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Lyr Add: British Man of War

Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 09 - 02:36 PM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 09 - 02:55 PM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 09 - 03:11 PM
Herga Kitty 20 Sep 09 - 03:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 09 - 04:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 09 - 05:02 PM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 09 - 05:20 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Sep 09 - 05:38 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Sep 09 - 05:53 PM
Herga Kitty 20 Sep 09 - 06:03 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 20 Sep 09 - 06:12 PM
RTim 20 Sep 09 - 06:40 PM
Artful Codger 21 Sep 09 - 03:15 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Sep 09 - 05:08 AM
Gedi 21 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,BBP at work 21 Sep 09 - 09:31 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Sep 09 - 01:05 PM
BB 21 Sep 09 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,GavDav 21 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM
Reinhard 21 Sep 09 - 04:23 PM
Artful Codger 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 09 - 05:39 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: BRITISH MAN OF WAR
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 02:36 PM

^^BRITISH MAN OF WAR
Anon.

It was down in yonder meadow I carelessly did stray,
And I beheld a lady fair with some young sailor gay,
He said my lovely Susan, I soon will leave the shore,
And to cross the briny ocean in a British man of war.
2
Pretty Susan fell to weeping, oh! young sailor she did say,
How can you be so venturesome to throw yourself away,
It's when I am twenty-one I shall receive my store,
Jolly sailor do not venture in a British man of war.
3
O Susan, lovely Susan, the truth to you I will tell,
The British flag insulted is, old England knows it well,
I may be crown'd with laurels so like a jolly tar,
I will face the walls of China in a British man of war.
4
O sailor do not venture for to face the proud Chinese,
For they will prove as treacherous as any Portuguese,
And by the same deadly dagger you may receive a scar,
So its turn your inclinations from a British man of war.
5
Susan, lovely Susan, the time will quickly pass,
So come down to the ferry house and have a parting glass,
My shipmates they are waiting to row me from the shore,
And it's for old England's glory in a British man of war.
6
Then the sailor took his handkerchief and cut it fair in two,
O Susan keep one half for me and I'll do the same by you,
The bullets may surround me and cannons loudly roar,
I will fight for fame and Susan in a British man of war.
7
Then a few more words together when her love let go her hand,
A jovial crew, they launched the boat merrily from the land,
The sailor waved his handkerchief when far away from shore,
Pretty Susan blessed her sailor in a British man of war.

From the period of British expansion and the Opium War, prob. c. 1840.
Firth c.13(250) and other copies, song sheet, Ordoyno, Nottingham, Bodleian Collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 02:55 PM

Sung by Peter Bellamy on his eponymous LP (1975) in a somewhat different version; reissued in the double CD compilation Fair Annie (original FA LP 1979). He also included it in The Maritime English Suite (1982; private issue cassette). Sadly, Reinhard Zierke doesn't provide a transcription of this song in his Bellamy web pages (and I'm too lazy).

From the Peter Bellamy liner notes:
In the early 1840s Britain was engaged in the shameful "Opium Wars" with China and it seems probable that this song dates from that time. This particular version of the seldom-collected piece comes from Walter Pardon' the tune is closely related to that of High Germany.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 03:11 PM

You can find another version, with MIDI, at the GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 03:30 PM

Mick Pearce and I used to sing the version posted by Q.

Kitty


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Susan's Adventures, in a man of war
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 04:34 PM

The song sheets do not indicate a tune for this or British Man of War, so take your choice.
^^
Lyr. Add: Susan's Adventures in a Man of War
"An Answer to the British Man of War." Anon.

