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Lyr Add: Cock of the North

DigiTrad:
COCK O' THE MIDDEN
I'LL HAE NAE MAIR O' YER CHEESE
SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
TOCHER, THE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Auntie Mary Had a Canary (45)
Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where? (97)
(origins) Lyr/Tune Add: Sailor Home from the Sea (D Hewett) (13)
Cock of the Morning/North (17)
Lyr Req: Cock of the North (8)
Lyr Req: Cock o' the North / Hi fer Geordie (8)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Cock of the Morning


Wolfgang Hell 04 Aug 98 - 11:42 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Aug 98 - 05:25 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Aug 98 - 05:38 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Aug 98 - 06:45 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Aug 98 - 06:59 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Aug 98 - 07:14 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Aug 98 - 08:32 PM
Barry Finn 05 Aug 98 - 07:29 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 98 - 07:52 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 05 Aug 98 - 09:42 PM
Barry Finn 05 Aug 98 - 09:50 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Aug 98 - 01:57 AM
Bob Bolton 09 Aug 98 - 07:54 PM
Wolfgang 10 Aug 98 - 11:03 AM
Bert 10 Aug 98 - 04:25 PM
Bob Bolton 12 Aug 98 - 07:19 PM
Wolfgang 13 Aug 98 - 12:53 PM
alison 21 Jul 99 - 09:56 PM
Stewie 27 Aug 02 - 11:26 PM
Teribus 28 Aug 02 - 04:58 AM
Bob Bolton 28 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM
Teribus 29 Aug 02 - 10:08 AM
Jim McLean 29 Aug 02 - 01:35 PM
CraigS 29 Aug 02 - 04:32 PM
Bob Bolton 29 Aug 02 - 07:40 PM
Stewie 29 Aug 02 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Joe Flood 04 Sep 02 - 08:51 AM
Bob Bolton 05 Sep 02 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Joe Flood 05 Sep 02 - 02:04 AM
rich-joy 05 Sep 02 - 04:14 AM
bradfordian 14 Dec 02 - 08:06 PM
Shonagh 15 Dec 02 - 10:33 AM
Bob Bolton 16 Dec 02 - 10:07 PM
mg 16 Dec 02 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Pilgrim 16 Dec 02 - 11:44 PM
Bob Bolton 17 Dec 02 - 07:06 AM
Wolfgang 17 Dec 02 - 08:03 AM
Mrrzy 17 Dec 02 - 03:12 PM
CraigS 17 Dec 02 - 07:03 PM
bradfordian 17 Dec 02 - 07:17 PM
Bob Bolton 17 Dec 02 - 09:30 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 03 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,guest; martyn wyndham-read 30 Aug 03 - 01:46 PM
Bob Bolton 01 Sep 03 - 11:53 PM
Sandra in Sydney 02 Sep 03 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,olly 09 Oct 03 - 07:30 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM
mg 07 Nov 03 - 10:35 PM
mg 09 Nov 03 - 11:21 PM
sweetfire 10 Nov 03 - 07:32 AM
Susanne (skw) 10 Nov 03 - 07:37 PM
mg 10 Nov 03 - 08:47 PM
GUEST,Mark C 04 Jun 06 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,pork sausage Mike 10 Apr 16 - 04:30 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: COCK OF THE NORTH
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 11:42 AM

The Furey's were singing this on the LP (transl.) "1. Irish Folk Festival in Germany" the first of a series of at least 5 LPs which possibly were never sold outside of Germany. Here it is, but I have no information whether it is old (I don't think so) or who wrote it and I even don't know what the title means (personal guess: cock here means small boat). So there's room for additions.
Wolfgang

COCK OF THE NORTH

1. Oh cock of the north with the dream in your hand,
my love has come home to this beautiful land
and he comes through the door with his eyes like the sun
and his kit's bags are full of the treasures he's won.

2. And below the old broom there's a tall luggin's tail,
a bat and a crow and the jaws of a whale,
and our kitchen is full with the smell of the sea
and all of the richness my love brings to me.

3. Come gather your treasures by our gardens and rooms,
and bring them along to the sweet little blooms
with the sun in the morning and blaze on your chest,
oh my love has come home from north by northwest.

4. And here in these beds we will lay and we'll sleep,
yes, we'll lay and we'll listen to the sounds of the deep,
and as long as the summer, we'll sleep winter long,
oh my love has come home like King Salomon's son.

