Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor

DigiTrad:
JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR


Joe Offer 16 Nov 05 - 01:15 PM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 05 - 01:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 05 - 02:02 PM
Metchosin 16 Nov 05 - 02:53 PM
Metchosin 16 Nov 05 - 03:11 PM
Metchosin 16 Nov 05 - 03:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 05 - 03:52 PM
Jimmy C 16 Nov 05 - 04:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 05 - 04:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 05 - 04:55 PM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 05 - 05:07 PM
Amos 16 Nov 05 - 05:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 05 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 16 Nov 05 - 05:27 PM
Charley Noble 16 Nov 05 - 10:29 PM
mg 16 Nov 05 - 11:57 PM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 04:18 AM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 04:32 AM
Joe Offer 17 Nov 05 - 04:45 AM
Charley Noble 17 Nov 05 - 08:53 AM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 10:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 05 - 01:18 PM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 04:11 PM
Mrrzy 17 Nov 05 - 05:21 PM
Mrrzy 17 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 05 - 06:05 PM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 06:40 PM
Metchosin 17 Nov 05 - 06:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Nov 05 - 07:28 PM
EBarnacle 18 Nov 05 - 12:36 PM
Charley Noble 18 Nov 05 - 02:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 05 - 03:02 PM
Metchosin 18 Nov 05 - 04:05 PM
Charley Noble 18 Nov 05 - 11:15 PM
Metchosin 19 Nov 05 - 12:43 AM
Charley Noble 19 Nov 05 - 10:11 AM
Metchosin 19 Nov 05 - 06:03 PM
Metchosin 20 Nov 05 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Jim P 06 Nov 08 - 05:37 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Apr 13 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,Fred Isenor 31 Aug 13 - 07:45 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Aug 13 - 12:09 PM
EBarnacle 31 Aug 13 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Trish 20 Jul 14 - 01:30 AM
Joe Offer 28 Mar 15 - 09:21 PM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 16 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Grandad Ingham 19 Jan 18 - 03:31 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Jan 18 - 04:50 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 01:15 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I've always enjoyed this song, so I think it's time for me to learn it. I'm wondering what background information and what other versions we can dig up.

Here's the version in the Digital Tradition:

JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR

Now, 'twas twenty-five or thirty years
Since Jack first saw the light;
He came into this world of woe
One dark and stormy night.
He was born on board his father's ship one day
As she was lying to,
'Bout twenty-five or thirty miles
Southeast of Bacalhao.

cho: Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler,
Jack was every inch a sailor,
He was born upon the deep bright blue sea.

When Jack grew up to be a man,
He went to Labrador,
He fished in Indian Harbor
Where his father fished before.
On his returning in the fog,
He met a heavy gale,
And Jack was swept into the sea
And swallowed by a whale.

The whale went straight for Baffln's Baffin's Bay
'Bout ninety knots an hour,
And ev'ry time he'd blow a spray,
He'd send it in a shower.
"Oh, now," says Jack unto himself,
"I must see what he's about."
He caught the whale all by the tail
And turned him inside out.

@sailor @animal @fish
filename[ EVRYINCH
TUNE FILE: EVRYINCH
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
(Note suggested corrections in strikeout/italics)
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Here's the entry on this song in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor

DESCRIPTION: "Jack was every inch a sailor... He was born upon the bright blue sea." Having been brought up as a whaler, one day Jack is swept overboard and swallowed by a whale. He escapes by pulling the whale inside out
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
KEYWORDS: talltale sea humorous whaler
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Greenleaf/Mansfield 125, "Jack was Ev'ry Inch a Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 40-41, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle2, p. 13, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, p. 33, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, p. 56, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 84, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text)
DT, EVRYINCH

