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happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)

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BLOOD RED ROSES


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Abby Sale 29 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM
Dave Wynn 29 Mar 06 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 29 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM
Paul Burke 29 Mar 06 - 09:37 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 29 Mar 06 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Mar 06 - 07:24 PM
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Subject: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 08:11 AM

The wars (1455–85), were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster. On Palm Sunday, March 29 in 1461, the two armies met on a field near Towton, in Yorkshire. They fought the climactic battle of the Wars of the Roses, contesting the succession to the throne of England. Whoever lost the battle would be outlawed, to lose his lands and probably his life; the armies would fight to the death.

[From Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave From the Battle of Towton AD 1461 edited by Veronica Fiorato, Anthea Boylston, and Christopher Knusel. Oxbow Books, 2000.]

At Towton, in the bloodiest battle of the war, the Yorkists won a complete victory. The first phase of the fighting was over, except for the reduction of a few pockets of Lancastrian resistance. [from EncBrit]

        Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
        Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.
        And its flamin' drafty 'round Cape Horn,
        Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.

                Cho: Oh, you pinks and posies,
                    Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.

No one knows the chantey (my favorite, BTW) refers to this war/battle but it seems to be a good bet that it does.

Early warning notice: This series of the Happy File noncontinues beginning April 16.
Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 08:57 AM

I think perhaps that this shanty refers to the redcoat soldiers en route to France (and elswhere) during the napoleonic wars. It was reputedly sung at the redcoats rather than to them becuase they were a nuisance on deck, thorwing up and generally getting in the sailors way. "Go down" refered to below decks and "blood red roses" to their uniform.

Spot the Dog


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM

It's highly unlikely this Shanty has anything to do with the Wars of the Roses, Cape Horn mentioned in the first stanza quote wasn't found by Drake for over 100 years after the battle of Towton


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 09:37 AM

You might take the fact that only Fuegans knew about Cape Horn in 1461, and quite probably didn't call it that, as circumstantial evidence against.

But another battle a couple of years before (Blore Heath, 1459) just possibly gave rise to the phrase "to be at loggerheads". The battlefield was within a mile or two of a place called Loggerheads, between Newcastle under Lyme and Market Drayton in Shropshire. The Lancastrians lost that one too.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 10:10 AM

When I was a young lad in England some old sailors (whalers who were 80+ years old in 1960) told me the origins of the song "Blood Red Roses" When a whale was harpooned from a rowing boat, unless it was penetrated and hit in a vital organ it would swim for miles sometimes attacking the boats. When it died it would be a long hard tow back to the ship, something they did not enjoy. If the whale was hit in the lungs it would blow out a red rose shaped spray from its blowhole. The whalers refered to these as Bloody Red Roses, when the spray became just frothy bubbles around the whale as it's breathing stopped it looked like pinks and posies in flower beds, especially if the sun was shining on it. Go down you blood red roses go down (means hurry up and die you big bastard, we dont want a long hard tow) Oh you pinks and posies (great its finally dead)

Most whalers hated the killing, and many quit the life, shamed into it by the deaths of these huge wondefull creatures. Those that stayed and hunted are like the modern sealers, it is an economic reason not a love of the life that keeps it going. Sailors are sentimental souls not just foul mouthed hardcases; and I believe their description of the songs origins to be correct.

Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:24 PM

I agree Abby Oh, you pinks and posies is one of my favorites also.



There is a requested Tori Amos piece, Blood Roses that I picked up the melody sheet for keyboards.



Haunting modal type tune. I got into a heated debate (I had never seen the lyrics until a few moments ago) with someone who insisted that a "blood rose" was an anus ...



Yeah, I guess they were right - truly sick - and the arrangment I have nicely done.


Blood roses
Blood roses
Back on the street now
Blood roses
Blood roses
Back on the street now
Can't forget the things you never said
On days like these starts me thinking

When chickens get a taste of your meat
Chickens get a taste of your meat

You gave him your blood
And your warm little diamond
He likes killing you after you're dead
You think I'm a queer
I think you're a queer
I think you're a queer
I think you're a queer

I shaved every place where you been boy
I shaved every place where you been yes

God knows I know I've thrown away those graces

The belle of New Orleans tried to show me
Once how to tango
Wrapped around your feet
Wrapped around like good little roses

Blood roses
Blood roses
Back on the street now
Blood roses
Blood roses
Back on the street now
Now you've cut out the flute
From the throat of the loon
At least when you cry now
He can't hear you
When chickens get a taste of your meat
Come on come on come on come on
When he sucks you deep
Sometimes you're nothing but meat.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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