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Origins: Threescore and Ten

DigiTrad:
THREE SCORE AND TEN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Three Score and Ten (71)
A note to Three Score and Ten (73)
3 Score and 10 -Grave found in Hull (23)
3 score & 10; How big was Grimsby Town? (12)
Chord Req: Three Score and Ten (7)
Three Score and Ten - What event? (13)


Chris Nixon 31 Oct 99 - 01:20 PM
Barbara 31 Oct 99 - 01:44 PM
wildlone 31 Oct 99 - 02:53 PM
Barbara 31 Oct 99 - 04:16 PM
wildlone 31 Oct 99 - 04:24 PM
Captain Swing 31 Oct 99 - 04:42 PM
wildlone 31 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM
Captain Swing 31 Oct 99 - 04:56 PM
Captain Swing 31 Oct 99 - 04:59 PM
wildlone 31 Oct 99 - 05:17 PM
Chris Nixon 31 Oct 99 - 05:30 PM
Margo 31 Oct 99 - 08:53 PM
Barry Finn 31 Oct 99 - 10:35 PM
Wolfgang 03 Nov 99 - 02:31 PM
Reiver 2 03 Nov 99 - 05:53 PM
MMario 03 Nov 99 - 06:05 PM
Wolfgang 04 Nov 99 - 06:56 AM
Garry Gillard 04 Nov 99 - 07:54 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 31 Jan 03 - 06:24 AM
DMcG 31 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM
GUEST 31 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,Ed 31 Jan 03 - 06:34 AM
Noreen 31 Jan 03 - 06:36 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 31 Jan 03 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Bill 31 Jan 03 - 04:48 PM
Gareth 31 Jan 03 - 07:20 PM
Barry Finn 31 Jan 03 - 10:43 PM
Santa 01 Feb 03 - 02:29 PM
Snuffy 03 Feb 03 - 09:15 AM
Gareth 03 Feb 03 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Alan Bolt singer/entertainer 22 Mar 05 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Nfkfiddler 22 Mar 05 - 07:35 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 04 Aug 06 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Jon 04 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 04 Aug 06 - 10:04 PM
Scotus 04 Aug 06 - 10:19 PM
Barry Finn 05 Aug 06 - 02:08 AM
stallion 05 Aug 06 - 03:04 AM
s&r 05 Aug 06 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 05 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM
Leadfingers 05 Aug 06 - 08:00 AM
Les from Hull 05 Aug 06 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 05 Aug 06 - 09:38 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 06 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM
Joybell 06 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM
Joybell 06 Aug 06 - 09:39 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 07 Aug 06 - 08:43 AM
s&r 07 Aug 06 - 09:10 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 07 Aug 06 - 11:37 AM
IanC 07 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Feb 16 - 05:21 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Feb 16 - 02:44 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Feb 16 - 10:36 AM
mg 29 Feb 16 - 03:01 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Feb 16 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: Threescore and ten
From: Chris Nixon
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 01:20 PM

Threescore and ten - a song about a severe storm on the east coast of England which wrecked a large number of inshore fishing boats. I have the lyrics and music - in fact I perform the song with almost tedious regularity - but, sinner that I am, I don't know who wrote it. It may just be "traditional", but as the event was in the early part of this century, I expect an author lurks out there somewhere. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Barbara
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 01:44 PM

Here's a link to the song and tune in the database, but it doesn't give an author, only who recorded it. THREE SCORE AND TEN
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 02:53 PM

The only thing that I can find in any of my books is,
Traditional.
There is a poem displayed in the Bradley Arms,Bradley Crossroads, Grimsby. That has 9 verses.
Taken from,"Songs Worth Singing" compiled by R.G.Brooker.
I have not seen it myself, but maybe a Catter has.


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Barbara
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:16 PM

Oh. Duh. Blue clicky thing to Three Score and Ten.


