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Sea shanties for fiddle

Jane of' ull 22 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM
Beer 22 Aug 09 - 09:45 AM
Stewart 22 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM
Barry Finn 22 Aug 09 - 02:07 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 09 - 03:12 PM
open mike 22 Aug 09 - 03:25 PM
RTim 22 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM
Paul Burke 22 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Aug 09 - 04:20 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM
Leadfingers 23 Aug 09 - 02:46 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM
The Sandman 23 Aug 09 - 06:08 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 09 - 08:14 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Aug 09 - 08:24 PM
Paul Burke 24 Aug 09 - 01:56 AM
The Sandman 24 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM
greg stephens 24 Aug 09 - 06:33 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Aug 09 - 08:01 AM
Charley Noble 24 Aug 09 - 08:45 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 09 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Phil Beer 24 Aug 09 - 03:19 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Katedu 21 Jul 10 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Katedu 21 Jul 10 - 11:25 PM
Howard Jones 22 Jul 10 - 03:40 AM
Old Vermin 22 Jul 10 - 06:06 AM
greg stephens 22 Jul 10 - 07:17 AM
Crane Driver 22 Jul 10 - 07:34 AM
Tug the Cox 22 Jul 10 - 07:59 AM
doc.tom 22 Jul 10 - 08:38 AM
Arthur_itus 22 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,crowdercref 18 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,FloraG 19 Jun 11 - 07:48 AM
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Subject: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Jane of' ull
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:20 AM

Can anyone recommend any sea shanties that are good to play on fiddle? Preferably ones that people can join in with at sessions.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Beer
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:45 AM

There are a number of artist that sing and play "Let Me Fish of Cape St. Mary's" on You Tube. Here is one of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grazMzjpP1o

The words are beautiful and done on a fiddle is a definite added bonus.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Stewart
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 01:38 PM

Here's a good sea song (not a shanty) with a sing-along chorus that goes well with fiddle.

Quare Bingle Rye

Cheers, S. in Seattle
Seattle's fiddlin' maritime singer


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:07 PM

I can't think of any true shanties that wouldn't go well with a fiddle

Barry


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:12 PM

I can do you one better: Rap songs that are good to play on fiddle.

Sarcastic Sahib


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: open mike
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:25 PM

fiddles might object to the humidity and salt
and may not have been taken to sea--
concertinas are more likely compatible
with ocean environment


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: RTim
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM

I think if I started to sing a shanty - and someone played a fiddle to it, I am not sure how pleased I would be?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Paul Burke
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM

I understand fiddles were played on ships - East Indiamen come to mind? Concertinas weren't an option before the 1840s. I'm not sure about playing to shanties though- four bitters perhaps- Liverpool Judies would suit a fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 04:20 PM

Four bitters? Yes please!


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 04:22 PM

PS, without being too picky about exactly what a sea shanty is, both "the Drunken Sailor" and "Whip Jamboree" run nicely with fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 02:46 PM

Pedant Alert !!

Sea Shanties were Unaccompanied Work Songs , so a fiddle playing a shanty would NOT suit the Folk Police at all !

However as Shanties were NOT approved of on Royal Navy vessels , a fiddler would often be utilised to keep the men pulling together .

Any suitably rhythmic tune would serve this function , but if you have a shanty singer who is NOT a purist and wants a fiddle accomp . Go For It !


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM

In 99% of cases sea shanties no longer function as work songs. They are entertainment/pleasure. There is absolutely no reason why ANYONE should not add any accompaniment they want to. Most of the wankers who say shanties have to be unaccompanied have never been to sea anyway. As it happens I simply prefer to sing most of my shanties unaccompanied but I'm certainly not averse to being joined by a fiddler on any of them and squeeze boxes are no more traditional for sea songs than any other instrument.

As a squeezebox player who contemplated playing on the Brid pleasure boats, I was put off by the previous player complaining his reeds were rusting. Jim Eldon and his fiddle have been playing all summer through on the Brid pleasure boats for at least 20 years.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 06:08 PM

Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: open mike - PM
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 03:25 PM

fiddles might object to the humidity and salt
and may not have been taken to sea--
concertinas are more likely compatible
with ocean environment[endof quote]
sorry,concertinas are very temperamental and extremely sensitive to weather conditions,fiidles are a little better suited,but still not ideal,jaws harps are excellent,as are nose flutes.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 08:14 PM

Jane-

Just be aware of the history of shanty singing, and then decide what you want to do.

