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Origins: Fiddler's Green (John Conolly)

DigiTrad:
FIDDLER'S GREEN
FIDDLER'S GREEN (Cavalry)
WHEN YOUR BELLS HAVE TURNED GREEN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Soylent Green (parody of Fiddler's Green) (6)
(origins) Origins: Fiddlers Green (author) (78)
Bell on the Green (Fiddlers Green parody) (13)
Lyr Req: New Lyrics Fiddler's Green (17)
Lyr Req: fiddler's green - different version (44)
(origins) Origins: Fiddler's Green (32)
Tune Req: Fiddler's Green (midi) (27)
Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green (7)


jimlad 23 May 02 - 09:44 AM
DMcG 23 May 02 - 09:45 AM
MMario 23 May 02 - 09:55 AM
DADGBE 23 May 02 - 03:54 PM
Mr Red 23 May 02 - 07:15 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 May 02 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 24 May 02 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Sir Roger at Work 24 May 02 - 08:38 AM
Dave Bryant 24 May 02 - 10:38 AM
Charley Noble 24 May 02 - 10:44 AM
Jacob B 24 May 02 - 11:30 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 May 02 - 11:35 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 May 02 - 11:36 AM
IanC 24 May 02 - 11:38 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 May 02 - 04:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 May 02 - 10:10 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 May 02 - 10:59 PM
Crane Driver 25 May 02 - 06:59 PM
Gareth 25 May 02 - 07:14 PM
curmudgeon 25 May 02 - 07:37 PM
The Walrus 25 May 02 - 07:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 02 - 07:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 May 02 - 07:48 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 May 02 - 07:50 PM
GUEST 25 May 02 - 07:57 PM
curmudgeon 25 May 02 - 08:11 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 May 02 - 08:24 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 May 02 - 09:37 PM
Joe Offer 25 May 02 - 10:38 PM
Hrothgar 26 May 02 - 02:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 May 02 - 06:45 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 May 02 - 12:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 May 02 - 12:56 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 May 02 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 May 02 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,John 12 Apr 03 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Julia 12 Apr 03 - 10:27 PM
Celtaddict 13 Apr 03 - 12:23 AM
open mike 13 Apr 03 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,John 15 Apr 03 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,lighter 15 Apr 03 - 09:19 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Apr 03 - 11:45 PM
EBarnacle1 16 Apr 03 - 12:39 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM
Amos 25 Jan 07 - 03:48 PM
Amos 25 Jan 07 - 03:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 07 - 07:13 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jan 07 - 04:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM
Amos 27 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
Haruo 17 Jun 07 - 03:11 AM
Cats 17 Jun 07 - 05:40 AM
Haruo 17 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM
SouthernCelt 17 Jun 07 - 03:07 PM
Schantieman 18 Jun 07 - 06:45 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 04:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 05:14 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Sep 07 - 05:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 07:19 PM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 07:36 AM
MartinRyan 02 Mar 11 - 07:49 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 08:01 AM
MartinRyan 02 Mar 11 - 08:11 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 08:18 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 21 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,Roger. 25 Feb 21 - 03:15 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 21 - 05:10 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Feb 21 - 04:00 PM
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Subject: Fiddlers Green
From: jimlad
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:44 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: DMcG
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:45 AM

Its in the DT here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: MMario
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:55 AM

Unless you are looking for the mid 1800's one - Fiddlers Green - Cavalry version


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: DADGBE
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:54 PM

My all-time favorite lyrics balls-up happened when I inadvertantly sang, "...And the skipper's below making love to the crew." Now I can't sing it the original way any more. With a tip of the hat to Dr. Freud.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:15 PM

John Connelly was at Folk at Frampton (Gloucs, Village Hall every Tues) bewtween gigs and entertaining us. He sang this of course and It was as you would expect though FWIW he sings "in Fiddlers Green" not "on Fiddlers Green". AND he admitted he changes things sometimes so Punch & Judy Man is different now and I still prefer the original. That's the way to do it, rooty tooty toot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:52 PM

The term Fiddlers' Green is widespread. What is the origin?

"Fiddlers' Green" first appeared in 1923 in the "Cavalry Journal." It is believed to have been composed and used by the soldiers of the 6th and 7th Cavalry and may date from the post-Civil war period in the west. No author is known.
The 11th Field Artillery Regiment has borrowed the song, and substituted "Souls of many departed Redlegs...." The second and last verses are omitted.

I would like to hear of any use of the song or words before the Cavalry song or the modern song by John Connolly from Grimsby, England.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:22 AM

There's a pub in Clonakillty, County Cork called 'Fiddlers Green'. I'm sure the building predates 1923 but Idon't know if it had that name originally.

Cheers - Captain Swing


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,Sir Roger at Work
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:38 AM

John Conolly is guesting at the People's Voice Folk Festival, Beverley over the weekend of 21st - 23rd June. As you all know by now, the festival is completely free including free camping(book that early to avoid disappointment - they are re-seeding part of the campsite and we only have about 40% of the usual space).

Check out the website on www.hammonda.fsnet.co.uk

R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:38 AM

Fiddler's Green has been used (rather in the way of Davey Jones' Locker) to denote heaven (or anyway the place after death) by sailors for a considerable time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:44 AM

I'm sure that "Fiddler's Green" appeared in Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST but I can't find the citation now. That would date the term to the early 1800's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Jacob B
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:30 AM

I've just tried searching the text of Two Years Before The Mast (at Bartleby.com) for the word "fiddler", and got no hits.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:35 AM

Mmario: should that be "Cavalry version" (mounted soldiery), rather than "Calvary version" (The mount on which Christ was crucified) ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:36 AM

"Cavalry baptists" ride into the baptismal pool on horseback!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: IanC
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:38 AM

Lawks a'mussy ... and there's me thinking Jesus died on a hill, and all the time he rode to his death.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:02 PM

Relatives and friends in Georgia. They use Calvary for both the mount and mounted soldiers. I think this usage goes quite a ways back; how the confusion started, I don't know.
My feeling is like Dave Bryant's, I thought the term Fiddlers' Green is old, but I can't find any references.
Mention of Dana's "Two Years...." made me check his "Dictionary of Sea Terms" but all I found was "Fiddlehead," the carving at the prow of a ship if it bends in, in a curve like the head of a fiddle.
Not in Lever's "Dictionary of Sea Terms" either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:10 PM

