Archivi tag: The Irish Rovers

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Leggi in italiano

Paddy Lay Back is a kilometer sea shanty, variant wedge, sung by sailors both as a recreational song and as a song to the winch to raise the anchor (capstan shanty).

Stan Hugill in his “Shanties from the Seven Seas”, testifies a long version with about twenty stanzas (see), here only those sung by himself for the album ” “Sea Songs: Newport, Rhode Island- Songs from the Age of Sail”, 1980: “It was both a forebitter and a capstan song and a very popular one too, especially in Liverpool ships. […] It is a fairly old song dating back to the Mobile cotton hoosiers and has two normal forms: one with an eight-line verse – this was the forebitter form; and the second with a four-line verse – the usual shanty pattern. Doerflinger gives a two-line verse pattern as the shanty – a rather unusual form, and further on in his book he gives the forebitter with both four- and eight-line verses. He gives the title of the shanty as Paddy, Get Back and both his versions of the forebitter as Mainsail Haul. Shay, Sampson and Bone all suggest that it was a fairly modern sea-song and give no indication that any form was sung as a shanty, but all my sailing-ship acquaintances always referred to it as a shanty, and it was certainly sung in the Liverpool-New York Packets as such – at least the four-line verse form. […] Verses from 11 onwards [of the 19 verses given, incl. v. 3, lines 1-4 above] are fairly modern and nothing to do with the Packet Ship seamen, but with the chorus of ‘For we’re bound for Vallaparaiser round the Horn’ are what were sung by Liverpool seamen engaged in the West Coast Guano Trade.” (Stan Hugill)
(all the strings except III)
Stan Hugill

Nils BrownAssassin’s Creed Rogue   (I, II, III, V, VI)

I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord (Christ) I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
‘Bout ship’s stations, boys,
be handy (be handy)! (2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm.
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’ (5),
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.
IV
Now some of our fellers had bin drinkin’,
An’ I meself wuz heavy on the booze;
An’ I wuz on me ol’ sea-chest a-thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.
V
I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
An’ knew I wuz outward bound again;
When I heard a voice a-bawlin’ (calling) at the door,
‘Lay aft, men, an’ answer to yer names!’
VI
‘Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw you,
Such an ugly bunch I’d niver seen afore;
For there wuz a bum an’ stiff from every quarter,
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick an’ sore.
VII
There wuz Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrosst from France;
An’ most o’ ‘em couldn’t speak a word o’ English,
But answered to the name of ‘Month’s Advance’.
VIII
I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ‘twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.
IX
So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox

NOTES
1) pawl – short bar of metal at the foot of a capstan or close to the barrel of a windlass which engage a serrated base so as to prevent the capstan or windlass ‘walking back’. […] The clanking of the pawls as the anchor cable was hove in was the only musical accompaniment a shanty ever had! (Hugill, Shanties 414)
2)  it is a typical expression in maritime songs
3) limey – The origin of the Yanks calling English sailors ‘Limejuicers’ […] was the daily issuing of limejuice to British crews when they had been a certain number of days at sea, to prevent scurvy, according to the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act (Hugill, Shanties 54)
4) the sailor has spent all the advance on high-alcohol drinking
5) A storm-cone is a visual signalling device made of black-painted canvas designed to be hoisted on a mast – if apex upwards, a gale is expected from the North, if from the South, apex downward. The storm cone was devised by Rear Admiral Robert Fitzroy, former commander of HMS Beagle, head of a department of the Board of Trade known today simply as the Met Office, and inventor of weather forecasts.
“In 1860 he devised a system of issuing gale warnings by telegraph to the ports likely to be affected. The message contained of a list of places with the words:
‘North Cone’ or ‘South Cone’ – for northerly or southerly gales respectively
‘Drum’  – for when further gales were expected,
Drum and North/South Cone’ – for particularly heavy gales or storms. ” (from herei) (see more)

FOLK VERSION: Valparaiso Round the Horn

For his title the song has become a traditional Irish song, a popular drinking song, connected to equally popular jigs (eg Irish washer woman)! Also known as “The Liverpool song” and “Valparaiso Round the Horn”. Among the favorite pirate song of course!

The Wolfe Tones from “Let The People Sing” 1972 make a folk version that has become the standard of a classic irish drinking song
The Irish Rovers live
Sons Of Erin

I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
About ships for England boys be handy(2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
There were Frenchmen, there were Germans, there were Russians
And there was Jolly Jacques came just across from France
And not one of them could speak a word of English
But they’d answer to the name of Bill or Dan
IV
I woke up in the morning sick and sore (5)
I wished I’d never sailed away again
Then a voice it came thundering thru’ the floor
Get up and pay attention to your name
V
I wish that I was in the Jolly Sailor (6)
With Molly or with Kitty on me knee
Now I see most any men are sailors
And with me flipper I wipe away my tears

NOTES
1) see above
2) or Bout ship’s stations, boys
3) see above
4) see above
5) a euphemism to describe the hangover
6) the name varies at the discretion of the singer

 LINK
http://www.folkways.si.edu/the-focsle-singers/paddy-lay-back/american-folk-celtic/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/PaddyLayBack/hugill.html
https://maritime.org/chanteys/paddy-lay-back.htm
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/12/36-paddy-lay-back.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/p/paddylay.html

Yellow Gals (Girls) or Irish Girl?

Leggi in italiano

Same text for two sea shanties that differ in the choir
one is:
Hey-ro, me yellow gals,
a-do-a let me go

other one goes:
Heave away my bully boys,
We’re all bound to go. (see in  second part)

YELLOW GALS OR YELLOW MEAL?

yallow-girl
Julien Vallou de Villeneuve (1795-1866), Petit blanc que j’aime

Yellow Gals (Girls) are not girls dressed in yellow or with blond hair and not even oriental ones, they are rather mulatto girls (creole) of the West Indies, according to the nineteenth-century seafaring jargon.

The term “Creole” can be understood in two exceptions: from the Spanish “crillo”, which originally referred to the first generation born in the “New World”, sons of settlers from Europe (Spain or France) and slaves. They could identify the urban population of New Orleans with light skin descended from black slaves, or all the French-speaking blacks of southwestern Louisiana, whose skin color changes from brown to black-blue, which are usually more people humble social condition.
The Spaniards in particular gave imaginative and specific names to the different gradations of the “pure” blood of hidalgo, mixed with the Amerindians (they even distinguished the Spanish born in America from those in the Land of Spain !!!) .

Hey-ro, me yellow gals, a-do-a let me go

An overwhelming irish version for the  Doodle Let Me Go!
“A.L. Lloyd sang the shanty Doodle Let Me Go (Yaller Girls) live at the Top Lock Folk Club, Runcorn, on November 5, 1972. This concert was published in 2010 on the Fellside CD An Evening with A.L. Lloyd. Paul Adams commented in the sleeve notes: “Bert’s version seems to be based on that communicated to R.R. Terry by Harding ‘The Barbarian’—a black seaman from Barbados noted as “a fine shanty-man and first-rate seaman”. (from here)
The first part is similar to the so-called “pirate song” version in which the virtues of the girls of Madama Gashee, the famous brothel of Callao, are praised; while the second part is an emigration song that shares with the Yellow Meal the story of a young and unfortunate Irish girl landed in New York.

