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Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room

DigiTrad:
WEE DARK ENGINE ROOM


Related threads:
Wee Dark Engine Room (13)
Help with 'Wee Pot Stove' chords (4)
Tune Add: Wee Pot Stove (9)
LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA) (4)


Allan Dennehy 04 Sep 03 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,MMario 04 Sep 03 - 12:29 PM
nancyjo 04 Sep 03 - 12:34 PM
Allan Dennehy 04 Sep 03 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,MMario 04 Sep 03 - 12:48 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Sep 03 - 10:52 PM
Lanfranc 06 Sep 03 - 07:25 AM
Charley Noble 06 Sep 03 - 11:59 AM
Ferrara 06 Sep 03 - 03:01 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Sep 03 - 09:34 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Sep 03 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,PETER TIP 19 Jan 10 - 09:59 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 10 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,JohnB 19 Jan 10 - 10:30 AM
Charley Noble 19 Jan 10 - 10:51 AM
Bill D 19 Jan 10 - 10:52 AM
GUEST 31 May 15 - 03:11 PM
Kampervan 31 May 15 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,silver 31 May 15 - 03:50 PM
Tattie Bogle 31 May 15 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 31 May 15 - 06:46 PM
mg 31 May 15 - 07:02 PM
GUEST 31 May 15 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Dave 01 Jun 15 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,Eddie1 (Cookie lost forever) 01 Jun 15 - 04:54 AM
GUEST 01 Jun 15 - 06:12 AM
Teribus 01 Jun 15 - 07:23 AM
bubblyrat 01 Jun 15 - 09:38 AM
GUEST 01 Jun 15 - 11:09 AM
Teribus 01 Jun 15 - 11:10 AM
Leadfingers 01 Jun 15 - 11:24 AM
Hrothgar 02 Jun 15 - 04:30 AM
Teribus 02 Jun 15 - 08:03 AM
Tattie Bogle 02 Jun 15 - 07:21 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:27 PM

I have this unnamed tape of an English(?) singer. Hes brilliant. I think its Nick Jones. Anyway The opening verse is: Where the winter blizzards blow and the chorus starts with: in the little dark engine room. Lovely song, cant wait to start playing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:29 PM

Wee Dark Engine Room


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE POT STOVE (from Nic Jones)
From: nancyjo
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:34 PM

Here you go:

Lyrics: Nic Jones / Digitrad
THE LITTLE POT STOVE from Nic Jones

Where the winter blizzards blow and the whaling fleet's at rest
Tacked in Leith harbour's sheltered bay safely anchored ten abreast
For there's the whalemen at their stations as to ship to ship they rove
Carry bags of coal with them and a little iron stove

In the little dark engine room where the chill seep in your soul
How we huddled round that little pot stove that burned oily rags and coal

A fireman, Paddy, he works with me on the engine frozen cold
A stranger to the truth is he, there's not a lie he hasn't told
Well, he boasted of his gold mines and of the hearts that he had won
And his bawdy sense of humour shone just like a ray of sun

In the little dark engine room where the chill seep in your soul
How we huddled round that little pot stove that burned oily rags and coal

We live it seven days a week, cold hands and frozen feet
Bitter days and lonely nights, making grog and having fights
There's swordfish and whale-meat sausage and fresh penguin egg's a treat
Then we struggle on to work each day through the icy winds and sleet

In the little dark engine room where the chill seep in your soul
How we huddled round that little pot stove that burned oily rags and coal

Then one day we saw the sun, we saw the factory ship return
Meet your old friends and you sing a song; we hope the journey wasn't long
And then it's homeward bound and it's over and we'll leave this icy hole
But I always will remember that little iron stove

In the little dark engine room where the chill seep in your soul
How we huddled round that little pot stove that burned oily rags and coal
In the little dark engine room where the chill seep in your soul
How we huddled round that little pot stove that burned oily rags and coal

----------------------------------
Words by Harry Robertson
from Nic Jones on "Penguin Eggs"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:41 PM

Unbelievable! A reply after just two minutes. I did a search, by the way, before I posted, I was just using the wrong words. Thanks boys and girls.


