Archive for the 'Seafaring' Category



Heave Away


h1 Saturday, November 1st, 2003

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This is a sea chantey that I have always loved. I recorded it on my first solo album for Columbia Records 'Roger McGuinn.'

Spanky McFarlane sang harmony on the original recording.

Lyrics:
[G] There's some that's [Am] bound for [C] New York Town
And other's is bound for [G] France
Heave [D] away me [G] Johnnies,
Heave [D] away [G]

And [C] some is bound for the [G] Bengal bay
To [Am] teach them whales a [G] dance
And away me Johnnie [C] boys
We're [G] all [D] bound to [G] go

Our pilot is a-waiting for
The turning of the tide
Heave away me johnnies,
Heave away

And one more pull and we're bound away
With a good and westerly wind
And away me Johnnie boys
We're all bound away

Farewell to you dear Kingston gals
Farewell to St. Andrew's Dock
Heave away me Johnnies,
Heave away

If ever we should come back again
We'll make your cradles rock
And away me Johnnie boys
We're all bound away

There's some that's bound for New York Town
And other's is bound for France
Heave away me Johnnies,
Heave away

And some is bound for the Bengal bay
To teach them whales a dance
And away me Johnnie boys
We're all bound to go

Shenandoah


h1 Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003

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This was a sea chantey, used with the windlass, and the capstan.The lead man would sing the first and third lines of each verse and the crew would sing on the second and fourth lines, as they did their work, with winches for loading cargo, raising sails, pulling up anchors, and other jobs on deck.

Some believe the song originated among the early American river men, or Canadian voyageurs. Others believe it was a land song before it went to sea. Most agree that it incorporates both Irish and African-American elements.

Shenandoah was tremendously popular both on land and sea and was known by countless names, including: Shennydore, The Wide Missouri, The Wild Mizzourye, The World Of Misery-Solid Fas (a West Indian rowing shanty that may be older than other versions), The Oceanida, and Rolling River.

Two verses of the song were published in an article by W. J. Alden in Harper's Magazine (1882). A version of Solid Fa's was collected by R. Abrams in England in 1909. The shanty is said to date at least to the 1820s.

Shenandoah was an Indian chief living on the Missouri River.

Thanks to Lesley Nelson for this information. http://www.contemplator.com/folk.html

Lyrics:
[E] Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
[A] Way-aye, you rolling [E] river
I'll [C#m] take her 'cross yon rolling [E] water
[E] A way – we're bound away
'cross the [B7] wide [E] Missouri!

The Chief disdained the trader's dollars,
Way-aye, you rolling river
My daughter you shall never follow
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missouri!

For seven years I courted Sally,
Way-aye, you rolling river
For seven more I longed to have her
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missouri!

She said she would not be my lover
Way-aye, you rolling river
Because I was a tarry sailor
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missouri!

At last there came a Yankee skipper
Way-aye, you rolling river
He winked his eye, and he tipped his flipper
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missouri!

He sold the Chief that fire-water
Way-aye, you rolling river
And 'cross the river he stole his daughter
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missouri!

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Way-aye, you rolling river
I'll take her 'cross yon rolling water
A way – we're bound away
'cross the wide Missour

Squid-Jigging Ground


h1 Sunday, June 1st, 2003
This squid catching song originated in Newfoundland, though the names of the places have changed due to the folk process.My wife Camilla and I love to taste and compare crispy calamari at restaurants around the world. She always asks “where do they get all this squid”? A fair question, considering the enormous amount of calamari consumed worldwide each day. I did some research to find out more about where squid come from and how to jig for squid. A preferred method of catching squid is trawling with a jig or lure. This method mimics a live lone prawn traveling through the water with an erratic movement, which creates a realistic impression of a terrified and panic ridden prey. It’s an easy effect to accomplish. Attach the lure to the end of the line using the usual method, and also attach a small weight near the swivel to keep the lure low in the water. Cast out as far as possible, and, depending on the water depth, begin reeling at a constant speed. Keep in mind you are trying to keep the prawn at a constant height of about two feet above the sea bed or sea grass, so time your reeling accordingly. Straight forward reeling won’t create a realistic effect of a panicky prawn, so occasionally sharply draw the rod upward, so the prawn shoots forward toward the surface of the water by about three feet. Then slack off reeling until the prawn reaches the depth at which it was previously traveling. Repeat randomly during reeling, but not too frequently or the squid will lose interest. Note that the squid will usually strike when the jig is falling back to its previous depth. This is due to the reduced speed and less threatening composure of the prawn. If you see squid following the lure when drawing in line close, on the next cast, trawl more slowly than before, as a not so hungry squid will not take a chance on a fast moving piece of prey, easier prey is more appealing. Don’t reel in too fast or you’ll just get a squid leg and not the whole squid. Pink lures work the best. Be careful when taking the squid out of the water, they bite, and have lots of black ink that they squirt to conceal themselves while under water. Using a net to take them off the lure is the safest way to insure that you won’t lose the squid.
Lyrics:
[D] Oh, this is the place where the fishermen gather,With [G] oilskins and [D] boots and Cape Anns [Em] battened down;

