Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)

Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 11:25 AM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 11:36 AM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 04:23 PM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 04:43 PM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 06:59 PM
Franz S. 24 Nov 09 - 08:23 PM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM
Rowan 24 Nov 09 - 10:26 PM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 09:46 AM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 01:46 PM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 02:15 PM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 05:16 PM
Charley Noble 25 Nov 09 - 09:18 PM
Charley Noble 26 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM
Artful Codger 27 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM
Charley Noble 27 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM
Charley Noble 27 Nov 09 - 12:05 PM
Charley Noble 27 Nov 09 - 04:28 PM
Charley Noble 28 Nov 09 - 11:43 AM
Charley Noble 29 Nov 09 - 10:41 AM
Stewie 29 Nov 09 - 07:28 PM
Charley Noble 29 Nov 09 - 08:20 PM
GUEST 29 Nov 09 - 09:39 PM
Stewie 29 Nov 09 - 09:43 PM
Charley Noble 29 Nov 09 - 09:49 PM
Stewie 30 Nov 09 - 01:17 AM
Charley Noble 30 Nov 09 - 07:56 AM
Charley Noble 30 Nov 09 - 02:16 PM
Charley Noble 01 Dec 09 - 03:02 PM
Charley Noble 15 Dec 09 - 10:43 AM
Charley Noble 01 Jan 10 - 04:16 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 10 - 04:06 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 10 - 04:33 PM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 10 - 08:48 PM
Charley Noble 14 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM
Charley Noble 16 Mar 10 - 11:17 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: LYR Add: Sailor-Man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:25 AM

I first ran across a reference to this old sailor-poet in John Masefield's A SAILOR'S GARLAND (although he referred to him as "A. F. Brady"), p. xxi. Brady was based for much of his life in Australia and was a contemporary and good friend of the poet Henry Lawson. Brady had an early love for all things nautical as a boy which continued throughout his life. However, he never actually worked as crew on commercial sailing ships. He did work as a time-keeper on the Sydney docks which put him in close contact with the stevedores and sailors. He later worked as a journalist, editing several socialist newspapers. I'll be posting what I consider some of his more interesting nautical poems here. Other poems by Brady may be reviewed at the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website!

Many of his poems could be adapted for singing, I'm sure.

The first poem is a splendid diatribe by an old shellback about landlubbers leading songs about the sea in the music halls ashore:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 28-34.


SAILOR-MAN

'ARF a pint for me, old party -- thank'ee, mister -- 'ere's yer 'ealth --
'Opes y'll live to be a nundred; 'opes yer luck'll bring y'u wealth;
Mine ain't bin as good as might be -- never knowed a syler yet,
When 'is days o' leave was over, as could even go a wet.
Ship's yer 'ouse and 'ome an' country; 'tween 'er ports 'tis graft and go;
Ain't no chanst o' findin' nuggets, ain't no chanst to save, ye know;
Come ashore red 'ot an' thusty,
Sick o' sea, an salt, an' rusty,
Cheque is bust on beer an' wimmen -- ship again, an' cuss an' go
Junk an' biskit,
'Loft an' risk it --
Oh, it's grand to sail the "hoshun"--
"Yah, merrily me lads, yo ho!"

'Oly Smoke! They gives a concert in the Seamen's 'All, one night,
An' I goes an' takes a lydy -- real lydy -- square an' strite!
'Ears a joker rise a chanty 'bout the bloomin' "Hoshun Wyve,"
'Ears a gal a-singin' mournful of the "Lonely Syler's Gryve;"
Then a bloke comes up an' tells 'em of a "Little Midshipmite,"
Which for Queen and Hingland's 'oner shed 'is gore an' won the fight.
Looks at Poll, an' finds 'er cryin',
When that bloomin' kid is dyin',
In a sad an' tragic manner, in "the middle watch at night" --
Drivel, drivel,
Sobs an' snivel,
Gals with pocket-wipes a-weepin', woman faintin' on the right.

"Cheese it, mate!" I sez, "it's orful," reachin' for me bloomin' 'at;
"Life upon the bloomin' hoshun ain't a blessed bit like that!"
"'Ush! "sez Poll, "the folks'll 'ear yer," an' she snivels an' she jaws
'Coz I would n't clap for "Anchor" or weigh in with the'r applause.
W'en I ups an' tells that joker as 'ad come aloft to sing
That he didn't know 'is business -- w'y, they 'owled like anything!
An' me bloomin' 'at got busted,
An' I left the 'all disgusted;
Poll, she swore she would n't 'ave me, an' she gev me back me ring --
Gin an' sorrer --
Ships to-morrer,
Leaves the blarsted port a-cussin' like "a sea-burd on the wing."

An' they tells me that them jokers gets as much as twenty quid
For a song like that ere ditty of the dyin' sailor kid!
Now, I never knowed a 'prentice as was given to expire
Like a sang-win-airy 'ero w'en 'is bloomin' ship took fire;
But I've known 'em play the devil with the morals of a crew;
I could also tell a story of the sinful things they do --
'Ow they chaws an' spits terbakker,
'Ow they does the dirty yakker;
'Ow they washes decks o' mornin's on the "boosom o' the blue;"
'Ow they damns 'er and they blarsts 'er,
An' 'er owner an' 'er master,
With the wind a-makin' music an' the bo's'n pipin' through.

No, 'e'd never been a 'prentice, 'ad the cove who did the song,
Or 'e would n't try to come it quite so (sang-win-airy) strong;
'E 'ad never 'ad the pleasure of a trip from Puget Sound
With a gory lumber cargo, an' a chanst o' gettin' drowned,
'E 'ad never sailed, I'm thinkin' -- or 'e'd cuss that 'e was born --
With a (sang-win-airy) Scotchman round the (sang-win-airy) Horn,
With a slop-made suit o' close on
An' 'is fingers stiff and frozen,
With the ice upon the gaskets an' her canvas ripped and torn.
If 'e'd 'ad to shorten sail
In a good Antarctic gale,
'E'd a-sung another ditty of "A Syler's Life Forlorn."

'E'd a-sung a diff'rent ditty if 'e'd 'ad to tackle junk
In the harness-tub a-churnin' in the tropics till she stunk;
If 'e'd 'ad to pick the weevils from the biskit an' be glad
That it wa' n't to pick the biskit from the weevils that 'e 'ad;
'E'd a-told a touchin' story of a cove as died on land
With a fig o' black terbaccer or a whisky in 'is 'and.
For, concernin' graft an' vittles,
'T ain't exsactly beer and skittles
With the able-bodied joker on the "mighty hoshun grand" --
On the "deep an' vasty hoshun,"
With its cargo of emoshun,
An' its "martyrs" servin' for'ard an' its "'eroes" in command.

'Oly Smoke! I meets the skipper of a bloomin' church one day,
An' sez he, "My syler-brother, do y' ever kneel an' pray?
W'en the tempest's ragin' round y' -- "'ere 'e drops 'is bloomin' breath,
An' 'is voice gets deep an' sollum -- "do y' ever think o' death?"
"Garn!" sez I, "you ain't bin sailin' in a gory gale," sez I,
"Or," sez I, "you would n't ast me such a foolish question: w'y,
It's pipe 'em up like monkeys,
If the Old Man is n't drunk, 'e's
On the poop a-cussin' dreadful and a-damnin' low an' 'igh;"
"Pull away, ye sons o' thunder!" --
Divin' in and decks 'alf under --
"Send all 'ands aloft an' ease 'er" -- "Pass the order on!" . . . "Aye, aye."

Then that parson-cove 'e tells me 'ow a cove as fell from grace
Would 'ave lots o' 'eat an' torment in the other (crimson) place;
'Ow the Christyun bloke was sailin' on the stormy sea o' life,
An' 'e ought to feel right thankful for 'is sorrers an' 'is strife;
'Ow the likker was Ole Satan, an' the t'other kinds o' sin
Kept a feller out of 'Eving w'en 'e wanted to get in.
So I see 'is good intention,
An I did n't want to mention
That I'd like to back "Temptation" an' the "vile a-cussed gin,"
An' be certain sure to win it,
For a "Christyun soul" ain't in it
With one night ashore in fifty an' a little bit o' tin.

'Arf-a-pint again, an' thankee! ...'Ere's good luck to you an' me!
May y'u never 'ave to yakker as a qualified A. B.
May y'u never be a syler of the mercantile marine,
Or y'u'll always be a syler, an' y'u'll never 'ave a bean.
Oh, yer Jack the king of all, sir, 'fore yer bloomin' stuff is spent;
Yer a drunken syler feller w'en 'er sails is bein' bent;
But it's round the world a-goin,
With the ebbin' an' the flowin',
An' y'u needn't fear the bailiff, an' y'u need n't pay no rent;
There's a month or two at sea,
Then a rattlin', roarin' spree . . .
An' I dunno if I left it that I'd ever be content!

Notes:

"Dirty Yakker" is slang for "the hard work"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: LYR Add: Laying on the Screw
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:36 AM

Lovely dialect!

Here's another one from the perspective of a stevedore screwing bales of wool into a ship's hold:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 40-44.

Laying On The Screw


YOU can dunnage casks o' tallow; you can handle hides an' horn;
You can carry frozen mutton; you can lumber sacks o' corn;
But the queerest kind o' cargo that you've got to haul an' pull
Is Australia's "staple product" -- is her God-abandoned wool.
For it's greasy an' it's stinkin', an' them awkward, ugly bales
Must be jammed as close as herrings in a ship afore she sails.

So you yakker, yakker, yakker,
For the drop o' beer an' bacca,
For to earn your bloomin' clobber an' the bit o' tuck you eat,
When you're layin' on the screw,
With the boss a-cursin' you,
An' the sweat runs like a river, an' you're chokin' with the heat.


See "there's someone got to do it," as I've often heard 'em say,
But it means a lot o' graftin' for a very little pay,
An' I ain't a bit "contented with my bloomin' earthly lot,"
An' I'd take an easy billet -- oh, I'd jump it on the spot.
For it's greasy an' it's stinkin', an' I'm getting pretty full
Of this everlastin' sweatin' over blarsted bales o' wool.

An' they stow 'em close together,
An' they never ask you whether
There is room enough to stand in, or a blessed breath o' air --
When you're layin' on the screw,
When you're haulin' on the screw,
And the skipper starts performin' and the boss begins to swear.


With the trollies all unloadin', an' the press upon the go,
You can bet they keep us at it like the devil down below.
You can take your affidavy that the foreman at the hatch,
When the tally clerk is busy, makes the talent toe the scratch.
When the double dumps are comin', an' the winch begins to grind,
They will raise a chanty forrard of the stevedorin' kind:

''I'm goin' down to Tennessee,
Oh, take my love and come with me;"
Or, it's "Cheer up, Mrs. Riley," or "Blow, my Bully Boys, Blow" --
When you're layin' on the screw,
When you're haulin' on the screw,
In the fluffy, dirty darkness of them anchored hells below.


Oh! they say that Labour's noble; but I'd rather be a toff,
An' I'd wear a double-breaster, an' I'd never take it off.
I can do me pint o' tangle, an' a pipe afore the bar,
But I wouldn't sniff at sherry an' a bloomin' fine cigar.
Costs me just a sprat for dinner -- meat an' tea an' spuds for that;
I'd prefer a taste o' turkey, nicely browned, O Lord! an' fat!

For it's twist the screw and turn it,
And the bit you get you earn it;
You can take the tip from me, sir, that it's anything but play --
When you're layin' on the screw,
When you're draggin' on the screw,
In the summer, under hatches, in the middle o' the day.


