Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'

DigiTrad:
GHOSTLY CREW
GHOSTLY CREW (II)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Ghostly Fishermen (from Edward D. Ives, Drive Dull Dare Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island)
The Ghostly Sailors (from Helen Creighton, Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia)


Stephen R. 22 Sep 04 - 11:11 AM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 04 - 11:34 PM
Lighter 22 Sep 04 - 11:44 PM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 04 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 04 - 12:47 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Sep 04 - 12:57 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 04 - 02:52 AM
Stephen R. 23 Sep 04 - 05:43 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 04 - 03:53 AM
Stephen R. 24 Sep 04 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Dusty Keleleher 09 May 17 - 04:02 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Stephen R.
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:11 AM

This is a bibliography for "The Ghostly Crew"

"Ghostly Crew" Bibliography
Laws D 16
Roud 1822


Laws, G. Malcolm, Jr. _Native American Balladry: A Descriptive Study and a Bibliographical Syllabus_. Publications of the American Folklore Society, Bibliographical and Special Series, Volume 1. 2nd, rev. edn. Philadelphia: The American Folklore Society, 1964.
"The Ghostly Crew": № D 16, pp. 168-169.
*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        *        
Procter Brothers [George H. and Francis Procter], comps. _Fishermen's Ballads and Songs of the Sea_. Respectfully Dedicated to the Hardy Fishermen of Cape Ann. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Procter Brothers, Publishers, 1874.
"The Ghostly Crew": pp. 46-48. This is the original publication of the poem by Harry L. Marcy.

*Anonymous. The "Old Favourites" section of _The Family Herald and Weekly Star_ (Montreal). "The Ghostly Crew": A text is given under the title "The Ghostly Sailors" on 18 October 1922, repeated 10 June 1936; 5 March 1953; 4 April 1957.

Beck, Horace Palmer. _The Folklore of Maine_. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott Company, 1957.
"The Ghostly Crew" under the title "The Ghostly Fishermen": pp. 176-177. Singer: not identified.

________. _Folklore and the Sea_. Middletown, Connecticut: Published for the Marine Historical Association by Wesleyan University Press, 1973. Reprint edn, Edison, New Jersey: Castle Books, 1999.
"The Ghostly Crew" under the title "The Ghostly Fishermen": pp. 165, 203-205. Singer: not identified; it is the same version as the preceding.

Creighton, Helen. _Bluenose Ghosts_. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1957.
"The Ghostly Crew": pp. 127-129. Creighton discusses the historical background of the poem and quotes three stanzas from the version of Gordon Young (see the following entry).

________, comp. ed. _Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia_. Preface by John D. Robins. Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1932. Reprint edn: Toronto: General Publishing Company, and New York: Dover Publications, 1966, 1992.
"The Ghostly Crew": № 117, pp. 254-256; singer: Gordon Young, Nova Scotia.

________, comp. ed. _Folk Songs from Southern New Brunswick_. Musical transcriptions by Kenneth Peacock. Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1932. National Museum of Man, Publications in Folk Culture, № 1. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1971.
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Ghostly Sailors": № 114, pp. 223-225; singer: Scott Stuart, New Brunswick.

Doerflinger, William Mann, comp. ed. _Shantymen and Shantyboys: Songs of the Sailor and Lumbermen_. Holly Wood and Joseph Wood, music eds. New York: Macmillan, 1951. Rev. edn, New York: Macmillan, and London: Macmillan-Collier, 1972.
"The Ghostly Crew": I, pp. 181-182; singer: Captain Henry Burke, Nova Scotia; II, pp. 182-183; reciter: Captain Bernie Bell, Nova Scotia.

Fowke, Edith Fulton, ed. _Sea Songs and Ballads from Nineteenth-Century Nova Scotia: The William H. Smith and Fenwick Hatt Manuscripts_. Folklorica Publications in Folksong and Balladry № 5. New York: Folklorica, 1981.
"The Ghostly Crew": pp. 96-99; this is from the Hatt manuscript; the singer or reciter is not identified, and of course only the text is given.