1
Young Susan was a blooming maid
So valiant stout and bold,
And when her sailor went on board,
Young Susan we are told,
Put on a jolly sailor's dress
And daubed her hands with tar,
To cross the raging sea,
On board a man of war.
2
Oh, pretty Susan left her home,
and sailed away as far,
She braved the tempest storms & gales
Feared neither wound or scar,
And done her duty manually [manfully?]
On board a man of war.
3
It was in Portsmouth Harbour,
This gallant ship was moored,
And when young Susan shipped,
There were nine hundred then on board.
It was then she was contented,
All bedaubed with pitch and tar,
To be with her sweet William,
On board a man of war.
4
She washed the decks both fore and aft
In winds and tempest cold,
With her hands so soft she went aloft,
Like a jolly sailor bold,
She kept her place, with her pretty face
bedaubed with pitch and tar,
And no one Susan did suspect
On board a man of war.
5
When in the Bay of Biscay
she off like lightning flew.
Respected by her officers,
and all the jovial crew,
In battle she would boldly run;
Fearing neither wound or scar,
And done her duty by a gun,
On board a man of war.
6
She faced the walls of China,
where her life was not insured,
But little did young William think,
His Susan was on board,
By a cannon ball from the batteries,
she could receive a scar,
And she got slightly wounded,
On board a man of war.
7
When on the deck young Susan fell,
Of all the whole ships crew,
Her William was the very first,
To her assistance flew.
She said, my jolly sailor,
I've for you received a scar,
behold your faithful Susan bold,
On board a man of war.
8
Then William on his Susan gazed,
with wonder and surprise,
He stood some moments motionless,
while tears rolled from his eyes,
He cried instead of you
I had received that scar,
Oh! love, why did you venture,
On board of a man of war.
9
They often think upon the day
when she received a scar,
And Susan followed her true love,
On board a man of war,
At length to England they returned,
And quickly married were,
The bells did ring and they did sing,
And banished every care.

Not the only song where the maid followed her sailor on board.

Paul, printer, London. Firth c.12(240), Bodleian Collection. Other sheets vary slightly.

Opium War, 1839-1842, aimed at opening China to the British East India Company and the use of opium. Hong Kong was ceded to the British.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 05:02 PM

Verse two of "Susan's Adventures ..." is the chorus on some of the song sheets.

One of the Bodleian sheets, Firth C.12(239), has attached to it two reports of young women serving aboard a man of war.

An Aberdeen woman, who had borne a child to a man pressed into service, had served on several ships before discovery. "She has been relieved from ship's duty and cooks and attends upon the officers. Her sex is cautiously respected by the ship's compant, and her conduct is exemplary, chaste and correct." The Albion, 1807.

"About the beginning of the month of February, 1807, Elizabeth Bowden, a girl 14 years of age, born in Trum, Cornwall, entered on board his Majesty's ship Hazard, Capt. Dilkes, in boy's clothes, and remained on board six weeks before her sex was discovered. During the time the ship was in harbour, she frequently went to the mast-head, to clear the pannant, and after the ship sailed, she was known to have gone up once in the middle of the night, when it was blowing almost a gale of wind; she would go on the topsail-yard, and assist in reefing the sails. Her father and mother being dead,.... Since she made known her sex, the Captain and Officers have paid every attention to her, gave her an apartment to sleep in, and she still remains on board the Hazard as an attendant on the Officers of the ship" ..... Bell's Weekly, 1807.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 05:20 PM

The Bodley has quite a number of copies of BMoW. One of their copies of Susan's answer is dated between 1833 and 1841, so we know BMoW must have been written at least by 1841.

This song could have predated the Opium Wars, considering that bands of well-organized Chinese pirates had long threatened British trade in that region; I doubt colonial minds would have drawn much distinction between Chinese pirates and the Chinese nation in general. But the "British flag is insulted" and "walls of China" lines suggest a more formal confrontation.

BTW, the tune for the Canadian version posted at the GEST site is quite different from the one Bellamy uses; it's in major rather than Aeolian/Dorian, and sprightly, an odd contrast to the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 05:38 PM

The song was collected quite a few times (my copy of the Roud index has 42 entries for it) Sharp, Gardiner, Moeran, Grainger, Williams all collected versions in the UK and Fowke, Peacock and Puckett collected versions in Canada and Brown's NC Folklore has a version. For example, Karpeles' Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs prints 3 tunes and there is a version in The Wanton Seed from Gardiner.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 05:53 PM

In fact I think the version Kitty and I used to sing, which she mentioned above, was the version from the Wanton Seed. Purslow's notes say something along the lines of the tune is a mish-mash of folk phrases!