An article by W. Saunders in The Nautical Magazine of August 1929 apparently traced Fiddlers' Green back to a corruption of Locus Fidelis in Gremio; a place to which sailors who died at sea without the benefit of absolution might be assigned. The piece was reproduced in English Dance and Song (vol.61, no.2, Summer 1999), having been found and submitted by Cyril Tawney. It sounds like a wind-up to me, but nevertheless the following, "paraphrased" from an account given by "a boatswain of Leith", is quite evocative:

"When sailormen die they go to a place where there is one interminable stretch of green and undulating pasture-land upon which the sun never ceases to shine, and through which fish-laden brooks and rivers dance and sparkle on their way towards some infinite far horizon. Sheep, horses, cattle and other animals -for the deep-sea sailor clearly loves a beast- with their playful young, browse all around, and the atmosphere is redolent with the sweet scents of numberless flowers, and vibrant with the song of countless birds. But in this paradise no officer may ever dwell. In the midst of all this charm and beauty, there lies a mighty bottomless pit into which all officers are incontinently pitched. On the edge of the pit the sailor man may sit and contemplate, with unrestrained satisfaction, while he turns his quid or complacently puffs at his blackened clay, the seething mass of quarterdeck humanity being stirred about unceasingly by Davy Jones himself, who wields a gigantic trident specially adapted for the purpose of keeping them going. And the sailor man is not prohibited from casting an occasional pebble or jeering epithet upon any officer of his own particular acquaintance who may happen to come to the surface as the mass is stirred about.

And that, he concluded, is Davy Jones' Locker."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:59 PM

Good story! Goes well with the one about "Taps" (current thread, Union officer finding dead Confederate son) and the memorable one by Catspaw about the true story behind Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe." There are others in Mudcat threads- someone should collect them.
I thought it might appear in an old seaman's or fisherman's song,, or possibly a novel. The oldest occurrence apparently is in the cavalry song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Crane Driver
Date: 25 May 02 - 06:59 PM

I just found the following in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable :

Fiddler's Green. The land of the leal or "Dixie Land" of sailors; where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never ceases to untiring dancers, plenty of grog, and unlimited tobacco.

Unfortunately my edition of Brewer is undated, but I believe the book was first published in the 1870s, although the work of compiling it must have begun much earlier. So the phrase must have been current at least by the first half of the 19th century.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Gareth
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:14 PM

The late Patrick O'Brien - Author of the Aubry/Maturin novels makes mention of Fiddlers Green once or twice. Now this is not proof of it's historical accuracy, but O'Brien was noted for his usage of contemporary dialect, and historical records in his novels. I suggest this poses some indication to the Age of that saying.

The USA cavalry version has some, but only some, resemblance to the Last Verse of " The Young British Soldier"

Question. Is there a connection ?

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen

Or am I being a little cynical ?

Clicky to the Kipling Collection

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: curmudgeon
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:37 PM

From Horace Beck"s Folklore and the Sea:

Sailors when they die, especially if they die at sea, are said to go to Davy Jones' Locker, which is a euphemism for the devil and hell; but if they are decent chaps they are believed to end up in Fiddler's Green, and undersea paradise not unlike Faeryland ( the words "fiddler" and "green" both are associated with faeries). For that matter, it is not greatly different from the underwater home of the mer and seafolk, thus linking Christian and pre-Christian concerpts together through the picture of Paradise.

While I cannot vouch for Beck's scholarship, this is an interesting interpretation> in the section on songs he includes "The Bonny Shoals of Herring" as a traditional fisherman's song. He personally colleceted it in Dingle, but did not seem to know any more about it.

But I'll see you someday...

Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: The Walrus
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:42 PM

Gareth,

I suspect that piece of advice (either Kipling's or the cavalry version) has been handed down throughout time.
I dare say there was some Reoman decurian muttering to some of his men words to the effect "If you're wounded and and can't get away and we can't get to you, better to open your own veins than be caught by the [insert local hostile tribe name here]".

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:47 PM

"Fiddler's Green had its origins in 18th century sailing lore. Common seamen, who repaired their lines with a splicing tool called a fid, dreamed of a sailor's heaven, where after the long voyage their every desire would be fulfilled." Whether that's true, I've no idea, but it's an interesting suggestion as to where the actual word comes from. (That comes from here

And according to this site, there's an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary with the first referance to (as the sailor's paradise) dating to 1825.

And the same site gives the Cavalry prayer as first printed in 1923 - though said to date from soon after the Civio War. From the style of it I'd suspect it might be a good deal later, and written retrospectively, maybe on the basis of something from that earlier time. It reads to me like someone who's read his Kipling. (Though of course it could always have been the other way round - that last verse of the Kipling's Barrack Room Ballad always reads to me like it might have been based on a genuine soldier's rhyme.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:48 PM

Nice discovery, Crane Driver. It immediately struck fire in my poor little brain and I looked in the Oxford English Dictionary. The definition is "the sailors' Elyseum, in which wine, women and song figure prominently."
The first quote is from 1805: "My grannan....used to tell me that animals, when they departed this life, were destined to be fixed in Fiddlers Green." 1836: "It is believed that tailors and musicians after death were cantonned in a place called Fiddler's Green." 1837: "We shape a course for Fiddler's Green" (Marryat). 1883, Kelly: "The pilotless narrows, which lead to Fiddler's Green, where all good sailors go."
The origin would have to be at least 18th C. Not only sailors, but animals, tailors and musicians (just Mudcat musicians or all? Rappers and Heavy Metal as well?) go there. Members of the US Cavalry go there.
It must be a crowded place.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:50 PM

Beat me by one minute.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 02 - 07:57 PM

Didn't Ewan McColl write Shoals of Herring?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: curmudgeon
Date: 25 May 02 - 08:11 PM

MacColl did write the Shoals of Herring, but it slipped rapidly into the folk process. Not long after its first radio broadcast, a collector had the tune from an Irish Tinker who gave the title as The Shores of Erin.

