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Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs

Related threads:
A.H. Rasmussen Chanties (7)
Lomax Collection Sea Songs & Shanties (2)
The Robert Winslow Gordon Chanties (1)
Preserving Chanties of Virginia Fishermen (11)


Roberto 11 Aug 04 - 05:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 04 - 06:16 PM
Snuffy 11 Aug 04 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 11 Aug 04 - 07:46 PM
Roberto 12 Aug 04 - 07:01 AM
Charley Noble 12 Aug 04 - 10:51 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Aug 04 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Chanteyranger 12 Aug 04 - 03:25 PM
Joe Offer 12 Aug 04 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 13 Aug 04 - 10:14 AM
Charley Noble 13 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM
GUEST 13 Aug 04 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Lighter (w/o cookie) 13 Aug 04 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Lighter (w/o cookie) 13 Aug 04 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter (w/ocookie) 14 Aug 04 - 12:31 PM
Snuffy 16 Aug 04 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie 16 Aug 04 - 08:46 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 04 - 08:29 AM
Charley Noble 17 Aug 04 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 17 Aug 04 - 10:32 AM
Dead Horse 17 Aug 04 - 03:46 PM
Charley Noble 17 Aug 04 - 05:21 PM
Snuffy 18 Aug 04 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie 18 Aug 04 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Aug 04 - 09:31 AM
GUEST 26 Aug 04 - 08:38 AM
GUEST 27 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM
Snuffy 27 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Aug 04 - 06:59 PM
radriano 25 Oct 04 - 01:26 PM
Snuffy 25 Oct 04 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 27 Oct 04 - 08:23 AM
GUEST 27 Oct 04 - 08:29 AM
Snuffy 27 Oct 04 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 27 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM
Desert Dancer 27 Oct 04 - 09:49 PM
Charley Noble 28 Oct 04 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Dr Price 31 Oct 04 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 01 Nov 04 - 03:04 AM
Lighter 01 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM
Peace 16 Apr 05 - 02:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Apr 05 - 03:38 PM
Snuffy 27 Jan 08 - 03:05 PM
shipcmo 26 Apr 10 - 09:12 AM
Lighter 26 Apr 10 - 09:53 AM
radriano 26 Apr 10 - 11:57 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Roberto
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:52 PM

Is there a book with the text of the recordings of shanties and sea songs made by James M. Carpenter in 1928-29?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 06:16 PM

Not yet. A modest selection was published in The Folk Music Journal a few years ago, though. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has plans to publish a full scholarly edition of the collection, and I think that work has begun on that; it's also their intention to make the materials available online; they have already been digitised and indexed, but of course there is still a lot to be done and funding is always an issue.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 06:37 PM

Roberto

I have made an effort at transcribing the two Folktrax CDs of Carpenter's recordings, but much of it is indecipherable, and some I have been unable to make out anything.

PM me your e-mail address if you'd like what I've got, however incomplete.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 07:46 PM

Snuffy, my experience was similar. All of Carpenter's shantymen were elderly, and one of them actually seems to slide into gibberish
on occasion.

I once examined Carpenter's 1929 Harvard dissertation. I doubt very much that it would earn him his degree today. Because they were collected from a number of actual shantymen, the texts are of considerable scholarly interest, but modern singers won't find much to beguile them. There is little information about the singers beyond their age and where they were recorded. The shanty texts are mostly only four or five stanzas long, the vast majority of which are either very familiar or quite uninspired. None of the few barely audible bawdy verses to be heard (with great difficulty) on Carpenter's recordings are included. Nor is there any music.

The quality of the lyrics Carpenter collected (on both sides of the Atlantic) leads me to wonder how many of the most entertaining stanzas in Stan Hugill's books might not have been created by -- No! I can't bring myself to write it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Roberto
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 07:01 AM

Thank you Malcolm for the information and thank you Snuffy in advance for sharing your work, I've sent my e-mail address to you. I'd like to know your opinion about Lighter at work's remark about the lyrics collected by Carpenter and Hugill... R


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:51 AM

Roberto-

You are asking the right questions.

Sometimes it just takes one more person to listen to an old recording, and a jewel in unvailed. But alas, many more times it's just some fragment of an already well known shanty or forebitter.

I do encourage those who are working with Carpenter's original papers and recordings to attempt to come up with something for wider distribution.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 11:06 AM

It's purely a question of finance. I know (slightly) a couple of the people involved, and they are very keen to get it all done. Not just the sea songs, of course, but the whole corpus. Plans for a print edition were dropped for a time, but funding has now been made available for a team to start work on it: the British end is based at the University of Sheffield and the American at the Library of Congress, which owns the collection.

