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Origins: Row On [original versions]

DigiTrad:
ROW ON


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Row On^^^ (15)
Lyr Req: Row On, Row On (17)
Lyr Req: Songs the Whalermen Sang (Row On) (10)
sea song lament: Row On (5)


Gervase 07 Sep 99 - 07:17 AM
Barry Finn 07 Sep 99 - 08:04 AM
Calhoon 07 Sep 99 - 11:55 AM
radriano 07 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM
Songster Bob 07 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM
radriano 07 Sep 99 - 04:14 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Sep 99 - 09:52 PM
radriano 08 Sep 99 - 01:42 PM
MMario 08 Sep 99 - 01:44 PM
radriano 09 Sep 99 - 12:21 PM
Songster Bob 09 Sep 99 - 02:24 PM
Noreen 09 Sep 01 - 05:11 AM
Noreen 09 Sep 01 - 05:14 AM
kendall 09 Sep 01 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Willa 09 Sep 01 - 09:03 AM
breezy 09 Sep 01 - 11:53 AM
breezy 09 Sep 01 - 11:56 AM
Noreen 09 Sep 01 - 05:04 PM
radriano 01 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM
nutty 01 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM
Noreen 01 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM
Willa 01 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM
catspaw49 01 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM
Noreen 01 Nov 01 - 08:30 PM
Desert Dancer 03 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM
Snuffy 03 Dec 01 - 07:26 PM
Desert Dancer 03 Dec 01 - 11:57 PM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 01 - 06:57 PM
JHW 24 Aug 08 - 04:52 PM
Joe_F 24 Aug 08 - 07:44 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Aug 08 - 07:50 PM
Anglo 24 Aug 08 - 11:32 PM
Greg B 25 Aug 08 - 12:03 AM
SPB-Cooperator 25 Aug 08 - 03:55 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 08 - 06:37 AM
JHW 25 Aug 08 - 02:57 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Oct 08 - 04:54 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 08 - 08:05 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 09 - 08:48 PM
Joe_F 27 Jun 09 - 05:55 PM
Gervase 27 Jun 09 - 06:04 PM
Acorn4 28 Jun 09 - 03:16 AM
Songster Bob 28 Jun 09 - 10:31 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jun 09 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Nov 17 - 11:39 AM
rich-joy 29 Nov 17 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 30 Nov 17 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Dec 17 - 03:35 PM
Anglo 02 Dec 17 - 05:44 PM
rich-joy 02 Dec 17 - 06:28 PM
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Subject: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Gervase
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 07:17 AM

Anyone have the lyrics for the song "Row on, row on, another day....ply,ply the oars..."?

Search for "Row On" threads


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 08:04 AM

I know there was another thread on this some time ago but just now I couldn't find it. If nobody post the words or you can't find the old thread I'll post them when I get home from work. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Calhoon
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 11:55 AM

The text to the song comes from a book called "Songs the Whalemen Sang" by Gale Huntington. and was acquired from the log book of a boat called the "three brothers" which was a whaling ship from Nantucket in 1846. No tune was recorded, so the tune now linked with it was written by Tim Laycock and is available on his new CD with The New Scorpion Band - "Folk Songs and Tunes from the British Isles"

Websitewww.new-scorpion-band.com enquiries@new-scorpion-band.com


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROW ON ^^
From: radriano
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM

Here are the words to Row On:

ROW ON
Words from ship's log, Three Brothers 1846
Set to music by Tim Laycock, England

Clouds are upon the summer sky
There's thunder in the wind
Pull on, pull on and homeward hie
Nor give one look behind

Bear where thou goest the words of love,
Say all that words can say;
Change lest affections strength to prove
But speed upon the way.
CHORUS
Row on, row on, another day
May shine with brighter light
Ply, ply the oars and pull away
There's dawn beyond the night

Oh, like yon river would I glide
To where my heart would be.
My barque should soon outsail the tide
That hurries to the sea.

But yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky;
And hope as bright my bosom stills
From faith that cannot die.

Row on, row on, God speed the way,
Thou must not linger here;
Storms hang about the closing day,
Tomorrow may be clear.

^^
Regards,
Radriano


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Songster Bob
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM

I have in my memory slightly different words to verse two, as:

Where ere thou goest, the words of love
Say all that words can say
Changeless affections strength to prove,
But speed thee on thy way.