Roud #4541
RECORDINGS:
Omar Blondahl, "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" (on NFOBlondahl01,NFOBlondahl05)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Ambletown" (occasional floating lyrics)
cf. "Paddy and the Whale" (theme)
cf. "The Catfish" (Banjo Sam) (fish story)
Notes: This is almost certainly a cleaned-up bawdy song. - PJS
The versions I know all seem more in the Paul Bunyan vein -- extraordinary exaggerations. (But maybe I don't have imagination enough.) I suspect Paul is referring to "Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor," which is similar only in its first line and metrical form, and which IS sexual in theme. - RBW
File: FJ040

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 01:46 PM

The DT version of this song is almost an exact transcription of the version found in Fowke-Johnston's Folk Songs of Canada (1954), which in turn comes from Gerald S. Doyle's pamphlet titled Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland. Here are the background notes from Fowke-Johnston:
    This song has been popular in Newfoundland for over fifty years. The Jonah theme appels to the fishermen for they have another song called "Paddy and the Whale" that tells much the same story. The words for "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor" seem to have been borrowed from a song known in the New York music halls around 1880, but the tune is different.
    Bacalhao (pronounced back-a-loo) is a rocky island off the east coast of Newfoundland where an important lighthouse stands. Indian Harbour is on the Labrador coast and was an important codfishing centre around the turn of the century.
The version on page 84 of Silber & Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook is identical (except that Silber/Silber has "deep blue sea." Note that in both Silber/Silber and Fowke/Johnston, the fifth line of the first verse is shorter:
    He was born on board his father's ship
    As she was lying to
Seems like that might scan better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 02:02 PM

Bacalhao is salted codfish. Can't find it as a location.
You've been at the jar- Ditital? Third verse- Baffin mis-spelled.

Hear a clip of Eddie Primroy singing the sons at the MacEdward Leach site: Jack Was

"Composed in the U. S. in the 1880s as part of a theatrical parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Popularized in a recording by Frank Crumit in 1928." From MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada, website linked above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 02:53 PM

Bacalhao is an island with a lighthouse on it, about 15 miles east of Twillingate, Newfoundland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 03:11 PM

According to Edith Fowke, the words "seem to have been borrowed from a song known in New York music halls around 1880, but the tune is different" and also "Indian Harbour is on the Labrador coast and was an important codfisshing centre around the turn of the century"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 03:24 PM

We had to learn this song in elementary school, along with We Sail the Ocean Blue from HMS Pinafore. Neither were my favourites, but at least Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor did not evoke the naughty sniggering that the other song seemed to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 03:52 PM

Thanks, Metchosin. Bacalhou, properly prepared (several changes of water to remove the salt) is quite tasty; I was not aware of the lighthouse.

Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, note by Edith Fowke:
""Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor." A re-telling of the Jonah story with a NFLD. fisherman as the hero. It seems to have been adapted from a New York music-hall song "Every Inch a Sailor." The U. S. folklorist Phillips Barry noted that it is a localized version of the words (not the tune) of the original burlesque of "Pinafore," as sung by Miss. Venie Clancy and printed in White's "Complete Music Album," Boston, 1884..."
Also published by Greenleaf and Mansfield, 1933, "Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland." (Reprinted 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland," pp. 252-253, with music).

Notes by Greenleaf and Mansfield in a note say "Every Inch a Sailor" was written and composed by John Read (music different from the Newfoundland air): "The Celebrated Original and Only Madame Rentz's Songster," New York, copyright 1880, pp. 16-17.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Jimmy C
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 04:14 PM

Bacalhao is an island with a lighthouse on it, about 15 miles east of Twillingate, Newfoundland. In the few songs i know where it is mentioned it has the spelling " Baccaleiu". both in Jach was every inch a sailor and "The Cliffs of Baccalleiu".


We were bound home in October...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 04:34 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index has an entry for "Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor," for the song recorded in 1928 by Frank Crumit.

This seems to be a different song, hence notes by Edith Fowke in The Canadian Encyclopedia and the note in the MacEdward Leach website, equating Crumit's recording with "Jack Was Evry Inch a Sailor," may be incorrect.

