The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74823   Message #3144850
Posted By: Steve Gardham
29-Apr-11 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Three Score and Ten
original recording transcribed from EP by SG.

Methinks I see some little craft spreading their sails alee,
As down the Humber they do glide all bound for the northern sea.
Methinks I see on each small craft a crew with hearts so brave,
Going out to earn their daily bread upon the restless waves.

And it's three score and ten, boys and men, were lost from Grimsby town,
From Yarmouth down to Scarborowe many hundreds more were drowned,
Our herring craft, our trawlers, our fishing smacks as well,
They longed to fight that bitter night, to battle with the swell.

Methinks I see them yet again as they leave the land behind,
Casting their net into the sea, the fishing grounds to find.
Methinks I see them yet again, and all on board's alright,
With the sails flowing free and the decks cleared up and the sidelights burning bright.

October's night left such a sight was never seen before,
There was masts, there were yards, broken spars came floating to our shore.
There was many a heart of sorrow, there was many a heart so brave,
There was many a hearty fisher lad did find a wat'ry grave.

The transcription in SOTR was about as carefully done as most of the other transcriptions in there. However, although the recording is relatively clear Pearson is singing closer to the mike with another singer(s) in the background making some of the consonants not as clear as they would have been had he sung solo.

The controversial 'long/longed to fight seems to be as sung. there is some lingering on the g in 'long' which makes me veer towards 'longed' but it could be just 'long'. the 'to' is repeated in front of 'battle' which makes the intended meaning quite clear. It may be that the writer was looking back and saying this is how they felt when they set out before the storm arose.
In verse 2 'grounds' could be 'ground'. It's not easy to make out the final s with 2 or more singing. However, the broadside has 'grounds'.
Sails 'flowing' free is also difficult to make out as they're trying to fit 2 syllables into one. The broadside gives 'sails close-reefed' which is what I sing and what I suspect Mike W interpolated from the broadside.
Verse 3 There seems to be clarity lacking on whether it states 'There's'/'There was'/'There were'. Again they are trying to cram syllables in to fit with the music. The above is my best shot. It certainly isn't 'There's' in any of the cases as given in SOTR.
I'm passing this transcription to our score transcribers who are working on a new edition of SOTR and they have copies of the EP so they might come up with something slightly different to my transcription.
'northeren' and 'Scarborowe' are my attempts to transcribe what was actually sung.