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Folksongs about journeys/travel

11 Sep 17 - 12:35 PM (#3876546)
Subject: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,Claire

Hi all,

I'm looking to do a project on songs about journeys/travel. Most of those I have already are rather depressing, and of the 'broken hearted woman as man has gone off to war/sea' variety! Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

Many thanks in advance,


11 Sep 17 - 12:39 PM (#3876548)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,Claire

Forgot to add...preferably traditional/no known author.

11 Sep 17 - 01:47 PM (#3876557)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Traditional songs are going to describe travel before the age of motor vehicles, aeroplanes and space rockets.

"Lord Franklin" tells of the search for the North West Passage; his ships were fitted with steam engines.

With a hundred seamen he sailed away
To the frozen ocean in the month of May
To seek a passage around the pole
Where we poor sailors do sometimes go

In "North West Passage", Stan Rogers made the journey across Canada by land;

Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.
And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

11 Sep 17 - 01:49 PM (#3876558)
From: Jim Carroll

You might try this Claire
It is interesting because of the circumstances and also the distance covered
Two versions of it can be head on 'The Carroll Mackenzie Collection at Clare County library website
I've added the introduction to the Clare Library version
I used the song at a talk I gave a few months ago - I have also included my introduction for that
A fascinating song
Jim Carroll

FARMER MICHAEL HAYES (The Fox Chase) (Roud 5226) John Lyons, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Recorded in London, April, 1974

I am a bold undaunted fox that never was before in tramp.
My rent, rates and taxes I was willing for to pay;
I made my name in fine good land, between Tipp'rary and Knocklong,
Where my forefathers lived and died a thousand years or so.

Ah but then of late I was betrayed by one who was a fool I know,
He told me I should leave the place and show my face no more.
As soon as he evicted me I thought it time that I should flee,
So late one night, I took his life and left him lying low.

But by telegraph they did insert the great reward for my arrest,
My figure, size and form, my name without mistake.
They broke their brogues, one thousand pair, this great reward for to obtain,
But still their search was all in vain, for farmer Michael Hayes.

They searched Tipp'rary o'er and o'er, the corn fields near Galtymore,
They went across to Wexford then, but did not long delay.
By Ballyhale and Stridemore strand, they searched the woods as they came on,
Then they were hungry, wet and cold at the approach of day.

And round the coast they made a steer from Poolbeg lighthouse to Cape Clear,
Killarney Town and sweet Tralee, they then crossed into Clare.
And when they landed on the shore, they searched Kilrush from top to toe,
The searched the baths near sweet Lisdoon, likewise Miltown Malbay.

And Connemara being remote they thought 'twas there I might resort,
When they were getting weary, they resolved to try Mayo.

In Swinford town as I lay down I heard a dreadful cry of hounds,
So I lay there in the manger till the approach of day.
Then to Dublin town I made my way, and then to Cobh and Americay,
And left the hounds to search away, for farmer Michael Hayes.
And as the moon began to shine, I thought I'd make a foreign clime,
Now I'm in the Land of Liberty, and fig for all my foes.

John Lyons spoke before singing the song:
"This song, I got the tune of it years ago, from Willie Clancy and I had the words all the time collected from an old scrapbook I had, but I didn't actually hear the tune until later. The song was Farmer Michael Hayes."

It's a song about a true incident about a tenant farmer who killed his landlord in a Tipperary hotel when he was evicted, and he went on the run and he finally escaped to America where, I believe, he was never caught.
As a young man, Tom Lenihan heard the ballad of Farmer Michael Hayes sung by his father and by local ballad seller, Bully Nevin, but never knew more than a few verses. In 1972 he obtained a full text, adapted it to what he already knew and put it to a variation of the tune he had heard. We believe it to be one of the best narrative Irish ballads we have ever come across; Tom makes a magnificent job of it.
The story, based on real events, tells of how a farmer/land agent with a reputation for harshness is evicted from his land and takes his revenge on the landlord, in some cases by shooting him, and in Tom's version by also killing off the landlord's livestock.
He takes off in an epic flight, closely followed by police with hounds and is chased around the coast of Ireland as far as Mayo where he finally escapes to America. We worked out once that the reported chase is over five hundred miles of rough ground. Tradition has it that he eventually returned home to die in Ireland.
As Georges Zimmerman points out, this ballad shows how a probably hateful character could become a gallant hero in the eyes of the oppressed peasants.
It is a rare song in the tradition, but we know it was sung in Kerry in the 1930s; Caherciveen Traveller Mikeen McCarthy gave us just line of it:

"I am a bold "indaunted" fox that never was before on tramp"
My rents, rates and taxes I was willing for to pay.

