Tha Mo Ghaol Air Àird A’ Chuain vs Jamie’s on the stormy sea

We find ourselves in the umpteenth case of similarity between Gaelic song and English song in which (wrongly) it is assumed that the first one is older than the second one.
So “Tha Mo Ghaol Air Àird A ‘Chuain” and “Jamie’s on the stormy sea” are the same song but the version in Gaelic is later than the English one that takes as a model. The author of the English version is of the American Bernard Covert who composed it for the Hutchinsons (of which he was also their agent) in 1847.
[Ci troviamo nell’ennesimo caso di somiglianza tra canzone gaelica e canzone inglese in cui si presuppone (erroneamente) che la prima sia più vecchia della seconda.
Così “Tha Mo Ghaol Air Àird A’ Chuain” e “Jamie’s on the stormy sea” sono la stessa canzone ma  la versione in gaelico è successiva a quella inglese che prende come modello. L’autore della versione inglese è dell’americano Bernard Covert che la compose per gli Hutchinsons (di cui era anche l’agente) nel 1847.]

Controversial still the opinion that the song had some Scottish origins for example Aindrias Hirt in applying his theory on the natural scale of the traditional European song does not find correspondence for this melody (see)
[Controverso ancora il parere che il canto avesse avuto delle origini scozzesi ad esempio Aindrias Hirt nell’applicare la sua teoria sulla scala naturale del canto tradizionale europeo non trova corrispondenza per questa melodia  (vedi) ]

Dr Emily McEwen-Fujita quotes “This song is thought to have originally been a Scottish pipe tune and the tune was used for an English song composed in the United States by Bernard Covert. One version of it, called, Jamie’s on the Stormy Sea, appeared in the journal of the whaling ship Euphrasia in 1849. The song crossed the Atlantic and was set to Gaelic words by Henry Whyte, who wrote under the pen-name Fionn. The Gaelic version came to Cape Breton in the St. Columba collection of Gaelic songs and used to be sung by Tommy MacDonald of the North Shore Singers. It was from Tommy’s singing that Julie Fowlis learned the song.” (from here)
[La dottoressa Emily McEwen-Fujita annota “si crede che questa canzone sia stata in origine una melodia scozzese per cornamusa, e la melodia fu utilizzata per una canzone inglese composta negli States da Bernard Covert [ndt: nel 1847]. Una sua versione, intitolata Jamie’s on the Stormy Sea, comparve nel giornale di bordo della baleniera Euphrasia nel 1849. La canzone attraversò l’Atlantico e venne trasposta in gaelico da  Henry Whyte, che scriveva con lo pseudonimo di Fionn. La versione gaelica finì a Capo Bretone nella collezione di canti gaelici di St. Columba e venne cantata da Tommy MacDonald dei North Shore Singers. E’ stato dalla versione di Tommy che Julie Fowlis imparò la canzone”]

Henry Whyte (1832–1915) known under the pseudonym Fionn was a fervent supporter of Gaelic traditions.
The pen-name of ” Fionn ” has been for many years recognised as authoritative on all subjects connected with the language, history, poetry, folk-lore, and music
of the Highlands, and the popularity which his various publications have enjoyed is best evidenced by the fact that they have either passed through more than one edition or are entirely out of print. His ” Celtic Lyre ” is, without doubt, the most popular collection of Gaelic song and music ever published, and his ” Martial Music of the Clans ” dealt exhaustively with a subject which has not hitherto been adequately treated by any previous writer. As a translator of Gaelic poetry he has few equals, and in his ” Celtic Lyre ” and ” Celtic Garland ” he has given to English literature translations from the Gaelic, not only beautiful and faithful to the original, but with the additional merit of being singable to their native Gaelic airs. (from here)
[“Henry Whyte(1832–1915) conosciuto con lo pseudonimo di Fionn era un fervido sostenitore delle tradizioni gaeliche.
Il nome di penna Fionn è stato per molti anni riconosciuto come autorevole su tutti gli argomenti connessi con il linguaggio, la storia, poesia, folklore e musica delle Highland, e la popolarità che le sue varie pubblicazioni hanno goduto è meglio evidenziata dal fatto che sono passate per più di una edizione o sono completamente esaurite. ” Celtic Lyre ” è, senza dubbio, la più popolare collezione di canti in gaelico e musica mai pubblicati, e  ” Martial Music of the Clans ” tratta esaustivamente un argomento che non è mai stato adeguatamente trattato da un altro studioso precedente. Come traduttore di poesia in gaelico non ha eguali e in  ” Celtic Lyre ” e ” Celtic Garland ” ha dato alla letterature inglese traduzioni dal gaelico, non solo belle e aderenti all’originale, ma con il merito aggiuntivo di essere cantabili sulle rispettive melodie nate in gaelico.”

Tha Mo Ghaol Air Àird A’ Chuain

Courtney O ‘Connell Carlson

It is a song of the sea in which a girl on the evening, complains and cries for the fiance away on the sea, her song has the beauty of twilight (it seems that the girl seeks comfort in the peace and quiet of nature , while on the contrary his heart is devastated), so the melody of his song is sweet and sad at the same time. The last stanza brings joy: the man has returned to her safe and sound!
[E’ una canzone del mare in cui una fanciulla sul farsi della sera, si lamenta e piange per il fidanzato lontano sul mare, il suo canto sommesso e dolce ha la bellezza del crepuscolo (sembra che la ragazza cerchi conforto nella pace e quiete della natura, mentre al contrario il suo cuore è devastato), così la melodia del suo canto è dolce e triste nello stesso tempo. L’ultima strofa porta la gioia: l’uomo è ritornato da lei sano e salvo!]

Julie Fowlis  in “Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe” 2005
In 2012 the song was included by Disney / Pixar in the trailer of the movie “Brave” decreeing a wide popularity
In 2017 Courtney O’Connell Carlson illustrated the whole song, here is the video

[Nel 2012 il brano è stato incluso dalla Disney/Pixar nel trailer del film Ribelle- The Brave ( in inglese Brave) decretandone una vasta popolarità.
Nel 2017 Courtney O ‘Connell Carlson ha illustrato tutta la canzone ecco il video]

I
Feasgar ciùin an tus a’chèitein
nuair bha ‘n ialtag anns na speuran
chualaim rìbhinn òg ‘s i deurach
seinn fo sgàil nan geugan uain’.
II
Bha a’ghrian ‘sa chuan gu sìoladh
‘s reult cha d’éirich anns an iarmailt
nuair a sheinn an òigh gu cianail
“Tha mo ghaol air àird a’chuain”.
III
Thòisich dealt na h-oidhch’ ri tùirling
‘s lùb am braon gu caoin na flùrain
Shèid a’ghaoth ‘na h-oiteag chùbhraidh
beatha ‘s ùrachd do gach cluan.
IV
Ghleus an nighneag fonn a h-òrain
sèimh is ciùin mar dhriùchd an Òg-mhìos
‘a bha an t-sèisd seo ‘g éirigh ‘n còmhnaidh
“Tha mo ghaol air àird a’chuain”.
V
Chiar an latha is dheàrrs ‘na reultan,
sheòl an rè measg neul nan speuran.
Shuidh an òigh, ‘bròn ga lèireadh,
‘s cha robh dèigh air tàmh no suain.
VI
Theann mi faisg air reult nan òg-bhean
sheinn mu ‘gaol air chuan ‘bha seòladh.
O bu bhinn a caoidhrean brònach
“Tha mo ghaol air àird a’chuain”.
VII
Rinn an ceòl le deòin mo thàladh
dlùth do rìbhinn donn nam blàth-shùil
‘s i ag ùrnaigh ris an Àrd-Rìgh
“Bìon mo ghràdh ‘th’ air àird a’chuain”.
VIII
Bha a cridh’ le gaol gu sgàineadh
nuair a ghlac me fhèin air làimh i.
“Siab o dheòir, do ghaol tha sàbhailt,
thill mi slàn bhàrr àird a’chuain”.

