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Origins: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)

DigiTrad:
BELAMENA
BRANDY TREE (Otter's Song)
CAPE ANN
CLEAR AWAY IN THE MORNING
DARK OLD WATERS
DILLAN BAY
DUNA
HEARTH AND FIRE
HERRING CROON
HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT
HUSH YE MY BAIRNIE
ISLE AU HAUT LULLABY (Hay Ledge Song)
JOHN OF DREAMS
KIRSTEEN/CHRISTINN
LITTLE RIVER
MRS. MACDONALD'S LAMENT
MY IMAGES COME
O-E-DALLAY
OLD FAT BOAT (Mattapoisset Harbor Inventory)
RIGHT SAID FRED (CUP OF TEA)
RORY DALL
THE BAYOU SARA
TUNE FOR NOVEMBER
TURN OVER IN THE MORNING
TURN YE TO ME
TURNING TOWARD THE MORNING
WAYS OF MAN ARE PASSING STRANGE
WEARY OF THE DARNING


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Req:Mare's Tails and Mackerel Scales-Herring Croon (8)
Help: Hills of Idaho? / Hills of Isle au Haut (13)
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Pat Bell 09 Jun 08 - 09:42 PM
Rapparee 09 Jun 08 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 10 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM
Fliss 10 Jun 08 - 11:51 AM
Mrs.Duck 10 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM
clueless don 13 Jun 08 - 09:15 AM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 08 - 02:57 PM
kendall 13 Jun 08 - 04:21 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 08 - 04:49 PM
ranger1 13 Jun 08 - 05:44 PM
kendall 13 Jun 08 - 07:52 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,Island Girl 06 Feb 11 - 10:33 PM
Joe Offer 07 Feb 11 - 03:11 AM
kendall 07 Feb 11 - 07:45 AM
GUEST 25 Feb 18 - 10:26 PM
Joe Offer 26 Feb 18 - 01:02 AM
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Subject: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Pat Bell
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 09:42 PM

Happy Traum recorded song Hills of Isle A Haut, but indicated he was unsure of some of the lyrics, does anyone know the lyrics?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT (Gordon Bok)
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 09:57 PM

From the DT:

HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT
(Gordon Bok)

1. Away and to the westward
Is a place a man should go
Where the fishing's always easy
They've got no ice or snow

CHORUS: But I'll haul down the sail
Where the bays come together
Bide away the days
On the hills of Isle au Haut

2. Now the Plymouth girls are fine
They put their hearts in your hand
And the Plymouth boys are able
First-class sailor every man

3. Now, the trouble with old Martin
You don't try her in a trawler
For those bay of Biscay swells
They roll your head from off your shoulder

4. Away and to the westward
Is a place a man should go
Where the fishing's always easy
They've got no ice or snow

5. Now the winters drive you crazy
And the fishing's hard and slow
You're a damned fool if you stay
But there's no better place to go


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 06:30 AM

Hands up everyone else who has spent the last 20 years joining in the chorus as Hills of Idaho!

What just me?

Anyway my apologies to the lead singer on each and every one of those occasions:-<


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Fliss
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:51 AM

Bob Hadley sings it at the BOat Inn, Jackfield and one of the other musicians thought it was Hills of Idaho... I love the song and the chorus.

"Isle au Haut lies about seven miles off the Maine coast in Penobscot Bay. Far from being a typical tourist town, it is a working island with few amenities."

fliss in Sunny Shropshire


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 01:40 PM

Abuwood does this beautifully with the Shellback Chorus.


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM

Pat, was the Happy Traum recording much different from the original lyrics?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: clueless don
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:15 AM

I found one mistake in the lyrics as given in the DT, and as posted above by Rapaire. According to the printed notes that accompany the "A Tune for November" LP, it isn't "the trouble with old Martin", it is "the trouble with old Martir", which is, as I recall, pronounced something like mar-TEER.

The printed notes go on to say "Gordon generally sings another verse, not on the record:", and gives it as

The girls of Cascais,
They are strong across the shoulder;
They don't give a man advice,
They don't want to cook his supper.


Don


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Subject: DT Correction: The Hills of Isle au Haut (BOK)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 02:57 PM

Maybe it's an idea to do a full, corrected transcription:

Corrected version:

THE HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT
(Gordon Bok)

It's away and to the westward
Is a place a man should go,
Where the fishing's always easy,
They've got no ice or snow.

(CHORUS)
But I'll haul down the sail
Where the bays come together,
Bide away the days
On the hills of Isle au Haut.

Now the Plymouth girls are fine,
They put their hearts in your hand;
And the Plymouth boys are able,
First-class sailors, every man.

Now, the trouble with old Martir,
You don't try her in a trawler,
For those Bay of Biscay swells,
They roll your head from off your shoulder.

The girls of Cascais,
They are strong across the shoulder,
They don't give a man advice,
They don't want to cook his supper.

Now the winters drive you crazy,
And the fishing's hard and slow;
You're a damned fool if you stay,
But there's no better place to go.







