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Lyr Req: Messing About on the River

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Messing About on the River (Josh MacRae) (31)
Lyr Req: Messing About with Your Liver (39)
Lyr Req: Messing About on the River (20) (closed)


mike at user@cas.softnet.co.uk 30 Sep 98 - 01:46 PM
Ewan McV 30 Sep 98 - 06:46 PM
mike 02 Oct 98 - 04:03 PM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 98 - 08:49 PM
mike 03 Oct 98 - 08:06 AM
mike 07 Oct 98 - 10:59 AM
Barbara 07 Oct 98 - 11:30 AM
Ewan McV 07 Oct 98 - 12:05 PM
mike 07 Oct 98 - 06:55 PM
07 Oct 98 - 07:56 PM
Barbara 07 Oct 98 - 08:25 PM
Pete M 08 Oct 98 - 04:32 PM
08 Oct 98 - 07:27 PM
Bill D 08 Oct 98 - 08:38 PM
John Nolan 08 Oct 98 - 10:34 PM
John Nolan 08 Oct 98 - 10:43 PM
Barbara 08 Oct 98 - 11:46 PM
BSeed 09 Oct 98 - 02:46 AM
Ewan McV 09 Oct 98 - 11:51 AM
Ewan McV 09 Oct 98 - 12:44 PM
Barbara 09 Oct 98 - 02:14 PM
Ewan McV 10 Oct 98 - 11:49 AM
John Nolan 10 Oct 98 - 01:37 PM
Barbara 10 Oct 98 - 01:53 PM
mike cahill 10 Oct 98 - 05:29 PM
mike cahill 11 Oct 98 - 03:27 PM
ritchie 10 Jul 99 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,johnturboman@aol.com 30 Jul 02 - 06:24 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jul 02 - 06:57 PM
Sooz 31 Jul 02 - 07:13 AM
Schantieman 31 Jul 02 - 07:32 AM
Dave Bryant 31 Jul 02 - 08:56 AM
EBarnacle1 31 Jul 02 - 02:55 PM
NightWing 31 Jul 02 - 03:24 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Aug 02 - 06:57 PM
Snuffy 08 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM
Susanne (skw) 09 Aug 02 - 05:47 PM
Jim McLean 10 Aug 02 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Leadfingers 10 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Jack 07 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,univited guest Ian 27 May 03 - 05:04 PM
Geoff the Duck 27 May 03 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 28 May 03 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Kyle MacRae 09 Jun 03 - 06:29 PM
EBarnacle1 09 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM
BanjoRay 10 Jun 03 - 07:56 AM
Schantieman 10 Jun 03 - 12:00 PM
Roger the Skiffler 11 Jun 03 - 09:43 AM
EBarnacle1 11 Jun 03 - 10:33 AM
BanjoRay 11 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM
Dita 12 Jun 03 - 08:53 PM
EBarnacle1 13 Jun 03 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Tim the Cameraman 12 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,JamesB 19 Aug 03 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Kyle MacRae 19 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM
Jim McLean 19 Aug 03 - 06:31 PM
Dita 19 Aug 03 - 10:12 PM
LadyJean 19 Aug 03 - 11:22 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 03 - 02:06 PM
akenaton 20 Aug 03 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Karen 20 Aug 03 - 05:18 PM
Susanne (skw) 21 Aug 03 - 02:19 PM
Jim McLean 21 Aug 03 - 05:51 PM
Dita 21 Aug 03 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Kyle MacRae 25 Aug 03 - 04:11 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 03 - 04:24 PM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Heather 18 Sep 03 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,LaZahurda 11 Apr 04 - 12:47 PM
Riverwind 12 May 04 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Graham 04 Dec 04 - 05:21 AM
cptsnapper 05 Dec 04 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,Richard 12 Dec 04 - 11:10 AM
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Subject: messing about on the river
From: mike at user@cas.softnet.co.uk
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 01:46 PM

does anyone know the words to "messing about on the river" a song that was popular in the UK in the sixties or seventies, it was much parodied I would welcome these as well (even the rude ones)


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Ewan McV
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 06:46 PM

My word, how life comes back to get you. The song was written by Tony Hatch, and recorded by a mate of mine, Josh Macrae, in about 1962. I regret I don't have the words available, nor of the parody I recall sung by Hamish Imlach :

There's nothing so fine as a wee glass of wine for messing about with your liver.

