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Origins: Cod Banging song

The Sandman 07 May 21 - 01:21 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 07 May 21 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,# 07 May 21 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 12:10 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 07 May 21 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 03:04 PM
Joe_F 07 May 21 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,# 07 May 21 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,henryp 07 May 21 - 04:55 PM
The Sandman 07 May 21 - 05:51 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 21 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,henryp 08 May 21 - 11:37 AM
Howard Jones 08 May 21 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,henryp 08 May 21 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,henryp 13 May 21 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 May 21 - 04:39 AM
The Sandman 13 May 21 - 05:35 AM
Steve Gardham 13 May 21 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 May 21 - 11:38 AM
Rusty Dobro 16 May 21 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Jonw 01 Jun 21 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,# 01 Jun 21 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,henryp 02 Jun 21 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,henryp 15 Jun 21 - 03:12 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jun 21 - 05:46 PM
Reinhard 21 Jun 21 - 07:53 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 21 - 03:07 AM
The Sandman 22 Jun 21 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Jun 21 - 08:22 AM
The Sandman 22 Jun 21 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Jun 21 - 01:53 AM
The Sandman 23 Jun 21 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,henryp 24 Jun 21 - 05:30 AM
The Sandman 24 Jun 21 - 10:20 AM
The Sandman 24 Jun 21 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Trev 25 Jun 21 - 08:13 AM
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Subject: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 May 21 - 01:21 AM

The song was recorded from a Suffolk singer, it mentions Harwich pier. was it a suffolk or essex song anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 07 May 21 - 05:36 AM

According to the Roud index it was only collected from Bob Hart, so Suffolk seems likely.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 May 21 - 09:35 AM

https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/codbanging.html

https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/codbanging.html

Reinhard's site, Mainly Norfolk.


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Subject: ADD: Codbanging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 11:15 AM

Subject: RE: Any May songs? From: GUEST,henryp Date: 04 May 21 - 08:49 AM

The Codbanging Song Collected in Harwich, Essex by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as sung by Charles Benham, April 1904.
Additional verses from Bob Hart of Suffolk.
https://www.vwml.org/record/RoudFS/S231479


THE CODBANGING SONG

1. Come, come my lads and listen here
A fisherman's song you soon shall hear
What I did and undergo
When first I went a cod-banging O

CHORUS
To my lal fol the day
Riddle all day
This is the smacksman's life at sea

2. How well I remember the fourteenth of May
A big barque ship she came our way
She came our way and she did let fly
And the topsail halyards they flew sky high
CHORUS

3. And now we draw near Harwich pier
The young and the old folks they both draw near
To see us get our fish on deck
And crack their skulls with a little short stick
CHORUS

4. And now my song it is nearly done
And I hope that I've offended none
But I don't think I've got it complete
'Cos I've only been in the trade about a week
CHORUS


From EFDSS Essex Folk Song Discovery: Coastal Songs 2018
https://media.efdss.org/resourcebank/docs/RB222Essex_Folk_Song_Discovery-Coastal_Songs.pdf (page 16)


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 12:10 PM

Fishing at Harwich has gone through a series of booms and busts. Early in the 18th century the fleet was down to a mere three smacks, but within 60 years fishing was booming again, and as many as 500 men and boys fished from Harwich, mostly around the Orkneys and the Norwegian coast. Fish was stored in large cod chests before being transported on to Billingsgate fish market in London. Besides trawling for shrimps, there were in 1900 about twenty bawleys and small smacks fishing all year round from Harwich for whelks, which were used as bait for long-line fishing by large smacks owned at Harwich and elsewhere. Many of the Harwich bawleys were built at the port and others were constructed there for Leigh and proved fast and able craft. By the 20th century the fleet had shrunk once more, concentrating on cod and pink shrimps, and now there’s very little commercial fishing at all.

