Calabar, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer calls "dry-land sailors" to hear of the (Calabar), sailing the (Strabane canal). The food runs out. They hit mud, and throw off the captain's wife to lighten ship. They fight off a "pirate" scow. The captain says he'll take the train next time.
AUTHOR: John Trainor (1910) (OLochlainn-MoreIrishStreetBallads)
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (OLochlainn-MoreIrishStreetBallads)
KEYWORDS: canal humorous food disaster wreck
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(North))
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H502, pp. 98-99, "The Cruise of the Calabar" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn-MoreIrishStreetBallads 17, "The Cruise of the Calabar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hammond-SongsOfBelfast, pp. 32-33, "The Cruise of the Calibar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hamer-GarnersGay, pp. 62-63, "The Cruise of the Calibar" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Frank Harte _Songs of Dublin_, second edition, Ossian, 1993, pp. 16-17, "The Cruise of the Calabad" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Jon Raven, _VIctoria's Inferno: Songs of the Old Mills, Mines, Manufacturies, Canals, and Railways_, Roadside Press, 1978, pp. 45-46, "The Cruise of the Calibar" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #1079
cf. "The E-ri-e" (theme) and references there
cf. "The Wreck of the Mary Jane" (theme and first line)
cf. "The Wreck of the Varty" (theme and first line)
The Manchester Canal
The Wreck of the Calibar
The Good Ship Calabah
The Strabane Fleet
NOTES [106 words]: Sort of an Irish version of "The E-ri-e." It doesn't follow that it's older, though; there are references to steam.
Harte makes the interesting comment that he never encountered a serious canal song, adding that a canalman told him that the worst danger on the canal boats was fleas! Harte's statement is a little strong -- there are a couple of minor canal disaster songs in the American tradition -- but he isn't far wrong. - RBW
Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "Cruise of the Calabar" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)) - BS
Last updated in version 5.0
File: HHH502

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