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C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (PermaThread)

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Lyr Req: Tow Rope Girls (C Fox Smith) (3)


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Subject: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 11:32 AM

Many of us who sing sea songs have had our attention drawn to the fine sea poems of Cicely Fox Smith, primarily by Danny McLeod of Pinch of Salt. She published at least three books of sea poems: A Sailors Delight, Sea Songs & Ballads, and Full Sail in the 1920's. There may be even more sea poems lurking in her many other books of sea stories. Her poems reflect a keen appreciation for the sailor's life and the language that was used aft and forward. Although C. Fox Smith was thoroughly familar with traditional English folk tunes she apparently never set any of her poems to music, something which McLeod and his co-conspirator Alan Fitzsimmons have made efforts to correct in their CD Sea Boot Duff & Hand Spike Gruel. Tom Lewis and William Pint & Felicia Dale have also sung her poems, drawing their tunes from Fitzsimmons. And now (note added in 2009) some 70 of her poems have been adapted for singing and recorded.

I've been reworking three of the poems as songs, Shanghai Passage, Wool Fleet Chorus and Flying Fish Sailor and I'm curious to compare notes with anyone else of similar interest and experience. There are questions of editing to make the poems more singable, adding refrains or choruses, and selecting tunes. I would also love to hear that more of her sea poems have been discovered in her other publications.

I now have access to a time machine and have utilized it to make this upfront post:

If this is the first time you are viewing this thread, you will be interested to know that you can access more than 600 of C. Fox Smith's poems as originally composed, thanks to myself and Shantyfreak (Jim Saville), at the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website

Enjoy the discussion and feel free to contribute,

Charley Noble
      This is an edited PermaThread® to document the sources of the poem-songs of Cicely Fox Smith. This thread will be edited by Charley Noble. Feel free to post to this thread, but remember that all messages posted here are subject to editing or deletion.
      -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: MMario
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 11:57 AM

Would love to hear about it, hear the results etc. Unfortunatly don't have enough knowledge or talent to contribute.


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 12:44 PM

I got interested in her poetry through "150 Days Out From Vancouver," one of her poems that Tom Lewis set to music. Through the help of my wife (a librarian) I have determined that she wrote about 16 books of poetry. I've managed to acquire a few: Rhymes of the Red Ensign, Full Sail, Small Craft, and a few others I can't remember right now. Some libraries still have some of her work.


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 02:41 PM

Rhymes of the Red Ensign! Sounds like a promising lead. I'm currently trying out "Limehouse Reach" from Full Sail to a tune adaptation of Archie Fisher's "Witch of the Westmereland."


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: nutty
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 03:22 PM

Wool Fleet Chorus has been put to music by Barry Temple and recorded by Salt of the Earth on the CD TOMORROW'S TIDE


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 04:11 PM

Ahoy, Charlie;

Isn't that where "Shanghai Brown" came from?

I can't seem to find him on database or forum search, and would like to have lyrics and chords for it (as I may have mentioned at the Observatory gathering). Score would be nice but I think I remember enough of the melody line to fake it pretty well - it's a right nifty piece!

I'd like to experiment with some harmony on O'l Shanghai; I notice you capo your 5-string right up tight, there, perhaps leaving some room for a Bass or maybe even a Baritone to chug along somewhere in the audible space underneath(?) which might be to good effect.

BTW I put up the 2 posters you issued me in the Post Office and Shop-n-Save here in Yarmouth. If you send more or send a graphix file attachment I can print up, can no doubt find a few more spots to tack 'em up. As much fun as we had the last time, an audience might be nice... not to mention helping to pay the overhead!


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 05:10 PM

Bob Zentz has set a number of her poems, often to variants of traditional tunes. Get in touch with him to exchange idea and such at ZENTZFOLK@aol.com.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 05:34 PM

Wool fleet chorus is a great song and it's a great CD. Are Salt of the Earth now defunct? Danny and Joyce were at Warwick. The Keelers are one of my all time favorite groups and the C Fox Smith songs adapted by Fitz are wonderful.


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: ChanteyMatt
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 07:34 PM

I actually found a novel by C Fox in the rubble of a fire. Nothing great but she did try her hand at most forms of writing. I also have a treatise (don't know what else to call it) by her on the Cuttysark.

I've set her poem "London River" to music with mixed results. I'd love to find more.


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: John P
Date: 07 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM

It looks like William Pint has used a few of C. Fox Smith's poems in his songs:

"Tow Rope Girls", with a traditional melody, on the Port of Dreams album.
"Sou' Spain", with a melody by William, on Making Waves.
"The Tryphina's Extra Hand", with a melody by Bob Zentz, on Round the Corner.
"Blue Peter", with a melody by William, also on Round the Corner.

They have all the lyrics of all their recordings posted on their website. You could take a look at what changes, if any, he made to the poems to make them fit the music. You could also communicate with him via the website to see if he has any useful insights for you.

John Peekstok


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Subject: Add: Shanghai Passage (C. Fox-Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 10:18 AM

Nice feedback! Now when is someone going to collect her sea poems and republish them so that ordinary mortals can access them?

Uncle Jaque - "Shanghai Brown" is more correctly titled "Shanghai Passage" and I'll e-mail my correct edition to you as an attachment; it's a wonderful song that I envision a group of Shanghai's buddies singing at their favorite hangout after a hard night's work.

The tune I use for "Wool Fleet Chorus" is adapted from "The Diamond"; the poem really needs a hard-driving tune.

For "Flying-Fish Sailor" I've been used a varient of the contradance tune "Cold Frosty Morning" which seems to keep that one moving along.

I feel a strong need to pick fast paced tunes for many C. Fox Smith's poems so they don't turn into dirges, but that's a matter of personal taste. I am probably more radical in my word changes, which could also raise questions. Here's an example of what I do with "Shanghai Passage":

SHANGHAI PASSAGE
(Original poem by C. Fox Smith in Sailors Delight Adapted by Danny McLeod as recorded on Seaboot Duff & Handspike Gruel Further adapted by Charlie Ipcar 2001 Tune: adapted from Goin' 'Cross the Mountain/Goin' Where the Chilly Winds Don't Blow G(7/C))
Chorus:

 C        F  C       G      C 
"Shang-hai Brown, Shang-hai Brown!"
G C F C F C F G
The Skipper o' the Har-vest Moon is ramp-in' 'round the town! (2X)
G

C F C G C
Yes, He's lookin' for some sailormen, to beg, steal or borrow –
G C F C F C F G
There ain't no way he can get a crew, an' he wants to sail tomor-row.
C F C G C
"Prime seamen's ve-ry scarce just now, but you've laid your money down,
G C F C F G
I'll send my touts an' run-ners out," says Shanghai Brown.

Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!
I'll send my touts an' runners out, says Shanghai Brown!

He rakes in men both high and low; he gets both black an' white;
He's got the Lauderdale's port watch that only berthed las' night;
He's got a brace of farmhands with hayseed in their hair;
He's got a bridegroom an' bestman, for what does Shanghai care?

Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!
He's got a bridegroom an' bestman, out from 'Frisco Town!


An' he's shipped 'em in the Harvest Moon, the toughest packet goin';
That never gets a sailorman, to sign aboard her knowin';
With a hardcase drivin' skipper, an' a brusin' bucko mate,
By the Shanghai Passage, through the Golden Gate.

Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!
By the Shanghai Passage, out from 'Frisco Town!


Yes, they'll wonder in the mornin', what they drank last night;
An' they'll wonder just what hit 'em, if they show an ounce of fight;
They'll be scoffin' seaboot duff; they'll be suppin' handspike gruel,
An' dodgin' the belayin' pins, an' cursin' Shanghai cruel.

Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!
They'll be dodgin' the belayin' pins, out from 'Frisco Town!


But there's one won't wake nor wonder, nor scoff no grub at all;
Nor drag his achin' bones along, to tally on the fall;
Nor jump to please the toughest mate, New England ever bred;
Nor stand no trick nor look-out, an' for why? – Because he's dead!

Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!
Nor stand no trick nor look-out, out from 'Frisco Town!


"Shanghai Brown, Shanghai Brown!"
The Skipper o' the Harvest Moon is rampin' 'round the town!

An' he's lookin' for some sailormen, to beg, steal or borrow –
There ain't no way he can get a crew, an' he wants to sail tomorrow;
"Prime seamen's very scarce just now!" says Shanghai Brown;
So he's took and shipped a corpse away, out from 'Frisco Town!


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Subject: ADD:Limehouse Reach (C. Fox Smith Sea Poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 10:27 AM

Here's another poem with very minor word changes. The tune started as Shady Grove, parts of it changed to Witch of the Westmereland, and then most of it finally morphed into a version of Lady Margaret where I think it'll stick. I like the song as an alternative to Cyril Tawney's Sally, Free and Easy; if you copy and past this back into Word in Times Font the chords should be closer to their correct position:

LIMEHOUSE REACH
(By C. Fox Smith in Full Sail, © 1926 Tune: adapted by Charlie Ipcar from Lady Margaret

G--F-G------------------D7----G-----F
Oh, I fell in love with a Lime-house lass,
----G--------D7-----G--C
But she has proved un-true;
----G--------------------------D7--G
She looked as fresh as a fi-gure-head
-------F----------G----F---G
That's just been paint-ed new;
------F-----G--------------------D7--G----F
Now she's took and married a keel-boat-man,
--------G-------D7-G-C
So it's time for me to go:
-------G----------------------------D7-G
But I would have loved you so, me dear,
--F------------G---F------G
I would have lov-ed you so!


Oh, a shake o' the foresheet pays for all
That a sailor leaves behind,
For an alehouse shot, and a friend forgot,
A sweetheart false or kind;
Now the bloomin' mudhook's off the ground,
And it's time for us to go:
But I would have loved you so, me dear,
I would have loved you so!

It's a long good-bye to Limehouse Reach,
And a last good-bye to you;
A feller's a fool to die for love,
Which I don't mean to do;
There's girls as smart in every port
From here to Cal-la-o:
But I would have loved you so, me dear,
I would have loved you so!

But I would have loved you so, me dear,
I would have loved you so!


Some may object to fitting Southern Appalachian tunes to nautical poems but there is a long tradition of doing that as with "Handsome Molly."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: radriano
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:49 PM

Dave Webber wrote a lovely melody for Limehouse Reach - it's on the album Constant Lovers which he recorded with Anni Fentiman.

C.F. Smith books are still around here and there. A copy of one of her books turned up at a used book store near my house with a price of only twelve dollars!


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:06 PM

Thanks, Richard. I'll see if I can track down Constant Lovers.


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Subject: RE: BS: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: radriano
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 11:48 AM

Yes, Ickle, Salt of the Earth have disbanded.

Charlie, there are a couple more C.F. Smith poems set to music on an album by the Keelers whose band members are the same as those of Pinch o' Salt with one additional voice. The album is titled On The North Sea Ground and the two Fox poems are On The North Sea Ground and So Long. As in Pinch o' Salt, Alan Fitzsimmons wrote the melodies which I think are excellent. You can find all the albums I've mentioned at the Chanteycabin website. Click on the link below to get to it:

Chanteycabin

Richard


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 03:25 PM

Richard, I like many of Alan Fitzsimmons' tunes for C. Fox Smith poems. The real test, however, will be if they survive as these poems circulate among the nautical folk crowd. As I mentioned above I find Alan's tune for "Shanghai Passage" too blues like for a sea song but then what do I do but kick it up to the Southern Appalachians. Still, it's my current favorite song to play with even if the rest of Roll & Go thinks it's too long.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,GUEST: Hank Lay
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:56 PM

I stumbled on your thread in a Google search on C. Fox Smith, as I'm learning one of her poems set to music, "A Dog's Life" from "Six Sea Songs" by Michael Head (c)1949 by Boosey & Co. Ltd. Sure like to find a biography of her, since of all the sites I've visited, the most I can find is that "Miss Cicely Fox Smith" was "...a fascinating woman." She seems to have written not only poetry but books and magazine articles, descriptions of clipper ships, all sorts of things both nautical and not. Anything further would be most appreciated.

Hank Lay henry.p.lay@boeing.com


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 03:44 PM

Hank - you're right, she's a fiscinating woman and an excellent sea poet. The most biographical information I've seen was pulled together by Danny McLeod in his introduction of SEABOOT DUFF & HANDSPIKE GRUEL, a minibooklet that goes along with a recording of the same name performed by "Pinch of Salt." His mailing address is Elm Lodge Main Road Ryton, Tyne & Wear, NE 40 3AJ UK.

With a little luck you should be able to purchase working copies of some of her three principal sea poem books on the Bookfinder.Com website.

Her sea poems will be featured at a workshop at the Mystic Sea Music Festival in Mystic, CT, in early June.

What are the titles of the poems you have found in the book you have?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: lamarca
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 03:49 PM

Hank, one of your best bets for info on Cicely Fox-Smith would be to email Bob Zentz at the address Sandy Paton gave above: zentzfolk@aol.com

Bob has really gotten into collecting Fox-Smith's poetry and prose books and is trying to learn about her background - there is evidently no biography of her, and there are chunks of her life while she was off at sea that no-one knows about. She actually sailed on working boats, and worked as an ambulance driver on the front during WWI (as did Robert Service).

She was a very prolific writer, and it's a shame that her work hasn't been re-published - it's beautiful!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 04:29 PM

And no one's mentioned Home Lad's Home which never fails to crack me up, by which I mean bring me to tears. I don't think I'd dare sing it.

And thanks to Dave Bryant for setting me right about the author of it being a woman. Sarah Morgan who put the tune to it also appears to have assumed Fox-Smith was a man, and I made the mistake from her sleeve notes. People forget about the women ambulance drivers in the Great War.

One interesting point about that song is that the first line in the original, and on the record Sarah made says "Overseas in India" - but nowadays everyone seems to sing it as Flanders, which is far more powerful. What a difference a change of place name makes.

The only song I know to put beside it is Dancing at Whitsun


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM

My partner & I are avid CFS fans.
We currently have in excess of 30 books between us that Cicely has written & also some she edited.
There are at least another 20 out there!
Truely a remarkable lady, not really appreciated in her own time.
I often wonder what she would of made of our appreciation now?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:03 PM

McGrath

This probably belongs on a separate thread, but there are several more songs by more recent songwriters about WW1, all with specific local roots, which crack me up, including The Antelope (Mick Ryan), 13 Florins on the Bar (Mike Sparks), "The Sergeant said 'Son'" (Steve Thomason). And there's Les Sullivan's "Menin Gate", which reminds us that the number of sailors killed on land in Flanders exceeded those lost at sea.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:06 PM

I could have sword I'd posted the words to the C.F. Smith poem "Homeward" that became "Home, Lads, Home." Will keep looking to see if I can find it.

Madam Gashee, if there were a way to go back in time and meet people, C.F. Smith would be at the top of my list.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:21 PM

Found it!
(Note Danny said the chorus was actually the third verse in the poem, but it was second in the version he sent me.)

One day, I want to learn the song...well, I can't remember the name, and the CD's in the car, but it has the line "Hard, hairy sailormen with weathered, tanned faces." (And yes, I like the whole song, not just that line.)
Jeri forgot a closing quote on the link. I fixed it. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:52 PM

I'm with you Jeri.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 04:40 AM

If anyone manages to publish a collection of Fox-Smith poetry, I'd be first in the queue to buy it. As I've posted before, she had that skill of telling the story in the style and vernacular of the (fictional) narator - rather like Kipling managed in some of his poems. When did she die - wasn't it in the 1950's ? Doesn't that make her material out of copywright by now ?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 08:13 AM

She died 8th April 1954.

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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 08:49 AM

Same year I was born.

Old and New Tradition features Danny & Joyce McLeod, Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman, Johnny Collins, Lou Killen and Brian Watson.

Should a biography of C.F. Smith and/or a collection of her poetry become available, I'd buy it/them in a flash!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 09:23 AM

I now have 17 of her books in my possession, 2 more arrived this morning. "A Sea Chest" came from Iowa and "Adventures and Perils" from Connecticut. There's another 6 on order and then, in the words of Del Shannon, I'll have to "Keep Searchin'"
My credit card bill is due, something I'm not looking forward to. These books can COST!!!

Mike


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 09:39 AM

While I was recently in Oz, I made my way to the All at Sea nautical bookshop in Sydney and was told by the propriator there that he had recently sold a manuscript of C. Fox Smith sea poems, some not included in her books, with notes by her sister, to some collector; hopefully it was to a collector who will do something with it other than file it away. A pity that I hadn't arrived a month sooner.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 04:27 PM

I have a friend with a collection of approx 18+/-1 C Fox Smith books. He reckons she published about 27. There is one which he has called "Lancashire Hunting Songs and Other Moorland Lays" he has found no other reference to it anywhere. It was published in Manchester somewhere about 1905. Well being from Manchester, which is in Lancashire if you don't know your English geography. I sat down fascinated by this book, several times over a couple of days last September. I then came up with tunes to 4 of the poems. Something I have never done before. I guess where I am leading is, if I can do it anyone who wishes to probably can too. JohnB


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 06:48 AM

I counted 48 books with another couple where she just did the foreword. Lancashire Hunting Songs was first published in 1909.

Mike


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: ChanteyMatt
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 03:48 PM

Capt. Chris Flavel who operates "Sea Ocean Book Berth" here in Seattle, claims that all of the C.Fox Smith books can be had if you're willing to pay. Ain't that always the truth!


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Subject: ADD: Flying-Fish Sailor (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM

Here's another reworking of the C. Fox Smith sea poem "Flying Fish Sailor"; the tune is a variant of "Cold Frosty Morning", just one A-part and one B-part for you contradance fans (copy & paste into WORD/TIMES/12):

FLYING-FISH SAILOR
(By Cicely Fox Smith in Sea Songs & Ballads, © 1924; words slightly adapted by Charles Ipcar, © 2001; tune adapted from Cold Frosty Morning by Charles Ipcar, © 2001)

Dm-------------------------C----Dm
The Western Ocean roars and rolls
------C---------------------Dm-C
With all its deeps and all its shoals,
-----Dm-----------------------C---Dm
And many a thundering win-try gale,
-------------------------------C---Dm
And many a storm of sleet and hail;
--------------------------------C---Dm
But let who likes have rain and snow,
-----------G—C—G—Dm-F--C
And driv-ing fog and drift-ing floe,
----Dm---------------C---------Dm
For South away and Eastward Ho!
---------------------C-----------Dm
Is the road for the flying-fish sailor.

In Blackwall Dock our ship is moored,
Her hatches on, her stores aboard,
In Blackwall Dock she lies today,
And she'll sail out with the morning's grey –
For Sunda Strait and Singapore,
Palembang and Kuala Lumpur,
And many a swarming Eastern shore
That's known to the flying-fish sailor.

The girls they'll cry and the lads'll shout
As the sidewheel tug warps her out;
We'll drop the pilot off the Nore
With fond farewells to those ashore –
To mothers, wives and sweethearts too –
Love to Sally and love to Sue –
And that's the last for a year or two
You'll hear from the flying-fish sailor.