The Irish Rovers from Emigrate, Emigrate! 1975
A version similar to that recorded by A.L. Lloyd, the first song is an instrumental entitled The Passing of the Gale

 

I
Johnny was a rover and he’s bound for Calley-o (3)
Hey-ro, me yellow gals,
a-do-a let me go

Johnny was a rover and to sea he’s bound to go
Hey-ro, me yellow gals,
a-do-a let me go
CHORUS
Do-a let me go (1)  me gals,
Do-a let me go
Hey-ro me yellow (2) gals
a-do-a let me go

 

II
As I walked down the landing stage all on a summer morn
I met an immagrant Irish girl all lookin’ all forlorn
III
“Good mornin’ Mr. Captain, sir!” “Good mornin’ you,” says he
“Oh have ya got a packin’ ship all for Americ-kay?”
IV
“I’ve got the Jimmy Walker (4),
and she’s bound around the Horn (5),
With five-and-twenty imagrants and a thousand sacks of corn”
V
“Bad luck to Irish sailor boys, bad luck to them I say
They all got drunk, broke in me trunk (6), and stole me clothes away!”

NOTES
1) it might mean “girl” (from the French dou-dou or a word spread in the Caribbean as “in love”) as a term of endearment or for Do-a-me-go, or Don ‘let me go or Do let my go.. As noted the sailors had the custom to add a “d” before the letter “l” so the word “do let” becomes phonetically “do -d- let” and then doodle. Or again it could be a nonsense word (see discussion herei)
2) yella, yallow was used by British-American sailors to indicate the skin color of a mulatta (Creole). More rarely to indicate an Asian girl. “Yellow Gal” is a typical expression of the vaudeville songs mostly en-travestì (black-face minstrel songs)
3) Callao port of Peru renowned for the brothel of Madam Gashee
4) this name of a ship is recurring in the many variations of the sea shanty themed emigration song
5) the infamous Cape Horn
6) I do not think it refers only to the theft of clothes, the crossing at sea was dangerous for the young ladies not accompanied by servants or an adult male. Too often they were considered to be some prostitutes instead of victims of rape!

HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (Irish girl)
DOODLE LET ME GO (Yaller girls)
The Irish Girl of Mr Tapscott (John Short)

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/doodleletmego.html
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49421
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/Doe062.html
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20774/20774-h/20774-h.htm

Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down

Leggi in Italiano

Entitled “Jolly Roving Tar” but more frequently “Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down” here is a forebitter song that ironizes on the idle occupations of a sailor when he is ashore.
For my money’s gone,” says the sailor who is well liked and fondled by the ladies when his pockets are full, but immediately put aside for another sailor when the money ends!

A similar song (we do not know if original or a traditional version rewriting) was written in New York in 1885 by Ed Harrigan & David Braham for the music hall entitled ‘Old Lavender‘ (text and score here); a version published by John and Alan Lomax in “American Ballads & Folk Songs” was attributed to John Thomas, a Welsh sailor who was on “the Philadelphian” in 1896. (text here), but the main source of the best known variant comes from “Grammy” Fish .

“GRAMMY” FISH

Mrs. Lena Bourne Fish (1873-1945) spent the first 24 years of her life in Black Brook, NY, not far from the Canadian border. Lena’s main source of songs was her own family, the Bourne; his ancestors were the first settlers of Cape Cod and a lot of songs (with many English and Irish traditional tunes) had passed to the family generations since emigration . As a lumber trader, her father  collected many songs from the people he met in the New England woods in his travels.
Once married, Lena moved to Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Two collectors of traditional songs (Helen Harkness Flanders and Marguerite Olney) interviewed her in 1940 and recorded about 175 songs; the following year Anne and Frank Warner collected a hundred songs in four recording sessions half of which completly new ones.
“Grammy” Fish had taken her role as a witness of the past to heart so as to transcribe the “old songs” in many notebooks to leave them to the new generations.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Sea Shanty Edition

Bootstrappers live

I
Ships may come and ships may go
as long as the seas do roll
But a sailor lad just like his dad
he loves the flowing bowl
a woman ashore he does adore
a girl who’s plump and round
when your money’s all gone,
it’s the same old song
“Get up, Jack! John, sit down!”
CHORUS
Come along, come along,
me jolly brave boys,
There’s plenty more grog(1) in the jar
We’ll plough the briny ocean line
like a jolly roving tar
II
When Jack’s ashore, he’ll make his way
To some old boarding house(2)
He’s welcomed in with rum and gin,
likewise with pork and scouse
He’ll spend and spend and never offend
Till he lies drunk on the ground
When his money’s all gone…
III
Then Jack will slip(3) on board
some ship bound for India or Japan
and in Asia there, the ladies fair
all love a sailor man
He’ll go ashore and he’ll not scorn
to buy some girl her gown
when his money’s all gone…
IV
When Jack is worn and weatherbeat
too old to cruise about
they’ll let him stop in some rum shop
Till eight bells(4) calls him out
Then he’ll raise hands high
and loud he’ll cry “Thank Christ, I’m homeward bound!”
when his money’s all gone…

NOTES
1) grog= drink
2) 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)
3)  or “He then will sail aboard some ship
4)”When it’s the end” his watch on board is finished as well as his life. On the old vessels the ringing sound of a bell regulated the time, every 4-hour guard duty was signaled by 8 bell strokes. (the eight bells were ringed at 4, at 8, at 12, at 16, at 20 and at midnight). An hourglass was used to calculate the time.

Great Big Sea from Play 1997. Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne & Frank Warner Collection, #71.

I
Ships may come and ships may go
As long as the sea does roll.
Each sailor lad just like his dad,
He loves the flowing bowl.
A trip on shore he does adore
With a girl who’s nice and round.
When the money’s gone
It’s the same old song,
“Get up Jack! John, sit down!
[Chorus]
Come along, come along,
You jolly brave boys,
There’s lots of grog(1) in the jar.
We’ll plough the briny ocean
With the jolly roving tar.
II
When Jack comes in, it’s then he’ll steer
To some old boarding house(2).
They’ll welcome him with rum and gin,
And feed him on pork scouse.
He’ll lend, spend and he’ll not offend (3) Till he’s lyin’ drunk on the ground
When the money’s gone
It’s the same old song,
“Get up Jack! John, sit down!
III
Jack, he then, oh then he’ll sail
Bound down for Newfoundland.
All the ladies fair in Placentia(4) there
They love that sailor man
He’ll go to shore out on a tear
And he’ll buy some girl a gown.
When the money’s gone
It’s the same old song,
“Get up Jack! John, sit down!
IV
When Jack gets old and weather beat,
Too old to roam about,
They’ll let him stop in some rum shop
Till eight bells(5) calls him out.
Then he’ll raise his eyes up to the skies,
Sayin’ “Boys, we’re homeward bound.”
When the money’s gone
It’s the same old song,
“Get up Jack! John, sit down!

NOTES
3) meaning that he will not offend the innkeeper with a refusal
4) Placentia is a small Canadian city formed by the union of the villages of Jerseyside, Townside, Freshwater, Dunville and Argentia .
5)”When it’s the end” his watch on board is finished as well as his life. On the old vessels the ringing sound of a bell regulated the time, every 4-hour guard duty was signaled by 8 bell strokes.

