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Re: Come-all-ye

Posted by ESC on April 23, 2003

In Reply to: Come-all-ye posted by Shae on April 23, 2003

: : : : I'm curious to know the origin of the phrase "Well, blow me down" or just "Blow me down."

: : : It means knock me down. It's common in sea shanties and I think it means a physical blow rather than a gust of wind.

: : From the archives:

: : "'Blow the Man Down' originated in the Western Ocean sailing ships. The tune could have originated with German emigrants, but it is more likely derived from an African-American song 'Knock a Man Down.'" From http://www.contemplator.com/folk4/blowdown.html

: : BLOW THE MAN DOWN

: : Come all ye young fellows that follow the sea,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : And pray pay attention and listen to me,
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : I'm a deep water sailor just in from Hong Kong,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : if you'll give me some grog, I'll sing you a song,
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : 'Twas on a Black Baller I first served my time,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : And on that Black Baller I wasted my prime,
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : 'Tis when a Black Baller's preparing for sea
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : You'd split your sides laughing at the sites (sights?) that you see.
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : With the tinkers and tailors and soljers and all
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : That ship for prime seaman on board a Black Ball.
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : 'Tis when a Black Baller is clear of the land,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : Our Boatswain then gives us the word of command
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : "Lay aft," is the cry,"to the break of the Poop!
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : Or I'll help you along with the toe of my boot!"
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : 'Tis larboard and starboard on the deck you will sprawl,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : For "Kicking Jack" Williams commands the Black Ball.
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: : Pay attention to order, now you one and all,
: : to my way haye, blow the man down,
: : For right there above you flies the Black Ball.
: : Give me some time to blow the man down.

: And that's a nice example of one of those endless ballads known as a 'come-all-ye.'

: COME-ALL-YE, n. (pejor), a traditional ballad, especially a long-drawn-out one < 'Come all ye lads and lassies,' etc., a common opening line of such ballads. 'Well, he got up to sing a come-all-ye, twenty verses or more - we thought he'd never sit down!' - A Dictionary of Hiberno-English.

Good one!