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


What does 'Go down' mean?

GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Gerry 09 Jul 08 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 09:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 09:21 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jul 08 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 10:16 AM
EBarnacle 09 Jul 08 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Jul 08 - 10:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 10:34 AM
bobad 09 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM
bubblyrat 09 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 09 Jul 08 - 10:53 AM
PoppaGator 09 Jul 08 - 10:57 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 11:00 AM
Sailor Ron 09 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM
pavane 09 Jul 08 - 11:04 AM
lady penelope 09 Jul 08 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 09 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 11:21 AM
bald headed step child 09 Jul 08 - 11:24 AM
Amos 09 Jul 08 - 11:26 AM
Azizi 09 Jul 08 - 11:33 AM
ClaireBear 09 Jul 08 - 11:46 AM
curmudgeon 09 Jul 08 - 11:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM
Amos 09 Jul 08 - 01:09 PM
curmudgeon 09 Jul 08 - 01:20 PM
PoppaGator 09 Jul 08 - 01:42 PM
Little Hawk 09 Jul 08 - 01:42 PM
Dead Horse 09 Jul 08 - 01:54 PM
Howard Jones 09 Jul 08 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 08 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 02:39 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Jul 08 - 02:47 PM
Big Tim 09 Jul 08 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Baffled Limey 09 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM
Rumncoke 09 Jul 08 - 03:54 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Jul 08 - 07:06 PM
Barry Finn 09 Jul 08 - 08:56 PM
gabbyhayes 09 Jul 08 - 10:15 PM
Dave Hanson 10 Jul 08 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 10 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 10 Jul 08 - 08:05 AM
GUEST 10 Jul 08 - 08:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 08:30 AM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Landlubber 10 Jul 08 - 10:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 10:58 AM
Azizi 10 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Mr Chaz 10 Jul 08 - 02:05 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Jul 08 - 02:31 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Jul 08 - 06:51 PM
Nerd 10 Jul 08 - 07:01 PM
ClaireBear 10 Jul 08 - 07:02 PM
semi-submersible 10 Jul 08 - 08:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jul 08 - 08:45 AM
Tootler 11 Jul 08 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,rasberry cream 11 Jul 08 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,johnny rise her up from down below 24 Jan 09 - 11:09 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 08:23 AM

You come across the American expression "go down" now and then - e.g. "Go down you blood red roses." Now, I'm content that I have an explanation for the blood red roses, but what exactly does the exhortation to "go down" mean? (And can we leave Clinton/Lewinsky well out of it?) Sometimes, as in this shanty, it seems to be an encouragement to work harder, while sometimes ("Go down Hannah, don't you rise no more") it doesn't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 08:44 AM

I think that in the second example, Hannah is a reference to the Sun, and the singer is asking the Sun to set, and not rise again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:10 AM

Yes, thanks Gerry. I had an idea that was it. The next line I have is "Rise in the morning, bring on Judgemant Day". I suppose calling the Sun Hannah is in the tradition of calling the Wind Maria. So "Go down" is otherwise just a general "Get stuck in" call?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:21 AM

Get below? As in 'go down below decks and don't get in my way.'?

Makes for an interesting interpretation of 'Blood Red Roses'. On ships carrying redcoats (blood red roses) to foreign climes the sailors didn't like them getting in the way on deck. Hence the call 'Go down, you blood red roses, go down!'

I could make some more up if you like:-)

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:30 AM

Shep??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:16 AM

Lassie.

Thread creep alert - Tedious Discussion on Meaning of Obsolete Nautical Expressions. Dave, that never occurred to me. I always thought (but don't know why) that BBR was from a band of red felt lining in a make of American sea-boot, and seen as a bright red band when the top was fashionably turned down. And by extension, any seaman from the USA. As far as I know, Royal Marines were always "Johnnies". (Here's a verse you might like :- "We made our way across the Bay a-heading for the Line/ with skys'ls set and the stays all taut/ the Trades they blew so fine./ Our johnnies all were fighting cocks/ good seamen all were we/ for hand and steer and reef my boys, we all worked manfully." - Amphitrite.)