We'll slip the tow and bear away,
Down the Channel, across the Bay;
The Western Isles we'll leave behind
And cross the Line with the Trade Winds kind;
Then we'll watch the dolphins sport and play,
And haul our yards ten times a day,
While South'ard still we beat our way –
The way of the flying-fish sailor.

At Forty South when she swings past,
Her easting down she'll run at last,
Where the great whales swim in the far South Sea,
And the Westerlies blow full and free;
Those good old winds they bluster and blow
The same as they did years ago,
And the good old stars that we all know
Look down on the flying-fish sailor.

The darned old hooker will log sixteen,
She'll ship it heavy and ship it green,
She'll roll along with her lee-rail under,
While the big seas break aboard like thunder;
The pots and pans they'll carry away,
And the cook'll go down on his knees to pray,
But let the seas roar as they may,
All's one to the flying-fish sailor.

Next, old Sydney's Heads we'll see,
And greet a pal on Circular Quay;
We'll wave at Java Head as we go,
And Fuji's crest of frozen snow;
Then black-eyed girls in far Japan,
Wun Lee, Wang Ho and little Yo San,
With shining hair and twinkling fan,
Will smile on a flying-fish sailor.

When at last the day comes round,
We'll yank the mudhook from the ground,
And to old England we'll return,
Our pockets filled with pay to burn;
With a painted fan and an ivory comb
From foreign lands beyond the foam,
And a golden ring for the girl at home
That waits for the flying-fish sailor.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 06:06 AM

Here's the words to "Homeward" on which "Home, Lads Home" was based...

HOMEWARD

Behind a trench in Flanders, the sun was dropping low,
With tramp and creak and jingle I heard the gun teams go;
And some thing seemed to 'mind me, a-dreaming as I lay,
Of my old Hampshire village at the quiet end of day.

Home, lad, home, all among the corn and clover!
Home, lad, home when the time for work is over!
Oh, there's rest for horse and man when the longest day is done,
And they go home together at setting of the sun!

Brown thatch and gardens blooming with lily and with rose,
And the cool shining river so pleasant where he flows,
Wide fields of oats and barley, and elderflower like foam,
And the sky gold with sunset, and the horses going home!

Old Captain, Prince and Blossom, I see them all so plain,
With tasselled ear-caps nodding along the leafy lane,
There's a bird somewhere calling, and the swallows flying low,
And the lads sitting sideways, and singing as they go.

Well, gone is many a lad now, and many a horse gone too,
Of all the lads and horses in those old fields I new;
There's Dick that died at Cuinchy, and Prince beside the guns,
On the red road of glory, a mile or two from Mons!

Dead lads and shadowy horses --- I see them just the same,
I see them and I know them, and name them each by name,
Going down to shining waters when all the West's aglow,
And the lads sitting sideways and singing as they go.

Home, lad, home…with the sunlight on their faces !
Home, lad, home…to the quiet happy places!
There's rest for horse and man when the hardest fight is done,
And they go home together at setting of the sun!

Somehow the line "Going down to shinging waters" seems nicer than "While riding down to Swanmore" in the now well-known song.
Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman have covered a number of C Fox Smith's poems - if anyone wants their email address, just ping me and I'll pass it on.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 07:12 AM

So apparently "Home Lads Home/ Homeward" started out with "Flanders" in the first line, and was rewritten with "India" by some unknown person, who was probably a soldier stationed out there, and put in a magazine in that form. Then found by Sarah Morgan and made into a song still with "India".

And then moved back to Flanders by the people singing it? Either from instinct, or because someone went back and checked with the original?

Fascinating stuff. One thing I've wondered is whether "India" here actually means India itself, or whether it might possibly be a reference to some sector of the Western Front which was manned by Indian troops, and could have been given that as a nickname.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 09:41 AM

McGrath, no one sings the song with "Flanders" except Danny McCleod as far as I know.

The story from Danny and well as the words to the original poem, are in the thread I previously linked to.

Here it is again: Homeward


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: lamarca
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:45 AM

Jeri, Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman have started singing it with the Flanders line, too, now that the correct attribution is known - it makes it a more powerful piece, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 12:25 PM

I've think I've probably heard it with Flanders more often than with India, most recently last weekend when Dave Bryant gave us a powerful rendering during Stony Stratford.

It certainly seems to make a lot more sense that way, rather than starting with India, and then going to Flanders later on. It'd be intersting to find out how India came into it, and whether my speculation about it not actually being geographical India at all has anything in it.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: lamarca
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 02:47 PM

McGrath, my understanding is that the poem was reprinted in a magazine or newpaper for British foreign service or military personnel stationed in India (something like the USA's Stars and Stripes?) with the line changes that seemed to make it fit the audience better and without attribution. Sarah Morgan saw it there and did the tune setting; it was only fairly recently that someone actually traced it back to the C. Fox Smith original.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 03:19 PM

Danny speculated on how Flanders got replaced by India, and I posted that, as well as the name and date of the magazine in the thread about the song which I linked to a couple of times. There's stuff in there - trust me.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 04:20 PM

I did read that thread, with great interest - but I noticed that the reference to the rewriting (including India) was given as "possibly", and there was no indication of where the soldier in question might have been stationed that I saw.

Incidentally, here is an article about Indians who fought and died in Flanders.

I notice that the text gives Cuinchy as the place where "Dick" died, whereas it often seems to be sung as Givenchy, and the DT has it that way. Either would have ben quite possible, given their location - maybe is better known or something.

But Cuinchy deserves to be remembered. Here is a link to a site listing Victoria Cross winners - and there were four won at Cuinchy in 1915.

Here is a page with a photo of one of the Victoria Cross winners, Corporal O'Leary, a Canadian Irishman serving in the British Army, with an account of what happened:

"Lance-Corporal O'Leary was one of the storming party which advanced against the enemy's barricades. He rushed to the front and killed five Germans who were holding the first barricade, after which he attacked a second barricade 60 yards further on. This he captured after killing three of the enemy and taking two more of them prisoner. The lance-corporal thus practically took the position by himself and prevented the rest of the attacking party from being fired upon."


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 04:23 PM

Here is the link to the article in "The Hindu" about Indians in Flanders. My clicky went astray in the last post.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Hank Lay
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 08:06 AM

To Charley Noble:

Sorry it's taken me so long to answer your question; I've been out of town & off the Net. Your Q: What are the titles of the poems you have found in the book you have? ANS: Mine is "A Michael Head Song Album Volume III/Songs for Male Voices" (c1985,Boosey&Hawkes) and it contains only the one CFS work, "A Dog's Life", saying it's "from 'Six Sea Songs'. I've tried unsuccessfully to find that volume, to see if he'd set any more CFS poems to music. Don't know if it's out of print or if I've just not dug deep enough. Head (1900-'76) was almost a contemporary of Smith, and he wrote rather difficult but beautiful "art songs" as well as liturgical music. (Go to http://www.wargrave.net/stmarys/t2bcd.html and click on "The Singer" to hear a wonderful example.) He taught piano at the Royal Academy for most of his life, giving many recitals and concert tours, and composing mostly songs but also a few orchestral works. Surely he was familiar with much more of Smith's work, and probably wrote music for many poems, but I've yet to find it. HPL


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 09:17 AM

I mentioned a poem/song up above that I wanted to learn. I have the Pinch o' Salt CD, and I have the booklet that comes with it - I just can't find it!
(The booklet - I suspect I carefully separated it from my other music books so I could get at the words, and the booklet got sucked into the black hole that roams around my property. I'll find it again when I don't need it.)

If anyone has it in a book and could help me out...please?

It starts out:

Tall, rakin' clipperships, drivin' hell for leather
Swingin' down the forties in the eastern weather
.........
Bound for greater Frisco, not to be denied,
(more missing from brain) Those were the ships like Murphy used to sail in
Those were the ships he'd weathered many a gale in
.....
In the old days, the hard days
The done with mast and yard days
And ah, but they were grand days
The days when he was young.

...and the verse I referred to in my above post:

Hard, hairy sailormen with weathered, tanned faces
Hands bent from haulin' on sheets, tacks and braces
Brawn forearms tattered with strange devices
....
Those were the men like Murphy used to be with
Those were the sort of blokes he used to be with
...

Sorry there's so much missing from my head. I'll try to transcribe it from the CD at some point, but there are still words - mostly place names - I can't make out.

I don't know if I'll ever manage to sing the song because the tune has quite a wide range. I don't necessarily want to change it. The tune on the CD is perfect for the song. I listen to both words and tune and can vividly imagine the salt spray and wind, and feel the excitement of a way of life gone by, eloquently and passionately described by someone who had been there to experience it.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: radriano
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM

Jeri, here's the poem as it appears in the "Pinch 0'Salt" booklet:

Sailor's Delight

Tall raking clipper ships driving hell-for-leather,
Swinging down the Forties in the easting weather,
Old wooden Indiamen leaking like baskets,
With half their ratlines missing and rotten slings and gaskets;
Big fourposters out of Mersey and Clyde,
Bound for grain to 'Frisco, not to be denied,
Thrashing to the westward through the great Horn seas,
With a crowd of husky reefers and a dozen A.B.'s.

Those were the ships Mike Murphy used to sail in,
Those were the sort he weathered many a gale in,
Handed, reefed and furled in from Timor to the Tongue
In the old days, the hard days, the done-with mast and yard days,
(And 'ah, but they were grand days, them days when he was young!)


Seal oil, whale oil, ivory an' grain,
Lumber out of Puget Sound, an' wine out of Spain,
Deer's horns and jaggery they used to load at lost,
God-forsaken ports on the Coromandel coast..
Copra from the South Seas, coal out of Wales,
Copper ore, cinnamon, monkey nuts and nails:
Sweet cloves from Zanzibar, beans from Peru,
And a young white elephant consigned to the Zoo...

Those were the freights he sailed the world around with,
Those were the things he's been everything but drowned with,
Scorched an' soaked an' frozen from Cork to Chittagong,
In the sail days, the old days, the hungry days, the cold days,
(And 'ah, but they were fine days, them days when he was young!')


Hard hairy sailormen with weather tanned faces,
Hands bent with hauling on sheets, tacks, and braces,
Brawny forearms tattooed with strange devices,
And tough fingers skilled in cunning knots and splices...
Full of rum yarns and superstitious notions,
And odd bits of lingo from half a dozen oceans,
And many an old shanty, and old sailor song,
To while away a dog-watch, twenty verses long...

Those were the blokes Mike Murphy went to sea with,
Those were the sort of chaps he used to be with,
Shared his trick and whack with, laughed and swore and sung,
In the old days, the tough days, salt junk and leathery duff days,
(And 'ah but them was great days, them days when he was young!')



I hope I got all the codes right on this.
Cheers,
Richard

Fixed bold commands. (Changed to <b> and </b>) --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 04:18 PM

Well, I now have MP3 files of my adaptations of three C. Fox Smith poems:

Flying-Fish Sailor
Limehouse Reach
Shanghai Passage

Each one is about 1 mg in size, at a modest 32 kbts. I've recorded them directly into the computer via a Spirit Folio Notepad by Soundcraft – a new and exciting experience for myself, my partner, and our cat; the recording software is Cool Edit 2000. I've accompanied myself on 5-string banjo. I've also done a modest amount of adaptation with the lyrics, primarily to make them more singable.

I've already e-mailed copies to Danny McLeod and Bob Zentz but would be willing to do the same for a few other VERY interested people.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM

Radriano, somehow I missed it when you posted the words I'd requested. Thank you VERY much! (Sheesh, did I ever Mondegreen 'em!)


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 04:44 AM

I'm willing to be one of the few VERY VERY interested people!
If there's any chance? Please! Pretty please!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 07:57 AM

Madam Gashee-

Send me a PM with your e-mail address. I'll have to send you 3 separate e-mails because as I've said above each file is about 1 mg, and tends to clog vulnerable internet lines, such as the one I send things through.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: radriano
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 03:07 PM

My pleasure Jeri. I've gotten many a request for lyrics filled here at Mudcat and am happy to contribute when I can.

Richard


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,ScuttleBob
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 10:35 PM

I must say, it sure is encouraging to see all this interest in Ms. Smith's Works. I have enjoyed Her Poetry and Prose for a number of years-and began setting her poems to music with the first being-I believe,'Tryphina's Extra Hand'. Since then I have set some 30 or so of her works to tunes, both Traditional and Original, and am currently recording an Album with some of these.

As a collector of traditional songs herself, many of her poems seem to be natural spinoffs of already existing songs and Chanties. [try 'A Sailor's Life's a Dog's Life'-to 'Three Drunken Maidens' 'Tryphina...', to 'Risin' of the Moon', 'Racing Clippers'-to 'The Biggler and even 'The Eternal Femenine' to 'Old Orange Flute' or 'Portsmouth Road' to the Old Scots 'Mormon Braes' and perhaps you'll see what I mean.

At the heart of her Lyricisim is an astute sense of observation and interpretation of things Nautical - that is unequaled in the World of Maritime Verse. It continues to amaze me, therefore, that she goes basically unrecognized in World and English Literary Circles, when, at the least, she 'could' be the World's foremost female Maritime Poet. [any others you'd suggest?]

All that said, I'd just like to say thanks for all of your continued interest and repoire on this topic. Thanks, Charlie, for the mp3's. I'm happy to share any of the above mentioned Lyrics, with anyone out there...I look forward to hearing from any and all!...


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 01:43 PM

Ah, ha - "Scuttle Bob" is Bob Zentz! For a moment there I thought another C. Fox Smith admirer had surfaced.

I was talking with Craig Edwards today and he confirmed that Danny McLeod will be conducting a C. Fox Smith workshop at the Mystic Sea Music Festival (Mystic, CT), the second weekend of June (67 to 6/9). Who's attending besides me?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 05:20 PM

Danny & Joyce are old friends and have had many discussions with them RE CFS.
Trust me, their workshop on the lady's work is heartfelt, very well researched, most impressive & NOT to be missed.
I shall be seeing them next week, Danny will be delighted in the interest shown here in her work.
I'll be there, in Mystic, please come & say Sh'mae!


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Subject: ADD: So Long (C.Fox Smith sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 02 - 10:34 AM

In another thread I was mentioning how I had been swept away by another sea poem by C. Fox Smith, as sung by Joyce and Danny McLeod at a house concert in York, Maine. The tune reminds me somewhat of Bob Franke's "Hard Love" but buy their CD and draw your own conclusions. They use this song as a closing song, and it's certainly a fine one for that, although it generated an encore (Copy and repaste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

SO LONG
(Words by C. Fox Smith in Sea Songs & Ballads © 1924 As sung by The Keelers: On the North Sea Ground © 1998 Keel Music; Tune by Alan Fitzsimmons; Key: F (5/C))

Chorus:

C----------Am------------Dm
All coiled down, an' it's time for us to go;
G------------G7---------F-----------------C
Every sail's furled in a smart harbour stow;
--------------------Am--------Dm
Another ship for us, an' for her another crew –
----G---------G7---------F----------G-C
An' so long, sailorman, good luck to you!


Fun an' friends I wish you, till the pay's all gone –
Pleasure while you spend it, an' content when it's done –
An' a chest that's never empty, when you're back to sea,
An' a better ship than she's been, an' a truer pal than me. (CHO)

A good berth I wish you, in a ship that's well found,
With a decent crowd forrard, an' her gear all sound,
Spars a man can trust, when it comes on to blow,
An' no bosun bawlin' when it's your watch below. (CHO)

A good Trade I wish you, an' a fair landfall,
Neither fog nor iceberg, nor long calm, nor squall,
A pleasant port to come to, when the work's all through –
An' so long, sailorman, good luck to you. (CHO)

Danny and Joyce will be singing more C. Fox Smith sea songs at the upcoming Mystic Sea Music Festival.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: So Long-another C.Fox Smith sea poem
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 02 - 11:31 AM

Charley, I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have all our C. Fox Smith poems/songs in one thread. I hope you don't mind that I renamed this thread to "C. Fox Smith Sea Poems, Part 2." I see you did a great job on the original thread (click)
If you DO mind, I'll change it back.
-Joe Offer-

Parts 1 and 2 combined.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 02 - 02:56 PM

Fine by me, Joe.
Cheerily,
Charlie Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 31 May 02 - 04:43 PM

According to the schedule I received, CharleyNoble will also be performng at Mystic in this workshop.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 02 - 05:03 PM

That's true but the principal workshop leaders are, and should be, Danny and Joyce.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: Jeri
Date: 31 May 02 - 09:21 PM

Joe, you can move this as well. I didn't want to post it lyricless in the other thread. I think I got pretty close. The tune for the chorus and verses are pretty much the same.



MIDI file: SOLONG~1.MID

Timebase: 120

Name: So Long
Text: Alan Fitzsimmons
TimeSig: 2/4 24 8
Key: D
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0000 1 66 100 0120 0 66 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 64 100 0090 0 64 000 0000 1 66 100 0030 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 59 100 0180 0 59 000 0060 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 64 100 0120 0 64 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 59 100 0060 0 59 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 62 100 0120 0 62 000 0000 1 59 100 0060 0 59 000 0000 1 57 100 0180 0 57 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 66 100 0120 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 64 100 0090 0 64 000 0000 1 66 100 0030 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0060 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 59 100 0180 0 59 000 0060 1 64 100 0120 0 64 000 0000 1 64 100 0120 0 64 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 64 100 0120 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 62 100 0090 0 62 000 0000 1 64 100 0030 0 64 000 0000 1 62 100 0120 0 62 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here               


ABC format:

X:1
T:So Long
M:2/4
Q:1/4=100
K:D
F4A4|F2E2D2D2|E3FE2D2|B,8|E2E2E4|F2E2D2B,2|
D2D4B,2|A,6F2|F2F2F2A2|F4E2D2|E3FE2D2|B,8|
E4E4|F2E4D2|D3ED4||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for posting the midi, Jeri. I'm still in love with this song. What joy!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 10:05 AM

Here's the chorus Danny and Joyce prefer, rather than the one sung by The Keelers ( a group that Danny is a part of as well):

Chorus:

C----------Am------------Dm
All coiled down, an' it's time for us to go;
G------------G7---------F--------------C
Every sail's furled in a NEAT harbour stow;
--------------------Am--------Dm
Another ship for us, an' for her another crew –
----G---------G7---------F----------G-C
An' so long, sailorman, good luck to you!

Danny, at his Mystic Songs of the Sea Festival workshop, showed me his copy of C. Fox Smith's handwritten manuscript of sea poems and promised to send me a copy; there's sure to be some sea poems that she didn't publish or are unavailable because none of us can find them books. I had heard of this manuscript when I was talking to the manager of All at Sea Books in Sydney, Australia, and he mentioned that Danny had purchased it from him some two weeks before; you'll likely find Danny's tracks everywhere before you if you're actively searching. If you do turn up something special PM me, and I'll provide you with Danny's e-mail address so you can bring him up to date.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (Part 2)
From: radriano
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 06:42 PM

I've been singing the above noted song "So Long" at the shanty sings at San Francisco's Hyde Street Pier although I've never tried to accompany it. It makes an excellent a cappella number.


