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Lyr Req: The Herring Song

DigiTrad:
HERRING'S HEAD
THE HARRIN'S HEID [Herring's Head]


Related threads:
Sardine Songs, Herring Hymns (39)
Penguin: The Red Herring (3)
Lyr Req: Harrin's Heed (6)
Tune Req: Herring song (2) (closed)
Eliza C Herring Song chorus (2)
Lyr Add: The Herring's Head (from Chris Foster) (7)


Vic in Australia 24 Oct 98 - 11:42 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 24 Oct 98 - 05:30 PM
Barbara 24 Oct 98 - 05:51 PM
Vic in Australia 24 Oct 98 - 07:48 PM
rich r 25 Oct 98 - 12:44 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 25 Oct 98 - 02:47 PM
Susan of DT 25 Oct 98 - 03:02 PM
RaginPagan 26 Oct 98 - 02:34 PM
Pete M 27 Oct 98 - 04:36 PM
The Fenian 27 Oct 98 - 05:15 PM
Barbara 27 Oct 98 - 05:25 PM
Barbara 27 Oct 98 - 06:52 PM
BAZ 28 Oct 98 - 06:00 PM
alison 29 Oct 98 - 06:12 AM
Vic n Australia 29 Oct 98 - 07:25 AM
RaginPagan 29 Oct 98 - 04:35 PM
MMario 29 Oct 98 - 05:06 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 29 Oct 98 - 08:28 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 29 Oct 98 - 08:33 PM
Alan of Australia 29 Oct 98 - 09:20 PM
Jon Bartlett 01 Nov 98 - 03:45 AM
Vic in Australia 01 Nov 98 - 07:48 AM
Bill Cameron 01 Nov 98 - 10:46 AM
alison 02 Nov 98 - 10:03 AM
Vic in Australia 11 Nov 98 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Tom Hamilton 23 Mar 00 - 12:52 PM
Abby Sale 23 Mar 00 - 09:15 PM
Bob Bolton 23 Mar 00 - 09:51 PM
sheila 23 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM
Barbara 24 Mar 00 - 01:13 AM
Abby Sale 24 Mar 00 - 10:06 AM
paddyc 24 Mar 00 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,RZangpo2 07 Jun 01 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,DaisyA 07 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jun 01 - 08:08 AM
Charley Noble 07 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 07 Jun 01 - 08:52 AM
Anglo 07 Jun 01 - 06:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jun 01 - 09:49 PM
Mudlark 08 Jun 01 - 01:20 AM
Garry Gillard 08 Jun 01 - 11:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jul 01 - 12:28 PM
Garry Gillard 08 Jul 01 - 06:18 AM
Brían 08 Jul 01 - 07:06 AM
Alice 08 Jul 01 - 10:59 AM
Orac 09 Jul 01 - 09:20 AM
Brían 17 Jul 01 - 11:09 PM
Tattie Bogle 18 Jul 01 - 07:41 PM
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Subject: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Vic in Australia
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 11:42 AM

Could anyone help me out with the lyrics to the above? (Recently heard on Eliza Carthy's : "RED RICE") Much appreciated......Vic


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HERRING'S HEAD
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:30 PM

Is this the one you mean? How many herring songs can there be?:)

THE HERRING'S HEAD
(Trad. arranged Chris Foster on "Sting In The Tail")

What will we do with the old herring's head?
We'll make it into loaves of bread
Herrings' head, loaves of bread,
And all such things.

[Chorus]
The herring is the king of the sea
The herring is the fish for me
The herring is the king of the sea
Sing whack-fol-do-dol-lay.

And what will we do with the old herring's eyes
We'll make them into puddings and pies,
Herring's eyes, puddings and pies
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

And what will we do with the old herring's gills
We'll make them into physical pills,
Herring's gills, physical pills,
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

And what will we do with the old herring's scales
We'll make them into buckets and pails
Herring's scales, buckets and pails
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

And what will we do with the old herring's fins
We'll make them into needles and pins,
Herring's fins, needles and pins,
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

And what will we do with the old herring's belly,
We'll make it into jams and jelly,
Herring's belly, jams and jelly,
And all such things.

