14 September 2018

Song

After the ferry had brought us across The River Ore to the little wharf on Orford Ness we walked along in September sunshine. Brambles were clustered like grapes in the bushes and two rams with thick curled horns grazed in a marshy meadow nearby. We had a mile to go to the red and white striped lighthouse and my heart felt light. I began to sing a song. Only a few words came at first. I was thinking about fishermen... "At dusk we set sail for the west coast of Holland". They were the first words.

I kept humming and singing the tune I had made up and as we returned three hours later to catch the ferry back to Orford, a woman birdwatcher waiting by some brambly bushes heard me and kindly complimented me on my singing. I told her I was just making the song up and that it would never make the hit parade. 

Fragments of the song stayed with me and in Windows 10 I found a voice recorder app so back home in Sheffield I have tried my best to work the seed of my song idea up into something presentable. Here it is. All my own work:-

Orford Ness

La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la (tune) 
At dusk we set sail for the west coast of Holland 
Pursuing the herring by night 
And when we came back to the east coast of England 
We found our way home by the light 
Of Orford Ness 
Sing a song of the sea 
May her light 
Illuminate our history 

There was Tom and Joe Cable and old Billy Bodkin 
We hauled in with all of our might 
And when we returned to the east coast of England 
We found our way home by the light 
Of Orford Ness 
Sing a song of the sea 
May her light 
Illuminate our history 

Of farmers and thatchers and salty sea sailors 
They peopled the world that we knew 
And when later I strolled to the river with Nancy 
Her sweet eyes had turned sapphire blue 
Reflected in that summer sun sinking 
Where wild geese and cormorants flew 
While out on the ness 
The lighthouse was shining 
On the shingle and Nancy’s hair too 

Of Orford Ness 
Sing a song of the sea 
May her light 
Illuminate our history 

Those days they have gone 
And they won’t be returning 
Like the herrings that swam in the sea 
When we sailed from The Ore to the west coast of Holland 
Billy Bodkin, The Cables and me… 
When we sailed from The Ore to the west coast of Holland 
Billy Bodkin, The Cables and me… 

La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la (tune)

25 comments:

  1. You are a renaissance man, YP! I'm at work so I can't listen to the video now, but I will when I get home. :)

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    1. Tell me the truth when you hear it Steve.

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    2. OK, belatedly, I have listened -- and BRAVO is all I can say. You have skillfully evoked nostalgia for a past time and an old romance, and captured a sense of place, too. Seriously, a professional musician could record this song! (Not to cast any aspersions on your own recording. :) )

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  2. Neil Theasby, you are BRILLIANT! This is a wonderful song with a wonderful tune and absolutely wonderful words and your own beautiful photographs as well. Does your son know someone at the BBC or someplace who can get this before the eyes and ears of the publi? You will be more famous than Ian.,,,

    Am I gushing too much? Truly, though, that is incredible on so many levels, and I am not easily impressed. Proud to have made your acquaintance.

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    1. You are making me blush. Thank you Bob. This means a lot from a fellow who loves music and knows how to make it.

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  3. 👏👏 Bravo - Well done..what a great ballad. And you have a fine singing voice YP abd a gift for bringing your vision to life..I could visualise it all as you sang it.
    All that walking you do gave you good control over your breathing while you sang..impressed. (have some concept of this from eons ago doing Gilbert & Sullivan... three little maids are we...ect)

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    1. I would have liked to be standing up as I sang this recorded version Elle but I needed to be in front of the computer screen. I think it is always best to be standing up when you sing. Thanks for your nice comment.

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  4. What a delicious treat! Mr. Pudding , your voice is lovely!

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    1. You are so kind. thank you Linda Sue.

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  5. Listen carefully. Hear that sound? It's applause.
    Alphie

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  6. That was amazing ! Loved it...very reminiscent of folk clubs I used to go to in my youth. Did you have your hand by your ear as you sang ? I hope that Sheila approved of you strolling with Nancy? Next stop Britain's got Talent then ?

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    1. I don't think it is the kind of song they would ever entertain on "Britain's Got Talent" and for this I am thankful.

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  7. Very nice, Mr. P! You have a fine voice and it is good to hear it and your song is quite lovely.

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  8. I'm glad you posted about the issue with this post not showing up in our sidebars, because I would not have wanted to miss this. Very nicely written and sung.

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  9. I love it! Is there no end to your talents! It is a wonderful song that reminds me of the folk songs of days past. You have an excellent voice as well Mr. P! Thank you for your hard work on this delight - I enjoyed it very much!

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  10. Mr. Pudding, I read your blog sporadically and I don't think I've commented before, but I loved your song and video! I am always impressed by those who can sing, as I need the proverbial bucket to carry a tune. I also enjoy your guided tours of the small towns and rural areas of England. I hope to visit someday. I currently live in Texas, having been somewhat of a gypsy around this country. Anyway, well done!

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  11. Hey that's a awesome song. More people should write and sing what they've written.

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  12. I SO LOVE this! I spent the last two days yesterday with my grandson, and so am so glad your post 'Eh' drew my attention to it! I would have regretted it terribly had it slipped under my radar.
    As you may know I have spent the last ten years reading and re-reading the Aubrey-Maturin novels, and almost nothing else in the fiction line. This is a shanty (may I call it that - not to diminish it in any way) worthy of the Gentleman's Magazine in a book of the great Patrick O'Brian. I cannot sing its praises higher.
    PS What a great voice you have! True and bang on the note.

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  13. Well done YP ! Really enjoyed it and nice to hear your voice after all these years.

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    1. That's my singing voice Helen. My speaking voice is like Bugs Bunny! Thanks for dropping by again.

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  14. My goodness, gracious gummy bears! What a delight! You are a genius, my friend. I absolutely love this wonderful poem in music!

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  15. I didn't think there was any new folk music but you have proved me wrong. What lilting melody and evocative lyrics.
    Just once I wrote a couple of verses to a tune I knew already. It took me weeks so I bow to your talent

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  16. Excellent to listen to, you have a good voice and the words were lovely.

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  17. Move aside, Ed Sheeran...Mr.Pud has arrived on the scene!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.