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Tune Req: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)

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Corwyn 28 Oct 99 - 05:37 PM
John Wood 29 Oct 99 - 11:44 AM
Joe Offer 14 Jul 04 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Andrew Greenhill 06 Dec 04 - 11:20 AM
aussiebloke 13 Apr 06 - 09:56 AM
aussiebloke 13 Apr 06 - 10:16 AM
Charley Noble 16 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM
MMario 16 Mar 07 - 08:47 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Mar 07 - 09:15 AM
EBarnacle 16 Mar 07 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 16 Mar 07 - 12:29 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Mar 07 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 26 Oct 07 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,douginguam 22 Jan 10 - 01:03 AM
mousethief 22 Jan 10 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Fossil at work 22 Jan 10 - 06:34 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Jan 10 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Michael MacMahon 30 Sep 12 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Jim DeLong 14 Feb 16 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,HiLo 15 Feb 16 - 09:24 AM
GUEST 19 May 16 - 07:00 AM
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Subject: Let Her Go Down
From: Corwyn
Date: 28 Oct 99 - 05:37 PM

There's a song I know called Let Her Go Down, and I wonder if there are any versions out there besides the one by Steeleye Span. Also, any background on the piece would be very much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: John Wood
Date: 29 Oct 99 - 11:44 AM

Hi Corwyn
Let Her Go Down was written by Peter Knight(vocals,Keyboard,violin)of Steeleye Span.
Steeleye Span ceased to exist for two years,but in 1980,at the request of Chrysalis Records,they reformed the line up of Maddy Prior,Tim Hart,Peter Knight,Robert Johnson,Rick Kemp and Nigel Pegrum and with Elton John's producer Gus Dugeon at the helm recorded ``Sails Of Silver´´,a selection of self written songs.

I have not heard of any other versions.
Steeleye Span gave this out on ``Sails of Silver´´and on``Porfolio´´(Chrysalis CDP 32 1647 2)1988.

Hope this helps
Greetings John.


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Subject: ADD: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 10:13 PM

Are we missing the lyrics for this one?
-Joe Offer-

Let Her Go Down
Steeleye Span

Chrysalis CHS 2503 (single, p/s, UK, March 1981)

[Steeleye Span]

This track from Steeleye Span's reunion album Sails of Silver. was also released as B-side of the single Gone to America. A live recording from the Royal Opera Theatre in Adelaide, Australia in 1982 was released on the rare Australian-only LP On Tour. Another live version from St. David's Hall, Cardiff on December 6, 1994 can be found on the video 25 Live: The Classic Twenty Fifth Anniversary Tour Concert.

Steeleye Span recorded this song a second time for the CD Present to accompany the December 2002 reunion tour.

Lyrics

Sometime in October
We sailed from New England's shore
When we sailed into a raging storm
Like I've never ever seen before
And all of the crew, they were brave men
But the captain, he was braver
He said: “Never mind the ship, me boys
There's none of us here can save her”

Chorus
Let her go down
Swim for your lives
Swim for your children
Swim for your wives
But let her go down
Just let her go down

Lost in the open ocean
There were some of the crew and me
While the captain steered our wounded ship
To the bottom of an angry sea
And with his dying breath we all heard him say
“Just the fortunes of a sailor”
And he said: “Never mind the ship, me boys
There's none of us here can save her”

Chorus

He wondered if his shipmates
were ready just to pray and give in
So he called their names out one by one
But there was no-one else around but him
He saw the ship go down in the fading light
And he knew they couldn't save her
He said: “The captain lied when the captain cried
There's none of us here can save her”

Chorus

Note:

According to Peter Knight's website, the original demo of this song had a different last verse as follows. But then the song was considered single material and the verse was changed to the above wording so that Maddy could sing it.

I wondered if my shipmates
Had been lost in that rolling sea
So I called their names out one by one
But there was no one else around but me
And as that ship went down in the fading light
I knew we could have saved her
The captain lied when the captain cried
“There's none of us here can save her”




Source: http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/steeleye.span/songs/lethergodown.html


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: GUEST,Andrew Greenhill
Date: 06 Dec 04 - 11:20 AM

"Let Her Go Down" is available in score. You may have a copy for the princely sum of £11.60. Your cheque should be made payable to Andrew Greenhill and directed to the following address:

54 Broad Street
Syston
LEICESTER
LE7 1GH

I hope that the above answers your query adequately.

Yours,
Andrew D. R/ Greenhill


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: aussiebloke
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 09:56 AM

Not really willing to send a check at this point old chap...

Turns out The Hollies recorded a version of Let Her Go Down re-released on their six CD set

This info from here

The Long Road Home: 40th Anniversary Collection: 1963 - 2003


Disc 5 Track 10 Let Her Go Down (Peter Knight)
Peermusic (UK) Ltd
Produced by The Hollies.