Greenleaf, Elisabeth Bristol, comp. ed. _Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland_. Music recorded in the field by Grace Yarrow Mansfield. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1933. Reprint edn, Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Folklore Associates, 1968.
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Spirit Song of George's Bank (The Ghostly Seaman)": № 115, pp. 227-229; words: Daniel Endicott, Newfoundland; tune: James Gillespie, Newfoundland.
Note: Greenleaf refers (pp. 228-229) to an "a short article for _The Journal of American Folk-Lore_" that she wrote, comparing "The Ghostly Crew" with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The cumulative index to the Journal, covering the years 1888 to 1987, shows that she did not publish anything in it. If the short article ever appeared, it was in some other publication.

Ives, Edward D. "Sandy." _Twenty-One Folksongs from Prince Edward Island_. Northeast Folklore 5. Orono, Maine: Northeast Folklore Society under the auspices of the Department of English, University of Maine, 1963.
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Ghostly Fishermen": pp. 25-28. Singer: Edmund Doucette, Prince Edward Island.

________, comp. ed. _Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island_. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Institute of Island Studies, 1999.
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Ghostly Fishermen": pp. 79-80. Singer: Edmund Doucette, Prince Edward Island (same version as the foregoing).

Leach, MacEdward, comp. ed. _Folk Ballads and Songs of the Lower Labrador Coast_. National Museum of Canada, Bulletin № 201, Anthropological Series, № 68. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada, 1965..
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Ghostly Fishermen": № 96, pp. 244-245. Singer: Henry Belber, Labrador.

The web site _MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada_ has two previously unpublished versions of "The Ghostly Crew" collected by Leach in Newfoundland:
        "Twelve Ghostly Fishermen," sung by Morris Houlihan, is available at:
        http://collections.ic.gc.ca/leach/songs/NFLD1/5A-02.htm
        and at:
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phryst/audio/nfld/04/ghostly.htm
"The Ghostly Crew," sung by Pat Murphy, is available at:
        http://collections.ic.gc.ca/leach/songs/NFLD1/11-09.htm
and at:
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phryst/audio/nfld/12/ghostly.htm
The second site in each case appears to have reversed the titles given to the two versions.

Peacock, Kenneth, comp. ed. _Songs of the Newfoundland Outports_. 3 vols. National Museum of Canada Bulletin № 97, Anthropological Series № 65. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada, 1965.
"The Ghostly Crew," under the title "The Ghostly Sailors": A, pp. 873-874; singer: Alan MacArthur, Newfoundland; B, p. 874; singer: Everett Bennett, Newfoundland.

Any additions or corrections?

Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:34 PM

That certainly looks comprehensive, Stephen. The biggest problem with a bibliography like this, is that it makes me yearn for half-a-dozen new books. What are you using it for? I hope you don't mind if we post a few versions of the lyrics, and make this thread a full study. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Ghostly Crew, The [Laws D16]

DESCRIPTION: A sailor has endured much without fear -- until the night twelve ghosts board his ship and take stations "as if [they] had a right." They disappear as the ship passes a lighthouse. The singer is sure they are sailors drowned in a collision with his ship
AUTHOR: Harry L. Marcy
EARLIEST DATE: 1874 ("Fisherman's Ballads and Songs of the Sea")
KEYWORDS: sea ship ghost
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Laws D16, "The Ghostly Crew"
Doerflinger, pp. 180-182, "The Ghostly Crew" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 115, "The Spirit Song of George's Bank" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 701, GHOSCREW GHOSCRE2

Roud #1822
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Ghostly Seamen
Notes: Gordon Bok reports, "The story I heard was that the schooner Haskell, out of Gloucester, was anchored near George's [Bank] when a suddent gale parted her ground tackle and she went charging, bare-poled, down through the fleet. She cut the schooner Johnston almost in two, killing all her men. On every voyage thereafter, a crew would appear on her deck at night and go through the motions of fishing. After a few trips, no crew would even sign on her, and she rotted at the wharf."
This I have been unable to verify. Curiously, a story very much like this took place twenty years *after* Marcy's text was published: On June 22, 1893, HMS Camperdown, in a confused practice maneuver, rammed HMS Victoria, causing her to sink with the loss of 358 men. Camperdown survived, but was put into reserve roles not long after, and was broken up in 1911 although she was only 22 years old. - RBW
File: LD16

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


I think you have everything that's listed in the Ballad Index. I didn't find any listing at folktrax.org.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:44 PM

And if discography offers any appeal, I found no trad or other recordings listed at Jane Keefer's (necessarily incomplete but referentially incomparable) "Folk Music Index" site.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: The Ghostly Fishermen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:53 PM

THE GHOSTLY FISHERMEN

Smile if you've got a mind to, or perhaps you'll lend and ear
For boy and man together, nigh on to forty year
I have sailed across the waters, from Western Banks to Grand.
I was in some herring vessels that went from Newfoundland.

