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Lyr Req: The Night Charlie Tended Weir (Ruth Moore

Kudzuman 25 Mar 04 - 09:21 PM
Celtaddict 25 Mar 04 - 10:00 PM
Kudzuman 25 Mar 04 - 11:14 PM
DonMeixner 26 Mar 04 - 01:19 AM
Franz S. 26 Mar 04 - 11:59 AM
kendall 26 Mar 04 - 12:53 PM
kendall 26 Mar 04 - 01:58 PM
JWB 26 Mar 04 - 03:49 PM
kendall 26 Mar 04 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 04 - 12:43 AM
kendall 27 Mar 04 - 08:20 PM
Charley Noble 28 Mar 04 - 05:10 PM
JWB 29 Mar 04 - 08:48 AM
kendall 29 Mar 04 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,julia 07 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM
EBarnacle 08 Apr 11 - 12:04 AM
kendall 14 Jan 18 - 07:21 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: Kudzuman
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 09:21 PM

Anyone have the words to this poem/ballad by Ruth Moore? Thanks in advance if you do.

Kudzuman
(Waiting to Kudzu to sprout it's little head)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: Celtaddict
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 10:00 PM

Her book is available in paperback from Timberhead (www.gordonbok.com) but I do not have the whole tale transcribed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: Kudzuman
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 11:14 PM

thanks for the lead celtaddict!!!

kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 01:19 AM

The title of the book is "Cold as a dog and the wind North East" by Ruth Moore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: Franz S.
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 11:59 AM

There's a recorded version by Jackson Gillman, "Downeast Ballads by Ruth Moore and others" Maine Squeeze recordings, 1987.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 12:53 PM

I'll post the words here. No duplications please.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BALLAD OF THE NIGHT CHARLIE TENDED WEIR
From: kendall
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 01:58 PM

THE BALLAD OF THE NIGHT CHARLIE TENDED WEIR (Ruth Moore)

Charlie had a herring weir down to Bailey's Bight,
And he got up to tend it in the middle of the night,
Late October, midnight black as tar,
Nothin' out the window but a big cold star.

House like a cemetery, kitchen fire dead,
"I'm good mind," says Charlie, "to go back to bed.
A man who runs a herring weir, even on the side,
Is nothin' but a slave to the Goddamn tide."

Well, a man feels meager. A man feels old,
In pitch black midnight, lonesome and cold,
Chills in his stomach like 40 thousand mice,
And the very buttons on his pants, little lumps of ice.

Times he gets to feeling it's no damn use,
So, Charlie had a pitcherful in his orange juice.
Then he felt better than he had before,
So he had another pitcherful to get him to the shore.

Sparkling in the lantern light as he went to pass
Were three big diamonds in the frosty grass.
"Hmm," he said. "Diamonds. Where'd they come from?
I'll pick 'em up later. I always wanted some."

Then he pulled in his dory. It felt light as air
And in the dark midnight rowed off to tend weir.

Out by the weir gate Charlie found
Anold sea serpent simming 'round and 'round,
Head like a washtub, whiskers like thatch,
Breath like the flame on a Portland Star match.
Black in the lantern light, up he rose,
A great big barnacle on the end of his nose.

"Them fish you got shut up in there belongs to my boss."
"Fish?" says Charlie. "Fish in there?
Why, I ain't caught a fish since I built that damned weir."
"Well," says the serpent, "Nevertheless,
There's 10 thousand bushels at a rough guess."

Charlie moved the lantern and gave his oars a pull,
And he could see that the weir was brim belay full.
Fish rising out of water a trillion at a time
And the side of each and every one was like a silver dime.

"Well," says the sea serpent, "what are you gonna do?
They're uncomfortable, and they don't belong to you,
So, open this contraption up and let them go.
Come on, shake the lead out. The boss says so."

"He does?" says Charlie. "And who the hell is he,
That thinks he can sit back and send word to me?"

Sea serpent swiveled 'round and made a water spout.
"Keep on brother, and you'll find out."
"Why," Charlie says, "You're nothin' but a lie so old you're hoary,
So get your dirty whiskers off the gunnel o' my dory."

Sea serpent whizzed, heaved underneath,
Skun back a set of sharp yellow teeth.
He came at Charlie with a gurgly roar,
And Charlie let him have it with the portside oar.

Right on the noggin, a hell of a knock,
"So, go on back," says Charlie, and tell the old jerk
Not to send a boy to do a man's work."

