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Origins: Davy Lowston

DigiTrad:
DAVY LOWSTON


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Davy Lowson / Davy Lowston (6)


John in Brisbane 01 Aug 99 - 10:09 PM
Barry Finn 01 Aug 99 - 11:07 PM
Alan of Australia 02 Aug 99 - 12:51 AM
Sandra in Sydney 30 Mar 03 - 08:44 AM
rich-joy 30 Jul 03 - 05:59 AM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Jul 03 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Wolfgang 03 Aug 03 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 03 Aug 03 - 11:28 AM
Billy the Bus 03 Aug 03 - 03:13 PM
mg 03 Aug 03 - 03:59 PM
Billy the Bus 03 Aug 03 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Little Robyn 04 Aug 03 - 05:13 AM
Billy the Bus 04 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM
Sandra in Sydney 04 Aug 03 - 08:36 AM
Charley Noble 04 Aug 03 - 08:42 AM
Jeri 04 Aug 03 - 09:41 AM
Billy the Bus 05 Aug 03 - 12:13 AM
Little Robyn 05 Aug 03 - 07:00 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Aug 03 - 09:03 AM
Billy the Bus 05 Aug 03 - 10:16 AM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 03 - 06:30 PM
Billy the Bus 06 Aug 03 - 12:16 AM
Hrothgar 08 Aug 03 - 07:55 AM
Billy the Bus 08 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM
Little Robyn 09 Aug 03 - 03:40 AM
Bob Bolton 15 Sep 03 - 11:37 PM
Bob Bolton 16 Sep 03 - 09:13 AM
Wolfgang 16 Sep 03 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,David in Dunedin 28 Nov 03 - 04:44 AM
CET 27 Jun 05 - 01:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jun 05 - 02:00 PM
CET 27 Jun 05 - 06:26 PM
rich-joy 07 Jul 18 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,LynnH 07 Jul 18 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,LynnH 09 Jul 18 - 07:03 AM
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Subject: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 10:09 PM

I know that the tune is missing from the DT for this song, but I haven't had a chance to check the databse for other songs about sealing in the Southern Ocean off Australia and New Zealand. This is the only one that I can personally recall, but there must be others. Regards, John

MIDI file: lowston.mid

Timebase: 192

Copyright: Sequenced © 1999 by John J Leahy
Text: Generated by NoteWorthy Composer
Key: D
TimeSig: 2/2 24 8
Name: Davy Lowston
Start
0576 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 62 110 0256 0 62 000 0032 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 62 110 0256 0 62 000 0032 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0224 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0416 1 57 110 0160 0 57 000 0032 1 66 110 0256 0 66 000 0032 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 66 110 0256 0 66 000 0032 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 66 110 0336 0 66 000 0816 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 69 110 0256 0 69 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0224 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 64 110 0256 0 64 000 0032 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0224 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 59 110 0720 0 59 000 0432 1 61 110 0094 0 61 000 0002 1 62 110 0094 0 62 000 0002 1 61 110 0160 0 61 000 0032 1 59 110 0720 0 59 000 0432 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 57 110 0720 0 57 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Davy Lowston
M:2/2
Q:1/4=120
K:D
A,8|D3DD2D2|D3DC2E2|D4C2A,2|A,6A,2|F3FF2F2|
F3FE2G2|F8|-F4D2F2|AA2A3A2|A4E2F2|GF2E3D2|
C4C2C2|B,8|-B,4CDC2|B,8|-B,4B,2B,2|A,15/2||


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 11:07 PM

Here's another verse not in the DT, sang as the last one.

Come all you Jacks that sail on the sea on the sea
Come all you Jacks that sail on the sea
The schooner Governor Bly, took off those that did not die
Never seal, never seal, never seal

The Governor Bly took off all the sealers, none were lost from the 2 or 3 year odeal & the sealing company sued for the skins that were (14,000 I think) caught & lost with the skins becoming the property of the sealers. The captain that sank was Captain Bedar. True story. Barry


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 12:51 AM

G'day,
Trivia: The Governor Bligh was named after Governor Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.

The Davy Lowston story was true as Barry said. It was quite a story in the Sydney newspapers at the time, I think David Lowston sued the company for not providing a better means of rescue, with the publicity probably leading to the writing of the song.