ENGLISH VERSION

In the nineteenth century there was a completely different version in which poor Susan was distraught because the fine William was still far from the sea, she decided to follow him as a sailor. The version is still popular in Newfoundland. As much as I searched the web at the moment I did not find a video to listen to.
It was in the town of Liverpool, all in the month of May,
I overheard a damsel, alone as she did stray,
She did appear like Venus or some sweet, lovely star,
As she walked toward the beach, lamenting for her jolly, roving Tar.

Jolly Roving Tar by “Irish Rovers”

The text was written by George Millar the founder of the “Irish Rovers” and although a different song borrows some phrases from “Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down” other equally famous sea songs on sailors.
The Irish Rover from Another Round 2005: various dances taken from fantasy films and animations

I
Well here we are, we’re back again
Safe upon the shore
In Belfast town we’d like to stay
And go to sea no more
We’ll go into a public house
And drink till we’re content
For the lassies they will love us
Till our money is all spent
CORO
So pass the flowin’ bowl
Boys there’s whiskey in the jar
And we’ll drink to all the lassies
And the jolly roving tar
II
Oh Johnny did you miss me
When the nights were long and cold
Or did you find another love
In your arms to hold
Says he I thought of only you
While on the sea afar
So come up the stairs and cuddle
With your jolly roving tar
III
Well in each other’s arms they rolled
Till the break of day
When the sailor rose
and said farewell
I must be on me way
Ah don’t you leave me Johnny lad
I thought you’d marry my
Says he I can’t be married
For I’m married to the sea
IV
Well come all you bonnie lasses
And a warning take by me
And never trust an Irishman
An inch above your knee
He’ll tease you and he’ll squeeze you
And when he’s had his fun
He’ll leave you in the morning
With a daughter or a son

LINK
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/jolly-roving-tar.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/JollyRovinTar/lomax.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/07/jolly.htm
http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/lyrics/GETUPJAC.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/08/getup.htm
http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog/levy:072.028
http://thejovialcrew.com/?page_id=338
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=96587
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=96582
http://adirondackmusic.org/subpages/69/9/6/lena-bourne-fish

Rolling home across the sea

Leggi in italiano

A “rolling home” is a traveling home on wheels, but it is also the title of the best known among the homeward-bound shanty. In America home is California or Boston, while in Europe it is England, London or Hamburg, but also Scotland, Ireland or Dublin, the song is equally popular on German and Dutch ships.
Taken from a homonymous poem written by Charles Mackay in 1858 it is considered a forecastle song, but it has also been a capstan shanty. The question of origin is still controversial, about twenty versions are known and according to Stan Hugill it could have a Scandinavian origin.

STANDARD VERSION

It is the version penned in the poem by Charles Mackay who wrote it on May 26, 1858 while he was on board “The Europe” going home and in effect the verses are a little more elaborate than the phrases usually used by the shantyman
Dan Zanes from Sea Music
Carl Peterson

ROLLING HOME
I
Up aloft, amid the rigging
Swiftly blows the fav’ring gale,
Strong as springtime in its blossom,
Filling out each bending sail,
And the waves we leave behind us
Seem to murmur as they rise;
“We have tarried here to bear you
To the land you dearly prize”.
CHORUS
Rolling(1) home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old Scotland (2)
Rolling home, dear land to thee (3).
II (4)
Full ten thousand miles behind us,
And a thousand miles before,
Ancient ocean waves to waft us
To the well remembered shore.
Newborn breezes swell to send us
To our childhood welcome skies,
To the glow of friendly faces
And the glance of loving eyes.
III (5)
I have watched the rolling hillside
Of the wondrous river Clyde (6)
As I sailed away from Greenock
My heart beat fast inside
But I knew as I was sailing
Far from that Scottish shore
I will miss her every minute
But I’ll return once more.

NOTES
1) rolling has many meanings: it is generally synonymous with “sailing” but it can also derive from “rollikins” an old English term for “drunk”; often as Italo Ottonello suggests, we mean in a literal sense that the typical gait of the sea wolves is “rocking”
2) or England
3) according to Hugill the song comes from a Scandinavian version and he notes that the verse is sometimes sung as “the land’s forbee” with “forbee” = “passing by” or “near.” Förbi is Swedish stands for “past, by.”
4) Carl Peterson skips the 2nd stanza of Charles Mackay’s poem
5) the stanza was added by Carl Peterson
6) it refers to the rolling hills near the Clyde estuary that flows near the port city of Greenock, located on the southern coast

SCOTTISH VERSION

Old Blind Dogs from The Gab O Mey 2003, in a version with a lot of Scotsness

ROLLING HOME
I (1)
Call all hands to man the capstan
See the cable running clear
Heave around and with the wheel, boys
For our homeland we must steer
Chorus
Rolling home, rolling home
Rolling home across the sea
Rolling home to Caledonia
Rolling home, dear land, to thee
II
From the pines of California
And by Chile’s endless strand
We have sailed the world twice over
Every port in every land
III
And to all ye blaggard pirates
Who would chase us from the waves
Heed ye well that those who’ve tried us
Soon have found their watery graves
IV
We were boarded in Jamaica
Where the Jolly Rodger flew
But our swords were hardly drawn, boys
‘Ere they took a rosy hue
V
We return with precious cargo
And with bounty coined in gold
And our sweethearts will rejoice, boys
For they lo’e their sailors bold

NOTES
1) it resumes the II stanza of the poem by Charles Mackay

IRISH VERSION: Rolling home to Ireland

Irish Rovers different text and melody

ROLLING HOME TO IRELAND
I
I come from Paddy’s land
I’m a rake and ramblin’ man
Since I was young, I’ve had the urge to roam
So don’t you weep for me
When I’m sailing on the sea
For you won’t see me till I come rolling home
Chorus
Rolling home to Ireland, rolling home across the sea
Back to me own con-ter-ree (country)
Two thousand miles behind us
and a thousand more to go

So fill the sails and blow winds blow!
II
We sailed away from Cork
We were headed for New York
I’d always dreamed the sailor’s life for me
But the days were hard and long
With no women, wine, or song
And it wasn’t quite the fun I’d thought ‘twould be
III
We weren’t too long a-sail
When the wind became a gale
Our boat was tossed and turned upon the foam
With waves like moutains high
Well I thought that I would die
I wished to God that I was rolling home
IV
And when I reach the shore
I will go to sea no more
There’s more to life than sailing ‘round the Horn
Good luck to sailor men
When they’re headed out again
I wish them all safe harbor from the storm

LINK
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/rolling-home
http://www.nathanville.org.uk/web-albums/burgess/scrapbook/victorian-culture/pages/The-collected-songs-of-Charles-Mackay.htm
http://www.darachweb.net/SongLyrics/RollingHome.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/rolling.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67591

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17029
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/oldblinddogs/rolling.htm
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/genericcontent_tcm4555620.asp

Rolling home

Read the post in English

Con “Rolling home” s’intende una casa viaggiante su ruote, ma è anche il titolo della più conosciuta tra le  homeward-bound shanty. In America casa è la California o Boston, mentre in Europa è l’Inghilterra, Londra o Amburgo, ma anche  la Scozia, l’Irlanda o Dublino, la canzone è altrettanto popolare sulle navi tedesche e olandesi.
Tratta da una poesia omonima scritta da Charles Mackay nel 1858 è considerata una forecastle song, ma è stata anche  una capstan shanty. La questione dell’origine è ancora controversa, si conoscono una ventina di versioni e secondo Stan Hugill potrebbe avere un’origine  scandinava.