If Australia's "staple product" is her glory, an' her pride,
An' "the makin' of her future," an' a lot o' things beside,
Then I reckon I'm assistin' for to build the nation up,
When I'm graftin' on the product for me bloomin' bite and sup.
An' I'd strike for 'igher wages if I thought I 'ad a show;
I would down me hook this minnit, an' I'd up the hatch an' go.

But there's plenty of 'em prayin'
For a chance to graft, an' sayin'
That the times is somethin' dreadful; an' they stand a-lookin' on --
When you're layin' on the screw,
When you're toilin' on the screw,
An' they'd jump the job an' keep it soon as ever you was gone.


So it's "re-a-ri-a-rally," an' another tier o' bales
For the glory of the empire, an' the good of New South Wales;
But they're stinkin' an' they're heavy, an' they're awkward for to lift,
An' the place you've got to stow 'em -- w'y, there isn't room to shift.
But you're "broadenin' out the channels of our great an' growin' trade,"
An' you're "helpin' make our progress" though it isn't yours when made.

So it's yakker, yakker, yakker,
For the drop o' beer an' bacca,
For the little bit o' silver that you spend in meat and bread,
When you're layin' on the screw,
When you're haulin' on the screw,
Till yer blessed 'eart is broken an' yer faith an' 'ope is dead.


Notes:

It's seldom that one get such a good description of how such work was done, the screwing of the wool bales into the ship's hold.

This would certainly work as a recitation but one might also work up a singing version using the traditional Australian bush tune "Wallaby Stew," sorting out what to do with the extra lines.

"Yakker" is slang for "work"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: LYR Add: Yankee Packet
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 04:23 PM

Here's another one that I like, somewhat modeled after the traditional shanty "Congo River":

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 86-90.

Yankee Packet

YANKEE packet's down the water --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Third mate loved the skipper's daughter --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Fill her up and let her go --
Wey-hey-ho! Wey-hey-ho!
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

How'd you know 'twas a Yankee packet?
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Know'd her by the awful racket --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Wey-hey-ho, the cook was jealous,
Spiled the soup and bust his bellus --
Blow, my bully boys, blow!

Once she did a bit o' tradin' --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Third mate killed the cook at Aden --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Fill her up an' let her go,
Down with coal to Callao --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Go she must, or go to blazes --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Shout the good old packet's praises --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Lively Loo from Boston sailing,
All the girls were left bewailing
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Lively Loo she took my fancy --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
So I shipped with Captain Clancy --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Wind abaft a lively breeze --
Sailed away to China seas --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Sad we left our loves behind us --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
To be true they long enjoined us --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
But we found in foreign places
Welcome smiles on fairer faces --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Oh! our skipper was a daisy --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Drove the whole fo'castle crazy --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
So we left him ruck and rumbo
In the harbour of Colombo --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Lively Loo was heard no more on --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Went one night a dark lee shore on --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Sharks, they ate the old man's nose off,
Bit his ears and then his toes off --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

'Longshore lasses came to greet us --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Bumboat men were glad to meet us
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Sold our togs to buy bad liquor,
Pawned my pants and popped the ticker --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Got another ship to sail in --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Went to Arctic Ocean whalin',
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Struck a 'berg one night and sunk it,
Freezin' cold, but couldn't funk it --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Saw a right whale busy spoutin' --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
"There she blows!" the look-out shoutin' --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
'Lower away!" and off we goes, mate.
Sticks a harpoon in her nose, mate --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Off she goes and us behind her --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Got a calf, but never mind her --
Blow, my bully boys, blow:
Down she dives, our lances shunning --
Keeps the harpoon-reel a-running,
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Up she comes, and right beside us --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Goes about; now woe betide us!
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Turned her tail gee-whoop! and thrashed us,
Into fifty pieces smashed us --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Missed the coxswain as we wallowed --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Angry whale poor chap had swallowed --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Second boat, she saw her spout then,
Killed the whale and cut him out, men --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Yankee packet's down the river --
Blow, my bully boys, blow;
Fifteen hundred bales to give her --
Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Wey-hey-ho! Wey-hey-ho!
Fill her up and let her go --
Blow, blow, my bully boys, blow!

Got to love 'em sharks!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: LYR Add: Which His Weakness Is Women
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 04:43 PM

Here's another one which mulls over the relationship between a sailor and the women he meets:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1909, pp. 136-138.

Which His Weakness Is Women

WHEN first I met Dolores
I swore -- a 'prentice kid --
'Er Spanish eyes was glories:
Gord 'elp me! So I did.
But that was Valparaiso,
Before 1 got to know --
Yes, that was Valparaiso,
An' very long ago.

Which 'is weakness is women;
Oh, let us confess
It might 'ave been greater,
'T would hardly be less.
Two sins what 'e'll boast of
In 'Ell, we opine,
Two sins what 'e'll roast of --
That's women an' wine.


She sipped aguardiente,
An' she was hot as flame:
I loved 'er good an' plenty --
She swore she did the same;
She vowed in West Coast lingo,
"Por dios! luf I you,"
An' left me for a gringo
With pesos for to blue.

Since which I've crossed the waters,
To spend my cash an' leave
A-courtin' of the daughters
Of good ole Mother Eve;
Since which I've fooled with women,
With women white an' brown,
With Dagoes an' she-devils
From 'Amburg to Cape Town.

I might 'ave saved my money --
God knows how hard 'twas won --
But this is certain, sonny,
A chap will 'ave 'is fun.
There's not a man that's human --
An' men ain't stone nor wood --
Who, when it comes to woman,
As would n't if he could.

If I could 'arp like David,
As always 'arped in tune,
My chanty it would echo
From Rio to Rangoon,
An' places intervenin'
Some answer it might find,
For every port I've been in
I've left my love be'ind!

Which 'is weakness is women --
Oh, let us confess
It might have been greater,
'T would hardly be less,
For out of each 'undred
There's ninety an' nine
Is damned and condemned for
Said women -- an' wine.


Notes:

"With pesos for to blue."

Evidently before folks painted the town "red" they painted it "blue."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 06:59 PM

And a gripping yarn of a gale at sea:

By Edwin J. Brady, 1930

The Sea

It came upon us sudden; six solid hours it blew
As if a thousand devils had gallivanted through
The portholes of Perdition; in all me years of sail
I never seen such damage nor met with such a gale.

Although I'd been in tea ships an' come through one cyclone,
I'd say it was the father of all the winds that's blown
Behind the Flyin' Dutchman; an uncle to the breeze
That drove the men to murder when Jonah sailed the seas.

Of anything unbolted it never left a trace..
It caught the bos'n's whiskers and tore 'em off 'is face;
It blew a blinkin' birthmark from off the bosn's mate;
An' flattened out the anchor an' pulled the ringbolts straight.

Waal, fust we lost the foresail… an' it 'ad just been bent..
An' the 'er upper tops'l to Helen Glory went.
'Er decks were full of water, which poured in briny streams
From bowsprit-heel to starn-post 'an opened up 'er seams.

Then over goes the pigsty, an' no one chucked the pig
A lifebelt as 'e left us; for in that whirlygig
Of rippin' cloth and timber we had no time to save
The Old Man's near relation from 'is appointed grave.

Next all the blinkin' lifeboats were smashed to smithereens
Which left no pleasant prospects by any sort of means
Before a Christian sailor with knowledge facin' him
Of nothing in the locker and forty miles to swim.

An' then the old tarpaulin upon the main 'atch tore,
An' then the cargo shifted. But what 'ad 'urt us more
Was losin' of our cuddy, in which the cook had been
Preparin' of our breakfast last time that 'e was seen.

In thirty-nine south latitude, east sixty-six degrees
A-floatin' on his galley, the Bible on 'is knees
We found the cook at midday; which time the gale had passed
An' let us rig a stunsail upon a jury mast.

Aye, whole an' hale we found 'im an' praisin' of the Lord
We got a lifeline round 'im and 'auled 'im safe aboard;
An' while we manned the windlass to pump 'er partly dry.
That cook found pork an' biscuits to make a Sunday pie.

She 'ad a list to the larboard would make your hair turn grey
But like a log we rolled 'er at last to Table Bay;
In all me years of travel, in all me years of sail,
I never seen such damage or weathered such a gale.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Franz S.
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:23 PM

Nice. Now I (who have never been to sea) know what it's like from a friend (who has never been a working seaman) according to a writer (who probably wasn't a working seaman) to be a working seaman in the days of sail (who never wrote a poem about it). But it's fun stuff to read.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:29 PM

Franz-

Yes, that about sums it up!

I've alerted my Sydney friends downunder about this thread and maybe some of them will chime in.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Rowan
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 10:26 PM

And there's also (which I have understood to be a recitation)

The Blazing Star
E J Brady

Blazin' Star, from Boston City – Yankee goods and kerosene;
Foreign crew and cook and master; stout, old-fashioned brigantine.
Hamburg-built and rigged and coppered before the flying days of steam;
Square in bows and stern, and steady; well-set spars and broad o' beam.

Rolled across the rough Atlantic, round the Cape and round the Horn,
Been a famous ocean trader before the younger age was born.
Carried corn and carried sugar, carried cotton, carried tea;
Sailed in every kind of water, weathered storm and wind and sea.

Been to Behring Straits a-whaling, been for rice to Singapore.
Been to north and south, and round it, but she's never been ashore.
See 'er manifest, m' hearties, piles and piles o' hardware stock,
Case and crate and box and package – ram her, jam her chock-a-block.

So you'll get them shore-lines ready, now they've run 'er numbers out,
And the man who isn't willing, he can face to right-about.
For the agent's got to send 'er down to Callao with shale,
And we'll empty and we'll fill 'er in a fortnight – and she'll sail.

Heave away, you damn Dutch devils! And we'll heave away ashore.
She 'as lost a bit of canvas and 'er planks is weather-wore.
Ease 'er 'ed and round 'er gently! Put the fenders out, I say!
Pass that line a trifle for'ard; let 'er 'ave a bit o' way!

By the livin' ghost, M'Ginnis, if I 'ave to talk to you! …
Steady, steady! All together! 'Nother turn – there, that'll do!
Round the Horn and none the worse, sir; crew and captain safe and sound,
Bar a Swede – there's plenty of 'em – he went overboard and drowned.

Bless my soul! There ain't a vessel hardly ever comes to port,
Be the passage what it may be, but the list is someone short.
Someone slips from shrouds or mainyard; block 'its someone on the 'ed –
What the devil does it matter, 'long as someone's safely dead?

Got yer tackle right and ready! Strip ye lazy sinners, strip!
Blazin' Star's my boat I reckon. I'm the boss of this 'ere ship.
I'm the foreman, don't forget it! And begawd I'll let ye know
Who is who and over hatches when the winch begins to go.

North and south and round about it, sail 'er near and sail 'er far.
Any flag you send 'er under, she'll come back the Blazin' Star.
East and west, and let 'er 'ave it; give 'er all the sail she'll take,
Blazin' Star will fetch 'er cargo, or 'er bloomin' back will break.

You should see 'er, washed with waters from 'er bowsprit to 'er starn,
Rise and shake 'erself upon 'em as if she didn't care a darn.
Yes! She's reckoned small and ugly, as they build 'em nowadays,
But she's strong as ever floated from 'er keelson to 'er stays;

Blazin' Star from Boston City! Port to port in ninety days.
With the sea salt white and sparkling, crusted on 'er water-ways.
Rolled around the North Atlantic, tossed about by day or night,
Weather-wore, mayhap, a trifle, but she's spar and timber tight.

Square o' bows and starn, and steady; she's the proper kind 'o grit.
You should see 'er – clear to royals – dip 'er damn Dutch nose in it.
You should see 'er waller through 'em at the Flyin' Dutchman's speed,
With the winds o' hell behind 'er, on the night they lost the Swede.

