Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)

Charley Noble 01 Jan 08 - 06:07 PM
stallion 01 Jan 08 - 07:58 PM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Jan 08 - 08:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jan 08 - 08:30 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 08 - 09:45 AM
stallion 02 Jan 08 - 01:56 PM
stallion 02 Jan 08 - 02:00 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 08 - 10:56 PM
Barry Finn 03 Jan 08 - 03:13 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jan 08 - 08:51 AM
Fidjit 03 Jan 08 - 10:13 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jan 08 - 05:41 PM
Fidjit 04 Jan 08 - 05:27 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jan 08 - 12:34 AM
Charley Noble 05 Jan 08 - 09:46 AM
Charley Noble 08 Jan 08 - 08:41 AM
maeve 08 Jan 08 - 08:54 AM
shipcmo 29 Apr 10 - 06:08 PM
Charley Noble 29 Apr 10 - 09:31 PM
shipcmo 30 Apr 10 - 07:40 AM
Charley Noble 30 Apr 10 - 08:04 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 06:07 PM

We've been tinkering with this CD ever since its advance release in Australia in October of 2007 and think it's now ready to be formally launched worldwide. OLD SAILOR-POETS: Sea Songs primarily features the nautical poetry of sailors from the turn of the 19th century, near the end of the Great Age of Commercial Sail. It also includes some poems by Cicely Fox Smith from the same period, who while not a sailor herself learned to speak with the sailor's voice. In addition there are contemporary nautical songs from Bob Watson, Joe McGrath and a few songs that might best be described as nautical curiosities. Most of the poems I have adapted for singing, but two were adapted by others and used with their permission. The sailor-poets who would be less familiar to most people are Bill Adams, Burt Franklin Jenness, and Harry Kemp.

If you're interested in nautical songs, I think you'll find some keepers in this collection.

Here's the track list with notes:

Bound Away – A poem composed by old sailor-poet Bill Adams (UK & US), I readily adapted it for singing by using the traditional "Liverpool Packet" capstan shanty tune and incorporating its chorus. This is a joyful song that could have been belted out by the young apprentice lads on their first voyage. Adams was just such an apprentice lad in the 1890's, before he was forced ashore for chronic health reasons.

A Pier-Head Chorus – Another fine setting out song based on a poem by the well known old sailor-poet John Masefield (UK). I've adapted it for singing by making use of a tune inspired by the 19th century gospel song "Little Black Train." Masefield also served as an apprentice lad on tall sailing ships.

Tasman Buster – Composed by Bob Watson (UK), © 1984 ROM Watson, and used with permission. A "Tasman Buster" is a sudden squall prevalent in the Tasman Sea, between Tasmania and New Zealand. This song has a great rousing chorus and you learn a little about the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman as well!

The Chantey of the Cook – This "chantey" is based on a poem by old sailor-poet Harry Kemp (US) which I adapted for singing by making use of the traditional shanty song "Huckleberry Hunting." It's one of the few sailor poems which demonstrates a class awareness. Kemp sailed for years as a regular fo'c'sle crew member.

Sea Cook – This song is based on another poem by Bill Adams which I adapted for singing, creating a chorus in the process. I like the positive image of the old sailor who despite the fact he is now relegated to being cook can still help with the lines and lead a shanty when the going gets tough.

Merchants Island – Based on an old drinking song collected by the Dennis Puleston family from fishermen in Stonington, Maine, back in 1964. The tune is similar to the A-part of the traditional dance tune "My Love is But a Lassie Yet" and I've added a chorus which re-incorporates the B-part of that tune, and then added some new verses. My chorus is inspired by a recurring phrase "kicking up Bob's a-dying" from the Captain Jack Aubrey Napoleonic war series by Patrick O'Brian that historically means raising Hell ashore.

The Tattooed Lady – This song composed by Walter O'Keefe was first recorded by Rudy Vallée and His Connecticut Yankees in 1934, with the refrain being credited to Vallée and Chorus. It is a touching song of love, lust, and betrayal, but subsequent redemption.

Bumboats – A fine poem by old sailor-poet Burt Franklin Jenness which I was able to adapt for singing. It is the only poem that I've found which pays tribute to those floating entrepreneurs who still service boats coming into port all over the world, and in this song the West Indies. The Calypso style chorus is in the original poem. Jenness himself served in the U.S. Navy as a medical officer in World War 1.

The Salvage Men – Composed by ex-Coastguardsman Joe McGrath, © 1986, whom I met in the Portland Folk Club in the 1980's. I revised the tune and did some minor rewording; my tune was inspired by Gordon Bok's "Brandytree" but appears to have strayed. It's a chilling song about the predatory wreckers who used to frequent some coasts.

