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Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)

DigiTrad:
THE MERMAID
THE MERMAID (5)
WAVES ON THE SEA


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The Mermaid -- any more verses? (5)


radriano 24 Jun 02 - 12:49 PM
MMario 24 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Foe 24 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Foe 24 Jun 02 - 01:42 PM
EBarnacle1 24 Jun 02 - 01:43 PM
MMario 24 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM
radriano 24 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM
Anglo 24 Jun 02 - 05:38 PM
radriano 24 Jun 02 - 06:59 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 07:07 PM
Anglo 24 Jun 02 - 07:42 PM
Irish sergeant 24 Jun 02 - 08:03 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 02 - 08:45 PM
Anglo 24 Jun 02 - 09:00 PM
Haruo 25 Jun 02 - 01:44 AM
greg stephens 25 Jun 02 - 06:34 AM
MMario 25 Jun 02 - 08:34 AM
greg stephens 25 Jun 02 - 08:39 AM
PeteBoom 25 Jun 02 - 08:41 AM
MMario 25 Jun 02 - 09:01 AM
Trapper 25 Jun 02 - 11:51 AM
radriano 25 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM
radriano 25 Jun 02 - 12:57 PM
MMario 25 Jun 02 - 01:15 PM
radriano 25 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM
MMario 25 Jun 02 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 25 Jun 02 - 07:13 PM
Anglo 25 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM
bet 26 Jun 02 - 07:14 PM
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Subject: looking for sea song
From: radriano
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:49 PM

I was approached by someone at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival who is looking for a song about "the cook not wanting to go to the bottom of the deep blue sea with his pots and pans" - anyone out there in Mudcat Land know about such a song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: MMario
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 12:55 PM

The Mermaid...
THE MERMAID (Digital Tradition version - click here)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OCEAN WAVES^^^
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM

Song I learned as a camp couselor, THE OCEAN WAVES.

Then up spoke the cookie of our gallent ship
And a well spoken cookie was he
I care more for my pots and my pans
Then I do for the bottom of the sea

Oh the Ocean waves they roll
And the stormy winds they blow
While we poor sailors go skipping through the tops
And the landlubbers lie down below, below, below
While the landlubbers lie down below


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 01:42 PM

The captain cares more for his maps and charts

The mate cares more for his girls in every port


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 01:43 PM

A recent addition to the song is:

"Then up spoke the figurehead of our gallant ship,
And a full-figured figurehead was she,
I care much more for the tops of the waves
Than I do for the bottom of the sea."

enjoy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: MMario
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM

Molly and the Tinker do an hysterical version with the aerobics instructor, cruise director, etc...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: radriano
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM

Well, shiver me timbers!

None of the versions of the Mermaid I've see had that verse. I sing the more traditional version of the song which is called "The Ship in Distress" in the Oxford Book of Sea Songs and does not use the more popular melody usually associated with the "Mermaid."

Regards to all,
Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: Anglo
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 05:38 PM

Ahem. First off, "The Ship in Distress" is a completely different song.

And what makes one version of a traditional song "more traditional" than another, pray?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song
From: radriano
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 06:59 PM

Anglo,

I know there is another song titled "Ship in Distress" but the song with that title in the Oxford Book of Sea Songs is clearly the same song as "The Mermaid."

My use of the term "more traditional" is open to debate and is perhaps more of a personal taste issue. The melody supplied for this song in the book is much more sombre and ballad-like than the more upbeat better known version. It has always seemed odd to me that a song about a disaster should have such a cheerful melody. And most people I have heard singing "The Mermaid" slow down that last verse about the ship going three times round before it sinks which leads me to think that either it was popularized that way by some group or that it has been influenced by the Music Hall scene. In either case that kind of dramatization can be said to be less traditional.

I don't pretend to be an expert, Anglo, and I certainly didn't intend my comment to come off as a "holier than thou" attitude. I do sing modern songs too but I find myself drawn to more traditional material.