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Subject: Index: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,tradewinds@blueyonder.co.uk
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 09:39 AM

From Nobby Dye
I have found it immensely interesting to read the comments on C.Fox Smith,I would like to add some further information that collectors might find useful. She wrote many articles for various magazines e.g., The Sphere, Blue Peter, The Globe, Pall Mall, Punch, The Cunarder, nautical magazine, etc, etc, articles have been published in Sea Breezes about her, Folk on tap(with photograph)I have several of these articles and poems in my collection.
I came across an article which included a list of her known publications of which I have been able to add too *=in my collection

    1. SONGS OF A GREATER BRITAIN 1899 *
    2. THE FOREMOST TRAIL 1899
    3. WINGS OF THE MORNING 1904 (COPY IN Plymouth library naval reference collection England)
    4. LANCASHIRE HUNTING SONGS 1909*
    5. SONGS IN SAIL AND OTHER SHANTIES 1914*
    6. CITY OF HOPE 1914 (COPY IN Tasmania Library)
    7. SAILOR TOWN 1914 London 1919 N.Y.*
    8. THE NAVAL CROWN 1915*
    9. FIGHTING MEN 1916 *
    10.SMALL CRAFT 1917*(London)1919(n.y.)
    11.SINGING SANDS 1918(May be only intro?)
    12.SONGS AND SHANTIES 1914-1916*
    13.RHYMES OF THE RED ENSIGN 1919*
    14.SHIPS AND FOLKS 1920*
    15.PEREGRINE IN LOVE 1920
    16.ROVINGS 1921*
    17.SAILOR TOWN DAYS 1923(London)1923(Boston)*
    18.A BOOK OF FAMOUS SHIPS 1924(London)1924(Boston)*
    19.RETURN OF THE CUTTY SARK 1924(London) 1935(Boston)*
    20.SHIP ALLEY 1925(London)1925(Boston)*
    21.FULL SAIL1926(London)1926(Boston)*
    22.SEA SONGS AND BALLADS 1917-1922 1926(London)1926(Boston)*
    23.TALES OF THE CLIPPER SHIPS 1926(London)1926(Boston)*
    24.A BOOK OF SHANTIES 1927(London)1927(Boston)*
    25.A SEA CHEST 1927(London)1927(Boston)*
    26.ANCIENT MARINERS 1928*
    27.THERE WAS A SHIP 1929(London)1930(Connecticut)*
    28.SAIL HO 1931 (London) 1931(N.Y.)INTRO*
    29.THE THAMES 1931*
    30.SAILORS DELIGHT 1931*
    31.OCEAN RACERS 1931(London) 1932(N.Y.)*
    32.TRUE TALES OF THE SEA 1932*
    33.ANCHOR LANE 1933*
    34.ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN 1933*
    35.PEACOCK PRIDE 1934(With her sister Madge Smith)
    36.ADVENTURES AND PERILS 1936(London)1932(N.Y.)*
    37.THREE GIRLS IN A BOAT 1938 (With her sister Madge Smith
    38.ALL THE WAY ROUND 1938 *
    39.THE SHIP AGROUND 1940*(London)1940(N.Y.)
    40.THE VOYAGE OF THE TREVESSAS BOATS 1940*
    41.THE STORY OF GRACE DARLING 1940
    42.THAMESIDE YESTERDAYS 1945*
    43.HERE AND THERE IN ENGLAND WITH THE PAINTER BRANGWYN 1945*
    44.COUNTRY DAYS AND COUNTRY WAYS 1947*
    45.PAINTED PORTS 19489 (London)1948(N.Y.)*
    46.KNAVE- GO -BYE 1951 *
    47.SHIP MODELS 1951*
    48.SELDOM SEEN 1954 (With her sister Madge Smith)
    49.THE VALIANT SAILOR 1955(London)1951(N.Y.)*
    50.MEN OF MEN 1900(Poems of the Boer War)
    51.WAYFARING FOLK 1945?
    52.THE MAN BEFORE THE MAST (EDITOR)*
    53.YARNS OF AN OLD SHELLBACK 1925 (INTRO)*
    54.ALL CLEAR AFT 1936 (Includes short story PONTIFEX)*
ANY MORE I WONDER??

GOOD HUNTING, NOBBY


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Willa
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 03:01 PM

Went to harmony workshops at Whitby FF, led by Sarah Morgan, and we learnt CFS's Ryegrass and Clover, with additional words and music by Sarah. Sonded great sung in 4-part harrmony.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Charley Noble on the Road
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:09 PM

Nice work, Nobby. You should be comparing notes with Danny Macleod if you haven't already done so. When I get back home I'll see if I have anything missing from your list.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,tradewinds@blueyonder.co.uk
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 06:54 AM

From Nobby
A poem by C.Fox Smith From SONGS OF GREATER BRITAIN, © 1899, pp. 115-116.
PENMAENMAWR

Betwixt twin forts by nature plann'd
Slumbers the little drowsy town
While wooded heights, serene and grand,
Slope down to meet the sand
From uplands wild and brown

Far out to sea the vessels lie,
Where wild white steeds are leaping free,
And far as roves the wand`ring eye
There is no cloud in yon clear sky,
No shadow on the sea

Peace,sweetest peace on sea and land
Save when,upon the laughing breeze,
There floats across the gleaming bay
A sound of children at their play
Beside the sunny seas.

Peace,sweetest peace on sea and land
Lulling to rest the wearied brain,
Amid the mountains calm and grand,
Grey cliff,and sickle-sweep of sand,
And everlasting main.


Penmaenmawr being in North Wales, west of Llandudno, UK.

`A Sea Burthen`has been put to music by Jacqui Haigh a local Bristol songwriter and performed in Harmony on the CD`Rolling Home To Bristol`by The Harry Browns Of Bristol.

I have found her most interesting book to be ALL THE WAY ROUND Published by Michael Joseph London 1938; it is somewhat autobiographical in its beginning, where CFS realises a childhood dream of visiting Africa, partly inspired by her reading of Rider Haggard novels, the adventures of`Allan Quatemain`and seeing the painting`The Last Trek` by J.G.Millais. She was a student at the Manchester School Of Art, a contemporary of the Pankhursts. CFS refers to herself as being more militant than the militants of the future in the persons of the Pankhursts who were looked upon in those days as`REDS`and the most `Aggressive of Pro-Boers.` CFS stuffed sheaves of propaganda down the lavatory of the Manchester School Of Art, the story goes on. Keep searchin, Nobby


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Subject: ADD: British Merchant Service: C. Fox Smith
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 06:08 PM

This site has some interesting sea poems, including one by Fox-Smith.
-Joe Offer-


British Merchant Service
(Cicely Fox-Smith)

Oh, down by Millwall Basin as I went the other day,
I met a skipper that I knew, and to him I did say:
"Now what's the cargo, Captain, that brings you up this way?"

"Oh, I've been up and down (said he) and round about also . . .
From Sydney to the Skagerack, and Kiel to Callao . . .
With a leaking steam-pipe all the way to Californ-i-o . . .


"With pots and pans and ivory fans and every kind of thing,
Rails and nails and cotton bales, and sewer pipes and string . . .
But now I'm through with cargoes, and I'm here to serve the King!

"And if it's sweeping mines (to which my fancy somewhat leans)
Or hanging out with booby-traps for the skulking submarines,
I'm here to do my blooming best and give the beggars beans!

"A rough job and a tough job is the best job for me,
And what or where I don't much care, I'll take what it may be,
For a tight place is the right place when it's foul weather at sea!"

. . . . . . . . . . . .

There's not a port he doen't know from Melbourne to New York;
He's as hard as a lump of harness beef, and as salt as pickled pork . . .
And he'll stand by a wreck in a murdering gale and count it part of his work!

He's the terror of the fo'c's'le when he heals its various ills
With turpentine and mustard leaves, and poultices and pills . . .
But he knows the sea like the palm of his hand, as a shepherd knows the hills.

He'll spin you yarns from dawn to dark -- and half of 'em are true!
He swears in a score of languages, and maybe talks in two!
And . . . he'll lower a boat in a hurricane to save a drowning crue.

A rough job or a tough job -- he's handled two or three --
And what or where he won't much care, nor ask what the risk may be . . .
For a tight place is the right place when it's wild weather at sea!

C.Fox Smith


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Subject: ADD: A Dog's Life (C. Fox Smith)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 06:17 PM

Want another? I found it here.
-Joe Offer-

A DOG'S LIFE
Cicely Fox Smith

Oh, a sailor's life's a dog's life, an' that's the truth, says Bill,
A sailor's life's a dog's life, look at it 'ow you will;
You break your back with workin' for 'arf a coolie's pay,
An' a sailor's life's a dog's life, look at it 'ow you may.

There's mates to kick an' 'aze you (an' you dursen't 'it 'em back)
There's cold to freeze your innards an' there's 'eat as burns you black;
There's junk as tough as green 'eart 'an weevils in the bread,
An' fistin' frozen canvas till you're wishin' you were dead.

But you bet I'm goin' to quit it next time I jump ashore;
As soon as I strike ol' 'Frisco you won't see me no more;
I'll set a course sou'westward to an island as I know,
Where we laid once loadin' copra - might be twenty year ago.

I'll lay out on the beach there where the sun is good an' 'ot,
An' I won't need no more trousis when I've wore out them I've got;
With a gunny round my middle an' a soul to call my own,
I wouldn't charge my fortune for the King's upon his throne.

But when we'd finished loading and sailing day came round,
With the pilotboat alongside and the mud hook off the ground,
And the towboat cast the hawser off and left us with a cheer,
Why, there'd be Bill a-growling as he'd done for twenty yerar.

Oh a sailor's life's a dog's life, an' that's a fact my son;
'Is pay's no more'n a coolie's, 'is work is never done;
But you bet I'm goin' to quit it fust chance as comes my way,
For a sailor's life's a dog's life, look at it 'ow you may.


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Subject: ADD: Hastings Mill (C. Fox Smith)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 06:29 PM

One more - found here (click)
-Joe Offer-


HASTINGS MILL
Cicely Fox Smith

As I went down by Hastings Mill I lingered in my going
To smell the smell of piled-up deals and feel the salt wind blowing,
To hear the cables fret and creak and the ropes stir and sigh
(Shipmate, my shipmate!) as in days gone by.

As I went down by Hastings Mill I saw a ship there lying,
About her tawny yards the little clouds of sunset flying;
And half I took her for the ghost of one I used to know
(Shipmate, my shipmate!) many years ago.

As I went down by Hastings Mill I saw while I stood dreaming
The flicker of her riding light along the ripples streaming,
The bollards where we made her fast and the berth where she did lie
(Shipmate, my shipmate!) in the days gone by.

As I went down by Hastings Mill I heard a fellow singing,
Chipping off the deep sea rust above the tide a-swinging,
And well I knew the queer old tune and well the song he sung
(Shipmate, my shipmate!) when the world was young.

And past the rowdy Union Wharf, and by the still tide sleeping,
To a randy dandy deep sea tune my heart in time was keeping,
To the thin far sound of a shadowy watch a-hauling,
And the voice of one I knew across the high tide calling
(Shipmate, my shipmate!) and the late dusk falling!

Cecily Fox-Smith [1882-1954]


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jeri
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 07:09 PM

Joe, thanks for posting the songs, and for the links - there's some beautiful work there. Not that it matters, but I was born the year C.F. Smith died.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:48 AM

Nobby-

Thanks for the reference to ALL THE WAY ROUND. I'll see if I can ferret out a copy from the usual internet booksellers.

I've also been working up a musical arrangement for "Wool Fleet Chorus" which I'll post when I get a little more time.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 08:12 AM

Nice and peaceful round here this morning. Now previously I had fitted "Wool Fleet Chorus" to a version of "Bonney Ship the Diamond" but I really wasn't thrilled with the arrangement. I haven't heard anyone else's arrangement so far but a couple of months ago I was messing around with it again and was surprised to find it working really nicely with the old shanty "Doddle Let Me Go" (Hurrah, me Yellar Gals) (copy and repaste into WORD/TIMES/12 for chord placement):

A WOOL FLEET CHORUS
(Words by C. Fox Smith
In Full Sail: More Sea Songs & Ballads, © 1926
Tune: traditional "Doddle Let Me Go"
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar 2002
Key: Am (2/Gm))

Am
Now fare you well, you Sidney gals,
---D
It's time for us to go!
------Am
Blue Peter's at the fore truck,
---------------G----------------Am
There's five thousand bales below;
Am
We've a dozen shellbacks forrard,
-------D
And a skipper hard as nails,
------------Am
And we're bound for dear old England
----------G--------Am
And the January sales!

Chorus:
Am
Oh, the January sales, me boys,
-----D
The January sales,
-------Am
We're bound for dear old England
----------G--------Am
And the January sales.

We'll leave The Snares behind, me boys,
Blusterous and strong,
Up'll come the Westerlies,
And hustle 'er along;
She's running like a deer, me boys,
Through the thundering gales,
Racing under skys'ls
For the January sales!

Oh, the January sales, me boys,
The January sales,
Racing under skys'ls
For the January sales!

Cape Stiff will drop astern, me boys,
Like a blinking dream;
Sleet and snow and crashing seas,
Fog and ice a-beam;
We'll be snoring through the Tropics
Where the Tradewinds never fail,
Norrard on a bowline
For the January sales!

Oh, the January sales, me boys,
The January sales,
Norrard on a bowline
For the January sales!

Then, the gals will grab 'er towrope,
As she smells the land again,
And she'll reel the knots off steady
As a blessed railway train;
Seventy days from Sydney's Heads
The Lizard Light she hails –
First back to the Channel
For the January sales!

Oh, the January sales, me boys,
The January sales,
First back to the Channel
For the January sales!

What'cha think?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,dendor1969@aol.com
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:53 PM

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I have been fasinated by C Fox Smith and have been collecting her works for a while now. We have several and as previously mentioned they are getting expensive now.

Does anyone know where we can purchase a copy of the CD "Sea boot duff and hand spike gruel"? We have tried all our usual sorces without success.

Regards, Dennis


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:14 PM

Dennis-

You need to contact Danny and Joyce McLeod but I hesitate to post their e-mail address here without their permission. However, if you e-mail me at my address I will help you:ipbar@gwi.net

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: shanty_steve
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 06:37 AM

You can order "Sea Boot Duff and Hand Spike Gruel" from chantey cabin (just look under pinch o'salt). I can't recommend this CD highly enough. It's one of my very favourites of all time.

Stephen


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 08:31 AM

Danny & Joyce did a version of this with Barry & Ingrid Temple in Salt of the Earth. CFS published a version in The Return of The "Cutty Sark", 1924, with slight differences in the wording.

Mick


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Dendor1969@aol.com
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 07:56 PM

Thanks everyone for your time in replying. We have now acquired the album we are have been looking for.

I have been looking through this forum and find there are a lot of very knowledgeable people out there. It's nice to know there are other people interested Cicely's works and she won't be forgotten like so many of today's so called talented writers.

Thanks again!

Dennis


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 08:07 PM

Good luck to you as well, Dennis, and join our search for her missing books and manuscripts. And report back with your finds!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 12:55 PM

A friend of mine has about 27 or so (I think that's the number anyhow)
C. Fox Smith books and is interested in starting a website about her.
Anyone know if anything exists or is in the works.

JohnB


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:06 PM

Ooops... C.Fox SMITH... not C.Fox the luthier...

my mistake!

jpc


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Santa
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM

In "The Cape Horner", the chorus goes
"'crost the road to Newcastle, back to 'Frisco Bay"

Which Newcastle, and what does "'crost the roads" mean in this context?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 11:52 AM

Danny and Joyce McLeod will be appearing at Lancaster Maritime Festival over easter weekend and one of their sets will be a special hour long presentation about C Fox Smith. No doubt their other performances will also feature her work. Also, a Liverpool duo, called Forebitter, have done similar work on some of John Masefield's poetry and this will also be showcased at the Festival. What a literary bunch we are becoming!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 07:44 PM

Santa-

My best guess for "Newcastle" is Newcastle/Cardiff, England, loading coal for California, "crost the road" may mean crossing the Channel after unloading nitrates from Callao in France or Germany. But maybe someone has a better guess.

It's also true that in a nautical sense "roads" often refers to a large area where ships anchor prior to warping in for unloading or loading cargo. Doesn't seem to make sense here.

Val- give Danny and Joyce McLeod my best when you see them at the Lancaster Maritime Festival.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Santa
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 11:30 AM

Thanks, Charley, but it doesn't ring true to me. I'd expect it to imply a port somewhere on the Pacific Coast - perhaps even somewhere near California.

Assuming of course that it is in the original poem and is not just added for copyright effect by Danny and Co.! Just joking, I think.


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Subject: Six Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Stéphane J. Brenot, stephanejb@aol.com
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM

I will be taking a singing examination at the trinity College shortly, and was looking for information on Cicely Fox Smith's Limehouse Reach. I found all I needed on this forum, and wanted to show my gratitude !

I wanted to bring an information to you after Hank Lay's, message posted on 27 February 2002 regarding Michael Head's setting to music CFS'Six Sea Songs ;

The Six Sea Songs are :

1. A Sea Burthen
2. Limehouse Reach
3. Back To Hilo
4. A Dog's Life
5. Lavender Pond
6. Sweethearts And Wives

They are available at Boosey and Hawkes (Archives, Authorised Custom Prints) ;

For your information, Limehouse Reach is part of the Syllabus of the Singing Examinations of the Trinity College.

Thank you !


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 05:10 PM

Santa-

No, the lines are lifted directly from her sea poem (and Danny and Joyce take great pains not to alter a single line or word of C. Fox Smith's sea poems unlike me). The "road" may simplely refer to the sea route back and forth. In another of her sea poems, "Flying-Fish Sailor", she speaks of "the road of the flying-fish sailor" vividly describing the different stretches from England to the Far East. But who knows? Any other brilliant ideas?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: LYR.ADD.:Sweethearts and Wives
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:49 PM

Here's another C. Fox Smith sea poem I've been reworking for singing. The original poem is below:

Original poem by C. Fox Smith, 1931
In Sailor's Delight, pp. 111-113

Sweethearts & Wives

The very first voyage as ever I made
I went to sea in the East Coast trade,
And I courted a gal at Seaton Sluice-
If her name warn't Lizzie it must ha' been Luce-

So I did!

And then I signed in a Colonies clipper
With a rare old rip of a racing skipper,
And there warn't no sense nor there warn't no use
A-courting a gal at Seaton Sluice;
So I looked for another down Melbourne way-
If her name warn't Kitty it must ha' been May-

So I did!

Oh, next I sailed in a pearlin' brig
To the South Sea Ilses both little and big,
Where it warn't no use, say what you may,
A-courting a gal down Melbourne way;
So I didn't worry with her no longer,
But I soon picked up with a gal in Tonger,
An' island gal as brown as a berry –
Don't know her name, but I called her "Cherry"-

So I did!

(And so on ad lib.)

