Closer to the Wind
OGR 8882 | Released 1981
DEDICATED TO: The memory of Jack McPhillips.
PRODUCED BY: Schooner Fare.
RECORDED AT: E.A.B. Studios, Lewiston, Maine.
RECORDING ENGINEERS: Richie Raposa and Edward A. Boucher.
MIX-DOWN ENGINEERS: Tom Rowe and Richie Raposa.
COVER PHOTO: Tom Jones.
TYPESETTING AND LAYOUT: Jenny Adams/Skunk Hollow Design.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: George Emery and The Rachel B. Jackson, Jerry Breault and The Monica, Richie Raposa, Cpl. Steve Eames (Fraser's Highlanders), Donna, Gail and Pam and the friends of Schooner Fare.
All vocals and arrangements: Chuck Romanoff, Steve Romanoff and Tom Rowe.
String arrangement on Lady in Waiting and bass clarinet arrangement on Sweet Thames Flow Softly by Tom Rowe.
Trombone arrangement on The Kingfisher by Tom Rowe and Ray Mathieu.
All selections published by Outer Green Music Co. ASCAP except as noted. All rights reserved Outer Green Music Co., Portland, Maine.
sea music (for schooner fare) cormorant and gannet chorused with the windsong that sang on shingle and sand, and, like the sirens, their whisperings lured my soul to a grey-green world of sea music, from which there is no return. ever sounding, from ripple on shore to thunderous wave-timpani, from sigh of wind through wing feathers, to cymbal crash of wave on rock, where sad-eyed silken seals croon their lonely notes to emptiness, and from the world's rim the gentle whales answer as one "come away, come away." since the beginning of all beginnings, man, enchanted by the mysterious sea music, has turned in wonder to the sea green deeps, the ever-changing realms of mannanan mclir, that awesome sea-god, ruler of all the depths, and all the waves, and all the fishes and fowls therein and thereon; keeper of every water that ebbs or flows; sorcerer of all the sea-bound mysteries that keep his realms from overflowing, though all the rivers since time began flow to his open arms; music master and enchanter, whose shell-horn symphonies fill heart and mind of all his willing sea-sons. and ever the song goes on, from sea, and sky, and shore, and schooner, and fair is the fare thereof, and wonderous, and awesome, and everlasting as the sea music, and even the very sea. you have but to listen. slainte, Tommy Makem
The Ballad of Mad Jack Sweet | Thames Flow Softly | Squid Jiggin' Ground | Fawn Grove | Don't Stop to Rest (Song for Phil Ochs) | The Cobbler | Fiddler's Green | But, Were I Born a Sailor | John Cook | My Lady-in-Waiting | Kingfisher | We're Here to Drink the Whiskey
THE BALLAD OF MAD JACK Steve Romanoff In a tumbledown graveyard in Barnstable, Mass., Hangs a humble reminder to those who might pass And notice the shingle high over the grave, That honors the bones of Mad Jack. He was born Johnny Percival, on Scorton Hill, A contrary lad from the goin' He ran off to sea just to prove he was free, And was sixty long years in returnin'. With just nine months of school he departed the land, He moved up from cabin boy hand-over-hand, Impressed by the English to service their king, As he jumped overboard they could all hear him sing: Come a sailor, come a soldier, come a captain, a king, If you dare me to do it I'll do anything, I'll take up the fight, I'll even the odds, I'll do what is right or I'm not from Cape Cod, I'm Jack the cantankerous cuss from Cape Cod. In 1813, Jack started to work On a plan to reopen the port of New York, The British blockade had everyone down, So Mad Jack decided to turn it around: He borrowed a fisherman's smack, so I'm told, Put goats on the deck and armed men in the hold, When a tender of Red Coats dared pull him aside, His men came out shootin' as proudly he cried, Chorus Did you hear how Mad Jack saved "Old Ironsides" too, From the scrapheap of flagships too old to renew, At sixty-five years he inspected each shroud, And promised the Navy he'd make her stand proud. He collected the finest ship-riggers around, From Boston, New Bedford, and Old Portsmouth Town, He rigged her and jigged her and made her stand tall, Then he sailed her around the world once and for all. Chorus (repeat) SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY Ewan MacColl / Stormking Music Co. PRS I