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 06:03 PM

Yes, tune and text collected from George Blake, St Denys, Southampton, in 1906, when he was 78, and the note says "worth including if only for its tune, which I find rather 'handsome'." Gardiner H.325

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 06:12 PM

In fact he says Incidentally, the tune is again a veritable patchwork of "folk-phrases", which is probably better than my paraphrase as a mish-mash!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: RTim
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 06:40 PM

I have recently recorded it on my latest CD - George Blake's Legacy - available from
Forest Tracks Records.
Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 03:15 AM

Can someone supply an ABC or MIDI from Gardiner?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 05:08 AM

AC - If I get time later today, I'll put it up.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Gedi
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM

I've been searching for my copy of this song for some time and by some strange coincidence it turned up yesterday.

Its an old recording on a cassette of an album by a duo called Leonard & Squire, dating back to the mid '70's I should think. They are pretty good with some decent fiddle and mandolin playing, and the song has been updated somewhat with the addition of a verse at the beginning telling of the boredom of a young lad in class who opens his songbook of old songs and comes across this tale of sailors and Men 'O War. It then launches into the song proper. All in all its well done although of course not strictly authentic.

Ged


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: GUEST,BBP at work
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 09:31 AM

Hipflask Andy does a fine, rousing version with his acoustic band. He has also recorded it on his CD "Names" with Anne Brivonese on fiddle (playing a very catchy little Chinese-style phrase).

Recommended.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM

Here's the tune from The Wanton Seed, collected by Gardiner. I've also included the three tunes from Sharp.. ed Karpeles.

Mick



X: 1
T:In A British O' War
M:4/4
L:1/4
B:The Wanton Seed, ed Purslow
S:Collected by Gardiner from George Blake, St.Denys, Southampton, Hants. June 1906
N:The chords are as in Purslow
K:F
C/>C/|"F"F A "C7"(G/A/)(B/G/)|"F"F2 C A,|C F "C7"(E/F/) G|"F"F3
w:It was down in yon_der_ mead-ows I care-less-ly did stray;
A|A G A B|c c F c|"Bb"B (A/G/) (F/E/) F|"C"G3
w:There I be-held a la-dy fair with some young_ sail_or gay.
G|"F"A F A B|c2 F c|"C7"(B/A/) G "F"F C|"Bb"B3
w:He said, "My love-ly Sus-an I soon_ must leave the shore,
d|"F"c> A "C7"B G|"F"F C A, C|F F "C7"(E/F/) G|"F"F3|]
w:To cross the brin-y oc-ean in a Brit-ish man_ of war."

X: 2
T:British O' War
M:4/4
L:1/4
B:Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, ed Karpeles #136A
S:Collected by Sharp from William Lawrence, Ely, Cambs, 8 Sept 1911
N:Key signature as in Karpeles
K:Dmix
A|G F D D|G A2 (E/F/)|G F D ^C|D3
w:As I walked down yon mea-dow I_ care-less-ly did stray,
D|F G A A|d B G A|B B c B|A3
w:There I be-held a la-dy fair With some young sail-or gay.
D|F G A A|(d B) G A|B d c B|A2
w:He said: My love-ly Su_san, I soon must leave the shore
G E|D D E F|G2 A E/F/|G F D ^C|D3|]
w:For to fight for Eng-land's glo-ry in a Brit-ish man of war.

X: 3
T:British O' War
M:4/4
L:1/4
B:Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, ed Karpeles #136B
S:Collected by Sharp from John Dingle, Lew Trenchard, Devon, 12 Aug 1904
K:D
A|d d c d|B2 F G/G/|A A G E|D3
w:'Twas down in yon-der mea-dow Where I care-less-ly did stray,
D|E E E F|G G F A|d d e c|d3
w:There I be-held a la-dy fair With some young sail-or gay.
(d/e/)|f f d B|d2 A (F/G/)|A A G E|D3
w:He_ said: My love-ly Su-san, I_ soon must leave this shore
D/D/|E E E F|G2 F A/A/|d d e c| d3
w:And a-cross the bri-ny o-cean in a Brit-ish man o' war,
d/e/|f f d B|d2 A F/G/|A A (G/F/) E|D3|]
w:And a-cross the bri-ny o-cean in a Brit-ish man_ o' war.

