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In bed with the captain's daughter

DigiTrad:
DRUNKEN SAILOR


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor (44)
Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses (39)
What can you do with a drunken sailor- verse ideas (63)
A Horrible example of 'Drunken Sailor' (45)
Help: meaning of 'in bed w/ captain's daughter (70)
Lyr Add: What Shall We Do with the Grumpy Pirate? (18)
P.C. version Drunken Sailor (47)
Origins: Drunken sailor .. wayhey or hif ho (17)
Folklore: What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor (4)
Lyr Add: Ebrio quid faciamus nauta (13)
Drunken Sailor song protested (91)
Chord Req: Banjo tuning for 'Drunken Sailor' in Em (9)
BS: What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor (15)
Origins: Drunken Sailor (21)
Same Tune? Drunken Sailor/Oro se do (16)
Lyr Add: Drunken Sailor parody (anti-war) (2)
Drunken Sailor...that not so old thread? (12)


Gibb Sahib 06 Jul 17 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,DogDare Dave 05 Jul 17 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Guest 11 Jan 17 - 06:23 AM
Georgiansilver 11 Jan 17 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Andrew Reifeiss 10 Jan 17 - 10:18 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 12 - 03:24 PM
meself 18 Jan 12 - 10:51 AM
Lighter 18 Jan 12 - 09:48 AM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 12 - 09:01 AM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jan 12 - 09:03 PM
Lighter 17 Jan 12 - 07:47 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jan 12 - 06:26 PM
Greg B 17 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM
Lighter 17 Jan 12 - 05:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jan 12 - 05:05 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Nov 11 - 02:23 PM
Lighter 25 Nov 11 - 09:25 AM
Snuffy 01 Mar 11 - 03:55 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM
Gibb Sahib 28 Feb 11 - 03:52 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Feb 11 - 02:59 AM
Gibb Sahib 28 Feb 11 - 01:48 AM
Lighter 27 Feb 11 - 07:50 PM
Dead Horse 27 Feb 11 - 07:08 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 11 - 07:06 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Feb 11 - 05:55 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 11 - 05:33 PM
Gibb Sahib 27 Feb 11 - 04:46 PM
Dave Hanson 27 Feb 11 - 03:53 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Feb 11 - 12:40 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 11 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,kendall 28 Nov 01 - 04:39 PM
Don Firth 28 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM
Dead Horse 28 Nov 01 - 02:03 PM
X 28 Nov 01 - 01:17 PM
Deckman 28 Nov 01 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,kendall 28 Nov 01 - 09:57 AM
alanww 28 Nov 01 - 05:53 AM
Wilfried Schaum 28 Nov 01 - 05:37 AM
SeanM 28 Nov 01 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 28 Nov 01 - 04:30 AM
SeanM 28 Nov 01 - 02:19 AM
Gary T 27 Nov 01 - 11:41 PM
Jon W. 27 Nov 01 - 11:30 PM
Celtic Soul 27 Nov 01 - 09:00 PM
Jon W. 27 Nov 01 - 08:54 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Nov 01 - 08:10 PM
Joe Offer 27 Nov 01 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 27 Nov 01 - 08:08 PM
BillR 27 Nov 01 - 08:06 PM
Sorcha 27 Nov 01 - 07:50 PM
Jon W. 27 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM
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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Jul 17 - 01:15 AM

Georgiansilver,

When exactly were you in school learning this?

I believe we established in this thread that there has been no evidence discovered that the "in bed" line is traditional, and that the evidence we do have about "Early in the Morning" strongly suggests that it probably was not. The line does begin to proliferate in the late 20th center through folk-pop recordings, and the earliest date discovered for one of those was 1960.

So, your experience would be interesting if it were before, say, 1970, and especially interesting if it were before 1960.


