Music of the Canals & Waterways

This is a unique collection of canal and coastal songs recorded by Peter Kennedy over the last 30 years. Included are humorous canal-boat songs - some already well-known, like THE IRISH ROVER, others that are now becoming popular, and also some more recent compositions - like DIRTY OLD TOWN and THE SHROPSHIRE UNION CANAL. Instrumentals include variations on THE KEEL ROW played on Northumbrian small-pipes and a STEP-DANCE on hammered dulcimer. Others instruments, such as guitar & banjo accordion & concertina, are used for the song accompaniments. There is a Cornish fisherman's choir, 2 skiffle groups, and a sailing ship shanty crew.

1. THE CRUISE OF THE CALABAR (collected by R Terry) - Cyril TAWNEY (gtr/ banjo) - 2'32"

2. LOWER Y'UR FUNNEL (coll by P Kennedy) - Bob ROBERTS with PK on ch - 2'27"

3. MA BONNY LAD (coll by Whittaker) - Sylvia MOORE with Dutch folk group - 1'16"

4. THE KEEL ROW Variations - Jack ARMSTRONG (Northumbrian small-pipes) - 2'54"

5. DIRTY OLD TOWN (Comp by Mc Coll) - The Steve BENBOW Skiffle Group - 2'39"

6. THE SHROPSHIRE UNION CANAL - composed & sung by Martin GRAEBE - 2'47"

7. THE IRISH ROVER (Coll by Ennis) - The INN FOLK, Totnes, Devon - 2'10"

8. THE MAN AT THE NORE (Coll by Kennedy) - Cyril TAWNEY with The Shantey Crew - 4'32"

9. THE MARY ANN McHUGH (Comp by Percy French) - Seamus ENNIS rec on disk, London, 1960 - 3'02"


11. ROW, BOATMAN, ROW - Fishermen's Choir, Cadgwith Cove, Helston, Cornwall - 2'23"

12. THE WATER IS WIDE (Coll by Sharp) - Sylvia MOORE Ensemble - 2'53"

13. THE LONDON WATERMAN - Bob Roberts, Pinmill, Ipswich, Suffolk - 1'49"

14. YUS, I LUVS 'IM (Coll by Kennedy) - Betty Redshaw/concertina, London - 1'32"

15. OLD JOE, THE BOAT IS GOING OVER (Step Dance) - Billy Bennington/ hammered dulcimer, Norfolk - 1'23"

16. STORMY WEATHER BOYS (Coll by Kennedy) - Mike SHAILL & Eezum Squeezum - 2'30"

17. FINE GIRL YOU ARE (coll Ennis) - Seamus ENNIS & The Shanty Crew, London - 1'42"

This recording was compiled for the Opening of the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester Docks in April 1988. Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy & first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1988.

#1 noted Devon 1875 by Sir Richard Terry publ. in SALT SEA BALLADS (Curwen 1931)

#2 sung by the skipper of the last working Thames sailing barge, "The Cambria"

#3 by Northumbrian-born Sylvia with her husband Bernard Broere on thumb-piano

#4 piper to the Duke of Northumberland with his father's family set of the tune

#5 composed about Salford - a historic recording in the London Skiffle Club,Soho

#6 another composition by a well-known song-maker of the early sixties revival

#7 was first recorded by The Dubliners - it was Peter who made their first LP

#8 Peter got this from the Crickmays, a Royal Navy family; pre-dates Burl Ives

#9 Percy French modelled this on #1 - using the tune LIMERICK IS BEAUTIFUL

#10 was recorded by PK from Phil Hamond on the North Norfolk coast but it was also known as a story about the Mevagissey fishermen in Cornwall

#11 was taped in the Cadgwith Hotel by PK when he went to record their famous "Cadgwith Anthem"

#12 collected in Somerset and published by Cecil Sharp as WALY, WALY

#13 is possibly a London music-hall song, Bob couldn't remember where he heard it

#14 One broadcast of this brought hundreds of letters from people and a supply of regional variants

#15 Outstanding Norfolk dulcimer player recorded shortly before he died

#16 The only true Thames Barge song collected in fragments from various bargees

#17 Also known as THE HOLY GROUND, there's a Welsh variant called SWANSEA TOWN

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