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Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?

GUEST,AliTFirefly 20 Jul 12 - 05:53 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jul 12 - 09:02 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jul 12 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Fantum 20 Jul 12 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,AliTFirefly 21 Jul 12 - 06:31 AM
GUEST 21 Jul 12 - 09:49 AM
Pete Jennings 21 Jul 12 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,AliTFirefly 21 Jul 12 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Steve 23 Dec 12 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Jaycee 22 Feb 13 - 03:49 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Feb 13 - 05:39 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,AliTFirefly
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 05:53 PM

OK, I'm browse this site (unregistered, I'm no musician...) and I've got used to the idea that any song I even vaguely remember will either have its lyrics here, or someone will have talked about it. This one, though, I can't find anywhere. I know I heard it on the radio some time probably in the mid/late 80s, I can't remember anything about the singer (male, I think, but even there I could be wrong) but I do remember the chorus:
    The Foy Boat Man with his boat and his line
    Ties up the ships that come into the Tyne
    And there is't a cannier man you can find
    Than the Foy Boat Man.
I've searched with every possible combination ('Foy Boat Man', 'Foy Boatman', 'Foyboat Man') here and also on Google and never a sign. I defiinitely didn't dream it, though, I hadn't the faintest idea at that time what a Foy Boat was or that they existed. Was this some obscure Tyneside singer, does anyone have any idea?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:02 PM

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "foy boat" as "a pilot boat used in and about the river Tyne" and says "origin unknown."

I found several genealogy web sites where "foy boat man" is given as someone's occupation.

I haven't found any reference to a song yet, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 09:20 PM

From A Northumberland and Durham Word Book by Cecil Geeson, 1969, page 88:

FOYBOATMAN. The man who watches on or off the Tyne for ships in order to get employment in mooring them in harbour. The word is used in Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire and East Anglia. "To foy" is to render assistance to a ship, to act as pilot, or to bring the ship in or out of port. "As in certain winds it was not possible to sail out of the harbour (the Tyne) ships were foyed out into the offing," Haswell, Maister, 1895. "George took to the business of foying, and soon was in possession of a few foy boats", ibid. "The ship is all laden, and ready for sea, The foy boat is coming, away let us be", Bishoprick Garland, 1784, ed.

*

There is a pub called the Foy Boat in Ramsgate.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,Fantum
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 10:06 PM

Hi,

Jim Dixon above has the definition of foyboatman so good that I can'timprove on it but what I can do is tell you that a song called . something like Foyboat man on the river was written and performed by a lad called Martin Nesbitt. It used to be one of his party pieces I have just googled his name and he is first on the list. Almost certainly the river is the Tees not the Tyne

Anyway good luck Ihope its the right song

Fantum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,AliTFirefly
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 06:31 AM

Hmmm ... many thanks, Fantum, but I'm a bit sceptical that it was Martin Nesbitt, though I can't find lyrics to this particular song. He seems to be a comic singer and this was definitely not comic. It was very atmospheric and seemed mysterious to me at the time. Also, the river in the song MUST have been the Tyne, otherwise the rhyme wouldn't work.

The foy boats still exist, smaller and less high-tech than most pilot boats - they do seem to be mostly used for mooring, and they're something of an institution, apparently. It was because I was reading about them - the real ones - that the song started pestering me. Earworm trouble again ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 09:49 AM

Keith Donnelly (ex Waterfall) used to sing one of his songs which was titled The Foyboatman (see "Beneath The Stars" tracks here).

He wrote it about his dad and it tells, amongst other things, of his dad making a boat and christening it "Keith".

Don't know if that helps in your search but you never know...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 09:52 AM

That last post re Keith Donnelly was me - cookie disappeared for some reason. I forgot to mention that Keith is a Geordie and grew up the North East, so there's a connection with the Tyne.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,AliTFirefly
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 06:35 PM

Ooh, that sounds likely: I even have a very vague memory that there was some mention of the singer's father. The date's about right too. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 03:51 AM

I had the album with this on vinyl and copied it to MP3. I think I may have the sleeve with lyrics somehere too? Are you still looking for it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: GUEST,Jaycee
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 03:49 PM

My cousin is a foy boat man in South Shields


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Foy Boat Man?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Feb 13 - 05:39 PM

The Waterfall song is on youtube now: The Foy Boatman


Mick


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