Archive for the 'Irish/british' Category



Pretty Peggy-O


h1 Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Pretty Peggy-O is about the unrequited love between a captain of Irish dragoons for a beautiful Scottish girl in the fictional town of Fennario. The narration is from the voice of one of the captain’s soldiers. The captain promises the lady safety and happiness, but she refuses the captain’s advances saying she would not marry a penniless soldier. The captain subsequently leaves Fennario and later dies of a broken heart.

This tune was used in the song “Oh Freedom” and the last line “Before I’d be a slave, I’d Be buried in my grave” comes from that.

I’m amused that a lazy way to make lyrics rhyme is to put a -O after each last word in a sentence.

Peggy-O

[E] As we rode out to [A] Fennario,[E] as we rode on to Fennario [B7]
[A] Our captain fell in [C#m] love with a lady like a [A] dove
[E] And called her by a name, pretty [A] Peggy-O.[E]

Will you marry me pretty Peggy-O, will you marry me pretty Peggy-O
If you will marry me, I’ll set your cities free
And free all the people in the are-O.

I would marry you sweet William-O, I would marry you sweet William-O
I would marry you but your guineas are too few
And I fear my mama would be angry-O.

What would your mama think pretty Peggy-O,
What would your mama think pretty Peggy-O,
What would your mama think if she heard my guineas clink
Saw me marching at the head of my soldiers-O

Come steppin’ down the stairs pretty Peggy-O,
Come steppin’ down the stairs pretty Peggy-O,
Come steppin’ down the stairs combin’ back your yellow hair
Bid a last farewell to your William-O.

Sweet William he is dead pretty Peggy-O, sweet William he
is dead pretty Peggy-O,
Sweet William he is dead and he died for a maid
And he’s buried in the Louisiana country-O.

As we rode out to Fennario, as we rode out to Fennario
Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove,
And called her by a name, pretty Peggy-O.

Courteous Knight


h1 Monday, June 1st, 2020

This is Child Ballad #112 and has many variants. One of the most interesting to me is the sea chantey “Blow Ye Winds Of Morning.”

[E] There was a knight a courteous knight
A-walking [B7] up the [E] hill
[A] It was a fine June [E] morning
[F#m] He spied some [B7] daffodils

Chorus

[E] Singing blow away the morning dew
Adieu, and [A] Adieu.
[E] Blow away the morning dew,
[B7] How sweet the winds do [E] blow.

He looked high, he looked low,
He cast an under look;
And there he saw a pretty maid
A-swimming in the brook

Cast over me my mantle fair
And pin it o’er my gown;
And, if you’il take hold of my hand,
Then I shall be your own.

If you come down to my father’s house
Which is walled all around,
And, you shall have a kiss from me
And twenty thousand pound.

He mounted on a milk white steed
And she upon another;
And then they rode along the lane
Like sister and like brother.

But when they came to her father’s gate,
So nimble she popped in:
And said: There is a fool without
And here’s a maid within.

A Long Time Ago


h1 Sunday, March 1st, 2020

A Long Time Ago (AKA Noah’s Ark) is a halyard chantey, collected by Cecil Sharp on the 3rd June,1914 from Capt. Hole, of Watchet, Somerset England.

I love how Noah put the dog to work plugging up the hole and that’s why dog’s noses are cold.

Lyrics

In Frisco Bay there were three ships
To me way, hey, hey-oh
In Frisco Bay there were three ships
A long time ago

And one of them ships was Noah’s old ark
To me way, hey, hey-oh
All covered all o’er wi’ hickory bark
A long time ago

They took two animals of every kind
To me way, hey, hey-oh
They took two animals of every kind
A long time ago

The bull and the cow they started t’ row
To me way, hey, hey-oh
The bull and the cow they started t’ row
A long time ago

Then said old Noah with a crack of his whip
To me way, hey, hey-oh
Come stop this row or I’ll scuttle the ship
A long time ago

But the bull struck his horn through the side of the ark
To me way, hey, hey-oh
The little black dog he started t’ bark
A long time ago

So Noah took the dog, shoved its nose up the hole
To me way, hey, hey-oh
And ever since then dogs’ nose has been cold
A long time ago

It’s a long, long time and a very long time
To me way, hey, hey-o
It’s a long, long time and a very long time
A long time ago

Talcahuano Gals


h1 Wednesday, 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

Marching To Pretoria


h1 Friday, 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

Amazing Grace


h1 Tuesday, 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

Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate


h1 Thursday, 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 Monday, 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 Saturday, 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 Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond


h1 Sunday, 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]