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


Narrowboat songs

Llanfair 21 May 99 - 05:42 PM
Bert 21 May 99 - 06:02 PM
Llanfair 21 May 99 - 06:19 PM
Don Meixner 21 May 99 - 06:36 PM
Susanne (skw) 21 May 99 - 06:58 PM
bill\sables 21 May 99 - 08:07 PM
The Shambles 21 May 99 - 08:16 PM
The Shambles 21 May 99 - 08:22 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 May 99 - 08:32 PM
Lorraine 21 May 99 - 09:08 PM
DonMeixner 21 May 99 - 10:57 PM
Penny S. 22 May 99 - 04:15 AM
Ferrara 22 May 99 - 10:26 AM
The Shambles 22 May 99 - 10:58 AM
Llanfair 22 May 99 - 01:14 PM
The Shambles 22 May 99 - 01:21 PM
The Shambles 22 May 99 - 01:23 PM
The Shambles 22 May 99 - 02:54 PM
Llanfair 22 May 99 - 05:33 PM
The Shambles 22 May 99 - 06:18 PM
Graham Pirt 22 May 99 - 06:54 PM
Richard Bridge 22 May 99 - 07:13 PM
Wotcha 23 May 99 - 12:02 AM
alison 23 May 99 - 12:45 AM
alison 23 May 99 - 12:51 AM
The Shambles 23 May 99 - 06:55 AM
Barry Finn 23 May 99 - 10:46 AM
Penny S. 23 May 99 - 12:51 PM
The Shambles 23 May 99 - 01:37 PM
Roger the zimmer 24 May 99 - 04:12 AM
AndyG 24 May 99 - 05:51 AM
Ian 24 May 99 - 08:20 AM
Ian 24 May 99 - 08:22 AM
Roger the zimmer 24 May 99 - 09:06 AM
Llanfair 24 May 99 - 06:43 PM
The Shambles 24 May 99 - 07:26 PM
Wotcha 24 May 99 - 10:02 PM
AndyG 25 May 99 - 04:40 AM
Roger the zimmer 25 May 99 - 09:36 AM
AndyG 25 May 99 - 09:43 AM
AndyG 26 May 99 - 06:16 AM
Roger the zimmer 26 May 99 - 06:21 AM
AndyG 26 May 99 - 07:56 AM
Steve Parkes 26 May 99 - 07:57 AM
Roger the zimmer 26 May 99 - 08:09 AM
Susanne (skw) 26 May 99 - 07:28 PM
Richard Bridge 27 May 99 - 03:18 PM
Penny S. 27 May 99 - 04:51 PM
Don Meixner 27 May 99 - 09:37 PM
Steve Parkes 28 May 99 - 03:51 AM
Penny S. 28 May 99 - 05:24 AM
rickter 03 Jun 99 - 05:09 PM
Llanfair 22 Jun 99 - 06:58 PM
The_one_and_only_Dai 23 Jun 99 - 03:52 AM
The Shambles 24 Jun 99 - 08:44 PM
Llanfair 27 Jun 99 - 12:58 PM
The Shambles 27 Jun 99 - 01:55 PM
Llanfair 27 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM
Steve Parkes 28 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM
KingBrilliant 28 Jun 99 - 07:45 AM
The Shambles 28 Jun 99 - 02:56 PM
Steve Parkes 29 Jun 99 - 03:35 AM
Roger the zimmer 19 Aug 99 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,rockney@erols.com 14 May 00 - 06:17 PM
AndyG 15 May 00 - 05:09 AM
The Shambles 15 May 00 - 05:38 AM
Steve Parkes 15 May 00 - 08:17 AM
Llanfair 15 May 00 - 08:55 AM
The Shambles 15 May 00 - 09:02 AM
Stewie 15 May 00 - 09:49 AM
Llanfair 15 May 00 - 05:54 PM
radriano 15 May 00 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Liz 16 May 00 - 11:30 AM
AndyG 16 May 00 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 May 00 - 11:52 AM
Steve Parkes 17 May 00 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 17 May 00 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Liz 17 May 00 - 10:19 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Feb 02 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,beachcomber 28 Feb 02 - 03:41 PM
Llanfair 28 Feb 02 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 21 Dec 07 - 11:17 AM
Ross Campbell 28 Dec 07 - 10:50 PM
Ian Hendrie 04 Feb 08 - 08:25 AM
banjoman 04 Feb 08 - 11:14 AM
Ian Hendrie 04 Feb 08 - 04:17 PM
banjoman 10 Feb 08 - 08:02 AM
Severn 10 Feb 08 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 10 Feb 08 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Ian Hendrie 11 Feb 08 - 01:19 PM
Severn 11 Feb 08 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,GUEST 17 Mar 08 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Ian B 21 Apr 09 - 04:14 PM
Charley Noble 30 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM
Charley Noble 23 May 10 - 03:31 PM
Paul Burke 23 May 10 - 05:41 PM
Brian May 28 May 10 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 May 10 - 04:55 PM
GUEST 29 May 10 - 09:16 AM
Leadfingers 29 May 10 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 29 May 10 - 10:58 AM
Cusco 29 May 10 - 11:26 AM
Charley Noble 31 May 10 - 08:27 PM
Ian Hendrie 05 Jun 10 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Graeme Meek (Life & Times) 28 Aug 10 - 07:16 AM
Ian Hendrie 28 Aug 10 - 07:57 AM
Ian Hendrie 28 Aug 10 - 08:04 AM
Ian Hendrie 28 Aug 10 - 08:14 AM
Charley Noble 28 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM
Ian Hendrie 28 Aug 10 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 08:12 PM
Ian Hendrie 27 Mar 15 - 07:11 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Mar 15 - 08:27 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 21 May 99 - 05:42 PM

I've been asked to provide the music for a weekend celebrating the British canal system (British Waterways, not dentistry). Any ideas for songs. The canals here are mostly very narrow, as are the boats, but spending time on a narrowboat is like slowing your whole life down to 4 miles an hour. Thanks a lot, Hwyl, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Bert
Date: 21 May 99 - 06:02 PM

A search of DT for "canal" turns up loads of hits. I don't know how many are British though.

