Archive for the 'Humor/games/children' Category



Paddy West


h1 Thursday, March 1st, 2012

A.L. Lloyd sang Paddy West in 1960 on his and Ewan MacColl’s Tradition Records album Blow Boys Blow. He commented in the sleeve notes:

“Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.”

Paddy was a resourceful fellow who, with his wife, ran a home school for novice sailors. His methods were rather crude (like having his wife throw a bucket of water on their students to provide ‘sea spray’) but together they created a simulation of real conditions that could instill a sense of confidence in the lads that would most likely help them on an actual ocean voyage.

I accompanied myself on my Martin HD-7 seven string guitar and an English concertina that my wife Camilla gave me.

Lyrics:
[G] As I was walkin’ down [Am] London Street,
[D] I come to Paddy West’s [G] house,
He give me a dish of [C] American [G] hash;
And he called it Liverpool [C] scouse,
[G] He said “There’s a ship and she’s [C] takin’ [G] hands,
And on her you must [C] sign,
[G] Ah the mate’s a tyrant, the [Am] captain’s worse,
[D] But she will do you [G] fine.”
Chorus:
[G] Take off yer dungaree [C] jacket,
[G] And give yerself a [C] rest,
[G] And we’ll think on them cold [Am] nor’westers
That we [D] had at Paddy [G] West’s.

2. When we had finished our dinner lads,
The winds began to blow.
Paddy sent me to the attic,
The main-royal for to stow,
But when I got to the attic,
No main-royal could I find,
So I turned myself around,
And I furled the window blind.
Chorus:

3. Now Paddy he pipes all hands on deck,
Their stations for to man.
His wife she stood in the doorway,
A bucket in her hand;
And Paddy he cries, “Now let ‘er rip!”
And she throws the water our way,
Cryin’ “Clew in the fore t’gan’sl, boys,
She’s takin on the spray!”
Chorus:

4. Now seein’ she’s headed south’ard,
To Frisco she was bound;
Paddy he takes a length of rope,
And he lays it on the ground,
We all steps over, and back again,
He says to me “That’s fine,
If they ask you were you ever at sea
You say you crossed the line.”
Chorus:

5. There’s just one thing for you to do
Before you sail away,
Step around the table,
Where the bullock’s horn do lay
And if they ask “Were you ever at sea?”
Say “Ten times ’round the Horn”
And they’ll think you’re a natural sailor lad
From the day that you was born.
Chorus: X 2

Eddystone Light


h1 Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Camilla and I have been sailing on the Queen Mary 2 for the past two weeks. There are posters on board of various light houses. The one depicting the Eddystone Light reminded me of this song. I recorded it in our stateroom and sent it up via satellite.
Lyrics:

[C] Me father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light
And [F] courted a [G] mermaid [C] one fine night
From this union there come three
A [F] porpoise and a [G] porgy and the [C] other was me

[Dm] Yo ho ho, the [G] wind blows free
[F] Oh, for the life on the rolling [C] sea

One night, while I was trimming of the glim
Singing a verse from the evening hymn
A voice from the starboard shouted, “Ahoy”
And there was me mother, a-sitting on the buoy

Tell me what has become of me children of three ?
Me mother she then asked of me
One went on tour as a talking fish
And the other was served on a chafing dish

Yo ho ho, the wind blows free
Oh, for the life on the rolling sea

Then the phosphorous flashed in her seaweed hair
I looked again me mother wasn’t there
Her voice came echoing out of the night
“To the devil with the keeper of the Eddystone Light”

Oh, yo ho ho, the wind blows free
Oh, for the life on the rolling sea

Me father was the keeper of the Eddystone Light
And courted a mermaid one fine night
From this union there come three
A porpoise and a porgy and the other was me

The Cobbler


h1 Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

This is a traditional Irish song that I first heard at the Chicago folk club The Gate of Horn sung by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. The lab stone was a stone held in the cobbler’s lap, used for beating materials into shape.

Lyrics:

[D] Oh, his name is [A] Dick Darby, he’s a [D] cobbler
He served his time at the old [C] camp
[D] Some call him an [G] old [D] agitator
But now he’s [A] resolved to [D] repent

Chorus:
With me ing-twing of an ing-thing of an i-doe
With me ing-twing of an ing-thing of an i-day
With me roo-boo-boo roo-boo-boo randy
And me lab stone keeps beating away

Now, his father was hung for sheep stealing
His mother was burned for a witch
His sister’s a dandy house-keeper
And he’s a mechanical switch

It’s forty long years he has traveled
All by the contents of his pack
His hammers, his awls and his pinchers
He carries them all on his back

Oh, his wife she is humpy, she’s lumpy
His wife she’s the devil, she’s cracked
And no matter what he may do with her
Her tongue, it goes clickety-clack

It was early one fine summer’s morning
A little before it was day
He dipped her three times in the river
And carelessly bade her ‘Good day’

