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Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down

DigiTrad:
RED IRON ORE


Mrrzy 08 Jul 02 - 12:15 PM
Francy 08 Jul 02 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,MCP 08 Jul 02 - 12:25 PM
masato sakurai 08 Jul 02 - 12:26 PM
Francy 08 Jul 02 - 12:26 PM
Mrrzy 08 Jul 02 - 01:34 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 02 - 02:52 PM
Mrrzy 08 Jul 02 - 03:25 PM
masato sakurai 08 Jul 02 - 03:54 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 02 - 04:40 PM
Jon Bartlett 08 Jul 02 - 06:13 PM
Art Thieme 08 Jul 02 - 06:23 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jul 02 - 07:41 PM
masato sakurai 09 Jul 02 - 12:58 AM
Bev and Jerry 09 Jul 02 - 01:12 AM
masato sakurai 09 Jul 02 - 02:12 AM
masato sakurai 09 Jul 02 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford at work 09 Jul 02 - 04:17 AM
masato sakurai 09 Jul 02 - 04:35 AM
Wolfgang 09 Jul 02 - 05:02 AM
Wolfgang 09 Jul 02 - 05:04 AM
Mrrzy 09 Jul 02 - 10:12 AM
Mrrzy 12 Jul 02 - 03:42 PM
Art Thieme 13 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM
Artful Codger 24 Sep 09 - 05:22 AM
Mrrzy 24 Sep 09 - 08:23 AM
GUEST 24 Sep 09 - 05:52 PM
Artful Codger 24 Sep 09 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Mike G 20 Jun 10 - 09:54 PM
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MikeG24 31 May 11 - 09:32 AM
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Subject: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:15 PM

"...We looked like red devils, our backs they got sore
We cursed Escanaba and that red iron ore
Derry down, down, down derry down..."

What's the rest? It may be in the Trad, the search function is down. It's about a ship ferrying ore across the Great Lakes... I had it by Ed McCurdy somewhere. There is a line about:

Here's a health to the Roberts, she's strong and she's true
Here's a health to the bold boys that make up her crew

which is what reminded me of this song, the thread on Health to the Company. Thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Francy
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:24 PM

Our friend Art Thieme has it on his Waterbug CD.....Great version.........Frank of Toledo....will send the lyrics later, if no one does it before I get back from town....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:25 PM

As you suspected, there is a version in the DT as Red Iron Ore.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:26 PM

RED IRON ORE

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Francy
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:26 PM

It's in the Digitrad. Just look under R and it's there...............


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 01:34 PM

I tried, so thanks for the link. The version I know is slightly different, but this is indeed the song. Thanks!


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Subject: ZDTStudy: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on this song, so maybe we can make this thread into an unedited DTStudy. I'll post the DT lyrics and the Traditional Ballad Index entry. Are there alternate versions of the lyrics or tune, or related songs?

-Joe Offer-

RED IRON ORE

Come all you bold sailors that follow the Lakes
On an iron ore vessel your living to make.
I shipped in Chicago, bid adieu to the shore,
Bound away to Escanaba for red iron ore.
Derry down, down, down derry down.

In the month of September, the seventeenth day,
Two dollars and a quarter is all they would pay,
And on Monday morning the Bridgeport did take
The E. C. Roberts out in the Lake.
Derry down, down, down derry down.

The wind from the southard sprang up a fresh breeze,
And away through Lake Michigan the Roberts did sneeze
Down through Lake Michigan the Roberts did roar,
And on Friday morning we passed through death's door.
   Derry down, down, down derry down.

This packet she showled across the mouth of Green Bay,
And before her cutwater she dashed the white spray,
We rounded the snad point, and anchor let go,
We furled in our canvas and the watch went below
   Derry down, down, down derry down.

Next morning we have alongside the Exile
And soon was made fast to an iron ore pile,
They lowered their chutes and like thunder did roar,
They spouted into us that red iron ore.
   Derry down, down, down derry down.

Some sailors took shovels while others got spades,
And some took wheelbarrows, each man to his trade.
We looked like red devils, our fingers got sore.
We cursed Escanaba and that damned iron ore.
   Derry down, down, down derry down.

The tug Escanaba she towed out the Minch
The Roberts she thought she had left in a pinch
And as she passed by us she bid us good-bye
Saying, "We'll meet you in Cleveland next Fourth of July."
Derry down, down, down derry down.