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:24 PM

Never mind Barbara you should see my efforts at the blue bugger
Damien Barber has recorded a good version on his tape
Blass Me.
it is well worth buying if you see it


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Captain Swing
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:42 PM

I was born in Grimsby and learned 'Three Score and Ten' when I joined a folk band there in 1971. The leader of the band, Keith, used to sing it and assured us that it was about an actual event in the late 19th century ( he knew the exact date) when, as a result of severe gales along the East coast, many ships were lost, a large number from Grimsby. Keith had a family connection as one of his ancestors ( possibly his great grandfather) was lost in the storms.

However, he was also fairly certain that it was not traditional but was written as a music hall song, possibly in London.

Coincidentally, I used to visit the pub at Bradley Crossroads quite regularly. The "Songs Worth Singing" poster must have been put up after my time but I suspect that R G Brooker is Bob Brooker who used to be involved in Louth Folk Club at the time. Louth Folk Club was started in about 1970 by non other than Keith, the leader of our band. What a small world this is!


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM

"Captain Swing"not of All over Dorset the flames are rising high,
The ricks are burning,who's the cause,
Captian Swing not I.
Bob has his own business now ARGEEBEE MUSIC.


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Captain Swing
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:56 PM

Well blow me. I've just done a web search on "three score and ten" and come up with this - http://hum2mac1.murdoch.edu.au/watersons/70.html

Written in London, my ar..!


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Captain Swing
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:59 PM

Yes, I am that masked man.

Is Bob still in Louth?


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: wildlone
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 05:17 PM

Bob is in Kenilworth last I heard.
I live in Dorset, We still remember


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Chris Nixon
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 05:30 PM

Many thanks to all. The storm did indeed devastate most of the east coast - down here in Deal, Wimpy Fishlock (and yes, that is his real name - well, surname anyway), an old boatman, reckons his grandfather was lost in it. Thanks again, Chris.


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Margo
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 08:53 PM

Lou Killen's CD liner notes from "A Seaman's Garland" says "Three Score and Ten was first published as a poem in a Grimsby newspaper after the great storm in the 1880's. It was found 70 years later being sung by fishermen in Robin Hood's Bay (collectors: Mary and Douglas Huddleston.)"

Margarita


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 10:35 PM

I remember this being in a thread quite awhile ago but can't seem to find it. Anyway, from Roy Palmer's the "Oxford Book Of Sea Songs":
    "In Memoriam of the poor Fisherman who lost their lives in the Dreadful Gale from Grimsby & Hull, Feb. 8 & 9, 1889 is the title of a broadside produced by a Grimsby fisherman, William Delf, to raise funds for the bereaved families. It lists 8 lost vessels, the last 2 from Hull: Eton, John Wintringham, Sea Searcher, Sir Fred, Roberts, British Workman, Kitten, Harold, Adventure & Olive Branch. In addition the names of some of the lost sailors are given, & there is a poem in 8 stanzas. This passed into oral tradition & in doing so lost 6 verses & aquired a new one (the last, in which an error of date occurs), together with a chorus & a tune. The oral version was noted from a master mariner, Mr. J. Pearson of Filey, in 1957, & has subsequently, with some futher small variations, become well known in folk-song clubs".
Barry


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 02:31 PM

Here's the old thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 05:53 PM

Wolfgang, wasn't there another thread going on Three Score and Ten just within the past month? I think we both posted to it. Or did the thread have a different name? I seem to remember a fascinating thread called something like "Favorite Historical Stories and Songs" where it came up -- but I can't find that thread. There was a spinoff from it called "Historical Ballads" where the song came up also.


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: MMario
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 06:05 PM

It was mentioned a lot under "Most haunting tunes"


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 06:56 AM

I had forgotten, Reiver 2, but with your hint: There's a minor mention in a thread titled Fav. Historical Story-songs and several interesting mentions in a thread titled 'Historical' Ballads.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 04 Nov 99 - 07:54 AM

I have added Wolfgang's quotation from Palmer to the words of the song that I had already put (as noted by Captain Swing) at http://hum2mac1.murdoch.edu.au/watersons/70.html

Thanks again Wolfgang!