met my girl at Woolwich pier, Beneath a big crane standing, And all the love I felt for her, It passed all understanding. Took her sailing on the river-- Flow, sweet river, flow, Londontown was mine to give her-- Sweet Thames, flow softly. Made the Thames into a crown-- Flow, sweet river, flow-- Made a brooch of that silver town-- Sweet Thames, flow softly. From Rotherhithe to Putney Bridge My love I was declaring. And she from Queue to Islewood, Her love for me was swearing. Love had set my heart a'burning-- Flow, sweet river, flow-- I never saw the tide was turning-- Sweet Thames, flow softly. Gave her Hampton Court to twist-- Flow, sweet river, flow-- Into a bracelet for her wrist-- Sweet, Thames, flow softly. But now, alas, the tide has changed My love, she has gone from me. And winter's frost has touched my heart And left its blight upon me. Creeping fog is on the river-- Flow, sweet river, flow-- Sun and moon and stars gone with her-- Sweet Thames, flow softly. Swift, the Thames flows to the sea Flow, sweet river, flow-- Bearing ships and part of me-- Sweet Thames, flow softly. SQUID-JIGGIN' GROUND A.R. Scammell Oh! This is the place where the fishermen gather With oilskins and boots and Cape Anns battened down. All sizes of figures with squid lines and jiggers, They congregate here on the squid-jiggin' ground. Some are working their jiggers while others are yarnin'! There's some standin' up and there's more lyin' down. While all kinds of fun, jokes and tricks are begun As they wait for the squid on the squid-jiggin' ground. There's men of all ages and boys in the bargain, There's old Billy Cave and there's young Raymond Brown. There's a red rantin' tory, out here in a dory, A'runnin' down squires on the squid-jiggin' ground. Chorus The man in the whiskers is old Jacob Steele. He's gettin' well up but he's still pretty sound. While Uncle Bob Hawkins wears six pairs of stockin's Whenever he's out on the squid-jiggin' ground. Now says Bobby, "The squid are on top of the water, I just got me jigger 'bout one fathom down." When a squid in the boat squirted right down his throat, And he's swearin' like mad on the squid-jiggin' ground. Chorus There's old Uncle Billy, his whiskers are spattered With spots of the squid juice that's flyin' around. One poor little b'y got it right in the eye, But they don't give a damn on the squid-jiggin' ground. Now, if ever you feel inclined to go squiddin', Leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town, And if you feel cranky without your silk hanky You'd better steer clear of the squid-jiggin' ground. Chorus FAWN GROVE Jeff Rice I've got a friend and a boysenberry blend, A river and a black dog too. And every other Sunday we water down the stew, And set an extra place for you. Well the wagon's old and your hands'll feel the cold; And the peaches grow a little too high, But a shed'll keep it warm enough to thaw you out a cotton glove, And keep a lady smilin' behind. Well Fawn Grove you're an old black stove, You're the lover at the foot of the hill And if the fog don't drown us I'm a nickel in the saw-dust, I'm an elbow on a window sill... DON'T STOP TO REST (Song for Phil Ochs) Steve Romanoff Relax, relax in photographs of places where you've been, Where nothing new can worry you, you've earned a rest, my friend, The riot tears and rebel years have vanished with the din, Of young bureaucrats and slapping backs and prizes they can win, You've seen them all at city hall, you've seen them in the street, You've seen them masquerading where the better people meet, Convinced at last those days are past when they should give a damn About the anguish in the world, about the future in their hands. You've heard the promise of the evil men Don't stop to rest or we'll come back again, If you remember then you ought to know, Don't stop to rest 'cause we've got far to go. Come all you young-eyed citizens, a story I will tell, Of how a Great Society was going all to hell, But children who resembled you were brought up on a war, Had had their fill of overkill and said they'd fight no more, It cost them miles of marching and it cost them years of pain, Before their fathers realized their kids were not insane, But now we're