However, I still can't quite fathom the meaning, or at least I can't fathom (note the nautical term used here) how the first three lines connect to the "but" in line four. As a sometimes wordy lyricist myself, it bothers me to have that disconnect. I remember someone singing it in yet another version (mine comes from the singing of Dick Swain) where that last line connected better, but damned if it could stick in my mind enough to evict the version I first learned, so there you go.

'Course, I could just look it up in Huntingon, but I don't have the book here at work.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: radriano
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 04:14 PM

Dear Songster Bob:

The lyrics I posted are from Gale Huntington's book.
I've had other requests for the melody so I will post that tomorrow.

Regards,
radriano


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 09:52 PM

Ed Trickett has recorded it on his brand new CD titled Echo on the Evening Tide which is now available through Folk-Legacy, although it's too new to have found its way onto our web site. We have it in stock, however, and can take orders. Call 800-836-0901 and mention Mudcat!

What a singable song!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: radriano
Date: 08 Sep 99 - 01:42 PM

Dear MMario:

When I looked at Gale Huntington's book last night I realized that only the lyrics are there. I attempted to trascribe the tune into ABC but ran into some snags so I am not ready to post that yet.

I learned the melody from Dick Holdstock of Davis, California. I have performed the song but not recorded it. If you want to E:mail me your address (radriano@consrv.ca.gov) I'll be happy to send you my version on a tape. Alternatively, there are other sources for this song. Two recordings that I know of are:

Lady of Autumn by the band Beggar's Velvet
Bonnet & Shawl by Dave Weber and Anni Fentiman

Also, see Sandy Paton's message for Ed Trickett's version of the song.

Regards
radriano


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: MMario
Date: 08 Sep 99 - 01:44 PM

You needn't do that...too much bother....

Besides, it'll do me good to wait for it...

and when you DO get to the point you post, then everyone will have it...*grin*


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Subject: Tune Add: ROW ON
From: radriano
Date: 09 Sep 99 - 12:21 PM

Well, I think I've done it. Here is the melody to Row On, in ABC format:

X:1
T:Row On
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:F
z2C2F2G2 | A3G Ac3 | D6B2 | B2A2 GF3 |
E3c c2B2{cB} | A3G Ac3 | D6C2 | C3A A2G2 | F6z2 |
"Chorus"z4A A2G2 | F3G GA3 | B4-B2d2 | d3c B2A2 | G6A2 |
A3G F4-|F2A2 GF3 | D6C2 | C3A A4 | G4 F4-|F8||

Keep in mind that this is my arrangement of this song. I don't know how close it is to the original melody. Yes, folks, it's the folk process at work.

Speaking of that pesky folk process, Songster Bob was right. The third line of the second verse should read:

Changeless affections, strength to prove

The second verse that I posted is also wrong, as I sing the line as follows:

Change least affections, strength to prove

The original words make a little more sense but I obtained the book long after I had learned the song. And you know, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

Regard,
radriano


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Songster Bob
Date: 09 Sep 99 - 02:24 PM

Folk Process indeed -- we sang the tune we'd learned from Dick Swain's singing to Beggar's Velvet the time they came through DC (before they broke up) and they laughed at the changes that had crept into it. But old-dog style, I sing it as I learned it (more or less -- I've never actually compared it to Dick's version, side-by-side, so some of the changes are likely mine). We even got a tape of the last line to a song we'd learned from an old record some of the members of Beggar's Velvet had made years ago, called "Aall Together Like the Foalks o' Shiels"* (long out of print and unlikely to be reprinted, from what Dave Webber tells me), where we'd picked up on the harmony line instead of the melody, but damned if we (Jennifer and I) don't sing it the old way anyway, melody be damned.

Bob Clayton

*My spelling is from memory, and I could be wrong. It might be "Tegither."


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:11 AM

Help please. Radriano says this is the original verse two:

Bear where thou goest the words of love
Say all that words can say
Changeless affections, strength to prove
But speed upon the way


The first two lines make sense now, but can anyone tell me what the second two lines, in italics, may mean? I love this song, and like to understand what I'm singing...

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:14 AM

Just noticed that I have refreshed this thread two years to the day from the previous post!


