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Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)

Charley Noble 19 Dec 04 - 11:21 AM
Charley Noble 31 Dec 04 - 12:37 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM
Charley Noble 06 Feb 05 - 10:37 AM
Charley Noble 27 Jul 10 - 07:58 PM
EBarnacle 28 Jul 10 - 02:24 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jul 10 - 09:27 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: CAPTAIN BAILEY'S MISTAKE
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 11:21 AM

There was an old thread I started some years ago in response to an atrocious Disney TV special featuring this mysterious place name on the Maine coast. That thread is closed but here is a summary of the story behind "Bailey's Mistake":

The story, which periodically surfaces in Maine newspapers, usually has Capt. Bailey sailing off the coast of Washington County in 1809. It's not entirely clear which way he was heading but he had a cargo of lumber piled high on the deck and was probably socked in by fog or otherwise indisposed. It is clear, however, where he ended up, ashore in a large cove south of the Town of Lubec which logically enough is now called Bailey's Mistake. It's generally suggested that Capt. Bailey was so disgusted with what happened that he gave up sailing, salvaged the lumber and built some houses on the cove."

The cove is still named Bailey's Mistake on the coastal charts, and I've been intrigued with what might have happened ever since I first ran across it while perusing the charts tacked up on the wall of Bill Bonyun's music room; Bill was one of my long-time folk music mentors. At any rate I drafted a song a few years ago but was never satisfied with it. I've now refitted it to a different tune and added a verse and chorus and it appears more promising:

CAPTAIN BAILEY'S MISTAKE

(Words by Charlie Ipcar © 2001
After a news story by Bruce Kyle
Bangor Daily News, 9/16/95
Original event occurred near Lubec, Maine, in 1809
Tune: after Ian Robb's "The Old Rose & Crown", © 1977)


Good friends gather round, and the truth I'll relate,
How a cove near Lubec became Bailey's Mistake;
Now there was a bold captain, with the name of Bailey,
Whose ship ended up where 'twas not s'possed to be.

Chorus:

So here's to our captain, with the name of Bailey,
Whose ship ended up where 'twas not s'possed to be;
Ye mariners all, weigh the risks that ye take,
Lest you be remembered like Bailey's Mistake.

He set sail from Boston, Downeast for Lubec,
With a cargo of lumber piled high on the deck;
He skirted Nantucket with never a fear,
And our crew gave a cheer as the Maine coast drew near. (CHO)

As we closed on Lubec, we was socked in by fog,
But we continued to sail by compass and log;
As our ship ghosted in, "Look sharp!" Bailey said,
"You'll soon see the narrows off West Quoddy Head." (CHO)

But, alas, for poor Bailey, no narrows we found,
And in a large cove our ship ran aground;
Said Bailey, "As sailors, there's no way we can win;
Let's unload the lumber, build homes and move in." (CHO)

So here's to our captain, where e'r he may be,
A friend to the sailor on land and on sea;
He'd be sailing still could he just navigate,
But he's doing quite well selling prime real estate.(CHO)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAPTAIN BAILEY'S MISTAKE
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 12:37 PM

Well, I thought this song was finished but apparently it still needed tinkering:

CAPTAIN BAILEY'S MISTAKE

Good friends gather round, and the truth I'll relate,
How a cove near Lu-bec became Bailey's Mis-take;
Now there was a bold captain whose name was Bai-ley,
And his ship ended up where 'twas not s'possed to be.

Chorus:

So here's to our captain, where e'r he may be,
A friend to the sailor on land and on sea;
Ye mariners all, weigh the risks that ye take,
Lest you be remembered like Bailey's Mistake.

He set sail from Boston, Downeast for Lubec,
With a cargo of lumber piled high on the deck;
He skirted Nantucket with never a fear,
And our crew gave a cheer as the Maine coast drew near. (CHO)

As we closed on Lubec, we was socked in by fog,
But we continued to sail by compass and log;
As our ship ghosted in, "Look sharp!" Bailey said,
"You'll soon see the narrows off West Quoddy Head." (CHO)

But, alas, for poor Bailey, no narrows we found,
And in a large cove our ship ran aground;
Said Bailey, "As sailors, there's no way we can win;
Let's unload the lumber, build homes and move in." (CHO)

So here's to our captain, where e'r he may be,
A friend to the sailor on land and on sea;
He'd be sailing still could he just navigate,
But he's doing quite well selling prime real estate.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM

Well, I just beta tested this song at our local coffeehouse and did some more tinkering with the assistance of my wife, primarily with the last verse:

CAPTAIN BAILEY'S MISTAKE

(Words by Charlie Ipcar and Judy Barrows © 2001
After a news story by Bruce Kyle
Bangor Daily News, 9/16/95
Original event occurred near Lubec, Maine, in 1809
Tune: after Ian Robb's "The Old Rose & Crown" © 1977)

Good friends gather round, and the truth I'll relate,

How a cove near Lu-bec became Bailey's Mis-take;

Now there was a bold captain whose name was Bai-ley,

And his ship ended up where 'twas not s'possed to be.


Chorus:


So here's to our captain, where e'r he may be,

A friend to the sailor on land and on sea;

Ye mariners all, weigh the risks that ye take,

Lest you be remembered like Bailey's Mistake.


