Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'

Bill Brown 16 Aug 13 - 11:06 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 16 Aug 13 - 02:46 PM
Artful Codger 17 Aug 13 - 01:20 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 17 Aug 13 - 08:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 13 - 12:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Aug 13 - 12:57 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Bill Brown
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 11:06 AM

I've found the lyrics to "A Sailors Life At Sea" in some old books (online texts) amidst War of 1812-era songs.

It's jauntier than the usual plodding, posing-for-statues odes to Columbia one finds from that time. So, a good potential candidate for sing-along, sea-shanty sessions, etc.

BUT, there's no helpful "to the air of . . . " note or music sheet.

There's a clue that the song was popular, there's a parody version in a Scottish book of lyrics "to the tune of 'A Sailors Life at Sea'" dated 1842.

No online indications that anyone has lately recorded it. One (only one) lyrics-amalgamation page has the words but with the title "Jack the Guinea Pig (?)"

The chorus is:

steadily, readily,
cheerily, merrily
still from care and thinking free
Is a sailors life at sea

Anybody know the tune for this? or perhaps someone whose google-fu is better than mine can find more online clues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 02:46 PM

The song is by Dibdin, also known as Jack The Guinea-Pig. You can find a broadside copy at the Bodleian and online copies of the text at archive.org. None of these have tunes.

The National Library of Ireland has a sheet music copy with piano acc: A Sailor's Life At Sea (a favourite song as sung at Sadler's Wells with applause), but I can't find an online copy of the music.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Artful Codger
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 01:20 AM

I wonder if the occasional attribution to Dibdin (presumably, the elder) is a mistake. He included it in his collection Sea Songs and Ballads, which contained both his own songs and songs by other people. But I haven't found it in the collections of his own songs which were compiled by his sons Thomas and Charles jr. In fact, the title Dibdin gave in his own compilation was "Still from Care and Thinking Free". The Busy Bee, Vol. 2, says "Sung at Sadler Wells by Mrs. Harlowe" and "Written by Mr. Langdale." Another source gives a performance date of 1790 for "Jack the Guinea-Pig" and attributed it (or "A Sailor's Life at Sea") to the composer Mr Taylor.

Whatever the case, I haven't been able to turn up music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 08:27 AM

Artful - you could be right about the attribution. I saw the Mr.Langdale reference in connection with the song in a theatre production, but in the reference it wasn't clear if he was responsible for the text of the play or the song so I didn't pursue it further.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 12:38 PM

There may be confusion with a poem by Charles Dibdin, Junior:

Lyr. Add: Ready for Action
C. Dibdin, Jun.

When a sailor goes to sea,
Merrily, cheerily, yo! yo! yo!
A-weather the helm, or a-lee,
He sings aloft or below,
Rifol, derol, &c.
When a foe appears
The deck he clears,
and d----e, he comes it so.
(Putting himself in an attitude of defence)
Bold and bluff,
Till his men had enough,
And then it's yo! heave ho!
Fol, lol, &c.

When a sailor comes ashore,
Merrily, &c.
Stor'd with gold galore,
He's but an odd fish, we know,
Rifol, &c.
But on shore as at sea,
If a foe there be,
D----e, he comes it so
(Drawing his cutlass)
Bold, &c.

When a sailor's spent his chink,
Merrily, &c.
As he can't stay ashore to think,
To sea again he must go,
Rifol, &c.
For his country's right,
Like the devil will fight,
And d----e, he comes it so.
(Fires a pistol)
Bold, &c.

T. Dibdin, 1875, "Songs of Charles Dibdin, with a Memoir," George Bell & Sons. Admiralty Edition.
((With Addenda; poems by T. Dibdin and C. Dibdin jun.; and Misc. National Songs)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune Req: Tune sought: 'A Sailors Life At Sea'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 12:57 PM

"Jack the Guinea Pig," performer Harlowe, Sarah Venue, Sadler Wells Theatre; noted for one copy at the Bodleian.
Another copy is dated by the Bodleian as "1790." No author noted for either sheet.

When the anchors weigh'd and the ship's unmoor'd,,
And landsmen lag behind, sir,
The sailor joyful skips on board,
And sweating prays for a wind, sir,
Yowing here, ye-howing there,
Steadily, readily, cheerily, merrily,
Still from care and thinking free,
Is a sailor's life at sea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 June 5:10 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.