Jinkin’ You, Johnnie Lad

“Johnny Lad” is a scottish traditional song with many text versions combined with different melodies.
“Johnny Lad” è una canzone tradizionale scozzese con molte versioni testuali abbinate a diverse  melodie.
Johnny Lad: street ballad/ nursery song version
Jinkin’ You, Johnnie Lad: bothy ballad
Cock Up Your Beaver (Robert Burns)
Hey how Johnie Lad (Robert Burns)
Och, Hey! Johnnie, Lad (Robert Tannahill)

Flirtatious song version: a bothy ballad

 Not to be confused with the related and similarly-titled song ‘Johnny Lad‘ (Roud 2587; see Buchan (1828)), as popularised during the folk revival of the 1950-60s in Scotland, and which begins “I bought a wife in Edinburgh”.
In “Jinkin’ You, Johnnie Lad” a woman describes her deep fondness for Johnnie, and looks forward to become her wife.
Da non confondersi con la canzone “Johnny Lad” dal titolo simile (Roud 2587, vedi Buchan (1828)), resa popolare durante il revival folk degli anni 1950-60 in Scozia, e che inizia “Ho comprato una moglie a Edimburgo “. La cantante descrive la sua profonda passione per Johnny, e non vede l’ora di diventare sua moglie.

Ewan MacColl in Classic Scots Ballads (1956 ) e in Popular Scottish Songs (1962)

Whirligig in The Weel, 2001
to follow a Jig Suite (The fairy jig, Paddy Glackin’s) from the repertoire of popular violinist Paddy Glackin
[a seguire una Suite di Jig (The fairy jig, Paddy Glackin’s) dal repertorio del violinista popolare Paddy Glackin]

Celia Ramsay in Song of My Father’s People 2011 

Sharon Knight in Neofolk Romantique 2013


I
Oh ken ye my love Johnny
He’s down on yonder lea (1),
And he’s looking and he’s jouking (2)
And he’s aye watching me,
He’s pullin’ and he’s teasin’
But his meanin’s not so bad
Gin it’s ever goin’ to be
Tell me noo, Johnny lad (3)
CHORUS (4)- standard
Tell me noo my Johnny laddie
Tell me noo my Johnny lad
If it’s ever goin’ to be
Tell me noo, Johnny lad.
II
When the sheep are it the fauld
and the kye (5) are in the byre
There’s other lads and lasses sitting 
‘round a roaring fire
There’s me a glaiket (6) lassie,
just like’s gin I wis mad (7)
Through the nooks and barley stalks
A-jinking (8) you my Johnny lad
CHORUS
Jinkin you my Johnnie laddie
Jinkin you my Johnnie lad
Through the nooks an barley stooks (9)
I’m jinkin you Johnnie lad
III
Oh’s Johnny blyth e (10) and bonny,
He’s the pride of all yon lea
And I love him best of honey (11)
Though he’s aye teasin’ me
Though he teases me and squeezes me
And tickles me like mad,
Nane comes near me that can cheer me
Like my ain Johnny lad.
CHORUS
Aye it’s you, my Johnny laddie
Aye it’s you my Johnny lad
Nane can tease me and can please me
Like my own Johnny lad.
IV
Oh, Johnny’s not a gentlemen
Nor yet is he a laird (11),
But I would follow Johnny
Although he was a caird (12).
Oh Johnny is a a bonnie lad
He was ainst a lad of mine,
And I’ve never had a better lad
Though I’ve had twenty-nine (13).
CHORUS
And with you, my Johnny laddie
And with you my Johnny lad,
And I’ll dance the buckles off my shoon (14),
With you, Johnny lad.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Sapete Johnny l’amore mio
è laggiù nell’alpeggio,
mi guarda di nascosto
e mi fissa sempre,
mi guarda e mi prende in giro
ma la sua intenzione non è poi così male;
se mai accadrà,
dimmelo adesso, mio Johnny 
CORO 
Dimmelo adesso, Johnny ragazzo mio,
dimmelo adesso, Johnny ragazzo mio,
accadrà mai?
Dimmelo adesso mio Johnny
II
Quando le pecore sono nell’ovile
e le mucche nel recinto
ci sono gli altri ragazzi e le ragazze seduti
accanto al fuoco ardente,
ecco che io ragazzaccia 
in un impeto di follia
dietro ai covoni di grano
ti sedurrei, mio Johnny
CORO
A tentarti Johnny ragazzo mio,
A tentarti Johnny ragazzo mio
dietro ai covoni di grano
ti tenterò Johnny
III
Oh Johnny è allegro e bello
è l’orgoglio dell’alpeggio
e lo amo più del miele 
anche se mi prende in giro,
mi provoca e mi pizzica,
mi fa il solletico da pazzi,
ma nessuno mi mette tanto di buon umore,
quanto il mio Johnny quando è vicino
CORO
Sempre sei tu Johnny ragazzo mio,
sempre sei tu mio Johnny 
nessuno  riesce a stuzzicarmi e a divertirmi
come il mio Johnny
IV
Oh Johnny non è un signore
e nemmeno un signorotto 
ma seguirei il mio Johnny
anche se fosse un vagabondo.
Johnny è un bel ragazzo
è il ragazzo che fa per me
non ho mai avuto un ragazzo migliore
sebbene abbia fatto 29 anni.
CORO
E con te mio caro Johnny ragazzo mio
con te mio Johnny
ballerò finché si slacceranno le scarpe;
con te Johnny

NOTE
1) Lea: open grassland
2) Joukin, jookin: ducking out of sight
3)  “ask me now to marry you! Will the day ever come when you ask me in marriage?” [“chiedimi adesso di sposarti! Verrà mai il giorno in cui mi chiederai in moglie?”]
Whirligig stanza
“Do you know my Johnny
he is down on yonder lee
and he’s creeping ‘round and sneaking
and he’s aye watching me
I tell him I’ve no love for him and that I never had
still there’s nane on earth can cheer me
like me own Johnny Lad”
4)  Whirligig  chorus
And it’s you my johnny laddie
aye it’s you my johnny lad
nane come near me that can cheer me
like me own Johnny Lad
5) Kye; cattle
6) Glaikit: “silly” in the meaning of fickle and frivolous, a capricious girl; in another version it is “Glasgow lassie”; [nel significato di volubile e frivola, una ragazza capricciosa; in altre versioni dice “Glasgow lassie”]
7) or “just as lack as it I’s mad”, “Just like as I was mad”
8) Jinkin= avoiding, dodging;  To jaunt, frolic, dance, ramble from place to place, esp. in search of amorous enjoyment; to flirt 
9) Stooks: sheaves of corn set up to stand together and dry
10) Blythe: blithe, cheerful; light
11) or of any
12) Laird:is a typical Scottish term to indicate a landowner with a series of tenants of which he is the head, a title inferior to Lord but still of the gentry [è un termine tipico scozzese per indicare un proprietario terriero con una serie di affittuari di cui è il capo, un titolo inferiore a Lord ma pur sempre della gentry]
13) Caird: tinker (from gaelic cea`rd, a craftsman)
14) absolutely an old maid! [decisamente una zitella!]
15) or “I’ll tak the buckles aff ma shin fir you Johnnie Lad.” shin, shoon=shoes, in popular language, any reference to shoe buckles has an allusion to the sexual act [
mi slaccerò le scarpe. Nel linguaggio popolare ogni riferimento alle fibbie delle scarpe ha un che di allusivo all’atto sessuale.]

