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Lyr Req: Haul Away Boys (Cruel was my parents...)

Charlie Baum 23 Jul 17 - 11:21 PM
Reinhard 24 Jul 17 - 03:43 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Jul 17 - 07:37 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Haul Away Boys (Cruel was my parents...)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 23 Jul 17 - 11:21 PM

I'm trying to figure out Sheila Kay Adams's version of the pressgang lament called either "Cruel Were/Was My Parents" or "Haul Away Boys" There's a recording of her singing the song at http://sheilakayadams.yolasite.com/audio.php -- it's the fifth song down. The song is quite similar to Kate Rusby's version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z4x1YrsM5w)

I'm particularly unsure about the second lien of the second verse--can anyone help me figure out what Sheila Kay is singing?

Sheila Kay Adams:

Cruel was my parents what took my love from me
Cruel was them men that come and took him off to sea
Cruel was that little blue boat that took him from the sand, lord
And cruel was that great big ship what took him from land

Haul away boys, now, haul away
Haul away boys, lord, haul away

Cruel was that water what lays so flat and still
Cruel was that breeze what blowed 'cause it never raced a rill (?)
Had it blowed a galin' wind that left him on dry land lord
And now he'd be a-walking by me a-holding to my hand

Haul away boys, now, haul away
Haul away boys, lord, haul away

That ring beneath my pillow its the one he give to me
And I'll wear upon my finger now for all the world to see
Cruel was my parents, that captain, and them men
For they never give a nickel if I see my love again

Haul away boys, now, haul away
Haul away boys, lord, haul away


Kate Rusby:

Cruel were my parents, to tear my love from me,
Cruel was the pressgang that took him to the sea,
Cruel was the little boat that rowed him off the strand,
And cruel was the big ship, that took him from the land,
Haul away, boys, haul away,
Haul away, boys, haul away.

Cruel was the water, that ship it sailed upon,
Cruel was the fair wind, for now my loves he's gone,
Had you blown a roaring gale they'd have left him on dry land,
Where he would walk besides me and I would hold his hand,
Haul away boys, haul away,
Haul away boys, haul away.

The ring beneath my pillow, is the ring he gave to me,
I'll wear it on my finger, for all the world to see,
But cruel was the captain, the bo'sun, and the men,
For they didn't give a farthing if I saw my love again,
Haul away, boys, haul away,
Haul away boys, haul away.

Cruel were my parents, to tear my love from me,
Cruel was the pressgang that took him to the sea,
Cruel was the little boat that rowed him off the strand,
And cruel was the big ship, that took him from the land,
Haul away, boys, haul away,
Haul away, boys, haul away.


--submitted by Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Haul Away Boys (Cruel was my parents...)
From: Reinhard
Date: 24 Jul 17 - 03:43 AM

In Sheila Kay Adams' version I hear the phrase in question as " it never raced a realm" but that doesn't make much sense either.
The last line of her first verse should be "took him *far* from land".

And in Kate Rusby's version the second line should end "took him *off to* sea".

This song is Roud V1836, Oh Cruel, and this is the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Cruel Was the Press Gang


DESCRIPTION: "Oh! cruel was the press-gang That took my love from me; Oh! cruel was the little ship That took him out to sea; And cruel was the splinter-board That took away his leg; Now he is forced to fiddle-scrape And I am forced to beg."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (Baring-Gould-MotherGoose)
KEYWORDS: husband wife pressgang injury begging disability
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #196, p. 137, "(Oh! cruel was the press-gang)"
NOTES: Although I haven't met this in any traditional collections, it sounds so traditional that I decided to risk including it in the Index. - RBW
File: BGMG196


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Haul Away Boys (Cruel was my parents...)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Jul 17 - 07:37 AM

never raised a rill


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