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Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands

DigiTrad:
BACK HOME IN DERRY
THE EDMUND FITZGERALD
THE NERVOUS WRECK OF THE EDNA FITZGERALD


Related threads:
Lyr Add: New words for Edmund Fitzgerald (2)
Edmund Fitzgerald Anniversary (4)
New clues to Edmund Fitzgerald wreck (37)
BS: Edmund Fitzgerald. Lost in Lake Superior (6)
happy? – Nov 10 ('Edmund Fitzgerald') (21)
Lyr Add: Wrecking Ball Patrick Fitzgerald (1)
Lyr Add: Edmund Fitzgerald parody (6)
10 Nov 1975 -- Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald (27)
Lyr Add: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (6)
Lyr Req: Back Home in Derry (Bobby Sands) (84)
Lyr Req: Back Home in Derry (Bobby Sands) (11)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (9) (closed)
Lyr Req: Back Home in Derry (Bobby Sands) (11)
Chords Req: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (14)
(origins) Lyr Req: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (24)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (5)
Tune Req: The Nervous Wreck of the Edna Fitzgerald (9)
Info Req: Edmund Fitzgerald / Back Home in Derry (10)


Amos 19 Jan 03 - 01:50 PM
Chip2447 19 Jan 03 - 02:14 PM
Melani 19 Jan 03 - 03:05 PM
MartinRyan 19 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 03 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Jan 03 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Jan 03 - 11:33 PM
widowmaker 20 Jan 03 - 01:29 AM
Declan 20 Jan 03 - 09:29 AM
Amos 20 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM
Declan 21 Jan 03 - 05:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jan 03 - 08:08 AM
belfast 21 Jan 03 - 10:57 AM
Áine 21 Jan 03 - 11:06 AM
UB Ed 03 Mar 03 - 06:21 PM
Mark Clark 03 Mar 03 - 08:29 PM
UB Ed 03 Mar 03 - 09:23 PM
Amos 03 Mar 03 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Sage 04 Mar 03 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,The O'Meara 04 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 03 - 09:08 PM
UB Ed 04 Mar 03 - 09:56 PM
ddw 04 Mar 03 - 10:07 PM
GUEST,Billy 04 Mar 03 - 10:38 PM
Brakn 05 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM
InOBU 06 Mar 03 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Den 06 Mar 03 - 08:55 AM
InOBU 06 Mar 03 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,GerMan 06 Mar 03 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,The O'Meara 06 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM
InOBU 06 Mar 03 - 11:59 AM
UB Ed 06 Mar 03 - 08:38 PM
InOBU 07 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM
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GUEST,The Cellmate and twin of Inobu the blessed 07 Mar 03 - 05:52 PM
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Naemanson 09 May 03 - 04:38 PM
Marc 18 May 03 - 12:17 PM
UB Ed 19 May 03 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,irish_man_with_balls@yahoo.co.uk 13 Sep 04 - 03:13 AM
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Subject: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 01:50 PM

The good and fayre Gaelic Goddess has raised a puzzle which I would like any help I can find with.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot's smashing hit, hit the charts not too long after the original catastrophe (the EF sank in November 1975). The album containing it is copyrighted in 1976.

Bobby Sands, the Irish poet and political activist was sent to prison in the infamous "H Blocks" also in 1976, I believe, and while he was there he lead a famous hunger strike during which he starved himself to death.

While he was there, he wrote a song:

Back Home in Derry
Bobby Sands

In 1803 we sailed out to sea
Out from the sweet town of Derry
For Australia bound if we didn't all drown
And the marks of our fetters we carried...

which uses the same tune as The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

It is possible that the tune was around earlier than either of these songs, also. But the DigiTrad lists the tune of "Back Home in Derry" as having been written by Bobby Sands.

So, which came first? Sands' tune or Lightfoot's? Or, was it a trad tune they both adopted?

Anyone able to give me some insight here?

Many many thanks...

