Arms of the Sea

by Heather Alexander

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    A collection of traditional and original sea shanties and river songs.

      $10 USD  or more

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
03:27
5.
6.
04:54
7.
04:30
8.
9.
10.
05:45
11.
12.

credits

released August 1, 2006

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Heather Alexander Portland, Oregon

A changling from the Land of Fae, Heather brings stories and songs from a world where magic never dies and anything can happen if you only believe.

contact / help

Contact Heather Alexander

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Arms of the Sea
ARMS OF THE SEA
Music & Lyrics: Heather Alexander

OH THE WIND & THE RAIN & THE SALT & THE SPRAY
HAVE ALL CAPTURED MY SOUL FOR A YEAR & A DAY
BUT UPON COMING HOME I FOUND NOT AS SHOULD BE
SO I'LL GIVE UP MY HEART TO THE ARMS OF THE SEA!

I was small when I started, both weakly and frail
But a toss on the tide made me hearty and hail-
I quickly grew stronger and taller and tan
A fine strapping cut of a good sailor man

“Twas a year and a day ‘til we finally touched ground
I stood at the dock and then turned twice around-
Set my foot stepping down memory lane
Ah, but memories returned can quite oftimes bring pain-

I knocked on the door and inquired within
I was met by the mistress both handsome and thin-
Looked at her softly and with a slight smile
Requested for lodging to stay for awhile-

She said, “Handsome sailor, you’re welcome to stay.
My husband is gone and returns this next day.”
And I knew by the way she was gazing at me
She did not recognize who I truly could be-

I thought on her words as they pierced through my heart
I felt my soul shatter and splinter apart-
I knew that love songs and poets had lied
I would have done best trusting storm wave and tide-

That night in my room as I blew the flame out
A rustle of lace made me turn quick about-
There in the doorway she stood silently
And her eyes promised secrets between her and me-

She fell to my arms but I drew her upright, saying
“What of your husband who’s not here tonight?
My dear fairest lady, I’ll not grant your will
But my honour I’ll keep and your chastity still!”

Next morning arrived and her husband returned
Upon seeing my face, his cheeks flushed and grew burned-
“For a year and a day, I assumed you had died
A self imposed victim of folly and pride!”

“No folly of mine to prove what could be done,
Though my heart has been lost and my bet has been won-
Though I now understand the words cautioned to me
That a true hearted lass should not sail on the sea!”

“Two things I will tell you before I must go
Betrayal fancies comp’ny, so you should know-
To the one heart that loved you you’ve given great slight
And the one that you married betrayed you last night!

Sea Fire Productions Inc. c&p 2006
Track Name: South Australia
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

In South Australia I was born-
HEAVE AWAY! HAUL AWAY!
In South Australia, ‘round Cape Horn-
WE'RE BOUND FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA!

HAUL AWAY, YOU ROLLIN' KING!
HEAVE AWAY! HAUL AWAY!
HAUL AWAY, OH, HEAR ME SING
WE'RE BOUND FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA!

And as you wallop around Cape Horn-
You’ll wish to Gods you’d never been born!

Once I was out one evening fair-
‘Twas there I met Miss Nancy Blair!

I shook her up, I shook her down-
I shook her all around the town!

There’s just one thing that grieves me mind-
To leave Miss Nancy Blair behind!

Wish I was on Australia’s strand-
With a flask of brandy in me hand!

But Portland is a mighty fine town-
There’s plenty of girls to go around!

Sea Fire Productions Inc, c&p 2006
Track Name: Morning Glory
One for the Morning Glory – traditional

At the end of the day I like a little tay
To raise up me voice and sing
With an hour or two of a fine strong brew,
Then I’m ready for anything!
At the Cross Keys Inn, four sisters have been
The landlord's hottest fare
And every night when they turned out the light
I would tiptoe up the stair!
Singin'-

ONE FOR THE MORNING GLORY
TWO FOR THE EARLY DEW
THREE FOR THE MAN WHO WOULD STAND HIS GROUND
AND FOUR FOR THE LOVE OF YOU, ME GIRL!
FOUR FOR THE LOVE OF YOU!

I was called to war on a foreign shore
To go and fight the foe
I would see no more of the sisters four
And so I was sad to go!
I took that trip on a ship;
The Morning Glory was her name
And we'd all fall down when the rum went 'round
And get up and start again!
Singin'-


I sailed once more from that foreign shore
Farewell to the raging sea!
The Cross Keys Inn, it was beckonin'
And my heart was filled with glee!
For there on the shore were the sisters four
A bundle upon each knee
There were three little girls and a boy in curls
And they all looked just like me!
Singin'-

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006
Track Name: Saucy Sailor
SAUCY SAILOR
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

“Come my own one, come my fair one,
Come now unto me-
Would ya fancy a poor sailor lad
Who has just come from the sea?”

“Well you are ragged, love, and yer dirty, love,
and yer clothes smell much of tar-
So begone, you Saucy Sailor lad!
So begone, you Jack Tar!”

