Archivi tag: Ewan MacColl

The Dreadnought shanty

Leggi in italiano

A sea song about The Dreadnought an American packet ship launched in 1853, flagship of the “Red Cross Line”, dubbed “The Wild Boat of the Atlantic”: competing companies like the Swallow Tail and the Black Ball never succeeded in exceed its performance. Yet the era of the great sailing ships was over and her life seems to be the swan song.

A red cross, the company’s logo, was drawn on her fore-topsail, and she could carry up to 200 passengers.

Montague Dawson (1890–1973) The Red Cross – ‘Dreadnought

The Dreadnought sailed into the Atlantic, mostly on the New York-Liverpoo route, to her sinking to the infamous Cape Horn after she set sail from Liverpool to San Francisco (1869).

Derry Down, Down, Derry Down

According to Stan Hugill this song was a forebitter sung on the melody known as “La Pique” or “The Flash Frigate” (which recalls “Villikins and His Dinah”). Even Kipling in his book “Captains Courageous” has it sing by fishermen on the Banks of Newfoundland.
In the capstan shanty version a longer refrain is added, sung in chorus
Bound away! Bound away! 
where the wide [wild] waters flow,
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnaught we’ll go!

The melody with which the shanty is associated is not univocal, since the “The Dom Pedro” tune is also used. The forebitter version bears the refrain of a single verse, a nonsense phrase sometimes used in the most ancient ballads. The melody is sad, looking like a lament to the memory of a famous wrecked ship; while praising her merits it’s a farewell at the time of sailing ships, now outclassed by steam ships.

Ewan MacColl

Iggy Pop & Elegant Too  from “Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys” ANTI 2013


The Dreadnoughts,
the Vancouver band took its name not from the nineteenth-century packet ship but from an innovative battle ship called “armored monocaliber” developed since the early twentieth century (Dreadnought, from English “I fear nothing”)
(stanzas I, III, IV, V)

full version (here)
I
There’s a flash packet,
a flash packet of fame,
She hails to (from) New York
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She’s bound to the westward
where the strong winds blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the westward we go.
Derry down, down, down derry down.
II
Now, the Dreadnought
she lies in the river Mercey,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea;
Out around the Rock Light
where the salt tides do flow,
Bound away to to the westward
in the Dreadnought, we’ll go.
III (1)
(O, the Dreadnought’s a-howlin’
down the wild Irish Sea,
Her passengers merry,
with hearts full of glee,)
As sailors like lions
walk the decks to and fro,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!
 

IV (2)
O, the Dreadnought’s a-sailin’
the Atlantic so wide,
While the high roaring seas
roll along her black sides,
(With her sails tightly set
for the Red Cross to show,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!)
V
Now, a health to the Dreadnought,
to all her brave crew,
To bold Captain Samuel (3),
his officers, too,
Talk about your flash packets,
Swallowtail and Black Ball (4),
The Dreadnaught’s the flier
that outsails them all.

NOTES
1)  TheDreadnoughts sings:
With the gale at her back/ What a sight does she make
A skippin’ so merry/With the west in her wake
2)  the Dreadnoughts sings:
With her sails tight as wires/And the Black Flag to show
All away to the Dreadnought/To the westward we’ll go
3) her first captain was called Samuel Samuels,, “In his own words: “Swearing, which appeared to me so essential in the make-up of an officer, I found degrading in a gentleman and I prohibited its indulgence. I also insisted that the crew should be justly treated by the officers.” He seems to have known when to turn a blind eye to the particular brand of justice which had to be handed out to over-troublesome “packet rats” by his mates. To the passengers and his officers he was the model of the young clipper captain, respected, well-groomed and quietly spoken, but always perfectly self-confident and calm in an emergency. The Dreadnought undoubtedly owed her conspicuous success at a difficult time to the personality of her master.(from here) the Dreadnoughts sings ” To bold captain Willy”
4) companies competing in the “Red Cross Line”

STAN HUGILL VERSION

Hulton Clint sings it on the tune “Dom Pedro.” It is the most extensive version of the previous one, with some variations

I
There’s a saucy wild packet,
a packet of fame;
She belongs to New York,
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She is bound to the westward
where the wide water flow;
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.
Chorus
Derry down, down, down derry down
II
The time of her sailing
is now drawing nigh;
Farewell, pretty maids,
we must bid you good-bye;
Farewell to old England
and all we hold dear,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll steer.
III
And now we are hauling
out of Waterlock dock,
Where the boys and the girls
on the pierheads they do flock;
They will give us their cheers
as their tears they do flow,
Saying, “God bless the Dreadnought, where’er she may go!”
IV
Now, the Dreadnought she lies
in the Mersey so free,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea,
For to around that rock light
where the Mersey does flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
where’er we’ll go.
V
Now the Dreadnaught’s a-howling
down the wild Irish Sea,
Where the passengers are merry,
their hearts full of glee,
her sailors like tigers
walk the decks to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
VI
Now, the Dreadnought’s
a-sailing the Atlantic so wide,
While the high rolling seas
roll along her black sides,
With her topsails set taut
for the Red Cross to show
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
 

VII
Now the Dreadnought’s has reached the banks of Newfoundland,
Where the water’s so green
and the bottom so sand;
Where the fish in the waves
They swim to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
with the ice and the snow
VIII
Now the Dreadnought’s lying
on the long .. shore
??
as we have done before
? your main topsail ?
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
IX
And now we arrived
in New York once more,
We’ll go to the land we adore,
we call for strong liquors
and merry we’ll be
Drink to the health to the Dreadnought, where’er she may be.
X
So here’s health to the Dreadnought
and all her brave crew;
To bold Captain Samuels
and his officers too.
Talk about your flash packets, Swallowtail and Black Ball,
but the Dreadnought’s
he clipper to beat one and all
XI
Now my story is finish
and my tale it is told
forgive me, old shipmates,
if you think that I’m bold;
for this song was composed
while the watch was below
and at the health
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.

LINK
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LD13.html
http://www.shippingwondersoftheworld.com/dreadnought.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/sea-shanty/Dreadnought.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/dread.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/isingofa.htm
http://czteryrefy.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/eteksty/eng_flashfrigate.html
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/dreadnaught.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62355
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85200

Paddy West sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

A nineteenth-century rogue gallery of the sea inevitably includes also boarding house keeper (boarding masters) who were at the same time owners of pensions for sailors, to whom they provided lodging and boarding.
Most of them “encouraged” the sailor who had just landed with a pocket full of wages,lodging and feeding him in his propensity to drink with a lot of poor whiskey. After a couple of weeks of treatment the victim had run out of money and had to accept as soon as possible to embark again; at the time of signing the sailor received an advance equal to three months of pay in the form of promissory notes and our letch bought them at a discounted price, usually forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind: it was the sailor in fact to have to buy the necessary personal gear for the job and obviously the master of boarding was in league with the supplier and the value of the goods had doubled. The sailor was so double-plucked, upon arrival and departure!
But the most notorious names such as Rapper Brown, Shanghai Brown, Jack Ratcliff or Jackie Brown were scoundrels who hired some thieves or whores to steal from sailors just landed, taking advantage of their drunkenness, after which their gang took sailors back on board unconscious and the boarding master pocketed their advance.
This fraudulent enlistment was called shanghaiing and was mainly practiced in the north-west of the United States. The men who ran this “men’s trade” were called “crimps” and had no qualms to drug the beer of the victim with laudanum.

The authorities on the other hand were willing to turn a blind eye, because the mercantile companies needed to have sailors always available for the hardest work (like the whaling ship) and the most unfavorable routes as those of the Arctic seas.

PADDY WEST

A jesting forebitter / capstan shanty about a famous  boarding master of Liverpool, Stan Hugill says Padyy West (aka Paddy Doyle) was a “real live personage” in Great Howard Street.
Boarding houses are pensions for sailors, present in every large sea port. “They are held by boarding masters, of dubious reputation, which the sailors define as” recruiters “, who provide” indifferently lodging and boarding “. They often welcome sailors “on credit”. On the advance received by boarders at the time of enrollment, they recover for food and accommodation, and with the rest they provide them with poor quality clothing and equipment “. (Italo Ottonello)
Our Paddy to pocket a higher advance, he had invented an imaginative training school for sailors and transformed in a few days the novices in “able seamen”, so “Paddy Wester” is for a incapable sailor.

The British sailor’s uniform, regulated by the British Admiralty, dates back only to 1875, standardizing the uniform blue jacket and white trousers; even the commercial line companies were distinguished by the uniforms worn by the whole crew

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd from  Blow Boys Blow, 1957
A.L. Lloyd commented in the notes: “Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.
The sea literature of the nineteenth century is larded with tales of shanghaied seamen and corrupt boarding-house masters, who sent many a green hand to sea, swearing that they were experienced sailors. The most notorious was Paddy West, a Liverpool Irishman, who hat his fake seamen step across and old rope and walk around a cow’s horn so that he could claim that they had “crossed the line and rounded the horn.”

The tune is Tramps and Hawkers


I
Oh, as I was a-walkin’ down London Road (1),
I come to Paddy West’s house,
He gave me a feed of American hash and he called it Liverpool scouse.
He said, “There’s a ship that’s wantin’ hands,
and on her you quickly sign.
her mate is a bastard, the bosun’s worse, but she will suit you fine.”
Chorus (after each verse):
Take off your dungaree jackets (2)
and give yourselves a rest,

And we’ll think on them cold nor’westers that we had at Paddy West’s.
II
Well, when I’d had a feed, my boys,
the wind began to blow;
He sent me up in the attic,
the main-royal for to stow.
But when I got up in the attic,
no main-royal could I find,
So I turned around to the window
and I furled the window blind (3).
III
Now Paddy he piped all hands on deck, their stations for to man (4).
His wife stood in the doorway
with a bucket in her hand;
And Paddy sings out, “Now let ‘er rip (5)!” and she flung the water our way,
Sayin’, “Clew up (6) your fore t’gan’sl, boys, she’s takin’ in the spray!”
IV
Now seein’ we’re off to the south’ard, boys, to Frisco we was bound,
Old Paddy he called for a length of rope and he laid it on the ground.
And we all stepped over and back again, and he says to me, “That’s fine,
Now when they ask if you’ve been to sea, you can say you’ve crossed the Line (7)”
V
“Now there’s only one thing for you to do, before you sail away,
That’s to step around the table,
where the bullock’s horn do lay.
And when they ask you, ‘Were you ever at sea?’,
you can say, ’Ten times ‘round the Horn (8).’
And Bejesus, you’re a sailor since
the day that you was born.”
Last chorus:
Put on your dungaree jacket,
and walk out lookin’ your best,

And tell ‘em you’re an old sailor man that’s come from Paddy West’s.

NOTES
1) London Road was a busy street full of shops, and an important commercial center in a densely populated neighborhood of Liverpool

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) or rather the nineteenth-century equivalent of the blinds
4) man (v.) Old English mannian “to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men,” from man (n.). Meaning “to take up a designated position on a ship” is first recorded 1690s. Meaning “behave like a man, act with courage” is from c. 1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning. It was obviously the backyard where Paddy had a ship’s wheel rigged up
5) To let it go; to start it up. Often used as an imperative. “Her” is used in the same way that some ships and machines are referred to as female
6)  to furl a sail by gathering its clews up to the yard by means of clew lines

7) the Equator line
8) Cape Horn is the extreme point of Africa feared by sailors because of the strong winds

Dan Miller (featured Louis Killen & Mick Moloney) from Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea 1998, a similar text version but different melody

Paddy Doyle’s boots
Go to Sea once more
Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/paddywest.html
http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/paddywest.html
https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/WGHerdman.html
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/07/17-paddy-west.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=151768

Paddy West

Read the post in English

Una galleria ottocentesca di brutti ceffi del mare comprende inevitabilmente anche i procuratori d’imbarco (detti in inglese boarding master) che erano contemporaneamente proprietari di  pensioni per marinai, ai quali procuravano alloggio e imbarco.
La maggior parte di loro “incoraggiava” il marinaio appena sbarcato e con le tasche gonfie nella sua propensione verso il bere, tenendolo a pensione e foraggiandolo con del whisky scadente. Dopo un paio di settimane di trattamento il malcapitato aveva finito i soldi e doveva accettare al più presto d’imbarcarsi nuovamente, senonchè al momento della firma d’ingaggio il marinaio riceveva un anticipo pari a tre mesi di paga sotto forma di pagherò e il nostro marpione li comprava ad un valore scontato, di solito del quaranta per cento, con molta parte dell’importo fornito in natura:era il marinaio infatti a doversi comprare le attrezzature personali necessarie per il lavoro e ovviamente il maestro d’imbarco era in combutta con il fornitore e il valore della merce era raddoppiato. Il marinaio era così doppiamente spennato, all’arrivo e alla partenza!
Ma i nomi più famigerati come Rapper Brown, Shanghai Brown, Jack Ratcliff o Jackie Brown erano dei farabutti che assoldava dei prezzolati ladruncoli per derubare i marinai approfittando della loro ubriachezza o si mettevano in combutta con qualche puttana per spennare il marinaio incauto appena sbarcato, dopodichè li portavano nuovamente a bordo in stato d’incoscienza e s’intascavano il loro anticipo.
Questo arruolamento fraudolento veniva chiamato shanghaiing ed era praticato soprattutto nel nord-ovest degli Stati Uniti. Gli uomini che gestivano questo “commercio di uomini” venivano detti “crimps” e non avevano scrupoli a drogare la birra del malcapitato con il laudano.