The version in Greenleaf and Mansfield is the same as the corrected DT lyrics above. It was sung by Patrick Lewis of Fleur de Lys in 1929. Lewis said it was one of his father's songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 04:55 PM

Jimmy C is correct about the spelling, Baccaleiu, of the Newfoundland island and lighthouse. (one 'l' in the Nat. Geog. Atlas). I wouldn't doubt that Newfoundlanders would also call it "Baccalhao," the Portuguese name for salt cod. I can't find where the name Baccaleiu comes from (??French name for salt cod or a man's name??).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 05:07 PM

There's a second song (I think I'd call it a parody, not a completely different song) on Page 84 of the Folksinger's Wordbook:

Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor

[CHORUS]
Jack is every inch a sailor;
He'll see a pretty girl and hail 'er.
He'll vow his love will never fail 'er,
Then go sailing with his heart still free.

When Jack steps down the gang-plank there's a quiver through the town
And all the girls past seventeen come gaily running down.
They know that night that one of them has happiness in store,
And each believes that if it's her, he'll never leave the shore!
[Chorus]

He's got a prize from every port to win a woman's heart;
Brocade and silk and lace and pearls and oriental art.
Somewhere he'll meet a girl whose kiss can keep him on the shore;
But while he looks for her, he'll kiss at least a thousand more!
[Chorus]

from Folksinger's Wordbook
Fred & Irwin Silber

no tune or background notes


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor

DESCRIPTION: "Jack is every inch a sailor; He'd see a pretty girl and hail 'er. He'd vow his love will never fail 'er, Then go sailing with his heart still free." All the girls come running when Jack is in town, all hoping to win his heart, but he will not settle down
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (recording, Frank Crumit)
KEYWORDS: sailor courting sex
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Silber-FSWB, p. 84, "Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor" (1 text)
Roud #4541
RECORDINGS:
Frank Crumit, "Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor" (Victor 21668, 1928)
Notes: This should not be confused with "Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor," which has a similar first line and a some similarities in form and tune. The other song is a tall tale about a sailor who won a battle with a whale. - RBW
Although this song concerns Jack and the ladies, it's still clean -- but we have a hint that it was once bawdy. - PJS
File: FSWB084B

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 05:07 PM

ALso recorded by Burl ives in his "Men and the Sea" LP, IIRC.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 05:16 PM

As noted above, "Jack Is Every Inch a Sailor" is listed separately in The Traditional Ballad Index. This apparently is the song recorded by Crumit in 1928.

And it's i before e... Baccalieu Island


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 05:27 PM

Why does "PJS" think this used to be a "bawdy song" ?

The only connection I can think of is that 40 plus years ago Oscar Brand borrowed part of the title as the name of his album of bawdy (mostly rewritten) U.S. Navy songs, Every Inch a Sailor, on the Elektra label.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 10:29 PM

Joe-

Go to your editing button:

"He's got a prize from every port to win a woman's HEAR;"

I was thinking this song had its origin in one of Charles Dibdin's ditties.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble

    Dang. I used to be a really good typist.
    -Joe Typo-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: mg
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 11:57 PM

It is named after, or has something to do with the salt cod..or so I was told...and i htink might have a Portugeuse origin..the Portuguese used to fish there and of course bring back the cod..maybe french too..mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 04:18 AM

Regarding the spelling of Bacalhao Island, there are two Bac-a- loos in Newfoundland, both with lighthouses. One with the Portuguese spelling of Bacalhao near Twillingate, located one mile northwest of Herring Neck, New World Island, in northeastern Newfoundlandand and one spelled Baccalieu, off the tip of the Bay de Verde peninsula at the entrance to Conception and Trinity Bays, on the Avalon Peninsula in eastern Newfoundland.

