Gordon Bok's Guest Book
Let us know what you think
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Name Comments
26 February 2009, 03:45 pm

Jeff, when Bob Stuart was a teenager, he "learned" that tune from a book he'd borrowed. Fortunately, he did NOT know how to read music. I think it is distinctly his own . Here's --approximately--my chords (played on Laud with capo)

There was a lofty ship and they put
A D D (bass
her out to sea / And the name of
walks Bm down) G A
the ship was the Golden Vanity
And they sailed her on the lowlands,
Lowlands low, / they sailed her on the
A G .....D
lowland sea.

Most of the words are as Bob sang them, though I learned the "Poker" verse from my Aunt Ethelwyn.

That's one immortal song, eh? Enjoy.

20 February 2009, 10:16 pm

I've been a fan of yours since your Bok Muir Trickett days, and have been particularly fond of your rendition of Golden Vanity. Is that your own chord structure and melody, or did it originate elsewhere? I had found a version that the Chad Mitchell Trio (among others) had done, but it isn't as pretty as the version you do.

I know it's reaching back a few years, but could you help out with the chordings for it? The recordings from that era aren't as clear in the guitar department as I would have liked, and your parts are quite intricate.

John Suchernick
New Jersey
13 January 2009, 03:32 pm

I met you along with my son, two years ago in Bristol. I was the woodcarver from NJ and my son asked you to sign his violin. Thank you again, it is a cherished violin. If I may, I have three questions, : Do you use any special tunings on the twelve string? Do you have any suggestions or tips for making a cellamba? Are you planning any concerts in the NJ area? I recently finished carving a mahogany Bellamy Eagle from wood that belonged to a sea captain, the father of an old friend. Your music soothed the eagle when his feathers got ruffled. Thank you again for your gift of music.

10 January 2009, 03:13 pm

Ron, Saben makes it across that last time..."They say she took him home, then, set him on the shore...."
Gee, maybe I should relearn that; I remember it was fun...

Ulla Skold
Europe - Scandinavia
08 January 2009, 07:06 am

Re: Mike Jackson's post of Dec. 9th: Gordon has made it very clear that he doesn't want to be on Youtube, so unfortunately we have to make do with well-meaning, but considerably less talented old boys singing his songs. One little bit of consolation, though: there is a lovely video of Nikos Apollonio and Kristin Tescher available, performing "Islands in Time".

Ron Lussier
06 January 2009, 11:51 pm

I picked up "A Tune for November" on vinyl at a Portland record store and fell in love with "The Hills of Isle au Haut". I sing it to the kids every night.
I saw you when you came to the Merrill Auditorium with "A Prairie Home Companion", with my Dad a year before he died.
Tell me, does "Saben, the Woodfitter" truly make it back to shore? Or does a man's life work make a cozy home for him at the bottom of the cold dark sea? It's beautiful either way.
Thank you for your music, it's treasure for the ages.

Bebe Billings
05 January 2009, 08:07 pm

I remember a song that I thought was called the "The River is Wide" or something similar that was sung by Gordon Bok. However, I have not been able to find it on any of the Gordon Bok CDs or hunting on the internet. Does anyone know the name of this song or any clues to help me. Thank you. Bebe

Brad Murphey
21 December 2008, 02:50 pm

I want to thank you for the song, "Turning Toward the Morning." My grandson passed away on Thursday. On Saturday, I sang it at a Winter Celebration. It is so timely and meaningful to me, under the circumstances. I found it very hard to get through without breaking up. Thank you, Gordon, for your inspiration.
Brad Murphey

20 December 2008, 01:27 pm

That was Noel Stookey, Rick. And I remember filming that collaboration with Marshall on Mt Desert Island, but I don't remember who sponsored it. (Probably one of the local tv stations)

20 December 2008, 01:19 pm

I was teaching at The College of the Atlantic when I got a letter from a woman I hardly knew at all, who told me what a hard time she was having facing the winter. I was in agreement with her and looking for a way to find a little comfort and courage myself.
I made the song as much for myself as for her, of course. Her name wasn't Joannie, exactly, but when she finally heard the song, she told me that Joannie was a nickname her mother used to call her.

19 December 2008, 12:38 pm

Hi, Gordon. I just wanted to say how much your music has inspired me for the past 25 years or so. I have several of your CD's, but the cases are long gone. Can you tell me the history of "Turning Towards the Morning"? That song just takes my breath away every time I hear it.

Rick Brown
18 December 2008, 01:57 pm

Gordon I have loved your music since your Verve Album produced by Neil Stooky. I recall seeing a special on public television that featured you and Marshall Dodge. I think the title was "Fresh Breeze Down East". This would have been in 71 or 72. Any ideas on getting a copy or a line on the producers. Thanks for 40 years of great music

10 December 2008, 01:43 pm

Thanks, Mike. I stand educated. We toured in Australia & New Zealand 4 or 5 years ago; must have missed you.....


Mike Jackson
Asia and Pacific - Australia
09 December 2008, 09:23 pm

Hi Gordon,
I've just listened for the millionth time to Sabin and Peter Kagan and once more, my eyes have filled with tears. You don't need me to tell you your performances are beyond wonderful but I will anyway. Thank you.
Reading back into prehistory in your guest book I feel I must add a gentle word on the likes of YouTube etc - we poor souls on the FarSide are unlikely ever to see you in person so it may be the closest we ever get to sharing the warmth of your live performance.
Speaking of which, we have some splendid wooden boats down here in the Land of Oz. Any chance of a visit?
Kindest Regards
Mike Jackson

Denise Miller
29 November 2008, 08:06 pm

Dear Gordon,
Just want to thank you yet again for the many years that your voice and music have blessed my life..... You bless us all....
Any chance we will see you again in Arizona?

Go well,

17 November 2008, 03:41 pm

Thanks, Mary; glad the song's still walking around out there being useful to someone.

Mary Pratt
14 November 2008, 07:40 pm

I recently found your song "Hearth & Fire" while browsing through "Rise Up Singing,"and with it is a note in which you say the song needs more
verses, for other seasons. Here's one, for summer.

Moon and stars be yours tonight
And the firelight flickering long,
Tales to tell of magical things
And many a grand old song.

"Hearth and Fire" is one of my favorite
songs, by the way. In it I hear my inarticulate Yankee father, who has been dead for nearly three years now, blessing me. I think it's what he would have liked to say.

04 November 2008, 04:11 pm

Try the second chord as a D sometime, Michael. See how you like it. The rest looks very familiar.

MIchael Lynch
01 November 2008, 11:18 am


For awhile now I've been trying to figure out how to play Farewell to Nova Scotia pretty much as you do with Cindy Kallet (beautiful by the way). I found a number of differing versions for the song on the web but none sounded quite like yours. The best I could come up on my own was:

G Bm
Em C Bm Em
Em C Bm Em

I was wondering if you could tell me if I got at all close.
Love your music and the concerts Iíve been able to get to.

24 October 2008, 01:10 pm

Best wishes to the upcoming performance of "Another Land Made of Water". I drove up alone last year from CT and enjoyed every minute of the late night coffee fueled red eyed drive home remembering this awesome event. I've paid a lot of money to see some shows of other artists I enjoy (Maroon 5, Shawn Mullins, Fuel, Nickelback)but the power this performance generated was far beyond anything I'd ever seen. If I had to go back in time and only see one show this is the one I'd choose.

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