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Origins: Three Score and Ten

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THREE SCORE AND TEN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Threescore and Ten (55)
A note to Three Score and Ten (73)
3 Score and 10 -Grave found in Hull (23)
3 score & 10; How big was Grimsby Town? (12)
Chord Req: Three Score and Ten (7)
Three Score and Ten - What event? (13)


Mrrzy 31 Oct 19 - 12:34 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!) 30 Oct 19 - 07:36 AM
Snuffy 30 Oct 19 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!) 30 Oct 19 - 06:10 AM
Iains 30 Oct 19 - 05:49 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 19 - 08:39 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Oct 16 - 06:21 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Oct 16 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,violets 49 14 Oct 16 - 02:25 PM
Herga Kitty 06 May 11 - 01:49 PM
Steve Gardham 06 May 11 - 01:30 PM
Ross Campbell 06 May 11 - 10:15 AM
Herga Kitty 05 May 11 - 03:59 PM
Steve Gardham 05 May 11 - 02:30 PM
Les from Hull 05 May 11 - 05:48 AM
Steve Gardham 04 May 11 - 03:45 PM
Steve Gardham 04 May 11 - 03:18 PM
Les from Hull 04 May 11 - 09:17 AM
Mo the caller 04 May 11 - 03:20 AM
Artful Codger 03 May 11 - 03:28 PM
ripov 03 May 11 - 12:12 PM
Rozza 03 May 11 - 12:00 PM
Rozza 03 May 11 - 11:54 AM
Steve Gardham 03 May 11 - 11:27 AM
Rozza 02 May 11 - 03:27 PM
Ross Campbell 01 May 11 - 08:58 PM
Rozza 01 May 11 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Vizalma 30 Apr 11 - 01:03 PM
Mysha 30 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM
goatfell 30 Apr 11 - 09:17 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 11 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,guestLS 29 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 11 - 04:29 PM
Joe Offer 29 Apr 11 - 03:11 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Apr 11 - 02:31 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 11 - 03:44 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Apr 11 - 03:33 PM
CupOfTea 28 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 11 - 02:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Apr 11 - 01:02 PM
JHW 26 Apr 11 - 07:11 AM
Snuffy 13 Apr 11 - 04:48 PM
Joe Offer 13 Apr 11 - 01:57 PM
GUEST 13 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,999 17 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM
Rozza 03 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM
Flash Company 03 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 12:34 AM

Long did fight, sing the Clancies. 'Nuff said. (Hahahahaha whew sorry.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM

"In Memoriam of the poor Fisherman who lost their lives in the Dreadful Gale from Grimsby & Hull, Feb. 8 & 9, 1889 is the title of a broadside produced by a Grimsby fisherman, William Delf, to raise funds for the bereaved families. It lists 8 lost vessels, the last 2 from Hull: Eton, John Wintringham, Sea Searcher, Sir Fred, Roberts, British Workman, Kitten, Harold, Adventure & Olive Branch. In addition the names of some of the lost sailors are given, & there is a poem in 8 stanzas. This passed into oral tradition & in doing so lost 6 verses & aquired a new one (the last, in which an error of date occurs), together with a chorus & a tune. The oral version was noted from a master mariner, Mr. J. Pearson of Filey, in 1957, & has subsequently, with some futher small variations, become well known in folk-song clubs".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 11:28 AM

They long did fight that bitter night

Ray


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 07:36 AM

Hi Snuffy,

on re-reading the thread, I've just noticed that Herga Kitty made the same point about "did fight" and "defied" in 2011! It seems to be a mis-hearing that was noted down and thus became set in stone...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 07:17 AM

Hi Jon, I always thought the mis-heard phrase was "they long DEFIED the bitter night...". Either of these at least makes sense, whereas "Longed to fight" is just nonsense.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 06:10 AM

"Having being sat in the middle of the north sea when the great gale(hurricane) of 1987 occurred it would seem to me only a raging lunatic would long to fight the bitter night and battle with the swell"

I've always thought this was a mis-hearing of "they long DID fight the bitter night...", which would make more sense


