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Origins: Leaving of Liverpool

DigiTrad:
LEAVING LIVERPOOL
LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL (new version)


Related threads:
Lyr Add: The Leaving of Limerick (16)
Obscure Dylan song: Fare Thee Well? / Farewell (38)
Lyr Req: Fare Thee Well? / Farewell (Bob Dylan) (7)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Leaving of Liverpool (3)
Chords Req: Leaving of Liverpool (7)


Steve Parkes 03 Feb 04 - 11:37 AM
Leadfingers 03 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Feb 04 - 12:02 PM
Ringer 03 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM
JedMarum 03 Feb 04 - 12:38 PM
Steve in Idaho 03 Feb 04 - 12:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM
Brakn 03 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM
JedMarum 03 Feb 04 - 01:11 PM
alanww 03 Feb 04 - 01:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 04 - 01:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 01:37 PM
Little Robyn 03 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 04 - 01:50 PM
the lemonade lady 03 Feb 04 - 01:53 PM
DonMeixner 03 Feb 04 - 02:13 PM
alanww 03 Feb 04 - 02:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Feb 04 - 03:09 PM
Herga Kitty 03 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 04 - 05:30 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Feb 04 - 05:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Feb 04 - 06:26 PM
Lighter 03 Feb 04 - 06:29 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Feb 04 - 06:38 PM
Lighter 03 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Dolphin 03 Feb 04 - 06:54 PM
Gareth 03 Feb 04 - 07:04 PM
Blowzabella 03 Feb 04 - 07:10 PM
Liam's Brother 03 Feb 04 - 11:21 PM
Little Robyn 04 Feb 04 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 04 Feb 04 - 04:34 AM
Steve Parkes 04 Feb 04 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 04 Feb 04 - 11:39 AM
Melani 04 Feb 04 - 01:31 PM
Liam's Brother 04 Feb 04 - 07:08 PM
Shanghaiceltic 04 Feb 04 - 11:51 PM
MartinRyan 08 Feb 04 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,An Púca 08 Feb 04 - 09:24 AM
MartinRyan 08 Feb 04 - 05:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Feb 04 - 06:55 PM
Gareth 08 Feb 04 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,satchel 08 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM
bfolkemer 11 Feb 04 - 12:56 PM
MartinRyan 11 Feb 04 - 01:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM
Gareth 11 Feb 04 - 04:53 PM
GEST 12 Nov 04 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Toenails John 13 Nov 04 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,MV 16 Feb 09 - 05:48 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 09 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,MartinRyan 16 Feb 09 - 06:06 AM
Jim McLean 16 Feb 09 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,MV 16 Feb 09 - 12:29 PM
Terry McDonald 16 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM
goatfell 16 Feb 09 - 12:58 PM
wyrdolafr 16 Feb 09 - 01:21 PM
PoppaGator 16 Feb 09 - 03:27 PM
Barry Finn 16 Feb 09 - 05:08 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM
Barry Finn 16 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM
Fred McCormick 17 Feb 09 - 05:11 AM
MartinRyan 17 Feb 09 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 17 Feb 09 - 11:25 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,George Henderson 18 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 09:07 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 18 Feb 09 - 09:37 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 10:12 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 10:42 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 18 Feb 09 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM
Terry McDonald 18 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM
Terry McDonald 18 Feb 09 - 02:53 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 03:11 PM
curmudgeon 18 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM
Barry Finn 19 Feb 09 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,MV 19 Feb 09 - 06:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 07:55 AM
MartinRyan 19 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM
Barry Finn 19 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,MV 19 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM
smpc 26 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM
The Sandman 06 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM
mayomick 07 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Sep 09 - 11:27 PM
GUEST 14 Jun 11 - 09:20 PM
BobKnight 31 Oct 11 - 11:43 AM
MartinRyan 14 Nov 11 - 09:57 AM
Lighter 14 Nov 11 - 01:26 PM
Greg B 14 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM
Lighter 14 Nov 11 - 07:59 PM
Greg B 15 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM
Lighter 15 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM
Greg B 16 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM
Charley Noble 17 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 12 - 03:58 AM
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Subject: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 11:37 AM

There doesn't seem to be much variation in versions of the lyric in my experience, and a web search doesn't contradict that. Does this suggest it was originally a published song, by a known author, rather than a traditional anonymous song? There was a ship Davy Crockett, and the figurehead still exists in a museum in the US; I dare say there was a Captain Burgess too, which would date the song fairly accurately -- or at least give an earliest date.

Any more info?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM

Isnt this another 'Traditional' song that was actually written ( or
possibly ) assembled by the Liverpool Spinners ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:02 PM

It seems that only one example of the song was ever recorded from tradition, with all modern forms deriving from that. It was published in Doerflinger's Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman (1951); he got it from an American, Dick Maitland, who, while bosun on the General Knox around 1885, had learned it one night from a Liverpool man. The song rapidly became popular with revival singers. Roy Palmer (Boxing the Compass, 2001) gives Burgess' captaincy of the Davy Crockett as 1863 to 1874, and reasons that the song dates from that period or a little after.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Ringer
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM

I've always thought that the words and the tune were ill-matched. This is the song of a sailor leaving his girl and his home, but the tune is more redolent of a tanked-up coachload of Rugby supporters.

I was delighted to find recently that John Prentice evidently agrees with me, because he sings it to a beautiful new tune of his own which is beautifully well-matched to the longing that can be heard in the words.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: JedMarum
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:38 PM

I heard a great , ripping, blue grass version of this song last year at the Tucson Folk Festival. The words/story had been Americanized, the band gave no explanation in their intro - and I suspect they had no idea where it came from.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:45 PM

Hey Jed - they have a CD or tape with their version of it?? My little group does it bluegrassy, well I do anyway, but would love to hear their version - and we do tend to move the song along -

Thanks
steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM

"... the tune is more redolent of a tanked-up coachload of Rugby supporters." Only because that's the way people sing it. The tune can perfectly well be sung meditatively, to match the words, and, done that way, it matches them very well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Brakn
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 12:55 PM

Awhile back, in Liverpool, someone told me this was originally called the Leaving of Limerick. I will find out more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: JedMarum
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:11 PM

I don;t know if the Tucson folks have a recording. I don't remember who they are.

When I played with Eammons Kitchen we had an up tempo, blue-grassy groove to the song - and it worked well for us.

