To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
17 messages

Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)

25 Sep 99 - 09:56 AM (#117605)
Subject: banks of greenland??
From: MMario

Okay - I've searched the forum and the DT under just about everything I can think of....but I cannot find this song. The wierd part is I thought I LEARNED it from the DT - about 3 years ago --right before the Xerox site went down.

Chorus: Fare ye well you icy acres Fare ye well you whaling ground Fare ye well you banks of greenland Weary Whalers homeward bound

the verses have stuff about grass, oaks, apples,meadows, water running to the sea....and somewhere in there "god forgot the green in Greenland, he made the flowers of the ice and snow...."

Anyone have all the words?

27 Sep 99 - 03:28 PM (#118171)
Subject: Lyr Add: ICY ACRES / BANKS OF GREENLAND (C Wilkie)
From: bigJ

With compliments:-
ICY ACRES - written by Colin Wilkie; recorded by Gary & Vera Aspey.


Fare thee well ye icy acres,
Fare thee well ye whaling ground;
Fare thee well ye banks of Greenland,
Weary whalers homeward bound.

Home where the breezes bend the blossom, where the oak and the apples grow;
God forgot the green in Greenland, He made the flowers from the ice and snow.

Home where the grasses lace the meadows by the waters running free;
And the rivers sweetly flowing turn towards the open sea.

Six long months we've been a-hunting, through a hell of frozen flame;
Now like sails, our hearts are billowing, as we turn for home again.

(Repeat first verse)^^

27 Sep 99 - 03:40 PM (#118174)
Subject: RE: Help: banks of greenland??
From: MMario

THANK YOU!!!!! (and I SAVED it so I won't have to go through this again!)

11 Sep 00 - 01:18 PM (#295089)
Subject: Lyr Add: ICY ACRES (Colin Wilkie)^^
From: radriano

Here's a great new sea song from the pen of Colin Wilkie that I just learned. There is a previous thread asking for the lyrics for the song that was posted last year but as far as I could tell the lyrics were never posted. This version is from the English group, Th'Antique Roadshow. They sing the chorus as a first verse and then repeat it as a chorus as well. I don't know if Colin Wilkie originally wrote it that way but, in any case, it's a wonderfull song that should be spread around.

By Colin Wilkie
Th'Antique Roadshow CD, Collection

Fare ye well, ye icy acres
Fare ye well, ye whaling grounds
Fare ye well, ye banks of Greenland
Weary whalers homeward bound

Homeward breezes round us blossom
Where the oak and the apple grows
God forgot the green in Greenland
He made the flowers of ice and snow

Fare ye well, ye icy acres
Fare ye well, ye whaling grounds
Fare ye well, ye banks of Greenland
Weary whalers homeward bound

Home where grasses lace the willow
Where the river's running free
And the waters sweetly flowing
Turns towards the open sea

Six long months we've been a-hunting
Through a hell of frozen flame
Now our hearts like sails are billowing
As we turn for home again


11 Sep 00 - 05:11 PM (#295229)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: radriano

For some reason the title to the song didn't get into the body of my thread. It is "Icy Acres."


11 Sep 00 - 06:54 PM (#295274)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: Joe Offer

What's the melody, Richard? I sang it to "Banks of Sicily" just now, and it fit quite well.
-Joe Offer-

P.S. please be aware that the 'Cat is squirrely today, and you may have trouble searching, posting, and creating threads.

11 Sep 00 - 09:19 PM (#295355)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: MMario

Joe - the tune I learned it to doesn't sound anything like Banks of Sicily.

12 Sep 00 - 11:04 AM (#295654)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: radriano

The melody is not Banks of Sicily. Mr. Wilkie wrote the melody as well as the words. Give me a couple of days and I'll ABC it and post.


12 Feb 03 - 02:52 AM (#888311)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: Keith A of Hertford

Refreshed for My Guru Always Said who enjoyed the song at Benington last night.
turn for home again,

12 Feb 03 - 03:15 AM (#888317)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: SussexCarole

I think it should be....Homeward breezes BEND THE blossom....


12 Feb 03 - 03:49 AM (#888330)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres
From: My guru always said

Thanks for refreshing this Keith, what a wonderful song it is - and well sung at Benington last night! Now, if only I could remember the tune, must be losing the little grey cells again....

Now our hearts like sails are billowing

15 Feb 03 - 12:11 PM (#890996)
Subject: Tune Add: ICY ACRES (Colin Wilkie)
From: Snuffy

Here's an ABC of the tune, from the singing of Alison Underwood (mudcatter abuwood) and the Shellback Chorus.

X: 249
T:Icy Acres
C:Colin Wilkie
B2 A|G2 D|E2 G|E D2|
w:Fare ye well, ye i-cy a-cres
G2 A|B2 d|(B<A) G|A3|
w:Fare ye well, ye whal_-ing grounds
B2 A|G2 D|E2 G|E D2|
w:Fare ye well, ye banks of Green-land
G2 A|(B A) G|A2 A|G3||
w:Wear-y whal_-ers home-ward bound
A2 A|F2 D|G2 A|(B A) G|
w:Home where breez-es bend the blos_-som
A2 A|F2 D|G2 A|G3|
w:Where the oak and ap-ple grow
A2 A|(F<E) D|G2 A|(B A) G|
w:God for-got_ the green in Green_-land
G G G|G2 B|A2 G|A3||
w:He made the flowers of ice and snow

25 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM (#1338936)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)