[Chorus Again]

And what will we do with the old herring's back,
We'll make it into a fishing smack,
Herring's back, fishing smack,
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

And what will we do with the old herring's tail
We'll make it into a ship with a sail
Herring's tail, fish with a sail
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

Herring's tail, a ship with a sail,
Herring's back, a fishing smack
Herring's belly, jams and jelly,
Herring's fins, needles and pins,
Herring's scales, buckets and pails,
Herring's gills, physical pills,
Herring's eyes, puddings and pies,
Herring's head, loaves of bread,
And all such things.

[Chorus again]

I left out one verse because I couldn't understand Foster's accent no matter how hard I tried. It sounds like:

And what do we do with the old herring's guts,
We'll make them into comic cuts,
Herring's cuts, comic cuts,
And all such things.

Of course, if you add it to the song you have to add it to the list at the end.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 05:51 PM

How many herring songs can there be, he asks. About as many as herring fishermen, I'd guess. Putting "herring" in the search box above right got me 25 hits, not all of them about herring, but all of them mentioning herring. Notably there is Ewan MacColl's Shoals of Herring and Gordon Bok's Herring Croon. How about it, Vic, are any of these the right ones?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Vic in Australia
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 07:48 PM

Thanks Tim & Barbara. Yeah Tim , that's the same tune although a considerably different arrangament. E Carthy's arrangement goes something like:

So what do you think they made of his fins? Sing "????", Sing "????" The finest cases for needles and pins Sing "????", Sing "????" Sing herring, sing fins, sing needles and pins, Sing "????", Sing "????" And indeed I have more of my herring to sing....

...and then on to the next verse....No Chorus! so anyway, its those "????" bits that I can't figure out. btw, it's credited as Trad. arr.E.Carthy,S.Rose,E.Boyd

Thanks again, ....Vic


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: rich r
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 12:44 AM

It is a relief to know we are not hard of herring

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 02:47 PM

I grew up with herring and hate the odious stuff. Enough small bones to choke a cat. The pickled version always reminded me of the portions of dissected snakes in jars we had at school. Not as bad as gaspereau, though, a fish best left to the seagulls. No quantity of fiddleheads can make it palatable.

When I went up to Boston
They served me fish with frostin'
But heavens it was costin'
Too much for the likes of me.
Give me herring and potatoes
Herring and potatoes
Herring and potatoes
Is enough for the likes of me.

Or:

What we eat until we're bustin'
Manitobans find disgustin'
For it seems salt cod's upsetting
To their dainty western tongues
And with faces stern and stoney
They say herring's too damned boney
But there's nothing for dissolving bones
Like good Jamaica rum.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 03:02 PM

a search for herring nets 25 hits (23 about the fish)


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: RaginPagan
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 02:34 PM

Strange, I was just listening to this bizzare song on the way home. I think I might have got the hang of her Somerset accent, so I'll spend some time trying to work the words out and get back to you.

I've seen Eliza Carthy a couple of times now. By the gods, she improves the scenery where ever she goes.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Pete M
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 04:36 PM

Sorry Tim, can't agree. Soused herring, herring roe, herring in oatmeal - brings back memories and makes the old mouth water. Shame about the bones though. Mackeral now, that's as good and much more eater friendly so far as the bones go. Haven't had either since we left Tavistock twelve years ago.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: The Fenian
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 05:15 PM

Barbara, have you ever heard anyone sing the Shoal of Herring because I've only ever heard two people sing it right with the high's and low's in exactly the right places. Anyway that's it if you know anywhere where I could get a midi file of that song let me know.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Barbara
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 05:25 PM

Shoals of Herring was written by Ewan MacColl and is on his Black and White tape/CD. That should be definitive enough, hey? Check out the Ewan MacColl - Reccommendations? Thread for more information about the song.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Barbara
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 06:52 PM

Oh, I see, Fenian, you were looking for a MIDI. If I can locate my Seeger/McColl songbook with that in it, I'll post it. But I have a suspicion that the book went for a walk a couple years back, and hasn't come home yet. I'll look.
Perhaps Alison or Joe can find or make a MIDI first.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: BAZ
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 06:00 PM

Pete
Got to agree with you about the Mackeral
Marion(my wife) and I were sitting down at the harbour a few weeks back playing the whistle and squeezebox when a fisherman we knew came in and handed us four.
We cleaned them then and there and grilled them over the coals straight away.
Magic!

