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Origin: 'The herring loves the merry moonlight...'

DigiTrad:
I LOBSTER AND NEVER FLOUNDER


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Lyr Req: I Lobster But Never Flounder (7)
from thread drift... (4)
Lyr Req: I lobster and then I flounder (5)


Alison Scott 08 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 08 Jun 99 - 08:28 PM
Gene 08 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 08 Jun 99 - 09:23 PM
Philippa 09 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM
The Shambles 09 Jun 99 - 08:05 AM
09 Jun 99 - 04:25 PM
Alison Scott 09 Jun 99 - 06:16 PM
emily rain 10 Jun 99 - 11:35 AM
Mark Roffe 10 Jun 99 - 01:24 PM
The Shambles 10 Jun 99 - 02:03 PM
Tony Burns 10 Jun 99 - 05:54 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM
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Subject: The love lives of various sea fish
From: Alison Scott
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM

My daughter has a nursery rhyme tape which lists the following rhyme as 'trad'. Completely incomprehensible is what I call it, but never mind.

"The herring loves the merry moonlight
And the mackerel loves the wind
But the oyster loves the dredging song
For it comes of a gentle kind."

A brief web search (love that Internet) demonstrates that this comes from Sir Walter Scott's The Antiquary - where a character sings it, it's described as 'an old ballad' and many verses are related. (See below)

But I'm none the wiser, and have no source, or tune (the tune on my daughter's tape is modern), or any more information. It seems unlikely but possible that it forms a major plot thread in the novel - but in any case I don't fancy trawling through any more Scott ever. Can anyone help?

Alison Scott

******************

The song:

The herring loves the merry moonlight
The mackerel loves the wind
But the oyster loves the dredging sang
For they come of a gentle kind.

Now haud your tongue, baith wife and carle,
And listen, great and sma'
And I will sing of Glenallan's Earl
That fought on the red Harlaw

The cronach's cried on Bennachie
And doun the Don and a',
And hieland and lawland may mournfu' be
For the sair field of Harlaw.

They saddled a hundred milk-white steeds
They hae bridled a hundred black
With a chafron of steel on each horse's head
And a good knight on his back.

They hadna ridden a mile, a mile
A mile but barely ten
When Donald came branking down the brae
Wi' twenty thousand men.

Their tartans they were waving wide
Their glaives were glancing clear
Their pibrochs rung frae side to side
Would deafen ye to hear

The great Earl in his stirrups stood
That Highland Host to see
Now here a knight that's stout and good
May prove a jeopardie

What wouldst thou do, my squire so gay,
That rides beside my reyne,
Were ye Glenallan's Earl the day,
And I were Roland Cheyne?

To turn the rein were sin and shame
To fight were wondrous peril
What would ye do now, Roland Cheyne
Were ye Glenallan's Earl?

Were I Glenallan's Earl this tide
And ye were Roland Cheyne
The spur should be in my horse's side
And the bridle upon his mane.

If they hae twenty thousand blades
And we twice ten times ten
Yet they hae but their tartan plaids
And we are mail-clad men.

My horse shall ride through ranks sae rude
As through the moorland fern
Then neer let the gentle Norman blude
Grow cauld for Highland kerne.


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 08:28 PM

Not likely the same song at a'--

Caviar comes from the virgin sturgeon,
The virgin sturgeon's quite a fish:
The virgin sturgeon needs no urgin',
That's why caviar is my dish.

--seed


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Subject: Lyr Add: I LOBSTER AND NEVER FLOUNDER^^
From: Gene
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:10 PM

Here's a FISHY story....
I LOBSTER AND NEVER FLOUNDER
Recorded by Pinkard and Bowden

I was a cook, she was a waitress
Down at SALTY sam's SEAFOOD Cafe
And somewhere 'tween the CLAM juice and the ... SEAWEED SALAD
Some little SHRIMP LURED her away.

I said, just SQUID and leave me for that pian-a TUNA
If you wanna TROUT something new
She was the BASS I ever had, now my life has no PORPOISE
Oh, my COD, I love her, yes I do.