So I think BBR was more likely originally an American rather than British shanty. There is a huge sheaf of previous threads on BBR, which I'd rather not go through.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:19 AM

Another version of the same chantey uses the line "Hang down, you blood red roses, hang down." I have also heard, "Lay down, you blood red roses, lay down."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:19 AM

'You come across the American expression "go down" now and then - e.g. "Go down you blood red roses."'
============
I'm American, and I've never heard that expression in my life.

Well, it has become a part of police lingo, as in 'The arrest of Joe Blow finally went down last night,' but this is a recent development.

What song is it that has 'Go down, Hannah?' What shanty has 'Go down, you red roses'? What are they about?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:34 AM

Well, the bonny bunch of roses was the term used by Napoleon himself when refering to the British Isles. Marines or 'Johnnie' would have, I think, worn blue and not red. But I am still of the firm belief that I am making it all up. Or did I hear it somewhere... :-)

I also heard it was a whaling song btw - The blood red roses being the 'roses' of blood floating on the water following a sucessful harpoon strike. But that was sung by Sting on an album got together after the last Pirates of the Caribean by Johnny Depp!

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: bobad
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM

Another example is in the spiritual "Go Down Moses" where it appears to simply mean "go to":

    "When Israel was in Egypt's land: Let my people go,
    Oppress'd so hard they could not stand, Let my People go.

       Go down, Moses,
       Way down in Egypt land,
       Tell ole Pharoh,
       Let my people go."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:39 AM

Never heard of Royal Marines being called " Johnnies" ....Jollies, yes, and Turkeys, certainly ,and of course Bootnecks in modern times, but "Johnnies"   ??? Doubt it !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:53 AM

In the song "Knoxville Girl" the singer exorts the girl of the title to "Go down, go down you Knoxville girl...." after throwing her into the river to drown. In that case, the meaning is quite obvious and literal: "Sink below the water's surface."

I would make an uneducated and highly speculative guess that the term may have made its way into secular song via the "Go down, Moses" exortation heard in spirituals. Its meaning in that case is "Go down (south) from Israel into Egypt."

As Leenia stated above, it's never been part of day-to-day speech, but is strictly a songwriting convention. Its exact meaning varies from song to song, depending on the context.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:57 AM

I remember having owned a recording of Pete Seeger singing "Go Down Old Hannah (Don't You Rise No More)" during which he speaks a bit about how "Hannah" means the sun. Sorry I can't recall which album ~ maybe one of those "Best of Newport" anthology LPs.

Calling the sun Hannah probaly predates calling the wind Maria, so I'd say that the Broadway-show-tune reference was "in the tradition of" the slave-era work song, not vice-versa.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:00 AM

In our club the stanza is used amidst words of great mystical meaning -

As I was walking by St Pauls
Go down, you blood red roses, go down
A woman grabbed me by the elbow
Go down, you blood red roses, go down

Oh, you pinks and posies
Go down, you blood red roses, go down

She said to me her name was Flo
Go down, you blood red roses, go down
And by profession she was a waitress
Go down, you blood red roses, go down

etc etc.

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM

The Royal Marine Light Infantry[ as oposed to the Royal Marime Artilery[ aways wore red jackets, not blue. I'm certain the origins BRR have been lost in the mists of time, could be about marines, which I doubt, or about 'land troops' on a troopship or from the whaling tradition. All I can say is it's a Devil of a shanty to sing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: pavane
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:04 AM

Did she by any chance say

I see you look a man of pluck?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: lady penelope
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:13 AM

As far as I know 'Johnnies' are British soldiers (specifically recruited men - much later became 'Tommies'), not sure why American marines would be referred to as such....

As for the 'go down', maybe it's that time honoured tradition in song writing known as "well it sorta fits....". You know, it's a work song, it's a good gutteral sound to heave on, 'go' is an action word which reinforces what you're supposed to be doing once you hit this bit of the song...yadda,yadda,yadda... Or they could just be making it all up as they go along.... *G*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM

'Go down Old Hannah, don't you rise no more' comes from the song 'Ain't No More Cane On The Brazos'
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:21 AM

Thanks bodad. Of course! "Go down Moses" is the other great song with the phrase. How could that one have slipped my mind ? I think I will go along with Bee-dubya's sensible view, which clears that one up for me nicely.

