|History of the tune||Lyrics for Captain Kidd||Songs like it||Buy sheet music|
These poems all have a rhythm of trochaic tetrameters, varied by leaving the second dimeter of lines 4 and 8 unvoiced.
The ottava rima, a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c, is similar in that its alternates switch to a couplet, however this stanza pattern is more primitive: a-b-a-b-a-b-b-b-a, for the tercet rhymes with an alternate. More primitive yet many of the songs have lines 2, 4 and 8 ending even in the same word, as may also lines 1, 3 and 5.
What historians seek is printed scores. But unfortunately
broadsheets sold in the street rarely had their score printed
because music-typesetting is a costly specialty. A folio broadside
cost only two pennies, but that included the vendor teaching
you the tune. Only songs that were esteemed enough to make it
into books merited the extra expense of typesetting of scores.
The next is a sacred song All My Lufe, Leif Me Not whose lyrics were printed by the Wedderburn brothers in Gude and Godlie Ballates in 1567.
Anne Geddes Gilchrist believed this to be a sacred parody of a secular folk song and set it to the tune of Germanie Thomas.
The earliest printed score resembling Captain Kidd's tune and meter is a Carol, unfortunately it's in three-four time.
1611 Thomas Ravencroft's Melismata
Source: Ravenscroft, Thomas, Melismata 1611
At length his chance it was
The Spring was in the prime,
When he abroad was gone, touch, &c.
To tell you where they went,
Whilst they together were
And then up stairs he went
The up his wife did start,
Then down the stairs she flung,
LONDON, Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and J. Wright.
Captain Chilver's gone to sea
Thirty guns this ship did bear
[this earliest manuscript is damaged so partly illegible]
But by ill storms at sea
We had more wind [than we could bear, ]
The [first] harm that we had
The seas aloud did roar
The next harm that we spied,
Then we with seas were [crossed,]
The next harm that we had,
[Disabled] as I name,
Then we all fell to prayer,
Although we sailed in fear,
When we came in Plymouth Sound,
When we came all on shore,
You gallant young men all,
Come my noble hearts of gold,
The early versions are broadsides from the Bodleian Library broadside collection: (1) Date: between 1674 and 1679 Printed London for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke Don. b.13(5) (2) Date: between 1689 and 1709 Imprint: London: Printed by and for W.Onley. and sold by the booksellers Douce Ballads 1(16a)
Source: Oxford Book of Sea Songs, pp.44-46
Source: John Ashton's REAL SAILOR SONGS 1891. Source: Olsons broadside ballad index ZN464 and ZN465 lists the known early copies and three books that have reprinted the text.
Now, Admiral Cole has gone to sea,
We set sail for France and Spain,
We set sail five hundred men,
And as we drew near Blackwall,
Hear the mothers weeping for their sons,
Source 1: The Journal of the Folk Song Society (Vol. III No. 11, 1907).
Source 2: The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, it date back to the 1850's.
Source 4: ZN464 in Olson's broadside ballad index.
It has been recorded by Royston and Heather Wood
Owen McBride, Sarah Gray & The Friends of Fiddlers Green
played it something like this in 1968 in East Lansing MI.
1895 Hector McNeil
My love's in Germanie, send him hame
My love's in Germanie, fighting for Royalty
He'll ne'er his Jeannie see, send him hame, send him hame
He'll ne'er his Jeannie see, send him hame
He's brave as brave can be, send him hame, send him hame
He's brave as brave can be, send him hame
He's brave as brave can be, he'd rather fa' than flee
His life is dear tae me, send him hame, send him hame
His life is dear tae me, send him hame
I fear he'll ne'er come hame, Wullie's slain, Wullie's slain
I fear he'll ne'er come hame, Wullie's slain
He'll ne'er come o'er the sea, tae his love and ain countrie
This warld's nae mair for me, Wullie's gane, Wullie's gane
This warld's nae mair for me, Wullie's slain
My love's in Germanie, send him hame, send him hame
My love's in Germanie, send him hame
My love's in Germanie, fighting for Royalty
He'll ne'er his Jeannie see, send him hame, send him hame
He'll ne'er his Jeannie see, send him hame.
Mr Graham wrote that Hector MacNeil wrote these words in 1895 "to the tune 'Ye Jacobites by Name' in his "Songs of the North". See 'Songs of Scotland', I, p. 28. Scots Musical Museum: However the tune of "Ye Jacobites" postdates Germanie Thomas for Hogg in 'Jacobite Relics II' 1821, 22 gives a political song 'Aikendrum' of circa 1715 the tune there being"My Luve's in Germanie". Source: Henry's Songbook <http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/m/mylovesi.html> 2004 Source: <http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm? threadid=33093> This version of Germany Thomas has been recorded recently by:
The Tannahill Weavers <www.tannahillweavers.com/>
and in 1976 by Silly Wizard (Xtra 1158):Johnny Cunningham, Gordon Jones, Bob Thomas, Andy Stewart, Alistair Donaldson on bass, and Freeland Barbour on box.