2021; Of the stocks jointly managed with the EU and Norway, five out of six have been set in line with or lower than the catch level advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. This results in catch reductions for North Sea cod (–10%), plaice (–2%), saithe (–25%) and herring (–7.4%) compared with 2020, but increases in haddock (+20%) and whiting (+19%). The reduction in limit set for North Sea cod – which lost its status as MSC-certified in 2019 due to collapsing stocks – was smaller than the ICES recommendation of –16.5%. However, it would still allow the stock to recover at a similar pace to that set out in the scientific advice, Defra added. 6 days ago; The collapse of fishing talks with Norway means British vessels have no rights to fish in Norwegian sub-Arctic waters in 2021. Hundreds of crew members face being left without work and fish and chip shops will be selling Arctic cod imported from Norway rather than landed in Britain, UK Fisheries said. One trawler, Kirkella, which catches 10 per cent of fish sold in chip shops, will be tied up in Hull for a year.


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 07 May 21 - 12:18 PM

Sorry - missed the Benham record in the index! (Rushing too much to get my 2nd vaccination!)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 03:04 PM

Times have changed since I was young. Now cod-banging days are done
Others catch cod far away; Off the cold coast of Norway

To my lal fol the day Riddle all day
An end to smacksmen's life at sea


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 May 21 - 03:18 PM

The OED does not enlighten me on what it means to bang a cod. Sounds like a perversion I haven't tried yet.


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 04:19 PM

Fresno State; Cod Banging
A fisherman remembers encountering a big barque and surviving the fight. Now the crowd meets them at Harwich pier to crack cod fish skulls. He concedes he may not have "got it complete 'Cause I've only been in the trade about a week"

Wikipedia; Priest
A priest (poacher's, game warden's or angler's "priest"), sometimes called a fish bat, or "persuader" is a tool for killing game or fish. The name "priest" comes from the notion of administering the "last rites" to the fish or game. Anglers often use priests to quickly kill fish.


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 May 21 - 04:22 PM

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cod-banger


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 04:38 PM

The Voice of the People; Cod Banging sung by Bob Hart, Snape, Suffolk, 1972. Roud 1747.

A song which appears to be unique to Bob - seven of the nine instances in Roud refer to his singing; the other two cite a song of the same name by Harold Smy, a bargeman from Ipswich. Although his shares Bob’s third verse, it’s actually a version of the well-known Stormy Weather Boys. In his notes to Bob’s 1973 LP, A L Lloyd confirms its rarity, adding that Sam Larner (Norfolk) knew a bit of it as The Smacksman, and pointing out that, compared to the huge number of songs about naval and merchant seamen, the English fishermen’s repertory is rather small and mostly limited to the East Anglian coast.


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 May 21 - 04:55 PM

Bob's second verse has wandered in from The Dolphin, a sea-battle song much favoured in the area in earlier years. Rod and Danny Stradling, Stroud, 1998


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Subject: RE: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 May 21 - 05:51 PM

ash sticks were used , i wonder the reason why ash in particular


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Subject: ADD Version: Cod Banging song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 21 - 08:31 PM

The Bob Hart recording is almost the same as what Henry P posted above, but I'll post Hart's version anyhow.


BOB HART, voice: Cod Banging.
Recorded by Tony Engle in the singer's home, Snape, Suffolk, July 1972; Topic 12TS225

COD BANGING

Come, come, my lads. and listen here.
A fishermen's song you soon will hear
What l did and undergo,
When first I went a-cod banging, oh.

CHORUS
To my lal-fa-the-day, riddle all day.
This is a smackman's life at sea.

How well I remember on the fourteenth of May,
A big barque ship she came our way.
She came our way and did let fly,
And the topsail halyards they flew sky high.
CHORUS

And now we draw near Harwich pier,
The young and the old they both draw near
To see us get our ?sh on deck
And crack their skulls with a little short stick.
CHORUS

And now my song is nearly done.
And I hope I've not offended one.
I don't think I’ve got it complete
‘Cause I’ve only been in the trade about a week
CHORUS

From The Voice of the People Volume 2: My Ship Shall Sail the Ocean>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziPuanTVp5k



Not much in the Traditional Ballad Index, but Roud has several entries.