I've heard Danny Doyle do a
lovely, soulful version of the song - on a live recording he made at O'Flaherty's in New Orleans. The whole record is wonderful, by the way.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: alanww
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:15 PM

When I was in Mystic Seaport last October I looked up some info on the Crocket in their museum.
Apparently it was lauched there on 18 October 1853 and John Burgess, who as Malcolm says was the captain, lost his life overboard off the River Plate on his last journey before retirement on 25 June 1874. Now that's tough luck!
Any more useless facts, anyone?
"And Burgess is the captain of her ...!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:26 PM

A little more in thread 17920, and chords. Leaving Liverpool

The hull plan of the clipper Davy Crockett is at American Memory (Item 20, Search "Liverpool"). Notes say "Hull plans for the ship Davy Crockett. Lines drawn by Edson I. Schock from a model by Carl C. Culter." The plan is at Mystic Seaport and is part of "Westward By Sea."

Not sure how it ties in, but the same notes say: "The Comet was a clipper ship built by George Greenman and Co. in 1853. She often sailed on the New York to San Francisco run but also made several voyages to Liverpool. Lost in 1899."
Were the two ships built to the same hull, or was the Comet re-named?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:37 PM

John Burgess...lost his life overboard..."

In the light of the verse below (which isn't the one in the DT, but I think I've heard it more often), the question occurs, "Did he fall, or was he pushed?":

"I have signed on a Yankee Clipper ship
Davy Crockett is her name
And Burgess is the Captain of her,
He's a bastard, and the Mate's the same.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Little Robyn
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:44 PM

Before we ever heard the Liverpool Spinners, I was singing the Bob Dylan modified version which is much more sentimental. Thank you Mr Zimmerman.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:50 PM

Two dates for the loss of the Davy Crockett, 1874 and 1899, at the same museum!

Not that this has any bearing on the timing of the song's origin, except that the lyrics are post-1853. Not mentioned in either of the two books I have by Hugill.

I have a feeling that Brakn may be at least partly correct- The Burgess-Davy Crockett lines added by someone after seeing material at Mystic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 01:53 PM

I always sing this in my head every time I have to leave Liverpool, and my Schantieman, and get on the train at Lime Street to go back to Bishop's Castle. (Actually the nearest station to BC is Craven Arms)

8-(

Sal


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 02:13 PM

I am aquainted with the family of John Burgess, the Captain of the Davy Crockett. I have seen the double lock dispatch box from the ship, several boarding passes and bills of laden from this ship. My friend Berta has significant documentation and artifacts from the ship itself.

If any one who is interested will email me I'll be speaking to her this very afternoon and ask her if she would share any of this history outside the family.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: alanww
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 02:20 PM

Q: I didn't say that the Crocket was lost in 1874, only that Burgess was lost overboard in that year.
I have no info on what the fate of Crocket was, except that it made many trips from Liverpool to New York and then on to San Fransisco and back, which apparently took around 261 days each way!
"And they say she's a floating shame!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 03:09 PM

I'd normally be quite dubious about claims for an Irish antecedent for a song like The Leaving of Liverpool (mainly on the grounds that people are always saying things like that, but rarely seem able to back it up), but, according to Dan Milner, the suggestion came from Tom Munnelly, who I'd expect to be reliable on that sort of thing. I've never seen or heard The Leaving of Limerick, though. Is anyone able to quote it? Any reference to a traditional source would be useful, too; revival recordings may be of little help unless they provide substantive information. I know that Deirdre Scanlan, for example, has recorded a song of that title; but does she say anything about it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM

Ringer

Yes, John Prentice does a lovely slow ballad version, and it's on his CD, the King's Shilling, but the melody is actually a harmony of the generally known tune.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:30 PM

That's rather what I guessed, without hearing it. Changing the speed and the mood of a tune can easily make people think it's a wholly different tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 05:38 PM

Like Rivers of Texas, Leaving of Liverpool is, for all purposes, a single-source song. There was a second source, for a somewhat different version, which Dick Swain played at a symposium at Mystic Sea Music Week a couple of years back, but everything any sings seems to be a re-working of Maitland's song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:26 PM

So what was that second source? Do you recall details?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:29 PM

Does anybody know for certain what Swain's source was? Hugill prints a version in his "Songs of the Sea." I'll put the words it in a separate thread right now.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:38 PM

Why a separate thread? This is the place to put it, surely?


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'The Leaving of Liverpool' (Hugill)
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:52 PM

Stan Hugill published his version of the song in his last book, "Songs of the Sea" (1977)(all spellings sic):
^^
    Fare-ye-well the Princess Landing Stage,
    River Mersey fare-ye-well.
    I am bound to Californaye-a.
    It's a place I know right well.

    CHO:
    So fare-ye-well, my own true love,
    When I return united we will be.
    It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
    But me darling when I thinks of ye.

    I'm bound to California,
    By way of ol' Cape Horn,
    An' I bet that I will curse the day
    An' the hour that I was born.

    I've shipped in a Yankee clipper ship,
    Davy Crockett is her name.
    Captain Burgess he is tough, me lads,
    And the mate he's just the same.

    'Tis me second passage with ol' Burgess,
    An' I think I knows him well.
    If a man's a sailor, he can get along,
    But if not, he's sure in hell.

    Fare-ye-well to Lower Frederick Street,
    Anson Place, and Parkee Lane.
    'Tis a long, long time, me bucko boys,
    Ere I see you again.

    So fare-ye-well my own true love,
    Goodbye, my love, goodbye.
    'Twill be a long, long time, my dear,
    But my darlin', don't ye cry.

Hugill's tune is virtually identical to Maitland's, as printed by Doerflinger. Of the song itself, Hugill states merely that Maitland's was "the first version to be printed." There is no way to tell whether Hugill heard this somewhat modified and shortened text at sea, or whether - perhaps more likely - it was simply his own adaptation of what he saw in Doerflinger.

BTW, versions containing the stanza beginning, "The sun is on the harbour, love..." appear to have originated with the Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem, ca.1963.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Dolphin
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 06:54 PM

FACT The Leaving of Liverpool was collected by William Doerflinger from an old sailor who was a resident at Snug Harbor Staten Island New York. The is documentary evidence there to support this!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:04 PM

Hmmmm ! It all depends upon how it is sung

The Spinners version, a rollicking pub/concert version as a love song.

Other versions (I had a good tape untill some B****d torched my car) a contemplative ballad.

Fact to be bourne in mind.