Then over by the weir gate, tinkly and clear,
A pretty little voice said, "Yoo-hoo, Charlie dear."
"Now what?" says Charlie. "This ain't funny."
And a pretty little voice said, "Yoo-hoo, Charlie honey."

There on the seine pole right inside the weir
Was a little green mermaid combing out her hair.
"All right," says Charlie, "I see you
And I know who you come from, so you git too"!

He let fly the bailing scoop. It landed with a clunk,
And when the water settled, the mermaid she had sunk.

Then the ocean moved behind him with a mighty heave and hiss,
And a thundery rumbly voice remarked, "I'M GODDAMN SICK OF THIS."
And up come an old man, white from top to toe,
Whiter than a daisy field, whiter than the snow,
Carrying a pitchfork with three tines on it,
Muttering in his whiskers and madder than a hornet.

"My sea serpent is so lame he can hardly stir,
And my best mermaid, you raised a lump on her,
And you've been pretty sassy calling me a jerk,
So, now the old man's come to do a man's work."

"Look," says Charlie, "why don't you leave me be?
You may be the hoary old man of the sea,
But, I've got a run of fish shut up here inside,
And if you keep friggin' around you'll make me lose the tide!"

The next thing Charlie knew, he was laying on the sand.
The painter of his dory was right beside his hand.
He could see across the bay, calm and still and wide.
It was full daylight, and it was high tide.

"Mm," says Charlie. "What am I about?"
His oars weren't wet, so, he hadn't been out.
"Oh," he thought, "Diamonds, under a tree,
Seems to me I found some. I'd better go see."

But he couldn't find any, not one gem,
Only three little owl dungs with frost on them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: JWB
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 03:49 PM

There are a couple of lines missing from Kendall's transcription. Here they are, in CAPS:

Times he gets to feeling it's no damn use,
So, Charlie had a pitcherful in his orange juice.
The, he felt better than he had before, so, he had another
pitcherful to get him to the shore.

NOW,DOWN BY THE BEACH ROCKS, UNDERNEATH A TREE,
CHARLIE SAW SOMETHING THAT HE NEVER THOUGHT HE'D SEE:
Sparkling in the lanturn light as he went to pass
Were thre big diamonds in the frosty grass.

........

Black in the lanturn light, up he rose
A great big barnacle on the end of his nose.
LOOKS CHARLIE OVER, SURLY AND CROSS, SAYS,
"Them fish you got shut up in there belongs to my boss."

"Fish"? says Charlie, "Fish in there? why, I aint caught a fish
since I built that damned weir."

...........................

He came at Charlie with a gurgly roar,
And Charlie let him have it with the portside oar.
Right on the noggin, a hell of a knock,
AND THAT OLD SEA SERPENT, HE SANK LIKE A ROCK.

"So, go on back" says Charlie,
And tell the old jerk not to send a boy to do a man's work"


I've toyed with the idea of putting a tune to this, but it's too much fun to recite.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 09:09 PM

Sorry about that, I was pressed for time, late as it was, and reciting it from memory. As Utah Phillips said, "When your memory goes, forget it."

I knew Ruth Moore and I can say whole heartedly, get that collection of ballads they are all just great.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 12:43 AM

Very enjoyable, kendall. Thanks for typing that out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 08:20 PM

And thanks to Jerry for gumping it out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 05:10 PM

Reminds me of old Cal Powers and the weir he used to keep in Robinhood Cove when I was growing up. We always wondered what happened to old Cal that dark stormy night.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, still in NYC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: JWB
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 08:48 AM

Kendall,

I know the feeling well. A friend of mine says, "I've got a great memory, it's just not always on time."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Night that Charlie tended Wier ?
From: kendall
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 09:36 AM

Thats what I get for doing something in a hurry. Not my usual style at all. hehehe. Oh, and I like cats too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of the Night Charlie Tended Weir
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM

Fred Gosbee and I have recorded this as a recitation with harp accompaniment. It's on Our Islands in Time album from Castlebay Music
www.castlebay.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of the Night Charlie Tended Weir
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 12:04 AM

I truly prefer it as a recitation. It needs no additional music. Last I looked, the book is also available at LL Bean's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of the Night Charlie Tended Weir
From: kendall
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 07:21 PM

Gordon Bok used to carry this book called Cold as a dog and the wind northeast. A collection of ballads by Ruth Moore. Charlie is one of them. His office number is: 2072362707.

I have a copy, but I would never loan it.


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