Talcahuano Gals


h1 May 1st, 2019

This is an alternative version of the English sea chantey “Spanish Ladies.” It refers to a ship off the coast of Chile. Camilla and i will be sailing on the Queen Mary 2 this month where I will be giving two lectures and a Q & A. Happy May!
Lyrics:
[G] Oh I’ve been a sea-cook, and [C]I’ve been a clipperman
[D] I can sing, I can dance, I can walk the jib-boom
[G]I can carve a good scrimshaw and [C]cut a fine figure
[G]Whenever I get in the ship’s [D]fo’c’sle [G]room

CHORUS:
And we’ll rant and we’ll roar like true-born young sailors
We’ll rant and we’ll roar on deck or below
Until we see bottom inside the two sinkers
And straight up the channel to Huasco we’ll go
CHORUS
I was in Talcahuano last year on a clipper
I bought some gold brooches for the gals in the Bay
I bought me a pipe and they called it a meerscum
And it melted like butter on a hot shiny day
CHORUS
I went to a dance one night in old Tumbes
There was plenty of gals there as fine as you’d wish
There was one pretty maiden a-chewing tobacco
Just like a young kitten a-chewing fresh fish
CHORUS
Here’s a health to the gals of old Talcahuano
A health to the maidens of far-off Maui
And let you be merry, don’t be melancholy
I can’t marry youse all, or in pokey I’d be
CHORUS X2

Miles High Maggie


h1 April 1st, 2019

This is based on a bluegrass standard “Little Maggie” recorded by Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt, Ricky Scaggs and almost every banjo player in the world.

I have fond memories of standing around the fountain in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoons in the 60s playing guitar along with Roger Sprung and Eric Weissberg.

Everybody did this song about the same way. I decided to add a little “Eight Miles High” Rickenbacker to it for spice and in so doing a new genre: “JazzGrass” Ha!

Lyrics:

[A] Oh yonder stands little [G] Maggie
[A] With a dram glass [E7] in her [A] hands
She’s drinking away her [G] troubles
[A] She’s a courting some [E7] other [A] man

Oh how can I ever stand it
Just to see them two blue eyes
A shining in the moonlight
Like two diamonds in the sky

Last time a saw little Maggie
She was down on the banks of the sea
With a forty-four around her Waste
And a banjo on her knee

Lay down your last gold dollar
Lay down your gold watch and chain
Little Maggie’s gonna dance for daddy
Listen to that old banjo ring

Pretty flowers were made for blooming
Pretty stars were made to shine
Pretty women were made for loving
Little Maggie was made for mine

Marching To Pretoria


h1 March 1st, 2019

This song was popular on both sides of the Boer War. It was originally in the Afrikaans language which is a sub language of Dutch. Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. The Boers were settlers who had moved north to pursue farming and lived in harmony with the English of South Africa until diamonds and gold were discovered in the Boer region. Then there were two wars to commandeer the riches of the north. Eventually the English prevailed.

Just thought this would be a good song for March. 🙂

Lyrics:
[D] I’ll drink with you, you drink with me and
So we will drink together
[A] So we will drink together
[D]So we will drink together
I’ll drink with you, you drink with me and so we will drink together
[A] As we march [D] along.

Chorus:
[G] We are marching to [D] Pretoria, [A] Pretoria, [D] Pretoria
We are [G] marching to [D] Pretoria, [A] Pretoria, [D] Hooorah!

I’ll walk with you you walk with me, , and
So we will walk together
so we will walk together
so we will walk together
I’ll walk with you you walk with me and so we will walk together
As we march along.

Chorus

I’ll sing with you, you sing with me and
So we will sing together
So we will sing together
So we will sing together
I’ll sing with you, you sing with me and So we will sing together
As we march along.

Chorus X 2

Day Dah Light


h1 February 1st, 2019


This is an old Jamaican folk song. It was first recorded on an British disc by Edric Connor “Songs From Jamaica” in 1952. Its origin is unknown but is believed to be a banana loaders song from the late nineteenth century. Harry Belafonte had the most recognizable hit with it in 1956 but the Tarriers had a top ten hit with it as well. Alan Arkin (now and actor) sang lead on their version which incorporated another Jamaican folk song “Hill and Gully Rider.”

