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Lyr Add: Mary Ellen Carter PARODY (Blue/Rogers)


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Barbara... 01 May 98 - 11:34 PM
BK 01 May 98 - 11:42 PM
Barbara 02 May 98 - 12:15 AM
S.P. Buck Mulligan 02 May 98 - 12:10 PM
Tim Jaques 03 May 98 - 05:16 PM
03 May 98 - 08:54 PM
FL Luthier 03 May 98 - 11:00 PM
steve t 04 May 98 - 01:44 AM
steve t 04 May 98 - 01:45 AM
dick greenhaus 04 May 98 - 04:21 PM
Tim Jaques 04 May 98 - 07:01 PM
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Subject: new Stan Rogers parody
From: Barbara...
Date: 01 May 98 - 11:34 PM


parody of the Mary Ellen Carter
Words: Bob Blue et al
Music: Stan Rogers

The eensie-weensie spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the eensie-weensie spider climbed again
She wouldn't let the elements distract her from her goal;
The purpose of her struggle was embedded in her soul.
Now, see the sun shine down on beasts, on women and on men
And like the eensie-weensie spider, rise again!

Rise again, rise again!
She will not let misfortune keep her from doing what she can,
So whether your legs number two, or four, or eight, or ten,
Be like that eensie-weensie spider, rise again!

This eensie weensie metaphor's a lesson for us all -
We cannot be defeated if we rise each time we fall,
And if you think this story's one you learned too long ago,
Then think about some other ones you know.
You know the myth of Sisyphus, and you know Jack and Jill
It's such a potent image going up and down a hill,
So every time you fall, or lose a lover or a friend,
Be like that eensie-weensie spider: Rise again!


Perhaps you think this allegory goes a bit too far
Climbing up a pipe is not like reaching for a star
But whether its's a water spout or mountain that you climb
You've come this far; indulge me one more time.
It could be said that each of us climbs up a water spout.
The downward pull of gravity is not what it's about:
The upward pull of hope is what will save us in the end.
Be like that eensie-weensie spider: Rise again!

Final Chorus:
Rise again, Rise again!
Never let misfortune keep your from doing what you can,
And whether your legs number two, or four, or eight, or ten,
Be like the eensie-weensie spider: Rise again!

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: BK
Date: 01 May 98 - 11:42 PM

A little serious for a parody, but I like it; I wonder - maybe Stan would've liked it too?? I bet he had a sense of humor!

Cheers, BK

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: Barbara
Date: 02 May 98 - 12:15 AM

Sorry, don't know why my name vanished from the header when I posted that.I bet he would have loved it, tho it was sometimes hard to call. Barbara

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: S.P. Buck Mulligan
Date: 02 May 98 - 12:10 PM

Actually, it's hardly parodic at all - it's very well done, and I suspect (though it's pure speculation) SR would have smiled. While we're on the subject, liner notes on one or two of Stan's albums make veiled references to his having been perhaps not the easiest guy in the world to get along with. Does anyone have background on that? Also - are there any SR songs that mention Fancophones or Native Americans? I have most of his recorded stuff, all but Turn,Turn,Turn and Between The Breaks, and there's nary a peep about anyone but white Anglophones; and Scots/Irish/Brit at that. Just wondering.

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 03 May 98 - 05:16 PM

He was an Anglophone, although I believe of Irish descent.

He mentions a Wyandotte on the song about the area where I live, The Nancy, but the native doesn't do much except to tell the captain of the Nancy that Amherstberg had fallen. (Incidently, The Moy or Moy Hall was on the Detroit River, not on Lake St. Clair as he has it. It stood between what are now Hall and Moy Avenues in Windsor, Ontario.)

You can't expect him to have sung about the native or French experience. That would be Voice Appropriation, which is Not A Good Thing In The 1990's. There are plenty of native and French people to look after that. Stan probably sang what he knew about. He was ahead of his time that way. You may as well say that Robertson Davies was not a good author, because he wrote about southern Ontario for the most part and didn't get into the other parts of Canada about which he knew little. Similarly, David Adams Richards sets all his novels in New Brunswick, and most Quebecois authors set theirs in Quebec.

I have it on excellent authority that a new CD of previously unreleased Stan Rogers material will be out some time this summer. I don't know what's on it but I hope some traditional or quasi-traditional Canadian folk songs, as he had a good feel for them.

Yes, he apparently was hard to get along with in the sense that he didn't suffer fools lightly. I know a man here who used to sing on the same folk club circuit as him back in the 1970's who is of this opinion.

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
Date: 03 May 98 - 08:54 PM

Thanks Tim. I wasn't looking for a fight or criticsing SR in any way, believe me. He's a favorite. Simply asking whether there were things I didn't know (always a good bet). Great to hear there's more material coming. I fully understand the tendency to write of and to our own cultures, simply wondered whether he had made any attempts anywhere to search out wider definitions of "Canadian".