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Chip2447
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 02:14 PM

It's my understanding, nothing to back it up with though, that the tune is indeed an old traditional tune that both used to nice effect.


In my uninformed opinion,
Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sa
From: Melani
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 03:05 PM

Unsure, but I think the tune may be from a traditional song called "Spancil Hill." I'm thinking if this is the case, Bobby Sands would likely have used that as his basis rather than "Edmund Fitzgerald."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM

Not Spancil HIll, I'm afraid.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 07:49 PM

that song was orignally a longer poem that was put to the edmund fitzgerald song by others....i keep thinking christy moore but am unsure./


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 11:11 PM

Complete song at the Christy Moore website: Back Home in Derry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 11:33 PM

The complete original poem, and the story, is in thread 5837: VOYAGE
It was set to Lightfoot's music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: widowmaker
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 01:29 AM

Bobby definitely wrote the song! and as was their want used whatever tune in his head to match the meter of whatever of his songs he was working on. I was privileged to hear him sing this song on many an evening. For the record he wrote quite a lot of poetry and writings and some have been published in booklet form available from bookshops in Belfast.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Declan
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 09:29 AM

I'll check out exactly what Christy Moore says about this in his book tonight, but as far as I remember the song was given to him on a visit to Derry and he was told it was written by Bobby Sands. There's another song that Christy also sings called McIlhatton which is also attributed to Sands, but I think initially it was written under a pen name.

The song was written in the H-Blocks and to my memory it started to be sung only around the time of the huger strikes. Bobby Sands died in 1981 and could easily have heard Lightfoot's song, which was popular here either before or after he was imprisoned.

Someone more expert than me on the history of the H-Blocks protest might be able to comment on whether Bobby Sands would have had access to Radio in the prison at any stage. Towards the end all priveleges had been taken away, but this may not have been the case in the early part of his sentence.

I think it is almost certain that the song was written to the air of Lightfoot's song rather than the other way round.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM

Thanks, Declan -- that is my impression as well.

The DIgitrad entry whihc says the tune was written by Bobby Sands is incorrect, if so.

Here's the other side of the question, though. The tune to "Wreck of the Edmun Fitzgerald" strikes me as being one of those that is basic enough that it must have been used earlier in some traditional song. This is just my feeel for it, and I am wondering whether anyone knows of any earlier song that uses this tune? I do not.

It is possible that it was just a really successful borrowing from such tunes as "Derry Down", which it vaguely resembles, and some other parts and pieces. I dunno.

Any takers?

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Declan
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 05:06 AM

Christy's book sheds no light on this I'm afraid. He credits the entire song to Bobby Sands MP, which must be questionable, unless of course Gordon Lightfoot took the air from Bobby Sands' song, which I don't believe is the case.

Christy Moore first heard the song in Derry, sung by someone who had been released from the H Blocks. It was attributed to a song-writer called Marcella, who Christy says he later found out was actually Bobby Sands. He makes no reference to finding an air for the song, so I assume this means that the song came to him complete with the air.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 08:08 AM

More time than not, when it says someone wrote a tune, it means they put a tune to it, without consciously copying it from another song. And I'd imagine that wouild be what happened here, in both cases.

I think it's pretty well true to say there aren't any good totally new tunes, they are all variants. Maybe that's an exageration, but I'm inclined to say it's not at all far from the literal truth.

Tunes are in the air around us.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: belfast
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 10:57 AM

When anyone puts new words to a tune he/she will be referred to as the writer of that song. At least this is what happens in Ireland. So Dominic Behan, say, is known as the writer of "The Rifles of the IRA" and "The Patriot Game" and many more. Come to think of it, we talk about Dylan as the author of "With God On Our Side". And the vast majority of Woody Guthrie songs have traditional melodies, though the way he could adapt a melody like "Pretty Polly" into "Pastures of Plenty" would be worth an essay in itself.   Not a problem when the melody is a traditional one but in these days when people are much concerned with their "intellectual property" it's a bit more problematic. And as McGrath of Harlow points out it can be hard to say when a tune is new and not a variation of an original melody. Consider the endless discussions about the origins of "Wild Mountain Thyme".

