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BYC Explainer: Our Song

By S/C Betty Gray Did you know? Berkeley Yacht Club has an official song.

At the first dinner meeting in 1939 the following song was performed. What we don’t know is the tune. Here are the words. Staff Commodore Michael Yovino-Young took a copy at the Old Salts dinner and is trying to come up with the music. Can someone come up with the tune? I will buy you a drink at the bar if you can come up with the tune and perform it.

Written for the first dinner June 1, 1939: I

In the coastal town of Berkeley,

On old San Francisco Bay,

Fellow yachtsmen gather For a dinner grand today

Celebrating our new yacht club,

With its burgee gold and blue;

Honoring its members And director tried and true.

II May it fly for years with honor O’er the ocean’s salty tang, Hail to our first flagship, Good old schooner SAMARANG,

As we launch this “craft of promise”

Gliding proudly down the ways,

May it bring to each one Years of happy sailing days.

III Now we’ve had a year of sailing From the cove on Berkeley’s shore Guided through the storms by Crocheron our Commodore Opening tonight our clubhouse With its windows drenched with spray Home for sturdy sailors On the shores of San Francisco Bay.


Wooden Boat Forum had the following article about the schooner Samarang. As of 2000 she is still “sailing in Southern California”. To quote Wooden Boat Forum:

“From about 1941 to early 1944 I sailed on and lived part-time aboard the schooner Samarang, then out of Berkeley, Calif. yacht harbor. She is 55' on deck, schooner-yacht rig, and built by (as I recall) South Coast in Newport, or possibly Fellows & Stewart, in about 1932. Her original name was Emmeline. The owner while I was aboard was Bertram Crocheron, who headed Agricultural Extension at University of California-Berkeley. Soon after the end of WWII she sold her, and I don't recall that he changed the name. I suspect she remained on San Francisco Bay, but not at Berkeley. She was a gold plater, built heavy and to very high specs, so she may have lasted until now. Any information would be appreciated. Incidentally, she was built alongside a 48' racing yawl named Brilliant, which I brought back from Honolulu to Santa Barbara in 1948 after the 1947 Transpac.”

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Evan McDonald
Evan McDonald
Jun 28, 2023

Another tune that fits, which is probably more obvious, would be Cal’s fight song “Sons of California,” composed in 1896, which most Cal people would have known.


Also the “gold and blue” reference in our song is a not so subtle hint of a connection. Check it out!!


https://youtu.be/MMApoP_EIxk

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Dee Hubert
Dee Hubert
Jun 25, 2023

Hi All,

My suggestion for music for the Club song lyrics is "ROLL OUT THE BARREL". It's an up-tempo, fun, accessible melody for all voices (and this song melody has a beer theme to as it's progenitor/forebearer to further recommend it😉).

I am able to make the club song lyrics fit the Roll out the Barrel melody easily and if I can do it, anybody can sing along. The very first line of the club lyrics needs the right accents to fit it in the first line of the melody but then it's clear sailing forward to the end of song.


Here is a karaoke piano melody to sing along with and practice to: https://youtu.be/A-qcql9iYng


Roll Out the Barrel can…


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Evan McDonald
Evan McDonald
Jun 15, 2023

Try the lyrics with the melody from the verses of Big Rock Candy Mountain, recorded in 1928 by Harry Mac McClintock.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ovKk_kPmAk4


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Replying to

Tks, I know that song. I’ll try to see if I can make the BYC song lyrics work w/ this melody on my ukulele.

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The Fishwives Sea Shanty Band might be able to come up with good music to these lyrics if no BYC members can 🎶

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