Through Louse Island it blew a fresh breeze,
We made the Foxes, the Beavers, the Skillageles;
We flew by the Minch for to show her the way
And she ne'er hove in sight till we were off Thunder Bay.
Derry down, down, down derry down.

Across Saginaw Bay the Roberts did ride
With the dark and deep water rolling over her side.
And now for Port Huron the Roberts must go,
Where the tug Kate Williams she took us in tow,
   Derry down, down, down derry down.

We went through North Passage---O Lord, how it blew!
And all 'round the Dummy a large fleet there came too
The night being dark, Old Nick it would scare
We hove up next morning and for Cleveland did steer.
Derry down, down, down derry down.

Now the Roberts is in Cleveland, made fast stem and stern
And over the bottle we'll spin a big yarn.
But Captain Harvey Shannon had ought to stand treat
For getting into Cleveland ahead of the fleet.
   Derry down down, down derry down.

Now my song it is ended, I hope you won't laugh.
Our dunnage is packed and all hands are paid off.
Here's a health to the Roberts, she's staunch, strong and true,
Nor forgotten the bold boys that comprise her crew.
Derry down, down, down derry down.

from Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, Peters
DT #612
Laws D9
@sailor @lake @work
filename[ REDIRON
Tune file : DERRYDWN

CLICK TO PLAY
RG
Sung by M. C. Dean, Virginia , Minneso
used the same tune and refrain as is oft@
Bulls. Death's Door is the treacherous @
of Door County and Washington Isl:
justifiably) feared by Great Lakes
nineteenth century.






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.

Red Iron Ore [Laws D9]

DESCRIPTION: A sailor tells of a trip he took on the E.C. Roberts. They set out from Escanaba with a load of ore, and at last wind up in Cleveland. Life aboard an ore boat was not pleasant, but the sailor is proud of the good time the ship made
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1926
KEYWORDS: ship travel
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Laws D9, "Red Iron Ore"
Sandburg, pp. 176-178, "Red Iron Ore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 477-479, "Red Iron Ore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 63, "Red Iron Ore" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 183-184, "Red Iron Ore" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 95, "Red Iron Ore" (1 text)
DT 612, REDIRON*

RECORDINGS:
Art Thieme, "Red Iron Ore" (on Thieme02) (on Thieme06)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Iron Ore by 'Fifty-Four" (tune)
File: LD09

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


In The Folk Songs of North America, Alan Lomax uses an edited version of the rickaby text, taken from Rickaby's Ballads and Songs of the Shanty Boy. The Lomax book refers to "Old Louise Island," instead of "Louse Island."
I have marked the parts of the DT text that I have questions about - it seems to be an exact transcription of Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin except for one incorrect spelling of "Cleveland."
The text from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag (1927) is the same as the Rickaby text - as far as I can tell, Sandburg does not identify his sources. There are a few notable differences in the Sandburg text, and they make more sense than what we have in the DT-Rickaby text. In verse 4, Sandburg has "the wind howled" (instead of "showled") and "rounded the sand point (nstead of "snad"). Verse 5 has "next morning we hove (instead of "have").


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Subject: ZDTStudy: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 02:52 PM

I see that part of the background notes are missing from the DT text. I wonder what Dick was trying to say there...
I think he was quoting from the text of Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin:
Sung by M.C. Dean, Virginia, Minnesota, for Franz Rickaby. Dean used the same tune and refrain as is often used for "The Little Brown Bulls." Death's Door is the treacherous passageway between the tip of Door County and Washington Island, a place greatly (and justifiably) feared by Great Lakes sailors and pilots of the nineteenth century.
If my bleary eyes read both texts correctly, I'd say the text in the DT is an exact transcription from Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 03:25 PM

The version I have differs as follows from what is posted:

Verse 1: same

Verse 2: ...And on Monday morning a trip we did take / On a ship named the Roberts sailing out in the lake

Verse 3: missing in my version, so the next verse runs "...she threw the white spray" and in the next line, that is SAND, not SNAD.

Verse 4, your verse 6, my words in CAPS: Next morning we HOVE alongside the Exile
And soon WERE made fast to THAT iron ore pile,
They lowered their chutes WHICH SOON STARTED TO roar,
They WERE FILLING THE SHIP WITH that red iron ore.