So I suppose I'm not much use to you. But thanks for the memory!


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: mike
Date: 02 Oct 98 - 04:03 PM

Things are bad I'm writing to my own thread to keep it near the top of the heap otherwise it will sink without trace. I'm shure that someone out there knows the words to messing about on the river


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 98 - 08:49 PM

Have faith, Mike - Mudcate is severely crippled, for some reason, and the "regulars" are having a hard time getting in. Keep refreshing the thread every few days, and somebody fill come up with an answer.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: mike
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 08:06 AM

thanks for the posting I'm sure someone will come up with th goods, mudcat is having bad problems it's taken me a couple of hours on and off to get here today


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: mike
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 10:59 AM

I'm still keen to get the words for this song. If you can only remember a fragment then please post it I might be able to piece it together


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Barbara
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 11:30 AM

mike, I haven't looked, but Ewan McV might have a membership, and then you could send him a personal note or an e to ask him for this. Some 'Catters only check in occasionally. I'd be interested in hearing more of this song, too. Sounds like it might be sung by Ratty?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Ewan McV
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 12:05 PM

OK, I'll have a go, see what fragments come out.

When the weather is fine, it's really high time
For messing about on the river.
********************
For messing about on the river.
There's tug boats and row boats and *** boats and ****
**********************************
So take off your coat, and go get afloat
Go messing about on the river.

The above is part memory, part I fear invention. It goes in in a similar vein for several more dire verses, of which there are none in my head. I have no words other than those I quoted for the parody I mentioned above, I'm afraid. That's me, I'm done.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: mike
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 06:55 PM

who's ratty? as in tails of the riverbank/wind in the willow's It is strange talking to people if you don't know if they share a common history if you are american it might have a completely different idea of ratty, I picture a myopic Peter Sallis (as in last of the summer wine and wallis and gromit)


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From:
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 07:56 PM

Ratty, definitely as in 'Tales of the riverbank'. However, if it helps, the track you seek is on a Max Bygraves CD 'I wanna sing you a song' MACCD/MC172


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Barbara
Date: 07 Oct 98 - 08:25 PM

Mike, I was born in Michigan, and live in Oregon, but I suspect it's the same Ratty. Didn't he say something like "There is nothing half as good (or some other superlative) as simply messing about on the river"?
I could go look it up, but that would be cheating, and yes, it's Wind in the Willows, and would it surprise you to know a series of Wallace and Grommit videos live in our house? Someone who was the friend of someone many times removed videotaped them off of the telly, and they gradually made their way - copy by pirated copy - to us.
And speaking of the other side of the world and arcane literature, if any of you folks from Oz could put me on to a source of Footrot Flats books, there's another Wallace I'd like to have more of in my collection.
Blessings,
Barbara
PS Haven't yet found any Wendsleydale to try, tho. May have to go to the moon.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Pete M
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 04:32 PM

Barbara

stand by to be assulted, insulted and derided by all Kiwis!!!

Wal Footrot and THE DOG are not Australian!!!!!!!!!!! We do occasionally acknowledge the existence of our offshore island wherin dwells Alan, Alison etc. but please don't confuse us.

Sadly Murray Ball's Flynn on whom THE DOG was based, died this week aged sixteen and a half. Murray has also given up producing Footrot Flats cartoons on a regular basis, although all the compilations and some new ones are still available in NZ. If you can't find a local source, get in touch with me directly and I'll organise a relief parcel.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From:
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 07:27 PM

Mike, A version of 'Messing about on the river' is on a Max Bygraves CD 'I wanna sing you a song' No. MACCD/MC172


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 08:38 PM

I have a friend whose brother lives in NZ...she has been there twice, and each time brings back Footrot Flats books, so I have read a bunch...and have one of mt very own!! Also was given a black wool singlet like Wal wears...a great treasure!! Nothing quite like those cartoons anywhere...wish I had easier access. (oh...friend also brought me a 'Black Mac' dark ale from Stoke, Nelson, South Island...*yum*..(have we had part of this discussion before, Pete?)anyway--bears repeating...


