Christmas in Killarney

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“Christmas in Killarney” combines a festive music with the most genuine Christmas tradition in South Ireland.

The text was composed in 1950 by the Americans John Redmond, James Cavanaugh and Frank Weldon, but Killarney is a tourist town (perhaps too crowded in the summer season) located in Ireland, in the county of Kerry, province of Munster: the town is pretty, “very picturesque” surrounded by the Killarney National Park , a true paradise, with breathtaking waterfalls and lakes and the inevitable castle, the Ross Castle.
The Christmas celebrations are particularly lively with float parades, an always open ice rink, Santa’s House and Christmas market stalls, and lots of music.

CHRISTMAS CANDLE

In Ireland it was customary to put a lighted candle in front of the window on Christmas Eve to welcome Mary and Joseph. It was also the way to signal to priests, in the period in which it was forbidden, that in that house they could enter to give the blessing.
Tradition has it that the candle is lit by the youngest member of the family and turned off by a girl named “Mary” (at one time the name was very common in Irish families). After dinner on the eve the table is prepared again with cumin and raisin bread in the middle, a jug of milk and a lit candle, leaving the front door ajar, so that Mary and Joseph or any tramp, can come in and sit down table to have a refreshment.

Irish Rovers

Barra McNeils


CHORUS
The holly green, the ivy green (1)
The prettiest picture you’ve ever seen
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home.
It’s nice, you know, to kiss your beau
While cuddling under the mistletoe (2)
And Santa Claus you know, of course
Is one of the boys from home.
I
The door is always open (3)
The neighbors pay a call
And Father John before he’s gone
Will bless the house and all (4).
Our Hearts are light, our spirits bright
We’ll celebrate our joy tonight
It’s Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
II
We’ll decorate the Christmas tree (5)
While all the family’s here
Around a roaring fire (6)
We will raise a cup of cheer (7)
There’s gifts to bring and songs to sing
And laughs to make the rafters ring
It’s Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
III
We’ll take the Horse and Sleigh (8)
All across the fields of snow
Listening to the jingle bells
And everywhere we go
How grand it feels to click your heels (9)
And dance away to the jigs and reels
It’s Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
IV
The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you’ve ever seen
I’m handing you no blarney
No matter where you roam
It’s Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
NOTE
1) decorating the house for the festivities of mid-winter is an ancient custom, maintained in the Middle Ages, till today (cf)
2) the kiss under the mistletoe has remote origins, perhaps dating back to the Saturnalia or the Celts. Of all the hypotheses, all what refers to the Scandinavian myth of Balder’s death is the most likely. The custom, as an auspicious gesture, is historically found in the Tudor era in the twelve days of Christmas. In the nineteenth century when it was a curse for women to remain unmarried, there were many superstitious gestures to be observed all year round, but in particular on New Year’s Eve: that of exchanging a kiss under the mistletoe with anyone who came within range was auspicious for an imminent engagement and if you did it with your boyfriend you were already certain of the wedding!
Once you could give as many kisses as the berries of the mistletoe bush, but now you can kiss at will without removing the berries to count the kisses.
3) we refer not only to the exchange of visits between neighbors and acquaintances, but also to the generosity towards the most needy and the poor who went around the houses with begging songs (cf)
4) in the homes of Catholics the priest used to blessing the rooms and the people gathered together at Christmas
5) Christmas tree was a typically Germanic custom introduced in England in 1840 by Queen Victoria, in love with her handsome prince Albert. Already the Romans for the Saturnalia and the Calendae decorated the house with fir branches, fertility spirits that they remained laden with leaves even in the middle of winter. And yet it is not possible to trace the passage from these twigs to the Christmas tree.
A legend tells of Wilfred of Credition a Christian priest of the 8th century, missionary in Germany: to dissuade the “pagans” in the ritual practices in honor of the old gods he had an oak, the sacred plant of Odin, cut down. But a fir tree was born nearby so Wilfred proclaimed it the emblem of the new faith.
6) Christmas log (what remains of the ancient tradition of Yule) a large trunk brought home on Christmas day which was to burn slowly for the 12 nights of the feast cf
7) toast of the wassail, the ancient cult of trees that became an auspicious drink (cf)
8) the horse-drawn buggies, in winter they were equipped with skates to slide on the snow. There were essentially two models, a small two or four-seater, a small intimate and comfortable sled, the second was a taller, bigger and sturdy sled to accommodate a family (which at the time was quite numerous among children and relatives) or a friends’ group. The bells were a sign of allert to prevent accidents between the sledges: especially with the haze and darkness the sound of bells alerted the approach of a sled; in the Christmas context the clinking recalls the Santa’s sleigh (Jingle bells)
10) typical way of dancing in Ireland

Killyburn brae, Jack O’Lantern in a dress

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The theme of the Devil who tries to take a sinner to hell is a classic of the Celtic tales. In the ballad “Devil and the Farmer’s wife” dating back to 1600, the woman deserves the hell for her spiteful and disrespectful behavior; but the devil himself cannot tame her, indeed he risks losing his tranquility. 