Next verse: Some sailors took shovels while others got spades,
And some WORKED AT SLUICING, each man to his trade.
We looked like red devils, our BACKS THEY got sore.
We cursed Escanaba and that RED iron ore

Then my last verse combines your last 2:

WE SAILED HER TO Cleveland, made fast stem and stern
And WITH OUR COMPANIONS we'll spin a big yarn.
Here's a health to the Roberts, she's STRONG AND SHE'S true,
HERE'S A HEALTH TO the bold boys that MAKE UP her crew.

The more I hear this song in my brain, the less it's by Ed McCurdy. It might be Bob Gibson. I'll have to ask Mom next time I go up... or does anybody here recognize my exact version?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 03:54 PM

Bob Gibson's "Red Iron Ore" (sound clip) is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 04:40 PM

Here are the less-than-helpful notes from Lomax, The Folk Songs of North America:
A mining engineer, named George Sturz, who was a dreamer and a stubborn man, came into the low-lying hills west of Lake Superior with the conviction that he would discover valuable mineral deposits there. He and his Negro servant, Bonga, fought through the tamarack, endured the attack of hordes of mosquitoes during long summer months, until Sturz found the iron deposits he was looking for. In 1884 he watched the first schooner laden with almost pure iron ore put out from a Minnesota port bound for the iron foundries of the East. Other iron pits opened back of Duluth and, before Sturz died, he saw on the Lakes a fleet of vessels of larger tonnage than the combined Pacific and Atlantic maritime fleets of the U.S.A., carrying the iron for the sinews of the nation east along the Lakes.
This ballad, set to the ever-fresh Irish derry-down tune, stems from the days of sailing ships and shovel loading. Today the leading docks of Duluth can pour twelve thousand tons of iron into the hold of an ore-carrying steamer in a quarter of an hour. Then with her decks nearly awash, the great vessel surges out into the wicked chop of Lake Superior to race her sister ships for the ports along Lake Erie's shore.
SOURCE: North Star Country, Meridel le Sueur.

Here is what Sandburg says in American Songbag, which is somewhat more helpful (although I wonder why he tells us twice to "see any atlas"):
Three of the Great Lakes (see any atlas) are traversed in this odyssey of red iron ore. It is a log, the diary of a ship and its men on one cruise. The facts are specific. The E. C. Roberts was a boat. So was The Minch. Riding up Lake Michigan, they passed through death's door; the lake storms were ugly. At Escanaba loading red ore, they "looked like red devils." The crew of The Minch thumbed their noses and taunted, "We'll see you in Cleveland next Fourth of July." But the E. C. Roberts got there ahead of the fleet. A crew of "bold boys" they were, even if they say so themselves. The singer is humble, "Now my song is ended, I hope you won't laugh." The tune is old Irish; the repeated line with each verse, "Derry down, down, down derry down," is in old ballads. It is a virile song, a tale of grappling with harsh elements and riding through, a rattling tune and a devil-may-care timebeat. It may, at first, seem just a lilt with a matter-of-fact story. It is more than that; it is a little drama; the singer should know what it is to shovel red iron ore; the singer should know the wide curves of that ship path from Chicago to Cleveland on three Great Lakes (see any atlas).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 06:13 PM

Add as another source: "Songs of the Great Lakes" coll. Edith Fowke, Folkways FM 4018 1964. She has "The E.C. Roberts" as sung by Stanley Baby (there's a circumflex on the "a") of Toronto. His dad had sailed on the Roberts as mate. "Skillagalee" was a folk idiom for "Isle aux Galets". She refers to comparative versions noted in Laws, native American balladry, D 9. There are minor textual differences: the captain's name (v11) is given as "Captain Harve Rummage". I will input the whole of the song if it's of use.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 06:23 PM

Friend, Lee Murdock, does this nicely and pretty completely. Mine is a bit truncated---as was Bob Gibson's. I got mine from hearing Bob in the late '50s but it changed over the years and by the time I issued it on a CD, well...

Art Thieme


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Subject: ADD Version: Red Iron Ore^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 07:41 PM

Jon, I'd like to see that version, if you have time to post it. It may help clarify some of the problems with the Rickaby/DT version. Here's a version that's quite different, from a gem of a new book called Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors, by Ivan Walton and Joe Grimm (2002).
-Joe Offer-

Red Iron Ore (The E.C. Roberts)

Come listen young fellows who follow the Lakes,
In iron ore vessels your living to make.
I shipped in Chicago, bid adieu to the shore,
Bound away to Escanaba for red iron ore.

