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Origins: Fathom the Bowl

DigiTrad:
FATHOM THE BOWL


Related threads:
Fathom the bowl/Punch ladle-clear crystal fountain (11)
Lyr Add: The Punch Ladle (12)
Lyr Req: song about punch ladle / Fathom the Bowl (19)


danleighton 30 Nov 99 - 08:20 PM
MMario 30 Nov 99 - 09:52 PM
danleighton 01 Dec 99 - 06:33 AM
Ringer 01 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM
danleighton 01 Dec 99 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Gabe Heller 10 Feb 07 - 07:05 PM
Charley Noble 10 Feb 07 - 07:22 PM
Effsee 10 Feb 07 - 09:36 PM
Barry Finn 11 Feb 07 - 12:15 AM
Tradsinger 11 Feb 07 - 04:39 AM
Captain Ginger 11 Feb 07 - 08:44 AM
Linda Goodman Zebooker 11 Feb 07 - 09:03 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Feb 07 - 09:06 AM
Tradsinger 11 Feb 07 - 09:21 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Feb 07 - 08:24 AM
Charley Noble 13 Feb 07 - 09:09 AM
nutty 13 Feb 07 - 12:39 PM
Charley Noble 13 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM
Tradsinger 13 Feb 07 - 02:27 PM
Charley Noble 13 Feb 07 - 02:42 PM
curmudgeon 13 Feb 07 - 02:45 PM
Tradsinger 13 Feb 07 - 04:47 PM
Charley Noble 13 Feb 07 - 05:03 PM
Captain Ginger 13 Feb 07 - 05:10 PM
curmudgeon 13 Feb 07 - 05:22 PM
EBarnacle 13 Feb 07 - 08:13 PM
Charley Noble 13 Feb 07 - 10:16 PM
GRex 14 Feb 07 - 02:59 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Feb 07 - 01:02 AM
Mr Happy 26 Nov 12 - 03:37 AM
doc.tom 26 Nov 12 - 05:25 AM
IanC 26 Nov 12 - 07:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Nov 12 - 07:54 AM
Charley Noble 26 Nov 12 - 09:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Nov 12 - 10:48 AM
Charley Noble 26 Nov 12 - 05:41 PM
Joe_F 26 Nov 12 - 06:26 PM
Bat Goddess 26 Nov 12 - 06:47 PM
Rumncoke 27 Nov 12 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Bagger 27 Nov 12 - 07:35 AM
Charley Noble 27 Nov 12 - 08:10 AM
Mr Happy 27 Nov 12 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Bagger 29 Nov 12 - 11:17 AM
Snuffy 03 Dec 12 - 12:36 PM
Les in Chorlton 03 Dec 12 - 01:37 PM
Ged Fox 05 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM
Musket 05 Dec 12 - 12:54 PM
Mr Happy 08 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM
Dead Horse 08 Dec 12 - 11:32 AM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 15 - 02:18 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 15 - 02:25 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 15 - 02:35 PM
Jeri 09 Mar 15 - 03:26 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 15 - 03:58 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Mar 15 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Bill S in Adelaide 09 Mar 15 - 06:19 PM
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Subject: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: danleighton
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 08:20 PM

just a couple of minor changes which we habitually sing.
I think they help the song make sense a little more and get rid of some of the doggerel english...

nice song this if sung in three or four part harmony
cheers

Dan


From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum,
Sweet oranges and lemons from Portugal come;
But beer and strong cider are in England's control,
Bring me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

cho: I'll Fathom the bowl, I'll fathom the bowl,
Bring me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

My father does lie at the bottom of the sea,
With a rope round his neck but no matter to me
For I've a flagon of strong cider myself to console
Bring me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

cho:

My wife she does disturb me as I lay at my ease,
For she does as she will and she says as she please;
My wife is the devil, and she's black as the coal,
Bring me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: MMario
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 09:52 PM

?? I don't find this to be any more or less coherent then the version poseted in the DT...But I will admit I have a preference for "obselete" english and older verb forms...still, it's a perfectly singable version, so I guess that is what counts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: danleighton
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 06:33 AM

I wasn't worrying about it being "obsolete" merely bad english!