The link given in the 7th posting in this thread will take you to an exhaustive, and exhausting, discussion about this song. There were about six months in the '76 when Bobby Sands was not in prison. It is possible that he came across "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" during that brief period. The conditions that he lived in the H-blocks would not have been conducive to learning new material. The strongest probability seems to be that Christy Moore got Bobby's words and used Gordon Lightfoot's melody.

At the end of the day most of us can agree that we are left with an excellent song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Áine
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 11:06 AM

I'd like to thank Amos for posting this thread for me, since my computer was down the evening we were discussing this song. I had just finished listening to our own Big Mick's CD, and his band does a wonderful rendition of this song.

And thanks to all who have provided opinions/information regarding this puzzle wrapped in a conundrum. And I do have to agree with belfast -- "At the end of the day most of us can agree that we are left with an excellent song".

Le meas, Áine


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: UB Ed
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 06:21 PM

A most excellent song indeed...but the origin of the tune?

Ed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 08:29 PM

If I may indulge in a little thread creep, I'll insert a tale.

The person, Edmund Fitzgerald, for whom the ship was named, was the president of a big life insurance company. My late father, a writer and editor, chanced to purchase an insurance policy issued by Fitzgerald's company. Of course my father had never heard of Mr. Fitzgerald. Following a reasonable processing period, my father received a letter from the insurance company welcoming him to the “family” and expressing regret that the writer couldn't meet my father in person to extend his welcome. The letter was signed by Edmund Fitzgerald.

Now my Dad had a well developed sense of humor and a natural tendency to regard those too sweetly writen, insincere marketing letters with scorn. He decided to reply in kind to Mr. Fitzgerald and composed a tongue-in-cheek letter using the same sweet insincere tone inviting Mr. Fitzgerald to come and stay a few days in my parents' home so they could really get to know one another.

Well, it turned out Edmund Fitzgerald had a sense of humor too and understood how really preposterous the company's welcome letter was, so he composed his own humorus reply to Dad's letter. So began a regular correspondence that lasted until Mr. Fitzgerald's retirement. They did eventually meet when Fitzgerald happened to be in Des Moines for an insurance convention. He didn't stay at my folk's house but he did take them out to dinner and present them with a photograph of them all together.

After Fitzgerald's retirement, Dad got another silly letter from the new president introducing himself to policy-holders and expressing regret that he couldn't meet each one individually. Naturally Dad took up the challenge and wrote to inform the new president that he was accustomed to a close personal relationship with the company's president and he expected the new guy to honor the tradition. It turned out the new guy enjoyed the humor as well so he and Dad carried on a long correspondance.

Eventually, of course, a president came along cut from the same mold as today's executives, self centered, no fun, no human thought, and put an end to the long chain of personal correspondence. My mother still has Dad's files of these letters, they're a riot to read.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: UB Ed
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:23 PM

Perfect! No creep at all!

Ed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 09:32 PM

Mark:

I knew there was a kindred air about you -- our fathers were in the same trade! Nice story, thanks for posting it!


A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Sage
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 03:06 PM

From the lyrics quoted Sands was about as talented as what he coated the walls of his cell with. Remember what he & his friends were responsible for. Poets tend to be gentle or indeed passionate not killers of their neighbours. America is engaged in a war on terrorism. Having been subjected to fear of terrorism by Sands and his cohorts I have little or no sympathy for him or his allies.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,The O'Meara
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM

OK, here's my story. I was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and went to hear a group of folksingers called The Woods Tea Company at an empty American Legion hall. (They were billed as bluegrass and misc. Promoter must have figured folk music wasn't a draw.) They did Derry, and told me that it had been written in prison by Bobby Sands as a poem, and since he was held incommunicado the poem was smuggled out by a phony priest there to "hear confession." It was given to Christy Moore on the chance it would make a good tune. Moore figured it would fit the tune to Edmund Fitz and asked Gordon Lightfoot if he could use it. Moore got the OK and the rest is history.

