1987 LP, cassette. Reissued on CD 1997.
For a sound bite, click here.


Jerry Cronin - Tenor, Guitar, Mandolin, Whistles
Carlton Lillard - Bass, Bass Guitar
Meade Stith - Tenor, Banjo, Guitar
Chip Vogan - Baritone, Guitar

Produced by Dramtreeo and Jim Fox , Recorded at Lion and Fox Recording, Inc., Washington, D.C. , Engineered by Jim Fox , Digitally mastered by Lion & Fox Recording, Inc., Dramtreeo logo by Susie Cucura, Color separations by Teagle and Little, Inc., Norfolk, VA , Cover photo by Mike Fijalka.

To download an order form, click on the record.

Our love and appreciation to Barbara, Phyllis, and Marcia, whose patience and understanding miraculously continues.

In the middle of the harbor in Edenton, North Carolina there stands a gnarly old cypress tree. Legend has it that sailors who were setting out from the port would gather at the tree and have one last dram of rum for good luck before their voyage. Ships returning to the harbor would refill the casks with rum obtained during their trip and thus kept the tradition going. While searching for a name for the new group back in 1981, the founders of the group came across the story of the "Dram Tree." With a little word play the group, then a trio, became Dramtreeo.

In the years since 1981 Dramtreeo has found that playing their brand of folk music is a lot like that old Dram Tree. The feelings of goodwill and companionship generated by the emptying and refilling of the casks made the tree special. Performances are special because of the joining of the group and the audience to drink of each other's company and to leave refreshed and refilled.

The folk cask is a rich mixture of old and new songs, and old and new fans and friends, with each generation adding to the blend. Dramtreeo's hope with this album is that you drink deeply and keep the tradition going.

Please do not let your friends tape this record. Independent record labels produce good music based on low profits. Illegal copying may bring an end to your favorite music.


  1. SQUARE-RIGGED SHIP Cronin-Stith, Southern Branch Music, BMI
  2. THE DIAMOND Trad., Arr. Cronin, Stith, Vogan, Southern Branch Music, BMI
  3. THE FLOWERS OF BERMUDA Stan Rogers, Fogarty's Cove Music, PROC
  4. MINGULAY BOAT SONG Trad., Arr. Dramtreeo, Southern Branch Music, BMI
  5. THE CONSTITUTION and the GUERRIÈRE Trad., Arr. Vogan, Southern Branch Music, BMI
  6. ONE OF THE MANY Phil Sampson, Southern Branch Music, BMI
  7. THE BOYS THAT BROKE THE GROUND Brian McNeil, Kinmor Music
  8. RISE UP JOCK Bob & Carol Pegg, Leading Note
  9. AT THE END OF A POINTED GUN William Laskin, Strutting Day/Fogarty's Cove Music, PROC
  11. STAY AWHILE Reynolds, Shane, Stewart, Rightsong Music, BMI

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SQUARE-RIGGED SHIP Click here to hear a sound bite! (WAV format)
by Jerry Cronin and Meade Stith
Jerry wrote this song from recollections of sailing in "Eagle," America's three-masted tall ship, as a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. The chorus was added by Meade and Jerry to emphasize the hope of one day seeing such a ship berthed in southern Virginia harbors.

Have you ever sailed on a square-rigged ship
With a bone in her teeth?
Watched the wind as it played with the sails
As you flew on a broad reach?
Have you ever hauled a manila line
As you brought a ship to wear?
Listen me boys to the crashing waves
And I will take you there.

Well it's walk around to a capstan song
All shots are now on board
But leave the anchor ready to go as we head seaward
"Set the course" the captain cries
"As you reach the river's mouth
We'll sail across in the stream to the north
And return with the winds to the south."

To see the masts within your harbor
Takes you to a time not long ago
Suddenly the wind and you are sailing
With a hundred men around the Horn you'll go.

All hands on deck as the line squall blows
And the ship she comes about
"Hard a lee" the captain screams
"Lest we get knocked right down
Lay aloft on the fore and main
And furl the royal sails"
As you climb you curse that it's always the worst
In the North Atlantic gales.

To see the masts...

Have you ever sailed...
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Traditional, Arr. Dramtreeo
In 1830 the Diamond, the Resolution, and the Eliza Swann, all vessels mentioned in this song, were lost in the pack ice of the Northern Atlantic. However, the song is set in a more prosperous time as the Diamond prepares to leave on another journey, typically about two years in length, to go "...fishing for the whale."