Cod Banging

DESCRIPTION: A fisherman remembers encountering a big barque and surviving the fight. Now the crowd meets them at Harwich pier to crack cod fish skulls. He concedes he may not have "got it complete 'Cause I've only been in the trade about a week"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1972 (recording, Bob Hart)
KEYWORDS: battle fishing sea ship humorous talltale
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond))
Roud #1747
RECORDINGS:
Bob Hart, "Cod Banging" (on Voice02)
NOTES [10 words]: Harwich is an East Anglia port about 65 miles from London. - BS
File: RcCodBan

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 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 May 21 - 11:37 AM

The Codbanging Song Collected in Harwich, Essex by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as sung by Charles Benham, April 1904

Charles Edwin Benham JP 15 April 1860 in Colchester, Essex, England – 1 April 1929, also in Colchester. Born into a family of newspaper proprietors. Living in Colchester for all but a handful of years of his life, writing about it in many of his books. He helped edit the family-controlled paper the Essex County Standard jointly with his brother Sir William Gurney Benham.

Essex ballads and other poems by Charles E. Benham ; with a prefatory note by the Right Honourable, the Countess of Warwick (1919). The Flash Girl; Lorna Tarran learned this intriguing piece from her grandmother. The opening four lines are very similar to those which start Never Been to Colchester which is included in Charles Benham's Essex Ballads (1897).

Could this newspaper proprietor with an interest in Essex dialect and folk-song be the singer of the song? I can't find the original record of RVW collecting the song, although it may well have had a different title.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 May 21 - 12:58 PM

There is some information about this song in "Bushes and Briars - an anthology of Essex folk songs" which comes from "Mr Benham", who says "this song was popular in East Anglia and was sung on arrival with a full ship at Harwich". However Mr Benham could supply only one verse so it is filled out with Bob Hart's version.

Closer examination shows that this "Mr Benham" was Hervey Benham, author of several books about sailing life on the east coast. This is not Charles Benham from whom RVW collected it, although he may be a relative - which seems very likely if the song was collected from the newpaper proprietor henryp mentions, since Hervey Benham was also a local newspaper editor.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 May 21 - 03:42 PM

Thank you! Charles Benham helped edit the family-controlled paper the Essex County Standard jointly with his brother William Gurney Benham.

Hervey William Gurney Benham (1910-1987) was the son of William Gurney Benham, three times mayor of Colchester, and editor of the Essex County standard from 1884 to 1943, and Ethel Hervey Elwes. He succeeded his father in the post of editor of the Essex County Standard from 1943 to 1965. He was a prolific author of books on Essex and the East coast, a musician and a significant benefactor. His daughter, Jane Benham, played a significant role in the Maritime educational East Coast Sail Trust, in which Hervey was also involved, and in the preservation of Thames sailing barges.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 May 21 - 04:12 AM

From The Codbangers by Hervey Benham, 1979

Once the fish were aboard they had to be gutted and salted, or else kept alive in the well. 'Clearing' fish for salting was a iob for all hands. Then the fish were stacked in salt and left for twenty-four hours, after which the whole stack would be pulled down and the On the shorter fourteen-day Dogger voyages ice was used in later days instead of salt for fish not kept alive in the well. Then the fish were killed by knocking them on the head and only the first day's catch was gutted' Iced fish were stowed on shelves in the fishroom, but the salted stack was not shelved. If fish were damaged getting them off the hook or perished in the well, they would die with their mouths open and have to be sold at a knock-down price as dead cod. These would be put in a basket tied to the bowsprit end, and as the smack came into port a boat would put out and take them. The well was used at the end of the voyage when the smack was about to sail straight home. Fish were transferred to it with can, and would be got on deck with a net rather than the hawk. Fish would live in the smacks well almost indefinitely; if one was overlooked at the end of a season it would still be found swimming about months later. They were not fed for the first five days, after which a few whelks would be thrown in the well.