A Ballad of John Silver – A somewhat nostalgic pirate poem composed by John Masefield which I've adapted for singing, inspired by the traditional tune "The Range of the Buffalo." It's a curious mixture of grim reality and wistful thinking.

Neptune's Daughter – Here's a different take on women and the call of the sea, composed by Bob Watson, © 2003 ROM Watson, used with permission. I especially like the Appalachian style tune. As with all good ballads, one is left to wonder about the details of the story.

Sailor Town – This nostalgic song is based on a poem by Cicely Fox Smith (UK), who though not actually a sailor learned to speak convincingly with a sailor's voice. The poem was originally adapted for singing by Dick Miles (UK), © 1989, used with permission, one of the first contemporary nautical singers to rediscover this poet. The setting is most likely Victoria, British Columbia, where Smith resided for nine years in the early 1900's.

Shipmates (1914) – This poem by C. Fox Smith may be more evidence of the relationship between her and her favorite nautical informant, a shantyman whom she identified as "Dan." I like to think that it was composed as Dan was going back to sea and she was being very brave about his departure. My tune is inspired by the traditional ballad "I Know Where I'm Going." We never learn for sure whatever happened to "Dan" but evidently Smith never met him again and remained unmarried.

A Ship in a Bottle – I've always been fascinated by ships-in-bottles, each its own mysterious miniature nautical world. Then, upon re-reading this poem by C. Fox Smith, I realized that the final verse held more clues to her relationship with her old shipmate "Dan" and I had to set it to music. I made good use of the tune from the traditional Irish ballad "The Old Orange Flute." The last few lines make a fine chorus.

Sea Dreams – Seldom have I read such striking nautical images as those by Burt Franklin Jenness, as are amply illustrated in this poem. It has become one of my favorite songs. I used an Appalachian style tune in adapting this one for singing and it seems to work perfectly.

Mid-Watches – I set this haunting poem by Jenness to music in memory of an old merchant mariner and musician friend, Joe Theriault, who died recently; I then sang it at his memorial service. However, I've found that I'm still singing it and it has been well received wherever I play it. The chorus tune is inspired by "Night Rider's Lament" by Michael Burton while the verse tune is from "Song for Gale" by Larry Kaplan. What a fine combination!

The Long Road Home – C. Fox Smith most likely composed this poem as she reflected back on her departure from Victoria, British Columbia, perhaps aboard such a tall sailing ship, for her return to England on the eve of World War 1. Peter Massey (UK) did a fine job of setting this poem to music, © 2005, used with permission. I did some further revision of Smith's words but I love Massey's musical arrangement. It makes a fine hard-driving song full of high spirits.

For lyrics, MP3 samples of all songs, and ordering information, here's a link to my website: Click here for website!

My wife, Judy Barrows, deserves full credit for recording and editing this CD and for providing guitar accompaniment and some back-up vocals. I and my clones are responsible for leading the songs, some of the harmonies, and accompaniment by 5-string banjo or Anglo concertina.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: stallion
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 07:58 PM

A cracking cd, feel priveledged to have previewed, thoroughly recommend it
well done charley and co
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 08:17 PM

I've got one of those advance copies & it sounds more than all right, so I dunno what the tinkering has done to it.

well worth buying!

sandra (very brief reviewer)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 08:30 PM

best of luck with the album Charlie!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for the encouragement, gang.

Here's a more detailed review from Gardi, one of the Gloucester gang that attends the monthly Press Rooms shanty/forebitter sessions:

"Well, I had an opportunity to listen to Old Sailor-Poets: Sea Songs.

I'm impressed!

I promised that I'd be honest if not kind so take it or leave it, from my level of experience.

I'm not normally impressed with live music, with one exception, that being Barry Finn. His voice in performance has qualities that don't show up in Fathom This. When a musician works in studio to produce an album, the results, after mixing, tweaking and editing are usually far superior to what one hears live. Old Sailor-Poets Sea Songs is a good example of this.

Although the jacket suggests that your hope is for your album to be used as reference to your fellow chantey singers, I find the album has a wonderful quality of "listen-ability", and is something I wouldn't mind just playing on the ship's stereo as I went about my tasks or in the car stereo as I drove along.

The mechanics of the recording are great! The output amplitude is pretty solid. The vocals and instruments are well balanced and the studio quality is good, so good that I'd almost like to hear just a bit more reverb to off-set the lack of "room-ring".