In the month of September, the seventeenth day,
Two dollars and a quarter was all they would pay.
And on that same day, the north branch did take
The E. C. Roberts out into the lake.

The wind from the sou'west sprang up a stiff breeze,
And down through Lake Michigan the Roberts did sneeze,
And away through Lake Michigan the Roberts did roar,
And on Friday morning we passed through Death's Door.

Across the mouth of Green Bay this packet did ride
With the dark and deep water rolling over her side.
We rounded Sand Point, and our anchors let go,
We furled all our canvas, and then went below.

Next morning we hove in alongside the Exile,
And the Roberts made fast to an iron ore pile.
They let down their chutes, and like thunder did roar
As they emptied their pockets of red iron ore.

The tug Escanaba, she towed out the Minch,
The Roberts they thought they had left in a pinch.
And as they towed by us, they bid us good-bye,
Saying, "We'll see you in Cleveland next Fourth of July!"

We sailed out alone, through the passage sailed we,
Passed the Foxes, the Beavers, and Skillagalee.
We soon passed the Minch for to show her the way,
And she ne'er hove in sight 'til off Thunder Bay.

This packet rolled on across Saginaw Bay,
And over her bow there splashed the white spray.
And bound for the river the Roberts did go,
Where the tug Kate Williams, she took us in tow.

And down on old Erie, oh, Lord, how it blew!
And all around the dummy a large fleet came to.
The night, dark and stormy, Old Nick it would scare,
We hove up next morning, and for Cleveland did steer.

Now we're in Cleveland, made fast stem and stern,
And over the bottle we'll spin a good yarn.
I think Captain Rummage had ought to stand treat
For getting to Cleveland ahead of the fleet.

My song now is ended, and I hope you won't scoff;
Our dunnage is packed and all hands are paid off
Here's a health to the Roberts, she's staunch, strong and true.
Not forgotten are the boys who comprise her brave crew.


This passage song was second only to "The Timber Drogher Bigler" (see DT) for popularity on boats and in waterfront gathering places. The song tells of the mid-September trip of the schooner E. C. Roberts from Chicago to Escanaba, where it took on a cargo of iron ore, and the race to Cleveland that ensued with a
fleet of other ore carriers.
The Roberts, 273 gross tons, was built in Cleveland in 1856 for Brown and Reddington of that city for the general carrying trade. It remained on the Lakes for over half a century. F. L. Robertson of St. Clair, Michigan, owned the vessel in its twilight years as a tow barge.
Captain T. J. Crockett of Port Huron shipped on the Roberts as the vessel's boy in the mid-1890s when it still carried ore. He said that the Roberts was a "handy" schooner and that the crew sang this song. Harry Anderson of St. Clair, Michigan, who had sailed on the Roberts the previous decade, recalled much of the song and said he had also learned it aboard the vessel.
"Death's Door" in the third stanza is the sailors' translation of the French Portes des Mortes passage between Door County Peninsula and Washington Island, the entrance to Green Bay. The French Ile aux Galets, for "island of pebbles," was similarly mangled as "Skillagalee." The Foxes and Beavers are island groups in
northern Lake Michigan, and the "dummy" referred to in the third-from-last stanza was a decommissioned light in western Lake Erie. Near the end of the song, the singers might insert the name of the vessel master, whether Captain Rummage or Harvey Shannon or someone else, as a suggestion that the Old Man buy them a drink.
The song has not just two names, but two versions. The words and melody vary slightly, and both appear to have evolved from "The Dreadnaught" (described in chapter 4). J. Sylvester Ves Ray of Port Huron sang this in the summer of 1934 on his eighty-fourth birthday. He said he had learned it in the early 1870s "from a shipmate, Billy Clark of Buffalo, who composed it and dozens of others." Beaver Island's John W. Green, who also could sing the song complete, insisted that his sailor uncle, islander Peter O'Donnell, had composed it.
The tune sounds to me like "Sweet Betsy from Pike."