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: John Nolan
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 10:34 PM

Adding to Ewan's fragment (perhaps erroneously)
There's tug boats and row boats and all kinds of craft
Boats with no engines and boats with no draft

A double canoe is perfect for two
When messing about on the river

There's XXXXXX backwaters hidden from view,
And XXXX little islands just waiting for you,

In the summer of 1995, a group of West of Scotland singers put on a tribute to Josh McCrae in Glasgow's Tron Theater - the late Danny Kyle was MC, and on stage, singing Messing about on the river, if I remember rightly, was Josh McCrae's daughter. Maybe Ewan can confirm. My mind is fuzzy, because the Glasgow Socialist Women's Choir and a pickled Mick Broderick then took over in the bar, and the night went merrily to hell... The point is, the song seemed very much alive and well, and half the theatre audience sung fragments.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: John Nolan
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 10:43 PM

Another fragment:
The first thing you learn is the right way to bail


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Barbara
Date: 08 Oct 98 - 11:46 PM

Pete, if you look carefully at my post, you'll see I didn't say Wal and THE DOG were from Oz, just that I thought those folks might be able to lay hands on some of the literature, what you can't do here, stateside, as far as I can tell.
Actually, true confession time, I originally had "Aussies or Kiwis" in the post, and I cut it because I couldn't remember if NZers called themselves that, or if it was Australian slang and possibly derrogatory. And I couldn't remember if we had any of you on the list.
Guess I know now, hmmmm? ...grovel, grovel..
We actually live on a farm with a border collie who looks quite a bit like THE DOG only ours is named; named Oreo, actually which probably tells you something about his markings. ('course as Murray shows, lots of dogs look like THE DOG) So, e me and we'll work something out. I have two early FRF books, and no more. A compilation would be wonderful.
My email is
millikan@pnn.com
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: BSeed
Date: 09 Oct 98 - 02:46 AM

Barbara, I came by my Wallace and Gromit tapes legitimately (and they are one of my favorite things to give as gifts, and my students love them and I love them dearly--and one reason for watching commercial TV is to see the talking cars commercials, obviously also by Nick Park). --seed


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Ewan McV
Date: 09 Oct 98 - 11:51 AM

John

Thanks indeed for that thought. I will dig out the video made on the night and see if the song words are there. I was on stage that night - I wrote Josh's first hit TALKING ARMY BLUES. If I find the song I'll bung it on.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER (Tony Hatch)
From: Ewan McV
Date: 09 Oct 98 - 12:44 PM

Well, there it was on the video shelf!

When the weather is fine, then you know it's a sign for messing about on the river
If you take my advice, there's nothing so nice as messing about on the river
There are long boats and short boats and all sorts of craft
And cruisers and keel boats and some with no draught
So take off your coat, go hop in a boat, go messing about on the river

There are boats made from kits, that reach you in bits, go
Or you might like to scull in a glass fibred hull, just
There are tillers and rudders and anchors and cleets
And ropes that are sometimes referred to as sheets
With the wind in your face, there's no finer place, than

There are skippers and mates and rowing club eights, just
There are pontoons and ### and all sorts of knots, for
Well, if inboards and outboards and dinghies you sail
The first thing you learn is the right way to bail
In a one seat canoe you're skipper and crew, just

There are bridges and locks and moorings a docks, when
There's a whirlpool and weir that you mustn't go near, when
There's backwater places all hidden from view
And quaint little islands just waiting for you
So leave here right now, go cast off your bow, go messing about on the river.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Barbara
Date: 09 Oct 98 - 02:14 PM

Finally! Thank you Ewan. Can any of you post a tune for those of us who would love to know this but don't...yet?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Ewan McV
Date: 10 Oct 98 - 11:49 AM

Well, there you are. Mike seemed so desperate for the lyric, I patiently sat and transcribed, then typed. Now it's been on the system longer than he was giving between reminders to us, and no sign of him. If he had collected it he'd surely have said 'thank you'. Must be away for the weekend. Isn't it always the way? Barbara, I don't mesel know how to put the tune on - I know there on other threads indications of ways one can use, but I have not the time to sit and learn them at present. Maybe John will help. Or Mike?