The version I posted uses obsolete verb forms - just not in that horrible cackhanded "Ye Olde Englande" way ;)

(No offence meant to anyone who likes that kind of thing...)

And it's the second verse that is mainly different.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Ringer
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 01:40 PM

Doesn't anybody sing (what I know as) the first verse any more?

Come all my bold heroes, give an ear to my song; And we'll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum. There's a clear crystal fountain from England shall roll, Give me.. etc

Apart from "with a rope round his neck", I can't see a big difference.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: danleighton
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 05:34 PM

didn't know that first verse

ta for that.

don't worry I was just being pedantic about 'do' and 'does'.

what on earth does the clear crystal fountain bit mean?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: GUEST,Gabe Heller
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:05 PM

I have that Cliff Halsam album, and there's another verse at the beginning you forgot!

Come all ye bold heroes, give an ear to my song!
I'll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum.
There's a clear crystal fountain near England shall roll.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:22 PM

Most of us in New England learned this song from Cliff Haslam's singing.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Effsee
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 09:36 PM

If it aint broke, don't fix it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 12:15 AM

Most? You must be speaking for yourself Charlie. Cliff did bring a good bit to the fore front but a fair amount was already here in New England before Cliif's adorned these lovely shores.

I don't see a need for any changes, it's been sung & collected the same way for ages but if it suits someone's fancy to give it a twist, let her rip. If it sticks you'll know if it was a change for the better, if not, oh well.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Tradsinger
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 04:39 AM

I put my version on youtube -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kml1gT1C56Y

Enjoy

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 08:44 AM

Not heard that tune before, Tradsinger; is that a Hampshire version?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Linda Goodman Zebooker
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:03 AM

I don't like the third verse, finding it gratuitously racist. When I next sing the song, I'm going to substitute a new verse.
Linda


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:06 AM

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea,
With NO STONE AT HIS HEAD but what matter for he


Where did the rope come from ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Tradsinger
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 09:21 AM

Hello Captain Ginger,

It's a version I collected from a family in Petersfield, Hampshire, about 35 years ago. I think it's a better tune than the one usually sung.

Tradsinger


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOWL! BOWL! (FATHOM THE BOWL)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 08:24 AM

Surprisingly, I can't find a version of this at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads. There's this, though:

From and article called "Old English Drinking Songs" in "The Gentleman's Magazine," 1907, viewable with Google Book Search.

BOWL! BOWL!

Come all you good fellows, give ear to me, come!
I'll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum.
Old ale and good cyder o'er England do roll.
Give me the punch-ladle, I'll fathom the bowl!

CHORUS: I'll fathom the bowl, I'll fathom the bowl,
Bowl! Give me the punch-ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

My father he lies in the depths of the sea,
With the stones at his feet, but no matter to me;
There's a clear crystal fountain o'er England doth roll,
Give me the punch-ladle, I'll fathom the bowl!

From France there comes brandy, from Jamaica comes rum,
Sweet oranges and lemons from Portugal come,
Old ale and good cyder o'er England do roll
Give me the punch-ladle, I'll fathom the bowl!

[There is also a tune there that looks different from the one I've heard, but I don't read music very well.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 09:09 AM

Jim-

I'm sure the song goes back earlier than 1907, not that you're proposing that.

Charles Dibdin composed a similar song around 1800 titled "Sounding the Bowl," published in DIBDIN'S SEA SONGS, London,1854, pp. 10-11. It's verses are unrelated to "Fathom the Bowl" but the theme is the same.

Keep digging!

Linda-

I'll be interested in what you come up with as a substitute verse; we sing "her heart's black as the coal."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: nutty
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:39 PM

The Bodleian has a version dated between 1819 and 1844

Printer:         Pitts, J. (London)
Date:         between 1819 and 1844

Give me the Punch Ladle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM

Nutty-

You've nailed another one! Congratulations. And it does seem that I was correct in assuming that this song came from the early 1800's.