The catalogue can be seen at The James Madison Carpenter Collection Online Catalogue

Transcription from the wire recordings in particular has proved very difficult in the past; Bruce Olson outlined some of the technical problems involved (here or on one of the discussion lists; perhaps both). Digitisation should enable much better results.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Chanteyranger
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 03:25 PM

One of the songs, "Down Trinidad," has been recorded by Mystic Seaport Forebitter, and by one of the principal people involved in the collection, Bob Walser, on his CD "When Our Ship Comes Home," produced by Dave Webber.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 08:18 PM

I've hear a few "authentic" recordings of sea shanties from people who were supposte to be real seamen - and almost all the lyrics are indecypherable. Are there any sources that ARE understandable, where we can get lyrics that haven't been processed through college folklore and literature professors?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 10:14 AM

Folk process, 21st Century:

While listening to one of Carpenter's recordings, I thought I heard this:

                I thought I heard our captain say,
                Those hills of gold are made of clay.

After listening more closely, it was clear that the old shantyman was singing,               

                I thought I heard our captain say,
                We're bound away to Mobile Bay.

That's how rough some of the recordings are! (Neat new verse, though.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM

"Those hills of gold are made of clay."

Very nice, indeed!

I've also been wondering about the wording of "Fire Down Below" where Bob Walser and others have interpreted one verse of the recording as:

And we'll go down to the Midway Plaisances,
Fire down below-oh-oh-oh-ohh, boys,
Fire down below!
To see the pretty girls do the Hula-Hula dances,
Fire down below-oh-oh-oh-ohh, boys,
Fire down below!


According to notes from The Barbary Coast by Herbert Asbury, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., NY, 1933

The Midway Plaisance

Located outside the infamous Barbary Coast district on Market Street, between 3rd and 4th streets, in San Francisco between the early 1890's and early 1900's.

"The first melodeon or music hall in San Francisco to make a special feature of hoochy-coochee dancers, or, as the theatrical weekly Variety calls them. 'torso-tossers and hip-wavers.' Some of the most noted cooch artists of the day appeared at the Midway Plaisance, among them the Girl in Blue and the original Little Egypt, who first danced in San Francisco in 1897, a few years after her triumphs in the Streets of Cairo Show at the first Chicago World's Fair. The admission charge at the Midway Plaisance was ten cents, slightly lower than at the Bella Union (its older rival), and it was tougher in every way; its shows were bawdier, and virtue among its female entertainers was considered very detrimental to the best interests of the establishment. Like practically all of the other melodeons, it had a mezzanine floor cut up into booths, before which hung heavy curtains. A visitor who engaged a booth for the evening was entertained between acts by the female performers and his conduct was not questioned so long as he continued to buy liquor." (pps. 131-132)

It seems likely to me that the words "hulu-hulu" are a misinterpretation of "hoochy-coochee." Little Egypt would not be pleased. Of course, our revival singers do enjoy the reference to "hulu-hulu" dancing and maybe Carpenter's source actually sang that. I'd really appreciate it if someone could give that recording another listen.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 05:20 PM

Last year (2003) at CDSS's Folk Music Week at Pinewoods Camp (Plymouth, Mass.), Bob Walser brought the collection on his laptop -- index, texts, sound files and all. (He's one of the folks involved in the digitizing project.) It was pretty amazing. It'll be great to have online.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter (w/o cookie)
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 05:34 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter (w/o cookie)
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 05:38 PM

My Folktrax CD lacks that particular version of "Fire Down Below." (As far as I can tell!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter (w/ocookie)
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 12:31 PM

Next on the Carpenter CD is "Johnny Come Down to Hilo. The singer has only one verse. The recording is badly scratched.

Here's what I hear:

             I once [had a blue]with lots of pins,
             I never thought I could get so thin.


Words in brackets are guesswork and the entire first line is questionable. The first few times I listened I thought the whole verse was

             I once knew a girl who was straight as a pin,
             I never thought she could get so thin.

But after more than a dozen hearings I'm convinced that's wrong.
Anybody else with the CD want to try to decipher?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Aug 04 - 06:33 PM

I made that something like

I once was rich and had lots of tin
I never saw such a pig so thin

Maybe between us we've got the lot. Or not!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie
Date: 16 Aug 04 - 08:46 PM

Snuffy, at least we agree on SOME of the words, as follows:

   I once...lots of...
   I never...so thin.