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Subject: Drunken Sailor -- ".. up she rises"
From: GUEST,DogDare Dave
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 06:09 PM

From tallship technology, the constant verse ".. up she rises" naturally depicts weighing anchor, from when it breaks free of the bottom through complete weighing, when it's no longer in the water (none of it buoyed, its full weight hanging from the hawser): "Weigh, hey and up she rises..". The chanty would seem to have particular (original?) use to accompany the hands at the bars as they push the capstan 'round.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 06:23 AM

Lashed to a hatch grating (bed), and flogged. The captain was the only one who could, " let the cat out of the bag", and order a flogging. The punishment Itself sometimes called, "the captains daughter".


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 05:52 AM

We learned this song in school a few... well OK.. a lot of years ago and we sung 'Put him in the brig with the captains daughter' We were told that the captains daughter was a specific punishment but we were not told what the punishment was.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,Andrew Reifeiss
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:18 PM

For those of who wish to know, the phrase "putting him in the bed with the captians daughter. it mean's lashing him with the cat o' nine tails


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 03:24 PM

As for the Captain's Daughter, I've not been able to find a satisfactory answer. Kissing the Gunners Daughter however just meant being lashed down to a cannon with your face over the match hole.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: meself
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 10:51 AM

Oscar Brand is still alive, as far as I know. Maybe somebody could ask him.


(Btw: "cheesy Irish people in Canada"??)


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 09:48 AM

Thanks, GS.

Brand was never as explicit about sources as we might prefer here. There's really no evidence to suggest that he *wasn't* the creator of the line: after all, humorous and bawdy folksongs were his bread and butter.

His offhand remark about "WSWDWTCD?" was only to the effect that the line existed, apparently as part of "Drunken Sailor."

Ending a performance of "DS" with "WSWDWTCD?" followed by a rousing chorus of "Way, hey, and UP she RISES!" would have brought down the house on any campus.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 09:01 AM

" I don't have a sense of whether it was Brand's style to be coy or not. In other words, did he seem like someone who was likely to omit details (i.e. so as to tacitly let audiences form impressions), or was he the type to be explicit about sources (even if that took away some of the glamour!)?"

Brand did both in live performance and in his recordings. He delighted in singing bawdy lyrics but also enjoyed camouflaging them for greater effect. There were also censorship limits imposed during his early recordings, in the 1950s, but he certainly was diligent in test and expanding the limits of what was acceptable.

Brand is still around to ask.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 09:03 PM

...the likelihood that he or anybody else learned the line "WSWDWTCD?" from some ancient salt in the 1940s or '50s, who had sung it at sea, seems to me to be practically zero.

I agree, and I think this also supports GregB's reasoning. What I was curious about was why you got the impression that Brand may have got the verse from a non-Old Salt, i.e. rather than simply making it up himself.

Your impressions are worth a lot here, Lighter -- they may be some of the best info to be had, anywhere. I don't have a sense of whether it was Brand's style to be coy or not. In other words, did he seem like someone who was likely to omit details (i.e. so as to tacitly let audiences form impressions), or was he the type to be explicit about sources (even if that took away some of the glamour!)?

On GregB's comment:

Although of course there are exceptions, I think your reasoning is sound. However, there is a lot of time, even before the mid century Revival, during which non-sailor verses could have been created and circulated orally. Evidence from my recent investigations suggests that "Drunken Sailor" was already circulating as song among laymen by the turn of the 2oth century. Here's the current blurb from the Wiki (in progress...ignore the bad prose):

"Drunken Sailor" began its life as a popular song on land at least as early as the 1900s, by which time it had been adopted as repertoire for glee singing at Eton College.[13][14] Elsewhere in England, by the 1910s, men had begun to sing it regularly at gatherings of the Savage Club of London.[15]

The song became popular on land in America as well. A catalogue of "folk-songs" from the Midwest included it in 1915, where it was said to be sung while dancing "a sort of reel."[16] More evidence of lands-folk's increasing familiarity with "Drunken Sailor" comes in the recording of a "Drunken Sailor Medley" (ca.1923) by U.S. Old Time fiddler John Baltzell. Evidently the tune's shared affinities with Anglo-Irish-American dance tunes helped it to become readapted as such, as Baltzell included it among a set of reels.


