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English Canal Songs advice

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GUEST,dave ruch 24 Apr 03 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 24 Apr 03 - 10:32 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Apr 03 - 11:59 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 03 - 12:08 PM
nutty 24 Apr 03 - 12:24 PM
Leadfingers 24 Apr 03 - 01:27 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Apr 03 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,dave ruch 24 Apr 03 - 03:15 PM
Leadfingers 24 Apr 03 - 07:07 PM
greg stephens 25 Apr 03 - 03:45 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Apr 03 - 03:58 AM
Gurney 25 Apr 03 - 03:59 AM
Dave Bryant 25 Apr 03 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,MCP 25 Apr 03 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,IanN 25 Apr 03 - 06:38 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Apr 03 - 09:34 AM
Roger the Skiffler 06 May 03 - 10:17 AM
John MacKenzie 06 May 03 - 10:57 AM
Steve Parkes 06 May 03 - 11:33 AM
greg stephens 06 May 03 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,dolphin 06 May 03 - 06:02 PM
nutty 06 May 03 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Val 06 May 03 - 06:44 PM
nutty 06 May 03 - 07:03 PM
Susanne (skw) 06 May 03 - 08:41 PM
Stewie 06 May 03 - 10:26 PM
Dave Bryant 07 May 03 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,John Sutton 19 Jan 08 - 10:05 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Jan 08 - 01:31 PM
Hovering Bob 19 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM
Ian Hendrie 19 Jan 08 - 05:14 PM
Ian Hendrie 26 Apr 12 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,henryp 26 Apr 12 - 12:30 PM
a gud ole bwoy 27 Apr 12 - 07:25 AM
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Subject: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,dave ruch
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:02 AM

I wonder if anyone can recommend any specific recordings of traditional English canal songs? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:32 AM

Hi!

There are several mentioned in THIS earlier thread

Regards


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 11:59 AM

Had a look through the earlier thread and note that Single Bolinder is given as a comic song. I remember vaguely another song called The old Bolinder Engine, which was sung with the sound of said engine in the background. Bolinder engines were a wonder to behold, great big single cylinder engines, with a massive pot, and of course piston, even at full revs you could almost count the strokes. The version I heard was sung, and I think written by Gary and Vera Aspey, and what a wonderfull duo they were, are they still about??
Giok.
It's a hard life on the cut.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 12:08 PM

Thanks Martin! I missed that earlier thread....very helpful.

I wonder if anyone has experience with the body of recorded English canal song in terms of which CDs/LPs are thought to be most credible or best done? For instance, I have heard and studied several different commercial recordings of Erie Canal material here in the US, and have found some to be better done and more in line with tradition than others.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: nutty
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 12:24 PM

Jeff Dennison and Benny Graham recorded a CD of canal songs a couple of years ago.

JEFF DENNISON & BENNY GRAHAM - "They're Coming Back To The Water" - Folksound FSCD47


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 01:27 PM

There are actually NO traditional Canal/Boaters songs,all the ones that people are singing today are either composed songs or adapted
non canal songs.And most of the really good ones have been written
since the demise of the Canals as a working entity.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 01:46 PM

Giok, I have a recording of The Rosemary, complete with engine sounds. Is this the song you mean? It's about a man who rescues the decaying Rosemary and finds her Bolinder in perfect working order.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,dave ruch
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 03:15 PM

Leadfingers -

Are you saying that the "adapted non canal songs" were adapted by non-canal folk, or that they were existing songs that canallers adapted to fit their environs?