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: kendall
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 08:53 AM

I have a copy of Ed Tricketts tape with this song. As usual, he does it up very well. There are other gems on it as well.


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 09:03 AM

Hi Noreen; didn't we have a great time at WindyB? Ickle and I sang this yesterday in 'the hut'. I've always interpreted the 'but' in the old sense of 'will only' ie 'changeless affections strength to prove but speed you on your way' is 'knowing of your loves changeless affection will give you strength and guide you on your way'- don't know whether that makes sense to you!


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: breezy
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 11:53 AM

everyone was singing it at the song sessions at cornwall/wadebridge f.fest this year.put it down to webber


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: breezy
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 11:56 AM

can someone come and lead it on mondays at the bull redbourn herts weekly-singaround?


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Subject: RE: Lry Reg: Row on, row on..
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:04 PM

Thank you, Willa, I get it now! Yes, that makes sense.

Lovely to meet you yesterday and swop songs; Ickle and I sang this on stage at Windy B today and she didn't say she'd rehearsed it with you- that's cheating!

Breezy- I'd love to, but it's a bit far for an evening... :0)

Noreen


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROW ON
From: radriano
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 10:53 AM

Row On
Words from ship's log, Three Brothers 1846
Set to music by Tim Laycock, England


Clouds are upon a summer sky
There's thunder in the wind
Pull, pull away and homeward hie
Nor give one look behind

Chorus:
Row on, row on, another day
May shine with brighter light
Ply, ply the oars and pull away
There's dawn beyond the night (Thou must not come tonight)

Bear where thou goest the words of love
Say all that words can say
Changeless affections strength to prove
But speed upon the way

Like yonder river will I glide
To where my heart would be
My barque should soon outsail the tide
That hurries to the sea

And yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky
And hope like this my bosom fill
From faith that cannot die

Row on, row on, God speed the way
Thou must not linger here
Clouds hang about the closing day
Tomorrow may be clear


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Subject: RE: Lyr. req.: Row On
From: nutty
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM

Anyone any ideas about the different last line of the chorus?
I know Dave and Annie sing the first version - there's dawn etc. While The Keelers sing the last - Thou must not come.
I dont't understand why there's a difference -- do you??


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Subject: RE: Lyr. req.: Row On
From: Noreen
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 05:43 PM

I don't see the point in the Thou must not come... line- sounds like someone forgot the original and made that up on the spur of the moment...!

I much prefer the idea of there being dawn beyond the night.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lyr. req.: Row On
From: Willa
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM

I've never come across 'thou must not come tonight' before, either. I think your suggestion may be right, Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lyr. req.: Row On
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM

A-wella-a-wella the perky paddles that you've got
Make me horny and make me hot-ot-ot
Row-On, it's my life's ambition
Row-On, a fine condition, when your oars
Are in my hands, I say "Row-On."

.....With apologies to Buddy Holly

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr. req.: Row On
From: Noreen
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 08:30 PM

:0)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row on, row on..
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM

Radriano admitted to possible folkprocessing of the tune as transcribed into abc above (9/9/99 post). It does sound a little suspect to me. Anyone want to give it another try? I've got a Holdstock & McLeod recording, but I'm having trouble distinguishing the melody from the harmony in the chorus.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Tune Add: ROW ON
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 07:26 PM

Some of the timing is different to what I'm used to, but the notes are basically the same, apart from the last line of the chorus. Try this:

X: 189
T:Row On
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:110
K:F
z2C2F2G2 | A3G Ac3 | D6B2 | B2A2 GF3 |
E3c c2B2{cB} | A3G Ac3 | D6C2 | C3A A2G2 | F6z2 |
"Chorus"
z4A A2G2 | F3G GA3 | B4-B2d2 | d3c B2A2 | G6A2 |
A3G F4-|F2A2 GF3 | D6D2 | C3G AG3 | FF3- F4||

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row on, row on..
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 03 Dec 01 - 11:57 PM

Thanks, Snuffy, and Joe Offer (who sent something direct). I think I'm gettin' it now.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row on, row on..
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 06:57 PM

Dick Holdstock's MP3 of this song is available on this page (click)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: JHW
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 04:52 PM

I was asked about this in a great sing in the Station, Whitby this week, which is why I'm looking on Mudcat as I only half remember the tale. The original poem was found in the ships log as noted above and 'Thou must not come tonight' is the poem writer, the last man left aboard? trying to persuade the grim reaper, who he sees coming for him, to 'Row On' and not take him. 'Thou must not linger here' echo's the same plea.

