The Lone Fish Ball


h1 August 1st, 2018

“The Lone Fish Ball” is based on a true adventure. Harvard professor George Martin Lane (1823-1897) arriving in Boston after a journey, found himself hungry and had only 25 cents in his pocket. He needed to reserve half that money to pay his carfare to Cambridge. With the remaining 12 cents he entered a restaurant and ordered the least expensive item on the menu. It happened to be macaroni but over the years it was changed to one fish ball, a favorite breakfast food of Harvard undergraduates. The song remained popular with them for decades.

During the Civil War, several of Lane’s professorial colleagues turned his song into a fundraiser for Union soldiers. Folklorist Francis James Child ’46, LL.D. ’84, worked it up into a mock Italian operetta, Il Pesceballo, which was performed in Cambridge and Boston.

In 1944 Hy Zaret and Lou Singer revamped the song as a blues calling it “One Meatball.” It was a big hit for Josh White! The Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby also recorded it.

I have written an new melody and added lyrics.

Lyrics:
The Lone Fish Ball

[G]There was a man went up and down,
[C]To seek a dinner thro’ the [Am] town. X2 [D] Hurray!

[C]What wretch is he who wife forsakes,
[D] Who best of jam and waffles makes! X2 They say

[G]He feels his cash to know his pence,
[C] And finds he has just but [Am] six cents. X2 [D] To pay

[C]He finds at last a right cheap place,
[D] He enters in with modest face. X2 Anyway

[G]The bill of fare he searches through,
[C] To see what his [Am] six cents will do. X2 [D] Today

[C]The cheapest viand of them all,
[D] Is “Twelve cents for two Fish-balls.” X2 everyday

[G]The waiter to him he doth call,
[C] And gently whispers – [Am] “One Fish-ball.” X2 [D] I pray

[C]The waiter roars it through the hall,
The guests they start at “One Fish-ball!” X2 Oh nay!

[G]The guest then says, quite ill at ease,
[C]“A piece of bread, sir, [Am] if you please.” X2 I pray

[C]The waiter roars it through the hall,
[D] “We don’t give bread with one Fish-ball.” X2 any day

[G]Who’d have bread with his Fish-ball,
[C] Must get it first, or [Am] not at all. X2 We say

[C]Who’d Fish-ball with fixin’s eat,
[D] Must get some friend to send a treat. X2 His way

[G]So here’s the essence of it all
[C] You get no bread with one [Am] fish ball X2 [G] any day

(C) McGuinn Music BMI 2018

The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond


h1 July 1st, 2018

A Favorite Scottish Ballad (Roud No. 9598) based on a Jacobite lament written after the Battle of Culloden following the 1745 uprising.
Lyrics:
Guitar tuned down to D.

[G] By yon bonnie [Em] banks and by [Am] yon bonnie [C] braes,
[G] Where the sun shines [Em] bright on Loch [C] Lomon’. [D]
[Em] where me and my true love [Am] were ever wont to [C] go
[G] On the bonnie, bonnie [Em] banks o’ Loch [D] Lomon’. [G]

Chorus: [G] O ye’ll tak’ the [Em] high road and [Am] I’ll tak the [C] low road,
[G] An’ I’ll be in [Em] Scotland [C] afore [D] ye;
[Em] But me and my true love will [Am] never meet [C] again
[G] On the bonnie, bonnie [Em] banks o’ Loch [D] Lomon’. [G]

[G] ‘Twas there that we [Em] parted in [Am] yon shady [C] glen,
[G] On the steep, steep [Em] side o’ [C] Ben Lomon’, [D]
[Em] Where in purple hue the [Am] Hieland hills we [C] view,
[G] An’ the moon [Em] comin’ out in the [D] gloamin’. [G]

Chorus: [G] O ye’ll tak’ the [Em] high road and [Am] I’ll tak the [C] low road,
[G] An’ I’ll be in [Em] Scotland [C] afore [D] ye;
[Em] But me and my true love will [Am] never meet [C] again
[G] On the bonnie, bonnie [Em] banks o’ Loch [D] Lomon’. [G]