And it's cheer up me lads, let your hearts never fail
For the bonnie ship the Diamond goes fishing for the whale.

Oh the Diamond is a ship me lads, for the Davis Strait she's bound
And the quayhead is all garnished with bonnie lassies round.
Captain Thompson gives the orders, to sail the ocean wide
Where the sun it never sets me lads, nor dark clouds fill the skies.

And it's cheer...

Around the quay at Peterhead, the lasses stand around
With the wool shawls pulled around them
And the salt tears running down.
Well weep no more my weary lass, though you be left behind
For the rose will bloom on Greenland's ice
Before we change our mind.

And it's cheer...

Here's a health to the Resolution, likewise the Eliza Swann
Here's a health to the Battler of Montrose
And the Diamond, ship of fame.
We'll wear the trousers of the white, the jackets of the blue
When we get home to Peterhead, we'll have sweethearts anew.

And it's cheer...

Oh it'll be bright both day and night
When the Greenland lads come home
With a ship that's filled with oil, and money to our name.
We'll make the cradles for to rock, the blankets for to tear
And every lass in Peterhead sings hush-a-bye my dear.
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by Stan Rogers
If you sail into Bermuda from downwind of the island during certain times of the year, you can smell the fragrance of the flowers before you even sight land. Combine this with the fact that there is a wreck marked "Nightingale" on the chart of Bermuda's North Rock Shoals, and you have Stan Rogers's inspiration for this lively song of heroism in the face of tragedy.

He was the Captain of the Nightingale
Twenty-one days from Clyde in coal
He could smell the flowers of Bermuda in the gale
When he died on the North Rock Shoals.

Just five short hours from Bermuda
In a fine October gale
There came a cry, "Oh there be breakers dead ahead"
From the collier Nightingale.

No sooner had the captain brought her round
Came a rending crash below
Hard on her beam ends, groaning, went the Nightingale
And oversides her mainmast goes.

"Oh Captain are we all for drowning?"
Came the cry from all the crew
"The boats be smashed, how are we all then to be saved?
Well they are stove in through and through."

"Well are you brave and hearty colliermen,
Or are you blind and cannot see?
The captain's gig still lies before you whole and sound
It shall carry all of we."

He was the Captain...

But when the crew were all assembled
And the gig prepared for sea
'Twas seen there were but eighteen places to be manned
Nineteen mortal souls were we.

Then cries the Captain, "Well now do not delay
Nor do you spare a thought for me
My duty is to save you all now if I can
See you return quick as can be."

He was the Captain...

Well there be flowers in Bermuda
Beauty lies on every hand
And there be laughter, ease and drink for every man
But there is no joy for me

For when we reached the wretched Nightingale
What an awful sight was plain
The Captain, drowned, was tangled in the mizzen chains
Smiling bravely beneath the sea.

He was the Captain...
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Traditional, Arr. Dramtreeo
The island of Mingulay sits at the bottom of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It is a rough and barren landscape exposed to the elements and the pounding of the Atlantic swell. Imagine, if you would, the fishermen rowing their boats home to the cadence of this powerful rowing chantey.

Heel ya ho boys, let her go boys
Heave her head 'round into the weather
Heel ya ho boys, let her go boys
Sailing homeward to Mingulay.

What care we how white the Minch is
What care we now for windy weather
For we know that every inch is
Wearing homeward to Mingulay.

Heel ya ho boys...

Wives are waiting at the pierhead
Staring seaward from the heather
Heave her 'round boys and we'll anchor
E'er the sun sets on Mingulay.

Heel ya ho boys...

Ian and Bridie at the pierside
Truly loved now are they by me
In few years now he'll be older
Like his father he'll put to sea.

Heel ya ho boys...

Bonnie fishers, bully boatsmen
Heave your nets out into the ocean
Bring the fishes to the table
That's the staple of Mingulay.

Heel ya ho boys...
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Traditional, Arr. Chip Vogan
During the period following the Revolutionary War, Great Britain continued to harass the shipping of the newly founded United States and unjustly impress American sailors. The War of 1812 and this famous sea battle were fought over such issues. Chip added the rousing chorus to this traditional song. Cheers to the Yanks!

It ofttimes has been told that British seamen bold
Could flog the tars of France so neat and handy, oh!
But they never met their match 'til the Yankees them did catch
Them Yankee boys for fighting are the dandy, oh!

