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ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town

DigiTrad:
YARMOUTH TOWN


Related thread:
Tune Req: Yarmouth Town (20)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Wexford Fishing song
Yarmouth Town


Wolfgang Hell 29 Oct 97 - 05:39 AM
Bob Schwarer 29 Oct 97 - 05:05 PM
Ralph Butts 29 Oct 97 - 06:00 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 30 Oct 97 - 07:41 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 31 Oct 97 - 05:12 PM
Pete M 01 Nov 97 - 05:11 AM
dick greenhaus 03 Nov 97 - 09:49 PM
Pete M 04 Nov 97 - 05:00 AM
SingsIrish Songs 07 Jan 99 - 06:23 PM
Musicman 07 Jan 99 - 07:27 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 10 Jan 99 - 03:41 PM
SingsIrish Songs 11 Jan 99 - 01:39 PM
Barb'ry 27 Nov 01 - 05:24 AM
Uncle Jaque 27 Nov 01 - 05:28 AM
Barb'ry 27 Nov 01 - 06:15 AM
Airto 27 Nov 01 - 07:52 AM
Wolfgang 27 Nov 01 - 07:57 AM
Barb'ry 27 Nov 01 - 09:11 AM
Wolfgang 27 Nov 01 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Erin 05 Jun 07 - 10:28 AM
Jim I 05 Jun 07 - 12:33 PM
Steve Parkes 05 Jun 07 - 02:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Jun 07 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 06 Jun 07 - 09:34 AM
pattyClink 06 Jun 07 - 04:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jun 07 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Norfolk dumpling 30 Aug 15 - 12:19 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Aug 15 - 01:51 PM
Noreen 30 Aug 15 - 03:42 PM
Lighter 30 Aug 15 - 04:52 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 15 - 09:54 AM
meself 31 Aug 15 - 10:13 AM
Lighter 31 Aug 15 - 11:48 AM
Lighter 31 Aug 15 - 02:58 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 15 - 03:23 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Aug 15 - 03:41 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 15 - 03:47 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Aug 15 - 04:01 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM
meself 31 Aug 15 - 05:28 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 15 - 05:42 PM
Steve Gardham 31 Aug 15 - 07:03 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 15 - 08:50 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Sep 15 - 03:43 AM
Steve Gardham 01 Sep 15 - 03:43 PM
Lighter 01 Sep 15 - 04:05 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Sep 15 - 03:24 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Sep 15 - 03:24 PM
Steve Gardham 02 Sep 15 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 02 Sep 15 - 04:02 PM
Lighter 02 Sep 15 - 07:39 PM
Joe Offer 02 Sep 15 - 11:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Sep 15 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,Cookieless Steve 03 Sep 15 - 08:15 AM
Lighter 03 Sep 15 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Sep 15 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 15 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 04 Sep 15 - 08:27 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: YARMOUTH TOWN
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 05:39 AM

The B-side of one Planxty single had the following bawdy song which somehow never found its way into one of the Planxty CDs or LP-records. I have no information on author or age.

YARMOUTH TOWN

1. In Yarmouth Town there lived a man,
kept a little tavern down by the strand.
The landlord had a daughter fair,
a pretty little thing with the golden hair.

CHORUS:
Oh, won't you come down,
won't you come down,
won't you come down
to Yarmouth town.

2. At night there came a sailor man
and he's asked the daughter for her hand.
"Oh, why should I marry you, she said,
I have all I want without being wed.

3. "But if with me you do want a linger,
I tie a piece of string all around my finger
and as you pass by, just pull on the string
and I'll come down and I'll let you in."

4. At closing time the sailor man
he's gone to the tavern down by the strand
and as he passed by, he pulled on the string,
and she's come down, and she's let old Jack in.

5. Now he's never seen such a sight before,
'cause the string around the finger was all she wore. [no missing lines; this verse isn't longer]

6. The sailor stayed the whole night through
and early in the morning went back to his crew,
and then he told them about the maiden fair,
the pretty little thing with the golden hair.

