Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
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Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...

GUEST,SB 18 Feb 20 - 02:45 PM
cnd 18 Feb 20 - 06:46 PM
cnd 18 Feb 20 - 06:53 PM
cnd 18 Feb 20 - 06:53 PM
cnd 18 Feb 20 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Starship 18 Feb 20 - 09:40 PM
cnd 18 Feb 20 - 10:03 PM
cnd 19 Feb 20 - 02:12 PM
cnd 19 Feb 20 - 02:14 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 20 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,cnd 19 Feb 20 - 04:06 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 20 - 04:55 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 02:45 PM

... and fill up your Gotch'.

A thread from a maritime history group ... we have the words but what was the tune?


Someone off-list is asking if anyone can help identify the song tune mentioned at the end of the following

Lot 24: [ Anonymous ] The Launching of the Orwell, East-Indiaman, at the Halifax Ship-Yard, Ipswich, on Thursday the 28th of August, 1817: a New Song. Cover vignette. 8 pages.. 8vo, self-wrappers; slipcase. Ipswich: J. Raw, 1817 E150-250 The Orwell contract


[ Anonymous ] The Launching of the Orwell, East-Indiaman, at the Halifax Ship-Yard, Ipswich, on Thursday the 28th of August, 1817: a New Song. Cover vignette. 8 pages. 8vo, self-wrappers; slipcase. Ipswich: J. Raw, 1817 E150-250 The Orwell contract was initiated by Jabez Bayley with Captain M. Isacke. This ditty is to be sung to the tune of 'Come sweep up the Planchers, and fill up your Gotch'.


Info. from a maritime history forum is:

"I have a very short, scribbled note, talking to Stan Hugill, Bernard Cadoret, Michel Colleu and others (Douarnenez, 1988) that 'gotch' is a 'beer/wine mug, oversize." I cannot remember what the context of the conversation might have been. Stan's memory was encyclopaedic, but I did not note anything concerning the "The Launching of the Orwell."

A rather long-shot guess for an early C19th ditty (maybe even a broadsheet[1]) is that it was theatrical rather than maritime. I'm currently working with some theatre historians on the similarity (and differences) of English vocabulary across the two professions, and have noted that deck, plancher and stage are known. I have put the question to them.

[1] A fairly extensive (but perhaps somewhat limited) search for the title in major bibliographic catalogues (including the British Library) has been unrewarding.

Fair winds -- Pxxx"


For further information :-

The word to the song are as follows transcribed to give a feel of the original. A bunch of shanty singers here in Ipswich would love to be able to sing it to the original tune. Dxx


On Thursday the 28'th of August, 1817:


To the Tune of “Come sweep up the planchers, and fill up your Gotch”

Good PEOPLE OF SUFFOLK come, pray ye draw near,
And I’ll presently tell you what happened here;
Of August it was on the twenty-eighth Day,
When such numbers from all parts came flocking this way.

Oh! how they were running and hast’ning along,
And squeezing themselves in the thick of the throng;
For the men were now busy in splitting the blocks,
To launch the brave *ORWELL* from off all her stocks.

A vessel so large, so majestic, and grand,
Old Ipswich before never saw on her strand:
Guess then how astonished she must be this at,
When she’d ne’er seen one larger than e’en “A Black Cat.”

Those Builders,-- whose skill was so great we are told ,--
In science surpass’d now must e’en quit the field,
And to BAYLEY§ the palm in Ship-building all yield.

Lo, see now how gaily she glides off the stocks,
How finely she moves now, and quits all the blocks!
How boldly she enters the full-swelling tide—
Huzza! see the *ORWELL* in safety now ride !

With huzza and shouting, the wide welkin rings,
The Fair waves her ‘kerchief, the Boy his hat flings;
While the *ORWELL*, as ‘long-side Hog-Island she steers,
Saves her bacon outright, and thus quiets all fears.

