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ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)

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Joe Offer 04 Mar 11 - 02:49 AM
Stewart 04 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM
kendall 05 Mar 11 - 11:09 AM
Beer 05 Mar 11 - 11:21 AM
Deckman 06 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 06 Mar 11 - 11:21 AM
Amergin 06 Mar 11 - 11:29 AM
SINSULL 06 Mar 11 - 01:07 PM
Don Firth 06 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM
Don Firth 08 Mar 11 - 12:31 AM
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Subject: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 02:49 AM

Bob "Deckman" Nelson sent me a link to a YouTube Video of a song he wrote, "The Old Fisherman." I found the lyrics and a non-video recording at pnwfolklore.org:

Introduction by Bob Nelson: I've been haunted by the story of Pappa Kari, and his eventual death, since I was sixteen. I recently spent time in Westport (Washington) searching for friends that knew
the Kari family. I was successful in locating the grand son-in-law of Pappa Kari who filled me in on some missing details. The story of "Pappa Kari" needs to be told.

THE OLD FISHERMAN
(Bob Nelson)

Some men must follow the sea,
Some men can stay on the land,
Their choices were made, before they were born,
They all do the best that they can,
You work on the land, you know where you stand,
You work, you earn, and you slave,
But those brave men who work on the sea,
They work with one foot in the grave.


I watched the old man stumble along,
His two canes led the way,
He walked the dock and he came to the rail,
Saying: "how are you today."
He spoke in Finn and I understood,
I was standing on his boat,
And here was the man that knew the sea,
Like no-one else afloat.
    CHORUS
    So here's to those that are dead and gone,
    Those men that follow the sea,
    Their ranks are thin, but they'd do it again,
    Those Finns that follow the sea, my boys,
    Those Finns that follow the sea.


He said "my father died at sea,
My father's father did too,
I've fished these waters, my time is short,
And I know what I must do."
He asked me to help him climb the rail,
So on his deck he could stand
"I need to feel the sea again,
I must not die on the land."

CHORUS

He'd survived the storm of '36,
Where 16 others had died
He'd led his friends through the pounding surf,
Those few that did survive,
But now his years had crippled him,
He knew his time was near,
He begged me to take him cross the bar,
I could see that he had no fear.

CHORUS

Pappa Kari saw his end,
Just as his fathers had done,
Those left behind couldn't understand,
That with his death he'd won,
He needed to see his fathers again,
They had showed him the way,
His freedom came in his own way,
As he went to the water to stay.

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Stewart
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM

That's a very professionally produced video, Bob.
Who produced it?
It's also a very nice song.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: kendall
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 11:09 AM

Excellent job Mate. Landlubbers will never understand what the sea can do to a man.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Beer
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 11:21 AM

Very enjoyable indeed. Well done.
Ad.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM

The person that produced the video of "The Old Fisherman" is Christa Carnell, of the Seattle area. I think she did a fine job. She recently returned to this area from Florida, where she is known for her award winning documentory films. She was a real pro and great fun to work with. I love working with people that really know their job, and just get to it. You can google her name and get more information. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 11:21 AM

A great song must tell a great story, and Bob, that is what you have here!


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Amergin
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 11:29 AM

Bob has several videos on youtube...all fine performances...but I have to say this is my favourite, Bob!


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 01:07 PM

Beautifully written; beautifully performed.
This one needs to make the rounds of the shanty crowds, Bob.
Thank you for sharing it.
Mary


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM

I've known Bob since 1953 and as far as I know, it wasn't until recently that he's taken a shot at writing songs (previous song something humorous about a smart-ass chicken, as I recall). As to the songwriting talents just revealed, I am most impressed!!

My first encounter with Gordon Bok was when I heard him on the radio in the late 1960s. A local classical music station had an hour-long program of folk music, hosted by a woman named Margaret Ellsworth (as I recall) and aired from 11:00 p.m. to midnight Sunday nights (that's "the middle of nowhere" in radio scheduling). She had an excellent stack of records and she played some darned good stuff—no "pop folk." Traditional. And singers who sang it well.

I had my open-reel tape recorder plugged into my hi-fi and I taped these programs. Basically, I was trolling for songs to sing. One night, she played a cut by Gordon Bok, whom I'd never heard or heard of before. "The Herring Croon." Wow! I hauled off and learned it right away, and started singing it. And subsequently I netted a number of other songs sung by Gordon.

They sounded so actually traditional (some of which were), that it never occurred to me that many were not. I learned later that he had written a fair number of them himself.

The difference between Gordon and many other songwriters is that Gordon has "been there, done that!" He knows the life, the people, and the situations he writes about. And he has a real knack for stringing words and notes together. I have "swiped" many of his songs, and I sing them—but with proper credit.

But I can see how Gordon's songs could easily slip into the tradition anonymously, people singing them because, as I did, they assume from the nature and feel of the songs, that they are traditional. Songs about real people, real situations, and real lives.

What really impressed me when I hear Bob singing "The Old Fisherman" is that I can hear that same core feeling, The same kind of touch. It's about a real person. Real people. And the life of those people. And expressed just right.

Way to go, Bob! You really nailed it!

And the cinematography on the YouTube clip is excellent! Very professional. Not the static one viewpoint of most YouTube clips. A bit of variety, with cuts to a couple of different angles.

My compliments to the chef!!

(More! More!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old Fisherman (Bob Nelson)
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:31 AM

refresh,


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