Fowlke seems to think Jack was born about 25 or 30 miles from the more northerly island of Bacalhao. Myself, I have no idea. LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 04:32 AM

Maybe because I have trouble with spelling, even with something as simple as Fowke. LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 04:45 AM

Anybody have a copy of Greenleaf and Mansfield, so we can see if the lyrics are the same? Not much variety so far, just one set of lyrics and the parody. The MacEdward Leach Website has a recording by Eddy Primroy - lyrics the same except that Jack "was born upon the bright blue sea."
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 08:53 AM

My reference above to Dibdin's Sea Songs is apparently a red herring. I did find a promising song entitled "Ev'ry Inch a Sailor", pp. 73-74, but other than the title it is unrelated to the current discussion. There's not even a Jack in it. So much for the relevance of old memory files!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:21 AM

Fowke's version is "bright blue sea" as well and also that which I learned when young.
    So it is. My confidence in my accuracy is deeply shaken.
    Correction added.
    -Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 01:18 PM

The version in Greenleaf and Mansfield, as sung by Patrick Lewis, is the same as the one at the head of this thread, but has BRIGHT blue sea, not deep blue sea.
Without seeing the text in White's "Complete Music Album," or perhaps that Songster of 1880, we don't know the original words and are unlikely to find them. It probably differs from the song we know.
Perhaps the text in Greenleaf and Mansfield, from 1929, the oldest of the ones we know, is the best choice. Substitute bright for blue in the version up top and we have it.

All of us are assuming that the song writer knew which cape or island he was talking about in his lyrics- perhaps bacalhao was a little joke.

Who was the supposed author, John Read, mentioned in Greenleaf and Mansfield? Someone who knows American theatre is needed to find out about him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 04:11 PM

Q, I curious why you would consider Bacalhao a joke? The Portuguese under Gaspar Real were the major explorers of that particular area in the very early 1500s and named Trinity Bay and even Fogo is thought to be a corruption of the Portuguese word "fuego".

If the people of the area around Fogo, Twillingate, Morton's Harbour and Bacalhao, possibly the byes that built the boat in the first place, had sung the song and taken it into their lexicon, the more logical spelling for them would have been Bacalhao, after the island in their neighbourhood. Likewise, those from the Avalon Peninsula may have been thinking of the island closer to them and spelled it Baccalieu.

And for all we know, originator of the song could have been referring to the area of New World Island, just as easily as the area of Bay de Verde.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 05:21 PM

Interesting. I love this song, we have it by Ed McCurdy on a children's record, but the words are different from all of the above:

JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR
Ed McCurdy

Upon the isle of Newfoundland there lived a sailor boy
He was a handsome sailor lad, his father's pride and joy
He was born on board his father's ship on a dark and stormy morn
And he helped the crew harpoon a whale on the day that he was born

Chorus:
Jack was every inch a sailor
5 & 20 years a whaler
Jack was every inch a sailor
He was born upon the bright blue sea

When Jack grew up to be a man he sailed from shore to shore
He sailed his ship around the world a dozen times or more
Harpooning whales was play to him for he was very strong
And he was also very tall and his beard was very long
CHO

One night while Jack was standing watch a storm began to blow
It blew so hard that soon the ship was tossing to and fro
A great big wave rolled up to Jack and washed him to the rail
And he was tossed into the sea and swallowed by a whale
CHO

Now when that whale had swallowed Jack it soon began to shake
For this old whale had got himself a mighty stomach ache
Well now, said Jack, this poor old whale don't know what he's about
And he grabbed that whale all by the tail and pulled him inside out
CHO


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 05:23 PM

I guess any song where a man's beard is very long could have been bawdy if it didn't used to be the beard that was so long... I am thinking of the various versions of Columbo, for instance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 06:05 PM

Metchosin, we don't know what was in the mind of the composer (John Read?) when he wrote the song as comedy. Certainly I have heard jokes about salt cod here in western Canada, where many people don't know what it is. Remember that the parody on Pinafore was performed in New York City.

Of course Patrick Lewis of Newfoundland, who sang the version we know, would have had a location in mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 06:40 PM

That is exactly my point Q. Although I would suspect that if the writer was trying for humour, he would choose the place most directly associated with salt cod.