LINK
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/4334/1
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/FVS045.html
http://sangstories.webs.com/johnnielad.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/johnnylad.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=7570

I Hae a Wife O’ Ma Ain

ritratto di Robert Burns

“I hae a wife o ma ain” (I have a Wife of My Own) is apparently the melody of a country-dance with some silly words added in an extemporaneous way and yet the song was already reported in ‘The Caledonian Pocket Companion’ ( 1740) by James Oswald. Thus Robert Burns rewrote it in 1788 for the SMM vol IV # 352
“I hae a wife o’ ma ain” (Ho una moglie tutta mia) è apparentemente la melodia di una country-dance con delle “silly words” aggiunte in modo estemporaneo e tuttavia la canzone era già riportata nel  ‘The Caledonian Pocket Companion’ (1740) di James Oswald. Così Robert Burns la riscrive nel 1788 per lo SMM vol IV #352

I did in my way..

A free spirit wanders around the country without roots and often outside civil society and just wants to be left in peace, so it responds to the conformists and moralists “Get your own business!”
Uno spirito libero vagabonda per il paese senza radici e spesso al di fuori dalla società civile e vuole solo essere lasciato in pace, perciò risponde ai benpensanti e ai moralisti “Fatti i fatti tuoi!” (continua)

Billy Ross

Ewan MacColl in “Songs of Robert Burns”, 1994.


I
Hae a wife of my ain,
I’ll partake wi’ naebody;
I’ll take Cuckold frae nane,
I’ll gie Cuckold to naebody.
II
I hae a penny to spend,
There-thanks to naebody!
I hae naething to lend,
I’ll borrow frae naebody.
III
I am naebody’s lord,
I’ll be slave to naebody;
I hae a gude braid sword,
I’ll tak dunts frae naebody.
IV
I’ll be merry and free,
I’ll be sad for naebody;
Naebody cares for me,
I care for naebody.
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Ho una moglie tutta mia
con nessuno la condividerò
da nessuno prenderò le corna
e nessuno farò cornuto
II
Ho un penny da spendere
senza ringraziare nessuno
non ho niente da affittare
e niente affitterò
III
Di nessuno sono il signore 
di nessuno sarò servitore
ho una buona spada al fianco
con nessuno menerò colpi
IV
Sarò felice e libero
per nessuno sarò triste
nessuno si curerà di me
di nessuno mi prenderò cura 

Dave Swarbrick, I Have a Wife of My Own / Lady Mary Haye’s Scotch Measure

The melody recalls Brose&Butter with which it is sometimes played in the  set, Ossian adds the melody at the end of “The corncrake” (in “Ossian” 1977)
La melodia richiama Brose&Butter con la quale talvolta è suonata in set, Ossian aggiunge la melodia in coda a “The corncrake” (in “Ossian” 1977)

LINK
https://thesession.org/tunes/2433
http://www.burnsscotland.com/items/v/volume-iv,-song-352,-page-364-i-hae-a-wife-o-my-ain.aspx

Last May a braw wooer by Robert Burns

ritratto di Robert Burns

Robert Burns writes the humorous song “Last May a Braw Wooer” (Last May a fine lover) making some drafting revisions, on an old Scottish air ‘The Lothian Lassie”. The song was published in the SMM, 1787; in Thomson’s collection” Scotish Airs “, 1799 and in the SMM, 1803.
Robert Burns scrive la canzone umoristica “Last May a Braw Wooer” (Lo scorso Maggio un baldo pretendente)  facendone alcune revisioni di stesura, su una vecchia aria scozzese ‘The Lothian Lassie. La canzone fu pubblicata nello SMM del 1787, nella raccolta di Thomson “Scotish Airs”, 1799 e nello SMM del 1803.

Mr. Stenhouse says : ” This humorous song was written by Burns in 1787, for the second volume of the Museum ; but Johnson, the publisher, who was a religious and well-meaning man, appeared fastidious about its insertion, as one or two expressions in it seemed somewhat irreverent. Burns afterwards made several alterations upon the song, and sent it to Mr. George Thomson for his Collection, who readily admitted it into his second volume, and the song soon became very popular. Johnson, however, did not consider it at all improved by the later alterations of our bard. It soon appeared to him to have lost much of its pristine humour and simplicity ; and the phrases which he had objected to were changed greatly for the worse. He therefore published the song as originally written by Burns for his work. ” (from here)
Dice Stenhouse: Questa canzone umoristica fu scritta da Burns nel 1787, per il secondo volume del Museo; ma Johnson, l’editore, che era un uomo religioso e benevolo, appariva infastidito riguardo al suo inserimento, poiché una o due espressioni sembravano in qualche modo irriverenti. Burns in seguito apportò diverse modifiche alla canzone, e la mandò a George Thomson per la sua Collezione, che incluse prontamente nel suo secondo volume, e la canzone divenne presto molto popolare. Johnson, tuttavia, non la ritenne per niente migliorata dalle successive modifiche del nostro bardo. Gli sembrò aver perso molto del suo umorismo e della sua semplicità; e le frasi alle quali aveva obiettato erano molto cambiate in peggio. Ha quindi pubblicato la canzone come originariamente scritta da Burns per il suo lavoro.”


1870 vintage book: “The Illustrated Family Burns”

In the beginning of the story a young and affluent suitor asks our loath protagonist to marry him, swearing his eternal love but in a few weeks he is flirting with Bess, (although the two women are cousins). She held him too much on his toes and so as soon as he asks her again for a wife, this time she immediately answers yes!
Un giovane e benestante corteggiatore prima chiede in moglie la nostra riluttante protagonista, giurandole amore eterno e dopo qualche settimana fa il cascamorto con Bess, (sebbene le due donne siano cugine). Lei lo ha tenuto troppo sulle spine e così non appena lui la richiede in moglie questa volta risponde subito di sì!