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Iains
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:49 AM

Being pedantic it is only boats from Hull would sail down the Humber.
Sailing from Grimsby Spurn point is passed after a couple of miles and then you are in the north sea. Both Hull and Grimsby were large fishing ports. Grimsby was arguably the largest and busiest fishing port in the world, at its peak in the 1950s. Figures quoted mention 500 vessels out of Grimsby and 350 out of Hull.
Loss of life still occurred at the height of the industry. A total of 40 crewmen of the vessel Roderigo and the J. Marr owned ship the Lorella, were both lost following a tragic accident. The accident occurred on the 26 January 1955 during severe weather condition 90 miles of the North Cape of Iceland.
Another huge disaster occurred in 1968 when three trawlers were lost with the loss of 58 lives’. The St Romanus went down on 11 January, just 110 miles off Spurn Point. The Kingston Peridot perished on 26 January. And the Ross Cleveland sank during a storm off northern Iceland on 4 February with only one survivor.
in the past 10 years, a total of 94 of the UK's approximately 12,000 commercial fisherman have died at sea across the UK; 529 fishermen have suffered serious injury; and 210 fishing vessels have been lost.
Fishing is still ranked one of the most dangerous occupations in the UK.
Having being sat in the middle of the north sea when the great gale(hurricane) of 1987 occurred it would seem to me only a raging lunatic would long to fight the bitter night and battle with the swell Even our standby boat scuttled off for cover that night and very sensible he was , too!(That was after having some of his bridge windows stoved in)


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Subject: Lyr Add: LINES IN MEMORIAM OF THE POOR FISHERMEN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:39 PM

I went looking for the original broadside of the song we now call THREE SCORE AND TEN. I didn’t find it, but I found this instead: a different song (or poem) by the same author, William Delf. I found it at a website called Popular Romanticism:

Lines in Memoriam of the poor Fishermen who lost their lives at sea,
from HULL and other ports, on Tuesday, March, 6th, 1883.


In March, Eighteen Hundred and Eighty Three,
A dreadful gale swept o’er the sea
And dealt destruction far and near,
And many took from their loved ones dear.

The smacks from the fishing ports went out,
The crews with happy hearts, no doubt,
And left all those they lov’d behind,
Their bread upon the sea to find.

But alas, that fearful gale did come
And sealed many a poor fisher’s doom,
And make the hearts of many weep,
When a comrade was swept into the deep.

Along the coast, and at every port,
Where vessels belong of the fishing sort,
Heart rending scenes does there prevail,
For loved ones perished in the gale.

At Hull the shock is greatly felt,
With the vessels it has most severely dealt,
Crews were lost on every hand,
With vessels no more to reach the land.

The Speedwell, a cutter when she made the port
Her flag half-mast, her crew were short,
Her much respected captain gone,
A man respected by every one.

The smacks came in with flags half-mast,
The signal some had seen their last,
Bringing the dreadful news on shore,
To loved ones they will see no more.

Wives and children are left behind
To mourn the loss of those so kind.
The winner of their bread is gone,
Into a land to us unknown.

Fathers and mothers also do weep
For sons who have perished in the deep,
Their loving voice no more to hear,
Nor yet to see their face so dear.

Spars and canvas got torn away
By wind and wave that took the sway,
And cast a gloom o’er many a heart,
When spars and canvas got torn apart.

But spars and canvas cannot compare
With life which to us all is dear.
Not all the property untold
Can purchase back one single soul.

But when so far away from land,
No Lifeboat is at their command,
There at the mercy of the wave,
Trusting in who alone can save.

Filey is a little fishing spot,
And it its share of grief has got.
Widows and children do there lament
Of the dreadful gale that’s sent.

Now, kind friends, your aid bestow
To help the widows here below
And their dear children left behind,
A loving father no more to find.

O God, thou sees the widow and children dear.
In love, their sorrowing hearts do cheer.
Comfort and cheer them in distress.
Provide for the child that’s fatherless.

