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Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab

DigiTrad:
OLD SHE-CRAB
THE CRAYFISH


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Mr Radalum? / Raddle-um / Crabfish etc. (16)
Lyr Add: Old She-Crab (11)
Lyr Req: Lobster song (aka crabfish, crayfish etc) (16)
Lyr Req: Crab Song (15)


Bruce O. 28 Jan 98 - 06:05 PM
Susan of DT 28 Jan 98 - 06:56 PM
Bruce O. 28 Jan 98 - 07:18 PM
Susan of DT 28 Jan 98 - 09:20 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 98 - 04:00 AM
Bruce O. 29 Jan 98 - 11:18 AM
Bruce O. 29 Jan 98 - 12:09 PM
Susan of DT 29 Jan 98 - 08:54 PM
Bruce O. 29 Jan 98 - 09:07 PM
Bruce O. 29 Jan 98 - 10:44 PM
Susan of DT 30 Jan 98 - 08:38 PM
Bruce O. 01 Feb 98 - 11:50 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: COMBAT BETWEEN AN ALE-WIFE AND A..
From: Bruce O.
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 06:05 PM

A Combat Between an Ale-Wife and a Sea Crab.

Tune, 'Gentleman's Frolic'

I pray now attend to this ditty
Which I here in brief will unfold,
You'll find it is wonderous pritty,
And true too as ever was told.

There was a young beautiful woman
In the town of Dublin does dwell,
And as it is frequent and common
A cup of good ale she did sell.

Her husband being a saylor
Young seamen the house did frequent
Who never in kindness would fail her
Because she did give them content.

A seaman went to the salt water
And there he did straitway contrive
To catch a sea crab, which he brought her,
It being both large and alive.

This delicate sea crab now being
The largest that ever was known,
Her husband and she strait agreeing
That they wou'd not eat it alone.

And therefore their friends they invited
To taste of their delicate cheer
Who was (I must tell you) afrighted
When they a sad outcry did hear.

The goodwife said to her maid Dolly
'Come hither, thou dragletail'd drab,
This night we'll be merry and jolly
And therfore go boyl the sea crab.'

Now Dolly did presently take it
And she being busie, poor soul,
Immediately then did forsake it
And laid it in a wooden bowl.

The maid then was call'd by her master
To know when the crab would be drest;
There meanwhile fell out a disaster
Which is the whole cream of the jest.

The mistress immediately after
When where the poor crabfish did stand;
Having a great need to make water
She took the same bowl in her hand.

Her flood-gates were open and running
As if it had been a full tide;
The sea crab as if then a-sunning
Immediately turned on one side.

Now as the warm water was working
The sea crab did struggle the more
And caught her fast by her merking [-merken, privy hair
At which she did bitterly roar.

Now Dolly a flagon was filling
When her dame received this wound,
Who roar'd out like one that was killing
And frighted the neighbours all round.

As soon as the seamen did hear her,
Good lack, they came running with speed,
But she would let no one come near her
But her loving husband indeed.

The old man he loved her dearly,
He pittied her case, never doubt,
And that he might see the more clearly
He pull'd his best spectacles out.

And Dolly did then hold the candle,
Mean while up her clothes he did peep;
But O, how the sea crab did handle
Her husband and cause him to weep.

His wife's sad misfortune he pity'd
And kept his head under her cloaths;
At length by the sea crab he was fitted,
Who took him fast by the nose.

And thus they were coupl'd together
That night for an hour or two;
Said they, 'Call the neighbours in hither,
This pain we can never go thro'.

The sea crab lay griping and goring
And with his claws held them both fast
And there they stood crying and roaring,
The neighbours came all in at last.

The maiden she there held the candle
While the neighbours the claws did unfix
And now they are resolved to handle
This crab for his impudent tricks.

The Tryal and Condemnation of the Sea Crab.

The crab that had caus'd this confusion
And did their choice supper prevent,
The old woman said in conclusion [young before crab attack

Deserved most just punishment.

It was but according to reason--
Since he had done this with his claw--
That night he should lye in a prison
And suffer according to law.

Next morning a court was erected
And old Mother Widgeon was there
Whom all the people respected:
She sat in the principle chair.

The old woman spoke in a fury
In order to punish this deed,
'I'd have you impannel a jury
That we may to justice proceed.

The crab being brought to his tryal
And held up his claw to the bar,
His charge being read by the loyal
Concerning a wound and a scar.

A scar he had given the woman
And wounded the nose of the man,
'These crimes they are very uncommon,
Make the best defence you can.'

The old women's tongues they run nimble
And streight for a verdict did call,
The sea crab did stand there and tremble
And made them no answer at all.