I particularly like your idea of putting music to sea-poetry and making a project of it. You should stress this more, especially when performing these pieces live."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 01:56 PM

Know what you mean about Barry and performing although I saw Barry in his pomp at the Press room when I listen to fathom this I am immediately there observing the live performance, it beats me why he isn't so well known in the UK. I have the Old sailor poets in the car to sing along with ( having said that the car has been off the road for eight weeks!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: stallion
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 02:00 PM

ooo and I forgot Charley, the song you gave me, I have pulled it around and chopped and changed it a bit, got to four amalgamated verses and it works for me with the melody I was using in the studio. As soon as I am comfortable with it I will see if I can get a copy to you
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 10:56 PM

Pete-

I'll look forward to hearing what you've done with that song.

And I'm pleased that you're listening to the CD. Give my best to Martin and Ron when you see them.

I just sent out 60 e-mail announcements regarding this CD launch and buggered up the link to my website! Well, I at least know that the people who pointed that out were at least interested enough to want more information.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 03:13 AM

Thanks to Gardi & Stallion for your kind words,,,,the check's in the mail. Don't cash it till I put some money in the bank, I'm trying to save up enough to come over Pete.

Charlie, watch out, give Capt'n Gardner something to rock & roll with & he'll pitchpoll his classic Herreshoff in the harbor & Gloucester will be adding another to their long lost list (pun).


I'm still turning some these songs/poems over but some of these poems turned songs; Bound Away, Mid-Watches, Bumboats & The Long Road Home are right off the bat, magic. They hit me like your turning of Yangste River Shanty, when I 1st heard it from a poem on a page to a jewel of a song when sung. When I 1st heard that (Yangste River) it was all over, I knew you had found another gem. Well there are some more gems that you've unearthed & married to music too which bye the way, you need some congrats on for; West Indies Blues, Limehouse Reach, Lee Fore Brace, Shanghai Brown & Outward Bound & the fore mentioned Yangste River Shanty. I don't think I can comment on more than the upending of this treasure trove that you've so far brought to the surface, for the moment, later after I finish eating the, I'll go on further. Like pieces of eight & other artifacts that have been written about yet lie unseen, gathered barnacles, turned with tarnish & aged by the rubbing of sandy time, it's more the fact that you've pulled these salt water oysters out of their shelled settings, the way they'll spit, shine & polish will be seen soon enough but 1st I need for myself anyway is to just smell & see before devouring the feast. I'm fairly slow that way, I like my pleasures & I takes my time too. Bomboats, my singing partner Neil as you know has already taken this from you, with a different tune & has me doing a harmony on the chorus & it suits those who've heard it so far, very well, thank you kindly. You should also be given some shine about not only for the Cicely Fox Smith's poems but all the others that you've been collecting, cataloging, exposing & setting tunes too & also for being so givingly of them. Few can take a look back to gaze into those rooms darken & forlorn with age, shine a lantern & shed light & give the place an air deserving.
I left out Salvage Men & Neptune's Daughter because they're not by old sailor poets but both Joe McGrath & Bob Watson are sure in the right company of writers with those 2 songs.

Thanks Charlie for bringing out these poems into the sunlight & thanks for this meal that I'll be digesting for some time to come.
I'm looking forward to hearing the tinkered version.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 08:51 AM

Barry-

Can I use your glorious ramble for a press advisory? They might be provoked enough to ask for an interview just to decode what on earth this CD was about.

Well, even I'm not sure. I'm really at the mercy of this crowd of nautical ghost poets. They keep rattling my windows, wailing that here's another poem that needs a tune. What's a fella supposed to do?

I should forward "Neptune's Daughter" to Peggy Seeger; when Bob Watson first sent me his recording of this song I could hear Seeger singing it, along with her banjo.

Unfortunately I've lost track of Joe McGrath. He was a Texas Air pilot when I knew him in the 1980's, after retiring from the Coastguard. He was also part of the Club 47 crowd in Cambridge back in the 1960's. There are too many "Joe McGraths" for a successful Goggle search. But "Salvagers" is a great song, and Roll & Go plans to record it with a full frontal assault. It's ironic that the "Salvagers" is about wreckers while my traditional song from Key West titled "Wreckers" is about salvagers.

Whatever are you doing posting to Mudcat at 3 am? Are you touring the West Coast?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Fidjit
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 10:13 AM

Charley gave me this link to help hunt 'em down

It helps thatnks Charley

Chas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 05:41 PM

The above link that Fidjit provided will take you to the Oldpoetry website where you can sift through 550 C. Fox Smith poems that I and Jim Saville have posted there, not to mention the poems of Burt Franklin Jenness, Bill Adams, Harry Kemp, as well as better known old poets.

