Archivi tag: A.L. Lloyd

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

(Mer)Maid on the Shore

Leggi in italiano

A fertile vein of the European balladry tradition that has its roots in the Middle Ages, is the so-called “girl on the beach”; Riccardo Venturi summarizes the commonplace “solitary girl who walks on the shores of the sea – coming ship – commander or sailor who calls her on board – girl who embarks on her own will – rethinking and remorse – thoughts at the maternal / conjugal house – drama that takes place (in various ways)
In the “warning ballads” the good girls are warned not to fantasise, to stay in their place (next to the fireplace to crank out delicious treats and children) and not to venture into “male roles”, otherwise they will end dishonored or raped or killed. Better then the more or less golden cage that is already known, rather than free flight.
Every now and then, however, the girl manages to triumph with cunning, over the male cravings, so in the “(Fair) Maid on the Shore” she turns herself into a predator!

Mermaid
Rebecca Guay: Mermaid

MAIDEN IN THE SHORE

It is a mermaid, which the captain sees on a moonlit night, who is walking along the beach (it is well known that selkies and sirens can walk with human feet on full moon nights). Immediately he falls in love and sends a boat to carry her on his ship (by hook or by crook), but as soon as she sings, she casts a spell on the whole crew.
And here the fantastic and magical theme ends: the girl takes all gold and silver and returns to her beach, far from being a fragile and helpless creature, so also her looting the treasures recalls the topos of the siren that collects the glistening things from ships (after having caused shipwreck and death) to “furnish” his cave!
(mer)maid on the shoreBertrand Bronson in his “Tunes of the Child Ballads” classifies “Fair Maid on the Shore” as a variant of Broomfield Hill (Child # 43), the ballad was found more rarely in Ireland (where it is assumed to be original) and more widely in America (and in particular in Canada). Thus reports Ewan MacCall (The Long Harvest, Volume 3) “More commonly found in the North-eastern United States, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is a curious marine adaptation of the story in which the knight of the Broomfield Hill is transformed into an amorous sea-captain. The young woman on whom he has designs succeeds in preserving her chastity by singing her would-be lover to sleep.”

A.L. Lloyd sang The Maid on the Shore in his album The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (1956) and commented in the notes “As the song comes to us, it is the bouncing ballad of a girl too smart for a lecherous sea captain. But a scrap of the ballad as sung in Ireland hints at something sinister behind the gay recital. For there, the girl is a mermaid or siren.

I
It’s of a sea captain that sailed the salt sea
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o (1)
And a beautiful damsel he changed for to spy
walking alone on the shore, shore
walking alone on the shore
II
What I’ll give to you me sailors boys
and …  costly ware-o (2).
if you’ll fleach me that girl aboard of my ship
who walks all alone on the shore, shore
walks all alone on the shore
III
So the sailors they got them a very long boat
And off for the shore they did steer-o,
Saying, “Ma’am if you please will you enter on board
To view a fine cargo of ware (3), ware
To view a fine cargo of ware.”
IV
With much persuasion they got her on board
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o,
she sat herself down in the stern of the boat
off for the ship they did steer, steer
off for the ship they did steer.
V
And when they’ve arrived alongside of the ship
the captain he order his chew-o,
Saying, “First you should lie in my arms all this night
and may be I’ll marry you dear, dear
may be I’ll marry you dear(4)
VI (5)
She sat herself down in the stern of the ship
the seas they were fine, calm and clear-o,
She sang so neat, so sweet and complete,
She sang sailors and captain to sleep, sleep
sang sailors and captain to sleep.
VII
She’s robbed them of silver, she’s robbed them of gold,
she’s robbed their costly ware-o.
And the captain’s bright sword she’s took for an oar
And she’s paddled away for the shore, shore/ paddled away for the shore.
VIII
And when he awaken he find she was gone
he would like a man in despair-o
… she deluded both captain and crew
“I’m a maid once more on the shore, shore
I’m a maid once more on the shore”

NOTES
having transcribed the text directly from listening, there are some words that escape me (and that for a mother-tongue are very clear!) Any additions are welcome !
1)  the verse is used as a refrain on the call and response scheme typical of the sea shanty
2) the captain promises a substantial reward to his sailors
3) in other more explicit versions the cabin boy is sent to show rings and other precious jewels, asking her to get on board to admiring ones more beautiful
4) in a more cruel version the captain threatens to give the girl to his crew, if she will not be nice to him
First you will lie in my arms all this night
And then I’ll give you to me jolly young crew,
5) It is missing
“Oh thank you, oh thank you,” this young girl she cried,
“It’s just what I’ve been waiting for-o:
For I’ve grown so weary of my maidenhead
As I walked all alone on the shore.”

In the Scandinavian versions of the story the girl is first enticed with flattery on board the ship and then kidnapped, in the French version L ‘Epee Liberatrice she is a princess who gets on the ship because she wants to learn the song sung by the young cabin boy: she falls asleep and when she wakes up she discovers to be on the high seas, she asks a sailor for a sword and kills herself, the Italian version (Il corsaro -Costantino Nigra) follows a similar story, but it is only the Irish version that dwells on the magic song of the siren.