Bert.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 21 May 99 - 06:19 PM

Thanks, Bert. I've had a look, and most of them are American, I've found a couple there that might do. I'm sure that there must be lots more songs. Hwyl, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Don Meixner
Date: 21 May 99 - 06:36 PM

LLANFAIR,

The only one that comes to my mind is The Good Ship Calibar. WE have some excellent Narrow Boats on the New York State Barge Canal that can be rented by the week. A floating motel filled with food spirits and fuel, just bring your clothes. Not many folks know what Narrow Boats are and you are right, your life slows to a gentle and elegant speed when on the water.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 21 May 99 - 06:58 PM

I've long tried to find the words for the songs on John Kirkpatrick and Jon Raven's 1975 album of canal songs (the title is round the next corner of my mind ...). I'm sure that's the kind of stuff Llanfair is after, too. Can anyone help. Some song titles were 'The Rosemary', Leeds A Seaport Town (I think),Tommy Notes, Let's Begin Delving. I'd also be interested in the sleevenotes, if there were any. Good luck, Llanfair! - Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: bill\sables
Date: 21 May 99 - 08:07 PM

Hi Llanfair. Have you tried Folkworks canal songs site at www.pipemedia.net/users/jeffd/index.htm Cheers Bill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 99 - 08:16 PM

This may help FOLKWISE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 99 - 08:22 PM

Bill

Yours wasn't there when I posted. I tried your link, but it didn't work. Is it me?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 May 99 - 08:32 PM

Gordon Bok recently recorded a song called "Stormy Weather" which is a barge song from the East coast of England; I could post the words later if you want it. It's published in Roy Palmer's "Oxford Book of Sea Songs".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Lorraine
Date: 21 May 99 - 09:08 PM

Are Keel boats narrow boats? Lorraine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: DonMeixner
Date: 21 May 99 - 10:57 PM

Lorraine,

Keel boats are pretty much an American hull type. They were largely a river boat and not a canal craft but I imagine there was some cross over. Similar in some ways to a Durham boat but without any rocker to the keel. The keel boats were pushed along the rivers of the American west by several men with long poles and they were used to transport people and supplies. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled much by keel boat. Good representations of them can be seen in the movies "The Big Sky" and "Davy Crockett and The River Pirates"

Narrows are slab sided kinda pointy on both ends and usually flat bottomed with a hint of a keel. The are as the name implies very narrow because they must travel the very narrow canals of Great Britain. I imagine they are powered now but in years passed they were pushed by a small, powered pram and befor that they were pulled by a horse from the towpath on the canal. Many families lived aboard narrow boats at one time. I'm not sure if they are used for anything but recreation now.

More than you needed Huh?

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 May 99 - 04:15 AM

One of the most surprising things I have learned was how easy it was to move a narrow boat along a tunnel by legging. It was easier than pushing my teeny weeny British car. It made all the texts about the environmental friendliness and energy-saving nature of water transport come alive. Mind you, it was already moving.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ferrara
Date: 22 May 99 - 10:26 AM

Re Lorraine's question about keel boats: What were the boats called that were manned by keelmen, in Newcastle-on-Tyne? There's a song called The Sandgate Lassie's Lament, sung by Norman and Flora MacDonald (or did I forget their names again?) with the refrain, "Since I married a keelman, all me good days are done."

We heard that Newcastle had a fairly shallow harbor, and when coal trains brought in a load of coal, the keelmen rowed it out to where the ships that would haul it were anchored, and heaved it on board, which means they were pretty rough-and-ready guys.

But their boats aren't related to narrowboats, which were strictly for use on the canals, I think. Most of them were houseboats as well, weren't they, in which the captain and his family lived? What was the means of locomotion? In the US most canal boats were pulled by mules.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 99 - 10:58 AM

I can dimly remember also that there were vessels called 'Tom Puddings', that were used in the North of England for bulk coal, I think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 22 May 99 - 01:14 PM

I think you are talking about butties. The narrowboat, in which the family lived, was horsepowered, and other, unpowered boats were tied on behind, or on the side if it was a wider canal. The boats are very manouverable when going along the canal, you can move one by leaning on a bargepole. Turning and stopping are a different matter. Most boats are 30 foot+ long, and don't do anything in a hurry!!!! Thanks for the help, I've got plenty of time, so any other ideas would be welcome. Hwyl. Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 99 - 01:21 PM

Several late eighteenth and early nineteenth century English canals used 'tub' boats, capable of carrying from 5 to 10 tons, often used with primitive boat lifts or inclines. The Aire & Calder Navigation's engineer developed this idea into the 'Tom Puddings', a compartment boat system for carrying coal. Moved in trains of up to 30 compartment boats by steam tugs, they were lifted out of the water and then tipped by hydraulic machinery to empty their cargo into sea-going ships.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 99 - 01:23 PM

I stole the above from here A Short History Of English Canals


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE BRAUNSTON BELLE AND THE NUMBER ONE^^
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 99 - 02:54 PM

Here is one about narrow boat life.

THE BRAUNSTON BELLE AND THE NUMBER ONE

When I first saw my Rosie, my heart flew like a bird
Our eyes met at Braunston Junction, smiled but ne'r spoke a word
I watched, as she drifted on the lock-side, like a swan on Tixall Wide
Her hair, was plaited like a fender, head held up, so full of pride

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

I asked for her hand in marriage and to her father we did run
But he'd vowed, that when she married, it would be to a Number One
My heart fell, when he started speaking, then Rosie, she held the floor
"I'll wed this man or no other, till then I'll work the cut no more"

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

I swore, that to this place I'd not travel, not to see her work on the land
I may leave here a company man, but worthy will return to take her hand
She said, she would wait for me, there, each and every Whitsun Day
Years passed, and I would hear tell, of my Braunston Belle, from all who passed that way

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

In time a Number One, I became, 'The Rosie' and the butty 'Ben'
Turned south, upon the 'Shroppie' for to see my Rosie again
As I passed, all the boat's would cheer, bright ribbons and bunting flew
They cleared all the flights for me, for it seemed the whole country knew

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

The next time, I saw my Rosie, my heart flew like a bird
Our eyes meet a Braunston Junction, smiled but ne'r spoke a word
I watched as she drifted on the lock-side, like a swan on Tixall Wide
Dressed in white, in all her splendour, as she walked on to be my bride

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

Roger Gall 1996 ^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 22 May 99 - 05:33 PM

Hey, Shambles, that is a great song, we hadn't mentioned the roses and castles (I'm planning on trying my hand at that when I start working part-time ) Has the song got an original tune, or is it one I'm likely to know already? It mentions The Shroppy, The Shropshire Union, which isn't far from here, and the weekend I'm doing is on the Montgomery canal. the navigable bits, that is!!! Hwyl, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 May 99 - 06:18 PM

It does have an original tune, but I don't think I like it very much now. It had instrumental 'fiddly bits' that tended to drag the song out, so if you can get one to fit let me know?