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: John Nolan
Date: 10 Oct 98 - 01:37 PM

It's Saturday, Ewan. Mike is probably lying face down in the sawdust of a barroom floor. Meanwhile, thanks from this neck of the woods...been singing it all morning. What a great tune! Pity I can't transcribe it.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Oct 98 - 01:53 PM

Tell you what, if any of you know how to send it as a GIF or JPG of the sheet music, as a MIDI file, or as RealAudio, you can email it to me,
millikan@pnn.com
,and I'll turn into pretty little red numbers and ABCs.
Mike's email addy is up in the top post, you could e him and ask him if you want.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: mike cahill
Date: 10 Oct 98 - 05:29 PM

Hi all A thousand thank you's for the words. I'm sorry for not getting back to you earlier, but been a bit busy. You have saved my credibility (and the cat's), I've been telling everyone how good the cat was and it was looking like it was going to fail, but you've restored my faith. I will post the tune (or a rough approxamation of it) over the next day or so in ABC format, speak to you soon, thanks again T.T.F.N. mike.

PS the bit about being face down on a bar room floor was closer than you think!!


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Subject: Tune Add: MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER
From: mike cahill
Date: 11 Oct 98 - 03:27 PM

Right then here is the tune (well it sounds near enough on my penny whistle) hope it was worth the wait mike

T:MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER
M:3/4
L:1/4
Q:100
R:waltz
K:G
BBdBG2 GFAFD2 DCEGDFABG2z2:|
BcccBAGAGAB2GcccBAGGFGA2z
BBdBG2 GFAFD2DCEGDFABG


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: ritchie
Date: 10 Jul 99 - 08:14 AM

been off the air for a while...lost all my contacts and previous threads etc....but imagine my delight to hit on a thread that mentions Hamish Imlach...this is how I got started on Mudcat...it's good to be back...does anyone have the words to Hamish's parody.

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,johnturboman@aol.com
Date: 30 Jul 02 - 06:24 PM

do u know where i can buy a cd with the original song on, i have tried looking for it on the net, but no go, its not listed in the guiness book of records, yet every body knows it


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jul 02 - 06:57 PM

Hi, John - a message above says the song is available on a CD called "I Wanna Sing You a Song," by Max Bygraves, available at CDNow and other online sources.
-Joe Offer (e-mail sent)-


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Sooz
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 07:13 AM

I'd love to get hold of the words to the Messing about with your liver parody. This thread has jogged my memory but not well enough. Someone out there must know them!


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Schantieman
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 07:32 AM

I seem to recall a fairly - no, to be honest, very - obscene parody called "P*ssing About on the River" in a book of Rugby songs about thirty years ago when I was a teenager. If anyone's interested I could try and dredge it out of what passes for my memory.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 08:56 AM

Thanks for refreshing this - as someone who has spent years messing abount on various rivers and canals - I keep meaning to learn it - I can already play it on guitar. BTW I think the ### in verse 3 is "yachts" and Ratty (in The Wind in the Willows) actually said "`Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in BOATS".


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 02:55 PM

There is also a magazine by that name(twice a month) published by Bob Hicks in Massachusetts. Almost all reader contributions, plenty of photos. Definitely worth it.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: NightWing
Date: 31 Jul 02 - 03:24 PM

'This has been a wonderful day!' said he [Mole], as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. 'Do you know, I`ve never been in a boat before in all my life.'

'What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: 'Never been in a--you never--well I--what have you been doing, then?'

'Is it so nice as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

'Nice? It's the ONLY thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. 'Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: 'messing--about--in--boats; messing----'

'Look ahead, Rat!' cried the Mole suddenly.

It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air.

'--about in boats--or WITH boats,' the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. 'In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?'

The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. 'WHAT a day I'm having!' he said. 'Let us start at once!'

