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Lyr Add: The Mariner's Compass (Is Grog)

DigiTrad:
ALL THROUGH THE ALE
FAREWELL TO GROG
HERE'S TO THE GROG
OH FOR ME GROG (2)


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: All for Me Grog (52)
Across the Western Suburbs I Must Wander (41)
Lyr Req: All for the rum and tobaccy Lyrics? (6)
Lyr Req/Add: All for Me Grog / All Gone for Grog (35)
Lyr Req: All for Me Grog (from Mike Cross) (6)
Lyr Req: Parody, (Across the Western Suburbs) (8)
Lyr Add: Sailor's Sheet Anchor (more grog) (8)
Lyr Add: Across the Western Suburbs(AU) (8)
Lyr Req: Pass around the Grog / Jug / Bowl (3)
Me jolly, jolly grog (6) (closed)
Lost my noggin boots (5)


Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 11:16 AM
nutty 22 Feb 03 - 02:27 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 02:45 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 03:05 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM
nutty 22 Feb 03 - 05:20 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM
Bat Goddess 22 Feb 03 - 05:56 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 07:25 PM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 03 - 09:50 AM
Bat Goddess 23 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM
Charley Noble 27 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,JohnB 28 Feb 03 - 12:40 PM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 03 - 02:12 PM
Charley Noble 28 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Dave Hollowood 12 Jun 03 - 12:59 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jun 03 - 05:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 03 - 09:55 PM
Charley Noble 19 Sep 03 - 09:06 PM
Artful Codger 21 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM
Charley Noble 21 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM
Artful Codger 22 Oct 10 - 03:03 AM
Charley Noble 22 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM
Artful Codger 22 Oct 10 - 11:11 AM
Joe_F 22 Oct 10 - 07:42 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MARINER'S COMPASS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 11:16 AM

While researching "grog songs" I ran across this one in my reprint of John Ashton's REAL SAILOR-SONGS which shares some lines with one of Charles Dibdin's grog songs "The Sailor's Sheet Anchor:

THE MARINERS' COMPASS

(Anon., Real Sailor-Songs, p. 255
Tune: I'm using some off-spring of the "Black Velvet Band")

Sam Spritsail's a lad you'd delight in,
For friendship, he's ever agog,
Loves his King, loves his wench, loves fighting,
And he loves, to be sure he does, grog!
Says Sam, says he, life's all a notion,
And wants from the spirit a jog,
The world is a wide troubled ocean,
And our rudder and compass is grog!

Chorus:

For grog is our larboard and starboard,
Our mainsail, our mizen, our log;
At sea or at shore, or when harbour'd,
The Mariners' Compass is grog!

Let but grog take its charge of the helm,
We perceive not the dangers of sea,
Or if billows the vessel o'erwhelm,
Still grog is the pilot for me;
Since grog saves the trouble of thinking,
Then here's to each bold jolly dog,
For he that delights in good drinking,
Will toss off his full can of grog! (CHO)

Sam Spritsail, though grog he lov'd dearly,
And its praise he enraptur'd would sing,
Yet he fought for his country most cheerly,
Lov'd his sweetheart and honour'd his King;
For Sam's heart was splic'd to his Nancy's,
And his mind on the wench quite agog,
Yet sailors have comical fancies,
And dear as his Nance, he loves grog! (CHO)

"The Sailor's Sheet Anchor" has some similar lines in its first verse:

Smiling grog is the sailor's best hope, his sheet anchor,
His compass, his cable, his log,
That gives him a heart which life's care cannot canker;
Though dangers around him
Unite to confound him,
He braves them, and tips off his grog,
'Tis grog, only grog,
Is his rudder, his compass, his cable, his log,
The sailor's sheet anchor is grog!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: nutty
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:27 PM

There is a broadside of the song in the Bodleian Library dated 1802 - 1819.

Here

A further search reveals that the composer is likely to be a John? Holland and that the song was included in a production called 'The Two Little Savoyards' put on at the Adelphi Theatre in 1808.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 02:45 PM

Well, thanks, Nutty. Here's a can of grog to you!