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:07 PM

Dave Both are true.David Blagrove was one of the last working boatmen
Correction Still is a working boatman and is responsible for a lot of good songs,but Non boating Folkies have done some good stuff as well.
Pumpkin Pie did an album of (Ithink)mostly self penned 'traditional'
canal songs,as did The Boatmen -Songs From the Tunnels Mouth I seem to recall as an album title.
The Single Bolinder referred to above is an adaptation of a Geordie
miners song called Little Chance.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 03:45 AM

Leadfingers is more or less right, though there are a tiny handful of traditional ones. You can safely say that ALL songs of the "We were going up the Tardebigge ninety seven, me brave boys, carrying a load of snuff" variety were composed recently by canal enthusiasts.
I would go into this in more detail, but I'm off to rig bunting and fireworks and play music for a series of canal events in Walsall.
   I'll just throw in the name Emma Vickers from Burscough, if we are talking about actual authentic traditional boat songs by actual traditional boat people.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 03:58 AM

There's a version of "Bollinger" with added engine on one of the Halliard/Black Country 3 records available from Mike Raven in UK or Camsco in US (can't lay my hand on it at the moment for details). There's another engine assisted track on DPN+1 Canal Songs "The Unknown Boatman (contact normfairey@aol.com).
I think "Songs from the Tunnel's Mouth" is out of print, if you know of a source, Leadfingers, PM me, I've been looking for it.

RtS
(Oi'll get me cowt an' go down the cut)


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Gurney
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 03:59 AM

Gary and Vera were still performing in 6 years ago when I was on holiday in England. They were around Wigan somewhere. Surely there is someone with more up-to-date gen than me?


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 05:14 AM

It's always difficult to define "traditional", but there are quite a few songs which were commissioned for the opening of various canals. I think that "Tom Beech's Last Trip" could also probably qualify as traditional.

In the earlier days of the canals, most boatmen would have worked more or less a day job and lived ashore. It was only later, when the canals had been linked into a network making longer trips possible that they (and their families) started living aboard and thus became a group apart. The main circumstances that forced this change were economic - with the competition from railways, the rates of pay for boatmen were usually too low to allow them to have another home. It would therefore have only been from this point that "Boaties" really became a separate community. It was a hard life and being contantly on the move (unless they were held up by Ice or other stoppages, or waiting for loads), probably meant that they didn't have too much chance to congregate for entertainment.

The Navvies who built the canals were migrant workers with a high percentage from Ireland and it seems likely that they would have had quite a lot of song and music in their large camps. Most of this would probably been from their native areas, although there are many songs which refer to building canals and later of course, the railways.

As Leadfingers has already said, most canal songs are relatively recent. Although Dave Blagrove was a working boatman, it was right at the end of the era - and mainly because he got tired of working in an office. Athough he carried loads (mainly coal deliveries to boaters) until recently, he really did it more as a hobby on weekends and holidays from his main job as a teacher. Incidently, Dave had to give up his boating last year on doctor's orders and has sold his motor and butty.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 06:27 AM

There are a few traditional songs related to the canals and the navvies. The Bold Navigators has several of them on the record and you can find them some in print in eg Roy Palmer's A Touch On The Times (The New Navigation, Navvy on the Line, The Navigators) and Jon Raven's Victoria's Inferno (Come Now Begin Delving, All Hail This Grand Day, Birmingham Lads, Manchester Ship Canal, The Tommy Note, Cruise of the Calabar).

Mick


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,IanN
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 06:38 AM

If you want to hear lots of canal songs come to Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival (13th, 14th & 15th June). The narrowboat rally is unofficially the 2nd largest in the country (in terms of the number of boats) and there are loads of sessions featuring boater/musicians that take place over the weekend.

Ian (trying to plug M'wich Fest. is as many threads as poss.)!!!!


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 09:34 AM

Hmm. I was thinking Bold Navigators but the "engine" track isn't on that. Must be on a cassette somewhere. I'll post details if I find it.
RtS


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:17 AM

Found the Black Country Three cassette, it's not on that. I was confused (nothing new) as the Bold Navigators DOES have engine noises but doesn't feature the Bolinder ( I see I wrote "Bollinger" earlier- must be living in Ascot! " More Bolly Darling?"). It starts with the sound of "The Stour" and ends with the "Rosemary".

RtS
(Oi'll just goo an' throw meself in the cut)


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:57 AM

Now RTS remember the pollution control laws. ¦¬].....Giok


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 May 03 - 11:33 AM

"The throwing of any animal, alive or dead, into this waterway is prohibited by law". So it used to say round Walsall way. Didn't say anything about pulling dead animals out ...