MIDI file: REDIRON.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Red Iron Ore (E.C. Roberts)
Text: By traditional
Key: A
TimeSig: 6/8 24 8
Start
0480 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 80 110 0094 0 80 000 0002 1 81 110 0094 0 81 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 76 110 0160 0 76 000 0032 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 80 110 0094 0 80 000 0002 1 81 110 0094 0 81 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0046 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0046 0 73 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 78 110 0094 0 78 000 0002 1 76 110 0160 0 76 000 0032 1 69 110 0046 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0046 0 71 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0046 0 73 000 0002 1 73 110 0046 0 73 000 0002 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 73 110 0094 0 73 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 68 110 0094 0 68 000 0002 1 69 110 0160 0 69 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Red Iron Ore (E.C. Roberts)
M:6/8
Q:1/4=120
K:A
A6|AceecA|BAGA2c|efgacc|defe2c|efgacc/2c/2|
defe2A/2B/2|ccc/2c/2edc|BAGA13/8||

^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 12:58 AM

The tune somewhat resembles "Henry Martin" (versions collected by Sharp, or sung by Baez; HENRY MARTIN in the DT with midi).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 01:12 AM

Nice bit of research, Joe.

We were brought up in Cleveland but we got over it. When we were kids, steel making was one of the big industries there. In fact, virtually all of America's steel was made in a relatively small area stretching from Pittsburgh west to Gary, Indiana.

The reason is that three ingredients are required to make steel using the Bessemer process: Coke, limestone and iron ore. Coke is made by roasting coal which was brought to Cleveland by rail from southern Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Limestone is readily available in the area. Sidewalks were made from slabs of limestone rather than concrete. Iron ore was brought by boat from the Mesabe Range in Minnesota.

Now coke and limestone are available twelve months of the year but iron ore isn't. In the winter, the lakes freeze making shipping impossible. So, when the lakes are navigable, more iron ore was shipped to the mills than they could use creating a big surplus of ore. By October/November virtual mountains of ore could be seen near the mills which they would process during the winter.

Every spring there would be competition to see which boat would be the first to get through. Likewise, every fall there would be competition to see which boat would be the last to get through. There was always at least one boat which would get frozen in and had to be rescued.

When the lakes weren't frozen, no matter when you looked out you could always see several iron ore boats. They were easily recognized because they look a little like oil tankers - flat on top with a structure at both ends.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 02:12 AM

There's a song, musically related only, called "The coal-owner and the pitman's wife," which has the line "Derry down, down, down derry down" at the end of each stanza. A.L. Lloyd writes in his Folk Song in England: "Seemingly it was made at the time of the 1844 Durham strike by a collier, William Hornsby of Shotton Moor.[...] in using a classical ballad form, the pitman-songmaker was not inspired by a romantic wish to revive the beauties of past folk song. In fact, no doubt involuntarily, his ballad emerges rather as a witty caricature of the lyric of former times. The tune belongs to the great family of 'Henry Martin' and a score of ballads with 'derrydown' refrain." (Paladin edition, p. 323) The song is HERE (Union Songs), with score & midi.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 03:56 AM

Songs to the tune of "Derry Down" [Tune file : DERRYDWN] in the DT are:

THE HEADS, or the year 1776
SPERRY RAND
RED IRON ORE
PICKLED JEW
KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF CANTERBURY
COAL OWNER AND PITMAN'S WIFE
BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE
ADVICE TO THE LOVELORN

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford at work
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 04:17 AM

Also surely The Dreadnaught (see DT)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 04:35 AM

Thanks. Songs in the DT to the tune of DRRYDWN2 are:

THE PUBLIC SPIRIT OF THE WOMEN
THE EPILOGUE
THE DREADNAUGHT
CASTLE ISLAND SONG

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 05:02 AM

A Ballad of New Scotland (on contemplator's site)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 05:04 AM

The 'contemplator' bit in my post is wrong.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 10:12 AM

I'm missing a verse - something about We loaded the Roberts till she couldn't hold more / filled up to the gunwales [gunnels] with that red iron ore... what are the first 2 lines of that? Not in the above versions... comes between cursing Escanaba and going out drinking?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jul 02 - 03:42 PM

refresh - about that missing verse? Still AWOL - anybody?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM

Bob Gibson sang this verse. I remember, now, but it disapeared from my doing of it. Don't know how that happened---but it did. I've got it here---somewhere easy to find under normal circumstances---------but NOW it's a different story. We are waiting to move and all is boxed up. When we are finished, whenever that might be, I'll check back here to see if anybody else has posted it first.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 05:22 AM

The text also appears as in the first text above in M.C. Dean's compilation The Flying Cloud, Virginia, MN, 1922.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 08:23 AM

Art? That missing verse? Thanks!