all executives too busy to recall The days of righting what was wrong, the words of writing on the wall. Chorus Now don't misunderstand me 'cause I mean just what I say, Old pledges made in passion still should mean something today, You've done your bit, don't go and sit behind your groaning board, And let the scrivener set down, you've given all you could afford. Chorus THE COBBLER Adapt. Tommy Makem Oh, me name is Dick Darby, I'm a cobbler, I served me time at old camp. Some call me an old agitator, But now I'm resolved to repent. With me ingtwing of an ingthing of an i doo, With me ingtwing of an ingthing of an i day, With me roo-boo-boo roo-boo-boo randy, And me lap stone keeps beating away. Now me father was hanged for sheep-stealing, Me mother was burned for a witch, Me sister's a dandy housekeeper, And I'm a mechanical switch. Chorus Ah, it's forty long years I have travelled, All by the contents of me pack; Me hammer, me awls and me pinchers, I carry them all on my back. Chorus Oh, me wife she is humpy, she's lumpy, Me wife she's the devil, she's cracked; And no matter what I may do with her, Her tongue it goes clickety-clack. Chorus It was early one fine summer's morning, A little before it was day; I dipped her three times in the river And carelessly bade her "good day!" Chorus FIDDLER'S GREEN John Connelly As I walked down the dockside one evenin' so fair, To view the still waters and take the salt air, I heard an old fisherman singin' this song, Saying, "Take me away boys. Me time is not long." Wrap me up in me oilskins and jumper. No more on the docks I'll be seen. Just tell me old shipmates I'm takin' a trip, mates And I'll see you one day in Fiddler's Green. Now, Fiddler's Green is a place, I've heard tell, Where fishermen go if they don't go to hell, Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play And the cold coasts of Greenland are far, far away. Chorus Yes, the weather is fair and there's never a gale, And the fish jump aboard with one swish of their tail. You can lie in your hammock, there's no work to do, And the skipper's below makin' tea for the crew. Chorus Now, I don't need a harp nor a halo, not me. Just give me a ship and a good rollin' sea. And I'll play me old squeeze-box as we roll along With the wind in the riggin' to sing me a song. Chorus BUT, WERE I BORN A SAILOR (Instrumental) Ric Edmiston JOHN COOK Tom Rowe Oh, John Cook, ye have taken us to hell; Locked up in the ice off Baffin Island. We've been here for a year, now the water's comin' clear; Won't you set for home, John Cook, without the oil? We sailed her out from Gloucester, to hunt the mighty whale; A crew of twenty seasoned whalin' men. With Slocum at the helm and me and Drury haulin' sail, And the Captain shouting orders at the wind. The Captain's wife had begged to go and Cook could not deny her; For Annie Cook was sweet and young and fair. She's been this last year down below, a'huddled near the fire; The whaler's lot was more than she could bear. Chorus With one year gone and one to go we'd less than half the oil; Four hundred barrels filled and in the hold. The Captain turned her north'ard where he knew we'd find the whale But instead of whales we found the bitter cold. The Atlantic Queen did shudder as she braved the ocean gales; But her master would not heed the mate's advice: Oh, Captain, turn her south'ard and damn the hellish whale; For if you don't we'll soon be trapped in ice. Chorus Soon the ice stretched all around the proud Atlantic Queen; And nine months gone the food began to spoil. The Captain paced the foredeck, tortured, torn between, His love for Ann and lusting for the oil. For Annie Cook had begged her John to take her home to Gloucester, Or sure it was she'd lose her sanity. And the crew of the Atlantic Queen had charged her lord and master To point her south or face a mutiny. Chorus The Captain made his choice, he'd not return without the oil. His pride was more important than his wife. And when there came the mutiny he shot the Steward Boyle; To take the Queen they'd have to take his life. Two more weeks, the ice cleared north, we set out the whales to find; We took three beasts before the second day. Michael Boyle had lost his