Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Let the Bulgine Run - New York fire?

DigiTrad:
CLEAR THE TRACK
LET THE BULGINE RUN
MARGOT EVANS (LET THE BULLGINE RUN)
OH RUN, LET THE BULLGINE RUN (halliards Shanty)


Related threads:
Help: What is a bulgine? (31)
Ship Margaret Evans, songs (43)
Let the Bulgine Run ... on Nordic TV Ad (4)
Help: What is bulgine pie? (19)


Snuffy 05 Nov 03 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Russ 05 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM
Susan of DT 06 Nov 03 - 05:00 AM
Snuffy 06 Nov 03 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Nov 03 - 07:13 AM
Snuffy 07 Nov 03 - 12:45 PM
Snuffy 07 Nov 03 - 01:08 PM
Lighter 18 Jul 09 - 09:32 AM
Gibb Sahib 18 Jul 09 - 11:57 AM
EBarnacle 18 Jul 09 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 02 Jul 16 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Jul 16 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Jul 16 - 07:58 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 06:44 PM

I've been slowly working my way through the Folktrax double CD of Shanties from the James M Carpenter Collection (housed in the Library of Congress, Washington DC), and came across a couple of interesting versions of Run, Let the Bulgine Run which mention New York being on fire.
The recording quality is extremely poor, and many words are indecipherable. Only a portion of the song was recorded anyway. The main collection is not online, but the Carpenter Collection Catalogue has been digitised and gives a bit more information about text versions and some details of the singer.
Here are my transcriptions of the two versions:


Run, Let The Bulgine, Run
(Jack Murray, Aberdeen. Born 1854. Went to sea in 1867, learned chanties between 1867 and 1885. In the ship Zedring, St John's New Brunswick, 1874 or 1875, a Canadian ship. On board the Luke Simcoe, 47 years ago [c. 1883]. In the Star of Dundee, a whaler, 45 years ago [c. 1885]) 3 stanzas in text but only 2 on recording.

Oh New York was on fire
Oh run, let the Bulgine run.
Way-hay, o-oh-oh
Oh, run, let the Bulgine run.

For New York was [in blazes?]
Oh run, let the Bulgine run.
Way-hay-o-oh oh
Oh, run, let the Bulgine run.


Run With The Bulgine, Run
(James Forman, Leith. born 1844. First ship 1856; second 1900 ) 4 stanzas in text but only 3 on recording.

Oh [airlock?] fire [blow over?]
Run with the Bulgine run.
Way-hey, o-oh-oh
Run, let the Bulgine run.

London docks is on fire
Run, let the Bulgine run.
Way-ah, o-oh Joe
Oh, run, let the Bulgine run.

Oh, New York city's in the fire
Run, with the Bulgine run.
Way-ah, o-oh-oh
Run, let the Bulgine run.


The online catalogue also mentions other texts and recordings with no apparent fire content:
Run with the Bulgine [song text] First line: Run with the bulgine. Fragment. James Dwyer, Glasgow.
Run Let the Bulgine Run [song text] First line The bulgine's come and we all must go-o. 6 stanzas. William Fender, Barry. Sailed in ship Ingomar, 1880, Valparaiso, Chile. Went to sea 1878; left sail 1900.
Run Let the Bulgine Run[song text] First line The bulgine's come and we all must go. 2 stanzas. William Fender (as above).
Run Let Bulgine Run [sound recording], Barry Docks. (Presumably W Fender?)
Hugill has versions of this shanty, but none referring to a fire in NYC, and I haven't found any more through Google.

Does anybody :

  • know of any other versions referring to a New York fire, or
  • know any details of the fire it refers to, or
  • have access to the song texts in the LoC, or
  • know more verses of this.

BTW in these versions it appears the "bulgine" could be used for firefighting duties, presumably for pumping water onto the fire. But was it on board or on shore?