Le autorità d’altra parte chiudevano volentieri un occhio perchè alle compagnie mercantili faceva comodo avere manovalanza sempre a disposizione anche per i lavori più duri (come sulle baleniere) e le rotte più sfavorevoli come quelle dei mari artici.

PADDY WEST

Una divertente forebitter / capstan shanty su un maestro d’imbarco  di Liverpool, è’ Stan Hugill a riferire che l’irlandese Paddy West (ovvero Paddy Doyle) era un persona reale, che teneva una pensione e una scuola per marinai in Great Howard Street.
Le “boarding houses” sono pensioni per marinai, presenti in ogni grande porto di mare. “Sono tenute da procuratori d’imbarco (boarding masters), di dubbia reputazione, che i marinai definiscono «arruolatori», i quali forniscono «indifferentemente alloggio e imbarco». Spesso accolgono i marinai «a credito». Sull’anticipo ricevuto dai pensionanti all’atto dell’arruolamento, si rifanno del vitto e dell’alloggio, e con il resto forniscono loro abbigliamento e attrezzature di scarsa qualità“. (Italo Ottonello)
Il nostro Paddy per intascarsi una quota più alta dell’anticipo, si era inventato una fantasiosa scuola d’addestramento per marinai e  trasformava in pochi giorni dei novellini in “able seamen”, così “Paddy Wester” è finito tra i modi di dire per descrivere un marinaio incapace.

La divisa del marinaio inglese  regolamentata dall’Ammiragliato britannico risale solo al 1875 standardizzando l’uniforme giacca blu-pantaloni bianchi; anche le compagnie commerciali di linea si contraddistinguevano per le divise indossate da tutto l’equipaggio

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd in  Blow Boys Blow, 1957
A.L. Lloyd commenta nelle note: “Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.
The sea literature of the nineteenth century is larded with tales of shanghaied seamen and corrupt boarding-house masters, who sent many a green hand to sea, swearing that they were experienced sailors. The most notorious was Paddy West, a Liverpool Irishman, who hat his fake seamen step across and old rope and walk around a cow’s horn so that he could claim that they had “crossed the line and rounded the horn.”

La melodia è Tramps and Hawkers


I
Oh, as I was a-walkin’ down London Road (1),
I come to Paddy West’s house,
He gave me a feed of American hash and he called it Liverpool scouse.
He said, “There’s a ship that’s wantin’ hands,
and on her you quickly sign.
her mate is a bastard, the bosun’s worse, but she will suit you fine.”
Chorus (after each verse):
Take off your dungaree jackets (2)
and give yourselves a rest,

And we’ll think on them cold nor’westers that we had at Paddy West’s.
II
Well, when I’d had a feed, my boys,
the wind began to blow;
He sent me up in the attic,
the main-royal for to stow.
But when I got up in the attic,
no main-royal could I find,
So I turned around to the window
and I furled the window blind (3).
III
Now Paddy he piped all hands on deck, their stations for to man (4).
His wife stood in the doorway
with a bucket in her hand;
And Paddy sings out, “Now let ‘er rip (5)!” and she flung the water our way,
Sayin’, “Clew up (6) your fore t’gan’sl, boys, she’s takin’ in the spray!”
IV
Now seein’ we’re off to the south’ard, boys, to Frisco we was bound,
Old Paddy he called for a length of rope and he laid it on the ground.
And we all stepped over and back again, and he says to me, “That’s fine,
Now when they ask if you’ve been to sea, you can say you’ve crossed the Line (7)”
V
“Now there’s only one thing for you to do, before you sail away,
That’s to step around the table,
where the bullock’s horn do lay.
And when they ask you, ‘Were you ever at sea?’,
you can say, ’Ten times ‘round the Horn (8).’
And Bejesus, you’re a sailor since
the day that you was born.”
Last chorus:
Put on your dungaree jacket,
and walk out lookin’ your best,

And tell ‘em you’re an old sailor man that’s come from Paddy West’s.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Oh, mentre passeggiavo lungo London Road,
arrivai alla pensione di Paddy West,
mi ha dato un piatto di pasticcio americano e l’ha chiamato stufato di Liverpool .
Disse: “C’è una nave che vuole una mano, e subito ti arruolerai su di lei;
il suo primo è un bastardo, il nostromo è peggio, ma ti troverai bene. ”
Coro (dopo ogni verso):
Toglietevi le giacche blu
e concedetevi un po’ di riposo
per pensare a quei freddi venti di nordovest che c’erano da Paddy West.
II
Bene, dopo il pasto, ragazzi miei,
il vento ha cominciato a soffiare;
mi ha mandato in soffitta,
a serrare la vela maestra.
Ma quando sono salito in soffitta,
non c’era nessuna vela maestra,
così mi sono voltato verso la finestra
e ho avvolto la tapparella.
III
Ora Paddy richiamò tutti gli uomini sul ponte, nelle loro postazioni.
Sua moglie stava sulla soglia
con un secchio in mano;
e Paddy chiama, “Ora fatela filare!”
e lei gettava l’acqua sulla nostra strada,
dicendo ” Imbrogliate i velacci,
ragazzi, è presa negli spruzzi”
IV
Ora considerando che siamo diretti a sud, ragazzi, diretti a Frisco
il vecchio Paddy chiese un pezzo di corda e la posò a terra.
e la calpestammo tutti avanti e indietro, e lui mi dice: “Va bene, ora quando ti chiedono se sei stato in mare, puoi dire che hai oltrepassato la linea. ”
V
“Ora c’è solo una cosa da fare per te, prima di salpare,
che è di girare intorno al tavolo,
dove è appoggiato il corno di bue.
E quando ti chiedono: ‘Sei mai stato in mare?’,
puoi dire “Dieci volte” intorno al Corno”.
e perdio, sei un marinaio
dal giorno in cui sei nato. ”
Ultimo coro:
Indossa la giacca blu
e  vai a fare il tuo meglio

e dì loro che sei un vecchio marinaio che viene dalla pensione di Paddy West.

NOTE
1) London Road era una trafficata strada ricca di negozi, e importante centro commerciale in un quartiere densamente popolato.

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) o meglio l’equivalente ottocentesco delle tapparelle
4) man (v.) Old English mannian “to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men,” from man (n.). Meaning “to take up a designated position on a ship” is first recorded 1690s. Meaning “behave like a man, act with courage” is from c. 1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.
Si trattava ovviamente del cortile sul retro dove Paddy aveva montato la ruota del timone
5) espressione idiomatica lasciarla andare a tutta birra/a tutto gas
6)  
Stringere la tela di una vela con gli imbrogli, prima di serrarla
7) dell’equatore
8) Capo Horn la punta estrema dell’Africa temuta dai marinai a causa dei forti venti

Dan Miller (con Louis Killen & Mick Moloney) in Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea 1998, una versione testuale simile ma diversa melodia

Paddy Doyle’s boots
Go to Sea once more
Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down

FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/paddywest.html
http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/paddywest.html
https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/WGHerdman.html
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/07/17-paddy-west.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=151768

Banks of Newfoundland sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

There are several sea songs entitled “the Banks of Newfoundland”, not to be properly considered variations on the same melody, even if they share a common theme, the dangers of fishing or navigation offshore of Newfoundland.

As a first approach I classified the titles on the first verse and grouped a first block.

  • Me bully boys of Liverpool
  • O you western ocean labourers
  • Come all me lads and fair young maids

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

Probably the best known version of “the Banks of Newfoundland”, describing the dangers of winter navigation in the North Atlantic.
The incipit is as a warning song directed to the “bully boys” of Liverpool (or Belfast according to the Irish Rovers version): they are mostly Irish workers of the mid-nineteenth century who let themselves be attracted by the short engagement time on an Atlantic line ship without realizing the hard working conditions (see the Black Ball Line study)
The ballad perhaps began in Ireland as a broadside, but it became popular as forebitter song (or capstan shanty) on the sailing ships carrying emigrants from Britain to America during the 19th century, and was preserved by maritime singers in both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Black Ball Line clipper in a strong wind: the largest sails have been reefed, and the highest sails closed

Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd from Blow Boys Blow, 1957
Lloyd notes “In winter, the westward run from Liverpool to New York was a hard trip for packet ships, through heavy ships, contrary winds, sleet and snow. The large crews were kept busy reefing as the gales increased or piling on canvas whenever the wind abated.  The Banks of Newfoundland sets out the picture of a hard Western Ocean crossing before the days of steam.” (from here)

Great Big Sea (from I to III, V,  see) same melody but marching trend

I
Me bully boys o’ Liverpool,
I’ll have you to beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship (1),
no dungaree jumpers wear (2);
But have a big monkey jacket (3)
all ready to your hand,
For there blows some cold nor’westers (4)/on the Banks of Newfoundland!
Chorus
We’ll scrape her and we’ll scrub her
With holystone and sand (5),
And we think of them cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
There was Jack Lynch from Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy and some more (6),
I tell ye where, they suffered like hell
on the way to Baltimore;
They pawned (7) their gear in Liverpool
and they sailed as they did stand,
there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
The mate he stood on the fo’c’sle (8) head, and loudly he did roar:
“Now rattle (9) her in, my lucky lads!
We’re bound for America’s shore!
Go wash the mud off that dead-man’s face
and heave to beat the band (10),
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland!”
IV
So now it’s reef and reef (11), me boys,
with the canvas frozen hard,
And it’s mount and pass (12) every mother’s son
on a ninety-foot tops’l yard.
Never mind about boots and oilskins,
but haul or you’ll be damned!
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off the Hook (12), me boys,
and the lands are white with snow,
But soon we’ll see the pay table
and have all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks,
them pretty girls will stand,
Saying, “It’s snugger with me
than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland.”