God o' Glory! She's a scorcher – mainyard under, decks swept clean –
Blazin' Star ain't built for sinking – good old-fashioned brigantine!


Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 08:11 AM

Rowan-

Good to hear from you as well!

"The Blazing Star" is certainly another fine contribution to this thread, and is also from THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 49-54.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:46 AM

Rowan-

Hmmmm? Several verses are missing from the version of "Blazing Star" that you posted. Here's the rest of the story:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 49-54.

The Blazing Star

BLAZ1N' STAR, from Boston city -- Yankee goods and kerosene;
Foreign crew and cook and master; stout, old-fashioned brigantine.
Hamburg-built and rigged and coppered 'fore the flying days of steam;
Square in bows and starn, and steady; well-set spars and broad o' beam.
Rolled across the rough Atlantic, round the Cape and round the Horn,
Been a famous ocean trader 'fore the younger age was born.
Carried corn and carried sugar, carried cotton, carried tea;
Sailed in every kind of water, weathered storm and wind and sea;
Been to Behring Straits a-whaling, been for rice to Singapore,
Been to North and South, and round it, but she's never been ashore.
See 'er manifest, m' hearties, piles and piles o' hardware stock,
Case and crate and box and package -- ram her, jam her chock-a-block.
So you'll get them shore-lines ready, now they've run 'er numbers out,
And the man that isn't willing he can face to right-about,
For the agent's got to send 'er down to Callao with shale,
And we'll empty and we'll fill 'er in a fortnight -- and she'll sail.

Heave away, you damn Dutch devils! and we'll heave away ashore.
She 'as lost a bit o' canvas, and 'er planks is weather-wore.
Ease 'er 'ed and round her gently! Put the fenders out, I say!
Pass that line a trifle forrard; let 'er 'ave a bit o' way!
By the livin' ghost, M'Ginnis, if I 'ave to talk to you! . . .
Steady, steady! all together! 'Nother turn -- there, that'll do!

Round the Horn, and none the worse, sir; crew and captain safe and sound,
Bar a Swede -- there's plenty of 'em -- he went over-board and drowned.
Bless my soul! there ain't a vessel hardly ever comes to port,
Be the passage what it may be, but the list is someone short.
Someone slips from shrouds or mainyard; block hits someone on the 'ed --
What the devil does it matter 'long as someone's safely dead?
Get yer tackle right and ready! strip, ye lazy sinners, strip!
Blazin' Star's my boat, I reckon. I'm the boss of this yere ship.
I'm the foreman, don't forget it! and begawd I'll let ye know
Who is who and over hatches when the winch begins to go.
Cook 'as got some baked beans doin', bit o' pork to give 'em tone --
Foreign captain, fond o' livin', Blazin' Star's a boat to own.
Damn the duties! lots o' bacca stowed in corners here and there;
Want to get it safe ashore, sir? foreman, e's the man to square.
Customs cove is sharp and surly; won't accept the mate's invite
Down to dinner in the cabin, won't "come back on board to-night."
Friend o' mine, e's got a dingy -- very dark, I guess, at ten --
'Ave the 'bacca ready forrard; see what we can do by then!

Blazin' Star, from Boston city! Break the hatches fore and aft;
'Twill not be the first occasion hatch was broke on this same craft.
Sailed the Star myself in '60 -- that was twenty year before
Women, booze, and seaman's worries made me try my luck ashore,
Sailed the Star with Yankee captain round to New Orleans and back;
Blued a cheque among the French girls, got a touch o' Yaller Jack.
Oh, she 's staunch and stout and steady, and she's got the proper grit;
You should see 'er -- reefed from royals -- dip 'er damn Dutch nose in it!
You should see 'er, washed with waters from 'er bowsprit to 'er starn,
Rise and shake 'erself upon 'em 's if she didn't care a darn.

Pat M'Ginnis, put your coat on! PUT IT ON! you loafing sod!
Thought I wasn't looking, did you? but you can't 'ave me, begawd!
Don't I catch you broaching cargo? When I start to steal a hat,
I won't set about it, sonny, in a clumsy way like that.

Yes! she's reckoned small and ugly, as they build 'em nowadays,
But she's strong as ever floated from 'er keelson to 'er stays;
North and south and round about it, sail 'er near or sail 'er far,
Any flag you send 'er under, she'll come back the Blazin' Star.
East and west, and let 'er 'ave it; give 'er all the sail she'll take,
Blazin' Star will fetch 'er cargo, or 'er bloomin' back will break.

Now, my lads, the Dutchman's waiting -- wants to see 'er on the go
'Fore he comes ashore on business -- "choost for half-an-hour or so."
Gets up town and drinking whisky, treating Sis and Sue and Kate;
"Half-an-hour" will spread till morning -- boozy skipper, boozy mate;
Boozy crew, ashore till midnight; lots of ladies round the town;
Lots of foreign friends to meet 'em; lot o' folks to take 'em down.
What's the odds? The sailor's happy; let him live a week or two;
Junk and biscuit make him moody -- not the tack for me and you!
What's the odds if someone robs him? Let the lady play her game;
Robbed he will be, soon or later, so you see it's all the same.
Hi, there! Yonsen; move yer body! -- I'm the foreman of this ship;
If you don't -- so help me scarlet! -- up the gory hatch you skip!

Blazin' Star from Boston city! port to port in ninety days,
With the sea salt, white and sparkling, crusted on 'er water-ways.
Rolled around the North Atlantic, tossed about by day and night,
Weather-wore, mayhap, a trifle, but she's spar and timber tight,
Square o' bows and starn, and steady; she's the proper kind o' grit;
You should see 'er -- clear to royals -- dip 'er damn Dutch nose in it;
You should see 'er waller through 'em at a Flyin'-Dutchman's speed,
With the winds o' hell behind 'er, on the night they lost the Swede.
God o' Glory! she's a scorcher -- mainyard under, decks swept clean --
Blazin' Star ain't built for sinking -- good old-fashioned brigantine!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 01:46 PM

Here we have a unique nautical poem which pays tribute to a pig.

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 45-48.

The Whaler's Pig

WE shipped him at the Sandwich Isles --
'Fore God, he's mostly nose!
We've fetched him full eight thousand miles
To fatten in the floes.

The Arctic wind may whistle down
The ice-strewn Okhart Sea;
Our "passenger" don't care a darn --
A whaler's pig is he.

The blubber which the brute devours,
Hard fruit of our harpoon,
He merely holds in trust; 'tis ours --
Fresh pork! God send it soon!

Now, when her sloppy deck 's amuck
With stale cetacean spoil,
The glutton wallows in the ruck,
An alderman a-drip with oil.

When from the crow's-nest rings the shout
Clear-echoed. "There she blows!"
"Jeff Davis" lifts his grizzled snout
To let us know he knows.

The white ash -blades drop down and rise;
The royal chase begins;
He watches with his wicked eyes,
And multiplies his sins.

With critic squint he stands betide
The harpooner prepares;
And if the erring steel goes wide
In swinish tongue he swears!
(Great Heavens! how he swears!)

But when we strike her good and fair,
Before the line runs hot,
He'll lift a hoarse hog-cheer out there
With all the strength he's got;

And when he sees the steerer take
The bold boat-header's place,
A gourmand smile will slowly break
Like sunrise round his face.

Around the loggerhead the line
Grows taut as taut may be
Three turns to hang your life and mine
High o'er Eternity!

Who thinks of that? Not I, not you,
Not he who most complains,
When leaping fire the blood swirls through
Our thumping hearts and veins.

'Tis "Fast she is!"... "Now! . . Let her go!
Our college stroke-oar yells ;
This hour is worth a life to know,
'Tis now the savage tells.

They maybe shared (ere progress rose)
Who sired first earls and dukes,
A kindred ecstacy with those
Who dodge a fighter's flukes.

So felt our simian sires who tied
Their sheet-o'-bark canoes
To some grim mosasaur's tough hide,
With only life to lose.

But this Kanaka hog will see
The whetted lance succeed;
Glad epicure, he grunts in glee,
Foreknowledged of his feed.

Thus will his belly teach his tongue
What eloquence it may
(Some noble songs by poets sung
Have been inspired that way).

So will he squeal approval when
Our six-hour fight is done,
And lord it bravely in his pen
O'er quarry chased and won.

So will he join the chanty free
That echoes as she tows
To bring his porcine jubilee
And glad his adipose.

It is not clean nor nice of taste.
This episode of trade,
That lurches with indecent haste
Towards the blubber spade.

Yet still we know that man made sail,
Invented rig on rig,
And God Almighty made the whale
That feeds the whaler's pig.

This sorry beast which might have drowned,
As hogs and humans can,
He also made, so runs the round,
To feed the whaler-man.

The whaler-man will get his "lay,"
The whaler's pig his share --
First whale, then pig, then man. Some day
The worm will make it square!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 02:15 PM

Here's another take on the sailor's Pacific island fantasy:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 24-27.

Down in Honolulu

'TWAS down in Honolulu,
Way off one night afar,
The sea-breeze comin' cooler
Across the coral bar,
When Lulu's eyes were brighter
Than any girl's I knew,
When Lulu's teeth were whiter
Than any coral, too.
Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
My warm Pacific pearl!
My lovely, lively Lulu --
My own Kanaka girl!

I kissed her for her mother,
I gev' her one, two, three;
I squoze her for her brother --
'Twas all the same to me.
The moon went settin', later,
Below the mango trees,
One horn towards the crater,
One pointin' over seas.
Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
I taste them kisses still!
That tropic moon's a-settin'
Beyond the darkened hill!

For, oh! your heart was beatin'!
For, oh! your breath was sweet!
And you was good for eatin'.
If gals was good to eat --
And, oh! your lips were cherry!
And, oh! your teeth was white- -
I've tried in vain to bury
The memory of that night.
Ah! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
I'd give my life, I vow,
To live that starlight over --
I know I loved you, now!

We heard the ripples feelin'
The white edge of the sand,
The good, kind music stealin' --
That Yankee war-ship's band;
I never hear them playin'
That old star-spangled air
But 'neath the trees I 'm layin'.
And you, my girl, are there.
Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
Wherever you may be,
That old "Star-spangled Banner"
Still brings you back to me!

The sea-breeze, perfume-laden.
It rustled through the palms
That night, that night I laid in
Your warm, soft, twining arms.
You swore to love me ever,
I swore to love you true
Forever an' forever --
The way we used to do.
Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
'Twas years and years ago ;
I don't forget it, somehow,
Although I ought, I know.

We heard the Chinkies prattle
Way up in China Town,
We heard the hawse-chains rattle
That let the anchor down,
"Eight bells! " I hear them falling --
The Yankee's bugles blow;
"Eight bells!" the bo's'n's calling --
Dear Love, I've got to go!
Oh! Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
Don't cling so awful tight;
The old man's got his papers,
Good-bye! Ah, no! . . . Good-night!

I feel your arms still clinging --
Oh! what's the use to cry?
It's "Homeward Bound" they're singing --
I'll come back by-and-by.
Eight bells! It's done and over;
While ships still sail the sea,
A sailor man's a rover --
Good-bye, and think of me!
Oh 1 Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
I broke the sailor's vow;
I want to live it over,
I know I loved you, now!

'Twas down in Honolulu,
Way back in other years,
I left you, lovely Lulu,
The starlight and the tears.
But, oh! your face was fairer
Than any face I've met,
And, oh! your charms were rarer
Than any woman's yet.
And, Lulu, Lulu, Lulu,
Wherever you may be,
My brown Kanaka Lulu
Do you remember me?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 05:16 PM

Here's one that provides an excellent description of what went on at the Australian docks when the ships came in to load up with bales of wool:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 79-85.