But last I signed in a Liverpool liner –
Go where you will and you won't find a finer!
And it's time, thinks I, to be settlin' down,
So I married a widder in Monkeytown,
With a bit in the bank and a "corner-off,"
And when I'm ashore now I lives like a toff.

And as for the girl at Seaton Sluice
I 'ope she ain't waitin', for that ain't no use,
And as for the ones at Montreal
And Tanger and Taltal and Melbourne and all,
And all the whole boilin' from France to Fiji,
I 'ope they're all married and 'appy like me-

So I do!

My adaptation drops some lines and adds a chorus, while still keeping to the spirit of the original poem. I'm not aware of anyone who has reworked this one but I've sent copies to Danny McLeod and Bob Zentz (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 for chord placement):


SWEETHEARTS AND WIVES-2

(Original poem by C. Fox Smith, 1931
In Sailor's Delight, pp. 111-113
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 2003
Tune: "Worst Old Brig" ("Waitin' for the Day"))

C---------------------------F
The very first voyage as ever I made,
-C-------------------------G
I went to sea in the East Coast trade,
-------C---------------------F
And I courted me a gal at Seaton Sluice-
--G—C----------------------------------G-----C
If her name warn't Lizzie it must ha' been Luce.

And then I signed in a Colonies clipper,
With a rare old rip of a racing skipper,
So I looked for a gal down Melbourne way -
If her name warn't Kitty it must ha' been May.

Chorus:

C
Sweethearts and wives,
F
Sweethearts and wives,
G--C
We spend o'r lives
-------------G-----------C
With sweet-hearts and wives!

Oh, next I sailed in a pearlin' brig
To the South Sea Ilses, both little and big,
I met me a gal as brown as a berry –
Couldn't say her name, but I called her "Cherry." (CHO)

But last I signed in a Liverpool liner –
Go where you will, there's no ship finer!
And it's time, thinks I, to be settlin' down,
So I married me a widder in Monkeytown. (CHO)

And as for that gal at Seaton Sluice,
I 'ope she ain't waitin', for that ain't no use,
And as for the ones from Melbourne to Fiji,
I 'ope they's all married and 'appy like me! (CHO)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 08:05 PM

Those interested in hearing my arrangements for "Limehouse Reach" and "Shanghai Passage" can now access an MP3 sample on my personal website:Charley Noble Website

You'll also find my rendering of "So Long (All Coil Down)" as sung by Danny and Joyce McLeod.

The lyrics and MP3 files for some reason seem to be more directly accessible using Internet Explorer; Netscape saves them to the desktop.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Harry Basnett
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:03 AM

Anymore news on that website idea, JohnB?

We were discussing CFS at the 'Songs in the Snug' session at the Railway in Lymm which is the village where Cicely was born...it'd be nice to do something there regarding the lady.

All the best...........Harry.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 06:14 AM

Since my last post, 14 Feb last year, I now have 30 of her books.
I've had a couple of disappointments. Last October a copy of "All The Other Children" came up for grabs, I contacted the seller, a reputable shop in Canterbury UK, sent off the money, and it seems to have gone astray. Lost in the post.
Having access to the 'net only in work can cause major upsets. Monday June 9th this year I was having cavity wall insulation put in my house so I had a day off work only to find an e-mail waiting for me on Tuesday telling me that a copy of "The Foremost Trail", first edition 1899, had been found for the princely sum of A$11 ! ! ! Hastily e-mails seller, don't know why I was in so much of a hurry Australia being half a day ahead, only to have a reply saying it had been sold 15 hours earlier. 15 hours ! Cavity walls got a lot to answer for.

Mike


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Subject: LYR.:ADD.: Old Shellback, The
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 02:26 PM

In another thread I was reworking C. Fox Smith's "Outward Bound" which is now on my personal website as a MP3 sample file for those who would like to hear how it sounds:Click here!

Today I was rereading some of her poems and came across "The Old Shellback" which seems to work quite well to the traditional tune "Sweet Betsey from Pike." Here's the original poem:

Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, p.p. 119-120, © 1924


The Old Shellback


By Murphy's Hotel as I loitered along
I heard an old shellback a-singing his song,
A crazy old chorus, a song of no skill,
In a voice that was boozy, and broken, and shrill.

A roaring old song of the ships and the men
In fine days departed which come not again,
With the chink of the glasses came drifting the tune
And the smell of the drinks out of Murphy's saloon.

I stood there to hear it, and swift as I heard
My soul like a ship was awakened and stirred,
Like a vessel becalmed when she quivers to feel
The kiss of the Trade from her truck to her keel.

Then fast fled my heart down the seas and the years,
And the winds of the world they blew loud in my ears,
The winds of the ocean recalling to me
Lost things and lovely, like dawns on the sea.

Lips that have smiled on me, friends who have fled,
All that was Life in the time that is sped,
Laughter of long ago, frolics gone by
In the ports of the West where the windjammers lie.

Nights off the Horn, and the ice on our spars,
Tall skysail clippers a-raking the stars,
With a "blow the man up, bullies, blow the man down",
And a crew of hard cases from Liverpool town!

Here's how I've reworked it, adding a chorus:

Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, p.p. 119-120, © 1924
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar ©2004
Tune: Traditional "Sweet Betsey from Pike"


The Old Shellback


By Murphy's Hotel as I loitered along
I heard an old shellback a-singing this song,
A crazy old chorus, a song of no skill,
In a voice that was boozy, and broken, and shrill.

Chorus:

With a blow the man up, bullies, blow the man down,
We're a crew of hard cases from Liverpool town!


A roaring old song of the ships and the men
From fine days departed which come not again,
With the chink of the glasses came drifting this tune
And the smell of the drinks out of Murphy's saloon? (CHO)

I stood there to hear it, and swift as I heard
My soul like a ship was awakened and stirred,
Like a vessel becalmed when she quivers to feel
The kiss of the Trade from her truck to her keel.

Then fast fled my heart down the seas and the years,
And the winds of the world they blew loud in my ears,
The winds of the ocean recalling to me
Lost things and lovely, like dawns on the sea.

Lips that have smiled on me, friends who have fled,
All that was Life in the time that is sped;
Laughter of long ago, frolics gone by
In the ports of the West where the windjammers lie.

Nights off Cape Horn, and the ice on our spars,
Tall skysail clippers a-raking the stars;
With a "blow the man up, bullies, blow the man down",
We're a crew of hard cases from Liverpool town! (CHO)

By the way I understand from Bob Zentz that he is close to recording his CD of C. Fox Smith poems that's he's arranged for singing. Can't wait to hear it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 03:20 PM

I was re-reading this fine thread and rediscovered this query from Santa:

In "The Cape Horner", the chorus goes "'crost the road to Newcastle, back to 'Frisco Bay"

Which Newcastle, and what does "'crost the roads" mean in this context?

I now suspect that the "Newcastle" in question was the old coal port in South Australia, with the "road" being the Pacific Ocean.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE:ADD:Pacific Coast
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 04:34 PM

Looks like I've channeled another tune for a C. Fox Smith poem. This one entitled "Pacific Coast" looks back at the youthful days she spent working on the Victoria, BC, waterfront, as a typist. The tune composed by Peter Bellamy for Kipling's "Mandalay" is a remarkably good fit, and there is a minimum of words I feel need changing for singing, except to add a refrain from the last line of each verse.

Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, pp. 96-97, © 1924
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar, 8/20/2004
Tune: Peter Bellamy's music for "Mandalay"

Pacific Coast


Half across the world to westward, there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber and those China liners go;
Where the wind blows cold at sunset, off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam
Out across the Straits at twilight, like the landfall of a dream.

Refrain:

Like the landfall of a dream,
Like the landfall of a dream,
Out across the Straits at twilight,
Like the landfall of a dream.

There's a sound of foreign voices; there are wafts of strange perfume,
And a two-stringed fiddle playing, somewhere in an upstairs room;
There's a rosy tide lap-lapping, on an old worm-eaten quay,
And a scarlet sunset flaming down, beyond the China Sea.(REF)

And I daresay if I went there now I'd find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory, setting all the skies aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests, on the quiet evening air,
Little things my heart remembers, nowhere else on earth but there.(REF)

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling all the night and day,
And the wind across the water, singing just the same old way,
As it used to in the rigging, of a ship I used to know,
Half across the world from England, now so many years ago. (REF)

She is gone beyond my finding, gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset, flaming down behind Japan;
But maybe I?ll find the dream there, that I lost so long ago,
Half across the world to westward, in a harbour that I know...(REF
Half across the world from England, now so many years ago.

Here's the original poem:

Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, pp. 96-97, © 1924

Pacific Coast


Half across the world to westward there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber and the China liners go, ?
Where the wind blows cold at sunset off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam
Out across the Straits at twilight like the landfall of a dream.

There's a sound of foreign voices, there are wafts of strange perfume,
And a two-stringed fiddle playing somewhere in an upstairs room;
There's a rosy tide lap-lapping on an old worm-eaten quay,
And a scarlet sunset flaming down behind the China Sea.

And I daresay if I went there I should find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory setting all the skies aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests on the quiet evening air,
Little things my heart remembers nowhere else on earth but there.

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling all the night and day,
And the wind across the water singing just the same old way
As it used to in the rigging of a ship I used to know
Half across the world from England, many and many a year ago.

She is gone beyond my finding, gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset flaming down behind Japan;
But I'll maybe find the dream there that I lost so long ago,
Half across the world to westward in a harbour that I know,
Half across the world from England many and many a year ago.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 03:58 PM

Here's another take on fitting this poem to a tune, this time to the traditional sea song "Rolling Home":

Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, pp. 96-97, © 1924
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar, 8/25/2004
Tune: after traditional "Rolling Home"

Pacific Coast-2


Half across the world to westward, there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber, and those China liners go;
Where the wind blows cold and gusty, off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam,
Out across the Straits at twilight, like the landfall of a dream.

Chorus:

There's a harbour that I know,
There's a harbour that I know,
Half across the world from England,
There's a harbour that I know.


And I daresay if I went there, I'd find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory, setting all the clouds aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests, on the quiet evening air,
Little things my heart remembers, nowhere else on earth but there. (CHO)

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling night and day,
And the wind across the water, singing just the same old way,
As it did among the rigging, of a ship I used to know,
Half across the world from England, now so many years ago. (CHO)

She is gone beyond my finding, gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset, flaming down behind Japan;
But perhaps I'll find the dream there, that I lost so long ago,
Half across the world to westward, in a harbour that I know...(CHO)

It seems to work as well as "Mandalay" and maybe it's better not to confuse the two tunes, although they do share a line or two in common.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 04:06 PM

LIKE that one....now if I could get the brain cell firing...


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Subject: RE: ADD:Port o' Dreams
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 12:31 PM

"Port o' Dreams" is another haunting masterpiece by C. Fox Smith and William Pint and Felicia Dale used the title for one of their recordings, quoted from the poem, but did not arrange it for singing. Joyce McCleod, however, was reading the poem one day and found it worked very nicely to the tune of Carol King's "Tapestry" and she and her husband Danny recorded it on their CD NEVER A CROSS WORD, © 2002 Old and New Tradition. You may contact them for copies and further information about C. Fox Smith at:info@oldandnewtradition.com

I like what Joyce does with this poem but I heard a different tune, one that Jon Campbell uses for his song "The Mary." I also do more changes to the wording of the poem and add an extra line to make a reprise at the end. Here's the original poem:


Port o' Dreams

(Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, p.p. 32-33, © 1924)

"There's a deal o' ports," said Murphy, "an' I guess I've sampled most,
Round about the Gulf o' Guinea, and up an' down the Chili coast,
In the Black Sea an' the Baltic an' the China seas I've been,
An' the North Sea an' the South Sea an' the places in between.

An' the ports as look the finest turns out some'ow worst of all,
For I lost my chum in Rio in a Dago dancin' 'all,
An' I lost my bloomin' 'eart once to a wench in Callao,
An' I lost my youth in Frisco, but that's years an' years ago.

But there's one I've never sighted out of all the ports there be;
It's a place a feller talked of as was shipmates once with me,
In the hooker Maid of Athens, she was one of Dunc Macneill's,
She went missin' many a year since bound from Steveston home with deals.

An' this feller said the drinks there are the best a man could find,
An' a sailor's always welcome, an' the girls are always kind,
An' there's dancin' an' there's singin' an' there's every sort o' fun,
In the plaza of an evenin' when the lazy sun is done.

An' the blessed old Pacific he keeps singin' like a psalm,
To the shippin' in the roadstead an' the firefly in the palm,
An' the days are never scorchin' an' the nights are never 'ot,
In that port 'e used to yarn of with the name I've clean forgot.

An' I'll never fetch that harbour, but it's maybe for the best,
For I daresay if I found it, it'd be like all the rest,
An' I like to think it's waitin', waitin' all the while for me,
With the red wine an' the white wine an' the dancin' an' the spree,
An' the firefly gleamin' golden in the palms I'll never see!"

Here's what I've done with it (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):


PORT O' DREAMS

(Poem by C. Fox Smith, SEA SONGS & BALLADS 1917-22, p.p. 32-33, © 1924
Adapted for music by Charles Ipcar, 8/25/04
Tune: by Jon Campbell "The Mary" ©)


D-------------G--------------C---G-------------------------------------D--G
"Now there's many ports," said Murphy, "and I guess I've sam-pled most,
D-----G-C------------------------------------D------------------D7
Round a-bout the Gulf of Guinea, up and down the Chili coast,
---G-----------------C--G------------------------------D---G
The Black Sea and the Baltic, and the China seas I've seen,
----C-------------------------------------------D----------D7
The North Sea and the South Sea, and the places in between.
------D----------------------D7----C---------------------G
And the ports as look the finest turn out worst of all,
------D-----------------D7-------C---------------D
For I lost my chum in Rio, in a Dago dancin' hall,
------G----------------C--G---------------------------------D-G
And I lost my bloom-in' heart once, to a wench in Cal-la-o,
-------C------------------------------------D------------D7
And I lost my youth in Frisco, now so many years ago.

But there's one I've never sighted, of all the ports there be;
It's a place a feller talked of as was shipmates once with me,
In the hooker Maid of Athens, she was one of Dunc Macneill's,
She's gone missin' many a year now, bound from Steveston home with deals;
And this feller said the drinks there are the best a man could find,
And a sailor's always welcome, and the girls are always kind;
There's dancin' and there's singin' and there's every sort of fun,
On the plaza in the evening when the lazy sun is done.

And the blessed old Pacific, keeps singin' like a psalm,
To the ships out in the roadstead, and the firefly in the palm,
And the days are never scorchin', and the nights are never hot,
In that port he used to yarn of, with the name I've clean forgot!
So I'll never fetch that harbour, but it's maybe for the best,
For I daresay if I found it, it'd be like all the rest;
Still I'd like to think it's waitin', waitin' just for me,
With the red wine and the white wine, the dancin' and the spree.

D---------------------------D7------C----------------G
Still I'd like to think it's waitin', waitin' just for me,
----------D-------------------D7---------------C----------------D
With the red wine and the white wine, the dancin' and the spree;
------G---------C--G----------------------------D--G
And a table by the quayside, a good gal for my knee,
----------C----------------------------------D------------------D7
With the firefly gleamin' golden, in the palms I'll never see!"

I'm intrigued that Murphy knows better, but still loves the dream. It's the kind of thought that separates C. Fox Smith's poems from ones that are more blatently romantic or nostalgic.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 06:31 PM

Here's a link to my personal website for a MP3 sample of how I sing "Port o' Dreams":Click here!

I did some more research on a few references in the song:

"Steveston" probably refers to an old lumber shipping port near Vancouver, BC, which is now a village in the Town of Richmond and the current site of tall ship festivals and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard where shanty swaps take place on a monthly basis coordinated by the Vancouver Folk Song Society.

The Maid of Athens may have been a brigantine that became shipwrecked on Statan Island, the one off Cape Horn, in 1870 after her cargo of coal began to burn. The captain's wife Emily Wooldridge kept a journal of their castaway experience which has been recently published. They were not loaded down with "deal," which is low-grade planks, but perhaps C. Fox Smith was expercising some poetic license. Emily and some of the crew refitted the ship's longboat and eventually made it to Port Stanley in the Falklands, whereupon a rescue steamer was sent back for the rest of the crew.

The Maid of Athens is also a reference to a Lord Byron poem and it's likely that the ships of that name were inspired by the poem. Of course Byron also composed poems to the Maid of Cadiz and poems to several other fair maids, and each appears unique. Cynics might have hoped for some overlap but there is none apparent.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: LYR.Add.:Mariquita
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 07:52 PM

I was looking for another poem for my orphan tune for "Outward Bound" which was a fine tune but not quite the right spirit for that song. I think I've found it in the poem "Mariquita." What do you think? Here's the original poem:

Poem by C. Fox Smith, FULL SAIL, pp. 108-110, © 1926

MARIQUITA

Old man Time, 'e's wrote his log up in the wrinkles on my brow,
And there ain't that much about me as a girl 'ud take to now;
For I've changed beyond all knowing from the chap I used to be,
When I can remember Mariquita, as was mighty fond o' me!

I can shut my eyes and see it just as plain as yesterday,
See the harbour and the mountains and the shipping in the bay,
And the town as looked like heaven to us shellbacks fresh from sea
And I can remember Mariquita, as thought a deal o' me!

I can hear the chiming mule-bells, and a stave o' Spanish song,
And the blessed old guitarros as kep' tinkling all night long;
Hear the dusty palm trees stirring, taste the vino flat and sour,
And I can remember Mariquita, and her white skirts like a flower.

But it's years now since I've seen her, if she's died I never knew,
Or got old and fat and ugly, same as Dagoes mostly do;
And it's maybe better that way, for there's nothing left but change,
And the ships I knew all going, and the ports I knew grown strange,
And the chaps I knew all altered, like the chap I used to be,
But I can remember Mariquita, and she's always young for me.

And here's what I'm currently singing (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

MARIQUITA

(Poem by C. Fox Smith, FULL SAIL, pp. 108-110, © 1926
Adapted and musically arranged by Charlie Ipcar © 2004)


G-----------------D---------G-------C------G---------D-----G
Old man Time's wrote his log up on the wrinkles of my brow,
------------D----G---D------C---------G--------C-----G--------D
And there ain't that much a-bout me as a girl would take to now;
--------------------G--D--------C---------G-------------C-G-------D
For I've changed be-yond all knowing from the man I used to be,
---------G---------D----G-----C---------G------D-------G
But I re-member Mari-quita who was mighty fond of me!


I can shut my eyes and see it, just as plain as yesterday;
See the mountains and the harbour and the shipping in the bay,
And the town as looked like heaven, to us shellbacks fresh from sea,
And I remember Mariquita who thought a deal of me!

I can hear the chiming mule-bells and a stave of Spanish song,
And the blessed old guitarros, tinkling all night long;
Hear the dusty palm trees stirring, taste the vino flat and sour,
And I remember Mariquita with her white skirts like a flower.

