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Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'

DigiTrad:
MY BONNIE LIES OVER THE OCEAN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: My Bonnie (funny stuff) (36)
Lyr Req: My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth (P Schickele) (17)
(origins) Origins: My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean (76)
Lyr Req: Lord how the money rolls in (20)
My Bonnie (8)
Lyr Req: Bring Back My Bonnie (9)
Lyr Req: My bonnie (6)


GUEST,honestfrankie 10 Aug 00 - 01:32 PM
flattop 10 Aug 00 - 10:08 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 00 - 10:23 AM
flattop 11 Aug 00 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,B Lo 05 Mar 07 - 01:24 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 05 Mar 07 - 01:55 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 08 - 08:06 PM
Jim Lad 09 Jan 08 - 03:31 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Jan 08 - 12:06 AM
MarkS 23 Jan 08 - 10:08 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 08 - 10:43 PM
Bee 13 Feb 08 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Jack Braddock 29 Oct 08 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 29 Oct 08 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,JO'D 10 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM
Dave Hanson 10 Apr 09 - 10:00 AM
Peter T. 10 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,fiona 16 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Blazer 15 Nov 09 - 07:57 PM
Michael Harrison 16 Nov 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Gerry Sheridan......Dublin....lreland. 08 Jun 13 - 01:33 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Jun 13 - 05:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jun 13 - 07:26 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Jun 13 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Laura Smith 27 Nov 15 - 11:45 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Nov 15 - 02:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 15 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Dave. North Vancouver 30 Apr 16 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,DTM 30 Apr 16 - 10:49 AM
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Subject: Laura Smith
From: GUEST,honestfrankie
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 01:32 PM

Howdy Folks,

I'm just learning My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean a la Laura Smith and the best I can make one line out to be is "I have a tramps whisker that shows you still care." Does that make sense to anyone? Tramp's Whisker-a flower maybe? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: flattop
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 10:08 PM

The lyric sheet says, 'I've got a tramp's whisker that tells me you still care.' Tramp's whisker is not capitalized, but, Gulf Stream is, which makes me think that she may be refering to a real whisker. When Laura Smith talked about the song on the Peter Gwozski (sp?) show, she also talked about living on an island off Nova Scotia with a lighthouse keeper. Perhaps she is refering to one of his whiskers. The song seemed to be tied into the period that she spent on the island in the Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 10:23 AM

Hello Flattop,

Thanks for the info. It makes enough sense to me. I have to admit not having the lyric sheet as my tape of the song is a copy!!! Don't tell anyone, eh! Frankie


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: flattop
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 01:51 PM

You are welcome honestfrankie. You know that honest and frank are not the same thing? I won't tell anyone.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: GUEST,B Lo
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 01:24 AM

I heard Laura Smith play this song on national public radio. When interviewed, she explained that she played My Bonny for a friend, who was so moved, that he brought out a box. The box contained whiskers from his dead childhood dog Tramp. If memory serves, Tramp was in India.

This became part of how Laura Smith would play the song.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 01:55 AM

The lighthouse keeper, if I remember rightly, was Paul Cranford, of Cranford Publications. He's now in New Brunswick.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 08:06 PM

I've been wondering for several years about this after hearing it on WUMB-Boston and getting the CD. I had thought it was "tramp's whisper". I prefer the dog version (except the part about the fellow having the remains of his childhood dog right at hand).


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith
From: Jim Lad
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 03:31 AM

My bonnie came over the ocean
His body is covered in fleas
I'll put a tramps hair in his potion
And bury him under the trees.

Hope this clears it up for you.
I heard her in Victoria about 10 years ago.
It was a delightful concert.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 12:06 AM

Laura' Smith's web site says she calls her song MY BONNY. It's on her album "B'tween the Earth and My Soul."


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: MarkS
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 10:08 AM

I kind of remember hearing Laura play this on radio here several years ago, and kind of recall that Tramp was the name of her cat.
Could be wrong what with memory being what it is these days!


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 10:43 PM

What ever the story its the best rendition I've heard


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Bee
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 11:37 AM

I think the dog-whisker story is likely correct. I've met both Laura Smith and Paul Cranford (name-drops madly), and doesn't seem likely to me that Paul's whiskers would figure in the song.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,Jack Braddock
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 04:45 PM

A "tramps whisker" is a traditional Downeast and Maritime expression meaning "a very slight thing that, nevertheless, scratches and keeps one worrying about it." The source of this is obvious to any man with a heavy beard who doesn't shave for a couple of days... it itches, can sometimes be ignored, but always comes back to be noticed.

I believe that the stories told about the dog or cat or any of the other things were jokes... some of them told by Laura herself. No poet likes to explain her words, and her audience, originally, would have no trouble understanding the meaning of that verse... which is that she can't forget, for long, and probably, that her bonnie still cares though he's "over the ocean" which was originally a catch phrase that meant taken away to fight in a foreign war. The original Scottish folk song was NOT a children's song, but about loss and separation during war, and thus Laura's new lyrics and stirring performance brings the tinkling little children's ditty back to it's original meaning.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 07:24 PM

And then, there are other take-offs on Bonnie. I.e.,
"My Bonnie peered into the gas tank,
The height of its contents to see.
She lighted a match to assist her....
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me."


