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Meaning of word 'Gair' in song

bubblyrat 26 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM
Georgiansilver 26 Apr 11 - 05:27 AM
Georgiansilver 26 Apr 11 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,azeyfert 26 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,999 26 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,lurcio 26 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM
bubblyrat 27 Apr 11 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,999 27 Apr 11 - 11:09 AM
Gurney 27 Apr 11 - 07:40 PM
Gurney 27 Apr 11 - 08:03 PM
Gurney 27 Apr 11 - 08:50 PM
Joe_F 27 Apr 11 - 09:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 11 - 07:49 AM
Gurney 28 Apr 11 - 04:04 PM
bubblyrat 28 Apr 11 - 06:24 PM
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Subject: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: bubblyrat
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM

Can anyone help ? We have been looking at a song ( "Taking Gair In The Night", from the singing of Karen James, Folkways FG 3547 ) about fishermen putting to sea apparently in search of "gair", whatever they be ?? It may well be an obscure Scottish dialect word, but not we feel , in the context of this song (which mentions "Penguin Island" ,amongst other things ). All suggestions gratefully received !
                Roger & Jane


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:27 AM

Try here for your answer... apparently Gair means short.....


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:32 AM

previous thread suggests ' gear'


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: GUEST,azeyfert
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM

Don't know the song - but could I suggest "garefowl"? Descriptive of a number of birds of the auk family (most usually the extinct Great Auk), often hunted for food.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM

From a GEST page


#02142   Print This Page

Taking Back Gear In The Night (Collected by Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Taking Gear In The Night (Collected by G.Lehr & A.Best)
Come all you good people and listen you might,
It's only a ditty I'm going to write,
It's only a ditty and I'm sure it's all right,
'Tis all about taking back gear in the night.

The first take-off engine I think it is slick
When pushing us through at a mighty full tick,
With the stars all above and the moon shining bright,
All hands are bound out to take gear in the night.

The next man I'll mention it is Little Toss,
He left about three o'clock to go across,
When the wind from the southeast it came up to blow
Then back to the island Little Toss he did go.

Jerry Fudge is my name, b'ys, 'tis I made this song,
I'll sing it to you and it won't take me long,
I'll sing it to you, it's the best I can do,
There's nobody knows what our ships they go through.

Now fishing's all over so late in the fall,
The b'ys are bound homeward to drink their alcohol,
And as they were leaving, I heard them all say:
Cheerio to old Pemminums [sp?] while we are away.

####.... Jerry Fudge of McCallum, NL. Original Newfoundland song ....####
This variant was collected in 1959 from Kenneth Pink of Rose Blanche, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.145-146, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that fishermen often set up seasonal quarters on off-shore islands to be nearer the fishing grounds. He wrote that 'Pemminums' is one such island near Cape La Hune on the south coast of Newfoundland, but he was unable to find it on the map and spelled it the way the singer pronounced it. Peacock went on to note that this unassuming little song tells of a group of fishermen taking back their fishing gear at the end of the fishing season in the fall. He commented that offshore islands are also very good places to set up stills, so the 'gear' was probably not completely concerned with fishing. In other variants the author's name was sung as 'Jerry' Fudge and the island was called 'Penguin' Island.

The twelve-verse original of this song was collected in 1977 from Jerry Fudge of McCallum, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #105, Taking Gear In The Night in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.180-181, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that she recorded this song from the composer, Mr. Jerry Fudge, of McCallum, Southwest coast. He wrote the song during his time as lightkeeper on the Penguin Islands where he spent many years. It describes the hardships that fishermen endure while risking their lives to earn a living from the sea. 'Taking gear in the night' simply means 'fishing in the dark,' which makes the work extremely hazardous.

Another variant was published as #18, Taking Gair In The Night, by Edith Fowke (editor) with Keith MacMillan (music consultant) in The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs (1973).

There is also a 12-verse variant of Taking Gair in the Night in Edith Fowke's Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario (Folklore Associates, 1965). She collected it from Albert Simms in February, 1958. Simms was born and learned his songs in Newfoundland. In her notes Fowke says that this is a local Newfoundland song that Albert Simms learned about 1928. Albert said that he knew Jerry Fudge, the man who made up the song; he was a young fisherman about 23 years of age. Fowke continues to note that although Taking Gair in the Night was a local song, it has survived in tradition for at least 30 years: Kenneth Peacock found a shorter version of it in Rose Blanche, Newfoundland, in 1959. Finally, Fowke notes that the young Canadian singer, Karen James, had recently [c.1965] recorded it as she learned it from Fowke's tape of Mr. Simms.

Another variant was recorded by Simani on a revision of their original 1987 album (Music & Friends, trk#7, 1999, SWC Productions, Belleoram, NL).


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: GUEST,lurcio
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM

Taking CARE in the night? Dumb Jocks. Still, expect nothing else here

L


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:12 AM

Well , thanks a million, "999" ; I am very impressed , and we will be all the better equipped now to introduce this song properly when we spring it onto a live audience ! Oh yes , and thanks ( for being right ) to " Georgian Silver" , too.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 11:09 AM

I'm happy it helps, Bubblyrat.

I write some songs, too, and believe me when I say that songwriters truly appreciate credit for their work. I'm grateful to you on behalf of sonwriters that you care enough to do the reasearch and find out what ya don't know. More power to you. Also, have a great performance.

BM


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 07:40 PM

Memory says that Gair is a local name for Garfish. Garfish are often nocturnal. I couldn't say where the term is local TO, it just popped into my head when I read the title, so you could try checking from there.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 08:03 PM

Gar or gare is old english for spear.
Another possibility is that it is the Great Auk, or some other similar seabirds, which are are called garefowl in some localities. Even today, growing chicks are harvested in some places. Here they are called mutton-birds, and they are boiled in jars and preserved in their own fat. A Maori delicacy.
Google gives lots of hits to while away a rainy day.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 08:50 PM

As azeyfert said, when I re-read the post... Duh.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 09:44 PM

"Gear" in ballad Scots often means "money".


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 07:49 AM

the Great Auk, or some other similar seabirds, which are are called garefowl in some localities.

Last time one was seen alive was in 1852.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 04:04 PM

Wiped out by birders, possibly. The Shearwaters are birded, here.


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Subject: RE: Meaning of word 'Gair' in song
From: bubblyrat
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 06:24 PM

Yes, they were hunted to extinction by horsemen ; there was a film about it , I believe ; "Raiders Of The Last Auk ".


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