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Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea

15 Feb 11 - 10:15 AM (#3095689)
Subject: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: YorkshireYankee

A friend of mine remembers his Nan singing him this song when he was small. She has just died, and he would like to play it at her funeral, but can't find it anywhere.

Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
seagull seagull please take a message for me.
If you see a big ship sailing on the foam please
tell my daddy that his little laddy is waiting for him at home


I've googled for it (he has tried to find it online himself), and checked the DT and the Forum (waded through hundreds of posts about Seagull guitars!) with no results.

This is something the collective brain of Mudcat excels at, so I'm hoping we can come through for my friend in time for his Nan's funeral.

Any takers?


15 Feb 11 - 11:40 AM (#3095725)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,leeneia

I did some looking, but I couldn't find it either. Children's songs are often short, and it may be that that's all there ever was to it.


15 Feb 11 - 02:09 PM (#3095831)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: YorkshireYankee

Thanks for looking, leeneia -- really appreciate it.

More info, in case it's helpful:
My friend is from here in Yorkshire (I think his Nan is, too).

The funeral is Thursday, so -- unfortunately -- that doesn't leave much time...


15 Feb 11 - 02:22 PM (#3095842)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: YorkshireYankee

Checked with my friend about where his Nan is from. He says she is from Yorkshire... "to a degree. Her parents were in the theatre and travelled the country until she was about twenty. Then she moved around a bit when she married until she was in her thirties and stayed in Yorkshire from then."

So I guess it can't be narrowed down to Yorkshire, by any means...


15 Feb 11 - 08:49 PM (#3096113)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,leeneia

Okay, now if this were my family, I would do the following:

1. Folk-process the words (which may not be remembered correctly) to make them more rhythmic. See below.

2. If the friend remembers the tune, all well and good. Assign chords to it, and have someone who plays guitar accompany it. (Everybody knows SOMEBODY who plays guitar.)

3. If the tune is lost, make up another one.

4. At the funeral, sing the song once, extemporize upon the chords for an interlude, then sing it again.

Seagull, seagull fly o'er the sea.
Seagull, take a message for me.
If you see a big ship sailing on the foam,
please tell my daddy
his little laddy
waits for him at home.
Seagull seagull fly o'er the sea.
Seagull, take a message for me.

That will make it longer and more formal, so as to fit better at a funeral.


16 Feb 11 - 05:56 AM (#3096302)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: YorkshireYankee

Thanks again, leeneia -- very good of you. I had been starting to think along those lines, but you have really thought it through; I will definitely suggest it to my friend if nothing turns up soon...


16 Feb 11 - 10:09 AM (#3096466)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,leeneia

You're welcome. I hope it works out. The words are challenging.

One final thought - maybe it needs to be

Go and tell my daddy
that his little laddy
waits for him at home.

(It's easier to make up a melody if the rhythm is regular.)


16 Feb 11 - 11:36 AM (#3096531)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: HughW

stretching it a bit but maybe related to this?!

Pretty doves, spread your pinions and fly o'er the sea,
'Till the bark of my love you o'ertake,
And give him this message, yes, tell him for me,
To return or my sad heart will break.

which is half a verse from this song.

Hugh


16 Feb 11 - 12:25 PM (#3096569)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,John Bowden

Hi Vikki,

It might be the fragment recorded by Ruth Burdon on Folktrax cassette 90-0626 - I don't have this , but maybe somebody else does?


"SEAGULL, SEAGULL - "take a message for me" -- Ruth BURDON (frag) rec Sandwich, Kent 27/2/82: CASS-90-0626 "



Good hunting!



John


16 Feb 11 - 01:26 PM (#3096605)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: Steve Byrne

Several possible leads over at the VWML/Roud Folksong Index perhaps?

http://library.efdss.org/cgi-bin/query.cgi?cross=on&index_roud=on&index_roudbroadside=on&query=seagull&start=2&output=Record&access=off

Ginette Dunn's Fellowship of Song (1980) pp.241-242 has a song 'Seagull' referenced in it - I don't have the book and Googlebooks only shows parts of it. It's on singing traditions of East Suffolk.

Roud 10834 'Is the Story True' has an opening line 'Seagull, gentle seagull'. It appears in Cheney, Mormon Songs from the Rocky Mountains (1968) pp.78-79

The Opies reference, Roud 20742, is probably of the fairly well-known 'Seagull, seagull sit on the shore' variety.


16 Feb 11 - 08:26 PM (#3096822)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: YorkshireYankee

Three cheers -- the song has been found! ("And there was much rejoicing...")

A friend of mine posted my request on the Trad Song Forum and got a response; John Bowden (above) also has identified the song (take a bow, John!). Better yet, the fellow who posted on TSF has a cassette recording of the song; he has played it over the phone into my husband's camera (which also does video recordings, so there's a soundtrack -- digital even -- that we can play on the computer). The sound quality is far too poor to use for the funeral (can't really even make out the words, but the tune comes through), but it's good enough for me to learn it in time for tomorrow.

Here's an excerpt of the TSF post/message (from George Frampton, who I'm told is not a stranger to Mudcat):
Peter Kennedy recorded it from Ruth Burden of Eastry, Kent - one verse only, but mercifully, the tune. I have a copy on CD-R which he sent me; otherwise try Tony Engle.
Nigel Hobbins of the Whitstable FC also recorded the song from his grandfather Bill Hobbins of Challock, Kent - Nigel sent me a cassette of Bill singing it. Nigel also sang it at the Kent Gathering in 2008.
Could copy all three versions onto a cassette if you're desparate.
I've been through my own song indexes, and I have no hard copy, alas.