Tannahill Weavers in Leaving St. Kilda 1996

Ewan MacColl 

Meredith Hall


I
Last May, a braw wooer
cam doun the lang glen,
And sair wi’ his love
he did deave (1) me;
I said, “there was naething I hated like men-
The deuce gae wi’m,
to believe me, believe me;
The deuce gae wi’m to believe me. “
II
He spak o’ the darts in my bonie black e’en (2), /And vow’d for my love he was diein,
I said, he might die when
he liked for Jean-
The Lord forgie me for liein, for liein;
The Lord forgie me for liein!
III
A weel-stocked mailen (3),
himsel’ for the laird,
And marriage aff-hand,
were his proffers;
I never loot on (4) that
I kenn’d it, or car’d;
But thought I might hae
waur offers, waur (5) offers;
But thought I might hae waur offers.
IV
But what wad ye think?
In a fortnight or less-
The deil tak his taste to gae near her!
He up the Gate-slack (6)
to my black cousin, Bess-
Guess ye how, the jad (7)!
I could bear her, could bear her;
Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her.
V
But a’ the niest week,
as I petted wi’ care,
I gaed to the tryst (8) o’ Dalgarnock;
But wha but my fine fickle wooer was there,
I glowr’d (9) as I’d seen a warlock, a warlock,
I glowr’d as I’d seen a warlock.
VI
But owre my left shouther
I gae him a blink (10),
Lest neibours might say
I was saucy;
My wooer he caper’d as he’d been in drink,
And vow’d I was his dear lassie, dear lassie,
And vow’d I was his dear lassie.
VII
I spier’d (11) for my cousin fu’ couthy (12) and sweet, /Gin she had recover’d her hearin’,
And how her new shoon fit
her auld schachl’t (13) feet,
But heavens! how he fell a swearin, a swearin,
But heavens! how he fell a swearin.
VIII
He begged, for gudesake, I wad be his wife,
Or else I wad kill him wi’ sorrow;
So e’en to preserve the poor body in life,
I think I maun wed him tomorrow, tomorrow;
I think I maun wed him tomorrow.
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Lo scorso Maggio un bel pretendente 
venne giù dalla lunga valle
e con il suo corteggiamento,
assai m’infastidì;
dissi “Non c’è niente che odio come gli uomini, che vadano al diavolo,
credimi, credimi,
che vadano al diavolo, credimi
II
Lui parlò dei dardi nei miei begli occhi neri
e giurò che sarebbe morto per amor mio,
io dissi che avrebbe dovuto morire quando era innamorato di Jean.
il Signore mi perdoni per la bugia, la bugia
il signore mi perdoni per la bugia
III
Una fattoria ben fornita,
se stesso come padrone
e un matrimonio senza indugio,
furono le sue offerte;
non ho mai dato a vedere
di saperlo o che me ne importasse
ma pensai che avrei potuto avere
offerte peggiori, offerte peggiori, ma pensai che avrei potuto avere offerte peggiori
IV
Eppure cosa credete?
In meno di due settimane
il diavolo gli fece cambiare idea
Su per il Gateslake
dalla mia cugina mora, Bess-
Immaginate quanto, la scostumata, potevo sopportarla, potevo sopportarla, immaginate quanto, la scostumata, potevo sopportarla
V
Ma la settimana seguente
mi pettinai con cura
e andai alla fiera di Dalgarnock, e chi se non il mio bel corteggiatore volubile era là.
Lo fissai come se avessi visto il diavolo
Lo fissai come se avessi visto il diavolo
VI
Gli lanciai uno sguardo sorridente
di traverso
per timore che i miei vicini dicessero
che ero una facile;
il mio corteggiatore annuiva come se avesse bevuto e giurava che ero la sua cara ragazza
e giurava che ero la sua cara ragazza
VII
(Gli) Chiesi della mia cugina affabile e dolce
se avesse recuperato il suo udito
e di come le sue nuove scarpe avessero preso
la forma dei suoi vecchi piedi contorti!
Ma cielo! Si è messo a giurare, giurare
Ma cielo! si è messo a giurare
VIII
Pregò per carità, che io fossi sua moglie
altrimenti lo avrei ucciso per il dolore, così per mantenere il suo povero corpo in vita
credo che lo sposerò domani, domani
credo che lo sposerò domani

NOTE
1. deafen
2. eyes
3. well-stocked farm.
4. let out
5. worse
6. Gateslake is the name of a particular place in the Lawter hills but Thomson corrected with “green lane”
7. jad= wanton; scottish, a mare, of a woman, usu. as a term of reprobation: a hussy
8. market, cattle fair
9. stared
10. smiling look 
11. asked
12. kind, kindly
13. twisted , distorted. In the revised version it becomes  “how my auld shoon suited (fitted) her shauchled feet”; auld shoon is a discarded lover (being a sarcastic expression when applied to a discarded lover who pays his addresses to another fair one. ) [Nella versione riveduta diventa “come le mie vecchie scarpe calzassero i suoi piedi storti”, la scarpa vecchia è un amante scaricato, l’espressione è usata sarcasticamente quando applicata ad un amante scaricato che rivolge le sue attenzioni ad un altra bella]

LINK

http://wikilivres.ca/wiki/Songs_of_Robert_Burns/Last_May_a_braw_wooer
https://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/91340095
http://www.tannahillweavers.com/lyrics/1176ly11.htm
http://www.bartleby.com/337/837.html
http://www.online-literature.com/robert-burns/2520/
https://www.wdl.org/en/item/3370/