The only hard and fast rule on ships names was only one name per port of registry thus we could have the "Davey Crocket" of New York, and the "Davey Crocket" of say Mobile.

Scond fact. In the days when I had a free run of the Lloyds of London libuary and records section have now long gone. I am working from memory but the commercial life of a wooden hull was not that long. The 'Perils of the Sea', decay, wear and tear, and commercial reality saw to that.

It is very possible that here were more than one "Davey Crocket" on the transatlantic run.

Again from Memory the "Black Ball Line" existed. It is also worth holding in mind that many an Irishperson left for the 'New World' via Liverpool. I do not believe that Liverpool and Limerick were not interchangeble.

Just the thoughts of a dilitante nautical historian

Gareth

PS On the Davey Crocket theme is there not a chanty involving Santa Anna ???


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Blowzabella
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 07:10 PM

More than one Gareth, but I'm sure there are many more expert than me to give detail (I'm a fan but not an expert - not enough to put anything on the page)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 03 Feb 04 - 11:21 PM

William Main Doerflinger recorded "The Leaving of Liverpool" from two sailors, both in New York City. Dick Maitland's version is the one in Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman as Malcolm points out above. The second version was from Patrick Tayleur and that has not been published. Captain Tayleur's version is very much free form and indicates to me that, possibly, he never actually sang the song himself but heard others do so. He knew the story line but not the actual poetry of it. When I asked Bill about it, he simply said Captain Tayleur did not sing "The Leaving of Liverpool." Bill was a very kind, courtly man. I did not press him but I believe he was telling me that Captain Tayleur did not have a real grasp on the song and it was a matter not worth pursuing.

To the best of my knowledge, Ewan MacColl was the first person to record "The Leaving of Liverpool" commercially. That's where I first heard it. It's a very nice rendition, slow and soulful. Lou Killen was one of the chorus singers at that session. Lou took up the song and he believes that Luke Kelly of the Dubliners, who was living in England at the time, probably heard it from him. Luke undoubtedly brought it to the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers probably got it from them. Along the way, everything started to rhyme and "My darling when I think on you" became "My darling when I think on thee."

Bob Conroy and I were guests at the Aonach Paddy O'Brien a few years back and sang "The Leaving of Liverpool" at a session. George Henderson, whose thoughts grace the Mudcat from time-to-time, was the moderator and asked Deirdre Scanlan to sing "The Leaving of Limerick" next. The melodies are very, very close and a number of similar themes occur in both songs. When I asked him later, Tom Munnelly told me that, like "The Leaving of Liverpool," "The Leaving of Limerick" (or "The Leaving of Ireland" as it's also known) is a very rare song. One sprang from the other.

Bill Doerflinger was a lovely and very interesting man. You can read about him at Bill Doerflinger tribute. I sang "The Leaving of Liverpool" at Bill's memorial service.   

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Little Robyn
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 12:29 AM

I've just refreshed the thread on Bob Dylan's version
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 04:34 AM

Malcolm

Deirdre Scanlon's recording is the only one I know of. I have a copy (somewhere) but, if memory serves, she gives little detail on source - and doesn't print the lyrics. Like you, I would trust Tommy Munnelly's comments. If I can find his current email address, I'll drop him a note.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 04:36 AM

The verse
Now the tug is waiting at the Pierhead
To take us down the stream,
Our sails are loosed and our anchor[']s stowed,
So I'll say fare thee well again.

doesn't sound as though it quite fits; it doesn't sound enough to me, somehow; and if the ship was already hitched to the tug, wouldn't he have been aboard long since?

I've always liked it sung rather slow and sad, like a real farewell for a two-year trip would be. It's a very good finishing-off song, especially as an encore to a more lively song.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 11:39 AM

BTW, the figurehead of the Davy Crockett is on exhibit in the museum at the park where I work, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Melani
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 01:31 PM

Right, Chanteyranger. The one at Mystic is a bad copy of our original. Though I'm told Mystic is rather put out by our having the original, since the ship was actually built there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 07:08 PM

Martin and Malcolm...

Deirdre's version comes from a lady who lives in or just outside her town, Neanagh. The name Nora Butler springs to mind. I hope that's not wrong.

My recollection of the conversation with Tom Munnelly is that "The Leaving of Limerick (or Ireland)" has been heard 4 times in Ireland. Three times in Munster (Tipperary once, Cork twice) and once at Malin Head where Martin and I will be in a few weeks time. The Malin Head version was never written down. The others were.

See you there Martin. All the best to you and Josephine.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 04 Feb 04 - 11:51 PM

I have a referance to this as

' An English ballad popular also in Ireland'

Here is an intersting link to leaving Liverpool in 1848.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~dadds/leavingofliverpool.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 05:33 AM

Here's a quick transcription of Deirdre's version:
^^
As I roved out one evening, down by the Assembly Mall
I heard two lovers speaking as me and my love passed on
And the words that passed between them, they were but very few
Its not the leaving of Limerick that grieves me, but my darling, leaving you

In the morning when I am going, I will take you by the lily white hand
And I'll wave it oer my shoulder saying adieu to the Limerick strand
So farewell to the boys of Thomond Gate, It's to them I'll bid Adieu
Its not etc.

And now that we must be parted, I know you will understand
Why I must go broken hearted, far away from my native land
Though my fond love I must leave you, you know my heart is true
Its not etc.

The tune is recognisably related to The Leaving of Liverpool but very slow ( three minutes for three unaccompanied verses)and wistful. Beautifully sung by Deirdre.

I have slightly mixed feelings about printing the above words. It has always been my attitude that if someone asks me for a song - they get it, no question. That's how I was treated and that's how the whole thing works. But the thought of someone taking these words and trying to hammer it into the inflexible strait jacket of the typical way in which the Leaving of Liverpool is usually belted out......

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 09:24 AM

That's the way (Martin's text) Nora Butler sings the Leaving of Limerick so I'd say Liam's brother is right. Some Aussies around the site might have a recording of Nora singing it on a CD related to a tour of Australia by musicians and singers also including Séamus Connolly and Eileen O'Brien. One I heard in a friend's house over there a few years ago and I don't think there was any commercial release other than sales at concerts. I haven't seen it in Ireland. Nicky and Anne McAuliffe were also on that tour (a lot of fiddling talent on one jumbo jet) as well as Donie Nolan and Willie Fogarty as far as I can remember. Just in case people want to track down the recording from participants.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 05:37 PM

Eileen O'Brien would quite likely be the connction to Deirdre Scanlon, OK

RTegards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 06:55 PM

Thanks, Martin. Do we have an earliest date for that? Leaving of Liverpool is, according to Doerflinger's source, at least as old as c.1885, so we ought to try to make sure that the relationship (unlikely, perhaps, but you never know) isn't in the other direction.