Cheers,
Alan


Messages from multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 08:44 AM

I found the words & music on a NZ site - and with a different spelling to that used by New Zealand singer Mike Harding, whose version I have.

http://folksong.org.nz/davylows/index.html

I have ended each line with / just in case it goes feral & needa a JoeClone to make it look like a song.

sandra

Davy Lowston
(trad)

Oh my name is Davy Lowston, I did seal, I did seal./
My name is Davy Lowston, I did seal/
Though my men and I were lost, though our very lives it cost/
We did seal, we did seal, we did seal/


We were set down in Open Bay, we were set down, were set down./
We were set down in Open Bay, we were set down/
We were left we gallant men, never more to sail again/
(T'was on the sixteenth day, of Feb-ru-ar-i-ay)/
For to seal, for to seal, for to seal./


Our Captain John Bedar he set sail, he set sail./
Our Captain John Bedar he set sail/
"I'll return, men, without fail". But she foundered in a gale,/
And went down, and went down, and went down./


We cured ten thousand skins for the fur, for the fur./
We cured ten thousand skins for the fur./
Brackish water, putrid seal, we did all of us fall ill,/
For to die, for to die, for to die. /


Come all you sailor lads who sail the sea, sail the sea,/
Come all you jolly tars who sail the sea,/
Though the schooner Governor Bligh took on some who did not die /
Never seal, never seal, never seal./


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: the Lost Asylum Seeker
From: rich-joy
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 05:59 AM

Just found this thread Sandra, whilst looking for Davey Lowston - which I sing. Despite the fate of the seals, it's always a very moving song and people always comment favourably. I first saw Colin Dryden do it, in WA, on one unforgettable occasion.

Someone has just told me of another line which runs something like "Where the icebergs tower high, It's a pitiful place to die"
which wasn't from the EnZed songbook I originally saw.
Anyone have any other lyrics??

Cheers! R-J

PS   maybe these last two posts need moving to their own "Davey Lowston : Lyrics Added" thread???
    No need for separate threads - it's best to keep all the information on a song together.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Davy Lowston
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 01:55 PM

See the DT entry: DAVY LOWSTON

Don't forget that names often have common alternative spellings!

The song and its historical background are discussed in detail by Frank Fyfe in Precolonial Song - David Lowston (English Dance and Song vol.55 no.3 pp.2-5 Autumn 1993 (EFDSS London), reprinted from Maorilander, the journal of the New Zealand Folklore Society, Spring 1970). The eponymous narrator's real name was David Lowrieston.


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 11:25 AM

The story of David Lowston, a pre-colonial NZ song

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 11:28 AM

My link is to an online version of Malcolm's citation.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 03:13 PM

Alas, me old mate "Chubby" Frank Fyfe is no longer with us. If the NZ Folklore Society tape archives still exist there may be one Frank made of me singing Davy Lowston while we were driving from Wellington to Otaki Beach to record a guy Hector McDonald. Hec' was the "First white boy" born on the Wellington West Coast. Unbeknown to me, Frank held the mic' over my shoulder, while I was driving. With the wind thru' the open window, it sounded like I was singing in a screaming gale.
You'll find music, lyrics, discography and a couple of sound clips on the NZ Folk Song site, also a link to Frank's Hertitage site. You'll see there is some controversy as to the location of Open Bay, where they were landed. I've tried to build "blue clickies" to help your NZ geography, but can't get 'em to work. Best I can do is:

Go to Multimap World Maps and type Haast in the Place box, and New Zealand in the Country box. I suggest you use a new window, so you can come back her. Next, click [Find]. When the next screen comes up, click [-] to get a half-decent looking map. Whewww....

Open Bay Islands, which Frank (1970) favours are under Jackson Point. Head [S] one screen on the map, and you'll find Secretary Island, suggested by McNab (1910). I'd go along with Frank's choice between these two locations, but..

Hit [S] on the map once more. There's a wee blue circle above the "C" of Codfish Island - that's Solander Island - just a big rock stack, and there were sealers stranded there for a few years in the early 1800s. It's my punt for the location. Te Wae Wae Bay appears as Open Bay on some very early charts (from memory) - and since I live on Stewart Island (the bump alongside Codfish), I'm parochial. I'll check the details, track down some URLS, and post 'em here. It's almost dawn, and I've been having a wonderful trip down memory lane. I learnt Davey Lowston from the Songspiner's 1967 EP. Frank Fyfe learnt it from me on that car trip to Otaki. Phil Garland learnt it from him, and the more recent Kiwi folkies learnt it from the three of us. Actually, Kat and a few other Catters heard me sing it on the 'Net a couple of years back.

I'm Chuffed to see the overseas interest in the song - keep spreading it round the World!