Send comfort to every bereaved home.
Be thou their help in time to come,
And may we never hear or see
In Hull such direful calamity.

Composed & Sold in aid of the Widows & Orphans by Wm. Delf, Fisherman.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 06:21 PM

Okay 3rd time lucky.

No mention of October's night in original. Filey version possibly hybrid, but dates are notoriously fickle in oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 06:19 PM

Just tried twice to reply to this thread and it disappeared. Other threads fine!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: GUEST,violets 49
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 02:25 PM

This song is alleged to refer to the 'great Gale of 8th/9th February 1889. And yet the last verse begins 'October's night brought such a site' Why October? Has this song got its origins in the Eyemouth Disaster of 14th October 1881?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 May 11 - 01:49 PM

Thanks Steve... I may have misreported what Brian said, but the impression I got was that there are different interpretations, which I think is consistent with your post...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 May 11 - 01:30 PM

Kitty,
As far as we know Delf didn't write this line. The nearest thing to it he wrote is in his 6th verse where he puts,
'.....................the midnight hour was passed,
Their little craft was battling there with the fiery blast.'

Which we presume inspired the line in the later chorus. There is no mention of 'long' or 'longed'. If the Filey men had learnt it orally as seems to be the case they could easily have misheard it. On the only surviving recording the word is 'long...' but the ending is difficult to say for certain. If we take the spirit of what Delf actually wrote 'long did' seems to be the nearest.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 06 May 11 - 10:15 AM

On Sunday 26th June, 2011, the Bothy Folk Club, now based at The Park Golf Club, Park Rd West, Southport, PR9 0JS are running a Themed Singers Night, 'Three Score & Ten'; it's also Ian Wells' birthday. Can the number and the birthday conceivably be related? Doesn't seem possible, but then he has been a ubiquitous and supportive presence on the North West folk scene for as long as I can remember (and I've been in this area nearly forty years). All the best for the day!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 05 May 11 - 03:59 PM

I've always thought "long defied" or "long did fight" made more sense than "longed to fight", so was surprised to hear from Brian Dawson (at Sidmouth a couple of years ago) that the record of what WD wrote seemed to be longed to fight....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 May 11 - 02:30 PM

Oh! Now you've spoilt the surprise!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Les from Hull
Date: 05 May 11 - 05:48 AM

You'll likely get mud!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:45 PM

Les,
Our Chris showed us one of these only last weekend, complete with hole for the tallow. We're going to use it on the Humber next time we go out.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:18 PM

Thanks, Captain Ward, you're a mine of information.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Les from Hull
Date: 04 May 11 - 09:17 AM

Steve - that was Laurie, known here at Mudcat as 'Bloke in the corner'.

And I second your remarks about casting the lead. This would be a deep-sea lead, not the lead you use close inshore. The deep-sea lead has a recess in the bottom that you fill with tallow to pick up a sample of what is on the bottom. That is what you would use to find where you wanted to fish such as the 'Silver Pit'. Another mention of the deep-sea lead is in 'Spanish Ladies'.

We hove our ship to with the wind from sou'west, boys
We hove our ship to, deep soundings to take
'Twas forty-five fathoms, with a white sandy bottom

And it was certainly trawling not line fishing in 1889.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:20 AM

It always seem to me that the way people bawl out the chorous with such gusto is a bit out of keeping with the subject matter.
The tune lends itself to a 'raise the roof' chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 May 11 - 03:28 PM

"The Shepherd's Carol" is what Billings originally titled "Heavenly Host" in The Singing Master's Assistant (1778). The original setting was "Boston" rather than "Shiloh", as in the Quire Cleveland clip, though both were written (or arranged--one is seldom sure) by Billings.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: ripov
Date: 03 May 11 - 12:12 PM

"down" from Yarmouth to Scarboro' would correspond with railway usage (ie UP is toward London). Though I don't know how long this has been the convention.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Rozza
Date: 03 May 11 - 12:00 PM

There's also a YouTube rendition. The tune is vaguely reminiscent, but not a strong similarity.