5. = 1.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 05:25 PM

Auntie Mary, had a canary,
Up the leg of her trousers
While she was sleeping I was peeping
Up the leg of her trousers.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 05:38 PM

Actually, the words posted by Wolfgang don't scan to the tune of Cock of the North that I know, or at least I am having trouble fitting them in. I'm thinking of the fiddle or bagpipe tune. (The words I posted are sung by the soldiers as they march to it.) They also seem rather wistful for so fast a tune.

The small boat, I think, was called a cockle or cockle-shell, after the mollusc. Is it some Scots term.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 06:45 PM

G'day Wolfgang,

The words you quote are an Australian poem, 'The Sailor Home from the Sea, by (????? - ARGHH ... MENTAL BLOCK ... I'll check and give you the right name), a poet and author who now lives in Perth, West Australia. It was written at the time that she was married to Merv Lilley - a sailor working on coastal shipping and fishing boats. I have always taken it that the expression 'Cock of the morning' is metaphorical for the way his arrival back home has rewoken her life, as the cock crow heralds the day.

The towns mentioned are on the west and north of Australia and the final stanza suggests that the sailor/lover has come home for the winter season.

There are about 4 different tunes to this one - I normally sing the tune by Chris Kempster but I think the best known overseas was a different tune. The song was made popular by Martyn Wyndham-Read in the 1970s.

THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA

1. Oh cock of the north with a dream in your hand,
My love has come home to this beautiful land
As he walks through the door with his eyes like the sun
And his kit bags crammed full of the treasures he's won.

2. There's a pearl shell from Broome and a tall Darwin tale,
Coral and clams and the jaws of a whale,
And our kitchen is full of the smell of the sea
And the leaping green fishes my love brings to me.

3. Oh tumble your treasures from Darwin and Broome,
And fill with your glory my strait little room
With the sun in the morning ablaze on your chest,
My love has come home from the north of northwest.

4. And deep in these beds we will love and we'll lie,
We'll kiss and we'll listen to the rain in the sky,
Warm as the summer, we'll hive winter long,
Oh my love has come home like King Solomon's song.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 26-Jun-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 06:59 PM

G'day again,

I forgot to change the most important point in Wolfgang's version ... for some reason Martyn sang "Cock of the North" instead of "Cock of the morning", as the original poem (written in the late 1950s) has it. I suspect it has to do with the persistence of a sort of Spoonerism, or transpositional error, with the first word of the first line and the third word of the second being transposed ... with disastrous results!

I still have a mental block with the author's name ... this is particularly frustrating as I was think of her only a few days ago. I have a strong mental picture ... but it has no name underneath!

I will try to get the words closer ... and separate the lines.


THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA

1. Oh cock of the morning with a dream in your hand,
My love has come home, come ashore to the land
As he walks through the door with his eyes like the sun
And his kit bags crammed full of the treasures he's won.

2. There's a pearl shell from Broome and a tall Darwin tale,
Coral and clam and the jaws of a whale,
And our kitchen is full of the smell of the sea
And the leaping green fishes my love brings to me.

3. Oh tumble your treasures from Darwin and Broome,
And fill with your glory my strait little room
With the sun in the morning ablaze on your chest,
My love has come home from the north of northwest.

4. And deep in these beds we will love and we'll lie,
We'll kiss and we'll listen to the rain in the sky,
Warm as the summer, we'll hive winter long,
My love has come home like King Solomon's song.


Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 07:14 PM

G'day yet again,

I still can't think of the author's name (undoudtedly it will come to me the moment I stop trying!).

The bit about the transposition is unclear - as the song is written out here, what I refered to is a transposition of the second and eighth words of the first line to: "Oh, dream of the morning with a cock in your hand,".

A reversal like this can lurk in the back of your brain and surface, unbidden, in the middle of a song. Two singers have mentioned this in respect of this song and I suspect it happened to Martyn ... and that is why he changed the line.

Then again, it could just be the persistence of an established phrase: the well-known line of the Scots song slipping in and displacing the correct wording and taking up permanent residence.

I'll be back as soon as I can remember the author's name. She was a well-known character about the literary scenr here; a larger than life blonde who actually played a sort of Marylin Monroe / Mae West character in a minor local film - as well as being an outspoken, left-wing author in a decidedly right-wing, traditionalist, male-dominated society.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Aug 98 - 08:32 PM

G'day yet again,

I might establish a record for the most consecutive strands to a thread without double posting! As soon as I turned off Mudcat ... I remembered the author's name for 'Sailor Home from the Sea / Cock of the Morning / Cock of the North'.