NOTES
1) “Packet ships” used to carry mail from Britain to America.
2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) “monkey jacket” because of its resemblance to the short jacket of the trained monkeys, it was a short, close-fitting wool jacket with double-breasted and pewter buttons favored by sailors; we find the term in Melville “no more monkey jackets and tarpaulins for me”. Yet even the toughest woolen jacket was not free to become soaking wet under a storm. For these sailors waterproofed their clothes, shoes and hair with resinous substances
4) the wind that blows from NW pushes in the South-East direction, in the wind rose it is called the Mistral wind
5) the maintenance work of the hull is carried out in the dry dock, where the ship is taken to dryness, but not having a special port basin the ship was pulled to shore at high tide and made to lay on its side
6) the crews of the Atlantic packet ships were for the most part Irish
7)  as Italo Ottonello teaches us “At the signing of the recruitment contract for long journeys, the sailors received an advance equal to three months of pay which, to guarantee compliance with the contract, it was provided in the form of “I will pay”, payable three days after the ship left the port, “as long as said sailor has sailed with that ship.” Everyone invariably ran to look for some complacent sharks who bought their promissory note at a discounted price, usually of forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind. “The purchasers, boarding agents and various procurers,” the enlisters, “as they were nicknamed,” were induced to ‘seize’ the sailors and bring them on board, drunk or drugged, with little or no clothes beyond what they were wearing, and squandering or stealing all sailor advances.
8) “Fo’c’sle” is a contraction of “fore castle” (fore = foreward), the living quarters inside the hull of a ship.
9) 
In Dana Rattle down, Rattle up
10) “to beat the band” = very briskly; very fast; or “to beat all” in the sense of “doing your best” but also excelling with other clippers, especially with regard to navigation times (see here)
11) Written incorrectly as “reef and reif”: To “reef” sail is to furl and lash it to the “topsl yard” or any other yard. The crew did this while standing on a single line which they would “mount” and sometimes “pass” another shipmate to do the job.
12)  Mudcat “Mount and Pass meaning to go out on the yard (the rope is called a stirrup hence the “mount”) and pass canvas as its reefed up”
13) “The Hook” is a reference to Sandy Hook in the Long Island sound

O you western ocean labourers

The second version shares a text similar to the first one, with different melody, but resumes part of the transportation song Van Diemen’s Land (British broadside ballad [Laws K25] for variant see here, here)

Siobhan Miller from Strata 2017 (I, II, IV, V)

Teyn from Far From The Tree 2016 they follow the traditional text spread in Cornwall, with an instrumental arrangement all of their own. Reported by John Farr’s testimony of Gwithian on the north coast of Cornwall, in Canow Kernow (Cornwall songs full text here)

I
O you western ocean labourers
I’ll have you all beware (1),
when you’re working on a packet ship no dungaree oil skin (2) wear.
But have a big monkey jacket
already at your command
and I’ll bid  farewell to the Virgin rocks (3)/
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Chorus:
We’ll rub (scrape) her and scrub her
With holy stone and sand,
And we’ll bid farewell to the virgin rocks On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
As I lay on my bunk one night
a’dreaming all alone.
I dreamt I was in Liverpool
‘way up by Marylebone (4),
With my true love there beside me
and a jug of ale in my hand,
But I woke quite brokenhearted, boys on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III (5)
We had one Lynch from Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy and Mike Moore;
It was in the winter of sixty-two,
Those sea-boys suffered sore,
For they’d pawned their clothes in Liverpool,
And sold them out of hand (6),
Not thinking of the cold Northwesters
On the Banks of Newfoundland
IV (7)
We had one female passenger,
Bridget Riley was her name,
she was fourteen years transported boy for playing not the game (8)
But she tore up her flannel petticoats To make mittens for our hands,
For she couldn’t see the poor boys freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off Sandy Hook, my boys,
And the land’s all covered with snow,.
The tug-boat take up our hawser
And for New York we will tow;
And when we get to the Black Ball dock,
All the boys and girls there will stand, for if we are here we cannot be there on the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
1) or “Ye rambling boys of Erin, ye rambling boys, beware” (see)
2) dungaree jumpers
3) or “For there blows some cold Northwesters”.Virgin Rocks are a series of rocky ridges just below the surface of the ocean on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland
4) Marylebone – an affluent inner-city area of central London, located within the City of Westminster. It is sometimes written as St Marylebone (or, archaically, Mary-le-bone). Marylebone is roughly bounded by Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east. A broader definition designates the historic area as Marylebone Village and encompasses neighbouring Regent’s Park, Baker Street and the area immediately north of Marylebone Road, containing Marylebone Station, the original site of the Marylebone Cricket Club at Dorset Square, and the neighbourhood known as Lisson Grove as far as the border with St John’s Wood. The area east of Great Portland Street up to Cleveland Street, known as Fitzrovia since the 1940s, is considered historically to be East Marylebone. (tratto da qui)
5) the Teyn line:
We had Jack Lynch from Ballinahinch
Mike Murphy and some more
And I’ll tell you boys they suffered like hell
On the way to Baltimore
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
And sailed as they did stand
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
Not thinking of Newfoundland
6)  “They pawned their clothes in Liverpool and sold their notes of hand”
7) the Teyn line:
Well we had one female passenger
Bridget Reilly was her name
Unto her I had promised marriage
And on me she had claim
For she tore up all her petticoats
To make mittens for my hands
Saying I can’t see my true love freeze
On the Banks of the Newfoundland,
8)  “Play the Game” it means taking risks, not following the rules; probably refers to poaching, among the reasons for deportation to the penal colonies of Australia

Stan Hugill version: capstan shanty

Again thanks to the meticulous work of Hulton Clint (or Ranzo, nicknamed the YouTube chanteyman, from Hartford, Connecticut) that gives us back the sea shanty version as reported by Stan Hugill, an obvious parody of the sea shanty Van Diemen’s Land. In  “Shanties from the Seven Seas” Hugill writes: “Still in the realms of convict ships and transportation, we have next the old forebitter often used as a capstan song, The Banks of Newf’n’land. Its convict connection is the fact that it was really a parody of an older forebitter, itself originally a shore ballad called Van Diemen’s Land, a song often sung in Liverpool and as a forebitter often heard in Liverpool ships. A note attached to the record The Singing Sailor states that “Versions can still be heard in Scotland and Ireland, but it is in Liverpool and Salford (Lancs.) that the song lives most vigorously”. It tells of the sufferings of poachers transported to Van Diemen’s Land.”

I
Ye ramblin’ boys o’ Liverpool,
ye sailor men beware,
When you go in a Yankee packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
But have a monkey jacket
all up to your command,
For there blows some cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Coro
We’ll wash her and we’ll scrub her down
With holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks
And the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had one Lynch from Ballynahinch, Spud Murphy and Mike Moore,
‘Twas in the winter of seventy-three those sea-boys suffered sore;
They popped their clothes in Liverpool, sold them all out of hand,
Not thinkin’ on the cold nor’winds,
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
We had a lady fair aboard,
Kate Connor was her name,
To her I promised marriage, and on me she had a claim;
She tore up her flannel petticoats to make mittens for my hands,
For she could not see her true love freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
I dreamed a dream the other night,
and I thought I was at home,
Alongside of my own true love,
and she in Marybone (1);
A jug of ale all on my knee, a glass of ale in hand,
But when I woke, my heart was broke
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
1) Liverpool’s popular district

DANCE TUNE

Come all me lads and fair young maids

Another melody for the version without refrain that shows the process of transformation through the oral tradition of a text that changes as time passes and situations. Sometimes considered as a song distinct from the previous ones referring to work on fishing vessels.
Pete Shepheard from They Smiled As We Cam In, 2018 
who noted : This is one of my favourite songs and I seem never to have tired of it since I first recorded it from St Andrews fisherman Tom Gordon in 1964. He learned it in turn from a man who had sailed on the whaler fleet out of Leith in the early 1900s. This is the only version I have come across that is modernised into the steam boat era – and incidentally dated in the text to 1906.

Matthew Byrne live, instrumental arrangement by Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton

I
Come all me lads and fair young maids, come all ye sports beware,
when you go steamboat sailing,
no dungaree jackets wear;
And always wear a life belt,
or keep it close at hand,
there blows a cold nor-westerly wind on the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had on board some passengers
the Swedies and some more
’Twas in the year of nineteen-six that we did suffer sore,
We pawned our clothes in Liverpool, we pawned them every hand,
not thinking of the nor-westerly winds on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
And we had on board a fair young maid, Bridget Wellford was her name,
To her I promised marriage
and a pawn she had a claim ;
She tore her flannel petticoats
to make mittens for my hands,
she would not see her true love perish on the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
Last night as I lay in my bunch I dream a pleasent dream,
that I was back in Scotland beside a flowing stream;
with the girl I love on my knee and a bottle in my hand,
I woke up broken hearted
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
Now we’re bound for Sandy Bay
where the high hills covered in snow,
Our steam boat she’s so hell-of-a fast, by New York we will go;
We’ll scrub her up and we’ll scrub her down with holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks and the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
*text taken partly from the version of Pete Shepheard  here

transportation song
working on a  fisher ship
the Eastern Light
captain’s death (american ballad)
shipwreck and rescue on the Banks (Canadian ballad)

 

LINK
https://www.irishtune.info/tune/118/
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-banks-of-newfoundland-emc/
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/bnk_newfoundland.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/banksofnewfoundland.html
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/The-Paul-McKenna-Band/The-Banks-of-Newfoundland

http://gestsongs.com/01/banks1.htm
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks3.htm
http://gestsongs.com/02/banks5.htm
https://www.springthyme.co.uk/1042/42_09.htm

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44529
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17059
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=130147

 

On the Banks of Newfoundland

Read the post in English

Ci sono parecchie  sea songs dal titolo “the Banks of Newfoundland”,  da non considerarsi propriamente come variazioni su una stessa melodia, anche se condividono un tema comune, i pericoli della pesca o della navigazione al largo di Terranova.

Come primo approccio ho classificato i titoli in base al primo verso e raggruppato un primo blocco.

  • Me bully boys of Liverpool
  • O you western ocean labourers
  • Come all me lads and fair young maids

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

Probabilmente la versione più conosciuta di “the Banks of Newfoundland”, in cui si descrivono i pericoli della navigazione invernale nell’Atlantico del Nord.
L’incipit è quello di una warning song diretta ai “bravi ragazzi” di Liverpool (o di Belfast secondo la versione degli Irish Rovers), sono per lo più lavoratori irlandesi di metà Ottocento che si lasciano attrarre dal breve tempo d’ingaggio su una nave di linea nella tratta atlantica senza rendersi conto delle dure condizioni di lavoro (vedasi per l’approfondimento Black Ball Line)
La ballata ebbe forse inizio in Irlanda come broadside, ma diventò popolare come forebitter song (o capstan shanty) sulle packet ships nella tratta Liverpool-New York, che passava accanto alle coste dell’isola di Terranova, collezionata infine nei repertori folk di Terranova e Nuova Scozia.

Clipper della Black Ball Line con il forte vento: le vele più grandi sono state terzarolate, e le vele più alte chiuse

Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd in Blow Boys Blow, 1957
Lloyd scrive “In inverno, la rotta verso ovest da Liverpool a New York era un viaggio difficile per le navi di linea, con navi pesanti, venti contrari, nevischio e neve. Gli equipaggi di grandi dimensioni erano impegnati a fare serrare le vele quando il vento aumentavano o a distendere tela ogni volta che il vento diminuiva. Le rive di Terranova danno l’immagine di una dura traversata dell’Oceano Occidentale prima dei giorni di vapore.” (tratto da qui)

Great Big Sea (strofe da I a III, V, testo qui) stessa melodia ma andamento da marcia


I
Me bully boys o’ Liverpool,
I’ll have you to beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship (1),
no dungaree jumpers wear (2);
But have a big monkey jacket (3)
all ready to your hand,
For there blows some cold nor’westers (4)/on the Banks of Newfoundland!
Chorus
We’ll scrape her and we’ll scrub her
With holystone and sand (5),
And we think of them cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
There was Jack Lynch from Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy and some more (6),
I tell ye where, they suffered like hell
on the way to Baltimore;
They pawned (7) their gear in Liverpool
and they sailed as they did stand,
there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
The mate he stood on the fo’c’sle (8) head, and loudly he did roar:
“Now rattle (9) her in, my lucky lads!
We’re bound for America’s shore!
Go wash the mud off that dead-man’s face
and heave to beat the band (10),
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland!”
IV
So now it’s reef and reef (11), me boys,
with the canvas frozen hard,
And it’s mount and pass (12) every mother’s son
on a ninety-foot tops’l yard.
Never mind about boots and oilskins,
but haul or you’ll be damned!
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off the Hook (12), me boys,
and the lands are white with snow,
But soon we’ll see the pay table
and have all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks,
them pretty girls will stand,
Saying, “It’s snugger with me
than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland.”
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Miei bravacci di Liverpool
vi devo avvertire
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale di linea, non indossate una giacchetta di jeans ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
perchè là soffiano dei freddi  venti da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e penseremo a quei venti freddi di maestrale sui Banchi di Terranova
II
C’erano Jack Lynch
di Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy e altri ancora;
ti dico come patirono le pene d’inferno
sulla rotta per Baltimora;
avevano preso in pegno la loro attrezzatura a Liverpool
e si misero in mare proprio quando
soffiano i venti freddi di maestrale
sui Banchi di Terranova
III
L’ufficiale stava in cima al castello di prua e forte tuonava
“Ora salite, ragazzi fortunati!
siamo diretti verso la terra d’America!
Andate a lavare via il fango da quella faccia da morto
e manovrate al meglio
perchè là soffiano dei venti freddi da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova

IV
Quindi ora si riducono le vele, ragazzi, con la tela ghiacciata indurita
è un piegare e passare a ogni figlio di buona madre, sul pennone di gabbia a novanta piedi.
Non preoccupatevi di stivali e cerate,
ma issate o sarete dannati!
perchè là soffiano dei venti freddi da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova
V
E ora siamo al largo di Sandy Hook, ragazzi miei,
e le terre sono bianche come neve,
Ma presto vedremo la tabella dei pagamenti e passeremo tutta la notte a terra; e sul molo, arriveranno a stormi,
quelle  belle ragazzine,
a dire: “È meglio accoccolarsi con me
che essere in mare
sui Banchi di Terranova “

