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Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails

Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Big ship sailing on the alley alley-o (18)
Lyr Req: thr big ship sailed on the alley alley o (9)


Paul 07 Nov 99 - 08:43 AM
Penny S. 07 Nov 99 - 08:46 AM
poet 07 Nov 99 - 08:52 AM
Liam's Brother 07 Nov 99 - 10:54 AM
Liam's Brother 07 Nov 99 - 10:57 AM
Peter T. 07 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM
Stewie 07 Nov 99 - 11:45 AM
wildlone 07 Nov 99 - 11:46 AM
Liam's Brother 07 Nov 99 - 12:43 PM
Margaret\W 07 Nov 99 - 01:09 PM
Peter T. 07 Nov 99 - 02:03 PM
Penny S. 07 Nov 99 - 02:51 PM
roopoo 08 Nov 99 - 02:28 AM
AndyG 08 Nov 99 - 06:16 AM
Penny. S 08 Nov 99 - 07:17 AM
Peter T. 08 Nov 99 - 02:20 PM
Peter T. 08 Nov 99 - 02:24 PM
Margaret\W 08 Nov 99 - 04:11 PM
Peter T. 08 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM
roopoo 09 Nov 99 - 02:30 AM
alison 09 Nov 99 - 02:51 AM
roopoo 09 Nov 99 - 02:52 AM
roopoo 09 Nov 99 - 02:56 AM
roopoo 09 Nov 99 - 03:36 AM
alison 09 Nov 99 - 07:51 AM
Peter T. 09 Nov 99 - 10:27 AM
Roger the skiffler 09 Nov 99 - 10:39 AM
roopoo 09 Nov 99 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,MAG at work 28 Nov 01 - 02:16 PM
running.hare 28 Nov 01 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 29 Nov 01 - 01:28 PM
running.hare 29 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Aug 02 - 06:29 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Aug 02 - 09:04 PM
EBarnacle1 12 Aug 02 - 02:35 PM
Joe in the'pool 13 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,tommy liverpool 24 Oct 03 - 06:52 PM
Joybell 24 Oct 03 - 07:19 PM
Joybell 24 Oct 03 - 07:53 PM
Charley Noble 24 Oct 03 - 08:03 PM
Joybell 24 Oct 03 - 09:10 PM
Brakn 24 Oct 03 - 09:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 03 - 10:07 PM
GUEST,Alec in Donegal 25 Oct 03 - 05:27 PM
Joybell 25 Oct 03 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 26 Oct 03 - 02:02 PM
MartinRyan 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 03 - 06:48 AM
Hamish 27 Oct 03 - 07:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 03 - 07:12 AM
Joybell 27 Oct 03 - 07:31 AM
TheBigPinkLad 27 Oct 03 - 12:25 PM
MartinRyan 27 Oct 03 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Joy 30 Sep 06 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Observer 30 Sep 06 - 08:51 AM
Nigel Parsons 30 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Martin 26 Dec 06 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Malcolm on the Wirral 28 Feb 07 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Bill,Newfoundland, Canada 19 May 07 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Anne 19 Jul 07 - 04:56 PM
Mr Happy 12 Dec 07 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,David 10 Jan 08 - 12:51 AM
Schantieman 10 Jan 08 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Sandra 07 Feb 08 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Fred 28 Jun 08 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Fred 28 Jun 08 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Skate 04 Aug 08 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,karrie 29 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM
Mo the caller 29 Mar 09 - 05:57 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Mar 09 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,MargaretS 23 Apr 09 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Bridget 03 Feb 10 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Rescue Shrek 14 Feb 10 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Sue 25 Feb 10 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Guest Max 19 Mar 10 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,me 20 Mar 10 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,ursula 16 May 10 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Angela 06 Jun 10 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,Sylv 08 Oct 10 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Janne 29 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM
Anne Neilson 29 Jul 11 - 04:12 PM
GUEST, topsie 29 Jul 11 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Maureen Jaeche 01 Jan 13 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,mayomick 01 Jan 13 - 06:37 AM
Rumncoke 01 Jan 13 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: The Big Ship Sails
From: Paul
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 08:43 AM

Can any one help me find the words for a childrens song that goes,The Big Ship Sails On The Alley Alley Oh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 08:46 AM

...on the last day of September.

The captain said she would never, never die...

Sorry, no more, I was kicked out of the game before they taught me the rest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: poet
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 08:52 AM

Poet's mate Phil, yet again!

I think that the song comes from Liverpool. I know that my mother and my grandmother used to sing it and that it was a song that went with playground games, although, without calling my mother to find out, I don't know which ones. I've also heard Cilla Black sing it on the telly!!!