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: FL Luthier
Date: 03 May 98 - 11:00 PM

I was absolutly stunned to find a copy of SR's Turnaround album in a local music store, I suspect they ordered it by mistake, but so what, its mine now. I heard "the Jeanie C" at a friends house years & years ago and Stan kind slipped my mind, living in SW Florida is not exactly the epicentre of the folk world, untill I saw this album again. My Word . . . am I impressed with his voice and material. My favorite cut on the cd is Second Effort, great song and sentiment. I do have a question of you afficinados though, are the rest of his albums as "produced" as this one is, ie drums, electrics, etc? I'm not complaning, I just hear a lot of great accoustic stuff happening too and wonder if he did any strictly accoustic albums and which ones do you recommend?


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From: steve t
Date: 04 May 98 - 01:44 AM

A Stan web site:

Re: what Stan liked. I heard that the Battlefield Band played a half-remembered fourth hand version of Barrett's Privateers and Stan was pretty pleased -- loved the idea that his songs had a life of their own, and that someone was trying to do something with them, rather than slavishly trying to imitate him.

What is the best album? Between the Breaks, Live. But all his albums have at least three or four favourites of mine. Personally, I like SINGING his songs a bit more than I like listening to them -- there are a couple of tribute albums out that you can get all the music from.

His main five albums are:

Fogarty's Cove
Between the Breaks, Live
Northwest Passage
From Fresh Water

Words and interesting chording for the first four albums are in his songbook.

For the Family -- I think he's just singing songs relatives wrote on this one, and a few trad. songs and it's not as good.

There's also a CBC concert album, Home in Halifax, that some people have said is pretty good and includes MOST of his best songs. I'd rather have Between the Breaks, Live, even though it has fewer songs.

Also, I found this neat little gem about the REAL meaning of the Mary Ellen Carter: I once explained to another folk performer my theory that the song was not about a ship at all - it was about an ageing and overweight lady of the evening who entered into an agreement with several sailors in a bar, and was proceeding to her apartment with them when she fell down and was too drunk to get up herself, and so heavy that the customers had a great deal of trouble lifting her so they could go about their mutual business/pleasure. The guy had to quit performing the song for a few months because he would break out laughing in the middle and forget the words.

As for the merrits of these lyrics, I think the message is delivered far better in the original lyrics. I like the Gilligan's Island lyrics better -- though it really takes some concentration NOT to slip into the Gilligan's Island theme when trying this in your head:

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip,
Of seven stranded castaways aboard one tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailing man, the skipper brave and sure;
They set sail for a three-hour tour.
The weather started getting rough; their cookies all got tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost.
They set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
And it looked like they'd be stuck there for a while.

Now Gilligan was not too bright, and he made the Skipper mad.
He got them all in trouble, and sometimes it was bad.
Mr. Howell was a millionaire, which means his wife was too,
And the strange thing was, he sounded like Magoo.
Ginger was a movie star who acted like a whore,
And Mary Ann was much too cute to be the girl next door.
The Professor tried his best to bring them rescue; even then,
We all knew they could NOT go home again.

Home again, home again.
To be reunited with family and friends
Would have plummeted the ratings and made the series end
So we all knew they could not go home again.

Sometimes the tide of life flows on, and sometimes it just ebbs,
And sometimes our friend Gilligan looked just like Maynard Krebs.
He never sang or played guitar; he never wrote a song
That's how we knew his name was Bob, not John.
They were set upon by cannibals and guest celebrities.
They must have built a thousand boats that never sailed the seas.
The whole world knew that they were there -- and watched them every week
But rescue was a word we did not speak.

One time they made poor Gilligan dress up in women's clothes.
He didn't want to do it, but they forced him, I suppose.
They used that bit to make into an ad, the lousy slimes;
I must have seen the clip a thousand times.
And when the series ended, even though the show was done,
Not any of them got sent home. Oh no, not even one.
I tuned in to the reunion but could not last till the end,
So I don't know if they all got home again.

Home again, home again.
To be reunited with family and friends
Would have plummeted the ratings and made the series end,
So we all knew they could not go home again.

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: steve t
Date: 04 May 98 - 01:45 AM

I forgot to mention in my previous post:

parody lyrics to Home Again were by Raoul I. Benefiche

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 May 98 - 04:21 PM

Just to mention it- It's a fine parody and a good song. It's also in the database.

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Subject: RE: new Stan Rogers parody
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 04 May 98 - 07:01 PM

I agree that the songs written by his family members (not Garnett) on For the Family are not so hot, but this CD contains his best renditions of old Canadian classics. A better version of Scarborough Settler's Lament or The Badger Drive I have never heard.

It is also mostly accoustic.

I do agree though that his albums would have been better off not being so "over" produced, but I guess that was the style of the times. I think For The Family indicated that he was moving away from that style of production.

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