NOTE
1) “Packet ships” postali perchè navi utilizzate per trasportare la posta tra Gran Bretagna e America
2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) letteralmente “giacca da scimmia” per la sua somiglianza con la giacca corta delle scimmie ammaestrate, era una giacca di lana corta e aderente con doppio petto e bottoni in peltro prediletta dai marinai; troviamo il termine in Melville “no more monkey jackets and tarpaulins for me“. Eppure anche la più robusta giacca di lana non era esente da diventare bagnata fradicia sotto una tempesta. Per questi impermeabilizzavano vestiti, scarpe e capelli con sostanze resinose
4) il vento che soffia da NW spinge in direzione Sud-Est, nella rosa dei venti è detto maestrale
5) i lavori di manutenzione dello scafo sono eseguiti nel bacino di carenaggio, dove la nave viene portata a secco , non disponendo di un apposito bacino portuale la nave era tirata a riva durante l’alta marea e fatta adagiare su un fianco: all’operazione di raschiatura dell’opera viva si accompagnava il calatafaggio, l’operazione consisteva nel cacciare a forza stoppa e pece nelle fessure tra le tavole di legname per rendere stagno lo scafo.
6) gli equipaggi delle packet ships che facevano la spola tra Liverpool-New York erano per la maggior parte irlandesi
7) come ci insegna Italo Ottonello ” All’atto della firma del contratto d’arruolamento per i viaggi di lungo corso, i marinai ricevevano un anticipo pari a tre mesi di paga che, a garanzia del rispetto del contratto, era erogato in forma di pagherò, esigibile tre giorni dopo che la nave aveva lasciato il porto, “sempre che detto marinaio sia salpato con detta nave”. Tutti, invariabilmente, correvano a cercare qualche ‘squalo’ compiacente che comprasse il loro pagherò ad un valore scontato, di solito del quaranta per cento, con molta parte dell’importo fornito in natura. Gli acquirenti, procuratori d’imbarco e procacciatori vari, – gli ‘arruolatori’, com’erano soprannominati – erano indotti a ‘sequestrare’ i marinai e portarli a bordo, ubriachi o drogati, con poco o niente vestiario oltre quello che avevano indosso, e sperperare o rubare loro tutto l’anticipo.
8) “Fo’c’sle” è una contrazione di “fore castle” (fore = foreward)
9) 
In Dana scendere  verso il basso. Rattle down. A salire. Rattle up
10) “to beat the band” è un’espressione americana che trae origine dall’iberno-inglese = very briskly; very fast; potrebbe anche significare “to beat all” nel senso di “fare del proprio meglio” ma anche di eccellere rispetto agli altri clipper delle altre compagnie, soprattutto in merito ai tempi di navigazione (sull’origine del termine qui)
11)  scritto erroneamente come “reef and reif”
12) trovato su Mudcat “Mount and Pass meaning to go out on the yard (the rope is called a stirrup hence the “mount”) and pass canvas as its reefed up”
13) “The Hook”= Sandy Hook 

O you western ocean labourers

La seconda versione condivide un testo simile alla prima, con una diversa melodia, ma riprende parte del testo della transportation song Van Diemen’s Land (British broadside ballad [Laws K25] per le varianti vedi qui, qui)

Siobhan Miller in Strata 2017 (I, II, IV, V)

Teyn in Far From The Tree 2016 ♪ seguono il testo tradizionale  diffuso in Cornovaglia, con un arrangiamento strumentale tutto loro. Riportato dalla testimonianza di John Farr di Gwithian sulla costa nord della Cornovaglia, in Canow Kernow (in italiano Canti della Cornovaglia (testo completo qui)


I
O you western ocean labourers
I’ll have you all beware (1),
when you’re working on a packet ship no dungaree oil skin (2) wear.
But have a big monkey jacket
already at your command
and I’ll bid  farewell to the Virgin rocks (3)/
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Chorus:
We’ll rub (scrape) her and scrub her
With holy stone and sand,
And we’ll bid farewell to the virgin rocks On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
As I lay on my bunk one night
a’dreaming all alone.
I dreamt I was in Liverpool
‘way up by Marylebone (4),
With my true love there beside me
and a jug of ale in my hand,
But I woke quite brokenhearted, boys on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III (5)
We had one Lynch from Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy and Mike Moore;
It was in the winter of sixty-two,
Those sea-boys suffered sore,
For they’d pawned their clothes in Liverpool,
And sold them out of hand (6),
Not thinking of the cold Northwesters
On the Banks of Newfoundland
IV (7)
We had one female passenger,
Bridget Riley was her name,
she was fourteen years transported boy for playing not the game (8)
But she tore up her flannel petticoats To make mittens for our hands,
For she couldn’t see the poor boys freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off Sandy Hook, my boys,
And the land’s all covered with snow,.
The tug-boat take up our hawser
And for New York we will tow;
And when we get to the Black Ball dock,
All the boys and girls there will stand, for if we are here we cannot be there on the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
O voi lavoratori transatlantici
vi devo avvertire
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale di linea, niente giacca cerata
ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
e dirò addio alle Virgin Rocks sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks
sui Banchi di Terranova

II
Una notte che stavo nella mia cuccetta
dormivo tutto solo.
Ho sognato di essere a Liverpool
laggiù a Marylebone,
con il mio vero amore accanto a me
e una brocca di birra in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto, ragazzi sui Banchi di Terranova.
III
C’era un Lynch da Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy e Mike Moore;
era nell’inverno del sessantadue,
quei marinai soffrirono assai,
perché avevano impegnato i loro vestiti a Liverpool,
e li hanno venduti senza discussioni,
senza pensare al freddo maestrale
sui Banchi di Terranova
IV
Abbiamo avuto un passeggero femmina, si chiamava Bridget Riley
aveva un ragazzo di quattordici anni mandato alle colonie penali per non aver seguito le regole, ma lei stracciò le sue sottane di flanella per fare guanti per le nostre mani, perché non riusciva  vedere i ragazzi poveri congelarsi
sui Banchi di Terranova.
V
E ora siamo al largo di Sandy Hook,
ragazzi,
e la terra è tutta coperta di neve,
il rimorchiatore prese la nostra gomena e ci trascinò a New York;
e quando arriveremo al molo della Black Ball,
sarà pieno di ragazzi e  ragazze, perché se siamo qui non possiamo essere là
sui Banchi di Terranova

NOTE
1) il verso d’inizio è anche “Ye rambling boys of Erin, ye rambling boys, beware” (vedi testo)
2) dungaree jumpers
3) oppure”For there blows some cold Northwesters”. Le Virgin Rocks sono una serie di creste rocciose appena sotto la superficie dell’oceano sui Grandi Banchi di Terranova
4) Marylebone – una ricca area del centro di Londra, situata all’interno della città di Westminster. A volte è scritto come St Marylebone (o, arcaicamente, Mary-le-bone). Marylebone è approssimativamente delimitata da Oxford Street a sud, Marylebone Road a nord, Edgware Road a ovest e Great Portland Street a est. Una definizione più ampia indica l’area storica come Marylebone Village e comprende il vicino Regent’s Park, Baker Street e l’area immediatamente a nord di Marylebone Road, che contiene Marylebone Station, il sito originario del Marylebone Cricket Club a Dorset Square e il quartiere noto come Lisson Grove fino al confine con St John’s Wood. L’area ad est di Great Portland Street fino a Cleveland Street, conosciuta come Fitzrovia dagli anni ’40, è considerata storicamente East Marylebone. (tratto da qui)
5) I Teyn dicono:
We had Jack Lynch from Ballinahinch
Mike Murphy and some more
And I’ll tell you boys they suffered like hell
On the way to Baltimore
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
And sailed as they did stand
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
Not thinking of Newfoundland
6) la frase in origine doveva essere  “They pawned their clothes in Liverpool and sold their notes of hand” (impegnarono il loro anticipo e vendettero i loro pagherò)
7) una diversa versione dei Teyn
Well we had one female passenger
Bridget Reilly was her name
Unto her I had promised marriage
And on me she had claim
For she tore up all her petticoats
To make mittens for my hands
Saying I can’t see my true love freeze
On the Banks of the Newfoundland,
8)  “Play the Game” vuol dire prendersi dei rischi, non seguire le regole; si riferisce probabilmente alla caccia di frodo, tra i motivi di deportazione nelle colonie penali d’Australia

La versione di Stan Hugill: capstan shanty

Ancora grazie al meticoloso lavoro di Hulton Clint (o Ranzo soprannominato  lo YouTube chanteyman, da Hartford, Connecticut) che ci restituisce la versione sea shanty così come riportata da Stan Hugill, una evidente parodia della sea shanty Van Diemen’s Land come pubblicato nel suo “Shanties from the Seven Seas” che così scrive in merito: “Ancora nei regni delle navi e dei trasporti forzati, abbiamo la prossima  vecchia  forebitter usata spesso come capstan song, The Banks of Newf’n’land. Il suo riferimento al trasporto forzoso è il fatto di essere una parodia di una vecchia  forebitter, originariamente una ballad  dal titolo Van Diemen’s Land, una canzone spesso cantata a Liverpool e come forebitter spesso ascoltata nelle navi di Liverpool. Una nota allegata al disco The Singing Sailor afferma che “Le versioni possono ancora essere ascoltate in Scozia e in Irlanda, ma è a Liverpool e Salford (Lancs.) che la canzone è più radicata”. Racconta delle sofferenze dei bracconieri trasportati nella terra di Van Diemen.


I
Ye ramblin’ boys o’ Liverpool,
ye sailor men beware,
When you go in a Yankee packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
But have a monkey jacket
all up to your command,
For there blows some cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Coro
We’ll wash her and we’ll scrub her down
With holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks (1)
And the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had one Lynch from Ballynahinch, Spud Murphy and Mike Moore,
‘Twas in the winter of seventy-three those sea-boys suffered sore;
They popped their clothes in Liverpool, sold them all out of hand,
Not thinkin’ on the cold nor’winds,
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
We had a lady fair aboard,
Kate Connor was her name,
To her I promised marriage, and on me she had a claim;
She tore up her flannel petticoats to make mittens for my hands,
For she could not see her true love freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
I dreamed a dream the other night,
and I thought I was at home,
Alongside of my own true love,
and she in Marybone (2);
A jug of ale all on my knee, a glass of ale in hand,
But when I woke, my heart was broke
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Ragazzacci di Liverpool,
voi marinai attenti
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale americano, niente giacca di pelle, ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
perchè là soffiano i venti freddi di Nord-Ovest sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La laveremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks
e ai Banchi di Terranova

II
C’era un Lynch da Ballinahinch,
“Spud” Murphy e Mike Moore;
era nell’inverno del settantatre,
quei marinai soffrirono assai,
perché avevano impegnato i loro vestiti a Liverpool, e li vendettero senza discussioni, senza pensare al freddo vento del Nord
sui Banchi di Terranova
III
Abbiamo avuto una bella signora a bordo, si chiamava Kate Connor
le promisi di sposarla e su di me aveva credito,  lei stracciò le sue sottane di flanella per farne manopole per le mie mani, perché non sopportava di  vedere congelarsi il suo vero amore
sui Banchi di Terranova
IV
Ho sognato l’altra notte
e credevo di essere a casa
accanto al mio vero amore
di Marybone,
una brocca di birra alle ginocchia e in  in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto,
sui Banchi di Terranova.

NOTE
1)   i Grandi Banchi di Terranova sono un tratto di mare dal fondale basso a sud-est dell’isola canadese di Terranova, di forma grosso modo triangolare spesso sconvolto dalle tempeste, infido e pericoloso per la presenza di iceberg e la frequente nebbie. Le Virgin Rocks sono una serie di creste rocciose appena sotto la superficie dell’oceano, un’ottima  base di pesca per le golette dell’Ottocento
2) le golette da pesca uscivano in mare a maggio e non rientravano sino a settembre
2) quartiere popolare di Liverpool

LA MELODIA DA DANZA

Come all me lads and fair young maids

Altra melodia per la versione senza ritornello che mostra il processo di trasformazione attraverso la tradizione orale di un testo che muta al passare del tempo e delle situazioni. A volta considerata come un canto distinto dai precedenti riferito al lavoro sui pescherecci.
Pete Shepheard in They Smiled As We Cam In, 2018 
che scrive nelle note : Questa è una delle mie canzoni preferite e non mi ha mai stancato da quando l’ho registrata per la prima volta dal pescatore di St. Andrews Tom Gordon nel 1964. L’ha imparato a sua volta da un uomo che aveva navigato sulla flotta baleniera da Leith nel primi anni del 1900. Questa è l’unica versione che ho incontrato e che è stata modernizzata nell’era delle barche a vapore – e incidentalmente datata nel testo al 1906.