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Subject: Tune Add: THE SHOALS OF HERRING
From: alison
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 06:12 AM

Hi ,

Here you go. Tune taken out of Folksongs & Ballads Popular in Ireland book 3.

Please if you want me to make midi files.... send me a personal message because I don't necessarily get time to check all the threads.... I just sort of stumbled into this one by accident... and found Barbara's kind words.

I don't mind making midis at all.... so if I can help please let me know and I'll see if I know the tune.

Slainte

alison

MIDI file: SHOALHER.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: The Shoals of Herring
TimeSig: 2/4 24 8
Key: C
Tempo: 076 (789473 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0480 1 60 018 0358 0 60 018 0002 1 64 026 0118 0 64 026 0002 1 67 022 0238 0 67 022 0002 1 67 026 0238 0 67 026 0002 1 67 033 0478 0 67 033 0002 1 69 024 0358 0 69 024 0002 1 67 029 0118 0 67 029 0002 1 65 026 0238 0 65 026 0002 1 64 029 0238 0 64 029 0002 1 67 029 0478 0 67 029 0002 1 60 018 0238 0 60 018 0002 1 64 036 0238 0 64 036 0002 1 67 048 0238 0 67 048 0002 1 67 029 0238 0 67 029 0002 1 72 042 0358 0 72 042 0002 1 74 029 0118 0 74 029 0002 1 76 028 0238 0 76 028 0002 1 72 027 0238 0 72 027 0002 1 74 029 0358 0 74 029 0002 1 71 029 0118 0 71 029 0002 1 67 029 0478 0 67 029 0002 1 72 026 0358 0 72 026 0002 1 74 031 0118 0 74 031 0002 1 76 031 0358 0 76 031 0002 1 72 024 0118 0 72 024 0002 1 74 019 0478 0 74 019 0002 1 72 028 0358 0 72 028 0002 1 71 026 0115 1 67 029 0003 0 71 026 0242 1 65 029 0039 0 67 029 0199 0 65 029 0002 1 64 033 0118 0 64 033 0002 1 60 042 0358 0 60 042 0002 1 60 026 0238 0 60 026 0002 1 64 031 0238 0 64 031 0002 1 67 041 0358 0 67 041 0002 1 67 032 0118 0 67 032 0002 1 64 034 0238 0 64 034 0002 1 60 027 0238 0 60 027 0002 1 65 025 0358 0 65 025 0002 1 64 031 0118 0 64 031 0002 1 62 019 0478 0 62 019 0002 1 60 028 0478 0 60 028
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:The Shoals of Herring
M:2/4
Q:1/4=76
K:C
C7E|G2G2G4|A3GF2E2|G4C2E2|G2G2c3d|e2c2d3B|
G4c3d|e3cd4|c3BG2F2|EC3C2E2|G3GE2C2|F3ED4|
C8||


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Subject: Lyr Add: HERRING SONG (from Eliza Carthy)
From: Vic n Australia
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 07:25 AM

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my original request, esp: Tim J., Barbara, Susan, & Ragin.

Here's my idea of the lyric with a "?" for the unknown word (words).

HERRING SONG
Trad. arr. E. Carthy, S. Rose, E. Boyd

There once was a man who came from Kinsale,
Sing ? Sing ?
And he had a herring, a herring for sale.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing man of Kinsale, sing herring for sale
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his head?
Sing ? Sing ?
The finest oven that ever baked bread
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing head, sing oven, sing bread.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his back?
Sing ? Sing ?
A nice little man and his name it was Jack.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing back, sing man, sing Jack.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his eyes?
Sing ? Sing ?
The finest dishes that ever held pies.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing eyes, sing dishes, sing pies.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his scales?
Sing ? Sing ?
The finest ships that ever set sail.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing scales, sing ships, sing sail.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his fins?
Sing ? Sing ?
The finest cases for needles and pins.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing fins, sing needles and pins.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I have more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing ?