Leeneia, "Go down Hannah" is from a version of the 12-bar "Ain't no more cane on the Brazos", which I used to know a long time back. I see the DT also has a verse :- "I looked at my Hannah and she's turning red,/ I looked at my podner and he's almos dead."

Dave, I'm quite sure RMs wore red and had army ranks, and were there to suppress mutiny as well as defend the ship. Mind you, I'm mainly going on Patrick O'Brien for this. Bet there's heaps of threads on this too. If redcoats, then that would also lessen the likehood of BBR being British, as there weren't RN shanties as such.

Aargh! Beware the Creeping Thread Jim lad.

Bubblyrat, I only came across this fairly recently myself. I was doing a bit of research on Portsmouth, and came across a contemporary quote (I think by a civilian) where the garrison soldiers were called Johnnies. If you really really want I shall dig it up for you.

Many thanks to all of you for answering.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: bald headed step child
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:24 AM

leeneia, I actually heard a little on the origins of the police version on a radio show a week or so back.
The police version is believed to have started by english gangsters with experience with the Bailey Court where after being arrested and booked you had to walk down the stairs to the jail cells.
As for the other versions in these shanties, they must surely be British, since as americans we can read and say them, but don't have a clue what the heck they are talking about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:26 AM

SOmewhere, as well, the line "Go down, you murderer4, go down" looms up from the Song Basement. In this sense, to go down into prison, as above, or down to one's doom.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:33 AM

Its exact meaning varies from song to song, depending on the context.
-Bee-dubya-ell

True dat.
[to use current hip hop lingo which sometimes purposely adopts old style African American speech forms.]

This has nothing to do with the two songs mentioned in the first post, but-here are several contemporary meanings of "go down": I'm sure there are more.

"Go down" [or "went down"] has become a part of police lingo and from African American street phrases for something "happen[ed]; occur[ed]" or "will occur"

See leenia's sentence above about Joe Blow.

And speaking of Joe Blow...

"go down on" a person-a sexual term for...well, you know.

**

I'm down; "I'm down with that"- means the same as "I'm with it"; "I'm in"-term indicating agreement with something or someone's plans

**
"Get down!"-an exhortation to continue doing something well, such as playing music, dancing, or speaking.

**
"Get down with"-[a non-sexual term-enjoy yourself with; spend relaxing time with [same as "hangin' out with]

There's also "down time" meaning "time not spent on serious thought or activities; relaxation time; when you can "let your hair down", referring to the practice of women pinning up long hair except when getting ready for bed-which brings us full circle-to the sun setting, I mean, and not the sexual meaning of this phrase.

;o}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:46 AM

Perhaps oddly, my first thought was not of blood-red roses, but of Moses, way down in Egypt-land, who also was commanded to "Go down."

But back to the blood-red roses thing...I sing a chanty (cribbed from The Golden Ring) whose refrains are "Come down, come down ye roses" and "Come down, ye bunch of roses." So they don't always go, sometimes they come. And long ago in my folk education, I think I remember being advised that the roses were supposed to be the blood of the whale, "blooming" in the water?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:54 AM

Blood Red Roses is an English whalerman's halyard shanty. From the liner notes for the Washington LP, "Whaling Ballads," A. L. Lloyd writes:

"Ned Close,, formrly bosun in Southern Whaling and Sealing Company ships knew this song from the old days but coild throw no light on its mysterious refrain.'It's got me mogadored. The SouthGeorgiamen who used to sing it. I reckon they had too much on their minds to bother about the sense of a song.' "

It is frequently futile to search for meanings where there are none, ie., "Go Down'" "Bring en down," way-hey" etc.

"Go Down You Murderer," is from the Ballad of Tim Evans," by Ewan MacColl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM

Of course in the Lancashire dialect it comes out quite different

Good on yer, blood red roses. A rallying cry to all Lancastrians everywhere.

