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Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)

Charley Noble 22 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM
Charley Noble 07 Jun 09 - 09:22 PM
Charley Noble 09 Jun 09 - 08:26 AM
Tug the Cox 10 Jun 09 - 07:45 AM
Charley Noble 10 Jun 09 - 07:57 AM
Sailor Ron 11 Jun 09 - 03:26 AM
Charley Noble 11 Jun 09 - 09:18 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 09:42 AM

Here's a lively tale of a spree ashore told in the old style by Burt Branklin Jenness, a medical officer who served in the U. S. Navy during World War 1. No policemen were harmed in my adaption of this poem for singing. I added the chorus from a variant of the old whaling song "It Was Advertised in Boston" as set out in Frederick Pease Harlow's CHANTEYING ABOARD AMERICAN SHIPS, pp. 211-212. I want to thank Marc Bernier for helping to track down the tune (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

From SEA LANES, edited by Burt Franklin Jenness, published by The Cornhill Publishing Co., Boston, US, © 1921, pp. 79-80A
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 1/21/08
Tune: TRAD "It's Advertised in Boston" (Harlow variant)
Key: C

Ballad of the Old Navy


C----------------------F--------C
The sea's a place for sail-or-men
--------------------G
In fair or stormy weather;
C-----------------------F-------C
'Round the world an' back a-gain –
------------------G-----G7-C
They's all good mates to-ge-ther.

Chorus:

C------------------F-----C
So cheer up, me lively lads,
---------------------G
In spite of stormy weather;
C---------------F------C
Cheer up, me lively lads,
---------------G-----G7-C
We'll all get drunk to-ge-ther!



We went ashore on pay day night,
Bill Dykes the mate, and me;
We cruised about till we got tight;
'Twas all one glor-i-ous spree! (CHO)
We veered an' hauled an' tacked an' beat,

An' shifted course some more,
Till we fetched up on Bleecher Street,
An' steered for Jersy shore. (CHO)

An' we wuz ridin' even keel,
Consid'rin' where we'd been,
Till a pair of cops put up a deal
An' tried to run us in. (CHO)

An' Bill, he sez: "'Turn To' has gone,
I think I heard 'er blow,"
An' he winked at me, an' I wuz on,
An' then he sez: "Let's go!" (CHO)

So Bill, he took th' bigger one,
An' 'course I took th' other,
An' so help me, when th' job wuz done
Y' couldn't tell one from t'other. (CHO)

Th' port side light o' one wuz green,
With th' starb'ard showin' red,
T'other wuz bleedin' in b'tween,
An' I thought that he wuz dead. (CHO)

For I downed him cold in th' mornin' watch.
With his own b'layin' pin;
An' th' top of his head wuz an awful splotch
An' his jaw wuz busted in. (CHO)

Then Bill, he sez: "All's well below,"
An' he cast his weather eye
Around the street, an' sez: "Let's'go,
An' leave th' lubbers die." (CHO)

Two sailors rollin' down the dock,
A-makin' heavy weather,
A-hoisted in with tackle an' block,
Flung in the brig together! (CHO)

Here's the original poem:

A Ballad Of The Old Navy

The sea's a place for sailormen in fair or stormy weather;
'Round the world and back again they're all good mates together.

We went ashore on pay day night, Bill Dykes, the mate, and me;
We cruised about till we got tight an' then went on a spree.
We veered an' hauled an' tacked an' beat, an' shifted course some more,
Till we fetched up on Bleecher Street, an' steered for Jersy shore —
An' we wuz ridin' even keel, consid'rin where we'd been,
Till a pair of cops put up a deal an' tried t' run us in.
An' Bill, he sez: "'Turn to' has gone, I think I heard 'er blow,"
An' he winked at me, an' I wuz on, an' then he sez: "Les' go!"