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Subject: Tune Add: WEE POT
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 12:48 PM

X:1
T:WEE POT
Q:1/4=180
I:abc2nwc
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:A
B6A2|G2E2A2G2|F8|
w:In that wee dark en-gine room,
E6C2|B,2C2E2F2|E8|
w:Where the chill seeps through your soul,
z2B2B2A2|G2E2A2G2|F8|
w:How we huddled round that wee pot stove
E6C2|B,2C2E2F2|E8|
w:That burned oil-y rags and coal.
z2E2E2F2|G2E2F2B,2-|B,8|
w:Now the win-ter bliz-zards blow,_
B3B B3G|A3G F4|
w:and the wha-ling fleet's at rest,
E2F2G2A2|G2F2E2F2|G8|
w:Tucked in Leigh har-bor's shel-ter-ed bay,
B,2B,2C2E2|E2F2E4-|E8|
w:safe-ly an-chored ten a-breast._
B6A2|G2E2A2G2|F8|
w:The whal-ers at their sta-tions,
E6C2|B,2C2E2F2|E8|
w:as from shed to shed they go,
z4B2A2|G2E2A2G2|F2E2F4-|F4E2C2|
w:Car-ry lit-tle bags of coal with them,_ and a
B,2C2z/4E3/2-E/4- E/2F3/2|E8
w:lit-tle i__-ron stove.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 10:06 PM

G'day Allen, nancyjo & MMario,

I think we ought to get the DT version to match Harry's words. At least Nic Jones's appalling anglicisation of both Harry's words and tune doesn't bowdlerise it! (OK - It's a bloody good song ... and it even stands up to Nic's treatment, but it pales against the real thing.)

I have Harry's version in my song files at home (and we sang it on board the James Craig, in Sydney's Darling Harbour last night) and I'll post when I get back there.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: WEE POT STOVE (Harry Robertson)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 10:52 PM

G'day again,

Here's Harry Robertson's original words, as published in Australian Tradition, May 1970 ... and subsequently in Whaling Songs of Harry Robertson, Albert Publications, Sydney, Australia, 1972.

OK - I'm likely to have posted them back in some other thread ... but this puts the original against the rather dubious versions above!

Regards,

Bob Bolton

WEE POT STOVE
Words and music by Harry Robertson ©

How the winter blizzards blow, when the whaling fleet's at rest,
Tucked in Leith Harbour's sheltered bay, safely anchored ten abreast,
The whalers at the station, as from ship to ship they rove,
Carry little bags of coal with them and a little iron stove.
Refrain:
       In the wee dark engine room, where the chill seeps in your soul,
       How we huddled roon that wee pot stove, that burned oily rags and coal


Fireman Paddy worked wi' me, on the engines stiff and cauld,
A stranger to the truth was he, there's not a lie he hasn't told,
He boasted of his gold mines, and of hearts that he had won,
And his bawdy sense of humour shone, just like a ray of sun.

We laboured seven days a week, with cauld hands and frozen feet,
Bitter days and lonely nights, making grog and having fights.
Salt fish and whalemeat sausage, fresh penguin eggs a treat
And we trudged along to work each day, through icy winds and sleet.

Then one day we saw the sun, and the factory ship's return,
Meet your old friends, sing a song, hope the season won't be long.
Then homeward bound when it's over, and we'll leave this icy cove,
But I always will remember, that little iron stove.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Lanfranc
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 07:25 AM

I think Bob Bolton is a little unkind to Nic! OK, his version was Anglicised, but Sassenachs trying to emulate a Scots accent can be cringe-making, and at least "Penguin Eggs" brought the song to a wider audience than it would have had confined to the Antipodes.

I wish I had a pound for every time I've heard it sung at a session or a gig - come to that, I bet Harry Robertson's estate does too!