7. Well, the news it soon got around
and the very next night in Yarmouth Town
there was fifteen sailors pulling on the string
and she's come down and she's let them all in.

8. So all young men that to Yarmouth go,
if you see a pretty girl with her hair hanging low,
well, all you've got to do is pull on the string,
and she'll come down and she'll let you in.

Wolfgang


Click for related thread


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 05:05 PM

It's also on "Cruising 'Round Yarmouth" By The Starboard List and on their CD which includes both of their LP's.

Pretty good record.

Bob Schwarer


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 06:00 PM

And Liam Clancy on "The Dutchman"......Tiger


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 07:41 PM

It's on Ryan's Fancy "Live", now happily released on CD. It's not on the Back Porch catalogue but they can get it for you for about twenty bucks Canadian.

When I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia the song was a popular one with the bar bands.

There is a Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, and one or more in New England, but I think the original one in England is the one referred to in the song.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 31 Oct 97 - 05:12 PM

Oops. My Ryan's Fancy Live CD arrived today, but it is a different concert than the one that used to be out on vinyl. This recent CD doesn't have Yarmouth Town.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Pete M
Date: 01 Nov 97 - 05:11 AM

Funny but just befoe reading this I was listening to a tape of Yarmouth Town sung by the Young Tradition. One correction though Bob, its not the same song as "Cruising round Yarmouth" although the subject matter is very similar. For a recording of the latter see the LP Blow boys Blow by Ewan MacColl and A L Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Nov 97 - 09:49 PM

THis always struck me as a parody of Dumiama (and similar songs.), but I really don't know. Any expertise out there?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Yarmouth Town
From: Pete M
Date: 04 Nov 97 - 05:00 AM

Dick,

I don't claim any expertise, but I think variation would be a better description than parody. "Do me ama" is almost certainly the older variant and is described on the cover notes of Blow boys blow as being derived from the chapbook tale "The squire and the Farm servant". The twist of the seaman outwitting the gentleman, and of the lady being taken with his audacity makes the story rather more interesting, and I would guess more popular at the time.


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Subject: Need Lyrics: Yarmouth Town
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 06:23 PM

I am looking for the lyrics to this song... Liam Clancy recorded it (others probably have as well). To help identify the song one line in the chorus is: "Won't you come down, won't you come down, won't you come down to Yarmouth Town." Thanks, SingsIrish Songs


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Subject: Lyr Add: YARMOUTH TOWN
From: Musicman
Date: 07 Jan 99 - 07:27 PM

Haven't sung this for years!!!

YARMOUTH TOWN

"In Yarmouth town there lived a man,
And he kept a little tavern down by the strand.
The landlord had a daughter fair
A pretty little thing with the golden hair.
CHORUS:
Oh Won't you come down, Oh won't you come down,
Oh won't you come down to Yarmouth down. (repeat)
At night there came a sailor man,
And he's asked the daughter for her hand.
Oh why should I marry you she said,
I have all I want without being wed.

But if with me you do want to linger,
I'll tie a piece of string all around me finger.
And as you pass by just pull on the string,
And I'll come down and I'll let you in.

At closing time the sailor man,
He's gone to the tavern down by the strand.
And as he passed by he pulled on the string,
And she's gone down and she's let old Jack in.
Now he's never seen such a sight before,
'Cause a string around her finger was all she wore!

The sailor stayed the whole night through,
And early in the morning went back to his crew.
And when he told them about the maiden fair,
The pretty little thing with the golden hair.

Well the news it soon got around,
And the very next night in Yarmouth town,
There were fifteen sailors pullin' on the string,
And she's come down and she's let them all in.

So all young men that to Yarmouth go,
If you see a pretty maid with her hair hanging low,
Well, all you got to do is pull on the string,
And she'll come down and she'll let you in.


enjoy


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics: Yarmouth Town
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 10 Jan 99 - 03:41 PM

There is a variant of this song on Blow Boys Blow by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd called "Do Me Alma". Different tune but same story.


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics: Yarmouth Town
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 11 Jan 99 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for all the help!

