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Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal

EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 03:16 PM
Charley Noble 17 Dec 11 - 04:40 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 05:16 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 06:02 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 07:57 PM
Charley Noble 17 Dec 11 - 08:01 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 09:18 PM
EBarnacle 17 Dec 11 - 09:55 PM
EBarnacle 19 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM
Charley Noble 20 Dec 11 - 02:16 PM
Dave Ruch 20 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM
Dave Ruch 20 Dec 11 - 04:04 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 03:16 PM

I heard part of this song on a youtube video and chased it down in the Library of Congress. It was collected from Capt. Pearl R. Nye
I suspect that some of the verses have been folk processed and others are out of order.


Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal
Take a Trip on the Canal if You Want to Have Fun (part 1 of 3)
Go to: Bibliographic Information

Take a Trip on the Canal if You Want to Have Fun (Part 1 of 3)
AFS 1604 A1

You may talk of your pleasure trips on the Great Lakes,
But a trip on these canal boats, you bet, takes the cake.
Beefsteak is tough as a fighting dog's mate,
And the flies they play tag with the cook on the deck.

The potatoes she'll burn, let the coffee boil o'er,
The fume nearly choke you so greasy the floor.
The cook grooms a limit, you must eat or die,
And when it's all over, you'll laugh till you cry.

So haul in the towline and take up the slack,
Take a reef in your shirttail and straighten your back.
Whatever you do be sure don't forget,
Captain muse gently while the cook is on deck.

Oh, those were gay times and no equal have they,
Whatever the weather we'd run night or day.
If I owned the world on the ditch I would run,
For no other place has such oceans of fun.

She's so fond of biscuits she makes them like rocks,
And woe unto you if you fall in the locks.
They do for a cannon, with them we kill snakes,
You're not long onboard until every tooth aches.

Her paddle like leather, you need piece of steel,
Whenever you eat them how strangely you feel.
Her soups are the limit, though, yes, all her chow,
We put it away but I won't tell you how.

The water pail often you know would get dry,
She'd open the window dips up a supply.
In the food you could taste it, the captain would rare,
But one look from her and the weather was fair.

She sure had an answer for all that was said,
And if you would cross her she'd try raise the dead.
Though wonders were many you'd laugh, cry or run,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

Downstream at the lock she would throw off the line,
Beat the bow's man and snub string a paddle divine.
Till the line hit the deadeye opened up that gate,
But the work in the cabin she really did hate.

We all got disgusted the captain would snort,
And threaten to fire her when we got in port.
Her ways were so winning whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

The superintendent when he was around,
'Twas custom to eat on the first boat he found.
Sometimes he would hesitate, often object,
But the first thing he knew was the cook up on deck.

Her hypnotic eyes and that wonderful smile,
Would catch the old boy and he'd eat right for miles.
Good times were abundant whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

We all have our trouble but this rule we keep,
Is move about easy the cook is asleep.
We lock down our up with the greatest of care,
And know what is coming if she gets a scare.

A great dry land sailor that smokes like a stove,
The pipe drips so freely and so does her nose.
The table she waits pack has put on more steam,
Their glad to escape whether up or down stream.

The lock Tenders Run when they pull in the locks,
Collectors or ??? will play with their clocks.
The passengers smile but they don't say a word,
Her voice is the music she loves to be heard.

Troops use their bands but it all seems in vain,
For when they are through she will start up again.
She sure was a corker whatever our run,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

She knew just what deadeyes to put the line on,
But [fit locks and drive sing the steersman the song?],
Could steer while he ate and was oft at the stick,
Was there with the goods if you wanted things quick.

She could wet scrub the decks and could run off a plank,
Would jump with a pole from the boat to the bank.
'Twas life gay and easy whatever may come
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

She was set on the deck box the barrel or the hatch,
And I think what the cook room she was hard to match.
And I have been round that the poor and the rich,
But the jolliest bunch I have found on the ditch.

With them just be courteous and always play fair,
For someone's around who will not take a dare.
Forget everything and with them become one,
And you know what their life is an ocean of fun.

When we would pass a boat or lay up for the night,
She sure would get nervous, sometimes want to fight.
If one would buck us then up went her airs,
She was like a dry match you could easy strike fire.

She always found fault with the bowline and blade,
The step stores and steam hatch could all better be made.
The stern swells would get her we'd laugh everyone,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

We had a few mascots a source of delight,
That the locks where a chickens ??? [others?] would fight.
The pigs they would squeal, rabbits up quick and get,
The pigeons would coo, show their colors and grit.