The Wool Fleet

WE have other tales for telling, we have other songs to sing,
Who have looped the planet's waters in a plait of tarry string;
With a tarry rope a-tether, with the sun, the wind, and weather,
From the muddy banks o' Yarra to the ice-bound Arctic ring.

We have ladled up the oceans in the hollow of a spoon;
We have hailed the iceberg sailing 'neath a grey midwinter moon;
We have been to greet the devil when the water lifted level
And the whirring line made answer to the whiz of the harpoon.

You have seen the gas-lamps glisten on the water where they lie,
With the southern stars far showing through their rigging in the sky.
You have heard the clear bells clanging while the rowdy winch is banging
To the squeaking screw's caresses, to the sobbing of the presses,
When it's "Bully in Our Alley," and "We'll meet You By-and-By."

Have you heard the Night-Wind talking to the Wool Fleet ere the rose
From the blushing face of Morning, like a dream of lovers, goes?
Have you fevered for the lotion of its ever-potent potion,
For the calm of open ocean and the freest breath that blows?

You must see them at the sun-up, with their redd'ning sails aglow,
When the gangs begin to muster and the laden lighters go,
When the night clouds wheel and scatter and their crews commence to chatter
In the polygot palaver of a dozen tongues or so.

They have rallied to the gorging. At the uproar of the feast,
They are swooping South to swallow eighty thousand bales at least,
With an appetite unsated, with a hunger unabated,
For a greedy London market and the markets further East.

Oh, the ragged ewes are bleating on the downs among their lambs,
Where a squatter-man hath mated them with Tassie's choicest rams,
And our shearer men are riding, for there's little time for biding
When the noisy North starts knocking and the silken East salaams.

So it's "Haul upon the bowl'nl" and another clipper in,
With a salt-dried score of sinners who are wasting for their sin;
While the crowd that gathers round her turns to cheer the outward-bounder
That with locks and fleeces freighted, with our staple product weighted,
Slips her slackened hawser gaily in the ramping, rousing din.

Have you hearkened to the Night-Wind that hath drifted over-sea,
Where the dead men lie a-rocking in their deep graves restlessly?
In their weighted hammocks rotten, on the outer ways forgotten,
On the unremembered inner ways these countless dead men be.

And the Night-Wind tells his story of the ghostly ships that sail
By their ghostly helmsmen guided till the dawn-light cometh pale;
Of the sallow arms that beckon, of that drowned Vanderdecken
Who for ancient sin unshriven, still by storm and thunder driven,
In the teeth of tempests horrid sets his course against the gale!

But a sweeter tale for telling hath the Night-Wind as he rides
Of the flaking foam fast-flying from a roving trader's sides,
Of the sunlit waters swelling where the sea-man makes his dwelling
Twixt the parting of the oceans and the meeting of the tides.

There's a drowsy Dutchman over, who will sing his "Wacht am Rhein"
When this Frenchman's finished shouting for "revanche" and further wine:
There's a dainty English clipper, with a dainty, dandy skipper
Who was educated early at Newcastle-on-the-Tyne.

There's a squat, big-bellied Belgian with a fore-hold like a tank;
There's a Swedish barque 'longside him and the other side a Yank;
There's an old New Bedford whaler rubbing noses with a sailer
Of the latest modern fashion and the highest modern rank.

There's a jaunty White Star liner, and her decks are scrubbed and clean,
And her tall white spars are spotless, and her hull is painted green.
Don't you smell the smoky stingo? Ech! ye'll ken the Gaelic lingo
Of the porridge-eating person who was shipped in Aberdeen.

There's a whiff of foreign cooking and a stronger stink of tar,
And the rattle of the chop-sticks and "'e dunno where 'e are."
Oh, it's "Crachious! Vot's der madder?" Oh it's ankles down the ladder,
And a woman laughing softly where the cabin door's ajar.

There's a pretty girl a-flirting with the second engineer;
There's a virgin shy declining skipper Yonson's pottled peer;
And you'll find them gaily tripping in their gew-gaws to the shipping,
"Jah, I lofe you! "Oui, you lof me! No spik Englees moch, my dear."

So you'll grease the whole caboodle, and the piston-rods you'll shine;
So you'll paint em aft and forrard, though they'll blister on the Line;
Oh, you'll clean the whole caboodle to the tune of "Yankee Doodle,"
But you'll sing another ditty at the Horn, oh, skipper mine!

Ye have answered to the message that they flashed along the ooze:
Now the ink it drieth quickly, and there's little time to lose;
'Tis the Philistines' to barter. Take your manifest and charter,
Hence, ye trouser-hitching legion, we have business with the Jews!

Let the Four Winds rise and whisper as ye carry over sea --
Let them speak of drowned dead men, it hath naught to do with ye.
Be it yours to freight our plunder o'er their grey bones rocking under:
Be it yours to freight our plunder o'er the plunder of the sea.

There's another song for singing, there's another tale to tell,
When the rim of Heaven toucheth on the upward rim of Hell:
When they've spliced the stars together with a tarry rope a-tether --
When the dead men all foregather with the sun and wind and weather,
Who have tied the seas together, who have tied them very well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 09:18 PM

When sailors went ashore for a spree, they often were somewhat intoxicated when they returned to their ship. The gangway leading to the ship was sometimes nothing more than a wide plank and many a sailor would fall off and drown in the harbor waters. Thus, a net below the gangway was, indeed, a useful safety measure:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 133-135.

Nets Below The Gangway

FOR the grey-nurse knows the barb-hook
As the codfish kens the line,
And the bull-whale's blood is fountained
Where the dripping lances shine,
And the clumsy turbot wriggles,
And the fatted herrings leap
When the heavy nets come sweeping
From the harvest of the deep.

There are trawls for deep-sea dredging
Where the Grimsby smacksman goes;
There are Lim'riek hooks fine-pointed
That the great red schnapper knows;
There are nets for shallow waters,
Where the brown sand-mullet be;
But the net below the gangway
Is the net for you and me.

So they "shoot" them in the Hudson,
In the Thames and at the Tay;
So they're "cast" in Sydney Harbour
And in San Francisco Bay.
Oh, the net below the gangway,
It is sweeter for our togs
Than the slush about the Bridges
Or around the Isle of Dogs.

So they cast 'em down at Plymouth,
Where the water 's deep and cool;
So they drop 'em round from Melbourne
To the wharves of Liverpool;
And 'tis pleasant to remember,
When we're blind and cannot see,
That the net below the gangway
Is awaiting you and me.

Oh, 'tis better that we gather
In the meshes of the "trawls"
Where a drunken shellback flounders,
Where a swearing man-crab sprawls --
Than the bubbles at the surface,
Than a splashing in the dark,
Than a drag-hooked boozer bloated,
Or a picnic for John Shark.

So ye rowdy, roaring devils,
With your roaring, rowdy song,
Hitch your trousers to your jumpers,
Say "Good-night" and come along
With your vulgar quids a-turning,
With your cutties to the lip,
And a net below the gangway
For to catch ye if ye slip!

Little lambs! the old man loves us,
And he's loath to see us drown
When we've rolled for recreation
With our sweethearts round the town;
For she's grinding on her fenders,
And your head's a rotten spud
That she'd use to paint the wharf-piles
With a streak of brains and blood.

Oh, the owner loves the master.
And the master loves the men,
And we'll take it as we find it
Till we fill 'em up again.
So "Old Ranzo was a tailor,"
And he ran away to sea,
And the net below the gangway
Will be kind to you and me.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 06:12 PM

And here's a nice "homeward bound" poem:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 148-152.

Homeward Bound

WITH tallow casks all dunnaged tight, with tiers on tiers ol bales,
With cargo crammed from hatch to hatch, she 's racing for the sales;
A clipper barque, a model ship, a "flyer" through and through,
O skipper bluff! O skipper brave! I would I went with you!

'Tis turn of tide, 'tis time to sail, the flood is outward flowing;
Another glass, another shake, and then, my lads, for going!
Black eyes 'long shore beam bright farewell, blue eyes with tears grow bonny --
Around the capstan head we go -- "Yo-ho!" and "Whisky Johnny!"

He swings her round -- The Ocean Belle -- in slow and stately way;
Her house-flag flutters main-truck high; she's heading down the bay.
Then as his hawser slacks and strains, whilst wharf-men cheer and shout,
'Midst bo's'n's pipe and captain's curse, the tugboat hauls her out.

'Tis "Good-bye, Sis!" and "Good-bye, Sal!" and "Good-bye, Liz and Polly!"
Good-bye to all the girls ashore, and all a sailor's folly!
Blue Peter flies; the hatches down; our boys have spent their money;
"Stand by, my lads, to ease her lines! Stand by!" -- and "Whisky Johnny!"

Her sails were bent ten days ago; her decks are scrubbed and clean,
Her spars are white as seagull's breast, her hull is painted green,
Her blocks are greased to run with ease, her yards swing easy too --
The time is short, the way is long -- she has her work to do!

The tide has turned, the wind is fair, the joys of land are over --
Whilst ships are made to roll the seas, poor Jack shall be a rover.
So sweethearts dark and sweethearts fair, look blithely sad and bonny,
And wave your handkerchiefs once more -- Heigh, ho! and "Whisky Johnny!"

He's cast his lines; the tug's about -- her master shouts "Good-bye!"
Now some will sulk and some will laugh, but one mayhap will sigh,
As from the ratlines glancing round, a second as she swings,
He sees the land to starboard lie and thinks -- of foolish things!

'Tis homeward bound! 'tis homeward bound! We've done by now with grieving,
For underneath our feet we feel the Old Eternal heaving;
So lend a hand to loosen sail, and dry your eye there, sonny!
The girls ahead are just as fair -- "Wey, ho!" and "Whisky Johnny!"

Oh, when he crams the canvas on, and shapes his course away,
She dips and dives and shakes herself, like sea-bird at her play;
She riots like a wilful child from punishment set free
To feel beneath her buoyant keel the open, joyous sea.

For "Homeward Bound!" for "Homeward Bound!" the breeze itself is singing,
And fore-and-aft, through shrouds and lines, the melody goes ringing:
She gathers speed -- "More sail!" he cries; and as he claps it on he
Sings softly to the ship he loves, the strain of "Whisky Johnny!"

Hull down, at dusk -- The Ocean Belle -- and ere the dark afar,
A line of foam upon her wake, she hails the Evening Star;
A watchful shark on guard astern, a porpoise at her bow,
An albatross to lead the way -- she 's cutting through it now!

The waves may roll, the winds may rant, the hungry sharks may follow --
On hills of water she may pitch, in holes of water wallow;
But on her course she yet will keep, that gallant barque and bonny,
Until the dockers hear the ring of "Wey-hey! Whisky Johnny!"

The last to leave of eight or ten, the first to sight the Nore,
She beats the record homeward bound, she leads the fleet once more;
And won't the skipper greet his friends, and won't the agents cheer!
And when her lines are fast again, oh, won't it flow -- the beer!

To Cousin Sis and Cousin Sal, and pretty Kate and Polly,
To all the Jews and "seamen's friends," and all the messmates jolly,
To foaming pints and cosy fires and waiting blue eyes bonny,
She "paddles in" with joyous Hit of 'Wey-ho! Whisky Johnny!"

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 09:05 PM

Great find, Charley, thanks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM

The National Library of Australia Digital Music Collection has sheet music scans for two songs set to Brady poems: "Green Shoes" and "On the Beach at Otahai". They might have books of his poetry, too, in a different digital collection.