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 07:44 PM

JHW: The imperative passage that begins "Pull, pull" continues thru the chorus & into the second stanza. Thus, on your interpretation, the singer must also be asking the Grim Reaper to bear where he goes the words of love, etc. -- not his usual business.

I incline to what I consider the obvious interpretation: That the song is addressed to a generic human being and counsels him or her against despair. If so, then "There's dawn beyond the light" is the right version.

I do have a little trouble parsing the second stanza. I think "affections" should be "affection's". Then it means "Say all that words can say to prove the strength of changeless affection, but keep rowing while you're at it" -- a tall order, but coherent at any rate.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 07:50 PM

Row on, row on
The brightest day gives way to deepest night
Pull on your ours with all you've got
There's dark beyond the light.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: Anglo
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 11:32 PM

Well-- (not that I sing it this way), but if you think about it it's a night visiting song, similar to the 'Go From My Window, My Love, My Dove' motif.

I admit I prefer to think about it as something a little more spiritual - and indeed ambiguous. And I'm happy with its ambiguity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: Greg B
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 12:03 AM

A 'way back when, it used to be a tradition following the Mystic
festival, that what performers and organizers were left would
gather for dinner at a restaurant called "Noah's" just up
the road. Small place. Exquisite seafood. In Stonington.

After all had supped their fill, permission would be asked if
we could sing, the other diners being asked if they objected.

They never did.

It must have been a couple of decades ago, but I still recall
Dick Swain starting up with 'Row On..' and all joining in in
the inimitable harmony that was unique to a gathering of Mystic
Festival performers; four-square and perfect.

A woman was dining alone at the front of the shop; she stopped
her supper.

Tears flowed down her cheeks...we clearly had not just entertained,
we had tugged at some hidden heart-string. Was it a lost love? Her
life? A general whats-it's?

"Ply ply the oars, and pull away. There's dawn beyond the night."

Now that is why we sing this music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 03:55 AM

The collected version is in Gale Huntingtons Songs the Whalemen Sang.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 06:37 AM

Greg B.- Thanks for refreshing this thread and telling the story of Dick leading "Row On" . That would cheer me up; having Dick & Nancy return to their friends in Maine and singing that song and twenty or so more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On
From: JHW
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 02:57 PM

Joe F thanks yes I see discontinuity and appreciate all comments but the grim reaper tale is not my invention. Was just hoping someone else who had heard it would chip in.

Thanks again all, John


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Subject: Lyr Add: SONG: 'Row on, row on! Another day ...'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:54 PM

From
James, G. P. R. Arabella Stuart: A Romance from English History. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1844, page 103.

(Note: in the volume that Google digitized, there seem to be 3 novels bound together: 1. The False Heir. 2. Arabella Stuart. 3. Arrah Neil. The whole volume is incorrectly identified by Google as "Arrah Neil.")

I have boldfaced the words that are different from the version posted above.

Note that none of these stanzas is identified as a chorus. (I have added numbers.)

SONG.

1. Row on, row on! Another day
May shine with brighter light;
Ply, ply the oars, and pull away,
Thou must not come to-night.

2. Clouds are upon the summer sky,
There's thunder on the wind;
Pull on, pull on, and homeward hie,
Nor give one look behind!

3. Bear where thou go'st the words of love;
Say all that words can say,
Changeless affection's strength to prove,
But speed upon the way.

4. Oh! like yon river could I glide
To where my heart would be;
My bark should soon outsail the tide,
That hurries to the sea.

5. But yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky,
And hopes as bright my bosom fill,
From faith that cannot die!

6. Row on, then, row! God speed thy way!
Thou must not linger here;
Storms hang about the closing day;
To-morrow may be clear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On, Row On
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM

Row on, row on! The brightest day
Gives way to gloomy night
Pull on the oars for all it's worth
There's dark beyond the light


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row On, Row On
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 08:05 PM

For it's many a bright sunshiny morning
Turns out it will rain the whole day long...