Enjoy youself on the Montgomery, I don't know that one but we did have wonderful week on the Monmouth and Brecon. It is so beautiful and peaceful.

The two of have also done that flight up to Birmingham from The Severn. Never again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 22 May 99 - 06:54 PM

I live in a town at the end of the Aire and Calder canal, built as a company town. In the docks we still have the Bartholomew hoists that lifted the Tom Puddings out of the water to tip them and empty the coals into larger vessels. Tom Puddings were unique to the A&C and were formed into trains which were pushed by a barge (occasionally pulled. Goff Sherburn was the last of the skippers and is the father of Chris Sherburn a brilliant concertina player who is touring the States in July (I think)with guitarist Denny Bartley.

Also the Keels on the River Tyne were rowed to the Colliers moored at Shields. The term is supposed to come from a Scandinavian word for a type of boat - a kyel.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 May 99 - 07:13 PM

There is a silly song sung locally here (Kent) by an amateur band called "Canal Folk" but probably from somewhere else (although if the Higham train tunnel which used to be a canal tunnel didn't have a hole in the middle it would be the longest chalk-lined tunnel in Europe) which comes in two versions. It is undoubtedly a narrowboat song.

The clean version of the chorus goes : -

"Boatie, boatie, /spit in the cut/Wiping his nose on a mopstick."

The other (which I favour as probably more authenic)goes

"Boatie, boatie, /shit in the cut/Wiping his arse on a mopstick."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Wotcha
Date: 23 May 99 - 12:02 AM

Although not canal boat songs per se, I would recommend a couple of songs by Bob Roberts, the last of the Spritsail Bargemen, who sang "Stormy Weather Boys," and "The Worst Old Ship." You can find recordings on the Saydisc label, "Sea Songs & Shanties" (basically recordings taken by Peter Kennedy in the 50s and 60s for the BBC).

Cheers, Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: alison
Date: 23 May 99 - 12:45 AM

Hi,

"Barges" by Ralph McTell... it's about watching the barges as opposed to being on them.

"Cruise of the Calabar" as done by the Clancy brothers..... it's about a horse drawn boat taking coal along the Lagan canal from Belfast to Portadown.

SLainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE CRUISE OF THE CALABAR (from Tawny)^^
From: alison
Date: 23 May 99 - 12:51 AM

There is one version of CALABAR in the database... still based in Northern Ireland.. but a different canal

Here is the Clancy Brothers' version....


THE CRUISE OF THE CALABAR
Trad. Arr. Cyril Tawny

1. Come all ye dry-land sail-y-ors and listen to my song,
For it's only forty verses and it won't detain you long.
It's all about the advent-y-ures of this here Lisburn tar
Who sailed as a man before the mast on the good ship Calabar.

2. Now the Calabar was a spanking craft, copper-fastened fore and aft,
Her helm it stuck out far behind, and her wheel had a great big shaft,
With half a gale to swell each sail, she'd make one knot per hour,
She's the fastest craft on the Lagan canal, and she's only one horse-power.

3. Now the skipper he was a strapping lad, he stood just four feet two,
His eyes were black, his nose was red, and his cheeks were a Prussian blue,
He wore a leather medal that he'd won at the Crimea war,
And the captain's wife was passenger cook on the good ship Calabar.

4. Now the skipper he says to me, "Me lad, look here me lad," says he
"Would yous like to be a sail-y-or to sail the raging sea?
Would yous like to be a sail-y-or the foreign seas to roll
For we're under orders for Portadown with half a ton of coal."

5. The next morning we set sail, the weather being sublime,
And passing under the old Queen's bridge we heard the "Albert" chime.
'Tis then we came to the Gasworks Straight, a very dangerous part,
And ran head on to a lump of coal that wasn't marked on the chart.

6. Then all became confusion while the stormy winds did blow,
Our bo'sun slipped on an orange peel and fell into the hold below,
"Put on more steam," the captain said, "for we are sorely pressed,"
But the engineer replied from the bank, "The horse is doing his best."

7. And we all fell into the water and then let out a roar
There was a farmer standing there and he threw us the end of his galluses and he pulled it all ashore.
No more I'll be a sail-y-or to sail the raging main,
And the next time I go to Portadown, I'm bloody sure I'll go by train.

^^

The "Albert" refers to the Albert clock in Belfast.

Slainte

alison


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 May 99 - 06:55 AM

It is a small world.

When I mentioned the 'Tom Puddings'I had no idea of the link between them and the Sherburn's and I played with Chris and Denny in a number of sessions this past Easter. I shall be seeing Chris again in June and will ask him all about his dad's 'Tom Puddings'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE MANCHESTER CANAL (Paul Graney)^^
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 May 99 - 10:46 AM

Here's another version of the Calibar, from a broadside by Paul Graney of Manchester.

THE MANCHESTER CANAL

O the S.S.Irwell left this port the stormy seas to cross
They heaved the lead & went ahead on a voyage to Barton Moss
No fair ship e'er left the slip from this port to Natal
Than the boats that plough the waters of the Manchester Canal

The third day out or thereabout a great storm swept the main
The captain called his officer, I just forgot his name
"You see that light there on the right? Aye, aye" he did exclaim
"Well it's the Wilson Brewery lightship at the end of Ancoats Lane"

The captai's brow was darkened for he saw a storm was brewing
And the engineer reported that the horse it wanted shoeing
"Is there a chart aboard this barque?" He asked of 1 or 2
The captain he was ashy pale & so was all the crew

"By gum, we've lost our reckoning, whatever shall we do
We must be near to Bailey Bridge on the banks of Pinmill Brew"
Then all became confusion as the stormy winds did roar
And the captain wished himself & crew were safe again on shore

"Let go the anchor boy" he cried "for I am soerly puzzled
The mate is drunk & in his bunk, see that the cook is muzzled
We're short of grub in this 'ere tub & we are far from land
There's not a oat in this 'ere boat & the engine's broken down"

"Close reef the sails" the bosun cried "we're in a great dilemma
Just row her to Pomona Bay she cannot stand the weather
She's sprung a leak now all si lost let each man do his best
For soon she'll be a total wreck on the shoals of Throstle's Nest"

But soon the storm abated it, was rather overrated
When the captain, crew & officers were quickly congreated
They searched the chart in every part, to find their situation
They were east, nor'east of Bailey Bridge, just south of Sallford Station.
^^

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 May 99 - 12:51 PM

Jolly
boating
weather,
And
a
hay
harvest
breeze,
Blade
on
the
feather,
Shade
off
the
trees;
Swing,
swing
together,
With
your
bodies
between
your
knees.