Hughie the Graham

Contrary to my usual, in which I go to find historical and anecdotal evidence on the characters of the ancient ballads, about Hughie Graeme, I just know that he is one of the many border reivers (the Lowlands Raiders) of medieval Scotland, a bully boy or a bandit, who, for a matter of honor, steals a mare to Bishop Aldridge of Carlisle (in English soil, just after the border). We are in about 1540 and our Hugh does not find a better way to take revenge on his horns; pursued by Sir John Scroope, captured and reported to Carlisle, he is tried and hanged for abigeate.
For the deepening of the story I refer to here
The ballad is classified by Child to the number 191 in several variations, but they are only two versions more popular in the folk revival: that of Robert Burns and that of sir Walter Scott.
On the other hand, we find the first print form in the “Pills to Purge Melancholy” by D’Urfey (1720), which transcribes the ballad with the title “The Life and Death of Sir Hugh of the Grime” (on the Chevy-chace melody) here
[Contrariamente al mio solito in cui mi picco di andare a scovare riscontri storici e aneddotici sui personaggi delle antiche ballate per Hughie Graeme mi basterà sapere che è uno dei tanti border reiver (i razziatori delle Lowlands) della Scozia medievale, un po’ testa calda, un po’ bandito, il quale per questioni d’onore ruba una giumenta al Vescovo Aldridge di Carlisle (in terra inglese, appena dopo il confine). Siamo nel 1540 circa e il nostro Ugo non trova modo migliore per vendicarsi delle corna; inseguito da Sir John Scroope, catturato e riportato a Carlisle, viene processato e impiccato per abigeato.
Per l’approfondimento della storia rimando a qui
La ballata è classificata nel corpus childiano al numero 191 in svariate varianti ma sono solo due le versioni più diffuse nel folk revival: quella di Robert Burns e quella di Walter Scott.
D’altro canto la prima forma in stampa la troviamo nel  “Pills to Purge Melancholy” di D’Urfey (1720) che trascrive la ballata con il titolo “The Life and Death of Sir Hugh of the Grime” (sulla melodia Chevy-chace) vedi]

Sir Walter Scott

We find a version similar to the one reported by D’Urfey just few centuries later in the Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) by Bruce and Stokoe, or the version of Sir Walter Scott already published in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border of 1803 (from William Laidlaw of Blackhouse)
[Una versione simile a quella riportata da D’Urfey la ritroviamo qualche secolo più tardi nel Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) di Bruce and Stokoe, ovvero la versione di Sir Walter Scott già pubblicata nel suo Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border del 1803 (da William Laidlaw di Blackhouse)]

Scocha in “Bordering on”, 2013  greatly reduce the verses to just under half
[riducono abbondantemente le strofe a poco meno della metà]

I
Gude Lord Scroope’s tae the hunting gane,
He has ridden o’er moss and muir;
And he has grippit Hughie the Graeme,
For stealing o’ the Bishop’s mare.
II
But as they were dealing their blows sae free,
And both sae bloody at the time,
Ower the moss came ten yeomen sae tail,
All for tae take brave Hughie the Graeme.
III
Then they hae grippit Hughie the Graeme,
And brought him up through Carlisle toon;
The lasses and lads stood on the walls,
Crying, ‘Hughie the Graeme, thou’se ne’er gae doon’!
IV
Then they hae chosen a jury of men,
The best that were in Carlisle toon;
And twelve o’ them cried oot at once,
‘Hughie the Graeme, thou must gae doon’!
V
‘If I be guilty’, said Hughie the Graeme,
Of me my friends shall hae talk?
And he has loup’d fifteen feet and three,
Though his hands they were ded behind his back.
VI
‘Fare ye weel, Maggie my wife!
The last time we came ower the muir,
‘Twas thou bereft me of my life,
And wi’ the Bishop thou play’d the whore.
VII
Here Johnie Annstrang, take thou my sword,
That is made o’ the metal sae fine;
And when thou comest tae the English side,
Remember the death of Hughie the Graeme’

English translation Cattia Salto
I
Good Lord Scroope’s to the hunting gone,
He has ridden over morass and moor;
And he has gripped Hughie the Graeme,
For stealing of the Bishop’s mare.
II
But as they were dealing their blows so free,
And both so bloody at the time,
Over the morass came ten yeomen so tail,
All for to take brave Hughie the Graeme.
III
Then they have gripped Hughie the Graeme,
And brought him up through Carlisle town;
The lasses and lads stood on the walls,
Crying, ‘Hughie the Graeme, thou’ll never go down’!
IV
Then they have chosen a jury of men,
The best that were in Carlisle town;
And twelve o’ them cried out at once,
‘Hughie the Graeme, thou must go down’!
V
‘If I be guilty’, said Hughie the Graeme,
Of me my friends shall have talk?
And he has leaping fifteen feet and three,
Though his hands they were ded behind his back.
VI
‘Farewell, Maggie my wife!
The last time we came over the moor,
it was you bereaved me of my life,
And with the Bishop thou played the whore.
VII
Here Johnie Annstrang, take thou my sword,
That is made of the metal so fine;
And when thou comest to the English side,
Remember the death of Hughie the Graeme’
traduzione italiana di Cattia Salto
I
Il buon Lord Scroope (1) è andato a caccia,
Galoppando per paludi e brughiere;
E ha arrestato Hughie Graeme (2),
Per aver rubato la giumenta del vescovo (3).
II
Ma mentre si davan colpi a destra e a manca(4)/Entrambi assetati di sangue (5),
Arrivan dalla palude dieci cavalieri(6) in fila,
A catturare il coraggioso Hughie Graeme.
III
Allora hanno arrestato Hughie Graeme,
E riportato alla città di Carlisle (7);
Le ragazze e i ragazzi stavan sugli spalti,
Urlando, ‘Hughie Graeme, non ti impiccheranno mai (8)’!
IV
Poi hanno scelto una giuria di uomini,
Il meglio che c’era nella città di Carlisle;
E dodici di loro gridarono insieme,
‘Hughie Graeme, tu dovrai essere impiccato’!
V
“Se sono colpevole- disse Hughie Graeme,-
Quali amici miei dovranno parlare per me (9)?”/E fece un balzo di cinque metri (10) / Anche se l
e mani erano legate dietro la  schiena.
VI
“Addio Maggie, moglie mia!
L’ultima volta che andammo nella brughiera
Sei stata tu a privarmi della vita,
E con il vescovo facevi la puttana.
VII
Vieni qui Johnie Annstrang (11), prendi tu la mia spada,/Fatta di un metallo ben temprato;
E quando sarai nella parte inglese,
Ricorda la morte di Hughie  Graeme ‘

