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Origins: Cadgwith Anthem

DigiTrad:
BEAUTY OF KASHMIR
BEAVER DAM ROAD
CADGWITH ANTHEM
COME FILL UP YOUR GLASSES (Robbers)
THE CANDLEFORD ANTHEM


Related threads:
Cadgwith Anthem - what's that flower? (57)
Lyr Req: Cadgwith Anthem (35)
Lyr Req: Cadgwith Anthem (from Steeleye Span) (7)


GUEST 07 Nov 10 - 06:43 PM
Tradsinger 08 Nov 10 - 11:30 AM
The Sandman 08 Nov 10 - 12:56 PM
Ged Fox 08 Nov 10 - 01:50 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Apr 11 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Pete Rogers 18 Mar 12 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Pete Rogers 18 Mar 12 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,brian rich 13 Aug 12 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Ali Rowe 20 Feb 13 - 11:26 AM
Artful Codger 20 Feb 13 - 04:36 PM
breezy 20 Feb 13 - 05:52 PM
Artful Codger 20 Feb 13 - 11:35 PM
JWB 15 Apr 13 - 12:54 PM
Artful Codger 16 Apr 13 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Gordon 20 May 13 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Big Rod 10 Feb 16 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,JeffB 10 Feb 16 - 12:49 PM
Tradsinger 21 Aug 17 - 05:28 PM
Nigel Parsons 13 Sep 17 - 04:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 06:43 PM

The 1906 tune went something like this - http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoId=106993873&searchid=69c020fc-8075-4965-a798-a5ca4e5c28bf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Tradsinger
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 11:30 AM

Good bit of research. The 1906 version tune is close enough to the version sung in Cadgwith to suggest that the latter derived from the former through oral transmission.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 12:56 PM

Crap words to a good tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Ged Fox
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 01:50 PM

Moving from evidence to supposition, from what little I've been able to find about Rev. Goodenough, I would guess that the song was written for some ship-board entertainment, (imagine Ali Baba,) and the words probably made good sense in their original context.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROBBER'S RETREAT (from G. Goodenough)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:08 AM

From The Handy Man Afloat & Ashore by George Goodenough (Boston: Small Maynard & Company, 1901), page 92, which has musical notation for one voice:

The following song always struck me as having one of the finest airs ever sung on a foc's'le. To hear the chorus pealing forth from some hundred or more throats was a thing to be remembered. The only pity is that the words are not more sensible. Such as they are they were very difficult to obtain. A bluejacket once wrote down all he could remember of them for me, but the copy got mixed up with other papers and I thought I had lost it. No one else could I find that could repair the supposed loss. Inquiries at second-hand music shops in London were fruitless. Many men could tell me that they knew the song but could not give me the words. Quite recently I came across my copy and here is the song.


THE ROBBER'S RETREAT.

1. We come from yonder mountains, our pistols are loaded,
For to rob and to plunder it is our intent,
As we roam through the valleys where the lilies and the roses,
And the beautiful cashmere lies drooping its head.

CHORUS: Then away, then away, then away, away,
To the caves in yonder mountains, to the robbers' retreat.

2. Hark, hark! in the distance there's footsteps approaching:
Stand, stand and deliver shall be our watchword;
    As we roam, &c.


Poor words: the lines not even rhyming, and the sentiment not very edifying. But you forget this as you hear the melody rolling out from those lusty throats with a glorious swing in the chorus of "Then away, then away, then away ? away!" Perhaps we may some day find a poet who will link stirring and worthy words to this splendid melody; but meantime we may forgive the poorness of the song for the sake of the ring of the music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,Pete Rogers
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 02:33 PM

I thought it was a song relating to stealing from wrecks, though whether "The Beauty of Kashmir" was a real wreck or fictional I don't know. The "Caves in yonder mountains" are just where they hide the booty. Highway robbery in the second verse is the other lawless occupation, celebrated in what is really a song about a pair of bravado folk myths.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,Pete Rogers
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 02:58 PM

I ought to add that the valleys are the sea, (it is sometimes referred to as the lowlands as in the shanty "Lowlands are wide my John") and the "lillies and the roses" are old terms for sailors in their white apparel and marines in their red unifirms.


Regards

Pete Rogers


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,brian rich
Date: 13 Aug 12 - 12:36 AM

the beauty of kashmir is an old variety of rose, instead of the flower head pointing up as most roses do it has a drooping head or flower


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,Ali Rowe
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 11:26 AM

Thanks to you all!!    I have to give a talk on Cornish Folk Music later in the year and was wondering whether I would find anything on the Cadgwith Anthem - then I found all of this THANK YOU!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 04:36 PM

@Ali: So much fakelore has been written surrounding this song that I advise caution in what you consider the true facts. What we know is that the song was NOT written by the fishermen of Cadgwith in the 1950s; it was published at least twice (once with tune) fifty years earlier; see the related threads for details—sources viewable at Google Books. Prior to acquiring the dodgy title of "Cadgwith Anthem" the song was known as "The Robber's Retreat." (You may justly argue that the apostrophe is misplaced, since the song is phrased in first person plural.) If you pay any attention to the original four-verse lyrics, it's clear that the song concerns highway robbery, not smuggling or piracy, even if it was popular with seamen and was used as a shanty. As for the "beauty of Kashmir" (originally, "beautiful cashmere"), I wouldn't take any of the guesswork as convincing, though context alone favors a common wildflower.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: breezy
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 05:52 PM