I'll listen a few more times....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 08:29 AM

Another dozen listens and my final take is:

          I once knew (new?) with lots of tin,
          I never thought (I? it?) could get so thin.

Can't tell if "knew/new" goes with "once" or with "with."

My personal almost-final tentative educated SWAG is that James Wright was singing,

          I once was new with lots of tin,
          I never thought I could get so thin.

Snuffy, thanks for "tin." Let's try another one!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 08:43 AM

Hmmm.

Here's another guessed based on common sailor late 19th century jargon. Instead of "thin" might the word be "skint" meaning "skinned" or cleaned out?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 10:32 AM

Charley, "skint" makes good sense, but "thin" seems to come through the low-fi and bad scratches. Wright sings this line three times, first as the second half of the couplet, then (twice) as a "couplet" of its own.

But what the heck? It's the 21st century folk process! In fact, I like your version better than the original--whatever the original is!

Hopefully the Carpenter Project folks have better sound equipment than I do.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Dead Horse
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 03:46 PM

Might it be a cobbling together of something from Camptown Races,
verses of which were often used in this shanty?
A lot of what a shantyman sang could be pure gobbledegook, as the words were of next to no import. Trying to sort 'em out could lead to madness, or worse, sanity!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 05:21 PM

If we could be transported back to working with an actual shanty crew, we'd be even more confused, I'm sure, and quite sore in the back and shoulders next morning. And if we complained about the shantyman's key or someone's harmony or lack there of...

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: A LONG TIME AGO (Andrew Salters, Greenock
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 06:56 PM

How about this one? I haven't a clue what most of the real words might be, but what I hear makes a sort of surreal sense. ANy better readings would be most welcome.

A Long Time Ago (Andrew Salters, Greenock)

A long time and a long long time
To me way hay hay yah
A long time and a long long time
Oh a long time ago

When I was going to [buy a Mayonne?]
To me way hay hay yah
When I was going to [buy a Mayonne?]
A long time ago

And for [a cake I headed home?] etc

[She felt me bread and left me good?]

[I stole three pies I pawned them good?]

[With old Bill Goles a totem pole?]

In old [Kilgeorgia?] I was born

And I was bound to New Orleans

Belay


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 07:10 PM

Snuffy, I'll try this one too. Thanks for the leads!


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOWLANDS (from James M Carpenter)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 09:31 AM

Sung for Carpenter in 1929 by William Fender of Barry, South Wales:
Not much, but the real stuff:

                           LOWLANDS

                I thought I heard our old man say,
                   Lowlands, Lowlands, awaay my John!
                I thougtht I heard our old man say,
                   My dollar and a half a day!

                A dollar a day is a poor man's pay,
                   Lowlands, Lowlands, awaay my John!
                A dollar a day is a poor man's pay,
                   My dollar and a half a day!

                So shake her up from down below,
                   Lowlands, Lowlands, awaay my John!
                So shake her up from down below,
                   My dollar and a half a day!

Like Fender, many of Carpenter's shantymen used the one-line of solo per stanza method of singing. This would allow more time before the singer had to improvise, and made improvisation easier since one-line solos like those above don't have to rhyme. Fine for doing work, not so good for entertaining 21st century audiences!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 08:38 AM

Fender's Fire Down Below, and Ilo Man as sung by Bob Webb have been posted on Mudcat, as have McGuinness and John Gerries/Ferries' Tiger Bay.

Calennig recorded several of Fender's songs on their Trade Winds album (available via the Shanty Cabin) - "South Wales sea Songs originally recorded by American folklorist James Madison Carpenter, together with Welsh airs and tunes played on a stunning array of acoustic instruments". I do not have the album, so don't know if words are included.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM

And Yo Heave Ho is unrelated to the Shanty of the same name in Hugill: it is in fact a version of Dibdin's Tom Tough


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM

Last 2 guests were me - XP Service Pack 2 appears to have deleted my cookies


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 06:59 PM

I won't bother re=posting those Carpenter titles mentioned above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: radriano
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 01:26 PM

Well, I just received CDs of the Carpenter Collection of sea shanties. Digitization hasn't helped much as ninety percent of the songs are unintelligible. A few tracks are actually pretty clear but the rest are awful. I've heard source recordings before and these are by far the worse. Did Carpenter not know how to use the equipment properly? Or was the equipment that bad?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 07:32 PM

He recorded on Dictaphone wax cylinders on a portable recorder - pretty crappy even by 1928 standards I would guess.

I don't think it has been digitised - the cylinders were recorded onto tape (reel to reel?) in the early 70s, and the tape burned onto CDRs recently.

