We formed Schooner Fare in 1975, the very year that Billboard Magazine declared the folk music craze officially over. Never ones to let timing stand in our way, we plunged in anyway. When most folkies were thinking about careers in country or pop, we were crafting a repertoire of traditional and original folk songs.
Some of the last bastions of folk in those days were the Irish Pubs, and we played in a good number of them from Halifax to Boston to Manhattan to Washington D.C., honing our stage act and breaking in our own original music. After a while, we became more in demand for the songs we had written than for the normal pubfare, but we have never stopped singing these wonderful Irish and Scottish songs. We have a great deal of affection for the Celtic songs collected by the Clancy family, the Makem family and many others, including ourselves while students in Europe and Canada.
Every St. Patrick's Day we dig into the old song bag and sing many tunes from the time before our emergence as a group that would add its own songs to the folk tradition. This is a recording of our St. Patrick's Day show in 1994. We thought that in our twentieth year it was high time to share some of our favorites with with all of you.
Chuck, Steve, and Tom
The Old Woman from Wexford | Wild Mountain Thyme | All for Me Grog | The Nightingale | Nancy Whiskey | The Moonshiner | The Patriot Game | The Wild Colonial Boy | The Gallant Forty-Twa | Cockles and Mussels | Finnegan's Wake | Jock Stewart | Drunken Sailor | Will Ye No Come Back Again | The Wild Rover
THE OLD WOMAN FROM WEXFORD There was an old woman from Wexford, (Westbrook) In Wexford town did dwell, She loved her husband dearly And another man twice as well. With me right fol lidderal aryl, And me right fol lowrelee. One day she went to the doctor, Some medicine for to find Saying, "Doctor, give me something That'll make me old man blind." He said, "Feed him eggs and marrowbone And make him sup them all. It won't be so very long after that, He won't see you at all." So she fed him eggs and marrowbone And made him sup them all And it wasn't so very long after that He couldn't see the wall. Says he, "I think I'll drown meself, But that would be a sin." Says she, "I'll go along with you To help to push you in." The old woman she stepped back a bit To get a runnin' go, The old man blithely stepped aside And she went in below. O, how loudly did she roar, How loudly did she bawl, "Arra hould you whist old woman," says he, "But I can't see you at all." She swam and swam and swam and swam Till she came to the further brim The old man got a longish pole And he pushed her further in. O, eggs are eggs and marrowbones Will make yer old man blind, But if you want to drown him You must creep up close behind. WILD MOUNTAIN THYME O, the summer time is comin' And the trees are sweetly bloomin' And the wild mountain thyme Grows around the bloomin' heather. Will ye go, lassie, go? And we'll all go together And pluck wild mountain thyme, All around the bloomin' heather, Will ye go, lassie, go? I will build my love a tower Near yon pure and crystal fountain, And on it I will pile All the flowers of the mountain. Will ye go, lassie, go? If my true love, she were gone, I would surely find another, Where the wild mountain thyme Grows around the bloomin' heather. Will ye go, lassie, go? ALL FOR ME GROG And it's all for me grog, me jolly, jolly grog, It's all for me beer and tobacco. For I spent all me tin With the lassies drinkin' gin, Far across the western ocean I must wander. Tell me where are me boots, me noggin, noggin boots? They've all gone for beer and tobacco. For the uppers are wore out, And the soles are kicked about, And the heels are lookin' out for better weather. Tell me where is me shirt, me noggin, noggin shirt? It's all gone for beer and tobacco. For the collar is wore out, The sleeves are kicked about, And the arse is lookin' out for better weather. Tell me where is me bed, me noggin, noggin bed? It's all gone for beer and tobacco. For I lent it to a tart, And the mattress fell apart, And the springs are lookin' out for better weather. Now I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed Since I came ashore with me plunder. I've seen centipedes and snakes, And I'm full of pains and aches, And I think I'll make a path for way out yonder. THE NIGHTINGALE As I was walkin' and ramblin' one day I spied a young couple so fondly did stray, One was a young maid so sweet and so fair And the other one was a soldier and a brave Grenadier. And they kissed so sweet and comfortin' As they clung to each other; They went arm and arm down the road Like sister and brother. They went arm and arm down the road Till they came to a stream, And they both sat down together, love, To hear the nightingale sing. Then out of his knapsack he took a fine fiddle, And he played her such a merry tune that the valleys did ring, Yes he played her such a merry tune that the valleys did ring, "But, soft," said the fair maid, "Hear the nightingale sing." Then up said the fair maid," Will you marry me?" "Oh, no," said the soldier, " How ever can that be?" "For I have me own wife at home in me own country" "And she is the fairest little thing that you ever did see." "Now I'm off to India for seven long years, Drinkin' wines and strong whiskeys instead of pale beers, And if ever I return again, it will be in the spring, And we'll both sit down together, love, To hear the nightingale sing." NANCY WHISKEY O, I'm a weaver, a Calton weaver; I'm a rash and a rovin' blade. I've got silver in my pockets And I follow the rovin' trade. Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey Whiskey, Whiskey, Nancy-O. As I went down through Glasgow City, Nancy Whiskey I chanced to smell. I went in, sat down beside her; Seven long years I loved her well. The more I kissed her, the more I loved her; The more I kissed her, the more she smiled, I soon forgot my mother's teaching; Nancy soon had me beguiled. Now, I rose early in the morning To slake my thirst it was my need. I tried to rise but I was not able; Nancy had me by the knees. So I'm going back to the Calton weaving; I'll surely make them shuttles fly. For I'll make more at the Calton weaving Than ever I did in a rovin' way. So come all you weavers, you Calton weavers; Come, all you weavers, where e'er you be. Beware of Whiskey, Nancy Whiskey; She'll ruin you like she ruined me. THE MOONSHINER I've been a moonshiner for many a year, I've spent all me money on whiskey and beer, I'll go to some hollow and set up my still, And I'll make you a jug for a ten shilling bill. I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home, And if you don't like me, well leave me alone. I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry, And if moonshine don't kill me, I'll live till I die. I'll go to some hollow, way out on the lea, Ten gallons of wash, I can go on a spree, No woman to love me, the world is all mine, And I love none so well as I love my moonshine. O moonshine, O moonshine, O how I love thee; You killed my grandfather but you'll never kill me. O bless all moonshiners and bless all moonshine, For yer breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine. THE PATRIOT GAME Come all you young rebels and list while I sing, For the love of one's country is a terrible thing. It banishes fear with the speed of a flame, And it makes us all part of The Patriot Game. My name is O'Hanlon and I'm just gone sixteen. My home is in Monahan, 'twas there I was weaned. I learned all my life cruel England to blame, And so I'm a part of The Patriot Game. It's nearly two years now since I wandered away With a local battalion of the bold I.R.A.. I'd read of our heroes and I wanted the same; To play out my part in The Patriot Game. I read how poor Conley was shot in the chair. All his wounds from the battle, all bleeding and bare. His fine body twisted, all battered and lame; They soon made him part of The Patriot Game. This Ireland of ours has for long been half free; Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny And it's always the leaders who are mostly to blame For shirkin' their part in The Patriot Game. And now as I lie here, my body all holes, I think of those traitors who bargained and sold. I wish that my rifle had given the same To the quislings who sold out The Patriot Game. THE WILD COLONIAL BOY (includes "Beer Barrel Polka") There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name. He was born and raised in Ireland in a place called Castlemaine. He was his mother's only son, his father's pride and joy, And dearly did his parents love The Wild Colonial Boy. At the early age of sixteen years he left his native home, And to Australia's sunny shores he was inclined to roam. He robbed the rich to help the poor, he shot James McAvoy; A terror to Australia was The Wild Colonial Boy. One morning on the prairie as Jack he rode along, A'listening to a mockingbird a'singin' a cheerful song; Up came a band of troopers, Kelly, Davis, and Fitzroy. They all set out to capture him, The Wild Colonial Boy. "Surrender now, Jack Duggan, for you see we're three to one; Surrender in the Queen's high name for you are a plunderin' son." Jack drew two pistols from his belt and proudly held them high. "I'll fight but not surrender," said The Wild Colonial Boy. Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun. Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run. Sing boom tarrara, sing out a song of good cheer. Now's the time to roll the barrel, cause the gang's all here. He fired a shot at Kelly that brought him to the ground; And turning round to Davis, he received the fatal wound. A bullet pierced his proud young heart from the pistol of Fitzroy, And that is how they captured him, The Wild Colonial Boy. THE GALLANT FORTY TWA Well you may talk about your Lancers or your Irish Fusiliers, The Aberdeen Militia, the King's own Volunteers; Or any other regiment that's marchin' from awa', But give to me the tartan of the Gallant Forty Twa And strolling through the green fields on the summer's day Watchin' all the country girls a'workin' at the hay I really was delighted as he stole my heart awa' As I saw him in the tartan of the Gallant Forty Twa. Oh I never will forget the day his regiment marched past; The pipes they played a merry tune while my heart was aghast. He turned around and smiled farewell and then from far awa', He waved to me the