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Lyr Req: Cheerly Man

banjocircus 17 May 10 - 12:54 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 May 10 - 01:43 PM
Steve Gardham 17 May 10 - 02:21 PM
banjocircus 17 May 10 - 02:29 PM
Charley Noble 17 May 10 - 05:18 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Cheerly Man
From: banjocircus
Date: 17 May 10 - 12:54 PM

In "Songs of American Sailor Man," Joanna C. Colcord says of the shanty Cheerly Man, "the words are too racy to reproduce without considerable editing." Here are Colcord's words. Does anybody know what they were before the cleaned them up?

Oh, Nancy Dawson, Hi—oh!
She's got a notion, Hi—oh!
For our old bo'sun, Hi—oh!

Oh, Betsey Baker, Hi—oh!
Lived in Long Acre, Hi—oh!
Married a Quaker, Hi—oh!

Oh, Kitty Carson, Hi—oh!
Jilted the parson, Hi—oh!
Married a mason, Hi—oh!

Avast there, avast, Hi—oh!
Make the fall fast, Hi—oh!
Make it well fast, Hi—oh!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cheerly Man
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 May 10 - 01:43 PM

Someone more informed than me can correct the details, but as I've been told by a scholar of chanteys, Colcord had certain "unprintable" versions of chanteys that she collected but that she was not allowed to publish. I believe the manuscript is kept somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, maybe Univ. of Oregon?? That may have a less tidy version of "Cheer'ly."

If you are speaking generally, i.e. not just about Colcord, then of course there were no set lyrics. Samples of the types of lyrics that may have been sung appear in the various literary mentions to the song/chant. In the thread on Development of Chanties we've found that up to ~1870s the song appears in print at least 10 times -- more than any other shanty-- and some of those times, various verses are offered. Search through the thread on various spellings of "CHEER" and you'll see them.

One can always "read into" the printed lyrics and imagine their possible rude forms. I've sorta done that here: CHEERLY MAN

I am actually more intrigued by what seems to be a loss (???) of good knowledge of how this chant was supposed to sound (melodically/rhythmically/etc). The printed notation cannot, I believe, capture it properly, so unless we have a healthy oral/aural link from the past (do we??), our contemporary attempts to perform it are more or less off the mark.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cheerly Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:21 PM

If indeed what you've posted from Colcord is the type of shanty required you might also look for 'Little Sally Racket' which has numerous bawdy verses some original and some made up during the last 60 years. There must be a thread on this pattern somewhere.

Here's one of the more common verses.

Little Dolly Ducket, haul her away,
She washes in a bucket, haul her away,
She's a whore but doesn't look it, haul her away,
To me hauly hi ho, haul her away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cheerly Man
From: banjocircus
Date: 17 May 10 - 02:29 PM

Thanks. By searching Sally Racket I also found this in the DigiTrad: Haul'er Away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cheerly Man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 May 10 - 05:18 PM

Gibb-

I believe the Colcord manuscripts would be in the Searsport Maritime Museum, her home town here in Maine. Some day I have to pay a visit there and get copies of her correspondence with C. Fox Smith.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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