English translation *
I
On a quiet evening at the beginning of May
When the bat was in the skies
I heard a tearful young maiden
Singing beneath the shadow of the green branches
II
The sun was setting in the sea
And no stars yet graced the sky
When the young girl sang sorrowfully
“My love is on the high seas”
III
The night’s dew began to fall
Each bloom yielding softly to the droplets
The wind blew in a fragrant breeze
Bringing life and renewal to each field
IV
The girl tunefully sang her song
Quiet and peaceful like the June dew
And this chorus constantly repeated
“My love is on the high seas”
V
Day darkened and the stars shone
Setting their course amongst the clouds
The maiden sat, burdened by her sadness
Her singing could not have been more soothing
VI
I moved closer to the young woman
Singing of her love sailing on the sea
Oh sweet was her sad lament
“My love is on the high seas”
VII
The music enticed me
Nearer to the brown-haired maiden of the warm eyes
And she prayed to the King of Heaven
“Protect my love on the high seas”
VIII
Her heart was breaking with love
When I took her by the hand
“Wipe your eyes, your love is safe
I have returned to you from the high seas”
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
In una bella sera all’inizio di Maggio
quando il pipistrello vola nei cieli
ho udito una giovane fanciulla in lacrime
cantare all’ombra delle verdi fronde
II
Il sole stava tramontando sul mare
e ancora nessuna stella ingentiliva il cielo
mentre la giovane fanciulla cantava tristemente:
“Il mio amore è in alto mare”
III
L’umidità della notte iniziava a cadere
ogni bocciolo si piegava delicatamente sotto le gocce
il vento soffiava una profumata brezza
portando vita e rinnovamento in ogni campo
IV
La ragazza cantava la sua canzone melodiosamente
quieta  e placida come la rugiada di Giugno
il cui coro ripeteva costantemente
“Il mio amore è in alto mare”
V
Il giorno si fece buio e le stelle splendevano
seguendo il loro cammino tra le nuvole
la fanciulla sedeva, oppressa dal dolore
il suo canto non poteva essere più dolce
VI
Mi sono avvicinato alla giovane
che cantava dell’amore che navigava in mare,
oh dolce era il suo triste lamento
“Il mio amore è in alto mare”
VII
La musica mi richiamava
più vicino alla morettina dagli occhi caldi
e lei pregava al Signore del Cielo
“Proteggi il mio amore in alto mare”
VIII
Il suo cuore si stava spezzando per amore
mentre la prendevo per mano
“Asciugati gli occhi, il tuo amore è al sicuro
sono ritornato da te dall’alto mare”

NOTE

 

Jamie’s on the stormy sea (Bernard Covert)

Bernard Covert (1805-1885)  American singer and songwriter. His career in music flourished during the 1840s and 50s, when he published many of his songs in a variety of magazines. Early in his life he lived in Franklin, New York, but later frequently worked in Albany, New York. He was best known for his temperance songs, which he sang as part of a duo with Ossian Dodge (from here)
Not only did Bernard Covert write a number of songs that the Hutchinsons performed, he also served as their advance agent in 1863 and sang with them in 1876 and probably at other times, as well. (from here)
[Bernard Covert (1805-1885) era un cantante e cantautore americano. La sua carriera nella musica fiorì negli anni ’40 e ’50, quando pubblicò molte delle sue canzoni in una varietà di riviste. All’inizio della sua vita visse a Franklin, New York, ma in seguito lavorò spesso ad Albany, New York. Era meglio conosciuto per le sue canzoni di temperanza, che cantava come parte di un duo con Ossian Dodge (tradotto da qui)
Bernard Covert non solo ha scritto un certo numero di canzoni eseguite dagli Hutchinson, ha anche prestato servizio come loro agente nel 1863 e ha cantato con loro nel 1876 e probabilmente anche in altre occasioni. (tradotto da qui)]
“Jamie’s on the stormy sea!” it was his most famous song
[“Jamie’s on the stormy sea!” fu il suo brano più famoso]
Jane Cassidy

English translation *
I
Ere the twilight bat was flitting,
In the sunset, at her knitting,
Sang a lonely maiden, sitting
Underneath her threshold tree;
And, ere daylight died before us,
And the vesper stars shone o’er us,
Fitful rose her tender chorus
“Jamie’s on the stormy sea!”
II
Warmly shone the sunset glowing;
Sweetly breath’d the young flow’rs blowing;
Earth, with beauty overflowing,
Seem’d the home of love to be;
As those angel tones ascending,
With the scene and season blending,
Ever had the same low ending
“Jamie’s on the stormy sea!”
III
Curfew bells remotely ringing,
Mingled with that sweet voice singing
And the last red ray seemed clinging
Lingeringly to tower and tree;
Nearer as I came, and nearer,
Finer rose the notes, and clearer;
Oh! ‘twas heaven itself to hear her
“Jamie’s on the stormy sea!”
IV
“Blow, ye west winds! blandly hover
O’er the bark that bears my lover;
Gently blow, and bear him over
To his own dear home and me;
For, when night winds bend the willow,
Sleep forsakes my lonely pillow,
Thinking of the foaming billow
Jamie’s on the stormy sea!”
V
How could I but list, but linger,
To the song, and near the singer,
Sweetly wooing heaven to bring her
Jamie from the stormy sea;
And while yet her lips did name me,
Forth I sprang – my heart o’ercame me
“Grieve no more, sweet, I am Jamie,
Home returned to love and thee!”
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Il pipistrello volava nel crepuscolo
al tramonto, lavorando a maglia
cantava una fanciulla solitaria seduta
sotto al pergolato (1)
e prima che morisse la luce del giorno dietro a noi, e le stelle della sera brillassero su di noi,
a tratti si alzava il suo canto delicato
“Jamie è sul mare in tempesta!”
II
Splendeva caldo il raggiante tramonto
soavemente respiravano i giovani fiori in boccio,
la terra di una bellezza traboccante
sembrava essere la casa di Amore;
mentre quelle note angeliche salivano
mescolandosi con l’atmosfera della stagione
tuttavia avevano lo stesso finale basso
“Jamie è sul mare in tempesta!”
III
Le campane del coprifuoco suonavano in lontananza, mescolandosi con quel dolce canto
e l’ultimo raggio rosso sembrava aggrapparsi a lungo alla torre e all’albero
mentre mi avvicinavo sempre più
belle salivano le note e più chiare,
oh era il cielo stesso ad ascoltarla
“Jamie è sul mare in tempesta!”
IV
“Oh soffia vento dell’ovest! Librati gentile
sul legno che porta il mio amore;
soffia dolcemente e portalo
alla sua cara casa e a me;
perchè quando i venti della notte piegano il salice,
il sonno abbandona il mio cuscino
al pensiero dei marosi schiumanti
Jamie è sul mare in tempesta!”
V
Come potevo tuttavia elencare la canzone,
ma indugiare vicino alla cantante,
dolcemente corteggiava il paradiso per portarle
Jamie dal mare in tempesta;
E mentre ancora le sue labbra mi chiamavano,
in avanti scattai , sopraffatto dal sentimento
“Non piangere più, amore, io sono Jamie,
ritornato a casa  per amarti ”

NOTE
1) ho preferito tradurre con pergolato ma threshold tree è letteralmente l’albero davanti all’uscio, in genere nelle case di campagna si stratta di un rampicante che dona ombra alla facciata e sparge il suo soave profumo.

LINK
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=163391
https://www.siliconglen.scot/Scotland/9_3_22.html
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/fowlis/tha.htm
https://followingthegoldenthread.com/category/celtic-folk-music-folk-music-illustration/
https://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/collection/020/002
http://www.oocities.org/unclesamsfarm/songs/jamie.htm
https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/jamies_on_the_stormy_sea_jane_cassidy

 

Amhrán Na Farraige (Song of the Sea)

“Song of the Sea” (La canzone del Mare) è un film d’animazione del regista irlandese Tomm Moore uscito nel 2014 (per la Cartoon Saloon), seguito nell’anno successivo dalla versione in gaelico irlandese e distribuito nelle sale italiane solo nel 2016.
E’ la storia di Ben e della sorellina Saoirse che vivono su un isola nel Mare d’Irlanda. La loro madre era una selkie e toccherà alla sorellina nata muta a portare il fardello della sua eredità e in particolare la lotta contro Macha e i suoi gufi. (Nel film Macha è la stega-gufo madre di MacLir il dio del Mare trasformato in pietra.)
La musica del film è di Bruno Coulais e del gruppo irlandese Kila.

Moore ha scelto di narrare una storia di formazione molto più complessa di ciò che potrebbe sembrare in apparenza, numerosi sono infatti i richiami a letteratura, mitologia celtica, storia della
religione e del folklore, psicologia evolutiva, il tutto sapientemente dosato, in una narrazione delicata e per nulla banale.
La scelta più importante è quella di un’animazione 2D in stile vintage, sulla scia del grande Hayaho Miyazaki, forse il più famoso fumettista e regista di animazione giapponese, unita ad un occhio a Van Gogh e Pollock.
La poetica di Miyazaki è infatti basata sul rispetto per la natura, le memorie, il mondo onirico dei bambini e la loro purezza, “Anime eredi della memoria storica delle generazioni precedenti”, che vede con immenso affetto e che mette al centro di tutti i suoi lavori. Allo stesso modo, il pool di venti disegnatori europei, crea un mondo evocativo e fantastico, pregno di una luce umida che
avvolge il cielo e i colori di una magica Irlanda (Sarah Nussenblatt scheda del film qui)

[“Song of the Sea” is an animated film by the Irish director Tomm Moore released in 2014 (for the Cartoon Saloon), followed in the following year by the Irish Gaelic version and distributed in Italian theaters only in the 2016.
It’s the story of Ben and his mute little sister Saoirse living on an island in the Irish Sea. Their mother was a selkie and her daughter will carry the burden of her inheritance and in particular the fight against Macha and her owls. (In the film Macha is the Owl Witch, mother of MacLir, the god of the Sea turned into stone.)
The music of the film is by Bruno Coulais and the Irish group Kila]

Nella canzone si descrivono luoghi e tempi liminari, veri e propri ingressi dell’Altro Mondo e ai Miti d’Irlanda

[The song describes liminal places and times, real entrances of the Other World, recalling the myths of Ireland ]