I'd love to hear a good fiddler on some of the shanties our group Roll & Go sings, and some of the sea songs which are not shanties.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 08:24 PM

'squeeze boxes are no more traditional for sea songs than any other instrument.'
Not sure about that, Steve. My friend the distinguished folklorist Bob Thompson [with whom I visited, & collected from Harry Cox - see the definitive Topic "Bonny Labouring Boy" Harry Cox collection] once said to me that he thought the association of seamen with the concertina was one of those bits of 'folklore about folklore', no older than Bert Lloyd's partnership with Alf Edwards; but he changed his mind when I pointed out the concertina-playing pirate in Barrie's 'Peter Pan' [1904], and the ref to sailors 'dancing to the wheezy music of the concertina' in the penultimate paragraph of Somerset Maugham's 'The Moon & Sixpence' [1919]. The concertina is a small but robust, portable but powerful instrument, small enough to fit into a sailor's dunnage without taking up too much of limited fo'csle space, &, unlike the harmonica to which it is so closely related [particularly in its anglo avatar], usable by a singer for simultaneous accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Paul Burke
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 01:56 AM

A (German?) sailor playing the concertina is mentioned in one of Q's novels- Sam rowing across Troy harbour to stow the "tea" in the hulk in "Troy Town" I think- which would push the association back to 1888.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM

sailortown, a poem written by C Fox Smith,Written early 20 century,has this verse.
I can hear the gulls a cryingand the cheerful noise
of the concertina playing and a singers voice.
Sailortown[wordsC Fox Smith]music Dick Miles.
can beheard on Around the Harbour town, cd
available from website here

http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 06:33 AM

I am with Barry Finn earlier: I can't think of any shanties that wouldn't go well with a fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:01 AM

I think Paddy Doyle's Boots would be a bit tricky.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:45 AM

Jane-

Just be aware of the history of shantying and fiddling, and then decide what you want to do.

Forebitters from Mystic occasionally use a fiddle for some of their sea songs. And I certainly would welcome one on some of the sea songs that my group Roll & Go does.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 08:56 AM

Generally speaking the shorthaul shanties with a single line and response are more suited to unaccompanied singing and are more effective that way. Even contemporary folkscene performances generally reflect this. Whereas the capstan shanties, heaving shanties, tend to have a stirring lengthy chorus much more suited to even elaborate accompaniment, such as Oyster Band's performance of South Australia. It's far too fast for a shanty anyway, but so what!
Here's a list of shanties I accompany on either melodeon or concertina
Drunken Sailor
Liverpool Judies
Leaving of Liverpool
John Kanaka
Shenandoah
A-Roving
New York Gals
Rio
Blow the Man Down

Unaccompanied
Hogs-Eye Man
General Taylor,
Johnny Come down to Hilo
Leave her Johnny
Whiskey
Blow Boys Blow
Long Time Ago
Stormalong
Paddy Doyle
Santy Anna
Poor Old Horse
Ranzo
Alabama
Sally Brown
Sally Racket
Jaul away Joe etc.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 03:19 PM

I've just done the entire Tall ships race in the Baltic armed with a cheap Chinese Fiddle which I'd like to report has stood up very well. It has fiddled the ship (Pegasus) into and out of every port. Has been played at sea. Has done a dozen ships concerts and singarounds and has been used to accompany every shanty and sea song I know. I wouldn't have taken any of my more delicate instruments but this one has held up brilliantly!


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 03:46 PM

De gustibus non disputandum. Most of those you accompany, Steve, are forebitters not shanties. Most of those you don't accomapny, Steve, I think cold be done with fiddle, but if you like 'em without, do 'em without.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,Katedu
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:14 PM

Read "The Concertina At Sea: A History of a Naval Icon" by Dan Worrall. There's a lot of great information in the article about concertinas. However, Worrall did a survey by searching Google's digital books written from 1860-1900 (the heyday of concertinas) for "fiddle," "concertina," and "ship." He concluded:

"By far the most common item on board ship in the late 19th
century was the fiddle/violin, which was recorded in nearly
every instance where there is a concertina on board, and in
many more where it is not. The ranking of the fiddle in the
top spot should prove a surprise to no one who has read
much literature of the sea."

In "Shanties from the Seven Seas" Stan Hugill gives several references showing that fiddles (and fifes) were in fact played at the capstan in the early 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,Katedu
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:25 PM

I meant to add that in Peter Cooke's "The Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles" we hear that "...each Greenland ship used to carry a fiddler, sometimes a Southerner, sometimes a Shetlander, to play to the men while at work to enliven them."


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Howard Jones
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 03:40 AM

I've a vague recollection of hearing Stan Hugill say that the association of sailors with concertinas was largely a myth, and they weren't very common at sea, because they were relatively expensive, didn't stand up to marine conditions very well, and because of their shape were liable to roll about. However Dan Worrall's research seems to contradict this. Of course by the time Stan was at sea the concertina had already begun to decline in popularity.

In his Preface to Shanties of the Seven Seas he describes his father singing sea songs and shanties, accompanying himself on a button-accordion, so there is a historic precedent for using instrumental accompaniment, for entertainment if not in a working context.