The ballad has many interpreters mostly in the folk or folk-rock field.

Stan Rogers from Fogarty’s Cove (1976)
John Renbourn group from The Enchanted Garden, 1980 (strofe I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII)

Eliza Carthy from Rough Music, 2005

The Once from The Once 2009

I (1)
There is a young maiden,
she lives all a-lone
She lived all a-lone on the shore-o
There’s nothing she can find
to comfort her mind
But to roam all a-lone on the shore, shore, shore
But to roam all a-lone on the shore
II
‘Twas of the young (2) Captain
who sailed the salt sea
Let the wind blow high, blow low
I will die, I will die,
the young Captain did cry
If I don’t have that maid on the shore, shore, shore…
III (3)
I have lots of silver,
I have lots of gold
I have lots of costly ware-o
I’ll divide, I’ll divide,
with my jolly ship’s cres
If they row me that maid on the shore, shore, shore…
IV (4)
After much persuasion,
they got her aboard
Let the wind blow high, blow low
They replaced her away
in his cabin below
Here’s adieu (5) to all sorrow and care, care, care…
V  (6)
They replaced her away
in his cabin below
Let the wind blow high, blow low
She’s so pretty and neat,
she’s so sweet and complete
She’s sung Captain and sailors to sleep, sleep, sleep…
VI (7)
Then she robbed him of silver,
she robbed him of gold
She robbed him of costly ware-o
Then took his broadsword
instead of an oar
And paddled her way to the shore, shore, shore…
VII
Me men must be crazy,
me men must be mad
Me men must be deep in despair-o
For to let you away from my cabin so gay
And to paddle your way to the shore, shore, shore…
VIII (8)
Your men was not crazy,
your men was not mad
Your men was not deep in despair-o
I deluded your sailors as well as yourself
I’m a maiden again on the shore, shore, shore

NOTES
The textual version of the John Renbourn group differs slightly from Stan’s version
1) There was a young maiden, who lives by the shore
Let the wind blow high, blow low
no one could she find to comfort her mind
and she set all a-lone on the shore,
she set all a-lone on the shore
2) or Sea
3) The captain had silver, the captain had gold
And captain had costly ware-o
All these he’ll give to his jolly ship crew
to bring him that maid on the shore
4) And slowly slowly she came upon board
the captain gave her a chair-o
he sited her down in the cabin below
adieu to all sorrow and care
5) in the version of Renbourn the sentence is clearer, it is the pains of love that the captain tries to alleviate by rape the girl!
6) She sited herself in the bow of the ship
she sang so loud and sweet-o
She sang so sweet, gentle and complete
She sang all the seamen to sleep
7) She part took of his silver, part took of his gold
part took of his costly ware-o
she took his broadsword to make an oar
to paddle her back to the shore,
8) Your men must be crazy, your men must be mad
your men must be deep in despair-o
I deluded at them all as has yourself
again I’m a maiden on the shore,

 Solas from “Sunny Spells And Scattered Showers” (1997)

I
There was a fair maid
and she lived all alone
She lived all alone on the shore
No one could she find for to calm her sweet mind (1)
But to wander alone on the shore, shore, shore
To wander alond on the shore
II
There was a brave captain
who sailed a fine ship
And the weather being steady and fair (2)/”I shall die, I shall die,”
this dear captain did cry
“If I can’t have that maid on the shore, shore, shore
If I can’t have that maid on the shore”
III
After many persuasions
they brought her on board
He seated her down on his chair
He invited her down to his cabin below
Farewell to all sorrow and care
Farewell to all sorrow and care (3).
IV
“I’ll sing you a song,”
this fair maid did cry
This captain was weeping for joy
She sang it so sweetly, so soft and completely
She sang the captain and sailors to sleep
Captain and sailors to sleep
V
She robbed them of jewels,
she robbed them of wealth (4)
She robbed them of costly fine fare
The captain’s broadsword she used as an oar
She rowed her way back to the shore, shore, shore
She rowed her way back to the shore
VI
Oh the men, they were mad and the men, they were sad
They were deeply sunk down in despair
To see her go away with her booty so gay
The rings and her things and her fine fare
The rings and her things and her fine fare
VII
“Well, don’t be so sad and sunk down in despair
And you should have known me before
I sang you to sleep and I robbed you of wealth
Well, again I’m a maid on the shore, shore, shore
Again I’m a maid on the shore”

NOTES
1) the sentence would make more sense if it were instead “to calm his restless mind”
2) the reference to the good weather is not accidental, in fact the sighting of a siren was synonymous with the approach of a storm
3) that is having a good time with a presumably virgin
4) the woman is not just a thief but a fairy creature that steals the health of the sailors