I notice that Limerick is now marked for harvesting. Might I just echo Martin's concern about it? As it happens, the midi file attached to the DT entry for Liverpool is very slow, but it wouldn't be appropriate to imply, as midi links in the DT often, by omitting all source information, do, that the tunes are interchangeable. We would do well to pull together a bit more information -and, if possible, a transcription of the tune- before closing the page on this one.

I notice, incidentally, that the DT file acknowledges neither Doerflinger nor Maitland, though it does mention recordings made by several well-known revival performers. It would be good to have the source information in the next update.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Gareth
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 06:56 PM

Mmmm ! - My orginal thoughts were that the "Leaving of Limerick" was a subtle varient of the " L of L'pool" Given these words I fear I was wrong.

But I will stand o my original comments regarding both Limerick and Liverpool being the gateway to the New World.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,satchel
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM

Dan Milner's (Liam's Brother) and guest-Dolphin's comments are the only ones that aren't based on pure speculation. Gareth, a self-proclaimed nautical historian, should keep his day job--please. Even a cursory search of Lloyd's registries wouold show that there was only one ship David (not "Davey," --he was in Congress, after all) Crockett, and the one built in Mystic, CT did indeed have a Captain John Burgess.   

Doerflinger collected the lovely song, it does not, when sung by someone who cares, sound like a rugby song, and yes, the folk process has been hard at work with this puppy for most of the 20th century.

There are plentiful sources to document this song completely, in all of its permutations--please stop guessing--this is how rumors get started. Oh, and while you're at it, don't bother to even read this post, because Milner and Dolphin are the only ones worth listening to.
--Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: bfolkemer
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 12:56 PM

All,

Thanks for this discussion and the text of "Leaving of LImerick." Martin, please rest assured that I will not try to put it into the "strait jacket" of the tune I have for "Leaving of Liverpool." However, I'm eager to hear/see the music for "Leaving of Limerick." I have the capablility of turning an ABC file into a MIDI file, or converting written music into a MIDI file. If I can somehow get a recording, sheet music or an ABC from one of you, l will do that. Il probably need some help in putting it up on this site, but I'm sure I can learn to do that too.

Regards,

Beth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 01:17 PM

It seems to me that we don't have any real evidence as to the order in which the two songs developed - nor any real idea of the time of origin. My own instinct, for what it's worth, is that the Limerick one may well precede the Liverpool one. It just seems more likely that an emigrant song got slightly roughed up by sailors than that a sailors song was made so gentle! but it IS speculation.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM

Just another song for which the only secure datum is time of publication. So far everything else is anecdotal. Interesting nevertheless.

Doerflinger's informant also may have modified a song to his taste and changed names or added the Burgess-David Crockett lines- this could have no bearing on the date and place of origin of the song.

The Mystic Museum has the name Davy Crockett for the ship; it was not a commissioned US naval vessel and at the time it was built Crockett already was in folk history and penny dreadfuls as Davy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Gareth
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 04:53 PM

Guest Satchel -

If LR can confirm the name and existance, well find.

However I respectfully refer to my orginal post :-

"The only hard and fast rule on ships names was only one name per port of registry thus we could have the "Davey Crocket" of New York, and the "Davey Crocket" of say Mobile.

Scond fact. In the days when I had a free run of the Lloyds of London libuary and records section have now long gone. I am working from memory but the commercial life of a wooden hull was not that long. The 'Perils of the Sea', decay, wear and tear, and commercial reality saw to that.

It is very possible that here were more than one "Davey Crocket" on the transatlantic run."


Gareth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GEST
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 03:41 PM

Some facts from Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia, Houghton Mifflin:

David Crockett

Clipper (3m). L/B/D: 218.8 × 41 × 27 (66.7m × 12.5m × 8.2m). Tons: 1,679 bm. Hull: wood. Built: Greenman & Co., Mystic, Conn.; 1853.

Named for the celebrated American frontiersman and built for Handy & Everett's transatlantic packet trade between New York and Liverpool, the clipper David Crockett combined large carrying capacity with good speed and was regarded by some as "almost perfect." As it happened, she made only a few voyages on the transatlantic run before entering the Cape Horn run between New York and San Francisco under the house flag of Lawrence Giles and Company. In this hard trade, David Crockett proved one of the most successful clippers ever launched. Having cost $93,000 to build, by the time she quit the Cape Horn trade in 1883, after twenty-five passages from New York to San Francisco, she had earned a net profit of $500,000, and there is no record of any loss to her insurers for any cause. Sold first to Thomas Dunhams Nephew & Company and then to S. W. Carey, she was rerigged as a bark for service in the Atlantic. In 1890, after nearly four decades under sail, she was sold to Peter Wright & Son, of Philadelphia, and cut down for use as a coal barge "to any port where there is water enough to float her." With leg-of-mutton sails set from stump masts, in this ignominious work she ended her days around the turn of the century. Her figurehead, which was displayed only when in port, survives in the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Howe & Matthews, American Clipper Ships.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Toenails John
Date: 13 Nov 04 - 02:20 PM

I would agree with the leaving of Limerick theory, here's why.

I was told years ago that the leaving of liverpool was an Irish song. During our mass emigration to the UK and the states there were a few passages that a person could travel, one such route was to the states, via the port of Liverpool, where some emigrants jumped ship to make a go of life there, only to rejoin another ship later for the onward journey, having to leave again, whatever he has made his in liverpool, ie a relationship, while having no personal attachment to the actual town.

"It's not the leaving of liverpool that grieves me, but my darling when i think of you"

This theory has always held it's own for me, but i don't know if it is a 100%fact

I once heard a different version called The leaving of everything and all I love?? anyone know about that version or was it just somebody trying to be original (unsucsessfully!!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:48 AM

It's clear from the lyrics in the version most people know that the singer is a Liverpool based sailor and there's no connection to emigration.

The sailor has a fondness for parts of Liverpool that you wouldn't expect from someone recently arrived from Ireland before going on to America.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence to determine which came first Leaving Of Liverpool or Leaving Of Limerick. I consider this song a Liverpool sea shanty rather than an Irish folk song.

