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Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale

HuwG 10 Apr 02 - 09:08 AM
Nigel Parsons 11 Apr 02 - 07:02 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 02 - 07:09 AM
HuwG 11 Apr 02 - 09:05 AM
Reiver 2 21 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM
ClaireBear 21 Apr 08 - 06:50 PM
ClaireBear 22 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM
Reiver 2 22 Apr 08 - 03:45 PM
ClaireBear 22 Apr 08 - 04:12 PM
ClaireBear 22 Apr 08 - 04:50 PM
Reiver 2 22 Apr 08 - 04:56 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 08 - 07:46 AM
Snuffy 24 Apr 08 - 09:53 AM
ClaireBear 24 Apr 08 - 02:23 PM
Newport Boy 24 Apr 08 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Joel Piacentini 21 Nov 11 - 07:53 AM
Nigel Parsons 21 Nov 11 - 09:01 AM
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Subject: Grangetown Whale
From: HuwG
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:08 AM

Grangetown is in South-west Cardiff (sorry, Caerdydd), in Wales (UK).

I heard this tune as a student in a pub in Cardiff (The Halfway, on Cathedral Road) 25 years ago; I believe I also heard it once on "Down your Way", on Radio 4.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 07:02 AM

Song by Frank Hennessey. Can't find on net., but still trying.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 07:09 AM

Hi! Grangetown is also near Middlesbrough, and there is another near Sunderland I think.

The one in Teesside used to be a nice friendly place.

I'd underline if I knew how to do it.

BS


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: HuwG
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 09:05 AM

Underline which part, I wonder ? The one in Teesside, or it used to be a nice place ?

One of the permi-threads at the top of the Forum gives good help with regard to HTML. Personally, I cheat; whenever I get a tasty-looking web page document, I save it as a file, and have a rummage around it later with FrontPage (or even humble WordPad, if you know the string you are looking for) for later cut-and-pasting.

Another convention, especially on newsgroups where inclusion of HTML is frowned upon, is to surround the significant word or phrase with *asterisks*, or (more rarely) !screamers!

Thanks, Nigel Parsons, for that snippet, and to all for their efforts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Reiver 2
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM

I'm also looking for the lyrics to The Grangetown Whale. I'm also searching for the facts about the story behind it. I have the song on the most recent CD , "Tethered to the Foam," by Oceans Apart. My information is that it was written by Frank Hennessee. I emailed him several weeks ago asking about the event that the song commemorates, but have not had a reply. (Frank, if you see this post, I hope you'll respond.)

Here's what I THINK I know about it (how much is true, I'm not sure): Chapter 1: A dead whale was washed ashore somewhere on the coast of Wales. Some enterprising folk loaded it onto a truck of some kind and began exhibiting it around the area. After awhile the fragrance of the decaying carcass became such a problem that it was mercifully buried near the Cardiff suburb of Grangetown. Chapter 2: Sometime after the foregoing event, there was a major flood that inundated much of the area and Grangetown was among the areas hardest hit. (I have a vague notion that the flood was around the Christmas season of 1879?) The carcass of the Grangetown Whale was unearthed by the flood, but what happened to it after that I have no idea. Frank Hennessee was apparently inspired to write the tongue-in-cheek account of the adventurous voyage by several men in a small rowboat around and about the flooded streets (and other places including Cape Horn!) in search of "the mighty Grangetown whale."

I have no idea how much of the above (if any) is the real story. So if anyone can help me by recounting the actual details that lead to the song, I'd be VERY appreciative! And, ditto, if someone could also post the lyrics as well.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: ClaireBear
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 06:50 PM

Good news! I've found a CD that has the song on it -- and as a bonus, the full song is playable over the Internet:


Oceans Apart -- Tethered to the Foam

Scroll down or click down to the Tethered to the Foam CD and then click on "Listen to the CD." It even lets you go directly to the song.

I'm listening to it as I type -- fun! I might have have to steal it.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 12:50 PM

Refreshing, as Reiver 2 does not appear to noticed that the song has been unearthed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Reiver 2
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 03:45 PM

Glad you enjoy the song ClairBear. I'm not sure what you mean when you say I appear not to know that the song has been unearthed (though I appreciate the pun -- that both the whale and the song were "unearthed").

I first heard the song as it was sung by my good friends Steve Colby and John Good, who form the fine Celtic group Oceans Apart, and I have their CD "Tethered to the Foam." John was born and grew up not far from Cardiff (or, for HuwG, Caerdydd) and he actually sent me the lyrics some time ago. Sad to say, I've carelessly lost them. I could ask John again to send them to me and try to swallow my embarrassment but hoped to avoid that. I should add that while I can make out many of the lyrics, there are a few words that I'm not sure about, especially some of the Grangetown/Cardiff place names that are mentioned.

BUT, even John was not sure about the details of the the momentous event that caused Frank Hennessey to write the song, and that is what I'm most interested in. In fact, the reasons I'm trying to unearth (sorry!) the story are twofold: 1) to pass the story on to John and Steve so that they can enlighten audiences about the events when they perform the song live (I think familiarity with the events would increase audience enjoyment of the song); 2) For my own edification (I like to know what I'm singing about). Anyway, 'Catters have never failed me before when I've raised questions on the Forum, so I'm confident that the information will turn up here at some point.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:12 PM

Ah, so that's what you're after. Well, then, here's a small snippet from http://www.anecdotalcity.com/web/alive_philbabot2.html

"Phil Babot came to Cardiff to study. He first lived in Roath and then moved to Windsor Esplanade In the Docks."

