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Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)

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WHERE THERE'S REST FOR HORSE AND MAN or HOME LADS HOME


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Charley Noble 01 Jun 10 - 08:07 AM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 10 - 08:05 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Jun 10 - 01:48 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 10 - 02:26 PM
stallion 04 Jun 10 - 02:37 PM
Charley Noble 04 Jun 10 - 04:06 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 08:07 AM

Mike Kennedy and I have been working on "The Jolly Bargeman," a vintage canal poem by Cicely Fox Smith, adapting it for singing and I think we've got something of interest. Mike has a nice melody for the chorus but I have a different melody than Mike's for the verse, and I've done some minor revision of this World War 1 era poem. Here's a link to the song and the original poem on my website with a MP3 sample: click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Here's the song with chords (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

Composed by Cicely Fox Smith, © 1919
Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar, 5/23/10
Tune: Mike Kennedy chorus/Charles Ipcar verse

The Jolly Bargeman


Chorus:

C--------F-----------C--------------F-------------------G
And it's "Gee-hup, Mabel," we'll do the best we're able,
----------C-------------------------------------F----------------G
For the Country's took us over an' we're helping her to win,
-----C--------------------------------F----------------G
An' when this war is over, we'll all lay down in clover,
------------F-----------------------G---C-G--C--G7-C
An' we'll drink all together at the Na-vi-ga-tion Inn!


C-------------------------F------------------------C-----------------G
I've put the old mare's tail in plaits — now ain't she lookin' gay?
--------F------------G--C-----------------------F----C-G
Bright ribbons in her mane, you'd think it First o' May;
C----F--------------------C--------------------------F------------------G-C
For why? We're under Government, though it ain't quite plain to me
----------F------------C------------G----------------C
If we're in the Civil Service or in the Admiral-ty! (CHO)


Now I brought the news to Missis, an' to her these words did say:
"Just chuck your old broom-handle an' some rusty nails this way:
We're bound to have a flag-staff for our old red, white an' blue,
For now we're under Government we'll have our ensign too." (CHO)

Now the Navy is the Navy, and it sails upon the sea,
The Army is the Army, and on land it has to be;
There's the land an' there's the water, an' the Cut comes in between,
And I don't know what they'll call me if it ain't the Horse Marine. (CHO)

So the Missis sits upon the barge, the same's she used to sit,
But they'll have her in the papers now for "doin' her own bit":
And I trudge upon the tow-path here as proud as anything,
Though I haven't got no uniform, I'm serving of the King. (CHO)


Notes:

From Small Craft: Sailor Ballads and Chantys, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by George H. Doran Co., New York, US, © 1919, pp. 72-73. First published in Punch Magazine, Volume 152, May 16, 1917, p. 320.

This poem captures a moment in World War 1 when the British Government had issued an order mobilizing the canal bargemen into the war effort, replete with great detail.

My wife Judy captured the image of the horse-drawn canal boat heading under the bridge.

Always interested in comments if you have any.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 10 - 08:05 PM

Refresh #1


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 01:48 PM

In case anyone is interested in seeing what the original looks like (and other poems by C. Fox Smith), it can be found at Google Books:


THE JOLLY BARGEMAN
C. Fox Smith

I've put the old mare's tail in plaits—now ain't she lookin' gay,
With ribbons in 'er mane likewise, you'd think it First o' May;
For why? We're under Government, though it ain't quite plain to me
If we're in the Civil Service or the Admiralitee!

An' it's "Gee hup, Mabel," an' we'll do the best we're able,
For the country's took us over an' we're 'elpin' 'er to win,
An' when the war is over, oh, we'll all lie down in clover,
With a drink all together at the Navigation Inn!

I brought the news to Missis, an' to 'er these words did say:
"Just chuck yon old broom-'andle an' a two-three nails this way:
We're bound to 'ave a flag-staff for our old red, white an' blue,
For now we're under Government we'll 'ave our ensign too."

The Navy is the Navy, an' it sails upon the sea,
The Army is the Army, an' on land it 'as to be;
There's the land an' there's the water, an' the Cut comes in between,
An' I don't know what they'll call me if it ain't an 'Orse Marine.

The Missis sits upon the barge, the same's she used to sit,
But they'll 'ave 'er in the papers now for Doin' 'er Bit:
An' I walk upon the tow-path 'ere as proud as anything,
If I 'aven't got no uniform, I'm serving of the King.

An' it's "Gee hup, Mabel," oh, we'll do the best we're able,
For the country's been an' called us, an' we've got to 'elp to win;
An' when the war is over, then we'll all lie down in clover,
With a drink all together at the Navigation Inn!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 02:26 PM

Thanks, Jim, for posting an original version of the poem. It's nice to know that more of C. Fox Smith's poetry books are becoming available on-line via Google.

Of course the original poem, as I mentioned above is also available on my website linked above, and some 625 of Smith's poems, fully referenced, are available for review at her page on the Oldpoetry website: Click here for website

The "g" in "Gee hup" I believe is pronounced like "giddeyup" rather than the "g" in "gee whiz." At least that's the way we used to instruct our working horses on the farm when we wanted them to move forward. They refused to move forward when someone shouted "Go!" because it sounded too much like "Whoa!"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: stallion
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 02:37 PM

From my very distant memory it was hup and whoa, the hup was a short sharp word and a shake of thr reins and whoa was a long drawn out affair. Mind you it's nearly fifty years since I sat on the rig and about the same since I drove a horse!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jolly Bargeman (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jun 10 - 04:06 PM

Peter-

That makes sense to me but I think we need two syllables for the line to work.

Any more "horse folks" out there?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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