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christmas shanty/sea song

mick p r.m s.c 11 Feb 07 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 11 Feb 07 - 04:52 PM
Leadbelly 11 Feb 07 - 05:36 PM
stallion 11 Feb 07 - 05:44 PM
mg 11 Feb 07 - 05:53 PM
Charley Noble 11 Feb 07 - 06:01 PM
Moses 12 Feb 07 - 03:25 AM
GRex 12 Feb 07 - 04:17 AM
BB 12 Feb 07 - 06:39 AM
Charley Noble 12 Feb 07 - 08:07 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Feb 07 - 10:19 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Feb 07 - 10:29 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Feb 07 - 10:40 AM
GRex 13 Feb 07 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Henryp 13 Feb 07 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Henryp 13 Feb 07 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Henryp 13 Feb 07 - 12:30 PM
Celtaddict 13 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM
JudyB 13 Feb 07 - 12:41 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Feb 07 - 12:46 PM
mick p r.m s.c 16 Feb 07 - 09:31 AM
Charley Noble 16 Feb 07 - 03:00 PM
Severn 16 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM
mick p r.m s.c 16 Feb 07 - 03:50 PM
GRex 16 Feb 07 - 08:39 PM
GRex 16 Feb 07 - 08:51 PM
mick p r.m s.c 17 Feb 07 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Binoy John 03 May 08 - 09:21 PM
JeffB 04 May 08 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,guest, Simon 14 Nov 09 - 09:16 AM
Charley Noble 14 Nov 09 - 10:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Nov 09 - 09:20 AM
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Subject: christmas shanty/sea song
From: mick p r.m s.c
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 04:04 PM

I am a member of The Royal Marine Shanty Crew. Anyone know of a christmas sea song or shanty. We want to record one for our new CD.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 04:52 PM

"Rolling Down to Bethlehem" is around here somewhere...

Regards


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Leadbelly
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 05:36 PM

Mick,I'm sure the "International-shanty-and-seasong-association" can help you. But you have to be resp. to become a member.

Manfred


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: stallion
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 05:44 PM

Try PM to Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: mg
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 05:53 PM

I saw three ships comes sailing in. And have you heard the Clancy Brothers do the hour that the ship comes in? Not Christmas but probably has some sort of religious allegories in there that are beyond me to figure out..that song always scared me. mg


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 06:01 PM

Mick-

Is it Christmas season already?

You might try "Christmas at Sea," a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson that Tom Lewis has recorded. I have also recorded the poem but dropped two verses and worked up a different tune. Here's a link to what I sing: Click here and search for lyrics!

The lyrics I sing are there, as well as the original poem. Do check out what Tom Lewis sings from his website. I'll be curious what you come up with.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Moses
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 03:25 AM

Mike Sparks has written "go down, you blood-red noses, go down". Good parody and fun to sing.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GRex
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 04:17 AM

There is one entitled "Christmas Shanty" by Ann Mathews, it is more of a forebitter than a shanty. The first verse and chorus, if my memory is correct, goes:

            Look lively lads, haul on those ropes
            At least we're homeward bound
            With a following wind, we have high hopes
            To be home before Christmas comes around.

            Chorus:
               Pray God to fill our sail with a favourable gale
               Give us fine fast running seas
               And we'll make it home for Christmas boys
               To our wives and our families.

                  GRex


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: BB
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 06:39 AM

I like the look of that one, GRex. Where might the full song be found?

Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: BILL'S CHRISTMASES (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 08:07 AM

There are a couple of C. Fox Smith nautical poems that have Christmas themes. One is called "Home for Christmas" about a captain who is bound and determined to make it back from Sydney, Australia: Click here!

Pinch o' Salt did a fine job of singing this one, with Alan Fitzsimmons setting the poem to music.

Another one is called "Christmas Night" with sailors dealing with a Christmas gale, and part of it would work quite well with the tune to "Christmas Day in the Morning" although no one has worked up this poem for singing: Click here!

There's a third C. Fox Smith poem which has the setting of two sailors working aloft off Cape Horn during a storm, and as they're completing the job one remarks "Merry Christmas!" Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the irony. It's called "Bill's Christmases" and it's a favorite of mine:


BILL'S CHRISTMASES

"Christmas," said Bill, "on Christmas cards, it's winders all aglow,
An' lots o' stuff to eat an' drink an' a good three feet o' snow,
An' a bunch o' bouncin' girls to kiss under the mistletoe.