This very rare recording from the 'What Goes Around' sessions appeared only in New Zealand on the 'B' side of the 'Stop In The Name Of Love' single. Written by Peter Knight of Steeleye Span, after his experience of being caught by a sudden change in the weather in the English Channel while fishing. It appeared on the Steeleye Span album 'Sails Of Silver'.

Anyone have an mp3 of that? I'd love to hear it.

Chords here and here.

Wikipedia article on Steeleye Span

Can anyone point me at the musical notation - the dots for the tune of Let Her Go Down? A friend wants to write some harmony vocal parts.

Thanks in advance, Mucatters.

Cheers all

aussiebloke




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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: aussiebloke
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 10:16 AM

Samples from Sails of Silver


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM

Is anyone but me puzzled over the meaning of the final verse? In what way did the captain lie?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: MMario
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 08:47 AM

the original wording (according to the post above) was:

I knew we could have saved her
The captain lied when the captain cried
"There's none of us here can save her


which makes sense...


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 09:15 AM

It's a damn good tune, apart from the mandatory key-change. I would have thought the harmonies would probably ring best and folkiest if extemporised. Oh, and burn thepiano. I hat ePianos.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: EBarnacle
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 11:41 AM

Barratry, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 12:29 PM

Richard - even Kathryn Roberts' singing and playing The Plains of Waterloo?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 01:29 PM

Yes. A different instrument might almost extract it from my memory of the Les Barker words....


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 12:59 AM

First off I really like Steel Eye Span, but...

I have been pondering this song for some time. I have reached a decision not to sing it. It must have been recorded before the lyric was finished. I love the melody, the chorus is simple and dynamic and the idea is great. But the story and text is scatterbrained to the point of silliness.   

Even if the verse supposed to be for Maddy Prior to sing is accepted as the original story it still makes close to no sense. There must be a missing verse between the first and second verses. The stage is set and the what happened is there but there is clearly no why. The who is very questionable as well. There just is no why.

The Captain says " Every body over the side into this storm, the boat can't be saved so lets just swim." Come on. Some credibility please.
This event couldn't happen on the Captain's say so alone. There would be grates spars and ships boats of some type to cling to. Certainly they could have been added to the song.

A catchy chorus isn't enough so save a weak and I'd say lame story. Especially a song with so much obvious potential.

Don


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Subject: RE: Let Her Go Down
From: GUEST,douginguam
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 01:03 AM

I love the tune so much! And I like the idea of the story, but it is very frustrating that it makes no sense.
I still listen to the song frequently but the lack of sense it makes never ceases to make me think there was something ...... something


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 01:14 AM

This one and "Longbone" are the two daftest songs on an otherwise superb album.

O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: GUEST,Fossil at work
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 06:34 PM

Having learned it off the original SS LP, I have been singing this song for years, using a "drop g" semi-open tuning, which sounds real nice. But I have always wondered about the last verse, which didn't quite make sense. The original version, of course does, so thanks for that.

My personal history of this song includes one very pleasant and alcoholic evening on a yacht anchored in a quiet and beautiful cove on the rocky west coast of Sweden. Having had good evening of songs and banter, during which "Let 'er go down" was featured, we turned in in a glassy calm, only to be woken from our beds by the sound of howling winds and the boat banging on the rocks on the other side of the cove, having dragged its anchor across a quarter-mile of open water! We got her off, but it was a close-run thing and although I wasn't the skipper on that occasion, I have always been rather careful about getting the anchor well set in on every boat I've been on since.

And since then I only ever sing the song when on terra firma!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 06:38 PM

Quite a lot of real folk songs make little sense too.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST,Michael MacMahon
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 10:11 AM

As has been mentioned, The Hollies recorded a (pretty good, IMHO) version, at a time I think when Graham Nash was reunited with the band.

The only other version I know is by a Canadian group called The Irish Descendants. I previously knew them for a good (acappella, I think) version of "Barrett's Privateers". Sadly, their version of this fine song (musically, despite the questions about the meaning of the lyrics of last verse) is nowhere near up to the standard of Steeleye or The Hollies. Far too slow, for a start.

All the above versions you'll find on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST,Jim DeLong
Date: 14 Feb 16 - 09:06 PM

Procol Harum sang several songs about the sea, and all of them contained quirky lyrics. That's what makes them so great, endearing and enduring. Good job, Mr. Knight. Let Her go down.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 09:24 AM

I have most of Steeleys albums, Sails of Silver is my least favourite. But Let Her Go Down is a great song, but it does not make narrative sense. As for the rest of the album, I just don't think they are great songwriters.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Let Her Go Down (Steeleye Span)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 16 - 07:00 AM

I concur with Don M

doesnt scan for me and why change the last verse, Maddy is not the lead singer here, she's a top backing harmonizer, in fact the best.


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