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Lyr Req: At the Codfish Ball

bassen 21 Oct 98 - 04:19 AM
Joe Offer 21 Oct 98 - 05:39 AM
Pete M 21 Oct 98 - 03:29 PM
Bruce O. 21 Oct 98 - 03:42 PM
bassen 21 Oct 98 - 05:40 PM
Joe Offer 21 Oct 98 - 06:41 PM
Barbara 21 Oct 98 - 06:47 PM
Bruce O. 21 Oct 98 - 07:10 PM
Bruce O. 21 Oct 98 - 07:28 PM
Margot 05 Nov 98 - 10:10 AM
John in Brisbane 06 Oct 04 - 12:32 AM
Joe Offer 06 Oct 04 - 03:02 AM
John in Brisbane 06 Oct 04 - 08:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Oct 04 - 09:02 PM
mg 07 Oct 04 - 03:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Oct 04 - 04:27 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Oct 08 - 12:19 PM
Stewart 02 Oct 08 - 01:38 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Oct 08 - 03:07 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Oct 08 - 03:50 PM
Artful Codger 03 Oct 08 - 04:44 PM
Artful Codger 03 Oct 08 - 05:09 PM
CupOfTea 03 Oct 08 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,franulele 25 Oct 08 - 12:33 PM
bassen 11 Feb 09 - 05:58 AM
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Subject: The Codfish Ball et al.
From: bassen
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 04:19 AM

I need help! Can anyone direct me to a site where I can find the lyrics to the song "At the codfish ball" which Shirley Temple sang in a 30's movie? I know this is no where near being traditional/folk music, but I figure there's no place else on the net where I can reach such an eclectic and knowledgable group of people when it comes to music, right

Among other things, I'm director of the Norwegian Salt Cod Museum (I kid you not), I'm compiling any and all songs from all the countries in the world which have produced or imported salt cod/bacalao/bacalhau - any other songs or links anyone can come up with will be appreciated.

We're working on a music festival celebrating 300 years of exporting salt cod to the world, which will mean music from the England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Cap Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, USA and Canada, at least. Anybody have any ideas for the program?


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Subject: Lyr Add: AT THE CODFISH BALL (Mitchell, Pollack)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 05:39 AM

Well, Bassen, click here for the MIDI.
-Joe Offer-

AT THE CODFISH BALL
S. Mitchell, L. Pollack/Movietone Music Crop.

Next Friday night, you're all invited
To dance from eight to five
All the fishes still alive
Are havin' a ball.

It's some affair, they'll all be there
From the herring to the whale
They'll turn out to shake a scale
In Neptune's Hall.


Come along and follow me
To the bottom of the sea
We'll join in the jamboree
At the Codfish Ball

Lobsters dancing in a row
Shuffle off to Buffalo
Jellyfish sway to and fro
At the Codfish Ball
Finnanhaddie leads the eel
Through an Irish reel
The catfish is a dancing man
But he can't can-can like a sardine can.
Tunas struttin' left and right
Minnies moochin', what a night
There won't be a hook in sight
At the Codfish Ball

Come along and follow me
To the bottom of the sea
We'll join in the jamboree
At the Codfish Ball


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Pete M
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 03:29 PM

Hi Bassen,
just to start your program ideas off - what about "Cod banging"? There is a version in the DB here
It sounds a fascinating project. Please keep us informed of progress.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Bruce O.
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 03:42 PM

There's a parody practically begging to be written. Take the great Canadian epic "Squaring up time on the Squid-jigging Ground" (in DT) and turn it into "The Lutefisk Fling".


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: bassen
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 05:40 PM

Thanks Joe for a prompt and efficient reply. I guess cod fishing wasn't as glamorous as whaling - hence the relative dearth of songs on the subject. On the other hand, we want to profile the traditional music of the countries where salt cod became a staple diet - so it doesn't matter that they didn't sing about cod, as long as they ate it. Brude O. - If you work out the chorus, I'll work on the verses... Parodies will abound of course- what else can you expect in a country where cod fish balls in cream sauce are a staple diet? Lutefisk is usually made from stokkfisk but in this part of Norway it's also made from klippfisk: klippfisk is salted, dried cod - stokkfisk is unsalted dried cod. Aren't you glad you know that now?

bassen


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 06:41 PM

Bassen, did you check our database? Put codfish in the search box in the upper-right corner of this page, and you'll get lots. Then try again with just cod. We may well have the word's largest collection of cod songs. Now, I didn't try a search under codpiece. That, too, might have interesting results...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 06:47 PM

Is that like a fish finger, Joe?

(that's Brit for fish stick)


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Bruce O.
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 07:10 PM

In the Levy Sheet Music collection (in Mudcat's LINKS) is a dance tune of the late 19th century, 'Mammoth Cod Quick Step' (illustrated; box 34, item 14, but 'mammoth cod' in bibliographic search box is fastest route to it).

I've been away from my Scandinavian background so long that I've forgotten the lutefisk jokes, and the list of things that you could use lutefisk for (besides, heaven forbid, actually eating it).