SingsIrish


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Subject: Yarmouth town and Wexford fishing song
From: Barb'ry
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 05:24 AM

Being greedy and asking for 2 here! Does anyone know the lyrics to Yarmouth town (wont you come down, wont you come down, wont you come down to Yarmouth town)- that's more or less all I remember. The second one is a really old song I have on tape sung, I think, by the Four Folk(?) but it's too crackly to hear the words. It starts 'The red sun goes down over Bally... and the salt... are misty and grey, at home on the mainland our wives and our daughters... Any ideas?


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Subject: Lyr Add: YARMOUTH TOWN
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 05:28 AM

YARMOUTH TOWN

In Yarmouth town there lived a man,
And he kept a little tavern down by the strand.
The landlord had a daughter fair
A pretty little thing with the golden hair.

Chorus:
Oh Won't you come down; Oh won't you come down,
Oh won't you come down to Yarmouth Town? (Repeat)

At night there came a sailor man,
And he's asked the daughter for her hand.
"Oh why should I marry you?” she said,
"I have all I want without being wed."

"But if with me you do want to linger,
I'll tie a piece of string all around me finger.
And as you pass by just pull on the string,
And I'll come down and I'll let you in."

At closing time the sailor man,
He's gone to the tavern down by the strand.
And as he passed by he pulled on the string,
And she's gone down and she's let old Jack in.

Now he's never seen such a sight before,
'Cause a string around her finger was all she wore!

The sailor stayed the whole night through,
And early in the morning went back to his crew.
And when he told them about the maiden fair,
The pretty little thing with the golden hair,

Well the news it soon got around,
And the very next night in Yarmouth town,
There were fifteen sailors pullin' on the string,
And she's come down and she's let them all in.

So all young men that to Yarmouth go,
If you see a pretty maid with her hair hanging low,
Well, all you got to do is pull on the string,
And she'll come down and she'll let you in!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town and Wexford fishing s
From: Barb'ry
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 06:15 AM

Thank you Uncle Jaque!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WEXFORD FISHING SONG
From: Airto
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 07:52 AM

Found here:

http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/lookup.cgi?ti=WEXFRDFI

Wexford Fishing Song

1. The red sun rolls down over Ballyteige's waters
And the Saltees grow misty and grey.
At home, on the mainland, our wives and our daughters
Are wishing good luck on the day.
With the west wind long blowing
Our nets filled o'erflowing
From a shoal that broke under our lee.

Chorus1: So raise high a chorus,
The way lies before us,
With a boat full of spoil from the sea.


Click for lyrics in Digital Tradition


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town and Wexford fishing s
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 07:57 AM

Yarmouth town
Wexford fishing song

All threads found by a forum search

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town and Wexford fishing s
From: Barb'ry
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 09:11 AM

Thank you all so much - I'm new to mudcat but promise to learn fast!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town and Wexford fishing s
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 09:47 AM

BHK,

that's o.k., I remember a couple of mistakes when I was new here and I still add some.
The Wexford fishing song is my transcription and I'm still not sure about some parts. I'd appreciate any corrections.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: GUEST,Erin
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 10:28 AM

Does anyone know how old "Yarmouth Town" is? I can't find info on the origin.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: Jim I
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 12:33 PM

I heard it from the singing of Pete Bellamy and I have a note that he got it from the singing of Norfolk's Peter Bullen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 02:32 PM

It goes down very well in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight!


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Subject: Origins: Yarmouth town
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 07:39 PM

There's no trace of this song anywhere prior to Peter Bellamy, and all recordings of it are by revival performers, all of those deriving ultimately from Peter. Assuming that Peter's named source, Pete Bullen (of Norwich, if Heather Wood's memory is correct) actually existed, then the chances are that Mr Bullen or a member of his family wrote it. Peter noted that Pete said he'd got it from his grandfather, and of course that may be so; but a lot of people at that time used to say that sort of thing about songs they'd made up themselves. In this case, the tune sounds very American to me; there may even be an echo of Dylan's 'Oxford Town' to it; in the absence of further evidence I'd guess that it was written in the 1960s or thereabouts, probably by Pete Bullen.