Oh, my love's in Germany, Send him hame, send him hame,
Oh, weary fa' the war, Send him hame, send him hame,
Oh, wad some birdie say, Send him hame, send him hame,
To see the printed score for up to three treble voices and
two bass go to <http://www.electricscotland.com/history/germany/germany_thomas.htm> Source: Wolfgang Schlick
Orkney's tradition is that the lyrics above were composed 1630-36 by Colonel Thomas Traill, of Holland (High-land farm) the Laird of Papa Westray. Orkney had a run of bad harvests 1623-36, so many enlisted with the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, in his recruiting drive for the Protestant side in the Thirty Years War. Countless Scots mercenaries, including eighty-four captains, fought 1630-48 for Sweden allied with East Germany and Austria versus the Catholic Habsburg nations of Europe.
In his 1947 book "Pirate Laureate" William Bonner said that Anne Gilchrist, a scholar of English folk song, traced the Captain Kidd tune back to Germany Thomas, an old Scottish ballad.
MENTRA GWEN, neu Cwynfau y Wraig Weddw (Venture Gwen, or the Plaint of the Widow) as sung in North Wales
Y fwyn garedig ferch, mentra Gwen, mentra Gwen,
"In the song Captain Kidd students of folk song
now recogize the pattern of a well defined old Welsh ballad "Mentra Gwen, neu Cwynfau y Wraig
Weddw: Venture Gwen, or the Plaint of the Widow" (Bonner
1947). Perhaps Mentra Gwen is not a particular song but
a rhyming structure and meter. The tunes do bear a similarity to Captain
Kidd, but unfortunately we can't prove what Mentra Gwen was
descended from or how old it is.
It was first mentioned in 1717 by Richard Moms.
New Lyrics by John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-1887)
Amdanat ti mae son, Wennaf Wen, Wennaf Wen,
O Fynwy fawr i Fon Wennaf Wen;
I'r castell acw heno,
Rhaid iti droi a huno,
Hen deulu iawn sydd ynddo, Da ti mentra, mentra Gwen!
O'th flaen mae mynydd maith, Wennaf Wen, Wennaf, Wen,
Gwell iti dorri'th daith Wenaf Wen,
Wel yn fy mraich gan hynny,
Yr awn gan benderfynu,
Fod yn y casgtell lety; Da ti mentra, mentra Gwen!
Fi piau'r castell hwn, Wennaf Wen, Wennaf Wen,
Ti elli fyw mi wn, Wennaf Wen,
Y wraig yng Nghastell Crogen,
I'w barchu af a'i berchen;
A chymer fi'n y fargen, Da ti mentra, mentra Gwen! Source <ligtel.com/~wales/Welshmusic> Bob Penry
Source <http://llyfrgell.cymraeg.org/songs/> David Wood says the author of the words above was John Ceiriog Hughes.
|NOTE 1701 is when Captain Kidd was written
For the words to 'Captain Kidd' see my lyrics page.
For a discussion of the music see my 'music' page.
|If you'd like a printed score of my arrangements any of these tunes and/or mid file please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org|
in 1708 'Put in All' was a dance, to the tune of Sound
a Charge, but in 1714, in Pills to Purge Melancholy V, it became
A Young Man and a Maid, put in all, put in all,
Source: Pills to Purge Melancholy 1714, volume V.
1720 Pills to Purge Melancholy 1719-20, VI p.251.
"In an harangue between the Ghost of Queen BESSE, and
the Genius of GREAT BRITAIN: Occasioned by the Disappointment
of the Burning the Pope, and the Mobb's Procession on the 17th
of November. The Words made to a pretty Tune, call'd Chimney
Source: Thomas D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth: Or, Pills to Purge Melancholy.
Ken ye how a Whig can fight, Aikendrum, Aikendrum
Did ye hear of Sunderland, Aikendrum (etc.)
Donald's running round and round (etc)
We have heard of Whigs galore (etc.)
Ken ye how to gain a Whig (etc.)
This song is about the battle of Sheriffmuir 1715 to the tune My Luve's in Germanie (42) Source: Hogg 'Jacobite Relics II' 1821, p.22 ff. Source: Bertrand H. Bronson, Samuel Hall's Family Tree,California Folklore Quarterly 1943, p.61. who cites the shorter tune "My Luve's in Germanie (56)".
Aikendrum (one word) is not the same song as Aiken Drum (two words):
"There was a man cam frae the moon...An' they ca'ed him Aiken Drum."
and that is sung to a different tune that sounds nothing like Captain Kidd.