The poet who wrote the original words is Dorothy Hewett. I had her name firmly crossed with that of another prominent lady of the early Folk Revival in Australia, Doreen Jacobs, and there was no way that I could fix on the right name ... as long as I tried!

I would be interested to hear what tune Wolfgang has heard to the song. I would guess that the Fureys would use the Martyn Whyndham-Read version, but there are several more - one written only a few years back by the singer in a very nice but short-lived local group 'Taliesin'.

Most female singers with whom I discuss tunes for this song (one I have long loved) feel that the tune I first heard, written by Chris Kempster and sung by Gary Shearston on a 1960s LP 'Songs of Our Time', is "too strong" or "too masculine" and prefer tunes that, in my opinion, sound a bit too wiffley for my image of Dorothy Hewett. She is a very up-front lady!

It is also interesting to see yet another Australian song being quietly wheeled into the "Irish" backyard and lightly re-sprayed green! I will do some checking on the various tunes that should be at least in magazines and books in my archives and see if there is something worth MIDI/ABCing and posting.

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 07:29 PM

I've been under the impression the Cock would be the proud hen in the flock, strutting it's stuff, as in the Cock of the Walk, would be a young, good looking, well built, strong & tough deck hand who's full of himself, until he's been shone his place & put there by another crew member. Barry


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 07:52 PM

G'day Barry,

You could be right ... as well ... Trying to pin down the precise meaning of a poet's phrase can be very frustrating. The art of the poet is to compress many / much meaning(s) into very little language. My interpretation is based on the original " ... morning", rather than the substituted " ... north" plus a reading of the sense of the whole piece.


I am reminded that someone once wrote to a 19th c. poet (possibly Wordsworth) and asked what he meant by a particular phrase. He replied; "When I wrote that, only Wordsworth and God knew ... now only God knows!"


I have dug out the words from my files (as opposed to my memory) and two versions of the tune. I will post these to a separate thread "Lyr Add: Sailor Home from the Sea".

As I said before, my preference is for the Chris Kempster tune, but that must be affected by the fact that it was the first tune I heard to the song. The second tune is by Bill Berry - another ex-Sydney folkie now living up in the Blue Mountains (about 80 miles west of Sydney). I hope these MIDI/ABC files are readable ... I haven't got them working on my machine yet, but that may be because of problems with my computer.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 09:42 PM

Cocks by definition can't be hens.:)

I take it that this song is not sung to same tune as the fiddle/bagpipe tune Cock O'The North?


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Aug 98 - 09:50 PM

Thanks Tim, sorry, Hen wasn't what I meant, but may have been what the cock was after. Barry


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Aug 98 - 01:57 AM

G'day Tim,

See my new thread: Lyr. Add "Sailor Home from the Sea" for two of the possible tunes for this song.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 07:54 PM

G'day Wolfgang and all,

I had a listen to a CD I bought from Martyn Whyndham-Read when he was out here last year. He has the song and uses the original poem title "The Sailor Home from the Sea". His notes indicate that he is pretty hazy about when and where he first heard the poem and he says that the tune is the first tune he wrote (about 1965).

I haven't been able to compare that with the MW-R tune I downloaded but I presume they will be the same and suspect that this tune (or a variant) will be used by the Fureys and the Clancys, since it was Martyn that made the song popular in the UK (and, presumably, Ireland).

The whole thread has been an interesting study in folk-processing of songs ... despite the fact that we live in an era of writing, printing and recording. Over the 34 years from the publication of the first 2 stanzas in 'Tradition' magazine, vol. 1, no. 1, (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) this song has spread over the world and seen a lot of strange changes as people have wrestled with words that meant nothing to them (the towns Broome and Darwin in particular) and there's probably a thesis in it for someone!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Aug 98 - 11:03 AM

Thanks to all, especially Bob. I'm definitely surprised to see where this song originally came from. As for the speed of the folk process, note that the Furey's version is at least 20 years old, so quite close (in time) to the original. Imagine that I even once took an n-volume encyclopedia to find out that a person in Scotland once was nicknamed "Cock of the North" and then wrongly thought I was somewhat close to the original idea for this song. If I find out which tune the Furey's were using I'll let you know.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bert
Date: 10 Aug 98 - 04:25 PM

When I was growing up in London, yonks ago, cock was an ordinary term for a boy or guy.

A common greeting was "Wotcha Cock, 'ow's yerself"

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 07:19 PM

G'day Wolfgang and all,

I'm still waiting to get my home computer back up and running - trying to find the doublespaced files after adding new drives ... I hope that it will all fall into place when we give the drives their original letters tonight...?

