Ye Mariners All


Jon Identifies this as “Another song that I first heard on the magnificent first album by Waterson:Carthy, sung by Martin. I think Graham Metcalfe used to song it at the Half Moon too. It’s a good drinking song, despite not having much of a chorus.”

I don’t have a whole lot to add to that. It’s fairly well covered by Mainly Norfolk with Bert Llloyd and Martin Carthy’s versions both transcribed with sleeve notes from both. The source as collected by the Hammonds is the same and I like the idea of the mariners/mourners confusion, although given the fish reference in the song, the former seems more likely for sure. There isn’t a whole lot more known about this songs as far as I can tell, so I suppose we should just enjoy it. I must say I intend to charge a glass myself this evening as I’m feeling somewhat tired for a bit of a stroll round London. Some good company and plenty of it to. I’ll raise a toast to the TUC.


18 Responses to “Ye Mariners All”

  1. the_otter says:

    Love it, though it’s rather gloomy for a drinking song – the tune more than the words, which seem in the spirit of Rosin the Bow. Perhaps it’s to be sung at the maudlin stage with a wry smile and a glass of something to make the liver quake?

    I like the versions by Waterson: Carthy and Mawkin: Causley. The latter add a verse, possibly of their own composition – “Ye tipplers all as you moor your boats/ Down by the river where sorrows float…”? Or something along those lines.

  2. Shelley says:

    Wonder why my first comment is “awaiting moderation” – I didn’t say anything controversial!

  3. the_otter says:

    In your last post, did you recommend that Jon sing Danny Boy/Skye Boat Song/When Irish Eyes Are Smiling or any other dirge? That might be grounds for the moderation of all your future posts.

    And now I’ll run away before I get turned into otter stew…

  4. Shelley says:

    Most definitely not!

  5. Muzza(s.e.England) says:

    @ Shelley……you’ll have to send your first comment again…
    I can’t stand the “not knowing”……..first time I’ve been mentioned in a folk song! .

    Oh now I’m old and can scarcely crawl,
    I’ve a long grey beard and a head that’s bald.
    Crown my desire, fulfil my bliss,
    A pretty girl and a jug of this.

  6. Jan says:

    I really like this one, though I think the otter is right about the maudlin stage of drinking, by which stage ‘a jug of this’ is about as much chorus as can be managed.
    I have fond memories of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem singing it back in nineteen-sixty-mumble-mumble, though I can’t recall which one of them sang it.

  7. Simon says:

    Folks apologies as there seems to be an issue with the podcast, which probably explains your comment dissappearing Shelley. I’m sure it will be fixed as soon as Ben can get to it. Bear with us, the tracks were late at the start of the month (touring, AFSAD live and other things) and we haven’t really caught up since. We’ll soon be back on song I’m sure!

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    Well, it doesn’t sound such a maudlin drinking song on Seth Lakeman’s Punch Bowl, and certainly not when he performs it live.

    And, won’t be to everybody’s taste, but I found a very different version of it on YouTube by Lehto & Wright:

    Sounds like a poshed-up folk-rock Skibbereen-type version, but not from 1976.

  9. Muzza(N.W.Surrey. UK) says:

    @Jane………the Lehto&Wright version is more of an instrumental…with occasional vocal!…
    you did say…not to everybodys taste….but…Otter stew….now there’s a thought.
    and Shelley never did repeat her “moderated comment”…

  10. Simon says:

    Muzza, Diana and anyone else who’s interested… The blog changed its spots, which may explain the lost link. You’ll find it over here, where there is also a tab called music site, which is actually a shop. Shopping isn’t compulsory, but if you’re interested in following my musings on folk, blues and beyond then I’m posting weekly over there. There’s an awful lot more too and if I may, I’ll recommend the podcasts as they are very good. It’s a much more eclectic mix of music that probably more accurately reflects my tastes. I really enjoyed putting this site together and regard it as a massive privilege, it’s taught me so much about folk music and I listen to things anew, being much more inclined towards the genre than when I started. But I also love jazz and lots of other stuff. I already have a dozen or more CDs this year that I could heartily recommend and love to bits. Anyway, the new Properganda magazine is out on the streets and I’ll post a link to the online version once I’ve found out what’s happened to it!!!!

  11. Diana says:

    This was a little on the dark side for me – I know we cannot always have happier endings cos life isn’t like that. Jon gave his usual fine rendition.

    @Simon: Thanks for your comments above. I will certainly bear this in mind as I have a huge range in my choice of music from Dave Brubeck to Frank Sinatra with many others in between, (such as XTC and Simple Minds thanks to my son) but I do not care for today’s pop though. I also like a lot of the folk music or else I would not be on this site would I?

  12. Muzza(N.W.Surrey. UK) says:

    @ AdminSimon….huzzah…found it…..
    just a matter of thumbing through and reading a host of back copies.

  13. Diana says:

    Linda I expect you and Colin are relieved that he is back at work and finally discharged from the hospital. The poor lad must have been so bored, and one can manage without fingers but a thumb is so essential. It is used for practically everythng. It is difficult to hold cutlery or a pen etc without the thumb. I know one doesn’t always look forward to going back to work but I think Colin would have been quite pleased. I know you usually come on fairly late so this might just reach you.

  14. Jan says:

    Thanks, Simon, for the reminder – note to self, MUST remember to look at Properganda more often!

  15. Jane Ramsden says:

    I have clicked the ‘Like’ button for Proper Music on FaceBook.

  16. Linda says:

    Not one of my favourites.
    @Diana follow up to your comment of 2012 Colin now retired, has enjoyed week 1 as a house husband!

  17. Old Muzza(N.W surrey.UK) says:

    Congrats to Colin………let’s hope his thumb stays out of trouble……..

  18. OldMuzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Ref Mariners….a precarious occupation- thoughts go to the Maryland bridge disaster of yesterday

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