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Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho

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DRUNKEN SAILOR


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skarpi 23 Mar 07 - 07:09 AM
Scrump 23 Mar 07 - 08:08 AM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 07 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 07 - 08:51 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 07 - 09:00 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM
Snuffy 23 Mar 07 - 10:33 AM
radriano 23 Mar 07 - 11:59 AM
GUEST, Topsie 23 Mar 07 - 12:04 PM
Charley Noble 23 Mar 07 - 12:11 PM
Micca 23 Mar 07 - 01:06 PM
GUEST, Topsie 23 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM
Dead Horse 23 Mar 07 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 24 Mar 07 - 10:32 AM
GUEST 24 Mar 07 - 10:40 AM
Charley Noble 24 Mar 07 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: skarpi
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:09 AM

Hallo all , I was playing at concert last night and we had the song
drunken sailor and we sang " way hey up she rises "
but there was a Englishman who came to us after the concert and
said that this are usally sanged like " hif ho " up she rises .


So whats the Origins of this song , how old is he , I would like take this song again in a most likely Origins way someday .

is there some where we could get older words of it ?

All the best Skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:08 AM

The DT vesion has "Way hay" (sic) which is pretty much what you were singing.

I've heard "Hey ho and up she rises" sung too. And probably others I've forgotten.

Not sure what "hif ho" is though - how did he pronounce it?

Like most of these songs there are many variants so the 'usually' is a bit subjective.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM

Perhaps he was singing "heave ho"? Not authentic for a stamp and go shanty.
Hoo Ray is often heard too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:18 AM

Terry has the chorus as: Hoo-ray & up she rises (windlass & capstan)
Hugill has it as: Way, hay an' up she rises (stamp & go)
Harlow has it as: Away, hey up she rises (hand over hand)
Colcord has it as: Hoo-ray & up she rises (runaway)
Whall has it as: Hoo-rah & up she rises (stamp & go)
Doerflinger has it as: Way, hay & up she rises (stamp & go)
Sampson has it as: Way, hay & up she rises (stamp & go)

Sharpi, I'd say that you've got it.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:51 AM

It was almost certainly originally 'Weigh hey.' The anchor is 'aweigh' when the fluke is off the bottom and the weight is taken by the chain. Hence to weigh anchor means to lift it and so set sail.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:00 AM

I would say that it was use as the ship weared or came to, setting the sails for a different tack which would bring the sails to the opposite side of the ship & it would need to done very fast. Only Terry gives it at the capstan.

Most of the above collectors say that this is very old dating back to the East Indiamen of the John Company which was going strong by the mid 1700's.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM

'Earlie in the morning' may be a clue. Ships often weighed anchor at dawn (wind and tide permitting) to make the most of daylight to get clear of land. Our sailor has presumably become drunk ashore. The tot was not enough to result in total incapacity.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:33 AM

The field recordings of old sailors made in Britain by JM Carpenter in 1929 have various refrains: "way hay", "high ho" and even "hay way". So all of them are correct

But not one of these ancient mariners sings "err-lye": to a man they all sing "err-lee in the morning". Many of them had been at sea in the 1850s and some even in the 1840s, so presumably "err-lee" was the normal pronunciation in those days. Any ideas when and why it changed to "err-lye"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: radriano
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:59 AM

In "Shanties from the Seven Seas" Hugill says that the 'way hey' portion of Drunken Sailor was originally a wild sailor yell that the collectors could not translate but wrote down as 'way hey'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:04 PM

We used to sing "err-lye" at school. Could it have been taught us in
"Singing Together"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:11 PM

The earlier versions of this work song were described as "stamp and go" meaning they were used for hauling up the lighter sails, with the work crew literally scampering down the deck halyard in hand. The tempo of the song would have been appropriately fast.

Later the song was shifted to facilitate "weighing anchor" at the capstan, and approrpiately slowed down to more of a march rhytmn, which is the way most of us have heard the song sung.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Micca
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:06 PM

When I was at sea in the 1960s (UK) I sailed with a Shetlander called Bert who was in his late 50s (at least)at that time and he had sailed in square riggers out of Sweden and Finland in the Baltic in the 1930s, he was our Shantyman as we did a lot of hard work in that ship by "Norwegian steam" (that is by muscle power) and he maintained that he always understood and accepted that "Drunken sailor" was a Shantymans show off piece, that is only the First verse was traditional, the rest, the Shantyman improvised around who was on deck on the day, recent events, both on board and not, and "personalities" from the ships company and on shore in that port!!!. Try it some time, it is really Thinking on your feet, and can be a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM

. . . and we sang "Hooray and up she rises" rather than the other variations.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Dead Horse
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 05:12 PM

Way hey, 'n up she rises
Patent blocks 'o diff'rent sizes
Way hey 'n up she rises
Early in the mornin'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 10:32 AM

Stomp and go or walkaway chanteys are in fact used for heavy sails when a large crew is available. It replaces the two-pull halyard style of hauling up topsails. Top gallant and royal sails can require a 3 pull halyard chantey such as Low lands (aka Island Lass) or even Haul Away for Rosie-o. For even lighter sails or braces, a rapid hand over hand chantey can be utilized. Drunken Sailor can be employed here but much differently than when hauling topsails. Remember form follows function.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 10:40 AM

Roll the Old Chariot is also an example of a stomp and go or walkaway chantey. Large crews hauling up heavy sails.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 01:03 PM

Hugill in SHNATIES OF THE SEVEN SEAS (PP. 108-109) describes "Drunken Sailor" being used as a stamp-'n'-go or walkaway or runaway shanty popular in ships with big crews at the halyards, or with small crews at the braces when coming about. He also describes the pronounciation of the word "early" as "earl-eye."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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