Then I should be able to listen to the midi files I downloaded and see how they compare to the Martyn Wyndham-Read tune, which I transcribed last week.

It is fascinating to see the amount of change (folk processing?) that has occurred in such a short time. I know that a lot of this (in Australia, at least) came from the fact that it was before the common appearance of Xerox copiers. When I researched this song some years back, I found that 1960s singers had hand-written copies of this song and this must have led to variations; e.g. Gary Shearston sings "Warm as the summer they've hived winter long" where everyone else sings "... lived...".

I believe that 'hived' is Dorothy's original (poetic) word and most people have mis-read hand-written copies as the more prosaic "lived" and this is just one example of the changes in this song. Maybe Martyn's writing (or whoever had written down the words) was a bit dodgy ... Could he read "north" for "morning"? The words of the first 2 stanzas, published in 1964 were:

O cock of the morning, with a dream in his hand,
My love has come home to the wonderful land.
He bursts through the door with his eyes like the sun
And his kit-bag crammed full of the treasures he's won.

There's a pearl shell from Broome and a tall Darwin tale,
And coral and clam and the jaws of a whale
And my kitchen is full of the smell of the sea
And the leaping green fishes my love brings to me.
From Australian Tradition, vol. 1, No. 1 page 4, March 1964.

I have not a copy of the full poem - I presume that some singer got a hand-written copy from Dorothy ... or from Merv Lilley. It's all very interesting stuff!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Aug 98 - 12:53 PM

I hardly can imagine someone hearing or reading "north" for "morning", but I could imagine someone mishearing "north" for "morn" assuming that someone in between had already shortened the line a bit.

Wolfgang


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Subject: Tune Add: COCK OF THE NORTH / COCK OF THE MORNING
From: alison
Date: 21 Jul 99 - 09:56 PM

Hi,

Here is the tune as I have heard it. I do not have the music, so it is done by ear and I fully expect others to know a different one......

Slainte

alison

MIDI file: COCKOF~1.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: nameless
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Tempo: 069 (857143 microsec/crotchet)
Key: C
Start
1680 1 57 093 0238 0 57 093 0002 1 57 098 0478 0 57 098 0002 1 64 104 0358 0 64 104 0002 1 64 097 0118 0 64 097 0002 1 67 093 0238 0 67 093 0002 1 64 108 0478 0 64 108 0002 1 64 094 0222 0 64 094 0018 1 62 094 0478 0 62 094 0002 1 59 090 0240 1 57 114 0023 0 59 090 0215 0 57 114 0002 1 55 100 0718 0 55 100 0002 1 55 097 0238 0 55 097 0002 1 57 106 0478 0 57 106 0002 1 64 097 0238 0 64 097 0002 1 64 097 0238 0 64 097 0002 1 62 094 0478 0 62 094 0002 1 59 096 0238 0 59 096 0002 1 59 089 0238 0 59 089 0002 1 60 104 0478 0 60 104 0002 1 59 086 0238 0 59 086 0002 1 60 092 0238 0 60 092 0002 1 57 094 0718 0 57 094 0002 1 57 098 0238 0 57 098 0002 1 57 090 0478 0 57 090 0002 1 64 100 0358 0 64 100 0002 1 64 094 0118 0 64 094 0002 1 67 108 0478 0 67 108 0002 1 64 089 0238 0 64 089 0002 1 64 093 0238 0 64 093 0002 1 62 092 0478 0 62 092 0002 1 59 104 0238 0 59 104 0002 1 57 103 0238 0 57 103 0002 1 55 101 0718 0 55 101 0002 1 55 093 0238 0 55 093 0002 1 57 098 0478 0 57 098 0002 1 64 100 0238 0 64 100 0002 1 64 097 0238 0 64 097 0002 1 62 096 0478 0 62 096 0002 1 59 101 0238 0 59 101 0002 1 59 090 0238 0 59 090 0002 1 60 100 1438 0 60 100 0002 1 59 091 0238 0 59 091 0002 1 60 086 0238 0 60 086 0002 1 57 103 1918 0 57 103
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:nameless
M:4/4
Q:1/4=69
K:C
A,8|A,2E3/2E/2GE2E|D2B,A,G,3G,|A,2EED2B,B,|
C2B,CA,3A,|A,2E3/2E/2G2EE|D2B,A,G,3G,|A,2EED2B,B,|
C6B,C|A,8||


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA (D Hewett)
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 11:26 PM

Hewett's original poem differs in several respects from the song it became - posted above by Bob. Here is how it appears in a collection of her poems:

THE SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
(Dorothy Hewett)

O Cock of the morning
With a dream in his hand
My love has come home
To this wonderful land

He bursts through the door
With his eyes like the sun
And his kitbag crammed full
Of the treasures he's won

There's pearl shell from Broome
And a tall Darwin tale
And coral and clam
And the jaws of a whale

And my kitchen is full
Of the smell of the sea
And the leaping green fishes
My love brings to me

O tumble your treasures
From Darwin to Broome
And fill with your glory
This straight little room

With the sun in the morning
Ablaze on his chest
My love has come home
From the north of nor'west

And deep in our bed
We'll love and we'll lie
We'll kiss and we'll listen
To the rain in the sky

Warm as the summer
We've hived winter long
My love has come home
Like King Solomon's song

Source: Dorothy Hewett 'Collected Poems 1940-1955' Fremantle Arts Centre Press 1955.

Note: the dedication to this collection of her poems is:

To Merv Lilley
In wonderment at a partnership
That has endured for 35 years

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 04:58 AM

Great song,

The title/nickname "Cock o' the North" was given to the head of the Gordon Clan (the Earls of Huntly). It was later adopted by the men of the 92nd Regiment, Gordon Highlanders and is "immortalised" in the song "A Gordon for Me"

A Gordon for me, a Gordon for me
If your no a Gordon, yer nae yis tae me
The Black Watch are braw, the Seaforths an a'
But the Cocky wee Gordon's the pride o' them a'

Cheers,

Bill.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 11:40 PM

G'day Teribus,

Of course, the separate, interesting and valid history of the name Cock of the North doesn't really bear on this song, which is generally called, at home in Australia, The Sailor Home From The Sea ... and Australian singers usually start with the 'correct' (author's original) words O Cock of the morning ... - even those who sing it to Martyn's tune!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Teribus
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 10:08 AM

Thanks Bob,

My posting was, as you mention only an aside, I can't for the life of me work out how "O Cock of the morning...", could ever arrive at "O Cock of the North..." as it seems to have done according to Wolfgang's original posting. But then again the Fureys don't appear to be all that great when it comes to the lyrics of other peoples songs, "Green Fields of France" / "No Man's Land" is a classic example.

Cheers,

Bill.

PS - Hope to be down your way later in the year so nearer the time I'll quiz you on the best places to go for music.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 01:35 PM

Ji Tim Jaques, We always sang 'My Auntie Mary had a canary
Up the leg o' her drawers.
It didnae come doon tae the month o' June
So we thought it was Santa Clause!
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: CraigS
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 04:32 PM

WE had three chickens in our back yard We fed them on Indian corn And one was a bugger for tupping the others And giving the others the horn Auntie Mary had a canary down the leg of her drawers ANd when she farted it departed to a round of applause

Collected from the singing of John Vernon Long of Chapeltown, Sheffield, 1974


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 07:40 PM

G'day Tim, Jim & Craig,

The version of "Aunty Mary" that came down in my family, probably via Grandfather Bolton, who was English (from Haslingden) must be a relic of the Boer War era, as it went:

Aunty Mary had a canary,
Up the leg of her drawers,
For 'oors an' 'oors it cursed the Boers
And won the Victoria Cross.

Other friends (mostly English) have different versions.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 09:49 PM

The one I knew was:

Aunt Mary had a canary
She also had a duck
She took it behind the kitchen door
And taught it how to ...
Fry the eggs and bacon
(missing line(s) - can't remember)
Leave it alone
And play with your own
And paddle your own canoe

I think Ian Turner had it in his 'Cinderella Dressed in Yaller' collection of Australian children's rhymes.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,Joe Flood
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:51 AM

I got the original tune and accompaniment off a beat-up tape Bill Berry made in Brisbane in 1961 and learned it when I started to play the guitar in 1964. I taught it to Adele and she began singing it in folk gigs a couple of years later. We taught it to the Fagans who have just recorded it.

I ran into Bill ten years ago in the Blue Mountains and played it and his other excellent songs from that tape back to him; he remembered them well and it sounds like it has spurred him on to perform them again.

The "Dream of the morning with a cock in his hand" juxtaposition is due to Merv Lilley who never was keen on sentiment - makes it a bit hard to sing the song seriously once you've heard it.

However I've always had a sneaking idea, given her interests, that Mum wrote it that way on purpose.

I will have to ask Martyn Wyndham-Read what his tune is - he has never admitted writing a third one!