So what do you think they made of his hair?
Sing ? Sing ?
The finest rope (rug?) for the seat of a chair.
Sing ? Sing ?

Sing herring, sing hair, sing rope, sing chair.
Sing ? Sing ?
And indeed I've no more of my herring to sing.
Sing ? Sing?

----------------------------

OK, so that's what I've got. I'm just itching to know the ?'s. As you can see Tim it's basically the same as your Herring Song, yet radically different. Does anyone have a source closer to Eliza Carthy's version?

. . . . . . . . . . thanks, Vic

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 25-Jun-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: RaginPagan
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 04:35 PM

I've had a bit of a listen to the song a have a couple of suggestions as to the "???" bits, neither of which make much sense.

My prefered option is..

"Sing aber all ain, sing aber all in."

I guess this might be "Gather all 'ain, gather all in."

Anyone out there got a fishing or mongering background that might poor some light on to this ?


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: MMario
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 05:06 PM

Any chance it could be "Sing gather a line?" as in hauling nets or drag lines?

it would at least make a modicum of sense, not that that is necessary MMario


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 08:28 PM

I have "Shoals of Herring" by the Canadian group Tamarack.

The Boys of Killybegs also mentions herring.

You're all welcome to my share of the herring.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 08:33 PM

Say, Vic, do you have herring down under? I thought you had more exotic fare, like green mussels and puffer fish.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 29 Oct 98 - 09:20 PM

G'day,
Somewhere I think I've got a version like Eliza Carthy's sung by someone else. If I can find it I'll see what I can make of it. I think the ??? bits were just nonsense words - make up your own.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHELVES OF HERRING ^^
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 03:45 AM

I had to go back a few years in our newsletter, the 3/4 Times, but I found it!

SHELVES OF HERRING

It was a fine and a pleasant day,
In a Safeway store I was faring,
And I walked for miles up and down the aisles,
As I hunted for the shelves of herring.

O the carts were few and the lines were long,
And the people, sure they took some bearing.
There was little kindness and the kids were many,
As I hunted for the shelves of herring.

O I took my catch to a ten-item line,
And at me the clerk she sure was swearing;
For I'd a hundred cans of the silver darlings
That I'd taken from the shelves of herring!

Now for six long months I've been eating fish,
And my house it sure could use an airing!
And now I know, never again I'll go
To hunt for the shelves of herring!

This came to me from John Dwyer, an old Washington State folkie, died a year or so back, who had it from Bruce Baker of Seattle, who had it from the maker, Frederick Schroers of Portland. John said before he sung it that he was glad Ewan, the original maker, wasn't there. I agree. Jon ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Vic in Australia
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 07:48 AM

Hey Alan, I'm in Adelaide - whereabouts are you?

I think you're right about the nonsense lines ( a bit like the "whack-fol-do dol lay" in Tim J's version). I'd still like to know what it is she's singing tho'.

Hey Tim, the last fish I caught was a catfish, 25 years ago in the River Murray. Had to pull its hide off with a pair of pliers!

Barbara, Susan - checked out the 25 herring "hits" and no sign of Elizas Herring Song - Tim's got the same basic song, but now I'm hoping Alan can find that other version.

Thanks everyone.......much appreciated.........Vic.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 10:46 AM

One of my all-time favorite albums, Songs of the Fishing --by Cilla Fisher, of course--contains these herring-specific songs:

Tatties and Herrin'

(Tatties and herrin', tatties and herrin' Your natural food is tatties and herrin')

The Isle of May

(No more herring swim, hard times are come For the bright herrings gone, and inshore life is done)

Caller Herrin'

(Wha'll buy my caller herrin? They're bonnie fish and halesome farin/Buy my caller herrin', New drawn frae the Forth)

Not the least of the record's appeal is that it has all the lyrics on the back cover...try that on a CD.

