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St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?

Mark Cohen 10 Jan 00 - 11:08 PM
Hagbardr 10 Jan 00 - 11:52 PM
Sandy Paton 11 Jan 00 - 12:04 AM
Mikal 11 Jan 00 - 12:36 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Jan 00 - 05:56 AM
Abby Sale 11 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM
Mark Cohen 11 Jan 00 - 10:49 PM
Barbara 12 Jan 00 - 01:35 AM
micca 12 Jan 00 - 05:13 AM
Liz the Squeak 12 Jan 00 - 05:18 AM
MMario 12 Jan 00 - 02:37 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 12 Jan 00 - 10:35 PM
Mikal 13 Jan 00 - 12:40 AM
_gargoyle 13 Jan 00 - 01:03 AM
Sandy Paton 13 Jan 00 - 01:26 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 13 Jan 00 - 01:39 AM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 00 - 03:37 AM
Abby Sale 13 Jan 00 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,leendee2 21 May 11 - 08:50 PM
Haruo 21 May 11 - 09:31 PM
Crane Driver 22 May 11 - 08:11 AM
Megan L 22 May 11 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 May 11 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,CJB 22 May 11 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,Grishka 23 May 11 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Rosemary Tawney 30 May 11 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 May 11 - 11:44 AM
MartinRyan 30 May 11 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 May 11 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Rosemary Tawney 30 May 11 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 30 May 11 - 06:13 PM
Joe_F 30 May 11 - 06:51 PM
MartinRyan 30 May 11 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Grishka 30 May 11 - 07:43 PM
Joe Offer 31 May 11 - 12:24 AM
gnomad 31 May 11 - 02:44 AM
Joe Offer 31 May 11 - 02:50 AM
MartinRyan 31 May 11 - 03:47 AM
MartinRyan 31 May 11 - 03:53 AM
gnomad 31 May 11 - 04:05 AM
Keith A of Hertford 31 May 11 - 04:17 AM
MGM·Lion 31 May 11 - 04:39 AM
JeffB 31 May 11 - 01:28 PM
Piff 03 Nov 11 - 04:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Nov 11 - 04:31 AM
banjoman 03 Nov 11 - 07:27 AM
Joe Offer 03 Nov 11 - 04:17 PM
Gurney 03 Nov 11 - 07:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Nov 11 - 07:46 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Nov 11 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Nov 11 - 06:03 AM
Will Fly 04 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM
AML 04 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM
Charley Noble 04 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Nov 11 - 04:11 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Nov 11 - 05:36 PM
Will Fly 04 Nov 11 - 05:42 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Nov 11 - 05:43 PM
Will Fly 04 Nov 11 - 05:48 PM
Will Fly 04 Nov 11 - 05:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Nov 11 - 06:13 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Nov 11 - 07:58 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Nov 11 - 08:50 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Nov 11 - 09:15 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Nov 11 - 09:54 PM
MGM·Lion 05 Nov 11 - 12:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Nov 11 - 05:51 AM
Max Johnson 05 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Nov 11 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 05 Nov 11 - 11:40 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Jack Woolley 07 Dec 11 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Hal England, Sussex. 04 Jun 16 - 06:21 AM
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Subject: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 11:08 PM

There are two very different songs with a similar reference that I don't recognize. In Cyril Tawney's "Grey Funnel Line": "Every time I gaze behind the screws/Makes me long for old Peter's shoes" In "Martin Said To His Man": "I saw the man in the moon/clouting on St. Peter's shoon" Is it a meteorological phenomenon? a navigational aid? a meaningless coincidence? Can somebody please enlighten me?

Mahalo (thanks), and aloha
Mark


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Hagbardr
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 11:52 PM

Well, a few years back I remember that sandals called Air Jesus's were in fashion and I'd assume St. Peter's shoes would be something similar.

Hagbard


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 12:04 AM

Will some of you Bible scholars out there enlighten us? I always assumed that Cyril Tawney was referring to the act of faith that enabled Peter to walk on the water. Guess it's been too long since this lad went to Sunday School! All I can recall now is the admonition: "Walk on the rocks, dummy!"

Sandy


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mikal
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 12:36 AM

Uh, the slippers worn by the Pope are reffered to as the "shoes of the Fisherman" (Peter). It is assumed he is the physical replacement for the Apostle, and therefore wearing the shoes of Peter.

As to the songs...I am unfamiliar with them. Let me play catch-up here...