Oh well, you can't win them all. Phil


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'S A BIG SHIP SAILING^^
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 10:54 AM

THERE'S A BIG SHIP SAILING

There's a big ship sailing on the ooley-ooley-ull, the ooley-ooley-ull.
There's a big ship sailing on the ooley-ooley-ull, on the last day of November.

The Captain says, "It'll never-never-do, never-never-never-do, never-never-do."
The Captain says, "It'll never-never-do on the last day of November.

So we all stuck our heads in the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea.
We all stuck our heads in the deep blue sea on the last day of November.

All the best,
Dan Milner ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 10:57 AM

Well, there are 3 "ooley-ooley-ulls" in the first line and I didn't close the quote at the end of the second verse but that's just about it as I recall. Remember, this is a folk song, so this is not an Official Version.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 11:21 AM

Anyone know the origins of this song? I have sung this song since I was a kid and knew nothing about it -- me mam was from Newcastle. What is the Alley-Alley-all? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 11:45 AM

The Clancy Brothers sang a version that went like this:

There's a big ship sailin' on the illy ally o, the illy ally o, the illy ally o
There's a big ship sailin' on the illy ally o
Hi ho the illy ally o

There's a big ship sailin' rockin' on the sea, rockin' on the sea, rockin' on the sea
There's a big ship sailin, rockin' on the sea
Hi ho rockin' on the sea

There's a big ship sailin' back again, back again, back again
There's a big ship sailin' back again
Hi ho back again
Hi ho back again

They suggest 'illy ally o' was simply the children's nonsense expression for the sea in the way that they called the snails 'shellacky shellacky bookies' (if that's how you spell it).

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: wildlone
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 11:46 AM

I have asked Mother about this song,
The "Alley" is the Manchester ship Canal.
The date used was the day the canal was opened.

The big ship sails on the Alley Alley Oh,Alley Alley Oh,Alley Alley Oh, Rpt.
On the last day of September.

The Captain said this will never never do.ect

The big ship sinks in the Alley Alley Oh.----

We all drown in the Alley Alley Oh.----

We all jump up in the Alley Alley Oh.----
This is what she can remember of the Chester version of this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 12:43 PM

Very interesting, wildlone. Thanks.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: add: The Big Ship Sails ^^
From: Margaret\W
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 01:09 PM

Paul

The version I learned as a child (and which children in my school still use) goes as follows:

The big ship sails through the alley-alley-o
The alley-alley-o, the alley-alley-o;
The big ship sails through the alley-alley-o
On the last day of September.

Mother, father, may I go
May I go, may I go?
Oh mother, father, may I go
On the last day of September?

The captain says that'll never never do
Never never do, never never do.
The captain says that'll never never do
On the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
The bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea;
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
On the last day of September.

Children thread through an arch for the first three verses so they all end up joined in a line with crossed arms, then make a circle for the last verse and fall to the floor at the end! It's good to see that this is one playground game which is still the same in North Northumberland as it was when I played it thirty years ago

Margaret^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 02:03 PM

Margaret, just exactly how do they move through the arch, and how do the arms get crossed? I would like to teach this to some small North American kids of my acquaintance.....yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Nov 99 - 02:51 PM

In Folkestone, we made a line with the end person having their hand against a wall. The line threaded the needle through that arch. Then the bully ran through, breaking up the line (not part of the game). This was repeated several times, I was blamed and that's why I know no more. I think that the needle threading happened with the between child arches. And we sang "alley-alley-ooo"

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails ^^
From: roopoo
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 02:28 AM

I can remember as a small child at school in Buxton, we all held hands in a line. The person on the end of the line put their right arm on the wall and then the others went under, the kid by the wall letting their left arm follow through to cross the arms. The line the went under the arch made by the first kid's left arm and the next kid's right and so on, until all had their arms crossed in front. They then made a circle, still with arms crossed, and sort of twisted left and right as they chanted the follow-on rhyme so that their arms (in front of their bodies at waist height) sort of slid up and down each other. I think the Big Ship song was finished off before the follow-on chant started:

Ip dip dip, my blue ship, Sailing on the water like a cup and saucer ip dip dip, my blue ship, O-U-T spells out!

At this point the memory is getting a bit unreliable (it was nearly 40 years ago) but at some point I think the arms were "bounced" up and down, maybe on the O-U-T spells out. Although it is a bit like a selection chant, I think it was merely the next down the line who started off again.

mouldy^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: AndyG
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 06:16 AM

Just to add my bit to this, being born in, and spending the first 30-something years of my life in the Manchester/Stockport area I too remember this rhyme.

