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Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.

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Bill 14 Sep 99 - 11:05 PM
Barry Finn 14 Sep 99 - 11:18 PM
karen k 15 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM
Canberra Chris 16 Sep 99 - 06:40 AM
bob schwarer 16 Sep 99 - 07:24 AM
David Coffin 16 Sep 99 - 08:06 PM
WyoWoman 17 Sep 99 - 08:02 PM
Barry Finn 17 Sep 99 - 08:35 PM
raredance 17 Sep 99 - 09:47 PM
wildlone 17 Sep 99 - 11:09 PM
Stewie 18 Sep 99 - 06:46 PM
Charley Noble 26 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM
semi-submersible 26 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM
Emma B 26 Jun 04 - 02:44 PM
greg stephens 26 Jun 04 - 07:25 PM
Charley Noble 26 Jun 04 - 10:08 PM
LadyJean 26 Jun 04 - 11:01 PM
MARINER 27 Jun 04 - 01:20 AM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 04 - 10:18 AM
Shanghaiceltic 27 Jun 04 - 10:23 AM
greg stephens 27 Jun 04 - 02:54 PM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 04 - 10:18 PM
greg stephens 28 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM
Charley Noble 28 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM
Charley Noble 22 Aug 04 - 07:21 PM
Seaking 22 Aug 04 - 08:11 PM
Charley Noble 24 Dec 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM
Jack Campin 24 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM
Mrs Scarecrow 24 Dec 09 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,non-active member 24 Dec 09 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,julia 24 Dec 09 - 05:33 PM
mg 24 Dec 09 - 07:32 PM
Charley Noble 24 Dec 09 - 07:36 PM
Richard Mellish 25 Dec 09 - 05:59 PM
Paul Burke 25 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Dec 09 - 06:42 PM
open mike 25 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM
Charley Noble 23 Dec 10 - 10:57 AM
sciencegeek 24 Dec 10 - 08:59 AM
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Subject: Christmas at sea.
From: Bill
Date: 14 Sep 99 - 11:05 PM

We are looking for any songs which relate Christmas or Solstice themes to the sea.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Sep 99 - 11:18 PM

"Cornish May Carol", in the DT. Short notice, Barry


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: karen k
Date: 15 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM

This is actually a story but it's a great one:

Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal by Gordon Bok on Folk-Legacy, FSI-84.

Enjoy,
karen k


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Canberra Chris
Date: 16 Sep 99 - 06:40 AM

You would know the carol 'I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In'. Chris


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: bob schwarer
Date: 16 Sep 99 - 07:24 AM

It's not quite a season but?

"Saturday night at sea".

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: David Coffin
Date: 16 Sep 99 - 08:06 PM

Wee Dark Engine Room would be a nice song to do. It doesn't really mention Christmas but it alludes to keeping warm in the cold winter layover.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Sep 99 - 08:02 PM

David-- I've never heard that song. Looked up the words on the DT. Can you tell me who's recorded it?

ww


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Sep 99 - 08:35 PM

Wyo Woman here's an old thread on that song & there's a more recent thread, search the forum using "Wee Pot"

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.CFM?threadID=6274#36681

Barry


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: raredance
Date: 17 Sep 99 - 09:47 PM

HOw about:

"Sea is for the Christ child, born on Christmas day,
H is for......"

It's Friday night I couldn't help it.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: wildlone
Date: 17 Sep 99 - 11:09 PM

try www.acronet.net/~robokopp/index.htm for a list of Christmas songs from all nations.hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Sep 99 - 06:46 PM

WyoWoman

Apart from the recordings by Bogle and Jones, referred to in the threads indicated by Barry, there is a lovely version of 'Wee Pot Stove' on 'Crossings' by the Cork group Any Old Time. The catalogue number is Dara CD 072 - it is a fine CD, mostly Irish trad with a sprinkling of contemporary folk idiom songs.

Sorry, Bill, I can't think of any Christmas at sea songs - they seem to be a pretty thin on the ground.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM

I might mention the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) entitled "Christmas at Sea" which was recently arranged for singing and recorded by Tom Lewis on 360 degrees All Points of the Compass, © Self-Propelled Music 2004. Tom does a great job of singing the song, although I think the song could be "improved" by dropping a couple of verses.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: semi-submersible
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

Here's a link to the text of "Christmas at sea" by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's an exciting read, and I enjoy reciting it for myself. I would like to hear it sung.