All along we were welcome as showers and spring,
And at night we had music would play, yodel, sing.
My mind travels back to the ditch when 'twas young,
No place in the world has such oceans of fun.

Our mules they were peppy you should see them prance,
The hard water step they would gracefully dance.
They knowed there stuff oh, I'd say they were trained,
The voice of the drivers to them the refrain.

Our leader was wise for he knew many things,
He kept up the line while the cook she would sing.
So all work together whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

Oh yes she was great always kept in the right,
In meeting a boat let it be day or night.
If on the off side he would stop, drop the line,
Wait till it was clear did everything fine.

You could call, signal, whistle, he knew [and obey?],
And when he was hungry you should hear him bray.
But the cook sure annoyed him, at her he would run,
She would yell like a tiger for him it was fun.

She pose as a star always shining so bright,
She quit the stars everything that came in sight.
The [scroll tiller?], crew lines, big bucket, and chains,
The pole, staunches, pulls lines all gave her a pain.

But we all kept moving no time for such stuff,
And knew she'd come out of it that was enough.
In her estimation she was going some,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

The cook she's a daisy she's dead gone on me,
She's fiery, redheaded a sweet sixty-three.
The captain, the bosun, the drivers, yes all,
Just one look at her and they backwards would fall.

Her mind it is gone for she gave it away,
And how many pieces she gave me each day.
She's blind eyed and saddened, she's a dumpling a pet,
We used her for a headlight at night on the deck.

We were up rough and ready would meet anything,
If it work, fun, and play we would dance, yodel, sing.
No doubt we were clannish but that's not our fault,
If town jakes got funny we did call a halt.

We met opposition aboard on our homes,
The canallers were famous for holding their own.
We lived our own lives was a gay easy one,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

Oft after a rain we'd get stuck on a bar,
Then rig up our captain's spin blocks for more power.
And if near a lock horse the paddles would swell,
For this is unique and I know it works well.

But now comes excitement, lay over or race,
You would have to go son if you would keep your place.
State robbers were late but eventually come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

With mosquitoes and bed bugs we always had wars,
The [cuties?] and spars gladly signal your snores.
An old gal and nippers pet your pate and nose,
While the pest of the cupboard would nip at your toes.

The roaches, moth, crickets, were gay allies too,
Your food, cloths, and longings, they all love to chew.
I vision creation all lands everyone,
No place like the canal if you want to have fun.

Each day something new Father Time sure had wings,
We're busy and happy all nature would sing.
The beautiful scenery was beyond compare,
The breath of the waters and flowers filled the air.

The circus, the acre, anything or show,
We're sure of that number exceedingly slow.
You'd wake up and see you were blind, deaf, and dumb,
To the real life of living was the way we had fun.

So haul in the towline and take up the slack,
Take a reef in your shirttail and straighten your back.
Whatever you do be sure, don't forget,
Tap the news gently while the cook is on deck.

Oh, those were gay times and no equal have they,
Whatever the weather, we'd run night and day.
If I owned the world on the ditch I would run,
For no other place has such oceans of fun.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 04:40 PM

This song has some ambiguous transcriptions and will clearly take some time to puzzle them all out. But it certainly takes us back to the Great Days on the Canal.

In this verse, for example:

With mosquitoes and bed bugs we always had wars,
The [cuties?] and spars gladly signal your snores.
An old gal and nippers pet your pate and nose,
While the pest of the cupboard would nip at your toes.

"[cuties?]" are obviously "cooties" but what are "spars"?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 05:16 PM

"Her paddle like leather, you need piece of steel,
Whenever you eat them how strangely you feel."

Perhaps "Her pancakes like leather, you need teeth of steel..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 06:02 PM

"She'd open the window dips up a supply."
perhaps, "She'd open the window dip up a supply."

"Captain muse gently while the cook is on deck."
The audio is "Pat the mule gently while the cook is on deck"

"The fume nearly choke you so greasy the floor."
Perhaps, "The fumes nearly choke you so greasy the air." The rhyme loses but logic wins out.

"In the food you could taste it, the captain would rare,
But one look from her and the weather was fair."
Perhaps,
"In the food you could taste it, the captain would swear,
But one look from her and the weather was fair."

"And if you would cross her she'd try raise the dead."
Perhaps "And if you would cross her she'd cry raise the dead."