The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 1
by Kenneth Grahame
http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/ReadingRoom/Fiction/Grahame/WindWillows/

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: Lyr Add: MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER (Hatch/Reed)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 06:57 PM

Here's another version, different from the above only in minor details. I have no idea which version is closer to the original. Copied from http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/m/messingaboutontheriver.html

MESSING ABOUT ON THE RIVER
(Tony Hatch / Les Reed)
Josh MacRae - 1962
Danny Kyle - 1998

When the weather is fine, you know it's the time
For messin' about on the river.
If you take my advice, there's nothing so nice
As messin' about on the river.
There's big boats and wee boats and all kinds of craft,
Puffers and keel boats and some with no raft.
With the wind in your face, there's no finer place
Than messin' about on the river.

There are boats made from kits that'll reach you in bits
For messin' about on the river.
And you might want to skull in a glass-fibred hull.
Go messin' about on the river.
Anchors and tillers and rudders and cleets,
Ropes that are sometimes referred to as sheets.
With the wind in your face there's no finer place,
Than messin' about on the river.

Skippers and mates and rowing club eights
All messin' about on the river.
Capstans and quays where you tie up with ease,
All messin' about on the river.
Outboards and inboards and dinghies you sail.
The first thing you learn is the right way to bail.
In a one-man canoe you're both skipper and crew,
Messin' about on the river.

Moorings and docks, tailors and locks,
All messin' about on the river.
Whirlpools and weirs that you must not go near,
Messin' about on the river.
Backwater places all hidden from view,
Mysterious wee islands just waiting for you.
So I'll leave you right now, go cast off your bow,
Go messing about on the river.


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM

Jim, I haven't heard the song in years, but as I recall it, the version Ewan McV posted (4 yrs ago!) is much closer than yours to what Josh Macrae recorded.

Ewan has a blank in Verse3 line2, but I don't recall "Capstans and quays where you tie up with ease".

Does anyone have a copy of the recording or the original text?

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 05:47 PM

The version Jim Dixon posted is Danny Kyle's, word for word (on his CD 'Heroes and Soft Targets', 1998).


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 05:13 AM

EWan McVicar posted the correct lyrics as sung by Josh and Danny merely 'scotticised' a few words. I remember a few of us going to some kind of dance in Glasgow when Josh just released the single. We had posters on our backs advertising the disc! The folly of youth! Cheers, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Leadfingers
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM

Sooz- I have the liver parody somewhere in my stash of bits of paper with words etc scribbled on.email me to remind me to dig it out Terryleadfinger@aol.com


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM

I would lkea copy of the recording of messing about on the river by josh macrae.

please contact me jack@jandmlee.freeserve.co.uk


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,univited guest Ian
Date: 27 May 03 - 05:04 PM

I seem to recall another bit:

There's a girl on that yacht
Who does not wear a lot
When messing about on the river


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Subject: RE: messing about on the river
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 May 03 - 06:54 PM

I once heard it finished
(Slowing up...)
So get in a punt
and act like a...
When messing about on the river!

Quack!
GtD. (who likes watery songs...)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 28 May 03 - 02:52 AM

There's a record company called Rollercoaster that is considering reissuing Josh's sole album, which I think had Messing About on it. Check their catalogue in about 18 months.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Kyle MacRae
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 06:29 PM

The actual lyrics as sung by Josh according to my transcription five minutes ago -- sorry, I know it's taken four years -- are as follows (and if anybody wants the MP3, email me at kyle@scunnered.com):

When the weather is fine then you know it's a sign
For messing about on the river.
If you take my advice there's nothing so nice
As messing about on the river.
There are long boats and short boats and all kinds of craft,
And cruisers and keel boats and some with no draught.
So take off your coat and hop in a boat
Go messing about on the river.
There are boats made from kits that reach you in bits
For messing about on the river.
Or you might want to skull in a glass-fibred hull.
Just messing about on the river.
There are tillers and rudders and anchors and cleats,
And ropes that are sometimes referred to as sheets.
With the wind in your face there's no finer place,
Than messing about on the river.
There are skippers and mates and rowing club eights
Just messing about on the river.
There are pontoons and trots(?) and all sorts of knots
For messing about on the river.
With inboards and outboards and dinghies you sail.
The first thing you learn is the right way to bail.
In a one-seat canoe you're the skipper and crew,
Just messing about on the river.
There are bridges and locks and moorings and docks
When messing about on the river.
There's a whirlpool and weir that you mustn't go near
When messing about on the river.
There are backwater places all hidden from view,
And quaint little islands just awaiting for you.
So I'll leave you right now to cast off your bow,
Go messing about on the river.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM

