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Lyr ADD: Fisher Lads of Whitby

Joe Offer 06 Jun 22 - 04:38 PM
Reinhard 06 Jun 22 - 05:26 PM
Reinhard 06 Jun 22 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Bradfordian aka Barrie Mathers 06 Jun 22 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Rory 06 Jun 22 - 11:47 PM
GUEST,Bradfordian 07 Jun 22 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Rory 07 Jun 22 - 05:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 22 - 04:38 PM

Barrie Mathers sang this at the Mudcat Singaround. Anybody have the lyrics?

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


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: Reinhard
Date: 06 Jun 22 - 05:26 PM

THE FISHER LAD OF WHITBY
Roud V37024
from Roy Palmer: Boxing the Compass, #68, p.164

My love he was a fisher lad and when he came on shore
He always steered to me to greet me at the door,
For he knew I loved him well, as anyone could see,
And oh but I was fain when he came a-courting to me.

It was one lovely morning, one morning in May,
He took me in his boat to sail out on the bay;
Then he told me of his love as he sat by my side,
And he said that in a month he would make me his bride.

That very afternoon a man-of-war came in the bay,
And the pressgang came along and took my lad away;
Put irons on his hands and irons on his feet,
And they carried him aboard to fight in the fleet.

My father often talks of the perils of the main
And my mother says she hopes he will come back again;
But I know he never will, for in my dreams I see
His body lying low at the bottom of the sea.

The ships come sailing in and the ships they sail away,
And the sailors sing their merry songs out on the bay;
But for me, my heart is breaking, and I only wish to be
Lying low with my lover deep down in the sea.

When the house is all still and everyone asleep
I sit upon my bed and bitterly I weep;
And I think of my lover away down in the sea,
For he never, never more will come again to me.

Note: fain] glad

This Whitby girl’s view of the pressgang is paralleled in Mrs Gaskell’s novel, Sylvia's Lovers (1863), which is set during the French Wars in the same town.


Bill Price sang The Fisher Lads of Whitby with slightly different words on his 1972 Folk Legacy album The Fine Old Yorkshire Gentleman. He noted:

"During the closing years of the 18th century the pressgang was fearful reality. The north-east coast of Yorkshire, with its hardy mariners, was a rich field from which to gather victims for the bloody French Wars."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: Reinhard
Date: 06 Jun 22 - 05:35 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Fisher Lad of Whitby, The


DESCRIPTION: "My love he was a fisher lad and when he came on shore," he always comes to see her. He proposed to her while in his boat. The pressgang took him that day. Her family tries to console her, but she fears he'll never return and wishes she were dead with him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1892 (Forshaw)
KEYWORDS: love courting ship separation pressgang death
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Palmer-OxfordBookOfSeaSongs 68, "The Fisher Lad of Whitby" (1 text, which never mentions Whitby)
Roud #V35024
File: PaSe068


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: GUEST,Bradfordian aka Barrie Mathers
Date: 06 Jun 22 - 05:57 PM

The point of this post is to present the new verses from PHIL HARRISON as sung by me on the Mudcat Zoom session 06/06/22

The Fisher Lads of Whitby as sung by Bill Price of West Yorkshire,

FISHER LADS OF WHITBY

My love he was a fisherlad, and when he came on shore
He always steered to me for to greet me at my door
He knew I loved him well as anyone could see
And all the times fain when he came a courting me

It was on a Monday morning; all in the month of May
He took me on his boat; for to sail out on the bay
He told me of his love as he sat down by my side
And said that in one month he would make me his bride

But that very afternoon a man of war came in the bay
A press gang came on shore and they took my love away
They put irons on his hands and put chains around his feet
And they took my love on board for to fight with the fleet

My father often talks of the perils of the main
My mother said she hopes that he will come back again
But me I cannot speak; for in my dreams I see
His body lying down at the bottom of the sea

