Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Ascending - Printer Friendly - Home


Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs

DigiTrad:
A SAILOR AIN'T A SAILOR
SAILOR'S PRAYER
WATCHES


Related threads:
Lyr ADD: The Last Shanty (Tom Lewis) (14)
Info & Songs: Tom Lewis (38)
ADD: New from Tom Lewis-Shanty for Singing (17)
Tom Lewis in UK - Modern Folk Artist (4)
Lyr Req: Bunts, the Nautical Dog (Tom Lewis) (5)
Tune Req: The Last Shanty (Tom Lewis) (24)
Lyr Req: A Sailor Ain't a Sailor (Tom Lewis) (7)
Tom Lewis Dates (4)
Tom Lewis in Norfolk, VA. (7)
New Album - Tom Lewis 'Poles Apart' (20)
Tom Lewis - Poles Apart (4)
Lyr Req: Illy Ally-O - East Indiaman (Tom Lewis) (11)
Tom Lewis Playing Tonight - Fredonia, NY (10)
Req: A sailor ain't a sailor? /Last Shanty(closed) (5) (closed)
Tune Req: Tom Lewis The African Trade (5)
Tom Lewis from Coast to Coast (4)
Tom Lewis in Portland Or (8)
Tom Lewis Concert In Windsor Ontario (20)
Lyr Req: Bunts the Nautical Dog (Tom Lewis) (2) (closed)


The Sandman 30 Jan 20 - 02:55 AM
Haruo 30 Jan 20 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,naviguessor 29 Jan 20 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,Graham Fellows 22 Jun 19 - 10:56 AM
Lighter 18 Jan 19 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Teribus 18 Jan 19 - 06:00 PM
Senoufou 18 Jan 19 - 11:41 AM
Lighter 18 Jan 19 - 10:27 AM
voyager 18 Jan 19 - 09:30 AM
Bruce D 05 Mar 18 - 02:49 AM
GUEST 04 Mar 18 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 22 Apr 17 - 09:59 AM
FreddyHeadey 22 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 22 Apr 17 - 02:36 AM
Joe Offer 21 Apr 17 - 10:10 PM
FreddyHeadey 19 Apr 17 - 07:02 AM
Joe Offer 19 Apr 17 - 02:49 AM
Leadfingers 08 Jul 08 - 07:41 PM
beardedbruce 08 Jul 08 - 05:29 PM
Barry Finn 08 Jul 08 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Aulenback 08 Jul 08 - 08:37 AM
LaMarca 02 Jun 97 - 05:38 PM
Barry Finn 31 May 97 - 07:12 PM
Bob Schwarer 31 May 97 - 06:42 PM
Barry Finn 31 May 97 - 03:51 PM
Bob Schwarer phidea@cris com 31 May 97 - 02:18 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 20 - 02:55 AM

tom lewis is appearing at www.fastnetmaritime.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: Haruo
Date: 30 Jan 20 - 02:02 AM

FreddyHeadey, thanks, the 1830 version is awesome!

May God above, send down his love,
With swords as sharp as sickles,
To cut the throats of gentlefolks,
Who grudge poor men their victuals!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST,naviguessor
Date: 29 Jan 20 - 10:32 PM

ive sussed it


G                   C       G
this dirty town has been my home
      C         Em    G
since last time i was sailin'
      C       Em    G    Em
but i'll not stay another day
    Am    C    D
i'd sooner go a-whalin'
    G               D      G
oh lord above send down a dove
      C       Em      G
with beak as sharp as razors
    C       Em       G          Em
to cut the throats of them there blokes
      Am       D       G
what sells bad beer to sailors


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST,Graham Fellows
Date: 22 Jun 19 - 10:56 AM

THere is a pub called \The Ship in Gillingham by the side of the Medway. It is reported to have been built from timber taken from old prison hulks and one of the beams in the pub has this verse carved out. Seen in the 1980's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 07:07 PM

The source of the first example (with "bad beer to sailors") was . "Shipbuilding & Shipping Record" (London) (1937).

So Charles MacHardy, author of the novel "Send Down a Dove"could easily have heard it in the RN in WW2.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 06:00 PM

First heard it in 1967

Oh Lord above send down a dove
With beak as sharp's a razor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 11:41 AM

Oh the number of times we've watched the Sheringham Shantymen perform this! (We live quite near Sheringham) The original group were mostly lifeboatmen and seamen (eg fishermen, ex-Navy) and they raise money for the RNLI (lifeboat charity).
They usually sing at the Sheringham Potty Festival on Lifeboat Plain, and the audience always joins in with the chorus. They're absolutely brilliant!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 10:27 AM

O Lord above,
Send down a dove
With wings as sharp as razors,
To cut the throats of them there blokes
bad beer to sailors

Guy's Hospital Gazette (1916):

"One of our men in billets...deserted, leaving his clothes...with the following...pinned to his tunic:

Oh, Lord above
Send down a dove
With wings as sharp as razors;
To cut the throats
Of the ugly goats
They call the Sergeant -Majors."

