The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50558   Message #767446
Posted By: masato sakurai
18-Aug-02 - 11:42 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Crab Song
From: Notes to Far in the Mountains : Volumes 1 & 2:

37. Little Fisherman (Roud 149)
(Sung by Dan Tate at his home in Fancy Gap, Carroll County, VA. 11.8.79)

Hey my little fisherman I wish you mighty well.
Hey my little fisherman I wish you mighty well.
Have you any sea crabs here for to sell?

Chorus: To my wack, to my foddle and ca-divy.

Yes sir, yes sir, I've one, two, three (x2)
And the best one of them I'll sell to thee.

He picked (took) it up all by the backbone, (x2)
He throwed it 'cross his withers and he wagged off home.

Well, the old man got home, for the want of a dish (x2)
Spoken: Excuse me ...
He threw it in the pot where the women went to piss.

Well, the old man got up to piss as you might suppose (x2)
Wack went the sea crab and caught him by the nose.

John for the flesh fork and Sally for the ladle (x2)
And they beat the old man clean off to the navel.

As The Sea Crabb, this is to be found in Bishop Percy's famous folio manuscript of c.1660 and remained unprinted until 1868 when John Furnival included it in his Loose and Humorous Songs (reprinted 1963). According to Gershom Legman it was first known as a joking tale of Levantine origin that appeared in Italy c.1400, and Roger deV Renwick lists many other examples in chapter 5 of his book Recentering Anglo/American Folksong (2001).

Nora Cleary from Co Clare sings a lovely version on volume 7 of The Voice of the People (Topic TSCD 657), as does Mickey Connors on the cassette Songs of the Irish Travellers (European Ethnic Oral Traditions - no number) recorded and edited by Tom Munnelly. English singers include Harry Cox, Percy Ling, Charlie Stringer, Charlotte Renals (Veteran VT119) and Cyril Barber (Veteran VT102).