I've not previously heard of a connection between the Ship Canal and the song, and sadly I find that the Canal was officially opened on 21 May 1894.

The rhyme I remember accompanied a dance-game as described above, usually a girls game. I remember a chorus as well, though after all this time it could just be my mind playing tricks :)

The big ship sails through the alley-alley-o
The alley-alley-o, the alley-alley-o;
The big ship sails through the alley-alley-o
On the last day of September.

Ch:
Alley-alley-o, alley-alley-o;
The big ship sails away
OH!
The big ship sails through the alley-alley-o
On the last day of September.

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Penny. S
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 07:17 AM

Can anyone try the Opies?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails ^^
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 02:20 PM

Yes, the Opies on the trail..... In "The Singing Game" (Iona and Peter Opie, OUP, 1985) they call it the only survivor of the ancient "Thread The Needle" game, of which visual record goes back to the Lorenzetti frescos in Siena in 1350! Variations are found in Appalachian dance ("Killiecrankie, Winding Up the Maple Leaf, etc.) and in England under "Dan, Dan, Thread the Needle."
They note that the problem with the Manchester Ship Canal origin is that there is an 1870 recollection from New Zealand; and that it has some obscure connection to the Christmas ships sailing, and various "through and throught the salley go" threading the needle songs. They give an extensive description of how to play the game, as well as a picture, which I am puzzling out. Boy, I can hardly wait to try this one out.....

One version:
1) Long line of people holding hands.
2) The two people at one end, hold up their hands to form an arch.
3) The player at the other end of the line, everyone still holding hands, runs through the arch, pulling everyone along through as well. (Thus twisting the original arch makers)
4) The new two leading people form an arch, and the last person in the line (one of those who had formed the original arch) goes through, and the process continues until everyone is twisted around.
5) They then form a circle of their twisted arms, and fall down at the end!!!!!

Up against the wall version:

1) Long line with last person making an arch with her hand high up on a wall.
2) Person at other end leads whole line through the arch, and last person's arms are thus crossed over
3) The orginal line leader now moves the line through the arch (alley) between the player at the wall and her nearest neighbour, who is likewise "stitched". The line then goes through the arch between the second and the third player.
4) And so on. After the last stich is made, all players go into a circle. Dancing in a circle, or falling down ensuues!!!!
yours, Peter T. ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 02:24 PM

Oops, should have said that mouldy's version is the one cited by the Opie's (up against the wall variant)! Nice to hear from a trained expert!!!!!!!yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Margaret\W
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 04:11 PM

Peter T

The instructions you quote are exactly what I would have sent you. Have fun trying the game with children, but give them a soft surface to fall onto!

Margaret W


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM

Margaret, I am now thinking of trying it with adults. There is a fine debauched Rubens painting of the scene, which is part of a discussion of what villagers did in the days before television. I think they get all crossed up with each other, and have lots of soft things to fall down on. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:30 AM

Thanks for the compliment! Blaster Bates defines an expert thus: "ex" is something that has been... "spert" is a drip under pressure.

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: alison
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:51 AM

we used to sing and play this one too... it was very similar to "In and out go the dusty bluebells"..., but in the bluebells one the line stopped behind someone standing in the circle and did a "tipper-ripper-rapper on her shoulder" verse... then that person joined the line and they went under the arches of everyones arms...

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:52 AM

By the way, I wasn't being sarcastic, Peter T, it does somewhat describe me! We definitely didn't fall over in our version of the game. Not on purpose, anyway. I'm desperately trying to relive my playground days now. Must be a sign of encroaching senility.

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 02:56 AM

Do you know, Alison, I couldn't get "In and out the Dusty Bluebells" out of my mind with this.Thanks for the mental jog. I think we used to do a similar sort of thing as before, but not by a wall. I think it was done at a half-run in the middle of the playground. What happened when we all had our arms crossed completely escapes me!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 03:36 AM

Ps - didn't the "dusty Bluebells" go to the tune of Bobby Shafto? I have just dug out an ancient copy of the Opie book which someone gave me years ago. Interesting. It was first published in the year I can first remember doing these rhymes. I can't find the Big Ship in it. Where do I look? I have found some variations of a skipping game we had to "Manchester Guardian,Evening News; Our back door goes Flip-Flap-Flooze". And on Flooze, the skipper bobs down and stays down while the twiners carry on at head height. The rhyme is repeated, and on Flooze the rope is swung down and the (stationary and crouching) skipper has to bob up and carry on. Going now before I get carried away.