The Squirrel


h1 Friday, April 1st, 2011

A sweet little folk song to celebrate Spring in the Northern Hemisphere!
Lyrics:
[D] Squirrel He’s a funny little thing, carries a bushy [A7] tail
[D] He steals away the farmer’s corn, and he hides it on the rail
And he hides it on the [A7] rail

A partridge she’s a pretty little thing, she carries a speckled breast
She steals away the farmer’s corn, she carries it to her nest
And she carries it to her nest

The Possum he’s a cunning little thing, he travels after dark
He ain’t afraid of any old thing till he hears old Rattler bark
Till he hears old Rattler bark

A raccoon’s tail is ringed all around, possum’s tail is bare
A rabbit ain’t got no tail at all, just a little wee bunch of hair
Just a little wee bunch of hair

The Bears Went Over The Mountain


h1 Monday, November 1st, 2010

“The Bear Went Over the Mountain” is a popular children’s song often sung to the tune of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. At one time the lyrics were sung to the tune of “We’ll All go Down to Roswer”. The public domain lyrics are of unknown origin.
Lyrics:
[E] The bears went over the mountain,
The [B7] bears went over the [E] mountain,
The bears went over the [A] mountain,
[B7} To see what they could [E] see.
[E] To see what [A] they could [E] see
[E] To see what [A] they could [E] see
The bears went over the [A] mountain,
[B7} To see what they could [E] see.

Saw the other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that they could see.

The bears went over the ocean
The bears went over the ocean
The bears went over the ocean
To see what they could see.

And they saw the sea
And they saw the sea
The bears went over the ocean
To see what they could see.

The bears went over the tundra
The bears went over the tundra
The bears went over the tundra
To see what they could see.

Saw the other side of the tundra
The other side of the tundra
The other side of the tundra
That’s what they did see.

All The Pretty Little Horses


h1 Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

This song is on the third page of my Old Town School of Folk Music song book but for some reason I just got around to recording it. Aside from being a classic of Southern folk lullabies, it’s also Spring-like and appropriate for June. The Rickenbacker instrumentals give it kind of a dreamy quality.
Lyrics:
[Dm] Hush-a-bye
[Gm] Don’t you cry
[C] Go to [A] sleepy little [Dm] baby
[Dm] When you wake
[Gm] You shall have
[C] All the [A] pretty little [Dm] horses

[F] Blacks and bays
[C] Dapples and greys
[C] A coach [A] and six white [Dm] horses

Hush-a-bye
Don’t you cry
Go to sleepy little baby
Way down yonder
In the meadow
Lies a pretty little lamby
Bees and butterflies
All flying by
Poor little lamb crying
“Mammy”

Hush-a-bye
Don’t you cry
Go to sleepy little baby

Big Rock Candy Mountain


h1 Saturday, May 1st, 2010

I always thought this was a kid’s song until I reexamined the lyrics. I guess when Burl Ives had a hit with it in the 1940s I was a kid and the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings sounded appealing. I didn’t notice the gin, cops and stones. It’s about a hobo’s utopia!

The original lyrics are even rougher as you can see here:

I recorded this with a banjo mandolin that I had bought in 1960 and left in San Francisco with a friend. He returned it to me several years ago and I had it refurbished thanks to Wayne & Robyn Rogers owners of Gold Tone Banjo.

Lyrics:
[D] On a summer day
In the month of May
A burly bum came [A] hiking
Down a shady lane
Through the sugar cane
He was looking for his [D] liking
As he roamed along
He sang a song
Of the land of milk and [A] honey
Where a bum can stay
For many a day
And he won’t need any [D] money

Chorus:
[D] Oh the buzzin’ of the bees
the bubblegum trees
[G] soda water [D] fountain
the [A] lemonade springs
Where the [D] bluebird sings
On the [A] big rock candy [D] mountain

There’s a lake of gin
We can both jump in
And the handouts grow on bushes
In the new-mown hay
We can sleep all day
And the bars all have free lunches
Where the mail train stops
And there ain’t no cops
And the folks are tender-hearted
Where you never change your socks
And you never throw rocks
And your hair is never parted
Chorus:

Frozen Logger


h1 Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Frank Hamilton played banjo on this at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1957. It’s a funny song written by James Stevens, the man who made Paul Bunyan famous. Loggers are a tough bunch according to this song and it’s probably true given the harsh conditions they work under! Camilla and I have been traveling in the Northwest for the last two weeks and I decided to record this as a reminder of the end of a wonderful two month tour.

Lyrics:
The Frozen Logger
(James Stevens)

[G] As I sat [D7] down one [G] evening within a [D7] small [G] cafe,
A forty year old waitress to [C] me these words did [D7] say:

“I see that you are a logger, and not just a common bum,
‘Cause nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with is thumb.

My lover was a logger, there’s none like him today;
If you’d pour whiskey on it he could eat a bale of hay

He never shaved his whiskers from off of his horny hide;
He’d just drive them in with a hammer and bite them off inside.

