Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kautilya

composer/songwriters:Is there a tina shanty to be got out of this stor

Recommended Posts

"Come all ye dryland sail-i-ors, and listen to me song ..."

 

The melodic bare bones of "The Portsmouth Stowaway" can now be heard in midi fomat here.

 

And here is the latest draught of the lyrics, adapted to the tune (words in italics are changes to Rüdiger's original first 3 verses):

 

In the dead of the night

there is no gleam of light

and the fog chills a soul to the bone;

in the thick harbour air

stands a maiden so fair,

determined to die here alone.

 

But young Johnny steps by,

sees the tear in her eye,

takes his 'tina and sings her a song

of the warmth and the fun

under Australian sun:

"I'll make sure you'll be there before long!"

 

 

He knew how to entice,

didn't have to ask twice

to take the poor lass out to sea.

In a lifeboat she slept;

in the nights Johnny kept

her warm with his body and tea.

 

Until after a fortnight

the Captain with foresight

thought fit to inspect all the boats;

just imagine the fun

when he looked in the one

where young Johnny was getting his oats!

 

 

"Captain, please," begged the girl,

"Do not act like a churl

and set me adrift on the ocean!

It was Johnny who hid me

and fed me and did me

each night with increasing devotion!"

The Captain was raging,

but she looked engaging,

so he gave a chuckle so merry:

"Well, you sure have been done

by that son of a gun –

because this is the Isle of Wight ferry!"

 

You'll notice that one iteration of the tune embraces 2 of the 6-line stanzas, reducing the song to 3 stanzas, which I consider a Good Thing, the span of concentration of modern audiences being drastically reduced since Wagners's day B)

 

Cheers,

John

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Come all ye dryland sail-i-ors, and listen to me song ..."

 

The melodic bare bones of "The Portsmouth Stowaway" can now be heard in midi fomat here.

 

And here is the latest draught of the lyrics, adapted to the tune (words in italics are changes to Rüdiger's original first 3 verses):

 

In the dead of the night

there is no gleam of light

and the fog chills a soul to the bone;

in the thick harbour air

stands a maiden so fair,

determined to die here alone.

 

But young Johnny steps by,

sees the tear in her eye,

takes his 'tina and sings her a song

of the warmth and the fun

under Australian sun:

"I'll make sure you'll be there before long!"

 

 

He knew how to entice,

didn't have to ask twice

to take the poor lass out to sea.

In a lifeboat she slept;

in the nights Johnny kept

her warm with his body and tea.

 

Until after a fortnight

the Captain with foresight

thought fit to inspect all the boats;

just imagine the fun

when he looked in the one

where young Johnny was getting his oats!

 

 

"Captain, please," begged the girl,

"Do not act like a churl

and set me adrift on the ocean!

It was Johnny who hid me

and fed me and did me

each night with increasing devotion!"

The Captain was raging,

but she looked engaging,

so he gave a chuckle so merry:

"Well, you sure have been done

by that son of a gun –

because this is the Isle of Wight ferry!"

 

You'll notice that one iteration of the tune embraces 2 of the 6-line stanzas, reducing the song to 3 stanzas, which I consider a Good Thing, the span of concentration of modern audiences being drastically reduced since Wagners's day B)

 

Cheers,

John

 

VvvGood!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Come all ye dryland sail-i-ors, and listen to me song ..."

 

The melodic bare bones of "The Portsmouth Stowaway" can now be heard in midi fomat here.

 

 

and yet another iteration, affecting only the first three stanzas (I feel I can't improve John's half) - again, just a suggestion, all up to debate:

 

In the dead of the night

there is no gleam of light

and the fog chills a soul to the bone;

in the thick harbour air

stands a maiden so fair,

determined to die here alone.

 

But young Johnny steps by,

sees the tear in her eye,

takes his squeezebox and sings her a song

of the life and the fun *

under Australian sun:

"I'll make sure you'll be there before long!"

 

He knew how to entice,

didn't have to ask twice

if she wanted to see kangaroos

In a lifeboat she slept;

in the nights Johnny kept

her warm with his body and booze.

 

Until after a fortnight

the Captain with foresight

thought fit to inspect all the boats;

just imagine the fun

when he looked in the one

where young Johnny was getting his oats!

 

 

"Captain, please," begged the girl,

"Do not act like a churl

and set me adrift on the ocean!

It was Johnny who hid me

and fed me and did me

each night with increasing devotion!"

 

The Captain was raging,

but she looked engaging,

so he gave a chuckle so merry:

"Well, you sure have been done

by that son of a gun –

because this is the Isle of Wight ferry!"

 

* I felt that warmth and sun is sort of redundant, which is why I replaced warmth with life - just like in a short story, words in song lyrics should imho be carefully chosen to express as many relevant ideas as possible as concisely as possible, and "life" in this context adds more connotations. But maybe other people feel different about it which is fine.

