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Lyr Add: We Are Coming, Mr. Coaker

Bob the Postman 23 Oct 09 - 12:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 09 - 03:10 PM
Bob the Postman 23 Oct 09 - 03:24 PM
Joe Offer 23 Oct 09 - 03:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 09 - 06:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 09 - 06:38 PM
Bob the Postman 24 Oct 09 - 08:18 AM
Bob the Postman 24 Oct 09 - 08:27 AM
Bob the Postman 24 Oct 09 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Alan Rimmer- Kitchener 21 Jan 11 - 09:25 PM
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Subject: ADD: We Are Coming, Mr. Coaker
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 12:33 PM

This song promotes the Fishermen's Protective Union, a co-operative and political movement active in Newfoundland during the first half of the twentieth century, founded and led by William Ford Coaker. It was sung to the tune of a popular hymn, but which one? The meter is 7.6.7.6.D, so the song fits "Stand up, stand up for Jesus" (tune--Morning Light) and "Greenland's icy mountain" (tune--Greenland), among many others. I think Greenland is a probable choice, given the huge popularity of that hymn, but no 7.6.7.6.D lyrics I've been able to find echo the three-fold repetition of the chorus portion of the FPU song and I think it likely that the outport bard would have gotten the repetition from a hymn template.

I've got a feeler out via e-mail to someone who ought to know, but pending a response from that quarter, do these lyrics suggest a favorite hymn to any Mudcatters?

We Are Coming, Mr. Coaker
(Traditional)
See also: Coaker's Dream (Collected by MacEdward Leach)

We are coming, Mr. Coaker, from the East, West, North and South;
You have called us and we're coming, for to put our foes to rout.
By merchants and by governments, too long we've been misruled;
We're determined now in future, and no longer we'll be fooled.
We'll be brothers all and free men, we'll be brothers all and free men,
We'll be brothers all and free men, and we'll rightify each wrong;
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, we are coming, Mr. Coaker,
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, and we're forty thousand strong.

We are coming, Mr. Coaker, men from Green Bay's rocky shore,
Men who stand the snow-white billows down on stormy Labrador.
We are ready and awaiting, strong and solid, firm and bold,
To be led by you like Moses led the Israelites of old.
We are ready for to sever, we are ready for to sever,
We are ready for to sever, from the merchants' servile throng;
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, we are coming, Mr. Coaker,
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, and we're forty thousand strong.

We are coming, Mr. Coaker, blood of Saxon and of Celt,
You arouse a feeling in us, that before we never felt;
Valiant men from far Placentia, who the angry oceans brave,
They are with you heart and spirit, breasting Cape St. Mary's waves.
They are with the fight for freedom, they are with the fight for freedom,
They are with the fight for freedom, and the Union is their song;
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, we are coming, Mr. Coaker,
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, and we're forty thousand strong.

We're still people, Mr. Coaker, with a spirit strong and true;
We will follow in your footsteps, and we know just what to do.
We'll rebuild the town you dreamed of, and we will not back away;
For we're looking to our future, that began just yesterday.
Will we perish? We'll say NEVER! Will we perish? We'll say NEVER!
Will we perish? We'll say NEVER! Port Union's here to stay;
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, we are coming, Mr. Coaker,
We are coming, Mr. Coaker, and we're forty thousand strong.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song ....####

Contributed by Ms. Edith Samson of the Coaker Foundation at Port Union, NL, through Bob the Postman at the Mudcat Café

Note: Sir William Ford Coaker [1871-1938] was a Newfoundland union leader and politician. Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, he founded the Fishermen's Protective Union (FPU) in Herring Neck, Newfoundland, as well as the town of Port Union. In 1923, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his work with fishermen.

The Sir William Ford Coaker Heritage Foundation Inc. is a not for profit organization which was established in 1995 to preserve and develop Port Union's historic district. Port Union is Canada's only union-built town and was created in 1916 by the Fishermen's Protective Union (FPU) and its first leader, William Ford Coaker. Port Union became the centre of the FPU's business, which included the Fishermen's Union Trading Company, a weekly newspaper called the Fishermen's Advocate, a retail store that served 40 outlets in other communities, a salt-fish plant with electric dryers and many other businesses and amenities.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Newfoundland Lyrics Hymn Tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:10 PM

The name reminds one of "We are coming, Father Abraham," the Civil War song. Set to music by P. S. Gilmore, music at American Memory.

I haven't checked the sheet music, so this may be incorrect.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Newfoundland Lyrics Hymn Tune?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:24 PM

Bingo! Sir, you are a genius, no, more than that, you are Q!!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Newfoundland Lyrics Hymn Tune?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:48 PM

Hi, Bob-
I added the complete lyrics to your post, just so people wouldn't get confused and think they had the whole song. As far as I can see, the song hadn't been posted at Mudcat before.

It's clear that the song is based on "We Are Coming, Father Abraham," but I'm wondering if "Abraham" may be based on an earlier song.