Furthermore, it made a lot of people look up Harry Robertson's other songs. Found this site Whale Chasing Men which might be of interest.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 11:59 AM

I always like to see the original words, whether I later change them or not. Thanks, Bob.

I do wish this damn song wouldn't continue running through my head, long after someone sings it. Kind of drives me wombatty.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Ferrara
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 03:01 PM

Charley, the song got stuck in my head too! -- but I didn't mind a bit. Danny Spooner taught it in his Sea Shanties class at Augusta Vocal Week. We sang it for the "class concert" on Friday so the whole group sang it two or three times to learn it. It definitely got stuck in my head. I sang very little else (when I was by myself) for two or three weeks afterward.

Bob, thank you so much for posting the original words. Danny has changed a word here and there, but said Harry had listened to (and okay'ed) his version.

Lanfranc, I was very pleased to see the site for the Whale Chasing Men CD. Wonder if Camsco can get it? Would love to have it.

But I don't think Bob was too hard on Nic, at all! I can't imagine why Anyone would sing "little" instead of "wee" in this song. For one thing it would mess up the meter; and for another, unless the dumbing down of America has gone further than I think, most people who listen to folk music understand that "wee" means "little."

Well, I'm not opinionated or anything, am I now? :-)

But I suspect some of Nic's changes are just misheard words, not deliberate changes. Like "leave this icy hole" for "leave this icy cove" --although "icy hole" probably expresses the men's opinion better at that.

The factory ship went back to Australia for the winter, taking the men from the whale chasers (the smaller ships). Just the engineers stayed in Antartica over the winter, to repair and maintain the engines on the chasers. It's pitch dark much of that time, lonely, and of course deadly cold. A damned hard time. But that's why they were in the "wee" engine rooms of the chaser ships; to do maintenance on the engines. It was so cold that if they hadn't warmed their tools on the little stove, the tools would have frozen their hands -- or frozen to their hands, if they weren't wearing gloves to work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 09:34 PM

G'day Lanfranc and Ferrara,

It looks like my reply late last night has fallen over (unless it was censored). I just can't feel any affection for Nic Jones's versions - but I conceded they seem to have acted as a 'primer' to introduce the Poms to Harry's work ... just as A.L. Lloyd's 1950s/'60s pastiches of words he cribbed from the Meredith / Ward / Keesing song-collecting correspondence lodged with the EFDSS - and English tunes did for Australian song traditions. The problem with that was the degree to which it "muddied the water" of later research and became confused with genuine field work in Australia.

Lanfranc links the Whale Chasing Men site, with which I am very familiar. It ultimately arose from the the susurrus at the back of the Australian Folk Festivalk at Kiama when I was, as I suggested above, appalled to hear what I now now was the Nic Jones version of the song, sung by someone in a concert. It was probably this performance that galvanised Evan and Lyn Mathieson (standing nearby at the time) to push the National Library to re-release Harry's originals, with their wonderful imagery and rich Scots modalities ... so something good came of it!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Sep 03 - 09:44 PM

CAMSCO carries it. Good CD. 800/548-FOLK (3655)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,PETER TIP
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 09:59 AM

Trying to work out better chords for Little Pot Stove - Mario - could you please explain your cord identification method - I'm having a problem working out your system.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:21 AM

(C)In that wee dark engine (G7)room,
(F)Where the chill seeps through your (C)soul,
(C)How we huddled round that (G7)wee pot stove
(F)That burned oily rags and (C)coal.