[G] The wee birdies [Em] sing and the [Am] wild flow’rs [C] spring,
[G] And in sunshine the [Em] waters are [C] sleepin’; [D]
[Em] But the broken heart it [Am] kens no second [C] spring,
[G] Tho’ the woeful may [Em] cease from their [D] greetin’ [G]

Chorus: [G] O ye’ll tak’ the [Em] high road and [Am] I’ll tak the [C] low road,
[G] An’ I’ll be in [Em] Scotland [C] afore [D] ye;
[Em] But me and my true love will [Am] never meet [C] again
[G] On the bonnie, bonnie[Em] banks o’ Loch [D] Lomon’. [G]

My Rose In June


h1 June 1st, 2018

Old English Ballad first collected in Dorset England in 1905
Lyrics:
CAPO on 3rd fret
[Em] Was down in the valleys, the [D] valleys so [Em] deep,
To pick some plain roses to keep my [D] love [Em] sweet.
[G] So let it come early, [D] late or [Em] soon,
I will enjoy my [D] rose in [Em] June.
[G] rose in June, [D] rose in [Em] June
I will enjoy my [D] rose in [Em] June.

O, the roses red, the violets blue,
Carnations sweet, love and so are you,
So let it come early, late or soon,
I will enjoy my rose in June.
rose in June, rose in June
I will enjoy my rose in June.

O love, I will carry thy sweet milking pail,
O love, I will kiss you on every stile
So let it come early, late or soon,
I will enjoy my rose in June.
rose in June, rose in June
I will enjoy my rose in June.

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I’d Like To Be In Texas For The Roundup In The Spring


h1 May 1st, 2018

I was hoping to find a nice Spring song for May. Camilla was helping me do research and she came across this. It turns out to be one of the top 100 cowboy songs of all time and I had never heard it. I recorded it in a big hotel while looking across the Hudson River at New York City.
Lyrics:
[D] In a lobby of a big hotel in [Em] New York town one day,

[G] Sat a bunch of fellows [A] telling yarns to pass the time away.

[D] They told of places where they’d been [Em] and all the sights they’d seen,

[G] And some of them praised [A] Chicago town and others [D] New Orleans.

[D] I can see the cattle grazing o’er the [G] hills at early morn;

[D] I can see the camp-fires smoking at the [A] breaking of the dawn,

[D] I can hear the broncos neighing I can [G] hear the cowboys sing;

[D] Oh I’d like to be in Texas for the [A] round-up in the [D] spring.

In a corner in an old arm chair sat a man whose hair was gray,

He had listened to them longingly, to what they had to say.

They asked him where he’d like to be and his clear old voice did ring:

“I’d like to be in Texas for the round-up in the spring.

I can see the cattle grazing o’er the hills at early morn;

I can see the camp-fires smoking at the breaking of the dawn,

I can hear the broncos neighing I can hear the cowboys sing;

Oh I’d like to be in Texas for the round-up in the spring.

They all sat still and listened to each word he had to say;

They knew the old man sitting there had been young in his day.

They asked him for a story of his life out on the plains,

He slowly then removed his hat and quietly began:

“Oh, I’ve seen them stampede o’er the hills,
when you’d think they’d never stop,

I’ve seen them run for miles and miles until their leader dropped,

I was foreman on a cow ranch—that’s the calling of a king;

I’d like to be in Texas for the round-up in the spring.”

I can see the cattle grazing o’er the hills at early morn;

I can see the camp-fires smoking at the breaking of the dawn,

I can hear the broncos neighing I can hear the cowboys sing;

Oh I’d like to be in Texas for the round-up in the spring.
I can hear the broncos neighing I can hear the cowboys sing;

Oh I’d like to be in Texas for the round-up in the spring.

