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Lyr ADD: Wee Pot Stove

DigiTrad:
WEE DARK ENGINE ROOM


Related threads:
Lyr Req: In the little dark engine room (35)
Wee Dark Engine Room (13)
Help with 'Wee Pot Stove' chords (4)
Tune Add: Wee Pot Stove (9)


Ezio 29 Aug 98 - 02:49 AM
Jerry Bryant 31 Aug 98 - 05:32 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Aug 98 - 06:20 PM
Jerry Bryant 01 Sep 98 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Gerry 27 Jul 20 - 06:26 AM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Jul 20 - 06:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Jul 20 - 07:03 AM
JHW 27 Jul 20 - 08:50 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Jul 20 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,David 27 Jul 20 - 11:08 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WEE POT STOVE
From: Ezio
Date: 29 Aug 98 - 02:49 AM

WEE POT STOVE

(H. Robertson)

How the winter blizzards blow when the Whaling Fleet's at rest
Tucked in Leither Harbour's sheltered bay, safely anchored ten abreast
The whalers at their stations, as from ship to ship they go,
Carry little bags of coal with them, and a little iron stove.

Chorus:
In that wee dark engine room, where the chill seeps in your soul,
How we huddled round that wee pot stove, that burned oily rags and coal.

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

---
Sung by Eric Bogle on 'Down Under' (1981)

---
Submitted by EB


Lyrics in database as Wee Dark Engine Room

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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA)
From: Jerry Bryant
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 05:32 PM

Harry Robertson wrote 4 verses of this song, which is set in Leith Harbor in the South Georgia Islands. He was a mechanic for a British/Norwegian whaling company in the 1950's, and spent two seasons there in the South Atlantic, later writing several good songs about his experiences. He recorded them in the 60's, along with some songs about the Australian humpback whale fishery. I'll have to check on the exact title of the recording and post it here later.

Here's the other verse Eric Bogle didn't include (I sing it as the third verse of the song):

We live it seven days a week, cold hands and frozen feet. Bitter days and lonely nights, making grog and having fights. There's salt fish and whalemeat sausage, and fresh penguin eggs - a treat. Then we struggle on to work each day through the icy wind and sleet.

This and another of Harry's songs - The Humpback Whale - are on Nick Jones' album "Penguin Eggs", without attribution and, unfortunately, without royalties paid.

JB


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Aug 98 - 06:20 PM

G'day Ezio and Jerry,

Harry's Record (with him and Marion Henderson singing) is called (I think) "Whale Chasing Men". I have both the LP and the music book at home. I was thinking of posting the Australian coastal whaling songs as they are examples of a style of whaling not dealt with in the traditional, northern hemisphere whaling songs.

I feel an extra identification with Harry's songs (beyond having known Harry at the time he lived in Sydney with a peripatetic bunch of folkie types - including my younger brother - who flatted together in the Balmain / Rozelle area).

My uncle Vik (my mother's sister's husband) was a Danish whaler who came ashore when he married Norma and worked as a stockmen in the western districts, but every few years he would chuck in the job and get down to Sydney to sign on for a southern whaling season. He would be away for 4 or 5 months hunting whales and then he would be back on a horse in the Australian outback! He never tried shore-based whaling of the Queensland whalers but the spirit is much the same.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA)
From: Jerry Bryant
Date: 01 Sep 98 - 09:35 AM

Bob, Sounds like your uncle Vik would have identified with Harry's "Queensland Whalers" with all it's references to the stockman's trade.

Harry's songs are the only ones I've found that deal with the 20th century whaling industry. Distasteful though it may be to us, the songs themselves are gems, preserving a type of work that - one day, I hope - will be only a memory.

Do you know Harry's son Andrew, who lives in Thorneside? He was very helpful to me when I was doing research for a paper on Harry's whaling songs.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 06:26 AM

There are a few typos in the lyrics as given in the posts in this thread.

Verse 1, line 2, "Leither" should be "Leith".
Verse 2, line 4, "bonny" should be "bawdy".
Verse 3, line 1, "ships" should be "ship's".
Verse 3, line 3, "hole" should be "cove".

In the verse Jerry Bryant gave, "live it" should be "labored", it should be *with* cold hands.
Last line should be, "And we trudged along to work each today, through icy winds and sleet."

Also, the song Jerry (and Nic Jones) called The Humpback Whale, Robertson called Ballina Whalers.


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove (w/RA)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 06:57 AM

Harry Robertson's official website Singer Songwriter, Folk Activist, Ships’ Engineer
A Scot by birth, a proud Australian by choice

This site is presented by Evan and Lyn Mathieson through the Mathieson Australian Music and Image Archive (MAMAIA) for Harry’s widow, Mrs Rita Robertson, who is the Sole Copyright Owner of all of Harry’s works.
Rita has been pleased to make all of Harry’s manuscripts, recordings, and their family photographs available for our ongoing project. It is the wish of Rita and her family that Harry’s works should be archived accurately, so all material is checked carefully before being made available on this site.
The aim is to make a comprehensive collection of all of Harry’s works so that those genuine in their interest may access accurate copies of his material. Should anyone wish to use any part of this copyright material for other than private use, please contact us via our Webmaster.

Complete works of Harry Robertson


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove from Harry's website
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 07:03 AM

WEE POT STOVE, Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson Harry's introduction is on this page.

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.

Chorus
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 goldmines, and of hearts that he had won,
And his bawdy sense of humour shone, just like a ray of sun.

Chorus

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 whale meat sausage, fresh penguin eggs a treat,
And we trudged along to work each day, through icy winds and sleet.

Chorus

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.

Chorus

©Harry Robertson,
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove
From: JHW
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 08:50 AM

I'm gladdened to read Wee. So often this is rendered as Little.


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 10:55 AM

Nic Jones popularised it as ' Little Pot Stove '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Wee Pot Stove
From: GUEST,David
Date: 27 Jul 20 - 11:08 AM

Jerry,
We shared verses of Humpback Whale on a number of festival occasions. Hope you enjoyed the Garnet Roger's book.
David


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