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Origins: Merman / blow ye winds

DigiTrad:
MERMAID (RULE BRITANNIA) (2)
THE MERMAID (3)
THE MERMAID (4)


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Rule Britannia/Married to a Mermaid (53)
Lyr Req: Marri-i-ed to a Merm-i-ed (23)


GUEST,Julia L 04 Jun 15 - 07:33 PM
Lighter 05 Jun 15 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,# 05 Jun 15 - 10:19 AM
Lighter 05 Jun 15 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,# 05 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Jun 15 - 01:10 PM
Richard Mellish 05 Jun 15 - 03:34 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Jun 15 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Julia L 16 Jun 17 - 10:55 PM
leeneia 17 Jun 17 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 07:33 PM

Hi folks- I just found one verse of this great song in the Flanders collection sung by Annie Tate Moore in 1941. Have not found anything else like it except as a "hiking " song from the 50's and a version by and Irish band from which I have created a coherent song (which we just recorded) Would love to know if anyone has evidence of it earlier than 1941
Thanks - Julia Lane

BLOW YE WINDS AYE-O

First verse and tune from Annie Tate Moore, Ellsworth Falls ME
Helen Hartness Flanders Collection, Middlebury VT recorded June 22,1941 with additional lyrics from Vermont Folksongs and Ballads by Flanders and Brown, from the singing of Mrs. John Anderson of Windsor VT as sung by her relative from Newfoundland, Miriam Berg's folksong collection (learned from UC Hiking Club in 1958 or 1959) and Patrick Brian Warfield of the Wolfetones

It was on the fourth of January
Down in the southern seas
Our ship lay at anchor near a big coral reef
A-waiting for a breeze
And the captain he was down below
And the sailors were lying all about
When suddenly from under our bow
A jolly little voice piped out

Sing blow ye winds aye -o
Blow ye winds aye -o
Clear way the morning dew
And blow ye winds aye -o

"There's a man overboard," our watch cried out,
And it's forward we all did go.
Our captain he went to the starboard side,
And gazed on the water below
And there we saw hangin' on our anchor chain
Was a jolly old merman.
His hair was blue, and his eyes were green,
And this is what he sang;

"Ahoy there" said our captain bold
"What cheer, messmate", cried he.
You look so queer- How came you here
Living in the deep blue sea
I see you are a sailor by the look of your face,
And you speak like an Englishman true
Come and tell me, man, as fast as you can,
Just what can I do for you."

Some years ago where the big ships go,
I was lost overboard in a gale.
And down below where the seaweeds grow,
I met a pretty maiden with a tail.
She saved my life and I made her my wife,
And we now have children three
So forever and a day, it's happy I will stay,
In the bottom of the deep blue sea.

But you've dropped your anchor in front of my house,
And you've blocked up my only door.
And my wife she can't get out, for to shop and rove about
And the children me implore
It would break your heart to hear them cry,
And the row they'll have with me!
For I was out last night to a small fish-fight,
And I didn't get home till three.

The Captain smiled and called to the mate
"All hands on deck" cried he
"Our anchor shall be weighed at once
And your wife and your children set free."
With a grateful grin he waved a fin
And he turned himself about so merrily
And the big blue tail that he sat upon,
Went a-wiggling down the sea.
(And he sang-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 07:49 AM

An original broadside of the 19th century is here:

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/static/images/sheets/25000/23998.gif

The song was in print by the 1880s.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 10:19 AM

I tried the link, Lighter, but it said not found. I'm trying this link out to see if it works.

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/static/images/sheets/25000/23998.gif


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 10:22 AM

Both links still work for me....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM

Sorry. Now both are working for me also. Weird.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 01:10 PM

I think it's one of the spin-offs to Arthur Lloyd's 'Married to a Mermaid' 1866. His own follow up was similar to this The Man at the Nore' 1866

MtaM starts 'Twas in the broad Atlantic'
MatN starts 'Oh, my father he kept the Eddystone Light'
The Merman certainly predates 1873 which is when it was printed by Glasgow Poet's Box. It is of course also in Laws as K24.

The chorus as you all know is taken from later versions of the Baffled Knight and was also used for various shanties and sea songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 03:34 PM

Those links are both the same, and neither of them is working for me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 06:31 PM

Okay,
Try this. Go to the website. Click on Search. In the titles box put Merman. This should take you to Firth Collection c26 (152) which is a broadside of the song printed by Pearson of Manchester c1870s, stock number 62. The same copy is in the Holt Collection in Manchester No.381. With it having a low stock number it is likely to have been printed by his predecessor Bebbington, unless it was part of a new series printed by Pearson.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 16 Jun 17 - 10:55 PM

Thanks, folks . I just found a version here as well
Whispers from the Fleet Capt. Christopher Cradock pub. J. Griffin, 1907 page 277

Some friends from Australia have it there with a different chorus

cheers- J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Merman / blow ye winds
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 17 - 03:16 PM

Hello, Julia. Thanks for the poem.

Years ago, the Kingston Trio recorded a song called "Blow Ye Winds of Morning," and you can find it on YouTube. It's an easy tune with simple chords. It occurred to me that these lyrics could be fit to that tune with some adjustment, so I worked it out. Here are the new lyrics.

I have put ~ in a syllable that uses two or more notes.

It's not easy to tell when the captain is talking and when the merman is talking, so use different accents for each. Don't be afraid to ham it up.   

1. 'Twas on the fourth of Januar
down in the southern seas
Our ship lay awhile
near a big coral isle
a-waiting for a bre~eze
The captain he was down below and sailors all about
and then - what now? - beneath our bow
a jolly great voice piped o~ut, singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.

2."Man overboard!," the watch cried out,
And forward we did go.
Our captain's to the starboard side
to gaze on the drink belo~w.
And there we saw on the anchor chain a jolly old merMAN
His hair was blue, and his eyes was green,
and this is what he sang, singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.

3."Ahoy there" said our captain bold;
"What cheer, messmate", cried he.
"You look so queer- How came you here,
a-living in the deep blue se~a?"
I see the woe in the look of your face
and your speech is English true
Come tell me, man, as fast as you can
just what can I do for yo~u." singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.

4. "Some years ago where the big ships go,
I swept overboard in a gale.
And down below where the seaweeds grow,
I met a pretty maid with a tai~l.
She saved my life and became my wife,
and my legs changed instantlee.
So forever and a day, it's happy I will stay,
at the bottom of the deep blue sea, singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.

5. "But your anchor's dropped before my house,
and you've blocked my only door.
And my wife can't get out for to shop and rove about,
and the children me implo~re
'Twould break your heart to hear them cry,
and the row they'll have with me!
I was out last night to a big fish-fight,
and I didn't get home till thre~e, singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.

6. The Captain smiled and turned to the mate
"All hands on deck" cried he.
"Our anchor we shall weigh, I say,
and your wife and chicks set fre~e."
With a grateful grin he waved a fin
and he turned him merrily,
with a mighty flail of his big blue tail,
he wiggled down to the se~a, singing
Blow ye winds, heave ho, heave h~o -- blow ye winds, heave ho
Clear way the morning dew and blow heave ho.


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