Many fair and pleasant days -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 May 02 - 08:24 PM

"Fresh blows the wind, a western wind,
And from the shores of Erin.
Across the wave, a rover brave,
To Binnorie was steering,...Wordsworth
From "The Seven Sisters"


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Subject: Origins: Fiddlers Green
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 May 02 - 09:37 PM

Re. Horace Beck: any 20th century writer who uses the self-conscious archaism faery has to be pretty suspect as an authority, and his credulous acceptance of Shoals of Herring as a traditional song (presumably he believed it to be Irish, and never listened to the radio) suggests considerable ignorance, given that his book was first published in 1973.

That said, his general observation (if we ignore his irrelevant references to fairies and "pre-Christian" beliefs) seems reasonable. Roy Palmer (Oxford Book of Sea Songs, reprinted 2001 as Boxing the Compass) comments:

"Fiddler's Green was the generic term for sailortown, the district in large ports which catered for the sailor's needs by providing boarding houses, dance halls, public houses, brothels, and seamen's homes. By extension it was the sailor's ideal world, Eden, Utopia, Paradise."

Unfortunately, he doesn't give references.

Further to my earlier quote from English Dance and Song, the following letter, from Phil Barker, appeared in vol.61 no.4 (Winter 1999). I quote it, very slightly edited, without comment:

"...the place has evolved a little since ... [Locus Fidelis in Gremio]... The first extension was that there were other professions that needed a similar place, since the habits of even upright practitioners rendered them unsuitable companions for the Godly. Chief of these undesirable habits was habitual swearing, but others included excessive drinking, songs and dances of questionable taste and refusing to part from favourite animals. The people particularly singled out were working sailors, itinerant musicians (so we are all in with a chance) and cavalrymen (but not, surprisingly, other soldiers).
Back in the early '60s there was a traditional song in the United States armoured cavalry regiments which stated that Fiddler's Green was an oasis on the road to Hell (and apparently quite close since the dance hall gals from West Hell were allowed to come over on Saturday nights) which had acquired the last wet canteen in the U.S. Army when that force went officially non-alcoholic. Occasionally, some hardened hell-bent trooper would fill up his water bottle with booze and ride off down the road, but he always ran out of liquor before he got there and had to turn back.
Note that like the sailor's version in the article, this version places Fiddler's Green well inland. However, while the ideal retirement venue for an old sailor was traditionally to walk inland with an oar over his shoulder until someone asked him what it was, I feel a sailor's heaven really needs some sea so he can gaze on it and know that he never, never has to go on it again."


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Subject: ZDTStudy: Fiddlers Green (DT Correction)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 02 - 10:38 PM

After listening to John Conolly's recording on the Trawlertown CD, I've added suggested corrections to the Digital Tradition transcription:

FIDDLER'S GREEN
(John Conolly)

As I roved by the dockside one evening so rare
To view the still waters and take the salt air,
I heard an old fisherman singing this song,
O take me away boys, my time is not long.
    CHORUS
    Dress me up in me oilskins and jumper,
    No more on the docks I'll be seen,
    Just tell me old shipmates
    I'm taking a trip, mates,
    And I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green.

Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
Where fishermen go if they don't go to Hell,
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play,
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away.

Now, the sky's always clear and there's never a gale,
And the fish jump on board with a flip of their tails;
You can lie at your leisure, there's no work to do,
And the skipper's below making tea for the crew.

And when you're in dock and the long trip is through,
Why, there's pubs and there's clubs, and there's lassies there, too;
Now the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free,
And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree.

I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me;
Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea,
And I play me old squeeze box as we sail along
With the wind in the rigging to sing me this song.

Copyright 1970 for the World, March Music Ltd.
@sailor @death @chorus
filename[ FIDGREEN
Tune file : FIDGREEN

CLICK TO PLAY
SOF




PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Any further comments, corrections, etc? The Traditional Ballad Index has no entry for this song, but note this:

Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket

DESCRIPTION: A dying sailor [lumberjack, stockman] bids his comrades farewell, asking them to "wrap me up" in his work clothing and make other arrangements for his funeral. (He recalls his early life and hopes to sleep undisturbed)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1826 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1594))
KEYWORDS: dying death funeral burial sailor logger shepherd
FOUND IN: Britain Canada(Newf) US Australia
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Friedman, p. 439, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text)
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 90-91, 226, "The Dying Stockman"; pp. 118-119, "The Dying Bagman" (3 texts, 3 tunes); also probably pp. 264-265, "Cant-Hook and Wedges" (2 texts)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 170-171, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 221-223, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text)
AndersonStory, pp. 232-233, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 1 tune, plus another "Dying Stockman" poem from about the same time)
Sandburg, pp. 436-437, "Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket and The Handsome Young Airman" (2 short texts, 1 tune, with the "A" text going here and the "B" text being "The Dying Aviator")
Thorp/Fife XIII, pp. 148-190 (29-30), "Cow Boy's Lament" (22 texts, 7 tunes, the "K" text being in fact a version of "The Old Stable Jacket")
Manifold-PASB, pp. 82-83, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 281-282, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 47, "Tarpaulin Jacket" (2 texts)
Leach-Labrador 98, "Jolly Best Lad" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 880-881, "A Rambling Young Fellow" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT TARPJCKT*
ADDITIONAL: Kenneth Lodewick, "'The Unfortunate Rake" and His Descendants,'" article published 1955 in _Western Folklore_; republished on pp. 87-98 of Norm Cohen, editor, _All This for a Song_, Southern Folklife Collection, 2009
A. K. MacDougall, _An Anthology of Classic Australian Lore_ (earlier published as _The Big Treasury of Australian Foiklore_), The Five Mile Press, 1990, 2002, p. 237, "The Dying Stockman" (1 text)