Cheers - Sam - Stewart Island (NZ)


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: mg
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 03:59 PM

Great sealing songs from Newfoundland too...Harbor Grace is a very fine place...Southern Cross..we got up steam in early March and shortly did embark to try our fortune on the bay in charge of Captain Clark..isn't there one called the Ferryland Sealer?

Bill Gallagher of Victoria B.C. (Canada) has written a great one ..we'll never go swiling again..never again will we head for the ice..

mg


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 11:29 PM

Frank Fyfe

I've tapped the ash out of my pipe into the earthenware ashtray that my old mate Frank gave me on the night the Balladeer coffee bar closed. I spent most nights singing there in 1965-6. My eyes are moist, as I'm reading his Obituary 27 June 1997. I got the message too late to get from Stewart Island to Greytown for the Wake - it was a ripper I understand. I'd have seen a hell of a lot of cobbers from 30 years earlier. They sang Waltzing Matilda at his funeral. However, I associate Frank more with Irene Goodnight - it was our normal close-down song, making up verses as we went along. All I can say mate is So Long It's Been Good to Know You!

Anyway, sport, I bend my knee to your superior scholarship. I've found a photo of Open Bay Islands. They are further offshore than I thought. Furthermore, the sealers who were left on Solander Ialand for five years were rescued by Captain Murray of the Perseverance. They left a sealskin purse behind, which is now in Southland Museum. I couldn't track down the ripper airphoto of the Solanders I found a few years back, but, here's the next best

How would you like to be marooned for a few years on either of 'em, me hearties? More to come...

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,Little Robyn
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 05:13 AM

Sam, they sang the wrong version of Waltzing Matilda at Frank's funeral - Frank always sang the Queensland version -
"Waltzing Matilda, Matilda my darling...." and some pillock played the other version as they carried him out. We weren't there but we saw the video.
PS I helped collate those Maorilander magazines and I was there the night the Balladeer was 'sunk' in 1967.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM

So you collated "Maorilander" Robyn?

I collated (& helped build) the original number of the NZFLS "Heritage", with Frank in the 'back-room' of the Bladder. I've tracked down most of my copies today, apart from the one with my greatest contribution to NZ Folk Music - vis: We've Got Kiwi Kieth Back Again - I think I can remember the words (given time). I'm bundling them up to send to John Archer (unless there's a safe NZFLS archive somewhere).

I'm carging my glass to toast FFF = "Fearless Frank Fyfe"!

Give Mary, Anne, John and Adam a cuddle from me next time you see them, and give your "Other ½" a kick in the crutch - just for old time's sake - no hard feelings .... ;^0

Slainté - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 08:36 AM

Sam - thanks for the info. I love the song & have Mike Harding's version (on the 1999 National Folk festival Highlights CD).

I also have (temporarily) several of Bob Bolton's copies of Penny Post Newsletter of the NZ Folklore Society. He lent thenm to me as they refer to Phil Garland's collecting trips in 1969 Phil was coming to my club on his Australian tour. Unfortunately Phil had to cancel as come venue operators cancelled him. Phooey, I was really looking forward to meeting him & hearing him again. Maybe next year?

sandra


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 08:42 AM

Nice to get all this background info. Great work!

What you think, Barry?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Aug 03 - 09:41 AM

Mary Garvey, is the song 'Newfoundland Sealers'? (Bill Gallaher, by the way - no G.) I'm working on getting the CD 'Across the Divide', which this song's on. I'd love to get 'The Last Battle' but it's out of print and I don't think Bill has plans to re-issue it.


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 12:13 AM

I've added some background to the Soon May the Wellerman Come thread as well, and will be working on background to other NZ sealing/whaling songs over the next few days. - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 07:00 AM

Sam, I've been checking my collection of 'Herbage' magazines and your 'Kiwi Keith' is in the second one. Have you found your one yet or do you need a copy of ours?
Mary and Anne are living in Petone but I haven't seen them for ages.

Sandra, the 'Penny Posts' in your care don't include the one about the 1973 Martinborough festival by any chance? It has a couple of photos - one of Frank singing and the other of me playing my pipes. I loaned my copy to someone else (I must never do that again) and now I've forgotten who and whoever it was has forgotten to return it.

