The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53229   Message #818484
Posted By: radriano
04-Nov-02 - 06:22 PM
Thread Name: Mudcat CD Series: Rose
Subject: RE: Mudcat CD Series: Rose
Following are the liner notes for "The Grey Funnel Line" - in 2000 I put together a collection of concert performances by my former band "Out of the Rain" and released a cd entitled "With The Friends I Love Best". Band members are Richard Adrianowicz (vocals, guitar, tinwhistle), Suzanne Friend (vocals, tinwhistle, bodhran), Marla Fibish (vocals, mandolin, mandola, guitar), Cait Reed (fiddle, harmony vocals), and, on some cuts, former band member Jack Gilder (concertina, flute, tinwhistle, harmony vocals).

Suzanne Friend leads this a cappella version of The Grey Funnel Line, the last song Cyril Tawney wrote before leaving the Royal Navy in 1959. You can feel that suspended feeling of waves and the rocking of the sea in the melody. 'The Grey Funnel Line' is the sailor's nickname for the Royal Navy. The song is about a sailor leaving home and his loved one. He's fed up with the Senior Service and he'd rather be outside, but he has to go away yet again. Cyril got the idea for the chorus from a shanty with the refrain rock and roll me over for one more day. A short negro lament called Dink's Song, which Cyril found in a book of American folk songs collected by the Lomaxes, provided some of the inspiration for verse two. 'The likes of me' in the second verse refers to a young man who had discovered too late that he had other gifts that were of little use in Her Majesty's fleet. A 'walkashore' (verse six) refers to a method of passing from ship to shore and back again without the need of a boat, even though the ship isn't alongside. It's usually a series of pontoons, and it's generally only used if the ship in question is at a fairly permanent berth. The only walkashore Cyril remembers using was from the submarine depot ship 'Forth' in Malta. Cyril Tawney joined the Royal Navy as a 16 year-old and served in a variety of craft, but mainly submarines. His role as a folk-singer evolved out of his activities as a scriptwriter and performer in Naval entertainments. He came to the attention of the BBC in 1957 and soon had his own fully networked television program. It was around this time that he decided to buy himself out of the Service and become a full-time singer. Apart from his own compositions, Cyril has specialized for the most part in English folk song, mainly South-Western and Maritime, and he played an important part in establishing the Folk revival in Devon and Cornwall.

Richard Adrianowicz (radriano)