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 01:09 PM

In general, then "down" means many directions and conditions, depending on where the relative "up" is, I suppose.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 01:20 PM

"Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" = Richard Farina


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 01:42 PM

I know the song "Ain't No More Cane on The Brazos," and realize that some versions of the lyrics contain the lines "Go down old Hannah/Don't you rise no more," but there is another entirely different song, presumably even older, entitled "Go Down Old Hannah," which I know from the singing of Pete Seeger.

It's obviously a work song, in a good sledgehammer-swinging tempo, which Pete sings without instrumental accompaniment. If I recall my long-gone recording correctly, it's from a live show and Pete does his characteristicly wonderful job leading the audience in classic call-and-response participation.

Incidentally, the version of "Brazos" that I know ~ as performed by The Band, among others ~ is NOT in 12-bar blues form, or even close. For a really entertaining rendition, I refer one and all to the film/DVD "Festival Express," wherein an extremely drunk Rick Danko and Janis Joplin sing it during the train ride, accompanied by Jerry Garcia on acoustic guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 01:42 PM

There's also the expression to "follow me/you down", as in the song "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down". In that case it means to have sex with someone (in the general sense, not specifically in the oral sense). Buffy Saint-Marie once did a delightfully sassy song with the chorus:

"Ninety-seven men in this here town would give a half a grand in silver just to follow me down, so appreciate a dedicated baby, cos boy, you are a lucky ma-a-an!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 01:54 PM

Surely it is rather more fitting to ask where the term "Pinks and Posies" comes from in that shanty, seeing as the first verse of the chorus has so many variations?
Still rather academic, as it is a cast iron certainty that we aint never gonna know what was in the minds of the original singers.
But any words that would lend themselves to a good strong PULL on a rope
and therefore see the job done - that is what was important.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 02:11 PM

Hugill says "this was a real 'Cape Horner', very popular in Liverpool ships...it was fairly popular too in Yankee ships but it appears to be a British shanty"

He gives "come down" and "hang down" as alternatives. "Blood-red roses" he says refers to British soldiers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 02:14 PM

"On ships carrying redcoats (blood red roses) to foreign climes the sailors didn't like them getting in the way on deck." Unlikely - on a Royal Navy vessel sea-shanties weren't allowed.

I've always assumed the blood-red-roses might have had something to do with flogging, which occurred on merchant vessels as well as in the Navy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 02:39 PM

Theory - if "Blood red roses" are muscular Americans, then "ye pinks and posies" could be a derogatory comment on the gang doing the work - "you aren't blood-red roses, just a bunch of pretty pinks".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 02:47 PM

Some cynic defined folklore as what you tell the audience to fill up the time when you're tuning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Big Tim
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 03:05 PM

In the Ewan MacColl song about the wrongful execution of Timothy Evans, it's 'go down you down you murderers(plural), go down', i.e. the legal system that go it so wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Baffled Limey
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM

Dick, that's certainly very true. I like to think that I have done my fair share of folkloric creation. I know others definitely have, in fact it would be a very entertaining thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 03:54 PM

When an accused person is found guilty in court the judge says (or used to say, I have not been in court, nor seen one of TV for some time) 'Take him/her down' - that is to the cells below the courtroom.

But I don't think that is anything to do with the song.

The term 'letting one's hair down' has actualy long being associated with a time of frivolity and an implied sexual license - when young Ramble Away sees lovely Nancy combing her hair, the fact that she is doing so where she can be seen is an implication of lax morals - my grandfather and father always remarked on any woman combing her hair in public.

But as for what 'go down you blood red roses' means - anyone's guess, I'd say.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 07:06 PM

I don't suppose the fact that roses and pinks and posies are all flowers has any bearing on the subject?????

If you go down in the woods today.......tra la-la-la-la-la-la.

I'll get me hat!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 08:56 PM

"Come down you bunch of roses, come down"

"Bring 'em down"

"Oh, lower the boat down"

"Roll the cotton down"

"Rolling down to old Maui"

"Blow the man down"

"Knock a man down"

"Mary, come join the religion, oh Mary, oh
Mary, come join the religion, oh Mary, come down"

Down could mean any number of things. Blow & Knock a man down is exactly that. Rolling down to Old Maui, means sailing in a downwind direction toward Maui. Roll the cotton 'could' mean off rolling bails of cotton or not. Oh Mary come down & Come down you BRR is wide open to all kinds of speculation, who knows for sure?