But it's years now since I've seen her; if she's died I never knew,
Or got old and fat and onery, as most young sweethearts do;
And me pals have changed as well now, from the men they used to be,
When I first met Mariquita on the quayside by the sea.

It's maybe better that way for there's nothing left but change;
With the ships I knew laid up and lost and the ports I knew grown strange,
Though I've changed beyond all knowing from the man I used to be,
I remember Mariquita and she's always young for me.

One line I felt I had to change was:

"Or got old and fat and ugly, same as Dagoes mostly do"

That's over the top for me but probably an accurate relection of how sailors talked at the time.

There were also a couple of extra lines that I needed to fill in for, or drop out. I'm not sure which is better at this point. When this song is really down, I'll record a MP3 sample and load it onto my website.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 12:01 AM

These look mighty fine, Charlie -- I love hearing you do Port O' Dreams!!

She certainly captures the spirit of the trade, now, don't she?

A


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 07:52 AM

Thanks, Amos! Port o' Dreams has been fun to work with.

Sure wish she'd left a diary around, but probably some thoughtless niece or nephew tossed it into the trash. At least Danny McLeod managed to rescue a manuscript of her poems from a used book dealer in Sydney; there were several unpublished poems in that with some notes in the margins.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:56 AM

Here's a link to my personal website for a MP3 sample of my arrangement of "Mariquita":Click here!

I think this one is a keeper as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 06:35 PM

So there's a total of five C. Fox Smith poems that I've adapted for singing with new MP3 samples on my personal website:Click here!

The songs include:

Flying-Fish Sailor
Outward Bound
Limehouse Reach
Port o' Dreams
Mariquita

One can also purchase a CD of UNCOMMON SAILOR SONGS from that same website which also includes poems by John Masefield, Robert Lewis Stevenson and others that I've arranged for singing. There is also a set of completely original songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 03:58 PM

I was curious which book "Hastings Mill" was from, as posted above by Joe Offer. I finally tracked it down in my latest acquisition, SAILOR TOWN. The correct reference should be: Words by Cicely Fox Smith, as published in SAILOR TOWN, pp. 56-57, ©1919.

"Hastings Mill" is a reference to a saw mill in the Vancouver, BC, area. Cicely would often walk over to the mill and watch the tall ships being loaded with lumber at its dock.

You can sing the poem to the same tune that Bob Zentz uses for "The Portsmouth Road."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: HASTINGS MILL (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Jun 05 - 02:05 PM

Joe posted the original version of this poem above. I've now had some more time to process it for singing. I'm now using "Cheerokee Shuffle" as the tune rather than Bob Zentz' "The Portsmouth Road", added a refrain line and dropped one verse, and changed some of the wording. Here's the result (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

HASTINGS MILL

(Original words by Cicely Fox Smith, 1919, in SAILOR TOWN, pp. 56-57
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar © 2005
Tune: traditional "Cherokee Shuffle")

C--------------------------------Am----C---------------Am
As I went down by Hastings Mill, I lingered in my going,
----F------------------C---------Am--------C------------------Am
To sniff the smell of piled-up deals and feel the salt wind blowing,
------C------G----------C
And feel the salt wind blowing;
----F----------------C-------------------------F-----------------C
To hear the cables fret and creak, and the rigging stir and sigh –
F---------------------Am------------C--------------------Am
"Shipmate, oh, my shipmate!" as in those days gone by,
----C--------G----------C
As in those days gone by.

As I went down by Hastings Mill, I saw a ship there lying,
All about her masts and yards the sunset clouds a-flying,
The sunset clouds a-flying;
And I mistook her for the ghost of one I used to know –
"Shipmate, oh, my shipmate!" so many years ago,
So many years ago.

As I went down by Hastings Mill, I heard a fella singing,
While chipping off the deep-sea rust, above the tide a-swinging,
Above the tide a-swinging;
And well I knew the queer old tune and well the song he sung –
"Shipmate, oh, my shipmate!" as when the world was young,
As when the world was young.

And past the rowdy Union Wharf, and by the still tide sleeping,
To a randy dandy deep-sea tune my heart in time was keeping,
My heart in time was keeping;
To the thin far sound all in the dusk of an anchor watch a-hauling –
"Shipmate, oh, my shipmate!" with evening shadows falling,
With evening shadows falling!

(Instrumental break for two lines)
And the voice of one I knew so well, across the harbour calling –
"Shipmate, oh, my shipmate!" with evening shadows falling,
With evening shadows falling!


Notes:

The wood-hulled, steam-powered tug Haro was built in Vancouver for B.C. Mills (Hastings Mill) for its harbor service.

The Hastings Shingle & Manufacturing Company: After a bit of re-organization, the Woods-Spicer Company was bought out for $1,200 by the Hastings Shingle & Manufacturing Company in 1906. Hastings was owned by the McNair brothers.

In 1896 Julius M. Fromme had been appointed supervisor of Hastings' operations on the woods. The Hastings upper mill off Dempsey Road was built in 1904 and closed in 1910.

Thomas Allen interviewed the McNairs to buy the Hastings Mill and paid $2,000 in down payment to $20,000. He quickly turned his eyes to real estate so he sold his interests to his partner J.M. Fromme who formed the Lynn Valley Lumber Company.

Location: on the South Shore of Burrard Inlet, near Powell Street.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:11 PM

I note that there is a Hastings Mill Museum in Vancouver and I'm planning to visit it when I'm in the area in a couple of weeks. Dave McArthur is hosting a song party for me in nearby Richmond in Steveston Village on Thursday, August 25th, and it's a good bet that I'll be singing "Hastings Mill", "Lumber", "Pacific Coast" and "The Old Fiddle" that evening.

We then go on to Victoria where I'm planning to make a similar presentation at the Nautical Song Circle that takes place at the Bent Mast Pub in the James Bay neighborhood on Saturday, August 27.

Here's one of Cicely's descriptions of Victoria Harbour when she was hanging out there in the early 1900's:

From Cicely Fox Smith's SAILOR-TOWN DAYS, 1923 pp. 163-164


"You can sit on the edge of the Outer Wharf at Victoria, and fish for black bass with a bit of cotton rag, and watch the great ships come in from the sea with the wonder of the East in their holds.

Over across the Strait of Juan de Fuca the summits of the ranges of the American mainland are flushed with faint rose, for it is only at sunset that the black bass bite. There is a smell of forest fires in the air, and a glow on the flanks of the remote mountains, and a light wisp of cloud that means miles of ravaged woodland and an inferno of smoke and flame in which men are fighting, parched and blackened like demons. The light on Brotchie Ledge has just begun to wink leisurely, and far out on Race Rocks the lighthouse answers it with his occulting beam.

The sun has gone down into the China Seas in a great fiery golden pomp, like the sea-burial of an old Norse king, and a splendid afterglow, slow and solemn as a funeral march, goes flooding up to the zenith like the glow of a funeral pyre; and on the edge of it hangs a lonely star. A small moon drifts like a feather dropped from an archangel's wing. A riding-light has begun to glimmer in the rigging of the anchored windjammer in the Royal Roads."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:50 AM

Well, I'm back from a wonderful visit to the Pacific Northwest. Here are some working notes from my research in Victoria, Vancouver, and Steveston Village:

Notes by Charles Ipcar, 8/30/05
DRAFT
On the Trail of C. Fox Smith


Cicely Fox Smith was resident in the Victoria, B.C. area from 1904 to 1913. She earned her living, as she described, by "thumping a typewriter, first for the BC Lands Department and then working for an attorney" in downtown Victoria. Much of her many volumes of poetry and short stories drew inspiration from her stay. In the evenings she would walk along the wharfs and engage the shipkeepers and other nautical denizens in long conversations. She collected many fine yarns, traditional sea shanties and other sea songs, and became a master at recreating "the sailor's voice" in her poems and short stories.

Unfortunately, whatever personal journals Smith kept have not resurfaced, and she was certainly the kind of person who would have kept a comprehensive journal. There is a manuscript of some of her pre-1920 poems that did survive, thanks to her sister Margaret Scott Smith, and it's now safe in the hands of an ardent admirer and traditional style singer, one Danny McLeod of the UK. Whatever she did while she was in residence in BC can only be surmised from her many descriptions in her poems and passages from her other books.

This summer (2005) I too walked the streets of the Victoria waterfront, with short forays to the City of Vancouver and neighboring Steveston Village. Standing at the site of one of her favorite haunts Victoria's old Outer Wharfs, now identified as Shoal Point, I too watched the "old sunset glory setting all the clouds aflame" and "the snow-crowned peaks that gleam" of the Olympic Mountains across Juan de Fuca Strait. What a heavenly sight! And the sight is still to be enjoyed by anyone who walks there. However, as she feared "The ports I knew grown strange" is an apt description for what has happened to Victoria's working waterfront. Most of the old buildings have been torn down and replaced with high-rise hotels and condominiums. Only a dozen or so remnants survive of the buildings she would have remembered from where she worked as a typist.

She described her law office as being "up two flights of stairs in Wharf Street", "next door but one from a ship-chandler's establishment." One of those shops nearby during her residence was most likely McQuade's Ship Chandlery Shop, 1250 Wharf St., now part of the building occupied by the famed Chandlers Sea Food Restaurant. The cross references would be Yates Street and Bastion Square. Some of the other buildings she described in the neighborhood that she used to see during her lunch break included the Occidental Hotel, the Panama Saloon, and the junk shops in nearby Chinatown. Further north down Shore Street was likely one of her other favorite haunts the Rock Bay Lumber Mills, where she'd watch the longshore crew loading lumber into tall ships. This arm of the Inner Harbour was also where the tugboats would berth and the old sealing schooners she was so fond of were moored. Just below Wharf Street were warehouses and the shipping offices for many single ship firms such as the clipper ship Antipode, identified by their modest white on black sign boards. And on her block there was an abundance of wholesale grocery shops, hotels and saloons, including the Ship Inn (one of Victoria's first drinking establishments).

In Vancouver, there was the famous Hasting Lumber Mill, the subject of her poem "Hastings Mill," located at the foot of Dunlevy Street along the waterfront of Burrard Inlet, adjacent to the Union Steamship Company Wharf; the mill office was salvaged and floated in 1930 on a barge to a park on English Bay, 1575 Alma Street, where it now serves as a small museum.

In the Village of Steveston, now part of the bedroom community of Richmond, I could find no trace in their archives of a "Steveston Lumber Mill," one that Smith explicitly mentioned in her poem, "Lumber." In the early 1900's there were over a dozen salmon canneries along that waterfront and a boat building yard but no evidence of a saw mill. Nor could I find, while searching the BC archives, a Steveston Mill elsewhere in B.C. However, I have subsequently learned from Jon Bartlett of the VFFS Shanty Crew that:

"The CP line from Vancouver to Steveston, built in 1902, passed through the new mills at Eburne (now South Vancouver), allowing it to ship lumber south to be loaded at Steveston onto sailing ships bound for Europe."

There is a reference to Steveston in another poem "Port o' Dreams":

She went missin' many a year since bound from Steveston home with deals.

"Deals" are inexpensive planks. So at the very least there was lumber being shipped out from Steveston during the period when Smith was resident in BC.
We had a great time wherever we went sharing the musical arrangements of C. Fox Smith's poems with folks at various house concerts, house parties, and other musical gatherings.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, back in Maine!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Dec 05 - 05:02 PM

Shantyfreak and I have also begun a column on Newpoetry.com, sister website to Oldpoetry.com, which focuses on nautical poetry by C. Fox Smith and others. There are links to a wide variety of nautical poems: Click here for a knotty and nautical time!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BLUE PETER (Cicely Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:14 PM

As mentioned above William Pint set "Blue Peter" to his original tune with very little modification of Cicely Fox Smith's original words:

THE BLUE PETER (Pint)

(Words by Cicely Fox Smith, 1914, in SONGS AND CHANTIES, Elkin Mathews, pp. 24-25
also in SMALL CRAFT, ©1919, p.p. 98-99
As sung by William Pint and Felicia Dale recorded on ROUND THE CORNER, © 1997)

Last night when I left her, my true love was weeping
For sorrow at parting, but parting must be:
What use for her tears, what use to be keeping,
A lad by the fireside, that follows the sea?

For the cold day's a-breaking, the town hardly waking,
The moon like a ghost, in the pale morning sky,
Blue Peter is blowing to tell you we're going,
And the gulls in the river all calling good-bye!

The last hawser's cast, the tug-whistle's blowing,
The shore growing dim, in the mist and the rain:
And wide, very wide, is the world where we're going,
And long, very long till you see us again!

Farewell and adieu to you - still we'll be true to you,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting you, hope you'll be greeting
Some day your sailor, home from the sea!

All in the cold morning, all in the grey weather,
On the sheds, and the shipping, the rain slating down,
All hands to the capstan bars, roaring together
A stave for farewell, to the folk of the town:

Hong Kong and Vancouver, Callao and Suva,
The Cape and Kowloon, it's a very far cry,
From the slow river creeping, by houses all sleeping,
And the gulls in the wake of us, calling good-bye!
Calling good-bye!

The original words are:

Words by Cicely Fox Smith, 1914, in SONGS AND CHANTIES, Elkin Mathews, pp. 24-25
also in SMALL CRAFT, ©1919, p.p. 98-99


The Blue Peter (C. Fox Smith)


Last night when I left her my true love was weeping
For sorrow at parting, but parting must be:
What use for her tears, and what use to be keeping
A lad by the fireside that follows the sea?
For the cold day's a-breaking, the town hardly waking,
The moon like a ghost in the pale morning sky,
And the Blue Peter's blowing to tell ye we're going,
And the gulls in the river all calling good-bye!

The last hawser's cast and the tug-whistle's blowing,
The shore growing dim in the mist and the rain:
And wide, very wide, is the world where we're going,
And long, very long till ye see us again!

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting
Some day your sailormen home from the sea!

All in the cold morning, all in the grey weather,
On the sheds and the shipping the rain slating down,
All hands to the capstan bars, roaring together
A stave for farewell to the folk of the town:
Hong Kong and Vancouver, Callao and Suva,
The Cape and Kowloon, it's a very far cry
From the slow river creeping by houses all sleeping,
And the gulls in the wake of us calling good-bye!

Bob Zentz more recently has adapted the same poem to a version of the traditional forebitter "We'll Rant and We'll Roar" which I think is more in keeping with what Cicely might have been hearing in her head:

Words by Cicely Fox Smith in SMALL CRAFT, ©1919, p.p. 98-99
As sung by Bob Zentz
Tune: traditional "We'll Rant and We'll Roar"

The Blue Peter (Bob Zentz)

Last night when I left her my true love was weeping
For sorrow at parting, but parting must be:
What use for her tears, what use to be keeping
A lad by the fireside that follows the sea?
For the cold day's a-breaking, the town hardly waking,
The moon like a ghost in the pale morning sky,
And Blue Peter's blowing to tell ye we're going,
And the gulls in the river are calling good-bye!

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting;
Some day your sailor come home from the sea!

The last hawser's cast and the tug-whistle's blowing,
The shore growing dim, in the mist and the rain:
And wide, very wide, is the world where we're going,
And long, very long till we see you again!

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting;
Some day your sailor come home from the sea!

All in the cold morning, all in the grey weather,
On the sheds and the shipping, the rain slating down,
All hands to the capstan bars, roaring together
A stave of farewell to the folk of the town:

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting;
Some day your sailor come home from the sea!

Hong Kong and Vancouver, Callao and Suva,
The Cape and Kowloon, it's a very far cry
From the slow river creeping, by houses all sleeping,
And the gulls in the wake of us calling good-bye!

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting;
Some day your sailor come home from the sea!

Last night when I left her, my true love was weeping
For sorrow at parting, but parting must be:
What use for her tears, and what use to be keeping
A lad by the fireside that follows the sea?

Farewell and adieu to ye - still we'll be true to ye,
Still we'll remember, wherever we be, -
Hope we'll be meeting ye, hope ye'll be greeting;
Some day your sailor come home from the sea!

It's a really haunting song and I may just have to learn it. Hopefully Bob Zentz will finally get it together to get his CD of C. Fox Smith songs printed so more folks can appreciate the fine work he's been doing with her poems for years.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:21 PM

I should mention that my second recording of Cicely Fox Smith poems that I've adapted for singing is now available from my website: Click here!

The poems include:

Rio Grande
Lee Fore Brace
Lumber
Hastings Mill
The Old Fiddle
Rosario
Pacific Coast

I've also recorded Alan Fitzsimmons' musical adaptation of "So Long."

There are also 8 other songs, some original, some traditional, and some by other composers.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: nutty
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 02:57 PM

The Old Poetry site you directed us to is wonderful ..... thanks Charlie ... another excuse not to do the housework.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 04:36 PM

Nutty-

I've been meaning to send you the link to Oldpoetry. Please feel free to comment on as many poems as you like there. I know you've very knowledgeable about CFS and her poems.

I believe you also have some of her rarer books, and might be able to at least more closely date some of her poems. We have found that the poems do vary a little, from publication to publication.

Shantyfreak and I have full editing powers and would be happy to correct anything in her bio or in her poems.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 10:22 AM

Here's an updated link to some 200 of Cicely Fox Smith's poems as they were published which are being posted by myself and Shantyfreak on the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Apr 06 - 01:04 PM

The collection of Cicely Fox Smith at Oldpoetry has just hit 300, with at least another 50 to go. Check out the link above if you're interested in the original words of her poems and some notes on where they were published.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 May 06 - 11:02 AM

The collection of Cicely Fox Smith at Oldpoetry has just hit 360. There are probably another 50 or so published poems outstanding, primarily from her rare earlier poety books. Neither Shantyfreak nor I have copies of them so the project is stalled in terms of completing the collection.

These are the poetry books we know about that we don't have:

Songs Of Greater Britain [p:1899
The Foremost Trail [p:1899
Wings Of The Morning [p:1904

If you can help in completing this project, please PM me here at Mudcat or go to my personal website for my e-mail address: Charley Noble Website

If you are aware of other CFS poetry books that we might have missed, please feel free to contact me as well.