[G] All sizes and figures with [D] squid lines and jiggers,

They congregate here on the [A] squid-jigging [D] ground.

Some are workin’ their jiggers while others are yarnin’,

There’s some standin’ up and there’s more lyin’ down;

While all kinds of fun, jokes and tricks are begun

As they wait for the squid on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

There’s men from Bar Harbour and men from the Tickle,

In all kinds of motorboats, green, grey and brown;

There’s a red headed Tory out here in a dory

Running down Squires on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

The man with the whiskers is old Jacob Steele;

He’s gettin well up but he’s still pretty sound.

While Uncle Bob Hawkins wears three pair o’ stockin’s

Whenever he’s out on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

God bless my sou’wester, there’s Skipper John Cheeby,

He’s the best hand at squid-jiggin’ here, I’ll be bound.

Hello! What’s the row? He’s jiggin’ one now,

The very first squid on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

Holy smoke! What a bustle! All hands are excited.

It’s a wonder to me that nobody is drowned.

There’s a bustle, confusion, a wonderful hustle,

They’re all jiggin’ squid on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

There’s poor Uncle Billy, his whiskers are spattered

With spots of the squid juice that’s flying around;

One poor little boy got it right in the eye,

But they don’t give a hang on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

Says Bobby, “The squid are on top of the water,

I just got me jigger ’bout one fathom down” —

When a squid in the boat squirted right down his throat,

And he’s swearin’ like mad on the squid-jiggin’ ground.

If you ever feel inclined to go squiddin’,

Leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town.

And if you get cranky without your silk hanky

You’d better steer clear of the squid-jiggin’ ground.

Oh, this is the place where the fishermen gather,

With oilskins and boots and Cape Anns battened down;

All sizes and figures with squid lines and jiggers,

They congregate here on the squid-jigging ground.

Michael Row the Boat Ashore


h1 Wednesday, May 1st, 2002

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The Georgia Sea Islands is a section of the United States rich in African American folk song. For over a hundred miles, these low flat islands decorate the Atlantic Coast. Here's where slaves were brought fresh from Africa and for generations, spent their entire lives out of touch with the mainland.

In olden days, transportation to the mainland was provided by small boats and strong arms to row them. The oar crews from different plantations prided themselves on their singing, each making up new songs that no other boat would ever sing.

Two of the best known songs whose roots are in this tradition of Georgia Sea Island singing are 'Michael Row the Boat Ashore' and the more recent, 'Pay Me My Money Down.' I learned this song at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago when I was 15 years old. It's been one of my favorite songs ever since.

Lyrics:
[D] Michael row the boat ashore, [G] hallelujah [D]
[D] Michael [F#m] row the boat [Em] ashore, [D] halle [A] lu [D] jah

Sister help to trim the sails, hallelujah
Sister help to trim the sails, hallelujah

Jordan's River is deep and wide, hallelujah
And I've got a home on the other side, hallelujah

Jordan River is chilly and cold, hallelujah
Chills the body but not the soul, hallelujah

When I get to Heaven I'm gonna' sing and shout, hallelujah
Nobody there's gonna' kick me out, hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah

Michael's boat is a music boat, hallelujah
Michael's boat is a music boat, hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah

The trumpets sound the Jubilee, hallelujah
The trumpets sound for you and me, hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah

Water is Wide, The


h1 Friday, June 1st, 2001

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I remember going to see Pete Seeger in concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago many times in my teen years. His 12-string guitar was always tuned down so that the bass notes were big and round, filling the hall as would a string quartet. His voice was clear, full of emotion and youthful exuberance. That was the first time I heard The Water Is Wide. Now I'm on concert tour in England. I decided to recorded this song live at the Jazz Caf in London.
Lyrics:
D

The water is wide

G D

I cannot cross over

Bm

And neither have

A7

I wings to fly

D F#m

Build me a boat

G

That will carry two

A7

And both shall roam

D

My Love and I

A ship there is

And she sails the sea

Sailing as deep

As deep can be

But not so deep

As the love I'm in

And I know not

How I sink or swim

I leaned my back

Against some young oak

Thinking she was

A trusty tree

But first she bent

And then she broke

And thus did my

False love to me

The water is wide

I cannot cross over

And neither have

I wings to fly

Build me aboat

That will carry two

And both shall roam

My Love and I

Catch The Greenland Whale


h1 Thursday, March 1st, 2001

I first heard this song on a whaling album. I've tried to keep as close to the original as possible, including the key and tempo.

The banjo is tuned in an open Dm tuning, and the 12-string is playing melody. It's all in Dm.

Lyrics:
On the [Am] twenty-third of [Em] March, my boys,
We [Am] hoisted our [Em] topsail,
Crying, [Am] 'Heav'n above [Em] protect us
With a sweet and a [D] pleasant [Em] gale.'
We never was down-[Am] hearted
Nor let our courage [Em] fail
But [Am] bore away up to [Em] Greenland
For to catch the [D] Greenland [Em] whale,
For to catch the [D] Greenland [Em] whale.

And when we came to Greenland
Where the bitter winds did blow,
We tacked about all in the north
Among the frost and snow.
Our finger-tops were frozen off,
And likewise our toe-nails,
As we crawled on the deck, my boys,
Looking out for the Greenland whale
Looking out for the Greenland whale.

And when we came to Davis Strait
Where the mountains flowed with snow,
We tacked about all in the north
Till we heard the whalefish blow.
And when we catch that whale, brave boys,
Homeward we will steer.
We'll make them valleys ring, my boys,
A-drinking of strong beer.
We'll make them lofty alehouses
In London town to roar;
And when our money is all gone,
To Greenland go for more,
To Greenland go for more.

Greenland Whale Fisheries


h1 Tuesday, February 1st, 2000

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This is a slightly different version of a very popular whaling song.
Lyrics:
G D G
They signed us with a whaling crew
C Em D
For the icy Greenland ground
G Em C Am
They said we’d take a shorter way,
Am G D G Em
While we was outward bound brave boys
Em G D G
While we was outward bound

Oh the lookout up in the barrel stood
With a spyglass in his hand
There’s a whale there’s a whale there’s a whale he cried
And she blows at every span brave boys
And she blows at every span

The captain stood on the quarter-deck
And the ice was in his eye
Overhaul overhaul let your davit tackles fall
And put your boats to sea brave boys
And put your boats to sea

Well the boats got down and the men aboard
And the whale was full in view
Resolve resolve let these whaler men know
To see where the whale fish blew brave boys
To see where the whale fish blew

Well the harpoon struck, the line ran out
The whale give a floody with his tail
And he upset the boat, we lost half a dozen men
No more, no more Greenland for you brave boys
No more no more Greenland for you

Bad news bad news the captain said
And it grieved his heart full sore
But the losing of that hundred pound whale
Oh it grieved him ten times more brave boys
Oh it grieved him ten times more

Oh Greenland is a dreadful place
A land that’s never green
Where the cold winds blow and the whale fish go
And the daylight's seldom seen brave boys
And the daylight's seldom seen

Traditional / Arr. Roger McGuinn
(c) 2000 McGuinn Music / Roger McGuinn

Liverpool Gals


h1 Tuesday, June 1st, 1999

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Another song with a warning for for seamen.
Lyrics:
G D G
When I was a youngster I sailed with the rest
G D G
On a Liverpool packet bound out for the West
G D G
We anchored a day in the harbor of Cork
G D G F
Then put out to sea for the port of New York
D
And it’s row, row bullies row
G D G D G
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

