A "fore bitter" about a schooner from Port Burwell from The Walton Collection.
Ivan Walton (1893-1968) was a song collector from Michigan. In the 1930s he travelled around the Great Lakes in both the U.S. and in Ontario, seeking out the songs and chanteys of the last generation of fresh-water sailors to work "under canvas" in schooners and barques. He amassed a wonderful collection of songs but never published it in his lifetime.
In the 1980s I acquired a copy (of a copy, of a copy) of his typescript via Anne Lederman and Barry O'Neill. I learned a number of songs from it over the years.
His material has finally been made available in two outstanding books; "Windjammers" and "Songquest" Both are available from Wayne State University Press, Detroit. They include music, stories and in the case of "Windjammers", an accompanying CD.
I thought it might be fun for you to see some of the songs from these great books as they appeared in the original typescript. The date shown represents the era of collection, the song is probably at about 50 years older.
The version in the sound file linked below is one I did for a museum exhibit. I can't remember where I got the tune. I may have adapted from something else - or just made it up.
|Title||Crew Of The Clara Youell (The)|
|Subject||Lakes & Rivers|
|Keywords||Great Lakes sailor|
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