Holly an' robin redbreasts too, as rosy as can be,
An' waits an' chimes an' all such gear as you never get at sea,
But it's different things as Christmas means to a ramblin' bloke like me.

The first I ever 'ad at sea I was 'ardly more 'n a nipper,
An' I'd took an' signed, bein' young an' green, in a dandy Down-east clipper
With a bullnecked beast of a bucko mate an' a rare tough nut of a skipper.

An' we dined 'andsome, so we did, off biscuits an' salt 'orse,
An' finished up with scraper duff an' sand-an'-canvas sorce,
An' them as growled got seaboot soup by way of an extry course.

I've 'ad my Christmas 'ere an' there, I've 'ad it up an' down,
I've 'ad it sober on the seas an' drunk in sailor-town,
I've 'ad it where the folks are black an' where the folks are brown,

And under many a tropic sky an' many a foreign star,
In Perim, Portland, Pernambuck, Malacca, Malabar,
Where the rum bird-'eaded totem poles and the gilded Buddhas are.

I've 'ad it froze in Baltic cold an' burned in Red Sea 'eat,
I've 'ad it in a Channel fog as busy as a street,
An' once I 'ad it off the 'Orn, an' that was sure a treat.

I was in the clipper Sebright then — a big ship, 'eavy sparred,
With every sort o' flyin' kite an' a seventy foot mainyard,
An' 'andlin' 'er in a gale of wind, I tell you, it was 'ard!

We come on deck for the middle watch, an' save us, 'ow it blew!
A night like the devil's ridin'boots, that never a star shone through,
An' the seas they kep' on poopin' 'er till we 'ad to 'eave 'er to.

We snugged 'er down, we 'ove 'er to, an' there all night lay she,
With one mainyard arm pointin' to 'eaven an' one to the deeps o' the sea,
Dippin' 'er spars at every roll in the thunderin' foam alee.

Till the wind an' sea went down a bit an' the dawn come cold an' grey,
An' we laid aloft an' loosed the sails an' squared the ship away,
An' a chap beside me on the yard says, 'Bill, it's Christmas Day!'"

Notes:

From SEA SONGS AND BALLADS 1917-1922, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, US, © 1924, pp. 22-24. Earlier published in SEA SONGS AND BALLADS, © 1922. First published in PUNCH, December 21, 1921, p. 495.

There were few holidays if any on sailing ships, and even if there were a plan for something extra special for Christmas what was planned was subject to the weather and the captain's whim.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 10:19 AM

While not exactly Christmas Shanties, we have two here at the Mudcat/DT:

Winter Shanty
 
Shortened version of Snow Shanty
 
Full Version of Snow Shanty


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 10:29 AM

Oh yes, almost forgot about this

Shopping Shanty


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Subject: Lyr Add: SNOW SHANTY (Eileen McGann)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 10:40 AM

Full version of song:

A Snow Shanty
 
Tune: South Australia
Words: Eileen McGann

Woke up on a frozen morn
Heave away, haul away
Radio said there's been a storm
I'm bound for work this morning
 
Chorus 1: (after every 2 verses)
Heave away you frozen thing
Heave away, haul away
All the way you'll hear me sing
I'm bound for work this morning
 
Tried to open up the door
Snow's piled up five feet or more
 
Got a shovelling job ahead
Except the shovel's in the shed
 
Shoved the door and make a gap
One step out I'm on my back
 
It's down my collar, up my nose
Down my boots between my toes!
 
Struggle through the drifts and piles
Shed seems like its twenty miles
 
Reached the shed and realize
I've left the bloody keys inside
 
 
It's to the house, back to the shed
Heave away, haul away
I think this snow is made of lead
I'm bound for work this morning
 
Chorus 2: (ditto)
Heave away the ice and snow
Heave away, haul away
Cursin' swearin' as you go
I'm bound for work this morning
 
It's time to shovel out the cars
If we can find out where they are
 
The drive is done, the car is clear
What's that rumbling noise I hear?
 