Oh, I LOBSTER and never FLOUNDER He wrapped his LINE around her
And they drove off in his CARP
Oh, I LOBSTER and never FLOUNDER
I OCT-I-PUS his face in
EEL only break her heart.

Boy, I sure SWORDFISH she'd come back to me, Sammy
I'd show her a WHALE of a time
Now, Richard, you know she'd just pull that ...
Not tonight, I've got a HADDOCK, routine
You know, you're probably right
But I've KELP her picture in my WALLEYE just for the HALIBUT
I wonder if she's still got mine in her PERCH
Did you, ... did you say PERCH?
Yea, I'm afraid so!
That's good, for a moment there
I thought I was losing my HERRING.

Well, we BASS SQUID all this SEAHORSIN' around
'Fore these people out here go into a state of SHARK
Yea, if we get out of here alive, it's gonna be a MACKEREL
Frankly, SCALLOP, I don't give a CLAM.


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 09:23 PM

Oh, I just remembered a verse to the song Virgin Sturgeon:

I fed caviar to my Grampaw,
He's a gent of ninety-three.
The virgin sturgeon needs no urgin';
He chased Grandmaw up a tree.

--seed


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: Philippa
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 07:37 AM

what about Billy the Squid?


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 08:05 AM

I sea I have come to the right plaice.

Thanks for cheering me up.


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From:
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 04:25 PM

Dreg Song and relatives are in DT. Search on 'Dreg' for 3.


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: Alison Scott
Date: 09 Jun 99 - 06:16 PM

So long, and thanks for all the fish...


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: emily rain
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 11:35 AM

i gave caviar to my uncle
he's been sterile all his life
now he's fathered seventeen children
i'm just glad i'm not his wife


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 01:24 PM

As written/performed by Sylvester MacIntosh:
I've got mokko mokko, abba, double-bellied basha,
Congo nana, and catholic fish.
Eyefish, jewfish, electric gramma eel,
Deep-sea eel, and a common eel.
I've got nobo, morobo, man-eat-shark,
and a long snout marak,
Spotted jango and pepperneck fish
and plenty more if you wish.


Also various lyrics from Cole Porter's 1928 "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" -- such as:
Sponges, they say, do it,
Oysters, down in Oyster Bay, do it,
Let's do it, Let's fall in love.
Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish, do it,
Even lazy jelly fish do it,
Let's do it, Let's fall in love.
Electric eels, I might add, do it,
Though it shocks 'em I know.
Why ask if shad do it, Waiter, bring me shad roe.
In shallow shoals, English soles do it,
Goldfish, in the privacy of bowls, do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.


Bark Woof


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 02:03 PM

That Cole chap sounds pretty promising?

There was one we used to sing, it went something like:

It lasts longer
With a conger.

Maybe someone would like to finish it?


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Subject: RE: The love lives of various sea fish
From: Tony Burns
Date: 10 Jun 99 - 05:54 PM

My favourite fish(y) song has the chorus:

A noise annoys an oyster
But a noisey noise annoys an oyster more.


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Subject: RE: Origin: 'The herring loves the merry moonlight...'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 12:04 PM

The "song" in the first message is quoted out of context. Here it is, in part, from Chapter 19 of The Antiquary, Volume 2 by Sir Walter Scott (New York: Van Winkle and Wiley, 1816), page 189:

As the Antiquary lifted the latch of the hut, he was surprised to hear the shrill, tremulous voice of Elspeth chanting forth an old ballad in a wild and doleful recitative:—

"The herring loves the merry moon-light,
The mackerel loves the wind,
But the oyster loves the dredging sang,
For they come of a gentle kind."

A diligent collector of these legendary scraps of ancient poetry, his foot refused to cross the threshold when his ear was thus arrested, and his hand instinctively took pencil and memorandum-book. From time to time the old woman spoke as if to the children—"O ay, hinnies, whisht, whisht! and I'll begin a bonnier ane than that—

'Now haud your tongue, baith wife and carle,
And listen, great and sma',...'"

[So it's clear that the first verse is from a different song than the rest—that is, if it's a real song at all and not made up by Scott for his novel.]


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