NOTE
testo Scocha qui la versione estesa qui
1) Lord Scroope= John o Henry Scroope: the Warden of Carlisle and of the West March, he caught Hugh near Solway Moss [lo “sceriffo” di Carlise e della Marca Ovest che catturò Ugo vicino a Solway Moss]
2) According to Prof. Child, the Grahams were one of the greatest clans on the English-Scottish border in the late 16thcentury [Secondo il Prof. Child, i Graham furono uno dei più grandi clan del Border tra Inghilterra e Scozia nel tardo XVI secolo]
3) Robert Aldridge, Bishop of Carlisle, seduced Hugh Graham’s wife, and in revenge Graham staged a raid and stole the bishop’s horse [Robert Aldridge, vescovo di Carlisle, sedusse la moglie di Hugh Graham e, per vendicarsi, Graham organizzò una razzia e rubò il cavallo del vescovo]
4) Hugh is seen with sympathy, he is the “gentleman”, a skilled swordsman who falls into an ambush, against the sheriff’s men has no escape. [Ugo è visto con simpatia, è il “galantuomo” provetto spadaccino che però cade in un imboscata, contro gli uomini dello Sceriffo non ha scampo.  Riccardo venturi traduce “mentre si tiravan colpi a rondemà” e nella nota spiega: Termine tipicamente livornese, ma è a mio parere l’unico che rende bene quel che si dice nel testo originale. Il termine livornese deriva peraltro dal francese: à ronde main.(” tratto da qui)
5) both so bloody at that time=letteralmente entrambi così cruenti.  Venturi traduce tutt’e due all’ultimo sangue in quel frangente (ho omesso at that time perchè ridondante in italiano)
6) concordo e sottoscrivo la nota di Venturi :” Difficile tradurre bene yeoman (termine derivato storicamente da young man. In genere indica(va) un piccolo proprietario terriero che prestava servizio in fanteria, oppure si armava a difesa degli interessi del grande latifondista appartenente alla grande aristocrazia.
7) Venturi nella nota scrive: importante e storica città del Cumberland (a soli 16 km di distanza dallo Scottish Border). Il suo nome è di origine brittònica, qualcosa come Car L(e)uel “città di Luel”. Si ricordi che, comunque, la pronuncia standard di “Carlisle” è [kar’la:jl].
8) letteralmente: “non andrai mai giù” con un duplico significato, non penzolerai mai dalla forca ma anche “non tramonterai mai” in senso lato “non sarai mai sconfitto”, ma anche “non ti dimenticheremo mai”
9) the Scocha omitted various verses in which Ugo’s friends interceded in his defense
[gli Scocha saltano varie strofe in cui gli amici di Ugo intercedono in sua difesa]
10) ci sono due ipotesi di traduzione loup’d= leaping ad indicare un tentativo di fuga o un sobbalzo del cuore; ma anche loup’d= looped e io mi immagino Ugo legato come un salame e con un cappio già intorno al collo, per impedirgli ogni tentativo di fuga
11) The most infamous Johnny Armstrong (Black Jock of Gilnockie) was executed in 1530 so Hughie couldn’t ask him for revenge but there were other infamous John Amrmstrongs. Marsden suggests it could have been a reference to Jock o’ the Side who was contemporary and named in a petition made to the Scottish Queen by the said bishop.. one of the Grahams listed as being transported from the Borders to Ireland after James VI becomes King of England is a “Hugh’s Francie”. In other words a Francis Graham who’s father was called Hugh. Of course it doesn’t prove anything other than there were people called Hugh Graham living on the border in the 16thC. (from here[Il più famigerato Johnny Armstrong (Black Jock di Gilnockie) fu giustiziato nel 1530, quindi Ugo non poteva chiedergli vendetta, ma c’erano altri famigerati John Amrmstrongs. Marsden suggerisce che avrebbe potuto essere un riferimento a Jock o ‘the Side che era contemporaneo e nominato in una petizione fatta alla regina scozzese dal suddetto vescovo .. uno dei Graham elencato come confinato in Irlanda dopo che James VI divenne Re d’Inghilterra è un”Hugh’s Francie”. In altre parole, il padre di Francis Graham si chiamava Hugh. Ovviamente questo prova solo che c’erano persone chiamate Hugh Graham che vivevano nel Border del XVI secolo.]

A different melody is sung by Ewan MacColl who follows a motif learned from  Thomas Armstrong of Newcastle.
[Una diversa melodia è cantata da Ewan MacColl che segue un motivo imparato da Thomas Armstrong di Newcastle.]

Ewan MacColl in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (The Child Ballads), Volume II {Bronson’s #6}

Ewan MacCall
Child #191 C*
I
Gude Lord Scroope’s to the hunting gane,
He has ridden oer moss and muir,
And he has grippet Hughie the Graeme,
For stealing o the bishop’s mare.
II
‘Now, good Lord Scroope, this may not be!
Here hangs a broad sword by my side,
And if that thou canst conquer me,
The matter it may soon be tryed.’
III
I neer was afraid of a traitor thief;
Although thy name be Hughie the Graeme,
I’ll make thee repent thee of thy deeds,
If God but grant me life and time.’
IV
‘Then do your worst now, goo Lord Scroope,
And deal your blows as hard as you can;
It shall be tried, within an hour,
Which of us two is the better man.’
V
But as they were dealing their blows so free,
And both so bloody ay the time,
Over the moss came ten yeomen so tall,
All for to take brave Hughie the Graeme.
VI
Then they hae grippit Hughie the Graeme,
And brought him up through Carlisle town;
The lasses and lads stood on the walls,
Crying, “Hughie the Graeme, thou’se neer gae down!”
VII
Then they hae chosen a jury of men,
The best that were in Carlisle town,
And twelve of them cried out at once,
Hughie the Graeme, thou must gae down!
VIII
Then up bespak him gude Lord Hume,
As he sat by the judge’s knee:
‘Twenty white owsen, my gude lord,
If you’ll grant Hughie the Graeme to me.’
IX
‘O no, O no, my gude Lord Hume,
Forsooth and sae it mauna be;
For were there but three Graemes of the name,
They suld be hanged a’ for me.’
X (omitted)
‘twas up and spake the gude Lady Hume,
As she sat by the judge’s knee:
‘A peck of white pennies, my good lord judge,
If you’ll grant Hughie the Graeme to me.’
XI (omitted))
‘O no, O no, my gude Lady Hume,
Forsooth and so ti mustna be;
Were he but the one Graeme of the name,
He suld be hanged high for me.’
XII
‘If I be guilty,’ said Hughie the Graeme,
‘Of me my friends shall hae small talk;’
And he has loupd fifteen feet and three,
Though his hands they were tied behind his back.
XIII
He looked over his left shoulder,
And for to see what he might see;
There was he aware of his auld father,
Came tearing his hair most piteouslie.
XIV
‘O hald your tongue, my father,’ he says,
‘And see that ye dinna weep for me!
For they may ravish me of my life,
But they canna banish me fro heaven hie.
XV
‘Fare ye weel, fair Maggie, my wife!
The last time we came ower the muir
‘Twas thou bereft me of my life,
And wi the bishop thou playd the whore.
XVI (omitted)
‘Here, Johnnie Armstrang, take thou my sword,
That is made o the metal sae fine,
And when thou comest to the English side
Remember the death of Hughie the Graeme.’