Garry Gillard


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Subject: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:24 AM

I have been singing the song this week to fit in with commemorating the great East Coast flood of 1953(50 yrs this weekend)in which several hundred people lost their lives in Lincolshire and Norfolk. Yes, I know that it isn't about the same event but the chorus "three score score and ten boys and men were lost from Grimsby town" kind of fits.

My query is that, although I have heard recorded versions by John Connolly, The Watersons and The Clancys and have seen several printed versions (including the one in the DT), where does the song come from? Do we know who wrote it and what was the event that prompted it?

Roger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: DMcG
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM

There is an entry about this in the database at www.folkinfo.org which gives a newpaper entry from the time, as well as the usual stuff.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM

From Roy Palmer's The Oxford Book Of Sea Songs:

'In Memoriam of the poor Fishermen who lost their lives in the Dreadful Gale from Grimsby and Hull, Feb. 8 & 9, 1889' is the title of a broadside produced by a Grimsby [other source: Whitby] fisherman, William Delf [other source: Delph], to raise funds for the bereaved families. It lists eight lost vessels, the last two from Hull: Eton, John Wintringham, Sea Searcher, Sir Fred. Roberts, British Workman, Kitten, Harold, Adventure, and Olive Branch. In addition the names of some of the lost sailors are given, and there is a poem in eight stanzas. This passed into oral tradition, and in so doing lost six verses and acquired a new one (the last, in which an error of date occurs), together with a chorus and a tune. The oral version was noted from a master mariner, Mr. J. Pearson of Filey, in 1957, and has subsequently, with some further small variations, become well known in folk-song clubs.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:34 AM

Click here for the folkinfo entry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Noreen
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:36 AM

I believe the original poem (or probably a copy!) is on the wall of a Grimsby pub I've visited, but blowed if I can remember which one.

Will post more if memory recovers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 06:39 AM

Thanks everyone - Mudcat comes up trumps again!

Roger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 04:48 PM

well done Guest it was William Delph, but the last verse which refers to an October night was written at a later date.
Bill(the sound)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 07:20 PM

Interestingly, I've heard, tho the words escape me, a Kentish Version sung in the " Duke of Cumberland " Folk Club in Whitstable some 25 years ago.

I suspect this was a modification under the ' Folk ' process.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 10:43 PM

There's an old thread that give a huge amout of interesting info on this. Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Santa
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 02:29 PM

I have a copy of the broadsheet, handed out one Fylde festival by Roy Palmer, which credits W. Delf, Fisherman, Grimsby. As stated above, really.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 09:15 AM

Dead Horse sang a Kentish version, Gareth, at the Stoney Stratford Mudcat gathering last year.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three score and ten
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 07:39 PM

Damm ! Snuffy, I missed that - possibly acute alchol poisening !!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: GUEST,Alan Bolt singer/entertainer
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 06:17 AM

My very good friend Bob Brooker,now lives in Leamington Spa,01926 831518, still playing,now into trad Irish music and supplying musical goods at very keen prices. He no doubt would love to hear from any one he knew in the past when he lived,played & worked in Lincs. Daft thing is,I met him when he moved to The Midland,now I have moved to Lincs! He now helps me with sound engineering occasionally and his brother is Tom who has a folk/blues band still operating! My contact number is 01526 344417.Bobs e-mail address is bob.argeebee@btinternet.com    hope this is of interest!


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Subject: RE: Threescore and ten
From: GUEST,Nfkfiddler
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 07:35 AM

I remember Barney singing this with the Dubliners both at Norwich and Lowestoft.   I can't remember the name but they credited it to a writer in Lowestoft.   I've always known it as a 'local tune'.


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Subject: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 08:06 PM

I've listened often to Johnny McEvoy sing a song titled "Three Score And Ten" and I wonder when the events of the song occured. Evidently a big storm swept through the English Channel and many lives were lost. I wonder when this occured and are there other songs that refer to this event. Does the storm have a name?
Threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 08:13 PM

According to our notes, It occured February 8th, 9th 1889.