Printed and sold by J.RAW, in the Butter-Market and all Booksellers



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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 06:46 PM

This fairly comprehensive list of songs and poems printed by (of all people) John Raw in 1818 makes no mention of the song that I could find, though perhaps someone more familiar with the area could find something useful in it. I will mention that the OCR is fairly crude and not very good, so if you have the time it may well be worth a closer look.

There appears to be a copy of the physical version of the song at the Australian National Maritime Museum, so if you know someone who will be by there they could check.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 06:53 PM

Similarly, I've found some songs that appear to be the same/similar, so I'll post them here in case they help identify the tune. Just lyrics, unfortunately.

From The Naval Chronicle: Volume 38, July-December 1817:

"Launch of the Orwell, Indiamen"

Go, gallant Orwell! Suffolk's naval boast!
Unfurl thy sails for India's distant coast;
The flag of Commerce hoist on Asia's shore,
Nor dread the billows' roll, the surges' roar.
With wealth full freighted, press the labouring main,
And, joyous, greet Old Albion's Isle again!

"So spake the Genius of her native Stream--
Responsive wood-nymphs echoed back the theme.

The signal's given!--what shouts now rend the skies!
The Orwell moves! the noble ship! she files!

Astonish'd thousands mark the impetuous force,
With which, resistless, she pursues her course;--
Behold the shrinking waves, on either side,
Break, foam, and whiten, 'midst the whelming tide,--
'Till proudly floating on the silvery swell,
Nor winds nor waves against her power rebel.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 06:53 PM

And from here - though this may be less related..

Go, pompous fabric! spread the op'ning sail,
Display thy pomp and glitter in the gale;
BRITANNIA'S cross to distant regions show,
Far as the billows roll, or breezes blow"

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 07:32 PM

From the same book as linked 2 messages above (but a different Google Books edition which gives the full read if you so desire to read it), there is another poem entitled "The Triumph of the Orwell." Apparently by Bernard Barton, I'll post the lyrics and any information given tomorrow

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 09:40 PM

"GOTCH, «. a large coarse ewer or pitcher. Though
it is not exclusively a kitchen utensil, nor at all
used in cookery, it seems to come near enough to
be probably deduced from, Ital. gozzo."

That is from

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:03 PM

I should also note that I found "planchers" was a slang term for a wooden floor, probably from French

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 02:12 PM

Still not exactly what SB was looking for, but I thought I would share if anyone else was interested.

Copied from "Metrical Effusions and Other Poems" - Poems of Bernard Barton organized and arranged by Donald H. Reiman, 1977 Garland Publishing Inc.


"Heaven speed the canvass, gallantly unfurl'd,
To furnish and accommodate a world,
To give the pole the produce of the sun,
And knit the unsocial climates into one."



THESE pages not being intended for the public eye, any preliminary remarks may not apparently be required as however they may, even in their limit-ed extent of circulation, fall into the hands of some who may either be surprized at their net having been printed earlier, or at their being printed at all, the Author wishes them to be accompanied by a brief explanation.

A few days before the Launch of the ORWELL, the writer was applied to for some stanzas commemorative of that event no leisure interval offered till so short a time prior to the verses being wanted for the press, as to admit of few hours being employed about them : other competitors had then entered the field, and the project was abandoned. The M. S. however, having been shewn to a few friends, who wished for copies of it, the Author mks desirous to gratify them, and it is now printed in consequence.

The Dedicatory Sonnet was composed, and intended to be prefixed, as a compliment, of course but doubtful how far it implies one, and unwilling that the compliance of his fair friend should cost her too dear, by making her alone bear the responsibility of imputed, and perhaps misplaced patronage; the Author has added some stanzas, which may give others an opportunity of sharing her dis-grace, or partaking her honours.

It only remains to add, that if the smallest gratification be derived by any from the perusal of these verses, they are indebted for it solely to the liberality of the Printers ; who, on the first statement of the Author's wishes, very handsomely undertook to print a small impression gratuitiously.