When I was living in Newfoundland, one day I thought I'd drive out and visit Dildo as a joke. My co-workers looked at me a bit dumbfounded and said, "What do you want to go to Dildo for? There's nothing out there!" To them, the name of the town had no other connotations whatsoever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 06:42 PM

correction: he would choose the "word" most directly associated........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 07:28 PM

Tried several ways to search for White's Complete Music Album and The celebrated original and only Madame Rentz's Songster, but titles could be incorrect. Tried Library of Congress catalogue, Abebooks, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: EBarnacle
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 12:36 PM

I have a fragment of a verse which may have been part of Mrrzy's post. It was given to me about 30 years ago by a retired Navy Bosn who said he got it from his father. What I recall is incomplete.

When Jack was only 56, he ran away to sea.
The first day out, the Captain cried, "We have no milk or tea.
Who'll go ashore?" "I will," said Jack, and jumped into the boat.
The waves were rolling mountain high...
...And his day's work was done.

If anyone recalls more of this, I would appreciate it being filled in and put into context.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR (from Bonyun
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 02:12 PM

Well, I finally did track down a recording of this song made back in 1960 as sung by Bill Bonyun on SONGS OF YANKEE WHALING, Heirloom Records. It's very similar to the version in the DT but more oriented to whaling:

JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR

Now, 'twas twenty-five or thirty years
Since Jack first saw the light;
He came into this world of woe
One dark and stormy night;
He was born on board his father's ship one day
As she was a-lying to,
'Bout twenty-five or thirty miles
Southeast of Santa Cruz.

Chorus:

Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler,
Jack was every inch a sailor,
He was born upon the bright blue sea!

When Jack grew up to be a man,
He left Nantucket Shore,
He went hunting for the whale fish
As his father did before;
One day all in a pea-soup fog,
He met with a heavy gale,
And Jack was swept into the sea
And swallowed by a whale. (CHO)

The whale went straight for old Cape Horn
'Bout ninety knots an hour,
And ev'ry time he'd blow his spray,
He'd send it in a shower;
"Oh, now," says Jack unto himself,
"I must see what he's about."
He caught the whale all by the tail
And turned him inside out. (CHO)

Bill noted that:

"This ballad about a latter-day Jonah apparently originated in a New York music hall and captured the fancy of visiting sailors from all over the world."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 03:02 PM

The Madame Rentz Songster of 1880, mentioned above as containing "Every Inch a Sailor," included songs of "Madame Rentz's Female Minstrels," organized before 1870 by M. B. Leavitt. A touring company, at first they performed in blackface. It became the Rentz-Santley Novelty and Burlesque Company and at some point, blackface was dropped. New and popular songs were part of their repertoire.

From several websites on American Theatre.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 04:05 PM

Charley, so you don't believe they fished for whales around Newfoundland and Labrador, only out of Nantucket and around the Horn? BG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 11:15 PM

Metchosin-

Not exactly. Only that whoever heard the song in some NYC music hall took it back with them to their home port and folk-processed the words. I'm sure the Japanese have their own version of the song now!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 12:43 AM

I agree regarding folk processing, Charlie, but I still don't see how Bill Bonyon's version from the 1960's really has anything more to do with whaling than the Newfoundland version of 100 years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 10:11 AM

Metchosin-

Right on all counts!

And I'm sure if old Bill BONYUN were still around he would agree with you as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 06:03 PM

Perhaps that is why I never cared for it as a kid, it was a little too HMS Pinafore and not Hugilled enough. LOL

and yeah, typos and misspellings are me. BG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Metchosin
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 12:47 PM

For anyone interested in further background info, the Newfoundland whale "fishery" continued right up until 1972 when the Canadian federal government put a stop to it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: EVERY INCH A SAILOR (John Read)
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:37 AM

Here's a version from a relatively rare book recently available through Google on-line; it appears to be the original music hall version, but then, who knows?