Google Books has his novel "Tom Padgin, Pirate", though I haven't checked whether it contains any poetry or sea song lyrics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM

Artful Codger-

The National Library of Australia is, indeed, a great source information on-line. But it's The Internet Archive where I found the copy of The Ways of Many Waters (1909) to initially transcribe the poems above, and then using my hard copy of the 1899 edition to verify the words and punctuation which gets scrambled when text gets scanned. Here's the link: click here for book!
There's another book of Brady poetry, The Wardens of the Sea (1933), which I believe has more nautical poems but I can't find a table of contents on-line.

Brady does appear to be a keen observer of the harbor scene. So far, however, there is no proof in any biographical information I've found, including a Ph.D dissertation, that he actually went to sea. Certainly he does have a strong empathy with the sailor and the stevedore, and he is an excellent poet.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 12:05 PM

Here's another stevedore poem, describing how they load the ship with bales of wool:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 20-23.

The Loading of the Pride

CLIPPER ship, the Pride of Commerce, loading now with hides and wool,
Advertised to sail on Monday -- stevedore must get her full;
Stevedore must have her ready, be he well or be he ill.
And if stevedore won't do it, we can find a man who will.

"Re-a-rally ! Ri-a-rally! -- Twenty men to go below.
Now, my lads, I want no loafing -- grafters only gets a show.
Boss I am, and boss I will be, and I'll have no skulking here;
It's grafting down below, men,
It's go it all you know, men,
Till the skipper gets his papers and the 'Peter's' up to clear."

Tropic climate, iron vessel, greasy wool -- peculiar smell;
Down below the atmosphere is -- something worse than words will tell;
Down below in shirt and trousers, sweating, swearing like a Turk,
Stevedore is stowing cargo, glad enough to be at work.
"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally! Give that screw another shake.
Agent says we've got to load her, ev'ry bloomin' pound she'll take.
Promised owner 'go by Monday' and we mustn't miss a bale --
So it's ram her, jam her, cram her,
Fire her cargo in and damn her,
For the other boat is loading and they'll race her for the sale."

Stevedore is mostly idle while the winter drags away;
Now the sun of work is shining and he means to make his hay;
"Bob" an hour and sweat, half-roasted, till your socks are wet with slime;
"Bob" an hour and, if you're lucky, one-and-six for overtime.
"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally! Why the devil don't you sweat?
Don't you see them after-hatches ain't been touched at all as yet?
S'elp-me-Gawd! you make me shrivel; can't you bend your lazy back?
If you don't go at it quicker,
May I never drink my licker,
But I'll go below and give you, every mother's son, the sack!"

Skipper, in the after-cabin, has a "lady" to amuse;
Mate and friend are sipping whisky -- mate is somewhat on the booze.
Purser comes aboard for dinner; "second's" taking tally here;
Crew are for'ard making merry on some bad colonial beer.
"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally! Stand from under! Mind the slings!
Hang it! Use yer hook, you duffer! Can't you catch her as she swings?
Tarnal fool! he's gone and missed it! H'ist away there, quick 's y' can!
Why the blazing Son of Thunder
Couldn't he have stood from under?
Leg's broke! Can't move! Look sharp! Fetch along a basket and a man!"

Pulleys' strain and winches' rattle echoed from the rival ship;
Both must be at "home" discharging when they sell the season's clip.
London market must be studied. Monarch's waiting for the tide,
"And I'll sink the ship or beat him," says the captain of the Pride.
"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally re-a-ri-a-rally-ho!
Come ashore and lend a hand, lads! Slip her lines and let her go.
Yes! she draws a lot of water, but they'll get her out by dark,
And I'll wager half-a-crown,
That the Monarch's deeper down,
Even if the Pride is just a leetle past her Plimsoll-mark."

Agent on the wharf stands smiling. Says to skipper with a bow;
"We have kept our promise, captain, to her owners, you'll allow."
Hatches down and gangway hoisted -- Pride's in tow behind her boat,
And, his help no longer needed, stevedore puts on his coat,
"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally! Now, then, fill 'em up once more!
All the crew was drunk as niggers when the pilot kem ashore!
And the captain and the mate, sirs, was as tight as tight could be;
But we've earned a 'bob' or two,
Let her sink or struggle through,
We have crammed her to the hatches -- that's enough for you and me."

Notes:

"Peter's" is sailor slang for "the Blue Peter," a signal flag flown to alert sailors ashore that the ship was about to leave port.

"Grafters" evidently stevedore slang for those who can work hard.

"Re-a-rally! ri-a-rally!" evidently a traditional stevedore cry to focus their efforts on the wool press.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 04:28 PM

And another which is a kind of tribute to sailortown gals the world over:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 9-12.

Lost and Given Over

A MERMAID'S not a human thing,
An' courtin' sich is folly;
Of flesh an' blood I'd rather sing,
What ain't so melancholy.
Oh, Berta! Loo! Juanita! Sue!
Here's good luck to me and you --
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is wide;
But this I'll prove whate'er betide,
I'm bully in the alley!
I'm bull-ee in our al-lee!

The Hoogli gal 'er face is brown;
The Hilo gal is lazy;
The gal that lives by 'Obart town
She'd drive a dead man crazy;
Come, wet your lip, and let it slip!
The Gretna Green's a tidy ship --
Sing rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is blue;
But 'ere's good 'ealth to me and you;
Ho, rally!

The Lord may drop us off our pins
To feed 'is bloomin' fishes;
But Lord forgive us for our sins --
Our sins is most delicious!
Come, drink it up and fill yer cup!
The world it owes us bite and sup,
And Mimi, Ju-ju, Sally;
The seas is long; the winds is strong;
The best of men they will go wrong --
Hi, rally! ri-a-rally!

The Bowery gal she knows 'er know;
The Frisco gal is silly;
The Hayti gal ain't white as snow --
They're whiter down in Chili.
Now what 's the use to shun the booze?
They'll flop yer bones among the ooze
Sou'-west-by-Sou' the galley.
The seas is green; the seas is cold;
The best of men they must grow old --
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!

All round the world, where'er I roam,
This lesson I am learnin'.
If you've got sense you'll stop at home
And save the bit yer earnin'.
So hang the odds! It's little odds,
When every 'eathen 'as 'is gods,
An' neither two will tally:
When black and white drink, wimmin, fight --
In these three things they're all alright --
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!

When double bunks, fo'castle end,
Is all the kind that's carried,
Our manners they will likely mend --
Most likely we'll be married.
But till sich time as that be done,
We'll take our fun as we've begun --
Sing rally!
The flesh is weak; the world is wide;
The dead man 'e goes overside --
Sing rally! rally!

We're given and lost to the girls that wait
From Trinity to Whitsund'y,
From Sunda Strait to the Golden Gate
An' back to the Bay o' Fundy;
Oh, it's Mabel, Loo, an' it's Nancy-Poo,
An' 'ere 's good luck, an' I love you --
Sing rally!
Oh, it's cents an' dollars an' somebody hollers --
The sun comes up an' the mornin' toilers --
Sing rally!

We're given an' lost to the octoroon,
The Portugee cruiser painty,
The Chinkie gal with 'er eyes 'arf-moon,
An' the Japanee darlin' dainty.
Oh, it's Tokio-town when the sun goes down,
It's 'arf-a-pint and it's 'arf-a-crown --
Sing rally!
'Er spars may lift an' 'er keel can shift,
When a man is done 'e 's got to drift --
Sing rally! Ho, rally!

The Hoogli gal 'er face is brown,
The Hilo gal's a daisy,
The gal that lives by 'Obart-town
She'd drive a dead man crazy.
So, pretty an' plain, it's Sarah Jane
'Uggin' an' kissin' an' "Come again!"
Sing rally! ri-a-rally!
The seas is deep; the seas is wide;
But this I'll prove what else betide,
I'm bully in the alley,
Ho! Bullee in the Al-lee!

Notes:

Evidently the phrase "bully in the alley" made its way to Sydney Harbour, or maybe it originated there.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 11:43 AM

The story told by a stevedore in this poem is set in the period during and shortly after the American Civil War, and describes this ship's exploits as a Rebel blockade runner and later as a slave trader.

The use of the pejorative term "nigger" in this poem was typically used among the White stevedores as they worked on the Sydney docks. It's usage is regrettable but an accurate reflection of the racism rampant in Australia (and in many other parts of the world) in the 1890's:

The Hiram Brown

POWER o' ploughs and clothes-pegs in her, pork and beans for ev'ry sinner,
Pork and beans for captain's dinner --
Pass her lines and pull away!
Hiram Brown, of New Orleans, men; lots of graft ye know it means, men,
Lifting out those big machines, men --
Swing her in there! Hip hooray!

Trim old tub, the Hiram Brown, some dark night she'll dive right down,
Every mother's son will drown;
She's insured right up, you bet.
Built in '50, so they say; guess she's almost had her day --
Pass that shore-line on this way --
But she wobbles round it yet!

Hand the boss them bills o' lading -- once she did a bit o' trading
When the Yanks were South -- blockading,
In the days of Stars and Bars.
Time they built the Alabama, Union steamer tried to ram her,
Sent him down head-first, goddammer!
Shook her engines, saved her spars.

Cotton cargo crammed to hatches, out she runs with reb. despatches --
See them two big painted patches?
That's the mark o' Yankee shot.
Out she runs beneath their noses -- bangs away -- oh, Holy Moses,
Ship's afire! Hey, man the hoses!
Go she must, or smash the lot.

Left and right the guns went banging, whistles tooting, bells-a-clanging;
Lots o' gilt to that trip hanging,
Worth the risk and worth the fight.
Timbers ripped and sails all tattered; wheel-house smashed and starn-post shattered,
This same planking blood-bespattered,
Hiram Brown got through all right.

When the Yanks had finished shooting, Hiram Brown she went recruiting --
That dark trade her skipper suiting
In the year of sixty-eight.
Changed her flag and got new papers; altered down to funnel scrapers;
But she starts her same old capers --
Seemed they couldn't run her straight!

Blackbird cargo soon she'd gathered -- black-bird cargo, tied and tethered --
Rain and storm and wind safe weathered,
Sou' by East away she slips;
Maybe cargo wasn't willing, when with snowy sails outfilling,
And the bo's'n's whistle trilling,
Squared away that pride of ships.

On and off the coast o' Chili, Hiram Brown was kept until he
Made us think he'd gone quite silly,
But one night a schooner come
Right 'longside, and making fast, sir, o'er our side in haste we passed, sir
(With a look out on the mast, sir)
Six-and-eighty casks of rum!

Schooner on her way is going, when our skipper, cute and knowing,
Sets that rare old stingo flowing
Taps a cask and treats his men.
Steam's got up; she makes right down there to a small plantation town where
Niggers black and niggers brown there,
Served their Dons (for nothing) then.

Got our casks ashore at first, boys; guess that job would raise your thirst, boys;
Maybe one or two was burst, boys,
Though for that he didn't stop;
Landed niggers next right slickly; ranged casks on wharf -- corrictly;
Next (obeying orders) quickly,
Perched a nigger each on top.

Then our skipper, sleek and smiling, in a manner most beguiling,
Law and commerce reconciling,
Mounts upon a cotton-bale,
Joking with the senors lightly, speaking Spanish there politely,
Calm and cool, collected, sprightly,
Starts a lively auction sale.

Each rich Don who wanted labour understood his planter neighbour,
So their troops, with gun and sabre,
To arrest us did not come;
Whilst our captain grew elated as the bids were elevated,
And the same, you'll guess, related
More to nigger than to rum.

So each buyer quick would figger out the value of the nigger,
And the auctioneer would snigger
When he threw the barrel in!
Guess that cargo paid her owners: likely they were psalm-song groaners,
Scripture-text and proverb moaners,
But they winked at tricks of sin.