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:22 AM

G'day Joe,

I just dug out Martyn's CD Beneath a Southern Sky and had a listen to his version. The tune is clearly a different one and a quite pleasant setting of the song ... I still prefer Chris Kempser's tune, but that was the first tune I heard and that always sets a bias.

I also like the fact that it is a "strong" tune and I think that is more in tune with your mother than some other tunes I hear today!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,Joe Flood
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:04 AM

By the way, Chris Kempster turned up at Mum's funeral last week and sang his version of "Clancy and Dooley and Don McLeod', one of mum's (Dorothy's) best known poems of the 1940s about a famous aboriginal stockman's strike in Northern Australia.

He was pretty choked up and it was kind of hard to work out the tune, but it was quite close to his "Sailor Home from the Sea" in concept and execution.

I hadnt met him before and he's a nice guy. He told me how his mother was shocked by the permissiveness of my mother when they went on a tour to Vienna and Moscow in 1952. Which is kind of odd as my father went with her. But I guess even looking ok was suspect in 1952.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: rich-joy
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:14 AM

re "Clancy and Dooley and Don McLeod" :
Anyone interested in the history of white:black relations in (Western)Australia should maybe read the following excerpt from Don McLeod's 1984 book :
"How the West Was Lost", found at :
http://www.realtalk.dk/noworriesweb/DonMcLeod21.html

and more of interest at :

http://www.awd.org.au/justice/mcleod.htm

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: bradfordian
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 08:06 PM

Hi Wolfgang et al,
In the interests of claifying the matter of M W-R singing "cock of the north" instead of "cock of the morning" as in the poem, I cornered M W-R tonight (as he was appearing at our club, --I put myself between him and the bar actually) . (great man, great voice, great songs - and poetry BTW)and asked him about this very vexed question. He explained thus: "I've always sung it like that, though I have heard other people use morning. My understanding is that" he goes on" Dorothy wrote it for her husband who of course, was a sailor. His territory (if that's the right phrase) was the northern coastline of Australia, hence he was cock of the north - ern coastline". It was never memory lapse or fruedian slip. If we assume that Martyn has never researched the original poem, then it all seems quite plausible to me.
Cheers Brad.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Shonagh
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 10:33 AM

Auntie Mary hid a canary
Up the leg o her draa'ers
she pull'd a string an ding a ling
doon cam santy claus!

Thats the version we used to sing in primary school! By the way, draa'ers in north east scotland are actually knickers, as in underwear!


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 10:07 PM

G'day Brad,

I always presumed Martyn actually read the words in the Melbourne-based folk Magazine Tradition, where the poem was first published, around 1964, as a song (to Bill Berry's tune ... which is structurally very similar to Ewan MacColl's The Fireman's not for Me ... but sounds very different, due to tempo and the odd different note). However, given what one could earn from folksinging ... in Australia ... in the mid '70s ... maybe he was reading over someone else's shoulder!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: mg
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 10:19 PM

to add another verse to the "other" cock of the north tune under discussion..

Uncle Charlie had some barley up the leg of his drawers
If you don't believe me you can feel me up the leg of my drawers.

Don't know where I lernt it...only heard it once..probably Newfoundland.

And the other sure has beautiful words.

mg


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,Pilgrim
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 11:44 PM

Isn't Cock o' the North a Scots song, specifically the Gordons' song?


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 07:06 AM

G'day Pilgrim,

f you read the whole thread, you will find that it is about another song - "properly" called Cock of the Morning (the name of the poem, by the late Dorothy Hewett, on which it is based). I am assured by her son that the possibilities of double entendre, which this name raises (and which was an element of the discussion above) is fully realised and intended!

The thread was started by Wolfgang Hell, who had heard the Irish cover versions of the particular version that Martyn Wyndham-Read took home from Australia - and set to his own tune - unrelated to the Scots tune you mention.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 08:03 AM

Each time this thread comes back I am amazed anew that such a young song (in folk terms) has such a rich and interesting history.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 03:12 PM

Love of the North, I have this as, on a Clancy Brothers without Tommy makem album. Not at all sure which, but it's Love of the North... ...with the sun in the morning ablaze on your chest ...always sounded so beautiful to me. Aaah.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: CraigS
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 07:03 PM

More irrelevant information - I was under the impression that the Cock of the North was the head of the Campbell clan, and I won the under-six talent competition at Butlins in 1958 singing A Gordon For Me !