Source 1: G.F. Graham 'Songs of Scotland' Glasgow, J. Muir
Wood, n.d. [1848-9], III.26-7. Graham, born in 1789, notes that
the air was sung in his boyhood "to ludicrous but unmeaning
stanzas, beginning [as above].
"Plans were made for a French descent into Munster to
serve as signal for an Irish rising. Hoche, a genuine republican,
was given command, and in December, 1796, set out from Brest
with some 15,000 soldiers. Bad weather and poor seamanship held
the fleet off Bantry Bay and separated Hoche wholly from his
command. The French sailed off without touching Irish soil. Next
year the rebellion began without French aid." Brinton,
Crane. A Decade of Revolution. New York Harper and Row,
File source 1: http://www.bartleby.com/250/43.html
The Irish excell in giving us different arrangements of the
is also available as a Hornpipe
Also in 2001 Davy Rogers gave us an excellent arrangement
for guitar open tuning
Oh ! the French are on the sea,
And where will they have their camp ?
To the Curragh of Kildare
Then what will the yeomen do?
What should the yeomen do
And what colour will they wear
What colour should be seen
And will Ireland then be free
Yes ! Ireland shall be free,
Book source: Padraic Colum (1881-1972) Anthology of Irish Verse.
Goin' up Camborne Hill comin' down,
White stockins, white stockins she wore,
The song wasn't written in Cornish but was translated, as are nearly all Peter Kennedy's Cornish songs, by Talek, a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd (Baz 1998).
Source: Digital Tradition
The use of the words "Coming Down" obviously links this tune to Jack Hall of 1700.
1813 DAVY LOUSTON, a song of sealersThe Active left from Port Jackson, December 11th, 1808, and having landed her people on an island about a mile and a half from the main of New Zealand, sailed again for this port, but doubtless perished by the way, and has never since been heard of. The men who were left on the island were reduced to the necessity of subsisting for nearly four years upon the seal, when in season, and at other times upon a species of the fern, parts of which they roasted or boiled, and other parts were obliged to eat undressed, owing to a nauscea it imbibed from any culinary process. They were left upon the small island with a very scanty allowance of provisions, and the Active was to come to Port Jackson for a further supply. They had a whale-boat, and their only edged implements consisted of an axe, an adze, and a cooper's drawing knife. In a short time they procured 11,000 skins.... In hopes of finding upon the main some succour, which the small island did not afford, they went thither, but were nearly lost by the way, as some of the lower streaks of the boat were near falling out, owing, as was imagined, to the nails being of cast iron. On their safe arrival, however, they found an old boat on a beach, which it subsequently appeared had been left there by Mr. Grono on a former voyage. With the aid of this additional boat, when both repaired, they projected an excursion towards some of the more frequented sealing places, and were on the point of setting out when a tremendous hurricane in one night destroyed the boats, and put an end to their hope of relief. The only nutritive the place afforded was a species of the fern root, resembling a yam when cut and possessing some of the properties of the vegetable. This could only be procured at a distance of six or seven miles from their hut, which was near the sea-side, and had it been plentiful would have been a desirable substitute for better diet; but it was unfortunately so sparingly scattered amongst other shrubs as to be found with difficulty; and they solemnly affirm that they have for a week at a time had neither this nor any other food whatever. With the assistance of a canoe made up of seal-skins, a party visited their former island, and found their stocks of skins much injured by the weather, but did all they could for their preservation. This was their only seal depot, and out of the usual season they now and then found a solitary straggler, in some instances when they were so reduced by famine as to be scarcely capable of securing those that Providence threw in their way.
With their axe, adze and cooper's drawing knife they afterwards built a small boat, but with intense labour, as without saws they could only cut one plank out of each tree.
The hoops upon their provision casks were beaten into nails; and by the same patient and laborious process they at length projected the building of a small vessel, and had provided 80 half-inch boards for the purpose, all cut in the way above described. Truly a feat of great perseverance. The fortunate accident of Mr. Grono touching there has however preserved them from further suffering and peril, of which they have had full store, on that exposed and inhospitable shore. (Sydney Gazette, 23 Dec 1813)DAVY LOUSTON, a song of sealers
We were set down in Open Bay, we were set down, were set down
Our Captain John Bedar he set sail, he set sail.
We cured ten thousand skins for the fur, for the fur.
Come all you sailor lads who sail the sea, sail the sea,
Source: New Zealand Folksongs: Song of a Young Country. Neil Colquhoun (1972)
Oh the praties they grow small, over here
Oh I wish that we were geese, night and morn,
Oh, they'll grind us into dust, over here
This song describes the great Irish potato famine of 1847-1848 when the people did have to eat potatoes "tops and all".