It would be great if I could find written words for the verses, as the recording of George's recording is so poor I can't make them out, but finding the tune for the chorus in time for the funeral is absolutely brilliant, so I'm willing to settle for that for the time being.

We've contacted my friend, and he (and his Mum) are thrilled that it has been tracked down.

I'm absolutely blown away by the fact that the folk community was able to dig up this incredibly obscure song in less than 48 hours! Actually, my friend e-mailed me at 12.36 pm yesterday (15 Feb) and by 5.16 pm today John Bowden's message was in my mailbox; George Frampton's message had been forwarded to me by 6.07 pm today -- so that's less than 35 (or 36, depending how you count) hours -- truly amazing!

Thanks to everyone who has helped -- and tried to help. Special thanks to leeneia for your repeated efforts; to John Bowden for coming up with the correct song, and to Steve Byrne for what looks like an extremely comprehensive search (are you by any chance a librarian, Steve?). I followed your search link and looked at all three results; the one you linked to (the 2nd) looks most promising, but I did a further search for "records containing all of the following words" and added the words daddy, home and foam (together, then singly), but get "No records" in the Search results, so I guess it's prolly not that song, unfortunately.

I'll report back after the funeral to let y'all know how it turned out.

Thanks again to everyone, and extra special thanks to George!


17 Feb 11 - 07:04 AM (#3097037)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Gadaffi

I'm sure Mr Frampton will be grateful for the acknowledgement. ;0)

PS He can transcribe the words if it's not too late.


26 Apr 13 - 03:02 PM (#3509305)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Terry Arnold

26 april 2013 I remember this song as a child during or just after the second world war. I recall this verse along with those previouly
mentioned.
                     
To my dear daddy a sailorman bold.
On his big ship on the foam /On his big ship on the sea.
Tell him his little boy does love him so.
And will he return back home. /And will he return to me.
      
Hope this is of some help. There is certainly a tune for these lyrics.   


I remember as a child we had the sheet music for this song and my Mum
used to play it for us on the piano


19 Oct 14 - 04:07 PM (#3670560)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Ian Armstrong

My mother's family used to sing this
Seagull Seagull
Please take a message for me
If you see a big ship
Sailing on the sea
Tell my Daddy that his little boy/girl
Is waiting for him at home


28 Apr 16 - 06:40 PM (#3787694)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST

Did anyone find the name of this song in the end? OP didn't actually share his results...


29 Apr 16 - 12:53 PM (#3787837)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Guest

"Did anyone find the name of this song in the end? OP didn't actually share his results..."

See the posts from 16 Feb 2011 above


10 Sep 19 - 03:40 PM (#4008265)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST

I sing this to my 3 year old son,, passed to me from my mother, in turn passed from her mother (my nana), we are from yorkshire, the song lives on to this day. My 3 year old boy sings it too, so he knows the song too and hopefully will pass it on one day :)


01 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM (#4011455)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST

I sing this to my two daughters 2 &4 . My mum used to sing it to me. And she gets it ffrom my grandparents who are from kent. A place called Deal which is very close to Sandwich... it breaks my heart that my daughter's daddy is going away for a prolonged time very soon and I won't be able to sing it without a tear or two. Thanks again to the Author.


01 Oct 19 - 03:18 PM (#4011471)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Starship

Found the following online:

"E.W. Rogers and Charles Collins, Seagull! (London: Francis, Day & Hunter, 1905)

2 A little girl stood one day feeding the gulls in childish way
3 Hearing they'd come from the far-off sea, said to one please take a message for me
4 To my Daddy, a sailor man bold, in his big ship on the foam
5 Tell him his little girl does want him so
6 Sea-gull, sea-gull, fly away over the sea
7 If you see a big ship sailing o'er the foam
8 Tell my Daddy that his little girl is waiting for him at home
9 The winter is o'er and the gulls had flown
10 Tearfully, she said, 'Oh, faithless gull, I gave a message to you'
11 Sea-gull, sea-gull, fly away o'er the sea
12 The tempest was howling around the ship
13 Then came the gulls and the storm was past
14 Shoreward a boat comes, a big man jumps out
15 Sea-gull, sea-gull, fly away o'er the sea

RICHARD T · 4 years ago"


03 Oct 19 - 06:09 AM (#4011688)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: Rain Dog

If only they would.


26 Nov 19 - 11:33 PM (#4021271)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Gina

My grandad used to sing this to me and he was from Yorkshire


14 Feb 20 - 12:36 PM (#4034225)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: GUEST,Shirley

I have had this song sung to me my whole life by my Grandmother who was a Jewish immigrant and ended up living in Derby.( i’m in London) My mother sung it too and we all sung it to my children. Now I’m singing it to my grand daughter. Today she apparently stood up in her nursery class and sung it to her teachers. She’s 4. So this song is definitely being passed on!!

Does anyone have a recording of it?? I was trying to follow the thread to see!

thanks in advance x


14 Feb 20 - 05:26 PM (#4034286)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: cnd

A little more information on the song:

here from a family history website, though I think much of it has been summarized above.

You can view a detailed basic info page about the song as well.

If you live in England, it is available through 2 libraries: The University of Oxford, and The British Library, St. Pancras

Here is a cylinder recording from 1905: From the USCB Cylinder Archive


14 Feb 20 - 05:36 PM (#4034289)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Seagull seagull fly away over the sea
From: cnd

Oops, UCSB not USCB, and the two links above for British libraries are for the sheet music, though it's not online; you'd have to visit the physical location