A lot of people seem to think this is an Irish folk song about emigration and this might have come about as a result of it being played by Irish folk groups and singers.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:00 AM

Okay I'll take a guess at which version came first. I would suggest that the Liverpool version came before the Limerick version because the Limerick version reads to me like a more polite remake of the Liverpool version.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MartinRyan
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:06 AM

It's as good a guess as any - in the absence of evidence! My own instinct, as noted earlier in the thread, is the reverse.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 07:39 AM

PAT CLANCY:
You want to know where Dylan got his stuff? There was a little folk club here in London, down in the basement [The Troubadour]; we sang in it one night... Anyway, Al Grossman [Dylan's manager] paid somebody [Anthea Joseph]and gave them a tape-recorder, and every folk-singer that went up there was taped, and Bob Dylan got all those tapes...
LIAM CLANCY:
Yes, and the tune of "Farewell"... because whoever was singing harmony was closer to the mike than the guy singing melody, and when Dylan wrote his version, he wrote it to the harmony not the melody line...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:29 PM

A leaving song would be appealing in Ireland in the 19th Century. I have a feeling that in the same way as Irish groups and singers adopted the Liverpool song in the 20th Century maybe it was adopted in the same way in 19th Century Ireland. A case of history repeating itself?

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:53 PM

There is nothing in the lyrics to the 'standard' version of the Leaving of Liverpool' to suggest emigration. It's his second voyage, he expects to come home, he's clearly a member of the crew and he's going to California, not the usual east coast ports such as New York or Boston where British and Irish emigrants arrived.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: goatfell
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 12:58 PM

here in Ayrshire they line dance to this how ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 01:21 PM

Terry McDonald wrote: "There is nothing in the lyrics to the 'standard' version of the Leaving of Liverpool' to suggest emigration. It's his second voyage, he expects to come home, he's clearly a member of the crew and he's going to California, not the usual east coast ports such as New York or Boston where British and Irish emigrants arrived."

I agree completely. I don't understand why there's actually any debate to it. Aside from the words themselves, it's not exactly an unlikely context or setting given Liverpool's importance as a port during the 19th C.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 03:27 PM

I was glad to see this verse (above):

    I've shipped in a Yankee clipper ship,
    Davy Crockett is her name.
    Captain Burgess he is tough, me lads,
    And the mate he's just the same.

In several sources, including Rise Up Singing, this verse ends on a glaringly non-rhyming word, which I've never liked very much.

Like Little Robyn and probably many others, I knew Dylan's "Farewell" before I ever heard the original "Leaving of Liverpool." I like Bob's verses, but I prefer singing and playing the chorus of the older song, especially for the line that contains the title.

I get the feeling, however, that that very line gives the melody an element of momentum that encourages the singer(s) to speed up the rendition, perhaps to the detriment of the song's intended meaning/feeling. In the Dylan song, "It's not the lea-ea-vin'/ that's a-grievin' me" is more readily sung in a less rowdy, more contemplative manner than the original title-line.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:08 PM

From "Shanteymen & Shantyboys" by William Main Doerflinger. (Snips)
"The first (song)is a sailor's farewell to Liverpool".
Thousands of Yankee shellbacks knew Liverpool well. Many of the Famous American clippers, too, were familar sights in the Mersey, among the the three-skysail-yarder 'David Crockett' of New York, the merchant ship mentioned in this song.
"It was in 1863 that she first arrived in the port (Liverpool) while under the command of Captain John A Burgess of Massachusetts, her skipper for many yrs. In 1874, on what was to have been his last voyage before retiring from sea, Captain Burgess was lost overboard in a storm in the South Alantic."
Dick Maitland, who sang "The Leaving of Liverpool" learned it about 1885, when he was bosun of the American ship "General Knox". '"I was on deck one night"', he said, '"wwhen I heard a Liverpool man singing it in the fo'c'sle...Yessir, that song hit the spot'"!

Seeing as this is a one source song "that's how it was sung" anything else is a change through the folk process, maybe but in 'Rise Up Singing' they at least should have repeat the printed souce rather than what I suspect change the words deliberatly to their own flowing tastes.
If Dick heard this coming from the fo'c'sle then it came from a crew member, as pssangers weren't ever allowed in the fo'c'sle. I've heard Dan Milner sing this many times, his is much like Lou Killen (except I can understand Dan better than Lou). I see no reason to believe this is a song of emigration & as Doeflinger says himself it's a "sailor's farewell".
I put Doerflinger's text here because there's been such wild speculation over the song, it's origin and words. Sing it as you will but here's how it is.

Leaving of Liverpool

Fare you well, the Prince's Landing Stage, River Mersey, fare you well
I'm off to California, a place I know right well

Chorus
So, fare you well, my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
But darling when I think on you

I'm off to California
By way of stormy Cape Horn
And I will send you a letter, love
When I am homeward bound

Farewell to Lower Frederick Street
Anson Terrace and Park Lane,
Farewell, it well be some long time
Before I see you again

I've shipped on a Yankee clipper ship
Davy Crockett is her name;
And Burgess is the captain of her
And they say she's a floating hell

It's my second trip with Burgess in the Crockett,
And I think I know him well.
If a man's a sailor, he can get along,
But if not, he's sure in hell.

The tug is waiting at the pierhead
To take us down the stream.
Our sails are lose and our anchor secure,
So I'll bid you good-bye once more

I'm bound away to leave you,
Good-bye, my love, good-bye.
There ain't but one thing that grieves me;
That's leaving you behind.

Now, fare you well, the Prince's Landing Stage,
River Mersey, farewell you well.
I'm off to California,
A place I know right well.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM

That's a lot of debate about a song with a single source.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM

Who'd of thunk?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 05:11 AM

I've come to this thread late as usual, so apologies if someone has mentioned this already. However, Ciarain MacMathuna, the former RTÉ radio presenter collected it from a Limerick woman, I think in the 1950s. Certainly, I recall MacMathuna broadcasting it on a midweek programme he used to compere, as far back as the mid 1970s. I have only heard the singer's name on whistly medium wave radio, but it would have been Una Tuohy, or some such variation, and she came from Co. Limerick. A posthumous CD of her was published by her family and/or friends.

Anyone who wants to follow this up could contact the Irish Traditional Music Archive http://www.itma.ie/ .

