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Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}

DigiTrad:
THE MERMAID
THE MERMAID (5)
WAVES ON THE SEA


Related threads:
Lyr Req: William Howell's Mermaid Child #289 (5)
Lyr Req: Newfoundland Mermaid song (49)
Penguin: The Mermaid (16)
Lyr Req: Ernest Stoneman's Mermaid #289 (3)
Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid) (29)
Lyr Req: Virginia Variant on The Mermaid (4)
The Mermaid -- any more verses? (5)


Jim Carroll 20 Jul 18 - 06:35 AM
Kevin Werner 19 Jul 18 - 05:24 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 01:56 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 18 - 01:35 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 18 - 12:55 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 18 - 12:42 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 18 - 12:20 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 06:35 AM

NICE VERSION HERE - NOT SURE OF THE ACOUSTIC!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Kevin Werner
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 05:24 PM

Just recently there was a very nice blog entry by Stephen Winick about "The Mermaid" on The Library of Congress website:
https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2018/05/the-mermaid/

You can listen to a selection of field recordings of the song there, with lyrics, which might be interesting to you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 01:56 PM

Fine Joe
Doesn't make sense, but fine :-)
What's wrong with Ging Gang Goolie?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 01:35 PM

Well, coming from the Wisconsin Camp Song Tradition, I kinda prefer the jolly, jolly versions. 289 B, C, and D seem to be suited mostly for "jolly" interpretations.

De gustibus....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 12:55 PM

Bert Lloyd used to sing a beautiful version of it
If you can't find it, we may have a recording of him performin it live here
Don't go for that awful jolly - jolly Sharp version - please
Drowning sailors didn't sound like that
You may like to look at 'MAID on the SHORE' which, according to Bronson, is a supplement to Broomfield Hill - that's about a Mermaid
George Collins is about a freshwater Mermaid and the best of them all, The Grey Silkie, is about a seal-man
All good piscatorial stuff!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 18 - 12:42 PM

Here are some recordings you might like:

Then, of course, there is another "Mermaid," which didn't make it into Child's Ballads (I think it's by Shel Silverstein):
  • Great Big Sea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDhCgAoggX8

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    Subject: The Mermaid {Child Ballad 289}
    From: Joe Offer
    Date: 19 Jul 18 - 12:20 PM

    Hi - I'm supposing you are interested in Child #289. Coming as I do from the Wisconsin Camp Song Tradition, I think this is my favorite Child Ballad. Here's what the Traditional Ballad Index has to say about the song:All of the Child #289 texts can be found here:
    Let's see if I can paste them all in here at Mudcat:

    289A: Mermaid




    289A.1         AS we lay musing in our beds,
             So well and so warm at ease,
             I thought upon those lodging-beds
             Poor seamen have at seas.
    289A.2         Last Easter day, in the morning fair,
             We was not far from land,
             Where we spied a mermaid on the rock,
             With comb and glass in hand.
    289A.3         The first came up the mate of our ship,
             With lead and line in hand,
             To sound and see how deep we was
             From any rock or sand.
    289A.4         The next came up the boatswain of our ship,
             With courage stout and bold:
             ‘Stand fast, stand fast, my brave lively lads,
             Stand fast, my brave hearts of gold!’
    289A.5         Our gallant ship is gone to wreck,
             Which was so lately trimmd;
             The raging seas has sprung a leak,
             And the salt water does run in.
    289A.6         Our gold and silver, and all our cloths,
             And all that ever we had,
             We forced was to heave them overboard,
             Thinking our lives to save.
    289A.7         In all, the number that was on board
             Was five hundred and sixty-four,
             And all that ever came alive on shore
             There was but poor ninety-five.
    289A.8         The first bespoke the captain of our ship,
             And a well-spoke man was he;
             ‘I have a wife in fair Plymouth town,
             And a widow I fear she must be.’
    289A.9         The next bespoke the mate of our ship,
             And a well-bespoke man was he;
             ‘I have a wife in fair Portsmouth,
             And a widow I fear she must be.’
    289A.10         The next bespoke the boatswain of our ship,
             And a well-bespoke man was he;
             ‘I have a wife in fair Exeter,
             And a widow I fear she must be.’
    289A.11         The next bespoke the little cabbin-boy,
             And a well-bespoke boy was he;
             ‘I am as sorry for my mother dear
             As you are for your wives all three.
    289A.12         ‘Last night, when the moon shin’d bright,
             My mother had sons five,
             But now she may look in the salt seas
             And find but one alive.’
    289A.13         ‘Call a boat, call a boat, you little Plymouth boys,
             Don’t you hear how the trumpet[s] sound?
             [For] the want of our boat our gallant ship is lost,
             And the most of our merry men is drownd.’
    289A.14         Whilst the raging seas do roar,
             And the lofty winds do blow,
             And we poor seamen do lie on the top,
             Whilst the landmen lies below.



