The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #74823   Message #3144935
Posted By: GUEST,guestLS
29-Apr-11 - 04:43 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Three Score and Ten
Subject: Lyr Add: THREE SCORE AND TEN (from Elle Osborne)
Elle Osborne has recently recorded 'Three Score and Ten' for her new album 'So Slowly Slowly Got She Up', and having heard the recording, I can say she sings "longed to fight" - and she's a Grimsby lass raised by folk singers from a fishing family!

As I've understood it, "longed to fight", is interpreted as "longed to BEAT" the swell.

Also, the "Yarmouth DOWN to Scarborough" line is true, in that North Sea fishermen always referred to North as 'down'.

As recorded by Elle Osborne on "So Slowly Slowly Got She Up" (2010)

1. Methinks I see a host of craft spreading their sails alee
As down the Humber they do sail bound for the great North Sea;
And methinks I see on each small craft a crew with hearts so brave
Setting out to earn their daily bread upon the restless wave.

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

2. Methinks I see them yet again as they leave the land behind,
Casting their lead into the deep the fishing grounds to find.
And methinks I see them yet again and all on board's alright,
With the sails close-reefed and the decks cleared up and the side-lights burning bright. CHORUS

3. October's night was such a sight as never seen before.
There were masts and spars and broken yards come 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 has found a watery grave. CHORUS

In verse 2, "casting their lead" is the more accurate, as it was line-fishing, not nets, in the 1880s, as Mike W sings, and Elle has been significantly influenced by him.