The First Ten Years
OGR 8886 | Released 1986 | Abridged CD released 1990
On the two nights of April, 1986, that the album was being recorded at the Birchmere, and internationally-known acoustic music "listening club" in Alexandria, Virginia, fans began gathering up to six hours before the doors opened, and eight hours before show time. They held tailgate parties and played Schooner Fare tapes while waiting for the excitement to begin. They knew the wait would be worth it.
During my 25 years of hosting a folk music radio program, rarely have I seen audiences react as enthusiastically as they do for Schooner Fare. As evidence, I submit the live and lively album you are holding.
I, and other fanatical fans of this tremendously talented trio from Maine, have taken the group not only to our hearts but to our souls. And I am proud to have played a part in what has become a large and intensely loyal following in the Washington-Baltimore area.
For many of us, the love of Schooner Fare's music has assumed an almost evangelical fervor. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to persuade friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, passing acquaintances and, in some cases, total strangers, to come see, come hear, come experience the magic created by this wonderful group. The plain fact is that Schooner Fare's music is contagious.
In the nearly 11 years they have been singing and growing together as performers, songwriters, and friends, they have created a unique and enjoyable style. It combines the urgency and immediacy of contemporary concerns, an appreciation of the timelessness of traditional folk music, a taste for some offbeat and unusual material, a dynamic stage presence, powerful, spine-tingling harmonies and a healthy, frequently self-deprecating "Down East" sense of humor.
The group's boisterous spirit is reminiscent to the Chad Mitchell Trio, the Limeliters, the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem and other great groups from folk music's commercial heyday in the 1960's. As far as I'm concerned, Schooner Fare is the best folk group to come on the scene since that time.
Schooner Fare consists of brothers Chuck and Steve Romanoff, who alternate on 6 and 12-string guitar and banjo, and "half brother" Tom Rowe, whose bouncy electric bass rounds out and defines the group's sound. Tom also plays a fine penny whistle.
The group has written an increasingly impressive number of original songs, the latest of which is "Powder Monkey" about the small boys who were used to fetch gunpowder from the holds of sailing warships like the U.S.S. Constitution. A tour of that ancient ship last year when the group was invited on board to play on July 4 during the Constitution's annual "turn around" voyage in Boston Harbor inspired the song. Using the nautical theme which inspired their name and for which Schooner Fare remains best known, Steve's poignant song tells how, through the ages, men have enlisted children to fight their battles for them. In the best tradition of folk music, the song turns a timeless theme into a contemporary comment.
Also, there is "Portland Town," a home-coming anthem of the first order. It is the only song on this double LP that the group has recorded on any of its four earlier releases. Everything else is making its recording debut.
As the title implies, "THE FIRST TEN YEARS" affectionately recalls the diversity that has defined and sustained Schooner Fare over the preceding decade. So, sit back and listen to this album, and enjoy "THE FIRST TEN YEARS" while Schooner Fare enters the next ten.
All selections published by Outer Green Music Co. ASCAP except where otherwise noted on the label. Copyright 1986 Outer Green Music Co., Portland, Maine. All rights reserved.
SCHOONER FARE IS:
CHUCK ROMANOFF, vocals, 12-string guitar, 4-string banjo;
STEVE ROMANOFF, vocals, 6-string guitar, 12-string guitar, 5-string banjo;
TOM ROWE: vocals, electric bass, penny whistle.
A production of Outer Green Records.
PRODUCED BY: Ken Ford
RECORDED AT: The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia.
RECORDED BY: Wally Cleaver Studios.
RECORDING ENGINEERS: Peter Bonta, Remy David.
MIXED AT: The Magic Room, E.A.B. Studios, Lewiston, Maine.
MIXING ENGINEERS: Tom Rowe, Dan Martin.
MASTERED AT: Frankford/Wayne Mastering Labs, New York, New York.
MASTERING ENGINEER: Tom Coyne
COVER CONCEPT AND DESIGN: Gail Waitkun
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lydia DeFretos, Allen Ellman, Donna Halvorsen, Tom Jones, Pam Minor, John Murphy, Gail Waitkun.
COVER LAYOUT: Penmor Lithographers, Lewiston, Maine.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Gary and Linda, Pudge, Susi Baldwin, The Birchmere Staff, Russell, Gail, Pam, Donna, and everyone who has been there over the years.
EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO: "Mr. Folk Music"--Dick Cerri.
