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Songs of Animal Mariners?

Charley Noble 28 May 01 - 08:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 May 01 - 09:05 PM
toadfrog 28 May 01 - 11:19 PM
Crazy Eddie 29 May 01 - 06:32 AM
Charley Noble 29 May 01 - 08:57 AM
LR Mole 29 May 01 - 11:26 AM
Mrrzy 29 May 01 - 12:48 PM
mousethief 29 May 01 - 01:37 PM
Les from Hull 30 May 01 - 05:32 AM
Charley Noble 30 May 01 - 08:18 AM
Jacob B 30 May 01 - 09:42 AM
Charley Noble 30 May 01 - 11:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 May 01 - 04:47 PM
Charley Noble 30 May 01 - 04:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 May 01 - 06:25 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 01 - 08:36 AM
Charley Noble 31 May 01 - 03:35 PM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RODENT MARINERS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 May 01 - 08:53 PM

I'm looking for unusual songs about animal mariners. Yes, I'm familiar with "The Owl & the Pussycat" and "Poor Old Horse. Our sea songs group Roll & Go does a number of programs with children and animal songs with nautical themes seem to go over well.

Here's an example of one you don't know from my favorite underutilized songbook SAILOR WITH BANJO:

THE RODENT MARINERS
(By Hamish MacLaren, Sailor with Banjo, © 1930 Adapted by Charlie Ipcar Tune adapted from: Blow the Candle Out)

Dm Am Dm
We are the rodent ma-ri-ne-ers,
Am/Dm Am
As nobody needs be told,
Dm Am Dm
For there's no mis-taking our nau-ti-cal airs,
Am/Dm Am Dm
Our rolling eyes so bold;
Dm Am
There's never a ship leaves English ground,
Dm Am
From Liverpool Docks to Plymouth Sound,
Dm Am Dm
For Frisco Bay or Bombay bound,
Am Dm
But we have free run of her hold!


We march aboard in companies,
All in the dead of night,
Over the hawsers from the quays
In the shadow of the watch lamplight;
Each roving rat his ship will choose,
From nose to nose we pass the news
Of cargoes, destination, crews,
And none can us affright.

Each roving rat his ship will choose,
From nose to nose we pass the news
Of cargoes, destination, crews,
And none can us affright.

We'll eat like kings once we set sail,
Each vessel leaving land,
A wandering larder which entails
A feast on every hand;
Maize, apples, salmon, barley, rice,
Nutmegs, olives, South Sea spice,
Meats and India merchandise,
And all at our command!

We know the ports of all the world
All warehouses, all quays,
All islets coral-ringed and pearled,
The Blue Hesperides;
And men may search until they die,
And men may blow great fleets sky-high –
But rats alone can hold for aye
The Freedom of the Seas!

And men may search until they die,
And men may blow great fleets sky-high –
But rats alone can hold for aye
The Freedom of the Seas!

Chords will float wherever they please...


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 May 01 - 09:05 PM

There's the poor ould dog that gets drowned in the Irish Rover. Perhaps he was called Rover at that...


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: toadfrog
Date: 28 May 01 - 11:19 PM

Blow ye winds westerly Click here) is about fish (which are animals), and should be a real good sea song for kids.


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 29 May 01 - 06:32 AM

Not about animals, but nautical, & should go down well with Kids "The Jumblies" by Edward Lear (who also wrote the Owl & the Pussycat).
I only remember the chorus lines:
"Their heads were green, & their hands were blue,
And they went to sea in a sieve."
Oh, and for provisions they had "several bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree, and no end of stilton cheese"
Whether they had any flavoured yeast extract is not recorded.


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 May 01 - 08:57 AM

Perhaps, it's better to discourage traditional sea animal songs having to do with fishes, squids, lobsters, she-crabs, clams, seals, whales, dolphine, and porpoises. I'm really looking for the land-based animals going to sea, the pigs, the chickens, the sheep, llamas...Last night I couldn't help making a mental list of the ones I already know such as the Noah's Ark version of "A Long Time Ago" – extra points for traditional shanties/chanteys/chianties such as that.