When he heard it sung in full in a London folk club he said, "That's just how my father sang it".
Songs of Irish Rebellion; Georges-Denis Zimmermann 1967

Introrduction from talk - 'Sing me a Story
Willie Clancy Summer School July 2017
I'll end up with what I believe to be one of the finest the finest examples of Irish made narrative songs, certainly in our experience.
It is based on a real incident which occurred in Tipperary in 1862, when a farmer and land agent, Michael Hayes, with a reputation for viciousness towards the tenants he deals with, is evicted from his own land and takes his revenge on the landlord by shooting him.
The manhunt that followed took place mainly around Tipperary and Limerick, but the ballad expands it into an epic flight around the coast of Ireland as far as Mayo where Hayes is finally said to escape to America.
We worked out once that the reported chase covers over five hundred miles of rough ground.
Hayes was never caught, but tradition has it that he eventually returned home to die in Ireland.
The song was once popular in this area; Tom Lenihan, who you heard earlier, learned it from hearing his father and also itinerant ballad seller, Bully Nevin sing it.
This is our friend, John Lyons version of it; John says he first heard the tune played by Willie Clancy and put the words together from a written text in an old scrapbook.

11 Sep 17 - 02:05 PM (#3876565)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

A song about whalermen returning from the Kamchatka Sea;

Rolling Down to Old Maui

It's a damn tough life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo.
And we don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds did blow.
'cause we're homeward bound from the Arctic ground
With a good ship, taut and free
And we won't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui.

11 Sep 17 - 02:24 PM (#3876569)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel

An old song about travel by train;

The Oxford and Hampton Railway

O come and listen to my song
And I will not detain you long,
About the folks, they all did throng
To the Oxford and 'Ampton Railway.

Chorus: Ri-fan, Ti-fan, mirth and fun,
    Don't you wonder how it's done?
    Carriages without horses run
    On the Oxford and 'Ampton Railway.

And a modern one;

City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman

Riding on the City Of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three Conductors; twenty-five sacks of mail
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out of Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms and fields
Passing trains that have no name,
And freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles

11 Sep 17 - 03:08 PM (#3876574)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: Steve Gardham

various versions of 'The Roving Journeyman'.

11 Sep 17 - 04:05 PM (#3876585)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Spencer the Rover from the Copper Family

These words were composed by Spencer the Rover
Who had travelled Great Britain and most parts of Wales.
He had been so reduced which caused great confusion
And that was the reason he went on the roam.

11 Sep 17 - 05:26 PM (#3876597)
From: The Sandman

Cork Songs


Well, Paddy McGinty bought a house, and lived in Sunday's Well
Situated on the north side of the Lee
Well, he lived all alone in his cosy little home
So he bought a goat to keep him company
Well, says Paddy to the goat, "For you I'll buy a coat
And a visit to Cork city we will pay"
But the goat kicked up a mountain when he saw the Barrack fountain
On the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade

CHORUS: Well, on the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade
All the people of Cork city got afraid
And the shouts went through the country, that The Glen had won the County
On the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade

Well, Mary Ellen Warner stood at Woodford Boden's corner
Sayin' "I'll catch a train to Dublin or I'll die"
But the goat came up behind her and he gave her such a winder
She hadn't time to bid her friends goodbye
And Mary Ann Fitzgibbons got her drawers all torn to ribbons
Running to the Munster Arcade
And it was a sad bereavement when she landed on the pavement
On the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade

CHORUS: Well, on the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade
Mary Anne Fitzgibbons got afraid
She went haring down the Coal Quay
On the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade

Well, the people up in Barracka, when they heard the dreadful news
They all swore out in vengeance what they'd do
So they lined the street in batches, armed with saws and hatchets
But when the goat appeared, they all withdrew
Now the goat came through a door, roaring like a whore
Followed by Cork city fire brigade
And 'twas at the South dock Pier, where he landed in the Weir
And was never seen again on Grand Parade

CHORUS: Well, on the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade
All the people of Cork city got afraid
Connie Doyle and Cathy Barry took a sidecar out to Blarney
On the night the goat broke loose on Grand Parade

11 Sep 17 - 05:31 PM (#3876598)
From: The Sandman


I am a young jobber who was foolish and airy,
The green hills of Kerry I came for to see;
I went back to Dingle to buy up some cattle -
I hope you will listen to what happened to me.
I entered the Fair on a Saturday morning,
And the first thing I saw(?) was a long legged goat.
Bedad then, says I, I'm now to commence dealing;
I think, my old hero, you're worth a pound note.