Quire Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Rozza
Date: 03 May 11 - 11:54 AM

Funnily enough, I listened to it today. The link is: Shepherds' Carol: Billings


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 May 11 - 11:27 AM

Rozza,
Is there any link between the tune of the hymn and 70? Nigel Hudleston who recorded Pearson singing it always said the tune was a slowed down version of Jingle Bells. As Delf mentions no tunes on his sheets we can presume the tune was added later.

Somebody sang it at a session I was at last night with the extra verse and a highly individual version of the tune which went quite nicely.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Rozza
Date: 02 May 11 - 03:27 PM

Perhaps there's an American link to 3x20+10. American choral composer wrote the Shepherds' Carol which begins:

Methinks I see an heav'nly host.
Of angels on the wing.
Methinks I hear their cheerful notes.
So merrily they sing

Delf may well have been familiar with this, especially if he had a chapel connection.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 01 May 11 - 08:58 PM

The "Boxing the Compass" version is exactly the same as "The Oxford Book of Sea Songs" version given above.

I'll still continue to sing
"They long did fight that bitter night, and battled with the swell".
(Doesn't seem to clash disastrously with what anybody else sings, and it's how I made sense of what I heard years ago in the Waterson's version).

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Rozza
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:58 AM

William Delf was certainly no great poet. Threescore and Ten stands out as a masterpiece compared to such as this verse in one of his other poems:

The "C.H.Spurgeon" too as well, the crew did suffer great
The second hand was swept away, it's awful to relate
The cook brought in a lifeless corpse, who died upon the deck,
While the vessel was lying in the sea totally a wreck.

Ruairidh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: GUEST,Vizalma
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 01:03 PM

As far as the Grimsby/Lowestoft point, fishing families moved about from time to time - My wife's grandfather was born in Gorleston (Suffolk at that time), his father was skipper of a sailing trawler. In the name of better fishing, they loaded up the trawler with all their belongings and moved lock, stock ans barrel to Grimsby in around 1906. Her grandad and his brothers all became skippers. As far as the lyrics are concerned, I suppose it's relevance depends on whatever area you're singing it in. Sing it in Grimsby and you'll stir up different feelings than you will in Cheam. Two of my wife's family were lost at sea in the name of catching fish. It's that close to home. The one thing I do know, is that I can't imagine fisherman nit-picking about the song like has been going on here!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Mysha
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM

Hi JHW,

Are you saying the chorus is a rhyme by a ten-year-old? Wouldn't it be somewhat unlikely that a ten-year-old would have "defied" in his vocabulary?
On the other hand, they didn't fight against the night. To me the version Joe quoted makes the most sense: "They long did fight, that bitter night, their battle with the swell." But is that a sentence for a ten-year-old?

Bye,
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: goatfell
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 09:17 AM

the version that I know is 'they longed to fight that bitter night'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 05:08 PM

LS
You haven't been reading the rest of the thread have you?
Yes in the original it says casting the 'lead' in verse 2 line 2 but in line 4 it says 'shoot their net'
Verse 3 'Methinks I see them shoot their trawl'
Verse 4 'Methinks I see the net on board'

I would guess they are casting the lead to find the shallower Dogger Bank where the fish often congregate. The net may well have had some lead weights on it, but casting the lead usually refers to the 'lead line' to test the depth.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE SCORE AND TEN (from Elle Osborne)
From: GUEST,guestLS
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM

Elle Osborne has recently recorded 'Three Score and Ten' for her new album 'So Slowly Slowly Got She Up', and having heard the recording, I can say she sings "longed to fight" - and she's a Grimsby lass raised by folk singers from a fishing family!

As I've understood it, "longed to fight", is interpreted as "longed to BEAT" the swell.

Also, the "Yarmouth DOWN to Scarborough" line is true, in that North Sea fishermen always referred to North as 'down'.

THREE SCORE AND TEN
As recorded by Elle Osborne on "So Slowly Slowly Got She Up" (2010)

1. Methinks I see a host of craft spreading their sails alee
As down the Humber they do sail bound for the great North Sea;
And methinks I see on each small craft a crew with hearts so brave
Setting out to earn their daily bread upon the restless wave.