Maureen


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS AT SEA (Robert Louis Stevenson)
From: Emma B
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 02:44 PM

CHRISTMAS AT SEA
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, whaere a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only thing a-lee

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the mainstops'l, and stood to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard;
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessal went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all the days in the year)
The day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes an blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate Jackson, cried.
"It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on deck but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

"Christmas at Sea"
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 -94)

Sung as a tour de force by Tom Lewis
Thank you Charley for reminding me of that!


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 07:25 PM

Charliey: a brilliant reactivating of an old thread. reminds me, there is a great old Cumbrian Christmas Irish sea poem/song.I'll chase it up and get back here.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 10:08 PM

Verses 7 and 8 of Stevenson's fine poem are the ones that I would recommend dropping. In my opinion they are just too much Victorian dead weight and the poem is a long one. Of course, I wouldn't have focused on this poem at all if Tom Lewis hadn't revived it as a song. I love the desparate way that it starts out, and anyone who has read Patrick O'Brian knows "Th' impervious horrors of a leeward shore."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: LadyJean
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 11:01 PM

If you knit, go to www.seamen'schurch.com and check out their Christmas at sea program. Since the 1840s, they have had knitters making caps, scarves, vests, and socks to be distributed to men at sea. The patterns are easy, and it's very fulfilling. The Seamen's Church Institute was close to the World Trade Center, and they did great things after 9/11


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: MARINER
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 01:20 AM

I've spent many a Christmas onboard ship but for the life of me I can't remember any particular Christmas songs being sung, only the hits of the day and a few of the old reliables , Maggie May etc. And then only after the crowd had been served dinner by the officers, in time honoured tradition,and had more than enough beer onboard!.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: CHRISTMAS AT SEA (Stevenson/Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:18 AM

Here's a major revision of the Stevenson poem, which I expect some here will object to on the grounds that we shouldn't "mess" with the works of established poets. There's merit to that argument, but there is merit to proposing changes which may strengthen the original work,. I also use a different musical arrangement than our good friend Tom Lewis (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up the chords):

CHRISTMAS AT SEA-2

(Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar 2004)

Key: Dm (7/Gm)

Dm-----------------------C--------------------Dm/C----Dm
The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
--------------------------C----------------------------------F------C-----Dm
The decks were like a slide, me boys, where a sailor scarce could stand;
------------------------C-------------------------Dm/C-------Dm
The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squal-ly from the sea,
----------------------------C-----------------------Dm/C-----Dm
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the on-ly things a-lee.

We heard the surf a-roaring, 'fore the breaking of the day;
But only in the morning light did we see how ill she lay;
We tumbled every hand on deck, briskly with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, stood by to come about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life itself, me boys, we tacked from head to head.

Now we gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But for every tack we made, we brought the North Head close aboard.
Soon we saw the cliffs and homes, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as our vessel came about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

On shore we saw the lighthouse blaze, as dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose to'ga'n's'ls," we heard the Captain call;
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate, Jackson cried;
"It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship nosed up to windward, just as though she understood;
As the winter's day was ending, in the coming of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

The crew all heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As the helmsman swung her bow around, pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home, and my folks were growing old.

Comments welcomed.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:23 AM

In my time in submarines Christmas at sea always saw the Wardroom acting as stewards for the Christmas dinner but we could not drink much as we all had watches to keep.

There was always a Christmas Day Service led by the captain and apart from standard carols I cannot remember any particular songs being sung relating to Christmas at sea, but the short service always finished with 'Eternal Father strong to save' the so called Naval hymn.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING (J P White)
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 02:54 PM

Here's one: this macabre little ditty was written by an abolitionist Cumbrian poet called John Pagen White. The Firth, I take it, is the Solway firth, though I'm not sure where the Giltstone Rock is(I don't know the Solway well). There is a famous Gilstone Rock by the Scillies,(off Cornwall), but there's no Firth there.

CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING
(John Pagen White)

The Betsey Jane sailed out of the Firth
As the waits sang "Christ is born on earth
The Betsey jane sailed out of the Firth
On Christmas day in the morning
The wind was East the moon was high
Of a frosty blue was the spangled sky
And the bells were ringing and dawn was nigh
And the day was Christmas morning

In village and town woke up from sleep
From peaceful visions and slumbers deep
In village and town woke up from sleep
On Christmas day in the morning
The many that thought on Christ the King
And rose betimes their gifts to bring
And "peace on earth and goodwill" to sing
As is meet upon Christmas morning

The Betsey Jane passed village and town
As the Gleemen sang and the stars went down
The Betsey Jane passed village and town
That Christmas Day in the morning
And the Skipper by good and evil swore
The bells might ring and the Gleemen roar
But the chink of gold would chime him o'er
Those waves, next Christmas morning.


And out of the Firth with his reckless crew
All ready his will and his work to do
Out of the Firth with his reckless crew
He sailed on a Christmas morning
He steered his way to Gambia's coast
And dealt for slaves; and Westward crossed;
And sold their lives, and made his boast
As he thought upon Christmas morning


And again and again from shore to shore
With his human freight for the golden ore
Again and again from shore to shore
Ere Christmas day in the morning
he crossed that deep with never a thought
Of the sorrow or wrong or suffering wrought
On souls and bodies thus sold and bought
For gold, against Christmas morning

And at length with his gold and ivory rare
When the sun was low and the breeze was fair
At length with his gold and ivory rare
He sailed, that on Christmas morning
He might pass that village and town again
When the bells were ringing,as they rung then,
When he passed them by in the Betsey jane
On that last bright Christmas morning

The Betsey jane sailed into the Firth
As the bells rang"Christ is born on earth"
The Bestey jane sailed into the Firth
And it was upon Christmas morning
The wind was west, the moon was high,
Of a hazy blue was the spangled sky
And the bells were ringing and dawn was nigh
Just breaking on Christmas morning

The Gleemen singing of Christ the King
Of Christ the King of Christ the King
The Gleemen singing of Christ the King
Hailed Christmas Day in the morning
When the Betsey Jane with a thundering shock
Went ripping along on the Giltstone Rock
In sound of the bells which seemed to mock
Her doom on that Christmas morning

With curse and shriek and fearful groan
Pn the foundering ship, in the waters lone.
With curse and shriek and fearful groan
They sank on that Christmas morning
The Skipper with arms around his gold
Scared by dark spirits that loosed his hold
Was down the deep sea plunged and rolled
In the dawn of that Christmas morning

While village and town woke up from sleep
From peaceful visions and slumbers deep
While village and town woke up from sleep
That Christmas day in the morning
And many that thought on Christ the King
Rose up betimes their gifts to bring
And "peace on earth and goodwill to sing"
Went forth in the Christmas morning!


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:18 PM

That one's a keeper, Greg.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM

My present to you, Charlie. It sings well to "Christmas Day in the Morning", though it may be better as a DRAMATIC RECITATION!.And guaranteed to cheer up any shipboard piss-up, whether on Christmas day or not.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM

Refresh!


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 07:21 PM

Here's a MP3 link to my adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevens "Christmas at Sea:" Click here!

If you decide to record my adapation of this poem, please contact me first.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Seaking
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 08:11 PM

Like Mariner I spent many a Christmas at sea and cannot recall singing any particular Christmas songs, apart maybe from a personal rendition of 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas' or 'Jingle Bells' in the shower. In UK waters all the ship's crew would get a parcel from the Seaman's Mission (the striped wooly hat, a small gift and a Christmas Card), the idea being that no-one should be alone at Christmas. We appreciated the gesture probably more than was realised.

In later years I worked (still work) offshore on a Gas platform in the North Sea. Until very recent years Christmas Morning was heralded by the arrival of a supply vessel strewn with Xmas fairy type lighting - with a choir, Santa and a PA system on the stern deck belting out 'We wish you a Merry Christmas', 'The First Noel', Away in a Manger', etc. We would collectively gather on deck and gaze down on this (I have to say surreal)sight and eventually wave them off as they sailed off to another platform to repeat the goodwill message. I used to feel sorry for the normally landbased Santa and choir who inevitably succombed to the cold weather and sea conditions as the day progressed, the choir was usually smaller at the last platform visited than at the first. I'm not sure why the 'Santa' visits eventually stopped but I would imagine that costs had something to do with it.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:22 PM

refresh for more holiday cheer!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:33 PM

One of my favourites; this poem of Cecily Fox Smith has also been set to music.

