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


DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner

DigiTrad:
MUSSELS IN THE CORNER


Joe Offer 15 Apr 08 - 01:05 PM
TheSnail 15 Apr 08 - 01:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 08 - 01:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 08 - 01:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 08 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,meself 15 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 08 - 06:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Maureen Power 10 Feb 13 - 02:39 PM
mg 10 Feb 13 - 06:02 PM
meself 11 Feb 13 - 12:03 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 11 Feb 13 - 08:09 PM
meself 11 Feb 13 - 08:54 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 16 - 01:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:05 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads



I came across this song today, and it piqued my curiosity. I found nothing about it in the Traditional Ballad Index or Roud, and very little has been posted about it at Mudcat. Can anybody supply background information, other versions, and related songs?
-Joe-
Here's what we have in the Digital Tradition:

MUSSELS IN THE CORNER

1. I took Nellie to a ball,
Nellie wouldn't dance at all
Nailed her up against the wall,
Left her there till Sunday.

Chorus
'Deed I am in love with you
Out all night in the foggy dew
'Deed I am in love with you,
Mussels in the corner.

2. Ask a bayman for a smoke,
He will say his pipe is broke
Ask a bayman for a chew
He will bite it off for you.

3. Here they come as thick as flies
Dirty shirts and dirty ties
Dirty rings around their eyes
Dirty old Torbay men.

4. All the people in Belle Isle
Don't get up till half past nine
Wash their face in kerosene ile
Polly, you're a corker!

5. Elsie Murray, she's so fine,
Don't get up til half past nine
Won't get up to feed the swine
Dirty Elsie Murray.

6. Here they come in dirty coats,
Baymen in their little boats
Wonder that she ever floats
Dirty old Torbay men.

@Canada @dance
filename[ MUSSLCRN
TUNE FILE: MUSSLCRN
CLICK TO PLAY
JB
apr96

The song Harbour Grace ends with the phrase "Mussels in the Corner," but that's the only connection I see.

Previous mentions at Mudcat:
  • (click) - Song is included in a songbook published by Vinland Music of Newfoundland
  • (click) - There's a recording on a CD called Come To Me In Canada, by JON BARTLETT and RIKA RUEBSAAT of British Columbia (and I used to know where that CD was on my shelf, but it isn't there anymore). Here are the notes from Bartlett and Ruebsaat:
      Mussels in the Corner
      One of the most-recorded dance tunes in Newfoundland, there appears to be no trace of it in print until its publication in Canada Folk Bulletin in 1978. Torbay is a town along the coast a few miles north of St. John?s, and you?re a Bayman if you live on the coast but not in St. John?s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:15 PM

Elsie Murray is clearly a Canadian cousin of Elsie Marley or Eppie Marly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Mussels in the Corner
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:18 PM

Lyrics and a 'record' number of players listed for this trad. Newfoundland song. 989 players on accordion to set a world record, 2005. Wikipedia.
Mussels in the Corner
Here's the text of the Wikipedia entry, with lyrics slightly different from what we have:

In 2005, nine hundred and eighty-nine musicians gathered in St. John's at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival to play "Mussels in the Corner" on accordions to set a world record for simultaneous accordion playing.

(sounds even more impressive than the annual gathering of accordions playing "Lady of Spain" in Cotati, California -Joe-)

Mussels in the Corner

Chorus:

'Deed I is in love with you
Up all night in the foggy dew
'Deed I is in love with you
Mussels in the corner
Ask a bayman for a smoke
He will say my pipe is broke
Ask a bayman for a chew
He will bite it off for you
(chorus)
Dirty shirts and dirty ties
Dirty rings around their eyes
Can't get up the morning boys
The sleepy Newfoundlanders
(chorus)
Here they are as white as ghosts
Baymen in their little boats
Women in their petticoats
Down in Petty Harbour
(chorus)
I took Liza to the ball
Liza couldn't dance at all
I beat her head against the wall
Mussels in the corner
(chorus)
All the people in Belle Isle
Don't get up till half past nine
Wash their face in kerosene oil
Polly, you're a corker!
(chorus)
Elsie Murray, she's so fine,
Don't get up til half past nine
Won't get up to feed the swine
Dirty Elsie Murray.
'Deed I is in love with you
Up all night in the foggy dew
'Deed I is in love with you
Mussels in the corner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM

AKA "Dirty Old Torbay Men." Origin may be Irish. See www.thesession.org.
The Session

Many recordings.
Originally the Gmajor polka "Maggie in the Woods." AKA An BhFaca Tú Mo Shéamaisin?
Recorded by the Chieftains and Foggy Dew.

Lyrics from the Chieftains:

If I had Maggie in the Woods
I'd do her all the good I could
If I had Maggie in the woods
I'd keep her there till morning.

The Chieftains wrote an answering verse because they had a female in their group:

You won't have me, not in the woods
For I fear that you mean me no good
So go on back to yer dear old mum
And I'll see you in the morning.

