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Ye Mariners All / A Jug of This

[ Roud 1191 ; Ballad Index VWL103 ; Full English HAM/4/24/16 ; Bodleian Roud 1191 ; Wiltshire Roud 1191 ; trad.]

This song was collected by H.E.W. Hammond in 1907 from Mrs. Marina Russell, Upwey, Dorset, and published in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs. A.L. Lloyd recorded it under the title A Jug of This for his album English Drinking Songs, and in 1960 as Ye Mar'ners All for the album A Selection from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs. Like all tracks from this LP it was reissued in 2003 on the CD England & Her Traditional Songs. Lloyd wrote in the album's sleeve notes:

Drunken-daft words married to a soberly handsome tune. The words were printed towards 1840 in a penny song-book published by Ryle of Seven Dials, London. The melody to which they became attached seems to belong more properly to the complaint of a betrayed girl, call A Brisk Young Sailor Courted Me or Died for Love. H.E.D. Hammond heard it sung by Mrs Russell (see One Night As I Lay in My Bed). At first he thought she sang “Ye mourners all” but later presumed she meant “mariners”.

Martin Carthy sang Ye Mariners All in 1965 on his first, eponymous record, Martin Carthy, and nearly 30 years later with a few different words on Waterson:Carthy. He commented in the latter album's sleeve notes:

Ye Mariners All was written down by the Hammond brothers in the early 1900s from the wonderful Dorset singer Marina Russell, who knew lots of bits of songs—all of them with fine, fine tunes. The brothers first thought that she had sung “mourners”, and a song from inside the pub to a funeral cortege telling them to lighten up does have a certain something, but later decided that they had in fact heard her say “mariners”.

Kevin Connell sang A Jug of This at Folk Union One in 1969 which can be found on their privately issued album Blue Bell Folk Sing.

John Goodluck sang Ye Mariners All in 1977 on his Traditional Sound Recordings album Monday's Childe.

Fairport Convention sang Ye Mariners All on their 1978 album Tipplers Tales. A live recording from Cropredy 1983 was included in the following year on their cassette The Boot. Another live recording from Cropredy warm-ups at The Mill, Banbury, was included in 2017 on their anniversary album 50:50@50.

Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins sang Ye Mariners All in 1979 on their Sweet Folk All album Make the Rafters Roar.

Cyril Tawney sang A Jug of This on his 1994 Neptune Tapes cassette Down the Hatch. This track was also included in 2007 on his posthumous anthology The Song Goes On.

Ray Driscoll sang Oh Mariners All to Gwilym Davies in June 1998 and February 2000. One of these recordings was included in 2008 on his posthumous CD Wild, Wild Berry. Davies commented in the accompanying notes:

[A]lso known as A Jug of This or Ye Mourners All. This appears to be a remarkable survival of continuing oral tradition in Ray’s repertoire. Ray claimed to have learnt the song in the Navy in the 50s, possibly in Portsmouth. Ray’s tune is very similar to that collected by Hammond from Marina Russell in Upwey, Dorset in 1907 whilst some of the words are the same as those collected by Hammond from William Haines near Sherborne, Dorset in 1906 but Ray has some verses unique to him. In the absence of any other information, this appears to be a genuine transmission of oral folksong. Interestingly, Ray was willing to sing the song to me but dismissed it as ’a bit of a dirge”.

Hughie Jones sang Ye Mar'ners All in 1999 on his Fellside CD Seascape.

Tim van Eyken and Rob Harbron sang Ye Mariners in 2001 on their Beautiful Jo CD One Sunday Afternoon. Both were also part of Folk South West who recorded Ye Mariners All for their 2003 Fellside CD Fanfare for the South West.

Tarras sang Ye Mariners All in 2001 too on their Topic CD Walking Down Mainstreet.

Ditt Ditt Darium sang Ye Mariners All on their 2007 album Ifrån främmande land.

Mawkin:Causley sang Ye Mariners All in 2008 on their CD Cold Ruin.

Jon Boden sang Ye Mariners All as the March 27, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. He noted in his blog:

Another song that I first heard on the magnificent first album by Waterson:Carthy, sung by Martin. Graham Metcalfe used to sing it at the Half Moon too I think. Good drinking song, despite not having much of a chorus.

Cupola sang Ye Mariners All in 2015 on their CD Roam. They commented in their liner notes:

Another of the songs we have been singing with The Tale of Ale project recently—the concise and characterful tale describes the age-old relationship between mariners and their grog.

The Teacups sang Ye Mariners All in 2015 too on their Haystack CD Of Labour and Love.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings Ye Mar'ners All Martin Carthy sings Ye Mariners All

You mar'ners all, as you pass by,
Call in and drink if you are dry.
Come spend, my lads, your money brisk,
And pop your nose in a jug of this.

Ye mariners all, as ye pass by,
Come in and drink when you are dry.
Come spend, my lads, your money brisk,
And pop your nose in a jug of this.

Oh mar'ners all, if you've half a crown,
You're welcome all for to sit down.
Come spend, my lads, your money brisk,
And pop your nose in a jug of this.

Ye tipplers all, as ye pass by,
Come in and drink when you are dry.
Come spend, my lads, your money brisk,
And pop your nose in a jug of this.

Oh tipplers all, as you pass by,
Come in and drink if you are dry.
Call in and drink, think not amiss,
And pop your nose in a jug of this.

Ye tipplers all, if ye've half a crown,
You're welcome all for to sit down.
Come in, sit down, think not amiss,
To pop your nose in a jug of this.

Oh now I'm old and can scarcely crawl,
I've an old grey beard and a head that's bald.
Crown my desire and fulfil my bliss,
A pretty young girl and a jug of this.

Oh now I'm old and can scarcely crawl,
I've a long grey beard and a head that's bald.
Crown my desire, fulfil my bliss,
A pretty girl and a jug of this.

Oh when I'm in my grave and dead,
And all my sorrows are past and fled,
Transform me then into a fish,
And let me swim in a jug of this.

Oh when I'm in my grave and dead,
And all my sorrows are past and fled,
Transform me then into a fish,
And let me swim in a jug of this.

Ye mariners all, as ye pass by,
Come in and drink when you are dry.
Come in, sit down, think naught amiss,
To pop your nose in a jug of this.

Acknowledgements and Links

Transcribed from the singing of Martin Carthy by Garry Gillard.

See also Jon Wilks' Folk from the Attic blog Ye Mariners All (A Jug of This).