LA VERSIONE STANDARD

E’ la versione riportata nella poesia di Charles Mackay che la scrisse il 26 maggio 1858 mentre era a bordo dell’Europa diretto verso casa  e in effetti i versi sono un po’ più elaborati rispetto alle frasi utilizzate di solito dallo shantyman
Dan Zanes in Sea Music
Carl Peterson


I
Up aloft, amid the rigging
Swiftly blows the fav’ring gale,
Strong as springtime in its blossom,
Filling out each bending sail,
And the waves we leave behind us
Seem to murmur as they rise;
“We have tarried here to bear you
To the land you dearly prize”.
CHORUS
Rolling(1) home, rolling home,
Rolling home across the sea,
Rolling home to dear old Scotland (2)
Rolling home, dear land to thee (3).
II (4)
Full ten thousand miles behind us,
And a thousand miles before,
Ancient ocean waves to waft us
To the well remembered shore.
Newborn breezes swell to send us
To our childhood welcome skies,
To the glow of friendly faces
And the glance of loving eyes.
III (5)
I have watched the rolling hillside
Of the wondrous river Clyde (6)
As I sailed away from Greenock
My heart beat fast inside
But I knew as I was sailing
Far from that Scottish shore
I will miss her every minute
But I’ll return once more.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Sul pennone, in mezzo al sartiame
soffia spedito un vento favorevole,
vigoroso come la primavera in fiore
riempie ogni vela e la flette,
e le onde che ci lasciamo dietro
sembrano mormorare con il movimento” Ci siamo attardate qui per sostenerti fino alla terra che hai cara”
Coro
Naviga a casa, naviga a casa

naviga a casa sul mare,
naviga a casa alla cara vecchia Scozia,
naviga a casa,  cara terra, a te

II
Dieci mila miglia buone dietro di noi
e un un migliaio davanti, le onde dell’antico oceano per trasportarci verso la terra che ricordiamo bene.
Le nuove brezzesi soffiano per guidarci verso i benvenuti cieli della nostra infanzia, al sorriso di volti amici e allo sguardo di occhi amorevoli.
III
Ho visto il profilo ondulato
del meraviglioso fiume Clyde
mente salpavo da Greenock
il mio cuore batteva forte
ma sapevo che stavo navigando
lontano dalla costa scozzese,
mi mancherà ogni minuto
ma ritornerò ancora una volta

NOTE
1)  rolling ha molti significati: in genere è sinonimo di“sailing” ma può anche derivare da “rollikins” un vecchio temine inglese per “ubriaco”; spesso come suggerisce Italo Ottonello si intende in senso letterale come “dondolante” la tipica andatura dei lupi di mare
2) oppure England
3) secondo Hugill la canzone deriva da una versione scandinava e rileva che il verso è a volte cantato come “the land’s forbee” con “forbee”= “passing by” o “near.” Förbi is svedese sta per “past, by.”
4) Carl Peterson salta la II strofa della poesia di Charles Mackay
5) la strofa è stata aggiunta da Carl Peterson
6) si riferisce alle colline ondulate nei pressi all’estuario del Clyde che sfocia in prossimità della città portuale di Greenock,  
situata sulla costa meridionale   stupende immagini del fiume 

LA VERSIONE SCOZZESE

Old Blind Dogs in The Gab O Mey 2003, in una versione con molta Scotsness


I (1)
Call all hands to man the capstan
See the cable running clear
Heave around and with the wheel, boys
For our homeland we must steer
Chorus
Rolling home, rolling home
Rolling home across the sea
Rolling home to Caledonia
Rolling home, dear land, to thee
II
From the pines of California
And by Chile’s endless strand
We have sailed the world twice over
Every port in every land
III
And to all ye blaggard pirates
Who would chase us from the waves
Heed ye well that those who’ve tried us
Soon have found their watery graves
IV
We were boarded in Jamaica
Where the Jolly Rodger flew
But our swords were hardly drawn, boys
‘Ere they took a rosy hue
V
We return with precious cargo
And with bounty coined in gold
And our sweethearts will rejoice, boys
For they lo’e their sailors bold
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Chiama tutti gli uomini per maneggiare l’argano, vedete come la catena scorre bene, avvolgetela ragazzi, perchè verso casa dobbiamo fare rotta
Coro
Navigo a casa, navigo a casa
navigo a casa sul mare,
navigo a casa a Caledonia,
navigo a casa, la cara terra, a te

II
Dai pini della California
e dalla spiaggia infinita del Cile
abbiamo navigato per il mondo due volte, in ogni porto e in ogni terra
III
A tutti voi furfanti di pirati
che vorreste inseguirci tra le onde
ascoltate bene che quelli che ci hanno provato hanno presto trovato la loro tomba nel mare
IV
Ci siamo imbarcati in Giamaica
dove veleggia il Jolly Roger
ma le nostre spade erano ben affilate, ragazzi
e hanno preso una tonalità rossa
V
Ritorniamo con il nostro prezioso carico e con abbondanza di  monete d’oro e le nostre innamorate si rallegreranno, ragazzi
perchè amano il loro marinai coraggiosi

NOTE
1) riprende la II strofa della poesia di Charles Mackay

LA VERSIONE IRLANDESE

Melodia diversa come pure il testo la Rolling home to Ireland degli Irish Rovers


I
I come from Paddy’s land
I’m a rake and ramblin’ man
Since I was young, I’ve had the urge to roam
So don’t you weep for me
When I’m sailing on the sea
For you won’t see me till I come rolling home
Chorus
Rolling home to Ireland, rolling home across the sea
Back to me own con-ter-ree (country)
Two thousand miles behind us
and a thousand more to go

So fill the sails and blow winds blow!
II
We sailed away from Cork
We were headed for New York
I’d always dreamed the sailor’s life for me
But the days were hard and long
With no women, wine, or song
And it wasn’t quite the fun I’d thought ‘twould be
III
We weren’t too long a-sail
When the wind became a gale
Our boat was tossed and turned upon the foam
With waves like moutains high
Well I thought that I would die
I wished to God that I was rolling home
IV
And when I reach the shore
I will go to sea no more
There’s more to life than sailing ‘round the Horn
Good luck to sailor men
When they’re headed out again
I wish them all safe harbor from the storm
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Vengo dalla terra di Paddy
sono un giramondo gaudentete
da quando ero ragazzo ho avuto la necessità di girovagare,
così non piangere per me
mentre navigo per mare
perchè non mi vedrai finchè non tornerò a casa
Coro
Navigando verso l’Irlanda, navigando verso casa per il mare
di ritorno nel mio paese

due mila miglia dietro alle spalle
e altri mille da fare, così gonfiate le vele e soffiate, venti, soffiate!