CHORUS: And it's three score and ten boys and men were lost from Grimsby town.
From Yarmouth down to Scarborough, many hundreds more were drowned.
Our herring craft, our trawlers, our fishing smacks as well,
They longed to fight that bitter night and battle with the swell.

2. Methinks I see them yet again as they leave the land behind,
Casting their lead into the deep the fishing grounds to find.
And methinks I see them yet again and all on board's alright,
With the sails close-reefed and the decks cleared up and the side-lights burning bright. CHORUS

3. October's night was such a sight as never seen before.
There were masts and spars and broken yards come floating to our shore.
There was many a heart of sorrow; there was many a heart so brave.
There was many a hearty fisher lad has found a watery grave. CHORUS


In verse 2, "casting their lead" is the more accurate, as it was line-fishing, not nets, in the 1880s, as Mike W sings, and Elle has been significantly influenced by him.

LS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 04:29 PM

Joe,
I'm not coming down on any side. I just transcribed what I heard from the original recording. I'd be happier singing 'They long did'... 'and battled'. The chorus wasn't in the original so we can only wait to see what Ruairidh and Brian can come up with when they get together. If we can identify the writer of the later version we may get somewhere. Currently we are looking at the Norfolk coastal towns.

My own guess is that Brian was right about relatives (as opposed to descendants) of Delf moving down to Norfolk during WWI to avoid the persecution of people with Dutch/German sounding names. If a relative did rewrite it as part of one of the Norfolk fishermen's choirs then it would be a small step back up the coast to Filey to being sung by the fishermen's choir there, Filey lying just to the south of Scarborough.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 03:11 PM

Thank you very much, Steve. You may get some flak for coming down on the "they longed to fight" side, so I admire your courage....


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE SCORE AND TEN
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 02:31 PM

THREE SCORE AND TEN
original recording transcribed from EP by SG.

1
Methinks I see some little craft spreading their sails alee,
As down the Humber they do glide all bound for the northern sea.
Methinks I see on each small craft a crew with hearts so brave,
Going out to earn their daily bread upon the restless waves.

Chorus:-
And it's three score and ten, boys and men, were lost from Grimsby town,
From Yarmouth down to Scarborowe many hundreds more were drowned,
Our herring craft, our trawlers, our fishing smacks as well,
They longed to fight that bitter night, to battle with the swell.

2
Methinks I see them yet again as they leave the land behind,
Casting their net into the sea, the fishing grounds to find.
Methinks I see them yet again, and all on board's alright,
With the sails flowing free and the decks cleared up and the sidelights burning bright.

3
October's night left such a sight was never seen before,
There was masts, there were yards, broken spars came floating to our shore.
There was many a heart of sorrow, there was many a heart so brave,
There was many a hearty fisher lad did find a wat'ry grave.

The transcription in SOTR was about as carefully done as most of the other transcriptions in there. However, although the recording is relatively clear Pearson is singing closer to the mike with another singer(s) in the background making some of the consonants not as clear as they would have been had he sung solo.

The controversial 'long/longed to fight seems to be as sung. there is some lingering on the g in 'long' which makes me veer towards 'longed' but it could be just 'long'. the 'to' is repeated in front of 'battle' which makes the intended meaning quite clear. It may be that the writer was looking back and saying this is how they felt when they set out before the storm arose.
In verse 2 'grounds' could be 'ground'. It's not easy to make out the final s with 2 or more singing. However, the broadside has 'grounds'.
Sails 'flowing' free is also difficult to make out as they're trying to fit 2 syllables into one. The broadside gives 'sails close-reefed' which is what I sing and what I suspect Mike W interpolated from the broadside.
Verse 3 There seems to be clarity lacking on whether it states 'There's'/'There was'/'There were'. Again they are trying to cram syllables in to fit with the music. The above is my best shot. It certainly isn't 'There's' in any of the cases as given in SOTR.
I'm passing this transcription to our score transcribers who are working on a new edition of SOTR and they have copies of the EP so they might come up with something slightly different to my transcription.
'northeren' and 'Scarborowe' are my attempts to transcribe what was actually sung.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM

Joe
The only versions in SOTR are the Pearson version from The Filey Fishermen's Choir which is almost the same as The Oxford book of Sea Songs version which is not surprising as they are from the same source. And the broadside already given above. There is an actual photo of the broadside.