Bullen in the one who said he heard it *best* sung at the Savage Club, and it may have been those gents or earlier public school kids that made up risque verses, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 07:47 PM

As a teen, I used to assume that singers like Brand had access to vast riches of fabulous, unpublished versions of folksongs that they had learned directly from authentic tradition-bearers.

Brand must have learned the originals of his bawdy repertoire from singers like that, and some fans might have wanted to offer novel verses to him at concerts, but the likelihood that he or anybody else learned the line "WSWDWTCD?" from some ancient salt in the 1940s or '50s, who had sung it at sea, seems to me to be practically zero.

(Which is not quite the same as "absolutely zero," but the simple unwisdom of shantying about doing anything at all to a captain's daughter with your own authority-bearing captain about should reduce the probability even further. Even today, my advice would be not to do so.)


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:26 PM

Thanks for those further impressions, Lighter.

Curious though, that Brand would have written a whole song based (sort of) on the line, back in '60, and then in '67-ish only mention "Oh, and then there's *this* line BTW...which maybe I'll let you think I heard somewhere while conveniently not mentioning I wrote a song around it..."

Your guess is better than mine, but I guess...my guess...would be that Brand was in his "write bawdy songs" mode and, when composing his "Strictly for Boaters"-themed album, the idea just came to mind to fit in the "Drunken Sailor" form. The Kingston Trio had just did a similar thing of using "Drunken Sailor" as a chorus to a new song in 1959:

Early in the Morning

But that line of guessing aside--
What does this tell us about the "in bed"? If, perhaps, Brand got the line from some oral tradition, where/when do folks think the "in bed" part may have been added in?

I'd like to see who might have been earliest to record the "in bed" version. The Irish Rovers supposedly had/have a tradition of closing their live shows with "Drunken Sailor", though I don't know how far back that goes. A YouTube clip of such a performance (w/ "in bed") looks like it could have been filmed the 70s...but then again it's cheesy Irish people in Canada, for whom later decades could continue looking like the 70s....

And FWIW, though the Web certainly isn't well archived before a certain date, a search suggests that the idea about "captain's daughter" as a whip started to float around 2001, around when this thread started, and spread quickly, perhaps like an urban legend.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Greg B
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:18 PM

I would assert that any derisive couplets about the captain's daughter are of modern origin, not traditional.

You cannot convince me that any chantyman with normal survival instincts would have made disparaging remarks about an officer's wife or daughter at deck-level (where "Drunken Sailor" would have been used). In that era, such utterances were "fighting words" of the first order. And ship's officers could make a sailor's life miserable or end it entirely. To insult an officer, or worse yet, his wife or daughter in his hearing was inadvisable.

Now it was traditional to say some things about the officers during a bunting chantey, where you were too high up to be heard or if heard, identified. And of course "Leave Her Johnny" was a time to air grievances, personal and otherwise. Even so, probably not at the expense of the wife or daughter of someone within earshot and who might still be in a position to apply a belaying pin to one's pate.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 05:32 PM

My guess is that Brand heard the "captain's daughter" line from some college kid or naval folkie and built his original song around it.

I remember his 1967 remark because I'd just finished reading Legman's essay on bawdy songs and was surprised that the revival favorite "Drunken Sailor" might have had any ribald verses to it.

Naturally I don't remember Brand's precise comment, but I didn't get the impression that he was referring to one of his own compositions.

"WSWDWTCD?" may not require an answer. Maybe it began as the final stanza in some revivalist's festival version. Always leave 'em wanting more!


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 05:05 PM

I've been adding to the Wikipedia article on "Drunken Sailor" of late. Trying to make it more useful and also better referenced. When it comes to lyrics, there has been this free-for-all of the "Exxon tanker" and dirty-as-you-dare Ren Faire stuff...so trying to establish sources for all the verses to determine if they may be considered "legit" for encyclopedia purposes. "Captain's daughter" is on the fence, because it is not in the literature about the traditional shanty, but it is so widely sung today that it has some notability. Anyways, it forced me to come back to this.

