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Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land

DigiTrad:
VAN DIEMAN'S LAND
VAN DIEMANS LAND (YOUNG MEN BEWARE)


Related threads:
Folklore: Van Diemen's Land (46)
Van Diemen (not Van Dieman) (15)
Tune Req: Van Diemen's Land (from U2) (8)
Help: relation between Ireland & Van Diemen's Land (73)
Van Diemen's Land (Revisited) (1)


toadfrog 07 May 01 - 11:06 PM
Bob Bolton 08 May 01 - 08:44 AM
Tootler 28 Dec 05 - 12:02 PM
Tootler 28 Dec 05 - 12:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 10 - 03:33 PM
Lighter 07 Nov 10 - 03:53 PM
Tootler 07 Nov 10 - 04:05 PM
Tootler 07 Nov 10 - 05:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 10 - 05:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 10 - 05:45 PM
Tootler 07 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM
Tootler 07 Nov 10 - 06:26 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Nov 10 - 07:17 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Nov 10 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,max at inyomind d0t net 16 Jan 13 - 01:21 PM
Brian Peters 16 Jan 13 - 02:31 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Jan 13 - 03:09 PM
Reinhard 16 Jan 13 - 04:04 PM
Richard from Liverpool 16 Jan 13 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,Max 25 Jan 13 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Jan 13 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter 26 Jan 13 - 07:54 AM
Gibb Sahib 26 Jan 13 - 05:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Jan 13 - 06:03 PM
Reinhard 26 Jan 13 - 07:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Jan 13 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Lighter 26 Jan 13 - 08:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Jan 13 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,Frank 21 Jul 16 - 02:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: VAN DIEMEN'S LAND
From: toadfrog
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:06 PM

VAN DIEMEN'S LAND

Traditional?

You rambling lads of Liverpool, I'd have yez to take care,
When you go a-hunting with your dog, your gun, your snare!
Watch out for the gamekeeper, keep your dog at your command,
And think on all the hardships on the way to Van Diemen's land.

We had two Irish lads on board, Jimmy Murphy and Paddy Malone,
And they were both the truest friends that ever a man has known!
The gamekeeper he caught them, and from old England's strand,
They were seven years transported to plough Van Diemen's land.

We had on board a lady fair; Betty Johnson was her name,
And she was sent from Liverpool for playing of the Game.
The captain fell in love with her, and he married her out of hand,
And she gave us all good usage on the way to Van Diemen's Land.

As I lay in me bunk last night, a dreaming all alone,
I dreamed I was in Liverpool, way back in Marrowbone!
With my true love beside me and a jug of ale in hand.
I woke, quite broken hearted, lying in Van Diemen's land.

Sung by Ewan MacColl; I don't know if on a disk or not. This is sung to a tune similar to the second version on DT (and has a similar verse, not all of which I remember, about being sold and yoked to the plow). I think it sounds more genuine, and more moving. But then, who am I?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 May 01 - 08:44 AM

G'day toadfrog,

I guess it is traditional - the very fact that it isn't exactly the same as the one you remember stands it in good stead! Ewan MacColl did re-write songs for specific purposes (like the Radio Ballads), but this is pretty good example of Van Diemen's Land ... a bit off towards Ireland, rather than the English versions that seem older, but well in the tradition.

BTW: I see now what Marrowbone you asked about. That should be Marlebone - a London suburb (area? parish? ... ?) ultimately named for a church that was oiginally (~) (Ste) Marie le bon - the good (Saint) Mary. If it is an Irish version, they may have just tried to make sense of a name that was lost on them.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: VAN DIEMEN'S LAND / THE POACHERS
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:02 PM

I have recently come across this thread. I have two similar variants of the song.

The first one went under the title "The Poachers"

Come all ye gallant poachers that ramble void of care,
That walk oot on a moonlight night, with your dog, your gun and snare;
The harmless hare and pheasant you have at your command,
Not thinking on your last career upon Van Diemen's land.

'Twas poor Tom Brown from Glasgow, Jack Williams and poor Joe,
We were three daring poachers, the country well did know;
At night we were trepanned by the keepers in the sand,
And for fourteen years transported to Van Diemen's land.

