Author Topic: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"  (Read 4152 times)

Pete Stevens

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Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« on: May 23, 2021, 04:22:06 PM »
I'm reading The WW&F Two-Footer; Hail and Farewell, which provides the lyrics to the song "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge," but no tune. Does anyone know how it went? It has 17 verses!

The first verse goes: "Now if you'll kindly listen, I will sing a little song. / It's something new and something true, / And will not detain you long. / It is the latest song that's out And it is all the rage; / It's all about the building of the "Sheepscot Narrow Gauge." 

I'd love to sing it, so if anyone is familiar with it, please let me know.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 04:58:09 PM »
Hi Pete,

I've never seen music for the tune, although presumably it must exist somewhere. I recently saw in an article that reported that it was sung at a town celebration in Albion circa 1980-ish.  I've also ask local folk superstar Judd Caswell if he had ever heard of it. He noted that it was common that texts such of these were often sung to well-known melodies. However, he didn't immediately recognize which one the meter of the lyrics seemed to match.

So, it's a little bit of a mystery....

-Ed
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Pete Stevens

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2021, 05:33:39 PM »
Thanks Ed! I'll dig around for a suitable tune, then. Should be fun!

Bob Springs

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 06:08:48 PM »
How about the theme from Beverly Hillbillies?

Bob Holmes

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 06:20:12 PM »
So let's start a contest in two categories:  1) original composition/tune; and 2) best adapted composition/tune !!

James Patten

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 06:24:41 PM »
It was supposedly sung at Albion station's 100th anniversary celebration in 1995 (I didn't go to it, so I can't verify it), and was sung by a local band/group during one of our last 1990s/early 2000s annual picnics.  I forget the name of the group (I don't think they're together anymore), nor do I recall the tune (I'm pretty sure I heard it).

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 06:52:49 PM »
Quote
It was supposedly sung at Albion station's 100th anniversary celebration in 1995

That was the celebration that I was thinking of.
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Benjamin Richards

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2021, 07:21:24 PM »
The poetic form is called a "Fourteener", or rhymed couplets in iambic heptameter if you're a snob.  ;D

Many tunes have been written for these kinds of poems. They're a great match for your basic uptempo two-beat I-IV-V-I riff, because the 7 feet of the poem leave a nice space for breathing to fill out the 4th bar of the riff (essentially a silent 8th foot).

For starters (and for something railroad-related), try "Wabash Cannonball" on for size. Or for something a little more thematically incongruent, the theme from "Gilligan's Island".
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 07:24:19 PM by Benjamin Richards »

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2021, 07:39:19 PM »
Quote
Or for something a little more thematically incongruent, the theme from "Gilligan's Island"

LOL. Yes that is the tune for "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge."

I don't have my books handy, but there is a chorus (that Pete did not include above) that breaks the "Fourteener" pattern, IIRC.
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2021, 08:04:56 PM »
Joe Fox typed in these song lyrics years ago in an old (unrelated) forum thread. I'm not sure if they are correct or complete...


The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge
F.A. Naray

Now if you'll kindly listen,
 I will sing a little song.
It's something new and something true,
and will not detain you long.
It's the latest song, that's out,
 and it is all the rage;
 It's all about the "
"Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"

CHORUS
Hurah. Hurah.
 O, don't you think it's grand.
To hear the little narrow gauge.
 Go grumbling through the land.
(Repeat)

There's Libby, Fogg, and Crosby,
Those men have got the sand.
I wish the Lord would scatter more
Such fellows through the land.
For we stockholders love then
As we do the  "gentle sex"
For they are going to build a railroad
From Wiscasset to Quebec

Chorus

Old people they will clap their hands
To see the train go by,
And little kids thats teething,
Why they'll forget to cry;
But where it cuts the farm in two
That man will be in rage.
But just the same we're going to have
That Sheepscot Narrow Gauge

Chorus

Some farmers they are kicking now
Because it crosses their farm
But they are going to get their pay
It will not do them harm.
Maine Central folks are kicking, too;
Why now they're in a rage.
It's just because they can't control
The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge.

Chorus

Most people think the narrow gauge
is going to be immense,
But there's a few that voted "No"
That's "kinder on the fence"
We'll grade right up the valleys
And "bust" right through the ledge.
We'll blow things to the Devil,
But we'll have that narrow gauge.

Chorus

All farm produce will take a rise
When that road is complete,
And early rose potatoes they
Will grow as big's your feet.
We'll ship them to Wiscasset,
To C.R. Gates and Page.
At night they'll bring the money back
Upon the Narrow Gauge.

Chorus

We'll have our mail three times a day
Instead of e every night.
And when we get that Narrow Gauge
We're going to have things right
We'll travel o'er this country
No more, by gosh, by stage,
But take a dandy palace car
Upon the Narrow Gauge.

Chorus

We'll telegraph around the world
And have electric lights.
And promenade on Main Street
'Till twelve o'clock at night
We will not mind policemen
Unless they get in rage,
Then we'll skip for Coopers Mills
Upon the Narrow Gauge.

Chorus

We'll take our best girl by the arm
And lead her to the station
It's there we'll wait for the Narrow Gauge
With hearts all palpitation
We'll buy our tickets, pay the cash,
And then we'll board the train
And perhaps we will be married
'Fore we e'er come back again

Chorus
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Benjamin Richards

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2021, 09:18:58 PM »
The chorus does well as common meter with some resting between "Hurrahs" (cf. the refrain of Ackley's "He Lives").

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2021, 09:19:45 PM »
I hope members will not be required to sing this ditty with the hands over their hearts.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2021, 09:31:24 PM »
Quote
the refrain of Ackley's "He Lives"
Ha! I played that hymn this morning at church.
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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2021, 09:58:02 PM »
A bit more digging...
Fred Arlington Naray was a Civil War soldier from Whitefield.
Born in Whitefield, Lincoln, Maine on 16 September 1855 to William C Nary Naray and Mary A. Trash.

The 1906 Census lists him as a Farmer and Poet.

In 1914, the Arlington Grange in Whitefield was named in his honor.
While the grange has dissolved, the building is hoped to be repurposed as a library and community center:
https://whitefieldlibrary.org/

Fred Arlington Naray passed away on 24 Feb 1932.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 10:01:29 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Song: "The Sheepscot Narrow Gauge"
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2021, 10:47:57 PM »
I am not a musician and it is hard for me to carry a tune in a "Boom Box" but,
the Hurrah Hurrah made me think of the "Bonnie Blue Flag" that came from:

The Irish Jaunting Car

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FU9OACm284&t=0s

The "Bonnie Blue Flag"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjPoRCkUxzQ

&

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVeSKwM--1M

If Fred Naray was a Civil War Soldier he would have known this tune.
2nd most popular tune in the Confederacy.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 11:14:51 PM by Carl G. Soderstrom »