John R. Kemble, Four Hundred Laughs (N.Y., 1902):

"May the Lord above send down a dove,
With wings as sharp as razors.
To cut off the head of anyone.
Who lowers the poor man's wages.

A toast from the San Bernardino chapter of the International Brotherhood of Boiler Makers and Iron Ship Builders (1901):

"May the God above send down a dove with wings as sharp as razors, to cut the throats of all the bloaks that try to cut down the Boilermakers' wages."

The Reflector (London) (1888):

"The following inscription was copied verbatim from a banner used in a procession which recently took place in County Limerick:

May God above send down a dove
With wings as sharp as razors,
To cut the throats of all rogues
Who won't become Land L[e]aguers"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: voyager
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 09:30 AM

Tom Lewis rendition of Sailor's Prayer

Years back to performed this at an FSGW DC Folkfest.
Still playing this tune in my jukebox.

voyager


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: Bruce D
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 02:49 AM

I have heard variations of the chorus

"Oh lord above, send down a dove with beak as sharp as razors,
To cut the throats of them there blokes what sells bad beer to sailors!"

for many years, mainly through, singers that have association with Navy (RN or RAN) and also those who sailed on Sailing Ships and shanties singers. Well before I first heard Tom Lewis sing it.

The subject verses always varied, often on how drunk the singer was or where the crew was at the time.

Bruce D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 06:51 PM

Does anyone have the chords for this? I've been trying to work them out from https://youtu.be/8Is3vE6FxDM, and have figured out:

    G                                 C               G
This dirty town has been my home since last time I was sailing
    C             G      Em      D             ?
But I'll not stay another day I'd sooner go out whaling
   G                               C                G
Oh Lord above send down a dove with wings as sharp as razors
   C                  G          ?          G         ?       G
To cut the throats of them there blokes what sells bad beer to sailors

but nothing I try for the question marks sounds quite right...

Thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for the Joyce titbit, FreddyHeadey! "leaders" would, of course, be pronounced "lade-ers" in Hiberno-English!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM

A James Joyce page mentions a verse
"... May the God above 
    Send down a dove
    With teeth as sharp as razors 
    To slit the throats
    Of the English dogs 
    That hanged our Irish leaders.


The original verse parodied here can be traced back to 1830, when it was used as a toast:

May God above, send down his love,
With swords as sharp as sickles,
To cut the throats of gentlefolks,
Who grudge poor men their victuals!!!