Mikal


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 05:56 AM

Don't know about the shoes, the explanaition about the Pope's slippers sounds feasible at least, but I do know that St Peter's finger, which features in at least one other song, (sorry, it's been driving me spare trying to remember which one) and about 6 different pubs in the UK called that. It comes from the latin St Peter ad vincular, anglisised to St Peter's vincular, which in turn became St Peter's vinger, or finger.... often called St Peter's digit.....

Wanting to be in someones shoes is taken as a meaning you wish you were them, so if you wished you were in Peter's shoes, I guess it means you wish you were in heaven, at the pearly gates...

LTS


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM

I had asked this at r.m.folk a while back & was reasonably answered that the verse is taken as a whole...

Every time I gaze behind the screws Makes me long for St Peter's shoes I'd walk on down that silver lane And take my love in my arms again

If he had Peter's ability to walk on water, he could walk the moon-flourescing wake of the ship back to home.

The wish comes up repetedly in the song.

(He didn't like the navy, it seems. Well, that's just the song narrator - Cyril, himself, hated it.)


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 10:49 PM

Yes, Abby, I did realize after posting that it makes sense to consider the other half of the verse. And I think that explanation makes sense. Except, and pardon my inept theology, I'm just a Jewish kid from Philly, but I didn't think it was Peter that walked on the water, I thought it was the other guy. Also, why would Martin have said he saw the man in the moon "clouting on St. Peter's shoon"? Come on, 'catters, there's got to be someone out there who knows the skinny.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Barbara
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 01:35 AM

This is conjecture, Mark, but I heard that verse sung "Filling up Saint Peter's shoon" too, and to borrow a more modern phrase from my 13 yr old, I always assumed it meant the Man in the Moon was blowing chunks on/in St. Peter's shoon.
Blessings, Barbara


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: micca
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:13 AM

When I was at sea, a Crusted old salt used to use the phrase when someone upset him, in the form" I wish I had St Peters shoes" why " I'd walk ashore and get away from the stupid f***er on the bridge, and get drunk" especially if we were anchored off for a few days waiting for a berth, a very frustrating time, you could often see the pub but it was out of reach, and it was a "dry" ship too.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:18 AM

Eugh, the thought of that nice man in the moon "blowing chunks"..... eugh! I suppose that is how asteroids are made.....

And it was Peter walking on the water, going by his other name of Simon..

LTS


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MMario
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:37 PM

yup - simon peter walked on water....but he started to sink first!

I always took the verse in "Martin said to his man" to be nonsense, as are most of the other verses....for the "man in the moon" to show any kind of disrespect for the man who was probably the most powerful man alive at the time the song originated (the pope)


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 10:35 PM

Some rude and crude sailor's would say get your "Jesus Boots on" (my usual expression)just before a storm or a fight, in case you had to abandon ship. (to walk home on water) Some captains and sailors would object to the blasphemy, tempting fate, so it was toned down to St. Peters shoes. Alternately, it could mean deciding ones fate (and shipmates) at the gate, so to speak. I'm so bad I'd have to hold my breath until I hit bottom, and then run like hell for the nearest shore.

Someone should ask my Guru, Cyril Tawney (Ye Olde Ancient Submariner Spanner Wanker) tell him an Old Raleigh boy asked after him if you do.

Oh, I'm a lean and unwashed Tiffy, I come up from Plymouth town. I can fix it in a jiffy, if you'll hand that spanner down......


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mikal
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:40 AM

Okay, the copy I have has "filling up St. Peter's shoon" as well. Seing as how the Man in the moon would indicate insanity, (i.e. 'looney', moonstruck), It just may be a backhanded slap at the pope, saying a madman was filling the shoes.

However, the wife dissagrees. She maintains that the line indicates a skin boat, or small dingy. The reference is that she says the small boats were called St. Peter's shoes.

Now I am really confused. Still, I cannot find any evidence her story is correct.

Having said that, I may be sleeping on the couch tonight!