Most of the recordings also have a corresponding text and/or music notation. The originals are in the Libary of Congress and a microfilm copy in England at Cecil Sharp House. Anyone fancy going there and copying 400/500 song texts?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 08:23 AM

Thanks for mentioning Calennig's CD Trade Winds, recorded in 1994. We first became interested in Carpenter for recording 50 shanties, ballads and sea-songs from South Wales seamen. His sources were the two sailors, Rees Baldwin, of 13 George Street, Barry, and William Fender, of 16 Sydenham Street. James Garricy of Cardiff deserves praise for neatly turning The Farmer's Curst Wife into another version of Blow The Man Down:

Come listen to me and a tale I will tell
Way-ay, Blow the man down!
Come listen to me and a tale I will tell
Give us some time to blow the man down!

It's of an old farmer lived down in Grigg's Well
He had an old wife and he didn't love her well…

On listening to Carpenter, we grew interested on Rees Baldwin. We discovered that Rees, who ran away to sea at the age of 16, was a self-taught learned man who wrote articles for The Barry Herald – the basis of our show Trade Winds, which some you saw at Lancaster Festival and our tour to America. Rees was mayor at the time, and when he died in 1945 it was Stan Awbery, Labour candidate for Barry and then Bristol, who wrote his epitaph.

Many years later Professor Kenny Goldstein was in Scotland, following the Greig Trail (As Carpenter had done.) He was alerted by ballad singers who mentioned this strange American collector called Carpenter. Kenny had never heard of Carpenter - Back in the US, he mentioned Carpenter to Alan Jabbour, now director of the National Folklife Center at the Library Of Congress in Washington.

A string of incredible coincidences led Jabbour right to Carpenter's door in Boonville, Mississippi. Carpenter showed a chest which had not been opened for years – it was his Collection. Even more incredible was the South Wales seamen's recordings, of which 22 survived. There was no money to fund Carpenter's activities – to save money, he would record a singer on a disc machine, write it down and 'scratch' the disc, thereby destroying the recording.

I went to Washington to meet Alan Jabbour, who looked forward to Carpenter's shanty singers on CD – this was before my stroke, so I'm afraid I'm three years out of date. Over the years, the Sheffield University website is really developing, with thanks to Dr Julia Bishop, and the Cecil Sharp Library in London has made advances.

Even more encouraging is the family's interest. Edna Robinson, Rees Baldwin's daughter (who has since died) remembered Carpenter making the recordings of the Barry shanty singers, and could rustle up a shanty or two. Her son, Geoffrey Robinson, who was head at Gwent University, is passionately interested in his grandfather's life and kept coming to our shows. Alistair and Angela Duthie, who owned the newspaper shop in the Glamorgan village of Wick, kept important photographs of Rees. Hettie Shewring provided information.

I hate to admit it, but we've fallen foul of Carpenter's recordings. Listening to Nothing But A Humbug again, I could have sworn that the chorus goes:

You're nothing but a humbug
Dirty pig, dirty pig!
You're nothing but a humbug
This I know!

But on reading the manuscript, I was disastrously wrong:

You're nothing but a humbug
So they say, so they say…


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 08:29 AM

Hey - what has happened to Dr Price? I was just getting used to my nick-name, too!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:26 AM

Can you post the words for "Nothing But A Humbug" please, Mick.

I do hear 'so they say' rather than 'dirty pig', but there are bits later on I'm not sure about: Catfish grow on a huckleberry vine????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM

I hear "So they say" also. The "catfish" line sounds right too. Will check later.

Cecil Sharp once recorded a stanza or two of "The Farmer's Curst Wife" sung as the shanty "Goodbye, Fare You Well"! Bronson has it.

Some years ago, for the heck of it, I put together a complete shantyized version. May post it, also FTHOI.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:49 PM

Mick -- you lost your cookie somehow. Click on "Membership" at the top of the screen and follow the directions to reset your cookie and regain your name. :-)

~ Becky in Tucson, Arizona
(with fond memories of your brief visit here with Robin Huw Bowen)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 09:40 AM

Refresh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Dr Price
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:58 PM

You're nothing but a humbug,
So they say, so they say,
You're nothing but a humbug,
This I know!

Catfish growing on a huckleberry vine

Dandy Jim from South Carolina

He's come home to marry Dinah

Sorry I've been away lately. This is what I'm sure the badly-scratched lyrics meant. Desert Dancer, I will always remember Tucson with fondness!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 03:04 AM

Hi Charlie. Skint,


"And when she found I was a skint

Away you Roller Bowler

And when she found I was a skint

She left me standing there.