I
Between the here,
between the now
between the North,
Between the South
between the West,
between the East
between the time,
between the place
Chorus
From the shell
the Song of the Sea
neither quiet nor calm
searching for love again
Mo ghrá
II
Between the winds,
between the waves
between the sands,
between the shores
III
Between the stones,
between the storms
between belief,
between the seas
Tá mé i dtiúin
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Fra il qui
e l’ora
fra il nord
e il sud
fra l’ovest
e l’est
al tempo
e luogo (1)
Chorus
Dalla conchiglia (2),
la canzone del mare,
per niente calma e serena,
di nuovo alla ricerca d’amore

amore mio
II
Fra i venti
e le onde
fra le sabbie
e le coste
III
Fra gli scogli
e le burrasche
fra la fede
e il mare
Sono connessa (3)


NOTE
1) ho preferito tradurre con un espressione “at the proper time and place”
2) è la conchiglia che trova Seoirse nella notte di Halloween del suo sesto compleanno, la conchiglia che la madre aveva regalato a Ben custodita gelosamente nel suo armadio; nella conchiglia si sente cantare il mare e la bimba trova il mantello di foca della madre. E’ in questo momento che inizia la fiaba e la magia
3) nel senso mi sento bene, sono in sintonia

Amhrán Na Farraige

Idir ann is idir as
Idir thuaidh is idir theas
Idir thiar is idir thoir
Idir am is idir áit
Casann sí dhom
Amhrán na farraige
Suaimhneach nó ciúin
Ag cuardú go damanta
Mo ghrá
Idir gaoth is idir tonn
Idir tuilleadh is idir gann
Casann sí dhom
Amhrán na Farraige
Suaimhneach nó ciúin
Ag cuardú go damanta
Idir cósta, idir cléibh
Idir mé is idir mé féin
Tá mé i dtiúin


I
Between in,
between out
between the North,
Between the South
between the West,
between the East
between time,
between space
Chorus
She sings to me

the Song of the Sea
quiet and calm
Searching fiercely for
my love
II
Between the wind,
between the wave
Between More
Between Scarce

III
Between coast,
between chest (1)
between me,
between myself
I am in tune
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Fra il dentro
e il fuori
fra il nord
e il sud
fra l’ovest
e l’est
tra il tempo
e lo spazio
Coro
(il mare) mi canta
la sua canzone,
calma e serena,
alla valorosa ricerca

dell’amore mio
II
Fra i venti
e le onde
fra il più
e il meno
III
Fra la costa
e il cuore
fra me
e me
Sono connessa

NOTE
1) cheast nel senso di gabbia toracica e quindi “heart”

Saoirse Song

LINK
http://dilloconunciak.altervista.org/la-canzone-del-mare/
http://www.bestmovie.it/news/song-of-the-sea-la-nostra-recensione-del-meraviglioso-cartoon-irlandese/481389/

Auld Lang Syne: melodies in search of an author

auld

Leggi in italiano

At New Year’s Eve the most widespread song in Scottish homes is Auld Lang Syne, a song sung all over the world on many occasions.
The song is accompanied by a collective ritual: in a circle we hold each other’s hands during the first verse. Then the arms must be crossed by grasping the hands of the neighbor during the last verse.

The title is composed of three terms in Scottish that mean old, long, since three words to indicate the past time, “the good old days”. This is an old song that Robert Burns says he heard from an elderly singer, Burns also states that the song had been passed down only orally. Here is the correspondence between Burns and the publisher George Thomson (1793): “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man’s singing, is enough to recommend any air”

Similar rhymes and melodies date back to 1500: in particular two, the ballad Auld Kyndnes Foryett -in Bannatyne Manuscript 1568- and the ballad attributed to the court poet Sir Robert Ayton (1570-1638) published in 1711 by James Watson in “Choice Collection of Scots Poems” collection; for the latter some verses are the same that are found in the Burns’ ones.
Should auld Acquaintance be forgot,
a
nd never thought upon,
The Flames of Love extinguished,
And freely past and gone?
I
s thy kind Heart now grown so cold
I
n that Loving Breast of thine,
That thou canst never once reflect
On Old-long-syne?

In 1724 Allan Ramsay wrote in his “A Collection of Songs” the song entitled “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” (perhaps taken from the sixteenth-century ballad Auld Kyndnes Foryett) and the song was then published in Vol 1 of the “Scots Musical Museum” 1787, with the title “Auld Lang Syne” but the verses are light years away from those of Burns!

THE MELODIES 
"O Can Ye Labor Lea" 
"For old long Gine my jo"  
(from Playford in "Original Scotch Tunes" 1700)

Johnson publishes “Auld Lang Syne” from the first version of Burns in the Scots Musical Museum, vol 5, 1796; but Robert Burns sent his writings about this song even to the publisher George Thomson, and in particular his third version. Later, Thomson learns from Stephen Clarke that Johnson already had a copy of Burns’ song and that the melody was always transcribed by Johnson in the version of Ramsay. Burns, so he replies:‘The two songs you saw in Clarke’s are neither of them worth your attention. The words of ‘Auld lang syne are good, but the music is an old air, the rudiments of the modern tune of that name. The other tune you may hear as a common Scots country dance.’ Burns 1794.

So the first melody that Robbie calls “an old air” is that published by Johnson “O Can Ye Labor Lea“, while the second melody “For old long Gine my jo” is the one in Playford.

THE MARK OF A GENIUS

Burns’ merit was to write a couple of verses and to modify and arrange the others. A fragment written by Robert Burns in 1793 is kept at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (see)

THE MERIT OF THE EDITOR

WhenGeorge Thomson published “Auld Lang Syne” in the “Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs”, 1799 replaced the first melody with the much more popular one in the eighteenth century called “The Miller’s Wedding” (formerly in “Scots Reels”, Bremner 1759) and commonly called ‘Sir Alexander Don’s Strathspey’ because also played by the famous violinist Niel Gow: a typically Scottish dance melody the strathspey!

THE EDITOR MELODY WITH BURNS’ VERSES


George Thomson republished “Auld Lang Syne” in 1817 with a new arrangement by the Czech composer Leopold Kozeluch


Burns had already reused the same melody in two songs: “O can ye labor lea” ( “I fee’d a man at Martinmas”) and “Coming thro ‘the rye.

THE LEGEND ON DAVID RICCIO

Lately on the web (of course only on Italian sites) in the wake of Jesse Blackadder’s novel “The Raven’s Heart”, 2011 they have spread the attribution of the melody to Davide Rizzo (or David Riccio as they called in Scotland ). The journalist and writer Renzo Rossotti (in “Assassinio in Scozia” da “Piemonte magico e misterioso”, Newton Compton Editori, 1994 see) in his “Assassinio in Scozia” reports an italian legend according to which David Riccio is the author of “Auld Lang Syne”, but this is indeed a legend.

Two old friends, meeting after many years of separation, remember the youth and toast to the old days! 

AULD LANG SYNE
Robert Burns 1799 (George Thomson)

Dougie MacLean in Tribute– 1996
Velvety voice, pronounced seductively scottish, guitar background, a delicate arrangement

AULD LANG SYNE Robert Burns in SMM vol 5 1796 (James Johnson)

 Jim Malcolm  in Acquaintance
Velvety voice, pronounced seductively scottish, a splash of notes on the piano, guitar and violin background. The melody is slightly different as the sequence of strophes I, IV, II, III, V and the theme of the Waltz is recorded in the final played by the guitar alone

Paolo Nutini

Eddi Reader


I
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days auld lang syne?
CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear(1),
For days auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For days auld lang syne!
II
We twa hae run about the braes(3)
And pou’d the gowans(4) fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit(5),
Sin days auld lang syne.
III
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid(6) hae roar’d,
Sin days auld lang syne.
IV
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp(2)
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness(8) yet,
For days auld lang syne!
V
And there’s a hand my trusty fiere(7),
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught(8),
For days auld lang syne
NOTE
1) or “jo”
2) stowp= vessel, 
3) braes= hills,
4) gowans= daisies,
5) monie a weary fit= many a weary foot,
6) braid= broad
7) fiere= friend,
8) right guid-willie waught= “cup of kindness” good toast, friendly draught, 

 

brindisiPOPULARITY IN THE WORLD

The song has been translated all over the world (in at least forty languages). The popularity of “Auld Lang Syne” derives most probably from its inclusion with the title “Farewell Waltz” in the film “Waterloo bridge” (1940) directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor. This film was the prototype of the typical Hollywood melodrama.

The famous scene of the waltz.

The Farewell Waltz version was arranged by Cedric Dumont (1916-2007) Swiss composer, author and conductor and it was translated / arranged in Italian by the authors Larici & Mauri in 1943 like danceable. At the time, the Anglo-Saxon melodies were forbidden in Italy by the war censorship, but it was enough to change the title and arrangement and here is “Il valzer delle candele”!

IL VALZER DELLE CANDELE

Tati Casoni 

I
Domani tu mi lascerai
e più non tornerai,
domani tutti i sogni miei
li porterai con te.
II
La fiamma del tuo amor
che sol per me sognai invan
è luce di candela che
già si spegne piano pian.
III
Una parola ancor
e dopo svanirà
un breve istante di
felicità.
IV
Ma come è triste il cuor
se nel pensare a te
ricorda i baci tuoi
che non son più per me.
V
Domani tu mi lascerai
e più non tornerai,
domani tutti i sogni miei
li porterai con te.
VI
La fiamma del tuo amor
che sol per me sognai invan
è luce di candela che
già si spegne piano pian.