Looks like there's some minor differences in text, probably relating to a lack of early spellcheck. One change that seems better to me is in the 5th line of the first verse, getting rid of the redundant "says he" which in the Bodleian Library text reads:

Says Sam, life's all a notion,

Where did you find the reference to "John? Holland" as composer?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE MARINER'S COMPASS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:05 PM

Here's the chords I'm currently using for the tune (for correct chord placement copy into Word/Times/12):

THE MARINER'S COMPASS

C---------------------------------G
Sam Spritsail's a lad you'd de-light in,
-----C-----------------------G
For friendship, he's ever a-gog,
-----------C---------------------------------------G
Loves his King, loves his wench, and loves fighting,
---------C------------G-------------C
And he loves, to be sure he does, grog!
-------------------------F
Says Sam, life's all a notion,
-----C-------------------------G
And wants from the spirit a jog,
-----C---------------------------G
The world is a wide troubled ocean,
----------C-----------G-----------C
And our rudder and compass is grog!

Chorus:

C---------------------------------F
For grog is our larboard and starboard,
-----C---------------------------G
Our mainsail, our mizen, our log;
---C---------------------------G
At sea or at shore, or when harbour'd,
----C-----------G------------C
The Mariner's Compass is grog!

Enjoy,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:51 PM

The tune in my head sounds something like Bad Goddess's "Aunt Clara" which you can find a mini of with a DT Search.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: nutty
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:20 PM

The info was on this site, Charley .......
it was all Google could come up with although Malcolm and Masato might do better...

CLICK HERE

You have to scroll right down to the last entry for the information.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:29 PM

Nutty-

Amazing what one can find these days!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 05:56 PM

No -- the tune I sing is NOT the one listed in DigiTrad. Have no idea how that one got hooked up with the song cuz it's not what anyone sings it to.

But "my" tune (the one I learned it to) is a little too oom-pah, I think, for "Mariner's Compass." (But it would work.) I think I like your original suggestion of "Black Velvet Band."

Curmudgeon will be home soon. I'll see what he thinks. (After he's had a wee dram -- he's in Maine and I don't know how bad the driving is; the walking was okay until the plow came through.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:25 PM

We'll just have to give it a run, after suitable priming, at the next Press Room Shanty Swap.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:50 AM

Ahhh! So refreshing!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM

I mentioned the tune question to his Tomship last night when he finally made it to harbour. Maybe he'll check in on this thread today from the wilds of (unsanded) Maine.

Linn


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE MARINER'S COMPASS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM

Well, I've been singing this song all week and it's undergoing some changes. And the tune, although familar, is still hard to pin down. Here's what I'm singing now:

THE MARINER'S COMPASS

C---------------------------------G
Sam Spritsail's a lad you'd de-light in,
-----C-----------------------G
For friendship he's ever a-gog,
-----------C---------------------------------------G
Loves his King, loves his wench, and loves fighting,
---------C------------G--------------C
And he loves and he loves his old grog!
----------------------------------F
Says Sam, "Life's but a mere notion,
-----C-------------------------G
And wants from the spirit a jog,
-----C---------------------------G
This world is a wide troubled ocean,
----------C----------G-----------C
And the Mariner's Compass is grog!"

Chorus:

C---------------------------------F
For grog is our larboard and starboard,
-----C---------------------------G
Our mainsail, our mizen, our log;
---C-------------------------G
At sea or ashore, or when harbour'd,
----C-----------G------------C
The Mariner's Compass is grog!

Let grog take charge of the helm, Sir,
We'll fear not the dangers of sea,
Or if billows our vessel o'erwhelm, Sir,
Still grog is the pilot for me;
Grog saves us the trouble of thinking,
So here's to each bold jolly dog,
And to all who delight in good drinking,
Let's toss off a full can of grog! (CHO)

Sam Spritsail loves his grog dearly,
Its praises enraptur'd he'll sing,
Yet he fights for his country most cheerly,
Loves his sweetheart and honours his King;
For Sam's heart is splic'd to his Nancy's,
And his love would burn through the fog,
Yet sailors have comical fancies,
And dear be his wench, he loves grog! (CHO)

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 12:40 PM

I just went through this mentally and the tune that ran through my mind was "Rosin the Bow" reprise the last part for the chorus.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 02:12 PM

Yes, "Rosin the Bow" is probably the closest fit. Imagine it being accompanied by concertina if that helps.;~)

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM

"Rosin the Bow" is not quite what I'm singing but it at least is a well known tune it can be sung to. I'll work up a MP3 file of what I'm doing and send it to Joe Offer; ask him to make a mini of the tune. The tune I've worked up is pretty neat.