Unfortunately the two gentlemen who Nigel paid enormous sums to to transcribe the songs were to put it kindly, less than competent, when it came to the texts. We are currently working on a new edition much more carefully transcribed. I would say Roy probably transcribed his version more accurately from the commercial recordings made by the Hudlestons at the time in the 60s, an LP, and an EP of the original singers put out in limited numbers and I think sold or given away by themselves.

Here follow the differences
Roy has 'longed' in the last line of the chorus and SOTR has 'long'.
As soon as I get chance I'll have a listen to the EP I've got and see what I make of it, if it could be 'long did' for instance.

Verse 1 ends with the word 'wave' in Roy's version and in SOTR it's 'waves'.

Verse 2 where Roy has 'nets' SOTR has 'net', and 'flow' becomes 'blowing' in SOTR.

Verse 3, line 1 Roy gives, 'night was' and SOTR has 'night left'
Also in this verse wherever it says 'There was' in SOTR the tense changes to 'There's'.

There are one or two silly typos I've ignored.

Any differences between the Pearson text and those well sung on the folk scene I would put down mainly to Mike Waterson who quite rightly IMO adapts to suit himself.

I've got the Oxford book but not 'Boxing TC'. I can't think why he would have changed it from one book to the other, but it's possible. If anyone has 'BTC' they can compare it with the Oxford text given above on 1st Nov 04.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 03:44 PM

Can anyone post the two versions found in Nigel Huddleston's "Songs of the Ridings"?

Also, if somebody can check Palmer's Boxing the Compass to see if it's different from the version Palmer had in the Oxford Book of Sea Songs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 03:33 PM

I'm sure I've posted this before. Never mind.

William Delf undoubtedly wrote that broadside original in 1889 shortly after the event. The unknown quantity is how it got to Filey further up the coast in Yorkshire to be collected by the Hudlestons in about 1960.

Talking to Brian Dawson of Lincolnshire at Whitby Festival a couple of years ago he told me he had talked to descendants of William Delf in the Lowestoft area who knew how the song was reduced to the 3 verses and chorus and set to music in Lowestoft. Now the comments above applying to Cromer may have some relevance in this context.

However, Rozza who posted earlier, has done further research into the life of Delf and found that he died childless, so no descendants one presumes. It may have been a close relative who moved to Lowestoft, such as a brother. Hopefully further info will come to light when Rozza and Brian can compare notes.

And I'm sure I've posted this as well, but thanks to Geoff Lawes of Hull there is now a photo of one of the Hull gravestones of the men in the disaster on the Yorkshire Garland website www.yorkshirefolksong.net where you can hear the song sung by 'Three-Score-and-Ten'.

Delf wrote other sea disaster songs. There is one on a broadside on display in Hull Maritime Museum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: CupOfTea
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM

My favorite version is Lou Killen's. His version has the last line of this verse as the poem cited above:

Methinks I heard the skipper say, 'My lads, we'll shorten sail,
As the sky to all appearance looks like an approaching gale.'
Methinks I see them yet again, and all on board was right,
With sails close reef'd, the deck cleared up, and sidelights burning bright.

When I first started looking for the dots/chords to do this other than acapella, all I found was the Soodlum book version, which only had a passing acquaintance to how I heard it from Lou and others. When I was first looking, DT didn't have the dots for things - this is a WONDERFUL addition to have, and I give thanks for whatever Mudmarvelous sorts who have accomplished this.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Score and Ten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 02:51 PM

I moved the "perpetuated errors" messages over here because they really ought to be with other information on the song. I think this is the definitive thread on "Three Score and Ten." You will note above the Roy Palmer's Oxford Book of Sea Songs has "They longed to fight that bitter night to battle with the swell." I wonder if his Boxing the Compass revision has something different. I have to agree that this version doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

You will notice in the message from BB above, a version that appears to be quite early, that doesn't have a chorus or a mention of a "bitter fight/night" at all.