The story is an old one, of course, and several otherwise unrelated songs have been based on it. That doesn't, as people have assumed in other threads (see links above) make them 'versions' of each other.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 09:34 AM

I think Peter Bellamy filled in the missing two lines with:

So when the sailor pulled on the ol' string,
She's rolled back the blankets and pulled Jack in.

It's on 'Won't You Go My Way' on ARGO ZFB 37
He sang a lot of Sam Larner and Harry Cox songs at that time. It could be from either of them.

Martin Carthy use to sing a song with a similar theme called 'Do Me Ama'. A different version of the same song did the rounds at The Old Crown club at Birmingham in the mid 1970s which I still occasionally do.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: pattyClink
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 04:29 PM

okay, so back to the question. In one of the other threads it was supposedly the first song Peter Bellamy ever collected. So, anybody have an educated guess as to what year that would have been?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Yarmouth town
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 06:52 PM

Peter didn't get it from Harry Cox or Sam Larner; he would certainly have said so if he had; and other people would know about it. He said he got it from Pete Bullen (about whom, unfortunately, we know almost nothing). 'Do Me Ama' is a completely different song on the same subject; as, for that matter, is 'The Merchant's Love to the Brazier's Daughter'. It's an old story, and several unrelated songs have been based upon it. 'Yarmouth Town' appears to be the most recent.

I'd guess at the early '60s, perhaps between '63 and '65; but that may be completely wrong.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,Norfolk dumpling
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 12:19 PM

I have frequented folk clubs and pubs from Norwich and North Norfolk to Southend and North London. Yarmouth Town was and still is sung in almost all the East Anglian clubs and pubs, and has been since the early 60's, As very little info is forth coming I think this could well be a song discovered and edited by Pete Bellamy. Its origin could be almost any new world country that has a town named after the original Yarmouths of Norfolk and the Isle of White. Like many songs before it could have travelled back and forward across the Alantic over the years. With reference the the name of ' The Strand ' included in the song, I think this must be just be a familiar rhyming place name that rhymes with ' hand '. As far as I know that Great Yarmouth in Norfolk has no such road.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 01:51 PM

But 'strand' was also an old name for beach; so "a little tavern by the strand" could just have meant a little pub near the seaside.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 03:42 PM

Guest, Norfolk Dumpling: you say
Its origin could be almost any new world country.... etc.

Indeed it could, but songs normally leave a trace when they have travelled as you are suggesting, with people still singing them, or a version of them, in those places.
In this case there is no such trail. As the learned Malcolm Douglas stated above:

There's no trace of this song anywhere prior to Peter Bellamy, and all recordings of it are by revival performers, all of those deriving ultimately from Peter.

Unless you know differently?


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 04:52 PM

I have long - no, always - been of the opinion that this song is no older than about 1960.

First of all, the theme is similar to that of Lloyd's "Do Me Ama," a revival hit after he recorded it in the mid '50s. While the song itself dates from the 19th century, it was rarely collected, and Lloyd's version goes rather more smoothly than those of tradition.

"Yarmouth Town" is first noted anywhere on earth just a few years later. It enlarges comically on the already comical situation in "Do Me Ama." It even includes some of Lloyd's lyrics, nearly unchanged. The comparative rarity of trad versions of "Do Me Ama" makes a traditional offshoot of the "Yarmouth Town" rather unlikely - particularly one so witty and singable, yet not to be collected before the heyday of the folk revival in England.

What's more, the very style and melody of "Yarmouth Town" seem modern to me. This is subjective, admittedly, but the lyrics move along very briskly without any broadside-style padding or oral-traditional confusions, missing stanzas, awkward lines, etc. The song seems to be very close to its original form - too close to have been in oral circulation for very long, assuming it ever was.

Once in oral tradition, many feeble songs are sung for decades. It's hard to believe that a song so clever as "Yarmouth Town" could have existed *in tradition* for long without turning up more than once.