More details at http://www.folkinfo.org/forum/topic.php?topicid=203


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 10:04 PM

Don Duncan, in the FSSGB Auxiliary Songbook, quotes "John Conolly, of Grimsby", as saying:

In the 1880s, a series of great gales wrecked hundreds of fishing boats along the East coast of Britain, and many men were lost. William Delf was a grimsby fisherman who tried to help the widows and orphans by writing poems about these disasters and selling copies of them, the proceeds going to the dependents of the men lost at sea. The "Threescore and Ten" poem was one of his better efforts, but nobody seems to know how it acquired a chorus.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: You're talking in my sleep. :||


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Scotus
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 10:19 PM

That fine Fife songwriter John Watt produced a stunning song called 'The Eyemouth Disaster' (recorded by him and other notables including Cilla Fisher), which I believe deals with the same storm and similar events (Eyemouth is a fishing town just north of Berwick on the east coast). My understanding is that the storm came right down the east coast from the Shetlands to the south coast of England and that there were many similar disasters over the space of a couple of days. I'll bet there are a few other songs around!

Jack


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 02:08 AM

Hi Joe
Don does have that right. I don't remember where I've read that & I know it wasn't the FSSGB Auxiliary Songbook but it's almost exactly the way I remember reading it & I don't think that I mentioned it to Don either but do say hi to him for me will ya?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: stallion
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:04 AM

As I heared it, it was a poem about one disaster, ammended to suit another disaster, i suspect even changed and pulled about by everyone. We have recently recorded it and have been castigated in a review for attributing it to "Trad." although it came back from MCPRS as "In the Public Domain" which, to my constant ear bashing, does not mean traditional. Although we sang it at the South Street Shanty sing in NYC and were asked why the chorus had the line "from Yarmouth DOWN through Scarborough many hundreds more......" The only reasonable explanation I have for this is from the victorian age of steam when all the lines going to London were the up lines. However this is only a theory of mine and not dyed in the wool fact......discus!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: s&r
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:34 AM

From Yarmouth Town to Scarborough

Stu


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM

It was published in The Oxford Book of Local Verses 1987 p.137. 'A Ballad in Memory of the Fishermen from Hull and Grimsby who lost their lives in the Gale of 8 and 9 February 1889'; by W. Delf, a Grimsby fisherman. It was produced as a broadside by the author - presumably as a fundfaiser. I'd always thought that Mike Waterson had set the tune!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 08:00 AM

I've just checked the sleeve notes on 'New Voices' and that gives Lyrics by William Delph a Whitby Fisherman ! Which spelling is correct for the gentlemans name ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Les from Hull
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 09:08 AM

As day after day passes and no tidings arrive of the missing Grimsby smacks, it is beginning to be realised that the gale of the 9th ult. will prove one of the most disastrous to the Grimsby fishing trade on record. Altogether nearly a dozen fishing vessels, carrying between 60 and 70 hands, are missing. Most of these vessels were only provisioned for eight or nine days, and many of them have been out over a month. Of the safety of seven of them all hope has now been abandoned. The vessels are:
Sea Searcher, trawl smack, owner Mr Joseph Ward; five hands.
John Wintringham, cod smack, master and owner Mr John Guitesen; eleven hands.
Eton, iron steam trawl smack, owner Mr H. Smethurst, Jun.; eight hands.
British Workman, cod smack, owner Mr Thomas Campbell; seven hands.
Sir Frederick Roberts, trawl smack, master and owner Mr W. Walker; five hands.
Kitten, trawl smack, owner James Meadows; five hands.
Harold, trawl smack, master and owner Mr Blakeney; five hands.

Portions of wreckage from the Kitten have been picked up at sea and brought into port, and the British Workman was seen to be reduced to a mere wreck by a heavy sea on the morning of the gale. Many of the men who have been lost leave wives and families, and an immense amount of distress will be caused amongst the fishing population. The total number of vessels lost will, it is feared, be near 15, and of lives between 70 and 80.