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Bruce O.
Date: 21 Oct 98 - 07:28 PM

I almost forgot Stan. Go to www.boreson.com/albums.htm, and you'll find where to get "I'm glad it's time for lutefisk again", "Who hid the halibut on the poop deck", "Catch a pickled herring", and others. He's (originally) from Poulsbo, Washington, formerly a Scandinavian fishing town.


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Margot
Date: 05 Nov 98 - 10:10 AM

This may sound silly, but Walt Disney did a cartoon using the song "The Codfish Ball". You can get in on a video called "Under the Sea", which is one in a series of "Sing Along" videos, where they have the words on screen so you can sing along. It does start out "Come along and follow me to the bottom of the sea...


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:32 AM

Joe's post includes the lyrics:

Finnanhaddie leads the eel
Through an Irish reel
The catfish is a dancing man
But he can't can-can like a sardine can.

Who/what/where is 'Finnanhaddie'?

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 03:02 AM

Hi, John - My Joy of Cooking cookbook says "Finnan Haddie" is smoked haddock, a fish that may be broiled (basted in butter), or baked.
My dictionary says it's literally haddock of Findhorn, a fishing port in Scotland.

Barry Finn, who used to be around here much more often, was in a singing group called "Finn and Haddie." I had no idea of the meaning of "finnan haddie" until I'd heard the name of Barry's group.
Now you know.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:35 PM

Thanks Joe, suspected it was a reference to haddock, but otherwise not a clue.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:02 PM

Speaking of the other type of ball (codfish, that is):

1 cup salt codfish
2 1/2 cups potatoes
1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 tablespoon butter
pepper

Wash fish in cold water. Pick or cut into small pieces. Cook fish and cut-up potatoes in boiling water to cover until potatoes are nearly soft. Drain through strainer, return to kettle. Shake over heat until completely dry and mush well. Add butter, egg and seasoning. Beat with fork. Take up in spoonfuls, saute in butter (or fry in deep fat). Drain.

Feed to the cat and phone for pizza.


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: mg
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:41 PM

Tons of songs from newfoundland about cod..except they call it fish. I think you could safely presume that the fishing songs there are specificallya bout cod unless another fish is mentioned.


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Subject: RE: The Cod Fish Ball
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 04:27 PM

The song "Cod Liver Oil(Ile)" was popular in NFLD and was included by Peacock, but it's not a Newfie song. Versions in thread 2157 and the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 12:19 PM

I just discovered this old thread, and I'm fascinated by the idea of a "Norwegian Salt Cod Museum." It's part of the Nordmøre Museum in Kristiansund.

Here's a copy of their brochure in PDF format. Go to page 4-5 to see the English-language version.

I was not familiar with the term "klippfisk." In Minnesota, it's known as "lutefisk," but that's what we call it after the dried fish has been reconstituted by soaking in a lye solution. For all I know, maybe it's imported in that form, ready to eat. I've never actually seen any dried cod, or seen anyone soaking it.

Can anyone who knows Norwegian give me a literal translation of "klippfisk" and "lutefisk"?

I don't know any songs about lutefisk, but I could probably find some jokes. Unfortunately my book of "Ole and Lena" jokes is out of my hands. Let this suffice for now:

I once saw a button that said "Lutefisk: The Piece of Cod that Passeth all Understanding."

(Explanation for non-native English speakers: it's a pun on "The peace of God that passeth all understanding." --Philippians 4:7.)

Maybe after this thread has simmered for a while, someone can email Bassen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: Stewart
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 01:38 PM

from Wikipedia: "Traditionally, salt cod was dried only by the wind and the sun, hanging on wooden scaffolding or lying on clean cliffs or rocks near the seaside. The Norwegian term "klippfisk" simply means fish dried on the cliffs. Today, it and other dried fish such as stockfish are mainly dried indoors by electrical heating."

In the northern climes like Norway where salt was not plentiful, fish was dried rather than salted as a means to preserve it. Whereas in the southern climes around the Mediterranean, where salt was plentiful, fish was preserved by salting. So I don't understand the term "salt cod" for fish that is dried rather than salted.

My father grew up in a Norwegian community in western Wisconsin where his father owned a general store. My father told of cutting up the dried cod like cord wood, with a saw. He then said they would stack it up outside the store where a dog would come by and flavor it. Then they would soak it in lye to soften it up, otherwise it would be as tough as shoe leather. After that they would soak it in water many times to get rid of the lye. Then you would steam it and serve it with either a white sauce or melted butter (you can get into an argument about which is the proper way of serving it).

My take on lutefisk is that at best it has no taste, and at worst it does have a taste. A t-shirt for sale in a store in Ballard (a Scandinavian neighborhood of Seattle) said "Lutefisk - Just Say NO!"). When I lived in Minnesota, church lutefisk suppers were quite popular around Christmas time. I just said NO!

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 03:07 PM

I've listened to a sound sample of Shirley Temple singing AT THE CODFISH BALL and it sounds to me like she's singing:

"Tunas trucking left and right...."