"Beat the bow's man and snub string a paddle divine."
Perhaps "Beat the bow man and snub string a paddle divine.
If someone can figure out what "snub string a paddle" means, I'd like to know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 07:57 PM

Lady Hillary and I have jusy gone through the Library of Congress audio files of this song. We have rearranged some of the verses for logic and changed some of the words to match what we believe we heard. We disagreed with the Lomaxes at several points about their transcription.

Lady Hillary only disagreed on one major point--where I have entered "Captain move gently," she hears "Tap the mule gently" in verse 3 and the next to last verse.

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal
Take a Trip on the Canal if You Want to Have Fun
Go to: Bibliographic Information
Take a Trip on the Canal if You Want to Have Fun
AFS 1604 A1

You may talk of your pleasure trips on the Great Lakes,
But a trip on these canal boats, you bet, takes the cake.
Beefsteak is tough as a fighting dog's neck,
And the flies they play tag with the cook on the deck.

The potatoes she'll burn, let the coffee boil o'er,
The fumes nearly choke you so greasy the air.
The cook rooms the limit, you must eat or die,
And when it's all over, you'll laugh till you cry.

So haul in the towline and take up the slack,
Take a reef in your shirttail and straighten your back.
Whatever you do be sure don't forget,
Tap the mules gently while the cook is on deck.

Oh, those were gay times and no equal have they,
Whatever the weather we'd run night or day.
If I owned the world on the ditch I would run,
For no other place has such oceans of fun.

She's so fond of biscuits, she makes them like rocks,
And woe unto you if you fall in the locks.
They do for a cannon, with them we kill snakes,
You're not long onboard until every tooth aches.

Her pies are like leather, you need teeth of steel,
Whenever you eat them how strangely you feel.
Her soups are the limit, though, yes, all her chow,
We put it away but I won't tell you how.

The water pail often you know would get dry,
She'd open the window, dip up a supply.
In the food you could taste it, the captain would swear,
But one look from her and the weather was fair.

She sure had an answer for all that was said,
And if you would cross her she'd cry raise the dead.
Though wonders were many you'd laugh, cry or run,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

We all got disgusted the captain would snort,
And threaten to fire her when we got in port.
Her ways were so winning whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

The superintendent when he was around,
'Twas custom to eat on the first boat he found.
Sometimes he would hesitate, often object,
But the first thing he knew was the cook up on deck.

Her hypnotic eyes and that wonderful smile,
Would catch the old boy and he'd eat right for miles.
Good times were abundant whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

We all have our trouble but this rule we keep,
It's move about easy, the cook is asleep.
We lock down or up with the greatest of care,
And know what is coming if she gets a scare.

A great dry land sailor that smokes like a stove,
The pipe drips so freely and so does her nose.
The table she waits pack has put on more steam,
They're glad to escape whether up or down stream.

Downstream at the lock she would throw out the line,
Beat the bosun and snub string a paddle divine.
Till the line hit the deadeye. opened up that gate,
But the work in the cabin she really did hate.

The Lock Tenders run when they pull into the locks,
Collectors or helpers would play with their clocks.
She sure was a corker whatever our run,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun

Troops use their bands but it all seems in vain,
For when they are through she will start up again.
The passengers smile but they don't say a word,
Her voice is her music, she loves to be heard

She knew just what deadeye to put the line on,
Could fit locks and drive, sing the steersman a song,
Could steer while he ate and was oft at the stick,
Was there with the goods if you wanted things quick.

She could wet scrub the decks and could run off a plank,
Would jump with a pole from the boat to the bank.
'Twas life gay and easy whatever may come
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

She would set on the deck box, the barrel or hatch,
And I think what the cook room she was hard to match.
And I have been round that the poor and the rich,
But the jolliest bunch I have found on the ditch.

With them just be courteous and always play fair,
For someone's around who will not take a dare.
Forget everything and with them become one,
And you know what their life is an ocean of fun.

When we would pass a boat or lay up for the night,
She sure would get nervous, sometimes want to fight.
If one would buck us then up went her airs,
She was like a dry match you could easy strike fire.

She always found fault with the bowline and blade,
The ship stores and steam hatch could all better be made.
The stern swells would get her we'd laugh every one,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

We had a few mascots, a source of delight,
At the locks where our chickens with others would fight.
The pigs they would squeal, rabbits up quick and get,
The pigeons would coo, show their colors and grit.