He set sail from Boston, Downeast for Lubec,
With a cargo of lumber piled high on the deck;
He skirted Nantucket with nary a fear,
And our crew gave a cheer as the Maine coast drew near. (CHO)

As we closed on Lubec, we was socked in by fog,
But continued to sail by compass and log;
As our ship ghosted in, "Look sharp!" Bailey said,
"You'll soon see the narrows off West Quoddy Head." (CHO)

But, alas, for poor Bailey, no narrows we found,
And in a large cove our ship ran aground;
Said Bailey, "As sailors, there's no way we can win;
Let's unload the lumber, build homes and move in." (CHO)

So let's drink to old Bailey, who sailed the salt sea,
'Till his ship ended up where 'twas not s'possed to be;
He'd be sailing still could he just navigate,
But he's doing quite well selling prime real estate. (CHO)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 10:37 AM

Here's a link to my personal website where you can access a MP3 sample of this song: Captain Bailey's Mistake

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 07:58 PM

Time to do some more work on this song. One of my nautical music friends kindly pointed out that if Captain Bailey were sailing from Boston downeast to Lubec, Maine, he would not intentionally head south toward Nantucket. In fact it was actually Cape Ann that he skillfully sailed around. Here's the revised song (copy into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

By Charles Ipcar, © 2001
Tune by Ian Robb, The Old Rose and Crown, © 1977

Captain Bailey's Mistake


C-------------------------------G---C---G7-------C
Good friends gather round, and the truth I'll relate,
------------------------------F-C----------G-----C----G
How a cove near Lubec be-came Bai-ley's Mis-take;
--------C-----------------------------G------C---F---C
There was a bold captain whose name was Bai-ley,
------F---C----G--C--F--C-------G----C---G7---------C
And his ship end-ed up where 'twas not s'posed to be.


Chorus:

C-------------------------------------G7----------C
So here's to our captain, where e'r he may be,
-----------G-C-------------------G----C--G
A friend to the sailor on land and on sea;
C-------------------F------C--G-----C--F--C
Ye mariners all, weigh the risks that ye take,
F----C---G--C-F-----C------G---C--G-----G7-C
Lest you be re-mem-bered like Bai-ley's Mis-take.


He set sail from Boston, Downeast for Lubec,
With a cargo of lumber piled high on the deck;
He skirted Cape Ann with nary a fear,
And our crew gave a cheer as the Maine coast drew near. (CHO)

As we closed on Lubec, we was socked in by fog,
But continued to sail by compass and log;
As our ship ghosted in, "Look sharp!" Bailey said,
"You'll soon see the narrows off West Quoddy Head." (CHO)

But, alas, for poor Bailey, no narrows we found,
And in a large cove our ship ran aground;
Said Bailey, "As sailors, there's no way we can win;
Let's unload the lumber, build homes and move in." (CHO)

So here's to our captain, who sailed the salt sea,
'Till his ship ended up where 'twas not s'posed to be;
He'd be sailing still could he just navigate,
But he's doing quite well selling prime real estate!

Notes:

For years I wondered about the name of a cove, Bailey's Mistake, on the nautical chart of far Downeast Maine. I finally got the bones of the story from a 1995 newspaper article by Bruce Kyle. There was indeed a Capt. Bailey in the early 1800's and he did wreck his ship, with a load of lumber near Lubec. The song practically wrote itself but the tune is borrowed from Ian Robb's fine drinking song The Old Rose and Crown, © 1977 SOCAN.

My wife and I did some follow-up research in 2005, nosing around the cove of Bailey's Mistake. We than paid a visit to the Quoddy Times newspaper office in Eastport to see what else we could dig up. That's where we got the name of one of their retired feature writers Shirley Morong. She provided us a reference to an 1810 map deposited in the Library of Congress which identifies the cove in question as "Bailey Mistake." The story, however, as it is periodically retold states that the incident happened one dark and stormy night in 1830! No doubt the local historians got their dates mixed up. Charts never lie!

Recorded by Charles Ipcar on More Uncommon Sailor Songs, © 2005.

Here's a direct link to my new website to hear an MP3 sample: click here and search for MP3 Sample!

We had fun singing this song at a special event at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Maine last weekend, located in the home town of Joanna Colcord. Nice folks and interesting exhibits.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 02:24 PM

I find it interesting that they would have been carrying a load of lumber to a timber producing port.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM

Eric-

That's a good point that I've thought about myself but "all" the articles agree that the ship was carrying lumber. Perhaps, it was finished lumber.

Even the Disney TV special titled "Bailey's Mistake," which surfaced a few years ago, agreed on the basic elements of this incident. The show itself was sentimental claptrap and sadly there was no re-enactment of the incident.

I should credit nautical singer and researcher Stephen Sanfilippo for drawing my attention to the relative proximity to Boston to Nantucket, with regard to the usual sailing track to Down East Maine.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM

Thanks for posting, Charley. I've enjoyed your song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Capt. Bailey's Mistake (Ipcar)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 09:27 PM

Leeneia-

That why I post 'em!

Some day I'll get a gig in Lubec or East Port and sing this song, and some great-grandson or great-grand-daughter of Capt. Bailey will come up afterwards and tell me the rest of the story.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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