Source: Patrick Galvin, Irish Songs of Resistance, p.44
This song is probably a parody of a a serious song, for S. Foster Damon in his Series of Old American Songs has a facsimile
of a sheet music print of it issued by Atwill, New York, in 1844,
with the title 'The Wonderful Song of "Over There"
Oh the taters they grow small in Arkansas..../
source: Belden: Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri
Cray suggests that "In Kansas" came before "In Mobile."
There's no paper in the bogs in Mobile,
I will not type the dirty verses, but there is one good thing about this scurrilous variation of our tune: it has a chorus with a different melody! That provides a welcome bridge, a relief from the tedium of the verse tune (David Kidd 2004.
Source: the Men's bar of Newcastle University Student Union in 1964.
The greater familiarity of the song Captain Kidd to Americans seems due to the religious revivalism of the early 19th Century. At the camp meeting in the Western States under the baton...of itinerant preachers...the enthusiastic singing of stirring hymns...this wildfire religious movement. Camp songbooks appeared, and the "camp meeting hymn" had appeared by 1811 as a distinct type of American song: the spiritual folksong....often dealing with the rescue of sinners. The American version of the Kidd ballad is embelished for this purpose. So "for seventy years or more Kidd was...on the road to heaven" (Bonner). However all these songs are a line longer because they repeat the last line.
But this variation was heard by more thousands of people than any other :
Through all the world below, God is seen, all around.
1835 Southern Harmony
What Wondrous Love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul,
When I was sinking down, oh my soul, oh my soul;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
1851 Richard Weaver's Tune Book
"Come ye that fear the Lord, unto me, unto me...."
A similar tune for another song with the same structure:
She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes,
American Musicological Society <http://www.sas.upenn.edu/music/ams/>
Bruce Olson <http://www.mudcat.org/olson/viewpage.cfm/>
Contemplator, Lesley Nelson-Burns <www.contemplator.com/>
COST G6 Conference <http://profs.sci.univr.it/~dafx/DAFx-final-papers.html>
Digital Tradition Mirror, Rick Heit <www.sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/>
Electric Scotland <http://www.electricscotland.com/History history/other/inglis_james.htm>
Max Hunter Song Collection <http://www.missouristate.edu/folksong/MaxHunter/>
The Jolly Rogers <www.chivalry.com/jollyrogers/>
The Mudcat Café <www.mudcat.org/threads.cfm>
Benet, R & S.V. and Arnold Shaw. Sing a Song of Americans. New York: Musette 1941.
Bonner, Williard Hallam. Pirate Laureate. New Brunswick, Rutgers 1947.
Bronson, Bertrand. Samuel Hall's Family Tree (California Folklore Quarterly I, 1, 1942),
reprinted in The Ballad As Song (University of California, 1969).
Colcord, Joanna C. Roll and Go: Indianapolis: Bobbs-Meril,1924.
Colcord, Joanna C. Songs of American Sailormen: New York: Norton, 1938.
Cook, Will Marion. Ed. T.L. Riis. The Music and Scripts of In Dahomey. Madison: A-R Editions, 1996.
ISBN 0 89579 342 3 © American Musicological Society
Cray, Ed. The Erotic Muse:American Bawdy Songs. Illinois: University, 1992. ISBN 02 52067 894.
Davidson, P. Songs of the British Music Hall. New York: Oak Embassy, 1971.
Fernström and O'Maidin. The Best of Two Worlds: Retrieving and Browsing. Ireland, University of Limerick, 2000.
Gilchrist, Anne Geddes Sacred Parodies of Secular Folk Songs, in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, vol. III no 3, 1938, pp 157-182.
Gilchrist, Anne Geddes Mentra Gwen, Journal of Welsh Folksong Society 1930, III, 45. See also Journal of Welsh Folksong Society II (1914-25), 122.
Jackson, George P. The 400 Year Odyssey of the Captain Kidd Family-Notably the Religious Branch, Southern Folklore Quarterly 15,
1951 Gainsville, University of Florida Vol. XV. 1951: 239-248.
Music, David W. A Selection of Shape-note Folk Hymns: From Southern United States Tune Books, 1816-61. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions. 2005
Simpson, Christopher,1667. A Compendium of Practical Music. Oxford: Blackwell ,1970
Wedderburn Brothers Gude and Godlie Ballates, 1567
Graham, G.F. Songs of Scotland. Glasgow, J. Muir Wood 1848-9.
Hogg Jacobite Relics II 1821.
Ravencroft, Thomas Melismata 1611
Walsh, Hare, and Randle 24 Country Dances for 1708.
Wedderburn brothers Gude and Godlie Ballates 1567.