Edited by Ruediger R. Asche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I felt that warmth and sun is sort of redundant, which is why I replaced warmth with life - just like in a short story, words in song lyrics should imho be carefully chosen to express as many relevant ideas as possible as concisely as possible, and "life" in this context adds more connotations. But maybe other people feel different about it which is fine.

I just liked - and do still like - the social, interhuman connotation of "warmth"; kind of "Herzlichkeit" (heartiness?), you know...

Secondly, the reprise of "warm[th]" at the end of verse three might be regarded as another redundancy, but one which charms...

Anyway, this is mainly a project of you three people, so I wouldn't mind you at all taking your own choice... :)

 

P.S.: "squeezebox" fits in very well, and the "kangaroos"-"booze"-thing really adds something...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and yet another iteration, affecting only the first three stanzas (I feel I can't improve John's half) - again, just a suggestion, all up to debate:

 

takes his squeezebox and sings her a song

of the life and the fun *

 

* I felt that warmth and sun is sort of redundant, which is why I replaced warmth with life - just like in a short story, words in song lyrics should imho be carefully chosen to express as many relevant ideas as possible as concisely as possible, and "life" in this context adds more connotations. But maybe other people feel different about it which is fine.

 

Hi, Rüdiger,

As to "life," I entirely agree with your footnote!

I'm not too happy about "his squeezebox," though. A terminal "s" followed by an initial "s" are damned difficult to sing cleanly without sounding stilted. So I'd leave it at "'tina", although the non-concertina-playing public would probably be more familiar with "squeezebox." Classical case of "Zwickmühle!"

 

if she wanted to see kangaroos

...body and booze.

I like this. The whole joke hinges on the contrast between the expected long voyage to the Antipodes and the short, repeated ferry trip that was actually made, and I felt that Australia hadn't been firmly enough established in the first draft. And Kautilya wasn't happy with tea, either. Good solution!

 

BTW, the arrangement is working out nicely on the Crane. I'll soon have it in a fit state for recording!

 

Cheers,

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and yet another iteration, affecting only the first three stanzas (I feel I can't improve John's half) - again, just a suggestion, all up to debate:

 

takes his squeezebox and sings her a song

of the life and the fun *

 

* I felt that warmth and sun is sort of redundant, which is why I replaced warmth with life - just like in a short story, words in song lyrics should imho be carefully chosen to express as many relevant ideas as possible as concisely as possible, and "life" in this context adds more connotations. But maybe other people feel different about it which is fine.

 

 

 

Hi, Rüdiger,

As to "life," I entirely agree with your footnote!

I'm not too happy about "his squeezebox," though. A terminal "s" followed by an initial "s" are damned difficult to sing cleanly without sounding stilted. So I'd leave it at "'tina", although the non-concertina-playing public would probably be more familiar with "squeezebox." Classical case of "Zwickmühle!"

 

if she wanted to see kangaroos

...body and booze.

I like this. The whole joke hinges on the contrast between the expected long voyage to the Antipodes and the short, repeated ferry trip that was actually made, and I felt that Australia hadn't been firmly enough established in the first draft. And Kautilya wasn't happy with tea, either. Good solution!

 

BTW, the arrangement is working out nicely on the Crane. I'll soon have it in a fit state for recording!

 

Cheers,

John

Such refined tweaking -

Booze sounds good though toddy has warmth implicit as in hot toddy though, as we all know, we are back on the Sanskrit trail again and those palm-fringed beaches and cocktails of the Indies (Kerala and Caribbean).

 

Toddy (it's actually a hard 'r' prounounced almost like a 'd' is a concoction usually brewed without a licence by locals anywhere there are palm trees.

courtest World English Dictionary

toddy (ˈtɒdɪ) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

 

— n , pl -dies

1. a drink made from spirits, esp whisky, with hot water, sugar, and usually lemon juice

2. a. the sap of various palm trees ( toddy or wine palms ), used as a beverage

b. the liquor prepared from this sap

3. (in Malaysia) a milky-white sour alcoholic drink made from fermented coconut milk, drunk chiefly by Indians

 

[C17: from Hindi tārī juice of the palmyra palm, from tār palmyra palm, from Sanskrit tāra, probably of Dravidian origin]

 

Squeezebox is good in the sense that of course there is a lot of squeezing of the tina's bellows. However the dodgier mind would say it implicitly also goes well with lunch...

 

I suppose for all these word variants (and may there be many children of this Anglo-Irish-German union), it depends on what tickle's the listener's fancy and whether the performance is in a posh salon or in a low, dark, basement Danish drinking den where they spend the winter tippling on Gammel Dansk (with beer 'chasers') :) .

