happisburgh(1) light
Shooting and hauling
and trawling all night,
In the windy old weather,
stormy old weather
When the wind blows
we all pull together
II
When up jumped a herring,
the queen (king) of the sea(2)
Says “Now, old skipper,
you cannot catch me,”
III
We sighted a Thresher(3)
-a-slashin’ his tail,
“Time now Old Skipper
to hoist up your sail.”
IV (4)
And up jumps a Slipsole
as strong as a horse(5),
Says now, “Old Skipper
you’re miles off course.”
V
Then along comes plaice
-who’s got spots on his side,
Says “Not much longer
-these seas you can ride.”
VI
Then up rears a conger(6)
-as long as a mile,
“Winds coming east’ly”
-he says with a smile.
VII
I think what these fishes
are sayin’ is right,
We’ll haul up our gear(7)
now an’ steer for the light.

NOTES
1) Happisburgh lighthouse (“Hazeboro”) is located in the English county of ​​Norfolk, it was built in 1790 and painted in white and red stripes; It is managed by a foundation that deals with the maintenance of more than one hundred lighthouses throughout Great Britain. 112 are the steps to reach the tower that still works without the help of man. The headlights at the beginning were two but the lower one was dismantled in 1883 due to coastal erosion. The two lighthouses marked a safe passage through the Haagborough Sands
2) In the Nordic countries herrings (fresh or better in brine or smoked) are served in all sauces from breakfast to dinner. “It is a fish that loves cold seas and lives in numerous herds.The herring fishing in the North Seas has been widespread since the Middle Ages.It is clearly facilitated by the quantity of fish and the limited range of their movements. trawlers and start the fishing season on May 1, to close it after two months.In all the countries of North America and Northern Europe this fishing has an almost sacred character, because it has been for years the providence of fishermen and is a real natural wealth In the Netherlands and Sweden, for example, the first day of herring fishing is organized in honor of the queen and is proclaimed a national holiday ” (from here)
3) Thresher shark thresher, thrasher, fox shark, alopius vulpinus.with a characteristic tail with a very elongated upper part (almost as much as the length of the body) that the animal uses as a whip to stun and overwhelm its prey. The name comes from Aristotle who considered this fish very clever, because he was skilled in escaping from the fishermen
4) the mackerel stanza is missing:
then along comes a mackerel with strips on his back
“Time now, old skipper, to shift yout main tack”
5) perhaps refers to halibut or halibut, of considerable size, has an oval and flattened body, similar to that of a large sole, with the eyes on the right side
6) the “conger” is a fish with an elongated body similar to eel but more robust, can reach a length of two or three meters and exceeds ten kilos of weight. It is a fundamental ingredient in the Livorno cacciucco dish!
7) another translation of the sentence could be: we recover our networks

SCOTTISH VERSION, Blaw the Wind Southerly tune

In this version the fish take possession of the ship, it seems the description of the ghost ship of “Davy Jone”, the evil spirit of the waters made so vividly in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”. An old Scottish melody accompanies a series of variations of the same song.
davy-jones

 

Quadriga Consort from Ship Ahoy, 2011 ♪ 

Michiel Schrey, Sean Dagher, Nils Brown from, Assasin’s Creed – Black Flag  titled “Fish in the sea” (stanzas from I to III and VIII)

I
Come all you young sailor men,
listen to me,
I’ll sing you a song
of the fish in the sea;
(Chorus)
And it’s…Windy weather, boys,
stormy weather, boys,
When the wind blows,
we’re all together, boys;
Blow ye winds westerly,
blow ye winds, blow,
Jolly sou’wester, boys,
steady she goes.
II
Up jumps the eel
with his slippery tail,
Climbs up aloft
and reefs the topsail.
III
Then up jumps the shark
with his nine rows of teeth,
Saying, “You eat the dough boys,
and I’ll eat the beef!”
IV
Up jumps the lobster
with his heavy claws,
Bites the main boom
right off by the jaws!
V
Up jumps the halibut,
lies flat on the deck
He says, ‘Mister Captain,
don’t step on my neck!’
VI
Up jumps the herring,
the king of the sea,
Saying, ‘All other fishes,
now you follow me!’
VII
Up jumps the codfish
with his chuckle-head (1),
He runs out up forward
and throws out the lead!
VIII
Up jumps the whale
the largest of all,
“If you want any wind,
well, I’ll blow ye a squall(2)!”