The first day that we landed upon this fatal shore
The planters that came round us, full twenty score or more,
They rank'd us up like horses, and sold us out of hand,
And yok'd us to the ploughs, my boys, to plough Van Diemen's land.

The houses that we dwell in here are built of clod and clay;
With rotten straw for bedding, we dare not say them nay;
Our cots are fenced with wire, and we slumber when we can,
And we fight the wolves and tigers which infest Van Diemen's land.

There cam' a lass from sweet Dundee, Jean Stewart it was her name,
For fourteen years transported, as you may know the same.
Our captain bought her freedom, and married her off-hand,
And she gives us a' good usage here, upon Van Diemen's land.

Although the poor of Scotland do labour and do toil,
They're robbed of every blessing and produce of the soil;
Youre proud imperious landlords, if we break their command,
They'll send us to the British hulks, or to Van Diemen's land.

Tune "Star of County Down"

Source: Norman Buchan, "101 Scottish Songs", Collins Scotia Books, 1962,

Norman Buchan credits this to Ord's Bothy Ballads.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: VAN DIEMEN'S LAND (from Roy Palmer)
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:21 PM

The Second version is very similar but is based in England rather than Scotland

Come all ye gallant poachers that ramble void of care,
While walking out on a moonlight night, with your dog, your gun and snare;
With your hares and lofty pheasant you have at your command,
Not thinking on your last career upon Van Diemen's land.

It's poor Tom Brown from Nottingham, Jack Williams and poor Joe,
We were three daring poachers, the country well did know;
At night we were trepanned by the keepers hid in sand,
And for fourteen years transported to Van Diemen's land.

The first day that we landed upon this fatal shore
The planters that came round us, full twenty score or more,
They rank'd us up like horses, and sold us out of hand,
And yok'd us to the ploughs, my boys, to plough Van Diemen's land.

The cottage that we lived in was built of clod and clay;
With rotten straw for bedding, we dare not say them nay;
Our cots are fenced with fire, and we slumber when we can,
to drive away wolves and tigers which infest Van Diemen's land.

There was a poor girl from Birmingham, Susan Simmons was her name,
For fourteen years transported, you all have heard the same.
Our captain bought her freedom, and married her out of hand,
She gave to us good usage, upon Van Diemen's land.

It's oft times when I slumber I have a pleasant dream:
With my pretty girl I have been roving down by a sparkling stream;
In England I've been roving with her at my command,
But I wake broken-hearted upon Van Diemen's land.

Come all you daring poachers, give hearing to my song:
It's a bit of good advice although it is not long.
Lay aside your dogs and snares, to you I must speak plain,
For if you knew our hardships you'd never poach again.

Source: Palmer, Roy (Ed), "English Country Song Book" J M Dent & Sons, 1979

Roy Palmer does not use "The Star of County Down" as the tune, but supplies a completely different one which I have provided as an abc below

T:Van Diemen's Land
C:Traditional
S:Roy Palmer, English Country Song Book
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:C

c2|c3 B G2 E2|(F2 DC) B,2 (CD)|E2 F2 C2 B,2|C6 (CD)|
E3 F (GA) B|c3 d (cB) (GA)|B2 d2 (cB) G|G6
|:(CD)|E3 F (GA) B2|(c3 d) (cB) (GA)|B2 d2 (cB) (GA)|B3 d2|
c3 B G2 E2|F2 (DC) B,2 (CD)|E2 F2 C2 B,2|C6 :|

These variants are quite minor ones of previously listed versions, but the different tune is interesting.


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Subject: Lyr Add: VAN DIEMAN'S LAND (from Bodleian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 03:33 PM

Lyr. Add: VAN DIEMAN'S LAND
Broadsides, c, 1830-1840

Come al you gallant poachers that ramble void of care,
That walk out on moonlight nights with your dog and your gun,
The lofty hares and pheasants you have at your command,
Not thinking of your last career upon Van Dieman's Land.

