Come & I Will Sing You (The Boatnerd Version)

Boatnerd Lyrics by Angie Williams

[See below for “liner notes” and link to music.]

Verse 1

Come and I will sing you.

            What will you sing me?

I will sing you one-o.

            What will the one be?

One the one became a barge forever more shall be.

 

Verse 2

So come and I will sing you.

            What will you sing me?

I will sing you two-o.

            What will the two be?

Two of them were sold for scrap now sailing all in blue.

Oh, one the one became a barge forever more shall be.

 

Verse 3

So come and I will sing you.

            What will you sing me?

I will sing you three-o.

            What will the three be?

Three of them have Uniflows.

Two of them were sold for scrap now sailing all in blue.

Oh, one the one became a barge forever more shall be.

 

[You get the point by now.]

 

Verse 4

Four are Maritimers.

 

Verse 5

Five the 5th named Frontenac.

 

Verse 6

Six names for the Challenger.

 

Verse 7

Seven sailing Triple As.

 

Verse 8

Eight Coast Guard cutters.

 

Verse 9

Nine the nine that carried brine.

 

Verse 10

Ten salty pilots.

 

Verse 11

Eleven once were Oglebay Norton’s.

 

[Now the big finale—]

 

Verse 12

So come and I will sing you.

            What will you sing me?

I will sing you twelve-o.

            What will the twelve be?

Twelve’s Sarnia Traffic.

Eleven once were Oglebay Norton’s.

Ten salty pilots.

Nine the nine that carried brine.

Eight Coast Guard cutters.

Seven sailing Triple As.

Six names for the Challenger.

Five the 5th named Frontenac.

Four are Maritimers.

Three of them have Uniflows.

Two of them were sold for scrap now sailing all in blue.

Oh, one the one became a barge forever more shall be. 

One the one became a barge forever more shall be. 

            So!

 

***

Angie’s Liner Notes:

            This song is based on a traditional Newfoundland counting song that recently has been associated with Christmas.  It is also one of the oldest songs in the English language.  Versions of it have been found in Hebrew and Arabic texts dating back to Medieval times.  It has many, many different variations in the lyrics, having both pagan and religious images.  It has been sung as a hymn in some churches, and it can go way beyond the puny 12 verses you see here.

 

            Like a truly great song, it is superb at both slower and faster speeds.  My first exposure to it was sung by Billy Diamond on the CD Singalongs & Shanties.  It is a speedy, manly, robust, large version that tests even the finest set of lungs. 

http://www.tidespoint.com/music/singalongs.shtml

 

            My next exposure came from Great Big Sea’s 2005 The Hard & the Easy CD.  That version is much more gentle and flowing, but it still requires great lung capacity and a speedy tongue.  To hear a snippet, go to the link below, and click on “Listen to Clip” next to the first track.  This is the version I heard when creating my lyrics. 

http://www.greatbigsea.com/themusic/thte.html

 

            Yet another version is very slow and deliberate, sung by Lula Davis in Fayetteville, Arkansas on 7/5/1951.  Its images are much more religious. 

http://www.missouristate.edu/folksong/maxhunter/0597/

 

            I hope you enjoy my version (just don’t ask me to sing it J).  Happy Holidays to all Boatnerds and their families and friends!

 

A million thanks to:

 

 

 

Dedication:  To all those who have come before, and those who will come after.  Buckeye, this is for you.