Portland Town | Barrett's Privateers | The Little Beggarman* | Powder Monkey | Nova Scotia Farewell | Seeker's Medley | Banks of Sicily | Chowder* | Coney Island Baby | Cape St. Mary's | Sixteen Tons/Hit the Road, Jack | Si Bheag, Si Mhor | The Rising of the Moon | The Leaving of Liverpool | One Misty, Moisty Morning | Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow | Hats Off to Old Folks | Ease on Down the Road/Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News* | Jamaica Farewell/Banana Boat Song | Four Strong Winds
*Original LP and cassette only.
PORTLAND TOWN Words and Music by Steve Romanoff Copyright 1983 I see the light across the bay, I see the light not far away, And I hear music all around, I'm gettin' close to Portland Town, So, Mother, won't you make my bed, I see the light of Portland Head, I see the light, I'm comin' 'round, I'm comin' home to Portland Town. Some years ago, out on my own, I set a course for parts unknown, Leavin' behind both friend and foe, Needin' to find what I've come to know, As I watched the islands fade away, And bid farewell to Casco Bay, Though it's been years and years since then, My heart has brought me home again. Of all the places I could go, She's still the fairest port I know, She works the sea and tills the farms, And holds her children in her arms, No place could know a prouder past, Here comes the future full at last, Here comes that beacon 'cross the sky, And when I hold my head up high... BARRETT'S PRIVATEERS Stan Rogers Oh, the year was 1778. (How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!) A letter of marque came from the King To the scummiest vessel I've ever seen God Damn Them All! I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold. We'd fire no guns--shed no tears. Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, The last of Barrett's Privateers. Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town For twenty brave men, all fishermen, who Would make for him the Antelope's crew. The Antelope was a sickening sight. She'd a list to the port and her sails in rags And the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags. On the King's Birthday we put to sea. We were ninety-one days to Montego Bay Pumping like madmen all the way. On the ninety-sixth day we sailed again. When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight With our cracked four pounders we made to fight. The Yankee lay low down with gold. She was broad and fat and loose in stays But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days. Then at length we stood two cables away. Our cracked four pounders made an awful din But with one fat ball the Yanks stove us in. The Antelope shook and pitched on her side. Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs And the maintruck carried off both me legs. So here I lay in my twenty-third year. It's been six long years since we sailed away And I just made Halifax yesterday. THE LITTLE BEGGARMAN Adapted by Sarah Makem/Tommy Makem I am a little beggarman, a beggar I have been, For three score or more in this little isle o' green, I'm known from the Liffy, down to Segue Yes, I'm known by the name of Old Johnny Dhu. Of all the trades a-goin' now 'sure beggin' is the best, For when a man is tired he can lay him down to rest. He can beg for his supper for there's nothin' else to do. But go around the corner with his old rigadoo. Slept in a barn way down to Currabawn A wet night came on so I slept till the dawn, With the holes in my shoes and the rain a comin' through, And the cats and the rats they were playin' peek-a-boo. And who should awaken but the woman of the house, With her white spotted apron and her calico blouse, She began to frighten when I said "Boo," Now don't be afraid, ma'am, it's only Johnny Dhu. I met a little flaxy-haired girl one day, "Good morning, little flaxy-haired girl," I did say, "Good morning, little beggarman, and how do you do With your rags and your tags and your old rigadoo." Buy a pair of leggin's now a collar and a tie, And a fine young lady I will fetch by-and-bye, Buy a pair of garters and color them blue, And an old-fashioned lady it will make her, too. Over the road with me pack on me back, Over the fields with me great heavy sack, With the holes in me shoes and me toes a peekin' through, Singin' skinnermarinkadoodle and it's only Johnny Dhu. Must be goin' to bed now, it's gettin' late at night, The fire's all raked and out goes the light, So now you've heard the story of me old rigadoo, It's good-bye and God be with you, says Old Johnny Dhu. POWDER MONKEY Words and Music by Steve Romanoff Copyright 1985 In days of old, so the story's told, Of boys who went to sea, All of seven, eight and nine years old they say, To serve upon the warring ships, their captains and their kings, To serve the purpose they still serve today, To serve the purpose they still serve today. To carry up the powder from the magazine below, From a hold too dark and crowded for a man, The called them Powder Monkies, every schoolchild ought to know, The price we pay to keep a promised land, The price we pay to keep a promised land. Send for the Powder Monkey, Send him down into the well, Send for the Powder Monkey, He'll fetch us a pail o' hell To keep out cannon burnin' He'll fall behind the gun, We'll just send for a Powder Monkey, 'Cause there's more where he came from. They come from the city sidewalks and They come from the