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Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)

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THE MERMAN


Mrrzy 26 Jun 02 - 03:42 PM
Mrrzy 26 Jun 02 - 03:42 PM
MMario 26 Jun 02 - 03:48 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Jun 02 - 09:03 PM
Mrrzy 27 Jun 02 - 10:31 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jun 02 - 12:16 PM
Mrrzy 27 Jun 02 - 02:02 PM
widowmaker 28 Jun 02 - 02:06 AM
Mrrzy 28 Jun 02 - 10:13 AM
MMario 28 Jun 02 - 10:26 AM
Mrrzy 01 Jul 02 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,doxy 28 Apr 04 - 04:16 PM
vectis 28 Apr 04 - 06:12 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 10 - 07:03 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MERMAN (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:42 PM

Well, this will turn into a Lyrics Add as soon as the one hole is plugged, and ) ye nautical ones, what is a cockatool?

THE MERMAN

(The Wolfe Tones)

I'm a sailorman from Wexford town, I've sailed the 7 seas
I'll tell you a true story of the sunny Southron seas
We were caught up in the Gorgons, while waiting for a breeze
When the stillness of the day was broken by a merman in the deep blue seas
Well the captain he slept below while the crew they lay about
When down in the ocean deep we heard this mighty shout
His hair was red, his eyes were green, his beard was floating free
He'd a long green tail that could kill a whale that wobbled in the deep blue sea
Cho: And the mermaids looked so beautiful as they swam around by the shore
But this merman with his fishy tail I've never seen before
And sailors tell the tallest tales, I've never told a lie
He'd a long green tail that could kill a whale and that waggled as he swam close by
(…)
Then the cuckatool well he ran below, woke the captain from his sleep
And the captain came on deck at once, took a look into the deep
"O I've never seen the likes of this!" And the merman then he soon agreed
"Then who are you, where do you come from, what do you want here?"
Well he shook his tail, it rocked the boat, and filled our hearts with fear
"You've dropped your anchor on my house, it's blocking up me door
And me wife, the mermaid, she's trapped inside, and me children can't get out no more!"
Cho
Well we quickly hoisted anchor, boys, and the merman then did smile
"Sure, me name is Patrick John O'Rourke, I come from Erin's isle
It was many years ago from now I was shipwrecked on the reef
When this pretty mermaid she rescued me from the perils of the ocean deep
And we very soon were married way down in the deep blue sea
And I'm happy and contented with me wife and family
Though I oft-times wish I could go home and live on Ireland's shores
But I'm committed to the ocean blue* and I can't go home again no more"
Cho


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:42 PM

*I sing BLUE, they sing DEEP, but BLUE rhymes better.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 03:48 PM

I was hoping this would be the Merman in the DT so I could ask for a tune.

so I'll just have to ask for both tunes. anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 09:03 PM

It appears to be a modern, cut-down re-write of the song you mention, MMario, re-located to Ireland for some reason. (Oh dear; Declan will think I'm a racist for saying that!) The text quoted in the DT was published without a tune, though other versions have been recorded in Newfoundland and thereabouts, in books I don't have access to at present. If the Wolfe Tones acknowledged a source for this text, though, it would be good to know what it was, and what tune they used for it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 10:31 AM

Email me to set up a time and I'll sing it to you...

Anybody know the missing line? Ends in ... of the deep, I think. And WHAT is a cuckatool?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:16 PM

In fact, there is a variant noted in Wexford, and cited in the Roud Folk Song Index, which I missed last night. It appeared in Joseph Ranson's Songs of the Wexford Coast (1948; reprinted 1975). From the opening line quoted, 'Twas in the month of January, way down in the southern seas, it doesn't seem to be the one we have here. Nevertheless, I may have been a little unfair to the Wolfe Tones this time. Their official website, incidentally, does have a little background on some of the songs they've recorded (not always terribly accurate) but they have no comment to make on this one.

There's a brief sound-sample at Amazon: Wolfe Tones: A Sense of Freedom; not long enough to identify the tune with any certainty or to supply the missing words.

A broadside example can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadsides:

The merman ("'Twas in the month of January, away in the Southern seas ...")  Printed between 1850 and 1899 by T. Pearson, 4, & 6, Chadderton Street, Oldham Road, Manchester. This too has a chorus (the DT text does not)

Blow ye winds I oh, blow ye winds y'heave ho,
Clear away the morning dew, and blow ye winds I oh!
This would suggest that the broadside text at least was intended to be sung to some form of Clear [Blow] Away the Morning Dew; the sound clip above does indeed resemble that a bit, particularly in the snatch of chorus. The sea song Blow Ye Winds [in the Morning] is also related somewhere along the line. There's no evidence that the Vermont set was sung to any of the tune variants associated with that lot, of course, though it may have been.

The Merman itself has the look of a 19th century comic song originating on the stage; it doesn't seem ever to have been widespread in tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 02:02 PM

I am reminded also of the Ed McCurdy song about being married to a mermaid at the bottom of the deep blue sea, and it's rule, Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, and Britains never never never shall be married to a mermaid at the bottom of the deep blue sea. And your Blow ye winds reminds me of one by the Kingston Trio, blow ye winds in the morning, blow ye winds high-ho, clear away your running gear and blow ye winds high-ho (a whaling song, not a mermaid/merman song).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: widowmaker
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 02:06 AM

It's "the cook O'Toole as in the cooks name


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:13 AM

The cook O'toole! LOL! First name, mondegreen... here I thought it was some nautical job I'd never heard of!

Now all we need is the somethings of the deep...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:26 AM

"Mondegreen O'Toole" - sounds like a character from a play.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 10:07 AM

Missing line = Was it Neptune that appeared to us from his mansions in the deep


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)Tune rquest
From: GUEST,doxy
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 04:16 PM

Did anyone find the music for this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: vectis
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 06:12 PM

This version was probably written by Brian Warfield, he's the group's main songwriter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Merman (Wolfe Tones)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:03 AM

Was it Neptune that appeared to us
From his mansions in the deep?
Then the cook O¢Toole then he ran below

thats the part is missing me men after the first chorus.

greetings from greece - Éirinn go Brách


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