LINK
Folk Songs of the Catskills (Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer)
http://home.olemiss.edu/~mudws/reviews/catskill.html
https://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/dung24.htm

https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?lang=it&id=50848
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/s/stan_rogers/the_maid_on_the_shore.html https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/themaidontheshore.html

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35649
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=51828 http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/solas/maid.htm http://www.8notes.com/scores/5463.asp

Heave away, my Johnny sea shanty

Leggi in Italiano

The second sea shanty sung by A.L. Lloyd in the film Moby Dick, shot by John Huston in 1956, is a windlass shanty or a capstan shanty. As we can clearly see in the sequence, crew action the old anchor winch.
Kenneth S. Goldstein commented on the cover notes of the album “Thar She Blows” by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd (1957)”A favourite shanty for windlass work, when the ship was being warped out of harbour at the start of a trip. A log rope would be made fast to a ring at the quayside and run round a bollard at the pierhead and back to the ship’s windlass. The shantyman would sit on the windlass head and sing while the spokesters strained to turn the windlass. As they turned, the rope would round the drum and the ship nosed seaward amid the tears of the women and the cheers of the men. This version was sung by the Indian Ocean whalers of the 1840s“.

The song starts at 1:50, when the catwalk is pulled off and the old spike windlass is activated, model replaced by the brake windlass around 1840



There’s some that’s bound for New York Town
and other’s is bound for France,
Heave away, my Johnnies, heave away,
And some is bound for the Bengal Bay
to teach them whales a dance,
and away my Johnny boys, we’re all bound to go.
Come all you hard workin’ sailors,
Who round the cape of storm (1);
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never been born.
1) the curse of every sailor at the time of sailing ships: Cape Horn

This sea shanty presents a great variety of texts even with different stories, so sometimes it is a song of the whaleship other times a song of emigration. (a collection of various text versions here).

WHALING SHANTY: HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNY (JOHNNIES) – WE’RE ALL BOUND TO GO

Dubbing Cape Horn was a feared affair by sailors, being a stretch of sea almost perpetually upset by storms, a cemetery of numerous unlucky ships.
The wind dominated the bow, so the ship was pushed back for days with the crew exhausted by effort and icy water that was breaking on all sides.

Louis Killen from Farewell Nancy 1964  “capstan stands upright and is pushed round by trudging men. A windlass, serving much the same function, lies horizontally and is revolved by means of bars pulled from up to down. So windlass songs are generally more rhythmical than capstan shanties. Heave Away is usually considered a windlass song. Originally, it had words concerning a voyage of Irish migrants to America. Later, this text fell away. The version sung here was “devised” by A. L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

I
There’s some that’s bound for New York town,
And some that’s bound for France;
Heave away, my Johnny heave away.
And some that’s bound for the Bengal Bay,
To teach them whales a dance;
Heave away, my Johnny boy
we’re all bound to go.
II
The pilot he is awaiting for,
The turnin’ of the tide;
And then, me girls, we’ll be gone again,
With a good and a westerly wind.
III
Farewell to you, my Kingston girls (1),
Farewell, St. Andrews dock;
If ever we return again,
We’ll make your cradles rock.
IV
Come all you hard workin’ sailor men,
Who round the cape of storm;
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never was born.

NOTES
1) Kingston upon Hull (or, more simply, Hull) is a renowned fishing port from which flotillas for fishing in the North Sea started from the Middle Ages. In the song, the departing ships also head for the Indian Ocean (see routes )

Barbara Brown & Tom Brown  from Just Another Day 2014, from the repertoire of the seafaring songs of Minehead (Somerset) collected by Cecil Sharp from only two sources – the retired captains Lewis and Vickery.

trad and Tom Brown verses
I
As I walked out one morning all in the month of May,
Heave away, me Johnny, heave away,
I thought upon the ships and trade that sailed out of our bay,
Heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Wexford town and sometimes for St. John,
And sometimes to the Med we go, just to get the sun.
III
We’re running to St. Austell Bay, with coal we’re loaded down;
A storm came down upon us before we reached Charlestown.
IV
There’s dried and pickled herring we’ve shipped around the world,
Two hundred years of fishing, until they disappeared.
V
It’s green oak bound for Swansea town, it’s salt we bring from France,
But it’s down into the Indies to lead those girls a dance.
VI
With a cargo now of kelp, me boys, for Bristol now we’re bound,
To help them make the glass, you know, all in that famous town.
VII
Flour and malt and bark and grain are on the Bristol run;
The Jane and Susan beat them all in eighteen-sixty-one.
VIII
We’ve sailed the world in ships of fame that came from Minehead hard,
And Unanimity she was the last from Manson’s Yard.

NEWFOUNDLAND VERSION

Genevieve Lehr (Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook # 49) was released by Pius Power, Southeast Bight,  in 1979 Genevieve Lehr writes “this is a song which was often used to establish a rhythm for hauling up the anchors aboard the fishing schooners. Many of these ‘heave-up shanties’ were old ballads or contemporary ones, and very often topical verses were made up on the spur of the moment and added to the song to make the song last as long as the task itself.”