DT lyrics:
HILLS OF ISLE AU HAUT
(Gordon Bok)

Away and to the westward
Is a place a man should go
Where the fishing's always easy
They've got no ice or snow

But I'll haul down the sail
Where the bays come together
Bide away the days
On the hills of Isle au Haut

Now the Plymouth girls are fine
They put their hearts in your hand
And the Plymouth boys are able
First-class sailors every man

Now, the trouble with old Martin
You don't try her in a trawler
For those bay of Biscay swells
They roll your head from off your shoulder

Away and to the westward
Is a place a man should go
Where the fishing's always easy
They've got no ice or snow

Now the winters drive you crazy
And the fishing's hard and slow
You're a damned fool if you stay
But there's no better place to go

Isle au Haut is an island off Maine
Bok wrote two song about Isle au Haut see also ISLEHAUT
Copyright Folk-Legacy Records, Inc.
@sailor @work @water
filename[ IHAUTHIL
SOF

Notes:
I realized a while after I'd written this song that it was confusing some people. That wasn't what I had in mind, so I looked at it again and realized that the key word in the song is also the shortest and least significant—sounding. The word is "but."
As one fellow told me: "I know I should get out of it here, and go away. But I'm a fisherman, and if I'm going to starve as a fisherman, I might as well do it here where I can enjoy it."
That may be an odd way to put it, but...
Isle au Haut is a tall island in the Gulf of Maine. The place names Plymouth, Pedro Martir (a landfall in Portugal), and Cascais were memories from a rather wet offshore trip. I enjoyed the boat, and the people were fine, and if I had grown gills I'd have been perfectly comfortable, but...

Guitar in D; recording sounds D flat.
Isle au Haut = i'll oh hoe; westward = westard; Martir = marteer; Cascais = kass—keish.


from the songbook Time and the Flying Snow, Songs of Gordon Bok (Folk-Legacy, 1977)


I thought he was talking about a French guy named Martier, but now I find I'm wrong again.

-Joe Mondegreen-
(still looking for the Happy Traum lyics)


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 04:21 PM

Don't feel bad, Suffolk, I've heard it sung hills of IVANHOE


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 04:49 PM

Kendall, what's on that island, anyhow? Can you give us a description? I didn't get past the lighthouse and the little town where the mail boat landed - and what I saw was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. There were a number of lumberjacks going to work on the mail boat, so I suppose there must be forest (unless it's gone now). Are there "yellow fields" like in the other Isle au Haut song?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: ranger1
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 05:44 PM

What's on that island is part of Acadia National Park.


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:52 PM

It's heavily wooded, but there are a couple of fields. It's populated, but very few people year round. There is a big pond and a crude road that goes around the edge of the island.
I found the people to be very nice. Of course, at the time I was a warden with the Maine dept. of fisheries, so we were not overly popular anywhere.
I'm going back 46 years, so things may have changed. At that time, there was a post office and a tiny store. No hotels, so visitors used to bring tents and sleeping bags.
Did I mention quiet? Like a tomb.


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Subject: RE: What are lyrics to Hills of Isle A Haut?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:04 PM

And a bed-and-breakfast in one of the most picturesque lighthouses I've ever seen. Oh, and there was a deer walking down the main street, but no people.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)
From: GUEST,Island Girl
Date: 06 Feb 11 - 10:33 PM

Well, I'm a damned fool.

Living on IAH year round and spending part of it fishing. We do still have a crude road going around the island, though a good portion of it is paved. The year round population is down to about 40-50 people. Both people and deer walk down the street. And dogs. And cats. Used to be turkeys but the coyotes got most of them. Still heavily wooded.

I often wonder about moving off the island. It doesn't make sense to stay here, it's small, it's more expensive than the mainland (except you don't buy as much stuff), and as my husband says "nothing's ever easy." But at the end of the day, here we are surrounded by the bay, forced to attend to the tides, the weather, and our neighbors. It's not easy, but it is a good way to live. And so when I think of moving, I am stymied- because there is no better place to go.

Plus we do have high speed internet, and a gourmet chocolatier now, so...!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 03:11 AM

I dunno, Island girl. Your life sounds pretty good to me. Still, I've heard from many people that Maine is paradise for only three months of the year.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)
From: kendall
Date: 07 Feb 11 - 07:45 AM

Would Island girl be willing to identify herself? Is Dottie D. well? and the Barters?
I was Captain of the patrol boat EXPLORER back in the early 60s, and Isle au Haut was my favorite place to tie up for a while.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 10:26 PM

So I'm a Mainer and I would love to think that this song's about my dear island, but based on the lyrics it doesn't quite sound like it is.

First of all, Isle au Haut Maine definitely has ice and snow

Secondly, It's east of Plymouth, MA, unless it were referring to Plymouth UK, then I guess it's westward, but pretty damn far west.

It also refers to the Bay of Biscay which is off the coast of france. This makes me think that maybe this is referring to a french Island that used to be name Isle au Haut?

And then it refers again to Cascais which is in Portugal.

I don't know, I really wish it were referring to Isle au Haut Maine, but these are just some doubts cast in my mind.

Thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Isle au Haut (Gordon Bok)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 01:02 AM

Hi -
Look at my post up above, with Gordon's lyrics and notes from his Time and the Flying Snow Songbook. Most of the song talks about all those other places that are far more comfortable, and what he said about Isle Au Haut is:
    But I'll haul down the sail
    Where the bays come together,
    Bide away the days
    On the hills of Isle au Haut.

        -and-

    Now the winters drive you crazy,
    And the fishing's hard and slow;
    You're a damned fool if you stay,
    But there's no better place to go.


Just that Isle au Haut is a hilly island where the bays come together - Penobscot Bay, Isle au haut Bay, Jericho Bay, and Blue Hill Bay.

I saw the island only once, when I took the mailboat from Stonington before dawn, watching the overcast sky brighten over the glass-smooth waters of the bays. I spent just about an hour there at about 7 AM. I didn't see any people once the lumberjacks left the boat and walked up the hill into the woods - just one deer in the light fog. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.

-Joe-


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