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Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)

22 Feb 00 - 10:18 AM (#182732)
Subject: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Tony Burns

Does anyone know when this shanty was written?

Digital Tradition list the author as Mervyn Vincent. Does anyone know anything about him?


22 Feb 00 - 11:11 AM (#182764)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca

I have a friend who sings it. I'll ask if he knows more about the song.


23 Feb 00 - 06:55 AM (#183266)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: GUEST,Peter Billinge

Mervyn Vincent died some years ago. He lived near Padstow in Cornwall and the song is sometimes known as the Padstow Shanty. He was highly regarded by 'folkies' as an ambassador for folk music and sang regularly throughout Britain. I do not know whether Mervyn wrote the song or whether it pre-dates him or not but I suspect it might.


25 Feb 00 - 04:29 AM (#184578)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Boarding Party (KC)

I don't know if it was Johnny Collins or Eric Ilott (from whon the Boarding Party first heard it), or some one of that ilk, but someone related the story that Mervyn had found the text in an old [19th century] "chap" book in Cornwall and had set it to its present tune. Chap books, as I understand are student note books or copy books - affordable, ubiquitous and, like old whales teeth, just the thing for rummaging about for songs.

Its a grand end-of-evening, parting song from whose tag line the BP lifted its first album title - 'tis our sailing time.

I hadn't heard the Padstow name but that certainly makes sense.

KC


25 Feb 00 - 11:33 PM (#185100)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Mark Cohen

KC, just noticed your name. I have The Boarding Party's first tape and have been listening to it and singing songs from it, including this song, for more years than I (or you, probably) care to remember. I believe I may have picked up the tape at a little folk festival in northern Connecticut in 1984 or so. Of course, I don't remember the name of the town. I was living near Springfield at the time. Bill Staines was there, as was Sandy Paton, Cindy Mangsen, my old friend Valentine Doyle who had just moved to CT from SF, and maybe you guys were there too.
Are you still performing, or recording? Still in the Baltimore/DC area? Thanks for helping to keep this music alive.

Aloha,
Mark


26 Feb 00 - 11:04 AM (#185272)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Boarding Party (KC)

Mark,

Thanks for the kind words. As for your last line of questions, the answer is no, no, no and "My pleasure". I've moved down to New Orleans where its considered impolite to sing on choruses let alone sing. As a group, the Boarding Party has drifted far from its performing and recording shore. There is a thrid album in a can somewhere well beyond my reach.

I should be thanking you and others for whom the Boarding Party, in its day and its way, helped keep the music alive. That's not a bad epitaph when you think of it - "They helped keep the music alive"

Fair winds, KC


11 Mar 02 - 01:43 PM (#667053)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Noreen

In trying to find the history of this song, I came across this thread, and this posting from Hawker in a finishing songs thread- seems to fit here:

Subject: RE: What song do you finish with?
From: Hawker
Date: 17-Feb-01 - 07:37 PM

My Husband has just told me that Farewell shanty was discovered by the late Mervyn Vincent of St Issey, Padstow, Cornwall, in Plymouth Library whilst looking up old books about ships and sailing. It was either written in a book or a manuscript within the cover of the book. It is attributed as traditional, and was recorded by Johnny Collins on his album The Travellers Rest. According to the sleeve notes on that record, Johnny Collins learned it from Alan Molyneaux of Plymouth (Breakwater Folk Club?) It was always used to finish Mervyn's GREAT Stable Loft Folk Club at Wadebridge, Cornwall (sadly no longer in existence).............So there you have it - clever clogs my husband....unless you know otherwise.........

Lucy


11 Mar 02 - 01:45 PM (#667056)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Noreen

So, it's traditional, but 'discovered' by Mervyn Vincent?

Any further information?

Thanks, folks.

Noreen


11 Mar 02 - 02:42 PM (#667099)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Charley Noble

Good notes! Thanks!


11 Mar 02 - 05:47 PM (#667233)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Dave Bryant

I knew Mervyn quite well - in fact it was I who gave Dick the attribution for his DT version. Noreen's Husband's account exactly accords with what Merv told me.

I can remember some wonderful evenings both at "The Stable Loft" (I used to get an annual booking - the week before Sidmouth) and also at "The Ring 'o Bells" at St Issey, just over the road from where Merv used to live. Mervyn liked everyone to join in choruses and was known as "The old Bugger" partly because of his admonishments to "Sing you buggers, sing !"


11 Mar 02 - 06:03 PM (#667251)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Noreen

Uh-huh.. Lucy (Hawker)'s husband (I cut& pasted her message from another thread.)

Noreen


11 Mar 02 - 07:13 PM (#667303)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Liz the Squeak

Ah, then if that's the case I met Mervyn in Wadebridge at the folk festival one year, many MANY years ago.... when I was still an innocent bystander on the folk scene.....

I didn't like being told to sing when I was already doing so at a high rate of decibels....

LTS


11 Mar 02 - 09:49 PM (#667400)
Subject: RE: Farewell Shanty - When was it written?
From: Bob Bolton

G'day LTS,

... So, he wasn't talking to you, was he?

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


08 Oct 10 - 06:42 PM (#3002892)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: Hesk

The Farewell or Leaving Shanty is such a good song, I was wondering if anyone knows of any other songs by Mervyn Vincent, and if they are in published form.


09 Oct 10 - 07:51 AM (#3003127)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: doc.tom

I'm sure I've put this up before, but for the record. The Farewell Shanty was found in 'an old book' in Plymnouth Library by Alan Molyneux (who later died of leukemia, just in case anyone wants to know) who gave it to Mervyn: "listen to this, boy, can't you just hear the basses coming in on the third line?" From Mervyn it became part of the North Cornwall traditional repertoire, got taken up by Collins & Mageean and passed around the world, the rest, as they say, is history. I know, cause I was there.
Tom


09 Oct 10 - 08:09 AM (#3003141)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: Hesk

doc.tom

Thanks for your reply. I am familiar with what you have posted, but like you am not quite sure from which thread you posted it on.
Can I assume, as you knew Mervyn, that this was just a one off, or do you know of other tunes that he composed.


09 Oct 10 - 09:12 PM (#3003540)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: Charley Noble

Someday we'll get a literary source for this song.

Till then we can just enjoy singing it!

Cheerily,
Charley noble


28 Sep 11 - 04:21 PM (#3230718)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: GUEST,caz padstow cornwall

hi i now look after mervyns wife AND SHE IS always talking about his singing etc


29 Sep 11 - 07:24 AM (#3231008)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: GUEST,AlanG at work

Every year I visit Padstow for the May Day and I always take a walk up and sit on the seat dedicated to Mervyn near the war memorial. Fond memories of Mervyn, The Stable Loft and my first introduction to folk music.


29 Sep 11 - 01:11 PM (#3231173)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: JHW

I was privileged to hear Mervyn sing the Farewell Shanty more than once on his occasional visits up here. Ken Allen to thank for bringing him. Though many moons since I heard him in the Collingwood, Thornaby I don't think he claimed the song but then probably wouldn't have done anyway.
A habit has evolved of repeating the first verse at the end, a common enough trait but IMHO it ends better on 'Haul away for Heaven' (believer or not). That's the way Mervyn ended the song and maybe the night.


29 Sep 11 - 02:55 PM (#3231226)
Subject: RE: Origins: Farewell Shanty (Mervyn Vincent)
From: doc.tom

JHW - I agree wholeheartedly - and it should end "The Lord be by my side", not "God" and then repeat v.1

GUEST caz - give Jean our love, hopefully we'll see her before next May. Tom & Barbara.