Robyn


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 09:03 AM

Robyn, they are from 1969. Contact Bob directly as they are from the Bush Music Club archive & I'm sure he would have the one you want & could scan it for you.

sandra


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:16 AM

Found my 'Heritage' #2 thanks Robyn. I see 'Heritage' goes from 1967 to 1970, then 'Maorilander' up to 1973. I was of no fixed abode for the next couple of years, living in a caravan. I even had the dreaded Frank Povah camped with me for a time. How long did 'Maorilander' carry on for? Thanks for reminding me of 'Penny Post', Sandra - it predated both didn't it? I've also rediscovered Frank's "A Shanties or Two". 'Tis a good thing it's winter, and the Bus business is all-but non-exisitant. I'm having a ball going through them.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 06:30 PM

G'day Robyn,

I'm afraid the reply to Sandra's direct e-mail to me reads:

G'day Sandra,

" 1973 Penny Post wanted by Little Robyn "

Hello, Bob

can you help out?

sandra

Probably not ... I can't remember Penny Post coming to the BMC while I was Secretary (1971 -1977). Those I loaned you were earlier ... possibly received under a magazine exchange arrangement at the time ... or just forwarded by the Kiwis as a fraternal gesture. I will check the boxes with other folk clubs' magazines, but it is a bit thin on loose sheets ... bound magazines tend to survive better.
"

If I do find the copy you need, I'll be happy to run off a photcopy ... but the odds are not good!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:16 AM

Hi Bob,

Yeah, I remember Penny Post as a single sheet, started in 1965 from memory. This thread is rapidly turning into a discussion of Frank Fyfe and NZ Folklore Society, which is appropriate. Without his efforts, I doubt Davy Lowston would have hit it's current popularity in the folk world.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Hrothgar
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 07:55 AM

Also some information on this in "New Zealand Folksongs - Song of a Young Country" edited by Neil Colquhoun, UK edition published by Bailey Brothers and Swindells Ltd, Folkestone in 1972. SBN (not ISBN) 561 00189 8


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 07:25 PM

Hi Hrothgar.

I have Neil Colquhoun's original "NZ Folk Songs" alongside me - a 30 page booklet, can't find the book at the moment. Neil did some great work in promoting "NZ Folk" in the 1950s. Some of the tunes he wrote were a bit "minorish" for my taste, but OK for all that.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Little Robyn
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 03:40 AM

The main trouble with the songs 'collected' and published by Neil Colquhoun was the little known fact (at that time) that he wrote a lot of the tunes. While many people write tunes, or songs, they usually let you know that and Neil was inclined to let people think the tunes were "Trad". They also tended to include jazz progressions and chords - major 7ths and G6.
Classically trained, Neil was a school music specialist in the Wellington area for about 14 years and started several folk singing groups, doing songs that were pretty obscure for those days, (late 50s, early 60s) before shifting to Auckland.
Sam, I think the folk newsletters you remember from the 60s were the ones called 'Sing'. The 'Penny Post' was more specifically NZ Folklore Society and were a little later, though I no longer have my collection to check out the dates.
'Heritage' was published by Sharon Harris and didn't stop until late 1972.
'The Maorilander' was the Journal of the NZFLSoc and only 6 editions were published - all by Frank with a bit of volunteer help. They started in Spring 1970 and the last one is Winter 1972.
I think one of the reasons it folded (as did the NZFLS) was that Frank shifted his family to the Wairarapa and much of the research/papers/recordings etc. he left in Wellington with Duilia Rendall, who was always the secretary/dog'sbody and Frank's right-hand man/woman.
Frank continued researching local lore, but in Greytown and surrounding areas. He also kept publishing various booklets, stories etc. and he was also known as a storyteller, more especially after he chopped the end of one finger off (I think it was his ring finger, left hand) which upset his guitar playing.
We last saw Frank in action at a Wellington Folk Festival, around 1995/6, at the James Cabaret, where he told tall tales and led an 'ugly', inviting many people from the old days (including Mitch) to join him on the stage. It was a wonderful evening and will never be repeated.
Cheers Frank,
Robyn


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Subject: RE: TUNE ADD: Davy Lowston
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 11:37 PM

G'day John in Brisbane (i>et al),

I've just ducked back into this thread because, while I was researching something totally different for a friend in Tasmania, I came across a reproduction of a (Sydney?) newspaper's contemporary acccount of the stranding and rescue of David Low(ries)ton.

If you are interested, I'll scan it in and send you the text ... or post it to this thread to round out the historical narrative.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 09:13 AM

G'day again,

Joe Offer suggests that posting the newspaper account, as reproduced in Geoffrey Ingleton's 1952 book True Patriots All, will add to this thread ... so:

An Authentic and Interesting Narrative, of Seamen Marooned
for Four Years on an Island off the New Zealand Coast.