It's interesting that the third verse in the boradside doesn't sound as racist as the way most of us learned it:

My wife she comes in when I sit at my ease,
She scolds me and she grumbles and does as she please;
She may scold and she may grumble 'till she's black in the face as a coal,
Give me the punch ladle I'll fathom the bowl.(CHO)

However, the length of the third line is rather arkward and I would suggest shortening it:

My wife she comes in when I sit at my ease,
She scolds me and she grumbles and does as she please;
She may scold and she may grumble 'till she's black as a coal,
Give me the punch ladle I'll fathom the bowl.(CHO)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 02:27 PM

The 'offending' line in my version is 'she may scold, she may grumble and look as black as the coal' - in other words. she is giving me a 'black look'. Nothing racist in that.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 02:42 PM

Tradsinger-

I agree with your interpretation of the composer's intent. I disagree with the impact that line has in our racist society. The line's too easily misinterpreted and I see little reason to risk hurting people's feelings. Do you still disagree?

And the way we learned this line is even worse:

"My wife is the devil, and she's black as the coal,"

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: curmudgeon
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 02:45 PM

The version of this song that Linn and I do was gotten from the Watersons, with a variant penultimate line from Dave Diamond.

But the "offending" third verse is not, nor ever was, racist, except in the ear of some listeners. It is a long and widely held folk belief that the Devil is black, not a dark shade of brown, but "...black as the coal." Also, "Many braw thanks to the muckle black de'il..." and "a long tailed black man come up behind."

Not that there's anything really wrong with some slight alteration, but a footnote before singing does treat the song better - Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Tradsinger
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 04:47 PM

I don't think either version is racist. You can be over-sensitive about these things. I am confident that in the context of an old English drinking song, there is not the slightest thought of trying to offend anyone. If there was, then we would have to beware of any song with the word black in it. If it is clear no offence is intended, then no offence should be taken.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 05:03 PM

Tradsinger

Yes, I prefer to be over-sensitive about "these things" and you prefer to be "confident that in the context of an old English drinking song, there is not the slightest thought of trying to offend anyone."

I'm very tempted to question why you are "so confident" but maybe you don't sing in any social situations where people would be hurt or offended. I sometimes do and that's why I'd consider changing the line or at least explaining its context.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 05:10 PM

I always understood 'black in the face' to mean angry.
The line I know is:
"she may scold and may grumble, 'til she's black as coal"
To me that fits fine with the vernacular. About as racist as 'giving someone black looks'.
It is possible to be oversensitive.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: curmudgeon
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 05:22 PM

The line we have is:

"My wife, she's the devil, she's black as the coal"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: EBarnacle
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 08:13 PM

Well how about: Her heart's black as a coal?
It meets most of the needs and explicates the author's intent.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 10:16 PM

Eric-

Works fine with me and that's what we came up with on our CD.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: GRex
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 02:59 AM

For the fourth verse I sing:
         My wife she do disturb me as I lie at my ease
         She'll do as she will and she'll do as she please
         She'll scold and she'll grumble with face black as coal
         Bring me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

I like some of the other versions better, but my better half is usually with me when I sing.
                  GRex


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Subject: Lyr Add: GIVE ME THE PUNCH LADLE / FATHOM THE BOWL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Feb 07 - 01:02 AM

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads has copies of this broadside from four different 19th-century printers. The words are remarkably consistent. The main variable is the optional repetition of the word "bowl" at the end of the first line of the chorus.

THE PUNCH LADLE (also known as GIVE ME THE PUNCH LADLE)

Come all you bold heroes; give ear to my song.
I'll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum.
There's a clear crystal fountain near England shall flow.
Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.

CHORUS: I'll fathom the bowl. I'll fathom the bowl (bowl, bowl).
Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.

From France we get brandy. From Jamaica comes rum.
Sweet oranges and lemons from Portugal come.
Strong beer and good cyder o'er England shall flow.
Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.

My wife she comes in when I sit at my ease.
She scolds and she grumbles and does as she please.
She may scold and may grumble till she's black in the face as a coal.
Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.

My father he lies in the depths of the sea,
With the stones at his feet. What matters for he?
There's a clear crystal fountain near him it doth roll.
Give me the punch ladle. I'll fathom the bowl.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 03:37 AM

Verse containing internal rhyme:


My wife she do disturb me as I lay at my ease,
She'll do as she will and she'll say as she please;
She'll grumble and scold with her face black as coal


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: doc.tom
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 05:25 AM

Interesting! In about 1880 the line was usng on Exmoor as 'She may scold, she may grumble, till she's black as a crow.' (Lock mss.) Bit too early for racists sensibilities to have changed it from the broadside, so perhaps a mishearing by the singer! Either way, it's an escape possibility from modern considerations although I don't see coal as racist.
TomB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: IanC
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 07:19 AM

Apart from anything else, this is an interesting song from a dating point of view. The subject matter means that providing earliest and latest dates for it is much easier than it is for most traditional songs. Wikipedia provides a good summary history ...