traduzione italiana di Cattia Salto **
I
Il buon Lord Scroope  è andato a caccia,
Galoppando per paludi e brughiere;
E ha arrestato Hughie Graeme,
Per aver rubato la giumenta del vescovo.
II
“Ora buon Lord Scroope, non c’è storia!
Ho qui lo spadone al mio fianco,
E se riesci a vincermi,
La questione sarà presto risolta”
III
“Non ho mai temuto un traditore e ladro,
Anche se ti chiami Hugh Graeme;
Ti farò pentire delle tue azioni,
Se solo Dio mi darà vita e avventure (1).”
IV
“Allora fai del tuo peggio, buon Lord Scroope,
E assesta i tuoi colpi più forte che puoi;
Si vedrà entro un ora
Chi dei due sarà il migliore.”
V
Ma mentre si davan colpi a destra e a manca/Entrambi assetati di sangue,
Arrivan alla palude dieci cavalieri in fila,
A catturare il coraggioso Hughie Graeme.
VI
Allora hanno arrestato Hughie Graeme,
E riportato alla città di Carlisle;
Le ragazze e i ragazzi stavan sugli spalti,
Urlando, ‘Hughie Graeme, non sarai mai impiccato’!
VII
Poi hanno scelto una giuria di uomini,
Il meglio che c’era nella città di Carlisle;
E dodici di loro gridarono insieme,
‘Hughie Graeme, tu dovrai essere impiccato’!
VIII
Allora parlò il buon Lord Hume
Mentre si mise in ginocchio davanti al giudice:/venti bianchi buoi, mio buon Lord
Se mi darai Hughie Graeme”
IX
O no, no mio buon Lord Hume,
Proprio così deve essere!
Se ci fossero tre Graeme con lo stesso nome,
Per me dovrebbero essere impiccati tutti .”
X
Allora parlò la buona Lady Hume
Mentre si mise in ginocchio davanti al giudice: una borsa d’argento (2) mio buon Lord giudice/ Se mi darai Hughie Graeme”
XI
O no, no mia buona Lady Hume,
Proprio così deve essere!
Se anche fosse il solo Graeme con quel nome,
Dovrebbe essere impiccato in alto per me”
XII
“Se sono colpevole- disse Hughie Graeme,-
I miei amici dovranno parlare per me?”
E fece un balzo di cinque metri
Anche se l
e sue mani erano legate dietro la  schiena.
XIII
Gettò uno sguardo dietro alla spalla sinistra (3)
Per vedere chi poteva scorgere;
Si accorse allora del suo vecchio padre
Che arrivava strappandosi i capelli come supplice.
XIV
“Frena la tua lingua padre, -dice lui-
E vedi di non piangere per me!
Perchè mi possono portare via la vita
Ma non possono bandirmi dall’Alto de’ Cieli. (4)”
XV
“Addio bella Maggie, moglie mia!
L’ultima volta che andammo nella brughiera
Sei stata tu a privarmi della vita,
E con il vescovo facevi la puttana.
XVI
Vieni qui Johnnie Armstran, prendi tu la mia spada,/
Fatta di un metallo ben temprato;
E quando sarai nella parte inglese,
Ricorda la morte di Hughie  Graeme ‘

NOTE
* da http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=Child_d19103
** vedasi anche la traduzione del buon Venturi qui
1) life and time: credo sia l’equivalente del nostro “tempo e modo”, ma ho tradotto un po’ più letteralmente
2) peck is an ancient unit of measurement that was used for grain. White penny is the old silver coin used in the Middle Ages
[il peck è un’antica unità unità di misura che si usava per la granaglie; in italiano si traduce come moggio, in senso lato indica una grande quantità. White penny è la vecchia moneta in argento in uso nel Medioevo]
3) Tied up and condemned to die, Hughie the Graeme is powerless to defend himself and as such he presented as the less dominant of the two main characters. Here, the formula indicates the
character’s despair, which is expanded in the following verse, where all he can do is assure
his grieving father that he will go to heaven. (noted from here)
[legato e condannato a morire, Hughie the Graeme non ha il potere di difendersi e come tale si presenta come il meno dominante dei due personaggi principali. Qui, la formula indica 
la disperazione del personaggio, che si espande nel verso seguente, dove tutto ciò che può fare è assicurare il padre addolorato che andrà in paradiso]
4) a profession of innocence, maybe Hugh has not stolen the mare but it is all a plot of the bishop to keep his wife
[una professione d’innocenza, forse Ugo non ha rubato la giumenta ma è tutta una macchinazione del Vescovo per potersi prendere sua moglie]

Robert Burns

For publication in the Scots Musical Museum the bard of Scotland collects the ballad of Hughie Graeme from the oral tradition of the Ayrshie, reworking some verses and adding some of his own. [Per la pubblicazione nello Scots Musical Museum il bardo di Scozia raccoglie la ballata di Hughie Graeme dalla tradizione orale dell’Ayrshie, rimaneggiando alcune strofe e aggiungendone di sue]

June Tabor live Tune mostly adapted from the Appalachian piece The Falls of Richmond. She recorded a version of this song on ‘An Echo of Hooves’ in 2003 [Melodia tratta dal brano appalachiano “The Falls of Richmond. registrò una versione per  ‘An Echo of Hooves’ 2003]

Malinky in The Unseen Hours 2005

Ian Bruce in Robert Burns: Scotland’s First Superstar, Vol. 1, 2014

Ian F. Benzie in Robert Burns the Complete Songs vol. 5, 1996

The Corries live 1974 (I, III, VIII, XI, XII, XIV)
lyrics here
intro spoken
The popular conception of a Scotsman is of a kilted Highlander on top of this hill, way up in the Highlands somewhere, clutching a claymore, and shouting, “Wha’s like us …”. But down in the Borders there used to be quite a martial scene, too, because that’s after all where the English stopped – or were stopped, I should say. And the Border clans, the Lowland clans used to be quite warlike, in particular the Graham. Clan Graham used to occupy the debatable land. They were always untameable.
[L’idea popolare di uno scozzese è quella di montanaro con il kilt in cima a una collina, da qualche parte nelle Highlands, che stringe uno spadone e grida “Non c’è nessuno come noi!”. Ma giù nella Marca un tempo c’era pure una  scena abbastanza marziale, perché dopotutto è dove gli inglesi si fermavano – o sono stati fermati, dovrei dire. E i clan del Border, i clan di pianura erano piuttosto bellicosi, in particolare i Graham. Il clan Graham era solito occupare la terra della discordia. Erano sempre indomabili.]