Poor Tom Brown from Nottingham, Jack Williams and Poor Joe,
We are three daring poachers the country does well know,
At night we were trepann'd by the keepers in the sand,
Who for fourteen years transported us unto Van Dieman's Land.

The first day that we landed upon that fatal shore,
The planters they came round us, full twenty score or more,
They rank'd us up like horses and sold us out of hand,
They yoked us unto ploughs, my boys, to plow Van Dieman's Land.

Our cottages that we lived in were built of clods of clay,
And rotten straw for bedding and we dare not say nay,
Our cots were fenc'd with fire, we slumber when we can,
To drive away wolves and tigers, upon Van Dieman's Land.

Its often when I slumber I have a pleasant dream,
With my sweet girl a sitting down by a purling stream,
Through England I've been roaming with her at command,
Now I awaken broken hearted, upon Van Dieman's Land.

God bless our wives and families, likewise the happy shore,
That isle of sweet contentment which I shall see no more,
As for our wretched females, see them we seldom can,
There's twenty to one woman , upon Van Dieman's Land.

There was a girl from Birmingham, Susan Summers was her name,
For fourteen years transported, we all well know the same,
Our planter bought her freedom, and married her out of hand,
She gave to us good usage upon Van Dieman's Land.

So all young gallant poachers give ear unto my song,
It is a bit of good advice although it is not long,
Throw by your dogs and snares, for to you I speak plain,
For if you knew out hardships you'd never poach again.

Firth C.17 (41), Bodleian Collection, and Harding B 11(1808), among others. The earliest are c. 1830-1840.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 03:53 PM

Interesting that the female has been "playing of the game" (presumably practicing prostitution) in only one of the above texts -and that one is from Ewan MacColl.

The others don't commit themselves, but since poaching is the only crime mentioned she is most likely meant to be an accomplice of some sort.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 04:05 PM

There are thirteen versions of Van Dieman's [sic] Land in the Bodleian Broadside collection. Most of them are the same as or very close to the version posted by Q. There are one or two others that are somewhat different, one of which is similar to the version posted by the OP, though it mentions Dublin rather than Liverpool.

It is quite clear that this song found its way around the whole of the British Isles.

I have seen it suggested that the song was originally promoted by the authorities as an attempt to discourage poaching but I can't now find the article where this was suggested.


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Subject: Lyr Add: VAN DIEMAN'S LAND (from Bodleian)
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 05:17 PM

The female "playing the game" is also in one of the broadsides in the Bodleian Library at: http://tinyurl.com/39mmtxx

Reproduced below.

VAN DIEMAN'S LAND
Source: Broadside
Printed by J Harkness of Preston between 1840 & 1866

Come all you lads of learning and rambling boys beware
And when you go a-hunting, bring your dog and gun and snare.
The lofty hills and pheasants will be at your command
Think on the tedious journey going to Van Dieman's land.

There was one Brown from Galway town, Pat Martin and poor Jones
They were three loyal comrades the country well did know
Till one night they were trepanned by the keeper of the strand
And for seven years transported unto Van Dieman's Land.

Once I had a sweetheart, Jane Summers was her name
And she was sent to Dublin for the playing of a game
The captain fell in love with her and married they were out of hand
And the best of treatment she gave us going to Van Dieman's Land.

And the place that we did land, it was on a foreign shore
The negroes gathered round us about fifty thousand or more
The yoked us up like horses and they sold us out of hand
They put us to the trace, my boys, to plough Van Dieman's Land

The place that we had to lie in, it was built with sods and clay
And rotten straw to lie upon and not a word dare say
Our neighbours gathered round us saying "Slumber if you can
Think on the Turks and tigers that's in Van Dieman's Land."

One night as I lay sleeping, I dreamed a pleasant dream
I dreamed that I was in old Ireland down by a purling stream
A handsome girl beside me and she at my command
I awoke quite broken hearted, I was in Van Dieman's Land.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 05:29 PM

Additional verse in one of the broadsides-

Now if I had a thousand pounds laid dowm all in my hand,
I'd give it all for liberty, if that I could command:
And to England I'd return and be a happy man,
And bid adieu to poaching and to Van Dieman's Land.

