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Alive coverAlive!

OGR 8883 | Released 1983

This third album grew from our long-standing desire to record some of our favorite songs in a proper live setting with a robust, hearty audience. Such audiences are often our privilege, but probably never so as at the Performing Arts Center, also known as the Chocolate Church, in Bath, Maine, the site of this concert.

This happy musical evening was everything we hoped it would be: an energetic audience ready to share this recording experience with us and each other, top-notch technicians, and a warm night in June. We're very proud of this recording and the people who made it so easy. But most of all we're grateful for the spirit for live musical performance we've received from our parents, Tom's, Steve's and mine. It is to them and their gift that we dedicate this album.

Chuck Romanoff

SCHOONER FARE IS:
Tom Rowe--bass, tin whistle, guitar, vocals;
Chuck Romanoff--12 string guitar, 4 string banjo, vocals;
Steve Romanoff--6 and 12 string guitars, 5 string banjo, vocals

PRODUCED BY: Outer Green Records

RECORDED AT: The Performing Arts Center, The Chocolate Church, Bath, Maine
RECORDING ENGINEER: Ken Ford.
ASSISTANT ENGINEER: Dave Ronco.
HOUSE SOUND ENGINEER: Jim McPhillips.
MIXED AT: E.A.B. Recording Studios, Lewiston, Maine.
MIXING ENGINEER: Tom Rowe.
MASTERED AT: Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs, New York.
MASTERING ENGINEER: Tom Coyne

COVER DESIGN: Gail Waitkun.
TYPESETTING AND LAYOUT: Jenny Adams/Skunk Hollow Design

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Tom Power, Dianne AmRhein, the Chocolate Church Staff, and the four hundred singers who added their voices to this recording. An extra special thank-you to Ken Ford for his technical assistance, generosity and friendship; on this recording and for all the years we've been together.

Song List

The Mary L. McKay | Roll, Alabama, Roll | Red is the Rose | Rattlin' Bog | Day of the Clipper | Gardner, Illinois | The Mary Ellen Carter | Wonderful Copenhagen | Red, Red Robin

THE MARY L. McKAY

Frederick W. Wallace / Arr. & Adapt. Schooner Fare

We first heard this song in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Later we found it 
in a North American folk collection. The story is unchanged but the 
rhythm, melody and chords have been rewritten. It's the story of a 
record-setting voyage between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, N.S., 
with a little help from Portland bootleg rum.

From Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth Sound
Two-twenty miles we ran
In eighteen hours, my bully boys,
Now beat that if you can.
The crew said it was seamanship;
The skipper, he kept dumb.
But the force that drove our vessel
Was the power of Portland rum.

Come all ye hardy haddockers
Who winter fishin' go.
And brave the seas upon the banks
In stormy wind and snow
And ye who love hard driving
Come listen to my lay
Of the run we made from Portland
On the Mary L. McKay.

We hung the muslin on her
As the wind began to hum.
Twenty hardy Nova Scotia men
Chock full of Portland rum.
Mainsail, fores'l, jib and jumbo
On that wild December day
As we passed ole Cape Elizabeth
And slugged for Fundy Bay.

  Storm along, drive along
  Punch her through the rips.
  Northeast gale's a blowin',
  And we'll take all that she gives.
  We're homeward bound to Yarmouth Sound
  Two-twenty miles today
  We made the run on Portland rum
  On the Mary L. McKay.

We slammed her by Monhegan
As the gale began to scream.
Our vessel took to dancing
In a way that was no dream.
A howler o'er the taffrail, b'ye
As we steered sou'east away
For she was a hound for running
Was the Mary L. McKay.

We slammed her to Matinicus.
The skipper hauled the log
"Sixteen knots! Lord Harry!
Ain't she just the gal to jog?"
The half-canned wheelsman shouted
As he swung her on her way
"Just watch me tear the mainsail off
The Mary L. McKay."

  Chorus

The rum was passing merrily
And the crew was feeling grand
Longnecks dancing in our wake
From where we left the land.
Our skipper he kept sober
For he knew how things could lay,
And he made us furl the mains'l
On the Mary L. McKay.

Now the captain didn't care to make
His wife a widow yet.
He swung her off to Yarmouth Cape
With just her fores'l set
Past Fourchu in the mornin'
And shut in at break of day
And soon in shelterin' harbor
Lay the Mary L. McKay.

  Chorus

From Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth Sound
Two-twenty miles we ran.
In eighteen hours, my bully boys,
Now beat that if you can.
The crew said it was seamanship;
The skipper he kept dumb.
But the force that drove our vessel
Was the power of Portland rum.


ROLL, ALABAMA, ROLL
Trad. Arr. Schooner Fare

We borrowed this old halyard chantey from the collection of the 
great Bill Bonyun from Westport Island, Maine, and added a little 
Stephen Foster, and a dash of John Jameson. This great sing-a-long 
recounts the demise of the British-built Alabama during the 
American Civil War at the hands of the Maine-built Kearsarge in the 
English Channel.