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:57 PM

There are lots of historical publications of songs written to commemorate canal openings etc, and countlesss songs written by modern folkies about leggers and all that stuff. But off hand I can only think of one song that you you might call a traditional canal song....in the sense of sung traditionally by a canal person, and actually about canals. And that is Emma Vickers' Leeds and Liverpool version of "The Cruise of the Calibar". There were loads of musicians working on the boats (accordion and fiddle mainly by all accounts), but if they came up with canal songs, they have not come down to us ( as far as I know, I hasten to add. I would be unbelievably delighted if people can pad out my meagre list of one sole song). I love seasongs, and I lived on a canal boat for 15 years playing everywhere, asking everyone and reading loads of books. But I have always drawn a blank.(In England that is).


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,dolphin
Date: 06 May 03 - 06:02 PM

What about Keepers Lock - they lived on the canals etc. I think there is a special section on www.chanteycabin.co.uk fo canal music


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: nutty
Date: 06 May 03 - 06:39 PM

There's a web site here with contemporary songs

Canal songs and Poems


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 06 May 03 - 06:44 PM

I'll second 'dolphin' about Keepers Lock - they have four CDs (I think) - all telling tales of the canals from various aspects - and such lovely, lovely people. Also Benny Graham and the late Jeff Dennison's 'They're Coming Back...' mentioned earlier in the thread - all worth adding to your collection - they're all in mine.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: nutty
Date: 06 May 03 - 07:03 PM

Here's a link to the recordings from Keepers Lock and others

Canal Songs


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:41 PM

Roger, the recording of The Rosemary I have is on The Bold Navigators all right - the CD reissue, not the LP. Maybe it's been added as a bonus track?


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Stewie
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:26 PM

Susanne, 'The Rosemary' is the last track on the 'Bold Navigators' LP too. Without engine noises, it is also on the Raven, Jones, Rose 'Songs of a Changing World' LP.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 May 03 - 06:37 AM

'The Rosemary' was written by Pete Dodds. I've added two more verses to it which go before the last verse. You can find them in this thread about the song.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,John Sutton
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 10:05 AM

There is a web-site with canal songs here :
Canal Songs


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 01:31 PM

Very important advice - if you are a canal song enthusiast, and have a band, do not call it "Canal" anything or anything "Canal", or some wag will leave teh "C" off and you will not like your new name....


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Hovering Bob
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 04:16 PM

Keepers Lock (Susie and Barry) did live on the canal(s) for a while, but their shows were based on self penned, (very good self penned ) material into which they would weave 'tradditional' songs to bring in associated, non canal, themes.

I hope'Whiskey and Ginger' (Susie and John) are still doing the same material and Susie either is or should be a published author on canal based novels.

BobH


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 05:14 PM

Keepers Lock have their own web-site. They have four available CD's. As they publish their lyrics in song-books they have not been included in the '"Songs of the Waterways" web-site.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 02:04 AM

Just thought I'd update this thread and provide a new link to the Songs of the Inland Waterways website which now has the lyrics of over 200 songs, audio recordings, videos and details of all(?) recordings of UK canal songs - plus a complete radio ballad.

Contributions and corrections always welcome.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 12:30 PM

Mikron Theatre have been cruising the canals for 40 years. Many of their shows have been about the canals.

For several years their songs were written by Jim Woodland. CDs available from their website.

They are ready to embark once more with two new plays, though neither is about canals this year.


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Subject: RE: English Canal Songs advice
From: a gud ole bwoy
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 07:25 AM

Absolutely agree with all the above but so far no one has mention what the canal people did sing. According to my information they mostly sang music hall songs. The tradition of canal users entertainment still goes on. At Foxton incline plane museum it's the first Sunday evening of every month and when requested by the landlord of Foxton's Bridge 61 musician and singers meet there for a bit of a do. Some of the faster tunes have been known to prompt spontanious step dancing.


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