Firth c.19(60), Bebbington printer, Manchester. C. 1850.

All have "we all well know the same" except for one that lacks the verse. All seem to have the same origin; author and first printing ?
The phrase "playing the game" probably a MacColl revision.

One version, a later rewrite, speaks of the transported men being vetted and yoked up by negroes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 05:45 PM

Oops- missed the one linked by Tootler. So MacColl did not invent it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM

Q, I was just composing a reply to your post. Not needed now.

I'm sure you'll have noticed that it is the version where the transported men were vetted and yolked by negroes. Fifty thousand of them!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 06:26 PM

Some interesting stuff here including versions as sung by Shirley Collins, Walter Pardon and Harry Cox.

The Shirley Collins one contains a variant of the "playing of the game" line:

"We had a female comrade, Sue Summers was her name,
And she was given sentence for a-selling of our game.
...."

There are also versions from the Young Tradition and Steeleye Span. Steeleye Span look to have created a composite of several versions of the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 07:17 AM

The Young Tradition sleevenote on above link says that MacColl related their tune to Banks Of Sweet Dundee. It is in fact much closer [indeed practically identical] to The Gallant Frigate Amphitryte in Penguin Bood of Folk Songs; which is also pretty much the same tune as Harry Cox used for The Painful Plough.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 07:41 AM

I should perhaps have written above "Harry Cox also used for The Painful Plough", as the version of VDL that the YT sing is in fact Harry Cox's.

When Bob Thomson & I recorded Round the North Cape Horn, Or The Ship Called Onward, from Harry on 15 Nov 1970, he asked me if I had a tune for that song. I sang him a verse of The Amphitryte, remarking that it was the same tune as his Henry Abbott The Poacher [as he called his version of VDL]; "Or The Painful Plough", Bob put in, as Harry looked a trifle puzzled. Then the conversation moved on. Bob said to me in the car later that he wasn't sure that Harry had even realised that the tunes were similar.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,max at inyomind d0t net
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 01:21 PM

Here is yet another version of this song. I have transcribed the lyrics verbatim as Ewan MacColl sings them on a recording I have. The grammatical errors are as Ewan MacColl sings them. He often uses the vernacular appropriate to the setting of the song. This is my favorite version of this song:

Now come all you wild and wicked youths, wheresoever you may be
I pray now pay attention and listen unto me
The fateful awful transports as you shall understand
And the hardships they do undergo upon Van Diemon's Land.

My parents reared me tenderly, good learning they give to me
'Til all my bad companions beguiled my home from me
I was brought up in Worcestershire, near to the Tunbridge wells
my name is Henry Abbott, and many knows me well.

Me and three more went out one night to Squire Daniel's farm
To get some game was our intent as the night come falling down
But to our sad misfortune, they took us their with speed
They sent us off to Warrick jail which made our hearts to bleed.

It was at the March assizes, at the bar we did appear
Like Job we stood with patience to hear our sentence there
And being some old offenders, it made our case go hard
Our sentence were for fourteen years, and we were sent on board.

The ship that bore us from the land, the Speedwell was her name
And for four months and a half we plowed across the raging main
No land or harbor could we see, and believe it is no lie
All around us one black water and above us one blue sky.

I oft-times look behind me towards my native shore
And that cottage of contentment that I shall see no more
Likewise my aged father, who tore his hoary hair
Also my tender mother whose arms once did me bear.

--- instrumental verse ---

It was on the fourth of July, the day we made the land
At four o'clock we went on shore, all chain and hand in hand
And to see my fellow sufferers, I fear I can't tell how
Some chained into a harrow, and some into a plow.

So we were marched into the town without no more delay
And there a gentleman took me, a beekeeper for to be
I took my occupation, my master likes me well
My joys are out of measure, I'm sure no one can tell.

He kept a female servant, Rosanna was her name
For 14 years a convict, from Worcestershire she came
We oft-times tell our life's tales there where we are so far from home
For now we're rattling over chains in foreign lands to roam.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 02:31 PM

I've just made a recording of this song, based on the version sung by Henry Burstow of Horsham in 1902, for the forthcoming CD of material from the New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.