That's such a good story I'm not sure I want to hear any other.

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 09:08 PM

The story sounds quite credible, O'Meara. I wonder if we can get verification from Christy Moore or Lightfoot.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: UB Ed
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 09:56 PM

Joe, thanks for the rest of the links! Threads like these are the worhtwhile ones.

O'Meara's version is verified therein. Sands wrote the poem, Moore adopted words and added the refrain. Maybe or maybe not he got it from Lightfoot.

If so, then we still need to determine where Lightfoot got the tune (unless of course he is the original author). How would one check that?

Ed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: ddw
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:07 PM

My puzzle-loving friend saw this thread and pointed out there's some interesting comment on this here. I find the site seems to time you out, so read fast.

www.corfid.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000023.html

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:38 PM

Not to put too much of a thread creep in here, either, but I was reminded of the night an old sot in an Irish bar asked if my band could play Gordon Lightfoot's song, "The Wreck of the Ella Fitzgerald". Just visualizing the thing kept us giggling through the next three tunes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Brakn
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM

According to MCPS (The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) royalties are collected and paid to Christopher Moore 25%, B A L Music 50% and Copyright Control 25%.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 08:07 AM

My twin pal was Bobby Sands' cell mate, around that time, I will send him an email and see if we can get him in on this thread. He would likely know.
Cheers Larry
PS As to MP Sands' cell mate, We look so much alike, I used to get lifted all the time for looking like him, and thought it was my own radical looks, until his siter mistook me for him... One of my favorite memories of his, re: Sands... my friend tried to sleep through his five year sentence. Bobby kept waking him up, to teach him to play chess with pieces molded out of bread, to speak Irish, to learn all he had not a chance to learn, saying to him, this is such a opportunity to be here, this is the first time in your life no one expects anything of your time. He was a remarkable man and a great loss to Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 08:55 AM

So Guest Sage who did Bobby Sands kill? To my knowledge he was never accused of killing anyone. I think the only offense linked to his name was the burning of a carpet factory. I particularly hate it when people use this and other forums to deliberately distort the truth and calling someone a killer without a shred of evidence to back it up.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 09:14 AM

As to what Member of Parliment Sands was forced to quote the walls of his cell with... forced by a system which did not allow him to empty the bucket in his cell which was the only toilet allowed to him... I take it sage is an American citizen. As a matter of fact, the courts of the US, in every instance found the IRA not to be a terrorist organization, read the Doherty decisions, if you can find your way to a law library, most american court systems have public law librarys... well the point is that your government, through the patriot act, now makes it possible that the determination of who is a terrorist is not a matter of factual determanation by courts but is up to the whyms of politics, something warned about in the Federalist Papers, which you may also read again, if you have ever read them in the first place, today in America, the facts are the last thing most Yanks wish to be faced with, which is why they voted in large numbers for the less intelligent canadate, not in large enough numbers to win the vote, mind you, but now this terrorist in thw white house who threatens world peace is taking away YOUR rights and you worry about Bobby Sands? As to poets being gentle folks, you obviously are not big on English lit either, read Kipling...
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 10:04 AM

"Bobby Sands, the Irish poet and political activist"

Surely Terrorist would be a more appropriate label.

Even if the "only offense (sic) linked to his name was the burning of a carpet factory" that is not a political act but a criminal act of arson for which a prison sentance is entirely appropriate.

Furthermore, in my humble, anyone associated with the IRA (including anyone whose ever willingly donated any money to them) should be classed as a murderer. There is no defence.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,The O'Meara
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM

Maybe one of you who know how to do it could send a message to Christy Moore or Gordon Lightfoot and ask if the Sands/priest/Moore/Lightfoot story is true. Being technologically challenged I have no idea how to go about it.