And I've seen storms I tell you, where things looked kinda blue
And in somehow or other, I was lucky and got through.
But I'll not brag, however, I'm not so much but then
I'm not much easier frightened than most of other men.

But one dark night I speak of, we were off lee shores a way,
I never will forget it in all my mortal days,
When in my dim dark watch I felt a chilling dread
That bore me down as if I heard one calling from the dead.

When on deck that September came sailors one by one,
A dozen dripping sailors, just wait till I am done.
On the decks they 'sembled, but not a voice was heard
They moved about together but neither spoke a word.

Their faces pale and sea-wet, shone ghostly through the night.
Each took his place as freely as if he had a right,
And eastward steered the vessel until land was just in sight,
Or rather I should say, saw the lighthouse towers alight.

And then those ghostly sailors, moved through the rail again
And vanished through the mist, where sun can shine on them.
I know not any reason in truth why these should come
To navigate our vessel till land was just in sight.

They are the simple sailors, I hope God rest their souls,
When their ship went under that time on Georges Shoal,
And now you've got my story, it's just the way I said,
For I believe in spirits, since that time anywhere. (spoken)


(no tune)
Source: Folklore and the Sea (Horace Beck, Castle Books, 1999 - originally published in 1973 by the Maritime Historical Association), PP 176-177 Stephen, note page number discrepancy
(from H.P. Beck, Folklore of Maine, 1957, PP. 204-205


Both versions in the Digital Tradition are from Doerflinger's Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman, and they seem to be about the same. Version 1 in the DT is version 1 in Doerflinger, and Version 2 is version 2. Doerflinger says the original lyrics, by Harry L. Marcy, appeared in 1874 in Fishermen's Ballads and Songs of the Sea published by Procter Brothers, a Gloucester stationery house. Doerflinger's Verison 1 sas sung by Captain Henry Burke of Lunenburg. Version 2 was recited by Captain Bernie Bell, fishing captain of West Dublin, on the Lahave River, Nova Scotia.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: The Ghostly Sailors
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 12:47 AM

The Ghostly Sailors

I hope you'll lend anear
A man and boy togather
Well on for fifty year
That I have sailed upon the ocean
In sumer pleasant days
And through the stormy winters
When the stormy winds do rage

I have tossed about on georges
Bin a fishing in the bay
Flown south in early seasons
Most aney where it would pay
I have bin in different seasons
To western banks and grand
Have bin in herring vessels
That went to Newfoundland

There I saw storms I tell you
When times looked very blue
But some way Ive bin lucky
Bin lucky and got through
I aint a brag however
I wont say much but then
I aint no easier frightened
Then the most of other men

Twas one night as we were sailing
We were off shore aways
I never shall forget it
In all my mortle days
It was in the grim dark watches
I felt a chilling dread
Come over me as if I heared one

Calling from the dead
Right too the rail they clymed
All silent on by one
A dozen ripping sailors
Just wate untill I am done
Their faces pail and sea wet
Shone ghostly through the night
Each fellow took his station
Just as if he had a right

They moved around among us
Untill land was just in sight
Or rather I should say so
The light house shoud its light
And then those ghostly sailors
Moved to the rail again
And vanished like the myseit
Before the brake of em

We sailed right in to harbor
And every mothers son
Will tell you the same story
The same as I have done
The trip before the other
We were on georges then
Ran down another vessel
And sank her and her men

Those where the same poor fellows
I hope god rest their souls
That our old craft ran under
That time on georges shoules
So now you have heared my story
It is just as I say
I do believe in spirrits
Since that time aney way

(no tune)
from Fenwick Hatt's notebook [spelling and punctuation as printed]
Sea Songs and Ballads from Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia: The William H. Smith and Fenwick Hatt Manuscripts (edited by Edith Fowke, Folklorica Press, 1981)