History

The word punch is a loanword from Hindi panch (meaning five) and the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. The original drink was named paantsch.

The drink was brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early seventeenth century. From there it was introduced into other European countries.

The term punch was first recorded in British documents in 1632. At the time, most punches were of the Wassail type made with a wine or brandy base. But around 1655, Jamaican rum came into use and the 'modern' punch was born. By 1671, documents make references to punch houses.


From this, and the evidence above, we can conclude that the song could not have been written before 1655 and must have been written by 1844 when Pitts certainly had it in his catalogue.

I think we can get closer than this as I have, at home, a more detailed catalogue of the broadside publishers' output.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 07:54 AM

Almost none of the uses of the word black are directly racist. What a lot of us recognised when we taught in classrooms where the faces of our children and young people ranged from pinky brown to very dark brown was that language matters quite a lot.

Many of the uses of the word black were negative, 'my name has been blackened' etc and white was much more often positive 'a reputaion as white as snow'.

How much does this matter? Not a lot but a bit.

On Thursday some of The Beech Band will play at a Manchester school's multicultural evening along with a Cajun Band, a Jamaican singer, an Indian dancer, Somali musicians and some of the staff. We are more than a bit proud of the fact that we have been invited, for the fourth time, as a bit of English culture - multicultural as is the cherubs who attend this amazing school.

In this situation, where we are welcome and enjoyed, do we want to find ourselves singing something that contains the negative use of the word black? Who would?


How much does this matter? Not a lot but a bit.

Interesting that nobody has brought up the negative attitude to his wife in the song?

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 09:24 AM

"nobody has brought up the negative attitude to his wife in the song?"

Well, that's certainly there but it's about his own wife and I'm inclined to accept his judgment until she posts a rebuttal!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 10:48 AM

Fairenoughski Charlie but as my wife sometimes has the pain of listening to me sing in public I have to be careful about what I say about her:

Where is me wife, me hobbin, nobbin wife
She's all gone for beer and tabacco
But a feminist is she and that's alright with me
Or I'd be hangin out for better weather

The Living Tradition of what?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 05:41 PM

Les-

My wife doesn't even like banjo jokes...

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Joe_F
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 06:26 PM

A singing tradition without the battle of the sexes would be a poor thing, but that last verse has long struck me as one-sided. I have endeavored to imagine the other side, and it has proven popular in some company:

My husband never tires of lying around.
He drinks like a fish, and he sings like a hound,
He eats like a pig and makes love like a troll,
And the day he drops dead, I will fathom the bowl.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 06:47 PM

Ya know, when I sing, "My wife, she's the devil, she's black as the coal" -- her complexion is NOT what comes to mind, but her nagging ways; her husband compares her to a devil. And no one who has ever heard me sing it has ever been confused and thought it referred to race. I think that argument is completely and totally contrived to be so PC as to be ridiculous.

No one seems to get upset, though, about the lazy drunkard's attitude towards his nagging wife. I get a kick out of singing, "My WIFE, she do disturb me..." etc. and I can evoke a bit of wry humor there because I'm definitely a woman (and a wife). That's not the only song I sing where I make a comment 'twixt songs about always blaming the woman... And occasionally I'll sing "Mickey's Warning" ("Blue Bleezing Blind Drunk") after it. Seems only fair.

I learned the song from a recording by The Watersons. The repeated line in the last verse ("There's a clear crystal fountain, near England doth roll") always bothered me. Dave Diamond gave me "Here's a glass of strong cider his death to console" instead...and then a few years later I changed it to "Here's a glass of strong PORTER his death to console". BTW, I also sing "No stone at his head, but what matter to he" -- interpreted as since he was buried at sea, he has no marker over his actual grave.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Rumncoke
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 05:03 AM

The morris tune 'Nancy Dawson' has words - it begins

Of all the girls in our town
The black the fair the red the brown
That dance and prance it up and down
There's none like Nancy Dawson

I suspect that the colour of hair rather than skin is being refereed to, unless the town is rather unusual in its ethnic makeup.