Hey rig a jig & a ha ha good morning ladies all".


Barry Finn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 02:05 PM

Snuffy and Dr Price, this is what I hear Rees Baldwin singing:

            You're (or "You are") nothin' but a humbug,
               So dey say, so dey say!
            You're (or "You are") nothin' but a humbug,
               Dat's all I know!

            Catfish growin' on a huckleberry vine....

            Dandy Jim from South Carolina....

            I'se come (or "Ask him") up to marry Dinah....

The differences of interpretation here are minor. I feel quite certain about Baldwin's "minstrel-show" pronunciation of "dey" and "Dat's." Therefore I prefer "I'se come" to "Ask him," though either is possible.

Baldwin's rendition is very spirited.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: Peace
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 02:32 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Apr 05 - 03:38 PM

Interesting that the "Humbug" lines were taken from old minstrel songs.
"Dandy Jim from Caroline" was written in 1843 by Silas S. Steele and J. Richard Myers.

"Oh beauty is but skin deep,
But wid Miss Dinah none compete;
She changed her name from lubly Dine
To Mrs. Dandy Jim of Caroline."

(And there is the more modern relative, "You ain't nothin' but a houn' dog")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 03:05 PM

Cheer Up, Mrs Riley as sung for Carpenter by Andrew Salters, of Greenock, appears to be a version of LAST WINTER WAS A HARD ONE in the DT. It has also been recorded as WHEN McGUINNESS GETS A JOB by Margaret Walters. Information on the origins of the song can be found in sample pages of Folk Songs of the Catskills at Google Book search

It is hard to tell from the recording exactly what Mr Salters is singing, but it's pretty clear that his first verse is based on the second in the DT Bad luck to ...with 40 cents changed to one-and-six (1 and a half shillings) for UK consumption. A clue is that Carpenter's card index gives the first line as "Bad luck to those Atavies" - whatever they may be! The second verse seems to comprise the last two lines of the final verse (See him climb ...) followed by the last two lines of the first additional verse (Ah! Six months ago ...). I am afraid I can not tie Mr Salters final verse to any of those in the DT version.

Anybody care to try to make more sense of this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Son
From: shipcmo
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 09:12 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 09:53 AM

Hi, Snuffy. I tried to transcribe Salters' song last year, but the best I could do was:

                CHEER UP, MRS. RILEY

Bad luck to those [atavvies?] and away to sea I'll go,
And bad luck we're out of barley soup, we'll all bow low;
For they come like gales in summer, like the buds in the month of May,
And they go for ???????? some have a job at one and eight a day.

Chorus:        
Well, cheer up, Mrs. Riley – don't give way to the blues,
For you and I will cut a shine, we'll sport our Sunday shoes;
???????? and no more shall I ?????????
??????        down the ???????? better and [?we'll drink to] Paddy ????

My old man's a gay old boy as nimble as a fox,
???????????? claim he'd rather work [?as if he'd] ?????
????????????????????????????????????????????????? you bet,
????????????????????????????? job ????????? poverty yet

Oh, the wintertime is over and ?????? go back to work,

[After that there's "feet go bare" and "tomatoes." Maybe.]
        
                                feet go bare
        tomatoes


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOTHIN' BUT A HUMBUG
From: radriano
Date: 26 Apr 10 - 11:57 AM

I have heard that although Carpenter only recorded one verse and chorus he kept separate files of lyrics. So far I have not been able to substantiate the truth of this.

Here are the lyrics I have to NOTHIN' BUT A HUMBUG:

Well you're nothin' but a humbug
So they say, so they say
Well you're nothin' by a humbug
That's all I know

Well, a catfish grow on a huckleberry vine
So they say, so they say
Catfish grow on a huckleberry vine
And that's all I know

I said, you're nothing but a humbug
So they say, so they say
Well you're nothin' by a humbug
That's all I know

Well Dandy Jim from North Carolina
He's come home for to marry Dinah

I said, you're nothing but a humbug …

Well I never seen the like since I been born
Sailor on the fife-rail crackin' out corn

I said, you're nothing but a humbug …

One day the blackbird said to the crow
Why do you love your farmer so

I said, you're nothing but a humbug …

Well that's my trade since Adam was born
Scratchin' and a-diggin' up farmers' corn

I said, you're nothing but a humbug …

Said the blackbird to the crow
Don't tell those pretty gals all I know

I said, you're nothing but a humbug …

Well high and dry, we'll hoist her high
Hoist her high for a bulgine pie
full chorus twice


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