The lines "Now he's never seen such a sight before,/ 'Cause the string around the finger was all she wore" is, in my opinion, a little too clever for the 19th century. The use of a *different melody* for the four-line refrain could be older, but it's more typical of the 20th century.

The same may be true of the direct suggestion to the audience in the last stanza to come on down and pull the string. Moreover, the comic motif of one illicit lover being followed by several (in this case no less than fifteen!) doesn't sound very "folk-like" to me, unless you're talking about rugby songs. And even then I can't think of a close parallel. If one exists, I bet the comic focus is on the variety of activities rather than, as here, the mere number of actors.

Finally it seems a bit too good to be true that it's all set in "Yarmouth Town." Sam Larner, of course, was from Yarmouth, and his extensive repertoire of sea songs - including the bawdy "While Cruising 'Round Yarmouth" - made that town almost synonymous with seafaring songs - at least to folkies of the 1960s and beyond.

Quite a coincidence. And the town in "Do Me Ama" goes unmentioned - which is very typical of 19th century broadsides, which were meant to have more than local appeal.

None of these points alone proves anything. But taken together, plus the fact that Peter Bullen via Peter Bellamy is also the credited source of the equally dubious "Fakenham Fair," the likelihood of either "recent" composition or else currency restricted to Peter Bullen's household in the 20th century becomes, in my opinion, impossible to discount. (Even if, as Bellamy averred, the songs were composed by Peter Bullen's grandfather, grandpa must have made them in the 20th century - and likely after he heard Lloyd singing "Do Me Ama"!)

"Fakenham Fair"has been the subject of a very interesting and informative thread of its own:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=90963#3334623

As with "Fakenham Fair," I do not in any way suggest that people stop singing and enjoying "Yarmouth Town."

But the issue here is "origins" not "wit."


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 09:54 AM

Hi Jon,
Sam was from Winterton about 5 miles N of Yarmouth.

The 'pull the string' theme features in a long ballad from the 17thc if my memory serves right. Is there any point in flagging it up here?


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: meself
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 10:13 AM

"Bullen"? "Faken"?


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 11:48 AM

Steve, yes, by all means!


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 02:58 PM

Perhaps my cynicism is boundless, but if two very clever songs came from "tradition" through a single singer like Pete Bullen, shouldn't Bullen have had a higher profile in the '60s? Did Bellamy introduce him to no one on the folk scene? Had Bullen no other songs that Bellamy thought it worthwhile to record - at a time when genuine trad singers were getting notably harder to find.

It would be very odd indeed if the *only* two songs a trad singer knew were undocumented elsewhere; likewise it would be strange for a folkie not to have learned *even one* obviously trad song from such a singer. But these two were apparently all we're going to get.

Outside of the songs, all we seem to know of Pete Bullen is that he had a grandfather.

Or have I missed something?


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 03:23 PM

First of all as far as I can see the only song from oral tradition with this theme is 'Jack the Jolly Tar' (my Master Title) Roud 511, Laws K40, which has a healthy range of oral manifestations and broadside versions under a great variety of titles in England and north America.

However the motif features in earlier broadside ballads 'The Merchant's Courtship to the Brazier's Daughter' printed by Evans in the late 18thc and the earlier 'The Fortunate Sailor's Garland'.

If I can get time tonight I'll have a go at a study. Although there are plenty of versions the number is manageable.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 03:41 PM

It does indeed sound as if Pete Bullen might just have been identifiable with Pieter van den Bellman & Pietro da Bellini, credited on two of Pete's later records as the artist responsible for the cover portrait!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 03:47 PM

Well played, M!


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 04:01 PM

Modest

···········!!!!


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM

Well detected, Mike!

Had a good look at all of the broadsides I have and they are (not as I wrongly remembered) closely related. None of them are 17thc. The earliest and longest which looks like it may be the original c1750 has 41 verses but contains all of the verses in the later broadsides some almost verbatim and a couple paraphrased. This is 'The Fortunate Sailors Garland' printed by L. How of London. The 3 later broadsides of about the turn of the century are very likely oral versions of a shortened version of the How version, or possibly 2 derived from one of the others. None of the other 3 have more than 9 verses but 2 of them have interesting choruses which relate to later oral versions.

