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|The Newcombe Gauger|
It was Brian Kelly who put me on to this wonderful song. Some ten years ago he taped a few songs for me to transcribe for his own use. for one reason or other I forgot about it and never heard it again. It was only when clearing out some old cassettes during a very untypical spring-cleaning (every ten years or so!) that I actually played and listen to it. And what gems there were! this "The Gauger" and "The Dreadnought" sung by Ewan MacColl as well as "Santa Anna" and "The Coast of Peru" sung by A.E. Lloyd.
"The Gauger" is a very jolly love song where a seaman is obliged by the strength of his love to take up the mysterious trade of a Gauger (any surfer out there who knows what a gauger is? I've checked all manner of dictionaries without success!). It seems that his intended lass is just a little flighty but there is a jolly happy ending whereby he himself, his bonny lass and even his mother-in-law are all delighted with the outcome.
"The Newcombe Gauger" has been recorded by:
Various Artists on "Sailors' Songs and Sea Shanties"
Geoff Grainger on "Manifold Love"