TO L****** J*****

SO swiftly, silently, have stolen along
   The steps of Time, that years have passed away
   Since I was wont on Orwell's banks to stray,
And find a home amid her busy throng.
How shall I then, my lovely friend, among
   Her Fair, discover one to whom I may
   Inscribe this tribute to her festive day,
Unless to Thee I dedicate the Song?
Then, be it thine!--thy love of Poesy,
   Influence of local ties,--have made it so:
   And if another reason I must show,
I have a foolish one, yet dear to me;
   For the initials to these lines prefix'd,
   With Memory's brightest, darkest dreams are mix'd.


DAUGHTERS of Orwell! you to whom
   The stream I sing bath long been known;
Who prize its banks when Spring's gay bloom
   In lavish loveliness is shown;
Or Summer's radiance rests upon
   Its breast, with bright and dazzling beam;
Or Autumn's tints, of tenderer tone,
   Along its borders richly gleam:--

By whom but you should Orwell's praise
   Be welcom'd with indulgent ear?
From whom should minstrel, who essays
   To tell its triumphs, hope to hear
Those plaudits, to the Poet dear,
   But You?--then while the strain I wake,
With favouring smiles vouchsafe to hear,
   Not for my own, but Orwell's sake.

So may you, many a future Spring,
   Behold its beauteous banks supplied
With renovated charms, which bring
   Admiring strangers to its side.
Or when the Summer's fervid pride
   Invites you on its waves to sail
Be it yours to skim its flowing tide
   With sky serene, and gentle gale.

Or if mild Autumn's mellow eve
   Should lure you on its banks to stray,
Just when the sun is taking leave,
   And sheds aslant his softest ray
On groves, and gardens, late so gay,
   Where varying tints still richly shine,
And pensive gleams of brightness play,
   Attendant on the day's decline;

Then in that calm and peaceful hour,
   May you with chasten'd feelings bless
The dear delight, the silent power,
   Of Nature's fading loveliness
And gazing, gratefully confess
   In voiceless extasy, how dear,
Far dearer than the gay can guess,
   The parting glories of the year.

Nor think such feelings will expire
   When wintry storms obscure the sky;
No: oft beside the social fire
   Shall Memory bring them to your eye;
And lonelier hours glide swiftly by,
   Beguil'd by those which sped before them,
Fancy shall make you feel them nigh,
   And Hope shall whisper, "I'll restore them."


NOW Orwell spread thy sparkling, waves
   In triumph to the sun;
And, where old ocean hoarsely raves,
   Proclaim. the wreath thou'st won.

Thine is no puny, limpid stream,
   Where boats alone may glide;
Or fairies, by the moonlight
   In tiny skiffs may ride.

And yet, between the crowded spot
   Where Gipping joins with thee,
And Ocean; scenes not soon forgot,
   Are scatter'd lavishly.

For many an exquisite recess
   Thy wooded banks display;
Some lovely in their loneliness,
   And some as bright and gay.

But these are not my present theme;
   For Fancy turns her eye,
To times far distant; when thy stream,
   Bore armed gallies by.

When * Henry waged unnatural war;
   And Edward's faithless Queen
Forgot the loyalty she swore;
   Thou show'dst another scene.

Then, mingled with thy sable barks ?
   Of strange and uncouth Name;
'Mid shady groves, and princely parks,
   Sail'd prince, and princely dame.

Not as Eliza ‡ I stemm'd thy tide,
   In peaceful pomp alone;
But bearing up in martial pride
   And breathing warlike tone.

Then on thy peaceful banks were heard
   The trump and clarion shrill;
And strife's discordant echoes stirr'd
   Thy scenes so sweetly still.

Enough of these--from them we turn
   To one, who on thy tide,
Perchance in boyish days might learn
   His buoyant boat to guide.