"There is also of course the Grangetown Whale story celebrated in the famous Frank Hennessey song of the same title. Funnily enough I was listening to John Peel's morning programme a couple of months ago and there was this story of a travelling whale which would have fitted in at roughly the same time as the Grangetown whale. Legend has it that it could have come from as long ago as the 1940's through to the 1970's. I am presuming it is the same whale otherwise it would be too much of a coincidence. This whale started out as a sideshow in a circus, whether it was ever alive I don't know but it was certainly exhibited dead because it was in formaldehyde. Rumours are the whale ended up in Cardiff on exhibition arriving on the back of a flat bed truck and pickled. Story goes that by the time it reached Cardiff it was so manky that they decided to bury it in Grangetown. The last tracking of the whale was in Cardiff. Some people have suggested it was buried on the rec off Ferry Road, because there is not much open land in Grangetown."

from another page on the same site (http://www.anecdotalcity.com/web/pay_eileenbreslin15.html):

"Eileen Breslin has lived in Grangetown all her life and is a member of Grangetown History Society."

"It wasn't so much a circus it was a Whale that they had caught and they were taking it around the country on exhibition, my daughter is 31 now and I think she must have been about 10 or 11 and I think you had to pay to get in. It was under tarpaulin on the back of one of these big transporter lorries. They had rolled up one of the sides of this lorry and you could see this whale. He was massive he was, huge, well the size of the lorry. On the ceiling there was a mirror so you could look at the blowhole. I am glad I took the kids it is something I have seen and now I have actually seen a whale."

Have you tried contacting the above-mentioned history society?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:50 PM

Reiver 2, a more conventional approach to getting the lyrics you need might have been to point people to the Oceans Apart site yourself, and ask if someone here could decipher the lyrics that you can't understand.

While you are at it, you might type out what you can get and then ask others to fill in the blanks.

Good luck with your quest!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Reiver 2
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:56 PM

Many, many thanks, ClaireBear!! I will look up the anecdotalcity site as soon as I finish this post!! I THINK that site was where I originally found the story, but forgot the site name and have been unable to find it again!! (Until now, thanks to you!) I've googled and googled for Grangetown Whale without being alerted to that site. (So Google is not perfect after all!) I emailed the Grangetown city information bureau (Can't remember offhand the exact name and don't want to take the time to look it up) but they were very vague about the whole thing. I'm still not sure where I heard that the flood occurred about Christmas time, and I had a vague notion about the year 1879, but that may be 'way off base. (The 1940s sounds more likely except for the war going on then, so maybe it was 1970-something that I buried in the dustbin of my mind. Hopefully, Frank Hennessee may see some of these posts and clear away the fog. I suspect that only he may have all the answers.

Anyway, thanks muchly for the anecdotalcity site, ClairBear. I'm going there now.

Reiver 2


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANGETOWN WHALE (Frank Hennessey)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:46 AM

Transcribed from the singing of Oceans Apart (See ClaireBear's link above.) I had to guess at the spelling of some place names. I assume they are wrong because I am unable to find those places with a Google search:

THE GRANGETOWN WHALE
Frank Hennessey

I am a deep-sea sailing man. In Cardiff I was born.
I've sailed three times round Roath Park Lake and halfway round Cape Horn.
So pin your ears back, one and all. Come listen to me tale
Of how we sailed down Riverside to hunt the Grangetown whale.

CHORUS: With the blowin' of his hole and the flourishin' of his tail,
You'll never see the equal of the mighty Grangetown whale.

One soggy Thursday morning in the year of seventy-nine,
We sailed south from Ponkenna(?) to cross the foamy brine.
We voyaged down Cathedral Road, and with very little fuss,
We sank a Spanish galleon and a Number Seven bus.

We anchored off the Westgate pen to take on fresh supplies:
Several dozen crates of dark and a couple of Clark's meat pies.
We headed west from Camden, through the cockle beds did sail,
And made our way down Neville Street to hunt the Grangetown whale.

Down Neville Street were crocodiles and polar bears as well,
And down the end an island where dusky maidens dwell.
There they stood in skirts of grass with gently swaying hips.
I asked one for a coconut but all she had was chips.

So on we went to Waterstown(?), by this time scarcely sober,
Until we struck a traffic light and our gallant punt turned over.
Our captain and his dog were drowned beneath the murky foam.
I waited three weeks for a Fifty-Six, and somehow struggled home.

Now I'm the only man alive who's lived to tell this tale
Of how we sailed down Riverside to hunt the Grangetown whale.

[As sung by Oceans Apart on "Tethered to the Foam." Also recorded by The Hennesseys on "Bluebirds: The Songs of Cardiff City F. C."]


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:53 AM

Ponkenna = Pontcanna
Camden = probably Canton

My brother lived in Neville Street in the early 70s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: ClaireBear
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:23 PM

There's a Waterston Street about 2 and 1/2 miles away, just on the other side of the A48 in Cardiff, so I think that

Waterstone (?) = Waterston

Is that all the problematic place names identified?

Claire


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Newport Boy
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:38 PM

Don't know about Waterston Street - it's very much in the wrong direction for the general saga, but I can't identify anything else.

"We headed west to Canton..." would make more sense than "..from Canton..."

As far as the original incident is concerned, beached whales are not unusual in this area (there was one very close in 1996, and another between Cardiff and Newport in 2004).

Ninian Park Primary School in Grangetown has a whale on its badge. The school website
(here) says this comes from a true story of a whale beached at the Marl playing fields in the 1930's. Sounds as likely as anything else.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: GUEST,Joel Piacentini
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 07:53 AM

Bit of an old post this, but the words in the last verse are actually 'so on we went towards the south, by this time scarcely sober'. The comments above are correct regarding Canton etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Grangetown Whale
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 09:01 AM

This site has that line as:
So off we went towards the sun
This A• makes sense (the sun is usually South of Cardiff, if it can be seen at all!!)
B• explains wht some have heard it as to Waterston

Cheers

Nigel


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