Gotta have it. Will e-mail for it so I can sing it at the Hudson River Revival. For that matter, if you come, you can sing it for us.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: BanjoRay
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 07:56 AM

I can remember listening to this every Sunday, when it always got requested on Two Way Family Favourites. I remember once when it had finished, the two presenters (one in England, one in Germany) had a discussion about whether the watery sound effects changed key at the same time as the song did. Having just listened to Kyle's mp3, I think they were right!
Kyle has kindly put it here:Messing About On The River, so you can all have a listen. It's still lovely.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 12:00 PM

Trots (in Kyle's post, above) are lines of mooring buoys laid in a river or harbour so that boats can moor head and stern. This stops the boats swinging with the tide, so they take up less space & the impecunious harbourmaster (or highly pecunious & greedy harbour authority) can pack more in.

What you might do in a glass-fibre hull is scull, or 'row' with two oars - or with just one, over the stern (rather than skull, which is part of a sceleton).

:-)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 09:43 AM

"yachts" NOT trots (see other thread: author Anthony, artist Josh McRae)

RtS
(formerly RtZ!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 10:33 AM

I just listened to it at the site. The differences between what is listed above and what I heard are:

Line 5: There are long boats and short boats and all sorts of craft...

Line 11: Or you might like to scull in a glass-fibred hull...

Line 19 sounds like "trots and" to me also but "There are pontoons and [yachts with] all sorts of knots" makes more sense and fits the style of the song. What I mean is that stylistically, comparisons within a line or couplet seem to compare extremes.

If the author is still alive, it may make sense to ask him what he intended.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: BanjoRay
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM

"Trots" is definitely correct
1. It's definitely what he sings on the track.
2. It goes with pontoons and knots. eg see here
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Dita
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 08:53 PM

Ah Ewan, Ewan, the memory is going.
Josh made two albums, one for Pye and one for Transatlantic.
The Pye one is the one with "Messing about on the River" and is split between folk and country songs. The Transatlantic album had Archie Fisher on it, and is a lot harder hitting, featuring songs such as "No Damn Good" and "The Ballad of Lee Harvey Oswald."
The only other recordings of his I have found are on Top Rank, which issued some EPs and singles of the Reivers and a solo EP of Josh.
Pan Records of Glasgow, reissued some of the Reivers sides as a single and coupled your "Talkin Army Blues" with "Talking Guitar Blues". Was that a staight reissue of the hit? Was it on Top Rank?

Your old friend, John McCreadie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 13 Jun 03 - 12:31 PM

OK, given that explanation, "Trots" makes sense. I was always under the impression that a trot line was a method of fishing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Tim the Cameraman
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM

Hello everyone!

What a fascinating read I've just had on this page...

Myself and my three children are having their first boating holiday in August on the Norfolk Broads. I first enjoyed the one and only experience in 1974ish.

So I was searching the internet to find the lyrics of the wonderfull song I remember as a kid listening on the old valve radio (also remember it on family favourites) so we could all sing it whilst on the boat holiday.

I first tried looking for the mp3 on Kazaa(.com) and winmx(.com) without success. Then tried a search in google and thankfully found this page and all you wonderful people!

Thanks to you all I now have the mp3 and a set of lyrics with amendments, so I thank you all for making our boating holiday one to remember.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,JamesB
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 02:01 PM

Thanks so much to Kyle (any relation to Josh?) and everybody really. I've been after this track for years. I believe I must have had it on record as a kid in the late 70s. It's the only way to explain my emotional attachment to this song. I've been looking for it for a while on and off but never found an MP3 of it until now. Anyway now all I've got to do is figure out the tab for it. Given that I can hardly play a note it's going to be interesting!

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Kyle MacRae
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM

Hi James

You're very welcome -- but sorry, no guitar tabs to hand. Josh was my uncle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Jim McLean
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 06:31 PM

Hi Kyle,
I was a good friend of Josh's and his family. He had a sister (and also coincidentally also his wife) called Sheila. Could Sheila have been your mother?
REgards,
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Dita
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 10:12 PM

My biggest regret.