And shame it were, if in a lay
   To praise of thee devoted,
His name, so famous in its day,
   Should pass the bard unnoted.

Candish! ? thou enterprizing tar,
   Could verse of mine dispel
The clouds which veil'd thy setting star,
   Its triumphs I would tell.

Though little of thy life be known.
   And of its end still less;
Both touch a melancholy tone
   Of pensive tenderness

And he who wakes a votive strain
   To Orwell's lovely stream,
May be excused if he would fain
   Combine thee with his theme.

Who knows how often in the hour;
   The brightest life can lend,
When boyhood's dreams, by magic power,
   With manhood's business blend;

Who knows how oft by Orwell's side
   Were felt the early force
Of enterprizing hopes the guide
   Of thy uncertain course?

And though thy comet-like career
   Was marked by ruthless spoil;
At least it knew not coward fear,
   Nor turn'd aside from toil.

Brilliant and brief thy course; its end
   To mortal eye unknown;
Conjecture vainly would pretend
   To make thy history shown.

Whether in harbour far remote
   Thy bark a home might gain;
Or fate its fragments doom'd to float
   In ruin o'er the main

Whate'er the fate of that; or thee
   No stone records thy name;
Let ocean thy mausoleum be
   Thy epitaph ; thy fame!

Peace to the wandering seaman!--Turn
   From him, and Orwell's flood,
To where her children, brave and stern
Their fearless trade pursued.§

Where 'gainst the monarch of the deep,
   They once were wont to urge
Their desperate warfare; and to steep
   With blood the foamy surge.

Where, amid polar ice and snow,
   They brav'd the dangerous strifes
And, by the oft repeated blow,
   Bereav'd the whale of life.

What boots to pant the dreadful scene?
   The giant's awful size;
The fearful, silent pause between
   His sinking and his rise:

Between the moment when, with ire,
   He dives below the main
And when, arising to respire
   He feels the dart again.

O! different far the ocean-king,
   Alive, and roused to rage;
From that unwieldy, putrid thing,**
   Which pleas'd our latter age.

Which decomposing by degrees,
   Sweet Orwell, on thy shore,
Impregnated each passing breeze
   With stench unknown before.

Yet, such the universal wish
   To see a sight so rare;
That thousands flock'd to view the fish,
   In spite of poison'd air.

E'en female nicety stood by,
   Though reeking perfumes rose;
Wisely resolv'd to please the eye
   At peril of the nose.

Yet deem not that the Bard would dare
   To write of dames with spleen;
He only hints what dames can bear,
   To see! and to be seen!

And now, fair Orwell! of the past
   No more: I have but time,
A hasty glance o'er all to cast;
   The present claims my rhyme.

And well thy present honours might
   A loftier Bard provoke
To hymn thy praise and with delight,
   A loftier Muse invoke.

But since 'tis better badly done
   Than not perform'd at all;
The wreath which thou hast lately won,
I'll sing, whate'er befall.

Bayley! Whatever honours league
   Whatever glories shine,
Combin'd in Barnard, or in Teague;??
   They still must yield to thine

Nay, e'en our last year's whale itself
   Though monstrous was its fame;
Is fairly laid up on the shelf,
   And grans oblivion's claim.

For Thou, by Orwell's side hast rais'd
   A wonder, larger still:
By staring passengers beprais'd,
   And fram'd with wondrous skill.

Who for dead whales would care a fig,
   And rather not be glad,
To look on something much more big.
   Which stinks not half so bad.

Well;--setting joking all apart,
   Allow me to present
A tribute to thy powerful art,
   If poor, at least well meant.

And let us hope that "empty praise"
   May not alone accrue
From this vast feat; but may it raise
   Thee, "solid pudding" too.

Thanks to thy prowess, Orwell, now
   With Thames and Mersey vies;
And neighbouring Shires are forc'd to bow
   To Suffolk enterprise.