"Jumblies" certainly would go well. The "Irish Rover" doesn't really focus on the dog as a major character. Now "A Cowardly Act" certainly does, that outrageous song about the cow who sinks a Japenese fishing trawler.

Please keep trying!


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: LR Mole
Date: 29 May 01 - 11:26 AM

It shouldn't be hard to work up an "O, poor old Reuben Clamzo", along Arlo's model, and keep it going with couplets untill you all fall down.


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 May 01 - 12:48 PM

There's a song at the end of The Island of the Skog (in which little mice sail away, to avoid The Butcher's Cat and other horrors, and find a little island where the only living thing is a Skog). After the adventure of their getting to know one another, they sing something about Friends Forever, Skog and Mice. I'll try to remember it for you...

(something something) Keep our kitchens stocked with cheese / Save our pelts from lice and fleas / Save our pelts from fleas and lice / Shout it once, shout it twice / Friends forever, Skog and Mice.


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: mousethief
Date: 29 May 01 - 01:37 PM

Surely there must be some songs in the Redwall series of books (by Brian Jacques) about animals going to sea -- they are constantly doing so. He never gives tunes but he's got a good ear and most of the poems can be easily set to familiar tunes. Mine are all at home, or I'd post one.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 May 01 - 05:32 AM

Noah's Ark Shanty?


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOAH'S ARK SHANTY^^^
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 May 01 - 08:18 AM

Hi, Les. "The Noah's Ark Shanty" is the one I was refering to above as "A Long Time Ago" which is certainly a fine example of what I'm looking for, and can be found here as pasted in from the DT; always wondered why there were "three ships" and it would make more sense if the bull stuck his "horn" through the side of the ship.

NOAH'S ARK SHANTY

In Frisco Bay there were three ships
To me way, hay, hay-oh
In Frisco Bay there were three ships
A long time ago

And one of them was Noah's old ark
All covered all o'er wi' hickory bark

They took two animals of every kind (2x)

The bull and the cow they started for t' row (2x)

Then said old Noah with a flick of his whip
"Come stop this row or I'll scuttle the ship"

But the bull struck his arm through the side of the ark
And the little black dog he started fer t' bark

So Noah took the dog, shoved his nose up the hole
And ever since then dogs' nose has been cold.

It's a long long time and a very long time
A long long time and a very long time

---------------------------------------------------------------------
recorded by Swan Arcade on "Voices. Traditional English Songs" (1991)

"(This shanty) is interesting because (a) as an aetiological work song it is probably unique in the English Tradition (and) (b) it was collected by the greatest of the folk song collectors, Cecil Sharp on the 3rd June, 1914 from Capt. Hole, of Watchet, Somerset (the famous Watchet sailor!)"
- Paul Adams

Please keep digging!


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Jacob B
Date: 30 May 01 - 09:42 AM

There's the Hartlepool Monkey. Here's a link to a thread about it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HARTLEPOOL MONKEY
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 May 01 - 11:29 AM

Well, Jacob, I've never heard that one before. I'm pasting in the version by the author from the thread above:

THE HARTLEPOOL MONKEY
(By Alan Wilkinson ©)

Well, it happened up in Hartlepool, about the time that France,
And the Emperor Napoleon were leading us a dance,
The Froggies took the crew of a British man of war,
But the captain's pet monkey got washed up on the shore.

Chorus: Old folks, young folks, everyone and each,
Come and see the Frenchie who's landed on the beach,
He's got long arms, a great long tail, he's covered all in hair,
We think that he's a spy so we'll hang him in the square.

The Lord Mayor of Hartlepool was walking on the shore,
When he came upon a funny sight, he'd never seen before,
A hairy little man was sitting in the sand,
Holding a banana in his hairy little hand. (CHO)

The Mayor he went to tell the Clerk, the clerk ran to the shore,
And there they found the little man, where he had been before.
The crowd that gathered round him thought he was the finest sight,
Since the fire at the timber yard the previous Friday night.(CHO)

Constable Parsons, hurried to the scene,
Took out his notebook and licked his pencil clean.
He said 'Causing a disturbance is a serious offence,
And everything you say will be used in evidence'.(CHO)