Ewan MacColl use for his chorus in the "Big Hewer", a simple "Go down" which works & sings very well.


As for pinks & posies, again wild & wide speculation. I did collect a song the "Good Ol Brig" from George Herbert where he sings a line

"We should've sighted Hamburg a week ago it seems,
When the lookout shouted, "Strike me pink, we've sighted Barbary!"


Good luck to all
Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: gabbyhayes
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:15 PM

it's a reference to two houses of England fighting over the throne. Here's what I gleaned online:

The name Wars of the Roses is based on the badges used by the two sides, the red rose for the Lancastrians and the white rose for the Yorkists. Major causes of the conflict include: 1) both houses were direct descendents of king Edward III; 2) the ruling Lancastrian king, Henry VI, surrounded himself with unpopular nobles; 3) the civil unrest of much of the population; 4) the availability of many powerful lords with their own private armies; and 5) the untimely episodes of mental illness by king Henry VI.

The yorkies would have been telling the lancastrians to fall in battle so their hero and leader would be king and the bloody war would be over. Go down means "get out of here." or "die." Imagine a lookout on a hill watching the lancastrians trying to organize themselves for a dawn attack. Under his breath, he's saying, "Go down." Don't come up the hill. Get out of my sight.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 03:02 AM

From the shanty ' Donkey Riding '

Were you ever in London Town,
Where them ladies do go down,
To see a king in a golden crown,
Riding on a donkey.

Fairly obvious what that means.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 03:56 AM

gabbyhayes, that's an interesting theory, but whilst there is still rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire, why would 19th century sailors be singing about a war which took place 400 years earlier? And would it have been so popular amongst Liverpool seamen (Liverpool was formerly in Lancashire) if it's told from a Yorkist point of view?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:05 AM

I'm sure I heard somewhere that the "blood red roses" were the blisters on the hands of the newly pressed sailors(the pinks and posies) and that you weren't a proper seaman till they had healed (gone down)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:21 AM

"My blow-up doll keeps going down"...."If I had known that I would have priced it higher"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:30 AM

I think gabby's theory may well have had it's tongue as firmly in it's cheek as my earlier Lancastrian accent one, Howard.

BTW, in an unrelated song, Bunch of Thyme, the sailor gives his girl a blood red rose. I always thought that was symbollic (nunge, nudge, wink, wink) but someone convinced me it did mean love after all. A 'rose that never did decay' sounds much more like love that the rose I was thinking of that wilts after 15 minutes:-) Well, maybe 5 at my age...

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:49 AM

As to "pinks and posies", pinks are a variety of rose, for what it's worth.

And no one has mentioned the Scottish ballad use of "go down", to mean "be executed" or "be killed", as in "Hughie the Graeme, you must go down".

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:52 AM

I suspect it meant something very different to Hughie the Green...

(Brit joke about a bloke long since dead and a preachers Mrs. Not very funny really, but what the hell)

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Landlubber
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:15 AM

Where and when did Napoleon call Britain/England, or British/"English" soldiers "The Bonny Bunch of Roses"? Isn't that just what Napoleon II, i.e. his son the King of Rome, is made to say in the Irish song of that name? Or is this a quotation of something the great man himself is actually recorded as having said?

On another tack, it's said that in the Vietnam War, casualties were proportionately higher among African-American G.I.s than among Whites because, when the Sergeant shouted the warning, "Get Down!", all the brothers started to dance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:58 AM

Not that I give much credence to Wikipedia but I always find it a reasonable place to start -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bonny_Bunch_of_Roses

A bit nearer home our very own mudcat does have Napoleon II saying it but in the context of a traditional American song! See -


@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5955

Different tune to the one I know I must say. they one I am used to is much more like a slow 'Salmontails'. Is that the Irish one?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM

GUEST,Landlubber, I admit that I chucked* when I read your last paragraph.

