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Lyr Req: Crab Song

DigiTrad:
OLD SHE-CRAB
THE CRAYFISH


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Johnny Daddle Dum (12)
(origins) Lyr Req: Mr Radalum? / Raddle-um / Crabfish etc. (16)
Lyr Add: Old She-Crab (11)
Lyr Req: Lobster song (aka crabfish, crayfish etc) (16)
Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab (12)


boglion 17 Aug 02 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,MCP 17 Aug 02 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,MCP 17 Aug 02 - 10:54 AM
masato sakurai 17 Aug 02 - 11:02 AM
Genie 17 Aug 02 - 11:10 AM
Bill D 17 Aug 02 - 11:20 AM
GUEST 17 Aug 02 - 06:48 PM
masato sakurai 17 Aug 02 - 08:29 PM
Genie 17 Aug 02 - 09:33 PM
Salty reel 18 Aug 02 - 05:49 AM
Charley Noble 18 Aug 02 - 10:40 AM
boglion 18 Aug 02 - 11:14 AM
masato sakurai 18 Aug 02 - 11:42 AM
masato sakurai 18 Aug 02 - 11:57 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM
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Subject: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: boglion
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 10:34 AM

I'm just back from my annual summer trip to Kerry.

I heard a song over there from an excellent Dublin singer. It's about a man who meets a fisherman and asks him for a fish. The fisherman explains he's only caught a crab all day. Our man takes the live crab home and unable to find anywhere better to store it puts it in the maid's piss-pot with disastrous consequences.

Does anyone have the lyrics?

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 10:51 AM

If you type the word crabfish in the Digitrad And Forum Search box you'll find several threads relating to this. The one with ADD in the title has words and links to several other versions.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 10:54 AM

Type the word crabfish in the Filter box and set the Age to 3 years and press Refresh and you'll find one recent thread (Lobster in title) with words and links.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 11:02 AM

Lyrics in the DT:

THE CRAYFISH

OLD SHE-CRAB

See also previous threads:

Lyr Add: Battle of Ale-Wife and Sea Crab

Mr Radalum ?

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: Genie
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 11:10 AM

Oh, gawd! My boyfriend used to sing that song in bars in Portland all the time. (I.e., he used to be my boyfriend; I'm sure he still sings that song.) These were not "folk music" bars, but, as you can imagine, that song was a major hit with the (mostly male) patrons--increasingly so as the evening wore on.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 11:20 AM

That's one of those songs with WIDE variations!...It's easy to remember the general story, so folks who didn't remember the tune OR exact words would just completely re-write it....the result is, we get versions that are explicit, versions that are tame and a multitude of details and endings..Always fun, though...


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 06:48 PM

Steve Roud's folk song index lists about 50 traditional versions. The oldest text (in English) is in the Percy Folio MS, c 1645, and the oldest traditional text is of 1823. These two can both be found in the Scarce Songs 2 file at www.erols.com/olsonw.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEA CRAB (from Percy/Furnivall)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 08:29 PM

The Percy Folio MS version (c 1625-40) of "The Sea Crab" is HERE. It is in Frederick J. Furnivall, ed., Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript: Loose and Humorous Songs (London: Printed by and for the Editor, 1868; reprinted, n.p., n.d., pp. 99-100; text only); it is not contained in the three-volume manuscript edition. The version is also in John S. Farmer, ed., Merry Songs and Ballads; Prior to the Year A.D. 1800, Vol. IV (1897; reprinted Cooper Square, 1964, pp. 14-16). Since there're some typos (which are underlined) in the version at the Olson site above, I'll post it here, with notes by Furnivall added in square brackets.

The sea Crabb. [Page 462 of MS.]

A correspondent says, "This was a very common old story, and I think it occurs in one of the early fabliaux, but the only reference I can think of at present is the celebrated Moyen de Parvenir, by Béroalle de Verville, where it is introduced in Chapter 49."

Itt: was a man of Affrica had a ffaire wiffe, [A wife who was]
ffairest that euer I saw the dayes of my liffe:
with a ging, boyes, ginge! ginge, boyes, ging!
tarradidle, ffarradidle, ging, boyes, ging!

This goodwiffe was bigbellyed, & with a lad, [pregnant]
& euer shee longed ffor a sea crabbe. [wanted a crab.]
ginge &c.

The goodman rise in the morning, & put on his hose, [Her goodman]
he went to the sea syde, & ffollowed his nose.
ginge &c.

Sais, "god speed, ffisherman,¹ sayling on the sea,
hast thou any crabbs in thy bote for to sell mee?"
ging &c.

"I haue Crabbs in my bote, one, tow, or three; [bought one]
I haue Crabbs in my bote for to sell thee."
ginge &c.

The good man went home, & ere he wist,
& put the Crabb in the Chamber pot where his wiffe pist. [put it in the jordan]
ging &c.

The good wiffe, she went to doe as she was wont;
vp start the Crabfish, & catcht her by the Cunt. [It caught hold of his wife.]
ging &c.

"Alas!" quoth the goodwiffe, "that euer I was borne,
the devill is in the pispott, & has me on his horne,"
ging &c.

"If thou be a crabb or crabfish by kind,
thoule let thy hold goe with a blast of cold wind."
ging &c.

The good man laid to his mouth, & began for to blowe,
thinkeing thereby that they Crab wold lett goe. [He blew on it to make it let go,]
ging &c.

"Alas!" quoth the good man, "that euer I came hither, [and it pinned his nose to his wife.]
he has ioyned my wiffes tayle & my nose together!"
ging &c.