Regards,
Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 07:07 PM

The Digital Tradition has a song called Ship in Distress. The same song bears that same title in The Oxford Book of Sea Songs. I see Mermaid and versions 3, 4, and 5 in the Digital Tradition, but no #2.
Richard - I added to the title of this thread to make it a bit less generic.
Hope you don't mind.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Anglo
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 07:42 PM

Well I'm not going to type out all six long verses in support of my contention that the Oxford Book "Ship in Distress" (#69) in the Oxford Book is in fact a "Ship in Distress" and not a "Mermaid" but if you do think it is, then perhaps you could give us a couple of lines from your version that make the point. Joe appears to share my opinion, so we seem to be ganging up on you :-)

But for starters there's no mermaid, nobody up speaks, and the ship doesn't sink.

I wasn't really trying to be too argumentative about "more traditional" - it just struck me as akin to "more unique" in the sense that it can't really be quantified that way. I would accept that it might be more traditional-sounding. To some ears anyway. And the Oxford "Ship in Distress" is indeed a very nice version of that song. I hope to hear you sing it someday.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 08:03 PM

It's a great song and one that is popular withthe group I re-enact with. I expect you have the verses i have as I got it off the digitrad. I don't slow down the last verse Maybe its just a matter of personal taste? Kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 08:45 PM

Well, I wasn't expressing an opinion either way. I don't quite see the connection between Mermaid and the Ship in Distress that's in the Digital Tradition ind in the Oxford Book of Sea songs - but then, I often don't catch onto connections that are very clear to others.
What's the other "Ship in Distress" song?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Anglo
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 09:00 PM

Well, there it is indeed, the Oxford Book version, tune and text, on the DT. (For some reason I can't access DT tunes, so I use the mirror site - and I note that the C# in the 3/2 measure, on the "bat-" of "battle," is wrong, it should be natural).

Not the one I know, which is the somewhat shorter version from the Penguin Book, the one that Louis Killen sings. Bob Copper has a nice version, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 01:44 AM

I opened the DT's MIDI file in Noteworthy Composer and don't see a 3/2 measure. But there's a couple of 3/4 measures (most of the song is in 5/4), and the C's in those measures are all naturaled (though the key is D major). So the C# must be a peculiarity of the mirror site.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 06:34 AM

Excuse my ignorance, but what's the "mirror site"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: MMario
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:34 AM

greg - there is a "mirror" (a net/web term for an additional site (sometimes totaly independent) that "mirrors" the content of another site - in this case the DT. The site is http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/.

The site owner has set up scripts so that if there is a tune in the DT the tune displays as sheet music - and can be displayed in a number of other formats as well as played as midi.

Link fixed. --JoeClone, 28-Jun-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:39 AM

Mmario, thanks for that info. I'm fascinated, particularly if it has music displayed in conventional notation. Unfortunately when I clicked on it it says "FORBIDDEN you do not havepermission to access" or words to that effect. Any advice?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: PeteBoom
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 08:41 AM

Ahem... to lower the level of discussion...

WE do a verse with a ship's surgeon... "a fine proctologist was he. He said I've been in many tight spots before, but this is the worst I've ever seen..."

bunch a sick puppies we are...

Pete


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: MMario
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 09:01 AM

that's because I messed up the link.

url=http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/


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Subject: Looking for sea song (Mermaid) - HAND MOTIONS
From: Trapper
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 11:51 AM

My daughter and I made up hand motions to The Mermaid when she was in Kindergarten. I go back to her old elementary school every year, and The Mermaid (with hand motions) is always a favorite.

...AND THE OCEAN WAVES DO ROLL...
Interlock fingers of both hands in front of you and undulate both arms in "wave" fashion

...AND THE STORMY SEAS DO BLOW...
Put both hands in front of you, palms up and arms locked as if motioning someone to stop. Move arms forward and back by locking and unlocking elbows. After you say "BLOW", blow gently (DON'T SPIT!) twice.

...AND WE...
Gesture to yourself with your right thumb.

...POOR SAILORS...
Salute with three fingers to your forehead, as if you were a Boy Scout.

...ARE SKIPPING...
Make a little walking man with the first two fingers of your right hand.

...AT THE TOP...
Make the "thumbs up" signal with your right hand, and raise your arm from waist to shoulder level.

...AND THE LANDLUBBERS...
Cross your arms across your chest and touch the opposite shoulders with your hands, in the "love" sign from American Sign Language.

...LIE DOWN...
Put your palms together and put them to the right side of your head, as if you're taking a nap.

...BELOW, BELOW, BELOW...
Make the "thumbs down" sign at about chest level, and wave your arm downward with each "Below"...