Roud #829
RECORDINGS:
Frank Crumit, "Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket" (HMV [UK] B-8032, c. 1933)
John Greenway, "The Dying Stockman" (on JGreenway01)
Tex Morton, "Wrap Me Up With My Stockwhip and Blanket" (Regal Zonophone [Australia] G22904, n.d.)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 25(1594)[some illegible words], "The Rakish Young Fellow," Angus (Newcastle), 1774-1825 ; also Harding B 11(3215), Harding B 16(218b), Harding B 25(1595)[some illegible words], Harding B 16(219a), Harding B 11(1211), Harding B 11(3216), Firth c.22(67)[almost entirely illegible but what is legible is recognizable as this song], Harding B 11(680), "[The] Rakish Young Fellow"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Dying Aviator"
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Old Stable (Sable) Jacket
Derrydown Fair
NOTES: Compare the modern song "Fiddler's Green," which may have been inspired by this piece.
The number of parodies of this piece ("The Dying Stockman," "The Dying Lumberman") is astonishing, but most seem to have evolved rather than being deliberate rewrites. The Australian version known as "Cant-Hook and Wedges" claims to be an exception; the informants claim to have written it. Certainly the piece has modern elements (e.g. a reference to the Model T Ford), but one is still inclined to doubt that it was created deliberately.
On the other hand, Gwenda Beed Davey and Graham Seal, A Guide to Australian Folklore, Kangaroo Press, 2003, p. 94, claim that "The Dying Stockman" was "Probaby adapted by Horace Flower in the 1890s from any number of similar songs in English-language tradition," but they identify it as being from the "Unfortunate Rake" family, mentioning "Tarpaulin Jacker" only secondarily. - RBW
The contemplator.com Songs of England site has a version beginning "A tall stalwart lancer lay dying" with a note that "This appears in the Scottish Student's Handbook. The words were written by G. J. Whyte-Melville (1821-1878). The air was written by Charles Coote."
It is too easy to get hung up on the "wrap me up" line as a unique marker. In Peacock the line is just to "dress up in blue jacket and trousers," but that is the only substantial difference between Peacock and the broadsides. - BS
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Hrothgar
Date: 26 May 02 - 02:00 AM

Where the beer is all gritty and the girls are all free.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 May 02 - 06:45 AM

Stan Hugill in his book Sailortown (1967) has a chapter "Fiddler's Green: a composite sailortown". He doesn't go into where the term comes from or how it got attached to the boozer and brothel and boarding-house area near the dicks around the world, he just uses it as a term to refer to it.

One such of course being the Holy Ground in Queenstown (Cork).

Stan's book is a sort of retrospective gazeteer of Sailortowns all round the world. Fleshes out what all the songs are about. Invaluable - and therefore naturally, out of print.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TARPAULIN JACKET (Carl Sandburg)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 May 02 - 12:34 PM

TARPAULIN JACKET (Sandburg)

Wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket
And say a poor buffer lies low, low, low;
And six stalwart lancers shall carry me
With steps mournful, solemn and slow.
I know I shan't get to heaven,
And I don't want to go below--ow--ow.
Oh, ain't there some place in between them
Where this poor buffer can go?

A brief variant of the one in the DT, from Sandburg, p. 436-437, The American Songbag, 1927. Frank Haworth, British Club, Havana.
Why this is included in Sandburg is open to question. Americans would be more likely to use "duffer" or "bastard."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 May 02 - 12:56 PM

I'd think "buffer" here is more likely to be a cautious substitute for "bugger". I understand that is stronger language in America than it is in some other places. (Even back in 1927 I doubt if it would have alarmed anyone this side of the ocean, going by a highly respectable relation aged 90.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 May 02 - 01:53 PM

A buff or buffer in the States is an enthusiast (follows fire engines and knows "more" about fire than the firefighters, etc.). Bugger is now commonly applied to the old, as in "that old bugger disses us." (i.e., an old disapproving codger) or, as pointed out in Webster's, used "affectionately". This may be a point of distinction from British usage.
"Bastard" is much more likely in practice but duffer was a word applied to Sad Sacks, pedlars and the useless (= old bugger or codger again) and would have been a possible substitute at the time in print.
Bugger was also used in the States for a rascal or a worthless person (and still is in some areas), often by those unaware of the application of the word to the Bulgars and sodomy, but, true, Sandburg and his editors with their knowledge of word meanings and history would have avoided it in the book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 May 02 - 02:11 PM

"Bugger is now commonly applied to the old" Well the bloke in the song is getting on a bit isn't he?

But I don't think in my experience there's any age implication. If a kid in a skateboard hared across the road in front of my car I'd certainly be quite likely to describe him as a silly bugger. Maybe there is a difference in usage.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,John
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 04:37 PM

I am new here and not sure how all this works, but if the DT has the midi on file, could that mean that the song is recorded somewhere? I have been trying to find the Calavry version of Fiddler's Green for some time. Can anybody point me in the right direction to either downloading it or buying an album.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 12 Apr 03 - 10:27 PM

We saw and played with John Connolly at the last Festival of the Sea in Portsmouth England-what great guy. Hoping he'll be there again this year (in Leith Scotland this time May 23-6)
Fred had to admit his "mondegreen" on Fiddler's Green (somewhat intentional after too little sleep and too much stout)
"No moronic duck's 'll be seen"
Good thing John has a sense of humor!
Julia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: Celtaddict
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 12:23 AM

McGrath of Harlow: "...brothel and boarding-house area near the dicks around the world..."
Does someone collect the wonderful (and sometimes Freudian) typos that turn up in these threads?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: open mike
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 02:59 AM

marley's ghost has recorded a wonderful version of this tune..
acapella
http://www.cyberbites.com/marleys_ghost/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,John
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 09:09 PM

Thanks for the link, but I already have the fisherman version, I am looking for the military version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: GUEST,lighter
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 09:19 PM

The cavalry version of "Fiddler's Green" appears in the book "Sound Off!: Soldiers' Songs from Yankee Doodle to World War II," by Arthur Edward Dolph (1942). I'm unaware of any recording of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 11:45 PM

Don't forget the other songs here in the DT

Tarpaulin Jacket
Dying Airman
DT STudy - Fiddler's Green
Man Who Packed the Parachute

Also, Lesley's updated the Contemplator with a new page on

Tarpaulin Jacket


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddlers Green
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 12:39 AM

Stan's book "Sailortown," refers to Fiddler's Green throughout. His first reference, on page 6 refers to "...glorious, earthly Edens existed in the Pacific--Fiddler's Greens to the salt-encrusted, sea-tired wanderers."