"I'd normally be quite dubious about claims for an Irish antecedent for a song like The Leaving of Liverpool (mainly on the grounds that people are always saying things like that, but rarely seem able to back it up), but, according to Dan Milner, the suggestion came from Tom Munnelly, who I'd expect to be reliable on that sort of thing. I've never seen or heard The Leaving of Limerick, though. Is anyone able to quote it? Any reference to a traditional source would be useful, too; revival recordings may be of little help unless they provide substantive information. I know that Deirdre Scanlan, for example, has recorded a song of that title; but does she say anything about it?"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:11 AM

I see Nora Butler's CD on sale HERE , with a (very) short sample of The Leaving of Limerick

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:25 AM

I first heard the song from the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, circa 1963. At least two references I recall credited authorship to Ewan McColl as if it were a composition of his and not older material possibly reworked. It appears now to be a much older song, at least in some form.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 12:22 PM

The first--and prolly the last word on the subject:

"Dick Maitland, who sang "The Leaving of Liverpool" learned it about 1885, when he was bosun of the American ship "General Knox". '"I was on deck one night"', he said, '"when I heard a Liverpool man singing it in the fo'c'sle...Yessir, that song hit the spot'"!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:49 AM

Of course Dick Maitland Heard a Liverpool man singing it. And there is no doubt that Doerflinger collected it. And we must thank them both for allowing us the opportunity to sing it now.

However, The Leaving of Limerick is also a very fine song. Deirdre Scanlan got it from the singing of Nora Butler and I asked Tom Munnelly for his thoughts on it. He was not definitive but he felt that the Leaving of Limerick was the older song. He did not research it, as far as I am aware, and this is only conjecture.

But who cares, they are both very good songs and both should be sung.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:07 AM

Thanks Martin for the clip of Leaving Of Limerick. The clip doesn't include the chorus so I don't if it sounds like Leaving Of Liverpool when it gets to the chorus. The melody in the clip I heard didn't sound to me like Leaving Of Liverpool. The leaving theme in both songs may well go way back there may be other leaving songs we have lost over time. Maybe Leaving Of Liverpool and Leaving Of Limerick were created independent of each other?

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM

MV."Maybe Leaving Of Liverpool and Leaving Of Limerick were created independent of each other?"

No. One was definitely created from the other and gut feeling tells me "Limerick" is the older of the two.

Incidentaaly, the two tunes are so close that I was listening to it on the radio once and somebody walking past said, "That's The Leaving of Liverpool".

Here's another, slightly longer text, which was sent to the RTÉ broadcaster Donagh McDonough in the 1950s. McDonough used to get people to send the texts of ballads to him, and he would then get singers to put airs to them and broadcast the results over the radio.

His son, Martin McDonough (I think) posted the collection on the Internet some years, and it included some rare and invaluable material. Unfortunately, I've just been to look for the site now and it seems to have disappeared. If anyone has an extant website address, do please post it.

The Leaving of Limerick

As I roved out one evening down by the Assembly Mall
I heard two lovers talking as me and my love passed on;
The words that passed between them they were but very few:
"It isn't the leaving of Limerick that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of you!"

"In the morning when I'm going I'll wave my lily-white hand,
I'll wave it all over my shoulder, and adieu to Limerick Strand;
And farewell to the girls of Thomond Gate, 'tis to them I bed adieu;
It isn't the leaving of Limerick that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of you!"

"when I think of the pleasant days we spent in search of treasure trove
And the hours we spent in courting away in Gabbet's Grove;
I did not then deceive you when I vowed I would be true;
It isn't the leaving of Limerick that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of you!"

"And now that we must be parted 'tis hard to understand
Why I must go broken hearted away from Limerick strand;
Though, My fond love, I must leave , you know my heart it is true;
It isn't the leaving of Limerick that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of you!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:25 AM

MV

The clip is too short to be helpful, alright - but there's no doubt about the similarity when you hear the full version.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:37 AM

Fred. Thanks for the extra verses. But I am not so sure that the Limerick song is older. It does not appear to be a translation from Irish (Gaelic) and I am not sure when Limerick was "converted" from Irish language to the English Language but I have doubts that it was older than the dates for Liverpool mentioned above.

Martin, would English have been used in Limerick at that time or sooner?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM

George

To me, there's nothing in either the words or the tune to suggest an Irish-language song origin. Limerick city, at least, would have been mostly English-speaking throughout the 19C.

Fred's additional verse is very interesting. "Gabbet's Grove" sounds like a name that will have disappeared by now. Wonder when?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM

I don't know when Irish died out in Limerick but I imagine it was fairly early. Certainly I'd expect well before 1885, which is when Dick Maitland first heard "Liverpool".

I'd be almost certain that "Limerick" isn't a translation from the Irish. In fact very few Gaelic songs made it into the Anglo-Irish folk tradition. Plus there aren't all that many emigration songs in Irish anyway. In fact the vast bulk of emigration songs postdate the famine of the mid 1840s and are in English.

It's likely therfore that Limerick was written some time from the mid nineteenth century on. The reason why I think Limerick-Liverpool is more likely than Liverpool-Limerick is simply tht it would reflect the pattern of emigration. At that time, emigration was very much a one way ticket and you didn't get much in the way of returnees. Hence a song written in Limerick had more chance of being turned up in Liverpool than a song written in Liverpool would have had of finding its way to Limerick.

On the other hand, the way that sailors kicked about the world, you would never know for certain.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:12 AM

Fred

Click here for the Donagh McDonagh (note spelling!) site.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM

Martin. Yes. I was thinking of Co. Limerick, but the city would have been English speaking long before most of the rural parts of the county. I've just googled Assembly Mall Limerick, and it turns out to be a thoroughfare in that city. Does anybody know whether the other places mentioned are in Limerick City also?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM

Martin. Thanks for the link, and the corrected spelling. No wonder I couldn't find it. I downloaded all the songs when the site was first put up and would encourage others to do the same in cas eit ever vanishes altogether.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:19 AM

Thomondgate is an area in Limerick city. I've never heard of Gabbet's Grove - but will see what I can find.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM

Click here then scroll to the bottom of the page for Gabbet's Grove, in Limerick. Gabbet was a 19 C. landowner in that area, it seems.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:42 AM

Actually spelt Gabbett's, it seems to have been somewhere pretty close to Limerick. But look what I turned up by googling Gabbett.

From http://www.freewebs.com/vitaphone1/victor2.html . Victor 20713 was a 78 RPM record with a tune called Gabbett's Grove on one side and Devil's Bit on the other. Played by the P. J. McNamara Quartet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM

Yes - both spellings seem to have been used. Gabbett's Grove is in Corbally, now a suburb of Limerick city.