Hiram Brown's been o'er and under, 'cross the seas in storm and thunder;
Some rough night she'll go asunder,
And Old Nick will have a lark,
Jack's poor lass will be a griever -- haul her in and hitch and heave her;
Guess next trip the rats will leave her --
She's as old as Noah's ark.

There's the guy-rope rigged and ready! Got your hatches broke already?
Let her zip! Hey, winchman, steady,
Case o' hardware marked "B.A.";
Longshore loafers down below there: you're too derned infernal slow there!
Hook away, and up ye go there!
Yankee Packet's in, hooray!

Notes:

"lots of graft" is old British labour slang for "lots of effort."

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 10:41 AM

Brady worked as a time-keeper on the Sydney docks in the 1890's and would have known the stevedores on a day to day basis:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 13-17.

Hides And Tallow

HERE ain't a lavender ditty,
Sung by a sweet-scented cove;
Here ain't no wine-inspired, witty
Story of Honour and Love.
Here is the song of the Taller;
Likewise the chanty of 'Ides,
Greasy an' dirty an' yaller,
Gritty an' stinkin' besides --
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

Potes who 'ave nourished on roses,
Given to sipping of dew,
Potes with sus-ceptible noses,
This ain't intended for you!
These are the lands that lie fallow,
Unploughed by the pens of Romance;
This is the ode of the tallow,
Odorous tallow perchance;

The whenceness of Which an' the Whither,
No creed of no church ain't secure;
Old fashions and fancies may wither,
One fact it is certain an' sure
There 's nothink smells worse nor the taller,
Always exceptin' the 'ides;
Grimy, an' sweaty, an' yaller,
Gritty an' greasy besides,
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

The wool bales is easy to lumber;
We knows 'em the same as a book;
The clerk keeps his eye on the number,
You cop 'em right side with yer 'ook.
You knows a dern "dump" when you spot 'im;
You 'ump 'im, an' truck 'im away:
A cask, you'll perceive, when you've got 'im,
Ain't never constructed that way.

'E slips, an' 'e rolls, an' 'e shices,
'E bucks, an' 'e wobbles, an' worse,
'E jams, an' 'e rams, an' entices
'Ard-workin' pore blokes for to curse,
Oh, burn all the pro-duct of taller!
An' sink all the pro-duct of 'ides!
It's 'eavy an' dirty an' yaller,
It's greasy an' stinkin' besides --
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

The thing that gets over a feller
Is kids, an' a missus to keep:
It don't make 'is lot none too meller,
It don't much provoke 'im to sleep;
'E ain't got no time to grow lazy;
'E's got to look limber an' slick,
Though taller'd drive a cove crazy,
An' 'ides makes a feller go sick.

So that is the reason we're lumpin'
Them pro-ducts that 's awkwardly rolled;
A-thumpin' our shin-bones, an' bumpin'
The same to their place in the 'old.
If 'ell is as 'ot as they tell us,
We needn't be gallied by that,
The devils will strike when they smell us
A-rendering up of our fat!

The Preacher, whose pulpit is furnished
With cushions of velvet an' silk,
With bloomin' brass rails, brightly burnished,
Who scoffs all the honey and milk --
'E often gets up, an' 'e preaches
A sermon on cussin' an' beer,
On liver an' bacon, an' peaches!
'E guys us pore sinners down 'ere.

But, Lord! let him rip off 'is cassock
An' peel to 'is sanctified pelt;
Give over 'is nice feather 'assock,
An' kneel where us jokers 'as knelt,
With sweat an' 'ard graft for to haller
'Is soul, an' 'is body besides!
Contrition ain't nothink to taller,
An' prayin' ain't in it with 'ides --
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

We ain't much addicted to sorrow,
We're given right over to slang;
It's yakker to-day, an' to-morrow
You're smashed and they don't give a 'ang.
There's Jones 'e was workin' last Monday --
Cask rolled an' she pinned 'im long-side --
They'll carve up 'is innards 'fore Sunday
To find out the reason 'e died.

The brokers is scoopin' their profit;
It pays 'em right up to the hilt;
Cham-pagne is their tap, an' they scoff it,
The buyers don't growl if it's spilt.
But beer's our own tack, an' we booze it;
'Tis good for our common insides;
'Tis good for yer soul if you views it
Al-right through the taller an' 'ides --
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

This hugly four-master she offers
A 'old that's as deep as the deuce;
The takings will bulge their fat coffers,
By gosh! but we'll stew in our juice.
Their mess-kids is smokin' up forrard
My breakfast it mainly were bread;
This feel in your stummick is 'orrid,
It's worse nor the feel in your 'ead.

By God! if I'm tempted to leave 'er,
To get one more sniff o' the sea,
My bloomin' "ole Dutch" were a griever
It's longshore an' cuss it for me.
It's 'umpin' the wool in 'ot seasons;
It's rollin' these casks in the cold;
It's "Stand by the slings!" -- for good reasons;
Get graft, an' more graft, an' grow old.

I'm clewed to four walls an' a table,
The chairs an' the kids an' the wife;
I'm petticoat-tied, and ain't able
To kick for the old rovin' life;
I'm hitched to the wool an' the taller,
The copra, an' sich like besides;
I'm spliced to the bales an' the taller,
The 'orns an' the bones an' the 'ides --
'Ides an' taller, taller an' 'ides!

I've got a spare Judy out yonder;
I 'ad a nice gal in Bombay;
Wot's Nelly a-doin', I wonder?
I'll cut my stick over some day . . .
By guns! were I just a bit younger
I'd slip in the twink o' the tides;
This bleedin' ole tub she could 'unger
For me, for 'er taller an' 'ides --
'Ides an' Taller!
Taller!!
An' 'Ides!!


Notes:

"Yakker" is slang for work

"Graft" is slang for great effort

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 07:28 PM

Many thanks for posting these, Charley. Here's a link to the Ph.D dissertation that you mentioned: Brady biography.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 08:20 PM

Stewie-

They are interesting poems. Frankly, I'm less interested in Brady's more romantic "filler poems", and the ones he composed which exploit the death of someone. But the ones that describe the stevedores on the Sidney docks ring true, and I think they are a major contribution to our knowledge.

I would have enjoyed spending an evening with Brady, sharing a round or two, and swapping some songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 09:39 PM

I agree, Charley. In that regard, I am particularly impressed by 'Hides and Tallow'. I'm thinking of adding it to my repertoire of recitations.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 09:43 PM

My apologies to Joe for posting as a guest. My Norton clean-up just ate my cookie again without my noticing. It was there an hour ago!

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 09:49 PM

Stewie-

I'll be very interested in hearing what tune you might up with. I've been thinking that something like what John Warner and Margaret Walters did with "Miner's Washin'" on their PITHEAD IN THE FERN CD (1993) would do very nicely.

But it would certainly work as a recitation.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 01:17 AM

Charley,

Unfortunately, I am not a musician and know nothing about tunes - except what I like or dislike. Something like Warner's tune for 'Miner's Washin'' may fit, but I reckon turning 'Hides and Tallow' into a song could emasculate it. It needs the free rein of recitation. The force of many 'folk poems' is diminished by tethering to a tune. For example, I personally dislike every musical setting I have heard of 'Clancy of the Overflow'. I cringe even when one of my favourite groups - Loaded Dog - treat it as a song. It is so much better as a recitation. On the other hand, many of Lawson's poems lend themselves readily to musical settings.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 07:56 AM

Stewie-

You may well be right with regard to favoring "Hides and Tallow" as a recitation. Certainly my partner Jim Saville (co-editor of the C. Fox Smith Anthology) would agree with you. I haven't begun to think of which ones I might start to work with, just that they seem interesting to work with.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 02:16 PM

Here's one that lays out the sailor's lust for world wide adventure:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 116-120.

They Have Bound Us

THE round world glows in its green and rose,
And the full buds burst to bloom:
The earth is ours with its wine and flowers --
But the shore-shot rollers boom;

And we'd cramp and choke in the grit and smoke,
And our hearts would yearn alway
For the sight and smell of the ocean swell,
And the splash of the sparkling spray.

For the roll and dip of a royal ship
In the trough of the turgid seethe,
For the ramp and roar of the free winds four
And the breath that a man may breathe.

The land-bird sings on its high-poised wings,
And the coaxing girls are fair;
The rich earth teems in its slopes and streams
As we laugh and take our share.

'Tis good to move in the level groove --
To drink, and to love -- but still
Do the spring-tides rise in the moon's white eyes,
And her sails will flap and fill;

And the sun streaks dim on the water's rim,
With the heaving miles before,
And the still stars beam on the swirling stream
As she heels, hull down, once more.

Aye, her yards will sway on the inward way,
And swing on the outward track,
And we'll haul her through to the land-line blue,
And we'll merrily haul her back.

Oh! her blocks may creak when the typhoons shriek
As the white surf beats ahead,
But we'll all come back on the outward track,
Or we'll all be damned and dead!

By the gull's white breast on the rising crest
Of the far, unfathomed sea;
By the roll and dip of a royal ship,
By a thousand things that be;

By the girls we love, by the God above,
By the Surge, and the Surf, and the Wind,
By the Sun and Air, and the Death we dare,
Is the charm of the chains that bind.

By those days of yore, when their captain swore
In the beards of his canoneers,
By the steel that rang in the battle clang,
And the shouts of our privateers;

By the clean back-stroke in the rifted smoke,
When the grappling-irons held
By the right arm red of the Rover, dead
In the fighting years of Eld;

By the pirate's flag, where the mangroves sag
To the edge of the dark bayou,
By the tale and song of the Rover's wrong,
And the deeds of his derring-do;

By those black eyes bold on the Coast of Gold,
By the fire of the Creole's kiss,
By the Hindoo dance and the French girl's glance,
The chain of our bondage is.

Oh, the seas that roll to the frozen Pole
In the bright Aurora's beam,
And the seas that sleep by the palm-clad steep,
Where the brown-skinned beauties dream;

Oh, the waves that doze where the Gulf Stream flows
From its head to the warm Antilles
Are the books we read and the signs we heed,
And the things we know and feel!

And the Sea's our place from around Cape Race
To the bergs of Behring Strait,
And we've Tokio tied to the Firth o' Clyde,
With a hitch of the Rio Plate.

We have swilled sam-shu with the Chinese crew
Of a swab-nosed pirate junk;
We have seen Ceylon with her colours on
Go mad on an arrack drunk:

We have heard the crash of the lightning flash
In the dark of the Indian Sea,
We have seen men's lives cut out with the knives
Of the treacherous Portugee.

We have made our call where the ladies tall
Of the coral islands laze;
We have known Japan, as a sailor can;
We have fooled with the dark Malays.

We are burnt and brown, with our lips clewed down
By the salt of the ocean spume,
We are hard and lean, we are none too clean,
And the tar is our own perfume;

But we've come to drink and to burst our jink
With the girls who are fair and free,
If we pay the price of our varied vice
When she skips on the open sea.

Oh, the Spaniard went when his sails were bent,
And the Dutchman kissed his frau,
And the days were good when they built of wood
What they build of iron now.

But the Dawn will red and the Day will spread
On the track of the Rovers old,
Where the galleon brave to her seething grave
Lurched down with the Inca's gold.

And the sea's our ground from the Land's End round
To the sight of the Golden Gate,
For we've Tokio tied to the Firth o' Clyde,
With a hitch of the River Plate.