So, what's the "correct" version? I'd venture to say that there is no correct version. There are just "various" versions, and whether it's "defied" or "to fight" is a matter of personal preference.

I think that most of us will tend to prefer the first version we learned.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Perpetuated Errors
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 01:02 PM

There are several previous threads on "Threescore and ten" with a lot of useful info about the origins of the song.
There is a discrepancy in the DT between the lyrics at the top of the page and the words under the music at the bottom of the page!


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Subject: RE: Perpetuated Errors
From: JHW
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:11 AM

The DT lyrics at Joe's link is as he says but the text accompanying the stave there is 'they long did fight that bitter night' which is widely sung. I like 'long defied' as 'fight' and 'battle' are almost repetition.

Just to confirm, in 'Threescore and Ten' the DT lyrics are correct in the chorus as 'They long defied that bitter night'
I spoke to Harvey Blogg (who runs Riverside Folk, Bedale ).
Henry Blogg, cousin of Harvey's grandfather wrote the words as a poem at school about age 10 circa 1886. The chorus was his first verse and it became a song perhaps around 1900 when someone set it to a traditional tune.
Harvey tells me the words can be seen in Cromer Lifeboat Museum though their online factsheet does not mention the song.
Henry Blogg joined the lifeboat crew aged 18 and went on to be coxswain.


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Subject: RE: Perpetuated Errors
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:48 PM

It's what I always sing.

Why would anyone in their right mind long to go out into a huge storm if they didn't have to?


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Subject: RE: Perpetuated Errors
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 01:57 PM

The Digital Tradition has They long defied that bitter night - is that correct?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Perpetuated Errors
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM

Folk process or not, can we please lay to rest that persistent mondegreen "longed to fight the bitter night" from "Threescore and Ten"?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREESCORE AND TEN (from Clancy Bros.)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 08:39 PM

These are the lyrics used by the Clancy Brothers.


THREE SCORE AND TEN
As recorded on "The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Sing of the Sea" (1968)

CHORUS: And it's threescore and ten
Boys and men were lost from Grimsby town.
From Yarmouth down to Scarborough
Many hundreds more were drowned.
Our herring craft, our trawlers,
Our fishing smacks, as well,
They long did fight the bitter night
And battle with the swell.

1. Methinks I see a host of craft
Spreading their sails alee
As down the Humber they do glide
All bound for the Northern Sea.
Methinks I see on each small craft
A crew with hearts so brave
Going out to earn their daily bread
Upon the restless wave.

2. Methinks I see them yet again
As they leave this land behind,
Casting their nets into the sea
The herring shoals to find.
Methinks I see them yet again
And they all on board all right,
With their nets close-reefed and their decks cleaned up
And their sidelights burning bright.

3. October's night brought such a sight!
'Twas never seen before.
There was masts and yards and broken spars
Come washed upon the shore.
There was many a heart of sorrow.
There was many a heart so brave.
There was many a fine and hearty lad
To find a watery grave.


Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Three Score and ten?
From: Rozza
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM

The song as sung by the Watersons was collected by the Huddlestons at Filey from "Jack Pearson and men" and is on p.45 of Nigel Huddleston's "Songs of the Ridings" - a photocopy of the broadside is on p.46. William Delf lived in Grimsby in the 1890s (in Victor Street). He was lost at sea in about 1893, aged c.40.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Three Score and ten?
From: Flash Company
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

I used to sing this a lot in my Malt Shovel days, I heard it from Mike Waterson's version and I originally had it as 'longed to fight that bitter night' which I didn't think made a lot of sense.
Someone suggested ( my wife, I think!) that it should be 'long defied', and from then on that's what I sang. (Never argue with the missus!)

FC


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