Bill in semi-sunny Eastern Ontario (my first msg on the Mudcat, which I just stumbled on a couple days ago)


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: alison
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 10:03 AM

Hi Vic,

alan, myself, Murray and Bob Bolton are all in Sydney.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Vic in Australia
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 07:50 AM

make that Vic in South Australia.

Hey Alison, thanks for the message. I spent 2 of my more impressionable years (13,14) in Longueville and have loved Sydney ever since.

But if I may returnto my thread: Alan, any luck finding that version of "The Herring Song"? - the urge to find those missing lyrics (nonsense or otherwise) hasn't left me.

btw, anyone got dates for Eliza Carthy in NSW? I know she's at Pt. Fairy & Brunswick Festivals with Martin & Norma and with any luck WOMAD in S.A.

Thanks........Vic


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: GUEST,Tom Hamilton
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 12:52 PM

Isla St. Clair sings a song about a Herring and the different parts of the fish. It's on a C.D called 'The sea' this is the partner of a another C.D called 'The land' and both are by Isla St. Clair.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 09:15 PM

Barbara: Shoals of Herring was written by Ewan MacColl and is on his Black and White tape/CD. That should be definitive enough, hey?

isn't entirely true, unfortunately. He changed it from time to time adding/subtracting a verse or so. I once wrote a short paper on it and how the song has acted exactly as if it were a folk song. Interesting as it moved from singer to singer in its early days...Killen, Kelly, etc.

Especially note the verse Lloyd sings in the original presentation, in the radio ballad. It balances & is the same tune as the normally-sung first verse. I like it and add it back in.

Night and day the sea we're daring
Come wind or calm or winter gale
Sweating or cold, growing up, growing old, or dying
As we hunt the bonnie shoals of hering.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 09:51 PM

G'day Herring lovers (loathers?),

Herring seems to be only an exotic import here in Australia - my Scouser friends keep it commercially viable by keeping up the demand.

Abbey Sale: You point about the way Ewan's songs have gone back into the tradition is very good. I guess it shows how well the tradition was respected in their making.

I loved Sam Larner's reaction when Ewan & Peggy diffidently sang the song (crafted from all his tales and speech) back to him for comment. Apparently he replied (~) "Boy ... I've knowed that song all my life!". One could not ask for greater approbation. (Source: recorded talk by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger on the Folk tradition, played on ABC [Australia], late 1970s.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton

Perhaps Barbabra's hope of a definitive version was not so much the problem as The Fenian's remark "...I've only ever heard two people sing it right with the high's and low's in exactly the right places."


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: sheila
Date: 23 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM

Abby -
I always did like that last verse - it does finish off the song beautifully.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:13 AM

Abby, thanks for the clarification, (I never spell Ewan's name right, either). Tell me, is that the verse I hear sung at one-half speed in some versions?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 10:06 AM

Barbara; Significantly slower but not, I think, half. It's a bit weird to pick up - the intro verse is sung by Ewan (it's easy to remember how to spell this if you alway remember to mispronounce it as ee-wan) and his styling of it is very different from Lloyd's at the end, even though they are clearly intended to be the same tune. Even though MacColl wrote it, I far prefer Lloyd's interpretation. So as not to give the song three tunes, I try to sing both first & last a la Lloyd.

I think you have to hear the original to get this. And that difference may be why the last is not usually sung.

BTW, this is a very strong statement for me, personally, as I no qualms about describing MacColl as the world's greatest-ever ballad singer. (With the possible exception, according to Lawless, of Sandy Paton.)


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: paddyc
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 12:36 PM

The best Shoals of Herring version definetley has to be by Liam Clancy on "The Wild and Wasteful Ocean" cd.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: GUEST,RZangpo2
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 03:01 AM

Kinsale? Surely it should be Kintail - that's what it sounds like to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: GUEST,DaisyA
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM

Hooray, I know what the ????s are! It's Irish and it is (phonetically) "Sing ebero vain, sing ebero lin" I saw her do it live and she got the audience to join in with the Irish bits, but I can't remember what it means sorry. It's a great song, really hard to sing...