By the roll and dip of a royal ship
Is the link of our bondage chain;
By her dip and roll from the frozen Pole
To the Indies -- and round again!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 03:02 PM

This may be the last poem that I post in this thread; there are about a dozen more but they really don't interest me as much as what I've already posted. This one is another tribute to Mobile Bay, that harbor port on the Gulf Coast of North America where bales of cotton were loaded for the mills in England, and where the stevedores created many fine shanties:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 130-132.

Roll the Cotton Down

WE sing no song of Right or Wrong,
Or War, or Fame, or Duty;
Our chanty free it still shall be
Of ships, and beer, and beauty;
So roll the cotton down!
The Ocean Pride swings with the tide
Oh, roll the cotton down!

Aye, messmates true! Kit's eyes are blue,
And Bet's a dainty clipper --
Black brow, red lip, one day we'll ship
With Cupid for our skipper.
Ho, roll the cotton down!
With bridal veils to be our sails.
Yah, roll the cotton down!

Long nights, long days, calm, clear and haze,
She's kicked and guttered through it;
A racing run, storm, wind and sun,
And men to drive her to it.
Now roll the cotton down!
Our fight is fought, her wharf-line's taut,
We'll roll the cotton down!

Now we shall eat good, fat, fresh meat,
And take our hard-won pleasure;
Now we shall laugh, jest, love, and quaff,
And sing our drunken measure
Of "Roll the cotton down!"
Our mint of joy may prove alloy,
But roll the cotton down!

True sailors we, let loose from sea,
And tavern-turned and townward:
Blear aftermath of barren path
That grades life's journey downward.
Bah, roll the cotton down!
Let care go sink -- drink, comrades, drink!
And roll the cotton down!

Before our days they walked our ways
And held our hot emotions,
Who at world's gates dared Death and Fates
And opened up five oceans.
So roll the cotton down!
All damned are they (as we some day),
But roll the cotton down!

Black Bet's a queen, Kit's eyes a-sheen
Are deeper than blue waters.
Red tides of Hell! Our souls we'd sell
For these white devil's-daughters.
Hey, roll the cotton down!
"You love me true?" Then I love you.
Oh, roll the cotton down!

Let preachers fault: all blood is salt,
All flesh both red and human.
We've songs to sing, we've hearts to fling
Before the feet of woman.
So roll the cotton down!
Life's pleasures pass, fill up your glass,
We'll roll the cotton down,
Cotton down!
Roll, roll the cotton down!


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 10:43 AM

Running low on more interesting poems to post but here's a classic "greenhorn" one:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 121-124.

How Jack Bowlin Steered Jones

JACK BOWLIN wuz the joker's name,
A sailor chap wuz 'e,
Who left his ship, the Golden Flame ,
To run away from sea.
Jack Bowlin wuz the feller's sign,
No greener chap I do incline
To think you'd find than 'e.
'E kem to graft with Bill an' me
Last week at Cockatoo.
Sez Bill to me, "I bet," sez he,
We'll 'ave a lark or two:
This sailor bloke, what smells o' tar,
'E'll shortly find out where 'e are
Along o' me an' you!"
Sez I, "Ole man, that 's true;
We'll put this joker through."

So Bill 'e went an' saddled "Jones,"
An' whispered in 'is ear:
"Don't break this sailor's bleedin' bones,
But buck 'im good an' clear."
An' "Jones" 'e neighs 'is cunning neigh:
That 'orse 'e knows 'is blessed way
About, you needn't fear;
"Jones" wasn't born last year,
My oath, you needn't fear.

'E says to Jack, sez Bogan Bill:
"We don't get paid ter sleep,
So mount yer 'orse, an' then we will
Go out and count them sheep."
When Jack sees "Jones" 'e turned jist red:
"I ain't sailed 'orses much," 'e said;
"His decks is pretty steep;
Port 'ard and stiddy keep
Until I gets aboard!" An' Jack
'E grips the stirrup tight,
An' climbs on "Jones's" blessed back
Wrong foot instead of right.
Oh! Bill an' me 'ad like ter die,
For "Jones" 'e looked as meek as pie:
'E saw the joke all right.

But Jack 'e faced the 'orse's tail,
An' as 'e scratched 'is 'ead
"I'm 'anged if I can make 'im sail
Starn fust like this," 'e said.
An' then 'e turns an' shouts to us:
"Say, messmates, 'old the cuss
Until I get his rudder-head;
I'm green side up instead o' red!"
(Them wuz the very words 'e said.)

"I'll get about!" but "Jones" 'e saw
'Twas time to take a 'and;
'E 'adn't studied sailin' law,
But 'e could understand.
'E put 'is 'ead between 'is knees
An' chucked towards the bloomin' trees
His busted belly-band --
Oh! "Jones" could understand.

An' then 'e stood stock still, till Jack,
Who'd took a flyin' trip,
In 'arf-a-'our or so kem back
An' lit on "Jones's" hip.
Jack Bowlin's face was pale as death,
But soon as 'e could get 'is breath
He shouts: "Shove off! 'Bout ship!
Hey! Let 'is blank bow-anchor slip!"

"All 'ands aloft!" "His steerin' gear
Has gone to -- Inverell!"
"Jib-sheets blowed loose!" -- sich langwidge queer
I'm dashed if I could tell.
'Twas "Stiddy! Hard-a-lee!
Wo-back, you silly brute! Let go!
Port helm! Stand clear! Wo, Moses -- wo!
Beam seas! an' blank ground swell!"
I'm dashed if I could tell;
No more could Bill as well.

"Jones" 'eard 'is captain order 'im
"Go 'ard ahead! " an' went,
An' as 'e struck the sunset's rim
His blessed back unbent.
We see Jack sailin' through the sky,
An' may I -- strike me dry! --
If we know where 'e went;
We never got no scent
Of where that sailor went.

Poor Jack, 'e ain't come back as yet
To work at Cockatoo.
'E's flyin' still, I'm game to bet,
Acrost the 'eavens blue,
Or else 'e's got 'is 'arp an' crown,
An' thinks 'e'd better not come down
Till "Jones" 'as shifted through --
'Tis maybe better, too.

For "Jones" 'as never moved, I swear.
'Is 'ead between 'is knees:
That cunnin' 'orse is bravin' there
The battle an' the breeze.
'E waits all day, 'e waits all night,
'E waits, no doubt, for Jack to light
Oh! "Jones" 'is duty sees;
He'll brave the blessed breeze;
My oath, he is the cheese.

Notes

"As told by Barwon Joe."

"Graft" is slang for labor.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 04:16 PM

This poem is from the perspective of a shipwrecked sailor who manages to swim ashore to some remote sandy island in the Indian sea:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE WAYS OF MANY WATERS, by Edwin J. Brady, published by The Bulletin Newspaper Co., Sydney, Australia, © 1899, pp. 40-44.

What the Bottle Said


A BLISTERED span of blazing sand,
A burning arch of sky . . .
Despair and Death on either hand . . .
Alone . . .
And so to die.

A sandbank in the Indian Sea,
With not a patch of shade . . .
An atoll in the awful sea,
Outside the tracks of trade.

Here write I this . . . and gaunt fiends too
Have written, mocking me
One thrice-cursed wretch of all a crew,
One saved of twenty-three.


For twenty-two the sharks have ta'en,
And hungrily they fed;
For twenty-two ha' done with pain.
They suffered . . . They are dead.

One yet survives . . . Just God, the thirst
That tears my veins to-day . . .
The last! the last! . . .
Why last, not FIRST?
. . . And why not yesterday?

No sail! No chance! I've tried to pray!
The end is coming close . . .
Christ, ease my soul ! Ah, take away
That face! . . . Ah, Nancy Mose!

The calm, wide waste! The sky spread clear!
All things to jibe my woe!
The girl who waits -- so dear, so dear!
My Nance! I loved her so.

And I had sworn to come back soon!
. . . That this should be the last!
A boiling surf! A mad typhoon!
An hour! And all -- the Past!

One battered wretch to fight for breath
And beat the breakers through --
Spared. Spared! My God! when kinder death
Has smiled on twenty-two.

Not mad . . . not yet: but deep in Hell,
Ten fathoms deep, I've seen! . . .
Kind God, I sinned! Thou knowest well . . .
But I was living clean.

Clean for her sake! . . .
Just now I stood
Where cool, clear water flows . . .
And rushed to drink! . . . I fell . . . My God!
. . . Ah, Nancy -- Nancy Mose!

I've prayed to Christ to let me go:
I've cursed, I've called, I've cried . . .
And all the world may never know
The horrid way I died.

A heap of bones that wind and sun
Bleach whiter day by day
A thing that festers in the sun!
A woman far away.

Out there! Out there! Ah, pain! I think . .
Cool, beaded wines . . . iced, frothing beer !
Food! Food! Yes, food! Yes, food and drink!
. . . Oh! I am raving . . . here.

Have sucked the vein . . . have eaten . . . sand!
May Jesus pity me!
My brain gone strange to-day . . . my hand
Here signed . . . of twenty-three!

The Bristol, ship . . . bound out
. . . Rangoon . . .
June . . . twenty . . . forty-three . . .
Hard hit . . . nor'-east typhoon;
All hands . . . lost . . . lost . . . but me.

The Bristol, ship . . . in case ye find
The bottle . . . tell -- if . . . none but those
Who suffer thirst . . . am going blind . . .
God bless you . . . Nancy Mose.

Floated round, and washed around;
Flung a thousand leagues;
Carried round and eddied round
In ocean's mad intrigues --
Grim words upon a shred of cloth,
With human blood scrawled red,
A drifted tale of wreck and wrath --
And thus the Bottle said.

But only those can know and care
Who fight the Sea for bread
The inner Truth, red-written there,
Of what the Bottle said.


Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:06 PM

Here's another interesting sea poem from a different book by Brady:

Sally Brown

HER sails are furled and her anchor's down.
The lamps are lighted in Melbourne town;
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown,
Wey, hey!
With a shipmate true and a pound or two,
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown,
Wey, hey, ho!

We've brought her over from Puget Sound
With her load o' Canadian pine;
And her blue-nose mate, that's dead and drowned,
He was never a friend of mine.

Been crimped in 'Frisco and jugged at 'Tool;
I been stoushed in a Plymouth slum;
I've 'blued' my money and played the fool
With the Women, and Dice, and Rum.

I've smelt the bilge of a Swedish brig
Where the right whale breaches and blows;
I've sailed in a bark of Yankee rig
To the land where the cotton grows.

I've lived in the Land o' the God-Forbid
Where hell is your daily lot;
I sarved my time as a fo'castle kid
In the House of the God-forgot.

I've shipped with tigers and human swine;
I've shipped with a yaller crew;
An' Satan himself was mild and fine
To some of the mates I knew.

He led 'em all by a level mile;
He could make it an easy win
On any track of the All-That's-Vile
On the sawdust courses o' sin.

"The seas are mine," said the Lord above
When the work o' the world began;
He gave them Hate and He gave them Love,
Hard graft, and the Sailorman.

He made them wide, and He made them deep,
With a seaport here and there,
And plenty o' rain and salt to keep
The depths and the shallows clear.

And North and South they are green and grey,
But the Middle Seas they are blue,
We slid him out at the fall of day
When the skipper had read it through.

A blue-nosed mate with a ginger 'ead
And a squint in his ugly eye,
The Bluebird's crew, to a man, they said
It was good that the mate should die.

Aye! Dago Pete with his broken face;
And 'Sails,' what he kicked and cowed;
I guess old 'Sails' took heart o' grace
When he stitched him into his shroud.

And Boozer Bill, from the State o' Maine;
Old Pat and Antonio;
That partin' brought 'em no grief or pain;
They all had their marks to show.

He hazed us out o' the bloomin' Bay
Till we lifted the Southern light:
He hazed the watch through the livelong day
And he made a hell of the Night.