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: bradfordian
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 07:17 PM

From investigations in my BYRON thread, I've come expect that just about ALL interpretations of original work take certain amounts of liberties (artistic licence, I think they like to call it. Sometimes it is to get round copyright of course) But its kind of interesting to see these variatins appear. But when one comes to research said songs we are given false trails like the change from the original Sailor Home From The Sea to Cock of the North; which is made even worse when there is a completely different song with the same name as the modified one. Also popularpoems will receve the attention of several different composers over a range of years and a range of geographic locations. Gosh! Codswallop or what?

Cheers Brad


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 09:30 PM

G'day again Brad(fordian),

It is the astonishing number of changes in this poem/song that intrigues me - and confounds the assertion that "folk song" (or, maybe, the 'folk process') is dead - because now we write down a song ... and it doesn't change! Of course, a lot of changes arise from taking a lyric with specific Australian/southern hemisphere references back to Britain ... and then (with a measure of deliberate alteration for whatever purpose) off beyond the pale (the pale was a defensive/containment ring the Brits tried to keep around the Irish!)

You are, of course, correct in giving the original name (Dorothy Hewett's poem and the song settings by Bill Berry and Chris Kempster) as The Sailor home from the Sea. What I should have said above was that the 'proper' first line is:

"O! Cock of the morning, with a dream in his hand ...".

Anyway, I watch the process with interest.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:28 PM

Well, boys, here's the best I can do.

Ah, as I got done, my glascots on,
The lad I chance to see.
He wore a feather in his cap,
And tartan on his knee.
A lassie walked there by his side
And as the men did bye,
A lassie looked at everyone
And then I heard her cry.

Oh gie to me the lad you'll see
From Russia to the forks,
The marching lilt the swing of the kilt,
And that's the Cock O' the North.

Now you'll see him down in London Town,
You'll know him by his eyes.
They're proud and free and blue to see,
As any highland skies.

As he swings along he sings a song
That tells you where he's from.
To Scotland's Isles and bens and kyles
He surely must belong.

Say gie to me the lad you'll see
From Russia to the fore,
The marching lilt, the swing of the kilt,
And that's the Cock O' the North.

(slowly)

There's your Irish dan begorrah,
And your English man,
Your dubbie bach from Wales uh
Your Spanish Joe, and your Frenchie beau,
And other kinds of males

The lads they say from USA
are very hard to beat,
And way down under you would wonder

(picks back up)

Of the men you'll meet.



But gie to me the lad you'll see
From Russia to the fore,
The marching lilt, the swing of the kilt,
And that's the Cock O' the North.

Oh the lads who come from Inverness,
From Keffshire or Kintail,
Will meet a lass and soon we'll hear her bonnie helt and file
She'll loo the lad, she'll want him bad
She even join his clan
She tends nae other lad could love her
Like a Highland man.

Say gie to me the lad you'll see
From Russia to the fore,
The marching lilt, the swing of the kilt,
And that's the Cock O' the North.

The handy sandy fine and dandy lad,
The Cock O' the North, hee, the Cock O' the North.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,guest; martyn wyndham-read
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 01:46 PM

I am sitting here in France at our place La Jeusseliniere after having had a most successful week with Harvey Andrews doing a course on songwriting. Harvey told us about the Mudcat café and having looked at the site, and finding it most interesting and informative, I came across the dialogue that was going on about the Dorothy Hewitt poem 'Sailor Home from the Sea'. This poem is very dear to my heart as it was the first tune that I ever wrote for a poem and this was back in about 1964. I know that Chris Kempster has written a great tune as well and it was Chris that had inspired many people to write tunes to Henry Lawson poems, myself included. So the reason that I wrote my tune to this was, and I am delving back through the mists of time. I believe that it was Mike Leydon who wrote the first tune to Sailor Home from the Sea, and by sheer coincidence it was similar to the tune written by Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger' s'The Fireman's not for Me', was it Peggy Seeger or Ewan McColl that wrote the tune? Anyway people thought that Mike had copied that tune so they stopped singing it. I thought it was a great love poem so I wrote my tune for it. Incidentally Mike Leydon wrote another good tune to another of Dorothy's poems " Weevils In The Flour ". Back in the 1960's I met Dorothy in Sydney and later on wrote to her asking her permission to put my tune to her poem, she kindly consented and I believe that I have the letter somewhere. While on tour in America in the mid 1990's I bumped into Dorothy and Merv at Penn State University as she was on a literature tour of some of the universities and I was doing a concert at the same university for their Australian Studies section. I can well remember being amazed to see the sign saying "This way to the Dorothy Hewitt Lecture",and her being equally surprised to see myself. My wife Dan and I went to see both Dorothy and Merv in their house in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney about three years ago,sadly Merv had had to go to the dentist so we missed him. Dorothy said that she approved of my tune which I took as a great compliment. Incidently Merv wrote a great song " Cane Killed Able " which Declan Affley did such a good job on. One other point I should mention, I well remember singing my tune to Sailor Home From The Sea into Eddie Furey's tape recorder circa late 1960's and then in the early '70's being on tour in Germany and staying at Willy Schwenken's house. Willy made records of the vinyl variety and also had an extensive collection, while browsing through some of these I saw that there was a recording of the Furey's live concert at some hall. One of the tracks was I think Cock of The North so being curious I played that track, sure enough it was Sailor Home From The Sea having been, as Bob Bolton so accurately describes as "being painted green" something about having learnt the song from their grandmother and it was all about gun running, to be honest I am not too sure about this bit being on the actual record but I am sure that I have heard them introduce it this way . One thing I am sure of is that each time I have seen Eddie and asked him about this he has always had a pressing engagement in a different direction.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:53 PM