II
Abbiamo navigato lontano da Cork
eravamo diretti a New York
ho sempre sognato la vita del marinaio per me
ma i giorni erano duri e lunghi
senza donne, vino o canzoni
e non era proprio il divertimento che credevo
III
Eravamo da poco in alto mare, quando il vento è diventato una tempesta
la nostra barca fu sbattuta dai marosi
con onde alte come montagne.
Beh, pensavo che sarei morto
e sperai che Dio mi facesse ritornare a casa
IV
E quando raggiungerò la riva
non andrò più per mare
c’è di più nella vita che navigare intorno all’Horn.
Buona fortuna ai marinai
quando vanno di nuovo fuori
vorrei che fossero tutti al sicuro dalla tempesta

FONTI
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/rolling-home
http://www.nathanville.org.uk/web-albums/burgess/scrapbook/victorian-culture/pages/The-collected-songs-of-Charles-Mackay.htm
http://www.darachweb.net/SongLyrics/RollingHome.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/rolling.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=67591

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17029
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/oldblinddogs/rolling.htm
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/genericcontent_tcm4555620.asp

Outlander chapter 24: Up Among the Heather

 Leggi in italiano

FROM OUTLANDER BOOK

Diana Gabaldon

A traditional Scottish song that Jamie sings as he leaves Claire one morning at Leoch to go off to work in the stables.
“.. singing rahter loudly the air from “Up Among the Heather”. The refrain floated back from the stairwell:
Sittin’ wi’ a wee girl holdin’ on my knee
When a bumblebee stung me, weel above the kneeee
Up among the heather, on the head o’ Bendikee

There are a lot of Scottish folk songs that tell of romantic encounters “amang the heather” this one is set over Bennachie Hills, the most famous and well-known of northeastern Scotland.
Located in the Garioch between the Don and the Gadie, Bennachie are a range of hills in Aberdeenshire. A destination for excursions, along many paths and running races like the Bennachie Hill Race. On the Mither Tap (the mother’s breast that takes its name from its shape) you can still visit the ruins of a Pitti fortress.

“Mither Tap” of Bennachie (Ian Johnston) -(see also here  and here)

UP AMONG THE HEATHER

“Up Amang The Heather” or “The Hill of Bennachie” shares its melody with another traditional scottish song “Come All Ye Fisher Lasses”.

The song is a classic bothy ballad with bawdy lyrics! The poet talks the talk, but doesn’t walk because first he tells of having had fun (all day long) with a fine girl, but then he advises ladies not to give more than a kiss to a soldier!

From the Highlands of Robert Burns  to the Moorlands of Emily Bronte, and up to the Baraggia of Vercellese (Northern Italy), heather and erica populate the moorlands. “Calluna is differentiated from erica by its corolla and calyx each being in four parts instead of five, Calluna is sometimes referred to as Summer (or Autumn) heather to distinguish it from winter or spring flowering species of Erica.” (from wiki)
A branch of wild white heather is a lucky charm in Scotland and is donated to wish a happy marriage. Once upon a time the Scottish girls who ventured alone on the moor always wore a sprig of heather to protect themselves from rape and robbery (or to make a lucky encounter).

The Irish Ramblers in The Patriot Game (1963) ( II and IV) -aka the Clancy Brothers

The Irish Rovers  the group has repeatedly recorded the song, this version is taken from “Still Rovin’” 1968

Up among the heather on the hill o’ Bennachie(1)
rolling with a wee lass (2) underneath a tree
A bum-bee stung me well above the knee
Up among the heather on the hill o’ Bennachie
I
As I went out a-roving on a summer’s day
I spied a bonnie lassie (3) strolling on the brae (4)
she was picking wild berries (5) and I offered her a hand
saying “Maybe I can help you fill your wee tin can(6)”
II (7)
Says “I me bonnie lass are you going to spend the day
up among the heather where the lads (8) and lassies play
they’re hugging and they’re kissing and they’re making fancy free
among the blooming heather on the hill o’ Bennachie”
III
We sat down together and I held her in me arms
I hugged her and I kissed her taken by her charms then
I took out me fiddle(9) and I fiddled merrily
among the blooming heather on the hill o’ Bennachie
IV (10)
Come all you bonnie lessies and take my advice
and never let a soldier laddie kiss you more than twice.
For all the time he’s kissing you he’s thinking out a plan
To get a wee bit rattle at your ould (11) tin can.

NOTE
1) (Irish Ramblers)
Up among the heather on the hellabenafee
It was there I had a bonny wee lass sitting on my knee
A bungbee stung me well above the knee
We rested down together on the hellabenafee
2) wee lass= tiny girl
3) bonnie lassie= fine girl
4) brae= hill
5)  a midsummer party called Bilberry Sunday (in Scotland “Blaeberry” in Ireland “Fraughan”). It was mostly celebrated in July, when the blueberry berries ripen or in August, often combined with the Lughnasa Celtic festival or on Sunday (or Monday) closest to the party. Once upon a time the youths and the young girls were up the hills on the moor from morning to evening gathering blueberries and making friends, it was therefore a party dedicated to courtship and to combine marriages (under the good offices of Lugh).
6) wee tin can =  female sexual organ
7) (Irish Ramblers)
Said I me bonny wee lassie are ya going to spend the day
Up amongst the heather on the hellabenafee
Where all the lads and lassies they’re having a sobree
Up among the heather on the hellabenafee
8) lads= boys
9) fiddle= male sexual organ
10)  (Irish Ramblers)
Said I me bonny wee lassie please take my advice
Don’t ever let a soldier laddie love you more than twice
For all the time you do, he’s a fixing how to plan
How to get a wee-be rattle at your old tin can
11) ould= old

Mary Mac
 Bennachie (“Gin I Were Where The Gadie Runs”)
O’er the moor amang the heather

SOURCES
http://ontanomagico.altervista.org/baraggia.htm#brugo
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/upamongtheheather.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=156417 http://www.horntip.com/mp3/1960s/1962ca_lyrica_erotica_vol_2
_a_wee_thread_o_blue_(LP)/09_the_hill_of_bennachie.htm

Bells Over Belfast

The Irish Rovers, gruppo di musica irlandese stanziato in Canada (Toronto, Ontario), sono attivi dal 1963. Nella loro lunga carriera hanno prodotto due christmas album Merry Merry Time Of Year (2016) e Songs of Christmas (1999) da cui proviene la “Bells over Belfast” composta da George Millar, già fondatore del gruppo e originario di Ballymeana (Irlanda del Nord) uno dei centri più colpiti dal conflitto nord-irlandese.

GLI ACCORDI DI BELFAST DEL 1998

Sottoscritti nel 1998 dalla maggioranza dei partiti nordirlandesi, dal governo britannico e della repubblica Irlandese, legittimati da un referendum popolare che si è espresso in modo favorevole, gli accordi di pace mettono alla base la parità tra le due parti della popolazione (protestanti scozzesi-inglesi e cattolici irlandesi) per garantirne la partecipazione al governo tramite i rispettivi rappresentanti politici. Ribadita la divisione tra le due Irlande si è puntato tutto sulla garanzia dei diritti civili, libertà e pari dignità per tutti.