Home for Christmas


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM

Christmas dinner on an emigration ship from England to the Southern Hemisphere, 1964:

Southern Cross

(two-thirds of the way down the page).

I must have had a similar dinner in 1957 but I was only 8 and I don't remember it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Christmas at sea.
From: Mrs Scarecrow
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:36 PM

Look lively lads,Haul on those ropes
Atlst we're Homeward bound
with a following wind we have high hopes
to be home before christmas comes around

chorus : Pray God to fill that sail
         with a favourable gale
         Give us fine fast running seas
         And we'll make it home for christmas boys
         To our wives and our families

We've sailed accross the seven seas
such sights we all have seen
but now we long for our families
To tell them where weve been

Around the world we all did roam
many girls in many ports
But now at last we're headed for home
And our wives are in our thoughts

And in our last few ports of call
when we've had our runs ahore
we've sought out gifts for wone and all
And who could ask for more

So weigh that anchor set that sail
don't slack along the way
with this good wind unless luck fails
We'll be home for Christmas day


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: GUEST,non-active member
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 04:43 PM

LOL sorry Charley for linking to your 'notes' :)

As the man says -
"Alan Fitzsimmons (UK) has adapted this poem for singing as recorded by Pinch o' Salt on SEABOOT DUFF & HANDSPIKE GRUEL, © 2000."
and a fine CD it is too!


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS EVE AT SEA (John Masefield)
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 05:33 PM

Here's a beauty from John Masefield-


CHRISTMAS EVE AT SEA
By John Masefield

A wind is rustling 'south and soft,'
Cooing a quiet country tune,
The calm sea sighs, and far aloft
The sails are ghostly in the moon.

Unquiet ripples lisp and purr,
A block there pipes and chirps i' the sheave,
The wheel-ropes jar, the reef-points stir
Faintly - and it is Christmas Eve.

The hushed sea seems to hold her breath,
And o'er the giddy, swaying spars,
Silent and excellent as Death,
The dim blue skies are bright with stars.

Dear God - they shone in Palestine
Like this, and yon pale moon serene
Looked down among the lowing kine
On Mary and the Nazarene.

The angels called from deep to deep,
The burning heavens felt the thrill,
Startling the flocks of silly sheep
And lonely shepherds on the hill.

To-night beneath the dripping bows
Where flashing bubbles burst and throng,
The bow-wash murmurs and sighs and soughs
A message from the angel's song.

The moon goes nodding down the west,
The drowsy helmsman strikes the bell;
Rex Judaeorum natus est,
I charge you, brothers, sing Nowell,
Nowell, Rex Judaeorum natus est.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CRABBING ON CHRISTMAS EVE
From: mg
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 07:32 PM

Here is about crabbing on Christmas eve..

Probably the most dangerous fishery in these parts and there always seem to be negotiations into December on prices.

CRABBING ON CHRISTMAS EVE

Good news he said I do believe they've settled on a price
But to have him home this Christmas Eve it would have been so nice
A storm is brewing on the coast a warning dark and dim
And he the man I love the most thinks it doesn't mean for him

I light a candle all aglow and stick it in the sand
The wind will blow it out I know it flickers in my hand
Waves blow over waves blow under waves can flip the boat
I know he's good and yet I wonder how he stays afloat

I stand alone on Klipsan Beach the boats are in a line
Their lights seem close within my reach I think I counted nine
Nine went to the crabbing site to bounce upon the foam
Nine went out this stormy night nine better make it home


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 07:36 PM

Nice to have a new harvest of such songs!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 05:59 PM

I do a song that I got from Cyril Tawney, The Kola Run, which describes a voyage on one of the destroyers protecting a convoy to the Kola peninsula over Christmas 1942 and that New Year. If people are interested I'll Lyr Add the words and go back to the recording to find out who Cyril said wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: Paul Burke
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM

Dave Walters (?I think - UK guitarist/ singer early 80s) did a great Canadian song called Goose Bay which concluded "don't sail on Christmas Day". I never learned the song, but use the excellent tune for The Poacher's Fate (Come all ye lads of high renown etc.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:42 PM

'The Wee Pot Stove' is set in South Georgia in the winter - in a part of the world where Christmas comes in the middle of their summer.