Aside: A few years ago a bunch of us Micks tried to get on the books as an official ethnic minority. Iro-Americans. We had the inherent Irish cohesion problems and all we agreed on was an ethnic drink called Iro-American Coffee. That was a cup of hot Ripple with a spoonful of instant coffee stirred in. The movement didn't get very far.

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 11:59 AM

Dear GerMan... thank God, the courts do not opporate on humble opinion, but on fact. The facts found in US courts, do not support your contention. On the other hand,what now determines who is a terrorist is opinion, that of the executive branch of government, unchallengable in the courts... not a very good picture of justice.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: UB Ed
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 08:38 PM

C'mon, Larry. We want to get the tune straight.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM

Hi Ed:
Unfortunatly I believe the tune the executive branch is proposing these days is BOOM!
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 03:59 PM

You mean the history of the tune... on the other hand! The tune is actually two tunes, as Back Home in Derry has a chorus which Edmund Fitz doesn't. By the way, did you know that divers left a can of bear for the late helmsman on the bridge, from the late helmsman's son.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,The Cellmate and twin of Inobu the blessed
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 05:52 PM

Gordon Lightfoots song came first and it was a hit in the 70s in Europe. I wasn't with Bobby when he composed the lyrics and added the chorus. And indeed he did write other songs Mc Ilhaton and Marcella (dedicated to his sister) and numerous other poems and articles.

The serious question of being a Terrorist needs defined.
It seems that anyone who took up the struggle for Irish freedom has been labelled 'Terrorist' or helping Terrorism. As indeed was George Washington and his recruits in the 1700s.

The word Terrorist was invented by the British Government as an image creating word that is meant to Demonise those that oppose their rule.
The lyrics of another Irish Ballad give a good reply.

The ballad of Joe Mc Donnell - Comrade of Bobby Sands who also died on Hunger strike in 1981.

And you dare to call me a Terrorist, while you look down your gun.
when I think of all the deeds you have done
you have plundered many Nations, divided many lands, you have terrorised my people and ruled with an iron hand.
And you brought this reign of terror to my land.

Probably the most famous person to be labelled 'Terrorist' is Nelson Mandela.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 03 - 07:43 PM

Wow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: InOBU
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:33 PM

Ah my twin, and handsomer brother... Good to hear from you. I was just about to answer GerMan, by saying that his lable of everyone who was associated with "IRA should be labled murderer" must include the founder of Amnisety Internaitonal, McBride, who was the commander in chief of the IRA and the second highest official in the United Nations. GerMan, learn your history before you pontificate.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 May 03 - 04:38 PM

I've read through this thread all the while wracking my brain trying to remember something. I am certain I've heard a song set to the same tune used by Lightfoot (and apparently Moore). The song I vaguely remember was introduced as a traditional song and the comparison to Lightfoot's tune was discussed and explained as a "...steal from the best..." occurrance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sa
From: Marc
Date: 18 May 03 - 12:17 PM

As far as the tune is concerned. If my memory serves me correctly, the tune is included in a book called 'The Drummers' and Fifers' Guide,' by Geo. B. Bruce and Dan D. Emmett, which was published in 1865. If I get time I'll try to dig it out and see what the tune was called in the 19th century. As far as which came first, Edmund Fitzgerald or Back Home in Derry. I had alway been led to understand, that the Edmund Fitzgerald tune was used purposly to get Back Home in Derry air time, which seems to have worked.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: UB Ed
Date: 19 May 03 - 09:11 AM

There you go Marc! We eagerly await the fruits of your research!