I look up at the dreadful sound
The city plow is bearing down
 
The city plow goes thundering by
Leaving snow banks ten feet high
 
The car is buried there's no way
I'll make it into work today
 
I'll hitch the dog up to the sled
It's time this daschund earned his bread
 
The car is lost, the dog has fled
Heave away, haul away
It's time I headed back to bed!
(silence)
 
(Repeat Chorus 2 and Chorus 1 to close)


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS SHANTY
From: GRex
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 04:55 AM

BB & George Seto
I thought that I had the Christmas Shanty on one of Ann Mathews CDs but sadly I have not. Ann used to lead the shanty group that I still sing with, so the lyrics were still in my files.


Look lively lads, haul on those ropes
At last we're homeward bound
With a following wind we have high hopes
To be home before Christmas comes around.

CHORUS: Pray God fill the sail with a favourable gale
Give us fine fast running seas
And we'll make it home for Christmas boys
To our wives and our families.

We've sailed across the seven seas
Such sights we all have seen
But now we long for our families
To tell them where we've been.

Around the world we all did roam
Many girls in many ports
But now at last we're headed for home
And our wives are in our thoughts.

And in our last few ports of call
When we've had our runs ashore
We've sought out gifts for one and all
And who could ask for more.

So weigh the anchor, set those sails
Don't slack along the way
With this good wind, unless luck fails
We'll be home for Christmas day.

Keep on singing
GRex


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 06:42 AM

The CD Fire and Sleet and Candlelight by Coope Boyes and Simpson contains a very attractive version of I Saw Three Ships, set to a new, but tradition-based tune in the '70s.

You might also enjoy singing Cold Coast Of Iceland/Three Ships, two moving songs by Mike Waterson about the dangers of trawling in winter seas. These can be found on the CD Twenty-four seven also by Coope Boyes and Simpson.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:25 PM

And while I'm thinking about Mike Waterson songs, I think you might also like Three Day Millionaire, which tells of the Hull trawlermen's brief time ashore between fishing trips - 'I couldn't give a bugger, I'm a man'. You can find it on the CD No-one Stands Alone by Blue Murder, which includes Mike himself.

For the lyrics, see http://garrygillard.net/watersons/songs/three.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS AT SEA (Robert Louis Stevenson)
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:30 PM

This is a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. If it had a tune, it would be a song!

"CHRISTMAS AT SEA"

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate Jackson, cried.
..."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

By Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94).


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Celtaddict
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:34 PM

There is also one I heard from Charles Frink that I need to hunt down the full version of, but it has lines
Take down your flask and tip it to the sun
good cheer my lads good cheer my lads
take down your flask and tip it to the sun
good cheer and (something or other)
but somewhere in there is a Christmas or at least winter-holiday reference. I'll try to track it down, which I have meant to do before.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: JudyB
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:41 PM

Actually, Henryp, a couple of people have set Christmas as Sea to music.
Tom Lewis does it on his CD 360 degrees, and, as he mentioned above, Charley Noble has a version - both powerful songs!


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:44 PM

Another song which might be of interest is Frobisher Bay from James Gordon It isn't Christmas oriented, but is a great modern song of the sea.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 12:46 PM

Grex, that's a wonderful song. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: mick p r.m s.c
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 09:31 AM

Thanks to all for the above replies. We will certainly be using at least one of the suggested songs in the near future on a recording.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 03:00 PM

Mick-

You and your crew are more than welcome.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Severn
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 03:31 PM

One called "The Sailor's Carol", a Gordon Bok setting of a poem by Charles Causley, is on Gordon's album "Schooners" (Timberhead THD C005)

The version that Nowell Sing We Clear sing of "I Saw Three Ships" has the ships carrying "crawns", that is to say the skulls of the Three Wise Men up the Rhine to be kept as relics in Koln Cathedral. One crawn per ship-must've been a union contract, I guess. That one is on "Hail Smiling Morn!" (Golden Hind Music GHM 102)

Of course, there's always "Haul The Decks" or the shortened version of the aforementioned Carol "I Saw Three Ships (In Half)"....


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: mick p r.m s.c
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 03:50 PM

GRex Thanks for your reply, never heard this song The Christmas Shanty. Words look interesting the sort of thing we are looking for. Any chance of a tune for it. Cheers Mick.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GRex
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 08:39 PM

mick p.r.m.c.