Here is our present list of published works, including non-poetry books:

Songs Of Greater Britain [p:1899
The Foremost Trail [p:1899
Wings Of The Morning [p:1904
Lancashire Hunting Songs [p:1909
The City Of Hope [f:1914
Songs In Sail [p:1914
Sailor Town: Sea Songs & Ballads [p:1914
The Naval Crown [p:1915
Fighting Men [p:1916
Small Craft [p:1917
Singing Sands (introduction only?)[p:1918
Rhymes Of The Red Ensign [1919
Songs And Chanties 1914-1916 [p:1919
Peregrine In Love (short novel)[f:1920
Ships And Folks [p:1920
Rovings: Sea Songs & Ballads [p:1921
Sailor Town Days [1923
Sea Songs And Ballads 1917-22 [p:1923
A Book Of Famous Ships [p:1924
The Return Of The "Cutty Sark" [p:1924
Ship Alley [p:1925
Yarns of an Old Shellback (intro) [p: 1925
Full Sail [p:1926
Tales Of The Clipper Ships [p:1926
A Book Of Shanties [p:1927
A Sea Chest (ed) [p:1927
Ancient Mariners [p:1928
There Was A Ship [p:1929
Ocean Racers [p:1930
The Thames [n:1931
Sailor's Delight [p:1931
True Tales Of The Sea [p:1932
Anchor Lane [p:1933
All The Other Children [p:1933
Peacock Pride (with Margaret S SMITH) [p:1934
Adventures And Perils (ed) [p:1936
All Clear Aft (includes short story PONTIFEX [p: 1936
Three Girls In A Boat (with Margaret S SMITH) [p:1938
All The Way Round: Sea Roads to Africa [p:1938
The Ship Aground [p:1940
The Voyage Of The Trevessa's Boats [p:1940
The Story Of Grace Darling (bio) [p:1940
Wayfaring Folk [p: 1945?
Here And There In England With The Painter Brangwyn [p:1945
Thames Side Yesterdays [p:1945
Country Days And Country Ways, Trudgin Afoot in England [p:1947
Painted Ports [p:1948
Knave-Go-By [p:1951
Ship Models [p:1951
Seldom Seen (with Madge S SMITH) [f:1954
The Valiant Sailor [p:1951-1955)
The Man Before the Mast (editor) [p:?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 May 06 - 02:01 PM

Here are some reviews selected by one of CFS's publishers from the period 1914-1919:

From SONGS AND CHANTIES, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Elkins Mathews, London, ©1919. p. 232.

Spectator

"No one, not even Mr. Mansfield, has written finer sea ballads or come closer to the heart of those who go down to the great waters. In any anthology of the sea Miss Fox Smith's 'Ballad of the Matterhorn,' 'Bill the Dreamer,' 'The Last of the Sealing Fleet' and 'Rathlin Head' must occupy a high place."

Times

"It is not likely that many lovers of sea-songs have missed the voice of Miss Fox Smith, but if they do not know her 'Songs in Sail' let them read 'Sailor Town' – the dancing colours and fresh scents of the harbour, the rush of the sea and wind, the cheery pathos of the outward-bound, the sailor's homesickness – all this is carried on the rhythm of her verses with a vividness hardly equaled by any other verse writer of the day."

Spectator

"Miss Fox Smith is one of the few people living who can write a real 'chanty' combining a mastery of sea-lingo with perfect command of sea rhythms."

Times

"These are the right stuff."

Evening Standard

"Ballads and songs of the war, reeking of spindrift and spume, breezy and direct as those who go down to the sea in ships."

Nautical Magazine

"Mr. C. Fox Smith must be congratulated on his dainty little volume of poems, 'The Naval Crown.' We remember how well we enjoyed the author's 'Sailor Town' and can say that the enjoyment and high opinion we then formed of the author have been in no way lessened by the present volume."

Navy

"The writer's vocabulary of sea phrases is striking and characteristic; the technicalities proclaim a real sea lover, and the tone and colour are only excelled by the lilt of the verses."

Times

"Miss C. Fox Smith's naval verse … shows here, as in her former collection, her exceptional métier for apt metrical celebration of the spirit, the humour of the pathos of war and of the fighting man."

Syren

"An excellent little collection of ballads referring to various phases of the war, some of which our readers have doubtless made the acquaintance of in the pages of 'Punch.' The 'Rhyme of the Inisfail' … is the gem, and an excellent one, of the collection. The author has a capital vein of humour."

Manchester City News

"The sea songs have the breath and the sound and the motion of the waters in them."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 08:18 PM

The collection of C. Fox Smith poems on the Oldpoetry website has just hit 400. The most recent additions are from one of her earliest publications, 1899. Many of these early poems are "militantly" pro-British or pro-imperialistic. She was quite offended at the socialists such as the Pankhursts that she attended school with in Manchester, as she noted later in her book All The Way Round: Sea Roads to Africa [p:1938.

Here's the link again to her collection on the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website

We still need help finding copies of three of her earliest poetry books:

Songs Of Greater Britain [p:1899
The Foremost Trail [p:1899
Wings Of The Morning [p:1904

We know there are library copies in the UK but what we really need is for someone there to photocopy the poems and mail them to myself or to Jim Saville

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 03:59 PM

I have just returned last October from the UK, where I succeeded in copying Songs Of Greater Britain (1899) and Wings Of The Morning (1904) at the British Library in London. Nobby had previously sent me photocopies of The Foremost Trail (1899) which I am very greatful to receive.

I would estimate that there are at least 100 more poems in the two works I've most recently acquired to post to the Oldpoetry website, which would bring the total of her published works up to at least 500 poems.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 04:11 PM

Great!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 04:15 PM

Thanks!!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 10:47 PM

There are a few more poems in the CFS manuscript that Danny McLeod has which apparently were never published, and a few poems that were published in periodicals but not re-published in her poetry books. We'll make a good faith effort to round 'em up as well. But I'll be busy for a couple of weeks just posting what I have.

The folks at Chantey Cabin had a couple of suggestions for who might be interested in publishing the anthology, and that remains one of my priorities. The format of each poem would be similar to how Jim and I have posted them at the Oldpoetry website.

We haven't decided how to order the poems. Alphabetical by title is the simplest system. If we do it book by book chronologically, some of the poems will appear more than once, sometimes with small changes, other times with substantial changes, and sometimes identical. We would appreciate suggestions from those familar with her work.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 12:35 PM

In my humble opinion, Sailortown is her best poem of the sea. Dick Miles.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 02:13 PM

In case people are unaware, Sailortown was the first (CFS) sea poem set to music. I wrote a tune for it in 1987, before anyone else in the folk revival had set her poems to music.

Bob Roberts recorded the Robin Adair (Race of Long Ago) around this time but assumed it was traditional.

I first performed Sailortown at Shrewsbury festival in 1987, Jim MAGEAAN was present at the festival, heard me perform it, and history was made. Shortly after JOHNNY COLLINS recorded Sailortown, and as a result many people started putting the poetry of C. Fox Smith to music.

Dick Miles.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 05:17 PM

Dick-

You do deserve credit for rediscovering C. Fox Smith and channeling a splendid tune to her poem "Sailortown." Andrew MacKay and Suffolk (Sussex!) Carole showed me a vinyl copy of that recording, which they treasure, while I was recently visiting them at their home at the end of the Gower Peninsular in South Wales.

I now have a CD version of that recording that I got via Chantey Cabin, and I'm enjoying the learning of the song with my concertina.

However, with regard to your assessment:

"In my humble opinion, Sailortown is her best poem of the sea."

There are so many strong candidates for "best poem of the sea" in her collection that I would hesitate to single one out. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Dave Earl
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 05:41 PM

Er thats Sussex Carole Charley.

I'm sure it's only a slip of the fingers on the keyboard but I thought we should get the record straight - and they are friends of mine from when Carole was a fellow resident at The Lewes Arms.

Never mind all the above - keep up the good work.

Dave


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 06:23 PM

Yes, Charley, you're right, a lot of her poems are very good.
The Lewes Arms, I played there a few times, HARVEYS BITTER, I could do with a pint of that now, a good singing crowd, fond memories.

NOT so cheerily , Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 06 - 04:36 PM

Dave-

"Sussex Carole" it is. The fingers work faster than the mind sometimes. We'll be seeing Carole and Andrew in Maine next Thursday when they are doing a house concert at Sinsull's house in South Portland.

Dick-

Here's a virtual Harvey's Bitter for you!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Nov 06 - 10:23 AM

thanks.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 01:39 PM

Interesting question that:

Which is Cicely Fox Smith's best poem?

I grant the claims of Sailortown as the best song (i.e. marriage of words and music) and have often listened to Dick Miles playing it live and on his recordings. Thanks, Dick.

But for best poem, no music, I personally have had Lee Fore Brace at the top of my list since I first came across her work, thanks to Pinch of Salt's album Hand Spike Gruel & Sea Boot Duff. Thanks Danny and co.

I stripped away the music and now use it as a recital piece.
So that is my vote. What's yours?

Shantyfreak


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 06:27 PM

I might be able to narrow the list down to my favorite dozen!

There are well over 430 poems to choose from.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 02:35 PM

Any candidates to nominate?

Certainly "Lee Fore Brace" is among my favorites along with "Old Fiddle," "Shanghai Passage," "Port o' Dreams," "Outward Bound," "Mariquita," "Shipmates (1914)," "Rio Grand" and "The Long Road Home."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 04:12 PM

I virutally enjoyed that virtual pint, yours virtually, till the ship docks.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 06:58 PM

I wonder if you got virtually drunk Cap'n?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 07 - 10:17 AM

Update on C. Fox Smith Anthology Project (December 30, 2006)

This update is for people like yourself that we believe have an interest in the works of Cicely Fox Smith. For the past three years Jim Saville (UK) and myself (US) have been trying to collect all the poems by this lady. Almost all of her works are now long out of print and are becoming very difficult or expensive to obtain. We are trying to make them all freely available to a wider audience via the internet on the Oldpoetry Website: Click here for website

To date we have posted over 450 of her poems there, complete with references and notes. Anyone can access the poems for free via the above link. To give us an indication of the merits of the work done so far it would be nice to see more feedback on the poems. This is easy to do by the built-in comment section at the end of each poem at Oldpoetry.

There are about 50 more known poems remaining to be posted and these are from her earliest book, Poems Of Greater Britain. That book is in hand and the job of posting these poems will be accomplished soon. We have access to all her major poetry books via our personal collections but there are a few miscellaneous poems which were published in periodicals but were not republished in one of her poetry books. We are searching online sources such as copies of PUNCH magazine via the Gutenberg Website. However, we are also aware of many different periodicals and numerous travelogues, naval histories and anthologies that likely contain examples of her work and would like to obtain copies of any poems included in these if possible. Your help in this job would be greatly appreciated and we can be contacted at ipbar@gwi.net or shantyfreak@yahoo.co.uk or via the comments section on the Oldpoetry Website

Ultimately we would like to get all these poems published as an anthology so that more people can better access and appreciate her work. The Oldpoetry Website does that job well for now but like most websites it is not necessarily permanent. Both Jim and I have independent back-ups of what is posted there now but that will not be of much use to fans of her work around this wide world if the Website fails.

We would also like to be kept up to date with regard to any other C. Fox Smith projects that you may be working on or are familiar with. We also draw your attention to this poet's forthcoming 125th anniversary, February 1st of this year, and encourage you to celebrate it appropriately.

When we are aware of it, we have also made reference in the poems posted at Oldpoetry to recordings where her poems have been adapted for singing; our references to recordings, however, will be unavoidably incomplete. If there are mistakes that you notice, please draw our attention to them via personal e-mail or the Website comments section. We will be happy to correct any factual errors on the site.


Charlie Ipcar (Charley Noble)

Jim Saville (Shantyfreak)

SOURCES


Songs Of Greater Britain (1899)

The Foremost Trail (1899)

Men Of Men (1900)

Wings Of The Morning (1904)

Lancashire Hunting Songs And Other Moorland Lays (1909)

Sailor Town (1914)

Songs In Sail (1914)

Small Craft (1917)

Rhymes Of The Red Ensign (1919)

Songs And Chanties: 1914-1916 (1919)

Ships And Folks (1920)

Rovings (1921)

Sea Songs And Ballads: 1917-1922 (1923)

Full Sail (1926)

Sailor's Delight (1931)

All The Other Children (1933)

Other Books, Magazines, and Manuscript


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Subject: LYR.ADD.: Casey's Concertina
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 08:23 PM

Well, I've had to re-edit the list of major poetry books above. I ran across another early one via inter-library loan titled MEN OF MEN (1900) with about 50 more poems. Most of these are also intensely patriotic but there's one about a tramp freighter that is a precursor to her later nautical poems. We'll be posting these poems one by one onto the Oldpoetry website over the next month if you're interested.

In the meantime I thought I'd post another one of her poems that Bob Zentz has set to music, on his long awaited but not yet released CD of C. Fox Smith poems:

Casey's Concertina

There are lights a-flashing in the harbour
From the ships at anchor where they ride,
And a dry wind going through the palm-trees
And the long-low murmur of the tide …
And there's noise and laughter in the foc's'le,
And the bare feet beating out the tune
To the sound of Casey's concertina
Underneath the great gold moon —
Creaky old leaky concertina
Underneath the great gold moon.

There's a milky glimmer on the water,
And the lonely glitter of the stars,
And a light breeze blowing up the roadstead,
And a voice a-sighing in the spars,
A-sighing, crying in the backstays,
And the furled sails sleeping overhead,
And the sound of Casey's concertina,
Singing of a time that's fled —
Leaky old creaky concertina
Singing of a dream that's dead.

Notes:

From SHIPS AND FOLKS, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Elkin Mathews, London, © 1920, p. 52.

This is from a set of poems entitled "The Way of the Ship" which were originally set to music by Easthope Martin, and published as FIVE CHANTEY SONGS, Enoch & Sons, © 1920.

In my opinion, Zentz's musical arrangement is much better than that of Easthope Martin; it's the same tune that Bob uses for "Old Grey Squirrel" by Alfred Noyes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 08:12 AM

The anthology of C. Fox Smith poems posted at the Oldpoetry website is now well over 500 poems and should top out at about 550. There may be a few miscellaneous poems that are still outstanding but I don't think we're missing any of her poetry books now.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 01:06 PM

Here's an example of what I call a precursor sea poem by Cicely Fox Smith, precursor in the sense that in 1900 she was still land-bound and would later composes hundreds of fine nautical poems:

From MEN OF MEN, by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Sampson Low, Marston & Co., London, UK, © 1900, p. 102-104.

An Ocean Tramp

    To-morrow and to-morrow,
    (O the slashing of the foam along the furrow!)
We'll loosen from the jetty when the tide has ceased to flow.
    East, West, North and South we're going, boys,
    Out where the salt winds are blowing, boys,
Along the ocean highways where the little traders go!

I have rocked in Pacific harbours, I have fought the Polar seas,
I have bowed to the Northern tempests,
    I have laughed to the South Sea breeze:
I have driven far to the Northward, through tempest and strain and toil,
To trade with the fur-clad people for their sealskin and their oil.
Iceberg and floe and storm-wind, they pass me scathless by;
For why should the mighty ocean wage war on such as I?

I have run in the dark of the night-time where the cruisers guard the bay,
Into the leaguered harbour making my unseen way:
I have lain by the plague-swept city where a ceaseless death-bell toil'd,
When the sailors die in the foc's'le, and the cargos rot in the hold.
I have sought the palm-fringed islets where the liners come naught nigh,
Trailing the smoke of my funnels over a stainless sky.
And ever I'm tramping, tramping, over the world-wide main,
Ever out from the haven to seek new ports again.

Lagos and sweltering Aden, – I know them one and all, –
Manila's princely harbour, the heights of Montreal,
The shallow roads of Durban, and Riga's fortress strong,
The guarded bay of Capetown, the island of Hong Kong,
The swarming docks of Melbourne, the markets of Bombay,
And virgin South Sea harbours, and drowsy Mandalay.

To-morrow and to-morrow,
    (O the slashing of the foam along the furrow!)
It's out to one or other of the thousand ports I know;
    East, West, North and South we're going, boys,
    Out where the salt winds are blowing, boys,
Along the ocean highways where the little traders go!

Some of the wording above fails to demonstrate familiarity with nautical slang, something it would be hard to criticize in her poems after her return from Victoria, British Columbia, in the fall of 1913.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 May 07 - 08:21 AM

The CFS Anthology at the Oldpoetry website is now essentially complete, at 550 poems: Click here for website!

I must confess that I found many of her earliest poems excessively patriotic, jinguistic, and imperealistic. It was a hard job to slog through many of them. However, the bulk of her poems were published 1914 and after and reflect a greater world view and were based on personal experience, beyond the museum and library where her youthful fancy took her. And, as I've mentioned above, there are some poetic jewels even among her first three publications.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 11:46 AM

There will be a Cicely Fox Smith workshop/concert at the Mystic Sea Music Festival this year, 2nd weekend of June, in Mystic, Connecticut. I along with Danny & Joyce McLeod and Bob Zentz will be coordinating the workshop, leading songs, and comparing notes on our research with regard to this great nautical poet.

For more information about this Sea Music Festival and the Mystic Seaport Museum contact: www.mysticseaport.org or call 860-572-5339

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 03:35 PM

Charley(and whoever else might like to know), Bob Zentz's CD of C. Fox Smith poetry set to music is now available. It is titled. "Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream". Bobzentz.com is one source for information.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 06:24 PM

Roger-

Thanks for the reminder. "Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream" is a fine CD, and there is an existing thread which you might revive and make a comment on.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: bradfordian
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 06:19 AM

Charley, do you have this one? Did a quick check & didn't find it!

THE FIGUREHEAD by C. Fox-Smith. ( 'Punch' - 1935 )

In the days when every seaport had its figureheads to show—
Queens, princesses, sea-nymphs, witches, girls of all sorts, row on row,
With their faintly smiling faces and their outstretched pointing hands
Reaching out across the water-lanes that lead to far-off lands—

There was once a ship a-building on the slips down Black-wall way
(Yard and builder, ship and owner, long ago they had their day),
And it chanced one summer morning when the work was nearly done
The Owner came to look at her and see how things went on.

Now this Owner, I must tell you, was a pious sort of bloke
That didn't know the way to smile and never cracked a joke:
He'd an "albert" on his waistcoat and a whisker on each cheek,
And his face was like a sea-boot or the wettest kind of week.

Well, he looked the ship all over and he 'd got no fault to find,
But, says he, "There is a point on which I've quite made up my mind;
I will not have this ship o' mine called after one of those
Outrageous heathen goddesses with hardly any clo'es.

It's not a good example to the people where we trade
To see upon our vessels' bows such things as those displayed;
So let her name be Enterprise or Thrift or Industry,
And I think we can't do better than a figurehead of ME."

So the carver carved his likeness, though he said it was a job
To make a decent showing of that hammick-faced old swab;
And they launched the ship and christened her with homemade rhubarb-wine,
For he said he 'd have no dealings with the product of the vine.

They named her Perseverance, and they sent her out to sea
To show the folks in foreign parts a figurehead of HE,
With a go-to-meeting topper of the real stove-pipe sort
And the kind of stick-up collar Mr. Gladstone used to sport.

And when she got to forty South up comes old Davy Jones
From his house below the water that's all built of sailors' bones,
To see the latest vessel and her figurehead to scan,
For he likes, a nice young female, just like any sailor-man.

But when he clapped his eyes on her it made him fair disgusted;
He cussed like any bucko mate until he nearly busted,
And looked and looked and looked again, and said, "Well, strike me pink!"
Then took and yanked the Owner off and slung him in the drink.

And he drifted and he lifted as the winds and currents chose.
With the seabirds sitting on him from his waistcoat to his nose,
And he lifted and he drifted many a month and many a mile.
Till he fetched up at the finish on a South Pacific isle.

And there the natives found him, high and dry upon the shore,
And they gathered round and stared at him till they could stare no more;
Then they set him on a heap of stones and hung him round with flowers
And said, "Now where's the island that can show a god like ours?"