They good man called his neighbors in with great wonder, [So he called the neighbours in to part them.]
to part his wiues tayle & his nose assunder.
ging &c.

ffinis.

¹ MS. fishernan.--F.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: Genie
Date: 17 Aug 02 - 09:33 PM

Actually, the version I was referring to above was the one Pene Azul posted here. It's about a lobster and has a raunchier chorus than the ones posted in this thread.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOBSTER SONG (?)
From: Salty reel
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 05:49 AM

Great version above, which I haven't heard sung in public for years. The much cleaner interpretation which takes bits from the smutty one is as below. There seems to be many slight regional variations to this song. I learnt it from a chap from Devon, in the sixties, and have sung this version ever since. I recently came across a variation in Suffolk were old General Gordon from Ashdon, one of those great old boys that would sing if you bought him a pint; his song was built around a crab and not a lobster. Doesn't really matter though does it, sing it I find it always makes people laugh.

"Good morning, mister fisherman." "Good day, sir," says he.
I says, "Have you a lobster you can sell to me?"
CHORUS: Singing row tiddly oh, row tiddly oh,
Row tiddly oh, tiddly oh tow tow

"I have, sir. I has three
Of the finest lobsters you will ever see." CHORUS

So I took them home and I put them in a dish.
I puts them in a place where me missus has a wish. CHORUS

Now in the middle of the night, as you well know,
Me missus she got up to use the so-and-so. CHORUS

She came out crying, "What's this here?"
She came out with a lobster hanging from here rear. CHORUS

Now there's a moral to this story and it's just this:
Always have a shuftie before you have a wish. CHORUS

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 20-Aug-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD SHE-CRAB
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 10:40 AM

We were just singing this one late last night at a family gathering, which is very similar to the first version posted but has some nice verse variations. It used to be a favorite of my uncle who only would sing it when he thought us young ones were safely asleep:

OLD SHE-CRAB-II
(Ipcar Family Version)

Well the old she-crab was a-sittin' on a post,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
Well the old she-crab was a-sittin' on a post,
When 'long come a fisherman,
Took her home to roast,
Sing ring-a-long, ring-a-long, roo.

When he got home his old woman was asleep,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
When he got home his old woman was asleep,
So he put it in the chamber pot
The better for to keep…

The old woman got up for to do her due,
Shallow-who, shallow-wh,
The old woman got up for to do her due,
That crab reached up,
Grabbed her by the flue…

The old woman hollared as she lept in the air,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
The old woman hollared as she lept in the air,
There's a devil in the pisspot
That's grabbed me by the hair…

The old man knocked the crab off with the handle of a broom,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
The old man knocked the crab off with the handle of a broom,
And he and the wife chased the crab around the room…

The old she-crab scuttled out the door,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
The old she-crab scuttled out the door,
Dropped off the dock and swum from the shore…

The old she-crab's at the bottom of the sea,
Shallow-who, shallow-who,
The old she-crab's at the bottom of the sea,
Sayin' I might get caught
But they'll never eat me…

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: boglion
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 11:14 AM

Thanks for all that. The two verses I did recall from the version I heard were:

"The maid got up in the middle of the night She went down to have a read and write"

AND

"She sat down to have a grunt The crab reached up and grabbed her by the....nose"

So I suppose there'll have to be yet another version when I incorporate these into the above.

Thanks again...You're wonderful


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE FISHERMAN
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 11:42 AM

From: Notes to Far in the Mountains : Volumes 1 & 2:

37. Little Fisherman (Roud 149)
(Sung by Dan Tate at his home in Fancy Gap, Carroll County, VA. 11.8.79)

Hey my little fisherman I wish you mighty well.
Hey my little fisherman I wish you mighty well.
Have you any sea crabs here for to sell?

Chorus: To my wack, to my foddle and ca-divy.

Yes sir, yes sir, I've one, two, three (x2)
And the best one of them I'll sell to thee.

He picked (took) it up all by the backbone, (x2)
He throwed it 'cross his withers and he wagged off home.

Well, the old man got home, for the want of a dish (x2)
Spoken: Excuse me ...
He threw it in the pot where the women went to piss.

Well, the old man got up to piss as you might suppose (x2)
Wack went the sea crab and caught him by the nose.

John for the flesh fork and Sally for the ladle (x2)
And they beat the old man clean off to the navel.

As The Sea Crabb, this is to be found in Bishop Percy's famous folio manuscript of c.1660 and remained unprinted until 1868 when John Furnival included it in his Loose and Humorous Songs (reprinted 1963). According to Gershom Legman it was first known as a joking tale of Levantine origin that appeared in Italy c.1400, and Roger deV Renwick lists many other examples in chapter 5 of his book Recentering Anglo/American Folksong (2001).

Nora Cleary from Co Clare sings a lovely version on volume 7 of The Voice of the People (Topic TSCD 657), as does Mickey Connors on the cassette Songs of the Irish Travellers (European Ethnic Oral Traditions - no number) recorded and edited by Tom Munnelly. English singers include Harry Cox, Percy Ling, Charlie Stringer, Charlotte Renals (Veteran VT119) and Cyril Barber (Veteran VT102).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 11:57 AM

Recentering Anglo/American Folksong: Sea Crabs and Wicked Youths by Roger deV. Renwick (University Press of Mississippi).


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Subject: RE: Lyric Required: Crab Song
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 03:47 PM

Nick Dow used to do a version of this, to great effect.... maybe it's on one of his recordings?

LTS


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