When the monkey answered, a funny thing occurred
Constable Parsons couldn't understand a word.
The reason for his puzzlement the Clerk could plainly see,
"This little man's a foreigner from far across the sea."(CHO)

The little man's a spy, the angry crowd did roar,
Sent over by Napoleon to invade our native shore.
They grabbed the little fellow by his long and hairy tail,
And handed him to Parsons, who hoyed him into jail.(CHO)

The little man was tried, and found to be a spy,
The judge put on his little black cap and told him, "You must die".
When he heard the verdict, he didn't turn a hair -
He was peeling a banana, and he didn't seem to care.(CHO)

So they hung the monkey from the gallows in the town,
With a rope around his neck, and his tail hanging down,
As a warning to Napoleon to make himself a rule,
Not to send his little hairy spies to old Hartlepool.(CHO)

The Fettlers made a recording of it nearer the time, which will probably have an even more "authentic" version of the words. I think it was included in an album called, "Ring of Iron"

My current potted life story is on my website - along with a sample of my paintings (I am now an artist). I'd be delighted if your readers were to visit it at:

Alan Wilkinson


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 May 01 - 04:47 PM

Can't add to any of the songs but I heard the following conversation while two people were doing a crossword puzzle -

"Aquatic Mammel. 5 and 3?"

Pause for thought

"Ships cat!"

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 May 01 - 04:55 PM

Dave – there is a long children's book poem by that name – THE SHIP'S CAT.


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 May 01 - 06:25 PM

Yup, the poor ould dog only make his presence felt just before he gets wiped out. But it's the grand climax of the song - and his death is much more of an event than that of the rest of the crew.

Similarly, in The Rocky Road to Dublin the pigs on the boat only come in in passing so to speak - but it's a lively image which might appeal to kids:

Down among the pigs
I played some funny rigs
Danceed some hearty jigs,
the water round me bubbling

And there's also the Good Ship Kangaroo, which doesn't have an actual Kangaroo in it, but:

I brought tortoises from Teneriffe and toys from Timbuctoo
A china rat, a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo.


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Subject: Lyr.Add: HEN OVERBOARD
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 01 - 08:36 AM

I like the idea of working with the "Good Ship Kangaroo", as with "Rodent Mariner" there's all those reference to the exotic stuff one can get as one travels the world. Thanks for the reminder, McGrath.

Here's another poem/song I've been working on which does feature one of the hens blowing overboard from a Yankee clipper in the Indonesian straits; it has a happy ending but I'm sorely tempted to do something wicked. Coffin was a well-known Maine poet and writer, from generations of Downeast seafarers:

HEN OVERBOARD
(By P. Tristam Coffin © cica 1930 Collected Poems Adapted by Charlie Ipcar in 1998; working tune?)

Dm Am
"All hands on deck!" came the cry,
Dm Am
From Capt. Cobb as white as chalk,
Dm Am
He spun the wheel in his broad hands,
Dm Am Dm
"I've lost me wife's best Plymouth Rock!"


The vast white bellied sails went flat,
A hundred blocks began to whine,
The yards swung round to catch the wind,
As round-eyed sailors hauled the lines.

"She was brought from her setting-eggs
To sun upon the after-hatch,
The wind caught her, now look alive,
Or God knows what I'm gonna catch!"

Under Java's sky-high peaks,
In the Strait of Sunda's foam,
The prim New England biddy-hen
Squawked for help, and longed for home.

She knew this was a Godless place,
She'd seen the wicked sharks at play,
She thought she'd never see her home
Twelve thousand watery miles away.

The Yankee ship then swooped down,
The davits screamed, down went the boat,
They manned their oars and Capt. Cobb
Found Plymouth Rock was still afloat.

He tucked her in his best frock coat,
He soothed her woes as best he could,
Home he brought her to her nest,
New England, God, and motherhood.

The above chords will be where they will be...


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:35 PM

Three times around and refresh!


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Subject: RE: Songs of Animal Mariners?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

Then there's the saga about the burning and sinking of the steamer Royal Tar on October 25, 1836, in Penobscot Bay on the coast of Maine with a traveling circus aboard. The saga is called "The Fate of the Royal Tar", composed by Wilbert Snow, and goes on for three pages.


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