And fuzzy-headed damsels wearing hardly any clo'es
But wisps of grass and feathers— and uncommon few of those—
Used to come and dance for him o' nights beneath the golden moon
To the singing of the palm-trees and the tide in the lagoon.

And there he sat and scowled at them; and so the years went on
Till, what with time and weather, all the paint off him was gone,
And his whiskers and his collar had got worn so flat and small
That you couldn't recognise him for the Owner's self at all.

Well, at last there came a schooner cruising round the Southern Seas
With a learned bloke on board collecting curiosities,
And when he saw the figurehead he cried, '"Now here's a find;
This here's a tribal totem of a most unusual kind."

And the island folks were thinking that he couldn't be much good
Because he hadn't made it rain just when they thought it should,
So they swopped him for a gramophone as willing as you please,
And he travelled back to England wrapped up careful like a cheese.

He's in Blankby Town Museum now for all the world to see,
With a label underneath him, "Heathen Idol from Fiji";
And if there is a moral in this story strange but true,
Well I only hope you see it—I'll be jiggered if I do!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 10:22 AM

Bradfordian-

I believe you have nailed another poem, one that has eluded our search to date. The poet did several poems about figureheads but this one is not among those that Jim Saville and I have harvested.

Many of C. Fox Smith's poems were first published in Punch Magazine, beginning in 1914. These magazines are now available on-line, almost all up to 1920. And the ones published after that date are certainly available in libraries or at used book stores but no one has gone through them systematically. We fully expect that there should be a few more poems to harvest in this magazine and a few other magazines.

Note to those who would consider doing more library research on Punch:

Every six months Punch published an index (June and December) and if a poem by C. Fox Smith were published in the previous issues it would be found lurking under "Fox-Smith."

Thanks so much for bringing this poem, #551, to our attention!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, co-editor of the Cicely Fox Smith Anthology


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 08:04 PM

Confirmation of this would be useful. Anyone with the appropriate copies of Punch please please have a look. In particular at the punctuation of Black-wall which is unusual. Volume number and page would be the icing on the cake.
In the early days of Punch, Smith would appear as C.F.S. (Fox-Smith in the index) in the same way as Alan P Herbert was APH, Owen Seaman was OS and so on. In her later career she was more often Miss Fox Smith or just Cicely Fox Smith.
All contributions gratefully recieved.
Jim


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 10:36 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Gulliver
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM

Hi Charley I PM'd you some time ago with information on books available via library loan in Ireland by C. Fox Smith. If you need further info please PM me. Don


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 10:27 PM

Don-

About the only books we haven't got on hand now are two romantic novels, SINGING SANDS and PERGUINE IN LOVE. The latter is probably the more important book in terms of being set in Victoria Harbour, British Columbia where CFS resided for 9 years (1904 to 1913).

I managed to get access to some rough scans of PUNCH magazine. Now all references are complete through 1922. Further scanning is not planned because of copyright problems. So we would appreciate anyone who has access to bound copies of PUNCH to check the index for more poems, following the instructions above.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Gulliver
Date: 19 Mar 08 - 11:26 PM

I was informed that Peregine in Love was available on library loan from Cork. Don


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 08:47 AM

Very true but someone needs to do something about it. I do have photocopies of the first chapter and I'm anxious to know how it plays out. Here's the review of the book from PUNCH magazine:

Review of Peregrine in Love (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) by Cicely Fox Smith
From Punch Magazine, Vol. 159, September 29, 1920, p. 260.

Peregrine in Love

Peregrine in Love (Hodder and Stoughton) is a story whose sentimental title does it considerably less than justice. It gives no indication of what is really an admirably vivacious comedy of courtship and intrigue, with a colonial setting that is engagingly novel. Miss C. Fox Smith seems to know Victoria and the island of Vancouver with the intimacy of long affection; her pen-pictures and her idiom are both of them convincingly genuine. The result for the reader is a twofold interest, half in seeing what will be to most an unfamiliar place under expert guidance, half in the briskly moving intrigue supposed to be going on there. I say "supposed," because, to be frank, Miss Fox Smith's story, good fun as it is, hardly convinces like her setting. You may, for example, feel that you have met before in fiction the lonely hero who rescues the solitary maiden, his shipmate, from undesirable society, and falls in love with her, only to learn that she is voyaging to meet her betrothed. At this point I suppose most novel-readers would have given fairly long odds against the betrothed in question keeping the appointment, and I may add that they would have won their money. Not that Peregrine was going to find the course of his love run smooth in spite of this; being a hero and a gentleman he had for one thing to try, and keep on trying, to bring the affianced pair together, and thus provide the tale with another than its clearly predestined end. Of course he doesn't succeed, but the attempt furnishes capital entertainment for everybody concerned, and proves that Mr. Punch's "C. F. S." can write prose too.

Now you know as much as we do!

I'd be happy to reimburse for copying expenses and mailing costs. But be warned, several intrepid volunteers have failed at this mission, never to be heard from again!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,bradfordian
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 10:21 AM

Charley, I've just put in a request to my local library who'll request Perigrenes from British Library (inter library loan) so I hope to hear soon -- unless someone beats me to it.
Brad.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 11:14 AM

Bradfordian-

Good to hear from you again!

It's a risky job but someone had to belly up to the bar.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Gulliver
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:33 PM

I've also put in the library loan request for Peregrine from an Irish library. They'll let me know when (if!) it's available.

Bradfordian, if yours comes through first, could you let me know, so there won't be a duplication of effort?

ta, Don


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 09:26 AM

It's a race!

There is another C. Fox Smith novel out there called THE SINGING SANDS but from the PUNCH review it didn't appear to be as interesting. Here's the review:

Singing Sands - Review in Punch Magazine, March 6, 1918, p. 160.

When a novelist is modestly content to label his or her
story as " An Episode," one must of course admit that
criticism is to some extent disarmed. At the same time
I feel bound to observe that any episode that includes in
its tumultuous course a murder, an elopement, a romance,
a desertion, not to specify many other considerable events,
3is in some danger of becoming overgrown. All these things
happened during a little visit that Lyndon Travess, the
heroine of Miss C. Fox SMITH'S new story, Singing Sands
(HODDER AND STOUGHTON), paid to some relations who
lived at this spot of the romantic name. It may save you
from the disillusion that awaited Lyndon and myself to
say at once that Singing Sands the place, not the story
by no means carries out the exquisite promise of its beauti-
ful title. As for the book itself, that I must confess has
put me into some sort of quandary ; I think I should be
inclined to compromise by calling it a good tale badly told.
Miss Fox SMITH'S manner seems at times to combine every
possible exasperation; it is lingering where the matter
demands speed, baffling where it should be clear, and
throughout uncertain, and even amateurish, to an almost
maddening degree, and yet one has further to admit that,
in the words of a celebrated tribute, she "gets there all the
same." Perhaps this is the reward of sincerity; in part it
is certainly due to her feeling for atmosphere. Singing
Sands contains some pen pictures of Canadian landscape
that are suggested with quite wonderful beauty. I am
bound to repeat, however, that in this crowded episode of
Lyndon's visit to her remarkable relations you may find
the places more attractive than the plot, the setting than
the very unsatisfactory set. Which of course, being precisely
what Miss Fox SMITH intended, is only another proof that,
against every handicap, she has done what I knew she
would, and readied her objective.

I do have a copy of her earliest novel CITY OF HOPE (copied by a loyal friend from a library in Tasmania!) which was quite disappointing, from my point of view.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 09:11 PM

Well, thanks to the hard work of one of our Mudcat contacts in the UK, Bradfordian, we are getting access to some C. Fox Smith poems that were published in Punch Magazine (post 1933) but have never been published in her poetry books. Here's one that shares some elements with "The News in Daly's Bar" and "Old Fiddle":

The Rendezvous.

A pub there is of far renown,
A pub that seamen know
In every street of Sailortown
Or sea where they in ships go down
From Clyde to Callao.

And there they say if a man should wait
A twelvemonth and a day
That all his shipmates soon or late
Would surely pass that way.

Both night and noon the door swings wide
To the noisy dockside's din,
Both night and noon with every tide
The sailormen blow in.

They come with talk of ships and men
And lean upon the bar
And yarn and drink and yarn again
Of ports both near and far.

But theirs are ships I never spoke
And trades to me unknown,
And all they see is a grizzled bloke
That drinks his drink alone.

They neither pause nor listen when
From all the oceans home
Between the tides the sailormen
I wait alone for come—

Come in with laughter on their lips
And names I used to know
And speech of men and speech of ships
Forgotten long ago.

No door swings wide to let them through,
No eye but mine can see
That all the shipmates ever I knew
Blow in to drink with me.

Notes:

From PUNCH magazine, Volume 188, Feb 27, 1935, p. 250.

Cicely Fox Smith died April 8th, 1954. I was too young then to offer to buy her a round, Not many other Mudcatters, I dare say, would have even known of her then as a footnote.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 09:19 AM

Just to voice my thanks to Bradfordian for his efforts and to Charlie for all the collation work.
We may never unearth all the lady's work but thanks to contributions from Mudcat readers and others we can get most of them.
Jim


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Gulliver
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM

Unfortunately I received word last week that Peregrine in Love is not available from any library in Ireland. The Library Service is now trying the UK for me, but of course this could take some time. Bradfordian got in touch and if there's any way we could share the work I'd be happy to do it. Don


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: nutty
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 12:22 PM

According to COPAC there are als copies in the Oxford University Library and the National Library of Scotland

COPAC


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 05:01 PM

Gulliver-

Bradfordian reports that he has a fragile copy of Peregrine in Love in his hot little hands. He's now planning to photocopy it and send the results to me. It's too fragile to try do on a flat bed scanner.

We will share how the story ends!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 May 08 - 10:40 AM

Further update from our intrepid volunteer Bradfordian:

Brad has now completed his review of Punch magazine from 1931 to 1954 and reports finding about 65 more poems that are not yet in our inventory.

We'll be reviewing those poems one by one, checking to make sure some have not been re-titled, but I think we can safely say that the complete inventory will easily exceed 600 poems.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Saro
Date: 03 May 08 - 03:54 PM

Do you have "AFOOT" published in "The Open Road" compiled by E.V. Lucas, first printed in 1899? If not, I'll send a copy.
Saro


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 May 08 - 04:38 PM

Saro-

Are you sure of the 1899 date?

Here's what we have for "Afoot":

From Wings of the Morning, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Elkin Mathews, London, UK, © 1904, p. 64. Reprinted in Country Days And Country Ways: Trudging Afoot in England, by Cicely Fox Smith, published by F. Lewis, Ltd., Leigh-on-Sea, UK, © 1947, p. 11.

There is a delightful book of poems, edited by E. V. Lucas, entitled The Open Road [Methuen] in which this poem appears along with a note of thanks to Miss Cicely Fox Smith from the editor and that note is dated 1905.

This is one of the few very early poems that the poet ever reprinted in one of her later, and in this case much later, works.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Saro
Date: 04 May 08 - 11:33 AM

Hi Charley, my copy of The Open Road has at the front "First published by Mr Grant Richards, April 1899. It was reprinted at regular intervals, the 36th edition being in 1926.
Saro


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Subject: LYR ADD: Queen's Ships, The
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 May 08 - 08:19 AM

Jim and I have now posted most of the additional Punch poems at the Oldpoetry website (under Cicely Fox Smith), bringing the total to over 600 poems. Here's the last poem that Smith published in Punch Magazine, in tribute to England's new queen as well as beloved ships:

From Punch Magazine, Vol. 224, June 17, 1953, p. 715

The Queen's Ships

Queens' ships, Queens' ships…
Gloriana's mariners,
Putting forth to sea
Afire to beard the Spaniard
Wherever he may be…

Hanging on the Plate fleets' flanks
Like hounds upon the deer,
Roving, raiding, voyaging
Year on weary year.

Leaking, reeking, nail-sick,
Rolling home again
With their scurvy-rotten seamen
And the plunder of the Main.

Queens' ships, Queens' ships…
Stately first rates
Of Good Queen Anne's day,
Plunging deep their gilded bows
In the trampled spray –

With their fighting ship's companies
That well the Frenchmen knew
And their brave bewigged admirals
Of the white, red and blues –

Rooke that gained Giblalter,
And gallant Leake also,
Myngs and stout old Shovell
And honest Benbow…

Queens' ships, Queens' ships…
Little ships and great ships,
The seven seas over,
Keeping up the long patrol
From Davis Straits to Dover.
(Franklin in the Arctic,
Gunboats at Rangoon,
Calliope at Apia
Fighting the Typhoon) –

Cruising, sounding searching,
Keeping clear the seas,
Through the little wars of Britain
And the piping times of peace.

Queens' ships, Queens' ships…
Great ships, small ships,
From the wide seas beckoned,
Gather to salute
Elizabeth the Second…

Ships pass, men pass,
The old ways grow strange,
All but the old faith
That knows not any change –

The old love that alters not
Through all the years between
Valiant Tudor cockleshell
And sleek grey submarine…
Love and faith to England
And to England's Queen!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 31 May 08 - 06:45 PM

Thanks to the recnt batch of Punch Poems from Bradfordian we now have 624 poems in the Oldpoetry.com collection.
If any of you have access to other old magazines such as The Spectator, Outlook, Country Life, The Times Literary Supplement and The Windsor Magazine and can find any more stuff to add please get in touch. Especially from her days in British Columbia in the early 20th century.
Jim


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 08 - 09:05 PM

Here's a link to the Oldpoetry website where you can wallow in all 624 poems: click here for website

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 04:09 PM

ALERT: this poem was subsequently proven to have been composed by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, RN (1868 - 1949) in 1896.
Bradfordian just dug up another CFS poem in Punch Magazine, one which was overlooked because it didn't have her initials. But I have no doubt that she is the composer:

Ship Logs

Ship logs for firewood – take them as you find them,
Broken ends of timber that are good for nothing more,
Lying in the breaker's yard, working days behind them;
You should know the feeling now you've settled down on shore!
Bought your little farm again, left the sea for good now?
Playing at forgetting it, pretending not to care?
Draw the curtains closer, man, and fetch a load of wood now,
Pile the hearth with ship logs and – light them if you dare!

Ship logs for firewood – listen how they chatter,
Whispering excitedly in many tongues of flame,
Gossip from the Seven Seas, things that really matter,
All the ships you ever loved calling you by name;
Plucking at the lashing that so pitilessly bind you,
Dragging at the anchors that you thought could hold their own,
Dressed in rainbow fashion, they have come ashore to find you;
P'r'aps they know it's bad for you to sit and brood alone.

Ship logs for firewood – louder still and brighter,
So the Roaring Forties to the south'ard of St. Paul
Called you in the eighties; you were younger then and lighter,
Raced the upper-yard men once and fairly beat them all;
Hark! Your sailing orders; there's the pennant up there flying
Ninety yards astern of you to track the homeward bound;
Sweethearts on the tow-rope, with a pull there's no denying,
Stamp and go together, draw you home to Plymouth Sound.

Ship logs for firewood – only fit for burning;
Even as they're dying see how cheerily they blaze;
Think of that a minute, and you're in the way of learning
Something that will see you through the dreariest of days!
Get another lorry-load and never have a doubt of them,
Then, with humble gratitude for all they have to give,
Ply the bellows lustily and get their secrets out of them;
Ship logs for firewood will teach you how to live!


From Punch Magazine, Volume 188, December 4, 1935, p. 625.

This philosophical poem was prefaced with the following quote from a shipbreaker's advirtisement:

"For real comfort nothing equals a good fire of old ship logs."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 04:20 PM

Hi,

Reading the lines of Ship Logs a tune presented itself. I might like to sing it one day, but for that I need help with two expressions that don't make sense to me on this side of the North Sea. Would someone explain to me:

* to the south'ard of St. Paul
* Sweethearts on the tow-rope, with a pull there's no denying,
Stamp and go together, draw you home to Plymouth Sound.

Thanks,
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:13 PM

Mysha-

My first guess is that "to the south'ard of St. Paul" is a reference to a pile of rocks in the Atlantic known as St. Paul Rocks.

"Sweethearts on the tow-rope, with a pull there's no denying" is a direct reference to the sailor's fancy that when one is homeward bound, the ship is drawn faster by the sailortown gals pulling on an imaginary tow-rope.

"Stamp and go" is a reference to a way that sailors march down the deck with a line to haul up a yardarm or a heavy sail.

It's easy to fit tunes for CFS poems but don't rush it. Try out a number of them and think about the poem. But good luck with your work. I think it's an interesting poem but be warned her poems are addictive. ;~)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:17 PM

Here's the Wikipedia description of St. Peter and Paul Rocks:

"The Saint Peter and Saint Paul Islets, officially the Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo, is an archipelago of the State of Pernambuco, in Brazilian Federation. It is an archipelago of small islands and rocks in the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean, 870 km from the Fernando de Noronha Island and 1,010 km from the city of Natal on Brazil's northeastern coast. The islets expose serpentinized mantle peridotite on the top of one of largest megamullion of the world, being the unique abyssal mantle exposure above sea level. All of the islets and rocks are designated an environmental protection area. The main economic activity around the islets is tuna fishing."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:31 PM

Mysha,

"So the Roaring Forties to the south'ard of St. Paul Called you in the eighties;"
The Roaring Forties is that area of the Southern Ocean to the south of all the continents, (I know, S.America goes to 56 South) a rough, tough region where the wind blows ever round the globe with nothing to stop it. St Paul?? I guess, if it exists, may be a port or island to the north of the Roaring Forties and has no great significance other than to pad out the line.
The roaring log fire draws his mind back to the 1880's, when as a younger, fitter man, he voyaged around the world.


"Sweethearts on the tow-rope"
When the ship was homeward-bound and going at a cracking pace then the crew would say that it was their sweethearts pulling them home.

regards
Jake
Such was the strength of their affection for one another!!


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:52 PM

Hi,

Ah, didn't know either reference; thanks for the help.
But that would mean "the south'ard" was "the southward": Beyond the St. Paul. But the two have the same number of syllalbels, so why did she use that. Is "south'ard" maybe pronounced similar to "southern"?

As for the tune: It's not an existing one, that I know of - some poems just seem to suggest melody and rhythm. I've seen several CFS poems that were too heavy - where you heard only the meter - but this one does have that tune quality.

Thanks,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 08:41 PM

Mysha-

"the south'ard" was just the way that old-time sailors pronounced "southward." Why they didn't simply say "South" is not to be reasoned out. CFS was a master at channeling sailor slang into her poems. There were many old salt admirers of her verses who could not believe that she wasn't a sailing master herself.

"St. Paul Rock" was a major reference point for sailing ship masters heading south from England for Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope, who would like to periodically check their navigation via landmarks, such as isolated islands of known location.