(C)How the winter blizzards (G7)blow, (F)and the whaling fleet's at (C)rest,
(C)Tucked in Leigh harbor's sheltered (G7)bay, (F)safely anchored ten a-(C)breast.
(C)The whalers at their (G7)stations, as from (C)shed to (F)shed they (G7)go,
(Am)Carry little bags of (C)coal with them, and a (F)little(G7) iron (C)stove.
nic, probably played this in cgcgcd[so g is probably g modal]gdgdd


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:30 AM

TOTAL BULL, "....But I don't think Bob was too hard on Nic, at all! I can't imagine why Anyone would sing "little" instead of "wee" in this song. For one thing it would mess up the meter; and for another, unless the dumbing down of America has gone further than I think, most people who listen to folk music understand that "wee" means "little.."
Nic Jones is bloody well ENGLISH, had he used some fake "Scots" or god forbid "Aussie" dialect there would have been 100 times as much flack about that, he obviously didn't do it to make it easier.
And as for Bob Bolton, by your own admission even Australians would never have heard the song if not for Nic Jones.
It is the Oral/Folk tradition, you write a song and it gets out in the ether, people change it to suit themselves, generally with attribution to the originator. Most writers are actually flattered by someone else picking up their material. As Harry isn't around to say either way, it is totally "BULL" for someone else to slag anothers performance of a piece of material for nit picking crap.
So I guess that's one for and one against = Zero.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:51 AM

JohnB-

Maybe you do have to shout if you want to pick a fight with Bob Bolton, given that his posts are 7 years old. However, he does check in here now and again and maybe he'll respond to you, or not.

You obviously have a different opinion about reworking songs that others have composed. What songs have you reworked and can we see an example of how you've improved a song?

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:52 AM

I wonder if you realize, JohnB, that you are flailing at a 7 year old post?

I will never understand why disagreeing must be so....ummm...disagreeable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 15 - 03:11 PM

To Charley Noble... I don't agree with your challenge to JohnB. I believe JohnB is 100% spot on... with his comment about the apparent snobbish folk song purists. I never to an "improve" another artist work. I take a work to make it mine... or even something else altogether.

I am a professional jazz vocalist... and on occasion... I'll pick up a song from another time / culture / genre / etc... and transform it into a smooth jazz arrangement. I've done it with R&B, Rock, Country and Western, African, Jamaican to name a few. I generally will go out of my way to set up a clear departure from the original. That way, no one can think I am trying to imitate the artist who made created or made the song famous. But I faithfully try and make certain I'm tipping my hat to the original spirit of the song in a way that the original story and message rings clear and true.

Let's all sing more,

~Willis Miller~   

willismillerjazz.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Kampervan
Date: 31 May 15 - 03:13 PM

Damien Barber does a great rendition of this song.

Cheers
K/van


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,silver
Date: 31 May 15 - 03:50 PM

So did Bok, Muir & Trickett, on "The Ways of Man", in 1978.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 May 15 - 06:10 PM

Let's be clear which Leith Harbour we are talking about (with all this talk of Scots!) NOT Leith Harbour just outside Edinburgh, but Leith Harbour in South Georgia, one of the whaling stations in the South Atlantic. (possibly it was named after the Scottish harbour, especially as a lot of Scots did do the whaling runs down to the S Atlantic).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 31 May 15 - 06:46 PM

That is true but the writer was Scottish. Like Bogle only moving to Australia as an adult. Hence the use of 'wee' etc. Saying that I first heard the Nick Jones version and think it is great anyway!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: mg
Date: 31 May 15 - 07:02 PM

I certainly would sing wee and would not think of changing it. While I would never attempt a Scots rendition of a song, an occasional word that we all know anyway is not going to hurt anyone. And I should sing in Scots anyway because I am descended from all the royal Stewarts. In fact I should wear the Stewart plaid whilst singing the auld Scots songs. But I will refrain as I do not have an ear for accents, dialects etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 15 - 09:15 PM

With all due respect to Nic Jones, who I rate highly as both a guitarist and a singer, I note that he tends to have taken a few liberties with the original words of other non-traditional songs. Prime example is Paul Metser's "Farewell to the Gold". OK, all part of the "folk process" I suppose, and I'm sure Paul is more than happy that Nic picked up the song and popularised it.

My gripe is not with Nic Jones, but with the authoritative attitude of the person who criticised my singing of Paul's words at a recent festival because I had "changed Nic Jones' original words". Hmmm. My efforts to explain fell on deaf ears; Nic Jones words were apparently set in concrete as far as this person was concerned, and the man could do no wrong!