Matthew Byrne live, arrangiamento strumentale Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton


I
Come all me lads and fair young maids, come all ye sports beware,
when you go steamboat sailing,
no dungaree jackets wear;
And always wear a life belt,
or keep it close at hand,
there blows a cold nor-westerly wind on the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had on board some passengers
the Swedies and some more
’Twas in the year of nineteen-six that we did suffer sore,
We pawned our clothes in Liverpool, we pawned them every hand,
not thinking of the nor-westerly winds on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
And we had on board a fair young maid, Bridget Wellford was her name,
To her I promised marriage
and a pawn she had a claim ;
She tore her flannel petticoats
to make mittens for my hands,
she would not see her true love perish on the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
Last night as I lay in my bunch I dream a pleasent dream,
that I was back in Scotland beside a flowing stream;
with the girl I love on my knee and a bottle in my hand,
I woke up broken hearted
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
Now we’re bound for Sandy Bay
where the high hills covered in snow,
Our steam boat she’s so hell-of-a fast, by New York we will go;
We’ll scrub her up and we’ll scrub her down with holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks and the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Venite tutti, ragazzi e ragazze giovani e gentili,  fare attenzione ai vostri passatempi, quando vi imbarcate su di un battello a vapore,  non indossate una giacchetta di jeans ma indossate sempre una cintura di salvataggio o tenetela a portata di mano dove soffiano i freddi venti di nord-ovest,
sui Banchi di Terranova!
II
Avevamo a bordo dei passeggeri, svedesi e molti altri
era il 1906 che ci fece tribolare tanto,
abbiamo dato in pegno i nostri vestiti a Liverpool con leggerezza,
senza pensare ai venti di nord-ovest
sui Banchi di Terranova!
III
E avevamo a bordo una bella giovane, si chiamava Bridget Wellford
le promisi di sposarla
e un pegno pretendeva;
si strappò le sottane di flanella
per fare guanti per le mie mani,
non avrebbe visto il suo vero amore perire sui Banchi di Terranova.
IV
Una notte che stavo nella mia cuccetta
feci un bel sogno
che ero in Scozia accanto a un ruscelletto
con  la mia ragazza sulle ginocchia e una bottiglia in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto,
sui Banchi di Terranova
V
E ora che siamo diretti a Sandy Bay, dove le alte colline sono ricoperte di neve, il nostro battello a vapore corre spedito e andremo a New York.
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks sui Banchi di Terranova

NOTE
* testo tratto in parte dalla versione di Pete Shepheard  qui

transportation song
la pesca sui Banchi
the Eastern Light
morte del capitano (ballata americana)
naufragio e soccorso sui Banchi (ballata canadese)

 

FONTI
https://www.irishtune.info/tune/118/
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-banks-of-newfoundland-emc/
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/bnk_newfoundland.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/banksofnewfoundland.html
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/The-Paul-McKenna-Band/The-Banks-of-Newfoundland

http://gestsongs.com/01/banks1.htm
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks3.htm
http://gestsongs.com/02/banks5.htm
https://www.springthyme.co.uk/1042/42_09.htm

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44529
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17059
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=130147

Hurrah For the Black Ball Line!

Leggi in italiano

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the commercial demands of ships always faster and less “armed” compared to the previous century (era of massive galleons, vessels and frigates): so the Clipper was born, ships for the transport of goods, without frills and with more sails. They are the latest models of sailing ships, the apogee of the Age of sailing, then soon the engines will take over .. and the repertoire of the sea shanties will end up among the curiosities of antique dealers (or in the circuits of Folk music).

THE CLIPPER

Clippers traveled the two most important trade sea routes: China – England for tea and Australia – England for wool, they were competing with each other to reach maximum speed and arrive first, because the higher price was fixed by the first ship that reached the port. (see more)
The ships were famous for the harsh discipline on board and for the brutality of its officers: but the recruitment of the sailors was constant given the brevity of the engagement. The ships with the most terrible name were called “bloodboat” and its crew (mostly Irish sailors) “packet rats“.

“BLACK BALL” LINE

The Black Ball Line was the first shipping company to offer a transatlantic line service for the transport of passengers and goods. Born in 1817 from the idea of Jeremiah Thompson, with four clippers covering the route between Liverpool and New York, the Black Ball remained in business for about sixty years. The Black Ballers, were also postal and derived the name from their flag (the company logo) red forked with a black disk in the middle.

In addition to the red flag, the Black Ball were distinguished by a large black ball also designed on the bow sail

The Company was renowned for its scrupulous organization of departures that took place on the first of the month, with any weather; it had very fast ships and the journey from England to America, mostly against the wind, lasted generally “just” four weeks, while the return, with the wind in its favor, could last less than three weeks. The business was profitable despite the competition, in fact in 1851 the company James Baines & Co. of Liverpool adopted the same name and the same flag of the Black Ball Line! The Black Ball Line of James Baines & Co. also operated on the route between Liverpool and Australia.

Given the premises it could not therefore miss a sea shanty on the Black Ball line (probable origin 1845): the text versions are many, compared to few recordings on YouTube

W. Symons. – Patterson, J.E. “Sailors’ Work Songs.” Good Words 41(28) (June 1900) Public Domain

 “Hurrah For the Black Ball Line”

Peter Kasin  with  introduction and demonstration of the type of work combined with the singing
 Ewan MacColl – The Blackball Line 0:01 (Rare UK 8″ EP record released on Topic Records in 1957)

I served my time in the Black Ball line
To me way-aye-aye, hurray-ah
with the Black ball line I served me time
Hurrah for the Black Ball Line
The Black Ball Ships are good and true
They are the ships for me and you (1)
(For once there was a Black Ball Ship
That fourteen knots an hour could clip
You will surely find a rich gold mine(2)
Just take a trip in the Black Ball Line)
Just take a trip to Liverpool (3)
To Liverpool, that Yankee school
The Yankee sailors (4) you’ll see there
With red-top boots (5) and short-cut hair
(At Liverpool docks we bid adieu
To Poll and Bet and lovely Sue
And now we’re bound for New York Town
It’s there we’ll drink, and sorrow drown)

NOTES
1) even if it seems an advertising spot, the reality for the crews boarded on the Black Ballers was harder: the first officer was usually ruthless and violent to maintain discipline and keep the speed standard of the crossing high
2) this verse refers, at the time of the gold fever that broke out in California in 1848
3) between the beginning and the mid-nineteenth century the majority of British immigrants boarded from the port of Liverpool
4) even if the captain was American (the ships were equipped with the best captains money of the time could buy), the sailors were not only American but often English, Irish and Scandinavian
5) red was the dominant color of sailors uniform also in the cuffed boots

Foc’sle Singers & Paul Clayton (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 1959) 


In the Black Ball line I served my time
Hurrah for the Black Ball line
In the Black Ball line I had a good time
Hurrah for the Black Ball line
The Black Ball Ships are good and true
They are the ships for me and you
For once there was a Black Ball Ship
That fourteen knots an hour(1) could clip(2)
Her yards were square(3), her gear all new,
She had a good and gallant crew
One day whilst sailing on the sea,
They saw a vessel on their lee,
They knew it was a pirate craft,
All armed with guns before and aft,
They did not fear as you may think
But made the pirates water drink

NOTES
(text from here, see also an extended version here)
1)1 knot is worth 1 mile / h, so 14 knots means 14 miles per hour
2) To clip it = to run with speed
3)  “in seamens language, the yards are square, when they are arranged at right angles with the mast or the keel. The yards and sails are said also to be square, when they are of greater extent than usual. “

Roger Watson from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor (Vol 1)

Tozer calls this shanty an anchor song, Whall gives it for windlass, Colcord for halyard. Hugill says that he disagrees with the collectors who attribute shanties to specific jobs. Short, who gave it to Sharp as a capstan shanty, gave only one verse (“In Tapscott’s Line…”) and the words Sharp published are, frankly, unbelievable (e.g. “It was there we discharged our cargo boys” and “The Skipper said, that will do, my boys”). Both Colcord and Hugill also comment on Sharp’s published words. We have utilised fairly standard Blackball Line verses, slightly bent towards Short’s Tapscott Line theme. There is a degree of cynicism in this text—Tapscott was a con-man: he advertised his ships as being over 1000 tons when, in reality, they were 600 tons at the most!” (from here)


In Tapscott (1) line we’re bound to shine
A way, Hooray, Yah
In Tapscott line we are bound
to shine
Hooray for the Black Ball Line.
In the Black Ball line I served my time
in the Black Ball I wasted me prime.
Just you’ll take a trip to Liverpool
To Liverpool, a Yankee school.
Oh the Yankee sailors you’ll see there
With red-top boots and short-cut hair.
Fifteen days is a Black Ball ride(2)
but Tapscott ship are a thousand
ton.
At Liverpool docks we bid adieu
for Tapscott ship and golden crew.
In Tapscott line we are bound to shine
In Tapscott line we are bound to shine

NOTES
1) William and James Tapscott were brothers who organized the trip for immigrants from Britain to America (the first based in Liverpool and the second in New York) often taking advantage of the ingenuity of their clients. Initially they worked for the Black Ball Line and then set up their own transport line that provided a very cheap trip to the Americas, so the conditions of the trip were terrible and the food poor. In 1849 William Tapscott went bankrupt and was tried and convicted of fraud against the company’s shareholders.  see more
2) legendary racing competitions were hired between the American and British companies: under the motto “play or pay” two ships left New York on February 2, 1839, it was the first challenge between the Black baller Columbus, 597 tons, Captain De Peyster and the Sheridan of the Dramatic Line 895 tons; Columbus won the race in 16 days, while Sheridan arrived in Liverpool two days later
“England, frankly confessing herself beaten and unable to compete with such ships as these, changed her attitude from hostility to open admiration. She surrendered the Atlantic packet trade to American enterprise, and British merchantmen sought their gains in other waters. The Navigation Laws still protected their commerce in the Far East and they were content to jog at a more sedate gait than these weltering packets whose skippers were striving for passages of a fortnight, with the forecastle doors nailed fast and the crew compelled to stay on deck from Sandy Hook to Fastnet Rock.” ~ Old Merchant Marine, Ch VIII. “The Packet Ships of the Roaring Forties”

LINK
https://hubpages.com/education/Legends-of-the-Blackball-Line
http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogspot.it/2011/12/74-hooraw-for-blackball-line.html
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LxA489.html http://warrenfahey.com/fc_maritime8c.html http://www.well.com/~cwj/dogwatch/chanteys/Black%20Ball%20Line.html http://www.oceannavigator.com/October-2011/Nov-Dec-2011-Issue-198-Hurrah-for-the-Black-Ball-Line/ http://www.contemplator.com/sea/blkball.html http://anitra.net/chanteys/blackball.html
http://warrenfahey.com/ccarey-s13.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/the-focsle-singers/songs-and-shanties/american-folk-celtic/music/album/smithsonian
http://media.smithsonianfolkways.org/liner_notes/smithsonian_folkways/SFW40053.pdf
http://www.exmouthshantymen.com/songbook.php?id=61

MAID GAED TAE THE MILL

Ci sono professioni nelle ballate popolari che richiamano di per sé una certa promiscuità sessuale: così il soldato e il marinaio per la loro condizione girovaga, ma anche l’aratore, il fabbro, o il calzolaio o ancora il mugnaio (un po’ come per le professioni odierne dell’idraulico o il postino!) . Così le canzoni su calzolai e mugnai hanno spesso un che di boccaccesco (continua prima parte)

LA VARIANTE DEL MUGNAIO: MAID GAED TAE THE MILL

“The Maid gaed to the Mill” (The Maid went to the Mill) è un brano tradizionale sulla scia della serie  “The Shoemaker’s kiss” basta scambiare il calzolaio con il mugnaio e il mattino presto con la sera che il succo della storia è lo stesso. Tuttavia la fanciulla è questa volta tutt’altro che ingenua, anzi viene definita “wanton” che tra i vari significati in riferimento alla sessualità indica un comportamento voglioso e lascivo.
Per il suo approccio gioioso a una sessualità “spensierata” è classificabile tra le bothy ballads.

