The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24676   Message #320664
Posted By: Bob Bolton
17-Oct-00 - 06:10 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Musselburgh Fair and Musselburgh Field
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Two Musselburgh Songs
G'day Joe and all,

Returned to a Sydney remarkably little scarred by the Olympic experience, I am back to the mysterious ways of Mudcat and musical connectivity. (I called in on Mark Campbell and his partner Alison when Patricia and I went through Canberra on our way south and west.)

Anyway, I was looking at the words of The Cruise of the Bigler and a distant echo kept bouncing round in the far side of my skull ... I could hear the voice of Sam Larner, the wonderful old herring fisherman in Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker and Peggy Seeger's Radio Ballad Singing the Fishing... At first just the words " ... Great Grims-by ..." ... then "... a passage from the Dogger Bank - to Great Grims-by ...".

I had to check, so I got the new CD of Singing the Fishing and shuffled through. Sure enough, there was just a first verse:

Oh, sailing over the Dogger Bank, wasn't it a treat,
The wind a'blowing both east nor' east, so we had to give our (?) sheet.
You ought to see us rally (relly?), the wind a'blowing free,
A passage from the Dogger Bank, to Great Grimsby.
The Dogger bank is nor'west of Grimsby and a major fishing ground for the herring. I think it is named for a Dutch type of fishing vessel, the dogger (~).

All this adds another thread to the rich tapestry of this particular tune. We have at least five songs in Australia to this one and it seems well established among seafolk (if we stretch things to the Great Lakes). The tone of the Bigler had the right nautical tone to winkle this one from the back of my memory.

I will have to see if The Dogger Bank appears in a collection somewhere. I could not see it (under that title, anyway) in the DT.


Bob Bolton