See, See The Cape’s in View


As if offering proof of Jon’s intentions with this site, he says of this “I’ve learnt from Paul Davenport and Jess Arrowsmith who both sing it at the Kelham Island Tavern in Sheffield at the monthly unaccompanied singing session – well worth getting to.” So if you’re in the area that sounds like an invitation worth following through. I will confess the drawing a blank with this, however, so if anyone can shed some light on the origins of the song it will be gratefully appreciated.



21 Responses to “See, See The Cape’s in View”

  1. Reinhard says:

    This is a beautiful song! (and the third song in a row that I didn’t know – you never stop learning 😉

    With a bit of googling for phrases from the song I found that Padstow singer Tommy Morrissey sang it as Pass Around the Grog on the Veteran CD Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All: Folk Sungs Sung in the West Country.

    And a variant of this song is Push the Bowl About from Alfred Williams, Folksongs of the Upper Thames. For lyrics and more variants see the Mudcat thread Lyr Req: Pass around the Grog / Jug / Bowl.

  2. Reinhard says:

    Why do I see typos only *after* careful re-reading and then posting? Of course the Veteran CD’s subtitle is Folk Songs Sung… Sorry!

  3. Blue Scouse says:

    A quick look at VWML Online reveals that there are 5 references under Roud 5384. One is the Tommy Morrisey recording on VTC9CD (‘Uncle Tom Cobleigh and All’) that Reinhard refers to, while another is also on Veteran, sung by Charlie Pitman, also of Padstow on Veteran VT 122 (‘Pass Around the Grog’). Another refers to a book; O’Connor, This Song I’ll Sing to You (1995) p.25, which refers back to Tommy Morrisey’s singing. A fourth is a sound recording from the Gwilym Davies Collection sung by Charlie Hill of Spreyton, Devon. The fifth goes under the title, ‘Here’s a Health to Queen Victoria,’ the first line concluding: ‘and long may she reign.’ This was collected in 1907 by George B Gardiner from Frank Shilley in Portsmouth.

  4. muzza says:

    Peer pressure or what!J ust think of that monster hangover after a session such as this.
    Did they have “AA” in those days….rousing old song though. Reinhard..thanks for the links….don’t worry about the typos.. corrections only boost a song’s rating!

  5. Shelley says:

    This is another of the “house songs” at Jon and Fay’s “Royal Traditions” club, which is where I first came across it.

  6. Rosie says:

    Was surprised that I had never heard this rousing song before. Absoloutely lovely, I,ll be singing it all day! Thanks Jon.

  7. Thanks Jon for this great hearty song – it’s now on my must-learn-properly list so that it can come out when the lusty chorus crew are in. The verses in Mudcat about “not drunk till you are prostrate” are a bit over the top for singing socially in a modern pub – but maybe worth having in reserve.

  8. Jenny says:

    In the westcountry this is known as the Padstow Drinking Song. I have always assumed “the Cape” to be Cape Cornwall – in other words we’re nearly home now…

  9. Brian Vollar says:

    Simply a joy to listen to. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  10. Peter Walsh says:

    Fishermen’s Friends also do this as ‘Pass Around The Grog’ on their album ‘Home From The Sea’— it’s on Spotify if anybody wants to hear it. Love your version Jon, though but!

  11. I first heard this sung by Jon Cleave of the Fisherman’s Friends, on their third CD ” Home from the Sea ” ( for the RNLI )
    Jon sings ” The cape’s in view ” … but several sources give it as ” The game’s in view “, and mention “marching”
    I think the game meant the (land battle – it’s been adapted and changed lots… like a proper folk song should be, IMHO.

  12. Jerry Simon says:

    Dave and Toni Arthur used to sing this in the 60s. I think I recognise the title Padstow Drinking Song from then too.

  13. Gozzer says:

    Tom Brown, who runs the Shammick Acoustic session/club in Combe Martin, North Devon has beeen known to sing this one. He probably got it from someone in Padstow as he does attnd May Day there every year (Old ‘Oss of course). He may be able to help with the origins as he is a bit of an authority on these things.

  14. Diana says:

    Love this one. it’s completely new to me but obviously well-known in the West Country – my favourite holiday destination.

  15. Diana says:

    Late yet again. Not quite as new to me as this time last year but still enjoyed it as much.

  16. Jon says:

    I first learnt this song in ye Olde Whyte Harte, Hamble, Hampshire, England in the 1970s. I was lead to believe its origins were an Elizabethan sea shanty.

  17. Jane Ramsden says:

    Can find no new research to add to the informative comments on this song, save that Alan Rosevear above, who had this song on his ‘must-learn-properly-list’ must have learnt it properly – lol – ‘cos here he is in fine voice on YouTube! (And mentions that this was a Jon Boden A Folk Song A day song.)

  18. Linda says:

    Muzza did you get your entry in??? Well sung Jon

  19. Yes yes Kelham Island starting song ~ I do prefer a bloke to pitch it as too high is a killer to join in with!

    When will lockdown end and will we and the pub still be there!

    Well sung and popularised Jon


  20. John Bryson says:

    A great way to start a Monday morning, singing along with Great gusto while my Wife Jane is trying to eat her fruit and fibre

  21. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Hic*******************toooo mush drinkin’ and singin’ is sooooo bad for you fine fellows!

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