Black hair might possibly indicate a Latin temperament - do you think?

For the last two lines of the last verse of fathom the bowl I sometimes sing

There he lies on the bottom in his best Sunday suit
The silly old bugger, he's pissed as a newt

when the company is likely to think it funny.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: GUEST,Bagger
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 07:35 AM

This is a favourite of mine as it never fails to get the pub roaring along in the chorus.

In the fist verse, I have always sung And'll sing you in praise of good "cider" and rum. Which makes more sense for an English man.

One verse I always sing following the put down to the wife, to get back in her good books, is:-

My husbad doth disturb me when I'm laid at my rest
For he does what he does but he does it not best
My husband's a lackard limp in body and sole
Give me etc

And, the fifth verse I sing slightly different:-

My father he do lie in the depth's of the sea
Cold (maybe this could be No?)stone for for his pillow what matter to he
If the clear crystal fountain over England shall fall
Give me etc


The responses to these type of rip roaring chorus songs always makes me wonder why I bothered to learn the guitar!

Happy singing everyone


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 08:10 AM

Bagger-

I am enjoying the image conveyed by this evident typo:

"My husband's a lackard limp in body and sole..."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 08:21 AM

Perh she means he's a bit of a heel!

[getting me coat!]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: GUEST,Bagger
Date: 29 Nov 12 - 11:17 AM

My God, Charley, can't get away with anything on here, can you?

My typing's always a bit fishy.

Taxi!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Snuffy
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 12:36 PM

I sang FTB in a session last night, and when I got to "My wife, she's the devil, she's black as the coal", my wife, who was sitting next to me, retorted "You're very brave when you've got your friends around you."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 01:37 PM

Well, I had given up on this one Mr Snuffy - but you and your wife have nailed it one.

Thankyou

Les


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Ged Fox
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 12:45 PM

West country version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYlJQcmtDR0&feature=youtu.be with a borrowed chorus.

"Our wives they may fluster as much as they please,
Let 'em scold, let 'em grumble, we'll sit at our ease;
In the end of our pipes we'll apply the hot coal;
Give me ...


Ged


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Musket
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 12:54 PM

Anybody who used to frequent the Worksop Folk Club circa 1979 amy recall the final chorus of this song for the actions rather than the words;

Fred Foster's false teeth clearing two rows of tables from the stage as he went for it.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM

Amy?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fathom the Bowl - minor changes
From: Dead Horse
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 11:32 AM

So you self appointed Folk Police want to delete all reference to that 'evil' word BLACK from all our songs do you?
Even going to far as to change the original meaning to any of the old songs that used to be sung in those bad old days?
I think you should take a step back and look at what you are doing.
Sorry to be so blunt, but this sort of thing gets my goat.


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Subject: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 02:18 PM

Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics of this song. It's shorter than I'd like it. I take it that this is a transcription of the Cliff Haslam recording.

FATHOM THE BOWL (from DT)

From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica it's rum,
Sweet oranges and lemons from Portugal come;
But stout, ale and cider are England's control,
Bring me the punch ladle, we'll fathom the bowl.

cho: Fathom the bowl, fathom the bowl,
Bring me the punch ladle, we'll fathom the bowl.

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea,
No stone for his head, but no matter to he;
There's a clear crystal fountain near England do roll
Bring me etc.

cho:

My wife she do disturb me as I lay at my ease,
She'll do as she will and she'll say as she please;
My wife is the devil, she's black as the coal,
Bring me etc.

@drink @English
recorded by Cliff Haslam on Clockwinder
filename[ FATHOMBL
TUNE FILE: FATHOMBL
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

Here is the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song. Not much help, either.

