Author Topic: Add: Swansea Town


Posted - 18 Feb 06 - 11:27 am

Oh farewell to you my Nancy, ten thousand times adieu;
I'm bound to cross the ocean, girl, once more to part from you.
Once more to part from you, fine girl, you're the girl that I adore.
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea town once more.

Old Swansea town once more, fine girl, you're the girl that I adore.
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea town once more.

Oh it's now that I am out at sea, and you are far behind;
Kind letters I will write to you of the secrets of my mind.
The secrest of my mind, fine girl, you're the girl that I adore.
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea town once more.

Oh now the storm is rising, I see it coming on;
The night so dark as anything, we cannot see the moon.
Our good old ship she is tossed aft, our rigging is all tore.
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea town once more.

Source: Singing Together, Spring 1985, BBC Publications



Jon Freeman

Posted - 18 Feb 06 - 12:31 pm

It wasn't what I was expecting to read. That sort of seems the Holy Ground to me.

There is another Swansea Town which I heard on a Max Boyce record. is the best I can offer at the moment.


Posted - 18 Feb 06 - 01:00 pm

According to Contemplator, 'Holy Ground' is a later version of this song. Perhaps Malcolm or masato can confirm that.

Tim Radford

Posted - 18 Feb 06 - 01:47 pm

Swansea Town was collected in Hampshire in 1905 by George Gardiner from William Randall of Hursley (between Winchester & Romsey)and appears in Frank Purslow book - Marrowbones (page 85)
There is an additional 3rd verse
Oh! now the storm is over and we are safe on shore
We'll drink strong drinks and brandies too,
to the girls that we adore.
To the girls that we adore, fine girls,
we'll make the taverns roar
And when our maney is all gone, we'll go to sea for more.

I can remember Roger Watson singing this and playing the melodeon back in the late 1970's or early 80's

Regards - Tim Radford

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 19 Feb 06 - 04:11 am

In June of that year; along with twelve other songs.

Roud 165, classed along with Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy, with which it has significant material in common. The refrain presumably came from Roud 929, Swansea Town (Hugill, Doerflinger); a shanty, evidently, though I haven't seen those. Holy Ground (also 929) appears in Colm O Lochlainn, More Irish Street Ballads, 1965, 1 92-3. O Lochlainn's notes would tend to confirm that it derives via Swansea Town from Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy; the Hugill and Doerflinger examples might throw more light on that.

masato sakurai

Posted - 19 Feb 06 - 07:38 am

The following from Hugill's Shanties of the Seven Seas are at ABC Projects: Hugill Collections, with txt, abc, midi, & pdf.

179 : Old Swansea Town Once More (a)
180 : Old Swansea Town Once More (b)
181 : The Holy Ground once More


Posted - 20 Feb 06 - 05:42 pm

180 and 181 in Hugill are versions of the Lovely Nancy/Holy Ground hybrid. There appears to be a great deal of crossover between Roud 165 and 929. This Old Swansea Town Once More (with four verses, as above) is in the current repertoire of both Baggyrinkle and Stormalong John.

179 Old Swansea Town Once More (a) is a completely different song, a "real" shanty rather than a forebitter, sharing only a title and refrain with the others

And Max Boyce's (Im Going Home To) Swansea Town is another completely different song, as is Phil Tanner's Lass of Swansea Town

Mary in Kentucky

Posted - 22 May 06 - 02:57 am

My first introduction to this tune was in:

Second Suite for military band in F, Op.28/2 (1911) Gustav Holst

(I played the clarinet and had to keep "The Irish Washerwoman" going while the rest of the band played "Greensleeves.") I remember a particular baritone player (a troubled youth to put it mildly), who played the Swansea Town tune in the first movement - we all loved it.


Posted - 22 May 06 - 05:04 pm

Kenneth Peacock collected a variant as Good-bye My Lovely Annie in Newfoundland in 1951 and noted that Helen Creighton had previously collected a fragment as Enoch Arden's Farewell in Nova Scotia. The Sharecropper Trio also did their own rousing Newfoundland version of The Holy Ground as Fine Girl Ye Are on their 2003 CD Home Boys.

Edited By GEST - 22 May 06 - 05:11 pm

GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador

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