The introduction of wells in smacks at the beginning of the eighteenth century made possible the 'live' or fresh cod, which was such an improvement on salted fish and still more on the medieval stockfish. It also introduced the Codbangers, men whose task was to kill the cod by knocking them on the head. This term came to be used for cod fishermen in general and to some extent for the cod smacks. Much noise and commotion were caused by a few score of fine cod just out of the water, as one man grabbed a fish by the tail and another grasped it behind the head with his left hand and struck it on the nose with a bludgeon called a cod knocker, generally the end of an old oar. These men, the Codbangers, gave their name to cod fishermen in general, and to the smacks. Sometimes the Codbangers despatched the fish outright, crushing the skull; sometimes they merely stunned them. Despite the emphatic nature of their despatch, cod freshly killed for market were rushed to London in vans labelled 'Live Cod', and this remained their trade name to distinguish them from salted or iced fish, trawl-caught cod, or indeed any which had met their end aboard the smacks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 May 21 - 04:39 AM

To answer the Sandman's enquiry; Come, come, my lads, and listen here/Cod banging

One verse of it was collected in Harwich, Essex, from collector Charles Benham by Vaughan Williams in April 1904. One verse was also collected from his nephew Hervey Benham, who said, "This song was popular in East Anglia and was sung on arrival with a full ship at Harwich." The EFDSS published it in 2018 with additional verses from Bob Hart of Suffolk.

It has been collected in more recent times in Suffolk from singer Bob Hart. A.L.Lloyd noted; In Bob Hart's version, a stanza - the one about the 'big barque ship' - has wandered in from 'The Dolphin'. And - to my ears at least - the final comic verse hardly sounds traditional.

In his notes to Bob Hart's 1973 LP, Bert Lloyd confirms its rarity, adding that Sam Larner of Norfolk knew a bit of it as The Smacksman's Life.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 May 21 - 05:35 AM

thankyou


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 May 21 - 09:00 AM

I have a couple of Hervey's books as I'm interested in East Coast sailing vessels. Some great stuff in them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 May 21 - 11:38 AM

Steve; Do tell us if you ever come across a song in his books!

We don't know where Charles or Hervey Benham learned Cod Banging = or any other songs. And I don't think Vaughan Williams came across Charles Benham sitting on Harwich Pier by chance in 1904.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 16 May 21 - 04:37 AM

The Suffolk singer John Goodluck has a version on his excellent CD ‘Speed The Plough’, (1975), still available via his website.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,Jonw
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 06:59 PM

All of the references online list the chorus as

This is a Smacksman's life at sea

However in recordings of Bob Heart he sings *snapesman* not smackmsman. Snape being the Bob's hometown.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,#
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 08:11 PM

Here's Bob Hart singing the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziPuanTVp5k


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 03:47 AM

1904 The Codbanging Song; One verse collected in Harwich, Essex by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as sung by Charles Benham, April 1904.
Charles Edwin Benham JP (15 April 1860 in Colchester, Essex, England – 1 April 1929, also in Colchester) was a journalist who edited for many years the Essex County Standard.

(In 1904, Vaughan Williams made a number of visits to Essex to collect songs, cycling to villages around Brentwood including Ingrave, Willingale, Little Burstead, East Horndon and Billericay. A chance meeting between Vaughan Williams and Charles Benham in Harwich in April 1904 seems very unlikely to me! HP)

"Bushes and Briars - an anthology of Essex folk songs" ; [Codbanging] which comes from "Mr [Hervey] Benham", who says "this song was popular in East Anglia and was sung on arrival with a full ship at Harwich". However Mr Benham could supply only one verse so it is filled out with Bob Hart's version.
Hervey William Gurney Benham (1910–1987) was the son of Sir Gurney Benham and the nephew of Charles Benham. He was the pioneering proprietor of Essex County Newspapers.

Sam Larner; In his notes to Bob Hart's 1973 LP, Bert Lloyd confirms its rarity, adding that Sam Larner of Norfolk knew a bit of it as The Smacksman's Life.
Samuel James Larner (18 October 1878 – 11 September 1965) was an English fisherman and traditional singer from Winterton, a fishing village in Norfolk.