The Fables from Tear The House Down, 1998 a cheerful version with a decidedly country arrangement

I
Come get your duds(1) in order ‘cause we’re bound to cross the water.
Heave away, me jollies,
heave away.
Come get your duds in order ‘cause we’re bound to leave tomorrow.
Heave away me jolly boys,
we’re all bound away
.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool,
sometimes we’re bound for Spain.
But now we’re bound for old St. John’s (2) where all the girls are dancing.
III
I wrote me love a letter,
I was on the Jenny Lind.
I wrote me love a letter and I signed it with a ring.
IV
Now it’s farewell Nancy darling, ‘cause it’s now I’m going to leave you.
“You promised that me you’d marry me, but how you did deceive me.(3)”

NOTES
1) duds in this context means “clothes” but more generally the large canvas bag containing the sailor’s baggage
2) Saint John’s, known in Italian as San Giovanni di Terranova for the Marconi experiment, is a city in Canada, capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located in the peninsula of Avalon, which is part of the Newfoundland island
3) clearly a “flying” verse taken from the many farewells here is Nancy answering

 

broadside ballad: The Banks of the Sweet Dundee ( Short Sharp Shanties)
 emigration song: The Irish girl or Mr Tapscott

LINK
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/heave-away,-my-johnnies—kingston.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/heaveawaymyjohnny.html
http://www.kinglaoghaire.com/lyrics/722-heave-away-my-johnny
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/24/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/02/heave.htm http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/07/13-were-all-bound-to-go.html
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/default.htm

Blood Red Roses, a whale shanty

Leggi in italiano

Ho Molly, come down
Come down with your pretty posy
Come down with your cheeks so rosy
Ho Molly, come down”
(from Gordon Grant “SAIL HO!: Windjammer Sketches Alow and Aloft”,  New York 1930)

To introduce two new sea shanties in the archive of Terre Celtiche blog I start from Moby Dick (film by John Huston in 1956) In the video-clip we see the “Pequod” crew engaged in two maneuvers to leave New Bedford, (in the book port is that of Nantucket) large whaling center on the Atlantic: Starbuck, the officer in second, greets his wife and son (camera often detaches on wives and girlfriends go to greet the sailors who will not see for a long time: the whalers were usually sailing from six to seven months or even three – four years). After dubbing Cape of Good Hope, the”Pequod” will head for Indian Ocean.
It was AL Lloyd who adapted  “Bunch of roses” shanty for the film, modifying it with the title “Blood Red Roses”. It should be noted that at the time of Melville many shanty were still to come

Albert Lancaster Lloyd, Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger

It’s round Cape Horn we all must go
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
For that is where them whalefish blow
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
It’s frosty snow and winter snow
under’s many ships they ‘round Cape Horn
It’s your boots to see again
let you them for whaler men

oswald-brierly
Oswald Brierly, “Whalers off Twofold Bay” from Wikimedia Commons. Painting is dated 1867 but it shows whaling and the Bay as it was in the 1840s

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


Me bonnie bunch of Roses o!
Come down, you blood red roses, come down (1)
Tis time for us to roll and go
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
We’re bound away around Cape Horn (2), Were ye wish to hell you aint never been born,
Me boots and clothes are all in pawn (3)/Aye it’s bleedin drafty round Cape Horn.
Tis growl ye may but go ye must
If ye growl to hard your head ill bust.
Them Spanish Girls are pure and strong
And down me boys it wont take long.
Just one more pull and that’ll do
We’ll the bullie sport  to kick her through.

NOTES
1) this line most likely was created by A.L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick, reworking the traditional verse “as down, you bunch of roses”, and turning it into a term of endearment referring to girls (a fixed thought for sailors, obviously just after the drinking). I do not think that in this context there are references to British soldiers (in the Napoleonic era referring to Great Britain as the ‘Bonny bunch of roses’, the French also referred to English soldiers as the “bunch of roses” because of their bright red uniforms), or to whales, even if the image is of strong emotional impact:“a whale was harpooned from a rowing boat, unless it was penetrated and hit in a vital organ it would swim for miles sometimes attacking the boats. When it died it would be a long hard tow back to the ship, something they did not enjoy. If the whale was hit in the lungs it would blow out a red rose shaped spray from its blowhole. The whalers refered to these as Bloody Red Roses, when the spray became just frothy bubbles around the whale as it’s breathing stopped it looked like pinks and posies in flower beds” (from mudcat here)
2) Once a obligatory passage of the whaling boats that from Atlantic headed towards the Pacific.
3) 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.

Sting from “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys” ANTI 2006. 
The textual version resumes that of Louis Killen and this musical interpretation is decidedly Caribbean, rhythmic and hypnotic ..


Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

It’s flamin’ drafty (1) ‘round Cape Horn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

Oh, you pinks and posies Go down,
you blood red roses, Go down
My dear old mother she said to me,
“My dearest son, come home from sea”.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn we all must go
‘Round Cape Horn in the frost and snow.
You’ve got your advance, and to sea you’ll go
To chase them whales through the frost and snow.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn you’ve got to go,
For that is where them whalefish blow(2).
It’s growl you may, but go you must,
If you growl too much your head they’ll bust.
Just one more pull and that will do
For we’re the boys to kick her through

NOTES
1) song in this version is dyed red with “flaming draughty” instead of “mighty draughty”. And yet even if flaming has the first meaning “Burning in flame” it also means “Bright; red. Also, violent; vehement; as a flaming harangue”  (WEBSTER DICT. 1828)

Jon Contino

“Go Down, You Blood Red Roses” is a game for children widespread in the Caribbean and documented by Alan Lomax in 1962

(second part)

LINK
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/debunking-myth-that-go-down-you-blood.html
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/coming-down-with-bunch-of-roses-lyrics.html

http://songbat.com/archive/songs/english-americas/blood-red-roses
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/bloodredroses.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=34080 http://www.well.com/~cwj/dogwatch/chanteys/Blood%20Red%20Roses.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/blood.htm http://will.wright.is/post/1367066738/jon-contino

Lancashire, Yorkshire & Oxfordshire may day carols

Leggi in italiano

GREATER MANCHESTER – Lancashire

Manchester May Day.
“One tradition was for girls to don mainly white dresses, made from curtains or whatever, and carry around a broomstick representing a maypole. Another tradition was for boys to dress up in women’s clothing and to colour their faces – they were called molly dancers, ‘molly’ being an old expression for an effeminate man. Dr Cass[Dr Eddie Cass, the Folklore Society] says they went round quoting a verse. One such, from the Salford area, was: I’m a collier from Pendlebury brew. Itch Koo Pushing little wagons up a brew I earn thirty bob a week I’ve a wife and kids to keep I’m a collier from Pendlebury brew Dr Cass himself remembers both traditions. The girls would dance round the maypole and sing other songs, such as: Buttercups and daisies Oh what pretty flowers Coming in spring time To tell of sunny hours We come to greet you on the first of May We hope you will not send us away For we dance and sing our merry song On a maypole day (from here)

SWINTON MAY SONG

The version reproduced by Watersons in 1975 is taken from W & R Chamber “Book of Days” – 1869 – with words and music collected by Mr. Job Knight (1861) –  A.L. Lloyd comments
The critical seasons of the year—midwinter, coming of spring, onset of autumn—were times for groups of carollers to go through the villages singing charms for good luck, in hope of a reward of food, drink, money. This one was sung on May Eve or thereabouts in Yorkshire and Lancashire, but it’s much like similar songs from any other county.”

This song is  titled “Drawing Near the Merry Month of May” and the text is also reported in Edwin Waugh’s book “Lancashire Sketches” (1869)
The area of reference is Yorkshire and Lancashire and “Swinton” was a small borough, then Salford city now become a part of Manchester (England)

The Watersons from For Pence and Spicy Ale -1975

Brass Monkey from Flame of Fire – 2005

The two melodies are different, the version of the Brass Monkey recalls the Padstow May Song, another song of springtime still popular ritual in the town of Padstow, Cornwall.
As reported in Chambers’ Book of Day (1869), Swinton’s two songs were the Old May song and the New May song. The Old May Song was a so-called Night song that was sung during the night by groups of mayers accompanied with various musical instruments.

OLD MAY SONG

I
All in this pleasant evening together
come has we
for the summer springs so fresh and green and gay.
We’ll tell you of a blossom and a bud on every tree
Drawing near to the merry month of May
II
Rise up, the master of this house all in your chain of gold
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We hope you’re not offended with your house we make so bold
Drawing near to the merry month of May
III
Rise up, the mistress of this house with gold all on your breast
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
And if your body is asleep we hope your soul’s at rest
Drawing near to the merry month of May
IV
Rise up, the children of this house, all in your rich attire
For the summer springs so gresh and green and gay.
And every hair all on your head shines like a silver wire
Drawing near to the merry month of May
V
God bless this house and arbor, your riches and your store
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We hope that the Lord will prosper you both now and evermore
Drawing near to the merry month of May
VI
So now we’re going to leave you in peace and plenty here
For the summer springs so fresh and green and gay
We will not sing you May again until another year
For to drive you these cold winter nights away

Charles Daniel Ward: Processing of Spring -1905
Charles Daniel Ward: Processing of Spring -1905