I
The Antrim hills (1) are dark and still
and the snow is tumbling down
This Christmas time there’s hope again
for all in Belfast Town
With love and understanding
we’ll find a better way
The gift of peace (2) is ours now
upon this Christmas day
CHORUS
Bells over Belfast
How merrily they play
Peace and joy be with you
On this Christmas day
II
A star of light, it filled the night,
many years ago
When the Magi found the blessed Child
who set our hearts aglow
And since that day of wonder
will live forever more
We hail the newborn King of kings
who opened the heavens’ door
III
We’ll dance and sing the new year
in a share a cup of cheer
And drink to health and happiness
throughout the coming year
We’ll put our differences aside,
our troubles (3) all behind
And drink a cup of kindness
yet for days of auld lang syne (4)
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Le colline di Antrim sono buie e silenziose, la neve cade giù
questo Natale ci sarà nuovamente speranza per tutti nella città di Belfast.
Con l’amore e la comprensione
troveremo un modo migliore
il dono della pace è con noi
in questo giorno di Natale
Coro
Campane su Belfast
che suonano festose
pace e amore siano con voi
in questo giorno di Natale
II
Una stella di luce, riempì la notte
tanti anni fa
quando i Magi trovarono il bambinello benedetto
per cui ardono i nostri cuori
e da quel giorno meraviglioso
vivrà in eterno,
salutiamo il neonato Re dei Re
che aprì le porte dei Cieli
III
Danzeremo e canteremo al nuovo anno, condividendo una coppa di allegria e berremo alla salute e alla felicità per l’anno a venire.
Metteremo da parte le nostre differenze
ci lasceremo alle spalle i conflitti
e berremo una coppa di tenerezza
ancora per i bei tempi andati

NOTE
1) I Glens of Antrim, chiamati anche semplicemente Glens, formano una regione dell’Antrim, contea settentrionale dell’Irlanda del Nord, composta da nove glen, ovvero particolari vallate strette e profonde che raggiungono il mare (da Wikipedia)
2) sono gli accordi di pace di Belfast, 1998
3) “The Troubles” (in italiano “i disordini”) è la “guerra a bassa densità” che ebbe luogo tra i cattolici e i protestanti del Nord Irlanda tra il 1969 e il 1998 ovvero un coacervo di violenza e sordi rancori, di marce per la pace e bombe. (continua)
4) A Capodanno il canto più diffuso nelle case scozzesi è Auld Lagn Syne, una canzone cantata in tutto il mondo nelle più svariate occasioni. (continua)

FONTI
http://theirishroversmusic.com/
http://www.dehoniane.it:9080/komodo/trunk/webapp/web/files/riviste/archivio/01/199810299a.htm

Christmas Caroling

Nel 1999 su testo di George Millar  e melodia tradizionale gli Irish Rovers registrarono “Christmas Caroling” per il loro album “Songs of Christmas”. Il testo riprende gli antichi canti di questua del wassailing mescolando le strofe con gli inni di natale di stampo ottocentesco. La melodia è la stessa della “Pace Egging song” (la questua delle uova) che ritualmente era praticata in Primavera (continua).
Le wassail songs sono canti di questua dalla remota origine, di natura non religiosa, che risalgono sia al solstizio d’inverno che ai riti di primavera . Gruppi di giovani questuanti cantavano e suonavano per le strade dietro il compenso di libagioni o di denaro  per augurare una buona festa di Natale e un felice Anno Nuovo.


CHORUS
We’re 1-2-3 jolly lads all in one mind (1)
We have come Christmas caroling and we hope you’ll prove kind
And we hope you prove kind with your cakes and strong beer
And we’ll come no more nigh you until the next year
I
We’ll sing of the baby in Bethlehem barn
To Mary and Joseph on a cold Christmas morn
He was sent from above to be King of all kings
We rejoice in His memory and merely sing
II
We’ll sing of the bells that do joyfully ring
Of the peace and goodwill that the season does bring
And our friends and relations that we seldom do see
We’ll all meet together now in one company.
III
We’ll sing of Saint Nicolas soon he’ll be here
With toys for the children and lots of good cheer
And the feast of Saint Stephen with snow on the ground
I will wish we had Christmas the whole year around!
IV
Come ladies and gentlemen sit by the fire (2)
Put your hands in your pockets, and give us our desire
Put your hands in your pockets, and treat us all right
If you give not we’ll take not farewell and good night!
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Coro
Ci sono 1-2-3 allegri compagni con un solo intento,
di essere venuti per il caroling natalizio e speriamo che vi mostriate generosi,
speriamo che vi mostriate generosi,
con dolci e birra forte
e non ritorneremo più per un’altra visita fino all’anno prossimo
I
Canteremo del bimbo nella grotta di Betlemme
di Maria e Giuseppe in una fredda mattina di Natale
è stato mandato dai Cieli per essere il Re dei Re
ci rallegriamo in sua memoria e cantiamo con semplicità
II
Canteremo delle campane che  risuonano festose,
della pace e buona volontà che la stagione porta,
e i nostri amici e parenti che raramente vediamo
ci riuniremo insieme ora in un’unica compagnia
III
Canteremo di San Nicola che presto sarà qui
con giocattoli per i bambini e un mucchio di allegria
e della festa di Santo Stefano con la neve in terra
vorrei che fosse Natale per tutto l’anno!
IV
Venite signore e signori seduti accanto al fuoco
mettete le mani alle tasche e dateci quello che volete
mettete le mani alle tasche e trattateci bene
se non ci darete niente, niente prenderemo, addio e buona notte

NOTE
1) l’incipit è modellato sulle Pace Eggins Song, analoghi canti di questua per la Pasqua
Here’s one two three jolly lads all in one mind
We have come a pace egging and we hope you’ll prove kind
And we hope you’ll prove kind with your eggs and strong beer
And we’ll come no more nigh you until the next year
2) anche la strofa finale riprende pari pari la “Pace Egging song” già citata

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Read the post in English

Paddy Lay Back è una sea shanty kilometrica, zeppa di varianti, cantata dai marinai sia come canzone ricreativa che come canzone all’argano per sollevare l’ancora (capstan shanty) .

Stan Hugill nel suo “Shanties from the Seven Seas”, ci testimonia una lunga versione con una ventina di strofe (vedi), qui si riportano solo quelle cantate da lui stesso per l’album “Sea Songs: Newport, Rhode Island- Songs from the Age of Sail”, 1980
Così scrive in merito: “Era sia una forebitter che una capstan shanty e anche molto popolare, specialmente sulle navi di Liverpool. […] È una canzone abbastanza vecchia che risale agli scaricatori del cotone di Mobile e di norma ha due strutture: una con strofe di otto versi – questa era la forma delle forebitter; e la seconda con strofe a quattro versi – la tipica struttura degli shanty. Doerflinger dà uno schema con strofe a due  versi per la shanty – una forma piuttosto insolita, e più avanti nel suo libro dà la versione forebitter con strofe a quattro e a otto versi. Dà il titolo della shanty come Paddy, Get Back e entrambe le due versioni della forebitter con il titolo Mainsail Haul. Shay, Sampson e Bone suggeriscono che si trattava di una canzone del mare abbastanza moderna e non davano notizie che fosse cantata come una shanty, ma tutti i miei contatti sulle nave da crociera si riferivano ad essa come shanty, ed era certamente cantata nella tratta dei postali Liverpool-New York per lo meno con le strofe di quattro versi. […] Le strofe dall’11 in poi sono abbastanza moderne e non hanno nulla a che fare con i marinai delle navi di linea, piuttosto sono relazionate al coro “For we are bound for Vallaparaiser round the Horn”, erano quelle cantate dai marinai di Liverpool impegnati nel Commercio del guano sulla costa occidentale”
(tutte le strofe tranne la III^)
Stan Hugill