And doubt not, when our gallant bark
   Shall sail on sees afar,
In favouring breeze, in tempest dark,
   Whate'er her guiding star,

Prosp'rous, or adverse;--for her weal
   Shall wishes oft ascend;
And for her sake shall many feel
   The interest of a friend.

Now, Orwell! stream so long belov'd
   Though now but seldom seen;
By whose lone banks I oft have rov'd,
   Beneath the wild-wood green;

Orwell! ere yet I bid adieu,
   One wish for thee I'll frame,
As fond, as tender and as true,
   As stream from Bard can claim.

Peace to thy waters! prosp'rous gales
   To every bark of thine;
Which way soe'er waft their sails
   O be that breeze benign!

Fresh be the foliage of thy woods,
   And flourishing each bough;
May health glow in thy briny floods
   To those who stem them now.

Green be thy lawns, thy parks, thy meads,
   As now, to memory's eye,
The picture on which fancy feeds
   Of brightest, softest dye.

And may thy Sons renown'd for arts,
   And manly virtues be;
Thy Daughters blest with happy hearts,
   And lovely still as thee!


* "Henry, the son of Henry II who was crowned in his Father's life time, when be conspired against his Father, lauded here with Soldiers from Flanders; and taking Hugh Bigod with him, marched from hence to Norwich. Here too, Isabel, wife of King Edward II, landed from France, when she drove her Husband into Wales." Kirby's Suffolk Traveller.

? "Ipswich Cats" were certain huge vessels, which were formerly employed in the coal-trade here. They were of large tonnage, and of immense bulk.

‡ From "Queen Elizabeth's Progresses," edited by John Nichols, we learn that Queen Elizabeth, honoured Ipswich several times with her presence. That she sailed down the Orwell may he inferred from the following entry in Mr. Bacon's Manuscript Annals of Ipswich--
Tewsday, 17 July
Perambulation liberty by water with the Queen.
"There shall be two vessels or botes decently furnished, to attend upon the Queen's Majestie soe farre as the Liberty doe extend."

? Thomas Cavendish, or Candish, of Trimly, was the second Englishman that circumnavigated the globe. The success of his first expedition, which he accomplished in two years and fifty days, (for an account of which vide Hackluyt's collection of voyages) induced him to set sail on a second in August 1591--It was as disastrous as his first had been successful; and the uncertainty in which its ultimate result is involved, adds to its melancholy interest.

§ Ipswich formerly employed vessels in the Whale-Fishery: the large building at Nova Scotia, in which the business of cutting up the Whale, and extracting the oil was carried on, is still remaining.

** On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 1816, was found off the Buoy of the Rough, near Harwich, a dead female Whale, which on Thursday was towed up the Orwell as high as Dunham Reach. Its length was from 68 to 70 feet, and the diameter of its body about 18--Almost the whole population of Ipswich, Men, Women and Children, as well as great numbers from the vicinity, flocked to see this immense native of the ocean. The Author begs pardon for alluding to the only unpleasant cicumstance attendant on this exhibition; but be was informed by one on the spot, that the countenances of some of the more delicate among the female spectators, led him to doubt, whether the gratification of their optics, or the annoyance of their olfactories, was predominant

?? Barnard, and Teague were both prominent Ship-builders at this Port.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: cnd
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 02:14 PM

Some of the typographical annotations (crosses, double bars, double barred cross) are appearing now as question marks though they looked fine on the preview. Most of them should be easy enough to figure out but if Joe would be kind enough to fix them that would help make them clearer

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 04:05 PM

A bunch of shanty singers here in Ipswich would love to be able to sing it to the original tune “Come sweep up the planchers, and fill up your Gotch" I believe this was the original request.

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: GUEST,cnd
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 04:06 PM

I am aware, but you never know what may be helpful

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: 'Come sweep up the Planchers, ...
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 04:55 PM

Absolutely, and thanks for posting all of that interesting info. We could do with more with your sort of knowledge.

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