1972 Bob Hart, voice: Cod Banging. Recorded by Tony Engle in the singer's home, Snape, Suffolk, July 1972. A.L.Lloyd noted; In Bob Hart's version, a stanza - the one about the 'big barque ship' - has wandered in from 'The Dolphin'.
Bob Hart was born in 1892 at Sotherton, near Southwold, died at the age of 86 in 1978. Aged 15 he ran away to sea on a Lowestoft trawler and it was whilst working as a fisherman that he learned many of his songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 15 Jun 21 - 03:12 PM

VWML
The cod banging song Song Index (SN31932)9 of approx 9 results
First Line; When we came to Harwich pier
Roud No 1747 [Search for 1747 in the current indexes]
Source D. Occomore and P. Spratley, Bushes & briars: an anthology of Essex folk songs, Monkswood Press, Loughton, Essex, (1979), 72 Performer Benham, Mr
Place England: Essex


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jun 21 - 05:46 PM

Coil away the Trawl Warp or sometimes The Smacksman from Sam Larner - Dick Miles, do you have the lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: Reinhard
Date: 21 Jun 21 - 07:53 PM

THE SMACKSMAN (Roud 1788)
Sung by Sam Larner

Chorus (after each verse):
Coil away the trawl-warp, boys, let’s heave on the trawl,
When we get our fish onboard we’ll have another haul.
Straightway to the capstan and merrily heave around,
And that’s the cry in the middle of the night,
“Haul the trawl, boys, haul.”

Once I was a schoolboy, I stayed at home with ease;
Now I am a smacksman and I plough the raging seas.
I thought I’d like seafaring life but very soon I found,
It was not all plain sailing, boys, when out on the fishing ground.

Now when we get our fish onboard we have them all to gut;
We put them in baskets and down the ice-locker put.
We ice them all right safely and then wash them all quite well,
Keep them from all chafe, my boys, like an oyster in his shell.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 03:07 AM

there is another verse.
now when the 8 weeks are over hard up the tiller goes
sou west west by west for yarmouth roods [roads]
with the big joib on her nose
and when we get to the pier head all the lasses they will say
here comes our jolly fishin lads whove been so long away.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 03:08 AM

typo, jib, not joib


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 08:22 AM

From Mainly Norfolk; Johnny Collins sang Haul Boys Haul in 1996 on his album Shanties & Songs of the Sea. This track was also included in 2004 on the Lancaster Maritime Festival CD Beware of the Press-Gang!! He noted: A popular and widespread sea song. Many thanks to Tony Deane for letting me have this version, for which he wrote two of the verses.

From AHOY@BOUNDINGMAIN.COM Haul Boys Haul
The version offered here was transcribed from Johnny Collins' performance on his Shanties & Songs of the Sea recording.

Now when I was a school boy, I lived at home at ease.
Now I am a sailing man I sail the wintry seas.
I thought I'd like seafaring life, It was alright 'till I found,
It's a damn sight worse than slavery when we get off the ground.

(Chorus)
And it was haul boys, haul. haul boys, haul.
Heave away the capstan lads and lets get up the trawl.
When the winds are blowing, the ships a gently rolling,
My Emma, my Emma, won't you be true to me?

Now every night in winter, as reg'lar as a clock,
It's on me old sou'wester, likewise your oilskin frock,
And then up to the capstan, lad, and then we'll heave away,
Well that's the cry in the middle of the night as well as in the day. (chorus)

Now when the fish are up on deck, a piling to our knees,
We'll slip and slide and wonder why we ever went to sea.
But then ashore we sell the catch; that's easier to bear
For its beer all night in the ladies arms when we get paid our share. (chorus)

With winter passing over, and springtime coming on,
We'll go out in all weather, no time for beer and song,
For the fish don't wait for lovers, as you might quickly find,
So put on your oilskin jackets lads and leave the girls behind. (chorus)

And when our trip is over, hard up the tiller goes.
Its straight up in to Yarmouth with a big jib on her nose.
And when we reach the pier head the girls all loudly say,
"Her come our jolly trawling lads that have been so long away."