Mikal


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:03 AM

New International Version translation (NIV)Mathew 14:

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 but the boat was already a considerable distance [1] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

The beginning of Mathew chapter 14 deals with King Herod and naturally leads to the line in Herod's song "prove to me that you're no fool, walk across my swimming pool", from Jesus Christ Superstar


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:26 AM

Thank you, Gargoyle. I knew someone out there would locate the passage I remembered from my misspent youth. Doesn't that, together with the posts from our nautical friends, pretty well answer the initial question?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:39 AM

In the Olde revised sailors version of the Bible, Jesus shouts at Peter, as he hauls him up..Come back aloft O Ye of little brain, when are ye going to learn to watch for the stepping stones? And in the boat the other sailors said, Peter, Truly you are a silly sod. Here endeth the lesson. Yours, Aye men.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 03:37 AM

I spent 8 years in a Catholic seminary in the 1960's, until I ended that career when I discovered the opposite sex. We usually referred to sandals as "water walkers" or sometimes "Jesus boots" - but this was a fairly irreverent seminary that I attended....
Gargoyle's water-walking reference seems to be the appropriate one for the "Grey Funnel Line" reference. Note that the shoes failed when Peter lost faith.
"Shoes of the fisherman" is a term referring to the pope, who is supposed to be successor to St. Peter the fisherman. Jesus appointed his closest disciples (the "12 apostles") to be "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17). I vaguely remember some pious story about the shoes of Peter. I suppose somebody somewhere found the "actual shoes that Peter wore," assuming Peter wore as many shoes as Imeelda Marcos did. Another thing I learned in my irreverent seminary is that you could build a house with all the slivers of the "true cross" (the cross on which Jesus was crucified).
But from a folk music poerspective, it appears that at one time, "St. Peter's shoes" was a common enough term that it had a meaning that was easily understood - I'm guessing that meaning had something to do with the ability to walk on water.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 02:18 PM

Gargoyle gives the actual reference, so there you are. But Mark - if Peter walked the water, his shoes would have gotten a real mess. No wonder Martin saw the man in the moon "clouting up St. Peter's shoon"?

Not to forget this is a nonsense song & anything can go into it.

I like it. It's one of the few songs anyone has ever requested me to sing again. This version is a Scottishism of an English corruption of a Scottish song. You can tell this from the refrain (=title) which, in older Scots versions is: "Wha's fu' the noo." Now it makes sense - a drinking song.

BTW, I've never heard the USian version, "Hurray! Lie." Might anyone know of a midi or other clip of it?


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,leendee2
Date: 21 May 11 - 08:50 PM

the internet is amazing. I am so happy that in two clicks I have the answer to St. Peter's shoes. Thank you you old salts and biblical scholars!

The Gawler Sisters sing such a beautiful version of Grey Funnel Line on their album "Home Again, Home Again". Listen to it if you can!


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Haruo
Date: 21 May 11 - 09:31 PM

And then be sure to listen to Grey Flannel Line... lest piety will in the end.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 22 May 11 - 08:11 AM

I was led to understand, regarding the 'Martin said' verse, that the Man in the Moon represents Henry 8th (from his round face, presumably) and his 'clouting (ie mending) of St Peter's shoon' refers to him patching up his differences with Rome, about as likely as the other things Martin sees when drunk.

The verse certainly goes back to Elizabethan times (it is in one of Ravenscroft's books of 'old songs' published before 1610) and any dig at King Henry would have to be obscure. At least the explanation makes sense.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Megan L
Date: 22 May 11 - 10:38 AM

ah sweet innocence i always took the moon cloutin st peters shoon fairly literally that the moon was so high in the sky that it clouted or skelped (ie bumped into) st peters shoes as he stood at the pearly gates.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 May 11 - 05:00 PM

"Grey Funnel Line" is about a homesick sailor:
Every time I gaze behind the screws
Makes me long for St Peter's shoes
I'd walk on down that silver lane
And take my girl in my arms again
- means of course: I wish I could walk on water (or, preferably, fly like Noah's dove - in the previous verse).

However, "St. Peter's shoes" is a common journalists' metaphor for the papacy worldwide ("shoes of the Fisherman" is more metaphorical still, but may not be understood by some readers). Example, googled at random: "Les chaussures de Saint-Pierre sont-elles trop grandes pour ce Pape?"

As for the "Martin", I am as innocent as Megan.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 22 May 11 - 05:11 PM

Martin Said To His Man / Who's A Fool Now

I saw the man in the moon
Fie man Fie!
I saw the man in the moon
Who's the fool now?
I saw the man in the moon
A cobbling of St Peter's shoone
Thou hast well drunken man,
who's the fool now?


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 23 May 11 - 07:02 AM

Cobbling or clouting - no water is involved ;-). Cobbling means repairing, so CJB's version does not apply to Henry VIII.