I made my appearance to the dealer who held him,
And a bargain I made without any delay,
He said, "As you pay me down twenty one shillings
An advice I will give you before I go away;
This darling old hero was raised in the mountains
In the year '64 he learned some drill,
And some of his comrades I'm told are transported,
And now he's determined some blood for to spill."

The old man departed and I went for starting,
The words that he told me put me in despair,
The first jump he gave he pulled my right arm,
I got on his back and got hold of his hair,
Says I, my old ranger on your back I am landed,
Unless that I fall you may go where you will,
He ran through the streets like someone distracted
And soon made his way towards Connor Hill.

When he came into Bandon I thought it was London.
I regretted my journey when I saw the sea;
He jumped in thee(?) and swam right across it,
Towards Castlegregory, to take the near way.
The waves of the ocean put me in emotion:
The fishes they ate all the nails from my toes,
A bally big mackerel jumped up on my nostril
And thought to get away with the bridge of my nose.

When he came on the strand he hastily ran on to Clounnagal,
Then on to Castlemaine did he steer;
To Miltown, Killorglin and into Killarney -
He never cried crack till he came to Kenmare!
It was then that he spoke! Saying "We've passed our Headquarters,
There my old ancestors always have been
Let's come back again, and we'll take up our lodgings
With the colleen-na-Gour where there's plenty of poteen.

When I heard the goat speaking, my heart commenced beating,
Says I, "Tis a spirit called Petticoat Loose
Or something or other that has come into Kerry,
And I thought to myself, I am done wearing shoes!
We now has returned to stop there till morning
But during the night I got up on his back
And as day was dawning he jumped from his corner,
And to Castleisland he went in a crack.

In the town of Tralee he cooly meanders -
I believe he was anxious to see some more sport,
Just outside the town he some Highlanders!
With his horns he tore up their bally old cloaks!
The Highlanders bawled and roared melee murder,
Calling the Peelers to him to jail,
But the more that they shouted the faster he ran,
And over the Basin he gave them the leg bail!

11 Sep 17 - 06:27 PM (#3876609)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: Joe_F

Cosher (Crayshaw) Bailey:

On the first run up from Gower,
She made 20 mile an hour.
When she whistled through the station,
Lord, she frightened half the nation.

11 Sep 17 - 07:57 PM (#3876621)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

My own story of the Unknown Sailor who set out on the Portsmouth Road

The sailor's leave was over
So from his home he strode
Back to his ship he made his trip
Upon the Portsmouth Road        

At the village inn in Thursley
He stopped to buy a round
And there three men he did befriend
They too were Portsmouth bound

On the lonely climb up Hind Head
Those men made their attack
There with a knife they took his life
And ran off with his pack

A stone stands at the roadside
To mark where he was killed
As travellers know no grass will grow
Where that red blood was spilled

Those cut-throats hang in irons
On the top of Gibbet Hill
To tell us all what fate befalls
Men who treat others ill

At peace in Thursley churchyard
That unknown sailor sleeps        
His kin still yearn for his return
From sailing on the deep

As you venture on life's journey
You'll meet your fellow man
But take great care for while you share
Others take what they can

11 Sep 17 - 08:59 PM (#3876629)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,Lin

Perhaps not exactly a travel song in what you are looking for but I just thought of this one Donovan song called "Ballad of Geraldine"
Donovan sings in one line or so, "I traveled my life without take care. Ah, but all my love I was saving." I was born with the name Geraldine. With hair coal black as the raven. I traveled my life without take care. Ah, all my love I was saving."

So in a sense Donovan sings and writes this song about traveling but was saving his love for that special one.

12 Sep 17 - 07:18 AM (#3876685)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

BBC RADIO BALLADS The Travelling People first transmitted on 17 April 1964

The final radio ballad took as its subject the gypsy and tinker population of Britain. The bulk of the recording fell to MacColl and Seeger, who were already familiar with traveller families from earlier collecting sessions.

They spent almost a month in tents, kitchens and caravans, at horse fairs and around campfires in Glasgow, Blairgowrie, Montrose and Aberdeen, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Birmingham, London, Hampshire and Dorset.

Songs written by MacColl include The Moving On Song (Go! Move! Shift!) and The Thirty Foot Trailer.

12 Sep 17 - 07:34 AM (#3876687)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Ten Thousand Miles Away

From Wikipedia; A song about transportation to Australia, Ten Thousand Miles Away is attributed to Joseph B. Geoghegan. The lyrics as given in The Scottish Students' Song Book of 1897 are as follows:

Sing Ho! for a brave and a valiant bark, And a brisk and lively breeze,
A jovial crew and a Captain too, to carry me over the seas,
To carry me over the seas, my boys, To my true love so gay,
She has taken a trip on a gallant ship, Ten thousand miles away.

