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Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM (McFee, Ipcar, Rogers)

Charley Noble 10 Nov 09 - 11:26 AM
Charley Noble 11 Nov 09 - 07:53 AM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 10 - 06:21 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jan 10 - 09:52 AM
Charley Noble 29 Apr 12 - 09:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 11:26 AM

Here's another nautical poem that I've adapted for singing about an old sailor watching his former collier leaving port early one morning. The composer was William McFee who worked his way up on such ships to the position of Chief Engineer in the early years of the 20th century. I think it may be a keeper! The tune is from Make and Break Harbour by Stan Rogers, © 1976 Fogarty Cove Music (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

By William McFee, 1909
From Reflections of Marsyas, by William McFee, © 1933, p. 63
Adapted for singing by Charlie Ipcar 11/7/09
Tune: Make and Break Harbour by Stan Rogers
Key: F (5/C)

High Tide at 4 A.M.


C------------------------------Am------------------F-----------------------G
They've tipped and they've shovelled, they've trimmed and they've stored,
------------F----------------------------G
And she's down to her load-line as ever;
------C-----------------C7-----------------F------------Dm
The bridge is swung round and she's leaving this town,
-------------G----------------------G7
And she's off to the dark o' the river.
------C-----------Am--------------F-----------G
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---F---------------------G--G7
It may be a month or for-ever:
-------C-----------------C7------------F---------------Dm
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.


-------F-----------G----------------C----------Am
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---C---------Am--------F----Dm
It may be a month or for-ev-er:
-------C-----------------Am------------C--------------F
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.



C--------------------Am-----------F---------------G
She's one with the Mill and the Mine and the Mart;
--------F----------------------G
Black coal is her cargo as ever:
-----C-------------C7--------F----------------Am
But sneer as you will, she bears my heart still
-------G--------------------------G7
'Way down in the dark o' the river;
------C------------Am---------F-----------G
So I pray to the Lord in my bed here a-shore
---F--------------------------------G
A fair weather passage please give her,
-------------C-------------C7-------F------------Am
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G--------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!

------F------------G------------C------------Am
So I pray to the Lord in my bed here a-shore
---C-------------Am--------------F-----Dm
A fair weather passage please give her,
--------------C--------------Am-----C------------F
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G---------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!


Here's the original poem as composed by McFee:

By William McFee, 1909
From Songs of the Sea and Sailors' Chanteys, edited by Robert Frothingham, published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Cambridge, US, © 1924, p. 134; first published in The New York Evening Post.

High Tide at 4 A.M.

They've tipped and they've shovelled, they've trimmed and they've stored,
And she's down to her load-line as ever;
The bridge is swung round and the pilot's aboard
And she's off to the dark o' the river.

Farewell to the grime and the dust of the tips,
It may be a month or for ever:
She's watched by the skeleton ghosts on the slips
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.

She is one with the Mill and the Mine and the Mart;
Black coal is her cargo as ever:
You may sneer as you will, but she carries my heart
'Way down in the dark o' the river.

So I pray to the Lord in my bed here ashore
A fair weather passage to give her,
For there's shipmates aboard I may never see more
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 07:53 AM

Damn! Messed up a couple of chords (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

By William McFee, 1909
From Reflections of Marsyas, by William McFee, © 1933, p. 63
Adapted for singing by Charlie Ipcar 11/7/09
Tune: Make and Break Harbour by Stan Rogers
Key: F (5/C)

High Tide at 4 A.M.


C------------------------------Am------------------F-----------------------G
They've tipped and they've shovelled, they've trimmed and they've stored,
------------F----------------------------G
And she's down to her load-line as ever;
------C-----------------C7-----------------F------------Dm
The bridge is swung round and she's leaving this town,
-------------G----------------------G7
And she's off to the dark o' the river.
------C-----------Am--------------F-----------G
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---F---------------------G--G7
It may be a month or for-ever:
-------C-----------------C7------------F---------------Dm
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.


-------F-----------G----------------C----------Am
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---C---------Am--------F----Dm
It may be a month or for-ev-er:
-------C-----------------Am------------C--------------F
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.


C--------------------Am-----------F---------------G
She's one with the Mill and the Mine and the Mart;
--------F----------------------G
Black coal is her cargo as ever:
-----C-------------C7--------F----------------Dm
But sneer as you will, she bears my heart still
-------G--------------------------G7
'Way down in the dark o' the river;
------C------------Am---------F-----------G
So I pray to the Lord in my bed here a-shore
---F--------------------------------G
A fair weather passage please give her,
-------------C-------------C7-------F------------Dm
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G--------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!

------F------------G------------C------------Am
So I pray to the Lord in my bed here a-shore
---C-------------Am--------------F-----Dm
A fair weather passage please give her,
--------------C--------------Am-----C------------F
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G---------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:21 PM

Here's my latest revision of the above and a link to a MP3 file so you can hear how I sing it (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

High Tide at 4 A.M.

C------------------------------Am------------------F-----------------------G
They've tipped and they've shovelled, they've trimmed and they've stowed,
------------F----------------------------G
And she's down to her load-line as ever;
------C-------------------C7---------F---------------Dm
The bridge has swung round and she's outward bound,
-------------G----------------------G7
And she's off to the dark o' the river.
------C-----------Am--------------F-----------G
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---F---------------------G--G7
It may be a month or for-ever:
-------C-----------------C7------------F---------------Dm
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.


-------F-----------G----------------C----------Am
Fare-well to the grime and the dust of the tips,
---C---------Am--------F
It may be a month or for-ev-er:
-------C-----------------Am------------C--------------F
She's watched by the ships and the ghosts on the slips
---------G-----------------------G7---------C
As she ploughs through the dark o' the river.



C--------------------Am-----------F---------------G
She's one with the Mill and the Mine and the Mart;
--------F----------------------G
Black coal is her cargo as ever:
-----C-------------C7--------F----------------Dm
But sneer as you will, she bears my heart still
-------G--------------------------G7
'Way down in the dark o' the river;
------C------------Am------------F-------------G
So I pray to the Lord from my berth here a-shore
---F--------------------------------G
A fair weather passage please give her,
-------------C-------------C7-------F------------Dm
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G--------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!

------F------------G---------------C-------------Am
So I pray to the Lord from my berth here a-shore
---C-------------Am--------------F
A fair weather passage please give her,
--------------C--------------Am-----C------------F
For there's shipmates a-board I may see no more
-------------G---------------------G7-----------C
Till we've passed through the Dark o' the River!


Here's a link to the MP3 file: Click here for lyrics and MP3!

It's nice to be working with a poem composed by a real marine engineer.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:24 PM

Hmmm? There appear to be problems with accessing my website. Maybe it's the storm.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 09:52 AM

The link above to the lyrics and a MP3 sample now work.

Here's a short bio of William McFee:

William McFee was a marine engineer who also was an excellent writer of nautical novels, short stories and poems. He was raised in a sea-faring family near London, trained as a mechanical engineer, and for ten years of his life worked as a marine engineer aboard commercial freighters where much of his early writing was done. In 1924 McFee retired from life at sea to the States where he dedicated the rest of his long life to his literary efforts.

There's a much longer bio on his page at the Oldpoetry Website: Click here for website

And there are some other interesting poems he wrote as well. I especially like the poem, "The Day's Work," from his apprentice days as a boiler engineer.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: High Tide at 4 AM (McFee, Ipcar, Rogers)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Apr 12 - 09:27 PM

Here's an updated MP3 sample of this song as it will appear on my new CD to be released in June, titled Songs from an Old Sea Chest: click here for MP3 sample!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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