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Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish

DigiTrad:
YEA HO, LITTLE FISH


Related thread:
Lyr Add: Yea Ho, Little Fish (15)


Ian HP 15 Jan 99 - 08:21 PM
catspaw49 15 Jan 99 - 08:28 PM
catspaw49 15 Jan 99 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jan 99 - 09:16 PM
Don Meixner 16 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Jan 99 - 07:24 AM
Ian HP 16 Jan 99 - 11:19 AM
GutBucketeer 20 Jan 99 - 11:57 PM
Bob Bolton 21 Jan 99 - 12:14 AM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 99 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,jo_one 15 Nov 08 - 02:04 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 30 Aug 09 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 09 - 08:59 AM
John P 03 Oct 09 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,meags 24 Mar 10 - 07:59 PM
Charley Noble 24 Mar 10 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Chris 17 Jun 10 - 12:45 PM
SINSULL 18 Jun 10 - 10:26 AM
SINSULL 18 Jun 10 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Mike Cohen 20 Jul 14 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 20 Jul 14 - 12:32 PM
Bill D 20 Jul 14 - 08:09 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 Jul 14 - 02:44 PM
Nerd 22 Jul 14 - 04:07 PM
Nerd 22 Jul 14 - 04:09 PM
Sandra in Sydney 22 Jul 14 - 07:58 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 07:35 PM
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Subject: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Ian HP
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 08:21 PM

On the Bandoggs album - Pete and Chris Coe, Nic Jones & Tony Rose - there is a beautiful song called Little Fishes, sung by Chris. It is credited as traditional. However, I have been told a story that it was written for a film in which Humphrey Bogart (he thought) pretended unconvincingly to play a concertina on the back of a boat, accompanying himself to this song, and that it is only thought traditional because Stan Hugill later performed it. Can anyone verify this, or name the film in which it appears, the actor and, if there is one, the author?
The words are as follows:

1. O the crew are asleep and the ocean's at rest
And I'm singing this song for the one I love best
Hey ho little fishes, don't cry, don't cry
Hey ho little fishes, don't cry, don't cry

2. The ship's underway and the weather is fine
And the skipper's down aft hanging out extra line
Hey ho etc.

3. Little fish when he's caught he fights like a bold whale
Thrashes the water with his mighty tail
Hey ho etc.


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 08:28 PM

Could this have been Spencer Tracy in "Captains Couragrous" singing to Freddie Bartholomew Who he called "litttle feesh" like in the song?catspaw


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 08:31 PM

Sorry about the spelling...didn't proof read...or maybe I was thinking incongruous which is what Tracy's accent was. Great actor, but that accent in this film......... catspaw


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 09:16 PM

Welcome back, Ian - there's quite a bit about the song in the database (click here). i think there was a thread about it not too long ago. Maybe it would be easier to find the thread if you'd search under "Spencer Tracy."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Don Meixner
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM

Gordon Bok and Edd Trickett both sing this tune and maintain it's history as a melody can be traced to ancient Greece. How this is done I can't say. It is the song from Captains Couragous as sung by Manuel the Portugese. Spencer Tracy sings it to a tune on the Hurdy Gurdy. I have used it as a lullaby for my daughter and twin sons and its aboput the only song I can play on the cocertina.

There's a place in my heart for the one I love best. And I still keep her picture tattooed on my chest. Yea ho little fishes... You go to fish schools and you learn from a book, How not to get caught on a fisherman's hook. Yea ho ....

Must be many verses and its a great song along song for coffeehouse or forecastle.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 07:24 AM

Years ago I performed in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, "Sea Revels with Jack Langstaff and we sang the version in the DT. He claimed it was pure Portuguese and imported some Portuguese musicians who had sung it all their lives, like their grandaddies before them to sing it with us.
Allison


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Ian HP
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for the info, folks. It seems the origins of this song are . . . well, confusing. Any more, any one? Joe, I've searched under 365 days Spencer Tracy but got nought. Any other clues? By the way, Joe, I've e-mailed Mudcat three times about my personal page, but had no reply. I now have a new e-mail address, would like to keep my code name, but can't access my personal page nor start a new one with my old user name. Any change of scubbing my old personal page? Cheers.


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 20 Jan 99 - 11:57 PM

The first two lines of the song in the DT are similar to the "Song of the Fishes" or "Boston Come All Ye".

Is the tune the same?

It seems from the discussion that the tune is traditional and would not be a problem to post. Does anyone know if the tune is on-line in midi, ABC, printed, or other format?

Jim in Silver Spring


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Jan 99 - 12:14 AM

G'day all,

There were one or two versions of "Little Fish" collected in Australia in the 1950s. I'm fairly certain that there were claims that there were traditional versions pre-dating Spencer Tracey's rendition in "Captains Courageous". One bloke I used to know - Jack Wright - gave several verses ... and complained of his memory - he could only remember the clean ones!