We heve a direct testimony in the book”Memoirs of Seventy Years of an Eventful Life  from Charles Hulbert (Providence Grove, Near Shrewsbury:1852), pg 107
With feelings of indescribable pleasure, I still call to my remembrance various customs and scenes familiar to my early years. Still present is the delight with which I hailed the approach of May-day morning, when a select company of the musical Rustics of Worsley, Swinton and Eccles, would assemble at midnight to commence the grateful task of saluting their neighbours with the sound of the Clarionet, Hautboy, German Flute, Violin, and the melody of twenty voices. On this occasion the leader of the band would commence his song under the window or before the outer door of the family “he delighted to honour” with
O rise up Master of this House, all in your chain of gold,
For the summer springs so fresh, green and gay;
I hope you’ll not be angry at us for being so bold,
Drawing near to the merry month of May.
In this strain, including some encomiums or happy allusion to the various qualifications of all the other branches of the family the whole were saluted: after which a purse of silver or a few mugs of good ale were distributed among the company; thus they proceeded from house to house, tilling the air with their music and happy voices, till six o’clock in the morning.
Among the drinks with which the singers were refreshing their throat in addition to the inevitable beer there was also the Syllabub prepared with milk cream. see more

OXFORDSHIRE

THE SWALCLIFFE MAY DAY CAROL

CMB-009Here is the transcription of a 19th-century May song sung by Swalcliffe’s children, clearly a Day Song
Swalcliffe (pronounced sway-cliff) is a village near Banbury in North Oxfordshire. The words of this carol were noted by Miss Annie Norris around 1840 from the singing of a group of children in the village. The words were passed onto the collector – and Adderbury resident – Janet Blunt in 1908, and she finally collected a tune for the song from Mrs Woolgrove of Swalcliffe, and Mrs Lynes of Sibford, at Sibford fete, July 1921.” (from here)

Magpie Lane from The Oxford Ramble 1993

I
Awake! awake! lift up your eyes
And pray to God for grace
Repent! repent! of your former sins
While ye have time and space
II
I have been wandering all this night
And part of the last day
So now I’ve come for to sing you a song
And to show you a branch of May
III
A branch of may I have brought you
And at your door it stands
It does spread out, and it spreads all about
By the work of our Lord’s hands
IV
Man is but a man, his life’s but a span
He is much like a flower
He’s here today and he’s gone tomorrow
So he’s all gone down in an hour
V
So now I have sung you my little short song
I can no longer stay
God bless you all both great and small
And I wish you a happy May

LINK

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=129987 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=30126 http://www.thebookofdays.com/months/april/24.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/ making_history/makhist10_prog5d.shtml https://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/ swintonmaysong.html http://www.magpielane.co.uk/sleevenotes/ oxford_ramble/may_day_carol.htm https://afolksongaweek.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/ week-88-swalcliffe-may-day-carol/

THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS

Un classico delle rievocazioni storiche in tema Bucanieri questa allegra drinking song, risalente alla metà del 1700: il titolo è anche semplicemente “Drunken Maidens” e le fanciulle sono talvolta “Three drunken maidens” ma anche “Four drunken maidens”.
A.L. Lloyd associò una melodia di sua composizione al testo che aveva trovato in “A Pedlar Pack of Ballads and Songs” di W H. Logan’s  (1869) e registrò la canzone, accompagnato da Al Jeffery al banjo,  nel suo album “English Drinking Songs” (1956) , che ebbe un discreto seguito nei circuiti dei folk clubs.
In seguito Lloyd trovò nel “Tune Book” (1770) di John Vickers la melodia originaria che accompagnava la canzone,  ma orami la versione standard era diventata la sua.
La canzone viene associata a Christy Moore e considerata una irish driinking song, ma è stata eseguita anche dai Fairport Convention e gli Steeleye Span.

ASCOLTA A.L. Lloyd in All For Me Grog, 1961

ASCOLTA The Planxty live

ASCOLTA Denis Murray & Napper Tandy live 1997


I
There were three drunken maidens
Come from the Isle of Wight (1)
They drunk from Monday morning
Nor stopped till Saturday night
When Saturday night would come, me boys
They wouldn’t then go out
Not them three drunken maidens,
they pushed the jug about (2).
II
Then in comes bouncing Sally
Her cheeks as red as blooms
“Move up me jolly sisters
And give young Sally some room
Then I will be your equal
Before the night is out”
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
III
There’s woodcock and pheasant
There’s partridge and hare
There’s all sorts of dainties
No scarcity was there
There’s forty quarts of beer, me boys
They fairly drunk them out
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
IV
And up comes the landlord
He’s asking for his pay
“It is a forty pound bill, me boys
These gobs have got to pay
That’s ten pounds apiece, me boys”
But still they wouldn’t go out
These four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
V
Oh where are your feather hats
Your mantles rich and fine?
They all got swallowed up, me lads
In tankards of good wine
And where are your maidenheads
You maidens frisk and gay?
We left them in the alehouse
We drank them clean away(3)
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’erano tre signorine ubriache
che veniva dall’Isola di Wright
bevevano dal lunedì mattino
e non smettevano fino alla notte del sabato.
Quando arrivava sabato notte, ragazzi,
non avrebbero poi voluto uscire
non queste tre fanciulle ubriache
che facevano girare la bottiglia!
II
Allora entrò la rotondetta Sally
dalle guance come rose fiorite
“Spostatevi, mie allegre sorelle
e fate un po’ di posto alla piccola Sally
allora sarò vostra pari
prima che la notte sia finita”
Così queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
III
C’erano la beccaccia e il fagiano
c’erano la pernice e la lepre
e di tutte le prelibatezze
non c’era penuria.
C’erano quaranta litri di birra, ragazzi
e li bevvero tutti equamente
e queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
IV
Ed ecco che arriva l’oste
e chiede di essere pagato
“E’ un conto di 40 sterline, ragazzi
dovete pagare questo gruzzolo,
sono dieci sterline a testa, ragazzi”
Eppure non volevano andarsene
queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
V
Dove sono i vostri cappelli piumati
i mantelli preziosi e belli?
“Sono stati tutti inghiottiti, ragazzi
in boccali di buon vino.”
E dove sono le vostre verginità
voi fanciulle sveglie e allegre?
“Le lasciammo in birreria,
ce le siamo bevute”