And when the house is still; and everyone asleep
I sit upon my backside and bitterly I weep
Weeping for my lover who was taken by the sea
I know he never more will return again to me
***********************************
A colleague, PHIL HARRISON from the Carrington Triangle Folk Club in Nottingham a couple of years ago added the following verses to give the song a new twist.
Phil sings this to the modified tune that STEVE TILSON uses, but I use the tune Bill Price used which can be gleaned from Joe’s link above
**********************************

It was Severn long years later that a ship sailed in the bay
A fisher lad strode down the gang, long time he’d been away
He made his way through the town to the old familiar door
Hoping she’d remember what had been before

He heard some children’s voices who were playing in the yard
The thought of what had happened hit him awful hard
He turned around abruptly and ran back down the lane
And With a heavy aching heart, he climbed the gang again

Was that a step I heard outside the garden door
Or just a form of echo of what had been before
I opened up the door but no-one could I see
Then I called my sisters children to come and have their tea

The ships come sailing in and the ships they sail away
The fishermen will sing their songs out on Whitby Bay
The fishermen would haul their nets, how happy I would be
Living with my true love down beside the sea.

Do let us know what you think of the extra verses


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 06 Jun 22 - 11:47 PM

Ballad published in: Holroyd’s Collection of Yorkshire Ballads, edited by Chas F. Forshaw, 1892, pp.86-87.

Lyrics as posted by Reinhard above.

Abraham Holroyd (1815-1888), writer, editor, publisher, and collector of ballads mainly from Yorkshire authors.

Holroyd’s Collection of Yorkshire Ballads footnotes include an excerpt from E. Lamplough, "The Press-gang in Yorkshire", in Yorkshire Tragedy and Romance.
"During the closing years of last century, when George the Third was king, the press-gang was a fearful reality. — not a memory of the past, as it is with us to-day, — and many brave-hearted mariners were torn from home and friends, and exposed to the dangers of homicidal strife, perhaps in many instances in violation of their own honest principles, and to the prejudice of their interests.
The north-east coast of Yorkshire, with its hardy mariners, was a rich field from which to gather fresh victims for those bloody French wars, and we can easily imagine the deep alarm that spread through village and town when the press-gang came rushing up; great bludgeons in the hands of officers and sailors, and cutlasses by their sides. The hunted men vainly attempted escape by concealment or flight; or sometimes turning upon their ruffianly assailants made a fierce struggle for dear liberty, only to be dragged away, bruised and bleeding, and subject to tyrannical discipline that ruled in his Majesty’s fleet.”


.


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: GUEST,Bradfordian
Date: 07 Jun 22 - 04:05 AM

Steve Tilson’s version

THE FISHER LAD OF WHITBY version by Steve Tilson

My love he was a fisher lad
And when they came to shore
He always steered to me
To greet me at my door
And he knew I loved him well
As anyone could see
Oh but I was famed
When he came a-courting me.

It was on one lovely morning
One morning in May
He took me in his fishing boat
Out upon the bay
And he told me of his love
As we wallowed with the tide
That before the month was over
I would be his bride.


The ships come sailing in
And the ships they sail away
The fishermen they sing their songs
Out on Whitby Bay
And the fishermen they haul the nets
And happy I would be
Living with my fisher lad
Down beside the sea.

But on that very afternoon
A pressgang combed the lanes
They dragged him to a Man O' War
Bound by iron chains
Irons on his hands
Oh and irons on his feet
They carried him aboard
To fight in the fleet.

Now my father often talks
Of the perils of the main
My mother says she hopes
He will come back again
But I know he never will
For in my dreams I see
His body lying low
At the bottom of the sea.


And when the house is still
And everyone is asleep
I sit upon my bed
And most bitterly I weep
And I think on my true love
At the bottom of the sea
For he never, never more
Will come again to me.

The ships come sailing in
And the ships they sail away
The fishermen they sing their songs
Out on Whitby Bay
But for me my heart is broken
And I only wish to be
Lying low with my fisher lad
At the bottom of the sea

The bottom of the sea...


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Fisher Lads of Whitby
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 07 Jun 22 - 05:51 AM

Martha Tilston's version
Album: The Sea (2014)

Martha Tilston - Fisherlad of Whitby

.


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