Nini Rosso.

The melody has finally become a new song titled “Il Canto dell’Addio” well know by all those who have been scouts, or have spent their summer in the italian colonies, or at the shelters run by priests and the like.

I
È l’ora dell’addio, fratelli,
è l’ora di partir;
e il canto si fa triste; è ver:
partire è un po’ morir.
RITORNELLO
Ma noi ci rivedremo ancor
ci rivedremo un dì
arrivederci allor, fratelli,
arrivederci sì.
II
Formiamo una catena
con le mani nelle man,
stringiamoci l’un l’altro
prima di tornar lontan.
III
Perché lasciarci e non sperar
di rivederci ancor?
Perché lasciarci e non serbar
questa speranza in cuor?
IV
Se attorno a questo fuoco qui,
l’addio ci dobbiam dar;
attorno ad un sol fuoco un dì
sapremo ritornar.
V
Iddio che tutto vede e sa
la speme di ogni cuor;
se un giorno ci ha riuniti qui,
saprà riunirci ancor.
VI
Ma non addio diciamo allor
che ancor ci rivedrem:
arrivederci allor, fratelli,
arrivederci insiem!
VII
Fratello non dolerti se
la fiamma langue già:
doman la stessa fiamma ancor
fra noi risplenderà.

second part

LINK
http://sarahannelawless.com/2009/12/31/happy-hogmanay/ http://www.electricscotland.com/HISTORY/articles/langsyne.htm http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/langsyne.htm http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/AuldLangSyne.5.shtml http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/ online/AuldLangSyne/default.asp?id=4 http://burnsc21.glasgow.ac.uk/online-exhibitions/auld-lang-syne/ http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16346 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=29124 http://www.kultunderground.org/art/305 http://www.kultunderground.org/art/395 http://www.renzorossotti.it/notetorinesi.htm#menestrello http://www.eddireader.net/tracks/erALS.htm

Bidh clann Ulaidh versus Song of the Exile (We will go home)

Leggi in italiano

Bidh clann Ulaidh (in English “The Clan of Ulster”) is a lullaby from the Hebrides, where the mother sleeps the baby (I imagine the baby is a female), telling her about the great wedding her family will organize when she arrives in the marriageable age. She mention the names of important Clans and also of the illustrious Irish relatives who will go to the wedding to celebrate the couple and honor the family .
Weddings between upper class families were famous events that people talked about and remembered for years, on which they wrote songs (here), in which the clan chiefs displayed their liberality and magnificence. Marriages allowed for alliances (though not always lasting) between clans and were contracts that involved the exchange of livestock, money and property, called tochers for the bride and dowry for the groom.

THE MELODY

The melody is something magical, there is a version that outclasses – in my opinion – all the others, that of the virtuoso (as well as Scottish) Tony McManus, the “Celtic fingerstyle guitar legend”

Tony McManus live

(I suppose the melody brings something to your mind … who has not seen King Arthur’s film?)
and if we add the violin too?
Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus

and now we add the song..

Catherine-Ann MacPhee 2014

Can Cala 2014

English translation
I
My love, my darling child
The Clan of Ulster(2) will be at your wedding
My love, my darling child
The Clan of Ulster will dance at your wedding
Chorus:
The king’s clans, the king’s clans
The king’s clans will be at your wedding
The king’s clans playing the pipes
Wine will be drunk at your wedding
II
Clan MacAulay(3), a lively crowd
Clan MacAulay will be at your wedding
Clan MacAulay, a lively crowd
Will dance at your wedding
III
Clan Donald(4), who are so special(5)
Clan Donald will be at your wedding
Clan Donald, who are so special
Will dance at your wedding
IV
Clan MacKenzie(6) of the shining armor(7)
Clan MacKenzie will be at your wedding
Clan MacKenzie of the shining armor
Will dance at your wedding

I
Bidh clann(1) Ulaidh luaidh ‘s a lurain
Bidh clann Ulaidh air do bhanais
Bidh clann Ulaidh luaidh ‘s a lurain
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
Sèist:
Bidh clann a’ rìgh, bidh clann a’ rìgh
Bidh clann a’ rìgh air do bhanais
Bidh clann a’ rìgh seinn air a’ phìob
Òlar am fìon air do bhanais
II
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh nam feachd greannmhor
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Amhlaidh nam feachd greannmhor
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
III
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill tha cho neònach(5)
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Dhòmhnaill tha cho neònach
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais
IV
Bidh Clann Choinnich nam feachd soilleir(7)
Bidh Clann Choinnich air do bhanais
Bidh Clann Choinnich nam feachd soilleir
Dèanamh an danns air do bhanais

NOTES
1) the word “clan” derives from the Scottish Gaelic “clann” = “child” to underline the strong bond of blood between the chief and the families (descendants). The clans are territorial extensions controlled by the chief who lives in an ancient castle or fortified house. Not all members of the clan are also descendants of blood, because they could also have “affiliated” to the clan in exchange for protection. At Hogmany or at the time of the election of the new chief all the respective heads of the family swore loyalty to the clan leader. The leader is a Laird, a clan leader and a legal representative of the community
2 ) in Ireland the Ard Ri, the king of kings comes from the North, from the Ulaidh, the land of the warriors and the Clan of the O’Neils always remained a prestigious clan even after the English conquest.
3) Clan MacAulay is a Scottish clan of Argyll, among the oldest in Scotland that boasted its descendants from the king of the Picts: they are located on the border between Lowland and Highland
4) the Clan Donald is one of the most numerous Scottish clans and divided into numerous subdivisions. The Lord of the Islands is traditionally a MacDonald (Hebrides)
5) also written “tha cha neonach” = “it’s no wonder”
6 )Clan MacKenzie is a Highlands clan whose coat of arms reproduces a mountain in flame and the motto says “Luceo non uro”
7) also translated as “bright clothing”

VANORA – WE WILL GO HOME (ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS) -KING ARTHUR (2004)

The song titled “The song of Exile” is sung by Vanora (wife of Bors) to the men of Arthur – of the people of the Sàrmati, (but in reality it is addressed to the child in his arms and therefore it is to him, but also to the warrior-husband, who sings a lullaby -anna) in the imminence of the departure for a “suicide” mission; men want to return home, they have the safe conduct that frees them from servitude in Rome, but choose to stay alongside their commander, the Roman-Briton Artorius (the plot here).

This is how Caitlin Matthews writes“I am the arranger/translator of “Song of the Exile” which appeared in the film and wasn’t recorded on the CD. Disney won’t allow me to sing or record it as they now own the copyright

These are the words sung in the film:

I
Land of bear and land of eagle
Land that gave us birth and blessing
Land that called us ever homewards
We will go home across the mountains
We will go home, we will go home…
II
When the land is there before us
We have gone home across the mountains
We have gone home, we have gone home
We have gone home singing our songs


A whispered lullaby, sweet-sad together, short but with an intense emotional charge, not included in the soundtrack CD “King Artur.” As an author there are those who thought to credit (wrongly) Hans Zimmer who actually signed the soundtrack of the film and we have seen a lot of complaints from the fans for the exclusion of the song. Hans Zimmer (here) writes “Song of the Exile” is composed and performed by Caitlin Matthews” (see more)

ADDITIONAL STANZAS

III
Land of freedom land of heroes
Land that gave us hope and memories
Hear our singing hear our longing
We will go home across the mountains
IV
Land of sun and land of moonlight
Land that gave us joy and sorrow
Land that gave us love and laughter
We will go home across the mountains

So there’s a song (Bidh clann Ulaidh?) in Scottish Gaelic at the beginning, arranged / translated by Caitlin Matthews and an avalanche of super-charged versions have come out (and keep going out) on YouTube!