Througout the remainder of the book, he uses Fiddler's Green as a synonym for Sailortown. Finally, on page 341, he says "'Fiddler's Green' was a real deepwater name for Sailortown. A secondary meaning was that it was a place of eternal rest for the sailorman who had died peaceable, as opposed to one who had died by drowning through shipwreck, foundering or falling from aloft. The latter was supposed to go to the Big Locker of Davy Jones' for his last rest."

"...perhaps Sailortown is still to be found in the shades of the heavenly Fiddler's Green, and it would be nice to think that the old-time shellback who knew the delights (?) of the earthly fiddler's Green is now taking his rest--a rest probably broken by drinking bouts and 'love' parties--in that other ghostly one."

I believe that Stan had it pretty right on this one.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Fiddler's Green (Marryat 1847)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM

Lyr. Add: FIDDLER'S GREEN
Marryat, *1847, "Snarleyyow"

1.
"Says the parson, one day as I cursed a Jew,
Do you know, my lad, that we call it a sin?
I fear of you sailors there are but a few,
St. Peter, to heaven, will ever let in.
Says I, Mr. Parson, to tell you my mind,
No sailors to knock were ever yet seen,
Those who travel by land may steer 'gainst wind,
But we shape a course for Fiddler's Green.
Chorus
For Fiddler's Green, where seamen true,
When here they've done their duty,
The bowl of grog shall still renew,
And pledge to love and beauty.
2.
"Says the parson, I hear you've married three wives,
Now do you not know that that is a sin?
You sailors, you lead such very bad lives,
St. Peter, to heaven, will ne'er let you in.
Parson, says I, in each port I've but one,
And never had more, wherever I've been:
Below I'm obliged to be chaste as a nun,
But I'm promised a dozen at Fiddler's Green.
Chorus
At Fiddler's Green, where seamen true,
When here they've done their duty,
The bowl of grog shall still renew
And pledge to love and beauty.
3.
"Says the parson, says he, you're drunk, my man,
And do you not know that that is a sin?
If you sailors will ever be swigging your can,
To heaven you surely will never get in.
(Hiccup.) Parson, you may as well be mum
'Tis only on shore I'm this way seen;
But oceans of punch, and rivers of rum,
Await the sailor at Fiddler's Green.
Chorus
At Fiddler's Green, where seamen true,
When they've done their duty,
The bowl of grog shall still renew,
And pledge to love and beauty."

Sung by the sailor, Bill Spurey, on shore at a Lust Haus. "Well reeled off, Billy, cried Jemmy Ducks, finishing off with a flourish on his fiddle, and a refrain on the air."

Frederick (Captain) Marryat, *1847, "The Dog Fiend, or Snarleyyow," R. Bentley, London. Chap. IX. (The OED listed date is 1837, but this may be an error. I have not checked beyond the date listed for publication of the online reproduction. My copy is 1890ish, no dates).

This comic satire of sailors aboard the customs cutter 'Yung Frau' at the time of King William III (1699 and William of Orange on the throne in England) contains a number of sailor's and fiddler's songs, all of which seem to have been composed by Marryat.

Fiddler's Green as the last port of call for sailors seems to have its first appearance here. Previously, it referred to a place for animals; "... animals, when they departed this life, were destined to be fixed in Fiddler's Green." (1825, OED). Maxwell, 1836, in Captain Blake: "It is... believed that tailors and musicians after death are cantoned in a place called 'Fiddler's Green' (OED).

Was Marryat in *1847 the first to send sailors there? Did he do it tongue-in-cheek, since it already was a place where animals, tailors and musicians were 'cantoned'?

The novel is a great piece of comic and satiric writing, easily read. There are two main characters; Snarleyyow, a shipboard dog, and the eternal Sad Sack, the sailor Smallbones, who survives all the misfortunes of shipboard life (flogging, keelhauling, attack by the dog, etc. etc.) but comes through it all with good spirits and English aplomb.

I may start a thread for the sailors songs written by Marryat. I certainly didn't know of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM

We have the wonderfully entertaining John Conolly (only one "n", btw) booked at Herga folk club on 19 March. I guess that means he's forgiven us for the "Wrap me up in me bells and me baldricks" parody written many years ago by members of Herga Morris and titled "Untippled" (which has also been harvested for the DT).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:48 PM

Just to add to the upthread discussion, I believe the simplest discussion of "buffer" is that it should be "duffer", as in the related refrain "Here lies a poor duffer below" -- meaning something like an ordinary slob, a plain Joe, or a simple Simon.

"duffer
"old man," also "bad golfer," 1842, probably from Scot. duffar "dull or stupid person." But perhaps rather from 18c. thieves' slang duff (v.) "to dress or manipulate an old thing and make it look new." "


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:54 PM

See also this thread where the discussion of duffer versus buffer was already had once. On the US side, the term became almost exclusively "duffer", while on the UK side it seems "buffer" is at least as widespread in use.

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM

BUFFER, Slang, applying to people or animals. OED
Buffer 3, meaning a fellow: usually expressing a slight degree of contempt. In print from 1749.
Buffer 1, a dog, or a dog-like person. From 17th c.
Buffer 2, a foolish fellow; Scottish and dialect, 19th c.

Also other meanings, not slang.

Agreed, buffer as slang no longer used in U. S. A., but appears in some 18-19c. materials.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM

Captain Marryat - buffer appears in his novel, "Jacob Faithful," chapter 30, "As the old buffer, her father, says." 1835.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:13 PM

Q-

Thanks for drawing our attention to the earliest documented "Fiddler's Green" song, the one composed by the estemed Captain Marryat.