So blow the winds, Heigh-ho; A roving I will go,
I'll stay no more on England's shore, So let the music play!
I'll start by the morning train, To cross the raging main,
For I'm on the move to my own true love, Ten thousand miles away.

13 Sep 17 - 06:20 AM (#3876820)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Two songs of the Underground Railroad - leading escaped slaves north to safety in free states and Canada

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Follow the drinking gourd
Follow the drinking gourd
For the old man is a waiting
For to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinking gourd

Harriet Tubman by Walter Robinson

Hundreds of miles we travelled onward gathering slaves from town to town
Seeking every lost and found, setting those free that once were bound
Finally my heart was growing weaker, I fell by the wayside sinking sand
Firmly did this woman stand, she lifted me up and took my hand

Who are these children dressed in red?
They must be the ones that Moses led
Who are these children dressed in red?
They must be the ones that Sister Moses led

13 Sep 17 - 06:50 AM (#3876822)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

"Shenandoah" appears to have originated with Canadian and American voyageurs or fur traders travelling down the Missouri River in canoes.

By the mid 1800s versions of the song had become a sea shanty heard or sung by sailors in various parts of the world.

Lyrics from prior to 1860, as given in Sea Songs and Shanties, collected by W.B. Whall, Master Mariner (1910,) were reported as follows:

Missouri, she's a mighty river.
Away you rolling river.
The redskins' camp, lies on its borders.
Ah-ha, I'm bound away, 'Cross the wide Missouri

From Wikipedia

13 Sep 17 - 07:07 AM (#3876826)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Shirley Collins sings Higher Germanie

So, dearest Polly, the war it has begun,
And I must march along by the beating of the drum.
Come dress yourself all in your best and sail away with me;
I'll take you to the wars, my love, in Higher Germanie.

I'll buy Polly a pony and on it she shall ride,
I'll buy Polly a pony to ride all by my side.
We'll stop at every alehouse and drink when we get dry,
We'll be true to one each other and marry by and by.

From Mainly Norfolk

And the song translated to America - Across the Blue Mountains

One morning, one morning, one morning in May
I heard a married man to a young girl say,
Oh rise you up pretty Katy and go along with me,
Across the Blue Mountain to the Allegheny.

l'll buy you a horse, love, and saddle to ride,
I'll buy myself another to ride by your side.
We'll stop at every tavern and drink when we're dry
Across the Blue Mountain go Katy and I.

14 Sep 17 - 01:39 AM (#3876958)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Two songs of farewell;

Farewell to Tarwathie - a song about the West Greenland right whale fishing by miller George Scroggie of Federate, near Aberdeen, around the middle of the 19th century.

Farewell to Tarwathie, adieu Mormond Hills,
And the dear land of Crimond, I bid ye farewell.
We're bound out for Greenland and ready to sail,
In hopes to find riches in hunting the whale.

The Leaving of Liverpool - W. Doerflinger got this nostalgic song from a well-known shanty singer, 'Captain' Dick Maitland, who learnt it from a Liverpool man when he was bosun on the General Knox about 1885.

Fare-thee-well the Princess Landing Stage,
River Mersey fare-thee-well.
I am bound for California.
That's a place I know right well.

Thanks to Mainly Norfolk

14 Sep 17 - 05:44 AM (#3876983)
From: Jim Carroll

Fairly comprehensive one here
There's a version of the great Frank Harte singing it somewhere on the web
Jim Carroll


Come all you fellow travelling men of every rank and station
And hear this short oration which as yet remains untold
You might have been an Austrian, a German or a Bulgarian
But sit ye sios-in-aice-liom, and the truth I will unfold
You'll hear of great disunity unveiled to the community
So take this opportunity of listening to me
You'll hear of foreign nations and of youthful expectations
And of a few relations in that beauty spot Glenlea

I went to see the world's rage, being only sixteen years of age
A steerage passage I engaged on a ship called the Iron Duke
I went on board at Dublin's wall, being southward bound for the Transvaal
I had a friend from Annascaul, and one from Donnybrook
Our noble ship had scarcely steamed when in my mind sad memories gleamed
I thought of my dear neighbours and their loving company
I though about my brothers and our love for one another
And of my grey haired mother there at home in Sweet Glenlea

We landed safe but suddenly in that British spot Cape Colony
In search of manual labour I travelled near and far
I crossed the Orange River, among Hottentots and Kaffirs
And I was made Grand Master on the Isle of Zanzibar
A Dutchman high who admired me ways took me to see the Himalays
And Boys o Boys was I amazed, their awful heights to see
We wandered on through Hindustan, along the River Ganges
And though it was a grand place, still the fairest was Glenlea