Burstow's lyrics follow very closely the broadside pasted above by 'Q', and his tune is a particularly good one. The book also includes some interesting historical background about the possible real-life story behind the words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 03:09 PM

I also listened to MacColl's recording, from "The Real MacColl" via Spotify, and there are a few words I hear differently:

Verse 1 line 3: The fatal awful transports as you shall understand
Verse 1 line 4: The hardships they do undergo upon Van Dieman's Land.
Verse 2 line 3: I was brought up in Worcestershire, near to the town did dwell
Verse 3 line 3: But to our sad misfortune, they took us there with speed
Verse 3 line 4: They sent us off to Warwick* jail which made our hearts to bleed.
Verse 5 line 4: For around us one black water and above us one blue sky.
Verse 7 line 3: And to see our fellow sufferers, I fear I can't tell how
Verse 7 line 4: Some chained unto a harrow, and some unto a plow.
Verse 8 line 2: And there a gentleman took me, a bookkeeper for to be
Verse 9 line 3: We oft-times tell our love tales there where we are so far from home
Verse 9 line 4: For now we're rattling of our chains in foreign lands to roam.

* This is a spelling correction only; it's spelled "Warwick" but pronounced "Warrick."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Reinhard
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 04:04 PM

Harry Cox's version called "Henry the Poacher" on his Rounder anthology "What Will Become of England" has very similar verses with all your corrections too, except for

Verse 1 line 3: The fate of our poor transports, as you shall understand,

See also Henry the Poacher / Van Diemen's Land (Roud 221) on my website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 07:05 PM

The version I sing on my "A Liverpool Folk Song a Week" seems to be pretty much the version that MacColl sings, as given above - just with a different lady fair and an extra verse. The source I took it from is Hugill's Shanties of the Seven Seas, and of course we know that Hugill and Lloyd and MacColl were in communication, so they probably share the source (for those inclined, insert speculation about Lloyd's tendencies to 'adapt' here!)

Anyway, Hugill gives his source as "T.W. Jones of Liverpool".

And of course, as has already been said, there are definitely broadside prefigurations of this song, in some places word for word with just the places changed.

http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/05/7-van-diemens-land.html

According to Hugill, the last verse says "I dreamt I was in Liverpool, way back in Marybone"; Marybone is indeed a place Liverpool (L3, to be precise, now full of student accomodation). It gets a mention in a few songs (e.g. it's also in some versions of The Cruise of the Calibar).

I don't have the book to hand, but this is how Hugill's version goes if I recall correctly (or, if you're a glutton for punishment you can click the link above to hear me singing it):


Van Diemen's Land

You rambling lads of Liverpool, I'll have yiz be aware
It's when you go a-hunting with your dog, your gun and your snare
Watch out for them bold gamekeepers, boys, keep your dog at your command
And think on all them hardships going to Van Diemen's Land

We had to Irish lads on board, Micky Murphy and Paddy Malone
And they were both the truest friends that a man could ever own
But the gamekeeper, he caught them boys, and from England's old strand
They were seven years transported for to plough Van Diemen's Land

We had a lady fair on board, Bridget Riley was her name
And she was sent from Liverpool for a-playing of the game
Now the captain, he fell in love with her, and he married her out of hand
And she gave us all good usage, boys, going to Van Diemen's Land

The moment that we landed there upon that fatal shore
The planters they inspected us, some fifty score or more
Then they marched us off like cattle, and they sold us out of hand
And they put us to the yoke, me boys, for to plough Van Diemen's Land

As I lay in me bunk one night, a dreaming all alone
I dreamt I was in Liverpool, way back in Marybone
With me own true love beside me, and a jug of ale in me hand
Then awoke so brokenhearted lying on Van Diemen's Land


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 25 Jan 13 - 03:46 PM

Thanks and a tip o' the hat to JIM DIXON for those suggested lyric corrections to the Ewan MacColl version. Those I posted are "as heard" by me, from a radio show on KPFA in Berkeley around 1979. This I recorded on my 7-inch reel-to-reel Teac tape deck. And their recording was scratchy! I don't recall the name of the show (it was NOT Folkscene), but the theme of the show was "Bad Guys and Gamblers", with a sub-theme of how the bad guys in folk songs can sometimes be the good guys.