Ed


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,irish_man_with_balls@yahoo.co.uk
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 03:13 AM

Bobby Sands was a fucking legend and always will be where i come from, the man was a pure and utter genius, so if u never knew his background dont give your opinion, because it means fuck all to anyone !!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 01:54 PM

On this site, everyone is entitled to an opinion, if not several.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sa
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 02:01 PM

Oh ya... this thread needed to be refreshed...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sa
From: GUEST,Laoise Feerick
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:20 PM

Yeah but: Did we ever find out if the TUNE of The Edmund Fitzgerald came from a traditional tune contained in that Drum and Fife Book? That's what I want to know.

When I was a rather small gal in the 1970's, being maybe ten or twelve when Edmund Fitgerald cam upon the radio, I recall my grandpa Vic ( who was an old storyteller and musician with a huge repetoire) expressing surprise when he was told that The Edmund Fitzgerald was a recent shipwreck.

He said that from the tune, with he was familiar, he assumed it had sunk a hundred years or more prior. Living where he did, in the Far Nothern Wilds of Upstate New York, he did know much about modern Seafaring on the Great Lakes to the west. He regularly heard of disasters on Lake Ontario or on The St. Lawrence River...but...The Edmund Fitgerald...coulda happened on the moon for all he knew. He just heard the old tune and a song about Lake Gitchigoomie and guessed "long time ago."

Of course, we kids were astounded that he could have slept through such a seriously spooky disaster as a huge modern Ore hauler disappearing from radar just a few years prior..but he did! The point being, of course, that he was familiar enough with the tune to assign to it some antiquity. He had no trouble playing it for us and added a chorus or bridge that Gordon Lightfoot chose not to use. I wonder if it's the same Chorus as in Bobby Sands' song?

At any rate, Grandpa Vic was born in the Nineteen-Teens in Canada and he took the tune for an old one. He was usually right about such things. We never did bother to ask the name of the song. He told us it was English in origin.

As for Bobby Sands and who is or who ain't a Terrorist...not here..please. The world is such a polarised place these days, can we not allow Mudcat to remain free of such rhetoric? Mind you, I come from a family which on my dad's side sang Republican ballads at every opportunity. It's just that these days the lines have been blurred and those not old enough to recall their Pawdredeen's stories about getting smacked for speaking Erse should just butt out. It's an ugly world but thankfully Mudcat isn't part of it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sa
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 02:07 PM

A side note.
My friend John and I both tried to get jobs on "tramp steamers" in 1973, as summer work, to help pay for college (we'd grown up together on a US military base in Germany, and both went to Carroll College in Wisconsin)
Went to the third coast and settled in to await the arrival of a suitable boat. When the Fitzgerald arrived John (being the more agressive of the two of us) tracked down their disbursing officer, who told him that in fact there was a job on board- doing menial task, chipping and grinding and painting, etc. So we went out, John and I, and got sloppy drunk that night, tossed a coin to see which of us would take the job. Next morning, John applied, and was accepted. Never did come back to college, he loved the lakefaring life so well. A year or so later, I remember watching the news on a Milwaukee station- they were showing stock footage of a ship foundering on Lake Michigan- of course, there was no actual footage of the Fitz., but that's the story they were covering. John was still onboard, a regular crewman by then. It took me almost a decade to get my sealegs
(joined the Navy in 84) but I always think of John when I sing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald")
As I said, this is a side note, and I don't know the origin of the tune. Always thought that someone should write a song for the folks who died on the Challenger and set it to the "W.E.F." melody, but never did it myself.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST, hartistick
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 03:16 AM

The tune for "The wreck of the edmund fitzgerald& back home in derry"is from the derry area of NTH Ireland,bob dylan used it at Newport folk festival 1963,to the lyrics of "North Country Blues"at least ten years before Gordon Lightfoot or Christy Moore.it may have come from Scotland originally,i am still researching this tune,I will post any definitive history.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 12:53 PM

http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=16217


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,l
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 02:18 PM

"Edmund Fitz" and "North Country Blues" have the same tune!?? The structures may be similar- I sing "North Country Blues" and I am well acquainted with "Edmund Fitz"- but to say they use the same tune is over the top!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 04:50 PM