Edited by Kautilya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suppose for all these word variants (and may there be many children of this Anglo-Irish-German union), it depends on what tickle's the listener's fancy and whether the performance is in a posh salon or in a low, dark, basement Danish drinking den where they spend the winter tippling on Gammel Dansk (with beer 'chasers') :)

That's my point of view regarding any folk tune as a musician and arranger: There is no "authentic" version, in the sense of obligatory...

 

Apart from that I appreciate references a lot. So "takes his squeezebox" would make up a nice reminiscence to "I'll play me old squeezebox as we sail along, with the wind in the rigging to sing me a song"..., wouldn't it? :)

Edited by blue eyed sailor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So "takes his squeezebox" would make up a nice reminiscence to "I'll play me old squeezebox as we sail along, with the wind in the rigging to sing me a song"..., wouldn't it? :)

 

Absolutely! "The Portsmouth Stowaway" would be an ideal companion to "Fiddler's Green" in a set of sea songs. I've sung "I'll play me old squeezebox" often enough, and it flows nicely, but "takes his squeezebox" remains a tongue-twister! :( And "took a squeezebox" flows, but begs the question from where he took one (whereas one assumes that he has "his squeezebox" with him). Perhaps "takes the squeezebox" would be a good compromise.

 

Cheers,

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps "takes the squeezebox" would be a good compromise.

Or "grabs the squeezebox"?

(maybe even "grabs a squeezebox"? suggesting that there simply was at least one around then...)

 

Seems to make it one (or two) more little bit(s) easier - to tell the story in a more lively way at this point as well...

Edited by blue eyed sailor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
takes his squeezebox and sings her a song

of the life and the fun

Hi, Rüdiger,

As to "life," I entirely agree with your footnote!

I'm not too happy about "his squeezebox," though. A terminal "s" followed by an initial "s" are damned difficult to sing cleanly without sounding stilted.

 

I agree with the idea of using "life," but it seems a bit odd...like, of course there's life there. I also much prefer squeezebox, I don't even call my concertina a "tina" -- but I agree the repeated esses could be a problem. I'd probably prefer to sing something like:

 

With a squeezebox he sings her a song

Of the wonders and fun...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
takes his squeezebox and sings her a song

of the life and the fun

Hi, Rüdiger,

As to "life," I entirely agree with your footnote!

I'm not too happy about "his squeezebox," though. A terminal "s" followed by an initial "s" are damned difficult to sing cleanly without sounding stilted.

 

.......I don't even call my concertina a "tina" -

 

Perhaps I was thinking more of him squeezing the bellows of the 'Tina' in the lifeboat.............. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wasn't her name Mary?

More than one lifeboat?

 

Good one! To be honest, the website of the Isle of Wight Ferries (wightlink) doesn't give enough information to determine whether the ferries carry more than one lifeboat (as far as I remember, some of the smaller Puget Sound ferries didn't). However, I don't think that complexities like that one can meaningfully be incorporated into the song, so we'll stick with the "not more than one gullible lass on board" theory for now, ok?

 

btw, I like your suggestion

 

With a squeezebox he sings her a song

Of the wonders and fun...

 

at the very least, the wonders are better than the life (at least in this context), so we'll accomodate that. About the singability of the first line - that's up to John as he'll most likely be the singer of that phrase...

 

great thread, I love to finetune lyrics word by word, and it's much more fun doing that in company!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bells would have given her (them :D ) away......!

 

And more lyrics waiting for a tune....

 

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/mary_mary_quite_contrary.htm

 

Although this does open up the dungeon door for a new, boat/ferry linked escape theme on the Thames from the Tower of London 'with her 'ead, tucked, underneath her,, she walks the Bloody Tower.

 

It's about Anne "Bell"-yn

 

http://www.bing.com/search?q=with+her+%27ead%2C+tucked%2C+underneath&go=&qs=n&sk=&form=QBLH&filt=all

Edited by Kautilya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

However, I don't think that complexities like that one can meaningfully be incorporated into the song, so we'll stick with the "not more than one gullible lass on board" theory for now, ok?

 

 

... on second thought...

 

The captain, still smiling,

stands still, realizing

a sound to be heard rather vaguely -

as the next raft he's seizing

his eyes meet appeasing

stares of yet another young lady

 

etc. But still I believe we should leave this variation for "The Portsmouth Stowaway" v 2.0... (is that the agreed upon title, btw)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... on second thought...

 

The captain, still smiling,

stands still, realizing

a sound to be heard rather vaguely -

as the next raft he's seizing

his eyes meet appeasing

stares of yet another young lady

 

etc. But still I believe we should leave this variation for "The Portsmouth Stowaway" v 2.0... (is that the agreed upon title, btw)?

 

From the Portsmouth of babes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O.k., one last (??) try then:

 

"produces a squeezebox and song..."

 

(just to replace the reminiscence to "Fiddler's Green" with the one to "Whiskey in the Jar", which ain't a bad one either.. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×