life and Annie Cook had lost her mind, And the Captain's coal black hair had gone to gray. Chorus MY LADY-IN-WAITING Steve Romanoff Ten thousand miles away and needing you, Ten thousand words won't tell what I am going through, Married-off to Fortune half your life, You took me for my word when I took you for my wife, Someone should have told you long ago, Dreamers never change, dreamers never grow, But, oh, my love for you has grown From ripples into waves, on waves I'm coming home. My lady-in-waiting, I'm coming home to you, All the waiting we've been through is finally over, My lady-in-waiting, I can't believe it's true, This time I won't be leaving you again. A servant to my sails upon the sea, A captive to the wind, not wanting to be free, Steering courses leagues away from land, A sailor often will outrun his feet of sand, All the silver and the gold I would surely place in your hands to hold, If only there were gold to give, So I give my hand as long as I shall live. Chorus I've wandered in the lands of ice and snow I've sold the desert wind to buy the world below, Searching for a treasure I had found, A fool believes his wealth is measured by the pound, All the fortune and the fame I would surely trade to hear you call my name, The same as when you called to me, The day we said farewell, the day I went to sea. Chorus THE KINGFISHER Steve Romanoff All alone on a pier on the foreside of town, He readies his gear for the day, In a soggy old watchcap he wears for a crown He studies the fog on the bay, 'Cause he knows how the sky and the harbor can lie, How the morning can promise the sun, And how promises made can be broken once day has begun. The seagulls will play as he gets underway, And makes for the mouth of the sound, This September morn is about to be born, 'Cause he knows where the fish can be found, As the islands grow thin and the Headlight goes dim, He points for the gray, open sea, And wonders again of the other men lucky as he. Hail to the kingfisher, out in the rain, Bow to his riches untold, Chasing the sun when the fishing is done, Counting the kingfisher's gold, Bringing home silver from kingdoms below, Knowing what he's living for, No kings of the world could do more, no more. He deals out his nets to Poseidon below, As over the transom they churn, In a bracelet of buoys they're riding in tow, And he hopes for a ransom's return, But the jewels of the sea are not taken for free, There's a battle that has to be won, And a price he must pay all alone before this day is done. The hours he'll log through the mist and the fog, 'Til the rain has decided to fall, The calm of the dawn is long shattered and gone As he noses her into a squall, How his castle will fare even he will declare, Is a matter of fortune for now, So he'll challenge her blows, and ride her the best he knows how. Chorus Six more hours will pass 'til it's over at last, And the sky is beginning to clear, His nets have survived with ten thousand alive, And his boat is no worse for the wear. As the smile of the light eases back into sight, And the song of the bell buoy rings, He wonders tonight of the order of subjects and kings. Chorus WE'RE HERE TO DRINK THE WHISKEY Chuck Romanoff Captain Silver commandeered half the Spanish fleet, A dozen brigs and fishing rigs to make the day complete. Then ashore to a dusty tavern with his weary, thirsty crew, Crying, "Landlord! Throw away the cork! We'll likely have a few!" Singing: We're all here to drink the whiskey. We're all here for nothing less. Raise your glass and toast your neighbor, Turn and toast the rest. For it's one, two, three rounds, We're hellish glad we're here. We're here to drink the whiskey And then we'll drink the beer. Lord Faversham of Henley took his pleasure, one might say, From serving sherry in the garden in the evening of the day. He shared with the cooks and chambermaids his hospitality, 'Til eventually there were seventeen and two at four for tea. Chorus It was four in the morn on New Year's Day, we all said our goodnights. The wife and I fell into bed and snuffed out all the lights. And just as we were nodding off, came a pounding at the door. In marched MacNamara with his drum and bugle corps. Chorus