Nils BrownAssassin’s Creed Rogue   (strofe I, II, III, V, VI)


I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord (Christ) I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
‘Bout ship’s stations, boys,
be handy (be handy)! (2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm.
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’ (5),
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.
IV
Now some of our fellers had bin drinkin’,
An’ I meself wuz heavy on the booze;
An’ I wuz on me ol’ sea-chest a-thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.
V
I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
An’ knew I wuz outward bound again;
When I heard a voice a-bawlin’ (calling) at the door,
‘Lay aft, men, an’ answer to yer names!’
VI
‘Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw you,
Such an ugly bunch I’d niver seen afore;
For there wuz a bum an’ stiff from every quarter,
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick an’ sore.
VII
There wuz Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrosst from France;
An’ most o’ ‘em couldn’t speak a word o’ English,
But answered to the name of ‘Month’s Advance’.
VIII
I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ‘twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.
IX
So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era una fredda e triste mattina di Dicembre
e avevo speso tutti i soldi
dove andai per Dio non mi riesce di ricordare, ma alla fine mi sono trovato davanti all’ufficio per l’arruolamento
CORO
Paddy rilassati
finisci il lavoro
fai un giro intorno all’argano-
passa la castagna 
sulla nave, ai posti di manovra,
ragazzi datevi da fare
perchè siamo in partenza per Valparaiso
a doppiare il Corno
II
Quel giorno c’era una grande richiesta di marinai
per le Colonie e Frisco e per
la Francia
così mi sono imbarcato su una barca di limoncini la “Hotspur”
ed ero ubriaco fradicio con il mio anticipo
III
L’ho raggiunta in una fredda mattina di Dicembre
sfregandomi le pinne per tenermi al caldo
con un cono verso sud innalzato come avvertimento
che stava per l’arrivo di una tempesta
IV
Alcuni dei nostri compagni stavano bevendo e io stesso ci davo dentro,
ero sul mio vecchio baule a pensare di trasformarlo in una branda per un sonnellino
V
Mi svegliai al mattino con un malanno
e sapevo di essere di nuovo
in partenza, quando sentìì una voce abbaiare alla porta “Alzatevi, uomini, e rispondete al vostro nome”
VI
Fu sul ponte dove vi vidi la prima
volta
dei così brutti ceffi non li avevo mai visti prima
perchè c’era un barbone e un cadavere in ogni direzione
da far venire triste e afflitto il mio povero cuore
VII
C’erano Spagnoli e Tedeschi
e Russi
e un Johnny Crapoos appena arrivato dalla Francia
e nessuno di loro sapeva parlare una parola d’Inglese
ma rispondevano al nome di “Mese d’anticipo”
VIII
Sapevo che nel baule avevo una bottiglia che l’arruolatore aveva messo lì,
e volevo qualcosa per bagnarmi la gola,
qualcosa per scacciare le noiose faccende quotidiane
IX
Così mi sono gettato sulle ginocchia come un fulmine e ho messo la mano sul fondo del baule,
ma con mia grande sorpresa
ho trovato solo una bottiglia di medicina per il vaiolo!

NOTE
1) Pawl ( castagna): specie di arpione mobile che impediva all’argano di girare in senso inverso inserendosi in una serie di fori alla sua base. Per consentire la rotazione in senso contrario c’era una seconda castagna con forma diversa. Il suono secco prodotto dalla castagna mentre il cavo si avvolge fa da accompagnamento musicale alla shanty
2)  “Be handy” è un espressione tipica nelle canzoni marinaresche : letteralmente si traduce in italiano come “essere a portata di mano” C’è anche una lieve di allusione sessuale. Possibili significati: rendersi utile ma anche trovarsi a portata di mano (come in handy),
3) gli americani chiamavano i soldati inglesi limely per via della razione di limone distribuita per prevenire lo scorbuto dopo un certo numero di giorni in mare (secondo il  Merchant Shipping Act  del 1894)
4) cioè ha speso tutti i soldi dell’anticipo sulla paga in bevute ad alto grado alcolico
5) “Storm cones”  (coni tempesta) erano delle segnalazioni approntate lungo le coste irlandesi e britanniche per segnalare l’arrivo di una tempesta alle navi . Il sistema era stato messo a punto dal capitano Robert FitzRoy nel 1860 e consisteva in un collegamento telegrafico tra le stazioni meteo di terra e tutti i porti delle isole britanniche, di modo che venissero esibiti degli appositi segnali (coni neri o luci) lungo le coste non appena era segnalata una tempesta. I segnali di avvertimento  indicavano la direzione in cui infuriava il maltempo in modo che le navi di passaggio potessero prendere gli opportuni provvedimenti.
“Nel 1860 escogitò un sistema di emissione di allerta burrasca via telegrafo ai porti che potevano essere colpiti.Il messaggio conteneva una lista di località con le parole:
‘North Cone’ o ‘South Cone’ – rispettivamente per i venti settentrionali o meridionali
“Drum” – per quando ci si aspettavano ulteriori venti,
Drum and North/South Cone ‘- per venti di burrasca di notevole entità
” (tratto da qui) (continua)

LA VERSIONE FOLK: Valparaiso Round the Horn

Giocoforza per quel Paddy del titolo, la canzone è diventata un traditional irlandese, una popolare drinking song, collegata ad altrettanto popolari jigs! Anche conosciuta con il titolo “The Liverpool song” e “Valparaiso Round the Horn”. Tra le canzoni preferite dei pirati ovviamente!

The Wolfe Tones in “Let The People Sing” 1972 ne fanno una versione folk che è diventata lo standard di una classica irish drinking song
The Irish Rovers live
Sons Of Erin


I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
About ships for England boys be handy(2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
There were Frenchmen, there were Germans, there were Russians
And there was Jolly Jacques came just across from France
And not one of them could speak a word of English
But they’d answer to the name of Bill or Dan
IV
I woke up in the morning sick and sore (5)
I wished I’d never sailed away again
Then a voice it came thundering thru’ the floor
Get up and pay attention to your name
V
I wish that I was in the Jolly Sailor (6)
With Molly or with Kitty on me knee
Now I see most any men are sailors
And with me flipper I wipe away my tears
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era una fredda e triste mattina di Dicembre
e avevo speso tutti i soldi
dove andai per Dio non mi riesce di ricordare, ma alla fine mi sono trovato davanti all’ufficio per l’arruolamento
CORO
Paddy rilassati
finisci il lavoro
fai un giro intorno all’argano-
passa la castagna 
sulle navi per l’Inghilterra ragazzi datevi da fare, perchè siamo in partenza per Valparaiso a doppiare il Corno
II
Quel giorno c’era una grande richiesta di marinai
per le Colonie e Frisco e per
la Francia
così mi sono imbarcato su una barca di limoncini la “Hotspur”
ed ero ubriaco fradicio con il mio anticipo
III
C’erano Francesi e Tedeschi, c’erano Russi
e c’era un Jolly Jacques appena arrivato dalla Francia
e nessuno di loro sapeva parlare una parola d’Inglese
ma rispondevano al nome di
Bill o Dan
IV
Mi svegliai al mattino con un malanno
e sapevo di essere di nuovo
in partenza
quando sentìì una voce abbaiare alla porta “Alzatevi, uomini, e rispondete al vostro nome”
V
Vorrei essere al “Marinaio Allegro”
con Molly o con  Killy sulle mie ginocchia
ma vedo solo marinai attorno
e con le mie pinne mi asciugo le lacrime