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Subject: RE: Help: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: open mike
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 07:46 PM

Lee Murdock has a wonderful song about a ship that used to bring trees back from the north woods to chicago after it's cargo deliveries were done.

The story of the Rouse Simmons, Chicago's Christmas tree Schooner, has gained notoriety through a number of books and via Lee Murdock's song and annual Christmas Ship Concert.

It is the title song on his C.D. and after the ship sank with all hands lost at sea, the captain's wife continued the mission .

Too bad this question didn't come up about 20 days ago, as he gave a
concert on Dec 6, 2009 ... LEE MURDOCK : CHRISTMAS SHIP CONCERT -
The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI http://theark.org/2145.html

http://www.leemurdock.com/ Lee specializes in songs about the great lakes in the U.S. http://www.leemurdock.com/store/index.html

more info here:
http://christmasship.org/
here is a story of the current ship Big Mac,
a coast Guard ship--video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubC5ue1s4i0


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Subject: Lyr Add: BILL'S CHRISTMASES
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 10:57 AM

It's that time of year again!

BILL'S CHRISTMASES


"Christmas," said Bill, "on Christmas cards, it's winders all aglow,
An' lots o' stuff to eat an' drink an' a good three feet o' snow,
An' a bunch o' bouncin' girls to kiss under the mistletoe.

Holly an' robin redbreasts too, as rosy as can be,
An' waits an' chimes an' all such gear as you never get at sea,
But it's different things as Christmas means to a ramblin' bloke like me.

The first I ever 'ad at sea I was 'ardly more 'n a nipper,
An' I'd took an' signed, bein' young an' green, in a dandy Down-east clipper
With a bullnecked beast of a bucko mate an' a rare tough nut of a skipper.

An' we dined 'andsome, so we did, off biscuits an' salt 'orse,
An' finished up with scraper duff an' sand-an'-canvas sorce,
An' them as growled got seaboot soup by way of an extry course.

I've 'ad my Christmas 'ere an' there, I've 'ad it up an' down,
I've 'ad it sober on the seas an' drunk in sailor-town,
I've 'ad it where the folks are black an' where the folks are brown,

And under many a tropic sky an' many a foreign star,
In Perim, Portland, Pernambuck, Malacca, Malabar,
Where the rum bird-'eaded totem poles and the gilded Buddhas are.

I've 'ad it froze in Baltic cold an' burned in Red Sea 'eat,
I've 'ad it in a Channel fog as busy as a street,
An' once I 'ad it off the 'Orn, an' that was sure a treat.

I was in the clipper Sebright then — a big ship, 'eavy sparred,
With every sort o' flyin' kite an' a seventy foot mainyard,
An' 'andlin' 'er in a gale of wind, I tell you, it was 'ard!

We come on deck for the middle watch, an' save us, 'ow it blew!
A night like the devil's ridin'boots, that never a star shone through,
An' the seas they kep' on poopin' 'er till we 'ad to 'eave 'er to.

We snugged 'er down, we 'ove 'er to, an' there all night lay she,
With one mainyard arm pointin' to 'eaven an' one to the deeps o' the sea,
Dippin' 'er spars at every roll in the thunderin' foam alee.

Till the wind an' sea went down a bit an' the dawn come cold an' grey,
An' we laid aloft an' loosed the sails an' squared the ship away,
An' a chap beside me on the yard says, 'Bill, it's Christmas Day!'"

Notes:

From Sea Songs and Ballads 1917-1922, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, US, © 1924, pp. 22-24. Earlier published in Sea Songs and Ballads, © 1922. First published in Punch Magazine, Volume 161, December 21, 1921, p. 495.

There were few holidays, if any, on sailing ships, and even if there were a modest plan for something special for Christmas what happened was subject to the weather and the captain's whim.

First adapted for singing by Bob Zentz (US), as recorded on Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream, © 2007.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about Christmas/Solstice at sea.
From: sciencegeek
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 08:59 AM

Mike wrote one such song in a night.... woke me up at 2 am to tell me.. LOL this from a guy who can take a decade to finish a song!

it's one of the many that we need to get set down on paper.


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