And it's cheers for the Yanks, to them we owe our thanks
Hurrah for the Yankee Doodle dandy, oh!

The Guerrière, a frigate bold, on the foaming ocean rolled
Commanded by proud Dacres the grandee, oh!
With as choice a British crew as a rammer ever drew
They could flog the tars of France so neat and handy, oh!

When our frigate bore in view, said proud Dacres to his crew
"Come clear the deck for action boys be handy, oh!
To the weather gauge boys get her," and to make his men fight better
He mixed a drink of gunpowder and brandy, oh!

And it's cheers...

Well the British shot flew hot, which the Yankees answered not
'Til they got within the distance they called handy, oh!
Then says Hull unto his crew, "Boys let's see what we can do
If we beat this boasting Briton we're the dandy, oh!"

Well the first broadside we poured carried her mainmast by the board
Which made the Guerrière look so abandoned, oh!
Then Dacres shook his head and unto his crew he said
"I didn't think the Yankees were so handy, oh!"

And it's cheers...

Then Dacres came on board for to offer up his sword
He didn't want to part with it so handy, oh!
"Oh keep your sword" says Hull, "for it only makes you dull
Now cheer up Sir and have a double brandy, oh!"

Come lift your glasses full and we'll drink to Captain Hull
And pass around a flagon of the brandy, oh!
John Bull may toast his fill, let the world say what it will
Those Yankee boys for fighting are the dandy-, oh!

And it's cheers...
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by Phil Sampson

Fans of country music may remember Phil Sampson as the talented Oklahoman who wrote the hit "I Loved 'Em Every One" for T. G. Sheppard years ago. In this song Phil reminds us of the women, often forgotten, who have lost their loved ones during wartime.

She's the center of attraction everywhere she goes
Life of the party, and everybody knows
That trouble's never touched her, they think she never cries
But I saw something in those pretty eyes.

A momentary lapse, it took her by surprise
It came on accidently and she dropped her disguise
It only lasted for a moment, then the feeling it was gone
But I could see a memory lingered on.

She's one of the many whose life has come undone
And the first of a million more to follow
And as long as soldiers go to war and lovers stay at home
There'll be someone leaving someone else tomorrow.

One night she felt like talking, I happened to be around
She began to tell a story of a love she'd barely found
And how it had been torn away, a story in her life
Leaving only empty in her eyes.

Now the medals and the ribbons and the shiny silver wings
They don't serve to comfort her, they don't mean a thing
They only tell a story about the price of glory
Her lover paid it all at once, now she pays every day.

She's one of the many...
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by Brian McNeil
Although Brian was also a key member of the Battlefield Band from Scotland, he recorded this song on his solo "Unstrung Hero" album. It's an uplifting tribute to the "navvies" who constructed the canal crossing Scotland from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. Enjoy, and raise a glass to the working men and women everywhere who make life what it is.

If you're a thinking man at all it stands to reason
That the Clydesdale and the cart have had their day
Though they've served the country well for many's the season
Oh the narrow boats did take their trade away.
But to float a barge's keel you need the muscle sweat and steel
Of a thousand navvies working on the line:

With our picks all on our shoulders and our shovels by our side
We're the boys that broke the ground to join the Forth and Clyde!

We had Geordies at the sides of Donegal men
We had bothy lads from Breekin and Montrose
We had highlanders from Bleevin and Bredalbean
Who'd start the morn with whiskey in their brews
But from Dublin or Dundee, every mother's son agreed
That the work would make you old before your time:

With our picks...

Oh we dug the cut from Grangemouth up to Boland
From the German Sea to the Carren Foundry door
Oh the faster they could bring the ore and coal in
And the better they could make their cannon roar
But to watch the waters run when the digging was all done
Was a sight I'd walk a thousand miles to see:

With our picks...

So come all you thinking men whate'er your station
If you marvel at the works of engineers
Drink a health unto the navvies of the nation
And the way they've changed your fortune o'er the years
Jamaica rum and Baltic herring
The bonnie shawl your lady's wearing
All came travelling down our broad canal:

With our picks...
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by Bob and Carol Pegg
This song by Britain's Bob and Carol Pegg captures the spirit of old English "death and resurrection" songs. It is one of the most traditional-sounding songs Dramtreeo performs, but surprisingly, it was written just over 25 years ago.