La canzone è comparsa in stampa verso la fine del 1700 (Ancient And Modern Scottish Songs, David Herd 1776 e “The Scots Musical Museum” Vol.5 no. 481, 1796 con la melodia “I Am A Miller To my Trade” – che a sua volta è suonata come “Johnny I hardly knew ye”).

ASCOLTA Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger, Ewan imparò la canzone dal padre scozzese e così la restituisce in scots


I
The maid gaed tae
the mill ae nicht
Hech hey(1) sae wanton(2),
The maid gaed tae
the mill ae night
And hey sae wanton she
She swore by a’ the stars sae bricht
That she’ld hae her corn grun'(3)
She’ld hae her corn grun’
Mill and multure(4) free
II
Then oot an’ cam’ the miller’s man
Then oot an’ cam’ the miller’s man
He swore he’ll dae
the best he can
Fir tae get her corn grun’
tae get her corn grun’
Mill and multure free
III
He put his haund upon her neck
He put his haund upon her neck
He dang her doon(5) upon a sack
And there she got her corn grun’
she get her corn grun’
Mill and multure free
IV
When a’ the rest
gaed tae their play
When a’ the rest
gaed tae their play
She sighed and said
and wuldna stay
Because she’d got her corn grun’
she get her corn grun’
Mill and multure free
V
When forty weeks
were passed an’ gane
When forty weeks
were passed an’ gane
This lassie had a braw lad bairn
For gettin’ a’  her corn grun’
gettin’ a’ her corn grun’
Mill and multure free
VI
Her mither bade cast it oot
Her mither bade cast it oot
It was the miller’s dusty clout
For gettin’ a’  her corn grun’
gettin’ a’ her corn grun’
Mill and multure free
VII
Her faither bade her keep it in
Her faither bade her keep it in
It was the chief o’ all her kin
Because he has her corn  grun’
he has her corn  grun’
Mill and multure free (6)

Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
La fanciulla andò
al mulino la scorsa notte
ahimè così sfacciata
La fanciulla andò
al mulino la scorsa notte
ahimè così sfacciata
giurò per le stelle molto luminose
che avrebbe avuto il suo raccolto del grano, avrebbe avuto il suo raccolto del grano, macinato gratis
II
Allora uscì il mugnaio
Allora uscì il mugnaio
e giurò che avrebbe
fatto del suo meglio
per avere il suo grano,
per avere il suo grano
macinato gratis

III
Le mise la mano intorno al collo
Le mise la mano intorno al collo
e la buttò giù su di un sacco
ed ebbe il suo grano,
ebbe il suo grano,
macinato gratis

IV
Quando finirono
di fare i loro comodi,
Quando finirono
di fare i loro comodi
lei sospirò e disse
che non poteva rimanere
perchè aveva il suo grano,
aveva il suo grano,
macinato gratis

V
Quando nove mesi
furono passati e andati
Quando nove mesi
furono passati e andati
la fanciulla ha avuto un bel bambino
per aver avuto tutto il suo grano
aver avuto tutto il suo grano
macinato gratis
VI
Sua madre le ordinò di mandarlo via
Sua madre le ordinò di mandarlo via
il marchio polveroso del mugnaio
per aver avuto tutto il suo grano
aver avuto tutto il suo grano
macinato gratis
VII
Suo padre le ordinò di tenerlo
Suo padre le ordinò di tenerlo
fu il capo di tutto il clan
perchè aveva il raccolto del grano
aveva il raccolto del grano
macinato gratis

NOTE
1) Hech hey: traducibile con ahimè
2) Wanton: sessualmente disinibita
3) Grund: ground letteralmente campo di grano ma nel contesto si tratta ovviamente del grano raccolto e messo nei sacchi per essere macinato
4) Multure: parte lasciata al mugnaio per il pagamento della macinatura
5) Dang her doon: pushed her down with force
6) essendo il figlio del mugnaio!

Traduzione inglese Cattia Salto
I
The maid went to the mill last night
Hey-hey, so wanton!
The maid went to the mill last night
Hey, so wanton she!
She swore below the stars so bright
That she should have her corn ground,
She should have her corn ground
The miller grinds so free!

II
Then out come miller’s man
He swore he’d do the best he can
For to get her …
III
He put his hand about her neck
He flung her down upon a sack
And there she got her …
IV
When all the rest went to their play
She sighed and said she would not stay
Because she got her …
V
When nine months were passed and gone
This lassie had a brawling child
For getting all her …
VI
Her mother bade her cast it out
It was the miller’s dusty clout
For getting all her …
VII
Her father bade her keep it in
It was the chief of all her clan
Because he has her

continua I MUGNAI NELLE BALLDS

FONTI
http://sangstories.webs.com/maidgaedtaethemill.htm
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiMAIDMILL;ttMAIDMILL.html
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.folk/he5wXYSUW34
http://www.penultimateharn.com/music/millmaid.html
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3815

Dirty Old Town by Ewan MacColl

Scritta da James Miller (alias Ewan MacColl) ‎ nel 1949 “Dirty Old Town” è ambientata a Salford (nel distretto della “Grande Manchester”): cresciuto nell’Inghilterra del Nord ma di origini scozzesi Ewan, attore, cantante, cantautore, produttore discografico, fa della sua città natale un embelma della rivoluzione industriale inglese ottocentesca.
Una triste e fumosa città-dormitorio inglese descritta da Marx e Engels come “un enorme quartiere operaio…una città assai malsana, sporca e degradata“.
Così note del suo songbook leggiamo: This superb song was written to cover a scene-change in a play which was set in Salford, Lancashire, the city which provided the philosopher Friedrich Engels with most of the information for his book ‘The condition of the working class in 1844’.
Oggi l’area dei moli è diventata una luccicante e moderna vetrina di architettura post-moderna.

L’area dell’Old Canal riqualificata architettonicamente

La canzone passa per tradizionale irlandese essendo stata divulgata prima dai Dubliners e dai Pogues poi.

ASCOLTA Ewan MacColl con la moglie Peggy Seeger con un arrangiamento jazz (nel video immagini di Salford negli anni 50-60) e li vediamo giovani innamorati lungo le rive del canale che passeggiano


I
I met my love
by the gas works [1] wall [2]
Dreamed a dream
by the old canal[3]
Kissed my girl
by the factory wall
Dirty old town[4]
Dirty old town
II
Clouds a drifting
across the moon
Cats a prowling on their beat
Spring’s a girl[5]
in the streets at night
III
I heard a siren[6]
from the docks
Saw a train[7]
set the night on fire
Smelled the smoke
on the Salford wind[8]
IV
I’m going to make me
a good sharp axe
Shining steel
tempered in the fire
Will chop you down
like an old dead tree[9]
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Incontravo il mio amore
accanto al muro dell’officina del gas, facevo progetti
dal vecchio canale,
baciavo la mia ragazza
contro il muro della fabbrica
Sporca vecchia città
Sporca vecchia città
II
Nuvole alla deriva
davanti alla luna
gatti furtivi a caccia
primavera è una bambina
nelle strade di sera
III
Udivo la sirena
dai moli
vedevo un treno
mettere a fuoco la notte
annusavo il fumo
nel vento di Salford
IV
Sto andando ad affilare
bene l’ascia
d’acciaio luccicante
temprato nel fuoco
e ti abbatterò
come un vecchio albero morto

NOTE
1) Nell’ottocento il gas che serviva per l’illuminazione pubblica e per la forza motrice veniva prodotto in un impianto industriale, erano le officine del gas con mastodontici gasometri che richiamano immagini di carri ricolmi di carbone affluire dai porti e lungo i canali fino alle Officine. La fabbrica del gas di Salford è stata la prima in Inghilterra, e Salford è stata la prima città al mondo ad avere le strade illuminate a gas. La richiesta di approvvigionamento di gas continuò ad aumentare finendo ad alimentare anche gli apparecchi domestici, (i fornelli per cuocere il cibo e le caldaie per produrre acqua calda). Il coke veniva cotto nei forni e il gas prodotto mandato nei grossi serbatoi in attesa della distribuzione. L’aria era pestilenziale e molto alto l’indice di mortalità degli operai fuochisti a causa delle esalazioni dei gas. Con l’uso del gas naturale tutte le officine del gas sono state dismesse e smantellate.
2) scritto anche come croft: è il terreno incolto delle aree di risulta urbane
3) il Manchester Ship Canal: evidentemente l’unico posto un po’ romantico dove andare a passeggiare con la ragazza a Salford era quel canale sebbene fiancheggiato dalle fabbriche. Il contrasto è stridente soprattutto se paragonato ai romantici incontri campestri descritti nelle canzoni tradizionali.
4) una old town emblematica: la città industralizzata con il quartiere operaio sovravvollato, malmesso e malsano, costruito nella zona più degradata della città.
5) sono i bambini che giocano nelle strade ai primi raggi di sole, perchè la strada era il loro salotto buono
6) la sirena delle navi
7) “un treno a vapore con il focolare che brillava nella notte” si tratta di uno Staem train, il treno con la locomotiva a vapore, alimentato con il carbone dal fuochista: più che le fiamme la caratteristica della locomotiva a vapore sono gli sbuffi di fumo oggetto di diversi studi e raffigurazioni nei quadri di Claude Monet, ma senz’altro con un po’ d’immaginazione i treni potevano essere paragonati a macchine infernali che mettevano a ferro e fuoco la notte. La cabina aperta del conducente lasciava intravedere la bocca del focolare quando i macchinisti lo caricavano di carbone e dal comignolo sprizzavano anche scintille che spesso incendiavano il sottobosco accanto alla linea ferroviaria.
8) Il verso non piacque alle autorità municipali di Salford e MacColl lo cambiò  in ‎‎“smelled the spring on the smoky wind”, in italiano: annusavo la primavera nel vento pieno di fumo; un verso però che sembra molto ironico, l’odore portato dal vento era quello dell’aria inquinata, un fumo grigio che sporcava di fuliggine tutta la città. Una volta entrato nel circuito folk il verso ha subito ulteriori rielaborazioni passando per sulphured e fino a diventare un Dublin wind
9) in effetti il porto di Salford è stato smantellato e il quartiere operaio abbattuto per costruirvi un moderno polo direttivo, ma non credo che sia quello che Ewan avesse in mente. Avrebbe voluto distruggere il sistema di sfruttamento dei lavoratori asserviti al mostro-fabbrica alimentato dalla logica del profitto di pochi capitalisti, l’ascia è quindi l’emblema del socialismo e di un diverso sistema di gestire il lavoro senza sfruttare l’uomo.
L’imagine poetica però è quella che accosta le alte ciminiere di mattoni e cemento che buttano fuori il fumo a dei vecchi alberi morti (al posto delle chiome verdi, il grigio dele polveri)

FONTI
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=45136&lang=it
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=25048
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48907

Fair Annie and Gregory

La ballata tradizionale conosciuta comunemente con il titolo di Lord Gregory appartiene ad una family songs cioè un gruppo di canzoni dalla matrice comune in cui il tema si svolge sfaccettandosi in varie angolature.
Nella tragica ballata si narra di un amore abbandonato con tre protagonisti e alcuni risvolti magici: lei (Anna, a volte figlia di re), lui (Lord Gregory) e la madre di lui, con Anna o la madre di Lord Gregory nel ruolo di una fata-strega incantatrice.  La ballata riprende un racconto popolare di origine medievale detto “accused queen” (vedi parte introduttiva)

VERSIONE SCOZZESE: THE LASS OF ROCH ROYAL

Il gruppo principale riporta il titolo “The Lass of Roch Royal” ma anche i titoli alternativi “Lord Gregory”, “Fair Annie and Gregory”, “Love Gregor”, “Anne Gregory”.
La versione più antica (Child # 71 versione A, Libro di canzoni manoscritto di Elizabeth Cochrane), ha una storia preliminare in cui Isabella di Rochroyal in sogno vede il luogo dove si trova Lord Gregory, al mattino fa sellare il suo cavallo e galoppa fino al castello del suo amante. Durante il tragitto incontra una comitiva con la quale scambia una conversazione apparentemente enigmatica
VI
‘O whether is this the first young may,
That lighted and gaed in;
Or is this the second young may,
That neer the sun shined on?
Or is this Fair Isabell of Roch Royall,
Banisht from kyth and kin.’
VII
‘O I am not the first young may,
That lighted and gaed in;
Nor neither am I the second young may,
That neer the sun shone on;
VIII
‘But I’m Fair Isabell of Roch Royall
Banisht from kyth and kin;
I’m seeking my true-love Gregory,
And I woud I had him in.’