“If I am ragged, love, and I’m dirty, love,
and me clothes smell much of tar-
I have silver in me pockets, love,
I have gold in great store!”

And when she heard him say so,
On her bended knee she fell-
“I will marry my dear Henry!
For I love a sailor lad so well!”

“Do you think that I am foolish, love?
Do you think that I am mad?
For to wed with a poor country girl,
Where no dowry’s to be had?”

“I will cross the briny ocean,
I will whistle and sing-
And since you have refused me offer, love,
Some other girl shall wear the ring!”

“For I am frolicsome, I am easy,
Good tempered, and free-
And I don’t give a single pin, me boys,
What the world thinks of me!”

Sea Fire Productions Inc. c&p 2006
Track Name: Churn Down, Columbia!
CHURN DOWN, COLUMBIA
Music & Lyrics: Heather Alexander

From the start of the end of the settlers trail-
CHURN DOWN COLUMBIA!
Where the wind and the wives of the dead men wail-
CHURN DOWN COLUMBIA!
Oh they came from the East to the Western sea-
CHURN DOWN COLUMBIA!
All those young men and women far braver than me-
CHURN DOWN COLUMBIA!

SWEET WIDE WATER WITH YOUR FROTH & FOAM-
CHURN DOWN, COLUMBIA, CARRY ME HOME!
DOWN FROM THE DESERT MOUNTAINS OF THE DEAD-
OUT TO THE FOREST GREEN TO REST MY HEAD!
CHURN DOWN COLUMBIA!

These hills and mountains are hot and dry-
With the teeth of a dragon they rend the sky-
Oh, take me away from the Devil’s Forge-
Now I long for the green at the end of the gorge-

Take me down to the cliffs where the snow streams fall-
With their canyons deep as an eldritch hall-
Where the sunset changes all the wood to gold-
And the Wind’s forgotten more than Man has told-

You were made by the waters of tremendous force-
When an ice dam broke and it carved your course-
Now you run with the flakes of a thousand snows-
And I hear your laughter when the gorge wind blows-

Tonight I’ll sleep in my forest home-
And on to the sea you are left to roam-
For my heart and soul are forever here-
And those Eastern mountains will command my fear-

Sea Fire Productions Inc, c&p 2006
Track Name: Loch Tay
LOCH TAY BOAT SONG
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

“nighean ruadh” is red-haired little girl in Scots Gaelic*

When I’ve done the work of day, and I row my boat away
Down the waters of Loch Tay as the evening lights are fading-
And I look upon Ben Lawers, where the after glory glows
And I think on two bright eyes, and a melting mouth below

She’s my beautious nighean ruadh! She’s my joy and sorrow, too
And although she is untrue, well, I cannot live without her-
For my heart’s a boat in tow, and I’d give the world to know
Why she means to let me go, as I sing , “Horee, horo!”

Nighean Ruadh, your lovely hair has more glamour I declare
Then all the tresses rare ‘tween Killin and Aberfeldy
Be they lint white, brown or gold, be they blacker than the sloe
They are worth no more to me than a melting flake of snow-

And her eyes are like the gleam of the sunlight on the stream
& the songs the Faeries sing, oh, they're the songs she sings at milking
But my heart is full of woe for last night she bade me go
And the tears begin to flow, as I sing, “ Horee, horo!”

Sea Fire Productions Inc. c&p 2006
Track Name: Shenandoah
SHENANDOAH
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

Oh Shenandoah, I’m bound to leave you-
WAY HEY! YOU ROLLIN' RIVER!
Oh Shenandoah, I’m bound to leave you-
AWAY, WE'RE BOUND AWAY,
‘CROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI!

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter-
I dream of her far across the water-

For seven years, I’ve been a rover-
But I’ll return to be her lover-

I’m pushin’ off when dawn is breakin’-
I’m goin’ home, but my heart is achin’-

Sea Fire Productions Inc, c&p 2006
Track Name: Julia Delaney/WOP Jamboree
WOP JAMBOREE
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

Oh the pilot, he looked out ahead-
With his hands on a cane and a heavin’ of the lead-
The old man roared to wake the dead,
“Come and get yer oats, me son!”

WOP JAMBOREE, WOP JAMBOREE!
LONG TAILED SAILORMAN, COMIN' UP BEHIND!
WOP JAMBOREE, WOP JAMBOREE!
COME AND GET YER OATS, ME SON!

Soon we’ll reach the lizzard light-
Soon, me boys, we’ll heave in the sight-
We’ll be abreast of the Isle of Whyte-
Come and get yer oats, me son!

Oh when we get to the Black Wall docks-
Pretty little girls come out in flocks-
With short legged drawers and long legged socks-
Come and get yer oats, me son!

And when we get to Lanaus Lane-
All the girls will spend our pay-
We won’t sign on for another day!
Come and get yer oats, me son!