I don't know exactly what "trucking" means, but I assume it's some kind of dance step, as in " KEEP ON TRUCKIN', MAMA." (Of course, in the spirit of double-entendre, it can have more than one meaning, but I'm sure Shirley Temple's "handlers" wouldn't have allowed her to sing "trucking" unless it had a well-known innocent meaning.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 03:50 PM

Here are the songs I can find with "codfish" in the title. (I have no information about them other than what you can find by clicking the link.)

AT THE CODFISH BALL, recorded by
Joyce Walsh (with E Kirkeby) in 1936
Mae Questal in 1936
Tommy Dorsey & His Clambake 7, in 1936.
Johnny Johnson & His Orch, 1936

YOU WANT ANY CODFISH, Billy West, 1922

I WANT CODFISH, Billy West, around 1923

WANT ANY CODFISH, Billy Jones, about 1923

HEY YOU WANT ANY CODFISH, Furman & Nash, 1923

HOME DEARIE HOME/THE CODFISH SONG, Mordy Bauman, 1946

THE CODFISH, a traditional song sung by Nora Cleary on the various-artists album "Voice of the People, Vol. 7: First I'm Going to Sing You a Ditty" (It sounds like a version of THE CRAYFISH

THE CODFISHER, written and sung by Casey Neill on "Memory Against Forgetting", 2005. This from a sound sample:
"I thought this would be the work I'd do until the day I'd die
But out beyond the Grand Banks where my small craft cannot go,
Out upon the ocean...."

DON'T KISS A CODFISH, performed by Tom Knight on "Don't Kiss a Codfish – When I Grow Up"

CODFISH SHANTY which sounds like a variant of THE HARRIN'S HEID [Herring's Head]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 04:44 PM

And of course:

"Coddle a little closer, will ya, hon?"
"Dear Liza" ("Cod a hole in my pocket...")
Cod Bless America
There's an Effing Cod in the Bunkhouse Tonight
The Faded Cod of Blue

Cod-gerly yurn...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Codfish Ball
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 05:09 PM

BTW, let me put in a plug for The Chenille Sisters' wonderful three-part harmony version of "At the Codfish Ball" on their album "Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?". A great album of swing era songs. The Chenilles (an acoustic trio) are one of my favorite groups because of their tight harmonies and interesting choice of material. They were backed by a big band on this album, and I so wish they'd do another like it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Cod Fish Ball
From: CupOfTea
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 06:23 PM

I just heard this song Wednesday night when I went to see my buddies the Smokin Fez Monkeys play at a local joint, the Barking Spider. Miss Petulia Petalbottom, the fiddler, does a very Shirly Temple take on bits of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Codfish Ball
From: GUEST,franulele
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 12:33 PM

Don't forget Bob Crosby & the Bobcats version!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: At the Codfish Ball
From: bassen
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:58 AM

Haven't been checking my thread tracer lately.

Stockfish, stokkfisk, stoccofisso, dried cod:

Hung to dry, gutted and head cut off, without salting. Tied together two and two and slung over poles ("stokk" in Norwegian) to dry. "Stokkfisk" is made from spawning cod, fished along the coast of Norway from January to April. Salt is not needed, nor was it available in any great quantity in subarctic Norway 1000 years ago...

Klippfisk, klippfish, morue, bacalao, baccala, bacalhau, salt cod (more correctly, salted dried cod):
Made from the same fish as stokkfisk but, in addition to cutting the head and gutting, the fish is laid open by slicing along the spine to the tail and chopping out about 2/s of the spine, making the fish lie in the characteristic butterfly form. This allows the salt to penetrate and preserve before fermentation/rot/nasty processes set in. The fish is then dried, traditionally by laying out on rocky drying grounds, taking anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on wind and weather. The fish was gathered together and stacked every evening then spread out to dry the following day...lots of aching backs. Klippfisk must be desalinated before cooking (soak 24 hours per centimeter of thickness, changing water 2 - 3 times a day. Salty!)

Lutefisk:
A DISH made traditionally from stokkfish, made by soaking the fish in lye, then, after rinsing, steeping it in water or (more modern method) baking covered in foil in the oven. Lutefisk has become much more of a cult phenomenon in Scandinavian America then it is in Norway in modern times. Although there is a rash of fanatical lutefisk eating around Christmas time in restaurants here in Norway, there's none of the giggling, sophomoric stuff that occurs in Scandinavian America. In the regions where "klippfisk" is produced in Norway, they make lutefisk from both "klippfisk" and "stoffisk". Lutefisk is, in other words, not a method of preservation, but a way of softening the rock hard "stokkfisk" As there's no salt, you can eat stokkfisk as it is, softened by pounding with a mallet or hammer (true!), it's good but definitely an acquired taste...

By the way, salting AND drying cod was developed as a method of conservation by Basques and others in North America. Salt cod without drying is older, but requires a barrel to retain the pickle.

Bassen

PS Don't trust everything Kurlansky says in his book "Cod", but do read it if you want to get an idea of how important the North Atlantic Cod fisheries were (and are).


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