Some other songs in that genre on that tape are "Rambling, Gambling Willie" by Bob Dylan, "Pretty Boy Floyd" by Woody Guthrie, and "The Ballad of Weaverville" by Mary McCaslin. There are others but I don't recall them at the moment. Some were Child ballads I'm sure. I haven't listened to this tape in many years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Jan 13 - 08:38 PM

Richard, very nice singing!

And thanks for bringing to our attention the near identity of Hugill's and MacColl's versions, both text and tune.

As far as I know, MacColl never gave a source for that version. It seems likely then that he got it from Hugill - in the mid '50s, years before Hugill's "Shanties" was published, but not long before he and Lloyd recorded the song.

Doesn't that increase the likelihood that Lloyd and MacColl also got "Blood-Red [sic] Roses" from Hugill, rather than the other way around?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 07:54 AM

Further evidence that MacColl got it from Hugill is that it appears on an album of sea songs - though there's nothing in it about the sea!

It's even on the same side as "Blood-Red Roses." That's on "The Singing Sailor," 1956 - an album Hugill later recommended to his readers!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 05:44 PM

Lighter--

I think it quite reasonable to imagine that MacColl and/or Lloyd got some material aurally from Hugill. Actually, I think there was a song that came up, in one of my discussions on the thread(s) about their albums, that made me feel certain that MacColl did get at least one song personally from Hugill.

My feeling is that that instance or this correspondence doesn't make *me* feel it is any more likely that "Blood Red Roses" came from Hugill. One reason is that, although I admit the great possibility of MacColl interacting with and borrowing from Hugill, I also *know* (from analysis internal evidence) that Hugill borrowed from other sources plenty of times. Hugill "corrected" the versions of songs he knew with available information.

Lighter, the first of your recent posts on this doesn't make much of an argument to me. I don't see why the similarity between versions would mean that MacColl got it from Hugill and not the other way around. I guess this might be assuming that MacColl could not have gotten it from elsewhere. (?) I do understand that part of it is that Hugill names an informant (Jones of Liverpool), and that makes it as though Hugill's must be authentic and MacColl's could only be so similar through copying Hugill.

This is where my interpretation differs, and I understand if other's don't easily buy it. The vague citation of [non-seaman?] "Jones" does not mean to me that what Hugill presents as VDL is just as a Jones sang it. It seems like sometimes, like several earlier writers on shanties, Hugill had heard a song but needed a *lot* of help to remember it or to make it coherent, in which case other assumed-to-be-authentic sources were used. There was no question of plagiarizing because one would expect any version to be more or less "the song" as it was "traditionally."

This in itself is not enough to make me wonder if Hugill got it from MacColl. But then I think he shows his hand when he mentions the Singing Sailor album. Why does H feel the need to quote that? Doesn't he himself, a sailor and man of Liverpool, have enough authority to make a statement without quoting folk-singers? It is not that he is just saying "Hey, if anyone is curious what this song sounds like, you can go check out this album. It may not be entirely the real deal, but they do a pretty good job!" No, he is using it as a source to backup a point.

So while, Lighter, I think your second point about VDL appearing on a sea songs album is intriguing, Hugill's mention of "Singing Sailor" doesn't suggest to me that he influenced the songs on that album, but rather the opposite. (MacColl and Lloyd were also doing sets of "Australian" and 'convict" songs around the same time. The interest in the song may have come from the Australian interest.)

In both the case of VDL and BBR, Hugill cites "Singing Sailor" as a way of adding something by way of independent corroborating evidence to back up his experience. It doesn't sound to me like he would have given MacColl/Lloyd those songs and then disingenuously praised his students (in a way).