"To the Editor of The Bristol Mercury" (1830 Bristol Mercury 7December)
" "
http://www.jjon.org/joyce-s-allusions/irish-leaders 


~~~~~
And on a navy forum mentions : "... old gunnery manual.." & ".. flyleaf of a WW2 naval novel called 'Send down a dove',.."[as mentioned here 2008 But that was published 1969
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10498656-send-down-a-dove]

https://www.navy-net.co.uk/community/threads/poem.46382/ 


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)-Send Down a Dove Songs
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 02:36 AM

The good sister's Kerry connections may not be totally coincidental. There are lots of snatches of such doggerel that fit the rhythm of Kerry polkas - a form of heavily accented dance tune played mostly on squeeze boxes of various types. They're often used as mnemonics to remember the tune - or as dandling songs for children.


Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Send Down a Dove - various songs?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 10:10 PM

So, I started singing this song this afternoon during my weekly Scrabble game with Sr. Anne, an 85-yr-old Sister of Mercy from County Kerry. She started singing along, but the words she learned as a child in Ireland were different:

    O Lord above, send down a dove
    Unto of us poor craters (creatures)
    Send us mate (meat) that we can ate (eat)
    And send us plenty praters.

    O God above, send down a dove
    Unto of us poor craters
    To cut the throats of the English dogs
    That murdered our brave Sinn Feiners

And I'm guessing that the Tom Lewis song may be a parody of this, and that Sr. Anne's song may be a parody of yet another song.

Anybody know other versions?

-Joe Offer-

P.S. She also recalled riding in the family car when they came upon a slow-moving car ahead with a "GB" oval on it. Anne, about ten years old, shouted out, "You Brits get off our roads and go home to your own country." Anne's father didn't say anything until they got home, and then he took her to the parlor and talked to her softly. He said, "Those people weren't the ones who did terrible things to Ireland. The people who did those things are dead." And that's all he said. Anne learned a good lesson that day.

But she still plays a very wicked game of Scrabble.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 07:02 AM

[not 'folk' but just for the record]
an orchestrated version by Ilan_Eshkeri for the Swallows and Amazons film, 2016.
The London Metropolitan Orchestra
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcNVnyKxNlI (n.a. UK)

Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/track/0i4y1BA0yaeJnML3Cf3NLz

itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/swallows-and-amazons-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/id1139420719

Swallows & Amazons thread
thread.cfm?threadid=160444


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sailor's Prayer (Tom Lewis)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 02:49 AM

Here's a fun performance of this song by the Sheringham Shantymen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvvC0ldtfmI

And one by Seamus Kennedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvcHtooK1wA


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 07:41 PM

Offered to Tony day (Middle Bar Singers , Sidmouth) at the time there was a thought they were watering the beer in the Anchor - JUST the chorus (Soort your own verses out)

'Oh Lord Above , send down a dove
In its beak a Red Hot Poker
To burn out the eyes of tyhe Anchor Staff
Who sell bad beer to the Folker'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SAILOR'S PRAYER (Tom Lewis)
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 05:29 PM

Sailor's Prayer
Words & Music by Tom Lewis (Chorus: Trad.)
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on Surfacing!)
This dirty town has been my home since last time I was sailing,
But I'll not stay another day, I'd sooner go out whaling,

Chorus:
Oh lord above, send down a dove with beak as sharp as razors,
To cut the throats of them there blokes what sells bad beer to sailors!

Paid off m' 'score' and then ashore, m' money soon was flying,
With Judy Lee upon my knee and in my ear she's lying.

With m' new-found friends, m' money spends, just as fast as winking,
But when I make to clear the slate the landlord says: "Keep drinking!".

With m' payoff gone, m' clothes in pawn and Judy set for leaving,
Six months' of pay's gone in three days but Judy isn't grieving.

When the crimp comes round I'll take his pound and his hand I'll be shaking,
Tomorrow morn' sail for The Horn just as the dawn is breaking.

For one last trip from port I'll ship but next time back I'm swearing,
I'll settle down in my home town, no more I'll go seafaring.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 05:22 PM

I first heard of, what George Herbert, from West Geelong, Victoria, Austrailia called a ditty "Lord above send down a dove with wings as sharp as razors" back in 78' or 79' when I 1st met George. (wings always made more sense to me, when I talked to Tom about this, Tom said he's a song writer & he changed it he wanted to, it's his song, good enough for me) He (George) called it an "old ditty" & when I asked him if he knew more he said that's all he ever knew, didn't know if there was more. George did sing it a little close to Tom's tune & Tom did difinitlty write the tune but I can't ask George about that now. George went to sea around the age of 12 or 13 some time just prior or just after WWI. He started out as a cabin boy in the Baltic Trades & ended up in the Cape Horn Trade. He quit the sea when he got married (in his late 20's) & ended his days as a master rigger, he was a great singer & player of the harmonica, concertina & alto uke. I don't know when or where George actually picked this up, he just told me it was an "old ditty". It may have been around for a good few years & someone finally put some ink to it, again, I can't ask George now, he won't answer me anymore.
Hope this helped.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: GUEST,Aulenback
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:37 AM

Ahoy folks. Less folk musician [except in kitchens and galleys] and more nautical re-enactor. I was wondering if folks here could help source the origin of the chorus - Tom Lewis has claimed to have found it cited as "traditional" in the book "Send Down a Dove" by Charles MacHardy which was first published in 1968, but... IS it "traditional?" And if so, to when? Or does it only go back to 1968?

Any help tracing it is much appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: LaMarca
Date: 02 Jun 97 - 05:38 PM

There is a novel that Tom Lewis mentioned in connection with the song. "Send Down a Dove"(the novel) is about life on board a submarine during WWII.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 May 97 - 07:12 PM

Bob Sorry that's the "Sailor's Prayer" the words are in the DT, to order from Tom this is the address; Tom Lewis Self Propelled Music PO Box 1095 Salmo, B.C. Canada. VOG 1ZO


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 31 May 97 - 06:42 PM

Yes, I'd be very interested. Thanx,

Bob S.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Homicidal dove
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 May 97 - 03:51 PM

Originally "with wings as sharp as razors" Tom Lewis took the traditional verse and used it for the chorus of the song he then wrote around itthe "Lords Prayer". Tom is an ex submariner from England (retired after 20 ? yrs.), now living in Brittish Columbiaand tours often. If you need info for buying copy from him let me know I'll check back later. Tom will be at Mystic this year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Homicidal dove
From: Bob Schwarer phidea@cris com
Date: 31 May 97 - 02:18 PM

O Lord above, send down a dove with beak as sharp as razors. To cut the throat of them there blokes, what sell bad beer to sailors.

That's the chorus. What is the rest of the song? Who performed(performs) it? Who wrote it?

Bob Schwarer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 August 12:57 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.