         "Tisn't his merriment, kindled ashore,
          By the cash too quickly expended;
         'Tisn't his going to sea for more,
          When the store in the locker is ended.
         'Tis the hour of distress,
          When misfortunes oppress;
          And virtue finds sorrow assail her:
         'Tis the bosom of grief,
          Made glad by relief,
          That pictures the heart of a sailor
.

SYDNEY, Thursday, December 20th 1813.

Yesterday, arrived from a sealing voyage, after a sixteen months absence, the colonial schooner, Governor Bligh, Mr. Grono, master with 14,000 seal-skins and about 3 tons of sea-elephant oil.

The vessel brings from the west coast of New Zealand, a joyful gang of men, consisting of ten persons, left by the brig. Active, Captain Bader, so long ago as the 16th of February, 1809, in charge of Mr. David Lowrieston.

The Active went from Port Jackson, December 11th, 1808, and having landed her people on an island about a mile and a half from the main of New Zealand, sailed again for this port, but doubtless perished by the way, and has never since been heard of.

The men who were left on the island were reduced to the necessity of subsisting for nearly four years upon the seal, when in season, and at other times upon a species of the fern, parts of which they roasted or boiled, and other parts were obliged to eat undressed, owing to a nauscea it imbibed from any culinary process.

They were left upon the small island with a very scanty allowance of provisions, and the Active was to come to Port Jackson for a further supply. They had a whale-boat, and their only edged implements consisted of an axe, an adze, and a cooper's drawing knife. In a short time they procured 11,000 skins part of which Mr. Grono has brought up.

In hopes of finding upon the main some succour, which the small island did not afford, they went thither, but were nearly lost by the way, as some of the lower streaks of the boat were near falling out, owing, as was imagined, to the nails being of cast iron.

On their safe arrival, however, they found an old boat on a beach, which it subsequently appeared had been left there by Mr. Grono on a former voyage. With the aid of this additional boat, when both repaired, they projected an excursion towards some of the more frequented sealing places, and were on the point of setting out when a tremendous hurricane in one night destroyed the boats, and put an end to their hope of relief.

The only nutritive the place afforded was a species of the fern root, resembling a yam when cut and possessing some of the properties of the vegetable. This could only be procured at a distance of six or seven miles from their hut, which was near the sea-side, and had it been plentiful would have been a desirable substitute for better diet; but it was unfortunately so sparingly scattered amongst other shrubs as to be found with difficulty; and they solemnly affirm that they have for a week at a time had neither this nor any other food whatever.

With the assistance of a canoe made up of seal-skins, a party visited their former island, and found their stocks of skins much injured by the weather, but did all they could for their preservation. This was their only seal depot, and out of the usual season they now and then found a solitary straggler, in some instances when they were so reduced by famine as to be scarcely capable of securing those that Providence threw in their way.

With their axe, adze and cooper's drawing knife they afterwards built a small boat, but with intense labour, as without saws they could only cut one plank out of each tree. The hoops upon their provision casks were beaten into nails; and by the same patient and laborious process they at length projected the building of a small vessel, and had provided 80 half-inch boards for the purpose, all cut in the way above described. Truly a feat of great perseverance.

The fortunate accident of Mr. Grono touching there has however preserved them from further suffering and peril, of which they have had full store, on that exposed and inhospitable shore.

Ingleton, G. C.,TruePatriots All, or news from early Australia as told in a collection of broadsides, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1952, p. 65.
Notes on the Broadsides:
An Authentic and Interesting Narrative, of Seamen Marooned &c. page 64

Reprinted verbatim from the report in The Sydney Gazette of 23rd Dec. 1813. Several other cases of seamen marooned for long periods occurred during the sealing era. The Sydney Gazette of 24th July 1813 reported the arrival of the Perseverance with five men who had been left on the Solander Islands for four and a half years. The Sydney Gazette of 5th April 1817 reported the arrival of Captain Coffin in the American ship Enterprize. He had met with three men on a barren isle called the Snares. They had been left there by the schooner Adventure, Captain Keith, some years before, with another man who had died. All had the same dreary prospect before them until the opportune arrival of the Enterprize.

Enjoy!

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 12:06 PM

Thnaks Bob,

I just love to read original sources.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,David in Dunedin
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 04:44 AM

I've cuaght up with this after a long delay - !

Ian Smith, University of Otago, led an archaeological investigation in this area a few years ago, but not, I gather, on the outer islands. Last summer Gerard O'Regan from Ngai Tahu Dev. Corp also directed work in this area.