The second verse has morphed in the learning to:

Let grog take charge of the helm, Sir,
What fear we the rage of the sea,
Or if billows our ship o'erwhelm, Sir,
Still grog is the pilot for me;
Grog saves us the trouble of thinking,
So here's to each bold jolly dog,
And to you who delight in good drinking,
Let's toss off a full can of grog! (CHO)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM

To hear the first verse and chorus of this song, try this link to my personal website:Charley Noble Website

This link seems to work most directly using Internet Explorer.

Cheerily,
Charley noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: GUEST,Dave Hollowood
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 12:59 PM

I'm in the Hooligan's Navy (Coast Guard). That might explain why the tune that jumped into my head upon reading the lines was "Shaving Cream" The verse,not the refrain. Sorry to be so impertinent. Carry On!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 05:51 PM

Well, maybe we could get a chorus together of little shavetails to sing it. Not to worry.

You should also check out the Coast Guard song "Swabbing Days" on my website.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 09:55 PM

Just to note that "The Mariner's Compass" is in the Bodleian Library, Harding B17(190b), the copy dated between 1819-1844. Differences slight.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Sep 03 - 09:06 PM

Thanks, Q, for the additional reference.

I do think this song is a keeper, and I'm still having fun introducing my slightly revised version.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 06:38 PM

I wouldn't place too much credence in John Holland being the author of this particular song, since there was at least one other "Sam Spritsail" song which predated it (1805), and likely others. I gather that Sam Spritsail was an occasional moniker for a tar. He appears as a character in some later stories, mostly set at the Battle of Trafalgar--Google Books now turns up several of these, as well as the earlier song I mentioned. He also appears in Thomas Dibdin's musical production Romeo and Juliet (1832?), along with characters named Ben Bowsprit and Tom Tackle--names lifted from his father's songs--, so it's not unlikely Charles Dibdin wrote some song named "Sam Spritsail". He did write a song titled "Sam Splicem".

"The Mariner's Compass" was collected in The Universal Songster (Volume 3) at least by 1826. This seems to be the earliest firmly established date for the song, from the sources unearthed so far.

Frederick Marryat quoted the chorus in his book Jacob Faithful (1831). Since the earliest unequivocal mentions of the song appear clustered in the early 1830s (as are most of the stories), it seems likely to me that this particular song was written not much before. I suspect it was one of Charles Dibdin, Jr's, whose writing style was more music-hall (or beer-hall) than opera-hall. Consider his reuse of the character Ben Backstay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM

Art-

What you say may be accurate, as far as tracing songs back goes. One never really knows who did what. One can only cite literary references. Thanks for posting yours!

The "Mariner's Compass" most likely was inspired by a Dibdin song titled "The Sailor's Sheet Anchor" which shares a few phrases or structures such as "His compass, his cable, his log" but the lyrics are really quite different. Of course I mentioned that in my initial post to this thread.

I've also learned in my recent trip to the UK that the nautical group Fore 'N' Aft sings my version of this fine drinking song.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 03:03 AM

Composers and songwriters often lifted from themselves--given the prolific output many had to sustain, it was inevitable. So it wouldn't surprise me if Dibdin wrote another song specifically about Sam Spritsail with these same lines, and who can say which was first (unless such a song is unearthed)? After all, Dibdin was resident composer and even manager for several theaters. Though I still think it more likely his son did the lifting in this case. Inspired conjecture, of course.

"The Sailor's Sheet Anchor" appeared at least by the 1790s--per Google, the line you cite appears in Crosby's Modern Songster.

I don't suppose you've come across the original tune for "'Twas in the good ship 'Rover'"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 07:56 AM

Art-

"'Twas in the good ship 'Rover'"?

That tune? No, but I wouldn't be surprised if it sounded similar to "Christopher Columbo/Friggin' in the Rigging."

"The Sailor's Sheet Anchor" that I've seen is definitely cited as a Charles Dibdin composed song, in DIBDIN'S SEA SONGS, edited by Thomas Dibdin, Henry G. Bohn, London, third edition, 1854, pp. 11-12.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 11:11 AM

Yes, I wasn't questioning that Dibdin wrote "The Sailor's Sheet Anchor", only helping to establish when it was written. The Dibdin collections are unhelpful in this respect. Unfortunately, my resources are mostly limited to the Internet. I'm sure there must be many Dibdin scores secured in British vaults, safely away from public perusal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mariners' Compass (grog song)
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 07:42 PM

The other day, at a chantey sing, a stranger asked a regular "Do you have a song about drinking & sailing?", and he replied, without a hitch, "I have a *life* about drinking & sailing".


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