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,JO'D
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM

How about that other line: "Someone's got a kite in the wind, made in (where? Collingwood?)". Being Australian, that's the only town in Canada I could find in the atlas that sounded like what Laura sings. Help.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 10:00 AM

My Bonny lies over the ocean,
My Bonny lies over the sea,
My father lies over my mother,
And thats how they got little me. [ trad ]

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 10:46 AM

gorgeous song, beautifully done.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,fiona
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 06:17 PM

I also heard Laura Smith interviewed many years ago, either on NPR or on my first trip to Nova Scotia, and the dog story is one she definitely discussed. I was so moved by the idea that, when I had to have my beloved 18-year-old dog put down, I stayed with him until the end and then asked my vet to snip several of his whiskers for me. I have them in an envelope, and for some reason, having those few whiskers comforts me, thanks to Laura Smith. I still listen to the song. Between Laura Smith and Natalie MacMaster, Canada has produced much happiness for me in Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM

I know it was said nearly a year ago, but can anyone explain what Jack meant by 'the original Scottish folk song'?


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,Blazer
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 07:57 PM

Outstanding piece of Music!

The Lyrics....


My bonny lies over the ocean
My bonny lies over the sea
My bonny lies over the ocean
Bring back my bonny to me


The leaves haven't even started falling
Already there's such a chill in the air
Someone's got a kite on the wind mating calling
Well, I've got a tramp's whisker that tells me you still care


So bring back, bring back
Ah, bring back my bonny to me
Yeah, bring back, bring back
Ah, bring back my bonny to me



Soon there'll be no difference between the land and the water
I can walk on the ice to places I've never been
When I get as far as I can go
Oh, I'm gonna turn and throw my cares over my shoulder
Along with your memory
I'll just let it all float down the Gulf Stream


And I'll walk home singing
My bonny lies over the ocean
My bonny lies over the sea
My bonny lies over the ocean
C'mon bring back, bring back my bonny to me


Yeah, bring back, bring back
Ah, bring back my bonny to me
Yeah, bring back, bring back
Ah, bring back my bonny to me
Bring back my bonny, yeah
Bring back my bonny to me


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Michael Harrison
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 06:17 PM

O.K, this is a fine thread, but who wrote the "original" "My Bonnie."
I've always thought it was from WWII, but I don't really know. Is the song Scottish, or English,...or? Someone please come forth and carry this ignorant man through the darkness to the light! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,Gerry Sheridan......Dublin....lreland.
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 01:33 PM

Many songs, many tunes and many Ballads are with us for so long, we almost dont notice them, or take them for granted in some ways..... The traditional Scottish air and lament......My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean, has been a love song, ballad and even nursery air for many, many years........... To hear this version and interpretation by Laura Smith, reawakens or rediscovers an old song, into a new classic. Laura Smith has a gravel like depth, which defines a personal meaning to the song, not just for the singer, but more so for the listener. Songs come and many go, but this version will stay, as a tribute and recognition, of a great melody........ and a great singer........Laura Smith.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 05:31 PM

Where have we got this 'traditional Scottish air' business from? The original song 'Send Back My Barney' was written in the 1860s by an Englishman, Harry Clifton, and the student version known as 'My Bonnie' was rewritten in the 1880s as an American college song. The original air was somewhat different, rather akin to 'Colleen Dhas Crutha Namh Bo' in a minor key.

Is there some evidence that the 'My Bonnie' tune was Scottish and if so what is it called?


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jun 13 - 07:26 PM

Right, Steve. There is none. Malcolm Douglas, 19 Feb 09, thread 21476, posted much of the background.

My Bonny Lies O t O


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Jun 13 - 09:44 AM

Thanks, Q!


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonny' (lies over the ocean)
From: GUEST,Laura Smith
Date: 27 Nov 15 - 11:45 AM

A lovely fan just alerted me to this thread and yes, the story of the dog named Tramp is the truth behind the lyric...

My roommate at the time I was making "My Bonny" came in just as I got to "Someone's got a kite on the wind mating calling" and he was quite moved by what I'd written so far. A tad weepy, he asked if I'd ever seen "Tramp's whisker". I could honestly say I hadn't...

He went to his room to fetch a very ornate, wee box from India - it is where he placed "Tramp's whisker". He found the whisker on his pillow after his childhood companion, Tramp, had died.

Writing the next line was easy after being gifted with such an image and as to the meaning, for me it signifies something fleeting or even impossible to imagine...

LS


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Nov 15 - 02:31 PM

Having looked carefully back over the thread it is possible the bits of the song Laura wrote herself are to a different tune and therefore may well be related to a Scottish song.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 15 - 08:51 PM

any man with a heavy beard who doesn't shave for a couple of days i can't see how if you shave every couple of days you could have a heavy beard. Maybe a prettified goatee.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,Dave. North Vancouver
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 02:42 AM

I believe that a tramps whisker refers to a crystal set that can receive faint amplitude modulation radio signals. The 'kite' might therefore refer to an antenna that broadcasts these types of signals.


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Subject: RE: Laura Smith's 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 10:49 AM

I saw Laura sing her superb song "My Bonnie" in NS many years ago.
I also recall reading an article about that time that she said she was mainly influenced by Paul Simon, Dylan & Dick Gaughan.

BTW, many thanks Laura for posting and confirming the true meaning & source of "tramps whisker". (Refer to 4th posts up).


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