Data from pages of The Session, linked top of this post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Mussels in the Corner
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:44 PM

Here's the version from thesession.org:

Mussels In The Corner/Dirty Old Torbay Men

THE quintessential Newfoundland tune. Well, maybe after I'se The Bye.
I don't know how this tune relates to the Maggie In The Woods/Mussels In The Corner trad. tune as far as origins go.
There are more verses as well.
# Posted on May 8th 2007 by Chellam
This is the basic version of our Newfoundland dance tune.
A.K.A. Dirty Old Torbay Men

Verse Lyrics
Chorus:
Deed I am in love with you
Out all night in the foggy dew
Deed I am in love with you
Mussels in the corner

Ask a bayman for a smoke
He will say his pipe is broke
Ask a bayman for a chew
He will bite it off for you
(chorus)

Here they are as thick as flies
Dirty shirts and dirty ties
Dirty rings around their eyes
Dirty old Torbay men
(chorus)

# Posted on May 8th 2007 by Chellam
..transpose to higher keys as you wish
...nice to vary up into next octave after a few runs through e.g.
GFED|B,DE2|dBGA|BAAz|
GFED|B,DE2|dBAB|G2G2|
BBAG|Bde2|dBGA|BAAz|
BBAG| Bde2|dBAB|G2G2
...and back to first run again
... the choice of polka gives the 2/4


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:51 PM

Mick Lowe mentioned it as a session tune in thread 5972.
Essential Irish Session Tunes

See comments in the Fiddler's Companion, "Knockaboul Polka[1]:
Fiddlers Companion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 05:48 PM

The "Torbay Men" version reflects a certaom antipathy between the "townies" - residents of St. John's - and the "baymen" - those who lived in the small coastal communites.
.................................................
This verse -

Here they are as thick as flies
Dirty shirts and dirty ties
Dirty rings around their eyes
Dirty old Torbay men

- has a Cape Breton variant (different tune), which may have been the original:

Dirty necks and dirty ties,
Dirty rings around their eyes,
You'd think that they were in disguise,
The Dirty Yankee Miners.

Refers to a labour situation; Newfoundlanders from the "Yankee Mine" in Nfld were brought in as 'replacement workers' during a strike. Not sure when; my father knew the song ("Dirty Yankee Miners") from his Cape Breton childhood.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:22 PM

Lyr. Add: Mussels in the Corner
Flying Folk Army, Duane Murrin.

1
When I was just a lad of nine,
I felt as though the world were mine;
What I remember most about that time,
Were mussels in the corner.
2
Walking in the pouring rain,
Can't wait to get home again;
Kettle's boiling on the flame,
And there's mussels in the corner.
3
When I get home i'll have a bath,
And write myself an epitaph;
And when I'm done I'll start to laugh,
At mussels in the corner.
4
Sitting with a cocky grin,
Regardless of the mood they're in;
Longing to be thin again,
Are mussels in the corner.
5
When I get home I'll have a snack,
and give the dog a paddy wack;
And throw a nutshell on the stack
Of mussels in the corner.
6
And if the pile tumbles down,
To cover up the underground;
We'll dance in the glorious sound,
Of mussels in the corner.
7
Sitting with a cocky grin,
Regardless of the mood they're in;
Longing to be thin again,
Are mussels in the corner.

Nonsense lyrics by Duane Murrin. Copied from the great collection, "GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador,"
GEST Songs of NFLD and LABRADOR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:11 PM

According to MacEdward Leach, the tune "Off She Goes" is the same. Hear it on harmonica on the website "MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada."
Songs of Atlantic Canada

This website is a project of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The Digital Archives of the same website, Seldom Come By, have a Video of Melvin Combden playing "Mussels in the Corner" on accordion, two parts, and part of a third from Fogo Island.
Collected in 1975, Maureen Power, Evelyn Osborne.
____________________________________________________

See article in "Canadian Folk Music Bulletin,"
www.yorku.ca/cstm/BulletinIndex.doc

Have to leave; perhaps someone will complete this reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: GUEST,Maureen Power
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 02:39 PM

Hi, Myself and Evelyn Osbourne collected the video of Melvin Combden in 2007, not 1975. I wasn't even born then.

Just thought I would let you know!

Thanks,

Maureen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: mg
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 06:02 PM

Hi Maureen..are you of the Branch Powers? I am fascinated because it seemed that the whole town was named Power or Powers, if I recall correctly. They were quite musical too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: meself
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 12:03 AM

The title "Off She Goes" is generally applied to a different tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 08:09 PM

This tune is blazed in my memory by the late great Harry Hibbs!
Harry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: meself
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 08:54 PM

But that one's instrumental - he sings it here. (And stick around for the rest of the show!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Mussels in the Corner
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 16 - 01:41 AM

My Father who was in Navel Reservers (RCNVR) used to sing this song when I was. Child Glad to see the real lyrics although a little dismayed with the context!


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: 22 February 11:53 PM EST

[ 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.