NOTE
1) l’isola di Wight era un deposito per i contrabbandieri di liquori provenienti dalla Francia
2) Non è automatico tradurre in italiano il temine jug: in fiorentino si direbbe boccia, che richiama l’immagine delle bottiglie di vino da 5 litri (una bottiglia piuttosto grande con il collo stretto). Ma può essere anche una caraffa con tanto di manico e collo più svasato che assomiglia a una brocca. Potrebbe anche essere un vaso di vetro per conservare marmellate o ortaggi o il barattolo del miele. Un termine quanto mai generico che a me richiama l’orcio toscano, il recipiente di terracotta, panciuto e di forma allungata con il collo ristretto, spesso a due manici in cui si conservavano o trasportavano i liquidi. In antico era una unità di misura equivalente a circa 38 litri, ma rimpicciolito ecco che l’orcio era usato come una brocca.
jug= boccia, brocca, caraffa, bottiglia.
3) non avendo soldi per pagare l’oste, hanno pagato in natura

FONTI
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/thedrunkenmaidens.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=274

GALLOWS POLE & SEVEN COURSES

La ballata popolare “Gallows pole“, “The Maid Freed From The Gallows”, “The Prickly Bush oppure “The Hangman”, “Highwayman” viene dalle Isole Britanniche, classificata tra le Child ballads al numero 95.
E’ una storia che ha conosciuto una grande fortuna nell’Europa medievale in particolare la ritroviamo in una tra le più note ballate italiane “Cecilia” riportata da Costantino Nigra al numero 3 (vedi)
Così la  ballata popolare ungherese “Feher Anna” narra la storia di un uomo condannato a morte per aver rubato un cavallo. La sorella nel tentativo di salvarlo passa la notte a letto con il giudice ma al mattino scopre che il fratello è stato ugualmente impiccato.
“The subject, is probably Italian in origin, and passed on into French and English collections of tales through Latin transmission. This ballad probably came to Hungary from the Italians, perhaps through Dalmatian transmission, after the middle of the 16th century” (tratto da qui)
Le versioni che la fanno circolare nei circuiti folk degli anni 60 portano il titolo di “Anathea” e di “Seven Courses”.

Fehér Anna balladája

ANATHEA

Nell’album “Judy Collins #3″ pubblicato nel marzo 1963 troviamo  il brano accreditato a Neil Roth e Lydia Wood. Così scrive nelle note “I am told that Lydia Wood was given the poem when she was in Paris a few years ago, and set the lovely melody to this story of cruel justice.”
La ballata è in tutta evidenza una trascrizione in inglese della versione ungherese “Feher Anna” (= Anna White) di cui si conserva intatto il nome del condannato “Lazlo Feher”; la ballata fu pubblicata agli inizi del 900 dal compositore ungherese Béla Bartók nella sua raccolta “Hungarian Folk Songs” pubblicata in America nel 1931. 
La stessa canzone raccolta da Béla Bartók fu tradotta in inglese da A.L. (Bert) Lloyd con il titolo di “Laszlo Thea stole a stallion” (vedi)

ASCOLTA Judy Collins 1963

ASCOLTA Dave & Toni Arthur in ‘The Folk Trailer’.