And it was haul boys, haul! Haul boys, haul!
Heave away the capstan, lads, and lets get up the trawl.
When the winds are blowing, the ships a gently rolling,
My Emma, My Emma, won't you be true to me?
My Emma, My Emma, won't you be true to me?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 21 - 11:12 AM

Henry , different tune from the version collected from Sam Larner ,i believe


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 01:53 AM

"Cod Banging; In his notes to Bob Hart's 1973 LP, Bert Lloyd confirms its rarity, adding that Sam Larner of Norfolk knew a bit of it as The Smacksman's Life."

Not much in common between the words of Cod Banging and Haul Boys Haul/The Smacksman!

Bert Lloyd in fact gives The Smacksman's Life as an alternative title for Cod Banging, from Bob Hart's chorus;

To my lal fol the day Riddle all day
This is the smacksman's life at sea
From EFDSS Essex Folk Song Discovery: Coastal Songs 2018

To my lal-fa-the-day, riddle all day
This is a smackman's life at sea
From The Voice of the People Volume 2: My Ship Shall Sail the Ocean

Full note by Bert Lloyd from Songs from Suffolk by Bob Hart
Cod Banging
Compared to the great treasury of songs telling the adventures of Navy Jacks and merchant seamen, the English fisherman’s repertory is rather small. Such songs as survive are mostly found along the East Anglian coast, and the trawlermen who work the codbanks off the Shetlands and beyond. Cod Banging, sometimes called The Smackman’s Life is a rather rare
song. Sam Larner knew a bit of it, and doubtless at one time it had more verses than it retains now. In Bob Hart’s version, a stanza – the one about the ‘big barque ship’ – has wandered in from ‘The ‘Dolphin’,
a sea-battle song much favoured among old time fishermen of the Suffolk-Norfolk coast.

Incidentally, the "big barque ship" verse does not appear in any of the five versions of The Dolphin contained in Mainly Norfolk. But that is another story!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 21 - 02:27 PM

sam larners version of coil away the trawl warp was recorded by sam larner on garland for sam.
i am aware that the song has nothing to do with the song cod banging


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 05:30 AM

There is also some confusion between Cod Banging and Stormy Weather, since Harold Smy included a verse of the former in his version of the latter.

From Mainly Norfolk; Harold Smy from Ipswich, Suffolk. sang Stormy Weather Boys in 1985 to John Howson. This recording was included on the Veteran Tapes cassette Songs Sung in Suffolk Vol 5 and in 2001 on the Veteran anthology of traditional folk music from Coastal England, When the Wind Blows.

Now it’s four o'clock and out we jump
And we’re heavin’ up the anchor and try the pump.

Chorus (after each verse):
Stormy weather boys, windy weather boys
When the wind blow the barge will go

As we got to Orford Ness
The wind flew down from the nor-nor-west

As we got to Harwich pier
Young and old got h’up to steer
Watch us get our cod on deck
And we hit ‘em on the head with a damn great stick

Now we broke our [borstal] level with the stern
And we unstick the stump and we stuck it out again

John Howson noted: Often called The Cod Banging Song or The Smacksman's Life at Sea, this song is normally associated with the fishing trade, so it is unusual to find the wind blowing a barge. It is popular song in East Anglia, with recorded versions from Bob Roberts and Bob Hart. Sussex's Johnny Doughty also had a version, but with Orford Ness here in the second verse, there is no doubting that Harold learned it locally.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 10:20 AM

the only person i heard sing stormy weather was Bob Roberts who recorded it on an lp, IT HAD THE ORFORD NESS VERSE.
BOB ROBERTS SAILED A BARGE so of course there was a reference to a barge, i heard it back in the seventies long before john howson had moved to suffolk and started collecting,if john howson said that he was incorrect.
the bargeman such as bob roberts sailed up the east angliancoast as far as the humber. in the 1960s and 70s when bob roberts was singing,john howson was in liverpol singing in a duo with barbara banyon?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jun 21 - 10:25 AM

sorry type , henry, should be refernce to wind.not barge


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cod Banging song
From: GUEST,Trev
Date: 25 Jun 21 - 08:13 AM

The East Anglian coast does not include Lincolnshire (and never has done).


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