For thirty-two days we was hungry and sore
For the wind was agin’ us and the gales they did roar
But at Battery Point we did anchor at last
With the gig-boom hold to and the canvas all fast
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

Them boardinghouse masters was a-boarding us twice
And shouting and promising all that was nice
And one fat old crimp took a fancy to me
And he said I was foolish to follow the sea
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

Then being as a doorman is awaiting for you
With rations of liquor, and nothin’ to do
Now what do you say, what would you jump up to
Says I you won’t linger, and danged if I do
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

But the best of intentions they never goes far
After thirty-two days at the door of a bar
I dust off me liquor and what do you think
That rotten old skipper he’s doctored me drink
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

The next I remember I awoke in the morn
On a three-sky-sailed yarder bound south round the horn
We ‘ad no suit of oilskins and two pairs of socks
And an IOU nailed to the lid of me box
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

Now all you young seamen take a warning by me
Keep an eye on your drink, when the liquor is free
And pay no attention to Reniour the whore
When you’ve had some, you’ll lose all you owned on the shore
And it’s row, row bullies row
Them Liverpool gals they have got us in tow

� 1999 McGuinn Music / Roger McGuinn

Blood Red Roses


h1 Thursday, April 1st, 1999

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The chanteyman often used improvisation and parody in his solo lines to the advantage and amusement of the crew, but the chorus lines, on which the work action was based, were repetitive and changeless. For example, in using Blood Red Roses to raise the top-sails, top gallant sails (t'ga'n's'ls), or sky-s'ls, the chanteyman, who on some ships also put his back to the task, would have sung:

Chanteyman: Our boots and clothes are all in pawn

Crew: Go down Ye blood red roses. Go down

Chanteyman: And its flamin' drafty 'round Cape Horn

Crew: Go down Ye blood red roses. Go down

The word Go, was the signal for the men to haul back on the halyards.

Lyrics:
Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.
And its flamin' drafty 'round Cape Horn,
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.
cho: Oh, you pinks and posies,
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down.
My dear old mother said to me,
My dearest son, come home from sea.
It's 'round Cape Horn we all must go
'Round Cape Horn in the frost and snow.
You've got your advance, and to sea you'll go
To chase them whales through the frost and snow.
It's 'round Cape Horn you've got to go,
For that is where them whalefish blow.
It's growl you may, but go you must,
If you growl too much your head they'll bust.
Just one more pull and that will do
For we're the boys to kick her through.

Bonny Ship the Diamond, The


h1 Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

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This is another fine example of a joyous departure
song. The whalers would bolster their spirits before departing on an
ocean voyage that might take years. The thought of young women waiting
for them, and of new conquests, gave them the courage to continue.
Lyrics:
[Dm] The Diamond is a [C] ship, my lads, for the [Dm] Davis Strait she’s [C] bound,
And the [Dm] quay it is all [C] garnished with [Am] bonny lasses [Dm] ’round;
[Dm] Captain Thompson gives the [C] order to [Dm] sail the ocean [C] wide,
Where the [Dm] sun it never [C] sets, my lads, no [Am] darkness dims the [Dm] sky,

cho: So it’s [Dm] cheer [C] up my [Dm] lads, let your hearts never fail,
While the bonny [C] ship, the [Dm] Diamond, [C] goes [Dm] a-fishing for the whale.

Along the quay at Peterhead, the lasses stand aroon,
Wi’ their shawls all pulled around them and the saut tears runnin’ doon;
Don’t you weep, my bonny lass, though you be left behind,
For the rose will grow on Greenland’s ice before we change our mind.

cho:

Here’s a health to the Resolution, likewise the Eliza Swan,
Here’s a health to the Battler of Montrose and the Diamond, ship of fame;
We wear the trouser o’ the white and the jackets o’ the blue,
When we return to Peterhead, we’ll hae sweethearts anoo,

cho:

It’ll be bricht both day and nicht when the Greenland lads come hame,
Wi’ a ship that’s fu’ of oil, my lads, and money to our name;
We’ll make the cradles for to rock and the blankets for to tear,
And every lass in Peterhead sing ‘Hushabye, my dear’

cho:

� 1998 McGuinn Music – Roger McGuinn