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Lyr Req: London Waterman (Peter Bellamy)

Dennis the Elder 26 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM
RTim 26 Mar 11 - 01:49 PM
Dennis the Elder 26 Mar 11 - 03:23 PM
Artful Codger 26 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM
Reinhard 27 Mar 11 - 01:16 AM
Dennis the Elder 27 Mar 11 - 05:58 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Mar 11 - 05:39 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: London Waterman, Roberts/Bellamy
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM

Could anyone please help me with the lyrics of London Waterman by Bob Roberts and Peter Bellamy. I am trying to identify a song I have heard and believe this could be it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Waterman, Roberts/Bellamy
From: RTim
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 01:49 PM

Its available on the Web
http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/peter.bellamy/songs/thelondonwaterman.html

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Waterman, Roberts/Bellamy
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 03:23 PM

Thanks Tim, that was quick.
Although is not the song I thought it was, it looks interesting and certainly worth learning.
The song I was trying to identify starts "At Waterloo we passed the trains arriving from the West" and concerns the travel through London Waterways, probably the Thames, probably on a barge. The other song I thought it might be is "Thames Lightermen" by Alasdair Clayre, I cannot find words for this song either.


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Subject: RE: London Waterman / The Jolly Young Waterman
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Mar 11 - 05:40 PM

You can also find the Dibdin text and a nice MIDI at Leslie Nelson's site The Contemplator: The Jolly Young Waterman. Nelson cites as source One Hundred Songs of England (1914), edited by Granville Bantock. It is song #88.

Zierke's page gives one link to the text in probably more authentic form (pub. 1828) and it must surely also be in one of Thomas Dibdin's even earlier collections of the various Dibdin's songs, available online at Google Books—sadly, none with music.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THAMES LIGHTERMEN (Alasdair Clayre)
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:16 AM

Why not google for the line you remember? That gives you Alasdair Clayre's verses immediately:

THAMES LIGHTERMEN.

At Waterloo we passed the trains arriving from the west
The old stockbrokers piling out all hot and neatly dressed,
We passed their banks and offices and we saw them crowd inside,
And there we lay and watched the sky, and drifted with the tide.

And as we shot through London Bridge, with half an inch to spare
The people up ahead of us leaned across the ledge to stare
Their office doors were shutting and their cash was changing hands,
And we stripped off our shirts, to bask,like kids on Margate Sands.

One lovely summers morning, as we left Brentford Pier
The wind was blowing south south-west and the air was warm and clear,
Five swans were drifting down the tide like white clouds in the sky,
And the oil and muck were breaking white in spray where we passed by.

But I've seen the river running clear, before the diesels came
I used to pole a punt at night and play the courting game
By Brentford Reach you'd dip your mug to drink when you were dry
You could see a swans's feet trailing wide to turn and let you by.

But the men who rowed the barges once are old and going grey
The rivers turned to oil and muck, and we've watched the job decay,
And aching bones and worn-out spines are all the thanks we've got
One day they'll dam the whole Thames up and let the lighters rot.

a song by Alisdair Clayre, about the demise of the Thames bargee's and their way of life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Waterman, Roberts/Bellamy
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:58 AM

Cheers Reinhard, I had tried many things but not that.,
Its a great song and with a lot of practice I will sing it.
I dont like singing a son that I don't know its name or background.
I have a recording of it being sung, but did not know what it was called.
Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Waterman (Peter Bellamy)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:39 PM

Since there is already a thread about THAMES LIGHTERMEN by Alasdair Clayre, we might as well make this thread about Dibdin's song:

The oldest publication of the lyrics I can find is here:

From "The Waterman: A Ballad Opera" by Charles Dibdin, printed in The Monthly Miscellany, Volume 2 (London: R. Snagg, September, 1774), page 143:

[Note that the song appears without its own title.]

And did you not hear of a jolly young waterman,
    Who at Black-friar's bridge used for to ply;
And he feather'd his oars with such skill and dexterity
    Winning each heart and delighting each eye;
He look'd so neat and row'd so steadily,
The maidens all flock'd in his boat so readily,
And he eyed the young rogues with so charming an air,
That this waterman ne'er was in want of a fare.

What sights of fine folks he oft row'd in his wherry,
    'Twas clean'd out so nice and so painted withall:
He always first oars when the fine city ladies,
    In a party to Ranelagh went or Vauxhall
And oftentimes would they be giggling and leering,
But 'twas all one to Tom, their gibing and jeering,
For loving, or liking, he little did care,
For this waterman ne'er was in want of a fare.

And yet, but to see how strangely things happen,
    As he row'd along, thinking of nothing at all,
He was ply'd by a damsel so lovely and charming
    That she smiled, and so straitway in love he did fall;
And wou'd this young damsel but banish his sorrow,
He'd wed her to-night before to-morrow;
And how should this waterman ever know care,
When he's married, and never in want of a fare?


You can see musical notation for this song in Old Scotch Gems and Other Favourite Songs (Glasgow: David Bryce & Son, 1906), page 100, where the song is titled THE JOLLY YOUNG WATERMAN.


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