Sorry, couldn't resist it.

Penny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 May 99 - 01:37 PM

Not THAT narrow!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 24 May 99 - 04:12 AM

On an earlier thread on Black Country songs I asked about a song I half-remembered, called "Push boys push" which I thought the Black Country Three used to do about propelling a barge thro' a tunnel in the W. Midlands by lying on the cabin and pushing with feet on the roof of the tunnel. Sadly no-one came up with words or tune. I'd be interested to hear if if emerges in your research.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 24 May 99 - 05:51 AM

I once had an album "Straight from the Cut", sadly no longer present which was of UK canal songs. Some are mentioned above, some not. Ring any bells for anyone ? One other song was "The Single Bolinder" a canal version of the Geordie song "The Deputy's Kist".

Penny, that was Eton, LLANFAIR asked for Narrow

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian
Date: 24 May 99 - 08:20 AM

Llanfair

The album Suzanne was referring to is "The Bold Navigators", John Kirkpatrick and John Raven, TRADITION TSR 019. I have a copy with sleeve notes and words which I'll scan for you if you e-mail me your e-mail.

Cheers!!! Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian
Date: 24 May 99 - 08:22 AM

Whoops!

My e-mail is KirbyManor@Hotmail.Com

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 24 May 99 - 09:06 AM

Bron, look out for otters on the Mongomery canal. We stayed near Welshpool at Easter and on the Bank Holiday Monday walked both ways up the towpath from Welshpool, saw hardly any people, very peaceful and watched an otter for several minutes.
Hwyl,
Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 24 May 99 - 06:43 PM

I was talking about otters to our neighbour, who works for the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, he says that they are making a comeback, and that he,s seen evidence of them in the Banwy, just by here. I haven't seen one yet, but hope to soon. You'll have to let me know when you're in the area again, Roger, so we can perhaps chat in person. Other UK mudcatters, everyone goes through Welshpool at some time or another, like Sam's in Casablanca!!!!! Hwyl, as time goes by, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 May 99 - 07:26 PM

"Here's looking at you kido".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Wotcha
Date: 24 May 99 - 10:02 PM

There's a nice slice of canal that runs from Tiverton through Samford Peverell in Central Devon ... very peaceful ... but no otters and no tunnels. I believe the industrial god Brunel devised some unique methods for getting the canals going in the West Country.

A few decades back, I recall that solo, Atlantic row-boatman, Shay Blyth was advocating for the canal system for some reason. I remember that fists solved the right-of-way if two barges should encounter each other in a tunnel ...

Meanwhie in the US, I believe that there are a number of titles celebrating canals. Two weekends ago, fellow (Liam's Brother who was that?) sang a barge song at the Pier in New York's Southstreet Seaport: although dressed in black he didn't sound like J. Cash ...

Cheers, Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 25 May 99 - 04:40 AM

Correction. The album was "Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth". I found a tape backup of it. Sorry, I didn't take a note of artist or label on the tape. However the track list is as follows;

Waterways Lament
Poor Old 'Orse
The 'Orrible Trip
Tommy Note
Boaty Boaty Spit in the Cut
Lass of Coventry
Single Bolinder
Girl on the Cut
Winson Green Jail
Dudley Tunnel
Hard Working Boater
Tom Beech's Last Trip
Tipton Slasher
The Humber Belle

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 25 May 99 - 09:36 AM

AndyG,
those place names have resonance to an exiled Brummie like me.
I wonder if the "Dudley Tunnel" song is the one I remembered as "Push boys push" about "legging" through a tunnel?
Do you have the words?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 25 May 99 - 09:43 AM

Roger,
I plan to give the tape an airing over the next few days, so I might have the words at some point.
The only song I remember from the album is Tom Beech's Last Trip, which, as I recall, is about a barge that got iced in trying to make a winter trip. The boatman froze to death. Good song though.

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 26 May 99 - 06:16 AM

First pass through the tape last night, I'll try to do some transcriptions during the week. (no promises)

Waterways Lament
Song about the physical state of the canals, probably a '60's song though it could be anytime 1945 - 1965

Poor Old 'Orse
Well known song, though many think it's a blue water shanty

The 'Orrible Trip
A recitation about a trip to and through Brum. Mentions Spaghetti Junction so reasonably modern

Tommy Note
A complaint about payment by Tommy Note and thus the Tommy Store. (cf Company Store).

Boaty Boaty Spit in the Cut
As Mentioned above. A "rude" song. Not very PC I'm afraid.

Lass of Coventry
Romantic song IIRC

Single Bolinder
As I said earlier a comic song.

Girl on the Cut
Hard times song.

Winson Green Jail
Can't remember, I was distracted by a computer failure whilst I was listening, hohum.

Dudley Tunnel
does indeed have the chorus "Push, boys, push." However it's about the closing of the Dudley Tunnel.

Hard Working Boater
Song in praise of the boatmen and their community.

Tom Beech's Last Trip
As I said above, but also about the community of the working boatmen.

Tipton Slasher
Song in praise of a recently deceased fighter. Broadside ballad type like the other songs of its ilk.

The Humber Belle

Didn't get to hear this one as I had to go to the Folk Club.

Any requests ?

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 26 May 99 - 06:21 AM

AndyG.
Sounds great. If you could e-mail me your address to : r.shrigley@rhbnc.ac.uk and if I sent you a blank cassette tape do you think you could.....?
Roger (who spent 10 year of his childhood/adolescence very near what became Spaghetti Junction and many happy misspent hours in the Opposite Lock jazz club in Gas Street Basin)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:56 AM

Hi Roger,

(Our SMTP server is currently broken so I can only respond here.)