EVERY INCH A SAILOR
by: John Read
From: "Naval Songs: A Collection of Original, Selected and Traditional Sea Songs"
Published by Wm. A. Pond & Co., 1883 (no author given)

My Uncle Jack is what some people call a jolly tar,
And I should think that he was born beneath a lucky star;
If all is true that he's gone through, a wonder he must be,
He's every inch a sailor and was born upon the sea.

Cho (x2):
Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler;
Jack is every inch a sailor,
Born upon the bright blue sea.

On a stormy night it's my delight to mix a glass of grog,
And then get Jack to spin a yarn before the burning log.
And after you've been listening to all that he has said,
You feel so frighten'd that you cannot go alone to bed.

"One night" said he, "while out at sea there came a dreadful gale
Which wash'd me overboard and I was swallow'd by a whale,
And there I liv'd for twenty days a wandering about,
Then seized the whale right by the tail and turn'd him inside out."
(spoken after third verse) I said to my friend, who was siting by my side, there is no mistake about it.

So if you wish to pass a pleasant hour or two away,
Just call and see old Uncle Jack, and then I think you'll say:
"He ev'ry inch a sailor and as jolly as can be,
For many years a whaler, quite a hero of the sea."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Apr 13 - 09:48 PM

That last version, posted by GUEST,Jim P, and attributed to John Read, is identical to what Frank Crumit sang (except that Crumit omits the spoken line). His version is on the album "Frank Crumit Returns (1920-1938)", which you can hear on Spotify.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: GUEST,Fred Isenor
Date: 31 Aug 13 - 07:45 AM

Just heard the Frank Crumit version this morning on CBC radio in Halifax. Crumit recorded it on Victor 21668 on August 31, 1928. As a record collector I believe it sold well as it shows up at yard sales and flea markets. It's available on at least two different CD's.
Fred


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Aug 13 - 12:09 PM

Digression-
Looking at newspaper clippings about schooner arrivals, fish catches and prices archived at NOAA, I found one "Sch(ooner) Essex, Bacalieu Bank, 115,000 lbs Fresh Fish." No date attached to the clipping from "Times."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 Aug 13 - 01:47 PM

My post above appears to be a fragment from "And his day's work was done." I am not convinced that these two songs are unrelated although they may simply be related only as tall tale type songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: GUEST,Trish
Date: 20 Jul 14 - 01:30 AM

To EBarnacle

I'd love to know all the words to that ditty too. My Dad used to say it along with a few others. I can fill you in a bit more and would love someone to find the rest. Here's Da's version:
    When Uncle Jack was 56 he ran away to sea
    The first night out the Captain said
    "We have no milk for tea
    Who'll go ashore?"
    " I" said Jack, "I never act the goat"
    So while the sea rolled mountains high
    He set out in a boat
    ......
    And Jack's brave mother's son
    Cut holes about to let it run out
    And his day' s work was done.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 09:21 PM

The GEST Website has done a lot of work on this song. It's worth a look.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 16 - 09:52 PM

I posted a version above that I found in the Folksinger's Wordbook. It has this chorus:
    Jack is every inch a sailor;
    He'll see a pretty girl and hail 'er.
    He'll vow his love will never fail 'er,
    Then go sailing with his heart still free.
Anybody know of a recording of this version, preferably one I can find on YouTube. I found a Frank Crumit recording, but that's not the one:


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: GUEST,Grandad Ingham
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 03:31 PM

When Jack was only 56 he ran away to sea
The first day out the Captain said we have no milk for tea
Who'll volunteer I will sId Jack I never act the goat
And whilst the seas were raging high he set off in a boat
The boat got full of water but Jack brave Mother's son
Cut holes about to let it out and his days work was done!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jan 18 - 04:50 PM

Don't know if 'And his day's work was done' is the same song, but a song with this title was in the repertoire of Music Hall singer George Brooks, 1867-1947. And Harry Carlton who died in 1961. it was written by T. W. Connor in 1903. (Kilgarriff)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 February 1:05 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.