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Us Around


h1 April 1st, 2018

This is an old hymn from the 1800s about walking up to Calvary.
Lyrics:
[Dm] Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
[A] Turn us around
[Dm]Turn us around
Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
We’re gonna [G] keep on a-walking Lord
[Dm] Keep on a-talking Lord
[G] Walking up to [A] Calvary [Dm]

Well there ain’t no sinner gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no sinner gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Ain’t no unbeliver gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Ain’t no unbeliver gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Well there ain’t no demon gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no demon gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

Well there ain’t no devil gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t no devil gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

There ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
Turn us around
Turn us around
Well there ain’t nobody gonna turn us around
We’re gonna keep on a-walking Lord
Keep on a-talking Lord
Walking up to Calvary

The A B C Song


h1 March 1st, 2018

It’s hard to imagine a song about the “ABC’s” without the tune to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The song only uses eight of the letters of the alphabet. But that’s how I learned it from the John Quincy Wolf Collection OZARK FOLKSONGS. You can listen to the original version there. Not sure if there were verses for the rest of the letters and the guy just forgot them or that’s all they had to say. In any case I modulated keys on this to make it more musically interesting.
Lyrics:

[A] Oh, A was an archer,
And he shot a big frog.

[E] B was a butcher,
And he had a big [A] dog.

[A] And C was a carpenter
All covered with lace,

[E] And D was a drunkard,
And he had a red [A] face.

[D] Oh, E was a squire (Maybe that was originally Esquire)
With pride on his brow.

[E] And F was a farmer,
And he [D] followed the [A] plow.

[A] And G was a gamester,
And he had good luck.

[E] And H was a hunter,
And he hunted the [A] buck.

Leaving of Liverpool


h1 February 1st, 2018

Camilla and I will be sailing from Valparaíso, Chile to Buenos Aires this month too. I thought another English sea chantey from the 1860′s was in order. Why, because I love them!

I will be giving lectures on board the Silver Sea Muse. One of those lectures will be about sea chanteys.

Here’s a brief description of the trip from the Silver Sea website:

Voyage to the soaring mountain peaks, and slowly scraping glaciers, of Chile. See poetic Valparaiso sprawling bright colors, colonial architecture and history haphazardly across the hills, before sailing amid the finger-like mountains of the staggering Chilean Fjords. Tour the flicking tail of the continent’s southernmost tip, before dropping in on the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Lyrics:

Leaving of Liverpool

[D] Fare thee well to you, my [G] own true love,
[D] I am going far [A] away
[D] I am bound for [G] California,
[D] But I know that I’ll be [A] home some [D] day

[A] So fare thee well, my [D] own true love,
For when I return, united we will [A] be
[D] It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that [G] grieves me,
[D] But my darling when [A] I think of [D] thee

I am bound on a Yankee clipper ship,
Davy Crockett is her name,
And Burgess is the captain of her,
And they say that she is a floating shame

So fare thee well, my own true love,
For when I return, united we will be
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of thee

Oh the sun is high on the harbour, love,
And I wish I could remain,
For I know it’ll be a long, long time,
Before you see me again

So fare thee well, my own true love,
For when I return, united we will be
It’s not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,
But my darling when I think of thee

Roll Alabama Roll


h1 January 1st, 2018

Camilla and I will be sailing from Valparaíso, Chile to Buenos Aires this month. I thought an English halyard sea chantey from the 1860′s would be appropriate. I will be giving lectures on board the Silver Sea Muse. One of those lectures will be about sea chanteys.

Here’s a brief description of the trip from the Silver Sea website:

Voyage to the soaring mountain peaks, and slowly scraping glaciers, of Chile. See poetic Valparaiso sprawling bright colors, colonial architecture and history haphazardly across the hills, before sailing amid the finger-like mountains of the staggering Chilean Fjords. Tour the flicking tail of the continent’s southernmost tip, before dropping in on the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Lyrics:

[F] When the Alabama’s keel was [C] laid
[C] Roll, [Bb] Alabama, [C] roll!
[F] It was laid in the yards of Jonathan [C] Laird
[Bb] Oh, [F] roll, [C] Alabama, [F] roll!

It was laid in the yards of Jonathan Laird
Roll, Alabama, roll!
It was laid in the town of Birkenhead
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

Down Mersey way she sailed and then
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Liverpool fitted her with guns and men
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

Down Mersey way she sail-ed forth
Roll, Alabama, roll!
To destroy the commerce of the North
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

To Cherbourg harbor she sailed one day
Roll, Alabama, roll!
To collect her share of the prize money
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

And many a sailor saw his doom
Roll, Alabama, roll!
When the yankee Kearsarge hove in view
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

And a shot from the forward pivot that day
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Blew the Alabama’s stern away

And off the three-mile limit, in sixty-four
Roll, Alabama, roll!
Well she sank to the bottom of the ocean floor
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll!