The reason why Hugill brings in Van Diemen's Land is to show where Banks of Newfoundland came from, in his opinion. He does this with several chanties in the book, in which case the "origin" song is something he doesn't source as rigorously (it is merely for example). He claims VDL was a forebitter, so I don't see any necessary incongruity with MacColl having it on a sea song album.

There is an important relationship between VDL and Banks of Newfoundland in how this all works out, I think. Supposedly, BON was a parody of VDL. Does this mean they were often sung to the same tune? Just what *was* the tune of BON? It varies in almost every source I have seen. And that again is different from tunes for VDL or "The Gallant Poachers." I am wondering if VDL and BON were really consistently sung to the same tune. (For example, VDL in MacKenzie's "Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia" -- again putting VDL in a context of "sea songs", and this is a text we know MacColl/Lloyd read -- has a totally different tune.)

I think it is quite plausible that MacColl saw the similarity between texts of VDL and BON and used data from BON to shape his VDL. And it may have been this *heightened* similarity that made it occur to Hugill that he should compare VDL when introducing BON. (One way to counter this point in my argument would be to find an earlier VDL example with the tune of the familiar BON.)

The matter of tunes might provide other clues. If MacColl got it from Hugill, I suppose he would have heard it sung. I think MacColl would have faithfully replicated what Hugill sang. (This, incidentally, is in contrast to some of the MacColl/Lloyd material worked up from Hugill's *book* and other print sources, where they seem to have not had the patience to read the notation accurately!) If Hugill got it from the record, he would have probably heard it pretty accurately, too, but what went down on paper would be anyone's guess. Or would it?

The fact is that MacColl's tune varies from Hugill's (book) tune. (I actually don't have the Singing Sailor rendition; I am going off an assumption from MacColl's performance HERE.) It is basically the familiar BON tune. Yet Hugill's VDL tune actually has some differences from his BON. This is where it gets really confusing.

While the gist of Hugill's VDL and BON tunes is the same, they are not identical. Now why didn't Hugill just say that VDL was sung to the same tune? Are we meant to understand that there was a bit of difference? And if they were the same (conceptually), but for some reason Hugill felt the need to notate a tune for both sets of words, why then are these tunes actually different? Was the writer too incompetent to just write the same tune out? Hmm, well, he was incompetent to a degree. (I said this is where it gets confusing!) The tune for VDL is completely screwed up in that somewhere it changes to another key in the middle of the song. This leaves me wondering if other, seemingly important differences (reading through the lines of the key-change screw-up) from the BON tune were real or just a notational screw-up.

All I can say for sure is that:
1) Hugill's *written* tunes for VDL and BON are not the same.
2) MacColl on VDL is not singing Hugill's written tune for VDL; MacColl is singing BON.
3) Incidentally, Richard (above) is not singing Hugill's VDL tune, either.

Possible scenarios include:
1) Hugill sang VDL with book tune to MacColl and MacColl then changed it to be more like BON;
2) Hugill sang VDL with BON tune to MacColl, MacColl followed that tune (BON), but Hugill went on to screw up the notation of VDL (even though he had BON right next to it);
3) Hugill got VDL from MacColl's record. His BON was obtained separately, and the processing of noting it was different (I have also suspected that the notator, Hugill's brother, sometime's got "help" on notations from prior published works, since Hugill's singing was no doubt sometimes variable or shaky.) But in the attempt to write down VDL, mistakes were made.

There are too many questions. Blood Red Roses presents its own questions. yet in that case I believe the influence of Doerflinger's book and the likelihood of Lloyd's creative hand were strong enough to make that a case to be considered independently.

In all, if Hugill gave VDL to MacColl, that makes me feel it is more likely that they had an interaction (confirming prior suspicions), but not necessarily more likely that the case of BBR was Hugill > Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 06:03 PM

Just re-read my post. I made a statement that didn't make sense:

"He [Hugill] claims VDL was a forebitter, so I don't see any necessary incongruity with MacColl having it on a sea song album."

Scratch that!

I wonder: Why would MacColl have sung VDL on "The Singing Sailor" and not BON? It seems to me an odd song to have gotten from Hugill. Out of all his repertoire, why would Hugill have sung that, at that time (and not kept it in his repertoire later)?