ShaDoWCa7

Leah

Maria van Selm

Karliene

Anna Cefalo

Stephanie Hill  Norse version (here)
LINK
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/macaskill/bidh.htm
http://www.omniglot.com/songs/gaelic/clannulaidh.php http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/gaelicsongs/bidhclannulaidh.asp
http://www.hallowquest.org.uk/
http://www.terrediconfine.eu/king-arthur/

Belle Dame sans Merci, by John Keats in music and film

Leggi in italiano

John Melhuish Strudwick

In 1819 the English poet John Keats reworked the figure of the “Queen of Faerie” of Scottish ballads (starting with Tam Lin and True Thomas) in turn writes the ballad “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, giving rise to a theme that has become very popular among the Pre-Raphaelite painters, that of the vamp woman who has however already a consideration in the beliefs of folklore: the
Lennan or leman shee – Shide Leannan (literally fairy child) that is the fairy who seeks love between humans. The fairy, who is both a male and a female being, after having seduced a mortal abandons him to return to his world. The lover is tormented by the love lost until death.
Fairy lovers have a short but intense life. The fairy who takes a human as lover is also the muse of the artist who offers talent in exchange for a devout love, bringing the lover to madness or premature death.
The title was paraphrased from a fifteenth-century poem written by Alain Chartier (in the form of a dialogue between a rejected lover and the disdainful lady) and became the figure of a seductive woman, a dark lady incapable of feelings towards the man the which falls prey to its spell. We are in reverse of the much older theme of “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight

John William Waterhouse – La Belle Dame sans Merci (1893)

THE SEASONS OF THE HEART

In the ballad there are two seasons, spring and winter: in spring among the meadows in bloom, the knight meets a beautiful lady, a forest creature, daughter of a fairy, who enchants him with a sweet lullaby; the knight, already hopelessly in love, puts her on the saddle of his own horse and lets himself be led docilely in the Cave of the Elves; here he is cradled by the dame, who sighs sadly, and he dreams of princes and diaphanous kings who cry out their slavery to the beautiful lady.
On awakening we are in late autumn or in winter and the knight finds himself prostrate near the shore of a lake, pale and sick, certainly dying or with no other thought than the song of the fairy.
The keys to reading the ballad are many and each perspective increases the disturbing charm of the verses

There are two pictorial images that evoke the two seasons of the heart and ballad, the first – perhaps the most famous painting – is by Sir Frank Dicksee, (dated 1902): spring takes the colors of the English countryside with the inevitable roses in the first plan; the lady has just been hoisted on the fiery steed of the knight and with her right hand firmly holding the reins, with the other hand she leans against the saddle to be able to lean towards the beautiful face of the knight and whisper a spell; the knight, in precarious balance, is totally concentrated on the face of the lady and kidnapped.

caitiffknight
Sir Frank Dicksee La Belle Dame sans merci

The second is by Henry Meynell Rheam (painted in 1901) all in the tones of autumn, which recreates a desolate landscape wrapped in the mist, as if it were a barrier that holds the knight prostrate on the ground; while he dreams of pale and evanescent warriors (blue is a typical color to evoke the images of dreams) that warn him, the lady leaves the cave perhaps in search of other lovers.

Curiously, the armors of the two knights are very similar, but both are not really medieval and more suitable for being shown off in tournaments that on the battlefields. Elaborate and finely decorated models date back to the end of the fifteenth century.

Henry Meynell Rheam La Belle Dame sans merci

BELLE DAME SANS MERCI: a “live action short” by Hidetoshi Oneda

The ballad could not fail to inspire even today’s artists, here is a cinematic story a “live action short” directed by the Japanese Hidetoshi Oneda. The short begins with giving body to the imaginary interlocutor who asks the knight “O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms …” so we find ourselves in 1819 on an island after the shipwreck of a ship and we witness the meeting between the castaway and an old decrepit kept alive by regret ..

THE PLOT (from here) 1819. The Navigator and the Doctor survive a shipwreck only to find themselves lost in a strange forest. The Navigator is challenged by the gravely ill Doctor into pursuing his true passion – art. While he protests, the ailing Doctor dies. Later, the Navigator is beside a lake, where he finds an Old Knight who tells him his story: once, he encountered a mysterious Lady, and fell in love with her. But horrified by her true form – an immortal spirit and the ghosts of her mortal lovers – the Young Knight begged for release. Awoken and alone, he realized his failure. Thus he has waited, kept alive for centuries by his regret. The Navigator considers his own crossroads. What will he be when he returns to the world?

La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Hidetoshi Oneda – 2005

BELLE DAME SANS MERCI IN MUSIC

The first to play the ballad was Charlse Villiers Stanford in the nineteenth century with a very dramatic arrangement for piano but a bit dated today, although popular in his day.
The ballad was put into music by different artists in the 21st century.

Susan Craig Winsberg from La Belle Dame 2008

Jesse Ferguson

Giordano Dall’Armellina from “Old Time Ballads From The British Isles” 2007

Penda’s Fen (Richard Dwyer)

Loreena McKennitt from “Lost Souls” 2018

POETIC READING
 Ben Whishaw

I
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge is wither’d from the lake(1),
And no birds sing.
II
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest ‘s done.
III
I see a lily(2) on thy brow thy
With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.’
IV
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful — a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild(3).
V
I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.
VI
I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery’s song(4).
VII
She found me roots of relish sweet
And honey wild and manna(5) dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
“I love thee true (6)
VIII
She took me to her elfin grot(7),
And there she wept and sigh’d fill sore(8);
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
With kisses four.
IX
And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dream’d — Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.
X
I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried – “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”
Hath thee in thrall!”
XI
I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.
XII
And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.’

NOTES
1) not by chance the landscape is lacustrine, the waters of the lake are beautiful but treacherous, but it is a desolate landscape and more like the swamp
2) the lily is a symbol of death. The knight’s brow of a deadly pallor is bathed in the sweat of fever and the color of his face is as dull as a dried rose. The symptoms are those of the consumption: the always mild fever does not show signs of diminution, turns on two “roses” on the cheeks of the sick. It is also said that Keats was a toxic addict to the use of nightshade that in the analysis of Giampaolo Sasso (The secret of Keats: The ghost of the “Belle Dame sans Merci”) is represented in the Lady Without Mercy
3) the whole description of the danger of the lady is concentrated in the eyes, they are as wild but also crazy. The rider ignores the repeated signs of danger: not only the eyes but also the strange language and the food (honey wild)
4) the elven song leads the knight to slavery
5) the manna is a white and sweet substance. It is well known that those who eat the food of fairies are condemned to remain in the Other World
6) the fairy is expressed in a language incomprehensible to the knight and then in reality could have said anything but “I love you”; yet the language of the body is unequivocal, at least as far as sexual desire is concerned
7) the elf cave is the Celtic otherworldly (see more)
8) why the fairy is sorry? Would not want to annihilate the knight but can not do otherwise? Does she know that a man’s love is not eternal and that sooner or later his knight will leave her with a breaking heart? Is love inevitably destructive?

LA BELLA DAMA SENZA PIETA’

To the disquieting fascination of the ballad could not escape Angelo Branduardi the Italian Bard, the final part of the melody of each stanza takes the traditional English song “Once I had a sweetheart.”

Angelo Branduardi from La Pulce d’acqua 1977


Guarda com’è pallido
il volto che hai,
sembra tu sia fuggito dall’aldilà…
Vedo nei tuoi occhi
profondo terrore,
che bianche e gelide dita tu hai…
Guarda come stan ferme
le acque del lago
nemmeno un uccello che osi cantare…
“è stato in mezzo ai prati
che io la incontrai
e come se mi amasse lei mi guardò”.
Guarda come l’angoscia
ti arde le labbra,
sembra tu sia fuggito dall’aldilà…
“E`stato in mezzo ai prati
che io la incontrai…”
che bianche e gelide dita tu hai…

“Quando al mio fianco
lei poi si appoggiò
io l’anima le diedi ed il tempo scordai.
Quando al mio fianco
lei poi si appoggiò…”.
Che bianche e gelide dita tu hai…”
Al limite del monte
mi addormentai
fu l’ultimo mio sogno
che io allora sognai;
erano in mille e mille di più…”
Che bianche e gelide dita tu hai…”
Erano in mille
e mille di più,
con pallide labbra dicevano a me:
– Quella che anche a te
la vita rubò, è lei,
la bella dama senza pietà”.

BELLE DAME SANS MERCI: GERMAN VERSION

Faun from “Buch Der Balladen” 2009.


“Was ist dein Schmerz, du armer Mann,
so bleich zu sein und so gering,
wo im verdorrten Schilf am See
kein Vogel singt?”
“Ich traf ein’ edle Frau am Rhein,
die war so so schön – ein feenhaft Bild,
ihr Haar war lang, ihr Gang war leicht,
und ihr Blick wild.Ich hob sie auf mein weißes Ross
und was ich sah, das war nur sie,
die mir zur Seit’ sich lehnt und sang
ein Feenlied.Sie führt mich in ihr Grottenhaus,
dort weinte sie und klagte sehr;
drum schloss ich ihr wild-wildes Auf’
mit Küssen vier.
Da hat sie mich in Schlaf gewiegt,
da träumte ich – die Nacht voll Leid!-,
und Schatten folgen mir seitdem
zu jeder Zeit.Sah König bleich und Königskind
todbleiche Ritter, Mann an Mann;
die schrien: “La Belle Dame Sans Merci
hält dich in Bann!”Drum muss ich hier sein und allein
und wandeln bleich und so gering,
wo im verdorrten Schilf am See
kein Vogel singt.”
English translation (from here)
“What ails you, my poor man,
that makes you pale and humbled so,
among the withered seashore reeds
where the song of no bird is heard (1)?”
“I met a noble lady on the Rhine,
so very fair was she – a fairy vision,
her hair was long, her gait was light,
and wild her stare.I lifted her on my white steed
and nothing but her could I see,
as she leant by my side and sang
a song of the fairies.She led me to her cave house
where she cried and wailed much;
so I closed her wild deer eyes (2)
with four kisses of mine.
She lulled me to sleep then,
and I dreamt a nightlong song!
and shadows follow me since
be it day or night (3).I saw a pale king and his son
knights pale as death, face to face;
who cried out: “The fair lady without mercy
has you in her spell!”Thus shall I remain here alone
to wander, pale and humbled so,
among the withered seashore reeds
where the song of no bird is heard”