Fathom the Bowl

DESCRIPTION: In praise of drink, perhaps linked with a complaint about one's wife or a reminiscence of one's dead father. Each verse ends with the cry, "Bring (me/in) the punch ladle, (and) (I'll/we'll) fathom the bowl."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1889 (Baring Gould)
KEYWORDS: drink nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,Lond))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Williams-Thames, p. 88, "Fathom the Bowl" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 335)
Kennedy 268, "Bring in the Punch Ladle" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, FATHOMBL*

Roud #880
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Punch Ladle
File: K268

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD Version: Fathom the Bowl (Watersons)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 02:25 PM

Here is Gary Gillard's transcription of the song, from Reinhard's Mainly Norfolk Website:

The Watersons sing Fathom the Bowl

Come all you bold heroes, give an ear to me song;
I will sing in the praise of good brandy and rum:
There's a clear crystal fountain near England shall roll.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

Chorus (after each verse):
I'll fathom the bowl, I'll fathom the bowl,
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum;
Sweet oranges and apples from Portugal come.
But stout and strong cider are England's control.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

My wife she do disturb me when I'm laid at my ease,
For she does as she likes and she says as she please.
My wife she's a devil, she's black as the coal.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea
With no stone at his head by, what matters for he?
There's a clear crystal fountain near England shall roll.
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl.

Transcribed by Garry Gillard.


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Subject: ADD Version: Fathom the Bowl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM

This is what was proposed for the upcoming Rise Again songbook. Apparently, it comes from here:The John C. Reilly recording is on Johnny Depp's Rogues' Gallery collection of sea songs. I don't have Revels Garland of Song so I can't look it up there.

Fathom the Bowl

Come all ye bold heroes give an ear to me song
We'll sing in the praise of good brandy & rum
It's a clear crystal fountain near Ireland doth roll
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl
I'll fathom the bowl (2x) / Give me…   (in 3/4)
G - - - / D - C G / - - C D / G C D G // G D G D / G C D G
From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum
Sweet oranges & apples from Portugal come
But stout & strong cider are Ireland's control / Give…

Me wife she do disturb me when I'm laying at my ease
She does as she likes, she says as she please
Me wife, she's the devil, she's black as the coal…

Me father he do lie in the depths of the sea
With no stone at his head, but what matters for he
It's a clear crystal fountain near Ireland doth roll…

So come all ye bold heroes give an ear to me song
We'll sing in the praise of good brandy & rum
It's a clear crystal fountain near Ireland doth roll…
trad. (English)
In Revels Garland of S.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 02:35 PM

So, my goal is to submit something to the songbook that's reasonably authentic and that makes sense. Jim Dixon's transcription from the broadsides (above) looks good to me, and it seems to work better than the Watersons rendition. I have trouble with the "wife" verse from the broadsides, so I used a verse from David Jones/Revels in that spot. Here's what I came up with. What think ye?

Fathom the Bowl

Come all ye bold heroes give an ear to my song
I'll sing in the praise of good brandy & rum
Let's lift up our glasses, good cheer is our goal
Give me the punch ladle, I'll fathom the bowl
I'll fathom the bowl (2x) / Give me…
(in 3/4)
G - - - / D - C G / - - C D / G C D G // G D G D / G C D G

From France we do get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum
Sweet oranges & lemons from Portugal come
But stout, beer, & cider are England's control / Give…

My wife she do disturb me, as I lie at my ease
She does as she likes, she says as she please
My wife, she's a devil, she's black as the coal…

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea
With no stone at his head, but what matters for he?
There's a clear crystal fountain near him it doth roll… [near England do roll???]

trad. (English)
"Punch" (Hindi "paantsch") was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices.
In Revels Garland of S. Rec. by the Watersons.

C+jk


I don't like having chords printed with songs that are meant to be sung a cappella, but editor Peter Blood says they help people figure out what the song is supposed to sound like. OK, as long as they put down the guitar before they start singing...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 03:26 PM

Joe, I think most people sing the Watersons' version.

Jim Dixon's transcription looks like it uses an unfamiliar (to me) tune. The third line of the third stanza definitely doesn't scan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 03:58 PM

Yeah, I couldn't figure out how to make that third verse from the broadsides work, either.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 05:57 PM

I've sung the Watersons version since the 60s. I think they got this version from Barrett's English Folksongs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fathom the Bowl
From: GUEST,Bill S in Adelaide
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 06:19 PM

Got this from somewhere

My father he do lie in the depths of the sea
No stone at his head but what matter to he
Though the sharks have his body, the Lord has his soul
Give....

Other versions sound like they forgot a line


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