    NOTES:
    This is an unusual Canadian ballad that is very well known along the east coast. It was inspired by a real sea tragedy which is linked with a sailors' legend, and is one of the very few native North American ballads that has a supernatural theme.
    Doerflinger was the first to note that the original words of "The Ghostly Crew" by Harry L. Marcy appeared in 1874 in Fishermen's Ballads and Songs of the Sea compiled by Procter Bros., a stationery firm in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It soon acquired a tune and, according to Doerflinger, "was a favorite of fishermen from Cape Ann to Cape Race." However, all reported versions are from Canada. Doerflinger gives two Nova Scotia versions; Creighton found it in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; Ives found it in Prince Edward Island; Horace Beck, Greenleaf, Leach, and Peacock all found it in Newfoundland; and Leach adds another version from Labrador. Most of these texts have the full eight stanzas; a few have lost stanza 7, and Leach's Labrador text reduces the story to three and a half stanzas.
    In Bluenose Ghosts, Helen Creighton gives an account of the tragedy that inspired the ballad as it was described in the Boston Globe: The Charles Haskell from Boston was anchored on Georges Bank on March 7, 1866, when another ship got adrift and was being hurled directly towards the Haskell. To save themselves the crew cut the Haskell's rope, and then she was driven upon another ship, the Andrew Jackson of Salem, and cut it in two. It sank with all hands.
    The next time the Charles Haskell returned to the same fishing grounds the crew testified that sailors of the Andrew Jackson came up over the sides in their oilskins and manned the Haskell. After that the Haskell became known as the ghost vessel and the owners could not get a crew. She was sold to Captain David Hayden of Port Wade, Nova Scotia, and used for transporting wood along the coast. Dr. Creighton concludes: "I have talked to men who had heard the story personally from the crew, and I too heard it confirmed from one who saw it happen, Captain Ammon Zinck of Lunenburg."
    Elisabeth Greenleaf heard a somewhat different account from James Gillespie of Fortune Harbour who said he had seen the ship that the ghostly seamen boarded: "They hove the sails off her and let her rot at the wharf in St. John's harbour because they could never get a crew to sign on her, after the trip when the spirits was seen."
    Thomas Raddall adds this note: "W.H. Smith told me (April 1940) he well remembered 'The Ghostly Sailors' being sung aboard Nova Scotia vessels in which he sailed. He could not remember the schooner's name, but she was a Gloucester vessel. She ran down another vessel on George's Bank and sank her with all hands. The story was that as she was returning from George's Bank on her next trip she was boarded in the night by the ghosts of the drowned men, who left her as Thatcher's Island light came in sight. The crew left the schooner as soon as she got home and the owners could never get anybody to go fishing in her; ultimately she was sold as a coaster."
    Elisabeth Greenleaf compares the ballad to Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." She quotes Wordsworth's account of the planning of "The Ancient Mariner" in which he says that he suggested "the navigation of the ship by the dead men," and thinks he may have known of a tradition or folk song with that motif. She notes that many Newfoundland ballads describe life while fishing on the Banks, but while there are some light-hearted ones about voyages to the Grand Banks or American Banks, George's Bank seemed to have a sinister reputation: every song she heard about it was a sea tragedy.
    Many sailors firmly believe the tale of the ghostly fishermen. As Leach notes, it is based on the old sea superstition that the spirit of a man lost from a vessel will board that vessel when it appears again at the spot where the tragedy occurred. Sailors tell a similar story of the 1914 sealing disaster when the Newfoundland lost seventy-seven men out of a crew of two hundred. On the record Songs from the Outports of Newfoundland, Pat Maher of Pouch Cove tells how he sailed on the Newfoundland when it had been renamed the Blanford, and on the anniversary of the tragedy sailors swore that they saw ghostly figures walk up the side of the ship and into the boat. He concludes: "I think that brings the tradition true that men do come home."
    References: Laws NAB, DiG, 168 (Beck, 204; Creighton SBNS, 254; Doerflinger, 181; Greenleaf, 227). Creighton FSNB, 223; Bluenose Ghosts, 127; Ives, 25; Leach, 244; Peacock, 873. Old Favourites, 18/10/22 plus 3 repeats.
    Folkways 4075 (Morris Houlihan, Pat Maher).
    National Museum: CR-B-22.215; CR-B-99.1007; CR-B-153.1882; CR-B-193.2211; CR-I B1; PEA-B-75.673.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: The Ghostly Fishermen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 12:57 AM

"The Ghostly Sailors," identical, except for a word or two, to "The Ghostly Fishermen," from Beck, given by Joe, is the version in Peacock, "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports," vol. 3, pp. 873-874- except for the last verse which has a twist:

It was the same poor fellows, I pray God rest their souls,
That our old craft ran under one night near george's shoals,
So now you have my story, it was just the way I say,
And I've believed in spirits since ythat time, anyway.
Sung by Alan MacArthur, 1959.