One day around 1990, Danny Kyle and I met for a coffee in Byres Rd in Glasgow, as we sometime did when he was working at the BBC.

He told me that a couple of guys were persuading Josh's widow (?Sheila), to sell Josh's twelve string, but he felt the price offered was poor.

Knowing
a) my fondness for Josh and his music, (and my quest for his records),
and b) the fact that I could usualy raise the money when I wanted to buy an instrument,

he wanted me to buy it, so Josh's widow got a fair price, and so it would stay in good hands.

As my accursed luck would have it, it was at the one point in my life when I had no spare cash, nor means to obtain some quickly.

So I had to let Josh's guitar pass, and every time I come across something like this thread, or one of his records on ebay, I give a little sigh.

John.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: LadyJean
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 11:22 PM

My sister was in Blackfriars, at the University of Chicago. She played Ratty in a musical version of "Wind In The Willows", and sang about the joys of "messing about in boats". She also tap danced. We were very surprised. We didn't know she knew how to tap dance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 02:06 PM

Hi Jim

Close. Sheila was my aunt; my dad was Josh's older brother, Rod. All three are now sadly dead.

And hi John

Josh's ex Sheila is alive and well. I wonder what happened to the guitar in the end? Josh (or uncle Iain, as he was to me) gave me a ukulele when I was a kid and taught me one tune: 'Oh dear, what can the matter be', of all things. I dearly wish I had kept that, too... but it did inspire me to take up guitar a little later.

For what it's worth, my understanding is that Josh always loathed 'Messing About on the River' -- although he appreciated the exposure and income -- but maybe you or Jim or somebody else in here would know for sure?

My own paltry collection of Josh's records extends to the Transatlantic album (see thread.cfm?threadid=6792#966651 above), which I've since converted to MP3, and a few scratched singles. I've always wanted a copy of the Johnny Ramensky song, though, and I've never managed to hear the Emmettones material at all. Anybody know where such records can be found?

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 03:55 PM

Hi Ian I live in Argyll and saw Josh perform many times. He was a real minstrel and out of the same mould as the great Alex Campbell,although slightly different in style . Iv alway been a big fan of josh, and his penchant for americana is very popular right now.
Iv got most of his recordings,and you might be interested in one which hasnt been mentioned....."Tonight at the Attic"...Josh Mcrae Matt McGinn..Danny Kyle and Davy Spiers.
Josh sings       "Last thing on my mind"
                   "Yuri Gargarin"
                   "Saccos lost letter"
                   "Freedom come all ye"
ACTION   FMC 926    1964..
                           Best Wishes Ake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 05:18 PM

Any chance somebody could give us a wee "biog" about Josh McCrae ?

I note that Jim Mclean and Ewan McVicar are mudcatters... any info on them would also be nice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 02:19 PM

Kyle, if you'd be happy with a tape of the Ramensky song I could make you one. I copied it from someone's album 'Josh MacRae' (1960) - probably a friend in Glasgow, or maybe Hamburg. Let me know via eMail: skw at worldmusic dot de.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 05:51 PM

Hi Kyle,
I knew your Dad, Rod, and your Grandma, I used to drive Josh sometimes to his mum's house ... I actually fixed her telly once! I'm sorry that your Dad and aunt Sheila have passed away. Another coincidence, my wife took the sleeve photo for the Transatlantic record and we have other shots taken that day if you're interested. I agree with you that Josh was mildly embarassed by the 'pop' song Messing ...' but not unduly so. I had a few Emmettones EPs but they have gone walkabout at various new year parties in my house. I also have, by the way, a pencil portrait of Hugh McDiarmid done by Josh. Few people know that he was an acomplished artist. He was an art teacher and did some wonderful crayon portraits. A self prtrait is owned by Marion Blythman and used to hang in the Blythmans' house in Rouken Glen before Marion moved to Leith.
Regards,
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Dita
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 06:10 PM

Kyle,

I can do you mini discs or CDs of what I have of Josh's, seeing as your family and none of it is available.

I've got the Pye album (with Ramensky) and singles, Top Rank EPs of him solo and with the Reivers, the Attic album, and "Ding Dong Dollar"
an album of anti-polaris and republican songs. Josh is strongly featured, and is on the cover in the company of Nigel Denver and Hamish Imlach.