There's a bit of a problem for me as I only have a single tape deck that I trust.
(Techie thing; all my sound equipment runs through my PC at the moment due to a long-term web project I'm working on.)
Can you cope with files in RealAudio format ?
If so it's probably easier for me to send the data on disk.
The tape itself is poor quality and so, sadly, is the performance :(
Come to think of it, I might be able to borrow the CD writer for the weekend.
NB I can't do any of the above before the weekend.
I'll Email you when I've checked out what's actually feasible with my current home setup.

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:57 AM

The canal in "The Callibar" really did exist. It became disused between the wars (I think). There's an excellent book about it, the naem of which completely escapes me. There's also a Black Country version of the song; "Next time I go to the Patent Shaft [steelworks] I'll take the bloody tram".

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 26 May 99 - 08:09 AM

Andy G, don't go to too much trouble: as I log on from work at lunch & break times I can't receive audio etc. The lyrics of the Dudley Tunnel eventually would be fine. My own tape to tape deck is out of order at the moment so I know what a pain it is. Roger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:28 PM

Ian - I'm thrilled to hear you've got 'The Bold Navigators'. Why not put the notes and lyrics in this thread? I'd be interested in seeing them as well as Llanfair. Or perhaps, if you don't want that, would you please mail them to me at skw@worldmusic.de? Thanks a lot, Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 99 - 03:18 PM

Has everyone missed the old "I'm sorry I'll read that again" gag?

.....An arrow whistled past my ear.

(whistled tune of the Eton boating song)

Voiceover: No, you fool, Arrow, not Eton....

(English public school joke)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Penny S.
Date: 27 May 99 - 04:51 PM

Ouch! What puzzles me is that I am sure someone else mentioned Slough Comprehensive before I did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Don Meixner
Date: 27 May 99 - 09:37 PM

LLANFAIR

For a beautifully written description of English canal boating in the days of its prime, early 1800's, read C.S. Forester's Honrnblower and The Atropos. At least the first chapter altho' I'll reccomend the entire book. The boat described may not strictly be a narrow boat but at 70' with a 5' beam you must admit that its a very narrow craft.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 May 99 - 03:51 AM

Not quite that narrow, Don! 6'10" was usually the limit: gets you through the 7'00" bridge 'oles and locks - just!

Have a look at this blue clicky thing - the "Venice of the Midlands", but without the strong pong!

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Penny S.
Date: 28 May 99 - 05:24 AM

How narrow were they on the Stroudwater Canal? That was a very narrow strip of water, hard to imagine how the water got round the craft.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: rickter
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 05:09 PM

AndyG: I have been a fan of narrowboats since I took my first paddle down the Grand Union in a canoe some 10 years ago. I do have RealAudio capability and would appreciate whatever you could send over the wires, quality notwithstanding. My address is Nagler.Richard@mayo.edu.

Hopefully, rickter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 06:58 PM

I'm doing the gig this weekend, and I am really looking forward to it.. Thank you everyone for the information and songs. I'll let you know how it went next week. Cariad, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 23 Jun 99 - 03:52 AM

Oi Bron, pwy sy'n cariad yma?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jun 99 - 08:44 PM

Re the 'Tom Pudding' and Chris Sherburn's dad. I spoke to Chris recently (in the gent's, actually) and he said that he started to play the concertina on board his dad's boat, towing the 'Tom Puddings'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 12:58 PM

I have just completed the Waterways Weekend. The two afternoons making music on the wharf were great. People came and went, and were very appreciative. The evening boat ride yesterday promised to be really good. We'd got a good song list together. The meal for the "punters" was ready. They had specifically asked for live music and were paying well. The weather was breaking, but a thunderstorm on the canal is a great experience, without being threatening. The group came on board from their coach, and proceeded to drink as much as they could in the shortest possible time. Once they had listened (sort of) to a few of our numbers, and ascertained that we could not (would not) do any Abba or dire straits,they set to and sang whatever came into their heads very loudly for the two hour duration of the trip. The ladies circulated amongst the men, until they needed to throw up out of the window. The waitresses were sexually harrassed to the point of tears. Outside, the tranquility of the canal was enhanced by the storm, but we could neither see nor hear it. We had to put our stuff away for fear a fight would break out. I could not believe that people still behave this way in the name of having a good time. They were by no means teenagers, and one chap told us that, basically, they didn't give a F***. One man spent half an hour telling me about his collie that died aged 18, and how he had had to have the day off work to bury her. Sorry to inflict this on you, but I'm sure others have had to suffer pond life like this, and how do you stop feeling bad about it? I know it wasn't our fault, but what kind of people book a meal on a narrowboat, with live music, with the sole intention of getting legless? Thanks for listening, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 01:55 PM

Just one of those days I'm afraid, but they do serve to make us appreciate the better ones.... Next time it will be better, if there is going to be a next time?

Did you see that the BBCs 'Songs Of Praise' came from Braunston today (Sunday)?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM

No, I didn't see that. The good news, however is that the owner found out that I can drive narrowboats, and may be offering some work. I've just started part time in my "day job", so I can think of nothing better. Stressed out social worker 2.5 days a week, canals at 4mph the rest. Brilliant! Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM

Before they relaxed the licensing laws, Bron, it used to be that case that a bar on a moving boat (or train, or whatever) could stay open all day. People with long memories might have some kind of strange association with this, feeling obliged to drink themselves silly. I don't need an excuse, but I'm still polite after a few jars.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 07:45 AM

Sorry to hear it was such a disappointment. Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it has to be all the interesting stuff that has come up in this thread.

Hope they all had Monster Hangovers.....

Kris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 02:56 PM

Do the drinking and driving laws apply to narrowboats?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 03:35 AM

I think they can do you for being drunk in charge. There was a cartoon by Rowland Emett (who designed all the funny machines in the film Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) in the 30s or 40s of a gang of burglars, with masks, flat caps, hooped jerseys and bags marked "swag" fleeing along a winding contour canal in a horse-drawn narrow boat from a horse-drawn police narrow boat at a rattling four mph - it could only happen in England!