Regards

p.s. IIRC, the Devil's Bit is a feature in a mountain range in Tipperary!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:56 AM

Yes. And right underneath the Devils Bit there is a village called Killea. The Killea singers circle meets on the second Monday of every month (October to May) in Sullivans pub.

And a great session it is too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM

Sorry blank post above.

It's quite possible that Irish settlers in Liverpool introduced the song to the city. The considerable numbers of Irish people living here in the 1840s and after would facilitate the link. However if Limerick was not a port on the coast I would be more convinced by the Limerick first case. The port link could take the song the other way.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM

In a way, of course, what's most interesting is that they BOTH survived - each by its own slender, traditional thread.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM

Until someone produces evidence of the Leaving of Limerick being mentioned or collected in Ireland before 1885, any suggestion that Leaving of Liverpool is based upon it seems like wishful thinking to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM

If you date the link from the 1840s/1850s the Liverpool singer of the song would surely know it was based on an Irish song of his or his father's generation. Would the Liverpool sailor have passed on the song without revealing it's roots? Would he have known it's roots? How well known was the Limerick song? If anyone can date the Limerick song to the 1840s/1850s period or before then that would make me start thinking that the Limerick song came before the Liverpool song.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM

Terry

We're talking about tradition - not print. That's the point. I assume nobody believes that "Limerick" was produced from "Liverpool" post Doerflinger . In that case, what we're saying is that in the late 19C., both songs existed in oral tradition - and neither were well-known! Whichever direction the transfer happened in, it's unusual. Can anyone think of another such example?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:53 PM

Martin - I've no axe to grind either way! It's just that 'tradition' is such an elusive word - do you know when the Leaving of Limerick was first mentioned, as opposed to appearing in print?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:04 PM

Terry

Not really - nothing more than the rather vague references by the late Tom Munnelly which are mentioned earlier in this thread. These suggest that he was conscious of it being in the tradition in the Limerick/Munster area (probably 1970's?). It is not clear if he collected versions himself. If he did, his usual meticulous notes will be attached. I'll make enquiries.

Regards

p.s. With a strong interest in both the maritime and Irish song traditions - I've no axe to grind either, believe me!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:11 PM

This is from www.movinghere.org.uk about Irish migration to Liverpool in the 19th Century. It includes a line about seasonal workers returning to Ireland so it is possible Irish people took the song home with them:-

"Liverpool already had a substantial Irish population of about 50,000 in 1841, making it the most densely settled Irish town in mainland Britain.

It became the main pressure point for Famine refugees in 1847-1848. The historian David Fitzpatrick estimates that, at the height of the Great Famine, a quarter of a million passengers were arriving in Liverpool from Ireland every year. Of these, two-thirds departed overseas and many others were seasonal workers who later returned to Ireland."

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: curmudgeon
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM

I learned the Leaving of Liverpool from the singing of Ewan MacColl on the Prestige LP, A Sailor's Garland. I had never heard of the Leaving of Limerick prior to finding it this week in this thread.

Upon listening to the fragmentary clip of "Limerick," I heard a tune somewhat similar to "Liverpool," but with more Irish flavor. If I could hear the whole song, I might find more similarity, but I doubt it. Over many years I have observed that those who are most likely to find similarities in tunes just haven't heard enough tunes.. Also the words as printed here do not scan well to the "Liverpool" tune and would need to be forced and/or altered. The words seem to be a bit contrived; they have neither the honesty of a trad song nor the art of a parlour song.

Doerflinger published "Shantyboys and Shantymen" in 1951. "Limerick" supposedly appeared in that same decade. Dick Maitland died in 1942 which meams that "Liverpool" had to have been collected that year or earlier. Did Doerflinger ever give anyone transcripts of the songs he was collecting prior to the publication of the book?

While we will never know when either song was composed, we do know which was first to surface.

Just a few random observations - Tom Hall


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM

Hi Tom!

Upon listening to the fragmentary clip of "Limerick," I heard a tune somewhat similar to "Liverpool," but with more Irish flavor. If I could hear the whole song, I might find more similarity, but I doubt it.

That's all I can find online for now - We'll see if we can organise a full verse!

Over many years I have observed that those who are most likely to find similarities in tunes just haven't heard enough tunes..

You may take it that I (and Fred McCormick, an earlier contributor) have heard more than enough tunes in both genres (Irish and maritime) to recognise similarities!


Also the words as printed here do not scan well to the "Liverpool" tune and would need to be forced and/or altered. The words seem to be a bit contrived; they have neither the honesty of a trad song nor the art of a parlour song.

Nobody claimed the two were identical! Given the much freer approach to time in Irish singing, I'd be highly suspicious if they DID match! The "contrived" language you mention is excellent evidence of 19 C. Irish origin. Placing them between "traditional" in the strict sense and "parlour" (for which read Moore etc. in Ireland) is perceptive.

Doerflinger published "Shantyboys and Shantymen" in 1951. "Limerick" supposedly appeared in that same decade. Dick Maitland died in 1942 which meams that "Liverpool" had to have been collected that year or earlier. Did Doerflinger ever give anyone transcripts of the songs he was collecting prior to the publication of the book?
This implies a possibility that "Limerick" was composed in the light of Doerflinger's publication of Maitland's song. The language of "Limerick" is such that it would amount to a truly wonderful pastiche of 19 C. Hiberno-English. Taking only the limited timeline we currently have, this is technically possible - but highly unlikely!


While we will never know when either song was composed, we do know which was first to surface.

Now - THAT is perfectly true!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 03:02 AM

One thought, no a couple thoughts. How odd it would be for a song sung in the custom of sailors would be heard in Liverpool by a Irish laborer, taken back to Liverpool been adopted into a very different singing tradition & then not only be taken into that tradition but then have another song grow out of it & that be exceptable enough to have survived while the orginal died off???

I think that it's possible but highly unlikely & nothing more than a wild guess.

Think of the possibilities
A song sung in Limrick going to Liverpool & being taken into, again a very different tradition, being adopted into that tradition but nearly disappearing in the tradition of it's origin. If it weren't good enough to nearly survive in it's birth place why would it be good enough to survive in a foriegn tradition??