The tune is catalogued in Folk Songs of North America - Lomax. It is an old sailing song and will probably be found in one of the Songs of the Sea sections of the book. I don't remember the name. Anyone with the book on their shelf can look it up for you. I vaguely remember singing it a few times. I think the lyric has something to do with ghosts? Maybe some ghost sunk a ship? And I think it is the first song in the Songs of the Sea section. But the book may have two seafaring sections separated according to historical period. If someone wants to look it up, those are your best leads.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 15 - 04:01 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Nov 15 - 07:09 PM

Following quote, apparently from Gordon Lightfoot, about the writing of the Ed Fitz and where the tune came from:

Topical songs, you know... are very difficult to come by. Every once in a while. And the Edmund Fitzgerald really seemed to go unnoticed at that time, anything I'd seen in the newspapers or magazines were very short, brief articles, and I felt I would like to expand upon the story of the sinking of the ship itself. And it was quite an undertaking to do that, I went and bought all of the old newspapers, got everything in chronological order, and went ahead and did it because i already had a melody in my mind and it was from an old Irish dirge that I heard when I was about 3 and a half years old. I think it was one of the first pieces of music that registered to me as being a piece of music. That's where the melody comes from, from an old Irish folk song.

"That's where the melody comes from, from an old Irish folk song"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Nov 15 - 07:20 PM

In his book "One Voice: My life in Song" Christy writes that he first came across the song when "I was staying in a house in Derry after an H-block concert and a young lad recently released sang this song..."
from here


Summary, as I see it:

GF wrote the W of the EF to a remembered melody which he says was an old Irish folk song.
Bobby Sands wrote BH in D to (basically) the same tune- probably after hearing GL's melody. CM heard it sung complete and popularised it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Amos
Date: 11 Nov 15 - 10:41 PM

The consensus appears to be that Sand's "Derry" used the tune of Lightfoot's "Wreck", not the other way 'round.

The question of earlier antecedents of the tune from which Gordon Lightfoot may have drawn his tune for "Wreck" remain unanswered; it was speculative on my part, but I still harbor a strong suspicion that such a tune must have existed in the nineteenth or possibly even the eighteenth century, based simply on the melodic pattern of it. In any case, it appears so far that Lightfoot is the modern contributor of it.

Many many thanks to all of you who have spoken up from one corner of the forest or another. This is the true richness of this wunnerful forum made manifest.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: Amos
Date: 11 Nov 15 - 10:46 PM

Whoops! I spoke prematurely. One of the links in this thread actually goes to a forum where Gordon Lightfoot took questions from the audience, and in the course of that thread he says concerning the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald":

"Topical songs, you know... are very difficult to come by. Every once in a while. And the Edmund Fitzgerald really seemed to go unnoticed at that time, anything I'd seen in the newspapers or magazines were very short, brief articles, and I felt I would like to expand upon the story of the sinking of the ship itself. And it was quite an undertaking to do that, I went and bought all of the old newspapers, got everything in chronological order, and went ahead and did it because i already had a melody in my mind and it was from an old Irish dirge that I heard when I was about 3 and a half years old. I think it was one of the first pieces of music that registered to me as being a piece of music. That's where the melody comes from, from an old Irish folk song."

The thread in which he says this is on this page.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Puzzle:Edmund Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 12:07 AM

I looked up the North Country Blues, sort of does sound like Wreck/Derry. I also found a post mentioning that NCB and an Australian folk song called "The Miner" shared melodies. I looked that one up as well, though to me it sounds more along the lines of Spancil Hill. Though SH could probably be sung to the tune of Wreck/Derry too.
TM seems to have been collected as early as the late 1950's, so that's quite some time before Wreck/Derry.
Here's the thread thing mentioning The Miner, along with NCB and Wreck:
http://rec.music.dylan.narkive.com/cVrRwRxJ/north-country-blues-the-wreck-of-the-edmund-fitzgerald


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