Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of the Siren, #31
Song: Ricky Jay & Richard Greene: The Fiddler/Roll the Old Chariot (1:34 minutes)
from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.
Image: The Mother Teresa of New Orleans: Fiddle Girl.
Fiddle tune: Roll the Old Chariot. Lyrics of the story of the fiddler:
Why upon this lovely day
must that wretched fiddler play?
All the sky once stainless blue
every note he strikes untrue.
Summer deep, embowered in flowers
silent music, in the hours
in the east a feather moon
man that fiddler out of tune.
God’s hand never slipped a mar
at the making of a star.
There no truce excuse yet made
for the bungler at his prey.
Explanatory liner notes by ANTI-:
One of the realities of shipboard life is being cooped up in a small space with the same people day after day. This fiddler is playing Roll the Old Chariot. Perhaps he’s playing it over and over and over. Murders have been committed for less.
Explanation for fiddle tune Roll the Old Chariot according to Arrr!:
The story goes that after Lord Nelson fell in the Battle of Trafalgar he was sealed in a cask of rum to preserve his body and, hearing this, the crew decided to drink their fill.