X: 4
T:British O' War
M:4/4
L:1/4
B:Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, ed Karpeles #136C
S:Collected by Sharp from Henry Larcombe, Haslebury Plucknett, Somerset, 23 Aug 1905
K:D
d|B A (F/E/) D|(G> A) B G|(A F) E F|D3
w:'Twas down in yon_der mea_dows I scarce_ly did stray,
G|F> E D E|F G A A|d d c B|A3
w:There I be-held a la-dy fair With some young sail-or gay.
(A/B/)|G E D E|(F G) A A|d B c A|d3
w:He_ said: My love-ly Su_san, I soon must leave the shore,
B/A/|A F (E/D/) D|(G A) B A/B/|A F F E|D3|]
w:And to cross the bri_ny o_cean in a Brit-ish man o' war.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 01:05 PM

I should have added that you can see the original that Gardiner collected on the EFDSS site now: Take Six Search, although you'll need to search for Reference number 325 or Lovely Susan to find it. He also collected another version of British Man Of War (one other is also available). There are also versions under Man O' War.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: BB
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:48 PM

Tom and I do a version, which is more like the 'Answer to a British Man o' War' posted above, which I'd had in my repertoire at various times since the '60s, but I can't remember where on earth I found it originally.

I have to say, that Susan appeals to me a lot more than the one left weeping on the shore!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: GUEST,GavDav
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 03:28 PM

I think the Peter Bellamy version comes directly from the singing of Walter Pardon, and is available on the compilation "world without horses"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Reinhard
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 04:23 PM

Artful Codger, I have been un-lazy and added both Walter Pardon's and Peter Bellamy's version of The British Man of War to my website. When I have some spare time I will add other songs of Peter Bellamy, but I get easily distracted by other stuff to do—currently I'm spending lots of effort on an illustrated Topic Records discography.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM

Thanks, Mick and Reinhard!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: British Man of War
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 05:39 PM

Peter Bellamy got 'British Man of War' from Walter Pardon. I'm sure those who were familiar with Walter knew that he was persuaded to put his family's songs onto tape by his nephew Roger - the tape was then passed on to Bill Leader via Peter Bellamy.
One of those first songs he recorded was B.M.O.W.
Here is the story of Walter recording himself for the first time.
Jim Carroll

"Anyhow, I set it up once and plugged in, I tell you, that was a good job; I was right nervous doing it.
I thought myself, I used to think I could manage to sing the old 'Rambling Blade'; I put it on and it sound so blooming horrible I wiped it right out, oh, that did sound dreadful; I don't think that was as bad perhaps as I thought it was, but that was a long while, I trying different things until, you know, I thought that was better as I kept hearing it, you see.
And I know that was about October, 1972 when I started it; Oh, I don't know, it took about up to Christmas time to fill one side; I used to forget there was verses in the songs, you see, I used to keep wiping it out and putting them on again. That took a long time to get them up into the pitch I could sing them in, not having sung the things.
Well I got one side done somewhere from the October up to the Christmas1972 this was. And I know when it come over to the following New Year I was in here one Saturday night and that was bitterly cold; oh, that was a wind frost, wind coming everywhere. I was that cold I had a big fire going one side and that little stove the other.
So I thought then I'd do some more taping. Anyhow, so I got warmed up, I had a strong dose of rum and milk, and I had another one. And so I got the tape recorder going, I can remember well enough; that was Caroline And Her Young Sailor, and when I finished it was the best I ever did do.
Well, I found out I drank more than I should, I had to keep right still. Well, I switched it off; that was true, in fact I was drunk, and then of course I went to bed, I never did have any more, and the next morning when I got up and tried it I knew I was, how that was coming out with all then words all slurred, so I wiped it all out.
Well I found then as I kept going, that it wouldn't pay to drink anything.
Anyhow, eventually that was filled up in the March, that was March 1973."


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