The later titles are :
The Jolly Jack Tar printed by Catnach of London and Williams of Portsea stanzas ABCDEFGHI and chorus
The Merchant's Courtship to the Brazier's Daughter, printed by Evans of London and Pitts of London, stanzas ABCDEFGHJ and chorus.
The Sailor's Frolic, pr by Moore of Belfast, stanzas BCADGHIF

The Moore printing looks to be an oral hotchpotch of the Catnach/Williams version.

More when I've been through all of the oral versions I have.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: meself
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 05:28 PM

Let me try again: Pete Bullin'; [Pete] Fakin' 'm.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 05:42 PM

I mentioned "fakin' 'em" on the other thread.

Didn't think of "bullin'" however.

Of course, some things really are coincidental, and "Fakenham" is a real place.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 07:03 PM

Most oral versions as you would expect derive directly from the 2 main broadsides but a few N American versions have remnants seemingly that hark back to the longer 18thc version as we have seen with other ballads. I'll flag these up tomorrow.

All of the published 'Do me Ama' versions seem to derive from Whall.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 15 - 08:50 PM

Fakenham is only a couple of miles from Little Snoring, the village that never sleeps.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Sep 15 - 03:43 AM

Fakenham is indeed a real place -- once voted 'the most boring place on Earth', according to Wikipedia. But Wiki does not mention any tradition of a fair being held there [the nearest is a recently established monthly Farmers' Market]; tho the song surely implies a traditional fair being held there? The name, tho, does possibly derive from Saxon for "fair place"; 'fair' in a different sense, obviously.

Semantic confusion all around, eh!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Sep 15 - 03:43 PM

Here are some details on the 41v version from about 1750.

BL 11621 c. 11
The Fortunate Sailors Garland
Printed and sold by L. How in Peticoate Lane, near White-Chapel Bart.
Tune. The Berkshire Lady.

The first 18v tell the age-old tale of Jack on shore spending his coin in a whorehouse and when all of his money is gone they get him drunk, tie him up in a sack, take him from Wapping into the city and dump him, after somehow leaving a note saying he is a foundling. When he wakes up he curses and is conveyed by the people in the area to a rich merchant's doorway.

Soon a 'gallant comes towards him, sword drawn which frightens Jack, but the gallant only knocks at the door.....

19
He'd a mind to please his Fancy
With the merchant's Daughter Nancy:
He knock'd she to the door did run
And said my dear are you come?

3v (They then have a dialogue setting up the assignation.)

23
I'll a string tie round my finger
Which I'll hang out at the Window;
An Hour hence pull at the string
I'll come down and let thee in.

24
Jack with pleasure heard the Courting
and the manner of their sporting;
For Jack all the while lay still
as a thief that's in a Mill.

25
Adzooks quoth Jack i'll go and venture
Whether i the Gates can enter;
I will go and pull the String
Who knows but she may let me in.

26
Jack pull'd the string out at the Window
Which was tied about her Finger,
Dearest she said I'm coming strait
and so lets Jack in at the Gate?

27
She went in first Jack follow'd after,
But could scarce refrain from Laughter
To think upon his clever hit
For he both spark and Madam bit.

28
She jump't in bed, Jack soon undress'd
and each other there caress'd;
Taking pleasure and delight
The Remainder of the night.

29
She the string took from her Finger
But still left it at the Window
In short time the Gallant came
Found the string and pull'd the same.

30
She said some Villain that wants banging
Pulls the string my dear that's hanging.
Jack strait from his bed arose
and threw the piss-pot on his Cloths.

31
he being fill'd with great Vexation
Curs'd all Women in the Nation
Swearing there was none that's true
Or at least but very few.

32 (They lay lovingly till morning)

33
To the Ladys view appeared
She like one distracted stared;
To see a Man in speckled shirt,
by her side all over Dirt.

34-37 (She is shocked and wakens him, he refuses to go and she asks him to keep their deed quiet.)

