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Gordon Bok - Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal :

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CD84 -

Gordon Bok - Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal

Bay Saint Mary
Harvest Home
Hook Or Rionn Ohee
All My Friends
Bay Saint Mary
Camping in the Bend
Gordon's Fancy
Harvest Home
Herring Croon
Hook Or Rionn Ohee
Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal
Modest and Bright Eileen O'Farrel
Wreck of the Schooner Ellen Munn

Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal. Gordon's totally delightful and whimsical Christmas story about a man and his faithful boat, possessed by two irrascible "Hogans" (Nova Scotia faeries).

for Shannon Bills and Shannon Bok with love from Gordon

I wrote this story about five years ago for the fun of it. I have an abiding fondness for working schooners and the crazy, dedicated people who sail them. I'm also fond of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and most people (including Hogans) who manage to live there. The characters in this particular story are probably fictitious.

Once, upon the winds of Autumn, not so very long ago, away the far and gone down Nova Scotia way, there sailed a very gentle man, called Captain Jeremy Brown.

Jeremy was an Irishman, thanks be to God, and that was odd, too, for there's not too many Irishmen grow over there in Nova Scotia, so they tell me.

Well, Jeremy had a little old boat, he did, and her name was Jeannie Teal. And a wee little hard-luck lot of a schooner was she, poor thing.

For whenever Jeremy Brown was sailing one way, the wind was blowing the other. Whenever he was going east, the tide was running west, and he always missed the cargo by the day, or the day by the hour, and nothing seemed to get him anywhere.

So Jeremy spent the most of his days sitting by the stove in the main cabin, smoking his old clay pipe, and wondering what he had done to deserve it all.

So little Jeannie Teal spent most of her time at anchor, with her mainsail up, wating for the tide, or the fog to lift, or something.

But, you see, it wasn't even Jeremy Brown’s fault. In fact, Jeremy couldn't have helped it if he had tried, for the terrible truth of it is that Jeremy Brown had FAIRIES-IN-HIS-YAWLBOAT. And there wasn't a thing in the loving world he could do about it.

They'd come aboard at Antigonish, you see, where Jeremy was waiting for the tide one morning. They were from the Cape Breton Shee, so they weren't exactly fairies, but Hogans, of the Angus an Dingle Hogan-Beg stock (or so they said, the two of them). In fact, the old one with the green hat and the seaboots was Angus an Dingle Hogan-Beg himself, or so he said.

Now, it was bad enough having them about the premises, but it was worse than that having them in the yawlboat, because that was the little rowboat with a motor in it that Jeremy used to push Jeannie around with when there wasn't any wind, like a tugboat, you see.

FSI-84: Jeremy Brown and Jeannie Teal
Side 1

Played as a prelude by Ann Mayo Muir on the hammered dulcimer. I follow the story playing it on the laud (la-ood'), originally a short, double-strung gourd-shaped guitar-like animal from Spain and the Canary Islands.

Nick Apollonio built this one for me a few years ago. That fall, he and I were driving down the French shore of Nova Scotia after doing a concert together in Wolfboro, watching the sun go down over Cape Saint Mary, tired and happy, heading home.

I was just holding the instrument when it started collecting notes from the land and the water and the people who lived there, like a butterfly net.

So I played the notes, and Nick told me to remember them, because they were pretty. So all the way back across the Bay of Fundy he remembered them, and played them back to me. (He can play and sing anything.) So now I have the Bay of Saint Mary under October's setting sun, thanks to himself.

I don't remember how many instruments Nick has built for others (or even myself). I think Santa Claus just chose his favorite elf and set him down in Tenants Harbor, Maine, to show us ould stuffers what an instrument could be, if we gave it a chance.

Tell that to Nick, of course, and he'd only say: "Growf" or "Grumph," or something the same.


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