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: alison
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 07:51 AM

Yep... like a cross between Bobby Shaftoe and London Bridge is falling down .. (I think the last line of each verse was "My fair lady")...

the one with the crossed arms.... you're not thinking of "Red Rover, Red Rover we call....... over"? then someone had to charge and try to break through the arms?... I'm sure we had a thread on this before.... can't remember the name..

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 10:27 AM

the Opies have different books -- this one is called "The Singing Game". yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 10:39 AM

For what it's worth, AndyG's version is what I remember from about 50 years ago in Birmingham (UK).The falling down at the end seemed to be the whole point!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: roopoo
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 01:33 PM

Could be it. I was looking in "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren" originally published 1959. I have the really up to date 1973 reprint!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:16 PM

Hmmm, I learned this as:

O the big ship sails along the alley alley o, etc.

I use the leaf version for the Maypole at Spring Fling (Earth Day + Arbor Day + May 1.) I love teaching kids these play-party games which are their heritage but they never heard of. They love 'em.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN AND OUT THE DUSTY BLUE BELLS
From: running.hare
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 06:44 PM

IN AND OUT THE DUSTY BLUE BELLS

(children form a circle, hold hands & raise arms to form arches.. except for 1 child who 'skips' in & out of the arches)

"In and out the dusty blue bells,
In and out the dusty blue bells,
In and out the dusty blue bells,
who will be my partner?

(child stops behind nearest person in the circle)

pitter patter pitter patter on her (/his) shoulders
pitter patter pitter patter on her (/his) shoulders
pitter patter pitter patter on her (/his) shoulders
You shall be my partner."

(the child who has been patted on shoulders lets go from the circle, & joins 1st child weaving in & out. song starts again & so it goes on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 01:28 PM

And for what it`s worth, in the North of Ireland 60 years ago, we also sailed through the Aily illy o, and Dusty Bluebells was around as well. Strange how these childrens games transferred across to Ireland. Can any Dublin or Cork catters confirm. Game boy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: running.hare
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 05:46 PM

My Guides had a great time doing both bigship, & bluebells tonight, & even whent on to oranges and lemons. Thx guys for the insperation :)

Now I just need to find a local caller / mucians who whouldn't mind volentearing their time for 1 evening ;)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 06:29 PM

"A Big Ship Sailing," performed by the Clancy Children, appears on "So Early in the Morning: Irish Children's Songs, Rhymes & Games," Tradition CD #1053, 1997 (originally issued 1962). Click here for a description of the album at AMG.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 09:04 PM

Don't I remember this being sung in the background of a hit song (not Lowry's cats and dogs, but something similar) ?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 02:35 PM

There was a movie back in the 1950's (I believe) that had children singing this as the main musical theme. That's all I remember of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joe in the'pool
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM

Hi there, My thoughts on the 'alley O' was that ships where built 'at the bottom of the streets near the docks' and when you looked down the street it resembled an alley! areas in the UK that spring to mind are. Liverpool, Sunderland, Newcastle, Glasgow, etc. etc. So 'the big ships sailed down the alley alley O' was probably made by kids somewhere in these regions? Just a slightly educated guess but as valid as any I think!

Peace and Love Joe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,tommy liverpool
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 06:52 PM

In Liverpool this song is regarded as being of Liverpool origin. This may or may not be true. The manchester Shp canal starts from the Mersey, but alley was always viewed as being the alleys down to the mersey.

The 50's film was a taste of honey featuring Rita Tushingham. The song was sung by Liverpool School Children


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 07:19 PM

I understood the Clancy's word for snails as "shell-a-kie (?spelling)Boogies" I wondered if this name related to the type of mischievous, sometimes dangerous, supernatural beings called variously bogies, boogles, bug-a-boos, bogeys. - snails being a shelled variety - but I've never been able to confirm this. My Irish frieds just said they called them snails.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 07:53 PM

The movie which has this song at the begining and end is: "A Taste of Honey" (and a very brief taste it is too!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 08:03 PM

"A Taste of Honey." Yes, more bitter than sweet.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 09:10 PM

Lizabee, I spent many years as leader of a girls' group. I taught them lots of Play-party dance-games and the great thing is - You don't need musicians - you do the singing and handclapping yourselves and the moves are easy. (American Play-party games evolved partly because of a parental ban on dances and on musicians - whose influence was percieved as being corrupting). The kids pick them right up and teach you if necessary. Once I even taught them to several deaf children who translated the words into signs and taught the rest of the group how to sign. A very quiet night we had with lots of fun.
I am currently teaching them to elderly people because being self-paced these dances are perfect for people with limited mobility. We do versions of the Virginia reel as well as the more simple dances - all to our own accompanyment.
Be brave you can all learn together.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Brakn
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 09:30 PM

"A Taste of Honey."

