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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)


Stilly River Sage 03 Jul 24 - 10:45 AM
Pamber 15 Mar 21 - 02:58 PM
Reinhard 15 Mar 21 - 02:09 PM
Pamber 15 Mar 21 - 01:16 PM
Pamber 15 Mar 21 - 12:40 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 15 Mar 21 - 06:01 AM
Reinhard 14 Mar 21 - 05:27 PM
Pamber 14 Mar 21 - 04:43 PM
Gordon Jackson 01 Mar 21 - 02:59 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 Feb 21 - 01:16 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Feb 21 - 01:03 PM
weerover 28 Feb 21 - 06:33 AM
Gordon Jackson 28 Feb 21 - 05:09 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Feb 21 - 04:00 PM
GUEST 26 Feb 21 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Roger. 25 Feb 21 - 03:15 PM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 21 - 11:16 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 08:18 AM
MartinRyan 02 Mar 11 - 08:11 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 08:01 AM
MartinRyan 02 Mar 11 - 07:49 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 11 - 07:36 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 07:19 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Sep 07 - 05:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 05:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 07 - 04:48 PM
Schantieman 18 Jun 07 - 06:45 AM
SouthernCelt 17 Jun 07 - 03:07 PM
Haruo 17 Jun 07 - 07:05 AM
Cats 17 Jun 07 - 05:40 AM
Haruo 17 Jun 07 - 03:11 AM
Amos 27 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Jan 07 - 04:58 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 07 - 07:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM
Amos 25 Jan 07 - 03:54 PM
Amos 25 Jan 07 - 03:48 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM
EBarnacle1 16 Apr 03 - 12:39 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Apr 03 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,lighter 15 Apr 03 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,John 15 Apr 03 - 09:09 PM
open mike 13 Apr 03 - 02:59 AM
Celtaddict 13 Apr 03 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Julia 12 Apr 03 - 10:27 PM
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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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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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 08:01 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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 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. 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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