Henry's Songbook

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Fiddler's Green

  • John Conolly

    Dress me up in my oilskins and jumper
    No more by the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell my old shipmates I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you some day in Fiddler's Green

    As I roved by the dockside one evening so rare,
    To view the still waters and take the salt air
    I heard an old fisherman singing this song
    Oh take me away boys my time is not long

    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 coast of Greenland is far far away

    Where the weather is fair and there's never a gale
    And the fish jump on board with a flip of their tail
    You can lie at your leisure, there's no work to do
    And the skipper's below making tea for the crew

    And when you're in port and the long trip is through
    There's pubs and there's clubs and there's lassies there too
    The girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
    And there's bottles o' rum growing under each tree

    (as sung by Mike Whellans)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1979:] Part of the lyrics and tune appear to have been borrowed from a 19th century sailors song, Wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket. (Loesberg III, 73)

  • [1999:] ...the place has evolved a little since ... [Locus Fidelis in Gremio]... The first extension was that there were other professions that needed a similar place, since the habits of even upright practitioners rendered them unsuitable companions for the Godly. Chief of these undesirable habits was habitual swearing, but others included excessive drinking, songs and dances of questionable taste and refusing to part from favourite animals. The people particularly singled out were working sailors, itinerant musicians (so we are all in with a chance) and cavalrymen (but not, surprisingly, other soldiers). Back in the early '60s there was a traditional song in the United States armoured cavalry regiments which stated that Fiddler's Green was an oasis on the road to Hell (and apparently quite close since the dance hall gals from West Hell were allowed to come over on Saturday nights) which had acquired the last wet canteen in the U.S. Army when that force went officially non-alcoholic. Occasionally, some hardened hell-bent trooper would fill up his water bottle with booze and ride off down the road, but he always ran out of liquor before he got there and had to turn back. Note that like the sailor's version in the article, this version places Fiddler's Green well inland. However, while the ideal retirement venue for an old sailor was traditionally to walk inland with an oar over his shoulder until someone asked him what it was, I feel a sailor's heaven really needs some sea so he can gaze on it and know that he never, never has to go on it again. (Phil Barker, letter to English Dance and Song, vol. 61 no. 4 (Winter 1999))

  • [2001:] Fiddler's Green was the generic term for sailortown, the district in large ports which catered for the sailor's needs by providing boarding houses, dance halls, public houses, brothels, and seamen's homes. By extension it was the sailor's ideal world, Eden, Utopia, Paradise. (Roy Palmer, Boxing the Compass - reprint of The Oxford Book of Sea Songs)

  • / Fiddlers Green

Quelle: Ireland

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

21.12.2000, aktualisiert am 17.10.2003