The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74823 Message #1308978
Posted By: Les from Hull
27-Oct-04 - 05:01 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Three Score and Ten
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Three Score and ten?
Me too - knock 'is bloody top hat off!
Most people do sing 'long to fight' but then most people are pillocks (IMHO). This is part of the oral tradition at work, I'm afraid. Most people have picked up this chorus from somebody else singing it.
I'm not sure about the reason for Yarmouth down to Scarborough, but the prevailing wind round here is between south and west, so Scarborough is usually downwind of Yarmouth. That's the first time that line has made sense to me - we usually think in terms of maps, but I'm sure they didn't think that way so much in C19.
Another way to sing this song is to leave the (second) verse till the last one, and you can imagine the ghosts of these small craft heading away from land. Spooky!
This song is still (surprisingly) popular among the fishing communities of the East Coast, and is often requested in Whitby in informal pub singsongs.
Which reminds me of a session that used to take place in Whitby Yacht Club bar, when we were asked by the Commodore why we sang so many songs about drowning sailors. Of course, we just took this as a challenge and stated keeping a running total on a board. I still remeber the glee of somebody coming up and saying 'Put this lad on - he knows 'The Loss of the Royal George' - there's nine hundred of 'em on that one!'