As for the shoes of the fisherman, Morris West's eponymous bestselling novel 1963 and the film starring Anthony Quinn should be mentioned. West did not coin the phrase, but helped it become widely known in this special wording.

"Grey Funnel Line" is from Cyril Tawney's collection. It is a work of individual poetry, although the author is not mentioned. We may think of a British Navyman of Anglican or Methodist confession, who knows his Bible. Either he was unfamiliar with Roman terminology and misunderstood that metaphor, or he recaptured it on purpose. Anyway, it seems an individual act to me, not an alternative folk tradition as Joe assumed back in '00. And it's not about piety here, just poetry.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Rosemary Tawney
Date: 30 May 11 - 09:51 AM

I thought I had replied to this a few months ago, but must have done something wrong when sending the message, so here goes again:

   Cyril was referring to the Bible story that St. Peter walked on water, though he words he wrote were "old Peter's shoes". I assume that "walk on down that silver lane" means that the sailor would walk in the wake of the ship to get back to his loved one.

Grishka - not being a biblical scholar of any persuasion I can't comment on that aspect, but Cyril was brought up as a Roman Catholic.

Rosemary


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 May 11 - 11:44 AM

Rosemary, interesting point indeed. A Bible scholar is not required (all we need to know can be read in gargoyle's post), rather a scholar on the usage of metaphors in the - presumed - early 20th century. Needless to say I am neither. (Google is my scholarship, but please don't tell anyone.)

CT claims to have collected the songs from Navymen, the authors' names being either unknown or suppressed for whatever reason. If this is the truth, he would not change the lyrics simply because he knows better about the stereotyped metaphor. If he wrote the songs himself, he might have used a camouflage - similar examples exist galore. But it is certainly possible as well, and by no means rare, that the author is not a scholar on his own denomination either.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 May 11 - 11:52 AM

CT claims to have collected the songs from Navymen

Wellll......

"Grey Funnel Line" is Royal Navy slang for the Royal Navy.
"The Grey Funnel Line" is a song written by Cyril Tawney
"Grey Funnel Lines" is a book of navy songs collected by the same Cyril Tawney. It does not include the song, naturally.

Regards


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 May 11 - 01:27 PM

I see, thanks for the clarification, Martin.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Rosemary Tawney
Date: 30 May 11 - 04:11 PM

Thank you, Martin, I'm glad that's settled.

Grishka -I suspected that you may have been confused about the authorship of GFL, but had not time to read through the entire thread, so I didn't comment. You may like to read Cyril's extended notes to "The Grey Funnel Line" on the 'Tawney in Depth' page of his website: Click here

Rosemary


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 May 11 - 06:13 PM

Well, I gotta say I'm not satisfied yet. The 1963 Morris West novel titled The Shoes of the Fisherman seems to be what made "The Shoes of the Fisherman" a common term to describe the office of Pope. Grishka says Morris West didn't coin the phrase - but how do you know that, Grishka? I can't find any reference to "shoes of the fisherman" or "St. Peter's Shoon" that predates Morris West.

And what about the terms "Jesus boots" and "water walkers" to refer to sandals? They were common terms in the 1960s, but I can't find any reference to those terms before that.

So, could it be that what we have here is a case of reverse folklore, manufacturing the origins of a term that actually came from a 1963 novel?

Early references to St. Peter use keys as a symbol of Peter, not shoes. This refers to the Matthew 16:19, where Jesus tells Peter he will give Peter to the kingdom of heaven - and that probably leads to the image of Peter as keeper of the pearly gates (and the pearly gates reference is an obscure passage in the Book of Revelation).

As has been said above, Peter wasn't very successful at walking on water, so his shoes wouldn't be worth much for that purpose. I'm guessing the reference is tied to the idiom "filling his shoes," meaning to match up to the heroic performance of a predecessor.

....and as long as I'm bing a "doubting Thomas," do we have evidence that the term "Grey Funnel Lines" was in use before Cyril Tawney wrote his song? Could it be that Tawney coined the term?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe_F
Date: 30 May 11 - 06:51 PM

"Grey Funnel Line" does appear in the collection _Grey Funnel Lines_, but as a frontispiece. It is by Tawney; the rest of the songs in the collection are not.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 30 May 11 - 07:34 PM

Joe

In this case, it's not Thomas that's in doubt but (the) Andrew!