As I went out one morning for to take the pleasant hour
The birds were singing in the trees and the weather it was fair
I stopped for a while to rest me back at the foot of shady oak
And 'round there came a band of men with their faces black as smoke.

So it's rise up Jock and sing your song
For the Summer is short and the Winter long
Let's all join hands and form a chain
'Til the leaves of Springtime bloom again.

And the first to come in was a soldier with his rifle in his hand
And he'd just returned from fighting wars in many's the distant land
And the next to come in was a sailor who'd just returned to shore
And he's come home to England for to fight one battle more.

So it's rise...

In the middle of the forest where the blackbird sweet did sing
The soldier and the sailor took their place inside the ring
And when the battle started they went at it blow by blow
And when the battle ended down their backs the blood did flow.

So it's rise...

Now a chimney sweep and a doctor go walking arm in arm
And when they saw the boundies there they showed no alarm
For the doctor he'd been travelling through Italy, France and Spain
And he had in his bag a tiny flask to ease the aching pain.

So it's rise...

He gave a drink to the soldier who rose up from the ground
And he began for to sing his song as they passed the bottle round
And the sailor the same up from the ground as sure as he was born
And the soldier, the sailor, the doctor and the sweep, they danced into the dawn.

So it's rise...
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by William "Grit" Laskin
This song, written to the traditional Hebrew tune, "Erev Shel Shoshanim," speaks of the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics from the point of view of an athlete's father. It is as poignant and applicable now as it was then.

I've labored through two world wars, an old war that still fights on
I'll dare any man says I've not worked this land that I stand upon
A homeland both free and strong, to harbor my only son
I prayed that he'd not see as I, the end of a pointed gun.

My nation and my son, my nation and my son
One found its birth, one found his death
At the end of a pointed gun.

"All praise the Olympiad," was echoed the whole world round
Nation to nation unified, on one chosen stretch of ground
And proud were the boys as mine, to play for his own country
I wished to God he'd never gone, but stayed with his family.

My nation and my son...

The Games had only just begun, when out of each winner's joy
Bloodshed rose unexpectedly, eleven dead and one my boy
Well how does a father mourn his murdered hopes and dreams
How in this world can he accept the agonies that he has seen?

My nation and my son...

I've labored through two world wars, an old war that still fights on
I'll dare any man says I've not worked this land my boy rests upon.

My nation and my son...
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by Nigel Russell
Some folks think that work songs went out with laying track and raising sails. This song is a work song of the information age. It's dedicated to those hardy souls who brave rush-hour traffic and spend their days working on the Xerox line.

Well I rise up every morning at a quarter to eight
Some woman who's my wife tells me not to be late
I kiss the kids goodbye, I can't remember their names
And week after week it's always the same.
And it's ho boys, can't you code it, program it right?
Nothin' ever happens in this life of mine
I'm haulin' up the data on the Xerox line.

And it's program the data give the keyboard a punch
Then cross correlate, break for some lunch
Correlate, tabulate, process and screen
Program, printout, regress to the mean.

And it's ho boys...

And it's home again, eat again, watch some TV
Make love to my woman at ten fifty-three
I dream the same dream when I'm sleeping at night
I'm soaring over hills like an eagle in flight.

And it's ho boys...

Some day I'm going to give up all the buttons and things
I'm going to punch that timeclock 'til it can't ring
Burn up my necktie and set myself free
'Cause no one's going to bend, fold, or mutilate me.

And it's ho boys...
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by Nick Reynolds, Bob Shane, and John Stewart
This is a song Dramtreeo often used before an intermission in their shows. They conclude their second album with the same sentiment: "Don't go away - there's more to come."

Oh we'll stay awhile, to bide awhile
We never want to leave ya
Oh we'll stay awhile, to bide awhile
'Til we come back to see ya.

As we were walking down the lane one day
We chanced upon young Jerry Cronin
And we called to him, "Would you go our drinks?"
And he laughed, "That's where I'm going."

Oh we'll stay awhile...

Oh we drank to Jerry and he did the same
We drank to all our Irish brothers
Then we drank to home and the girls we've known
Then had one for our mothers.

Oh we'll stay awhile...

We sang those songs that we'd sang before
We sang 'though we could sing forever
When the last drop passed our lips that day
We sang this song together:

Oh we'll stay awhile...

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© 1998 Southern Branch Productions
Prepared by Jim Crutchfield
Last updated 28 January 1998