Monday, September 15, 2014

Rosin The Bow (Or Beau)

Todays song: 9/15/2014 - "Rosin the Bow". traditional. Also known as "Rosin the Beau" and the melody was used for "Acres Of Clams".

This mornings song was trapped in my head for several hours until I picked up one of my song books (and one of the best you could ever invest twenty-five bucks in) called "Rise Up Singing" and edited by Peter Blood and Annie Patterson.
Up till that moment the melody was driving me crazy and the words were equally illusive. I thought it had the words....."....and I have been frequently sold." but I couldn't for the life of me wrap my earworm around it.
And then, as I opened the book, there it was.
"Rosin the Bow"
If you hear the melody you will know it after just a few notes. It's a very infectious tune and just cries out for audience participation; repeating the last line of this chorus-less song.
     "Take a drink for Old Rosin the Beau......."
     "Surrounded by acres of clams.................."
Did I mention the melody is used for "Acres of Clams" (which was gathered by John and Alan Lomax in their collection of American Folk Songs)?
As a New Hampshire boy I remembered the melody very well after Charlie King used it as a scaffold to hang upon it anti-nuclear lyrics.
     "It's the nukes that must go and not me..........."
This was the rallying cry of "The Clam Shell Alliance" a group of New Hampshire rebels who's protest and largest non-violent occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Reactor in the mid and late 70's gained nationwide attention.
This song went through many changes over the years and was used in many political and social causes over the years.
I posted this video clip of the song because, first, the performer, Matthew Vaughn, had chosen the version from the book I mentioned earler and because he has a voluble and breezy style of presenting his material. His guitar is from the -  "Hey. So it aint an expensive Martin. Get over it!" - school of thought which I like. Although I wish I had an expensive Martin and, yes, I had a guitar like Matthews and I gave it to my son Andy years ago and bought an acoustic electric Washburn which I now use on my Youtube flics and gigs. He now plays better then me, bought a better guitar and gave the old one to his older brother who it now playing almost as well as me. Theres a moral in this somewhere.
Matthew Vaughan has placed on his plate the task of youtubing all 1200 songs of this prodiguous book. I'm not sure how far he has gotten because "Acres of Clams" is about the second or third song alphabeticaly in this tome, Good luck my friend. I will check in with you now and then to see how you are doing.
This young man has a more then passable voice and looks somewhat like Harry Connick, Jr.
Destiny awaits, Matthew

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