I do not have the melody to The Chistmas Shanty, either recorded or sheet music but will PM you Ann Mathews email address. I'm sure she will be only too pleased to help.

    GRex


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GRex
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 08:51 PM

mick p.r.m.s.c.

Unable to PM you Mick as your Mudcat name isn't recognised. If you would like to have the email addres, PM me and I can reply.

    GRex


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: mick p r.m s.c
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 03:29 PM

HI GRex, sorry just got your post on thread. My Email biggles59@tiscali.co.uk


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GUEST,Binoy John
Date: 03 May 08 - 09:21 PM

I think its

"Christmas at Sea, far away from home"


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: JeffB
Date: 04 May 08 - 05:15 PM

"I saw three ships" goes well to the tune of "Christmas Day in the morning", if you don't like the usual tune.


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: GUEST,guest, Simon
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 09:16 AM

Hi GREX,
Can I use the Christmas Shanty by Ann Mathews to put on a Christmas card
for friends?


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS NIGHT (C. Fox Smith)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 10:03 AM

Above was mentioned the C. Fox Smith poem called "Christmas Night" with sailors dealing with a Christmas gale, and part of it does work quite well with the tune to "Christmas Day in the Morning." I've edited the poem down some and you can hear my current rendition on my website: Click here for lyrics and MP3 Sample!

Here are the revised lyrics and chords (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords:

By Cicely Fox Smith, from RHYMES OF THE RED ENSIGN, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by Hodder and Stoughton, London, © 1919, pp. 71-72.
Adapted for singing by Charlie Ipcar, 12/26/08
Tune inspired by "Christmas Day in the Morning"
Key: F (5/C)

Christmas Night

C-------------G-C-F---C----------F
We shipped a sea on Christmas night,
----C-----------------------G-----------Gm
On Christmas night, on Christmas night!
-------C----G-C-----F---C--------------F
From stem to stern the decks flowed white –
----C---------------------------G-----C
On Christmas night till the morn-ing!
-------F-----------------------C
"One more like that," our mate did say,
F-----C-----------------------G--------Gm
"And she'll not live till the break of day,"
----C----G---C-----------------F
So deep she rolled, so ill she lay –
C----------------------------G-----C
All the night long till the morn-ing!


The night so black, the gale it screamed,
On Christmas night, on Christmas night!
Like gushing wounds her swing-ports streamed;
On Christmas night till the morning!
All ice the yard to which we clung,
The frozen shrouds shrill carols sung,
Like harps the twanging backstays rung –
All the night long till the morning!

We called "All hands!"; we hove her to,
On Christmas night, on Christmas night!
It was the best that we could do,
On Christmas night till the morning!
But hang on all, to wait and pray
That nothing more would be carried away,
So she might last till the break of day –
All the night long till the morning!

C------------------------------F
Then one big roaring sailor-man
--C------------------G-------Gm
A sort of rambling yarn be-gan,
--C-------------------------------F
A-bout a place nigh Wexford town,
-----------C-------------G--------Gm
With the river Slaney flowing down
---------F--------------------------------C
By the farm where he was born an' rared;
-----------G-------Gm--------F---------C
"An' my old mo-ther, well, she's not he'rd
---F-----------------C
A word o' me this many a year . . .
-----G-------Gm--------F--------C
But I've got stuff and I've got gear
----------F-----------------C
Stowed in my sea-chest all for her –
G---------------------F---------C
I can just see them old eyes stare:
--F-----------------C
A branch o' coral like a tree
F------C-------------------G-----Gm
Them Blacks dive after in Fee-jee,
---C-------------------------------F
A Spanish shawl and a carved fan,
---C-------------------G-----Gm
A little tea-set from far Ja-pan,
--------F----------------------C
That's blue and white, and wee and small,
---G----------Gm--------F
If this black gale don't break 'em all!" . . .


The long night passed and that great gale,
On Christmas night, on Christmas night!
Went down at dawn, so we made sail,
On Christmas Day in the morning!
We sent the yards to the masthead,
The watch sung out to wake the dead!
"Them tea-things is all right," Dan said –
On Christmas Day in the morning!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: christmas shanty/sea song
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 09:20 AM

and away you Santa...

:D(eG)


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