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Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song

GUEST,Guest 11 Oct 21 - 07:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Oct 21 - 07:49 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Oct 21 - 09:38 AM
Gibb Sahib 13 Oct 21 - 02:48 PM
Stewie 14 Oct 21 - 08:31 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Oct 21 - 02:57 PM
Sandra in Sydney 15 Oct 21 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 15 Oct 21 - 09:28 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 21 - 10:22 PM
The Sandman 16 Oct 21 - 04:03 AM
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Subject: Origins Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 07:12 AM

I am trying to find the background to the New Zealand song “Blood Red Roses” for a workshop on NZ songs. It has the distinctive “Come down you blood red roses” refrain, and talks of a sealing expedition not unlike Davy Lowston. I am familiar with the deep water shanty and do not require any information on that.

The earliest recording I have of the "NZ version" is of the Watersons in 1964 (released on their 2004 “Mighty River Of Song” where they called themselves the Folksons). Berl Ives recorded a version in Down to the Sea in Ships (1956) with many of the sealing verses. Apparently there are no cover notes explaining the background to his version.

This version is set in 1803 - which is before NZ even became part of the British Empire - and probably has an English background.

Does anyone have any other further information on the song?


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Subject: RE: Origins
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 07:49 AM

Probably not an NZ song which may be why you are not finding anything. Not even an old song really

Roud 931


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Oct 21 - 09:38 AM

If it's set in 1803 it can't have been written as a chanty before 1830 as chanties didn't exist before then, plus the earliest mention I have is c1865-9.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Oct 21 - 02:48 PM

Sounds like another "Wellerman," heh.

Kiwi cultural nationalist enjoys pop-folk recording, innocently tweaks some lyrics to sound more NZ (throw in some sealers), the song gets laundered through the "Song of a Young Country" project by someone else who vagues up the source, and voila!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 08:31 PM

I posted the lyrics and the brief note from Neil Colquhoun's 'Song of a Young Country' to the Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook thread. For some unknown reason, the thread will not come up in a forum search. Anyhow, here is the note:

'Blood Red Roses' is a work song, a halyard chanty. When we string the different chanty-man cries together, they tell a story - a woeful one, but hardly exaggerated, for most sealing gangs that worked the southern bays and islands suffered from lack of food, exposure to wind and cold or to being completely forgotten. In 1813, one boat took five men off the Solanders. Two of them had been there since 1808. They had made their own clothing and shelters of sealskin and had eaten nothing but seal meat. The yankee whale ship, 'Enterprise', rescued three men from the Snares in 1817. These men had been set down in 1810 with but one quart of rice, a half-bushel of potatoes and an iron pot. 'Song of a Young Country' p12.

The 'Sources' page of 'Song of a Young Country' indicates that the version therein was collected by John Leebrick and the 'Young Country' collection was its earliest published source.

Make of that what you will.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Oct 21 - 02:57 PM

Title should perhaps have been 'Young Songs of a Country'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 15 Oct 21 - 07:07 PM

Stewie, you're not the only person having trouble finding the Songbook thread via search, Joe recently revived it 'cos someone else couldn't find it.

Easiest way to find a thread is to click on name of person who has contributed, so I clicked on Stewie in your 14 Oct post & got a list of your posts.

Oz/NZ on-line songbook

spreadsheet says you posted it on 27 Oct 20 - 10:26 PM & it is on page 10.

If anyone wants copies of the spreadsheets (Aug-Dec 2020 & 2021 to date) please PM me with your email address & I'll send them to you. We've posted over 1000 songs, all with lyrics & almost all with audio, video, link to dots or name of trad tune.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 15 Oct 21 - 09:28 PM

I only know this song from The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and from the John Huston filming of Moby Dick. I never felt it was anything but a New England tune. So as always, more than what meets the ear.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 21 - 10:22 PM

An older thread has a macabre theme.

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=90128&messages=6


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Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Oct 21 - 04:03 AM

NZ Song really? if so my concertinas a kipper


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