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Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen

09 Feb 01 - 07:41 AM (#393942)
Subject: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Michael in Swansea

THREE JOLLY FISHERMEN

We are three jolly fishermen
We are three jolly fishermen
We are three jolly fishermen
While the merry merry bells do ring


Chorus: Make haste make haste
You'll be too late
One fish my dear
I cannot wait
For me fine fry of herring
Me bonnie silver herring
Mind how you sell them
While the merry merry bells do ring

We cast our nets into the sea (deep) x3
While the merry ..... etc

We've fine and speckled bellied un's x3
While the merry ..... etc

We sell them three four fourpence x3
While the merry ..... etc

MJR


09 Feb 01 - 05:11 PM (#394497)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Dave (Bridge)

Song originating from Whitby in Yorkshire


10 Feb 01 - 05:01 AM (#394842)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Michael in Swansea

Didn't know that, thanks Dave.
Lovely place Whitby, go there every October for the shanty festival.

Mike


10 Feb 01 - 07:22 AM (#394867)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: mandomad

Hi Mike, Yes, we see you on the Sunday night when you turn up in the Tap & Spile for a after Festival sing/sup. We know the second verse as...We'll cast our nets unto the rocks(3).

"The merry,merry bells do ring," are ,of course the Bells of St Mary's church up on the cliff top. Do drop into the Tap again this year,and give us a song (with as many of your shanty lads as can manage. We might just persuade Derek Elliott to give his well known rendition of the above song Cheers. Tony(Mandomad)

The noisy one in the corner.


12 Feb 02 - 05:34 AM (#647937)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: alanww

This is a great song!
1 Are there any more verses?
2 Who wrote it or is it traditional? and
3 Has anyone got the dots or the tune? (I often seem get the tune wrong when I try to remember it. I usually remember the harmony!)

Don't mind the wind or the rolling sea ...
Alan


12 Feb 02 - 09:10 AM (#648082)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Snuffy

If I get time gonight, I'll bring the dots on Wednesday, Alan

WassaiL! V


12 Feb 02 - 10:03 AM (#648148)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Malcolm Douglas

Roy Palmer prints a slightly different set in The Oxford Book of Sea Songs (1986), now revised and reprinted as  Boxing the Compass.  He comments:

"Steve Gardham recorded this from Thomas Calvert of Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire, in 1971.  The song, which seems to have been a particular favourite in the Whitby area (though Cecil Sharp had a version from Middlesex, attached to a dance), was issued on a broadside printed in 1837-8 by W. and T. Fordyce, Newcastle, under the title of Caller Herring.  This in turn loosely derives from a song of the same name by Lady Carolina Nairne (1766-1845), published in 1824 to a tune by Nathaniel Gow (1777-1831), based on 'the original Cry of the Newhaven fish wives, Selling their fresh herrings in the streets of Edinburgh'.  Gow's tune was issued as a shilling music sheet for piano in c.1802."

The Fordyce sheet can be seen at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Caller Herring  Printed c.1840 by W. & T. Fordyce, Dean Street, Newcastle.

Steve Roud's Folksong Index also refers to sets noted by Colin Wharton (from Frank Wetherill of Whitby, in 1961; probably the one quoted above) and three from Somerset (rather than Middlesex) in the first decade of the 20th century, two of which were collected by Sharp.  A set of Lady Nairne's piece (missing two verses) is in the DT:  CALLER HERRIN'


12 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM (#648208)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: MMario

snuffy! Could you post them here too? Please?


12 Feb 02 - 12:50 PM (#648228)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Dave Bryant

Alan, You were around at Stony on Saturday night when Linda and I sang it - although we sing it as "Two" rather than "Three" fo obvious reasons. There is another verse after "We cast our nets into the sea"

We bring them fresh to market.

I first heard it sung many years ago by Derek & Dorothy Elliot, and we basically use their arrangement of Linda (& chorus ladies) singing the "Make Haste, Make Haste" and "One fish my dear" lines, and me (and chorus men) singing "You'll be too late" and "I cannot wait" lines.

I had heard that it referred to Staithes, further up the coast from Whitby, where the fisherfolk were very religious (Plymouth Brethren?). When the boats landed with the catch, fish were only on sale for a short time before the fisherfolk would have to attend prayers to give thanks. It's an interesting story anyway. I can remember women from Staithes selling fish at Stockton market when I was up in the NE during the 60s. They used to wear long black skirts and bonnets rather like the Sally Army ones.


12 Feb 02 - 05:22 PM (#648499)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Herga Kitty

I learnt this from hearing the Elliots a long time ago (and was privileged to sing it with them in the Plough during Whitby Folk Week last year), but being Middlesex born and bred I am stunned to learn from Malcolm that Cecil Sharp found a Middlesex version, since Middlesex (to the extent that it still exists at all) is entirely landlocked.

kitty


12 Feb 02 - 05:36 PM (#648513)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Herga Kitty

PS Although it might have been collected from someone in a workhouse who'd travelled a lot before ending up there.


12 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM (#648582)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Gareth

Mmmm ! Fishing on the Thames existed for many years, and I have no doubt nets were used, particullay when the Salmon ran befor it became a "Game" fish.

Though I suspect the emigrant theory may also have its place.

The Medway before polution steralised it was famous for its smelt fisheries by the Bawley Men as late as the 30's using nets above Rochester Bridge - as far as Alesford

Bearing in mind the Bawleymen fished the London River and the Estuary as far out as Margate and the Naze, I see no reason why there could not have been some cross polenation of song.

Sorry for any typo's, it's after closing time.

Gareth


12 Feb 02 - 07:30 PM (#648638)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: Malcolm Douglas

Although Roy Palmer referred to a Middlesex example, the only variants collected by Sharp listed in the Roud Index (no. 3496) came from Somerset, so Palmer's reference may possibly be a mistake.


13 Feb 02 - 05:54 AM (#648959)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Three Jolly Fishermen
From: alanww

Thanks for all the help everyone! That was a good example of how effective the Mudcat is - and all within a day!

... While the merry, merry bells do ring!
Alan