NOTES
1) literally “stupid head” is a common saying among the fishermen that the cod is stupid, because it does not recognize the bait and lets himself hoist docilely on board.
2) the fishermen were / are very superstitious men, in all latitudes, it takes little or nothing to attract misfortune in the sea, it is still a widespread belief that the devil or the evil spirit has power over the sea and storms.

AMERICAN VARIANT: THE BOSTON COME-ALL-YE

Of the second version, the best-known in America bears the title “The Boston as-all-ye” as collected by Joanna Colcord in her “Songs of American Sailormen” which she writes”There can be little doubt that [this] song, although it was sung throughout the merchant service, began life with the fishing fleet. We have the testimony of Kipling in Captains Courageous that it was a favourite within recent years of the Banks fishermen. It is known as The Fishes and also by its more American title of The Boston Come-All-Ye. The chorus finds its origin in a Scottish fishing song Blaw the Wind Southerly. A curious fact is that Captain Whall, a Scotchman himself, prints this song with an entirely different tune, and one that has no connection with the air of the Tyneside keelmen to which our own Gloucester fishermen sing it. The version given here was sung by Captain Frank Seeley.”

Peggy Seeger from  Whaler Out of New Bedford, 1962

I
Come all ye young sailormen
listen to me,
I’ll sing you a song
of the fish of the sea.
Then blow ye winds westerly,
westerly blow;
we’re bound to the southward,
so steady she goes
.
II
Oh, first came the whale,
he’s the biggest of all,
he clumb up aloft,
and let every sail fall.
III
Next came the mackerel
with his striped back,
he hauled aft the sheets
and boarded each tack(1).
IV
The porpoise(2) came next
with his little snout,
he grabbed the wheel,
calling “Ready? About!(3”
V
Then came the smelt(4),
the smallest of all,
he jumped to the poop
and sung out, “Topsail, haul!”
VI
The herring came saying,
“I’m king of the seas!
If you want any wind,
I’ll blow you a breeze.”
VII
Next came the cod
with his chucklehead (5),
he went to the main-chains
to heave to the lead.
VIII
Last come the flounder(6)
as flat as the ground,
saying, “Damn your eyes, chucklehead, mind how you sound”!

NOTES
1) In sailing, tack is a corner of a sail on the lower leading edge. Separately, tack describes which side of a sailing vessel the wind is coming from while under way—port or starboard. Tacking is the maneuver of turning between starboard and port tack by bringing the bow (the forward part of the boat) through the wind. (from Wiki)
2) porpoise is often considered as a small dolphin, has a distinctive rounded snout and has no beak like dolphins
3) it  is the helmsman shouting
4 ) smelt it (osmero) is a small fish that lives in the Channel and in the North Sea; its name derives from the fact that its flesh gives off an unpleasant odor
5) literally “stupid head” is a common saying among the fishermen that the cod is stupid, because it does not recognize the bait and lets himself hoist docilely on board.

Blow the Wind Southerly

LINK
http://www.pubblicitaitalia.com/ilpesce/2013/1/12262.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/fishes.html
http://moodpoint.com/lyrics/unknown/song_of_the_fishes.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/windy-old-weather.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/cyril.tawney/songs/windyoldweather.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=149445
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49498
https://thesession.org/tunes/11479
http://bestpossiblejob.blogspot.it/2008/09/come-all-ye-young-and-not-so-young.html

Tra terra e cielo, la cultura nei paesi dei Celti