NOTE
1) vedi nota sopra
2) oppure Bout ship’s stations, boys
3) vedi nota sopra
4) cioè ha speso tutti i soldi dell’anticipo sulla paga in bevute ad alto grado alcolico
5) un eufemismo per descrivere i postumi della sbornia
6) il nome del locale varia a discrezione di chi canta

 FONTI
http://www.folkways.si.edu/the-focsle-singers/paddy-lay-back/american-folk-celtic/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/PaddyLayBack/hugill.html
https://maritime.org/chanteys/paddy-lay-back.htm
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/12/36-paddy-lay-back.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/p/paddylay.html

AR HYD Y NOS

Su un’antica melodia gallese raccolta in “Musical Relics Of The Welsh Bards” (Edward Jones c. 1784) John “Ceiriog” Hughes (1832-1887) scrisse la poesia Ar Hyd Y Nos diventata presto una canzone tradizionale gallese molto popolare ed amata, nonchè un classico natalizio, tradotto anche in molte lingue, e intitolato in inglese “All through the night”.

JOHN HUGHES

Hughes was a Welsh poet and well-known collector of Welsh folk tunes. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Robert Burns of Wales’. Ceiriog was born at Penybryn farm overlooking the village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, in the Ceiriog Valley, which was then in Denbighshire in north-east Wales. He worked as a railway clerk in Manchester and London. He was employed as a station master at Caersws railway station station from 1868.
Through his desire to restore simplicity of diction and emotional sincerity, he did for Welsh poetry what Wordsworth and Coleridge did for English poetry. He became famous winning a serious of prizes for his poems in the 1850s. His first collection of poetry was published in 1860 and is called Oriau’r Hwyr (“Evening Hours”). As well as writing poetry he wrote many light hearted lyrics which he adapted to old Welsh tunes, or the original music of various composers. Many of his songs were written to folk airs.
His fascination with Welsh folk music led to an investigation of the history of the music and particularly the harpists who would often accompany then. This led to a grand project to publish four volumes of Welsh airs, of which only the first volume actually made it to press in 1863: Cant O Ganeuon (“A Hundred Songs”).  Like many Welsh poets, he took a bardic name – “Ceiriog” – from the River Ceiriog, which flows through the Ceiriog Valley, where he was born. In his home village, the public library contains a memorial inscription to him. (tratto da qui)

LA VERSIONE IN GAELICO GALLESE

ASCOLTA Siobhan Owen live voce e arpa come doveva essere suonata nel Settecento e cantata nell’Ottocento (con la III strofa in inglese)

ASCOLTA Meinir Gwilym (molto fresca e naturale interpretazione accompagnata dalla chitarra)


GAELICO GALLESE
I
Holl amrantau’r sêr ddywedant
Ar hyd y nos.
Dyma’r ffordd i fro gogoniant
Ar hyd y nos.
II
Golau arall yw tywyllwch,
I arddangos gwir brydferthwch,
Teulu’r nefoedd mewn tawelwch
Ar hyd y nos.
III
O mor siriol gwena seren
Ar hyd y nos,
I oleuo’i chwaer ddaearen
Ar hyd y nos,
IV
Nos yw henaint pan ddaw cystudd,
Ond i harddu dyn a’i hwyrddydd
Rhown ein golau gwan i’n gilydd
Ar hyd y nos.

VERSIONE INGLESE
I
Sleep, my love, and peace attend thee,
All through the night,
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.
II
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loving vigil keeping,
All through the night.

La traduzione letterale del gaelico gallese è una ninna nanna che promette la pace tra le Stelle..

TRADUZIONE letterale (da qui)
I
All the star’s eyelids (1) say,
All through the night,
“This is the way to the valley of glory,”
All through the night.
II
Any other light is darkness,
To exhibit true beauty,
The Heavenly family in peace,
All through the night.
III
O how cheerful smiles the star,
All through the night,
To light its earthly sister,
All through the night.
IV
Old age is night when affliction comes,
But to beautify man in his late days,
We’ll put our weak light together,
All through the night.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Ammiccando (1) le stelle dicono
per tutta la notte
“Questa è la via per la valle della gloria”, per tutta la notte
II
Ogni altra luce è spenta
per mostrare la vera bellezza,
la Sacra Famiglia in pace,
per tutta la notte
III
E come sorride con gioia la stella
per tutta la notte
ad illuminare la sua sorella terrena
per tutta la notte!
IV
“La vecchiaia è la notte quando arriva la malattia, ma per adornare l’uomo nei suoi ultimi giorni, noi accenderemo la nostra pallida luce insieme
per tutta la notte”

NOTE
1) eyelids letteralmente sono le palpebre

ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT

Il titolo indica anche una serie di canzoni pop rock, da non confondersi con questa dolcissima ninna-nanna di Natale: sulla stessa melodia gallese di “Ar Hyd Y Nos” sono stati scritte molte versificazioni in inglese, la più popolare è diventata quella di Sir Harold Boulton scritta nel 1884. Le versioni inglesi sono incentrate maggiormente sul tema natalizio con coro di angeli.. ho però evitato le versioni per i cori
ASCOLTA (strofa I e II) in versione ninna-nanna
ASCOLTA The Irish Rovers in “Songs of Christmas” 1999 (è riprodotto tutto l’album, la canzone inizia a 34:50)

VERSIONE IRISH ROVERS
I
Sleep my child and peace attend thee
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee
All through the night
II
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping
God his loving vigil keeping
All through the night
III
While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
As the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
IV
Through your dreams you’re swiftly stealing (1)
Visions of delight revealing
Christmas time is so appealing (2)
All through the night
V
You my child, a babe of wonder
All through the night
Dreams you dream can break asunder
All through the night
VI
Children’s dreams, they can’t be broken
Life is but a lovely token
Christmas should be softly spoken
All through the night
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Dormi bambino mio la pace ti accompagna, per tutta la notte
Dio ti manderà gli Angeli a vegliare
per tutta la notte
II
Piano le sonnolente ore sono strisciate
colline e valli fanno un sonnellino
vegliate dall’amorevole guardia di Dio
per tutta la notte
III
Mentre la luna ci guarda
per tutta la notte
mentre il mondo stanco dorme
per tutta la notte
IV
Nei tuoi sogni ruberai ratto
visioni di feste gioiose
Il Natale è così allettante
per tutta la notte
V
Tu bambino mio, un bimbo meraviglioso
per tutta la notte
i sogni che sogni si possono ridurre in mille pezzi
per tutta la notte
VI
I sogni dei bambini, non possono essere infranti
la vita non è che un bel dono
Natale dovrebbe essere dolcemente pronunciato
per tutta la notte

NOTE
1) Nella versione di Sir Harold Boulton è invece  “O’er thy spirit gently stealing”
2) Nella versione di Sir Harold Boulton è invece “Breathes a pure and holy feeling”

FONTI
http://plheineman.net/arhydynos.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ar_Hyd_y_Nos
http://www.celticartscenter.com/Songs/Welsh/ArHydYNos.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=45769
http://www.mcglaun.com/thru_night.htm
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=4531
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2422
https://babylullabymusic.bandcamp.com/track/all-through-the-night