Two more sample recordings of songs from my temporary bedroom recording studio: John Connolly’s widely sung Fiddler’s Green, which is today so beloved by real-life fishermen, accompanied by my pre-war Hohner Erika melodeon, and the classic broken-token-my-love’s-a-sailor-but-he’s-been-gone-seven-years piece The Dark Eyed Sailor, which like many people I learned from the singing of Fred Jordan.
The eventual aim is eventually to make a CD – working title ‘Songs for singing sailors’ – that will hopefully be available through the usual commercial channels. We’re months away from that result, but I hope these samples tickle someone’s fancy!
Thinking about the crew of the Humber sloop Spider T spending a night at Grimsby Docks caused me to reminisce and reminded me of the song Fiddler’s Green, made by local musician and librarian John Connolly.
As a song it has earned my respect over the years for the number of people who know and sing it, including fishermen in the area where we now sail – and for the way the Connolly’s lyrics manage to be sentimental without becoming mawkish. He’s a clever chap, that John Connolly.
I grew up a few miles away from Grimsby, and a trip to the docks with my father was a favourite outing when I was a teenager – it had smells, sounds and sights that I hadn’t come across anywhere else, and of course there was the impressive Dock Tower standing like a sentry near the dock gates. The Wikipedia says it’s modelled on the Torre del Mangia tower on the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, though I remember that it was often called the Venetian Tower by locals.
Whatever the derivation of the tower’s architecture, it remains a powerful symbol of Grimsby’s maritime past and is Grade 1 listed.