The jury came to Mother Widgeon
And brought in their verdict at last,
And guilty he was, they alledging,
And thus the poor sea crab was cast.

But ho, the vast court of old women
At first was not all of a mind
For some was for pulling and limbing
And other for beating him blind.

Because he presum'd to peep under
And fasten his claw on the place
And catch'd the man's nose to a wonder
Creating shame and disgrace.

They in their judgement was confounded
But yet at the length they agree,
Which was: that the crab should be drownded--
And streight he was thrown into the sea.

[from Hugh Shields' 'Old Dublin Songs', 1988. Shields suggest also a related tune "Moll Roe".

X:1
T:The Gentleman's Frolic (The Rant)
L:1/8
M:9/8
K:G
GAG GFE FED|GFG AGA B2c|ded dBG AFD|EFG AFD G2|]

X:2
T:Untitled - (Moll Roe in the Morning)
N:A. Bland's score for 'The Poor Soldier', 1783
N:excess (chorus part) omitted
L:1/8
M:9/8
K:E
B|e e e f g e d c B|e e e f d B B2 .a|g f e f g e d c B|\
c A c B G E E2|]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 06:56 PM

See also 'The crayfish" (or search for "craypot"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Bruce O.
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 07:18 PM

The two versions in DT don't have tunes. Want some? I think I have two or three and I have Richard Dyer-Bennett's recording of an Americn version on his '1601', and Arthur Ago's on 'A Wee Thread of the Blue'. [However I don't have the tallent to note tunes from songs]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 09:20 PM

Of course we want tunes. Thanx, Bruce.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 04:00 AM

That's quite a song, Bruce. I really got a kick out of it. Tell me - how long does it take to sing it?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 11:18 AM

Joe, this extended version came from a chapbook, and I don't know if anyone ever sang it. For the earliest copy, c 1630-45 look for it in 'Bishop Percy's Folio MS: Loose and Humerous Songs' p. 99, "It was a man of Africa had a ffaire wiffe." Dyer-Bennett', (crab) called it a Connecticutt fishermans song. Arthur Argo's Scots version has it as a lobster. See Sea Crab in Ed Cray's 'The Erotic Muse' and an American version in Randoplh-Legman's 'Roll Me In Your Arms'.


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Subject: Tune Add: THE CRAB FISH and THE OLD SEA-CRAB
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 12:09 PM

First is probably the tune (with full text) in Maud Karples' 'Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folksongs', 1974. I've seen that but don't have it, or a xerox of the song and tune. In the second below the last two measures are for a whistled (no words) chorus.

Susan, are you going to mini-fest this Sat? I could make a cassette of my recorded versions and give it to you.


X:1
T:THE CRAB FISH
N:JFSS 6, p. 28, 1905
N:Collected by Cecil Sharp at Langport,br> N:from Mrs. Overd, Aug. 15, 1904.
N:4 verses given (very incomplete)
L:1/8
M:C
K:C
G2|G G G G c2 c c|G G G Gc2 c c|_B2G GA2F F|_B2A2G2||_B, C|D2_B,2C2C2|C C C C _B2A A|G2C2D2_B,2|C C F E C2|]

X:2
T:THE OLD SEA-CRAB
N:Randolph-Legman's 'Roll Me In Your Arms'
N:#8, 1992. Ten verses.
L:1/8
M:2/4
K:Bb
BB/2B/2 d/2d/2d/2d/2|c/2c/2c/2c/2 B2|f3d/2e/2|fg f2|dd/2d/2 d/2f/2f/2f/2|g/2f/2f/2f/2 fd|fd/2d/2 cB|dB/2B/2 (GF)|B3F/2F/2|GBB2|]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 08:54 PM

Bruce - yes, we are thinking about coming down, but that is not firm. What is our other lobster in the chamber pot song? I knew we had two and it is hidden so well even I can't find it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 09:07 PM

DT files CRAYPOT and SHECRAB.

When is best to download Oct. 97 database files? I've tried to down load disk version, and twice I got disconnected shortly before finishing the 1st disk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 10:44 PM

Tape cassette is made and checked. If you don't make it Saturday, I'll send it along by mail, but I've had two tapes disappear that way. Are you still at 415 .... 08505? (old card from Dick)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Susan of DT
Date: 30 Jan 98 - 08:38 PM

Bruce, we will bring you a set of disks. I moved after that address, but Dick is the one who can listen to a tape and transcribe it: I can't. So if you don't see us, send it to him. Max would be the one to know about traffic on the site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab
From: Bruce O.
Date: 01 Feb 98 - 11:50 AM

Thanks, I didn't see the above before I met you and you gave me the disks, and I was surprised (and grateful).


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