I'll look into the history and see what else I can find.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: LITTLE FISHES (TRAD?) - INFO PLEASE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 99 - 12:41 AM

Hi, Ian - looks like I misspoke about Spencer Tracy. the reference I saw must have been the one in the database. To fix your problems, go to the Help forum, and at the top of the page, you'll find several tools. Try "reset cookie" first, although you'll have to use your old e-mail address. I think you can use the edit profile function to change your e-mail address, but I'm not sure of that. I think that Max has a few messages in the Help Forum that will explain. Set the "age" back to 365 days and look at the appropriate threads.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Manual's Love Song from Captains Courageous
From: GUEST,jo_one
Date: 15 Nov 08 - 02:04 AM

Here is the Song Spencer Tracy Sang in the 1937 Picture Captains Courageous

Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry

Once Doc baked some biscuits and throw them away Next day no more fish come around boat to play

Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry

Said Cabbage to fish cake Who lay on one dish I beautiful cabbage You only poor fish

Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry

There's a place in my heart For the one I love best And I still keep her picture tattooed on my chest

Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry Yeah, ho, little fish Don't cry, Don't cry


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 08:59 AM

This version is from J.S. Manifold, The Penguin Australian Song Book. The notes make it clear this is a song from tradition; however, the Gus Kahn lyric additions quoted in the previous message are unusually folk-like and delightful—but then, Kahn always did have that knack.

As for Frank Waxman's tune, he didn't work very hard for his copyright, changing only one note in the traditional tune.

Manifold writes:

"A foc'sle song from the Queensland cosat. A composite from versions printed in Singabout, Vol. 2, No. 4, and Vol. 3, No. 2. .... The original sources were Dick Fizgerald of Charleville, and Jack Wright of Coogee."
^^
There's a song in my heart for the one I love best,
And her picture is tattooed all over my chest,

Cho:        Yea ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry,
                Yea ho, little fishy, don't cry, don't cry.

There are fish in the sea, there is no doubt about it,
Just as good as the ones that have ever come out of it,

Little fish, when he's caught, he fights like a bull whale,
As he threshes the water with his long narrow tail.

The ship's under way and the weather is fine,
The captain's on the bridge hanging out other lines,

The crew are asleep, and the ocean's at rest,
And I'm singing this song to the one I love best.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 07:04 PM

yes - that line "Said Cabbage to fish cake Who lay on one dish I beautiful cabbage You only poor fish" is great. I think I actually prefer the lyrics quoted in this thread to the ones Ed Trickett sings, even though his recording of the song (on the Telling Takes Me Home album) is a very very beautiful couple of minutes. I've been listening to that album a lot recently - I think it might be one of my all-time favourite albums


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 08:59 AM

Whatever,
Love Spencer Tracy
from Pa Achha, Pakistan.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: John P
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 11:25 AM

The hurdy gurdy players all love watching Spencer Tracy pretending to play the hurdy gurdy, while the soundtrack plays violins or something. It was a major hit at the hurdy gurdy festival.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,meags
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 07:59 PM

Can anyoen tell me the prison movie this song was in?? All i can remember is it was sung by a big mean looking prisoner who had the sweetest singing voice, was sung from memory in high key!?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 09:34 PM

Meags-

Well, no one has asked that question before!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 17 Jun 10 - 12:45 PM

Our grandma used to sing us this song when we were little in the bathtub, then one day we sang it back to her and she nearly cried...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 10:26 AM

Don't know where I learned:
Hey ho little fish, don't cry don't cry
Hey ho little fish
You'll be a whale by and by.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 11:06 AM

A previous thread:
thread.cfm?threadid=42677

Gordon Bok sings "you'll be a whale" I think.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,Mike Cohen
Date: 20 Jul 14 - 10:38 AM

I believe I wrote the "Whale by and by" version of this song in 1953 for a counselor's training program at Camp Robinson Crusoe. I taught it to Ed Trickett in 1963.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 20 Jul 14 - 12:32 PM

Manuel's Love Song

This thread brought back many happy memories of watching this film... and always crying my eyes out at the end (I have seen it at least 5 times and still cry). It is a beautiful film and, in context with the film, so is the song

Hey, ho, little fishes (or mudcatters!) :)

mp


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 14 - 08:09 PM

Mike.. does Ed Trickett give you credit on the album?

(I guess I could just go dig the LP out of the archives and see...)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Jul 14 - 02:44 PM

I learned Mike Cohen's version back in the early 1980s in Cambridge, Mass from John Langstaff when I sang in the chorus of the Spring Revels.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Jul 14 - 04:07 PM

The song was indeed collected from tradition in Australia, and there is a field recording available here:

http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-vn36318

Some of the Australian informants claimed the song was brought with Portuguese fishermen. Recently, I spoke with the Galician piper Carlos Nunez, and he firmly believes the melody to be Galician or Portuguese. He was astounded to hear the song was primarily known from Australia!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Jul 14 - 04:09 PM

Oops. That field recording is more easily accessible here


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 22 Jul 14 - 07:58 PM

The son of one of the Australian collectors tells the story of his father playing his concertina while his youngest son had a massive tantrum - father kept playing but changed the chorus to "little Stevie don't cry, don't cry"

sdandra


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Subject: RE: Origin: Yea Ho, Little Fish
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 07:35 PM

Great to Sea it in Captains Courageous with the hurdy-gurdy!


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