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 06:25 AM

Astonishingly, the "Bold Navigators" recording mentioned in this thread is available in the US from CAMSCO via the Mudcat, though I've not found it available in the UK!Nothing else by the Ravens though, nor "Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyrics to John Kananka
From: GUEST,rockney@erols.com
Date: 14 May 00 - 06:17 PM

Can anyone help me with lyrics to 'John Kanaka'. I recently took my kids aboard the 'Peking' at the South street seaport in New York City. During a sail raising activity they sang along to this song. They loved it and have been singing bits of it they remember ever since. Unfortunatley theyre forgeting it as time goes on. Anyone who can help?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN KANAKA-NAKA^^^
From: AndyG
Date: 15 May 00 - 05:09 AM

Hi,
I don't see a narrowboat connection, but here y'go:

JOHN KANAKA-NAKA

I heard, I heard the Old Man say,
John kanaka-naka too-ri-ay.
Today, today's an holiday,
John kanaka-naka too-ri-ay.
Too-ri-ay, O - oh, too-ri-ay,
John kanaka-naka too-ri-ay.

We'll work tomorrer but not today,
We'll work tomorrer but not today,

We're bound away for Friso Bay,
We're bound away at the break of day,

We're bound away around Cape Horn,
We wished to God we'd never been born,

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 00 - 05:38 AM

Around the 'Horn', by narrowboat???

There should be a song there, all right?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 May 00 - 08:17 AM

What about 'Who's the fool now?'!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 15 May 00 - 08:55 AM

Hmm....still dealing with a mental picture of steering a 75-footer around the horn, and where would the horse walk?

Hwyl, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 May 00 - 09:02 AM

On the towpath, of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Stewie
Date: 15 May 00 - 09:49 AM

I've got the 'Bold Navigators' also but, if my copy ever had a lyric sheet, it doesn't have one now. There is a note on the cover, though, that all the songs, together with their sources and a full bibliography can be found in a book 'Canal Songs' by Jon Raven, obtainable from 68 Limes Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. That's a 1975 address so it would be very lucky if it's still applicable.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 15 May 00 - 05:54 PM

Did I mention that, since giving up social work, I now do casual narrow boat driving instead?
No contest!!! Hwyl, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: radriano
Date: 15 May 00 - 06:50 PM

I just learned a canal boat song that's a pretty good one. Here are the lyrics:
Click here.
If you want the music to this, I can send you a GIF of it. You can reach me at radriano@consrv.ca.gov

Regards,
radriano


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Liz
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:30 AM

As a narrow boater and folk singer/musician I have enjoyed reading this discussion. It reminds me that I have been trying to prise the words for Willow Wren Bride out of Dave Blaygrove for some time now without success. Can anyone else remember the words?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: AndyG
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:50 AM

Liz,

I don't know if this is the song you mean, (sounds like it could be), but;
Jenny Wren Bride is in the DT.

It's a Cyril Tawney song.

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 May 00 - 11:52 AM

Birmingham is, of course, the Venice of the West Midlands (with more miles of canals than Venice). Strangely, Venice is never called the Birmingham of Italy.(NOT that old joke,again, Roger?)
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 May 00 - 03:34 AM

Birmingham doesn't smell as bad as Venice though, Roger - nit htses days, any road!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 17 May 00 - 06:34 AM

Details of the Halliard and Black Country 3 recordings available from Michael Raven (with his contact details)are on the Nic Jones Home Page (right at the botom) on:
http://www.sarcon.demon.co.uk/engfolk/nicjones.htm
Mudcat's Dr John has also given the address on the thread on Black Country Songs.
Correspondence with Mike Raven is always rewarding, he comes across as a mix of Laurie Lee, Rick Fielding and Carla Lane.
(If anyone doesn't know, Mike had youthful brushes with the law over his animal rights activities, many of his songs celebrate the fox and his own dogs. As a young man he bummed around Spain learning from gypsy flamenco players and reviewers describe his folkplaying as Celtic Flamenco. He is always generous with his knowledge. Purchases from him often contain extra free songbooks or records.)Mike used to have a web page but it seems to be inactive.
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Liz
Date: 17 May 00 - 10:19 AM

AndyG

Willow Wren Bride is a version of (you might say is loosely based on) Jenny Wren Bride so not quite the same thing. From my recollection its about marrying the daughter of a Willow Wren stearer.

Liz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 12:55 PM

Does anyone have the words of the BCN song - "Miles and Miles of Poly 'round the Blades" ?

Dave Blagrove won't give me the words because he says that he didn't write it.

By the way I heard a few weeks ago that David has had to give up boating on doctor's orders and that he's sold his pair. I was hoping to be seeing him at the Foxton session the other week, but he wasn't well. Still I'm sure that he'll get plenty more chances to see "The Chestnut Bloom in Flower" from a narrowboat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 03:41 PM

LLanfair,

I seem to have a memory of a programme about the Canals of Britain done by BBC some years ago and musically illustrated by the great Ewan McCall. (Or am I beginning to slip , finally?) AndyG The song "Girl on the Cut" is that the one that starts "It's a hard life, for a girl on the cut...." etc.?? As recorded by the Ian Campbell Folk Group? (Lorna singing that song?)

beach(*&%$£ in' cookie again)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Llanfair
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 06:12 PM

I hadn't heard about that, Beachcomber, was it TV or radio? Sounds interesting.

Cheers, Bron.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 21 Dec 07 - 11:17 AM

(Seven years on) - Has anyone found the lyrics to Willow Wren Bride yet?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 28 Dec 07 - 10:50 PM

Did you mean "Jenny Wren Bride" by Cyril Tawney? It's in the DigiTrad at Jenny Wren Bride

Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 08:25 AM

No. I don't mean Jenny Wren Bride. See Liz's previous comment.
Thanks anyway.
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: banjoman
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:14 AM

Have a look for a song called "The Mary Anne McHugh" which is about an Irish Canal Boat - very humourous song - I have the words if anyobe wants them


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:17 PM

A posting of the words to 'The Mary Anne McHugh' would be much appreciated as Googling failed to find them.
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MARY ANN MCHUGH (Percy French)
From: banjoman
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 08:02 AM

as requested:

MARY ANN MCHUGH
(Percy French)

Well, come all ye lads who plough the sea and likewise see the plough.
The cruise of a canal boat I'll be singing to ye now.
It was the Mary Ann McHugh that ploughed the wintry surf
As we bore away from George's Quay with a terrible load of turf.

Well, the captain's name was Duff and his manners they were rough,
But every cape and headland on that treacherous coast he knew,
And he issued this command: "Keep her well in sight of land
Till we make the port of Dublin in the Mary Ann McHugh."