family farm, To trust their fragile futures to the wind, They come from the Land of Plenty, Through the evergreens and corn, With more to lose than all the angry men, With more to lose than all the angry men. Was it the hunger of the family, Was it the anger of the street, That drove a lonely child to Satan's door, Where death was all but certain and Damnation near complete, Save all for the holy innocent ashore, Save all the holy innocent ashore. From high above the gun deck Ring the orders of the realm, To roll out a battle cadence on the drum, As forward into darkness Sail the cowards at the helm, And they shoot the stars to see how far they've come, Look at their sons to see how far they've come. In days of old, so the story's told Of boys who went to sea, All of seven, eight and nine years old they say, To serve upon the warring ships, their captains and their kings, To serve the purpose they still serve today, To serve the purpose they still serve today. NOVA SCOTIA FAREWELL Traditional The sun was setting in the west. The birds were singing on every tree. All Nature seemed inclined for to rest, But still there was no rest for me. Farewell to Nova Scotia, your sea bound coast, Let your mountains dark and dreary be. For when I am far away on the briny ocean tossed, Will you ever heave a sigh or a wish for me? I grieve to leave my native land. I grieve to leave my comrades all. And my parents whom I held so dear And my bonnie, bonnie lassie that I love so well. The drums do beat and the wars do alarm. My Captain calls, I must obey. So farewell, farewell to Nova Scotia's charms For it's early in the morning, I'll be far, far away. I have three brothers, and they are at rest. Their arms are folded on their breast. But a poor and simple sailor just like me Must be tossed and driven on the dark blue sea. SEEKERS MEDLEY Tom Springfield, Malvina Reynolds, J. Dale, D. O'Brien It's a long, long journey, so stay by my side, When I walk through the storm you'll be my guide, be my guide. . . There's a new world somewhere they call the promised land, And I'll be there someday, if you will hold my hand, I still need you there beside me no matter what I do, 'Cause I know I'll never find another you. There is always someone for each of us they say, And you'll be my someone forever and a day, I could search the whole world over, until my life is through, But I know I'll never find another you. It's a long, long journey, so stay by my side, When I walk through the storm you'll be my guide, be my guide, If they gave me a fortune my treasure would be small, I could lose it all tomorrow, and never mind at all, But if I should lose your love, Dear, I don't know what I'd do, 'Cause I know I'll never find another you. You're always window shopping and never stopping to buy, So shed those downy feathers and fly. . . Hey, there, Georgie Girl, there's another Georgie deep inside, Bring out all the love you hide, and, Oh, what a change there'll be, The world will see, a new Georgie Girl, wake up Georgie Girl, Come on, Georgie Girl. Say good-bye, my own true lover, this will be our parting song, Though it breaks my heart to leave you, now the carnival is gone. High above, the dawn is breaking, this will be our last good-bye, Now the carnival is over, I will love you 'til I die, Now the carnival is over, I will love you 'til I die. Train whistle blowin' makes a sleepy noise, Underneath their blankets go all the girls and boys, Rockin', rollin', ridin', out along the bay, All bound for Morning Town, many miles away. Driver at the engine, fireman rings the bell, Sandman swings his lantern to show that all is well, Rockin', rollin', ridin', out along the bay, All bound for Morning Town, many miles away, Somewhere there is sunshine, somewhere there is day, Somewhere there is Morning Town, many miles away, Rockin', rollin', ridin', out alone the bay, All bound for Morning Town, many miles away. Close the door, light the light, we're stayin' home tonight, Far away from the bustle and the bright city lights, Let them all fade away, and leave us alone, And we'll live in a world of our own. We'll build a world of our own that only we can share, All our sorrows we'll leave far behind us there, And I know you will find, there'll be peace of mind When we live in a world of our own. It's a long, long journey, so stay by my side, When I walk through the storm you'll be my guide, be my guide, And I know you will find there'll be peace of mind When we live in a world of our own. THE BANKS OF SICILY Traditional Fare thee well, ye Banks of Sicily. Fare thee well, ye valley and shore. There's no Jock will mourn the loss o' ye. Poor bloody soldiers are weary. The Pipe, he's tuned up and playin' away. He can't come to town for his vino today. The skies, like Antrim, are cloudy and grey, And the song that he's playin' is eerie. It's march down the step and light on the Bay, Packs on their backs and the boats are away, Waitin' your turn while the pipes and drums play. And the song that they're playin' is eerie. The Drum, he is polished, the Drum, he is grand. He cannot be seen for his straps and his bands. He's raised himself up for a photo and stand To leave with his Lola, his dearie. "CHOWDER" S. Romanoff/T. Rowe CONEY ISLAND BABY Traditional Good-bye my Coney Island Baby, farewell my own true love, I'm going to sail away and leave you, Never to see you any, never gonna see you any more. . . I'm