Sailors at sea seem to have played every imaginable type of (portable) instrument. The fiddle was certainly prominent among them.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Old Vermin
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 06:06 AM

The story of my wife's paternal grandparents first meeting about 1900 is that she had gone somewhere on Tyneside to take message to one of the men in the family. May have been at Seamen's Mission. There she saw a Norwegian sailor, in his sea-boots, smiling as he played the concertina.

Use of the concertina by seafarers has to be relatively recent. Was it a decade or so after Waterloo that they were developed?


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:17 AM

I'm with Barry Finn. I can't think of any shanties that wouldn't go well with a fiddle.
Here is an imaginary, and probably unlikely, scenario:
(two sailors, one a fiddler with his fiddle, having a little rest on deck)
SAILOR 1(sings, with fiddle) I thought I heard the old man say
Leave her Johnny leave her
SAILOR2 Stop that this instant, don't you know you are not allowed to sing shanties with a fiddle?

Anyway, never mind fiddles. Here is a shanty acompanied by accordion and conga drum, and at the end(do hang on till the last verse) trumpet, clarinet and trombones.
Shallow Brown


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Crane Driver
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:34 AM

The history of the concertina is one of those contentious topics best avoided in detail, but essentially they were developed largely independently in England and Germany around the 1830s. The English (and later Duet) systems were indeed quite expensive, intended primarily for the drawing room, and at sea would most likely have been owned by officers, whereas the German, which became the Anglo-German or just Anglo, was originally a more 'cheap & cheerful' instrument which would be more within the reach of crew members. There were no doubt many exceptions to this.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:59 AM

Fiddlers were even press ganged solely for their musical prowess.A freed slave was heard playing classical music and returned to slavery in the navy!

back to top
Joseph Emidy, Acclaimed Teacher and Performer

Those who made a name for themselves in the world of professional music often came from a background of enslavement. One such musician was captured by the Portuguese from the Guinea coast and sold into slavery in Brazil. Around 1795, 'Josh Emede' (as he is called in the ship's records of the Indefatigable) was forced by the British navy to play reels and jigs for the crew. Later known as Joseph Emidy, he settled in Falmouth, a cosmopolitan community at the time. A classical musician, he earned his living as a music teacher, giving lessons for a variety of instruments, including the piano, violin, cello and flute. Emidy's skills as a teacher and concert musician seem to have been in high demand, as requests for his services appeared in Falmouth and Truro newspapers.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: doc.tom
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:38 AM

Oh dear - In the Short, Sharp Shanty Project, there's Jackie Oates playing fiddle on A-roving, Banks of Sacramento, Mr. Tapscott, Mr. Stormalong, One More Day, Rowler Bowler, Tommy's Gone Away, and Won't You Go My Way (and we haven't finished yet)! We must be being BAD!!!

Seriously though - if renditions have to be authentic then they have to be sung on board and for work - with maybe some passengers for audience. They need to be understood for what they were, and personally I hope that renditions/recordings don't compromise what they are about (there are some recordings about that completely 'lose it'.

Apart from that, there is no reason not to be creative - after all, the shantymen always were within the restrictions of the job the songs were doing.

TomB


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM

I have a lovely version of Allan taylor's Roll On The Day, sung by a Dutch Shanty Choir called Together W. FR. with the late great John Wright as lead singer. It is sung in English. There is a lovely fiddle player on it and it worked so well.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,crowdercref
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM

Yup. Fiddles were traditionally held together with water soluble fish paste glue. Nonetheless, the employment of ships fiddlers was established by the time of Boscawen's French Canadian campaign. Admiral Boscawen wrote to his wife telling that memories of the country dances they had enjoyed together in former years were stirred up by the ship's music of the fiddle, fife, and drum. Based in Portsmouth from 1738, Boscawen had courted Frances Evelyn, of St Clare, Kent. They married in Dec. 1742. Boscawen's letter tells us that the music of his (working class) ship's fiddler in about 1755/6 was similar to the country dances tunes he enjoyed presumably from 1738 onwards. The account affirms that this type of music and dance crossed social and class boundaries. Country dance tunes such as Boscawen's Frolic and the Admiral Boscawen's Hornpipe surely refer to the Admiral's military fame, but may also reflect his affinity to the genre.

Inter alia, a Rowlandson cartoon shows a ships fiddler among sailors celebrating the Battle of the Nile of 1798. The role was extant in 1799 when Joseph Emidy was freed from pressed service as a ships fiddler. A painting in the Royal Cornwall museum shows the Great Eastern laying the transatlantic cable in 1866, with a fiddle player seated on the capstain.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM

Jane - take care with the key you play them in if you hope other people ( other than yourself ) will sing along. Wrong key - you may find they go too high / low for many singers.

2 dead easy ones - I used to play them for a singing morris side to join in - were drunken sailor and whip jamboree - start with a b note but next note is e - and play in e minor. DG melodeons can then also play along. This key seems to work for most singers.
Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Sea shanties for fiddle
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:48 AM

Another thought

finish with a fast hornpipe that makes everyone smile

Sailors or trumpet.


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