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Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover

DigiTrad:
I'VE BEEN TO HARLEM


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: I've been to Bristol... (7)


kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 11 Apr 08 - 05:44 PM
Azizi 11 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM
Azizi 11 Apr 08 - 06:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Apr 08 - 06:20 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 11 Apr 08 - 06:56 PM
Peace 11 Apr 08 - 07:01 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 08 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,SusanB 12 Apr 08 - 01:29 AM
Azizi 12 Apr 08 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Susan B 12 Apr 08 - 01:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 12 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Apr 08 - 06:03 PM
SussexCarole 12 Apr 08 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Susan B 12 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 13 Apr 08 - 03:34 PM
Megan L 13 Apr 08 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 08 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,Betsy 24 Mar 10 - 11:56 AM
GUEST, topsie 24 Mar 10 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Laura 02 Oct 11 - 08:58 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 12 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,Guest S 15 Feb 16 - 07:48 PM
Mo the caller 16 Feb 16 - 08:04 AM
Rumncoke 16 Feb 16 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Claim To Fame man 27 Feb 16 - 10:41 AM
GUEST, topsie 28 Feb 16 - 08:44 AM
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Subject: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:44 PM

I have a friend who's looking for this play-party song's origins. I've sung and played it since I was a child, but the folks who would remember where it came from, are gone. It's very popular amongst play-party people. Here are the words:

I've been to Haarlem, I've been to Dover,
I've traveled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over-
Drink all the brandy-wine and turn the glasses over.

Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing over the ocean-
You better watch out when the boat begins to rock, or
You'll lose your girl in the ocean!

I'm guessing that it may have been taught to my sisters at Berea College on occasions like, The Berea Christmas School- every year the week following Christmas,- by Frank Smith, an Englishman who came there every year, taught songs and folk dances.    JR


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM

kytrad,

I know nothing about this song's origin, but I remember it from my childhood in Atlantic City, New Jersey {1950s}. I think it was taught to children in elementary school {ages 4 or 5 to 10 or 11 years old}.

I don't recall any movements that we did to accompany our singing {which further verifies that it was probably taught to us by the school's music teacher}.

The words that I remember are very much as you posted them:

I've been to Harlem. I've been to Dover,
I've traveled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over-
Drink what you want to drink, and turn the glasses over.

Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing o-ver the ocean.
You better watch out. Yeah, you better watch out
or you'll lose your girl
in the ocean.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:10 PM

I meant to post the question "What movements did you do when you were singing this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:20 PM

See these earlier threads:

Origins: I've been to Bristol...

Looking for 1800 Party Game Dances


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 06:56 PM

Kytrad, before I saw who created this thread, I thought, "Well, they should just ask Jean!"
I learned it from Jack Langstaff, and have played and taught the dance/game as follows:

V. 1 One child stands in the middle of a circle of parters who walk in a circle in promenade position, until
"Turn the glasses over" when the partner on the outside turns under the inside partner's arms, thus changing direction. Partners let go, and circle in opposite directions during the second verse, until
"lose your girl (partner) in the ocean"- the last syllable is spoken with vigor, and the child in the middle rushes with everyone to find a partner, thus leaving one child without a partner. This child is now "it" in the middle.

Only we sang "Drink all the brandywine"

However, in the public schools I teach "Drink all the lemonade"

I don't know Jack's source. I suspect it was Jean Ritchie!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Peace
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 07:01 PM

I've been to Haarlem,
I've been to Dover
I've traveled this
Wide world all over
Over, over, three times over
Drink a glass of lemonade
And turn the glasses over
Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing over the ocean
Better watch out when
The boat begins to rock
Or you'll lose your partner
In the ocean

Found on the www.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 12:38 AM

Lemonade!?!

In the first post that Malcolm Douglas linked to, the beverage was "liquor":

"A favourite game at harvest supper was "Turn the cup over", presided over by a self-appointed chairman. Each man in turn had to drink all the beer from a horn cup placed on the crown of a hat, while the company sang:

I've been to London, boys, I've been to Dover
I've been a-travelling, boys, all the world over
Over and over, over and over
Drink up your liquor and turn the cup over."

-snip-

Eventually references to "liquor" turned to "brandywine". And overtime, this hard drinking men's song became a children's song and "liquor" and "brandywine" changed to "lemonade".

Well,at least in my school, folks were given a choice of "drink[ing] what you want to drink".

As for me, "I love coffee, I love tea".


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: GUEST,SusanB
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 01:29 AM

Dear Mudcatters,

Thanks to Jean for calling in the troops! I asked for her help in finding out about this game song, and I just knew there must be more to the story! It became popular as a "play-party" in lots of print sources from the 40s on (though I'm still not sure how the words got appropriated for that!)

Your tip led me to search "Turn the Cup Over" and voila . . . archival copies on Google Books of a book (Sussex Archeological Collections) with a chapter on Sussex Harvest traditions. It is, in fact, a drinking game! The men would take turns holding a hat by its brim (crown up), while a cup of beer was placed on top of the hat. As the song was sung, the man was expected to have all the beer drunk by the fourth line, and then evidently flip the cup into the air, turn the hat over and CATCH the cup in the hat.

