I Drew My Ship


You’ll probably know this from Matachin and Jon says, “We pinched this for a rather poppy Bellowhead number, from a very delicate banjo and voice version by Shirley Collins. I think it’s an American version.”

In fact it came from John Stokoe’s Songs And Ballads Of Northern England as you’ll see from the original notes on Mainly Norfolk. Shirley, June Tabor and Eliza have all done fairly similar versions of this and Bellowhead’s follows suit (a lovely arrangement), so naturally does Jon’s. Ossian and Capercaillie have also  recorded much longer versions of this, which explore the reasons for the rejections and subsequent regret. This Mudcat thread covers that and more and is interesting about the whole folk process with a section from ‘Borrowing In Celtic Music’ by Alan Moore offering particular insight. Right at the end someone points out thav this has the simple addition of ships to Cocks Are Crowing .  We’ve also had the flying fish and melting rocks before, which seems to be a Biblical reference, if only I could remember where!!


You can buy the January digital album now from all good download stores.


15 Responses to “I Drew My Ship”

  1. Neil says:

    Bit of a maritime theme in recent days?

    Excellent stuff here, just increasing the anticipation for Friday night.

  2. muzza (s.e.England) says:

    @Neil………….don’t forget Neil..on Friday night when she comes down…you walk away…treat ’em mean-keep ’em keen!.Sing this song as you go.

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  4. Reinhard says:

    Funny how misleading song titles can be. The only Cocks Are Crowing that I can find in my record collection is indubitably not a night visiting song but witten by Sydney Carter (and on his album Lovely in the Dances which was discussed yesterday).

  5. the_otter says:

    More affecting than the version on Matachin, though I like that too. The unaccompanied voice goes straight to the heart (if the singer is as good as Jon). I like Eliza Carthy’s ‘The Grey Cock’ for the same reason.

    I think the late Tony Cuffe sang the Ossian version. Very distinctive voice from the more nasal end of the folk spectrum.

  6. the_otter says:

    And I’ve just realized that I was thinking about the wrong Eliza Carthy song. Oops. My excuse is that it’s easy to get lost amidst the all the ghost-returning, the night-visiting, the ship-sailing and, of course, the ghost-returning-night-visiting-ship-sailing songs of the folk canon.

  7. Shelley says:

    This works really well unaccompanied, beautiful song. I love the Bellowhead version on Matachin, and am hoping it will appear in the set of their forthcoming seated venues tour, as we’ve been promised some of their “quieter” numbers.

  8. Diana says:

    Quite a different interpretation from the Matachin version which is much livelier but Jon’s solo has an appeal of its own. Well sung in both versions.

  9. Adain says:

    @ Reynard: Haven’t seen hair or hide of you for quite some time. Hope you are well and if not, you had better get better by next Monday or you will miss a great show in your city.

  10. trilby fairfax says:

    this one I am going to learn
    I love the complete heartlessness of the lover who can’t wait, his sweetheart walking so slowly to the door
    i love the total illogicality of it, the fate that it has to to go wrong
    the power game
    all human life
    and the tune is stunning
    and it is sung beautifully

  11. Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Trilby ………how long have we to wait before you post your version to Youtube…we can’t stop Jan now that she’s got the hang of it

  12. trilby fairfax says:

    well might take me a while cos i’ve never done a u tube posting b4 good idea by the way will let u know

  13. Linda says:

    Mainly Norfolk includes Bellowhead at Buxton in 2008 worth a watch. Enjoyed both versions.

    Noticed there’s a new CD being released.. Bob and Ron Copper Traditional Songs from Rottingdean.

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