38
And of me my dearest Honey;
What you Fancy cloaths or Money
You shall have it if youl go
that none in the House may know.

39
Madam I will make an offer;
If you will accept the proffer;
Since I've caused all this strife
I will now make you my Wife.

(she consents)
41
The next day both were weded,
tho beforehand they had bedded,
Yet her Father as tis told
Gave Jack two thousand Pound in Gold.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Sep 15 - 04:05 PM

Fascinating - and definitely "Do Me Ama."

But not "Yarmouth Town."


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 03:24 PM

Tried to post a load more oral stuff last night, but in the end gave up in frustration.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 03:24 PM

Tried to post a load more oral stuff last night, but in the end gave up in frustration.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 03:34 PM

Hmmmm!


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 04:02 PM

Peter Bellamy's 1971 live album Won't You Go My Way has just been reissued. In the parodic intro by Dick Bagnall-Oakley, PB's described as "Mr Yarmouth Town, and...Mr Fakenham Fair...". A disguised mea culpa? And have you noticed that Yarmouth Town shares its opening two bars with Santa Claus Is Coming To town?


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 07:39 PM

> And have you noticed that Yarmouth Town shares its opening two bars with Santa Claus Is Coming To town?

No!

But why am I not very surprised? The tune doesn't sound very trad-like in any case, though I can't quite say why.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Sep 15 - 11:39 PM

So, would one class "Yarmouth Town" with Jack the Jolly Tar/Do Me Ama?

In "Yarmouth," the landlord's daughter is using a string to set up an assignation with a sailor.

In "Jack the Jolly Tar," it's an upper-class setting things up with her lover, and Jack overhears and deceives the woman by taking the string meant for another.

Same song?

As far as I can see above, we haven't found any traditional sources for "Yarmouth Town" - or have we?

There being no string involved, I see no tie (couldn't resist) between this song and Cruising 'Round Yarmouth, other than the coincidence of geography.

-Joe-

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 01:53 AM

i always thought it would be nice to have the recording of Peter Bellamy singing this one playing in that museum of Fishing on the front at Great Yarmouth.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,Cookieless Steve
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 08:15 AM

Joe,
My own advice on this would be to treat it as a modern remake of the old song. It only has a single source and that source is questionable at best. I'm fully aware that I am very sceptical/suspicious of single source songs being claimed as traditional but that's me!

The modern, i.e. last century onwards, way of treating song classification is to be the same song 2 items should have substantial text in common. If they merely share a theme or story they are different songs. I know Child didn't always follow this system but he died before modern scholarship came in.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 09:45 AM

Well said, Steve.

The themes are similar, but they're hardly the "same song." Anybody hearing one and knowing the other would most likely say, "Hey! I know another song that's like that!"

Not "I know that song!"

Yarmouth is relevant only because Sam Larner sang about it in a forebitter that Bellamy was familiar with, suggesting (along with all the evidence) that he (or someone) thought it was a good location for salty adventures.

But that's total conjecture, of course, and it would be meaningless of "Yarmouth Town" had thoroughly traditional antecedents.

But it doesn't.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:11 AM

So what are we saying here, exactly? That Peter Bellamy "wrote", or confected the song he called Yarmouth Town?—the evidence being that it has no known traditional antecedents, that he claimed to collect it from an informant whose name is a suggestive echo of his own, and whom nobody else seems to remember, and that, having disavowed any intellectual ownership of the song, declined to claim any royalties on its subsequent recording by other artistes, even by Planxty. And that much the same can be said about Fakenham Fair?

If only....!


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 07:43 AM

I'd happily be persuaded otherwise by the discovery of earlier trad versions of either song.

Of, course, if Bellamy wrote them, those versions don't exist.

If they do, where are they? Like Pete Bullen, they've had half a century to be discovered.


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Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: Yarmouth Town
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 08:27 AM

Planxty's version was the b-side to their Irish chart-topping single Cliffs Of Doneen. The royalty cheque from that would have bought him an ocelot-skin concertina case and left enough over for a bag of chips...


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