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Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (John Masefield sea poem)

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Charley Noble 18 Mar 04 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,MMario 18 Mar 04 - 10:30 AM
Charley Noble 18 Mar 04 - 10:57 AM
Charley Noble 19 Mar 04 - 02:13 PM
Anglo 19 Mar 04 - 10:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Mar 04 - 10:59 PM
Charley Noble 20 Mar 04 - 08:59 AM
Charley Noble 21 Mar 04 - 08:24 PM
Charley Noble 04 Apr 04 - 01:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: HELL'S PAVEMENT (Masefield sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:20 AM

I was rereading Stan Hugill's SAILORTOWN the other day and ran across this John Masefield poem in his introduction:

Poem by John Masefield
In Salt-Water Poems & Ballads © 1921, p. 25

Hell's Pavement

"When I'm discharged at Liverpool 'n' draws my bit o' pay,
I won't come to sea no more;
I'll court a pretty little lass 'n' have a weddin' day,
'N' settle somewhere down shore;
I'll never fare to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for my bones;
I'll run a blushin' dairy-farm or go a-crackin' stones,
Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store" –
So he said.

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound official paid the crew,
And Billy drew his money, but the money didn't last,
For he painted the alongshore blue, –
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack;
He shipped a week later in the clothes upon his back;
He had to pinch a little straw, he had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when his watch was through, –
So he did.

As I was reading it, it began to run to some old music hall ditty, and with some editing and a chorus shows promise of being sung as another "I'll never go to sea no more" song (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 for chord placement):

Poem by John Masefield
In Salt-Water Poems & Ballads © 1921, p. 25
Arrangement and new words by Charles Ipcar © 2004
Tune: adapted from some Music Hall ditty

Hell's Pavement


C-----------F---C--------F-C-------------------------------G-C
"When I'm dis-charged at Liverpool 'n' draws my bit o' pay,
----G7------------------------------C
You won't see me go to sea no more;
----------F-C---F-C----------------------------G---C
I'll court a pret-ty little lass 'n' have a wed-din' day,
----G7----------------------------------C
'N' settle down some quiet place a-shore;
----G7------------------------C---------G7---C
I'll never go to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
---D------------------------------------G-------------------G7
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for my bones;
----C--F-C----F—C--------------------------G---C
I'll run a blush-in' dairy-farm or go a-crack-in' stones,
---G----------------G7----------C
Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store."

Chorus:

C-------G------------G7-----------C--------G7-----C
Oh, I'll never go to sea again to plow the ocean deep,
----D---------------------------------------G-----------------G7
No more I'll hear "All hands aloft" to stir me from my sleep;
----C------------F—C---------------------------------G----C
I'll settle down far from the shore, avoid the pier head leap,
----F--------------G7-----------C
I'll never, never, go to sea no more!

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound official paid the crew,
And Billy drew his money, but the money didn't last,
For he went and painted Lime Street blue, –
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack;
He shipped a week later in the clothes upon his back;
And he had to pinch a little straw, he had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when his watch was through. (CHO)

This will probably be revised some more.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:30 AM

Would love to hear this - it seems (to me) to have a very irregular meter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:57 AM

MMario-

You're right. The best hint I have about the tune is that it has some elements of "Henry the Eighth I Am." It plays nicely on the concertina and in a week or so I may be able to put a MP3 sample of the verse and chorus onto my personal website.

If you can make it down to NYC for the next Chanty Sing at the Seaman's Church, Saturday, March 27, I should be dropping in for a visit and I may try to launch it there.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: HELL'S PAVEMENT (John Masefield)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 02:13 PM

Well, I've been singing this one through for a couple of days and need to change the 2nd line, get rid of the see/sea. And I'm experimenting with changing the 2nd verse from the 3rd to the 1st person which I think is a net gain although I miss Billy:

Poem by John Masefield
In Salt-Water Poems & Ballads © 1921, p. 25
Arrangement and new words by Charles Ipcar © 2004
Tune: adapted from some Music Hall ditty

Hell's Pavement


C-----------F---C--------F-C-------------------------------G-C
"When I'm dis-charged at Liverpool 'n' draws my bit o' pay,
----G7---------------------------C
I'll never, never, go to sea no more;
----------F-C---F-C----------------------------G---C
I'll court a pret-ty little lass 'n' have a wed-din' day,
----G7----------------------------------C
'N' settle down some quiet place a-shore;
----G7------------------------C---------G7---C
I'll never go to sea again a-temptin' Davy Jones,
---D------------------------------------G-------------------G7
A-hearkening to the cruel sharks a-hungerin' for my bones;
----C--F-C----F—C--------------------------G---C
I'll run a blush-in' dairy-farm or go a-crack-in' stones,
---G----------------G7----------C
Or buy 'n' keep a little liquor-store."

Chorus:

C-------G------------G7-----------C--------G7-----C
Oh, I'll never go to sea again to plow the ocean deep,
----D---------------------------------------G-----------------G7
No more I'll hear "All hands aloft" to stir me from my sleep;
----C------------F—C---------------------------------G----C
I'll settle down far from the shore, avoid the pier head leap,
----F--------------G7-----------C
I'll never, never, go to sea no more!

They towed her in to Liverpool, we made the hooker fast,
And the copper-bound official paid the crew,
And so I drew my money, but the money didn't last,
For I went and painted Lime Street blue, –
It was rum for Poll, and rum for Nan, and gin for Jolly Jack;
I shipped a week later in the clothes upon my back;
And I had to pinch a little straw, I had to beg a sack
To sleep on, when my watch was through. (CHO)

Any comments?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Anglo
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 10:07 PM

I like the "painted Lime Street blue" line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 10:59 PM

First person does seem better. Now why didn't Masefield think of that?
Makes a nice story. Is there a better word for the 'official'? There should be a good slang term for the paymaster, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 08:59 AM

Q-

My mother suggested the change from 3rd person to 1st person and I think it works better.

I'm not exactly sure what "copper-bound" means, other than "formal." There probably is a better slang term for a "shipping clerk," the fella that pays the crew off. Somewhere in Hugill or C. Fox Smith, I'm sure a better word will surface. Meanwhile I'm still trying to figure out from what I channeled the tune; the 1st line resembles the melody to "The Kelligrews Soiree" but then it departs for the 2nd line. The structure is AABA for the verses and BA for the chorus, if that makes any sense.

Maybe I'll pass it on to Tom Lewis when he's at the Chocolate Church in Bath next Thursday, or Anglo if you're interested.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 08:24 PM

Well, this song worked quite nicely at the Press Room shanty swap last evening, with a concertina introduction of the tune. I did have to raise the key from F to G to fill the space. I think I'm gonna have great fun with this Sailortown song.

I really hadn't thoguht about the appropriateness of the title until someone brought it up. It's clear that it's a reference to "the road to Hell being paved with good intentions." I still haven't found a good slang term for the clerk at the shipping office who pays the crew.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Hell's Pavement (Masefield sea poem)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:41 PM

Here's a link to my personal website for a MP3 sample of how I sing this poem:Click here!

Can't wait to sing it at the next Press Room gathering!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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