This Dutchman suffered health's decline, he heard of cures in Palestine
Persuaded me with him combine and along with him to go
We landed safe at Jaffa and we journeyed to Jerusalem
Thee ancient city of Hebron and the ruins of Jericho
The surrounding mountains highest peaks, just like McGillicuddy's Reeks
And from their summit you could see the Lake of Gallilee
Likewise the River Jordan and the province of Samaria
But though it sounds contrary - the fairest was Glenlea

These doleful times soon drifted by till this faithful Dutchman friend and I
Were for
I stood forlorn upon the quay as the ship that bore him sailed away
His memory in my mind will stay till life's long days are o'er
Still Providence had willed its way and therefore conscience must obey
I went on board and sailed away when my friend did me forsake
But often meditation made me turn for recreation
And go home in contemplation to that beauty spot Glenlea

In Palestine I made some coin, I heard of San Francisco's mine
For to invest me capital I thought a good idee
I landed safe in Frisco when the trees were blooming beautiful
It was on that same evening that there was a great earthquake
I was in my bed and sleeping sound, I woke to find things moving round
But after that I heard no sound, no pain affected me
And on the following morning when I'd recovered consciousness
I wrote of all the consequence to my home in sweet Glenlea

I told them in the letter how I lost the situation
It was my earthly station and I wanted to go home
And I hoped their generosity would aid my transportation
And I went o
I got the cash to pay my way without disaster or delay
And landed safe at Queenstown Quay, on board the Chimpanzee
And after an excursion of some five long hours duration
I reached the little station on the road to sweet Glenlea

As we approached the terminus I viewed with consternation
The awful congregation there assembled in the rain
And I hoped some other personage of worldly estimation
To heed their expectation was coming on by train
As I scanned each individual's face, friends and neighbours, old time mates
Assembled in their hundreds with a welcome home for me
Oh they shouted with elation and they shook with great vibration
The surrounding elevation on the road to sweet Glenlea

And now I live contentedly among these friends and neighbours
Endowed with all the favours of good fortune and delight
And I've found among the multitude a charming little creature
She's full of admiration, she's my lovely Irish wife
And when we meet at Sunday's noon, at that cozy spot called Top-o'-Coom
Where songs and stories do abouud
Among that grand old company of lovely friends and neighbours
We're never tired of praising that beauty spot Glenlea.

14 Sep 17 - 05:48 AM (#3876984)
Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY DOYLE
From: Jim Carroll

Nice feminine touch in this one
Jim Carroll


You sons of Dan O'Connell's Isle
Pray pay attention to my ditty
For it's all about a fair young man
His birthplace it was Dublin city

My song is for to demonstrate
A story with a pius moral
Beginning by the Carlisle bridge
And ending on the Isles of Coral

A scooner stood by George's Quay
With sails all furled one saltry season
A maiden paced upon that quay
She wept like one bereft of reason

Oh Johnny Doyle's me love it's true
It's true but full of deep contrition
For what will all the neighbours say
About yourself and my condition

Well the sails unfurled while the capstan turned
The schooner scudded down the Liffey
The maid she gave one piercing wail
She was a mother in a jiffy

They sailed across the harbour bar
And headed east for foreign waters
To China where they think they're wise
And drown at birth their surplus daughters

Now years and yeas had come and gone
'Till Mary's child grew self supporting
But how her poor old heart would break
When that young buck went out a-courting

He leaved me all alone she said
He leaved me alone in melancoly
I'll dress meself in man's attire
And sail the seven seas for Johnny

She signed on board of a pirate barque
That raided 'round the hot equator
And with them hairy buccaneers
There sailed a sweet and virtuos creature

Well the captain thought her name was Bill
His caracter it was nefarious
And with them hairy buccaneers
Her situation was precarious

Now in the Saragosa sea
Two rakish barques were idly lollin'
And Mary on the quarterdeck
The middle watch was she patrolling

She gazed upon the neighbouring barque
And suddenly became exclaiment
For there upon that gilded poop
Stood Johhny Doyle in gorgeous raiment

They're happy now in sweet Ringsend
The jewl that sparkles on the dodder
They lead a peaceful merchants life
A do a trade in oats and fodder

By marriage lines she's Mrs Doyle
She keeps a store of periwinkles
When she says she's in thay way again
His one good eye with joy it twinkles

14 Sep 17 - 07:07 AM (#3876996)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE TWO TRAVELLERS (C. J. Boland)
From: GUEST,henryp

And this is a wonderful Irish poem!


"All over the world," the traveller said,
"In my peregrinations I've been;
And there's nothing remarkable, living or dead,
But these eyes of mine have seen.

From the land of the ape and the marmoset,
To the tents of the Fellaheen."
Said the other, " I'll lay you an even bet
You were never in Farranalleen."