Hope he didn't hear the several renditions of "Wee Pot Stove" at the same festival.... :-)

Again, I stress that I highly respect Nic's work, and I am saddened by the unfortunate life-changing accident that befell him. But the "Sacred Cow" treatment that surrounds his work in some quarters I find annoying, to put it mildly. I'm sure that Nic would find it equally so.

Rant over.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 03:54 AM

Paul Metsers' relationship with Nic Jones was, and probably is, very good, Nic Jones sang backing vocals on Metsers' own recording of this song. I think that Metsers also arranged fundraising concerts after Jones' accident. Clearly things weren't so good with Harry Robertson, writing credit was left off the vinyl recording (but not the CD reissue) of Penguin Eggs. Probably a mess up by the record company not Nic Jones though.

I don't think that Nic Jones wrote the words of much at all. His originality was as an arranger, then as a performer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST,Eddie1 (Cookie lost forever)
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 04:54 AM

As there are obviously a lot of Mudcatters with experience/knowledge of engine rooms, I wonder if anyone can explain something which has puzzled me for years?
As a child, a special treat was to have a trip "Doon the watter" on one of the famous Clyde paddle steamers. Names like "The Jeannie Deans" comes to mind. Now the problem! Often I would be taken by my father down to the engine room. Brass pistons clanking up and down, smells of oil, steam! But, if my father ever went down below on his own to, "check the engines", he always came back with his breath smelling of beer!
Is there a strange nautical reason for this that I don't understand?

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 06:12 AM

Of course there's a perfectly good explanation.
He had run out of whiskey!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 07:23 AM

The name Leith Harbour on South Georgia has nothing to do with the number of Scots who did whaling runs down to the S Atlantic.

It was named Leith harbour after the location of the headquarters and registered office of the Company who set it up - and they were Norwegian - Christian Salvesen Ltd, Leith, Edinburgh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: bubblyrat
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 09:38 AM

There goes that word "Grog" again ! I spent years in the Royal Navy drinking pusser's rum mixed 2 and 1 with water, and NEVER heard it referred to as "grog" ; "Tot" yes, even "bubbly" (hence my name) ,but I guess that , if this is an Australian song,then "grog" may well be something else, although how you would make it in sub-zero conditions beats me !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 11:09 AM

In Oz, just about any consumable form of alcohol is colloquially referred to as "grog".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Teribus
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 11:10 AM

Bubblyrat the "tot" that both you and I enjoyed in the Royal Navy bore no resemblance at all to what it was back in the 1740s when introduced to the Fleet by Vice Admiral Edward Vernon:

"Grog - a drink made with water or "small beer", lemon or lime juice and rum."

The purpose was two-fold:
1: The citrus juice and the rum helped make the barreled small beer or water that was likely to go off "drinkable".
2: The diluted spirit reduced drunkenness and accidents aboard.

"rum mixed 2 and 1 with water" - you must have sailed in "Big Ships" - small ships routine was 1:1 - On the Minehunters and in the Shore establishments that had a diving team attached the divers got their's late and neat on the days they were in the water.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 11:24 AM

I was NOT a rum drinker at all until , as a Crabfat , I was sent out on the OLD HMS Bulwark for a month in the April before they stopped The Tot . Had my first because it was free and never looked back !!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Hrothgar
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 04:30 AM

Harry did write in another song:

"Our skipper came from Norway, like many of the crew,
And others spoke with Scottish tongues, as whalers often do."

So there seem to have been a few Scots down there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Teribus
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 08:03 AM

Didn't say there were no Scots down there only that the Harbour was not named because of them. Doubt it just read the Company History of Christian Salvesen Ltd - it is all there - and the place was named after the location of the Company's registered office.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 07:21 PM

Thanks to Teribus for correcting the info again (I did say 'possibly"!) Certainly a lot of Scots did both S Atlantic and N Atlantic routes, (as did the Norwegians.)


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