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Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'

22 Sep 12 - 03:28 PM (#3408777)
Subject: Lyr Req: english language version of a song
From: janemick

I think that the French song "le gabier noir" is a version or translation of an english-language song/shanty.
The chorus goes:
"Dix cents et demi, C'est la paye du noir
La paye du blanc, C'est un dollar"

roughly:
"ten and a half cents is the pay of a black
The pay of a white is one dollar"

does anyone know which english-language song this is please?


22 Sep 12 - 04:09 PM (#3408796)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: english language version of a song
From: McGrath of Harlow

Versions of this are floating lines that crop up in various shanties - such as some versions of Lowlands Away:

Lowlands, lowlands, away, my John
A dollar and a half is black man's pay
My dollar and a half a day
Five dollars a day is white man's pay

Lowlands, lowlands, away, my John
The white man's pay is rather high
My dollar and a half a day
The black man's pay is rather low


22 Sep 12 - 04:22 PM (#3408798)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: english language version of a song
From: NOMADMan

One possibility - Roll the Cotton Down:

A dime a day is the black man's pay
A white man's pay is a dollar a day

But again, this is a lyric that pops up in a number of places.

Regards,
John


22 Sep 12 - 06:48 PM (#3408838)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: english language version of a song
From: Les from Hull

From what I've seen on the web, it's a original song by Michel Tonnerre. It seems he may have used words that appear in several shanties. A good song.


23 Sep 12 - 04:19 AM (#3408944)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: english language version of a song
From: janemick

Thanks for these.
Yes, Gabier Noir is a song by Michel Tonnere - he often took and translated into French chunks of words and tunes from English shanties. Some work better than others.
At a regular singing session we are often asked for English versions of French sea-songs, hence this query.
I'll take a look at Lowlands away and Roll the Cotton Down


23 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM (#3409232)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Joe Offer

I found it on Spotify on an album titled Paroles et musique Michel Tonnerre (Chants de Marins). I can pick out a word or two, but I can't really understand the song. Do I hear the word "Frisco" repeated a number of times?

Can somebody post the French lyrics and at least a loose English translation? It's an intriguing song.

-Joe-


23 Sep 12 - 11:08 PM (#3409252)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Artful Codger

Try here, Joe: lyrics to "Le Gabier Noir":
http://gabiersdartimon.free.fr/Le%20gabier%20noir.htm


24 Sep 12 - 11:22 AM (#3409424)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"

Joe Offer.
Joe, very broadly, but French poetic licence and colloquialisms must be taken into consideration.

Listen, you guys, to my story.
It happened in Liverpool.
It`s the story of a black able seaman,
Who idled too much with the hens.
One evening he had drunk his pay
On the strength of whisky and beer,
When he met Maggie May,
At "The Highlander" pub.
    CH:- Ten cents and a half is the pay for a black.
         The pay for a white is a dollar.

Like a beautiful frigate of the line,
But she didn`t have a shilling.
She made a sign to him,
To come over by her and drink a gin.
It is at "The Crow`s Nest" pub,
They are half-mast and veering the windlass,
It was one night for the old "Old Black Joe".
Like a strong tobacco that puts you on your back.
    CH:-

But early next morning she is gone,
Carrying away his last penny.
He nailed his togs(clobber) and sorrows,
To the new long term loan shop. (Pawnbroker?? But we have a French
                                  term for that.)
It was on a cold January morning,
He will think that he should embark.
Here he stows himself steering in respect.(having high regard?)
If it goes straight ahead to the maritime inscription.
   CH:-

Topmen from all countries,
Don`t believe the girls.
That you find in the bars and sailors pubs.
They are only robbing sluts found in chamber pots.
Hanging around with their own kind.

   Ch:-


There may be some English corrections but it gives you a broad idea of Michel Tonnerre`s song.

Regards,
John


24 Sep 12 - 01:06 PM (#3409466)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thanks, John. A good song. Literal translation suits me; those who want a singing version can use your translation as a base.