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Subject: Lyr Add: RED IRON ORE
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 05:52 PM

Hi all,

I've recorded this ballad on our (Chanteyranger and Radriano) soon to be released third shanty album. Here are the lyrics I have:

RED IRON ORE

Come all ye bold sailors that follow the Lakes
On an iron ore vessel your living to make
I shipped in Chicago, bid adieu to the shore
Bound away to Escanaba for red iron ore
Derry down, down, down derry down

In the month of September, the seventeenth day
Two dollars and a quarter is all they would pay
And on Monday morning the Bridgeport did take
The E.C. Roberts out in the Lake

The wind from the south'ard sprang up a fresh breeze
And away through Lake Michigan the Roberts did sneeze
Down through Lake Michigan the Roberts did roar
And on Friday morning we passed through death's door

This packet she howled across the mouth of Green Bay
And before her cutwater she dashed the white spray
We rounded the sandpoint, our anchor let go
We furled in our canvas and the watch went below

Next morning we hove alongside the Exile
And soon was made fast to an iron ore pile
They lowered their shutes and like thunder did roar
They spouted into us that red iron ore

Some sailors took shovels while others got spades
And some took wheelbarrows - each man to his trade
We looked like red devils, our fingers got sore
We cursed Escanaba and that damned iron ore

The tub Escanaba she towed out the Minch
The Roberts she thought she had left in a pinch
And as she passed by us she bid us goodbye
Saying, "We'll meet you in Cleveland next Fourth of July!"

Through Louse Island it blew a fresh breeze
We made the Foxes, the Beavers, the Skillagalees
We flew by the Minch for to show her the way
And she ne'er hove in sight till we were off Thunder Bay

Across Saginaw Bay the Roberts did ride
With the dark and deep waters rolling over her side
And now for Port Huron the Roberts must go
Where the tug Kate Williams she took us in tow

We went through North Passage - O Lord, how it blew!
And all round the Dummy a large fleet there came too
The night being dark, Old Nick it would scare
We hove up next morning and for Cleveland did steer

Now the Roberts is in Cleveland, made fast stem and stern
And over the bottle we'll spin a big yarn
But Captain Harvey Shannon had ought to stand treat
For getting into Cleveland ahead of the fleet

Now my song is ended, I hope you won't scoff
Our dunnage is packed and all hands are paid off
Here's a health to the Roberts, she's staunch, strong and true
Not forgotten the bold boys that comprise her crew

Radriano


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 06:10 PM

Mrrzy: (Assuming you meant me, not Art Thieme,) the version in The Flying Cloud, per my spot-checking, was like the version Joe gave (also from M.C. Dean, at one remove)--there was no additional verse either around the spot you mentioned or elsewhere. You can read this book at Google Books (also available as a free download). It has many lumber camp and "Irish" music hall songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: GUEST,Mike G
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 09:54 PM

Mrrzy - Sorry it took so long, I just was looking for some info on E. C. Roberts and stubled accross this page! Anyway, if you still havened found it yet, the verse you are thinking of (We loaded the Roberts till she couldn't hold more / filled up to the gunwales [gunnels] with that red iron ore... ) goes like this:

The dust got so thick you could scare see your nose,
It got in your eyes, it got in your clothes,
We loaded the Roberts till she couldn't hole more,
Right up to the gunnels with that red iron ore.

btw, it shows up in an abridged version of the song on page 95 of "The Foldsinger's Wordbook" Compiled by Fred and Irwin Silber 1973.

Mike


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Subject: Lyr Add: RED IRON ORE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jun 10 - 09:17 PM

The text below is from Flying Cloud compiled by M(ichael) C(assius) Dean (Virginia, Minnesota: The Quickprint, 1922), page 12?and it shows a few crucial differences from the version in the DT (which Joe Offer says is the same as Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin). The differences (which I have shown in bold) are such that I suspect the corresponding words in the DT are mere typos, made either in the transcription from Flying Cloud to Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, or from the latter to the DT.

I have also created links for some of the geographical names, and one other term that was unfamiliar to me.


RED IRON ORE.