It was 'dargs' and 'skulkers' and 'hogs' and 'skunks';
And sorrow and sweating and curse;
Till we dreamt at night in our crowded bunks
Of his sudden death and worse.

His soul was posted as overdue
At the homing Port o' Hell;
A block in a way that blocks will do
From 'er crosstrees somehow . . . fell!

He sprawled the deck like a stricken bull
To the lilt of a ten-knot breeze;
With the canvas drawing free and full
As she parted the combing seas.

Her planks were splashed and spattered and red,
Till we scraped 'em with holystone;
It ketched him fair on his ginger 'ead
And he went with 'ardly a moan!

He lived a dog, an' a dog he died;
I watched him a-sinking down,
As we put him over the Bluebird's side
On the road to Melbourne town.

Now Dago Pete he will find a girl,
Antonio 'blue in' his gain;
And Pat get drunk as an Irish earl,
With Bill from the State o' Maine.

We've brought her over from Puget Sound
With her load o' Canadian pine;
That blue-nose mate that is dead an' drowned
He was never a friend o' mine.

The Bluebird's anchor is out and down;
The girls are waiting in Melbourne town;
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown,
Wey, hey!
With a messmate true and a pound to 'blue,'
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown,
Wey, hey, ho!

Notes:

From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Harrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, © p. 13.

"Sally Brown" is the title to a traditional shanty or work song at sea.

"Blue-nose" is old sailor slang for anyone from Nova Scotia.

"Hard graft" is old English slang for hard work.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM

And here's a homeward bound sea song by Brady:

Homing Chantey

OH, swinging down the Western Main,
And roaring round the Horn,
We'll bring her to the docks again
With California's corn;
Home in the summer-time,
Home in the summer-time,
Our good ship has to be;
Old 'Stormy's' dead and in his bed,
And all the winds are free.

Her bowsprit, like an albatross,
Goes wheeling to the sky:
We'll raise the Bear and sink the Cross
Before the Doldrums die
Home in the summer-time,
Home in the summer-time,
Back from the Golden Gate,
With cash to ' blue' on Sis and Sue,
A wedding ring for Kate.

You'll get your pay, and I'll get mine
The tree must bear its fruits,
And four lean months upon the brine,
"Pay Paddy Doyle for his boots;"
Home in the summer-time,
Home in the summer-time,
From San Francisco quays;
Fo'castle Jack has laboured back
Over the hung'ring seas.

Oh, sing my lads! The tall Azores
Sink in the sunset down
Oh, sing my lads, the white chalk shores
That lead to London town!
Home in the summer-time,
Home in the summer-time,
Our good ship has to be;
For Sis and Sue they wait for you,
And my Kate waits for me!

Notes:

From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Haarrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, © p. 48.

"With cash to 'blue'" means with cash to spend freely.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:33 PM

And one more for good measure:

Otahai

ON the beach at Otahai
You remember, you and I,
And the rollers on the bars,
And the moonlight and the stars --
On that beach at Otahai
You'll remember you and I.

What's the use a sailor loving,
Round the world for ever roving?
What's the use to think or care,
Keep or lose or hold or share?
What's the use to laugh or sing,
What's the good of anything?

But the wind was in your hair,
And your face was sunset fair,
And I saw the starlit skies
Mirrored in your dreaming eyes,
As the night went laughing by
On that beach at Otahai.

Then the leaves like lace hung down
From the sleeping palm tree's crown;
Then we heard the sea birds call,
Heard the night tide rise and fall
Loving, dreaming, you and I,
On the beach at Otahai.

Ah! that warm, white night perfumed
When the rollers broke and boomed,
When our hearts were beating so,
Ah! that night of long ago!
Ah! that night and you and I
On the beach at Otahai!

Still the palm trees dance and sway
In the moonlight far away;
Still the sea birds dip and call,
Still the long tides rise and fall,
Still the laughing night goes by
On the beach at Otahai.

Life is ashes! Even so,
For that night of long ago
All the days I have to live,
Ah, so freely would I give
For that night and you and I
On the beach at Otahai.

What's the use a sailor loving,
Round the world for ever roving?
What's the good to laugh or sing?
What's the good to-day, to-morrow,
Life or Death, or Joy or Sorrow
What's the good of anything?

Notes:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Harrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, © p. 23.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 08:48 PM

And one more that describes leaving port:

A Capstan Chantey

WHAT did the captain say to the cook
When the ship went down the river?
"I've left my girl in Melbourne town,
Her hair was black and her eyes were brown;
And I'll love my girl for ever."
Wey-ho! We'll love the girls for ever!

What did the cook to the captain say
When the ship went down the river?
"I've left my gal in Melbourne too,
Her hair was gold and her eyes were blue;
And I'll love my gal for ever."
Wey-ho ! We'll love the gals for ever!

What did the crew at the capstan sing
As the old tank nosed the river?
"We've left our gals in Melbourne town,
With eyes of blue and eyes of brown;
And we'll love our gals for ever."
Hey! We will forget them never!

What did the cook to the captain say
As the ship came down the river?
"I've left my gal in London town,
Her hair is black and her eyes are brown,
And I'll love my gal for ever."

What did the captain say to the cook
As the ship swung down the river?
"I've left my girl in London too,
Her hair is gold and her eyes are blue,
And I'll love my girl for ever."

What did the crew at the capstan sing?
Nothing at all but the same old thing
As the ship came down the river;
"We've left our loves in London town,
And some were black and some were brown,
But we'll love our loves for ever."

Notes:

From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Harrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, © p. 113


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM

And one more on an old familiar theme:

Meg o' Melbourne

WE brought our old tub over
With lumber, from the Sound
One sinner jammed and crippled,
A silly bo'sun drowned;
The shipping papers published
These items in their news
As half-a-score of sinners
Got out upon the booze.

Going large in Flinders Street
Full of Melbourne rum
All except the bo'sun
Safe in Kingdom Come;
All except the bo'sun
Resting deep and sound --
Seaweed in his whiskers,
And fishes swimmin' round.

"Ve go and haf our Gristmass,"
Says Olafsen, the Dane.
"Ve get as trunk as plazes,
Und never ship again;
Ve preak der plasted record,
Ve ail-so preak our leave,
Und gif der plasted skipper
Some tings to make him grieve!"

The Sun beyond the Yarra
Went reeling to his bed;
The lamp-posts danced cotillions
The drunkest one ahead;
And when the Day was ended,
Above the cable cars
And whirling trams, collided
A multitude of stars.

She said she lived at Carlton
Wherever that might be --
She "didn't take to sailors
But somehow fancied me":
And some strange Dago wanted
To stick me with his knife,
All in the public parlour,
To spill my precious life!

I've sometimes found a bottle
A useful sort of thing
To grab where rows are started,
And other whiles to fling;
I swung a full M'Ewan,
And when they cleared the deck
Meg's arms were gently clinging
What-ho! around my neck.

There's nothing like a shindy,
With just a smell o' blood,
To rouse the latent instincts
Of gentle Womanhood;
When Paris was a village
Of fighting Eskimo,
When London was a covent
The Law was written so.

And since the savage nations
Grew civilized and tame,
Below the paint and varnish
The Law remains the same.
The heir of Christian meekness
When missiles start to hurl,
He mostly gets the bottle --
The Pagan gets the Girl!

So Meg and I were lovers
Three summer months or more,
A-billing and a-cooing
Like dicky birds ashore;
Her hair was black and wavy,
Her eyes were hazel-brown --
A pearl of tribulation
Was Meg o' Melbourne town.

"You mustn't go a-roving,
A-roving on the Sea,
But chuck the game for ever
And bide, dear heart, with me."
"I will not go a-roving,
I'll stay ashore with you,
I've known some other women,
But this is Love and true!"

"We'll rent a little cottage
With garden plot and stove,
And all night long we'll sugar
Our brimming cup of Love!"
She witched me with a whisper,
She snared me with a touch --
Two wives across the water,
They didn't matter much.

I took a little shanty
Way out in Williamstown,
And Meg and I were married,
What-ho! and settled down,
And seven bob at lumping
A day I sometimes made,
Yes, seven bob at lumping --
A most ungodly trade.

The story has a sequel,
Most stories of the kind,
In spite of priest or parson,
Are bound to have, you'll find;
For all the planet over,
From Cuba to Japan,
The ancient law was written
Of Woman and of Man.

She "didn't care for sailors"
Exceptions prove the rule
She played the fickle lady,
I played the howling fool;
"Three months without the option"
The landsmen know the law;
I never studied statutes,
And broke her landsman's jaw.

I burst the happy dove-cage,
A woeful deed to do,
But other brutes have done it;
And so, mayhap, might you;
If, witched by hair of splendour
And snared by eyes of brown,
You saw good resolutions
Go bung in Melbourne town.

The Lover and his Lady,
The Dove-cot and the Dream,
A little drip of Heaven,
A little sip of cream,
The Jay-hawk and the Pigeon,
Since e'er the World began
'Two women' spell Gehenna --
Likewise, 'another man.'

The story wears a sequel,
And deep of hull she lies
With maze of spars and cordage
Uprearing to the skies;
And empty slop-chests for'ard
And empty pockets here --
Oh, sing the same old ditty,
"The Lover and his Dear!"

The brave new winch is clanging
A rusty capstan song,
And hi! ye sons of ... Someone,
Get up and shift along!
Get up, ye sore-head sinners,
And haul your shore-lines home,
To-night we'll set the watches
Across the Tasman foam.

Oh, "Whisky for my Johnny,"
And oh, the steady breeze,
To bulge her snowy tops'ls
And lilt her through the seas;
The cook about the galley,
Importantly he goes,
And from his flesh-pots steaming
A reeking fragrance flows.

The sun beyond the Yarra
Sinks steadily to bed;
The stars in tens of thousands
Shine soberly o'erhead;
And Meg, with hair of splendour,
And eyes of hazel-brown,
Will find her consolation
To-night in Melbourne town.

Notes:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Harrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, ©, p. 95

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Edwin J. Brady (old sailor-poet from OZ)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:17 AM

Here's some more thoughts on old deep-water sailors:

By Edwin J. Brady
From THE HOUSE OF THE WINDS, edited by Edwin J. Brady, published by George G. Harrap & Co., London, UK, © 1919, p. 37

Jack Marlin

NOW at the window, side by side,
We sit and take our ease,
And watch the ebb and flow of tide
That sweetens all the seas.

His face is in the twilight glow,
His teeth a pipe between --
A sailor of the years ago,
An old man grey and lean.

He knew the Western waterways
Before the whirling screw;
The clippers of the sailing days,
In all their pride, he knew.

Jack Marlin's voice is harsh and shrill,
But as he hoarsely sings,
I see the grand old vessels fill
Their white, outspreading wings.

I hear his long-dead messmates round
A rusty capstan go;
I hear the songs of "Homeward Bound,"
The song of "Lowland's Low."

I hear the cotton chanteys ring,
And, out across the bars,
I see the Black-ball flyers fling
Their topmasts to the stars.

The Indi'man she tacks and wears
O'er heaving miles of foam;
The Bristol trader humbly bears
Her owner's cargoes home.

The riding lamps glint through the rain
Where in their roadsteads lie
The timid hulls of Trade again
As in the nights gone by.

Aye, in the nights their rain-wet spars
Loom high and strange, I ween,
When out beyond the crooning bars,
The seabirds call unseen.

The light has faded from the west
And o'er a shadowed sea,
With black wings folded on her breast,
Night broods and mystery.

Jack Marlin, with the rising moon
Is singing, hoarse and low,
Strange words to some forgotten tune
Of fifty years ago!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 June 4:45 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.