Author Topic: Add: Canadee-i-o


Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 04:29 pm


It was of a fair and pretty maid
She was in her tender care
She dearly lov'd a sailor
It was true she lov'd him well
And how to get to sea with him
She did not like why know
But she long'd to see that seaport town
Call'd Canadee-i-o

She bargain'd with a young sailor
All for a piece of gold
And straightway he led her
All down into the hold
Saying, 'I will dress you up in sailor's clothes
Your collar shall be blue
And you shall see that seaport town
Call'd Canadee-i-o

Now when the sailors heard of it
They fell into a row
And all the whole ship's company
Were willing to engage
'We'll tie her hands and feet, my boys,
And overboard we'll throw
She never will see that seaport town
Call'd Canadee-i-o

Now when the captain heard of this
He too fell into a rage
Say, 'If you drown that fair maid
All hanged you will be
I will dress her up in sailor's clothes
Her collar will be blue
And she will see that seaport town
Call'd Canadee-i-o

She had not been in Canada
Scarcely above half a year
She married this bold captian
Who call'd her his dear
She's dress'd in silks and satins now
She cuts a galliant show
She's the finest captain's lady
In Canadee-i-o

Now come all you fair and pretty maids
Wherever you may be
I will have you follow your true love
When he goes out to sea
If the sailors they prove false to you
The captain he'll prove true
You can see the honour that I have gain'd
By wearing of the blue

Source: Stubbs, K (1970) The Life of a Man London, E.F.D.S. Publications


Collected from Harry Upton in 1963. 'Born 1900. He is a cowman who lives in Balcombe, Sussex'

Database entry is here


Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 04:36 pm

Made famous by Nic Jones who sang a similar set of words to a different tune. Does anyone know whether Nic's tune is traditional or one of his own?



Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 05:08 pm

Quote from a web site"If you look at the sleeve notes for Ballads and Songs you will note that Nic Jones is meticulous in giving credit to the sources he collected his songs from. It is somewhat ironic that his arrangement of Canadee-i-o was 'borrowed' without credit by Bob Dylan."

Bob Dylans version can be heard here


Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 05:31 pm

Whilst I wouldn't defend Dylan's 'borrowing' I don't think that Nic Jones can be called meticulous in terms of his source identification. The entirety of his notes for 'Penguin Eggs' (from which Canadee-i-o comes), are:

All the songs on this record have been learned from books, tapes, records and scraps of paper, all sent to me by friends that I have made around the folk club scene. I hope that the songs haven't been damaged too much in transit.

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 05:38 pm

Roud 309.

Broadside examples can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads under a variety of titles:

A new song called Canada heigho
Canada I O
Kennady I-o
Lady's trip to Kennedy
The lady's trip to Kennady
The ladies trip to Canada!
The gallant lady

Nobody seems quite sure where Nic Jones got the tune that he used; I've heard that he doesn't remember. I rather think that it's just a free adaptation of a traditional example (possibly even this one), though that can only be a guess.


Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 08:15 pm

Another variety of title - I forget where it was, but I heard it announced as "Canadee one nil".

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 24 Nov 02 - 11:52 pm

Nice one!

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