Regards

p.s. The only guide to Naval slang I have to hand (Jackspeak) was published in 1989 and says of "Grey Funnel Line":

Traditional in-house nickname for the sea-going part of the Royal Navy and therefore a useful alternative to "the Andrew" in that respect. Also the title of a super book by Cyril Tawney containing the words of many matelot ditties

The author knew wherof he spoke.

Regards


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 May 11 - 07:43 PM

The question about the authorship is now thoroughly settled. I had seen the song attributed to Tawney before, but I thought that was a mistake.

Now, Joe Offer, about the age of the phrase: I heard "the shoes of St. Peter" ("Les chaussures de Saint-Pierre", not of the Fisherman!) referred to as an old metaphor - about 1970. I did not know about the novel or the film then. So I cannot give first-hand evidence that the phrase predates 1963. Some quick googling showed nothing. I'll try to consult other experts.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 11 - 12:24 AM

OK, Martin, so you've made a believer of me with regards to "Grey Funnel Line"....well, more-or-less. I would think the term must be fairly recent. After all, how long have Royal Navy ships had funnels, and how long have those funnels been grey? When did the stacks of a ship come to be known as "funnels"? This page has a chart of steamship funnels in 1923, and this page speaks of the Blue Funnel Line in 1910 - so that takes us back at least that far. But when was it that funnels began to be used as identification for the owners of steamships?

With regards to St. Peter, my jury is still out.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: gnomad
Date: 31 May 11 - 02:44 AM

This page has descriptions of ship' funnel colours going back into the 1850s.

While I would discount black (& possibly buff) as being merely practical colours for the job, evidently the shipping lines were quick to recognise the potential of the funnel as an identifier.

As a ship approaches the funnel(s) are one of the earliest parts seen, and have the advantage over flags that they can be viewed from any horizontal angle. They are generally larger as well.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 11 - 02:50 AM

Yeah, gnomad, it looks like they were all black until 1870 - but 1870 is about 40 years earlier than I imagined that the color differentiation began. Thanks.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 31 May 11 - 03:47 AM

Another angle .

Regards


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 31 May 11 - 03:53 AM

The Grey Funnel Line - poem! (1970)

Regards


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: gnomad
Date: 31 May 11 - 04:05 AM

As for the (nautical) use of the term 'funnel' the SS Great Eastern had an accident on her 1859 maiden voyage which destroyed her No 1 funnel.
A contemporary report in the Telegraph refers to repairs to her funnel, and is available online as a PDF.
I suspect that the funnel/smokestack question is one of UK terminology/US terminology rather than when did one term replace the other.

I'm pretty sure that the RN is referred to as the GFL in John Winton's 1964 novel "All the Nice Girls" as the submariner protagonist when questioned claims to be with their underwater division. Sorry but I don't have a copy to give you the exact reference.
Winton was the pen name of Lt Cdr John Pratt RN, who died aged 69 in 2001, his naval career will therefore have overlapped with that of CT. While either might have acquired the word from the other, the term being in common use seems to me a more likely scenario.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 May 11 - 04:17 AM

There was a famous shipping line called The Blue Funnel Line, and maybe other colours.
It is natural that the comparison would be made in fun.
Warships are grey.

It seemed obvious to me that the shoe line referred to walking on water, and the next line confirms that anyway.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 May 11 - 04:39 AM

Dear Rosemary ~~ Many thanks indeed for the link to the Tawney In Depth section of his website. I haven't for years read anything so fascinating as his own stories behind the composition of such faves as Cheering The Queen, Oggie Man, Sally Free & Easy, Grey Funnel Line...

Haven't seen you in years ~~ I think Fred Woods' wedding to Monica ['Nicky'] was the last time; but I retain happy memories of your and Cyril's acquaintance.

All very best regards

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: JeffB
Date: 31 May 11 - 01:28 PM

A "clout-shoe" is a country bumpkin, and "clout" was the old word for a piece of cloth ("Cast ne'er a clout 'til may be out" we do say in the West Country). Perhaps if you couldn't afford leather boots, you had to make do with cloth.

The phrase "to clout a shoe" also occurs in "The Yeoman's Wooing" :-

I am my father's eldest son, my mother eke does love me well / for I can bravely clout my shoon and I full well can ring a bell.

I have always assumed it meant he could look after himself, which sort of agrees with Crane Drivers post of 22nd, if Henry 8th is in fact the Man in the Moon. Our Henry was certainly a strong supporter of the Pope before they had something of a disagreement. In 1521 he got the special title of Defender of the Faith for writing an essay attacking Luther.