Jim McLean gave detailed info on who sang what on this uncredited 1962 Folkways album in a thread somewhere in Mudcat. Perhaps someone more computer literate than me can make a blue clicky. (Your mission should you chose to accept it ...........)

Get in touch
jwmmccreadie@aol.com

I'll be proud to give back a little of what Josh gave me.

ps I agree with your thoughts on "River", Josh was commited to his music, and the message in the songs. He also seemed to have an intuitive grasp of the link between Folk and New Country, 30 years before the world discovered Roots Music.

Tony Hatch was a means to an ends. If someone asked you to make a record for Pye you said "YES". He never recorded anything as lightweight before of after, no follow up in the same vein, as was the norm at the time.

love, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Kyle MacRae
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 04:11 PM

John, that would be fantastic. I'll contact you seperately to discuss. I'd also like to pass on copies of these recordings to a couple of cousins of mine (Josh's son by Sheila, his first wife, and his neice), both of whom I'm sure would be very grateful to hear this material. Somehow or other, precious little vinyl survived in the family over time, although I did somehow end up with a couple of Josh's Dylan albums ('The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' and 'The Times They Are A-Changin'').

That Ding Dong Dollar link is, I think, thread.cfm?threadid=49837#754599

On your last point, perhaps 'The Wee Ferry' (that crosses the Clyde) qualifies as another relatively lightweight exception. I have the single floating around somewhere. It's a song I've been unable to find any reference to on the web or in here -- must dig it out and see who wrote it and which label it's on -- but perhaps you remember it? (They're no very bonny, for streamline they lack/ They're the same at the front as they are at the back... They're clever wee boats, you can bet your last pound/ They go backwards and forwards without turning round... The sea is the place for romance, so they say/ But the ferry has always had its part to play/ For many a man and his bonny wee bride/ First met on the ferry while crossing the Clyde... etc). Ridiculously catchy!

Many thanks again

Kyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 04:24 PM

Hi Jim

Coincidences indeed! That would the house in Ashcroft (Drive?), I guess?

My copy of the Transatlantic album is sadly coverless but I've seen the original and would love to see some more pics from the same shoot.

And you're absolutely right -- Josh was by all accounts a fine artist. My mother still has a couple of his oils and I well remember a fine, 30-second pencil sketch of me as a youngster. I've still got it... somewhere.

Cheers

Kyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM

Hi Kyle, yes I think that was the address and as to the song The Wee Ferry, it was written by Jim Wallace and recorded on a PYE single 7N.15926. If you email me, JawMac@aol.com I'll send you some scans of pics. My wife still has the colour contact sheet in her files. There's also a great black and white, grainy, picture of Josh she took at the recording (in the studio). He has a sort of Frankie Sinatra pose, with cigarette and hat!
Cheers,
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Heather
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 05:36 AM

I am most grateful for then infomaton about Messing about on the river sung by Josh Macrae, I am doing an assignment on Small river boats and wanted to know who sung this song, when and the words you have all answered these questions. Thanks
May your painters be long and the river be gentle!
Heather


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,LaZahurda
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 12:47 PM

I've only just picked up on this thread. Haven't been able to download the mp3 file - can anyone help please


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Subject: RE: Messing About on the River
From: Riverwind
Date: 12 May 04 - 10:17 AM

I am looking for the mp3 of Messing about on the River by Josh McCrae,
does anyone know of a site I could get it from?
Would really appreciate it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: GUEST,Graham
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 05:21 AM

Where can I buy the sheet music for "messing about on the river"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: messing about on the river
From: cptsnapper
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 01:18 AM

Hullo,

Some trivia regarding the song: it's my understanding that when Josh recorded it he wasn't able to play the guitar because he'd done something to his hand & the playing was actually done by Rena Swankie of the Reivers. Funnily enough she later moved to Bedford & the album cover has a picture of a bridge over Bedford river.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Messing About on the River
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 11:10 AM

Hello

6 years after this discussion started, its still going!!

The mp3 link is fantastic. Thank you. The discussion about the words amusing.

Thanks all for an informative read and for saving my life with that link.

Richard


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