There was some reference in a biography of his I have around here somewhere that he had composed some nautical songs. Maybe I'll dig into again, if I can find it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 04:58 PM

Google Book Search finds several references to "Fiddler's Green" (the place, not the song). None of these shed any light on the origin of the term, but are interesting nonetheless. Here are some of the oldest ones:

From "The Port Admiral" by William Johnstoun N. Neale, 1833:
    "... I propose we broach the rum, get thundering groggy, blow the old barky up, and all go to Davy Jones together; in which case ye see, my boys, we'll send that blue bearded beggar aloft, as pilot-boat, and make sail for Fiddler's green all standing."
From "My Life, by the author of 'Stories of Waterloo'." [by William Hamilton Maxwell], 1835:
    In the kingdom of Connaught, it is universally believed that tailors and musicians after death are cantoned in a place called "Fiddler's-green." As it is not marked on any map of Arrowsmith, I cannot describe its precise situation further than that report places it unpleasantly contiguous to Pandemonium.
From "The Knickerbocker: Or, New-York Monthly Magazine," 1857:
    Now Norfolk is the paradise of midshipmen, while Portsmouth, its neighbor across the river, may not inaptly be termed their 'fiddler's green;' for in both these mighty cities gold lace and gilt buttons reign supreme.
From "The Ganges and the Seine: Scenes on the Banks of Both" by Sidney Laman Blanchard, 1862:
    ... and the sailors and the soldiers were allowed to have their own way in such matters, for all the world as if they were on "Fiddler's Green"—to which service-paradise, indeed, many of them upon such occasions, expressed a wish to be taken, after a judicious wrapping up in a tarpauling (sic) jacket.
From "Norrie Seton; or, Driven to Sea" by Anne Jane Cupples, 1869:
    "...though it's many a day since them poor chaps parted of their cable and drove away to 'Fiddler's Green,' where they has been happy with their grog, and lots o' fun; yet it don't do for a man's old carcass to be left without a bit o' burial, whatsomdever?"

    "Ay," chimed in another, "who knows but 'Fiddler's Green' ain't been a quiet haven to them noways, on account of them here bones been allowed to lie without a burial."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM

The quotation from Neale (1833) is interesting; it may be the first connecting "Fiddler's Green" and sailors. Not in OED or Lighter. The Maxwell quotaton (1835-6?), which I cited above, remarks tailors and musicians.

In "Snarleyyow, or Dog Fiend" by Marryat, Jemmy sings a derogatory song about a Port Admiral and is accused of mutiny (ch. 12).

In 1834, Marryat and Neale came to blows in Trafalgar Square over Marryat's novel "Port Admiral." This is from an essay, "Trafalgar Square in History," online. Marryat also attacked (acc. to Neale)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM

Post cut off for some reason.

Details of the fight between Marryat and Neale reported in this squib on Neale:
http://www.cf.ac.uk/encap/corvey/1830s/1834.html
Neale

The fight also was reported in the London Newspapers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

As usual, thanks for the excellent clarity of your scholarship. LIfe is so much easier since those Google people came along.


A


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Subject: Soylent Green (Fiddlers Green parody)
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 03:11 AM

This seems an appropriate thread, to my mind, in which to take note of a "Fiddlers Green" parody I heard today. Soylent Green by Homer of Sänger & Didele. If/when I get the whole text, I'm not sure if they should go here or in the thread linked to.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Cats
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 05:40 AM

Fiddlers Green is actually a small village just off the A30 in Cornwall on the Perranporth Road. On your next trip through the county look out for it, it's well signposted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM

Hell, on the other hand, is divided, part is in Michigan and the rest in Norway, for that matter. So if fishermen die and go to Cornwall they're sort of splitting the difference...

Haruo


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOD'S DIXIE LAND
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 03:07 PM

I did some research on the song in the late nineties after hearing it on an Irish folk-song CD (an anthology of a lot of different Irish performers) and found a reference that I no longer have the URL for that attributed the "Fiddlers Green" Irish fisherman version to a variation on on an old military ballad from Scotland "Wrap Me in my Tarpaulin Coat" (or some varation thereof). I remember that this reference dated the song to the early 19th century with the notation that it was probably a derivation of an even older song now lost to the written record.

When the TV movie about the Confederate submarine, the Hunley, was made a few years back, there's a pub scene where the crew is talking and in the background a fiddle player is playing Fiddler's Green. Although anyone who knew the story of the Hunley should have known that it was going to sink, I took the choice of songs for that scene to be an early hint to the uniformed that the crew was doomed.

I was prompted by the lyrics of the version I have on CD to write my own version, that I called "God's Dixie Land" to describe an old Confederate soldier about to die and expecting to go to Heaven and that it would be just like Dixie Land. (I do a lot of the same kind of stuff that Jed Marum, also a Mudcatter, does if you're familiar with him except that he's an equal opportunity songwriter, covering both sides while I'm strictly Cofederate since all my ancestry in that era was.)

If anyone is interested, here's my version:

God's Dixie Land
sung to the tune of "Fiddlers' Green")
©Wayne B. Anderson, 2000

As I walked through the campsite one evening so rare
To view the gold sunset and take the fresh air,
An old wounded soldier was singing a song,
Oh take me away boys, my time is not long

Chorus:
Wrap me up in my oilcloth and blanket
And dig me a grave in the sand.
Just tell my old comrades that I'll be soon dead
But I'll see 'em some day in God's Dixie Land.

Now God's Dixie Land is a place I've heard tell
Where Confederates go when they don't go to Hell.
On the south side of Heaven, the side that's the best
Where no Yankees can come in to disturb your rest.

Chorus

In God's Dixie Land it's late spring every day
With the corn and the cotton just growin' away.
Green pastures, fat cattle, fine horses you'll see
And all the cool well water that you'll ever need.

Chorus

I don't need a harp nor a halo, not me.
Just give me a front porch and cool blowin' breeze.
I'll play my old banjo and sing me some songs,
Might dance with a pretty girl if one comes along.

Chorus

SC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Schantieman
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 06:45 AM

In the RN, the Buffer is the senior Rating of the Seaman branch, usually a Chief Petty Officer in big ships at least. He is responsible to the First Lieutenant (aka the Jimmy) for the state of the upper deck and all the gear thereupon - more or less the job of the bosun in days gone by.

And you CERTAINLY wouldn't want to refer to him disparagingly or he might just ping you for something you'd rather not do!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr. Add: Fiddler's Green (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 04:48 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fiddler's Green (T. G. Roberts)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 05:14 PM

Lyr. Add: FIDDLER'S GREEN (Roberts)
Theodore Goodridge Roberts

""At a place called Fiddler's Green, there do all honest Mariners take their pleasure after death; and there are Admirals with their dear Ladies and Captains of lost voyages with the sweethearts of their youth, and tarry-handed Sailormen singing in cottage gardens.""