I'd conjecture that VDL was pulled in along with MacColl's other diverse interests.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Reinhard
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 07:09 PM

MacColl did sing Banks of Newfoundland a short time after he recorded "The Singing Sailor", in 1957 on "Blow Boys Blow". His lyrics have some other verses than Hugill has, see The Banks of Newfoundland (2).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for inspiring me to keep following the BON thread, Reinhard.

Colcord's book came to mind — another book that we *know* MacColl used as a source for sailor songs.

Colcord actually introduces BON with the text from VDL. So she did that move before Hugill did, and she established it as a sea song. Further, although she gives a tune to BON, she gives none for VDL.

This leads me to think that MacColl saw the VDL text in Colcord and matched it to the tune of BON on the next page. In fact, MacColl's later BON does follow quite closely the version of BON in Colcord.

I am thinking that MacColl worked up a rendition of VDL by taking the BON tune from Colcord and *also* blending some of the lyrics from Colcord's BON into it. The last verse of his VDL, in particular, corresponds to a verse in BON in a way that seems too similar to have been an accident IMO.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 08:32 PM

Gibb, surely Hugill learned the song from Jones, as he states. There's no reason to suspect otherwise.

If he later altered it under MacColl's influence, he had no reason not to credit him in SSS: he was evidently quite generous with credit. My guess is that the borrowing went in just one direction: Hugill was the teacher, Lloyd & MacColl were the students. (You may remember that M's singing of "Stormalong John" has Hugillian-sounding features that he presumably could not have learned from any shanty book available in 1956.)

I disagree that Colcord had "established" VDL as a sea song. She simply printed it as the source of "BON." I'm not sure I;d say that Hugill "dropped" VDL from hos repertoire, either, since his "repertoire" was made up of the relatively small number of songs that he liked to sing at festivals. Maybe VDL just didn't go over very well, or maybe he just got tired of it. (He didn't sing "BON" either, IIRC.) And his recordings are overwhelmingly of shanties, not forebitters.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 10:32 PM

Thanks! -- 'Stormalong" was the song I couldn't remember but had in mind when I said I believed MacColl learned at least one song from Hugill directly.

Yet as I said, that does not lead me to assume the case of VDL was the same.

I think it more likely that MacColl developed his VDL from Colcord. Whether "established" is the right word or not, VDL was in both Colcord and MacKenzie's books of sea songs and that alone, IMO, is enough to explain why MacColl would include it on an album of sea songs.

MacColl is singing Colcord's tune of BON (a song he also likely used Colcord as a source for). His text on VDL is plausibly developed from the texts of VDL and BON in Colcord. In my prior attempt to derive the sources of "The Singing Sailor", I found that most of the songs were developed from Colcord and Doerflinger. "Stormalong" came later.

I think Hugill *did* credit MacColl, obliquely, by mentioning "The Singing Sailor." That was as much credit as a lay "Revival" singer was going to get. IIRC (?), Hugill doesn't even bother to credit MacColl when he praises "Singing Sailor" earlier in SfSS.

I don't think that Hugill did not hear Jones hear the song, but I am forced to conclude, on the weight of the other factors, that this was a case where Hugill drew upon another rendition to refresh his memory. It may be that the tune Hugill gives for VDL, which strictly speaking is different from MacColl's tune, was what he had from Jones. Sharp and Terry, for example, also followed a practice of crediting the individual who contributed the tune they present all while combining lyrics from other sources.

In my analysis of "Lowlands," for example, I concluded that Hugill's melody for that chanty was quite possibly influenced by revival singer Stan Kelly's 1958 recording (both of those melodies being suspiciously the same, yet matching none of the other versions documented earlier). I think Hugill was influenced by recorded versions of songs, which, due to the nature of the concept of Folk music, did not necessarily pose any issue of authenticity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Van Diemen's Land
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 21 Jul 16 - 02:41 PM

Here's an Irish version as sung by Barbara Dickson - chords included:

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/b/barbara_dickson/van_diemens_land_crd.htm


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