Secondo David C. Fowler nel suo “An Accused Queen in “The Lass of Roch Royal”” in The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 71, No. 282 (Oct. – Dec., 1958)
“Are you the young maid,” they ask, “that visits Gregory openly during the day? Or are you the one that slips in to see him at night? Or are you the one [i.e., Isabell of Rochroyall] that he got into trouble?” Understanding the questions in this way, it is immediately apparent 1) that Gregory is (at least allegedly) a ladies’ man, 2) that the three maids represent steps up (or down) the ladder to his affections, and 3) that Isabell’s plight is well known. But what motivates the company to ask such questions? On the assumption that they recognize her as Isabell, which seems likely in context, the most that can be said is that they do not appear to be favorably disposed toward the girl.

Sempre nella Versione A della storia la madre vuole allontanare la fanciulla con l’inganno
“Love Gregory, he is not at home
But he is to the sea;
If you have any word to him,
I pray you leave ‘t with me.”

Appena viene a sapere dalla ragazza che è incinta afferma di volere prendersene cura solo se lei non rivelerà a nessun il nome del padre fino al ritorno di Lord Gregory, ma la fanciulla risponde
“I’ll set my foot on the ship-board,
God send me wind and more!
For there’s never a woman shall bear a son
Shall make my heart so sore.”

La versione in ‘The Bonny Lass of Lochroyan, or Lochroyen,’ Manuscripts e Scottish Songs di Herd 1776 (Child # 71 versione B) è abbastanza simile alla Versione D (Jamieson-Brown Manuscript, fol. 27; Jamieson’s Popular Ballads, I, 36), quella più diffusa ovvero la versione standard.

Nella versione più estesa della ballata veniamo a sapere già dalle prime strofe che a rispondere alle richieste di Anna è la madre (chiamata false mother). Eppure Anna risponde come se avesse parlato Lord Gregory e quindi è presumibile che la madre abbia impersonato Lord Gregory (un’imitazione? Un incantesimo?)

Gericault-shipwreck

ASCOLTA Ewan MacColl in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads Vol. 2 Child Ballads

La versione originale (vedi) è di 32 strofe ridotte da Ewan a 18 (vedi).


I
“Oh wha will lace my shoes sae sma’(1)
And wha will glove my hand?
And wha will lace my middle sae jimp
Wi’ my new-made linen band?
II
“Wha will kaim my yellow hair
Wi’ my new siller kaim
And wha will faither my young son
Till Lord Gregory come hame?
III
“But I will get a bonnie boat
And I will sail the sea
For I maun gang to Lord Gregory
Since he canna come hame to me
IV
“Oh row ye boat, my mariners
And bring me to dry land
For yonder I see my love’s castel
Close by the saut sea strand
V
“Oh open the door, Lord Gregory
Open and let me in
For the wind blows through my yellow hair
And I am shivering to the chin”
VI
“Awa’, awa’ ye wile woman
Some ill death may ye dee
Ye’re but a witch or a wild warlock
Or mermaid o’ the sea”
VII
“I’m neither a witch nor a wild warlock
Nor mermaid o’ the sea
But I’m fair Annie o’ Roch Royal
then, open the door to me
VIII
“Oh dinna ye mind, Lord Gregory(2)
When ye sat at the wine
We changed the rings frae our fingers
And I can show thee thine
IX
“Oh, dinna ye mind, Lord Gregory
When in my faither’s ha’
‘Twas there ye got your will o’ me
And that was worst o’ a’(3)”
X
“Awa’, awa’, ye wile woman
For here ye sanna win in
Gae droon ye in the saut sea
Or hang on the gallow’s pin”
XI
When the cock did craw and the day did daw’
And the sun began to peep
Then up did rise Lord Gregory
And sair, sair did he weep
XII
“I dreamt a dream, my mither dear
The thocht o’t gars me greet
I dreamed fair Annie o’ Roch Royal
Lay cauld deid at my feet”
XIII
“Gin it be Annie o’ Roch Royal(4)
That gars ye mak’ this din
She stood a’ nicht at our ha’ door
But I didna let her in”
XIV
“Oh wae betide ye, ill woman
Some ill death may ye dee
That ye wadna be letten poor Annie in
Or else hae waukened me”
XV
He’s gane doon tae yon sea shore
As fast as he could fare
he saw fair Annie in her boat
And the wind it tossed her sair
XVI
The wind blew loud and the sea grew rough
And the boat was dashed on shore
Fair Annie floated upon the sea
But her young son rose no more
XVII
Lord Gregory tore his yellow hair
And made his heavy moan
Fair Annie lay deid at his feet
But his bonnie young son was gane
XVIII
“Oh wae betide ye, cruel mither
and ill death may ye dee
That ye couldna hae letten fair Annie in
When she came sae far tae me”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
“Oh chi allaccerà le mie scarpine (1)
e chi mi metterà i guanti?
Chi mi allaccerà bene il busto
con nuove fasce di lino?
II
Chi mi pettinerà i biondi capelli
con il mio nuovo pettine d’argento
e chi sarà il padre di mio figlio
finchè Lord Gregory ritornerà a casa?”
III
“Ma io preparerò una bella barca
e salperò per il mare
per andare da Lord Gregory
poichè  lui non può venire da me”
IV
“Oh vogate, miei marinai
e portatemi sulla terra ferma
che laggiù vedo il castello del mio amore, avvicinatevi alla battigia”
V
“Oh apri la porta, Lord Gregory
apri e fammi entrare
che il vento soffia tra i miei
biondi capelli
e io sbatto i denti”
VI
“Via, via o donna incantatrice
che puoi fare ammalare fino alla morte,
sei una strega del mare o una maga oscura, o una sirena del mare”
VII
“Non sono una strega del mare o una maga oscura, nè una sirena del mare,
io sono la bella Annie di Roch Royal
così aprimi la porta”
VIII
“Ti ricordi, Lord Gregory (2)
quando eri seduto a bere vino
ci siamo scambiati gli anelli
alle dita e posso mostrarti il tuo”
IX
“Ti ricordi, Lord Gregory
quando nella sala di mio padre
hai fatto ciò che hai voluto di me e quella fu la cosa peggiore tra tutte (3)”
X
“Via vattene donna incantatrice
che tu non vincerai qui,
vai ad annegarti nel mare
o ad appenderti sulla forca”
XI
Quando il gallo cantò
spuntò l’alba
e il sole fece capolino
allora si alzò Lord Gregory
e triste si mise a piangere
XII
“Ho fatto un sogno, cara madre,
e al solo pensiero piango
ho sognato la bella Annie di Roch Royal
che giaceva morta ai miei piedi”
XIII
“Se è Annie di Roch Royal (4)
che ti ha dato questo dolore
è stata tutta la notte fuori dalla porta
ma io non l’ho fatta entrare”
XIV
“Oh guai a te, donna pazza
che tu possa ammalarti fino alla morte
che non hai lasciato entrare la povera Annie e nemmeno mi hai svegliato”
XV
Egli andò fino alla riva del mare
più velocemente che potè
e vide la bella Annie sulla sua barca
e il vento che scuoteva le sue vele
XVI
Il vento soffiava forte e il mare s’ingrossò
e la barca naufragò sulla riva
la bella Annie galleggiava sul mare
ma il suo bambino non riemerse più.
XVII
Lord Gregory si strappava i biondi capelli e gridava il suo triste lamento
la bella Annie era morta ai suoi piedi e il suo bel bambino era scomparso.
XVIII
“Oh guai a te, madre crudele
che ti possa ammalare fino alla morte
perchè non hai lasciato entrare la bella Annie
quando è venuta da me”

NOTE
1) Anna si chiede “Chi si prenderà cura di me?” ma il montaggio di questa parte è alterato rispetto alle prime versioni della ballata (e in particolare in The lass of Ocram), in cui la fanciulla prima si reca al castello, poi chiede di entrare e alla richiesta di dimostrare la sua identità cita i tre pegni scambiati con Lord Gregory. Quando la madre viene a sapere che la ragazza è incinta (o che ha partorito un bambino) la scaccia in malo modo. Allora Anna chiede chi si prenderà cura di lei e del bambino e ottiene come risposta che saranno i suoi parenti ad occuparsi di lei mentre per il figlio:
And let God be father of your child,
For Lord Gregory is none
2) in questa versione siamo portati a credere che sia Lord Gregory a rispondere ad Anne e invece apprendiamo che è stata la madre solo nella XI strofa
3) la frase può essere più compiutamente compresa alla luce di quanto riportato nella The Lass of Ocram” (vedi) in cui la fanciulla ricorda a Lord Gregory dei tre “pegni” (three tokens) che si sono scambiati: il primo una camicia di preziosa tela Olandese contro quella di tela scozzese donata da lui; il secondo gli anelli quello di lei di oro fino, quello di lui di stagno; il terzo la verginità
One night in my fathers hall,
Where you stole my maidenhead,
Which was the worst of all.
Si tratta simbolicamente di una contrapposizione tra vero e falso amore
4) nella versione la madre risponde al figlio per giustificare il suo comportamento
XXIII
‘O there was a woman stood at the door,
Wi a bairn intill her arms,
But I woud na lat her within the bowr,
For fear she had done you harm.’

Dalle registrazioni sul campo: ASCOLTA

VERSIONE IRLANDESE: LORD GREGORY

In questa versione della ballata, diffusa anche in diverse versioni testuali da Maddy Prior, Anna diventa la figlia del re di Cappoquin o Capelkin (Irlanda sud contea di Waterford). All’ingresso del castello, le viene detto che Lord Gregory non c’è, perchè è andato in Scozia a portare a casa la sua nuova sposa.
ASCOLTA Fiona Kelleher (strofe I, II, VI e ripete I) intensa e sussurrata l’interpretazione di Fiona intrecciata con ossessive note di pianoforte e le cupe ombre del  contrabbasso suonato con l’archetto


I
I am a King’s daughter come
straight from Cappoquin(1),
In search of Lord Gregory,
pray God I’ll find him.
The rain beats at my yellow locks,
the dew wets me still,
The babe is cold in my arms, love,
Lord Gregory let me in.
II
Lord Gregory is not here
and he henceforth can’t be seen,
For he’s gone to bonny Scotland
to bring home his new queen.
Leave now these windows
and likewise this hall,
For it’s deep in the sea
you will find your downfall.
III
“Who’ll shoe my babe’s little feet?
Who’ll put gloves on her hand?
Who will tie my babe’s middle
With a long linen band?
Who’ll comb my babe’s yellow hair
With an ivory comb?
Who will be my babe’s father
Till Lord Gregory comes home?
IV
Do you remember, love Gregory,
That night in Callander
Where we changed pocket handkerchiefs,
And me against my will?
For yours was pure linen, love,
And mine but coarse cloth;
For yours cost a guinea, love,
And mine but one groat(2).
V
Do you remember, love Gregory,
That night in Callander
Where we changed rings on our fingers,
And me against my will?
For yours was pure silver, love,
And mine was but tin;
For yours cost a guinea, love,
And mine but one cent.”
VI
Do you remember, love Gregory,
that night in Cappoquin?
You stole away my maidenhead
and sore against my will.
And I’ll leave now these windows
and likewise this hall,
For it’s deep in the sea
I will find my downfall.
VII
“And my curse on you, Mother,
My curse being sore!
Sure, I dreamed the girl I love
came a-knocking at my door.”
“Sleep down you foolish son,
Sleep down and sleep on:
For it’s long ago that weary girl
Lies drownin’ in the sea.”
VIII
“Well go saddle me the black horse,
The brown, and the gray;
Go saddle me the best horse
In my stable to-day!
And I’ll range over mountains,
Over valleys so wide,
Till I find the girl I love
And I’ll lay by her side.”
traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Sono la figlia del re arrivata direttamente da Cappoquin (1)
a cercare Lord Gregory
e per Dio lo troverò.
La pioggia cade sui miei riccioli biondi
e anche la rugiada mi bagna,
il bambino ha freddo tra le mie braccia,
Lord Gregory, fammi entrare.
II
Lord Gregory non è qui
e non può ricevere visite,
perchè è andato nella bella Scozia
per portare a casa la sua nuova sposa.
Allontanati adesso dalle finestre
e anche da questo castello
perchè nel fondo del mare
troverai la tua rovina.
III
“Chi allaccerà le scarpe alla mia bimba?
Chi le metterà i guanti?
Chi fascerà bene il busto della bimba
con lunghe fasce di lino?
Chi pettinerà i biondi capelli della bimba con un pettine d’avorio?
Chi sarà il padre di mia figlia
finchè Lord Gregory ritornerà a casa?
IV
Ti ricordi Lord Gregory
quella notte a Callander
quando ci siamo scambiati
i fazzoletti da taschino
contro la mia volontà?
Perchè il tuo era di puro lino, amore
e il mio solo di tela grossolana,
però  il tuo costava una ghinea, amore
e il mio solo pochi penny (2)
V
Ti ricordi, Gregory caro,
quella notte a Callander
quando ci siamo scambiati gli anelli al dito
contro la mia volontà?
Il tuo era di argento puro, caro
e il mio solo di latta,
il tuo costava una ghinea
e il mio solo un centesimo.
VI
Ti ricordi, Gregory caro,
quella notte a Cappoquin?
Hai preso la mia verginità
e contro la mia volontà
e mi allontanerò adesso dalle finestre
come pure da questo castello
perchè nel fondo del mare
troverò la mia rovina.”
VII
“Ti maledico, madre,
ti maledico con dolore!
Ho sognato la donna che amo
che veniva a bussare alla mia porta.”
“Dormi figlio, sogni pazzie,
rimettiti a dormire
è da un pezzo che quella ragazza sventurata è annegata in fondo al mare”
VII
“sellatemi il cavallo nero
quello baio e il grigio
sellatemi il cavallo migliore
che c’è oggi nella stalla
e io cercherò per i monti
e le ampie vallate
finchè troverò la donna che amo
e mi stenderò al suo fianco”