The story differs somewhat in the version in Edward D. Ives, 1999, "Drive Dull Cares Away," pp. 79-80.

THE GHOSTLY FISHERMEN

You may smile if you're a mind to, perhaps you'll lend an ear,
We're men and boys together, well on for fifty years.
Have sailed upon the water in summer's pleasant day,
And through the storms of winter where the howlin' winds do rage.

I was tossed about on Georgia, I went fishing down the Bay,
Down south in early winter, most anywhere would pay;
I've been in diff'runt places, on the Western Banks and Grand,
I've been in herring vessels that sails from Newfoundland.

If they're ice or storms I tell you when things looked rather blue,
But somehow or another was lucky and got through;
I'm not to brag, however- I won't say much, but then,
I ain't so easily frightened as most of other men.

Oh this night as we were sailing, we were off shores a ways,
I'll never shall forget it all in my livelong days;
Twas on those dark night watches I felt a chilling dread
Crept over me as I heered one calling from the dead.

Right over the rail they climbed her, in silence one by one.
A dozen dripping sailors- just wait till I am done.
Their face was pale and seaworn, shone ghostly through the night,
Each fellow took his station as if he had a right.

They moved about before us, the land was just in sight,
Or rather I should say so, a lighthouse shone its light;
And then those ghostly sailors moved to the rail again,
And vanished in an instant before the sons of men.

We sailed right in the harbour, and every one of the crew
Can tell you the same story, the same as I now do,
The trip before the other, we were on the Georgia then,
Ran down another vessel and sank her and her men.

These were the same poor fellows, I hope God bless their souls,
That our old ship ran under that night on Georgia's shoals;
So now you've heered my story, it's just as I now say,
I do believe in spirits from that time and today.

Sung by Edmund Doucette, 1958. "Georgia" is Georges Bank, just south of the Gulf of Maine, and the "Bay" is the way fishermen refer to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Click to play

    Note: tune is very similar to the Doerflinger tune in the Digital Tradition
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 02:52 AM

Well, maybe one more, since the tune on this one looks interesting.
-Joe Offer-

The Ghostly Sailors

You may all smile if you want to
But perhaps you'll lend an ear.
For men and boys together
Well on for fifty years,
I've sailed upon the ocean
In summer's pleasant days,
And through the stormy winter
When the howling winds did rage.

I've been tossed about on Georgia Shoals,
Been fishing in the Bay,
Down south in early seasons,
Most anywhere would pay.
I've been in different vessels
On the western Banks and Grand,
I've been in herring vessels
That went to Newfoundland.

There I saw storms I tell you,
And things looked rather blue,
But somehow I was always
Quite lucky and got through.
I will not brag, however,
I won't say much, but then
I am not much easier frightened
Than most of other men.

Last night as we were sailing
We were off shore a ways,
I never will forget it
In all my mortal days.
It was in the grand dog watches
I felt a thrilling dread
Came over me as if I heard
One calling from the dead.

Right over our rail there clambered
All silent one by one,
A dozen dripping sailors,
Just wait till I am done.
Their faces were pale and sea wan,
Shone through the ghostly night,
Each fellow took his station
As if he had a right.

They moved about before us
Till land was most in sight,
Or rather I should say so
The lighthouse shone its light.
And then those ghostly sailors
Moved to the rail again,
And vanished in an instant
Before the sons of men.

We sailed right in the harbour,
And every mother's son
Will tell you the same story
The same as I have done.
The trip before the other
We were on Georgia then,
We ran down another vessel
And sank her and her men.

These were the same poor fellows.
I hope God rest their souls,
That on our old craft ran over
And sank on Georgia Shoals.
So now you have my story,
It is just as I say.
I do believe in spirits
Until this very day.