All along we were welcome as showers in spring,
And at night we had music, would play, yodel, sing.
My mind travels back to the ditch when 'twas young,
No place in the world had such oceans of fun.

Our mules they were peppy you should see them prance,
The hard water step they would gracefully dance.
They knowded their stuff oh, I'd say they were trained,
The voice of the drivers to them the refrain.

Our leader was wise for he knew many things,
He kept up the line while the cook she would sing.
So all work together whatever may come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

Oh yes he was great, always kept in the right,
In meeting a boat let it be day or night.
If on the off side he would stop, drop the line,
Wait till it was clear did everything fine.

You could call, signal, whistle, he knew and obeyed,
And when he was hungry you should hear him bray.
But the cook sure annoyed him, at her he would run,
She would yell like a tiger for him it was fun.

But we all kept moving no time for such stuff,
And knew she'd come out of it that was enough.
In her estimation she was going some,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

The cook she's a daisy she's dead gone on me,
She's fiery, redheaded a sweet sixty-three.
The captain, the bosun, the drivers, yes, all,
Just one look at her and they backwards would fall.

Her mind it is gone for she gave it away,
And how many pieces she gave me each day.
She's blind eyed and saddened, she's a dumpling, a pet,
We used her for a headlight at night on the deck.

She posed as a star always shining so bright,
She criticized everything that came in sight.
The scroll tiller, crew lines, big bucket, and chains,
The pole, staunches, pulls lines all gave her a pain.

We were up, rough and ready, would meet anything,
Be it work, fun, and play we would dance, yodel, sing.
No doubt we were clannish but that's not our fault,
If town jakes got funny we did call a halt.

We met opposition aboard on our homes,
The canallers were famous for holding their own.
We lived our own lives was a gay easy one,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

Oft after a rain we'd get stuck on a bar,
Then rig up our captain's spin blocks for more power.
And if near a lock house the paddles would swell,
For this is unique and I know it works well.

But now comes excitement, lay over or race,
You would have to go, son, if you would keep your place.
State robbers were late but eventually come,
Take a trip on the canal if you want to have fun.

With mosquitoes and bed bugs we always had wars,
The cooties and spars gladly signal your snores.
An old gal and nippers pet your pate and nose,
While the pest of the cupboard would nip at your toes.

The roaches, moth, crickets, were gay allies too,
Your food, clothes, belongings, they all love to chew.
I vision creation all lands everyone,
No place like the canal if you want to have fun.

Each day something new Father Time sure had wings,
We're busy and happy, all nature would sing.
The beautiful scenery was beyond compare,
The breath of the waters and flowers filled the air.

The circus, the acre, anything or show,
We're sure of that number exceedingly slow.
You'd wake up and see you were blind, deaf, and dumb,
To the real life of living was the way we had fun.

So haul in the towline and take up the slack,
Take a reef in your shirttail and straighten your back.
Whatever you do be sure, don't forget,
Tap the mules gently while the cook is on deck.

Oh, those were gay times and no equal have they,
Whatever the weather, we'd run night and day.
If I owned the world on the ditch I would run,
For no other place has such oceans of fun.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 08:01 PM

Excellent progress!

I prefer eating "pancakes" to eating "paddles."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 09:18 PM

In verse 2, Lady Hillary believes lines 2 and 3 should read:
"The fumes nearly choke you, so greasy is the floor,
The cook's room has a limit, you must eat or die."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Dec 11 - 09:55 PM

here is the audio link:
(click)

Lady Hillary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: EBarnacle
Date: 19 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM

I have an e-mail from Dick Swain and am incorpoating his recommended changes into the song.

We sang it, warts and all, last Sunday at Dick's. We used the verse melody from "So long it's been good to know you. It's not original but works well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Dec 11 - 02:16 PM

Dare I ask how long it took?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 20 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM

"Yankee" John Galusha of Minerva NY (1859-1950) sang a far shorter version of this (like, two verses + chorus), with a fairly compelling melody, to Anne and Frank Warner, as "A Trip on the Erie". It's published in their book "Traditional American Folk Songs from the Anne and Frank Warner Collection". The tune as it is transcribed in that book is a bit different from what I hear on the field recording.

It's likely that Nye composed 90+% of the lyrics written above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Take a trip on the canal
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 20 Dec 11 - 04:04 PM

* different from what I hear on their field recording of Galusha is what I meant to say.


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