Vic Legg still at the Bodmin Folk club on Friday nights as is Mo Keast who was greatly
encouraged by Mervyn Vincent

A song of great mystique


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Feb 13 - 11:35 PM

Once you see the 1906 four-verse version of the song, there's not much mystique to the song that I can see. That version also shows that the two best-remembered "new" verses supposedly penned during the now-famous folkie session weren't new at all. Most of the song's "mystique" was slathered on by revisionists. Given the short two-verse version adopted by the Cadgwith fishermen (probably taken from Goodenough's memoir of 1901), that's not surprising—people like to fill in gaps. But now we know better, and can dispel long-standing misinformation about the song's origin and meaning.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: JWB
Date: 15 Apr 13 - 12:54 PM

I wonder if the composer(s) of this song could have been inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan. Silly, "topsy-turvey" lyrics and a beautiful melody bring their work to mind. And tho probably a total coincidence, they set Pirates of Penzance in Cornwall.

And just to "add to the confusion" as an earlier poster said, isn't cashmere the wool of a goat? So, "the beautiful cashmere lay drooping its head" could represent a capricine element to increase the absurdity of the piece.

But wait, there's more! The US Naval Academy's mascot is a goat, and when considered in light of the presented evidence of a Royal Navy origin for the song it might be that "beautiful cashmere" is a reference to American swabs...

I'll shut up now.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 02:35 PM

Shhh, someone might actually think you're serious, and soon the Westboro Church will be blaming the Boston marathon bombings on the Pirates of Penzance!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,Gordon
Date: 20 May 13 - 05:55 AM

Candleford is a fictional village created by Flora Thompson in a rural trilogy called Larkrise to Candleford.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,Big Rod
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 10:22 AM

This song is now widely sung as part of the Cornish pub "Shout" revival.
I have done quite a bit of research, not into the origins of the song, but the possible origins of the folk lore that surrounds it.
The most famous robber of the Lizard is probably John Carter. Porth-en- ayls or alls (AKA Prussia Cove) is a short distance from Cadgwith and all the fishing communities are interlinked. I have a feeling that the Robbers Retreat, might have been some kind of folk memory about The Carter Family. I have extracts below that would explain the lines: "Caves in Yonder Mountains"

and "Lay drooping his head"

However, there is no direct reference to "The Beauty of Cashmere or Kashmir" It seems very odd that if this refers to a flower, then why is it followed by the male pronoun? Flowers are generally considered to be Female in gender.
It is possible that Kashmir or Cashmere was possibly a common term for a smuggler (see below) in the same way that Corsican became connected with Bandits.

From "Smuggling in The British Isles" by Richard Platt unfortunately out of print.

The following extract about Kings Cove or Prussia Cove


..'so sheltered and secluded that it is impossible to see what boats are in the little harbour until one literally leans over the edge of the cliff above; a harbour cut out of the solid rock and a roadway with wheel-tracks, partly cut and partly worn, climbing up the face of the cliff on either side of the cove, caves and the remains of caves everywhere, some of them with their mouths built up which are reputed to be connected with the house above by secret passages ? these are still existing trademarks left by one of the most enterprising smuggling gangs that Cornwall has ever known'

The following extract about John Carter (the King of Prussia) being nearly taken by the crew of a Man-o-War after his own friends deserted him.

He was struck down, severely wounded, and left for dead, but after several hours his body was still warm although 'his head is all to atoms' as one of the guards observed. Despite his injuries, he was able to crawl across the deck and drop into the water. Once in, he found ? not surprisingly ? that his stout swimming skill had deserted him, and he was forced to pull himself along ropes at the ship's side, until he could touch the bottom and crawl out of the water. On land, he was picked up, half dead, by local men...

Carters own Diary about this incident says that his nose was nerelt severed, hanging on a piece of skin and that the top and back of his head was deeply cut by some terrible cutlass slashes.

Britannica entry on Smuggling in India in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

"Attempts by the Chinese government to stop the smuggling of opium led to the opium war of the 1840s. British India in the 19th century suffered smuggling of salt between states with different tax rates, while smuggling of all kinds of dutiable goods occurred between Goa and India"

Kashmir is also on the Silk Road and passing through the Himalayan Valleys probably produced quite a lot of contraband for robbers.

It is possible that Kashmir was a kind of nickname for a Smuggler.

I rest my case!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 12:49 PM

I visited Cadgwith a few months ago, and over the boat shed on the beach is a plaque mentioning singers named Bullen and Hartley - just the surnames, no other info. Anyone know anything about these two?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Tradsinger
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 05:28 PM

Here's a real anorak question for you. I was in the Cadgwith Cove Inn last Friday and heard the brilliant singing from the locals, including "The Robber's Retreat". They definitely sang "...the beauty of Kashmire" in the chorus, whereas the 1956 and 1970s recordings both have "... the beautiful Kashmire". I bought a CD of their singing (made in 2008 - excellent) and that too has "...beauty of..." So sometime between the 1970s and 2008 they changed the lyric. I am wondering when and why. Was it the influence of the folk revival?

Answers on a postcard

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cadgwith Anthem
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Sep 17 - 04:00 AM

The book mentioned above: Canow Kernow, (copyright 1966) definitely has "Beauty of Kashmir" in the lyrics, so any change was before your first date of the 1970s.
The book also give 3 part harmony for T/B/B.


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Mudcat time: 17 October 8:02 AM EDT

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