I
Lazlo Feher stole a stallion.
Stole him from the misty mountain.
And they chased (followed) him and they caught him,
And in iron chains they bound him.
II
Word was brought to Anathea (Anna Thea)
That her brother was (lay) in prison.
« Bring me gold and six fine (white) horses.
I will buy my brothers freedom.»
III
« Judge, oh, judge, please spare my brother.
I will give you gold and silver. »
“I don’t want your gold and silver.
All I want are your sweet favors. »
IV
« Anathea, oh, my sister,
Are you mad with grief and sorrow?
He will rob you of your flower,
And he’ll hang me from the gallows.»
V
Anathea did not heed him.
Straightway to the judge went running.
In his golden bed at midnight,
There she heard the gallows groaning.
VI
Cursed be that judge so cruel.
Thirteen years may he lie bleeding!
Thirteen doctors cannot cure (heal) him. Thirteen shelves of drugs can’t heal him.
VII
« Anathea, Anathea,
Don’t go out into the forest.
There among the green pines standing,
You will find your brother hanging. »
Tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
Lazlo Feher rubò un cavallo
lo rubò sulle vette nebbiose
ma lo inseguirono
e lo catturarono e lo imprigionarono con una catena di ferro.
II
Un messaggio fu consegnato a Anathea che suo fratello era in prigione “Datemi l’oro e 6 bei cavalli e comprerò la libertà a mio fratello”
III
“Giudice oh giudice ti prego di risparmiare mio fratello
e ti darò oro e argento”
“Non voglio oro e argento
ciò che voglio sono i tuoi favori”
IV
“Anathea, oh sorella mia
sei impazzita per il dolore e la pena?
Ti ruberà del tuo fiore più prezioso
e mi impiccherà sulla forca”
V
Anathea non gli prestò attenzione
e dritto di filato dal giudice andò di buona lena.
Nel suo letto dorato a mezzanotte
là sentì la forca
gemere
VI
La maledizione colga un giudice così crudele: 13 anni stia a sanguinare
13 dottori  non lo possano curare
13 scaffali di medicine non lo possano guarire
IX
“Anathea, Anathea
non andare nella foresta
là tra i verdi pini in fila
troverai tuo fratello impiccato”

NOTE
tra parentesi le variazioni di Bert Lloyd

SEVEN COURSES

Nello stesso anno a maggio 1963 Bob Dylan registra “Seven Courses” (suonata però in concerto nel mese di aprile) praticamente la stessa storia di “Laszlo Thea stole a stallion” Dylan cambia il nome nel più irlandese e tradizionale “Old Reilly” ed è la figlia a sacrificare la sua verginità per salvarlo. Aggiunge inoltre il sotto tema delle maledizioni peraltro presenti nelle versioni scandinave della ballata (continua)

I
Old Reilly stole a stallion
But they caught him
and they brought him back
And they laid him down on the jailhouse ground
With an iron chain around his neck.
II
Old Reilly’s daughter got a message
That her father was goin’ to hang.
She rode by night and came by morning
With gold and silver in her hand.
III
When the judge he saw Reilly’s daughter
His old eyes deepened in his head,
Sayin’, “Gold will never free your father,
The price, my dear, is you instead.”
IV
“Oh I’m as good as dead,” cried Reilly,
“It’s only you that he does crave
And my skin will surely crawl if he touches you at all.
Get on your horse and ride away.”
V
“Oh father you will surely die
If I don’t take the chance to try
And pay the price and not take your advice.
For that reason I will have to stay.”
VI
The gallows shadows shook the evening,
In the night a hound dog bayed,
In the night the grounds were groanin’,
In the night the price was paid.
VII
The next mornin’ she had awoken
To know that the judge had never spoken.
She saw that hangin’ branch a-bendin’,
She saw her father’s body broken.
VIII
These be seven curses on a judge so cruel:
That one doctor will not save him,
That two healers will not heal him,
That three eyes will not see him.
IX
That four ears will not hear him,
That five walls will not hide him,
That six diggers will not bury him
And that seven deaths shall never kill him.
Tradotto da Michele Murino *
I
Il vecchio Reilly rubò un cavallo
ma lo catturarono
e lo riportarono indietro
lo gettarono in una cella
con una catena di ferro intorno al collo
II
La figlia del vecchio Reilly ricevette un messaggio che suo padre sarebbe stato impiccato
Cavalcò di notte ed arrivò al mattino con oro ed argento in mano
III
Quando il giudice vide la figlia di Reilly
i suoi vecchi occhi strabuzzarono
e disse “L’oro non salverà
tuo padre
Il prezzo, cara mia, sarai tu”
IV
“Oh è come se fossi morto” gridò Reilly
“E’ solo te che egli vuole
e mi vengono i brividi al pensiero
che egli ti tocchi
Sali sul tuo cavallo e scappa”
V
“Oh padre, morirai di sicuro
se non rischierò
e pagherò il prezzo senza seguire il tuo consiglio
Per questo motivo devo rimanere”
VI
Le ombre del patibolo ondeggiavano nella sera
nella notte un cane abbaiò
nella notte il suolo
gemette
nella notte il prezzo fu pagato
VII
La mattina dopo lei apprese al risveglio
che il giudice non aveva mantenuto la promessa
Vide il ramo con il cappio piegato
Vide il corpo di suo padre spezzato
VIII
Che sette maledizioni colpiscano un giudice così crudele:
che un dottore non lo salvi
che due guaritori non lo guariscano
che tre occhi non lo vedano
IX
Che quattro orecchie non lo ascoltino
che cinque mura non lo nascondano
che sei becchini non lo seppelliscano
e che sette morti non lo uccidano.

NOTE
* da qui

FONTI
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=38962&lang=it
http://mek.oszk.hu/02700/02790/html/142.html
http://folksongcollector.com/annathea.html
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=9356
https://singout.org/2012/08/17/the-price-my-dear-is-you/