Wasn't that set in Salford?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 10:07 PM

"Who will be my partner?" - in the Dusty Bluebells. My wife reacalls it as "Who will be my leader?". That's from London, probably a slightly different game.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Alec in Donegal
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 05:27 PM

Ringo Starr obviously knew it, scouse-wise, it came out as 'We all live in a Yellow Submarine...'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 05:58 PM

Salford was the location for "Taste of Honey" alright.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 02:02 PM

Joybell

I don't know how to spell it either - but could say it clearly to you!The second word probably relates to the "pooka" (anglicised spelling) rather than "boogey", a mischievous spirit. I'l see if I can check the origin.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 AM

OK. Nothing to do with spirits at all!
"Seilide búrca" (various spellings but pronounced roughly: shell-id-eh boork-ah)is an Irish (Gaelic)word for a snail. Because it was used in a children's game at one stage, it still turns up among children bilingually, so to speak.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:48 AM

Aren't "pooka" and "bogey" cognate anyway?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Hamish
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:10 AM

I have been known to steal songs from the Scottish children's act The Singing Kettle. (Don't tell the adults I use 'em on: I don't think they suspect a thing!) and they do a version which includes:

"The big ship sails too high..." (sung falsetto)
"...too low..." (sung basso)
"...too fast..." (um, allegretto)
"...too slow..." (um, slowly)

which is kinda fun with the right sort of attitudes all round


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:12 AM

What about "too flat" and too sharp" as well?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Joybell
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:31 AM

Oh Martin what a disapointment. How boring. Thanks though it's as well to know before we start a silly rumour. I've wondered for about 40 years about them.

McGrath, Haven't you watched "Harvey"? I love Harvey! He is a giant rabbit and he calls himself a Pooka. He's not what my Fairies book calls a Pooka, but how can you not believe Jimmy Stewart. My Faerie book says a Phooka/Phouka is a nastier being than a Boogle or Boogie, but it doesn't mention rabbits at all. It is an Irish form of Puck, aparently, and a sort of shaggy ponyish or bovinesque animal.
My Dear one says that in Irish the "h" would not be there and it should be Pooka. Take a look at "Harvey" anyway it's a wonderful film.
                                                    Regards Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 12:25 PM

In ancient times, a pook was believed a bad spirit. When things went wrong, however, you could save yourself from further exposure to such bad luck by the naming the spirit aloud. Unfortunately, as soon as you opened your mouth to name it, you ran the risk of the spirit entering your body and giving you permanent ill fortune. This could be countered by placing the fingers in the mouth prior to saying the name. Of course, our ancestors were'nt as keen on the anti-bacterial soap as we are, so stuffing filthy fingers in the mouth brought on more bad luck in the form of illness--clever folks they were though, they devised a way to pronounce the word 'pook' and make it sound as though the fingers were in the mouth when in fact they were not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 07:16 PM

McGrath

Yes, very probably! I was just speculating that if there were an Irish connection it would be likely to be with "púca", rather than "bogey/boogey".

regards


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Subject: Childrens' song or rhym from WW2
From: GUEST,Joy
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 03:22 AM

I was evacuated from London during the War to the Isle of Man and there the children were always singing something like "We don't want to bomb all the bombardies, bomb all the bomardies...etc. We are the King's Navee". As far as I remember it was an endless song and we went through all the Forces.
Anybody remember it ??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 08:51 AM

"The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea"
Seems to rule out a canal(unless it was after the end of the canal)
My nan (who's family were all either dock workers or in the Merch) always led me to believe it was the Atlantic that was being refered to, I have no proof of this only hearsay of course.
This would also rule out the theory that it is a nonsense song. There seems often to be a rush to assume children's songs are nonsense. However, as we know quite a few are based in fact although using words that MAY not quite make sense.

OB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM

Beautiful timing, thread refreshed "On the last day of September"!