But it's a great song, even if it does invite a pessimistic response at times.


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Subject: DT Correction: Row On
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 08:48 PM

Until Jim Dixon posted the 1844 lyrics above, I had thought the only source of this song was Songs the Whalemen Sang, a book by Gale Huntington that was published in 1964. All the versions of the song posted here are slightly different from what's in the book, so I thought I'd post the lyrics that are in Huntington's book. The first line of the DT version should be corrected - it says "Row on, row no," and it transposes the date of the song. Otherwise, the DT version is an accurate transcription from the Huntington book - but the version Jim posted is earlier than Huntington's, and makes more sense.

ROW ON

Row on, row on, another day
May shine with brighter light;
Ply, ply the oars and pull away,
Thou must not come tonight.

Clouds are upon the summer sky,
There's thunder on the wind;
Pull on, pull on, and homeward hie,
Nor give one look behind.

Bear where thou goest the words of love,
Say all that words can say.
Changeless affections strength to prove,
But speed upon the way.

Oh, like yon river would I glide
To where my heart would be.
My barque should soon outsail the tide
That hurries to the sea.

But yet a star shines constant still
Through yonder cloudy sky;
And hope as bright my bosom stills
From faith that can not die.

Row on, row on, God speed the way,
Thou must not linger here;
Storms hang about the closing day,
Tomorrow may be clear.

Words from the log of the ship, Three Brothers, 1846
Set to music by Tim Laycock, England

often sung with this chorus:
   Row on, row on, another day
   May shine with brighter light;
   Ply, ply the oars and pull away,
   There's dawn beyond the night.

From Songs the Whalemen Sang, by Gale Huntington (1964), page 290.
@sea
Filename[ ROWON
BF
apr00


(transcription verified)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 05:55 PM

With the punctuation corrected as in Jim Dixon's copy, the problematic third stanza might be rendered as prose thus:

Carry the words of love wherever you go; say all that words can say to prove the strength of changeless affection -- but keep going at full speed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Gervase
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 06:04 PM

Just noticed that I have refreshed this thread two years to the day from the previous post!
And now nearly 10 years!
And thanks to everyone who has posted - it's become a firm favourite in my repertoire, even if it has been overdone a bit over the past decade thanks to Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman's excellent version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Acorn4
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 03:16 AM

We sing "Change not affection strength to prove"

I seem to remember we got the song from the Scorpions recorded off Folk Waves, but we seem to have a few differences in lyrics to the versions posted here. "Change not" seems to make more sense.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Songster Bob
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:31 PM

Hmmm... I'll try using punctuation to 'splain that second verse:

Bear where thou goest; the words of love
Say all that words can say,
Changeless affections strength to prove --
But speed upon the way.

Thought one: Bear (steer) where you are going.
New thought #1: The words of love say all that they can say about changeless affections' strength.
New thought #2 (or somewhat of a reprise of the first thought): Keep on keepin' on.

Now can someone tell me what the "barque shall soon outsail the tide" verse means?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:52 PM

How's this, Bob?
    The ship is gonna move the hell outa here, faster than the tide is gonna move the hell outa here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 11:39 AM

I was reminded of this last weekend at Bedworth Festival.

Most of the problems with interpretation of the song stem from not understanding it's function in the novel.

Arabella Stuart was a real person, 4th in line to the throne when Elizabeth died. She secretly married William Seymour, who was 6th in line. The King thought this might be the star of a power play for the throne (though apparently Arabella had no desire for the throne) and he imprisoned them, William in the Tower of London, Arabella at a house in Lambeth.

In the novel a friend of William's sails by Arabella's house in Lambeth and throws a letter from William onto the terrace, remarking loudly to his boatman that he'll probably be back that way in an hour. On returning Arabella's companion throws Arabella's reply onto the boat. Thus William and Arabella correspond.

When the song appears in the novel, there are visitors at the house and it is not safe. Arabella's companion sing's the song as a warning to William's friend that it is not safe to throw his letter there. The song is in fact a 'Go From My Window' for political prisoners!

All the verses make sense once this context is known. For example, the last posts above. "Bear where..." = Carry my words of love to William, showing the strengh of her unchanging affection for him.

The "barque verse" = If she had the chance ("where my heart could be") she would fly to her lover as fast as a ship that could outrun the tide.