Now this vessel was of one horsepower propelled by a blackthorn stick.
With a bag o' corn and the wind astern, the horse went a terrible lick.
We came around by Hillardown and then Kilkirk we passed,
And when we'd seen Johnny Quinn's shibeen we yelled out "Land at last!"

But the captain James E Duff said, "Luff, ye lubbers, luff.
Now don't put in to Johnny Quinn's whatever else ye do,
'Cos last time we passed his door, we forgot to pay the score
And he has the p-o-li-ce watchin' for the Mary Ann McHugh."

Then up spoke a sailor bold who had sailed on the Irish Sea.
He said, "Put in to Johnny Quinn's or the crew will mutiny
For to go to sea with a boy and me is a cruel thing I think
When it's water, water everywhere and divil a drop to drink."

Then the captain James E Duff said, "Enough, me lads, enough!
No man before the mast will ever teach me what to do;
So put on all sail at once for it is our only chance
To keep from debt and danger on the Mary Ann McHugh."

So with anxious hearts this vessel starts all on her watery course.
The wind it lashed the rigging and the pilot lashed the horse;
But all in vain beneath the strain the rope began to part,
And we ran aground on a lump of coal that wasn't marked on the chart.

And the captain James E Duff well he hit me such a cuff!
He said, "go heave the lead" while the flag at half mast flew,
But meself I'd had enough of that tyrant James E Duff,
So I heaved the lead at his head and fled from the Mary Ann McHugh.


I got this originally from an LP called "A Pinch of Salt" which featured several artists including Cyril Tawney but I can't recall who sang this one. Still have the LP somewhere so may be able to dig it out. The song was listed on the sleeve as a version of the Good Ship Calibar. I still sing this occasionally and it usually raises a smile. Probably the only Irish canal boat song (unless someone knows different).

Best of luck
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Severn
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 09:05 AM

"The Mary Ann McHugh" was written by Percy French.

The version I learned to sing it from is by Seamus Ennis on the CD collection "Lower the Funnel-Songs Of The Inland Waterways", (Folktrax-418), a Peter Kennedy compilation with some excellent stuff in amongst some ringers and padding.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for Mary Ann McHugh lyrics and info. It is now the 97th song on the 'Songs of the Inland Waterways' website though I may have to change the sub-title to inland waterway songs of the UK and Ireland. I am now trying to track down the easiest way to purchase the Folktrax recording from the UK.
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Ian Hendrie
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 01:19 PM

WILLOW WREN BRIDE
I have transcribed the words to this song from the 1975 BBC recording 'Narrowboats' and included then on the web-site :
Songs of the Inland Waterways. I also include them here :

I met a bloke walking through Bedworth
He said I could laugh 'til I cried
I've been and got shot of me mate on the cut
And he's married a Willow Wren bride
Married, married
He's married a Willow Wren bride

There isn't much of this song here and I am interested in knowing if there is any more. In fact, any information about this song would be welcome.

Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Severn
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 02:31 PM

Available from Dick Greenhaus at Camsco. It's where I got mine.

dick@camsco.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:45 PM

Try this website : Songs of the Inland Waterways


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Ian B
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 04:14 PM

Songs of the Inland Waterways has moved to www.waterwaysongs.co.uk.
    Thanks, Kevin. I updated all the links posted in this thread. Many of the sites are gone, but I found archived editions at archive.org.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: The Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM

This seems a good place to post this canal bargeman poem by Cicely Fox Smith:

THE JOLLY BARGEMAN
(C. Fox Smith)

I've put the old mare's tail in plaits — now ain't she lookin' gay,
With ribbons in 'er mane likewise, you'd think it First o' May;
For why? We're under Government, though it ain't quite plain to me
If we're in the Civil Service or the Admiralties!

An' it's "Gee hup, Mabel," an' we'll do the best we're able,
For the country's took us over an' we're 'elpin' 'er to win,
An' when the war is over, oh, we'll all lie down in clover,
With a drink all together at the Navigation Inn!


I brought the news to Missis, an' to 'er these words did say:
"Just chuck yon old broom-'andle an' a two-three nails this way:
We're bound to 'ave a flag-staff for our old red, white an' blue,
For now we're under Government we'll 'ave our ensign too."

The Navy is the Navy, an' it sails upon the sea,
The Army is the Army, an' on land it 'as to be;
There's the land an' there's the water, an' the Cut comes in between,
An' I don't know what they'll call me if it ain't an 'Orse Marine.

The Missis sits upon the barge, the same's she used to sit,
But they'll 'ave 'er in the papers now for Doin' 'er Bit:
An' I walk upon the tow-path 'ere as proud as anything,
If I 'aven't got no uniform, I'm serving of the King.

An' it's "Gee hup, Mabel," oh, we'll do the best we're able,
For the country's been an' called us, an' we've got to 'elp to win;
An' when this war is over, then we'll all lie down in clover,
With a drink all together at the Navigation Inn!



Notes:

From Small Craft: Sailor Ballads and Chantys, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by George H. Doran Co., New York, US, © 1919, pp. 72-73. First published in Punch Magazine, Volume 152, May 16, 1917, p. 320.

Captures a moment in World War 1 when the British Government has issued an order mobilizing the canal bargemen into the war effort, replete with great detail.

Some of the best black and white illustrations I've found of narrow boats are by Deny Watkins-Pitchford in Narrow Boat, by Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt, published by Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, UK, © 1944, revised 1948. For an example, here a link to one I've just posted with this poem at the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 May 10 - 03:31 PM

Anything going on in particular in September on or about the canals in the UK?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 May 10 - 05:41 PM

Just theb usual BW neglect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Brian May
Date: 28 May 10 - 04:44 PM

Leggin boats - by Giggetty.

Black Country songs on this re-released Digitally Remastered album.

Got my copy today and it's brilliant. Several tracks about bargees and the waterways in the Industrial Revolution.

More details from brian@langtry.fslife.co.uk - he's been really helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 May 10 - 04:55 PM

I like canals and canal boats!

I think I'll learn some canalist and canaling songs!

Drat! There don't appear to be any!

OK, I'll write some canalist and canaling songs.

........................ some time later ......................

Hmm! It's quite difficult this song writing, isn't it?