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006
Track Name: Ale House Hornpipes
Traditional Fiddle Tunes:
Teague's Ailment, Fisher's Hornpipe, Alexander's Hornpipe
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006
Track Name: The Boatman
THE BOATMAN
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

*Gaelic translation:
“Oh my Boatman, and no one else!” *

How often haunting the highest hilltop
I scan the ocean a sail to see?
Wilt come tonight, love, wilt come tomorrow?
Or ever come, love, to comfort me?

FHIR A BHATA, NA HORO EILE
FHIR A BHATA, NA HORO EILE
FHIR A BHATA, NA HORO EILE
OH FARE THEE WELL, LOVE, WHERE 'ERE YE BE!

They call thee fickle, they call thee false one
And seek to change me but all in vain-
For thou’rt my dream yet throughout the dark night
And every mornin’ I watch the main

There’s not a hamlet, too well I know it
Where you go wanderin’ or sit awhile-
That all it’s old folk ya win with talkin’
And charm it’s maidens with song and smile-

Dost thou remember the promise made me?
The tartan plaidy, the silken gown?
The ring of gold with thy hair and portrait?
The gown and ring I will never own?

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006
Track Name: Mingulay Boat Song
MINGULAY BOAT SONG
Traditional Music & Lyrics
Arrangement: Heather Alexander

HEEL YA HO, BOYS! LET HER GO, BOYS!
HEAVE HER HEAD 'ROUNG INTO THE WEATHER!
HEEL YA HO, BOYS! LET HER GO, BOYS!
SAILIN' HOMEWARD TO MINGULAY!

What care we how white the minch is?
What care we for the wind and weather?
Heel ya ho, Boys! Every inch is
Sailin homeward to Mingulay!

Set yer eyes on the sun arisin’
Gulls and doves fill the sky with feather-
Cut her loose for the horizon
We’ll be home soon in Mingulay!

Wives are waitin’ on the bank or
Lookin’ seaward from o’er the heather
Turn around, boys, and we’ll anchor
E’er the sun sets on Mingulay!

Ships return now, heavy laden
Mothers holdin’ their bairns a’cryin’
“They’ll return now, e’re the sun sets,
They’ll return back to Mingulay!”

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006
Track Name: Sailor's Advice + 2 Secret Tracks!
SAILOR'S ADVICE
Music & Lyrics: Heather Alexander

Many’s the port and many’s the town
Many’s a soft place to lay your head down-
But finding the right one’s a hard thing to do
Chart your course as you may, but you might not pull through-

You may find her pretty, you may find her dear
Many’s the time that you held her quite near
But if life at the helm is where you place your hand
Then you can’t take her with you, if she’s wed to the land-

AFTER ALL THAT'S BEEN SAID, & ALL THAT'S BEEN DONE
YOU MAY FIND INSTEAD THAT SHE'S NOT THE RIGHT ONE
SO IT'S SMILES & A WINK, & IT'S “ANCHOR'S A-WEIGH”
AND GIVE THANKS FOR THE LOVE THAT YOU'VE HAD 'TIL TODAY!

Many’s the island you find out at sea
Many’s the shoreline where you’d like to be-
Hold fast to that dock for a year and a day
Let your heart then decide if you set sail or stay-

If your heart has been claimed by the wild ocean blue
Then sweet silent waters will not be for you-
Set your sights on the storm and the wind and the gale
And marry the one who will billow your sail!

AFTER ALL THAT'S BEEN SAID, & ALL THAT'S BEEN DONE
YOU MAY FIND INSTEAD YOU DON'T SEE THE RIGHT ONE
'CAUSE SHE'S WILD & SHE'S WILLFULL & FIGHTS YOU IN PLAY
BUT THAT LOVE THAT YOU STEER BY WILL FIND YOU YOUR WAY!

Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006



HOSE ME DOWN BOYS!
Music & Lyrics: Anonymous

Just one thing can make me angry,
Never fail to raise me ire-
When I wake up in the mornin’ and
Me hair’s been set on fire, boys!

HOSE ME DOWN, BOYS, HOSE ME DOWN!
ROLL ME O'BOARD & WATCH ME DROWN!
WATCH THE WHIRL POOL SUCK ME DOWN, BOYS!
HOSE ME DOWN, BOYS, HOSE ME DOWN!

Well, I wanted to write a shanty,
But I’ve never been to sea-
But I’ve Johnny Depp twelve times
And that’s good enough for me, Boys!

Well, I thought I saw a sail boat
But I really couldn’t say-
You see, I’ve never seen a sail baot
And it was very far away, Boys!

So, I shipped aboard this sail boat
With a captain brave and true-
But if you ask me what kind of sail boat
Well I haven’t got a clue, Boys!

Now this ship’s gotten rather crowded
There’s a hundred men and me-
But to live with a hundred sailors,
Well, that’s why I went to sea, Boys!

Sea Fire Productions Inc. c&p 2006


MINGULAY BOAT SONG (Acapella Version)
Arrangement: Heather Alexander
Sea Fire Productions Inc c&p 2006