So Bill, he took th' biggest one, an' 'course I took th' other,
An' s' help me, when th' job wuz done y' couldn't tell one from t'other.
Th' port side light o' one wuz green, an' th' starb'ard showin' red,
An' t'other wuz bleedin' in b'tween, an' I thought he wuz dead,
Fer I downed him cold in th' mornin' watch with his wood b'layin' pin;
An' th' top uv his head wuz an awful splotch an' his jaw wuz busted in.
'N then Bill, he sez: "Tis well b'low," an' he cast his weather eye
Aroun' the street, an' he sez: "Les' go, an' leave the' lubbers die."

Two sailors rolling down the dock, and making heavy weather,
A-hoisted in with tackle and block, and into the brig together.

Notes:

From SEA LANES, edited by Burt Franklin Jenness, published by The Cornhill Publishing Co., Boston, US, © 1921, pp. 79-80.

This poem is a vivid description of a glorious spree in sailortown, replete with nautical jargon. There's also some nice internal rhyming in this poem.

"Turn to" is the traditional call for changing watch aboard ship.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 09:22 PM

Here's a revised version of how I've adapted this poem for singing:

From SEA LANES, edited by Burt Franklin Jenness, published by The Cornhill Publishing Co., Boston, US, © 1921, pp. 79-80
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 1/21/08
Tune: traditonal It's Advertised in Boston (Harlow)
Key: G (7/C)

A Ballad of the Old Navy


C----------------------F--------C
The sea's a place for sail-or-men
--------------------G
In fair or stormy weather;
C-----------------------F-------C
'Round the world an' back a-gain –
------------------G-----G7-C
We's all good mates to-ge-ther.

Chorus:

C------------------F-----C
So cheer up, me lively lads,
---------------------G
In spite of stormy weather;
C---------------F------C
Cheer up, me lively lads,
---------------G-----G7-C
Let's all get drunk to-ge-ther!



We went ashore last pay day night,
Bill Dykes the mate, and me;
We cruised about till we got tight;
'Twas all a glor-i-ous spree! (CHO)

We veered an' hauled an' tacked an' beat,
An' shifted course some more,
Till we fetched up on Bleecher Street,
An' steered for South Street shore. (CHO)

An' we wuz ridin' even keel,
Consid'rin' where we'd been,
Till a pair of cops put up a deal
An' tried to run us in. (CHO)

So Bill, he sez: "'Turn To' has gone,
I think I heard 'er blow,"
An' he winked at me, an' I wuz on,
An' then he sez: "Let's go!" (CHO)

So Bill, he took th' bigger one,
An' 'course I took th' other,
An' so help me, when th' job wuz done
Y'd think that they wuz brothers;. (CHO)

Th' port side light o' one wuz red,
Th' starb'ard showin' green;
It's just luck he wuzn't dead,
While his mate lay careened. (CHO)

For I downed him cold in th' mornin' watch.
With his own b'layin' pin;
Th' top of his head wuz an awful splotch
An' his jaw wuz busted in. (CHO)

Then Bill, he sez: "All's well below,"
An' he cast his weather eye
Around the street, an' sez: "Let's go,
An' leave them lubbers die." (CHO)

Two sailors rollin' down the dock,
A-makin' heavy weather,
A-hoisted in with tackle an' block,
Flung in the brig together! (CHO)

And here's a link to a MP3 sample of the first verse and chorus: Click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 08:26 AM

One time around spun our gallant thread!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:45 AM

And one time more span he.

Thanks for this Charlie, moght try to learn it, Cheers, Jeff


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:57 AM

Jeff-

Thanks for help with the heavy lifting!

Perhaps the lyrics of this old poem are too rowdy for the gentile folks on this forum.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 03:26 AM

Charlie, another grand one you.ve come up with. Keep them coming. Ron


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of the Old Navy (Jenness)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 09:18 AM

Ron-

Thanks! Burt Franklin Jenness would be amused to know his old sung was being revived. Consider raising it again some evening at the Fleetwood Club.

Of course it might be viewed as a song which glorifies violence; the squeamish ones best flee for the loo!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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