-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: WE ARE COMING SISTER MARY (Henry C Work)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:33 PM

Yes, based on "We Are Coming, Sister Mary," an E. P. Christy minstrel song, by Henry C. Work, c. 1853, first sung at their base theater in NYC.

"Founded on the superstition of a portion of the colored race, that the approach of death is forewarned in "dream song."

We Are Coming Sister Mary
Henry C. Work, c. 1853

One stormy night in winter, when the wind blew cold and wet,
I heard some strains of music, that I never shall forget,
I was sleeping in the cabin, where lived Mary fair and young,
When a light shown in the window, and a band of singers sung.

1 (and refrain)
We are coming sister Mary, we are coming bye and bye,
Be ready sister Mary, for the time is drawing nigh.
We are coming sister Mary, we are coming bye and bye,
Be ready sister Mary, for the time is drawing nigh.

2
I tried to call my Mary, but my tongue would not obey,
When the song so strange had ended and the singers flown away
As I watch'd I heard a rustling, like the rustling of a wing,
And beside my Mary's pillow, very soon I heard them sing.

We are coming sister Mary (repeat of refrain)

3
Then again I called my Mary, but my sorrow was complete
For I found her heart of kindness, had forever ceas'd to beat,
As I now am very lonely, from summer round to spring,
And I oft in midnight slumber, think I hear the same one sing.

Refrain

Sheet Music at American Memory


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Newfoundland Lyrics Hymn Tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:38 PM

First performed at Christy's American opera House, NYC.
Sheet music by Firth, Pond & Co., NYC.
The picture of a young Black woman, on the cover of the sheet music, is attractive; not a stereotype.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WE ARE COMING FATHER ABRAHAM (S Foster)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:18 AM

WE ARE COMING FATHER ABRAHAM, 300,000 MORE
Words: James Sloan Gibbons
Music: Stephen Foster

We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more,
From Mississippi's winding stream and from New England's shore;
We leave our plows and workshops, our wives and children dear,
With hearts too full for utterance, with but a silent tear;
We dare not look behind us, but steadfastly before,
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.

CHORUS:
We are coming, coming our union to restore,
We are coming, Father Abraham, with three hundred thousand more.

If you look across the hilltops that meet the northern sky.
Long moving lines of rising dust your vison may descry;
And now the wind an instant, tears the cloudy veil aside,
And floats aloft our spangled flag in glory and in pride;
And bay'nets in the sunlight gleam, and bands brave music pour,
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.

If you look all up our valleys, where the growing harvests shine,
You may see our sturdy farmer boys fast forming into line;
And children from their mothers knees are pulling at the weeds,
And learning how to reap and sow, against their country's needs;
And a farewell group stands weeping at every cottage door,
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.

You have called us and we're coming, by Richmond's bloody tide,
To lay us down for Freedom's sake, our brother's bones beside;
Or from foul treason's savage group to wrench the murd'rous blade,
And in the face of foreign foes its fragments to parade;
Six hundred thousand loyal men and true have gone before,
We are coming Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.

Random House's 1946 "A Treasury of Stephen Foster" prints the first two verses and chorus. From that edition's notes by John Tasker Howard:
"When this song was published, in 1862, the title-page read: 'Music composed by Stephen C. Foster.' No authorship was given for the words, and Foster may not have known that they were written by James Sloan Gibbons, an Abolitionist writer, who published them soon after Lincoln issued a call for an additional three hundred thousand troops. For many years the verses were widely attributed to William Cullen Bryant, who finally issued a public denial of authorship."

In the thread linked to by Q in his first post above, Masato gives this link to the original sheet music.


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Subject: Chords Add: WE ARE COMING FATHER ABRAHAM (Foster)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:27 AM

We are (C)coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand (G)more,
From Mississippi's (F)winding stream and (G)from New England's (C)shore;
We leave our plows and workshops, our wives and children (G)dear,
With hearts too full for (F)utterance, with (G)but a silent (C)tear;
We (G)dare not look be(C)hind us, but (D)steadfastly be(G)fore,
We are (C)coming, Father (F)Abraham, three (G)hundred thousand (C)more.

CHORUS:
We are (C)coming, (F)coming our (C)union to re(G)store,
We are (C)coming, Father (F)Abraham, with three (G)hundred thousand (C)more.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Newfoundland Lyrics Hymn Tune?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:43 AM

Now that I've properly come to grips with the "Mr. Coaker" song and sung it through a few times, it seems likely to me that the first three verses date from the early days of the Fishermen's Protective Union, circa 1910, but that the fourth verse was added in the 1990s by someone involved in the revitalisation of the town of Port Union. The modern author tells Coaker's shade that the residents STILL are strong-spirited and will REBUILD his town, the future of which BEGAN JUST YESTERDAY, that is, yesterday when the ground-fish moratorium was imposed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: We Are Coming, Mr. Coaker
From: GUEST,Alan Rimmer- Kitchener
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 09:25 PM

Some years ago I tried to chase down the tune to "We're Coming Mr. Coaker and We're 40,000 Strong" and I believe that it is the tune of "The Killgrews' Soiree" that fits. The latter is a traditional and well know Newfie song.


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