    289B: Mermaid




    289B.1         ONE Friday morn when we set sail,
             Not very far from land,
             We there did espy a fair pretty maid
             With a comb and a glass in her hand, her hand, her hand,
             With a comb and a glass in her hand.
             While the raging seas did roar,
             And the stormy winds did blow,
             While we jolly sailor-boys were up into the top,
             And the land-lubbers lying down below, below, below,
             And the land-lubbers lying down below.
    288B.2         Then up starts the captain of our gallant ship,
             And a brave young man was he:
             ‘I’ve a wife and a child in fair Bristol town,
             But a widow I fear she will be.’
             For the raging seas, etc.
    288B.3         Then up starts the mate of our gallant ship,
             And a bold young man was he:
             ‘Oh! I have a wife in fair Portsmouth town,
             But a widow I fear she will be.’
             For the raging seas, etc.
    288B.4         Then up starts the cook of our gallant ship,
             And a gruff old soul was he:
             ‘Oh! I have a wife in fair Plymouth town,
             But a widow I fear she will be.’
    288B.5         And then up spoke the little cabin-boy,
             And a pretty little boy was he;
             ‘Oh! I am more grievd for my daddy and my mammy
             Than you for your wives all three.’
    288B.6         Then three times round went our gallant ship,
             And three times round went she;
             For the want of a life-boat they all went down,
             And she sank to the bottom of the sea.



    289C: Mermaid




    289C.1         ONE Friday morn as we’d set sail,
             And our ship not far from land,
             We there did espy a fair mermaid,
             With a comb and a glass in her hand, her hand, her hand,
             With a comb and a glass in her hand.
             While the raging seas did roar,
             And the stormy winds did blow,
             And we jolly sailor-boys were up, up aloft,
             And the landsmen were lying down below,
             And the landlubbers all down below, below, below,
             And the landlubbers all down below.
    289C.2         Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship,
             Who at once did our peril see;
             I have married a wife in fair London town,
             And tonight she a widow will be.’
    289C.3         And then up spoke the litel cabin-boy,
             And a fair-haired boy was he;
             ‘I’ve a father and mother in fair Portsmouth town,
             And this night she will weep for me.’
    289C.4         Now three times round goes our gallant ship,
             And three times round went she;
             For the want of a life-boat they all were drownd,
             As she went to the bottom of the sea.



    289D: Mermaid




    289D.1         TWAS a Friday morning when we set sail,
             And our ship was not far from land,
             When there we spied a fair pretty maid,
             With a comb and a glass in her hand.
             Oh, the raging seas they did roar,
             And the stormy winds they did blow,
             While we poor sailor-boys were all up aloft,
             And the land-lubbers lying down below, below, below,
             And the land-lubbers lying down below.
    289D.2         Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship,
             And a mariner good was he;
             ‘I have married a wife in fair London town,
             And this night a widow she will be.’
    289D.3         Then up spoke the cabin-boy of our gallant ship,
             And a brave little boy was he;
             ‘I’ve a father and a mother in old Portsmouth town,
             And this night they will both weep for me.’
    289D.4         Then up spoke a seaman of our gallant ship,
             And a well-spoken man was he;
             ‘For want of a long-boat we shall all be drowned,
             And shall sink to the bottom of the sea.’
    289D.5         Then three times round went that gallant ship,
             And down like a stone sank she;
             The moon shone bright, and the stars gave their light,
             But they were all at the bottom of the sea.



    289E: Mermaid




    289E.1         UP and spoke the bonny mermaid,
             Wi the comb and the glass in her hand;
             Says, Cheer up your hearts, my mariners all,
             You are not very far from the land.
             And the raging seas do foam, foam,
             And the stormy winds do blow,
             While we poor sailors must mount to the top,
             When the landsmen they lye low.
    289E.2         Out and spoke the captain of our ship,
             And a fine little man was he;
             ‘O I’ve a wife in fair London town,
             And a widow this night she shall be.’
    289E.3         Out and spoke the mate of our ship,
             And a tight little man was he;
             ‘O I’ve a wife in Dublin city,
             And a widow this night she shall be.’
    289E.4         Out and spoke our second mate,
             And a clever little man was he;
             ‘Oh I have a wife in Greenoch town,
             And a widow this night she shall be.’
    289E.5         Out and spoke our little prentice boy,
             And a fine little boy was he;
             ‘Oh I am sorry for my mother,’ he said,
             ‘As you are for your wives all three.’
    289E.6         Out and spoke the cook of our ship,
             And a rusty old dog was he;
             Says, I am as sorry for my pats and my pans
             As you are for your wives all three.



    289F: Mermaid




    289F.1         GREENLAND, Greenland, is a bonny, bonny place,
             Whare there’s neither grief nor flowr,
             Whare there’s neither grief nor tier to be seen,
             But hills and frost and snow.
    289F.2         Up starts the kemp o the ship,
             Wi a psalm-book in his hand:
             ‘Swoom away, swoom away, my merry old boys,
             For you’ll never see dry land.’
    289F.3         Up starts the gaucy cook,
             And a weil gaucy cook was he;
             ‘I wad na gie aw my pans and my kettles
             For aw the lords in the sea.’
    289F.4         Up starts the kemp o the ship,
             Wi a bottle and a glass intil his hand;
             ‘Swoom away, swoom away, my merry old sailors,
             For you’ll never see dry land.’
    289F.5         O the raging seas they row, row, row,
             The stormy winds do blow,
             As sune as he had gane up to the tap,
             As . . . low.




    Note that I've crosslinked all our "Mermaid" threads up above. Where would you like to go from here?
    -Joe Offer-


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    Subject: Lyr Req: The Mermaid {Child Ballad}
    From: GUEST
    Date: 19 Jul 18 - 11:49 AM

    Hello

    I am searching for lyrics and any recordings for The Mermaid {Child Ballad} sung as an unaccompanied ballad and other recordings. Much thanks. Just beginning my search.


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