Author Topic: Add: Captain Bover


Posted - 11 Nov 03 - 09:34 am

Where has ti' been maw canny hinny?
Where has ti' been maw winsome lad?
Aw've been to the Norrand, cruising back and forrard;
Aw've been to the Norrard, cruising sair and long.
Aw've been to the Norrard, cruising back and forrard,
But daurna come ashore for Bover and his men.

Source: John Stokoe, 1899,Songs and Ballads of Northern England, Walter Scott Ltd< London and Newcastle-upon-Tyne


Songs collected and edited by John Stokoe, arranged by Samuel Reay.

John Stokoe wrote:

This beautiful fragment was picked up by Mr Thomas Doubleday from a woman singing it in the streets, All attempts to recover more of it have been fruitless. Captain Bover was commander of the press-gang on the Tyne for many years, but appears to have carried out harsh laws as leniently as he could to be effective. He died 20 May 1792.

Database entry is here.

masato sakurai

Posted - 11 Nov 03 - 10:48 am

From folktrax:

CAPTAIN BOVER - "Where have you been, my canny hinney? - I've been to the norrard cruising back and forrard" - Press Gang Song - ROUD#3147 - BRUCE-STOKOE 1882 - STOKOE-REAY SBNE 1899 p90 1v/m - WHITTAKER NCB 1921 - BECKETT SAF 1914 - SHAY DSC 1925 p30 (nm) -- Johnny HANDLE: RPL LP 31567 on cass


Posted - 22 Apr 04 - 10:38 am

I found the following entry from Northumbrian Minstrelsy by Bruce and Stokoe (1882) interesting:

The ballads and tunes illustrating the doings of the press-gang in this district have deserved greater attention and more searching investigation from the lovers of historical knowledge than has hitherto been accorded to them.

This oppressive mode of recruiting for the navy acted with great severity upon sailors, keelmen, and all others of the working population whose avocations partook in the least degree of a nautical chanacter. Harsh and tyrannical measures committed by the officers of the navy in the conducting of "a press" invited determined resistance, and resulted in riot and bloodshed. The arrival of a vessal "On Her Majesty's Service" in the Tyne was regarded with mingled feelings of aversion and fear by those who were liable to be called upon, and the press-gang was a fertile theme for local rhymsters, from the earliest period of its operation down to living memory.

"Captain Bover" and the three following melodies ["Here's the Tender coming", "Liberty for the Sailors", "The Sailors are all at the Bar"] are interesting memorials of these stirring times, and as expressions of the popular feeling towards this tyrannical mode of appeal to the patriotism of the sailors.

The tune was taken down by Mr. Thomas Doubleday, who was unable to recover more than one verse of the ballad.

On the wall of the north aisle of the nave of St Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, is a small marble tablet bearing this inscription: "Near this place lie the remains of John Bover, Esq., Post Captain in the Royal navy, who died 20th May, 1782, having for several previous years filled with the highest credit the arduous situation of regulating officer of this port."

Barbara Brown

Posted - 14 May 04 - 11:54 am

Barrie Temple of Newcastle has extended the verse into a full song - which means that it has a good chance of being brought to the attention of more people.

Guest Account
Posted - 27 Feb 06 - 08:38 pm

From: Andrew Farrow

Malcolm Williamson arranged this verse as one of four "North Country Songs dedicated to Owen Brannigan and published by Josef Weinberger Ltd

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