"I've hunted in woods near Seringapatam,
And sailed in the Polar Seas,
I fished for a week in the Gulf of Siam
And lunched on the Chersonese.

I've lived in the valleys of fair Cashmere,
Under Himalay's snowy ridge."
Then the other impatiently said, "See here,
Were you ever at Laffan's Bridge?"


"I've lived in the land where tobacco is grown,
In the suburbs of Santiago;
And I spent two years in Sierra Leone,
And one in Del Fuego.

I walked across Panama all in a day,
Ah me! But the road was rocky."
The other replied, "Will you kindly say,
Were you ever at Horse-and-Jockey?"


"I've borne my part in a savage fray,
When I got this wound from a Lascar;
We were bound just then from Mandalay
For the Island of Madagascar.

Ah! The sun never tired of shining there,
And the trees canaries sang in."
"What of that?" said the other, "Sure I've a pair,
And there's lots of them in Drangan."


"And I've hunted the tigers in Turkestan,
In Australia the kangaroos;
And I lived six months as medicine man
To a tribe of the Kathmandoos.

And I've stood on the scene of Olympic games,
Where the Grecians showed their paces."
The other replied, "Now tell me, James,
Were you ever at Fethard Races?"


"Don't talk of your hunting in Yucatan,
Or your fishing off St. Helena;
I'd rather see young fellows hunting the 'wren'
In the hedges of Tobberaheena.

No doubt the scenes of a Swiss Canton
Have a passable sort of charm;
Give me a sunset on Slievnamon
From the head at Hackett's Farm.


"And I'd rather be strolling along the quay,
And watching the river flow,
Than growing tea with the cute Chinee,
Or mining in Mexico.

And I wouldn't much care for Sierra Leone,
If I hadn't seen Killenaule,
And the man that was never in Mullinahone
Shouldn't say he had travelled at all."

14 Sep 17 - 07:10 AM (#3876997)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: Jim Carroll

Nice one Henry
Jim Carroll

14 Sep 17 - 07:25 AM (#3877001)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Ciarán Mac Mathúna would play this on 'Mo Cheol Thú', his Sunday morning RTE 1 programme.

The Two Travellers

14 Sep 17 - 07:44 AM (#3877005)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks Henry - the clip has no sound but Seán Mac Réamoinn was what I was after

14 Sep 17 - 08:02 AM (#3877008)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Search for the site on Google, Jim.

It's worth hearing it too.

14 Sep 17 - 08:37 AM (#3877017)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE LOCK-KEEPER (Stan Rogers)
From: GUEST,henryp

Here's another piece that contrasts travel with staying at home;

The Lock-Keeper by Stan Rogers

You say, "Well-met again, Lock-keeper!
We're laden even deeper than the time before
Oriental oils and tea brought down from Singapore."
As we wait for my lock to cycle
I say, "My wife has given me a son."
"A son!" you cry, "Is that all that you've done?"

She wears bougainvillea blossoms
You pluck 'em from her hair and toss 'em in the tide
Sweep her in your arms and carry her inside
Her sighs catch on your shoulder;
Her moonlit eyes grow bold and wiser through her tears
And I say, "How could you stand to leave her for a year?"

"Then come with me," you say, "to where the Southern Cross
Rides high upon your shoulder."
"Come with me!" you cry
"Each day you tend this lock, you're one day older
While your blood runs colder."
But that anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your life for one hour of home.

Sure I'm stuck here on the Seaway
While you compensate for leeway through the Trades;
And you shoot the stars to see the miles you've made
And you laugh at hearts you've riven
But which of these has given us more love of life
You, your tropic maids, or me, my wife?

"Then come with me," you say, "to where the Southern Cross
Rides high upon your shoulder."
"Ah come with me!" you cry
"Each day you tend this lock, you're one day older
While your blood runs colder."
But that anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your life for one hour of home.

Ah your anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your whole life for just one hour of home.

14 Sep 17 - 09:45 AM (#3877034)
From: GUEST,henryp

Two songs about women on board sailing ships - with contrasting fortunes;

CANADEE-I-O - as sung by Nic Jones

It's of a fair and handsome girl, she's all in her tender years
She fell in love with a sailor boy and it's true that she loved him well
For to go off to sea with him, like she did not know how
She longed to see that seaport town, called Canadee-i-o.

So she bargained with a young sailor boy, it's all for a piece of gold
Straightway then he led her all down into the hold
Saying, I'll dress you up in sailor's clothes, your jacket shall be blue
You'll see that seaport town, called Canadee-i-o.