I think that's also possible too, but again highly unlikely & is, again nothing more than a wild guess

But it is a sand pit worth digging around in.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:17 AM

There would have been Irish men in Liverpool working on both the docks and on the ships. Irish sailors or dockers or labourers could have taken it back to Ireland. Limerick is a port like Liverpool so the song could easily go either way.

My feeling is that the Liverpool song came first because I can't imagine a more polite song such as "Limerick" being taken up and reworked by dockers and sailors in Liverpool. I can imagine the chorus and melody of "Liverpool" being admired and reworked for Irish folk music.

The words of "Limerick" are in observer mode rather than first person like "Liverpool". Maybe the writer of the Limerick song is revealing his distance from the song's origins. We'll probably never get to the bottom of this mystery.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:55 AM

Has anybody detected Bert Lloyd's fingerprints?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM

To answer my own earlier question about similar "orphan twins", to coin a phrase, I suppose the most obvious one is the weird and wonderful "Jimmy Murphy", which also seems to have survived in oral tradition in two pockets on either side of the Atlantic. HOWEVER in its case there is a broadsheet version known.

Regards
p.s. Re Bert Lloyd: No reason to suspect the accused, m'lud!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM

True enough Martin, the accused's previous cannot be taken into account, and in fact his fingerprints have not been found at the scene

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM

Not only are there no fingerprints but in the absence of any DNA, feelings & speculations about the origins don't count. We have no evidence to base anything on.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:18 PM

Barry,

"We have no evidence to base anything on".

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM

Yes but opinions are fun LOL if we didn't speculate we wouldn't accumulate!

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: smpc
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM

ever think they might not have any connection at all i no plenty of songs that have similer lines but are not connected? ? ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM

Is that Rip van Wincle smpc?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM

Oh and 100!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa0KBosXB34http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa0KBosXB34
oh and 101


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: mayomick
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM

People have been tracing the song/s mostly through the lyric/s.Would anybody have any ideas on musical antecedents ? Does it sound like an Irish tune ? To my ear the Liverpool tune - I haven't heard the Limerick one- sounds very slightly like The Boys of Wexford in the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 11:27 PM

Regarding the tune, it's notable that most performers sing certain, significant "wrong" notes, i.e. if we are in the key of C, they are singing the note A in 2 places they should be singing B. In no way am I suggesting there is only one "right" way to do things -- rather, just noting that the one authentic source for the song, Doerflinger's transcription of Maitland, is one way, whereas some early revivalist (Dubliners or whoever) changed it to the way nearly everyone does now. In sum: not much relevance from an artistic standpoint since art is as art does, but relevant if one is exploring "origins," where one needs to carefully check the primary source!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 09:20 PM

capt john burgess lived in somerset massachusetts usa his house still stands on main st


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: BobKnight
Date: 31 Oct 11 - 11:43 AM

For a brilliant version of "Leaving Limerick" check out the version by Muireann Nic Amhlaodh, which she sang on Transatlantic Sessions, series five, episode five. Best thing on the entire series so far in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 09:57 AM

The video BobKnight refers to is on Youtube HERE - run the timer on to about 13 mins and you'll pick it up.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:26 PM

Turns out Doerflinger collected a *second* version of "The Leaving of Liverpool." It was sung by Captain Patrick Tayleur, one of his best informants.

Go here for the article by Steve Winick. Scroll to Page 3:

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/news/pdf/FCN_Vol30_3-4optimized.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM

I had the honor of co-hosting Bill Doerflinger's final singing party at his house in Convent Station, NJ., as well as shuttling him everywhere from New York to Mystic during his later years; we were practically neighbors.

He was a very open-minded gent, but he was a stickler for detail. He transcribed his collections exactly as rendered. At the same time, he recognized that his sources' memories might not be perfect. None the less, he left it for the rest of us to figure out.

(BTW, he essentially ghost-wrote Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory." Woody himself was in no condition. Indeed, his final decline began when he was found wandering on highway 24, just a couple of miles from Bill's house, where he'd stayed for a while during the writing of the auto-biography.)

Anyway, as the grandson of a Lancashire family, I always am amused when New Yorkers, as fiercely loyal to Bill as can be, make known their objections to "my darlin' when I think on thee."

Bill never sought such loyalty; he just reported what he heard or recorded. He was a scholar above all else.

If Cpt. Dick Maitland ever mis-remembered anything, it was likely this. My Grandma and Papa, as well as their siblings, said "thee" and "thou" even in their new home, California, in the 1960's. Well, they said "Tha'rt" (you are) and "Thou'wt" (you have or you should) more often than "thee" or "thou."

The idea that a Midlands sailor would say "darling when I think on thee" is incredibly obvious to those of us who grew up hearing one of the Midlands dialects.

It's the single rhyme failure in the whole of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:59 PM

Interesting, Greg.

Tayluer's version *also* has "you" where "thee" would rhyme.

Except for the chorus, Tayluer's words differ considerably from Maitland's. Since they both lived at Sailors' Snug Harbor, I wonder if T could have picked up the chorus from M.

Winick's 2008 article is essential reading for anyone interested in "The Leaving of Liverpool," Doerflinger, or the collecting of American sea songs in general.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM

I fine article it is! I'd suggest the other way 'round... that Maitland may have gotten his chorus from Tayluer (who was born in Maitland!).

My reasoning is that Matiland's version, which he purportedly overheard being sung by a sailor in the fo'c's'le, is a forebitter... no chorus required. Tayluer specifically identifies his version as a hauling chantey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM

Could be. Maitland's versions often sound highly improvisatory.

But in this case, less so than Tayluer's.

We'll never know. But somebody extensively "rewrote" the lyrics in an authentically traditional way. (Nothing as "poetic" as the Clancys' "The sun is on the harbor, love....")


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM

It's rather frustrating that only the catalog entries of the original Tayluer and Maitland recordings are available on-line, and that the recordings are not, for example, on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM

Greg and Lighter-

Always interesting to get further updates.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 03:58 AM

For a full recording of Deirdre Scanlon singing Leaving of Limerick

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 11:01 AM

That the "Limerick" song may be older is suggested by the presence of "of you," which recurs in "Liverpool" in spite of the rhyming requirement.

It's no more than a suggestion. However, one might expect a post-1941 lyricist to have preferred the presumably more "romantic" "thee."

(Romantic for folksong aficionados, that is.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 12 - 06:44 PM

Please does anyone have the dots for Deirdre Scanlon,s version of The
Leaving of Limerick.The tune is causing mild "disharmony" in our household as my other half and I seem to be hearing different things.Thank You


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