My lover came to see me upon one freezing day;
He held me in his fond embrace which broke three vertebrae.

He kissed me when we parted, so hard that he broke my jaw;
I could not speak to tell him he’d forgot his mackinaw.

I saw my lover leaving, sauntering through the snow,
Going gaily homeward at forty-eight below.

The weather it tried to freeze him, it tried its level best;
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest.

It froze clean through to China, it froze to the stars above;
At a thousand degrees below zero, it froze my logger love.

They tried in vain to thaw him, and would you believe me, sir
They made him into axeblades, to chop the Douglas fir.

And so I lost my lover, and to this cafe I come,
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb.”

Drill Ye Tarriers


h1 Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill” is an American folk song first published in 1888 and attributed to Thomas Casey (words) and much later Charles Connolly (music). The song is a work song, and makes references to the construction of the American railroads in the mid-19th century. The tarriers of the title refers to Irish workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad tunnels. It may mean either to tarry as in delay, or to terrier dogs which dig their quarry out of the ground [1]

In the early 1960′s, Pete Seeger took the lyrics from an old Ukrainian folk song mentioned in the Russian novel And Quiet Flows the Don (1934) and the music from “Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill” to create the folk song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” with additional lyrics added later by Joe Hickerson.

Lyrics:
[Am] Every morning about seven o’clock
[E7] There were twenty tarriers drilling at the rock
[Am] The boss comes along and he says, “Keep still
[E7] And bear down heavy on the cast iron drill.”

Chorus
[Am] And drill, ye [G] tarriers, [Am] drill
[C] Drill, ye [G] tarriers, [Am] drill
For it’s [Am] work all day for the [G] sugar in you tay
[F] Down beyond the [E7] railway
And [Am] drill, ye [G] tarriers, [Am] drill
And blast, and fire.

The boss was a fine man down to the ground
And he married a lady six feet ’round
She baked good bread and she baked it well
But she baked it harder than the holes of …..

Chorus

The foreman’s name was John McCann
You know, he was a blamed mean man
Last week a premature blast went off
And a mile in the air went big Jim Goff.

Chorus

And when next payday came around
Jim Goff a dollar short was found
When he asked, “What for?” came this reply
“You were docked for the time you were up in the sky.”

Chorus

First verse

Chorus

Skip To My Lou


h1 Friday, August 1st, 2008

In early America, respectable folk in Protestant communities have always regarded the fiddle as the devil’s instrument and dancing as downright sinful. Faced with such a religious prejudice for socializing, young people of the frontier developed the “play-party,” in which all the objectionable features of a square dance were removed or masked so that their grave elders could approve.
No instruments were permitted – the dancers sang and clapped their own music. In time, the play-party acquired a life of its own. It became an ideal amusement for teenagers and young married couples. In many a frontier community, the bear hunters, Indian fighters, the rough keel-boat men and the wild cowboys could be seen dancing innocently with their gals, like so many children at a Sunday school picnic.
“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners. It begins with any number of couples hand in hand, skipping around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couple sings, “Lost my partner what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I’ll get another one prettier than you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, her partner then takes his place in the center of the ring and the game continues. It’s an ice-breaker, a good dance to get a group acquainted to one another and to get everyone in the mood for swinging around.
It’s interesting to note that “loo” is the Scottish word for “love.” The spelling change from “loo” to “lou” probably happened as our Anglo ancestors, and the song, became Americanized.

I decided that since I was allowed to play musical instruments, I would use guitar and banjo on this song.

Source: The Folk Songs of North America, by Alan Lomax, Doubleday.
Recordings on file by: Carter Family, Lead Belly, Mike & Peggy Seeger, Pete Seeger.

Lyrics:

[G] Lost my partner,

What’ll I do?

[D] Lost my partner,

What’ll I do?

[G] Lost my partner,

What’ll I do?

[D] Skip to my lou, my [G] darlin’.

[G] Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

[D] Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

[G] Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

[D] Skip to my Lou, my [G] darlin’.

I’ll get another one

Prettier than you,

I’ll get another one

Prettier than you,

I’ll get another one

Prettier than you,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Can’t get a red bird,

Jay bird’ll do,

Can’t get a red bird,

Jay bird’ll do,

Can’t get a red bird,

Jay bird’ll do,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Fly’s in the buttermilk,

Shoo, fly, shoo,

Fly’s in the buttermilk,

Shoo, fly, shoo,

Fly’s in the buttermilk,

Shoo, fly, shoo,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Cat’s in the cream jar,

Ooh, ooh, ooh,

Cat’s in the cream jar,

Ooh, ooh, ooh,

Cat’s in the cream jar,

Ooh, ooh, ooh,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Off to Texas,

Two by two,

Off to Texas,

Two by two,

Off to Texas,

Two by two,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou,

Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.