NOTES
1) lit “(where) no bird sings”
2) I assume it’s “Aug(en)” instead of “Auf'”
3) the original says “all the time” but I opted for (hopefully) more colorful English

LINK
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/belle.html http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/k/keats/john/la-belle-dame-sans-merci/
http://noirinrosa.wordpress.com/tag/la-belle-dame-sans-merci/ http://zerkalomitomania.blogspot.it/search/label/Belle%20Dame%20sans%20Merci
http://www.celophaine.com/lbdsm/lbdsm_top.html
http://www.craigrecords.com/recordings/la-belle-dame/

Hanging Johnny : hang, boys, hang

Leggi in italiano

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

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

THE WORK OF THE HANGED SAILOR

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

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

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

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

JOHN SHORT VERSION

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

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

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


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

ADDITIONAL VERSIONS

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

The Salts live in a jaunty version

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

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

Row me bullies boys row (Alan Doyle)

Leggi in italiano

The most recent version of this popular sea shanty comes from the movie “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” by Ridley Scott (2010), and was written for the occasion by Alan Doyle (front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea), recalling the melody and the structure of the Liverpool Judies refrain, with a text that remind the typical phrases of these seafaring songs; so obviously everyone adds the verse that he likes.

russel crow crew
I’ll sing you a song, it’s a song of the sea
I’ll sing you a song if you’ll sing it with me
While the first mate is playing the captain aboard
He looks like a peacock with pistols and sword
The captain likes whiskey, the mate, he likes rum
Us sailers like both but we can’t get us none
Well farewell my love it is time for to roam
The old blue peters are calling us home

In Taberna  

Strangs and Stout

CHORUS
And it’s row me bully boys
We’re in a hurry boys
We got a long way to go
And we’ll sing and we’ll dance
And bid farewell to France
And it’s row me bully boys row.
I
I’ll sing you a song,
it’s a song of the sea
Row me bully boys row
We sailed away
in the roughest of waters
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
But now we’re returning
so lock up your daughters
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
II
Well farewell my love
it is time for to roam
Row me bully boys row
The old blue peters
are calling us home
And it’s row me bully boys row

Barnacle Buoys

I
When we set sail for Bristol
the sun was like crystal
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
We found muddier water
when passing Bridge Water
And it’s row, me bully boys row
Chorus:
And it’s row, me bully boys,
we’re in a hurry, boys
We’ve got a long way to go
And we’ll drink as we glance
– a last look at France
row, me bully boys, row
II
We sailed away
in the roughest of waters
But now we’re returning
so lock up your daughters
III
So we’ve been away
for many a day now
So we’ll fill out our sails
and drink all the ale now
IV
So we’ll drink and we’ll feast
with no care in the least
And soon, as we’re craving’,
we’ll sail up to Avon
V
As we tied up in Bristol,
me heart was a-thumpin’
Then I found my girl Alice,
who took me a-scrumpin’

and so on!

ITALIAN VERSION: VOGA AMICO MIO VAI

here is the italian versione in the movie


CORO
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più (amico)

un altro po’, dove si va non lo so
Balliamo cantiamo e la Francia lasciamo
voga un altro po’ vai
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più
Voga un altro po’ dove si va non lo so
La Francia non la rivedremo giammai
Voga amico mio vai
E’ tardi oramai voi siete già nei guai
Voga amico mio vai
O voi non scherzate oppure rischiate
Voga voga un po’ di più
Ma non si può stare troppo via dal mare
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più
Partiamo di nuovo per non ritornare
Voga amico mio vai

ARCHIVE:
Liverpool judies (Row bullies row)
‘Frisco
New York
from Robin Hood (Alan Doyle)

LINK
https://thesession.org/discussions/24758
https://www.musixmatch.com/it/testo/Rambling-Sailors/Row-Me-Bully-Boys
http://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/misc-soundtrack-robin-hood-row-me-bully-boys-chords-s376527
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=158562
https://reelsoundtrack.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/robin-hood-soundtrack/

Row, bullies, row Liverpool Judies to Frisco

hells-pavement

Leggi in italiano

Here is a sea shanty that ended up in the repertoire of pirate songs, and also in the movie “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” by Ridley Scott (2010) (see film version). The title with which it is best known rather than “Liverpool Judies” is anyway “Row, bullies, row”.

An extremely popular maritime song used as reported by Stan Hugill as Capstan shanty (but also as an forebitter) it is grouped into two main versions (with two different but interchangeable melodies): one in which our sailor lands in San Francisco, the other in New York.
Both versions, however, always end up with the drunken or drugged boy who wakes up again on a ship where he has been boarded by a small group of crimps
Fraudulent conscription takes the name of “shanghaiinge“, especially in the north-west of the United States.

FROM LIVERPOOL TO ‘FRISCO: ROW BULLIES ROW

Probably the most popular version, at least on the web, A. L. Lloyd comments :”The song of the Liverpool seaman who sailed to San Francisco with the intention of staying there, but who got himself shanghaied back to Merseyside again, was a favourite rousing forebitter, sometimes used at capstan work when the spokes were spinning easy.”

The Spinners 1966

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd

Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl from Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 CD1

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Sea Shanty Edition)

I
From Liverpool to ‘Frisco
a-rovin’ I went,
For to stay in that country
was my good intent.
But drinkin’ strong whiskey
like other damn fools,
Oh, I was very soon shanghaied(1) to Liverpool
CHORUS
singin’ Roll, roll, roll bullies, roll(2)!

Them Liverpool judies (3)
have got us in tow
II
I shipped in near Lasker
lying out(4) in the Bay,
we was waiting for a fair wind
to get under way.
The sailors on board
they was all sick and sore,
they’d drunk all their whiskey
and couldn’t get no more.
III
One night off Cape Horn
I willl never forget,
and It’s oh but a sigh(5)
when I think of it yet.
We was going bows
under the sail’s was all wet(6),
She was runnin’ (doin’) twelve knots wid her mainsky sunset (7).
IV
Well along comes the mate
in his jacket o’ blue(8)
He’s lookin’ for work for them outlaws(9) to do.
Oh, it’s “Up tops and higher!(10)”
he loudly does roar,
“And it’s lay aloft Paddy (11),
ye son of a-whore!”
V
And now we are sailing
down onto the Line,
when I think of it now,
oh we’ve had a hard (good) time.
The sailors box-haulin'(12)
them yards all around
to catch(beat) that flash clipper  (13)(packet) the Thatcher MacGowan.
VI
And now we’ve arrived
in the Bramleymoor Dock(14),
and all them flash judies
on the pierhead do flock.
Our barrel’s run dry
and me six quid advance,
I think (guess) it’s high time
for to get up and dance.
VII
Here’s a health to our Captain wherever he may be,
he’s a devil (bucko) on land
and a bucko (bully) at sea,
for as for the first mate,
that lousy (dirty) old brute,
We hope when he dies
straight to hell he’ll skyhoot.

NOTES
1) The verb “shanghaiinge” was coined in the mid-1800s to indicate the practice of violent or fraudulent conscription of sailors on english and american ships (it was declared illegal by the Seamen’s Act only in 1915!). The shanghaiing was widespread especially in the north-west of the United States. The men who ran this trade were called “crimps”.
The term implies the forced transport on board of the unfortunate on duty, sedated with a blow on the head or completely drunk. Upon awakening the poor man discovers that he has been hired as a sailor on the ship and he can not do anything but keep the commitment. Also written “I soon got transported back to Liverpool
2) or row (rowe is the Scottish word that stands for roll). The chorus wants to recall perhaps the use as rowing song by the whalers
3) The word “judy” is a dialectal expression of Liverpool to indicate a generic girl (not necessarily a prostitute); flash judies is a girlfriends. In the maritime language it became synonymous with favorable wind. AL Lloyd explains “When the ship was sailing at a fast speed, the sailors would say:” The girls have got hold of the tow-rope today. ”
4) other versions say “I shipped on the Alaska” or “A smart Yankee packet lies out”
5) ‘Tis oft-times I sighs
6) or: She was divin’ bows under with her sailors all wet
7) mainsky sunset is a way to give meaning to another misunderstood word: main skys’l set: or main skysail set- skysail = A set sail very high, above the royals.
8)  a hell of a stew
9) us sailors
10) “Fore tops’l halyards
11) most of the crews on the packet ship were Irish
12) box-Haulinga method of veering or jibing a square rigged ship, without progressing to leeward appreciably. It is performed by heading bow to windward until most speed is lost, but steerage way is still barely maintained. The bow is then turned back downwind to the side it came from, aftermost sails are brailed up to spill the wind and to keep them from counteracting the turning force of the foresails, and the ship allowed to pivot quickly downwind without advancing. They are, however, extended as soon as the ship, in veering, brings the wind on the opposite quarter, as their effort then contributes to assist her motion or turning. Box-hauling is generally performed when the ship is too near the shore to have room for veering in the usual way. (Falconer- 1779) from here
13 )the clippers were always competing with each other to obtain the shortest crossing time
14) Bramley-Moore Dock is a port basin on the Marsey River (Liverpool): it was inaugurated in 1848

To listen to the second melody with which the song is matched
Jimmy Driftwood from Driftwood at Sea 1962