I know! I'll dig out some musty old poems about canalists and canaling and put tunes to them! No-one will ever know (perhaps they'll even think they're traditional).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 10 - 09:16 AM

There is a whole CD by Barry Goodman and Graeme Meek called "Where the Working Boats Went". It is basically the songs from a show that they present at festivals and other places.

Take a look here:

http://www.lifeandtimes.me.uk/news.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 May 10 - 09:27 AM

100


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 29 May 10 - 10:58 AM

There's lots more good songs of the waterways on the album recorded by the late Jeff Dennison and Benny Graham, "They're coming back to the water - Songs of the Waterways" (FSCD47)
Try the link for details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Cusco
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:26 AM

I have a really good CD that was put out by Buz Collins - Water & Rain. He lived on the canals and the whole work relates to them.

One is a bit of a Route 66 for narrow boats titled London to Birmingham in 4.5 minutes.

Sadly Buz had some personal problems he couldn't resolve and is no longer with us. He was the son of Dolly Collins. Great shame.

The CD was a Fellside issue FECD139


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 10 - 08:27 PM

Mike Kennedy and I have been working on "The Jolly Bargeman," a poem by Cicely Fox Smith, adapting it for singing and I thing we've got something of interest. Mike has a nice melody for the chorus and I have a different melody than Mike's for the verse, and I've done some minor revision of this World War 1 era poem. Here's a link to the song and the original poem on my website with a MP3 sample: click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Here's the song with chords:

Composed by Cicely Fox Smith, © 1919
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar, 5/23/10
Tune: Mike Kennedy chorus/Charles Ipcar verse

The Jolly Bargeman


C--------F-----------C--------------F-------------------G
And it's "Gee-hup, Mabel," we'll do the best we're able,
----------C-------------------------------------F----------------G
For the Country's took us over an' we're helping her to win,
-----C--------------------------------F----------------G
An' when this war is over, we'll all lay down in clover,
------------F-----------------------G---C-G--C--G7-C
An' we'll drink all together at the Na-vi-ga-tion Inn!

C-------------------------F------------------------C-----------------G
I've put the old mare's tail in plaits — now ain't she lookin' gay?
--------F------------G--C-----------------------F----C-G
Bright ribbons in her mane, you'd think it First o' May;
C----F--------------------C--------------------------F------------------G-C
For why? We're under Government, though it ain't quite plain to me
----------F------------C------------G----------------C
If we're in the Civil Service or in the Admiral-ty!


Now I brought the news to Missis, an' to her these words did say:
"Just chuck your old broom-handle an' some rusty nails this way:
We're bound to have a flag-staff for our old red, white an' blue,
For now we're under Government we'll have our ensign too." (CHO)

Now the Navy is the Navy, an' it sails upon the sea,
The Army is the Army, an' on land it has to be;
There's the land an' there's the water, an' the Cut comes in between,
And I don't know what they'll call me if it ain't the Horse Marine. (CHO)

So the Missis sits upon the barge, the same's she used to sit,
But they'll have her in the papers now for "doin' her own bit":
And I trudge upon the tow-path here as proud as anything,
Though I haven't got no uniform, I'm serving of the King. (CHO)

Notes:

From Small Craft: Sailor Ballads and Chantys, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by George H. Doran Co., New York, US, © 1919, pp. 72-73. First published in Punch Magazine, Volume 152, May 16, 1917, p. 320.

Captures a moment in World War 1 when the British Government had issued an order mobilizing the canal bargemen into the war effort, replete with great detail.

Always interested in comments if you have any.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 04:12 PM

Just a reminder that there is an archive of British and Irish canal songs at

Songs of the Inland Waterways


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST,Graeme Meek (Life & Times)
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 07:16 AM

Songs on our CD and in our show WHERE THE WORKING BOATS WENT:
The Duke of Bridgewater (Meek)
The Bold Navigators(Broadside arr. Raven arr. Life & Times)
The Ivel Navigation (Meek)
A Working Boatie Man (Meek)
Carrying The Load (Goodman)
Lock Keepers Of The Waterways (Meek)
Narrow Boats To Tow (Goodman)
Push Boys Push (Dudley Tunnel Trust)
Roses & Castles (Meek)
A Bit Of A Do (Goodman)
The Row Between The Boaters (Meek)
Finest Of Them All (Ritchie)
Banbury White Horse/Four Up (Goodman)
Iced In (Goodman)
Until The Cut Runs Dry (Meek)
A Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Goodman)
Where The Working Boats Went (Meek)

Hear The Duke Of Bridgwater & Iced In at www.myspace.com/broadsidesrevisited
Hear Where The Working Boats Went at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJPiVjZMbqQ

www.lifeandtimes.info


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 07:57 AM

This an excellent CD and if you get a chance to see the show then do so. Here's the link given above : Where The Working Boats Went


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 08:04 AM

The other link above didn't seem to work. It needed another slash. Here it is : Life and Times and here's Iced In on Youtube.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 08:14 AM

Life and Times have posted a number of items on YouTube for us to enjoy. Here's a lovely video about The B & MK.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM

Looks and sounds great!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 10:11 AM

The link to my canal song web-site posted well over a year ago doesn't seem to be working. I wonder how long it's been broke?

So here it is again : Songs of the Inland Waterways


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 07:32 PM

The 'lost' Radio Ballad "A Cry From The Cut" has been found. Ashas "The Jewellery."

Backstory is here:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/enth13.htm

Recording is here:

http://www.waterwaysongs.co.uk/cry_from_the_cut.htm

Vimeo version with historic slides is here:

https://vimeo.com/17437484

Thanks Jim!!

CJB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 07:36 PM

BTW the BBC LP "Narrowboats" and the Folkweave Canal Trilogy can be found here:

http://www.oysterbroadcast.co.uk/click.html

CJB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 08:12 PM

More 'lost' recordings about canals...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/content/articles/2008/02/05/radio_stoke_on_the_cut_feature.shtml

Sadly the audio files have been deleted, but they are here:

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/exih4wb9a948x/On_The_Cut

CJB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:11 AM

Thanks for these postings Chris.

Those recordings that aren't already on the Songs of the Inland Waterways website will be added asap.

'Tales from the Towpath' - the radio programme featuring the Albion Band and narrated by Mike Harding - has recently been added in the Reference section.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Narrowboat songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 08:27 AM

A pity they didn't use some of the great tracks available of the Aire & Calder when they interviewed Chris Sherburn a couple of weeks back!


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: 13 December 12:47 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.