Captain Bover

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X:1 T:Captain Bover M:3/4 L:1/8 S: Bruce & Stokoe - Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G G2 F>G A2|(B>d) (c/B/) (A/G/) FD|G2 F>G A2|(B>d) (d/c/) (A/F/) G2:| B>d d>e cA|BG (c/B/) (A/G/) FD|B>d d>e cA|BG (d/c/) (A/F/) G2| B>d =f(e/d/) cA|BG (c/B/) (A/G/) FD/D/|G>G FG A>G|Bd (d/c/) (A/F/) G2||

CAPTAIN BOVER. English, Air (3/4 time). England, Northumberland. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "The ballads and tunes illustrating the doings of the press-gang in this district have deserved greater attention and more searching investigation from the lovers of historical knowledge than has hitherto been accorded to them. This oppressive mode of recruiting for the navy acted with great severity upon sailors, keelmen, and all others of the working population whose avocations partook in the least degree of a nautical character. Harsh and tyrannical measures committed by the officers of the navy in the conducting of 'a press' invited determined resistance, and resulted in riot and bloodshed. The arrival of a vessal 'On His Majesty's Service' in the Tyne was regarded with mixed feelings of aversion and fear by those who were liable to be called upon, and the press-gang was a fertile theme for local rhymsters from the earliest period of its operations down to living memory. 'Captain Bover' and the three following melodies ('Here's the Tender Coming,' 'Liberty for the Sailors,' 'Sailors Are All at the Bar') are interesting memorials of these stirring times, and as expressions of the popular feeling towards this tyrannical mode of appeal to the patriotism of sailors. The tune was taken down by Mr. Thomas Doubleday, who was unable to recover more than one verse of the ballad. On the wall of the north aisle of the nave of St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, is a small marble tablet bearing this inscription: 'Near this place lie the remains of John Bover, Esq., Post Captain in the Royal Navy, who died 20th May, 1782, having for several previous years filled with the highest credit the arduous situation of regulating officer of this port'" (Bruce & Stokoe, 1882).

Where hes ti' been, maw canny hinny?
Where hes ti' been, maw winsome man?
Aw've been ti' the norrad, Cruising back and forrard,
Aw've been ti' the norrad, Cruising suir and lang;
Aw've been ti' the norrad, Cruising back and forrard,
But daurna come ashore For Bover and his gang. (Bruce & Stokoe)

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 125-126.

Recorded sources: -Park Records PRKCD90, Kathryn Tickell - Strange but True" (2006).

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