I hadn't heard that Frank had taken up harp playing, Duelia Rendall is leading a very quiet life these days, being afflicted with MS. I underastand Duilia passed all archival information to the National Library or something similar.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: CET
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 01:03 PM

Rich-Joy: These may be the lyrics you were looking for (2 years late!) I just came across this song on William Pint & Felicia Dale's CD, White Horses. They sing the following version:

Oh my name was Davy Lowston, I did seal, I did seal
Oh my name was Davy Lowston, I did seal.
Though my men and I were lost, though our very lives it cost,
We did seal, we did seal, we did seal.

Our Captain John McGrath, he did seal, he did seal.
Oh yes for old Port Stanley he set sail.
I'll return, men, without fail, but he foundered in the gale,
And went down, and went down, and went down.

We were set down in Open Bay, we were set down, we were set down.
Set down in Open Bay, we were set down.
We were lost, my gallant men, never more to sail again,
Never more, never more, never more.

So come all you lads who venture far from home, far from home.
Come all you lads who venture far from home,
Where the ice bergs tower high, that's a pitiful place to die,
Never seal, never seal, never seal.

Oh my name was Davy Lowston, I did seal, I did seal
Oh my name was Davy Lowston, I did seal.
Though my men and I were lost, though our very lives it cost,
We did seal, we did seal, we did seal.

The liner notes say that Pint&Dale learned the song years ago from the singing of Martin Carthy, who said that he got it from Bert Lloyd. It's interesting to see how the story changed as it migrated. The sealers are still set down in Open Bay, but the Lloy/Carthy/Pint&Dale version seems to situate the action in Antarctica or possibly the Falklands - at any rate, some place where the icebergs tower high.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 02:00 PM

Already in the DT (see link above) though with "my" eccentrically spelled "me" throughout. Pint and Dale seem to have muddled the order of verses. This thread is made of several separate ones glued together, so people appear to be asking questions that have already been answered. I can see how people might easily become confused.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: CET
Date: 27 Jun 05 - 06:26 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. I should have checked the DT links. In case anybody's interested, I can recommend the White Horses CD - good, strong singing, and interesting arrangements.

CET


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: rich-joy
Date: 07 Jul 18 - 04:31 AM

At the risk of wrath by resurrecting old threads (!), I'll just mention that I have finally uploaded the "Work in Progress" group's version, from 2003 (Maleny, Qld) of this excellent song, complete with pictures and history (though maybe I should've read all the Mudcat threads first, haha!) :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvDn3tQ7cTI

Hope someone enjoys, anyway!
Cheers,
R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 07 Jul 18 - 01:31 PM

A few years ago I 'updatd' the lyrics to deal with contemporary Newfoundland sealing situation.
LynnH


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Subject: RE: Origins: Davy Lowston
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 09 Jul 18 - 07:03 AM

For what it's worth, here is my reworking of the story:

My name is Davy Lowston, I did seal, I did seal.
My name is Davy Lowston, I did seal.
On the ice off Labrador
Where the fur-seal pups are born
I did seal, I did seal, I did seal.

It was there upon the Front we were set down, were set down.
It was there upon the Front we were set down.
Pure white seal pups by the score
And we left just bones and gore.
Took just the pelts, just the pelts, just the pelts.

Now this slaughter's called a hunt. Is that a joke? Is that a joke?
This slaughter's called a hunt. Is that a joke?
A man strong and full-grown.
A helpless pup a few days old.
That's no hunt, that's no hunt, that's no hunt. / It's a massacre.

Now I ask myself what's it for? What's it for? What's it for?
O I ask myself what's it for? What's it for?
So some rich and thoughtless dame
Can play the fashion houses game?
Be so chic? Be so chic? Be so chic?

O you fur-clad ladies all, come and see, come and see.
You fur clad ladies all, come and see
Me slaughter seal pups for the fur
That on your back last night you earned.
See the blood, see the blood, see the blood.

O come all you men who venture out to seal, out to seal
Come all you men who venture out to seal.
Where the ice is red with blood
From those skinned and slaughtered pups
Are you proud? Are you proud? Are you proud?

My name is Davy Lowston, I did seal, I did seal
My name is Davy Lowston, I did seal.
I'll throw away my hakapik,
Drop my skinning knife in the deep,
I'll seal no more, seal no more, seal no more.

Lynn H. Wise, 1981

Whether it's any good is for others to decide.


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