Sounds like it might have been even more fun than the play party! :) I believe the "sailing east, sailing west" bit has little to do with the original song, since it happens at the point in the singing game where the partners drop hands and move in concentric circles. The same text shows up in some versions of "The Happy Miller."

I'll keep looking, but I really appreciate the lead! I'm writing a book about children's game songs from England, and I was getting very discouraged, thinking that the song might not be English after all. . . Whew, a sigh of relief! This source pre-dates the appearance in print as a play party. Thanks again, Jean, and Mudcatters!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 08:06 AM

SusanB, your book about children's game songs from England is great news! Given your question about this song, will your book include information about the origin of these songs? If so, double Yeah!!

**

For what it's worth, I've found that children often change certain words of songs & rhymes to try to make the lyrics of a song make more sense to them. The line "sailing east, sailing west" reminds me of the "turn to the east and turn to the west" line that is found in lots of children's game songs. I suppose that the word "sailing" was substituted for the word "turn" since that made more sense in association with the "a-travelling, boys, all the world over" theme.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: GUEST,Susan B
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 01:03 PM

Thank you again for the tip! You know, I wouldn't be surprised if the song and the play-party came together in those Berea gatherings that Jean mentioned.

And thank you for asking about the book. Yes, it will give the background, etc. I'm a music education professor with a deep love for traditional music, and I have been lucky enough to combine my interests in both by researching traditional children's games and songs. I've always thought it a shame that music teachers had to rely on the print page to learn traditional songs & games for teaching. . . the music often gets "killed off" in the transmission (as per your comment about learning this one at school!). So I put together a collection from Scotland that included a CD of field recordings made in the 50s & 60s (real kids, not school music), along with modern recordings (of kids from the same places). The book has an anthology section (just the songs and notes on the singers), a historical notes section and finally a back section for music teachers, with suggestions about how they might use the songs in their teaching.

It's called "Hot Peas and Barley-O: Children's Songs and Games from Scotland," and it's published by Hal Leonard Publication. I had a LOT of help from teacher friends and scholars in the UK & the US putting it together, and it was really a labor of love. Mrs. Ritchie wrote a wonderful preface & related some of the songs & games to her Kentucky versions.

The England book is almost done (as you can guess, I'm plugging away to finish the historical notes section.) It goes to the publisher in May, and will be called "Over the Garden Wall: Children's Songs and Games from England." I've got a few other collections underway, too. It is a happy way to spend life as a researcher!

For such a well-known singing game/play party, remarkably little seems to have been written about it! The Mud-catters turned the key in the lock of this mystery. :) Of course, that opens a big can of worms in terms of harvest customs, doesn't it. :) That's a whole book in itself. I wonder, though, if this custom was specific to Suffolk, or the south of England. I will keep checking the thread. Thanks again, Jean and all!

Susan


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 04:44 PM

There are a few further references in the Roud Folk Song Index, at number 2854. The English examples are all from Sussex, the earliest being, I suppose, of the mid 19th century. The little ceremony described is much the same in all accounts. I'd best mention, though, that the 'liquor' was invariably beer.

Although there seem to be no records of customs in other parts of the country associated with this particular rhyme, it may very well have been more widespread at one time. Similar customs persist to this day, of course; accompanied usually by chanting or clapping rather than singing, so far as I remember from my student days.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. I found the references in Steve's index. The ones I hadn't seen seem to refer to a version in the Broadwood Sussex Songs, which I'm hoping to get a look at online or in person. I'm curious about the tune. It was possible to pull up an electronic version of the Sussex Archeological report that contains it, but the pages with the musical notation didn't scan well.

It seems to be a Sussex thing, but i do wonder about the custom being more widespread. I'll keep looking!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 06:03 PM

The version in Reynardson's Sussex Songs (tune and one verse) isn't the same as the Sussex Archaeological Journal one. It also quotes F E Sawyer's text from Journal of the British Archaeological Association 42, 1886, 324 (much the same as Rock's in SAJ) with his brief account of the custom, which I don't think is available online. I can do you a copy of that if it's of any interest.

The scan of notation at Google Books is quite hopeless. I'm afraid they tend to go for quantity rather than quality. I may be able to decipher it, though.

There's a further account (also Sussex), taken from G J Monson-Fitzjohn, Drinking Vessels of Bygone Days [1927], at

http://www.nicks.com.au/index.aspx?link_id=76.673

It refers to an unidentified piece in Notes and Queries, but doesn't add anything much to what we already know. Beware of the annoying pop-up window.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: SussexCarole
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 06:25 PM

We used to sing this song at primary shool in the 1950s in Horsham Sussex.   The words we sang were...