PIRATE VERSION

Clancy Brothers version for  “Treasure Island” tv serie

I
On the Hispaniola (1)
lying out in the bay,
A-waitin’ for a fair wind
to get under way.
The sailors all drunk
and their backs is all sore,
Their rum is all gone
and they can’t get no more.
Chorus
Row, Row, bullies, row!
Them Liverpool girls
they have got us in tow. (2)
II
One night at Cape Horn
we was crossing the line
When I think on it
now we sure had a good time
She was divin’ bows under,
her sailors all wet,
She was doin’ twelve knots
with her mainskys’l set.
III
Here’s a health to the Captain where ‘er he may be,
He’s a friend to the sailor
on land and at sea,
But as for our chief mate,
the dirty ol’ brute
I hope when he dies straight
to hell he’ll sky hoot

NOTES
1) Hispaniola is the schooner purchased by Mr. Trelawney to go in search of the Treasure Island
2) the term has become in the seafaring jargon synonymous with favorable winds that drive home (a fast spinning ship)

ARCHIVE:
Liverpool judies (Row bullies row)
 ‘Frisco
New York
from Robin Hood (Alan Doyle)

LINK
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/liverpol.htm
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/10/27-liverpool-judies.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/louis.killen/songs/liverpooljudies.html
http://ilradicchioavvelenato.wordpress.com/tag/shanghaiing
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16994
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62354
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=158562

Banks of Newfoundland: an offshore bank fishery

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.

The springtime of the year is come, once more we must away: an offshore bank fishery

“The Banks of Newfoundland” collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1952 from James (Jim) Rice [1879-1958] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.108-109, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965): a lyrical song  who tells about the difficult and dangerous life of the fishermen, before the 1992 arrived and the end of the cod fishing in Canada for the exhaustion of the stocks.

Tickle Harbour from Battery Included 1988 (track arranged by O’Byrne / Walsh)
This is one of the many songs collected in Newfoundland by Kenneth Peacock and can be found in his major volume of work, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports. The song describes the seasonal nature of fishing on the Grand Banks. During the early days of its settlement, fishermen would leave their homes in Ireland and England for Newfoundland and spend their summer months fishing “The Banks”, returning to their loved ones in the fall year. Fergus wrote a new melody for every third and fourth line, thereby taking the liberty to evoke a sentiment that he feels adds to the pathos of the song.

I
The springtime of the year is come,
Once more we must away;
Out on the stormy Banks (1) to go,
In quest of fish to stay.
II
Where seas do roll tremendously,
Like mountain peaks so high;
And the wild seabirds around us,
In their mad career go by.
III
Out there we spend our summer months (2) ,
Midst heavy fog(3) and wind;
And often do our thoughts (4) go back,
To the dear ones left behind.
Chorus
From where the wild sea billows foam,
They’re by cold breezes fanned;
Out on the stormy billows,
On the Banks of Newfoundland .
IV
At midnight when the sky is dark,
And heavy clouds do frown;
It’s then we stand great danger,
Of our craft being soon run down.
V
By some large greyhound of the deep ,
That rushes (5) madly by;
It’s then we trust our lives,
To kind Providence on high.
VI
It’s when those summer toils are o’er,
We return with spirits light;
To see our sweethearts and our wives,
Who helped us in the fight.

NOTES
1) The Grand Banks of Newfoundland are a group of underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland roughly triangular in shape often overwhelmed by storms, treacherous and dangerous due to the presence of icebergs and the frequent fog
2) fishing schooners went out to sea in May and did not fall until September
3) The mixing of  the cold Labrador Current with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream helped to create one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, but it’s also causes fog in the area, and before the advent of instrumental navigation, it made the Banks very insidious
4) thoughts are approached to the flight of the sea birds of the previous verse using the same verb “go by” for the birds, “go back” for the thoughts
5) “greyhound of the deep” is not a leviathan or a sea monster, but a cutter, the Newfoundland banks are in fact along the orthodox path, that is the shortest line, which unites Europe and America; postal mails darted at great speeds worried only about their ETA (estimate time arrival). Many dories ended up overwhelmed by their passage.

Cod fishing in the nineteenth century

The technique of fishing vessels set up in the nineteenth century foresaw the use of a particular boat called “Banks Dory” built in a serial way and in large quantities from 1850, flat bottom boats for one or two men depending on the size, transported (stacked on top of each other) on the schooners of the fishermen, ie the mother ships.
The fishing technique foresaw that the ship was anchored in a favourable location and launched the dories into the water, which moved away and fished on their own with the palamites. In the evening the cod caught in the day was cleaned on the bridge of the schooner and salted immediately. In exceptional cases it was also possible to fish directly from the schooner, but hoisting large fish to the side was much more difficult, while the fishing yield was lower. The ship returned to port only when the holds were full of salted cod. If much of the catch was made of this fish, other types of prey were also possible. Raising a halibut on board, which could exceed three meters in length and 100 pounds of weight, put a strain on the stability of the boat…
This type of fishing was used in a massive way up to the First World War and was gradually supplanted, starting from 1930, by the use of motorized fishing boats equipped with refrigerators. (translated from here)

The Fog Warning
“The Fog Warning”, Winslow Homer 1885: the fisherman on the dory is returning to his schooner-mother and looking with the distance that separates him. The sea is rough and the fog bank is rising, it will be a tough race against the clock.
 goletta del film Capitani Coraggiosi
The schooner of the film “Captains Courageous” in a fog bank, based on the novel by Kipling in which it is narrated in detail how the life of the cod fishermen takes place in the early 1900s

At the beginning it was fished with the line, and the fish caught were cleaned and put in salt on the schooner. In the nineteenth century the line is passed to the longline (trawl lines )
Fishing lines also long kilometers, each of which equipped with thousands of baited hooks. A very effective technique that allows scary booty. In New England alone, 60,000 tons of cod were caught in 1895. Which seemed to never end. Even a great biologist and researcher like Huxley said: I believe that the fishing of cod, as well as other resources of the great sea, are inexhaustible.. ..(translated from qui)

But the “cod stocks crashed” were just around the corner.

The factory ships and the end of white cod

The first steam trawler used in the Banks dates back to 1905, the trawl runs on the seabed and collects everything it finds, and so from the second post-war period ever larger ships equipped with large cold stores (factory ships) were fishing in an hour as much as a 1500-1600 boat did in one season. It was in this way that in the mid-70s local fishermen obtained from their government the extension of territorial waters up to 200 miles from the coast, excluding foreign ships from the domination of the Great Banks, but instead of safeguarding their fish resources with a fishing sustainable Canadian fishermen ended up using the same instruments such as sonar, to locate the big fish stalls, while the government made predictions more and more distant from reality by setting dangerously high catch quotas and so in 1992 there were no more cod fishing: thousands of fishermen left without work, boats stopped, factories closed. and so in 1992 there were no more cod fishing: thousands of fishermen thrown out of work, boats beached, canneries shuttered.
To date, the cod fishing in Newfoundland has not recovered, today the economy of that country is based on fishing for lobsters and above all on the exploitation of woodland and mining resources. The cod no longer returned. Fish like the capelin, once codfish prey, have now become very common, and eat the newborn cod. Today, this ecosystem is dominated by crabs and shrimps.. (translated from here)

Farming the Sea

In 1979, Jacques Cousteau wrote: “We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the ocean as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about — farming replacing hunting.”
The future for fishermen: underwater cultivation of algae and seafood, to create a sustainable ecosystem with open source projects to share, read the testimony of Bren Smith

Farming the Sea: why eating kelp is good for you and good for the environment from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

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.nautica.it/barche-da-pesca/il-dory-dei-grandi-banchi-la-barca-che-scrisse-la-storia-della-pesca/
https://storiedibarche.wordpress.com/una-stagione-di-pesca-al-merluzzo-viaggio-sulle-barche-da-pesca-ai-banchi-di-terranova-dalle-immagini-di-anita-conti-alla-realizzazione-di-un-dory/
http://www.marenostrumrapallo.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=576:merlu&catid=53:marittimo&Itemid=160
https://medium.com/invironment/an-army-of-ocean-farmers-on-the-frontlines-of-the-blue-green-economic-revolution-d5ae171285a3
https://auspace.athabascau.ca/bitstream/handle/2149/1647/kenneth_peadock.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks2.htm

https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/economy/19th-century-cod.php

 

Banks of Newfoundland: once more we must away

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.

The springtime of the year is come, once more we must away

La canzone “The Banks of Newfoundland” raccolta da Kenneth Peacock nel 1952 da James (Jim) Rice [1879-1958]  di Cape Broyle (Terranova)  e pubblicata in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.108-109, dal  The National Museum Of Canada (1965): si racconta in modo poetico della faticosa e pericolosa vita dei pescatori , prima che arrivasse il 1992 e la fine della pesca dei merluzzi in Canada per l’esaurimento degli stock.