24 Sep 12 - 04:55 PM (#3409565)
Subject: ADD: Le Gabier Noir (Michel Tonnerre)
From: Joe Offer

Here are the lyrics, from the link supplied by Artful Codger:

LE GABIER NOIR
(Michel Tonnerre)

Ecoutez les gars mon histoire
Ca s'passait à Liverpool
C'est l'histoire d'un gabier noir
Qui trainait trop avec les poules
Un soir qu'il avait bu sa paye
A force de whisky et de bière
Il a rencontré Maggie May
A la taverne des Highlanders

Dix cents et demi
C'est la paye du noir
La paye du blanc
C'est un dollar

Belle comme une Frégate de ligne
Mais il n'avait pas un shilling
Et c'est elle qui lui fit un signe
Pour venir près d'elle boire un gin
C'est à la taverne du nid de corbeau
Qu'ils ont mis en berne et viré au guindeau
Ce fut une nuit pour le vieil Old Black Joe
Comme un coup d'tabac qui vous tombe sur le dos

Dix cents et demi
C'est la paye du noir
La paye du blanc
C'est un dollar

Mais au p'tit matin elle était partie
En emportant son dernier penny   
Il a mis au clou ses frusques et sa peine
A la boutique neuf du prêt à long terme
C'était une matinée froide de Janvier
Il pensa alors qu'il fallait s'embarquer
Le v'la qui s'arrime naviguant à l'estime
S'en va tout droit à l'inscription maritime

Dix cents et demi
C'est la paye du noir
La paye du blanc
C'est un dollar

Gabiers de tous les pays
Ne croyez pas les filles
Qu'on trouve dans tous les bistrots
Sur les bars à matelots
Ce ne sont que garçailles brigandeaux fouilles au pot
Que celles qui sont ici rangent leurs acabits

Dix cents et demi
C'est la paye du noir
La paye du blanc
C'est un dollar


Source: http://gabiersdartimon.free.fr/Le%20gabier%20noir.htm


23 Jun 20 - 04:14 PM (#4061036)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: GUEST,Cattia Salto

Le Gabier noir is written in French by Michel Tonnerre (with a specially composed melody) along the lines of the very popular "Maggie May" - a traditional song (popular in Liverpool) that in the 60s had been performed by the Beatles too.
The English song is only a track for Tonnerre who adds a sad refrain on the unjust pay of a black sailor compared to the white colleague already central theme of the sea shanty "My Dollar and a Half a Day", sung like a blues.
see Terre Celtiche Blog https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/le-gabier-noir-michel-tonner/


24 Jun 20 - 03:58 AM (#4061126)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Monique

I don't know what "hens" connotes in this case but "poules" there would be more prostitutes than regular girls. "Poule" (lit. "hen") is an outdated term for "mistress" (usually kept) unless it'd be "ma poule" which is one of the many terms of endearment such as "mon poulet" (my chicken), "mon poussin" (my chick), "mon canard" (my duck), "mon lapin" (my rabbit), "mon chaton" (my kitty)... [but no turkey hen (stupid girl), goose (ditto), guinea hen (ditto + too much make-up), dog, bitch etc.].

"Coup de tabac" should have been "tabas" from the verb "tabasser" = "to beat up", but "tabas" got mixed up with "tabac" (tobacco) so "coup de tabac" means a storm and "Comme un coup de tabac qui vous tombe sur le dos" means "Like a storm that comes upon you/your back".

There should be commas in" Ce ne sont que garçailles, brigandeaux, fouille-au-pot": "garçailles" = sluts, good-for-nothing, "brigandeaux" = rascals, "fouille-au-pot" means "kitchen hand" but also nosy person (who will search your things while you're not aware). These words are in disuse.

Btw Michel Tonnerre died on 07/03/2012.


24 Jun 20 - 08:13 AM (#4061151)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: GUEST,Cattia Salto

my italian translation (grazie Monique)

Traduzione italiana di Cattia Salto in Terre Celtiche Blog

Ascoltate ragazzi la mia storia,
è successo a Liverpool,
è la storia di un gabbiere nero (1)
che frequentava troppi bordelli (2)
una sera che si era bevuto la paga
a forza di whisky e birra,
incontrò Maggie May (3)
alla taverna "The Highlanders".
Coro
Dieci centesimi e mezzo
è la paga per un nero, (4)
la paga per un bianco
è un dollaro.