Hull Times, 2 March 1889.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 09:38 AM

Spelling of Delf?? My money is on DELF rather than DELPH. Ray Delf -great (great?) grandson of the W. Delf in question is part of the Padstow branch of the Delf family - and a very fine accordionist he is too!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 08:07 PM

Thanks, Joe, and others. I guess I am going to have to take a refresher course in "Look before You Leap".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM

I asked an old seaman, from roughly the area of the disaster, about the "from Yarmouth DOWN to Scarborough" line. He told me that "up and down" as the map shows towns is irrelevant to the old-timers. Indeed people here in the bush of Australia still use "up or down" seemingly at random. As in "I'm going down to Melbourne" or I'm going up to Melbourne" (Melbourne is pretty much directly East of here - neither up nor down.)
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 09:39 PM

Also True-Love points out --

In the USA, the term "down east" refers to New England, particularly Maine. I believe that this is because this area is downWIND on the coast. Certainly the Gulf Stream runs northeast along that coast, until it hits the Labrador Current north of Maine. Is Scarborough downwind of Yarmouth?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 08:43 AM

Hi, Joybell! I found similar information on another thread that, indeed, sailors refer to "up" and "down" with respect to the way the wind blows---sort of like upstream and downstream with respect to water flow in a river. And one comment indicated theat the prevailing wind in that region would allow for that wording to be accurate. Another comment pointed out that the word may have been misunderstood, and that the word "'round" (around) would make sense.
Give my reguards to Hildebrand (aka True-Love)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: s&r
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 09:10 AM

Yarmouth was known as Yarmouth Town to separate it from the Borough of Great Yarmouth. Hence Yarmouth Town to Scarborough.

FWIW the uk has prevailing winds fom the SW

Stu


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 11:37 AM

Thanks, Stu. That makes even more sense.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: IanC
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 12:20 PM

s&r

That would be fine if the original words said Yarmouth Town and if a Borough wasn't the Old English for town. Unfortunately, neither of these is true.

:-(
Ian


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Feb 16 - 05:21 AM

I definitely heard it as "down" not "town" and puzzled over it initially, as Scarborough is north of Yarmouth, but apart from any consideration of prevailing winds, it was explained to me that going back to your home port, in this case, was "going down home". The UK's prevailing wind directions vary a lot by the way: can turn right round in a deep depression, as happens in big storms!
Although William Delph (Delf) was from Grimsby, Scarborough would have been roughly in the same direction if you were heading from Yarmouth. This interpretation may of course be pure speculation. ;-)
And I looked up the thread in anticipation of my own "three score and ten" coming up shortly! :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Feb 16 - 02:44 PM

I believe it was Brian Dawson who asserted that Delf's offspring, having moved to Lowestoft, altered the song to something like its current form, BUT Ruairidh Greig from Grimsby has done a lot of research on Delf and in fact he died childless. The relatives referred to above might of course be from nephews. The collectors, by the way, were Nigel and Mary Hudleston, now deceased, but their collection was published and is deposited in Special Collections at Sheffield University.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Feb 16 - 10:36 AM

Thanks Steve.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: mg
Date: 29 Feb 16 - 03:01 PM

We just heard the most beautiful version of this yet I might think at Fisher poets this weekend...Paul of originally England sang it, in almost a wistful way I think...it is such a great song that it is usually sung with great vigor at least here...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Threescore and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Feb 16 - 03:52 PM

In Hull where many of the seamen involved were from and where there is a monument to the lost fishermen, we usually sing it quite vigorously but with lots of feeling and reverence. It has the impact of something like 'Eternal Father' but without the histrionics. We often finish our maritime concerts with it, accompanied on anglo with all of the concert performers joining us. There is a photo of the monument in a sadly neglected graveyard, on our website www.yorkshirefolksong.net


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