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 04:04 AM

I always thought that the ally O referred to the Atlantic Ocean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Malcolm on the Wirral
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 06:41 PM

I am sure there is a tie up between the River Mersey and The Manchester Ship Canal and I have heard that the Ally Ally O is where the two join.
It was sung by a childrens' choir as a backing to The 1978 hit by Brian and Michael about L S Lowrie entitled 'Matchstick Mem and Matchstick Cats and Dogs'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Bill,Newfoundland, Canada
Date: 19 May 07 - 07:32 PM

In the 1940s,when I was a child, we played a circle game while singing "The big ship sails through the ILLY ALLIE O. One person would start to weave under the arms of the two people next to him and all other players would follow. When all had weaved through, the leader would reverse the movement and eventually (after a lot of confusion and laughing) the original circle would be reformed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Anne
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 04:56 PM

Evacuated to Penarth we played the alley, alley-o in the playground of
Victoria Girls' School (1940 - 1945) Happy memories! Remember me anyone?
I used to play the hymns in Assembly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 11:19 AM

Interestingly, the version round my way as a kid had a different date:

'........on the fourth day of September'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,David
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:51 AM

It was the song that introduced the wonderful Tony Richardson film "A Taste of Honey". I had never heard of it until that film and it has been sailing happily around my head on odd occasions ever since


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 04:09 AM

I sort of learned this song from my mum back in the sixties. We were in London, and I think the only link is that the last day of September is my birthday!    As a now longtime resident of Liverpool I'd be interested to know if it is from here!


All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:24 PM

Does anyone have the chords for this song?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 03:01 AM

In the dentist's today a (very) young mum had had brought her (I guess) 12 or 18 month old daughter, The little one (not olde enough to talk properly) was happy as larry in the play area pushing a plasic bus round and singing at the top of her voice "big shi ally alley o as ay ast ay ao ep ember"

Mum looked young enough to be my grandaughter and I was fascinated to see our culture so demonstrably being passed through the gerenerations. I learned the song as a child from my mother (a native of Liverpool, and graduate of the university of life) more than sixty years ago.

Looking for the origins of the song I ended up here.

From what I can see it has connections with shipping, and ties in to Liverpool especially, possibly tyneside too. Some associate it with the Manchester ship canal that linkes the cotton industry in Manchester with the sea, and that could be so, regarding the canal as a new form of "alley"

I was interested by the suggestion from martin above that the alleo might be shorthand for the Atlantic Ocean, and for my own contribution, I could easily see it as a shanty used to mark time by sailors working the ropes on rigged ships. Given the connection with Liverpool and the Atlantic, and the references to sinking and drowning, I suspect it pre-dates the ship canal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 03:18 AM

Extra bit:
The Atlantic crossing can be rough, especially in winter, and I've just read a suggestion that the last day of September is about the turn of the weather, so any ship's captain delaying sailing across the Atlantic Ocean until then would be at risk of bad weather, and thus his crew would be more at risk on the crossing.

Gut instinct says it was a sea shanty used to mark time by sailors on rigged trading ships crossing the Atlantic, and taught by old salts to their grandchildren and turned it into a game that may or may not have origins in the rope moving through ship fittings, as a line of children move under the arns of another, echoing the movement of the rope.

And generations later, a child in a dentist unwittingly recalls her genetic origins in song. Nice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Skate
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 11:32 PM

Wow - nice to see a thread going for so long. I was at home in Ireland with my young kids, and we were trying to recall the words of this song - so googled it and got this page. Now I can continue the 'bealoideas' with my kids, despite the Liverpool connection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,karrie
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM

My Great Great Great Grandmother had another 2 verses in her journal of the Big ship song.
they were;
The crew got sick on the alley alley o
The alley alley o, the alley alley o,
The crew got sick on the alley alley o,
On the last day of September.

The captain said paint a cross upon the sail,
A cross upon the sail, A cross upon the sail,
The captain said paint a cross upon the sail,
On the last day of September.


Then the it says the next verse as the never never do one!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 05:57 PM

I don't know why you are all claiming it for Liverpool. We certainly sang it (hand against the wall) in London in the 40s.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLLY, HOLLY, HO
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 10:21 PM

From First Year Music: Rote Songs for Kindergarten and First Year by Hollis Dann (New York: American Book Company, 1914)—where there is a musical score for voice and piano:


THE HOLLY, HOLLY, HO

The big ship sails thro' the Holly, Holly, Ho!
Holly, Holly, Ho! Holly, Holly, Ho!
The big ship sails thro' the Holly, Holly, Ho!
On the last day of December!