Now, when the other sailors heard the news, they fell into a rage
And with all the whole ship's company, they were willing to engage
Saying, We'll tie her hands and feet me boys, overboard we'll throw her
And she'll never see that seaport town, called Canadee-i-o.

Now, when the captain he's heard the news, well he too fell into a rage
And with his whole ship's company, he was willing to engage
Saying, She'll stay all in sailor's clothes, her collar shall be blue
She'll see that seaport town, called Canadee-i-0.

Now when they came down to Canada, scarcely above half a year
She's married this bold captain, who called her his dear
She's dressed in silks and satins now, and she cuts a gallant show
She's the finest of the ladies down in Canadee-i-o.

Come all you fair and tender girls, wheresoever you may be
I'd have you follow your own true love when he goes out on the sea
For if the sailors prove false to you, well the captain he might prove true
To see the honour that I have gained by the wearing of the blue.

THE BANKS OF GREEN WILLOW - as sung by Brian Peters

Oh it's of a sea captain lived by the sea-side
And he's courted of a lady till she's proved by child
"Go and fetch some of your father's gold and some of your mother's money
To sail across the ocean along with young Johnny."

Now they hadn't been a-sailing six days, no, not many
Before she needed woman's help but could not get any
And they hadn't been a-sailing a mile, or not many
Before she was delivered of a beautiful baby

Now they hadn't sailed on for today and tomorrow
She was wringing of her hands, she was crying with sorrow
But, oh, says the captain, "My ship will not sail for me
Though the sails are outspread she lies still on the salt sea."

"O Captain, O Captain, here's fifty gold pounds
To take me back safe again, to turn the ship round
"Oh no," says the captain, "Such a thing it never can be
For 'tis better to lose two lives than it is to lose many."

"Then bring me a silk napkin and bind my head easy
And throw me right overboard, both me and my baby."
So he's brought a silk napkin and bound it so softly
And he's thrown her right overboard both her and her baby

"Oh, fetch me the lifeboat and row her back to me
Oh, bring my love back again, both she and her baby
Ah, but see, boys, how she do tumble and see how she do taver
I'm afraid that she is drowning, which makes my heart quaver

"Well, I will write me a letter, tell her friends that my love is drowned
And she shall have a coffin if she ever is found
And her coffin shall be made of the gold shining yellow
And she will be buried on the banks of green willow."

And her coffin shall be made of the gold shining yellow
And she will be buried on the banks of green willow

14 Sep 17 - 04:32 PM (#3877097)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

And then there is The Transports.

A new production of the Ballad-Opera will run in 2017/18 featuring some of the leading folk musicians of today which promises incredible music with spell-binding story-telling.

The production features musical arrangements by Paul Sartin of Bellowhead and Faustus who said:

This is perhaps Peter Bellamy's greatest legacy – an immensely powerful, beautiful and haunting collection of songs and texts crafted in a traditional English idiom. Unique in its conception, it is unified by a narrative which speaks with immediacy and passion and demands both musical and human responses.

Two-time BBC Folk Award winners The Young'uns bring their trademark live dynamism. Further musical excellence comes from Nancy Kerr, Bellowhead's Rachael McShane, Faustus' Benji Kirkpatrick and Saul Rose, and Greg Russell.

Storyteller Matthew Crampton (author of HUMAN CARGO: Stories and Songs of Emigration, Slavery and Transportation) will create fresh narrative elements to tell more fully the extraordinary story behind The Transports.

10/01/2018        Cheltenham Town Hall
11/01/2018        The Union Chapel, London
12/01/2018        Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
13/01/2018        The Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester        
14/01/2018        The Guild Hall, Preston
16/01/2018        The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
17/01/2018        The Artrix, Bromsgrove
18/01/2018        G Live, Guildford
19/01/2018        Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton
20/01/2018        The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
21/01/2018        City Varieties, Leeds
22/01/2018        Gala Theatre, Durham
23/01/2018        The Maltings Theatre, Berwick
24/01/2018        Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

15 Sep 17 - 04:53 AM (#3877173)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Two songs about transportation to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania);

Van Diemen's Land - from the singing of Shirley Collins

Come all you gallant poachers that ramble void of care
That walk out on a moonlight night with your dog, your gun and snare
The harmless hare and pheasant you have at your command
Not thinking of your last career out on Van Diemen's Land

As I lay on the deck last night a-dreaming of my home
I dreamed I was in Harbouree, the fields and woods among
With my true love beside me and a jug of ale in hand
But I woke quite brokenhearted out in Van Diemen's Land.

Bound for Van Diemen's Land - written by Jock Purdon

And as we sail, blows wild the gale,
Dark shadows guard the grill;
They try in vain our minds to chain,
Our thoughts of freedom kill,
And as we sulk in convict hulk,
Aye, shackled feet and hand,
But men be free who poachers be
Bound for Van Diemen's land.