going to sail upon that ferry boat, never to return again, So, good-bye, farewell, so long forever, Good-bye my Coney Island Babe, Good-bye my Coney Island Babe, Good-bye my Coney Island Babe. . . We sure would like to meet, some girl who dresses neat, Some girl who's got big feet, you meet her on the street, And when we'll marry, happy we'll be, Under the bamboo, underneath the bamboo tree. . . If you'll be m-i-n-e mine I'll be t-h-i-n-e thine, And I will l-o-v-e love you all the t-i-m-e time, You are the b-e-s-t best of all the r-e-s-t rest, And I'll l-o-v-e love you all the t-i-m-e time, Rack 'em up, stack 'em up any old time, Eema hi, eema hi, ho back, ho back, hit 'em with a boot jack, Sing song Daddy won't you carry me home. . . Oh, Lordy, how the moon do shine, on that old bald head of mine. CAPE ST. MARY'S Otto Kelland Take me back to my western boat, Let me fish off Cape St. Mary's, Where the hagdown sail and the foghorns wail, With my friends, the Browns and the Clearys, In the swells off Old St. Mary's. Let me feel my dory lift To the broad Atlantic 'cumbers, Where the tide rip swirl and the wild ducks furl, And the ocean calls the numbers, In the swells off Old St. Mary's. Let me sail up golden bays, With my oilskins all a-streamin', Where the thunder squalled, where I hauled my trawl, And the old Cape Annes a-gleamin'. In the swells off Old St. Mary's. SIXTEEN TONS/HIT THE ROAD, JACK Merle Travis, Ray Charles Some people say a man is made out of mud. A poor man's made out of muscle and blood, Muscle and blood, skin and bone, A mind that's weak and a back that's strong. You load sixteen tons, what do you get? Another day older, and deeper in debt. Saint Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the Company Store. I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine. I picked up my shovel and walked to the mine. I loaded sixteen tons of number one coal. The straw boss said, "Well, bless my soul." I was born one mornin' it was drizzlin' rain. Fightin' and trouble are my middle name. Raised in the canebreak by an old mama lion, No high-toned woman make me walk the line. Chorus--You load. . . Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more. Oh, woman, oh, woman, don't you treat me so mean You're the meanest old woman I've ever seen. I guess if you say so, I'll have to pack my bags and go. That's right! If you see me comin', better step aside. A lot of men didn't and a lot of men died. One fist of iron, the other'n of steel, If the left one don't get you, the right one will. SI BHEAG, SI MHOR O'Carolan THE RISING OF THE MOON Sean Keegan Casey Oh, then tell me, Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so, Hush, my buchal, hush and listen, and his eyes were all a-glow, I bear orders from the captain, get you ready quick and soon, For the pikes must be together, by the risin' of the moon. By the risin' of the moon, by the risin' of the moon, For the pikes must be together by the risin' of the moon. Oh, then tell me Sean O'Farrell, where the gatherin' is to be, In the old spot by the river, right well known to you and me, One more word, for signal token, whistle up the marchin' tune, With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin' of the moon. By the risin' of the moon, by the risin' of the moon, With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin' of the moon. Out of many a mud-walled cabin, eyes were watchin' through the night, Many a manly heart was beatin' for the comin' morning light, Murmurs ran along the valley like the banshee's lonely croon, And a thousand pikes were flashin' by the risin' of the moon. By the risin' of the moon, by the risin' of the moon, And a thousand pikes were flashin' by the risin' of the moon. Far across that singin' river that dark mass of men were seen, High above their shinin' weapons hung their own beloved green, Death to every foe and traitor, forward strike the marching tune, And, hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the risin' of the moon. 'Tis the risin' of the moon, 'tis the risin' of the moon, And, hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the risin' of the moon. THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL Dominic Behan Fare-thee-well to you, my own true love, I am going far away, I am bound for California, And I know that I'll return someday, So fare-thee-well, my own true love, And when I return united we will be, It's not the leavin' of Liverpool that grieves me, But, my darlin', when I think of thee. I have sailed a Yankee clipper ship, Davy Crockett is her name, And Burgess is the captain of her, And they say she is a floatin' hell. Oh, the fog is in the harbor, Love, And I wish it would remain, For I know it will be a long, long time, Before I see you again. ONE MISTY, MOISTY MORNING Traditional One misty moisty morning when cloudy was the weather, I met a withered old man, a-clothed all in leather, He was clothed all in leather with a cap beneath his chin, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. This rustic was a thresher, as on his way he hurried, And with a leather bottle fast buckled by his side, He wore no shirt upon his back, but wool unto his skin, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. I went a little further and there I met a maid, I asked her "Are you milkin?" "Aye, milkin' there," she said, I began to compliment and she began to sing, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. This