First of all thanks to everyone for showing so much interest in the song, which I wrote about 36 years ago. I have a feeling it was originally made popular by the Aspeys as all the other versions I've heard are based on their slow, very traddy, interpretation. Shirley and I recorded it as a fairly up-tempo number - which is how I still perform it - and we also made an LP with a German free jazz band led by the great trombonist: Albert Mangelsdorf, and featuring a wild, wailing ( if you'll forgive the pun ) soprano sax solo from Joki Freund. But I certainly like the slower versions, especially the one by Th' Antique Show.
Several different artists have recorded the song, and always given me credit for the words & music, however when " Icy Acres " was recorded by the Marske Fishermen's Choir, they wrote: "Traditional " ( Copyright Control ) on the sleeve notes, claiming it was a traditional whaling song from Whitby. They changed my original chorus from       " Weary whalers homeward bound " to " Whitby whalers homeward bound " giving it an extra, personalised, flair, and someone penned an additional verse ( nothing wrong with much of that ) except it ain't a traditional whaling song from Whitby !!! Though, of course, I admit it is a compliment to have one's work regarded as such: I obviously touched the right nerve. Naturally I was curious, but when I contacted them, asking who wrote the new verse, and who had the cool idea of substituting " Whitby " for " Weary " I received no answer, which was very disappointing. Maybe someone out there knows; if so I'd be pleased to hear from you:

17 Dec 06 - 07:32 AM (#1911649)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)
From: GUEST,Kipper Tranter

Hi Colin,

My name is Kipper Tranter and I run the web site for the Marske Fishermens Choir.

I have just come across your posting on the Mudcat site and I have passed your message on to Bill Porritt musical director for the choir, Bill will contact you as soon as he gets his computer up and running,

I have credited you for your song Icy Acres on the choir website and also added a link to your site.

I am sure no disrespect was intended to you from the choir and I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused,

best regards

Kipper Tranter

17 Dec 06 - 11:17 AM (#1911794)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)
From: Big Jim from Jackson

Even though the song may be at a different tempo than the writer intended, I really like the version of the song as done by Gary and Vera Aspey. Actually, I like nearly every thing they sing! Those are really good words in that song, and I am pleased to read the author's comments above. Isn't Mudcat cool! The information and people available through its auspices are just priceless.

18 Dec 06 - 09:46 AM (#1912599)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)
From: rich-joy

Our Queensland group "Work in Progress" do a version of this beauty (a la Th'Antique Roadshow - and crediting Colin) and we love it (and our audiences appear to as well!!)

Cheers! R-J
Down Under

23 Nov 09 - 11:33 AM (#2771831)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Icy Acres (Colin Wilkie)

Well, folks, it's a wee bit of an ancient thread by now, but nonetheless gratifying to be able to wrap it up with a really nice mail I received from Mike Leyland which clears up any questions I had about the song, and who gracefully answered yes when asked if I could post his mail to me on this site:

Hello Colin, I was speaking to a friend recently regarding Icy Acres and he sent me some comments from the Mudcat forum dated 2004 and 2006. You mentioned in 2004 that Marske Fishermen‚s Choir had recorded it and, amongst other things, you did not receive credit for the composition. Kipper Tranter the web master for the choir apologised and said that the Musical Director Bill Porritt would get in touch to explain. I am not sure if Bill ever did get in touch with you. However, I would like to take this opportunity to explain all.
So, to make a short story long...
In the mid 80‚s I listened to folk music on the radio and I would quite often record a programme in the hopes finding a good song that would fit my repertoire. One such song was Icy Acres. Unfortunately, there was a lot of interference during the programme and some words were inaudible, together with everything after the 3rd chorus. Consequently, I had to put in my own words to fill the gaps and I never knew if there were any more verses after the 3rd chorus. I learned the song arranged the guitar and always enjoyed singing it. In 1984 I joined Marske Fishermen‚s Choir and within a couple of weeks formed a group with 5 other choir members (Kipper and Bill included) and performed as Slipway. We performed as a group in our own right and would also perform a set during choir concerts while the rest of the choir had a beer break. As Slipway, we decided to sing Icy Acres and I explained to the rest of the lads that I was not sure if the song might actually be longer than we think.
We tried to find out who wrote it but a lot of people had not even heard of it before I sang it. Today, with all the technological wizardry we have all the information we want at our fingertips and there is very little that is a mystery for long. This was not so in the 80‚s. One member of Slipway was Gren Stubley, a good friend who sadly joined the Heavenly Choir in 2005. During practice one evening I started singing Icy Acres and before I got to the last chorus Gren held up a piece of paper in front of me which said...

„Last verse

Soon we‚ll enter Whitby harbour
Haul our catch onto the quay
Spend a short time with our families
Then my boys return to sea‰

I continued singing and included the extra verse and it seemed to flow quite well, so there it stayed. The idea to change „weary‰ to „ Whitby‰ was also Gren‚s idea as Whitby is only a few miles down the road and we did a lot of singing in and around the Whitby area. It did make the song a little bit more personal.

In 1987 Marske Fishermen‚s Choir decide to record another album and Slipway was asked to record 2 tracks for the album. We did not know whom to credit for Icy Acres so felt it prudent to go along the „traditional‰ path. There was never any intention of claiming Icy Acres as a traditional Whitby whaling song, the sleeve notes say: „Recalls Whitby‚s fame as a whaling port in the eighteen hundreds and reflects the hardships endured on the ice-bound seas of Greenland‰

I left the choir in 1997 so was unaware that you had been in touch even though I am still in contact with some choir members!
I hope this all makes sense and shows that no malice was intended by either audaciously adding a verse or not giving you credit for your work.   

Incidentally, I still have in my vinyl collection the 1st LP I ever bought, back in 1967, the one that opened my eyes to folk music. „SHANTIES The Twelve Buccaneers with Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart‰

Kindest regards, Mike Leyland

---------- sent via the email form ------------