On the other hand, in Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Historical Slang a man in the moon is a fool.


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Subject: Origins: St Peter's Shoes
From: Piff
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 04:20 AM

Does anyone know the significance of the expression "St Peter's Shoes" which crops up in folk songs from time to time? Examples that conme to mind occur in the traditional "Martin siad to his man" and also in Cyril Tawney's "Grey Funnell line". I have the impression from the context that it might have something to do with the moon, but what? And why?


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Subject: RE: Origins: St Peter's Shoes
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 04:31 AM

previous thread (above)


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Subject: RE: Origins: St Peter's Shoes
From: banjoman
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 07:27 AM

St Peter walked on water - hence his shoes would enable the wearer to do likewise??


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 04:17 PM

Hi, Piff-
I'm going to combine the two threads to make it easy for people to see what's gone on before.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist-


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 07:34 PM

Cyril introduced his song by remarking that there was an element of envy, comparing conditions of service between the navy and the merchant service. But only occasionally, not always.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 07:46 PM

Just my 2 pen'urth. Given that it is a song about the kind of nonsense that you spout when drunk why does it have to have a meaning? Fleas cannot heave trees. Hares don't chase hounds. The man in the moon doesn't exist. And just to add more confusion 'clouting' could also be cleaning - In this neck of the woods a clout is a cloth:-)

Has anyone mentioned who Martin and his man may be BTW? Do we assume that the 'man' is servant or master? It is a phrase that refers to both in different circumstances.

There y'are, Joe - More research to do :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 04:13 AM

The sailor sounds sober to me.
Not drunk, just wistful.
Melancholic not alcoholic.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 06:03 AM

The Martin song:
Dave, certainly hares don't chase hounds, but they can be imagined wanting to. Everyone knows that insects can heave parts of plants, so it is just a matter of scale. By analogy, the "clouting" action should mean something physical, absurd but not nonsense. St. Peter sitting at the Pearly Gate right above the moon (or with the moon passing underneath once every night) is a possible explanation.

Cyril Tawney's song:
His line is a simple biblical metaphor, as seen above. The question is whether he refers to some older usage. Same with the title of West's novel. One phrase, three meanings; is there a connection?


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 07:22 AM

The song "Who's the fool now" is a later reading of the Scots phrase "Who's fou now" - 'fou' meaning drunk. The whole song is a nonsense song, with nonsense images arising from the drunkenness of Martin and his 'man' - his buddy. As the Irish might say when a mutual friend enters a pub, "Ah, here comes your man".

"Clouting off St. Peter's shoon" is a nonsense sentence, imagining the man in the moon knocking the shoes off St. Peter - and the shoes of the fisherman refers to one of the many symbols of St. Peter as the right hand man of Jesus and his earthly successor. Other symbols are the keys, etc. As other posters have rightly said, St. Peter's faith (and shoes!) were tested when he walked on the water.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: AML
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM

Well, I've been lurking on Mudcat long enough, so hello to everyone and I hope I can add something useful to the discussion in my debut posting.

As far as the Grey Funnel Line goes, it does indeed make perfect sense if you think about the verse as a whole.

Every time I gaze behind the screws
Makes me long for St Peter's shoes
I'd walk on down that silver lane
And take my love in my arms again

When I first started learning this song I had no idea what this verse was about, until I remembered how my Dad -- who spent 10 years in the Merchant Navy -- used to refer to the propellers as the 'screws'. So 'gazing behind the screws' means standing in the stern and looking back the way they have come. The 'screws' churn up the water, leaving a long white wake ('that silver lane') that leads back to port. So he longs to be able to walk along it, like St Peter walking on water, all the way home to his beloved.

It makes perfect sense to me now.


Amanda


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 11:32 AM

Then as Jesus and Peter were staggering out the tavern door, Peter was heard to say, "Jesus, I know you can walk on water but can you walk on this much wine?"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 04:11 PM

...followed by Jesus throwing 3 nails to the landlord and saying "Can you put me up for the night?"

:D


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:36 PM

Will - you obviously haven't been reading the above closely enough! Clouting just means mending. A clout was a patch - cloth, leather, metal and clouting meant patching.

OED gives quote from Milton:

Unknown, and like esteem'd, and the dull swain
Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon


(Comus: 634/5).