Bound for Van Diemen's land, brave boys,
Far, far across the sea;
If you don't stand with cap in hand,
Transported you will be.

17 Sep 17 - 06:28 PM (#3877430)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,henryp

Sometimes there may be a choice of routes. There are different explanations for this song.

The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond

By yon bonny banks and by yon bonny braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Me and my true love were ever wont to gae
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond

Ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak' the low road
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond

05 Oct 17 - 06:58 PM (#3880541)
From: GUEST,henryp

During the late 1930?s several states, including California, passed laws and posted signs at Ports of Entry stating ?No More Migration. 'There were armed guards used to enforce the law and turn away migrants. The typical remark was ?Just keep on moving.?'Sis Cunningham took this a step further in this song by asking ?How can you keep on moving, unless you migrate too??


How can you keep on moving unless you migrate too?
They tell ya to keep on moving but migrate, you must not do
The only reason for moving and the reason why I roam
To move to a new location and find myself a home

I can't go back to the homestead, the shack no longer stands
They said I was unneeded, had no claim to the land
They said, "Come on, get moving, it's the only thing for you"
But how can you keep moving unless you migrate too?

Now if you pitch your little tent along the broad highway
The board of sanitation says, "Sorry, you can't stay"
"Come on, come on, get moving," it's their everlasting cry
Can't stay, can't go back, can't migrate, so where the hell am I?

How can you keep on moving unless you migrate too?
They tell ya to keep on moving but migrate, you must not do
The only reason for moving and the reason why I roam
To move to a new location and find myself a home

06 Oct 17 - 11:57 AM (#3880657)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: GUEST,Wally Macnow

Eight More Miles to Louisville

Eight more miles and Louisville will come into my view
Eight more miles on this old road, I'll never more be blue.
I knew someday that I'd return. I knew it from the start.
Eight more miles to Louisville, the hometown of my heart.

07 Oct 17 - 07:41 PM (#3880886)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: rich-joy

Hi Claire,
back in 2002, on the long interstate drive returning from the National Folk Festival, my late husband and I started planning a workshop ("themed presentation") entitled :

“The Road Goes Ever On : Songs of The Journey”
to be interspersed with poetry and sayings from the World’s Wisdom ....

We used descriptors such as these to jog our memory :

Journey / Path / Route / Direction / Walk / Ramble / Stroll / March /
Voyage / Travel / Sail / Fly / Train / Moving On / etc etc

Sadly, it never got past that early planning stage!

The Songs, a mix of traditional and contemporary, that our long drive brought to mind (we had to sing each one!) were:

500 Miles x 2
Canaan’s Land
Coal Tattoo
Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd
Freight Train Blues
Hobo’s Lullaby
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Homeless Man
I’m A Freeborn Man
I’ve Been Doing Some Hard Traveling
Iron Road, The
I’m On My Way To Kingdom Land
I’m Marching Forward to Freedom Land
It’s Good To See You
Jolly Waggoner, The
Mingulay Boat Song
Moving On Song
O’er the Water To Charlie
October Song
Please Come To Boston
Rambling Boy
Rank Stranger
Rock and Row Me Over
Rosebay Ferry
So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You
Spencer the Rover
Step By Step
Tentpoles Are Rotten, The
Thirsty Boots
Time Is A Tempest (and We Are All Travellers)
Toorak Tram
Travellin’ Man
Travellin’ Shoes x 3
Travelling Down the Castlereagh
Vaudeville Man
Walkin’ Blues
Where I’m Bound
You’ll Never Walk Alone

We always intended to continue our quest for songs and poetry/prose, and Make It All Happen.
Needless to say, once back in the "Real World" :(   it all slid to the Back Shelf of Life - and here it is 2017 and my Beloved has now made his journey to Beyond the Veil .....

Well, hope it's of some use to YOU now!

Down Under

07 Oct 17 - 08:09 PM (#3880888)
Subject: RE: Folksongs about journeys/travel
From: rich-joy

I should have mentioned above, that we had just taken part at said festival, in one of Paul Stewart's famed presentations (he's "Stewie" of Mudcat fame), entitled "The Devil's Bargain (Mining Songs from North America)".

Stewie has a long history of producing fabulous "themed presentations" at various festivals around the country, which make for great entertainment AND dissemination of knowledge / history / songs / poetry / prose AND an interesting variety of performers.
[ IMHO, better than just a straight concert of an artist any day and befitting of a "Folk Festival"!! ]

Nowadays, he mostly presents at the Georgetown (Tasmania) and the Top Half (Northern Territory) festivals in Australia.