WassaiL! V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM

Judy Collins sang a version. I don't recall it mentioning a New York fire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Susan of DT
Date: 06 Nov 03 - 05:00 AM

Judy Collins sang the more standard shanty, closer to the Clear the Track in the DT, with out the NY fire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Nov 03 - 05:34 AM

Clear the Track and Let the Bulgine Run is a completely different shanty - nothing to do with any versions of Run, Let the Bulgine Run. All they have in common is the single phrase.
    So noted.
    I grouped the songs simply because they had the term "bulgine" in common,
    and I figured grouping would help people find whichever of the songs they're seeking.
    Please do not hold me up to scorn and ridicule.
    I'm a very sensitive person. [grin]
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Nov 03 - 07:13 AM

I've never encountered another version referring to a New York or London fire. Maybe the idea was imported from a text of "Boney" with the words, "Moscow was a-blazin'." Or maybe knowledge of the Great Fire of London (admittedly a long way back) was the inspiration, with New York added for good measure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 12:45 PM

Refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 01:08 PM

I just found some interesting stuff at the NYC Fire Museum website:

Engine Company #38, in 1840, was the first in NYC to use a double-decker, or Philadelphia style, engine. Named Southwark after the area of Philadelphia from which it was from, the engine was larger and more powerful than its predecessors. It utilized the pumping action of firemen more efficiently, providing a stronger stream of water. Upwards of 40 men standing on two levels, on the ground and on the engine itself, were needed to operate it.

Would they have had a shantyman to keep 40 fireman pumping in time?

In 1854 the insurance industry, one of the loudest critics of the volunteer department, established the Fire Patrol; a paid salvage company. The insurance industry also backed the use of steam powered fire engines, and around 1859 the first ones were put into service. Like the double-decker engine before it the steam engine was initially seen by many as too powerful and cumbersome, but what many firefighters disliked most about them was that they required far fewer men to operate.

As at sea, the coming of steam was not seen by all as an unalloyd blessing. Were these first steamers called bulgines?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 09:32 AM

Whall 1927, has "Run, Let the Bulgine Run" on p. 139:

O a bulgine once was a heaving
O run, let the bulgine run.
Way, ah, o-o-o-oh, run, let the bulgine run.

O, New York town is a-burning, etc.

Whall says, "It had no set of [sic] words, but was popular. It is of a debased kind, and was quite unworthy of its popularity."

Whall's tune is about the same as those on the Carpenter CD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 11:57 AM

Glad to find this really fascinating thread that suggests some links between firefighters work and technology and that of sailors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bulgine - NYC fire
From: EBarnacle
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 02:12 PM

I believe that Asbury's The Gangs of New York has reference to a major fire in the slums of the area around around 5 Points [now Chinatown] at the lower end of the Bowery. This area is in close enough proximity to the East River Sailortown to catch sailors' attention.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Let the Bulgine Run - New York fire?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 03:59 AM

FIREMEN'S MUSIC

"And as they passed on, and as the music faded into the distance, "Hie, Bonnie Laddie," "John François," "Run Wid de Bullgine, Run," it sounded, even to practiced ears, with an effect not to be excelled by the most transcendent operatic efforts. Compared with these, Italian trills are tame.'

[New Orleans Republican, 25 May 1871, p.4]


"The gear us coiled up, the brasswork polished until it glistens in the morning sun, the paintwork and grating are wiped off, decks are swabbed dry, and the pumps manned to another rousing chanty:

"London town is a-burning,
Oh run with the bullgine, run.
Way, yay, way, yay, yar,
Oh run with the bullgine, run."

[Clark, Arthur H., The Clipper Ship Era, (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1911, p.230)]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Let the Bulgine Run - New York fire?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 06:09 PM

Snuffy: BTW in these versions it appears the "bulgine" could be used for firefighting duties, presumably for pumping water onto the fire. But was it on board or on shore?

A "fire bulgine" was a "steam pumper fire engine." The term came into popular song during, or just after, the American Civil War (c.1860).

It was not a "Bull Engine" steam "pendulum" pump as speculated elsewhere. It was a small, mobile boiler and steam engine driving a standard mechanical "force" pump.

One presumes the unpowered, horse or hand-drawn wagon was the source of the "run with the bulgine..." lyric...

Merryweather two-wheeler "bulgine" from back in the day.

At any rate, I wouldn't think you'd find many minstrel-chanty references in the early years c.1840-1860. Those are railroad locomotive engines, "Clear de track" &c.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Let the Bulgine Run - New York fire?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 07:58 PM

Qualification on that last, I am assuming the bulgine we're speaking of here was incorporated into the existing Firemen's Chaunt genre of minstrelsy. That started cropping up a bit earlier, c.1850.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 April 6:06 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.