Child #191 B *
I
Our Lords are to the mountains gone,
A-hunting of the fallow deer;
They have grippit Hughie Graeme
For stealing of the bishop’s mare.
II
They have bound (tied) him hand and foot,
And led him up through Carlisle (1) town;
All the lads (and lasses) along the way
Cried, “Hughie Graeme you shall hang.”
III
“Loose my right hand free, he says,
Put my broadsword in my hand;
There’s none in Carlisle town this day,
Dare tell the tale (2) to Hughie Graeme.”
IV
Up and spake the good Whitefoord,
As he sat by the Bishop’s knee,
“Five hundred white stots (3) I’ll give you,
If you’ll give Hughie Graeme to me. (4)”
V
“Hold your tongue, my noble lord,
And of your pleading let it be,
Although ten Graemes were in this court,
Hughie Graeme this day shall die.”
VI
Up and spake the fair Whitefoord,
As she sat by the Bishop’s knee;
“Five hundred white pence I’ll give you,
If you’ll let Hughie Graeme go free.”
VII
“Hold your tongue, my lady fair,
And of your weeping let it be;
Although ten Graemes were in this court,
It’s for my honour he must die.”
VIII
They’ve ta’en him to the hanging hill(5)
And led him to the gallows tree;
Ne’er the colour left his cheek,
Nor ever did he blink his eye.
IX
Then he’s looked him round about,
Al for to see what he could see;
There he saw his father dear,
Weeping, weeping bitterly.
X
“Hold your tongue, my father dear,
And of your weeping let it be;
It sorer, sorer grieves my heart (6)
Than all that they could do to me.
XI
And you may give my brother John
My sword that’s made of the metal clear;
And bid him come at twelve of the clock
And see me pay the Bishop’s mare.
XII
And you may give my brother James
My sword that’s made of the metal brown;
And bid him come at four of the clock
And see his brother Hugh cut down.
XIII
Remember me to Maggy my wife,
The next time ye come o’er the moor;
Tell her, she stole the Bishop’s mare,(7)
Tell her, she was the Bishop’s whore.
XIV
And you may tell my kith and kin,
I never did disgrace their blood;
And when they meet the Bishop’s cloak,
Leave it shorter by the hood.” (8)
Traduzione italiana di Cattia Salto
I
I nostri Lord sono andati sulle montagne
A cacciare il daino
Hanno arrestato Hughie Graeme,
Per aver rubato la giumenta del vescovo.
II
Lo hanno legato mani e piedi
E riportato alla città di Carlisle (1);
I ragazzi (e le ragazze) lungo il cammino,
Urlavano, ‘Hughie Graeme, sarai impiccato’!
III
“Liberate la mia mano destra-dice lui-
e mettetemi lo spadone in mano;
Non c’è nessuno a Carlisle questo giorno
Che oserà raccontare favole a(2) Hughie Graeme.”
IV
Si alzò a parlare il buon Lord Whitefoord,
E s’inginocchiò davanti al vescovo:
“Darei cinquecento giovani buoi (3)
Se voi mi darete Sir Hugh Graeme.” (4)
V
“Frenate la lingua, mio buon Lord
Smettetela con questa supplica!
Anche se ci fossero dieci Graeme in questa corte,/ Hugh Graeme morirà oggi.”
VI
Si alzò a parlare la bella Whitefoord
E s’inginocchiò davanti al vescovo:
“Darei cinquecento misure d’argento
Se farete liberare Hugh Graeme.”
VII
“Frenate la lingua, mia bella Lady 
E smettetela con la lagna!
Anche se ci fossero dodici Graeme in questa corte,/ E’ per il mio onore, che deve morire”
VIII
Lo hanno portato alla collina della forca (5)
E messo sotto la forca
Mai il colore lasciò le sue guance
E nemmeno strizzò gli occhi
IX
Allora lui si guardò dietro alla spalla sinistra
Per vedere cosa riusciva scorgere;
Si accorse allora del suo amato padre
Che piangeva, piangeva amaramente 
X
“Taci, mio amato padre,
E smettila di piangere!
Ciò mi addolora assai più (6)
Di tutto quello che potrebbero farmi
XI
E tu darai a mio fratello John
la mia spada che è fatta d’acciaio
e pregalo di venire alle 12 in punto
Per vedermi pagare la giumenta del Vescovo
XII
E tu darai a mio fratello James
la mia spada che è fatta d’acciaio brunito
e pregalo di venire alle 4 in punto
Per vedere suo fratello Hugh penzolare”
XIII
“Ricordami a Maggy mia moglie;
La prossima volta che passerai per la brughiera,
Dille che lei rubò la giumenta del Vescovo (7),
dille che era lei la puttana del Vescovo. 
XIV
E dirai ai miei cari
Che non ho mai disonorato il loro lignaggio
E quando incontreranno il mantello del Vescovo
Che lo accorcino dal cappuccio (8)”

NOTE
* see the Scottish text published in the SMM [si veda il testo in scozzese pubblicato nello SMM]
1)  Robert Burns places the process further north, in Stirling (‘Strievelin toun’)
[Robert Burns colloca il processo più a nord, a Stirling (‘Strievelin toun’ )]
2) credo che l’espressione equivalga al nostro “fare la festa” nel senso di uccidere
3) young oxen
4) If ye’ll let Hughie Graham gae free
5) gallows hill
6) to see his father’s tears is more painful for Hugh than the gallow tree
[vedere il padre in lacrime è per Ugo più doloroso della prospettiva di finire impiccato
7) heavy insult against the bishop who in other versions was not so explicit
[pesante insulto nei confronti del vescovo che in altre versioni non era così esplicito]
8) let take his head! [che gli taglino la testa!]