Daisy


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 08:08 AM

Whatever Eliza sings, it's Kinsale in the traditional versions of this variant.  The nonsense words may be Irish, and they may not; Eliza herself used to think that they might be Welsh.  Seamus Ennis -from whom Eliza's set may well derive- sang aber-um-vane and aber-o-ling, but he doesn't seems to have expressed an opinion as to the words' derivation or meaning.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM

Now we know, maybe?


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 08:52 AM

The chorus has never been regarded as anything but nonsense, in Ireland.

Regards

p.s. There's a reference to a Chris Foster album called "Sting in the Tail" in an early entry in this thread. Anyone know if it has a song of that title - about cricket?


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Anglo
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 06:05 PM

I think most things have been said already - the Aber o Lane (or whatever) version Eliza sings seems to come from Seamus Ennis. I don't think anyone has mentioned that there's a nice version of it on the Banddoggs album.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 09:49 PM

True.  And Martin: no cricket song, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Mudlark
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 01:20 AM

The version that I sing (sounds like a variation of the first herring song in this thread) has a say and respond chorus: Singer 1: Why didn't you tell me so? singer 2: So I did, long ago! Singer 1: Thou lie! singer 2: Thou lie! Singers 1 and 2 together: Well, well everything. Do you think I've done well with my jolly herring.

The guts verse as I know it goes: What have I made of my old herring's guts? Forty bright women and fifty bright sluts. Wantons and women and everything! Do you think I've done well with my jolly herring?

Another verse I like is: What have I made w/my old herring's eyes? Forty jackdaws and fifty magpies. Larks and linnets and everything! Do you think I've done well...etc.

Mudlark


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 11:25 AM

About time I contributed my two cents worth. Here's one cent: the herring song; and here's the other: 70 cents.

:) Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 01:55 PM

For Eliza's own take on the refrain, see  Eliza C Herring Song chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 12:25 PM

I've just been looking at George Petrie's Complete Collection of Irish Music (ed. C. S. Villiers, 1903) and happened to notice that number #502, We Brought the Summer With Us, carries the following text:

Of all the fish that's in the sea
The herring is king, the herring is king.
Sing thurgamur fein an samhra linn
'Tis we have brought the summer in
The storm is o'er 'tis calm again;
We're safe on shore from the raging main,
Sing thugamar fein an samhra linn,
'Tis we have brought the summer in.

Text transcribed as printed.  It would take very little to mutate the Gaelic phrase (of which the final line is more-or-less a translation) into aber-um-vane and aber-o-ling.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 12:28 PM

Nearly as printed: I inadvertently added an "r" to the first thugamar.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 08 Jul 01 - 06:18 AM

Thanks for the link to Eliza's message, which I hadn't seen, Malcolm.

Corrections made.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Brían
Date: 08 Jul 01 - 07:06 AM

Great work, Malcolm. There is also a similar version with the same refrain in IRISH BALLADS AND SONGS OF THE SEA by James N. Healy. The melody used is BRUACH NA CARRAIGE BAINNE.

Brían.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Alice
Date: 08 Jul 01 - 10:59 AM

Where's Bill Sables? He sang the herring song to us in my kitchen last year, as we all had kippered herring.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Orac
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 09:20 AM

The conclusion to "Shoals of Herring" begins "Night and day we're faring" not "Night and day we're daring". Most of the recordings of this song made in the 60's have both the intro and the conclusion. Unfortunately they seem to get omitted these days which is a shame (probably due to ignorance) It is a much better song when sung as it was written.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Brían
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:09 PM

I have a transcription of this song as sung by Joe Heaney from the University of Washington. As a caveat, I admit that he may have got his version from Seamus Ennis. Also, I don't know if he assisted the transcription in any way.

In any case, the chorus is offered as:

Abair-a-linn, abair-a-linn

Say it to us, say it to us

Brían.


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Subject: RE: Lyric:The Herring Song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:41 PM

And there's also the "Fishgutters' Song" all about the intrepid women who travelled the East Coast ports frae "Peterheid" to "Yermouth Toon" for the sole(groan!) purpose of gutting fish. On a CD by Stravaig. Tattie B


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