Repeat the last three signs when you re-sing those last three lines at the end.

- Al


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
From: radriano
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM

My apologies, Anglo. My source was indeed the "Oxford Book of Sea Songs" but the title of the song in question is "The Seamen's Distress." Another senior moment for radriano (sigh). Here's the text:

THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
The Oxford Book of Sea Songs, Roy Palmer, ed.

As we lay musing in our beds
So well and so warm at ease
I thought upon those lodging beds
Poor seamen have at sea

Last Easter Day in the morning fair
We was not far from land
Where we spied a mermaid on a rock
With comb and glass in hand

The first came up the mate of our ship
With lead and line in hand
To sound and see how deep we was
From any rock or sand

The next came up the boatswain of our ship
With courage stout and bold
Stand fast, stand fast, my brave, lively lads
Stand fast, my brave hearts of gold

Our gallant ship has gone to wreck
Which was so lately trimmed
The raging seas have sprung a lead
And the salt water does run in

Our gold and silver, and all our clothes
And all that ever we had
We forced was to heave them overboard
Thinking our lives to save

In all the number that was on board
Was five hundred and sixty-four
And all that ever came alive on shore
There was but poor ninety-five


The first bespoke the captain of our ship
And a well-spoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Plymouth town
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the mate of our ship
And a well-bespoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Portsmouth town
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the boatswain of our ship
And a well-bespoke man was he
I have a wife in fair Exeter
And a widow I fear she must be

The next bespoke the little cabin boy
And a well-bespoke boy was he
I am as sorry for my mother dear
As you are for you wives all three

Last night when the moon shined bright
My mother had five sons
But now she may look in the salt sea
And find but one alive

Call a boat, call a boat, you little Plymouth boys
Don't you hear how the trumpet sound
For the want of a boat our gallant ship is lost
And the most of our merry men drowned

Whilst the raging seas do roar
And the lofty winds do blow
And we poor seamen do lie on the top
Whilst the landsmen lies below

Cheers,
Richard


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Subject: Tune Add: THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
From: radriano
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 12:57 PM

Here is the ABC notation for "The Seamen's Distress":

X:1
T:THE SEAMEN'S DISTRESS
M:4/4
L:1/8
S:Oxford Book of Sea Songs
R:Sea Song
K:G
D2|E3F G2F2|(3(E2D2)E2 B,2zB,|E2E2 FG{A}d2|B4","z2(GA)|
(B>A) (GA) B2(EG)|
A2(FD) B,2","(GA)|(B>c)(BA) (GE)(FD)|E6||


The commas in the above notation denote phrase breaks, I believe. I can easily produce a MIDI file from the ABC notation - if anyone wants that send me a PM with your e-mail address.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: MMario
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 01:15 PM

NWC file and midi (produced from above)sent to JoeO


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: radriano
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM

Thank you, MMario!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: MMario
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 02:53 PM

no problem! always happy to send a tune onwards. (besides, I like this one!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:13 PM

Up spoke the cook of our gallant ship and a greasy old butcher was he.

I care much more for my pots and my pans than I do for the bottom of the sea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: Anglo
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM

Thanks for straightening that out, Radriano. The tune is the same one as in the Penguin Book, where the singer's six verses (as noted in the Folk Song Journal) are expanded into 10, probably by A.L. Lloyd who was known for that sort of thing). And, for the record, the Oxford tune has an error, reiterated in the ABC above, the third full measure should be: |E2 EF G2{A}d2|

This Penguin version has become fairly well-known, recorded not too long ago by Finest Kind, for example, in a 3-part harmony arrangement.

I wonder that Roy Palmer chose this tune for a different text. For one thing it's well established, for another to my ear it doesn't really fit the metre. It demands a lot of slurred notes, which to my mind tend to be avoided in traditional music. I do find in general that you have to read the small print very carefully to try and work out how he will take a tune from one place, and an often unrelated text from somewhere else, and put them together as if that's how the song has always been. But that's a small cavil. He's done a hell of a lot in the cause of traditional music and I have every respect for the man.

I'll leave the pulpit now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: looking for sea song (Mermaid)
From: bet
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 07:14 PM

Great song! We use it in school and at camp! young and old always get involved with waves rolling. bet


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