Tay ammarey, O Londonderry

Ewan MacColl resumes the melody transcribed by Gavin Greig from the testimony of Mrs Lyall of Skene, near Aberdeen (Aberdeenshire). This tune was also later used by Fairport Convention for their ballad Sir Patrick Spens
[Ewan MacColl riprende la melodia trascritta da Gavin Greig dalla testimonianza delle signora Lyall di Skene, vicino ad Aberdeen (Aberdeenshire). La melodia è stata usata più tardi dai Fairport Convention per la loro ballata Sir Patrick Spens]

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger – Hughie the Graeme in Classic Scots Ballads, 1956 {for tune cf. Bronson’s #4}

Ewan MaCall
Child #191 E *
I
The Laird o’ Hume he’s a huntin’ gone
Over the hills and mountains clear,
And he has ta’en Sir Hugh the Grame
For stealin’ o’ the Bishop’s mear.
chorus
Tay ammarey, O Londonderry
Tay ammarey, O London dee.
II
They hae ta’en Sir Hugh the Grame
And led him doon through Strievling toon,
Fifteen o’ them cried oot at ance,
“Sir Hugh the Grame he must gae doon!”
III
“Were I to die,” said Hugh the Grame
“My parents would think it a very great lack”
Full fifteen feet in the air he jumped
Wi’ his hands bound fast behind his back.
IV
Then oot and spak the Lady Black,
And o’ her will she was right free,
“A thousand pounds, my lord, I’ll give
If Hugh the Grame set free to me.”
V
“Haud your tongue, ye Lady Black
And ye’ll let a’ your pleading be!
Though ye would gie me thousands ten
It’s for my honour he would die.”
VI
Then oot it spak her Lady Hume
And aye a sorry woman was she,
“I’ll gie ye a hundred milk-white steeds
Gin ye’ll gie Sir Hugh the Grame to me.”
VII
“O Haud your tongue, ye Lady Hume
And ye’ll let a’ your pleading be!
Though a’ the Grames were in this court,
He should be hanged high for me.”
VIII
He lookit ower his left shoulder
It was to see what he could see,
And there he saw his auld faither
Weeping and wailing bitterly.
IX
“O, haud your tongue, my auld faither
And ye’ll let a’ your mournin’ be!
For if they bereave me o’ my life
They canna haud the heavens frae me.”
X
“You’ll gie my brother, John, the sword
That’s pointed with the metal clear,
And bid him come at eight o’clock
And see me pay the Bishop’e mear.”
XI
“And brother James, tak’ here the sword
That’s pointed wi’ the metal brown
Come up the morn at eight o’clock
And see your brother putten down.”
XII
Ye’ll tell this news to Maggie, my wife
Neist time ye gang to Strievling toon,
She is the cause I lose my life
She wi’ the Bishop played the loon.

Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Il Laird di Hume è andato a caccia
sulle colline e le montagne
E ha sorpreso Sir Hughie Graeme,
A rubare la giumenta del vescovo.
coro
Tay ammarey, O Londonderry
Tay ammarey, O London dee.
II
Lo hanno legato mani e piedi
E condotto per la città di Stirling;
Una quindicina (1) di loro urlava con una sola voce: ‘Sir Hughie Graeme, sarà impiccato’!
III
“Se dovessi morire- disse Hughie Graeme,-
I miei genitori la considereranno una grande perdita”/E fece un balzo di 15 piedi in aria
Con le mani legate strette dietro la  schiena.
IV
Si alzò a parlare Lady Black,
E di sua spontanea volontà:
“Darei mille sterline mio signore
Se mi libererete Hugh Graeme.”
V
“Frenate la lingua, voi Lady Black
Smettetela con questa supplica!
Anche se me ne dareste diecimila,
E’ per il mio onore, che deve morire”
VI
Poi si alzò a parlare Lady Hume
E si una donna affranta lei era:
“Vi darei un centinaio di bianchi destrieri
Se mi darete Sir Hugh Graeme.”
VII
“Frenate la lingua, voi Lady Hume
Smettetela con questa supplica!
Anche tutti i Graeme fossero in questa corte,
Dovrebbe essere impiccato in alto per me”
VIII
Lui si guardò dietro alla spalla sinistra
Per vedere cosa riusciva scorgere;
Si accorse allora del suovecchio padre
Che piangeva e piagnucolava amaramente 
IX
“Taci, mio amato padre,
E smettila di piangere!
Perchè mi possono portare via la vita
Ma non possono bandirmi dal Paradiso”
X
Darai a mio fratello John la spada
Che è fatta d’acciaio
e pregalo di venire alle 8 in punto
Per vedermi pagare la giumenta del Vescovo”
XI
“E fratello James prendi la spada
Che è fatta d’acciaio brunito
Ritorna al mattino alle 8 in punto
Per vedere suo fratello penzolare
XII
“Darai la notizia a Maggie, mia moglie;
La prossima volta che passerai per Stirling,
Per colpa sua ho perso la vita,
Lei con il Vescovo saltava la cavallina”(2) 

NOTE
* from here
1) the judges obviously not impartial [sono i giurati ovviamente per niente imparziali]
2) to play the loun= to behave unchastely, commit fornication

And finally let’s enjoy this instrumental version of the Duo Menguy – Le Pennec
[E per finire godiamoci questa versione strumentale del Duo Menguy – Le Pennec]

FONTI
http://walterscott.eu/education/ballads/reiver-ballads/hughie-the-graeme/
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=ChildRef_191
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=57570&lang=it
https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2749
https://mainlynorfolk.info/june.tabor/songs/hughiegraeme.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/479.html

http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/h/hughtheg.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=144233

The Dreadnought shanty

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

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

Derry Down, Down, Derry Down

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

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

Ewan MacColl

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


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

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

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

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

STAN HUGILL VERSION

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

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

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

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

Paddy West sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

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

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

PADDY WEST

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

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

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

The tune is Tramps and Hawkers


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

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

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

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

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

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

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

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

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

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

Paddy West

Read the post in English

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

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

PADDY WEST

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

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

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

La melodia è Tramps and Hawkers


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

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

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

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

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

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

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

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

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

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

Banks of Newfoundland sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

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

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

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

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

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

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

O you western ocean labourers

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

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

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

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

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

Stan Hugill version: capstan shanty

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

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

NOTES
1) Liverpool’s popular district

DANCE TUNE

Come all me lads and fair young maids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the Banks of Newfoundland

Read the post in English

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

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

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

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

O you western ocean labourers

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

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

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


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

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

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

La versione di Stan Hugill: capstan shanty

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


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

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

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

LA MELODIA DA DANZA

Come all me lads and fair young maids

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

Matthew Byrne live, arrangiamento strumentale Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton


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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurrah For the Black Ball Line!

Leggi in italiano

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

THE CLIPPER

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

“BLACK BALL” LINE

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

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

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

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

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

 “Hurrah For the Black Ball Line”

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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