*No pun intended by the use of the word "chuck", though-now that I think of it-"Chuck" is a nickname for Mr. Charlie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,Mr Chaz
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 02:05 PM

But the Landlubber is asking (I think) whether there's any source for Napoleon himself using the phrase?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 02:31 PM

Very little that came from the pen of a broadside hack had anything to do with historical fact. Irish ones were particularly descriptive and fanciful and of course in full sympathy with Boney, as were many ordinary people in England at first. I wouldn't waste any time trying to ascertain whether Boney or indeed any of his offspring used these expressions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 06:51 PM

I remember, when I was a kid, hearing "go down" used as a euphemism for "go to hell." I was pretty young at the time; these were kids who thought "hell" was too strong a word to be spoken openly. My friends at that time were Italian-American, if that has any relevance. That is, some of them had parents or grandparents who spoke Italian at home. I wonder if "go down" is a translation of an Italian expression that has that meaning?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 07:01 PM

I suspect The Bonny Bunch of Roses was written by an English hack, not an Irish one ("England and Ireland and Scotland, their unity has never been broke" could only have been written by an Englishman...)

PS: Am I the only one who chuckled when the Wikipedia author claimed that "the Irish" were monolithically "big fans" of Napoleon Bonaparte?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 07:02 PM

I have it! Don't know why I didn't think of it before -- it's so obvious: "go down" is English for "ranzo."

I'll, umm, get my hat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: semi-submersible
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:04 PM

Baffled Limey wrote:
I always thought (but don't know why) that ["blood red roses"] was from a band of red felt lining in a make of American sea-boot, and seen as a bright red band when the top was fashionably turned down. And by extension, any seaman from the USA.


Gumboots (= rubber boots) of various brands are typically black with red rubber treads and a narrow red band around the boot top. I wonder if this derives from the red lining you mention?

Funny how such traditions can hang on once people expect a thing to be made or to look a certain way. An Antiques Roadshow expert told a story about the brown ring so often found around the rims of bowls and plates made in England: as British potters learned to imitate high-quality imported Chinese pottery, they copied the styles of the Chinese china as well, including the red line on their rims, which in the Chinese tradition had been added as a charm to strengthen the rim (red being the colour of power/energy/chi) since the rim is the part most likely to crack in firing (being relatively thin and unsupported). Even Corningware glass plates from the USA have this ring, which I see most often in brown or red.

A Canadian fishwife


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 08:45 AM

He wears a pair of red-topped boots
and sails the black-ball line


(Version of New York Girls I do, learned from a Scandinavian group called the 'Paddy McGintys'. The mind boggles...)

Before anyone else gets bogged down in the Bonny Bunch of Roses / Napoleon discussion may I point to my first post on the subject.

Well, the bonny bunch of roses was the term used by Napoleon himself when refering to the British Isles. Marines or 'Johnnie' would have, I think, worn blue and not red. But I am still of the firm belief that I am making it all up. Or did I hear it somewhere... :-)

I thought the penultimate statement may have been a dead giveaway but apparently not.

Sigh.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 10:26 AM

PoppaGator,

I remember Pete Seeger singing the song "Go down ol' Hannah" As you say it's on one of his live albums and he has quite an extensive introduction. I might still have the album, but all my vinyl albums are up in the loft and I don't currently have anything to play them on.

From what I remember of his introduction to the song, he says it was collected from a black convict in a Southern Penitentiary (I don't think he said which or even exactly where). I seem to remember he quotes the singer as saying something like "Here is a song me and the boys sometimes sing when we are feeling down".

The significance of the song, of course, is they want the sun to go down so they can finish work for the day.

Geoff


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,rasberry cream
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 10:40 AM

There's a mining reference to it as in 'go underground' on a new album just out called 'Primary Transmission' by Broadcaster. The track is called 'Watch Yourself' and takes samples from the Radio Ballads that were broadcast on the BBC way back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What does 'Go down' mean?
From: GUEST,johnny rise her up from down below
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 11:09 AM


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: 21 June 5:31 PM EDT

[ 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.