Children form a circle, joining hands and singing. One child, representing a ship, runs in and out, stopping at the end, in front of another child. The one chosen now represents the ship. The game may be continued in this way until all have been chosen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,MargaretS
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 08:07 AM

In the 1950's at school in Bolton, Lancashire we sang:
"The big ship sails through the alley alley Oh ,
The alley alley Oh,
The alley alley Oh.
The big ship sails through the alley alley Oh on the last day of September."
We all held hands in a line with the first child holding his hand against a wall to form an arch. As we sang the line of children moved under the arch as others on here have described. The child nearest the wall would turn around as the line had threaded through so that his arms were crossed in front of him. The line would then go under his arm furthest from the wall and the arm of the child next to him and so on until the whole line had arms crossed in front of them. Then the first and last would join hands and the whole circle would move their folded, joined arms from side to side chanting : "Queen Queen Caroline dipped her hair in turpentine. turpentine to make it shine. Queen Queen Caroline. She went to the river to have a swim and their she met her Uncle Jim. "How do you do! How do you do! and how do you do again!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Bridget
Date: 03 Feb 10 - 08:36 PM

I am writing a book of my life's experiences and am currently writing about my early days at school in Berkshire. We used to sing this song The big ship sails..... in the plaground with the actions but our manner of the departure of the ship wasn't dated but rather 'The big ship sails through the alley alley oh on a cold and frosty morning.I wanted to check on the rest of the verses so googled the song and was quite taken aback by all the comments.
I suppose by the time the song got down to the south of England it's hardly surprising that the words might have changed slightly. I have been fascinated by everybody's comments. Thankyou so much. By the way I am now living in Australia!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Rescue Shrek
Date: 14 Feb 10 - 09:44 AM

So back to the quesion... Does anyone have the chords for this song? I've been searching every where to no joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Sue
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 01:07 AM

I thnk the dusty bluebells were in fact dusky bluebells which makes more se3nse to an adult although children would be more familiar with the word dusty and probably adopted that as the proper word.
I have taught both this and "the big ship sails through the illy ally oh" to kids in school in Jordan and in Qatar, so its alive and well internationally.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Guest Max
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 06:39 AM

I was just planning my civil ceremony and can't have the date in September I would like, but wanted a memorable one and thought of this song and 'the last day of September' so looked this song up as it sparked some memories.   My wonderful mum taught this to me in the 1960's - 1970's and she was from The Mumbles in Swansea, South Wales. She was born in 1938 and I'm guessing learnt it at school herself in Wales. I'm sure our version went 'the good ship' not the big ship. I can't ask her as sadly she is no longer with us. I think we sang it at school too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,me
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 11:20 PM

the film was a taste of honey
B


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,ursula
Date: 16 May 10 - 10:33 PM

I am in the USA was born in the uk and am actually a resident of AUS I was looking for the lyrcs of this song as it came to me while I was rocking my baby to sleep. I will definitely teach it to her and the game and who knows where she will take it. I remember playing it in the playground when I was little


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Angela
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 04:05 PM

We used to play this game and sing the song when I was in primary school in Canada. Far away from the sea, we always played it on the first day of the school year in September.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Sylv
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 01:57 AM

We also sang the big ship sailed through the alley alley oh.....

This was in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 1960´s.

I am now trying to translate the words into Spanish for a children´s spanish/english class.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Janne
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM

I saw the movie "A taste of honey" on Swedish television almost 40 years ago. I don't remember the movie, but "the alley alley oh" song has been stuck in my head ever since. Tonight I got the idea to look it up on the net and found this site.

Wonderful to see this thread stretching out into a third decade!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 04:12 PM

My mother (born in Glasgow in 1911) sang this as "The big ship sailed through the eely ally oh etc." -- and told me it meant the Kiel Canal, which might tie up with another verse she had which was "The Germans sank the Lusitania etc."
Needless to say that verse had disappeared by the time of my playground days in the 1950s!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 05:17 PM

We played 'The big ship sails through the alley alley oh' in Somerset in the 1950s, but no dusty bluebells - our version was 'In and out the windows' but the game was much the same, a ring of children holding up their arms to make arches and one going round, in and out of the arches, but I can't remembered what happened next.
There was also 'The Farmer's in his Den' with one child being the farmer, surrounded by a ring of children singing, followed by 'the farmer wants a wife' (a wife would be chosen from the ring of children, then 'the wife wants a dog' (a 'dog' would be chosen), then 'the dog wants a bone' (a 'bone' would be chosen), and 'we all pat the bone' (the circle breaks up and everyone attempts to pat the child chosen to be the 'bone'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Maureen Jaeche
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 04:02 AM

I live in Australia, was born in Liverpool UK and stayed there until I was nearly sixteen, am now closer to eighty than seventy, and googled the big ship, to try to find its origins. I'm sure it is an historical reference to the sinking of a sailing ship, but no luck on the origins. The last verse we sang when I was a small child was, We all jump down to the bottom of the sea. Whichever vessel it was, the Atlantic, the alley between the Americas and Britain, would seem to be correct, the date we sang was the 19th of September.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 06:37 AM

I heard or read somewhere that it was French in origin - "Illy" was Ile and "o" "eau" .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Rumncoke
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 01:03 PM

When this was played in the playground in Barnsley now in South Yorkshire, at the end the leader closed the circle by taking the hand of the girl at the wall so that everyone was facing outwards with arms crossed in front of them, and then whirled the circle around - clockwise, faster and faster until someone lost their grip and that usually resulted in tripping and falling, lots of scraped knees and bruised heads.