G'day Martyn,

It's nice to hear from you on the Mudcat (and interesting to hear your view of the strange seachange that befell Sailor Home from the Sea in Fureyous Irish waters!).

The tale of the Sailor's many tunes is another that benefits from your viewpoint. It is interesting that the Mike Leyden tune caused so much angst after publication in Tradition ... when it sounds totally different in performance, since the tempo and emphasis are so different. (But the "dots" do look very similar ... presumably, the complaints came from those who knew it only in print.)

Anyway, relax back in the balmy air of La Jeusseliniere - just keep in mind that it may be the northern hemisphere vernal equinox, as you pack up for the (Australian) National Folk Festival, 2004 ... but it is our autumnal equinox ... and Canberra strikes a lot of the locals as rather cold!

(And I won't mention anything about Anglo-Australian 2-CD sets that take longer to be 'launched' in the Antipodes than was the norm in the days of square-riggers ...!)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 09:26 AM

Hello, Martyn

Does this posting mean you are going to join Mudcat? It's a great place to be, full of interesting people & information (& over 9000 songs).

If you haven't seen the thread on 60's Australian albums, check it out, lots of great stuff there & I think your name gets mentioned, too.

sandra (still waiting for an answer to my last email, but I assume it is waiting for you to read when you get home).


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,olly
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:30 AM

Much confusion between cock of the north & cock o' the north
Cock o the north is the tune we sang many parodies to eg aunty mary etc. Andy Stewart recorded a version of which the lyrics are detailed by "guest" on 23 august. The tune (midi) can be downloaded
from http://www.traditional-music.org/midi/11714.mid


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM

Not to be confused with "Home is the Sailor," by A. E. Housman.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: mg
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 10:35 PM

I just heard this today on some Scot internet radio show and it was gorgeous..don't know who sang it though..men and women together... mg


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: mg
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 11:21 PM

oh could someone who knows this or has it on a c.d. please make me a copy..I would love it...I'd pay for the tape and postage of course...my address is M. Garvey, 2907 Pioneer Road, Long Beach, WA 98631...It is going around and around in my head..I know I have heard it somewhere....I hope I get the right tune though..sounds like there are 4 of them...mg


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: sweetfire
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:32 AM

John Whittaker rode in the last 'Cock of the North', twas a wonderful site...sadly though, he didn't win...


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:37 PM

Mary, we don't want you buried under a pile of tapes and CDs, but if nobody closer does I'll send you my recording by Finbar and Eddie Furey. Are Minidiscs any good to you? Otherwise it'll have to be a tape.


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Subject: RE: Cock of the North
From: mg
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 08:47 PM

thta would be great...a tape would be best...I doubt I'[ll get deluged...or if you can burn cd's that would be even better than best...then I can play it over and over...I am just hoping it is the tune that is going through my head.

I am also going to buy the Sangsters C.D...I emailed Dick to see if Mudcat can sell it...I heard them sing another song today..what great voices these 2 women have..

mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,Mark C
Date: 04 Jun 06 - 05:50 PM

'Cock' was also a C16 slang term for God. So the - obviously old - expression, Cock O'the North, could have a more powerful meaning than just being the 'toughest rooster in the yard'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cock of the North
From: GUEST,pork sausage Mike
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 04:30 PM

The few words I know for Cock of the North are:-
I went up in a penny balloon,
the penny balloon went pop,
I fell into the big blue sea,
and a fish got hold of me cock!

cock-a-doodle,cock-a-doodle, and a fish got hold of me cock.

...is that all there is?

The other 3-4 song titles don't scan.

PSM


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