I think it's usually clouting of St.Peter's shoes.

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:42 PM

I stand corrected Mick! I have to admit to skipping through the thread quickly... The version I'd heard - ages ago - sounded like "clouting off"!


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:43 PM

Mick Pearce (MCP) you obviously haven't been reading the above closely enough!

I said before. In these parts (Gods own Lancashire where all songs originated) a clout is a cloth. So, obviously, clouting of or off makes sense in either form - Cleaning :-)

So there!

And Will - I'll have a pint of what you are on. Saying that 'man' is the Irish meaning indictaes that it is an 'Oirish song' as sung in New York and Chicago. Everyone in their right mind knows that the Irish just stole all our best songs...

DtG

(Running for the doo


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:48 PM

Ah, but I actually said, "as the Irish might say..." - I didn't say it was Irish.

But I'll get me coat anyway...


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:55 PM

Guinness, by the way.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 06:13 PM

Are, there you go then. A pint of the Liffey water and you will say anything...

:D


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 07:58 PM

Dave

Coming as I do from the other side of the barrier that we use to keep those of a Lancastrian persuasion safely penned, I naturally can give no credence to your claim for cleaning.

Now I'm going to have to trawl through all those versions of the damned song to see what's what. (Roud lists 32, a surprising - to me - number of them from the US). I did get this one from Stevenson Choice Scottish Ballads(1823-1844, 4 vols), from The Man In The Moon:

  I saw the man in the moon,
  Driving tackets in his shoon ;



which seems to come down on the cobbling side (and self-cobbling at that - St.Peter safe in his heavenly home).

(It also contains this lovely verse:

  I saw a dog shoe a horse,
  Wi' the hammer in his a — e;


)

I shall look further. I'd like to know when/where St.Peter appeared for one thing.

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 08:50 PM

Kinloch - The Ballad Book (1885) gives the same verse as Stevenson (both verses above are there - I didn't check to see if it's just a straight reprint).

Chappell - PMOT (1859 ed) has:

  I saw the man in the moon
  Clouting of St. Peter's shoon ;


Simpson, British Broadside Ballad and its Music tells us the song was registered in 1588, but no broadsides have remained.

I'm looking for the version in Pills to Purge Melancholy. (the page number given in Simpson doesn't seem to match my copy!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 09:15 PM

Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia (1609, and I think the earliest we have). Has:

  I see a man in the moone
  Clowting of St.Peter's shoone


So St.Peter seems to have been there from the start.

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 09:54 PM

Incidentally Joe, you can buy your own Shoes of the Fisherman.

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 12:36 AM

'Clouting' means 'patching' ~~ originally with a patch of cloth, tho here obviously, as a later analogous development of the word, with a leather patch. 'Clout" is a variant of 'cloth', especially to mean a piece of cloth used for a specific purpose, as here for a patch. The term 'dishclout' for 'dishcloth', tho now a bit old-fashioned, is still probably at least semi-current and certainly not incomprehensible.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 05:51 AM

and a 'clout yed' is a cloth head. Just like some... :-)

Who adds other verses BTW

I saw a maid milk a bull - Every stroke a bucket full

I saw (whover) buy I round - Saw the folk club turn it down

I saw myself remember a song - saw er, da-da-da-da-da-da-da

And so on.

DtG


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Max Johnson
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 07:04 AM

Although 'clout' can mean 'patch', I have always taken 'Clouting of St Peter's shoon' to mean dancing in them. There's a Northern expression 'To clout tha clogs'. Will any Northern terpsichorean concur?


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM

Dave

Here's where some of the verses appear:

Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia - 1609

Martin said to his man - Fill thou the cup and I the can
I see a sheepe shering come - And a cuckold blow his horne
I see a man in the moone - Clowting of St.Peter's shoone
I see a hare chase a hound - Twenty miles above the ground
I see a goose ring a hog - And a snayle that did bite a dog
I see a mouse catch the cat - And the cheese to eate the rat


Stevenson - Choice Scottish Ballads - 1823-1844

I saw the man in the moon - Driving tackets in his shoon
I saw a sparrow draw a harrow - Up the Bow and down the Narrow
I saw a wran kill a man - Wi' a braidsword in his han'
I saw a sheep shearing corn - Wi' a heuck about his horn
I saw a puggie wearing boots - And he had but shachled cutes
I saw a ram wade a dam - Wi' a mill-stane in his han'
I saw a louse chace a mouse - Out the door, and round the house
I saw a sow sewing silk - And the cat was kirning milk
I saw a dog show a horse - Wi' the hammer in his a--e
I saw an eel chase the deil - Round about the spinning wheel


Lots of verses have been improvised in modern times I think, though I thought I'd seen the milking a bull verse somewhere earlier. I'll see if I can find it.


Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 11:24 AM

Is not a clout that which you cast when May, or possibly the may, be out.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 11:40 AM

I think it was the sleeve notes to the Tim Hart and Maddie Prior Folk Songs Of Olde England album that made the connection to King Henry V111's round face . I always thought that the lines meant dressed up in St Peter's shoes i.e. Henry pretending to be the pope .


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 12:08 PM

There have been a few threads on Martin Said to His Man on Mudcat before (one developed into a discussion of fries!), and rather than clutter up this St.Peter's shoes thread with more on it, I'll open up an origins thread for the song in a little while. I've been looking at English and Scottish sources and I'll see if I can get some of the American ones too).

Mick


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Jack Woolley
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 09:53 AM

It is true that clout means cloth, and somebody has suggested "polishing". This could be a reference to the Man in the Moon (Henry VIII) bowing to the Pope (St. Peter). Hence, an unlikely event in this song of unlikely events.

Around Yorkshire, however, it is pronounced clart, as in "Come round t'back lass and doff thi' clarts". That's more like it!


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: GUEST,Hal England, Sussex.
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 06:21 AM

Looks like St Peter's shoes has been thoroughly explained. Howver, 'clouting on St Peter's shoon' I found interesting.

Today, we talk of single 'shoe' and many 'shoes', i.e. Words are pluralised by adding 's'.

In Middle English, words were pluralised by adding 'n' - so 1 shoe, many shoon (...hence 'St Peter's shoon'.) and, in both senses, was used by Shakespeare.

The 'n' plural still hangs around in words like 'men' women' and chicken, 'chick' being the singular, reflected in the term "she's a great looking chick'.

'Clout', apart from meaning 'a heavy blow', also descibes a type of short, thick, headed nail - a type often used by bootmakers as studs in rhe sloes of work boots. Thus, 'cloutin' on St Peter's shoon' might mean meanding, repairing or reenforcing St Peter's shoes.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:19 AM

Clout, Yorkshire for a cloth, sometimes meaning clothes, hence the old Yorkshire saying ' never cast a clout till May's out '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 01:49 PM

Clouting is likely to mean hammering clouts (i.e. hobnails) into St Peter's shoes.

With the example of all the other impossible/ridiculous things in the song, what could be better at helping St Peter to walk on water than an array of heavy nails to stop the soles of his boots wearing out? :-)


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 03:43 AM

Ah, the wonders of speculation. As I said to a similar discussion on the meanings of the verses of Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko) like Shanties, more than one meaning was entirely possible - then we take the meaning that suits us.

I like the idea of St Peter's Shoon (as Cyril Tawney said it at the Four Fools Folk Festival in Leigh) being used as a nick-name for the pinnace. If you can't walk on the water you could get ashore at least in a boat.

And would not Martin be referring to Henry VIII wanting to be the English (and Welsh) equivalent of the Pope, thereby shining St Peter's Shoon being a subtle dig. Being Catholic in those days would have been too dangerous to admit openly.

As I said, unless you were there, and even if you were there: All meanings may apply


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 04:09 AM

"All meanings may apply"......and most of them rude, according to James Reeve in The Idiom of the People. Though he has this song as Well Done Liar - and without the St Peter verse.
So the point of the song is that the impossible becomes possible if you know the hidden meaning.


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Subject: RE: St. Peter's shoes -- what are they?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 18 Dec 16 - 09:11 AM

At the risk of dragging up old controversy, she who scrapes fiddle has dictated that we sing 'Who's the Fool Now' in our vague repertoire. (Bayfolk Beware).

So, naturally, the meaning of 'clouting of St Peter's shoon' and this thread googled to the surface.

Having read said dead thread, I do like the theory that 'The Man in the Moon' is a metaphor phor King Henry VIII and 'St Peter's shoon' is a mataphor phor the Catholic church. Thus, in the best tradition of political nursery nonsense rhymes his 'clouting of St Peter's shoon' stood for 'making a fool of the Catholic Church'.

Any road up, that'll do for me.

Now, where's me tooning fork. 'Mnyaa....'


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