maid her name was Dolly, all in a gown of gray, I feeling somewhat jolly, persuaded her to stay, And straight I fell a-courtin' her in hopes her love to win, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. I having the time and leisure, I spent a vacant hour, A-learning of my treasure while sitting in a bower, In many fond embraces I stroked her double chin, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. I said that I would married be and she would be my bride, And, lo, we would not tarry, and twenty things beside, I'll plow and sow and reap and mow while you shall sit and spin, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. Her parents then consented, all parts were well-agreed, Her portion, thirty shillings, we married well with speed, And, lo, the piper he did play while others dance and sing, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. Then, lusty round 'n robin with many damsels gay. To ride a roan and dobbin to celebrate the day, And when they met together their caps off they did fling, Singin' "How'd you do and how'd you do and how'd you do," again. WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW Carol King Tonight you're mine completely, You give your love so sweetly, Tonight the light of love is in your eyes, But will you love me tomorrow. Is this a lasting treasure, Or just a moment's pleasure, Can I believe the magic of your sigh, Will you still love me tomorrow. Tonight with words unspoken, You'll say that I'm the only one, But will my heart be broken, When the night meets the morning sun, I'd like to know that your love, Is love I can be sure of, So tell me now, and I won't ask again, Will you still love me tomorrow. HATS OFF TO OLD FOLKS Words and Music by Steve Romanoff Copyright 1986 Hats off to old folks wherever they may be, 'Cause they are the best hopes for you and for me, I stand up for old folks so you'll hear me say, My hat's off to old folks And I hope to be one someday. I knew a man when I was ten, he walked behind a plow, I wondered at his wisdom then, And if he's resting now, He had a wife he loved so dear, Much more than he could show, Through all my life he's wandered there More than he'll ever know. Oh, see the gentle woman at the corner of the park, Her eyes are full of memories She whispers in the dark, If someone were to ask her She would tell them every word, 'Til then her prayers and stories Go unspoken and unheard. We all remember someone who was there to show the way, And little do they know They got us where we are today, I hope we get to tell them before They lie beneath the sod, The value of their knowing is The only real reward. EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD DON'T NOBODY BRING ME NO BAD NEWS Charlie Smalls Come on and ease on down, ease on down the road. Come on and ease on down, ease on down the road. Don't you carry nothin' that might be a load, come on Ease on down, ease on down the road. Pick your right foot up When you left one's down. Come on legs keep movin' Don't you lose no ground. 'Cause the road you're walkin' Might be long sometime But just keep on steppin' And you'll be just fine, come on. . . 'Cause there may be times When you wished you wasn't born And you wake one mornin' Just to find your courage gone But just know that feelin' Only lasts a little while You just stick with us and we'll Show you how to smile, come on. . . Now when I wake up in the afternoon Which it pleases me to do Don't nobody bring me no bad news 'Cause I wake already negative And I've wired up my fuse, so Don't nobody bring me no bad news Now when you're talkin' to me Don't be cryin' the blues, 'cause Don't nobody bring me no bad news You can verbalize and vocalize Just bring me the clues, 'cause Don't nobody bring me no bad news No bad news, no bad news Don't nobody bring me no bad news Bring the message in your head, Something you can't lose, but Don't nobody bring me no bad news Ease on down. . . JAMAICA FAREWELL/BANANA BOAT SONG Lord Burgess Down the way where the lights are gay And the sun shines daily on the mountaintop, I took a trip on a sailing ship and when I reached Jamaica I made a stop. But I'm sad to say, I'm on my way Won't be back for many a day. My heart is down, my head is turning around. I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town. Day-o! Day-o! Daylight come and me want to go home. (repeat) Come Mr. tally-mann, tally me banana--daylight come. . . Work all day on a drink of rum Work all night 'til the daylight come-- Two foot, three foot, four foot bunch--repeat Six foot, seven foot, eight foot tarantula Eight foot, nine foot, ten foot tarantula-- White banana with a yellow skin--repeat. FOUR STRONG WINDS Ian Tyson Four strong winds that blow lonely, Seven seas that run high, All those things that don't change, come what may, But our good times are all gone, And I'm bound for moving on, I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way. Think I'll go out to Alberta, Weather's good there in the fall, Got some friends that I can go to workin' for, Still, I wish you'd change your mind, If I asked you one more time, But we've been through that a hundred times before. If I get there before the snow flies, And if things are goin' good, You could meet me if I sent you down the fare, But by then it would be winter, There ain't too much for you to do, And those winds sure can blow cold way out there.