LITTLE DEVILS

The ballad has spread widely in England, Ireland, Scotland and America with fairly similar text versions, albeit with melodies declined in a different way.
THE DEVIL AND THE PLOWMAN (english version)
Lilli burlero
THE FARMER’S CURSED WIFE (american version)
KILLYBURN BRAE (Irish version)
KELLYBURN BRAES (Scottish version)

The song is also known as “The Women Are Worse Than The Men” already recorded by Tommy Mackem in “From The Archives”, but these hills do not exist in Ireland as the name is a distortion of the Scottish one. The hills of Kellyburn are mounds in Scotland that separate the northern part of Ayrshire from Renfrew.

The Dubliners in A Parcel of Rouges 1976

Tommy Makem

The Irish Rovers in “The Boys Come Rollin’ Home”.


There was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
riful riful tidifol-dey
there was an old man
in the Killieburn Brae
had a curse of the wife
for the most of his days(1)
with me foldadle-dah diddyfol-dah
foldadle-dal-da-daldadle-day
One day as this man
he walked out in the glen
well he met the devil
says how are you
The devil he says
” I have come for your wife
for I hear she’s the curse
and the bane of your life”
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back(2)
and away off to hell
with her he did whack
And when at last
they came to hell’s gate
well she lifted her stick
and she battered his pate
There were two little devils(3)
there tied up in chains
she lifted her stick
and she scattered their brains
There were two other devils
there roaring like bulls
well she lifted her stick
and she battered their skulls
There were two other devils
there playing at ball
well she lifted her stick
and she battered them all
So the devil he hoisted her
up on his back
they were seven years(5) coming
and days going back
And when they came back
to Killieburn Brae
well the devil he cried
and shouted hooray
Says he “my good man
here’s your wife safe and well
for the likes of herself
we would not have been hell”
Which proves that the women
are worse than the men
when they go to the hell
they’re thrown out again
NOTE
1) the sentence wants to underline the less than submissive character of the woman!
2) the image is supported by a vast iconography dating back to the Middle Ages of women straddling the devil
3) the image of the devils literally massacred by the woman is very funny, unfortunately the domestic reality was very different and in general it was women who suffered mistreatment and violences.
4) the game with the ball is a common place of classical ballads that even hell does not escape
5) presumably the old man during the umpteenth quarrel with his wife called the devil to take her to hell; the two must have entered into a seven-year agreement.

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

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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(3)
‘round the Horn (4)! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco(5) and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey(6) barque (7) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (8)
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’ (9),
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) Valparaiso – a seaport in central Chile on the Pacific Ocean west-northwest of Santiago.
4) the Horn – Cape Horn – a rocky headland on an island at the extreme Southern tip of South America, belonging to Chile. It is notorious for gales and heavy seas.
5) Frisco – San Francisco
6) 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)
7) barque – a sailing ship of three or more masts having the foremasts rigged square and the aftermast rigged fore-and-aft; any boat, especially a small sailing vessel
8) the sailor has spent all the advance on high-alcohol drinking
9) 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 (Paddy Lie Back)
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

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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

In 1999, on the text of George Millar and traditional melody, the Irish Rovers recorded “Christmas Caroling” for their album “Songs of Christmas”. The text recalls the ancient wassailing songs mixing the verses with the nineteenth-century Christmas carols. The melody, however, is the same as the “Pace Egging song” which was ritually practiced in Spring.
[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 però è la stessa della “Pace Egging song” (la questua delle uova) che ritualmente era praticata in Primavera.]

The wassail songs are songs of begging of a non-religious nature from the remote origin that date back both to the winter solstice and to the rites of spring . Groups of young beggars sang and played in the streets behind the payment of libations or money to wish a good Christmas revel and a happy New Year. (first part)
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. (continua)


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 (con) 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) Pace Eggins Song:
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) Pace Eggins Song

LINK
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/ritual-chants/