I've been to Harlem, I've been to Dover
I've travelled this wide world all over, over,
Drink what you have to drink & turn the glases over

Sailing east, sailing west
Sailing over the ocean
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock
..........in the ocean


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: GUEST,Susan B
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 08:14 PM

Did you play it as a game? Or just sing the song? Your words are the same as the play-party in the US (the line here is "or you'll lose your girl in the ocean."
Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 03:34 PM

I feel that the tune is very important to the success of this game. It's just so much fun to sing, it fairly lifts your feet right off the floor, and the abrupt sweeping change in the timing (hope that's the right term- I don't know music lingo), AND the action- when the boys turn back and the girls go ahead- makes it a really interesting little song. In other words, "It almost sings itself!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Megan L
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 03:41 PM

we always sang "Youd better watch out when the boat begins to roll, or you'll lose your lunch in the ocean."

Our teacher must have had masochistic tendancies cause i only ever remember singing this after morning milk. In those days it was in 1/3 pint glass bottles and on turn the glasses over 36 terrible tinies would slam the bottle upside down greatly delighted with the noise it made.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Do
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 01:10 AM

Well, Jean, your Mudcatters put me on the right trail, and I have really learned a lot! I found out about the Sussex drinking custom, and read an account of it from the 1800s . . . and saw notation of the tune that they sang. It is not the same one we know, and it's in 3/4 time.

The tune we know hasn't turned up in print prior to 1920, at least not yet. But I think it must be out there somewhere! One of the old notations from England has a sort of Dutch spelling (I think) of some of the words. And the print version i found is from a woman in Michigan, and I read something today about parts of Michigan having a large Dutch population. . . hmm. . . maybe the melody comes from yet a different song.

One thing we know it's not: a sea shanty! :) Wish i had a dollar for every teacher who taught kids that it was about sailors.

It's great fun to hear from all of you. Thanks again,

Susan


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 11:56 AM

I learned this song as a child, maybe in school, maybe in Girl Scouts? I vaguely remember the circle game that went with it. Later, but still years ago, I heard it played on Scottish bagpipes, with no other name than "Call to Arms". My guess is that the Harlem/Dover lyrics and game were added later, and that if it originally had words at all, they would have been Scottish ones related to raising the clans.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 12:18 PM

We sang this as children, usually when we were going somewhere in the car. It was SussexCarole's version with the addition of 'over, three times over' in the first vwerse, and 'or you'll lose your girl' in the second.
I suspect we may have learnt it from BBC's 'Singing Together'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST,Laura
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 08:58 PM

FYI: I had never heard the song before, but my students, most of whom are african american were singing it to a cup game. We are in
Rochester, New York...Interesting how it has evolved.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 10:52 PM

Ive been to harlem, ive been to dover
I've travelled this wide world all over, over,
three times over, Drink what you have to drink and turn the glasses over

Sailing East! sailing west
sailing over the ocean
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock or you'll lose your girl in the ocean


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST,Guest S
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 07:48 PM

We sang this (exactly as in the last post) at primary school 1950s (Gloucester, West Country, England).

No games or actions involved but I can see our short, rather plump, headmaster now, arms in the air, conducting us 10-year-olds. You were in trouble if you didn't sing loudly enough and we would have been in trouble had we sung the words "got to" instead of "have to". We sang lots of folk and other old English songs - that was his favourite.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 08:04 AM

I seem to remember this (as the last 2 posts) from a wireless programme -BBC. Maybe on teaching practise in'63.


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: Rumncoke
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 11:46 AM

I remember it from school in the 1950s - we were not told what 'the rough game' it was associated with by our male teacher, the form master who did not take us for music.
I expect a later teacher, who taught us music and dancing might have been able to explain it - she always smelt of gin and was dismissed for falling off her bicycle in the playground as she arrived for a lesson. Just about every boy in the school claimed to have seen her underwear...


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST,Claim To Fame man
Date: 27 Feb 16 - 10:41 AM

I've always found these words a little odd in that only one verse and chorus and the rhyme Ocean with ocean is somewhat un-poetic to say the least. For that reason I took the Liberty of writing some extra verses in the style of the original.
I've been to Harlem, I've been to Dover,
I've travelled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over-
Drink all you have to drink and turn the glasses over.

Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing over the ocean-
You better watch out when the boat begins to rock, or
You'll lose your girl in the ocean!

I've been to Scotland, France and Wales                                           Eaten Fish, Frogs Legs and Snails
Snails,Snails,Three plates of snails                                        Eat what you have to eat and turn the
plates Over
Sailing East……………………….

I've travelled North and South and Westwards                           
    Played I spy with all the guess words
Guess words,guess words, three little guess words
Play the games you have to play
Then turn the tables over.
Sailing East……………………..

I've seen Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Volcanoes,
Climbed Mount Everest on my tiptoes
Tiptoes, tiptoes, three little tip toes
Walk where you want to walk
Then turn your shoes over

Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing over the ocean-
You better watch out when the boat begins to rock, or
You'll lose your girl what a notion.
Copyright P.M.Adamson


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Subject: RE: Origins: I've Been to Haarlem, I've Been to Dover
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 28 Feb 16 - 08:44 AM

I forgot to mention in my post in 2010 that I went to a school where singing games were common in the playground (The Farmer's in his Den, The Big Ship Sails, In and Out the Windows, and so on) but we didn't have a game for this song.


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