NOTE
1) anche Callander
2) goat= moneta inglese d’argento dal valore di quattro penny.
FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/shirley.collins/songs/lordgregory.html

Dreadnought, The Wild Boat of the Atlantic

Read the post in English

Una sea song sulla nave The Dreadnought  il postale americano varato nel 1853, fiore all’occhiello della Compagnia Marittima “Red Cross”, soprannominato “The Wild Boat of the Atlantic”: compagnie concorrenti come la Swallow Tail e la Black Ball non riuscirono mai a superare le sue prestazioni. Eppure l’epoca dei grandi velieri era finita e la sua vita sembra essere il canto del cigno.
Una croce rossa, logo della compagnia era disegnata sulla vela di parrocchetto (la vela intermedia dell’albero di trinchetto), e poteva portare fino a 200 passeggeri.

Montague Dawson (1890–1973) The Red Cross – ‘Dreadnought

The Dreadnought fece rotta nell’Atlantico, per lo più nella tratta New-York-Liverpoo, fino al suo naufragio al famigerato Capo Horn dopo che era salpata da Liverpool per San Francisco (1869).

Derry Down, Down, Derry Down

Secondo Stan Hugill era una forebitter cantata sulla melodia nota come “La Pique” o “The Flash Frigate” (che richiama “Villikins and His Dinah”). Anche Kipling nel suo libro “Capitani Coraggiosi” la fa cantare dai pescatori sui Banchi di Terranova.
Nella versione capstan shanty si aggiunge un ritornello più lungo cantato in coro
Bound away! Bound away! 
where the wide [wild] waters flow,
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnaught we’ll go!

La melodia con cui è associata la shanty non è univoca essendo utilizzata anche l’aria “The Dom Pedro”. La versione forebitter porta il ritornello di un solo verso, una frase nonsenso talvolta utilizzata nelle ballate più antiche. La melodia è mesta, pur decantando i pregi della nave, sembra essere un compianto alla memoria di una nave famosa per le sue prestazioni, conclusasi nel naufragio. E’ anche un addio all’epoca dei velieri, oramai surclassati dalle navi a vapore.

Ewan MacColl

Iggy Pop & Elegant Too  in “Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys” ANTI 2013


The Dreadnoughts,
la band di Vancouver ha preso il nome non dal postale ottocentesco ma da una innovativa nave da battaglia detta “corazzata monocalibro” sviluppata a partire dai primi anni del XX secolo (Dreadnought, dall’inglese “non temo nulla”) strofe (I, III, IV, V) il piglio alla “pogues” la trasforma in un lament rock

Versione completa (qui)
I
There’s a flash packet,
a flash packet of fame,
She hails to (from) New York
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She’s bound to the westward
where the strong winds blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the westward we go.
Derry down, down, down derry down.
II
Now, the Dreadnought
she lies in the river Mercey,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea;
Out around the Rock Light
where the salt tides do flow,
Bound away to to the westward
in the Dreadnought, we’ll go.
III (1)
(O, the Dreadnought’s a-howlin’
down the wild Irish Sea,
Her passengers merry,
with hearts full of glee,)
As sailors like lions
walk the decks to and fro,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!
IV (2)
O, the Dreadnought’s a-sailin’
the Atlantic so wide,
While the high roaring seas
roll along her black sides,
(With her sails tightly set
for the Red Cross to show,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!)
V
Now, a health to the Dreadnought,
to all her brave crew,
To bold Captain Samuel (3),
his officers, too,
Talk about your flash packets,
Swallowtail and Black Ball (4),
The Dreadnaught’s the flier(5)
that outsails them all.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’è un postale veloce
un postale veloce rinomato
che salpa per (da) New York
e si chiama la Dreadnought
Fa rotta per l’Occidente
dove colpiscono i venti di tempesta
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andiamo.
Derry down, down, down derry down
II
La Dreadnought
è in rada nel fiume  Mercey
in attesa dell’Independence
che la rimorchierà fino al mare;
oltre il Faro
dove s’alza la marea
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andremo
III
La Dreadnought fa vela
verso il Mare d’Irlanda
I suoi passeggeri felici
con i cuori pieni di gioia
mentre i marinai come leoni
camminano sui ponti indaffarati
E’ il postale di Liverpool
per Dio, fatela andare!
IV
La Dreadnought naviga
l’oceano Atlantico
mentre le onde alte ruggiscono
e scorrono lungo le sue fiancate
con le vele dispiegate
per mostrare alla Red Cross
che è lei il postale di Liverpool
per Dio, fatela andare!
V
Alla salute della Dreadnought
e a tutta la sua ciurma di bravi
al valente Capitano Samuel
e anche ai suoi ufficiali
e riguardo i vostri veloci velieri
Coda Forcuta e Palla Nera
la Dreadnought  è il postale
che li supera tutti.

NOTE
1)  i Dreadnoughts dicono invece
With the gale at her back/ What a sight does she make
A skippin’ so merry/With the west in her wake
2)  i Dreadnoughts dicono invece nella seconda parte della strofa
With her sails tight as wires/And the Black Flag to show
All away to the Dreadnought/To the westward we’ll go
3) il suo primo capitano si chiamava Samuel Samuels, “In his own words: “Swearing, which appeared to me so essential in the make-up of an officer, I found degrading in a gentleman and I prohibited its indulgence. I also insisted that the crew should be justly treated by the officers.” He seems to have known when to turn a blind eye to the particular brand of justice which had to be handed out to over-troublesome “packet rats” by his mates. To the passengers and his officers he was the model of the young clipper captain, respected, well-groomed and quietly spoken, but always perfectly self-confident and calm in an emergency. The Dreadnought undoubtedly owed her conspicuous success at a difficult time to the personality of her master.(tratto da qui)  i Dreadnoughts dicono ” To bold captain Willy”
4) compagnie concorrenti alla  “Red Cross Line”
5) scritto come flier o flyer, ho preferito tradurre con la tipologia di nave

LA VERSIONE DI STAN HUGILL

Hulton Clint la canta sulla melodia  “Dom Pedro.” E’ la versione più estesa della precedente, con alcune variazioni (ho ancora delle difficoltà nella trascrizione a distinguere alcune frasi)


I
There’s a saucy wild packet,
a packet of fame;
She belongs to New York,
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She is bound to the westward
where the wide water flow;
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.
Chorus
Derry down, down, down derry down
II
The time of her sailing
is now drawing nigh;
Farewell, pretty maids,
we must bid you good-bye;
Farewell to old England
and all we hold dear,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll steer.
III
And now we are hauling
out of Waterlock dock,
Where the boys and the girls
on the pierheads they do flock;
They will give us their cheers
as their tears they do flow,
Saying, “God bless the Dreadnought, where’er she may go!”
IV
Now, the Dreadnought she lies
in the Mersey so free,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea,
For to around that rock light
where the Mersey does flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
where’er we’ll go.
V
Now the Dreadnaught’s a-howling
down the wild Irish Sea,
Where the passengers are merry,
their hearts full of glee,
her sailors like tigers
walk the decks to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
VI
Now, the Dreadnought’s
a-sailing the Atlantic so wide,
While the high rolling seas
roll along her black sides,
With her topsails set taut
for the Red Cross to show
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
VII
Now the Dreadnought’s has reached the banks of Newfoundland,
Where the water’s so green
and the bottom so sand;
Where the fish in the waves
They swim to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
with the ice and the snow
VIII
Now the Dreadnought’s lying
on the long .. shore
??
as we have done before
? your main topsail ?
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
IX
And now we arrived
in New York once more,
We’ll go to the land we adore,
we call for strong liquors
and merry we’ll be
Drink to the health to the Dreadnought, where’er she may be.
X
So here’s health to the Dreadnought
and all her brave crew;
To bold Captain Samuels
and his officers too.
Talk about your flash packets, Swallowtail and Black Ball,
but the Dreadnought’s
he clipper to beat one and all
XI
Now my story is finish
and my tale it is told
forgive me, old shipmates,
if you think that I’m bold;
for this song was composed
while the watch was below
and at the health
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’è un postale biricchino
un postale  rinomato
che appartiene a New York
e si chiama la Dreadnought.
Fa rotta per l’Occidente
dove scorrono i flutti impetuosi,
verso Occidente imbarcati
sulla Dreadnought andremo.
Coro
Derry down, down, down derry down

II
Il tempo della partenza
si avvicina
Addio belle fanciulle,
dobbiamo dirvi addio,
addio vecchia Inghilterra
e a tutti  i nostri cari
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente faremo rotta
III
Ora leviamo l’ancora
dal molo di Waterlock
dove i ragazzi e le ragazze
si ammassano sulla banchina
ci saluteranno con gli applausi
mentre faranno scorrere le lacrime
dicendo ” Dio benedica la Dreadnought ovunque vada”
IV
Ora la Dreadnought
è in rada nel fiume  Mercey
in attesa dell’Independence
che la rimorchierà fino al mare;
per superare il Faro
dove il Mersey s’alza
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andremo
III
La Dreadnought fa vela
verso il Mare d’Irlanda,
i suoi passeggeri felici
con i cuori pieni di gioia,
mentre i marinai come tigri
camminano sui ponti indaffarati
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andremo
IV
La Dreadnought naviga
l’oceano Atlantico
mentre le onde alte ruggiscono
e scorrono lungo le sue fiancate
con le vele dispiegate
per mostrare la Croce Rossa
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andremo
V
Ora la Dreadnought  ha raggiunto
i Banchi di Terranova
dove l’acqua è così verde
e il fondale è sabbioso
dove i pesci nel mare
nuotano a frotte
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
con ghiaccio e neve
VIII
Ora la Dreadnought è in rada
sulla lunga spiaggia ..
?
come abbiamo già fatto prima
?
imbarcati sulla Dreadnought
verso Occidente andremo
IX
E ora  che siamo arrivati
ancora una volta a New York,
andremo nella terra che adoriamo,
a ordinare liquori forti
e felice saremo
a bere alla salute della Dreadnought,
ovunque vada
X
Alla salute della Dreadnought
e a tutta la sua ciurma di bravi
al valente Capitano Samuel
e anche ai suoi ufficiali
e riguardo i vostri postali rapidi
Swallowtail e Black Ball,
la Dreadnought
è il clipper che li supera tutti.
XI
Ora la mia storia è finita
e ho raccontato tutto
perdonatemi vecchio compagni
se credete che sia stato audace;
perchè questa canzone è stata composta nel turno di riposo
e alla salute della Dreadnought

continua

FONTI
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LD13.html
http://www.shippingwondersoftheworld.com/dreadnought.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/sea-shanty/Dreadnought.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/dread.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/isingofa.htm
http://czteryrefy.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/eteksty/eng_flashfrigate.html
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/dreadnaught.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62355
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85200