Lyrics:
Key of E

Day O Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day O Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Come mister tally man tally me banana
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Come mister tally man tally me banana
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day N Day Day N Day Day N Day Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day N Day Day N Day Day N Day Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Six hand seven hand eight hand bunch
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Six hand seven hand eight hand bunch
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day N Day Day N Day Day N Day Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day N Day Day N Day Day N Day Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Work all night on a drink of rum
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Work all night till the morning come
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day O Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Day O Day O
Day Dah Light and me want go home

Amazing Grace


h1 January 1st, 2019

John Newton, a former slave trader wrote “Amazing Grace” following Christian conversion after a near death experience
during a sea voyage.

Happy New Year 2019!!!

Lyrics:
Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home,
And grace will lead us home

Amazing grace, Howe Sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

What Child Is This?


h1 December 1st, 2018

Child.gif

This was originally posted here in the Folk Den on December 1st, 1996. I’m on the road right now with Chris Hillman, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album. I hope you enjoy this Christmas carol from twenty two years ago.

(Lyrics 18?? by William Chatterton Dix, to the melody of 'Greensleeves')

Lyrics:
Em D

What child is this, who, laid to rest,

C B7

On Mary's lap is sleeping?

Em D

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet

C B7 Em

While shepherds watch are keeping.

G D

cho: This, this is Christ the King,

C Bm

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:

G D

Haste, haste, to bring him laud

C B7 Em

The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh
Come, peasant, King to own Him;
The King of Kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone him.

Special thanks to Bruce Kula for 12-string guitar accompaniment.
Merry Christmas 2018 All the best ….. Roger

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Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate


h1 November 1st, 2018

Lyrics:
Don’t forget yer old shipmate

Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar, Jack.
Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar, Jack.

Chorus
Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

Since we sailed from Plymouth Sound, four years gone, or nigh, Jack.
Was there ever chummies, now, such as you and I, Jack?

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

We have worked the self-same gun, quarterdeck division.
Sponger I and loader you, through the whole commission.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

Oftentimes have we laid out, toil nor danger fearing,
Tugging out the flapping sail to the weather earing.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

When the middle watch was on, and the time went slow, boy,
Who could choose a rousing stave, who like Jack or Joe, boy?

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

There she swings, an empty hulk, not a soul below now.
Number seven starboard mess misses Jack and Joe now.

Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!

But the best of friends must part, fair or foul the weather.
Hand yer flipper for a shake, now a drink together.

A Begging I will Go


h1 October 1st, 2018

Lyrics:
A-begging I will go
F Bb F C7
There was a jovial beggar, he had a wooden leg
Dm (Gm) C7 F
Lame from his cradle and forcéd for to beg

Gm C7 F (C7)
And a-begging I will go, I will go,
(Bb) Gm C7 F (C7)
and a-begging I will go.

Of all the trades in England, a-beggin’ is the best
For when a beggar’s tired, You can lay him down to rest.

Got a pocket for me oatmeal, and another for me rye.
Got a bottle by me side to drink when I am dry.

I got patches on me cloak, and black patch on me knee.
When you come to take me home, I’ll drink as well as thee.

I got a pocket for me whiskey another for me gin
If you race me with me crutches, be sure that I will win.

It’s underneath a bridge I live, I pay no rent
Providence provides for me, and I am well content.

I fear no plots against me. I live an open cell.
Who would be a king then when beggar lives so well.

New Words By Roger McGuinn McGuinn Music BMI 2018

The Foggy Foggy Dew


h1 September 1st, 2018

“The Foggy Foggy Dew” is an English folk song describing the outcome of an affair between a weaver and a young lady he courted. Burl Ives made a version of it popular in the 1940s. He spent the night in jail for singing it in Mona, Utah where authorities deemed it a bawdy song.
It is No.558 in the Roud Folk Song Index.
Lyrics:
[G] When I was a [Am] bachelor, I liv’d all alone
[D] I worked at the weaver’s [G] trade
And the only, only thing that [Am] I ever did wrong
[D] Was to woo a fair young [G] maid.
[D] I wooed her in the [G] wintertime
[D] And in the summer, [G] too
And the only, only [Em] thing that I [Am] did that was wrong
Was to [D] keep her from the foggy, foggy [G] dew.

One night she came to my bedside
When I was fast asleep.
She laid her head upon my bed
And she began to weep.
She sighed, she cried, she damn near died
She said what shall I do?
So I hauled her into bed and covered up her head
Just to keep her from the foggy foggy dew.

So, I am a bachelor, I live with my son
And we work at the weaver’s trade.
And every single time that I look into his eyes
He reminds me of that fair young maid.
He reminds me of the wintertime
And of the summer, too,
And of the many, many times that I held her in my arms
Just to keep her from the foggy, foggy, dew.

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