Bella come una fregata in assetto da battaglia
ma non aveva uno scellino
e fu proprio lei che gli fece cenno
di andarle vicino a bere del gin
È nella taverna "Il Nido del corvo" (5)
che ammainarono le vele e calarono l'ancora (6)
Che notte per il vecchio Old Black Joe!
Come una sferzata sulla schiena (7)

Ma all'alba se n'era andata
portandogli via l'ultimo centesimo !
Lui si è impegnato i vestiti e il dispiacere
Nel nuovo negozio dei pegni a lungo termine,
Era una fredda mattina di gennaio
Pensò allora che si doveva imbarcare
ecco lì che si attracca navigando a vista
Dritto ad arruolarsi in marina

Gabbieri di tutto il mondo
Non date credito alle ragazze
che trovate nelle taverne
e nei bar dei marinai
sono solo troie, ladre, ficcanaso (8)
e vanno in giro con i propri simili

NOTE
1) il gabbiere è il marinaio destinato alle velature (Fore-mast) detto anche marinaio abile
2) poule= termine desueto per tenutaria di bordello (in inglese Mistress),
3) Maggie Mae o May è una sea song popolare a Liverpool in cui si narra la disavventura del giovane marinaio, incappato nella mano lesta di una prostituta di nome Maggie, condannata alla fine alla deportazione a Botany Bay. (vedi)
4) per la disparità di salario tra i lavoratori in base al colore della pelle vedasi "My Dollar and a Half a Day" e "Roll the Cotton Down"
5) la ragazza era in combutta con il taverniere per spennare i marinai
6) letteralmente "virarono sul verricello" si tratta del salpa ancora cioè un verricello con la funzione di salpa ancora e ormeggio
7) letteralmente "botta di tabacco sulla schiena" Nella versione Maggie Mae il verso corrispondente (dopo la notte brava in compagnia di Maggie) dice "I was flat and stony broke" [ero pallido e a pezzi,] Tonnerre gioca con la parola "tabac" e "tabas" dal verbo tabasser= la forma colloquiale di picchiare e quindi pestare, menare (in inglese "to beat up") in senso figurato "coup de tabac" = tempesta, quindi in senso figurato "una tempesta che ti viene addosso"
8) "fouille-au-pot" termine desueto per persona ficcanaso, una "che fruga, rovista nel barattolo"


24 Jun 20 - 09:40 AM (#4061158)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Monique

Cattia Salto, "poule" = Eng. "mistress" (no "madam") = It. "amante" (una donna chi ha relazioni sessuali con un uomo che non è suo marito). In questo caso "puttana".


24 Jun 20 - 09:51 AM (#4061161)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Monique

Ps: Tonnerre doesn't play with "tabas" and "tabac", the confusion is more than a century old and few French people know the origin of the expression -I didn't know it until this morning. Nobody uses "tabas" as is. "Coup de tabac" is an expression that seamen use for a sea storm, and a "passage à tabac" is a beat up -usually by cops. Neither expressions are related to tobacco, it's just that "tabas" and "tabac" sound alike, hence the confusion.


24 Jun 20 - 04:22 PM (#4061213)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Mrrzy

Poules there is just girls. Like birds, for Brits.

Great song I don't yet know!


02 Aug 20 - 03:57 PM (#4067028)
Subject: RE: Req: english language version of 'le Gabier Noir'
From: Cattia

Grazie Monique

Comme un coup d'tabac qui vous tombe sur le dos= Come una tempesta che ti viene addosso

NOTA 7) 7) due parole che si confondono per l'assonanza: "tabac" e "tabas" Dal verbo tabasser= la forma colloquiale di picchiare e quindi pestare, menare (in inglese "to beat up") "Coup de tabac" è un'espressione che i marinai usano per una tempesta di mare, e un "passage à tabac" è un pestaggio -generalmente da parte degli sbirri. Nella versione Maggie Mae il verso corrispondente (dopo la notte brava in compagnia di Maggie) dice "I was flat and stony broke" [ero pallido e a pezzi]