Come, all you bold sailors that follow the lakes
On an iron ore vessel, your living to make;
I shipped in Chicago, bid adieu to the shore,
Bound away to Escanaba for red iron ore.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

In the month of September, the seventeenth day,
Two dollars and a quarter is all they would pay,
And on Monday morning from Bridgeport did take
The E. C. Roberts out in the lake.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

The wind from the southard sprang up a fresh breeze,
And away through Lake Michigan the Roberts did sneeze,
Down through Lake Michigan the Roberts did roar,
And on Friday morning we passed through death's door.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

This packet she howled across the mouth of Green Bay,
And before her cut water she dashed the white spray;
We rounded the sand point, our anchor let go,
We furled in our canvas and the watch went below.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Next morning we hove alongside the "Exile,"
And soon was made fast to an iron ore pile;
They lowered their chutes and like thunder did roar,
They spouted into us that red iron ore.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Some sailors took shovels, while others got spades,
And some took wheelbarrows, each man to his trade.
We looked like red devils, our fingers got sore,
We cursed Escanaba and damned iron ore.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

The tug Escanaba she towed out the "Minch,"
The Roberts, she thought, she had been left in a pinch,
And as they passed by us they bid us goodbye,
Saying, "We'll meet you in Cleveland next Fourth of July."
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Through Louse Island passage it blew a fresh breeze,
We made the Foxes, the Beavers and Skillageles;
We flew by the Minch for to show her the way,
And she ne'er hove in sight till we were off Thunder Bay.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Across Saginaw Bay the Roberts did ride,
With the dark and deep water rolling over her side,
And now for Port Huron the Roberts must go,
Where the tug Kate Williams she took us in tow.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

We went through North passage*?oh, Lord, how it blew!
And all 'round the Dummy[?] a large fleet there came, too;
The night being dark, Old Nick it would scare.
We hove up next morning and for Cleveland did steer.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Now the Roberts is in Cleveland, made fast stem and stern,
And over the bottle we'll spin a big yarn,
But Captain Harvey Shannon had ought to stand treat
For getting into Cleveland ahead of the fleet.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.

Now my song it is ended, I hope you won't laugh,
Our dunnage is packed and all hands are paid off;
Here is health to the Roberts, she's staunch, strong and true,
Not forgotten the bold boys that comprise her crew.
    Derry Down, Down, Down, Derry Down.


[* My guess is that "the north passage" refers to one of the channels of the St. Clair River, which forms a delta where it flows into Lake Saint Clair, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 09:35 AM

Peter Kasin and Richard Adrianowicz certainly do a spirited version of this song on their newly released CD titled With Shipmates All Around.

Not too many folks have recorded this fine traditional ballad. There is no tragic shipwreck but it's a graphic description of what life was like for this voyage of the E. C. Roberts.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Red Iron Ore / Derry down, down
From: MikeG24
Date: 31 May 11 - 09:32 AM

@Jim -

> [* My guess is that "the north passage" refers to one of the
> channels of the St. Clair River, which forms a delta where it
> flows into Lake Saint Clair, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie.]

This is what I thought for a long time, however, after doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that the song does not refer to the "North Channel" between Algonac and Anchor Bay, rather the passage between Pelee Island and Point Pelee. I say this due to the following. First, a Supreme Court brief from ~1886 which talks about the Burlington towin the Vanetta through "north passage"

See: Supreme Court Reporter

Next, the following book about Sailing directons on Lake Erie, places the now defunct "Dummy Light" a couple miles south on the tip of Point Pelee, on what is known as the Pelee Spit. The light was called "Pelee Spit Light" or the Dummy. See page 53 in this book:

See: Sailing Directions

Finally, if you have a look at the following chart: Chart 14830 You will see that there is a passage called "SOUTH PASSAGE" between South Bass Island and Catawba Island. I find it reasonable that people referred to PELEE PASSAGE as "NORTH PASSAGE". This location for "NORTH PASSAGE" in the song makes much more sense to me than the North Channel. First, the lyric is:

We went through North Passage - O Lord, how it blew!
And all round the Dummy a large fleet there came too
The night being dark, Old Nick it would scare
We hove up next morning and for Cleveland did steer

Which makes it seem as though "North Passage" and "Dummy (light)" are in close proximity. As well as, the next morning they simply headed straight for Cleveland.

Also, I wouldn't expect these ships to go out of their way into Anchor bay. I would think those ships would take the more direct South Channel into Lake St. Clair, even though, I am sure the St. Clair Cutoff did not exist at the time! Also, the "PELEE PASSAGE" sounds like it would be much rougher than the relative calm of the "North Channel".

Anyway, that is how I see it! :-)

-Mike


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