tartan of the Gallant Forty Twa. Once again I heard the music of the pipers from afar. They tramped and tramped and tramped the boys returnin' from the war And as they passed beside I brushed a woeful tear awa', For me and me braw laddie of the Gallant Forty Twa. COCKLES AND MUSSELS In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty, 'Twas there I first met my sweet Molly Malone. She wheeled her wheel barrow Through streets broad and narrow, Crying, "Cockles and Mussels, alive, alive-o." Alive, alive-o, alive, alive-o, Crying Cockles and Mussels, alive, alive-o She was a fish monger and sure 'twas no wonder, For so was her father and mother before. They wheeled their wheel barrow Through streets broad and narrow, Crying, "Cockles and Mussels, alive, alive-o." She died of a fever and no one could save her, And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone. Now her ghost wheels her barrow Through streets broad and narrow, Crying, ÒCockles and Mussels, alive, alive-o. FINNEGAN'S WAKE Tim Finnegan lived on Walkin' Street, A gentle Irishman, mighty odd, He'd a beautiful brogue both rich and sweet And to rise in the world he carried a hod. You see he'd a sort of a tipplin' way, With a love for the liquor poor Tim was born, To help him on with his work each day, He'd a "drop o' the craythur" every morn. Whack fol the da now, dance wi' your partner, Welt the floor your trotter's shake; Wasn't it the truth I told you, Lots of fun at Finnegan's Wake. One mornin' Tim was feelin' full, His head felt heavy and it made him shake, He fell from a ladder and broke his skull, They carried him home his corpse to wake. They laid him out on a nice clean sheet, And rolled him up upon the bed, With a noggin of whiskey at his feet And gallon of porter at his head. Tim's friends assembled at the bed, And Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch, First they brought out the tay and cakes, Pipes, tobacco, and whiskey punch. Then Biddy O'Brien began to cry, "Such a nice clean corpse did you ever see?" "Tim Mavourneen why did you die?" "Arrah hold your gob," cried Paddy McGhee. Then Molly Malone took up the job, "Oh, Biddy," says she, "You're wrong I'm sure." Biddy gave her a whap on the gob, What sent her sprawlin' on the floor. Then the war did soon engage, 'Twas woman to woman and man to man, Shelelaigh law was all the rage, And a row, and a ruction soon began. Then Micky McGuire raised up his head, And a noggin of whiskey flew at him, It missed and falling on the bed, The liquor scattered over Tim. Now Tim revives see how he rises, Timothy risin' from the bed, Sayin', "Whirl your whiskey round like blazes, Ye son of a bitch, do you think I'm dead?" JOCK STEWART Well me name is Jock Stewart I'm a canny gaun man, But a rovin' young fellow I've been So be easy and free When you're drinkin' wi' me, I'm a man you don't meet every day. I have acres of land, I have men at command, But I've always a shilling to spare. And it's oft have I sat With both bottle and friend. Is there any man could e'er ask for more So come fill up your glass Of brandy or wine, And whatever the cost I will pay. DRUNKEN SAILOR (Introduction from "To the hesitating purchaser," from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson) What shall we do with the drunken sailor? What shall we do with the drunken sailor? What shall we do with the drunken sailor? Early in the morning. Way, hey, and up she rises, Way, hey, and up she rises, Way, hey, and up she rises, Early in the morning. Put him in the longboat till he's sober. Shave his belly with a rusty razor. Throw him in the scuppers with a hawsepipe on him. Tie him to the wheel and call him Captain. Lock him in a room with Disco music. Make him Captain of an Exxon tanker. WILL YE NO COME BACK AGAIN? Will ye no come back again? Will ye no come back again? Better loved ye canna be. Will ye no come back again? Bonnie Charlie's new awa' Safely o'er the friendly main, And many's the heart would break in twa Should ye no come back again. Ye trusted in your highland men, They trusted you dear Charlie. They kenned you were hidin' in the glen, Death or exile bravin'. Though sweet's the lawrock's note, and lang, Liltin' wildly up the glen, But, ah, to me he sings this sang, Will ye no come back again? THE WILD ROVER And it's no nay never, no nay never no more, Will I play the wild rover, no never, no more. Well I've been a wild rover for many's the year, And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer. But now I'm returnin' with gold in great store, And I never will play the wild rover no more. I went into an alehouse what I used to frequent, And told the landlady me money was spent. I asked her for a bottle, she answered me, "Nay!, Such a custom as yours I can get any day." Then out of me pocket I took sovereigns bright, And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight. She said, "I have whiskeys and wines of the best, And the words that I've said sure were only in jest." I'll go back to me parents and confess what I done, And ask them to pardon their prodigal son. And if they caress me as oft times before, Then I never will play the wild rover no more.
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