Never again shall we beat out to sea
In rain and mist and sleet like bitter tears,
And watch the harbour beacons fade, alee,
And people all the sea-room with our fears.
Our toil is done. No more, no more do we
Square the low yards and stagger on the sea.

No more for us the white and windless day,
Undimmed, unshadowed, where the weed drifts by,
And leaden fish pass, rolling, at their play,
And changeless suns slide up a changeless sky.
Our watch is done; and never more shall we
Whistle the wind across an empty sea.

Cities we saw- white walled and glinting dome-
And palm-fringed islands dreaming on the blue,
To us more fair the kindly sights of home-
The climbing street, the windows shining true.
Our voyage is done: And never more shall we
Reef the harsh topsails on a tossing sea.

Wonders we knew and beauty in far ports;
Laughter and peril 'round the swinging deep;
The wrath of God; the pomp of painted courts. . .
The rocks sprang black!- And we awoke from sleep.
Our task is done, and never more shall we
square the low yards and stagger on the sea.

Here are the hearts we love,the lips we know,
The hands of seafarers who came before.
The eyes that wept for me a night ago
Are laughing now that we shall part no more.
All grief is done; and never more shall we
Make sail at dawning for the luring sea.

Pp. 201-202; Bliss Carman and Lorne Pierce, chosen by, 1922 (1935 rev.), "Our Canadian Literature, Representative Verse, English and French," The Ryerson Press, Toronto.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 05:49 PM

The only real similarity between Tarpaulin Jacket and Fiddler's green lies in the first line of the chorus--actually in the six words "Wrap
me up in my"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fiddler's Green
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 07:19 PM

I think it was Bob Bolton who suggested a relationship to Tarpaulin jacket, in another of the threads on this song.
He was, of course, off-course and dead wrong.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 07:36 AM

A bunch of us pedants were sitting around the warm glow of our monitors discussing this song.

Here's my question, and it is in *no way* intended as a put-down, a criticism, or anything else snide, threatening, or negative. People who like this song should be commended for their good taste.

What I'd like to know is what makes people like it so much. I mean, not many of the singers are fishermen who expect to wind up in Fiddler's Green.

It's probably a hard question to answer, but I'd be interested in what Mudcatters think about it.

Not enough attention is paid to what songs *mean to the people who sing them.*


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 07:49 AM

A bunch of old pedants were glooming it down, in the King Canute saloon..."

;>)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:01 AM

The kid that handles the card catalog was humming a Schoenberg tune.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:11 AM

Back of the bar, with a Playstation Game, sat Hair-splitting Dan McGrew


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:18 AM

And praising de Man, with tenure her plan, was the grad-student known as Lou.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Fiddler's Green
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM

John Conolly has a MySpace Page with the definitive spelling of his name, PLUS his own recording of the song.

-Joe-


The Wikipedia article on Fiddler's Green is fascinating.


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Subject: ADD: Fiddler's Green (parody)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 11:16 PM

Elizabeth Block sent an interesting parody:

I don't think you have this. I think you'll want it! and I don't think there are a lot of people who still know it.

Fiddlers Green
(parody by Stu Cameron)

Oh Fiddlers Green is a place I've heard tell
Where folksingers go if they don't go to hell
There's guest sets and ceilidhs if you want to play
And if you're a performer you don't have to pay

Dress me up in my levis and denims
No more on the stage I'll be seen
We'll sing the old chorus
Until we get hoarse
And I'll see you someday at Fiddlers Green

The first time you go there you think it's a zoo
Is everyone crazy, or is it just you?
There's puns in profusion, the language is blue
You've just been exposed to the Fiddlers Green crew

The audience listens, they know every song
They always can tell if you're singing it wrong
You can lie at you leisure, there's no work to do
If you don't feel like singing, they'll sing it for you

When your song it is over and the first half is through
There's a break for refreshments and a trip to the loo
The bagels are toasted, the butter is free
And the coffee and tea taste identically

I don't want a harp or a guitar, not me
Just give me a tune and I'll sing it off-key
Just give me a finger to stick in my ear
So I won't have to listen to what you will hear

When the evening is over and you've done your bit
You'll hear the sweet voices of Jim, Tam, and Grit
If you don't eat your garbage please take it along
Or we'll force you to listen to more of this song

By the late Stu Cameron, about the now defunct folk club in Toronto. He was a member of the Friends of Fiddlers Green (the group still exists, and do a concert once a year in the fall). Jim is Jim Strickland; Tam is the late Tam Kearney; Grit is Grit Laskin.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: GUEST,Roger.
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 03:15 PM

When I was away at sea Fiddlers Green was the China Bar in Keelung!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 05:10 AM

maybe it's been covered above, but where did the blanket come from in the Irish version?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 04:00 PM

I wrote a parody myself, after one of our local fiddlers died: Tam Flanagan was a bit of a local legend, and had lost both legs having 2 "tin legs" prosthetic replacements: various stories bout hen his legs disappeared fter a few drams and pints! I did send the lyrics to John Conolly, and he was very generous in approving their use which was anyway just among friends and not for any commercial purpose.

Fiddlers' Green

(Special version for Tam Flanagan, RIP 11.08.03.)   
Song based on "Fiddlers' Green" by John Conolly.

As I walked through the West Port one wet afternoon
The "Black Bitch" was full and there's mony a fine tune,
I heard there a fiddler plying his bow,
"By the way, won't be long now till I have tae go"

Chorus
Dress me up in my old tartan waistcoat,
No more at the "Bitch" I'll be seen,
Just tell my old friends my life's reaching its end,
And I'll see you some day on Fiddlers' Green.

Now Fiddlers' Green is a place I've heard tell
Where fiddlers go if they've played their tunes well,
Where ideas inspiring flow free to your mind,
And fine melodies are written of every kind.
Chorus

When Tam got tae fifty, the pints they flowed free,
We sang him "Freewheeling", there was a tear in his e'e,
He told us of stories and glories he'd known,
And then he played us three tunes of his own.
Chorus

"By the way" says oor Tam, "That's yin o' my ain",
He challenged us all tae play it again,
Wi' lots of odd rhythms and changes of key,
Not much chance of a sang frae you or frae me.
Chorus

So his fiddle lies still in the old battered case,
As Tam has now gone tae his last resting place,
His case told the miles and the places he'd gone,
And his tunes for the fiddler will sure linger on.
Chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 05:09 AM

In addition to the correct spelling of John Conolly's name, perhaps it's worthy of note that the song's title is Fiddler's Green, not Fiddlers' Green; the singular here is used to represent all fiddlers, I think.