Sung by Mr. Gordon Young, Devil's Island, Nova Scotia
source: Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, Helen Creighton, 1966 Dover reprint of Creighton's book, originally published in 1932


Click to play


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: 'The Ghostly Crew' (original)
From: Stephen R.
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 05:43 PM

Dear Joe,

Thanks for correcting the pages in Beck. What am I using it for? In May at the Saturday Market I listened to our local duo "Shanghaied on the Willamette" (Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler) and shot the bull a bit with them on their break. They specialize in sea songs, although they do a lot of other stuff too. I mentioned "The Ghostly Crew," and they did not know it but expressed some interest. So over the summer I put this together bit by bit--with that much time to work on something as short as this, it's not terribly hard--and gave it to them last week, to do with as they please. Songs from New England and Atlantic Canada are not heard out here on the Pacific coast as much as they probably should be, so if something comes of it locally I would be pleased, but if this is useful to anyone on this forum, that is enough reason to do it.

It seems to me that we have now absorbed the emphasis on context, singer, performance, and process, and are ready to undertake again song histories and so on with a broader perspective; Roger Renwick is right, although I don't think we should regret the other emphases that have been to the fore in recent decades. Bibliographies may encourage this sort of thing. I wish I could do discographies, but it would be too inefficient with the available resources, so I will leave that to someone else.   

I'm pleased that you decided to post the texts. This is one case where we have the original text from which the oral-traditional versions were derived, so here is the poem by Harry Marcy as originally published by the Procter brothers:

The Ghostly Crew
(Harry Marcy)

Well, smile if you've a mind to,
But perhaps you'll lend an ear--
For boy and man together
Nigh on to fifty year,

I've sailed upon the water,
In summer's pleasant days,
Or when the snowy winter
It's [sic] howling storms would raise.

I've tossed about on Georges,
Been fishing in the Bay,
Down south in early summer,
Most anywhere 'twould pay.

I've sailed at different seasons
To Western Banks or Grand,
And been in herrin' vessels
That went to Newfoundland.

And I've seen storms I tell you
Where things looked rather blue,
But then somehow I always
Was lucky and got through.

I ain't a brag, however,
And won't say much--but then
I ain't much easier frightened
Than most of other men.

We were the night I spoke of
(I never thought before
I'd see the sight I saw then)
A little ways off shore.

The trip before, our schooner,
She was on Georges then,
Ran down another vessel
And sunk her and her men.

This night as I was saying
We were off shore a ways,
I never shall forget it
In all my mortal days;

For in the dim dark watches
I felt a chilly dread
Come on me, just as if I heard
One calling from the dead.

And o'er our rail there clambered
All silent, one by one,
A dozen dripping sailors--
Just wait till I am done.

It wa'nt a dream I tell you,
For all our vessel's crew
Saw the same sight I spoke of
Just as I'm telling you.

Right on to deck they clambered
And not a voice we heard,
They moved about before us
And never spoke a word.

Their faces pale and sea wet
Shown ghastly throught the night,
Each took his place as fairly
As if he had a right.

And they, sir, worked the vessel
Till land was just in sight,
Or rather I should say, sir,
The light house towers [sic] light.

And then those ghastly sailors
Moved to the rail again,
And vanished like a mist scud
Before the sun, and then

We sailed into the harbor,
And every mother's son
Will tell you, sir, the story
The same as I have done.

I don't know any reason
Of course, why they should come
And navigate the vessel
Till just in sound of home;

But 'twas the same poor fellows
I think, God rest their souls,
That our old craft ran under
That time on Georges shoals.

And there you have my story,
And 'twas just as I say,
And I've believed in spirits
Since that time anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 03:53 AM

Thanks, Stephen - Doerflinger has the original March version, in brackets, mixed with another song - and I couldn't figure out which was which. It's nice to have it in straight-and-simple form.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: Stephen R.
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 09:55 AM

It's time for a couple of acknowledgments. _Fishermen's Ballads and Songs of the Sea_ is a very rare item; the original print run cannot have been large, and it was probably regarded as a book of local interest only and not widely acquired by libraries (which would tend to discard it after some decades if they happen to have it, because of low circulation). So it is that not even the Gloucester Library possesses a copy. They, however, did identify the Procter brothers for me, and directed me to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, which has one of the two copies in known locations. The Mariners' Museum Library supplied photocopies promptly and graciously. I really love these people; without them this sort of investigation would be hopeless.

Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bibliography: 'The Ghostly Crew'
From: GUEST,Dusty Keleleher
Date: 09 May 17 - 04:02 PM

Does anyone have a link to anyone singing the song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 December 2:37 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.