Only a small fraction of these poems have been adapted for singing, but there would be many more that are well worth working with.

Danny McLeod provoked my interest in C. Fox Smith, as did Bob Zentz. Zentz also introduced me to Burt franklin Jenness. Harry Kemp and Bill Adams I found on my own.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Fidjit
Date: 04 Jan 08 - 05:27 AM

As I always say Charley

We are "Just Scratching The Surface"

Chas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 12:34 AM

Hi Charlie
"Whatever are you doing posting to Mudcat at 3 am? Are you touring the West Coast?"

Checking out Mudville

Sure you can use my ramblings, at your own pearl, I think you'd want to set your standards a bit higher though, going with me is sometimes taking a bit of a dive.

Good luck

Is Neil doing your Bumboats getting any closer to U-Tube?

All my best
Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 09:46 AM

Barry-

"Sure you can use my ramblings, at your own pearl..."

I'm thinking of making a collection of your "perils" of wisdom. LOL

But you have listened to my songs, and it's nice to know someone else thinks they might have some staying power. Part of my job, as I see it, is filling in some of the gaps in the traditional sea songs repertoire. I find the old sailor-poets a good place to start from, at least the poets I've been working on.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 08:41 AM

Here's some more feedback on this newly launched CD. First, from Bob Watson who composed two of the songs recorded:

"You've put me in some very distinguished company on this disc. Jenness & Adams are great wordsmiths and C. Fox Smith is (well) C. Fox Smith. I'm honoured to share space with them. BOUND AWAY, CHANTEY OF COOK, BUMBOATS & MID-WATCHES sound real nice songs; SHIPMATES & SHIP IN BOTTLE are beautiful."

And I've just heard back from Rudy Sunde of New Zealand's The Martime Crew:

"I must congratulate you on producing what is in effect a solo CD. Agreed your wife plays a role there but basically it is your CD and a damn fine one too. You have an excellent selection of songs/poems and often put them to music yourself... Of the songs there, I liked most Bound Away, Tasman Buster, Sea Cook, Merchants Island, Tattooed Lady (great fun), Long Road Home. As I said before, I'll have to listen again.

Your banjo playing intrigues me. How would you describe it? I play fairly basic stuff - what Pete Seeger called his bum-titty style, with an occasional bit of double thumbing thrown in. I have a devil of a job getting my thumb to drop down from 5th string to 4th or 3rd. I have a Korean Samick banjo bought about 10 or so years ago. It has a modern plastic head which gives a crisp sound. You obviously play an older banjo with a vellum head which gives a more plunky sound which is great for old time stuff.

Before I forget, give my compliments to your wife for the excellent harmonies and guitar work."

Incidently, Rudy says that Bob Watson will be traveling to New Zealand (from his home in the UK} in three weeks and is invited to join The Maritime Crew as a special guest at the Aukland Folk Festival. Maybe he'll sing all the verses to the "Tasmin Buster."

Well, it's back to mailing out more CD's to eagerly awaiting customers. My god, how the money rolls in!

Here's a new link to my website for your order: Click here for website!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: maeve
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 08:54 AM

Charley, this sounds like something I need to have. I'll save my pennies, and have marked the website link. Thanks for the effort you have both put into the project. Have you sent one to Gordon and The January Men? It would seem to be a perfect match!

Warm regards,

maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: shipcmo
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 06:08 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 09:31 PM

Shipco-

Thanks for refreshing this old thread. What's important about this particular CD is that it introduces some old sailor poets such as Burt Franklin Jenness, Bill Adams, and Harry Kemp who composed wonderful poems of the sea but are unfamiliar to most people singing nautical songs. And it also spotlights such contemporary nautical singer-songwriters such as Bob Watson and Joe McGrath, as well as my favorites Cicely Fox Smith and John Masefield.

There are a lot of keepers on this CD!

Wow ... I've just reread Barry Finn's initial post. That was cosmic!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: shipcmo
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 07:40 AM

Charlie,
You really would not believe how I came upon this thread. I did a search on "my god how the money rolls in", and there was your thread in the list!
Joe Offer says that he has stopped adding to the "Shanty" threads list.
I would appreciate any threads not on the current list that you could direct me to.
Cheers,
Geo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Old Sailor-Poets CD Launch (C. Noble)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 08:04 AM

George-

The "path to riches" has always been a puzzle to me.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 July 4:54 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.