The last line "Thou must not come tonight" in the original is the essence of the song. The change to "There's dawn beyond the night" makes the song seem like a generic song for parted lovers, but obscures the meaning of a lot of it,

When Gale Huntington first published the words in '64 you would have had to know the novel to give any information on the song; sources outside the canon of "folk songs" or "popular song" would be unlikely to be known. Only thanks to the digitization efforts of google and archive.org is it possible to locate some of these other sources.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: rich-joy
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 11:15 PM

I first heard this song as a Tony Roberts & John Barrand recording. It's one I've always had trouble singing and listening to without tearing up - dunno why (maybe it's a past life thing, LoL!)    Anyway, thanks Tim Laycock, for a lovely chune!

Recently I came across 2 x You Tube versions of interest, one from a session singer named Noelle (actually there are 2 clips of her singing it).    BtW, I'd love to be at her Sessions (two pubs in MN) : full-on singing and few instruments!

[ "The Essex" was sunk in 1820 by a Sperm Whale and out of 20 men, only 8 survived, most after drifting the ocean for some 95 days and driven to cannibalism to survive. There are myriad webpages about the fate of "The Essex" and Captn Pollard and the other survivors, and various books written (some from the survivors). Melville's novel "Moby Dick" was based in no small part upon the disaster. ]

Other Mudcat threads also detail these happenings.

The other YouTube version I liked was by McKasson / Alexander / Cotter and their official vidclip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d28jmlWNcXw
contains a Comment with a link to : "Pitcairn Islands Port of Call record book, August 19th, 1847" with reference to that earlier sorry saga.

It was also put forward that the captain of the "Three Brothers" (another Nantucket Whaler and not to be confused with Captn Pollard's next ill-fated whaleship "The Two Brothers"), presumably one Joseph Mitchell, likely wrote that poem now known as "Row On" into the ship's log. The log is apparently available at the Nantucket Historical Association website, for those who know how to access such items!!   It was also observed that "Note that there are just 8 days between the Port of Call entry and the logbook entry."

So, did he actually compose it, or, remember it from his reading of GPR James' "Arabella Stuart" novel of 1844?????

Sadly, my basic Google searching today has not brought up much mention at all, regarding Capt Mitchell or "The 3 Brothers". Rather disappointing.

Anyway, a thunderstorm is almost over me - gotta go!!!
Cheers!
Rich-Joy
Down Under


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 09:26 PM

Mick Pearce...thanks for all that info....all is now clearer and makes much more sense in my little brain! [long time no see Mick!]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 03:35 PM

Thanks for the kind words Dave. Haven't been on Mudcat for a long time but I was reminded of the song last weekend and Mudcat is still the best place to store information like this.

Glad your retirement will have one less song to puzzle about and more time for enjoyment (though I think you may have been responsible for a lifetime of that)!


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: Anglo
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 05:44 PM

Let me also add my appreciation for the info given above by Mick Pearce. It was a good follow-up to Jim Dixon's 2008 post, which I missed at the time, which I think was the first reference to the appearance of Row On in Arabella Stuart.

I was also interested to see your post above, Rich-Joy, with the reference to the video by MAC. I find their claim, that the poem was written by the captain of the Two Brothers in memory of the sailors of the Essex, totally without merit. Taking verse 1 as a chorus, as most of us do, they sing the last line as "There's dawn beyond the night," rather than the original "Thou must not come tonight." Tim Laycock set the tune, and he recorded it with the New Scorpion Band with the "dawn beyond the night" line, so I assume that he wrote that line and made the change. It does completely alter the sense of the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Row On [original versions]
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 06:28 PM

Yes Anglo, just one more word could change the whole provenance of the song/poem as we "know" it :
"written down by" as opposed to "written by" - LOL!!

Wonder if Tim Laycock did any further research than Gail Huntington's text? Anyone know him well enough to ask??!!

The now earliest known source, the "Arabella Stuart" trilogy, would probably have had limited reading by the general populace over the last (say) 70 or so years, it seems to me. (Although, George Payne Rainsford's (1799-1860) novel is now available from Amazon of course.)

Still, it's a good example of The Folk Process at work, I guess, and a cracker of a song!

Cheers!
R-J
Down Under


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