When the Alabama's keel was laid;
Roll, Alabama, roll.
It was laid in the yard of Jonathan Laird.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.
Down the Mersey ways she rolled then
Roll, Alabama, roll.
Liverpool fitted her with guns and men.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.

  Oh, Susannah, don't you cry for me;
  I still sail the Alabama with my banjo on my knee.

From the Eastern Isles she sailed forth;
Roll, Alabama, roll.
To destroy the commerce of the North.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.
And many a sailor saw his doom.
Roll, Alabama, roll.
As the Kearsarge hoved into view.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.

  Chorus

A ball from the forward pivot that day;
Roll, Alabama, roll.
Shot the Alabama's stern away.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.
Off the three mile limit in sixty-four.
Roll, Alabama, roll.
The Alabama was seen no more.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.

  Chorus

Roll, Alabama, roll.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.

  Chorus

Off the three mile limit in sixty-four.
Roll, Alabama, roll.
The Alabama was seen no more.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.
And the captain promised to his men
Roll, Alabama, roll.
That like the South, she'd rise again.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.

  Chorus
  Chorus

Roll, Alabama, roll.
Roll, Alabama, roll.
Oh, roll, Alabama, roll.


RED IS THE ROSE
Tommy Makem / Keady Music--P.R.S.

The melody of this song is the traditional Scottish air, Loch Lomond, 
but the new lyric was written by Tommy Makem. This song is such a 
terrific song to sing along with, and the audience at the Chocolate 
Church made the most of it. The swelling voices at the end are, for us, 
one of the high points of the record.

Come over the hill,
My bonny Irish lass;
Come over the hill
To your darlin'
You choose the road, love,
And I'll make the vows,
And I'll be your true love
Forever.

  Red is the rose
  That in yonder garden grows.
  Fair is the lily of the valley.
  Clear is the water
  That flows from the Boyne.
  But my love is fairer than any.

'Twas down by Killarney's
Green wood that we strayed.
The moon and the stars
They were shining.
The moon shone its rays
On her locks of golden hair
And she swore she'd be my love
Forever.

  Chorus

'Twas not for the parting
Of my sister Kate.
'Twas not for the grief of my mother.
'Twas all for the loss
Of my bonny Irish lass
That my heart is breaking
Forever.

  Chorus


RATTLIN' BOG
Trad. Arr. Schooner Fare

The "bog" has been a big favorite over the years. We originally 
learned it from Paddy Reilly about ten years ago in North Conway. 
Since then it has taken on some Rock'n'Roll influences, a brisker 
tempo, and more silliness with each performance.

Rare Bog, the Rattlin' Bog, the bog down in the valley-O,
Rare Bog, the Rattlin' Bog, the bog down in the valley-O,
And in the bog there was a tree, a rare tree, a rattlin' tree
A tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-O.

And on the limb there was a branch.
And on the branch there was a twig.
And on the twig there was a leaf.
And on the leaf there was a nest.
And in the nest there was a bird.
And in the bird there was an egg.
And in the egg there was a bird.
And on the bird there was a wing.
And on the wing there was a feather.
And on the feather there was a flea.
And on the flea there was a rash.


DAY OF THE CLIPPER
Steve Romanoff

The fastest, sleekest, and most romanticized of the wind-powered 
commercial fleet was the clipper ship. Although its reign lasted only 
fifty years, deposed by steam power, the clipper's brilliant career is 
immortalized in stories and in songs such as this one written by 
Steve Romanoff. With the world's supply of fossil fuels on the wane, 
a return to wind and sail may be upon us.

You can see the squares of canvas dancing over the horizon,
You can hear the chantey wailing to the heaving of the men,
You can feel the seas up to your knees and you know the sea is risin',
and you'll know the clipper's day has come again.
To the men on high the bos'n's cry commands a killing strain,
'Til every mother's son begins to pray.
With a hearty shout she comes about and she heads into the rain,
And the ship has never seen a better day.

  Sailing ships and sailing men will sail the open water,
  Where the only thing that matters is the wind inside the main.
  So all you loving mothers keep your eyes upon your daughters;
  For the sails will mend their tatters and the masts will rise again.

Wooden beams and human dreams are all that makes her go;
And the magic of the wind upon her sails.
We'd rather fight the weather than the fishes down below;
God help us if the rigging ever fails.
As the timber creaks the captain speaks above the vessel's groans,
'Til every soul on board can hear the call.
It's nothing but the singing of the ship inside her bones,
And this is when she likes it best of all.

  Chorus

Where the current goes the clipper's nose is plowing fields of green.
Where fortune takes the crews we wish them well.
Where men could be when lost at sea is somewhere in between;
The regions of a heaven and a hell.
Well they're sailing eastern harbors and the California shore;
If you set your mind to see them then you can.
As you count each mast go sailing past you, prouder than before,
Then you'll know the clipper's day has come again.