I suspect that it might not have been the traditional way of ending the game and that the circling should have been done differently.

In 'the farmer in the dell' the farmer chooses a wife, who then chooses a child, who chooses a dog, who chooses a bone, and then everyone tries to pat the bone. That could get pretty rough too with the poor bone being battered rather than patted.

I think the verses had the big ship sails, rocks, flounders (should be founders I think) on the allie allie oh, then the Captain says this will never never do, then the big ship sinks to the bottom of the sea.

The movements were three steps and a swinging up and lowering of the joined hands

the big ship sails (three steps, turn towards centre of loop)
on the allie allie oh (raise and lower hands, turn to face in direction of travel)
on the allie allie oh (three steps, turn)
the allie allie oh (raise and lower hands, turn)

and so on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 03:10 PM

I alway knew the Dusty Bluebells as children's game and went as follows:

Also known as In and out of the Scottish bluebells or Dusky bluebells.

Everyone stands in a circle, holding hands and raising their arms to make a series of arches. One person is IT and skips in and out of the arches. At the same time, the circle sings:

In and out of the dusty bluebells,
In and out of the dusty bluebells,
In and out of the dusty bluebells,
I am your master

Then, the person who is IT stops behind a member of the circle and the circle sings:

Give a little pit-a-pat on her shoulder,
Give a little pit-a-pat on her shoulder,
Give a little pit-a-pat on her shoulder,
I am your master

Whoever has been patted on the shoulder stands behind IT and holds onto their waist.

They then skip in and out of the arches together while the circle sings, with the person behind holding on to the leader's waist.

The chain gets longer and longer until there are not enough people to form the circle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 03:15 PM

Just did a quick search and got the below, don't know if it's true or not:

Rhyme & History

THE BIG SHIP SAILS ON THE ALLY-ALLY-OH

The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh
The ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh
Oh, the big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh
On the last day of September.

The captain said it will never, never do
Never, never do, never, never do
The captain said it will never, never do
On the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
The bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea
On the last day of September.

We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea
The deep blue sea, the deep blue sea
We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea
On the last day of September.

The words of the Nursery Rhyme and children's song, 'The big ship sails... ' have been suggested by Kevin Dinnin. Little is known about the origins of the song, but we have speculated on possible origins

The big ship sails
Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

Nursery Rhyme Origins

The rhyme and song was often sang by children playing skipping games, the lyrics suited the ritual chants for children 'jumping in' the skipping ropes. Perhaps the term 'big ships' provide a clue to the origins.  The Manchester Ship canal was opened in 1894 and is the eighth-longest ship canal in the world, being only slightly shorter than the Panama Canal in Central America. The MSC was built for ocean-going ships - there were only six ships in the world too big to use the Ship Canal. These big ships started their journeys on the canal which led to the sea.  The Manchester Ship Canal connected Manchester, W England, with the Mersey estuary at Eastham, Birkenhead. Perhaps this is the origin of the song...

Info supplied by Kevin Dinnin
 


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 08:45 AM

When I was a kid in Newfoundland, we would "thread, thread, the grandmother's needle" - everyone holding hands, with the leader going under the arch of a person next to the wall. As we continued singing the leader would go under the second set of hands, then third, etc, until everyone was turned backward with their arms crossed. Then the two open people joined to make a circle, where everyone is holding hands arms crossed. We jumped up and down singing the "Big ship sails on the alley-alley-oh, the alley-alley oh-"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Big Ship Sails
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 15 - 04:42 PM

If Karrie is still around (March 09) your reference to the old journal version would have been extremely helpful here had you given us at least a rough date when it was written.

Going by other postings it would appear to predate the opening of the Ship Canal and the sinking of the Lusitania (1912), although a Lusitania version did definitely exist.

The tune is also used for a much older children's singing game 'Old Roger is Dead' and then of course it was adopted in WWI for the words of 'The Old Barbed Wire'.


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