As no one has mentioned it before, I'll add that the song, in its true form, may be found in The Singing River, a book compiled by Conolly and his friend, Bill Meek, and containing twenty-five of their songs (written individually). Conolly writes:

'Based upon the traditional belief that seamen have their own unconventional version of Paradise, this song seems to have a universal appeal and has travelled all over the world. It is especially popular in Ireland where, if travellers' tales are to be believed, it has been sung in every public bar in the land (not, regrettably, by the author).'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: weerover
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 06:33 AM

I have a vague memory of Jack Foley singing a parody (his own composition) based on the climbing community. The chorus began, "Hap me up in me bugbag and duvet...", but I don't remember any more of it.

TB, is that Black Bitch the pub which used to host a folk club in Linithgow, hosted by Nora something, again my ageing memory being imperfect?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 01:03 PM

@Gordon Jackson: I have always been very careful to spell John's surname correctly, especially for any posters or other publicity for his attendance as guest at our club. Having heard the original songs many times aurally, rather than seen the title written down, I would have assumed that it referred to more than one seaman or fiddler, and therefore the apostrophe would go after the s.
While I don't dispute what you say about how it appears in his songbook, I have his CD from 2013, which is entitled "The Man from Fiddlers' Green"(with apostrophe after the s. Fiddlers' Green is the last track on the CD, and also has an apostrophe after the s! And it also says "notes by John Conolly". So maybe as time has gone on and more seamen and fiddlers have gone to the Green, he has decided that the plural should be recognised?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 01:16 PM

@ Weerover: don't think I have heard Jack F's parody, but he has written some great songs!
Yes, "The Black Bitch" pub in Linlithgow was one of several venues used by Linlithgow Folk Club, and in more recent times by Linlithgow Folk Festival Association (LFFA) for their sessions. The club was indeed run by Nora Devine, who gave first or early gigs to such people as Aly Bain, Barbara Dickson and The McCalmans. Sadly, she died in 1999, but her memory is still fresh in the minds of those who knew her. LFFA run a festival every year in September, and our outdoor stage became the Nora Devine stage. Also she was inducted into the Scottish Trad Music Hall of Fame in the last round of new inductees: Nora Devine


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 02:59 AM

@Tattie Bogle: People do get John Conolly's name wrong, and I think we should all ensure we get it right - I wasn't suggesting you got it wrong. Regarding the apostrophe, well perhaps even John Conolly can't decide! A singular noun can be used to represent a group (e.g. The Handmaid's Tale), even though most of the time a plural noun would be used. If he writes it both ways, I suppose we can too!


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Subject: Fiddlers Green
From: Pamber
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 04:43 PM

John Conolly has recorded two versions of his great song with the one on the album Ranter’s Wharf having different lyrics and a delightfully reflective air to it, do any of you wise men know why the different lyrics
Paul
Sorry of this an old question just point me to the thread!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Mar 21 - 05:27 PM

From the Ranter's Wharf liner notes:

I felt that the song which gets me all the work had earned a berth on this CD, but I've recorded it several times before, and I wanted this one to be special—so I wrote some extra verses, which transport the listener to some of the alternative versions of Fiddlers' Green found in folklore and legend… The song is increasingly being used as a final farewell to old shipmates, and I hope this version may provide some comfort in those sad circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 06:01 AM

We use a mixture of alternate old and new lyrics on the version that we do as Caffrey/McGurk/Madge, switching between Nick and Ed singing.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Pamber
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 12:40 PM

Thanks Reinhard I have the Cd but forgot that, even in this internet age there is still such a thing as simply bloody reading the cover notes.
Paul


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Pamber
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 01:16 PM

So I now understand the context of the second version and have been transcribing it but my hearing is not what it was and there are some words I cannot discern. (Marked with question marks below) Are there any people with two ears that can help an old “unilug”

Fiddlers Green
John Conolly


As I roved by the dockside one evening so rare
To view the still waters and take the salt air
I heard an old fisherman singing this song,
Oh take me away boys, me time is not long

Chorus
Dress me up in me oilskins and jumper
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates I'm takin a trip mates
And I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green


Far over the foam lies the land of the ????
The crossing, the voyage the turn of the wheel
Where fabled Valhalla once called to all men
And friends long forsaken may meet once again

Where all journeys end at the rim of the world
The banners of Avalon now are unfurled
And where is the boatman to bear me away
With the fast falling sun at the close of the day

Warm westerly winds my old fair weather friends
Come whisper your welcome to dreams without end
Old songs and old stories ring out and ring true
In ???? ??????? land where all things are made new

Oh I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me
Just give me a breeze and a good rollin’ sea
And I'll play me auld squeezebox as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin to sing me this song


Chorus
Dress me up in me oilskins and jumper
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates I'm takin a trip mates
And I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green


Just tell me old shipmates I'm takin a trip mates
And I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddlers' Green
From: Reinhard
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 02:09 PM

Far over the foam lies the land of the leal

In Tír na nÓg's land where all things are made new

And on John Conolly's albums the song is consistently called Fiddlers' Green, not Fiddler's Green, so I presume that's the correct title.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green
From: Pamber
Date: 15 Mar 21 - 02:58 PM

Thanks again Reinhard
Paul


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Subject: RE: Origins: Fiddler's Green (John Conolly)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Jul 24 - 10:45 AM

The reason why I detest Facebook is that too often people hop on there to ask music questions instead of looking to the original Mudcat site first. Any answers over there quickly drift down the page and information is lost. And for the fellow who asked today's question, the answers abounded at Mudcat already.

This is the query on the Mudcat Annex over at Facebook. Use that page for announcing events and sharing photos, but keep the music research here at the Mudcat Cafe. (You can search Facebook, but the results are in no particular order or context if you know what to search for.)


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