O Little Town Of Bethlehem


h1 December 1st, 2017

The manuscript above is the author, Phillips Brooks’ original first stanza. It was intended to be a short lived sunday school song. He asked his organist Lewis Redner to compose the melody and Redner procrastinated until the evening before it was due. He went to sleep and was awakened in the middle of the night by what he described as an “angel-strain” whispering in his ear. Seizing a piece of music paper he jotted down the tune and presented it in the morning for the Sunday service.

I played this on my new Martin DX1RAE

Lyrics:

Capo on 3rd fret

[C] O little town of [Dm] Bethlehem
[C] How still we [G7] see thee [C] lie
Above thy deep and [A7] dreamless [Dm] sleep
The [C] silent [G7] stars [C] go by

Yet in the [Dm] dark streets [E7] shineth
The [Am] ever [Em] lasting [E7] light
[C] The hopes and fears of [Dm] all the years
[C] Are met in [G7] thee [C] tonight

[C] For Christ is born of [Dm] Mary
[C] And gathered [G7] all [C] above
While mortals [A7] sleep the [Dm] angels keep
[C] Their watch of [G7] wondering [C] love

Yet in the [Dm] dark streets [E7] shineth
The [Am] ever [Em] lasting [E7] light
[C] The hopes and fears of [Dm] all the years
[C] Are met in [G7] thee [C] tonight

[C] O morning stars [Dm] together
[C] Proclaim the [G7] holy [C] birth
And praises [A7] sing to [Dm] God the King
[C] And peace to [G7] men on [C] earth

Yet in the [Dm] dark streets [E7] shineth
The [Am] ever [Em] lasting [E7] light
[C] The hopes and fears of [Dm] all the years
[C] Are met in [G7] thee [C] tonight

[C] O little town of [Dm] Bethlehem
[C] How still we [G7] see thee [C] lie
Above thy deep and [A7] dreamless [Dm] sleep
The [C] silent [G7] stars [C] go by

Yet in the [Dm] dark streets [E7] shineth
The [Am] ever [Em] lasting [E7] light
[C] The hopes and fears of [Dm] all the years
[C] Are met in [G7] thee [C] tonight

[C] The hopes and fears of [Dm] all the years
[C] Are met in [G7] thee [C] tonight

The Wild Colonial Boy


h1 November 1st, 2017

The Wild Colonial Boy is a traditional Irish song. It’s the story of a young lad who sailed from his home in Castlemaine, County Kerry, Ireland to Australia in the early nineteenth century and became a sort of Robbin Hood “robbing from the rich to feed the poor.” This is an account of his adventure.

Lyrics:

[D] There was a wild [G] colonial boy,
[A7] Jack Duggan was his [D] name
He was born and raised in [Em] Ireland,
in a [A7 place called [D] Castlemaine
He was his father’s [Em] only son,
his [A7] mother’s pride and [D] joy
And dearly did his [G] parents love
the [A7] wild colonial [D] boy

At the early age of sixteen years,
he left his native home
And to Australia’s sunny shore,
he was inclined to roam
He robbed the rich, he helped the poor,
he shot James MacEvoy
A terror to Australia was
the wild colonial boy

One morning on the prairie,
as Jack he rode along
A-listening to the mocking bird,
a-singing a cheerful song
Up stepped a band of troopers:
Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy
They all set out to capture him,
the wild colonial boy

Surrender now, Jack Duggan,
for you see we’re three to one.
Surrender in the King’s high name,
you are a plundering son
Jack drew two pistols from his belt,
he proudly waved them high.
“I’ll fight, but not surrender,”
said the wild colonial boy

He fired a shot at Kelly,
which brought him to the ground
And turning round to Davis,
he received a fatal wound
A bullet pierced his proud young heart,
from the pistol of Fitzroy
And that was how they captured him,
the wild colonial boy