  Chorus


GARDNER, ILLINOIS
Rob Carlson / Featherbed Music--BMI

Anyone from a small town feels somehow close to this song by Rob 
Carlson. The music and imagery strike nerves in each one of us who 
survived childhood and selectively remember the best through what 
we call nostalgia, or "painful recall."

A taste or a sound sometimes turns me around
And I go tripping back down the years,
And quick silver sunlight illumines like tintype,
Gardner, Illinois,
When I was just a little boy.

Richard and me built a house in a tree,
And we swore we would always be friends.
I was small, I could cry there,
But I thought I'd never die there
In Gardner, Illinois,
When I was just a little boy.

Then in July when the carnival came to town;
Merry-go-round goin' round, going up and down
Gazin' past the edge of town atop the ferris wheel
Out to where the fields roll forever and ever and ever.

One step was done, and another one begun there
In Gardner, Illinois,
Gardner, Illinois.
See the people sitting in the choir singing
Halleluja, Brother.
Jesus saved the sinner, how 'bout you go save a few.
My parents were something they called Presbyterian
So I must have been one, too.

And it all seems so pure, now, so faded and obscure, now,
I'm not really sure what I saw.
Other times, other places all haunted with the faces of
Gardner, Illinois,
When I was just a little boy.


THE MARY ELLEN CARTER
Stan Rogers / Fogarty's Cove Music P.R.O.C.

This great inspirational song by Stan Rogers is one of his many lusty 
sea songs. In the song, the crew of the Carter conquers unbelievable 
odds to bring her up from the bottom. We have sub-titled it, "Don't 
Let the Buggers Get You Down."

She went down last October in a pourin' drivin' rain.
The skipper he'd been drinking, and the mate he felt no pain.
Too close to Three Mile Rock, and she was dealt her mortal blow,
And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low.

There were just us five aboard her when she finally was awash.
We worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost.
And the groan she gave as she went down caused us to proclaim
That the Mary Ellen Carter'd rise again.

Well the owners wrote her off, not a nickel would they spend.
"She gave twenty years of service, boys, and met her sorry end.
But insurance paid the loss to us, so let her rest below,"
And they laughed at us and said we'd have to go.

But we talked of her all winter, some days around the clock.
She's worth a quarter million afloat and at the dock.
And with every jar that hit the bar we swore we would remain,
And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

  Rise again, rise again,
  That her name not be lost to the knowledge of men.
  Those who loved her best and were with her 'til the end
  Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

Well, all spring now we've been with her on a barge lent by a friend.
Three dives a day in a hard-hat suit, and twice I've had the bends.
Thank God it's only sixty feet, and the currents here are slow,
Or I'd never have the strength to go below.

We patched her rents, stopped up her vents, dogged hatch 
  and porthole down,
Put cables to her fore and aft and girded her around.
Tomorrow noon we'll hit the air and then take up the strain
And watch the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

  Chorus

Oh, we couldn't leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale.
She'd saved our lives so many times a'livin' through the gale.
And the laughing drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave,
They won't be laughing in another day.

And you to whom adversity has dealt a final blow,
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go.
Turn to and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

  Chorus
  Rise again, rise again,
  Tho' your heart it be broken, and life about to end.
  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
  Like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.
  Rise again, rise again.
  Like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.


WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN
Frank Loesser / Frank Music--ASCAP

The nature of this concert album was to capture some of the SINGING 
that went on that night. This 1952 classic by Frank Loesser conjures 
up Danny Kaye, Hans Christian Anderson, and the great musicals of 
that era.

Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful
Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful
Copenhagen for me.

  Wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen,
  Friendly old girl of a town.
  'Neath her tavern light, on this merry night
  Let us clink and drink one down, to
  Wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen,
  Salty old queen of the sea,
  Once I sailed away, but I'm home today
  Singing Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful,
  Copenhagen for me.

I sailed up the Skaggerak
And sailed down the Kattegat
Through the harbors and up to the quay,
And there she stands, waiting for me
With a welcome so warm and so gay.

	Chorus


RED, RED ROBIN
Henry Woods / Bourne Music Co.--ASCAP

Although our music has taken us in varied directions, all three of us 
can remember singing this upper of a song from our earliest days. 
We believe that "folk songs" include those sung by folks because they 
just can't help themselves. That certainly is the case with this song.

When the red, red robin goes bob, bob, bobbin' along,
There'll be no more sobbin' when he starts throbbin' his ol' sweet song.
Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head,
Get up, get up, get out of bed,
Cheer up, cheer up, the sun is red,
Live, love, laugh and be happy.

What if I've been blue, now I'm walkin' through fields of flowers.
Rain may glisten, but still I listen for hours and hours.
I'm just a kid again, doin' what I did again
Singin' this song.
When the red, red robin goes bob, bob, bobbin' along.


All selections published by Outer Green Music Co. ASCAP except as
noted. All rights reserved Outer Green Music Co., Portland, Maine.