John and Marian,
Thank you very much for your help.
Do you think the "Marblehead Bay" is a different rendition of "the breezy bay" by the same author?
Have a lovely Sunday,
You're very welcome - responding to Lost Quotes is quite often a way of finding poems new to me, so I gain from it, too.
I doubt "Marblehead Bay" is a different rendition of "the breezy bay" by the same author. Very few authors I've come across use exactly the same lines, rhythm etc to start another different poem. However, editors and teachers often take bits of long poems and present them as short ones, and it could be that your 'breezy day' and 'Marblehead Bay' are different 'cuts' of something longer.
I think it slightly more likely that somebody has mixed two poems up, joined them in the middle and possibly also altered them slightly to make them fit together better (hence jigger for jiggle). They've often done all this completely unconsciously over many years - I've done something similar myself with a poem I memorised many years ago, when I went back to the original it was significantly different - and I'd taught it/quoted it to lots of people before I found out!
Alternatively someone could have liked the beginning of Marblehead Bay and taken it in a different direction, either for fun, or as an assignment set by a teacher, and done it so successfully that it has been taken up and become popular in its own right. That's certainly what the person who wrote The Christmas Cantycle did, but s/he acknowledged the source of the first narrator's speech (the poem John found) as being The Tall Tale on that record - but we don't know how much of The Tall Tale s/he took, and if it was, in fact 'Marblehead Bay'under a different name. If different poems, The Tall Tale could have come from Marblehead Bay, or Marblehead Bay from The Tall Tale. Or, with a title like The Tall Tale, that song could have been one of those that starts with a known verse and a group of singers and they take it in turns to make up (or remember from a previous sing song) verses as they go along (like The Quartermaster's Stores, if you know that one). The only way to find out this sort of thing is to go back and find anything published or recorded and look at the credits and the dates, and even then the answers are often ambiguous.
I think all you can do is show your Dad what John found, and what I found and see if either of them jogs his memory, or if there's a third 'version' he learned.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2007 05:13AM by marian222.
I thought some of Marlborough Bay was very familiar - I already had a very similar poem - A Nautical Extravaganze by Wallace Irwin, but I couldn't find it. Here it is at last:
I stood one day by the breezy bay
A-watching the ships go by,
When a tired tar said, with a shake of his head:
"I wisht I could tell a lie !
"I've seen some sights as would jigger yer lights,
And they've jiggered me own, in sooth,
But I ain't wuth a darn at spinnin' a yarn
What wanders away from the truth.
"We were out in the gig, the Rigagajig,
Jest a mile and a half to sea,
When Capting Snook, with a troubled look,
He came and he says to me:—
"'o Bos'n Smith, make haste forthwith
And hemstich the fo'ard sail;
Accordeon pleat the dory sheet,
For there's going to be a gale.'
"I straightway did as the capting bid —
No sooner the job was through
When the north wind, whoof, bounced over the roof,
And, murderin' lights, she blew !
"She blew the tars right off the spars,
And the spars right off the mast,
Sails and pails and anchors and nails
Flew by on the wings o' the blast.
"The galley shook as she blew our cook
Straight out o' the porthole glim,
While pots and pans, kettles and cans
Went clatterin' after him.
"She blew the fire from our gallant stove
And the coal from our gallant bin,
She whistled apace past the capting's face
And blew the beard off his chin !
"'O wizzel me dead!' the capting said
(And the words blew out of his mouth);
'We're lost, I fear, if the wind don't veer
And blow awhile from the south.'
"And wizzel me dead, no sooner he'd said
Them words that blew from his mouth,
Than the wind switched round with a hurricane sound
And blew straight in from the south.
"We opened our eyes with a wild surprise,
And never a word to say —
In changin' her tack the wind blew back
The things that she'd blew away !
"She blew the tars back onto the spars,
And the spars back onto the mast;
Back flew the pails, the sails, and the nails,
Which into the ship stuck fast.
"And 'fore we could look she blew back the cook
Straight into the galley coop;
Back dropped the pans, kettles, and cans,
Without even spillin' the soup.
"She blew the fire back into the stove
Where it burnt in its proper place —
And all of us cheered as she blew the beard
Back on the capting's face.
"There's more o' me tale," said the sailor hale,
"As would jigger yer lights, in sooth,
But I ain't wuth a darn at spinnin' a yarn
What wanders away from the truth."