When you do record this one, please send me a copy so we can add it to the CFS Discography.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 10:52 PM

During rough weater "south" could sound like "salt" (this is an example only) so south would no be used in lieu opn south'ard. South'ard, vocally carries easier, farther without the "w" when the "o" in south'ard is a soft "o" rhyming with the "a" in ard. Sailors language was cafefull of not being redundant, being economical in it's use, being as least confusing as possible (lardboard was eventually dropped for a few reasons, one it's being to close sounding at the end to starboard (no the only reason though). Sailors lanaguage being some what a mongrel multi-lingual was honed down by the man before the mast & they went with what ever worded.
I great chapter on Sailor's Langauge is laid out by Horace Beck in his "Folklore & the Sea" pub. Mystic Seaport.

Barry


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

Hi,

Barry, I'm sorry, but all I have at hand is a concise Oxford dictionary, and it doesn't give a word "ard". Would you have a different example?

Jake, I didn't see your message while I was writing mine. Yes, I understood about the Roarin' Forties and the idea the whole sentenced conveyed. It was just that one bit I wasn't sure of. But you put it very well, which will help forming the imagine in my mind.

Charley, me actually being recorded would probably coincide with calves icedancing on Saint Jude's day. I really meant just "sing". But I'll let you know when either day arrives.


                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 06:31 AM

Sorry Mysha, just me being cute. Ard as in south'ard, or as in me being a blow(h)'ard. No one should ever take me too seriously or two literally.

I love your "calves icedancing on St. Jude's day". Where would they do that exactly now that I know when they do it?

Barry


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 10:43 AM

Barry-

Wasn't "The 'Ard" what they called the waterfront area in Plymouth, the old sailortown which is now probably gussied up with "Cutting Edge" retail outlets, shops with cosmetics and undergarments, not to mention cellular phone dealers. Ah, the ports we knew grown strange, the ships we knew laid up an' lost!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 09:28 AM

Getting back to the poem "Ship Logs" I have to confess that the first tune that surfaced for me was "The Dealer." LOL

Anyone want to finish out the chorus?

Know when to stamp an' go,
Know when to run!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: LYR.ADD.: Mobile Bay
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 08:59 PM

Bradfordian has found another CFS poem that had been overlooked in Punch Magazine. I find it interesting in that it combines her interest in traditional shanties with reflecting back on her life:

Mobile Bay

There's a song has gone through my mind all day,
As a song will sometimes do;
It takes me back to the years of youth
And the men and the ways I knew –
To the men I knew in a time that's gone
And a ship of old renown,
When I sailed on a day to Mobile Bay,
Where they roll the cotton down!

I remember the feel of the noonday sun
And the warm wet Indian smells –
Rum and sugar, niggers and mud,
And the dear Lord knows what else:
The shuffle and stamp of the naked feet
On the levees once again:
They all come back from the years that were
To the sound of that old refrain.

"Roll the cotton down, bullies,
Roll the cotton down!"
I am far away from the dingy street
And the drab grey Northern town:
I remember the yarns my shipmates spun
And the great old songs we sung,
The way of a ship at a twelve-knot clip
In the years when the world was young.

It's the width of a world from here, worse luck,
It's the half of my life since then,
And it's ill to tread, so I've heard said,
A trail you've left again;
And I may sail east, or I may sail west,
Where the folks are yellow or brown,
But I'll sail no more to Mobile Bay
Where they roll the cotton down.


From Punch Magazine, Volume 186, February 28, 1934, p. 248.

This poem contains phrases from the traditional stevedore/halliard shanty "Roll the Cotton Down," a version of which the poet collected and published in A Book of Shanties, © 1927.

The poem is prefaced with the note "An Old Song Re-sung."

Here's a link to how I've adapted this poem for singing: Click here!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 10:37 AM

I always think of myself as a lonely voice in the wilderness reading this thread entitled C. Fox Smith Sea POEMS.
Yes the lady's words convert into some fantastic songs and some fine folk have done that but take time to read them (preferably out loud) without the tune and see how magical they can be without the musical straight-jacket.

Words and music can live together
Please don't get me wrong.
But sometimes we need to remember
The difference between poem and song.

http://allpoetry.com/poem/1760101
Jim


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 05:46 PM

Jim-

Very true. Not all the poems of our beloved C. Fox Smith lend themselves to singing, nor should they be. Recitation is an equal and venerable art.

Of course, it's hard for me to avoid hearing "Mobile Bay" recited in my mind as I've heard Robert Service poems recited, another strait-jacket!

Let's set this one aside and let it mull some more.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Shantyfreak
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 01:02 PM

Absolutely Charlie.
I never forget that if it hadn't been for Danny, Fitz and Co. wih all those lovely SONGS on the Handspike Gruel and SeaBoot Duff tape (yep tape) all those years ago I may never have heard of the lady and had so much pleasure.
Jim


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 04:56 PM

Jim-

Thanks to Danny McLeod, Alan Fitzsimmons and Company we'll both be splashing and thrashing around in this sea of poetry for years!

Oh, and if anyone else is reading this thread, here's another link to the Oldpoetry website where you too can sift through 626 CFS poems: Click here for website!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 03:40 PM

It's time to refresh this thread and provide an update.

The total of poems we've been able to find still stands at 626, as posted on the Oldpoetry Website (link above). There may be a few more miscellaneous poems that were only published in magazines other than Punch that we haven't been able to harvest but I certainly think we've gotten the vast majority of them.

I'm in the final stages of drafting a songbook of the poems I've set to music and recorded, along with some favorites set to music by others. I'll be discussing that soon on a new thread titled Sea Songs of Cicely Fox Smith. I have hopes that I can encourage Bob Zentz and Danny McLeod to edit similar songbooks. In this way we can help fan the flames for a Cicely Fox Smith revival!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:31 AM

Hi,

First a few short remarks:
Barry, I fear I made a slight error in translation: It turns out that Dutch and English use the shortend name for different saints. So the proper date in English would be Saint Judith mass.

Shantyfreak, it's exacly that reading aloud that called up the tune. I expect that, over the years, that has been a very common occurence in the tradition, going back to bards reciting and singing the stories of heroes.


And now for the main message:

Charley, the book publication of the poem Ship Logs has been found: It's in Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood. It's unlikely that he merely collected those poems, even though nobody bothered with saying the man actually wrote them. So, while it's a good poem, it's probably a stranger on this thread.

                                                                                                                                                       Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:19 AM

Mysha-

Ship Logs? Interesting.

Could you provide a full reference on that, publisher, date, and page?

Undoubtedly you are correct but we'd like to check it out as well.

And it is a good poem!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:37 AM

Mysha-

Not to worry! I just researched the publication information myself, and ordered a used copy of the book: Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, © 1951.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 10:02 AM

Hi,

British Library to the rescue (also at Library of Congress).

Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems
Admiral Ronald Arthur. Hopwood
John Murray: London, 1951.

Do you absolutely need the page? I don't have it, but I could probably ask, if it's essential.

                                                                                                                                                          Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 10:42 PM

Per a Google Books snippet view, the index for Punch, v. 189 (1935) shows Hopwood as the author of "Ship Logs". Goggle Books also catalogs several entries for The Laws of the Navy by Hopwood dated 1918. I suspect the 1951 edition is just a reprint.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:42 AM

Hi Artful,

Don't be fooled by the little red book Google shows in front of those entries. As far as I can tell, that's really their way of saying they do no have an image of the original publication. Considering these other entries are not from the publisher that published his other poetry, I expect that the little red book entries are really inclusions in other works.

I'm afraid I can't find the index: As is quite usual for me, googlebooks will only give me entries that don't include the words I searched for. But I'm glad you found confirmation. Do you think there are enough snippets to make looking for other unknown CFS poems feasible?

Regarding the 1951 first edition: I see the admiral passed away in 1949. The publication from 1951 is therefor likely to be the collection of his best poems, together with those poems didn't appear in one of his earlier books.

                                                                      Mysha


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:49 AM

Artful Codger-

You are correct with regard to an earlier 1918 publication. However, there's an even earlier reference to 1896; the poem originally appeared in the "Army and Navy Gazette", 23 July 1896.

The worthy Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, RN (1868 - 1949) seems to have been a prolific poet. I've been reviewing some of his other poems which are available on-line and I'll start a page for him at the Oldpoetry Website, now that we know that he died some 50 years ago. If anyone finds a reference to his biography on-line, I'd be very interested.

The total poems in the CFS Anthology has now decreased to a mere 625.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM

Some first printings of Adm. Hopwood's volumes of poetry-
The Secret of Ships, 64 pp., 1918 and reprints- Includes poems "The Secret of Ships, The King's Messengers, The Mystery Ships, The Freak, The Wardens, The Galleon, The Bo'sun's Mate, The Outlaw, HMS Vanguard, The Vale; 10 poems in all.

The Old Way and other poems, 1916, 1917 and later reprint, 64pp.,
includes "The Boatswain's Call, The Oaks of England, and five other naval poems.

The New Navy and Other Poems, 1919, 96pp., poems.

Navis, a Ship. Content not known, may not be poetry. Rare.

The poem,"Th Laws of the Navy," is on line at
Laws of the Navy

"....virtually unknown outside Anglo-American naval officers' circles,..."


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM

"Ship Logs" and other poems by Adm. Hopwood C. B. on line, "The Laws of the Navy":
Ship Logs

Thirty-nine poems in all at this site:
Laws of the Navy


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 05:26 PM

Q-

Thanks! Some of the on-line poetry books you've noted I've already harvested but others will be interested. "Ship Logs" was the poem that we misattributed to C. Fox Smith above (which now has an alert note) and which we now know is by Admiral Hopwood.

And I've ordered the 1951 anthology, which has a nice introduction by Alfred Noyes, from a used book website.

I'm still hoping to find some biographical info about the Admiral.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM

The Old Way and Other Poems, Adm. R. A. Hopwood, complete text on line:
http://www.archive.org/stream/oldwayotherpoems00hopwiala/oldwayotherpoems00hopwiala_djvu.txt


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:25 AM

Clicky for the above. Though the Hopgood stuff should really go in a separate thread.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM

It really should and let's reserve further comments until we do that.

Maybe I'll have a stab at doing it myself by copying and deleting posts.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,Taff
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 05:45 PM

CFS is credited with the words to Drake's Breed - with music by Chudleigh Candish (Apollo Club)? Who was Chudleigh Candish and did he write music for any other of CFS poems?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: bradfordian
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 07:24 AM

Chudleigh wrote "Up with the Jolly Roger Boys" refered to in this thread perhaps his most well known composition.

brad


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: GUEST,taff
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 10:23 AM

was that his real name or a pen name?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 06:57 PM

Interesting!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 08:19 PM

Not a pen name.
Both Chudleigh and Candish are old English families, mentions in historical records. Some were knighted, e. g., Lord Candish mentioned in litigation in 1624.
Some modern Chudleigh's have had an orchard west of Toronto, Canada, for three generations, and operate a commercial bakery. Ted Chudleigh is a member of the Ontario legislature.

Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710) was a poet, famous for "To the Ladies," speaking of servitude to a husband...

Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will the nuptial contract break.
Like mutes, she signs alone must make,
And never any freedom take:
But still be govern'd by a nod,
And fear her husband as a God:
Him still must serve, him still obey,
And nothing act and nothing say,
But what her haughty lord thinks fit,
Who with the power, has all the wit.
.....

Chudleigh is an old wool market town in Devon.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Jack Ashore - Ladysmith, 1900
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 09:57 PM

Lyr. Add: Jack Ashore - Ladysmith, 1900
Cicely Fox Smith. Boer War Poem

Ten thousand British, twenty thousand foe,
Boers on a hilltop, shelling all they know,
Navy men and navy guns quick and cool to aim.
Fit and fresh from off the seas to play a Tommy's game.

Chorus-
On shore, off shore, a man in fighting trim,
Jack ashore and Jack afloat, it's all the same to him,
Jack afloat and Jack ashore, the same thro' thick and thin,
On the sea and off the sea, he always fights to win.

Bluejackets cheery hearty, true and strong,
Come to fight for England and bring the guns along.
Lords of all the outer deep bold in word and deed,
Full of fight from off the sea to help in Tommy's need.

Chorus:

Silence on the hilltop, guns that shell no more,
Shew that Jack the sailor's man of war ashore,
Here's to him by land and sea - men and guns and all,
Hearts of oak from off the seas to come to Tommy's call.

Eastern Province Herald, November 2, 1908.

From the days of British agression.

http://blogs.theherald.co.za/100yrs/category/jack-tar/


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 10:08 PM

The Herald, South Africa, is online. I haven't checked their archives for poems.
I believe the paper is in Port Elizabeth.

(aggression, aggression, agression, etc. etc.)


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 12:29 PM

Q-

This poem was first published in Men of Men in 1900. Here's the reference in the Oldpoetry Website where some 625 C. Fox Smith poems are now on-line: Click here for website!

She certainly churned out some patriotic verse at the time.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 12:09 PM

One of the newspapers which has earlier versions of some C. Fox Smith's poetry is evidently The Daily Colonist, published in Victoria, British Columbia. CFS was resident there between 1905 and 1913, and in a recent revisit (September, 2009) I found one of her poems, "The Long Road Home," published on December 17, 1912, p. 8. Since then one of my intrepid volunteers has turned up an article by CFS, "The Supreme Moment," about witnessing the unloading of a pair of heavy steam boilers from a Blue Funnel freighter in that same newspaper. Clearly there is more to harvest.

The real gold would be if someone discovered a good poem that was published nowhere else.

Typically such newspaper files are only available for viewing on microfilms but more recently some are now available on-line after being scanned and edited.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 08:33 AM

The nautical poems of Cicely Fox Smith (UK) earned her by the 1920's a reputation comparable to Rudyard Kipling and John Masefield. Few poets have so successfully described the last years of the Great Age of Sail from the point of view of the deep-water sailor.

The Songs of Cicely Fox Smith songbook demonstrates how some of Smith's nautical poems have been successfully adapted for singing. Included are lyrics, musical notation, chords, notes for each song and period illustrations. Most of the 24 songs included have been adapted for singing by the editor but there is a sampling of other musical settings as well. See the sample Songbook linked to my website for more specific information: click here for Sample Songbook

This songbook may be ordered for about $25 from Camsco Music: Hickory Corner Road, East Windsor, NJ 08520 or from the editor: Charles Ipcar, 80 Main St., Richmond, ME 04357. Chantey Cabin in the UK is also reviewing a sample copy with regard to distributing the songbook there.

It is hoped that similar songbooks will be worked up this year by Bob Zentz, Danny McLeod and Alan Fitzsimmons, and by other musicians who have set a significant number of poems by C. Fox Smith to music. In all some 70 poems by C. Fox Smith have now been adapted for singing, some with multiple settings.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: bradfordian
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 12:22 PM

Charley (& Jim),    CONGRATUATIONS !!! A very fine job. The fruits of a labour of love no doubt.

Brad


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 02:26 PM

Brad-

And with your invaluable help as well!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: sciencegeek
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 04:01 PM

we were at a singing get-together this weekend & people got a look at your newest effort... many complements & hopefully will end in a few future sales.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 05:07 PM

Chris-

Thanks for the feedback and I'm looking forward to helping coordinate the C. Fox Smith workshop with Mike at NEFFA in April.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: shipcmo
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:45 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:10 PM

The first stanza of "So Long", which becomes the chorus of "All Coiled Down" as sung, has the third line

    Another ship for me, an' for her another crew --

In the song as usually sung, "me" has become "us". It seems to me that Ms. Smith has logic on her side. If the whole crew were going to another ship, there would be no point in saying goodbye; it has to be either as written, or "Other ships for us".

However, it turns out to be rather odd of me (perhaps even insane) to try to imagine the situation described by a song.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:56 PM

Joe F-

There's certainly logic in what you say and why change what CFS composed unless there is a compelling reason.

It really is a treat to go back to the beginning of this thread and rediscover how we all learned more about this fine nautical poet.

Now anyone can access the trove of poems on-line at her page at oldpoetry.com, some 626 at last count.

And there may be a few more poems lurking about in stray magazines.

I'll be heading over to the UK in September to sift through one additional stash. I hope it turns out as good as it's described.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Joe_F
Date: 12 May 10 - 05:59 PM

In addition to criticizing, I should have taken time to say: That's a beautiful line. It is the pleasantest example of chiasmus that I have seen.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger
Date: 13 May 10 - 03:09 AM

Dr. Scholl's foot powder should take care of chiasmus.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 May 10 - 08:30 AM

AC-

Remember, I do have editing powers on this dedicated thread. ;~)

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger
Date: 13 May 10 - 09:52 AM

Then by all means, use them! How often does one get the chance?


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 04:15 PM

Here's a link to some images I've posted to Facebook of C. Fox Smith that I was able to collect from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich this year when my wife and I were visiting the UK: click here!

There is also a photo I took of her first home in Lymm, several illustrations drawn by her brother Philip W. Smith portraying her prowling the waterfronts of "sailortown," and a bird's eye view of where she worked on the waterfront of Victoria, British Columbia, from 1905 to 1913.

She was a cute little girl!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 04:32 PM

Hi Charley,
As I don't subscribe to Facebook I am unable to view the images. Can you change a setting to allow non-subscribers to see them?
Cheers,
Ian


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 05:40 PM

Ian-

I think the setting is already set for the general public. However, if someone wants to comment they would have to become a member first (which is free).

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 06:15 PM

Another non-subscriber.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: stallion
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 02:05 PM

got to get off Double Nelson


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 08:46 PM

Facebook requires email plus log in.


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 02:22 PM

Here's a link to where most of the C. Fox Smith poetry books may be accessed for free at The Internet Archives: click here for on-line book

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 09:04 AM

A number of updates for this thread:

Here's another PUBLIC Facebook link to illustrations and photos I have scanned associated with Cicely Fox Smith: click here for Facebook images!

The interest in this British poets continues to increase and now more than 90 of her 633 poems have been adapted for singing, several with multiple tune settings. Mike Kennedy is the latest singer to set more than a dozen of her poems to music and he is planning a recording session with my wife and myself this May. I've coordinated several C. Fox Smith workshops with Mike and he has a talent for matching the tune to her poem while retaining as much of the original wording as possible.

The next C. Fox Smith workshop will be associated with the Mystic Sea Music Festival, second weekend in June.

Jim Saville, my co-editor, and I have contracted with Little Red Tree Publishing in Mystic, Connecticut, to publish THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CICELY FOX SMITH, release date sometime this fall. This publisher did a find job earlier with a smaller volume focused on the poems of Jack London and we are in the final phase of editing the very long draft.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (PermaThread)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 May 12 - 11:07 PM

The launching date for The Complete Poetry of Cicely Fox Smith is now set for the weekend of the Mystic Sea Music Festival 2012, June 7-10. As mentioned above this huge volume is published by Little Red Tree Publishing. In all about 640 poems are included with notes, hundreds of vintage graphics, and an updated biography of this intriguing British poet.

Here's a link to the book's cover:click here for book cover

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems (PermaThread)
From: GUEST,Sarah O'Connor
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 11:39 PM

I just got my copy of "The Complete Poetry of Cicely Fox Smith" in the mail today and am already going through it with post-it notes to mark the ones I want to memorize. Such a fantastic resource!

~Sarah


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