Tickle Harbour in Battery Included 1988 (track arranged by O’Byrne / Walsh) Nelle note all’album scrivono: “Questa è una delle tante canzoni raccolte a Terranova da Kenneth Peacock e può essere trovata nella sua più grande raccolta, “Songs of the Newfoundland Outports”. La canzone descrive la natura stagionale della pesca sui Grandi Banchi. Agli inizi della stagione, i pescatori lasciavano le loro case in Irlanda e in Inghilterra per Terranova e passavano i mesi estivi a pescare “sui Banchi”, tornando alle loro famiglie nell’autunno. Fergus ha scritto una nuova melodia per ogni terza e quarta strofa, prendendo così la libertà di evocare un sentimento si aggiunge al pathos della canzone.”


I
The springtime of the year is come,
Once more we must away;
Out on the stormy Banks (1) to go,
In quest of fish to stay.
II
Where seas do roll tremendously,
Like mountain peaks so high;
And the wild seabirds around us,
In their mad career go by.
III
Out there we spend our summer months (2) ,
Midst heavy fog(3) and wind;
And often do our thoughts (4) go back,
To the dear ones left behind.
Chorus
From where the wild sea billows foam,
They’re by cold breezes fanned;
Out on the stormy billows,
On the Banks of Newfoundland .
IV
At midnight when the sky is dark,
And heavy clouds do frown;
It’s then we stand great danger,
Of our craft being soon run down.
V
By some large greyhound of the deep ,
That rushes (5) madly by;
It’s then we trust our lives,
To kind Providence on high.
VI
It’s when those summer toils are o’er,
We return with spirits light;
To see our sweethearts and our wives,
Who helped us in the fight.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
La primavera è di nuovo arrivata,
ancora una volta dobbiamo andare
al largo dei (Grandi) Banchi burrascosi
e restare alla ricerca dei pesci
II
Dove le onde fluttuano enormi
come le cime delle montagne più alte;
e gli uccelli marini  intorno a noi vanno nella loro sfrenata andatura
III
Là fuori trascorriamo i nostri mesi
estivi,
tra la fitta nebbia e il vento,
e spesso i nostri pensieri vanno
alle persone care lasciate indietro.
Coro
Dove le onde del mare  spumeggiano
dalle fredde brezze alimentate;
fuori nelle burrasche tempestose,
sui Banchi di Terranova.
IV
A mezzanotte quando il cielo è scuro,
e  pesanti nuvole si corruscano, è allora che siamo in grave pericolo, e la nostra imbarcazione sarà presto travolta
V
Da qualche grande levriero dell’abisso
che fugge frenetico;
è allora che affidiamo le nostre vite,
alla divina provvidenza.
VI
E quando quelle fatiche estive  finiranno, ritorniamo con animi lieti;
per vedere le nostre innamorate e le mogli, che ci sostengono nella lotta.

NOTE
1) i Grandi Banchi di Terranova: 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 nebbia
2) le golette da pesca uscivano in mare a maggio e non rientravano sino a settembre
3) l’incrocio tra la calda corrente del Golfo e la fredda corrente del Labrador, che sollevano dal fondale le sostanze nutrienti, ne fanno una delle zone più pescose al mondo. Il mescolarsi di acque calde e fredde è causa però anche di nebbia che, prima dell’avvento della navigazione strumentale, rendeva la zona molto insidiosa. (da Wiki)
4) i pensieri sono accostati al volo degli uccelli marini del verso precedente usando lo stesso verbo “go by” per gli uccelli, “go back” per i pensieri
5) il greyhound of the deep non è un leviatano o un mostro marino, quanto una nave passeggeri di linea , i Banchi di Terranova si trovano infatti lungo la rotta ortodromica, cioè la linea più breve, che unisce Europa e America; i postali a vela sfrecciavano a grandi velocità preoccupati solo dei loro ETA (estimate time arrival). Molti dories finivano travolti dal loro passaggio.

La Pesca del Merluzzo nell’Ottocento

La tecnica dei pescherecci messa a punto nell’Ottocento prevedeva l’uso di una particolare imbarcazione detta “Banks dory” costruita in modo seriale e in grande quantità a partire dal 1850, barchette a fondo piatto per uno o due uomini a seconda della dimensione, trasportate (impilate una sopra l’altra) sulle golette dei pescatori cioè le navi-madre.
La tecnica di pesca prevedeva che la nave si ancorasse allargo e calasse a mare i dories, che si allontanavano e pescavano per conto loro con i palamiti. Alla sera il merluzzo pescato in giornata veniva pulito sul ponte della goletta e salato immediatamente. In casi eccezionali era possibile anche pescare con la lenza direttamente dalla goletta, ma issare i grossi pesci a murata era molto più faticoso, mentre il rendimento della pesca era più basso. La nave tornava in porto solo quando le stive erano piene di merluzzo salato. Se gran parte del pescato era costituito da questo pesce,erano anche possibili altri tipi di prede. Issare a bordo una passera (halibut), che poteva superare i tre metri di lunghezza ed i 100 chili di peso, metteva a dura prova le doti di stabilità della barca.,,
Questo tipo di pesca è stato utilizzato in modo massiccio fino alla Prima Guerra Mondiale ed è stato gradualmente soppiantato, a partire dal 1930, dall’uso di pescherecci a motore attrezzati con frigoriferi. (tratto da qui)

The Fog Warning
“The Fog Warning”, Winslow Homer 1885: il pescatore sul dory sta facendo ritorno alla sua goletta-madre  e con lo sguardo misura la distanza che lo separa. Il mare è mosso e il banco di nebbia si sta alzando, sarà una dura gara di forza contro il tempo.
 goletta del film Capitani Coraggiosi
La goletta del film “Capitani Coraggiosi” ferma all’ancora per un banco di nebbia, tratto dal romanzo di Kipling in cui si narra in dettaglio come si svolge la vita dei pescatori di merluzzi agli inizi del 1900

All’inizio si pescava con la lenza, e i pesci pescati erano puliti e messi sotto sale sulla goletta madre. Nell’Ottocento dalla lenza si passa alle longline (in italiano i palamiti)
Lenze lunghe anche chilometri, ognuna delle quali attrezzata con migliaia di ami. Una tecnica molto efficace che permette bottini spaventosi. Nel solo New England, nel 1895 furono pescate 60.000 tonnellate di merluzzi. Che sembravano non finire mai. Addirittura un grande biologo e ricercatore come Huxley affermava: credo che la pesca dei merluzzi, così come le altre risorse del grande mare, siano inesauribili…(tratto da qui)

Ma la fine del merluzzo bianco erano dietro l’angolo.

Le navi industria e la fine del merluzzo bianco

La prima rete a strascico utilizzata in questo tratto di mare risale al 1905, una rete che corre sul fondale e  raccoglie tutto quello che trova, e così a partire dal secondo dopoguerra navi sempre più grandi dotate di grandi celle frigorifere (navi industria) pescavano in un’ora quanto una imbarcazione del 1500-1600 faceva in una stagione. Fu così che a metà degli anni ’70 i pescatori locali ottennero dai loro governi l’estensione delle acque territoriali fino alle 200 miglia dalla costa, escludendo le navi straniere dal dominio dei Grandi Banchi, ma invece di salvaguardare la loro risorsa ittica con una pesca sostenibile i pescatori canadesi finirono per utilizzare strumenti ancora più sofisticati come i sonar, per localizzare i grandi banchi di pesce, mentre il governo faceva previsioni sempre più lontane dalla realtà fissando quote di pescato pericolosamente alte e così nel 1992 non c’erano più merluzzi da pescare: migliaia di pescatori rimasti senza lavoro, barche ferme, fabbriche di conserve chiuse.
A tutt’oggi la pesca al merluzzo a Newfoundland non si è più ripresa, oggi l’economia di quel paese è basata sulla pesca alle aragoste e soprattutto sullo sfruttamento delle risorse boschive e minerarie. I merluzzi non sono più tornati. Pesci come i capelin, un tempo prede dei merluzzi, oggi sono divenuti molto comuni, e mangiano i merluzzi appena nati. Quell’ecosistema oggi è dominato da granchi e gamberi. (tratto da qui)

La coltivazione del Mare

Nel 1979 Jacques Cousteau scriveva: “Dobbiamo coltivare il mare e allevare le sue specie animali, usando il mare da agricoltori invece che da cacciatori. In questo consiste lo sviluppo della civiltà – l’agricoltura che sostituisce la caccia”.
Il futuro per i pescatori: coltivazioni subacquee di alghe e frutti di mare per creare un ecosistema sostenibile con progetti open source da condividere, da leggere la testimonianza di Bren Smith

Farming the Sea: why eating kelp is good for you and good for the environment from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

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

 

FONTI
https://www.nautica.it/barche-da-pesca/il-dory-dei-grandi-banchi-la-barca-che-scrisse-la-storia-della-pesca/
https://storiedibarche.wordpress.com/una-stagione-di-pesca-al-merluzzo-viaggio-sulle-barche-da-pesca-ai-banchi-di-terranova-dalle-immagini-di-anita-conti-alla-realizzazione-di-un-dory/

https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/bren-smith/2016/06/30/alghe-mare-orti-subacquei

http://www.marenostrumrapallo.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=576:merlu&catid=53:marittimo&Itemid=160
https://auspace.athabascau.ca/bitstream/handle/2149/1647/kenneth_peadock.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks2.htm

https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/economy/19th-century-cod.php