My -- perhaps minor -- discovery, after following Lighter's lead about Oscar Brand, is that Brand actually wrote/sung a song called "The Captain's Daughter." Appeared on _Boating Songs and All that Bilge_ (1960), which I believe was only rereleased on CD within the last year. The sung is directly about a "constant nympho," i.e. the captain's daughter. The chorus is on the pattern of "Drunken Sailor." It sings: "What do we do with the captain's daughter?..."

Here's where you can hear a snippet.

Now to speculate on how or if that might have been adopted by other folk song singers!


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:23 PM

I suspect that in folk the term means what it says.

In more current usage, "in bed with the boss's daughter" (or wife) is occasionally heard in association with an assumption that a particular person has "special influence" - especially where it has resulted in favored treatment. (tanslations: brown noser, ass kisser)

An alternate, possibly less common, usage intends to suggest the person is engaged in an incredibly risky behavior likely to be discovered and to lead to dire consequences, although "sleeping with the boss's daughter" would be somewhat more commonly heard, perhaps, in this case.

I doubt that either of these has any real connection with the folk meaning.

John


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:25 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 03:55 AM

Michael

See this thread for the common descent of Cosher Bailey and Hob-y-deri-dando


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 05:32 AM

Lighter & DeadHorse: the fact that some verses of Cosher Bailey may have been adapted for some of the Davy Davy & Sailor Evan verses of Hob-a-Deri does NOT make Cosher Bailey a shanty, & I think it unnecessarily confusing to call it one.

~M~


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 03:52 AM

Michael, you're absolutely spot on about my unclear statement. Sorry!

I was speculating that maybe the line that Lighter thinks he remembers hearing in 1967, "What shall we do with the captain's daughter?", may have been authentic to the earlier, oral tradition. If so, then that would resolve the issue of how the phrase "captain's daughter" got attached to the song, and save us from two of the other sticky possibilities being considered, namely:
1) That "in bed with the captain's daughter" was meant quite literally, but it was wholly a contrivance of later singers.
2) That "in bed with the captain's daughter" was an old lyric and that, being so, couldn't possibly (given historical context) be meant literally...and which case therefore it is a metaphor we've still determine.

Look at Masefield's version, above. Notice how it asks 'What shall we do?" about "drunken sailor", followed by an answer about what we shall do. THEN it moves on to ask about the drunken soldier, followed by an answer. The version that Doerflinger collected from Dick Maitland is the same. The version given by Harlow has exactly this style, but carries on the theme. He asks "What shall we do?" with:
drunken skipper
drunken chief mate
drunken steward, etc., each followed by an answer. This is as opposed to a long list of punishments for the "sailor." So, "What shall we do with the captain's daughter" fits that pattern...provided we get an answer! And it seems quite plausible that we *would* -- something rather bawdy, I'm sure. Writers may have avoided including the verse for that reason. (Hugill's statements suggest that one also might ask, "What shall we do with the Virgin Mary?"!)


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 02:59 AM

"Another possibility is that *that* was traditional, and that in the cutesy/parody remakes it got changed to "in bed."
===
Sorry, Gibb; don't quite apprehend your meaning just in this bit: WHAT precisely are you suggesting got changed to 'in bed'? But I think most of points you make above very valid.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 01:48 AM

Who, then, was the first person to document or offer the "captain's daughter" lyric?

It would be good to know whether that version, in its other lyrics, maintained the "punishment" theme -- as in real punishments (not the "shave his belly" cutesy ones). If it is a post 1950s lyric, then we really need not look for any obscure or metaphorical meaning for "captain's daughter."

OTOH "What shall we do with the captain's daughter?" sounds like a good possibility wherein, instead of enumerating punishments for the drunken sailor, the theme would be to say "What shall we do with X?" , "with Y" "with Z" etc. Another possibility is that *that* was traditional, and that in the cutesy/parody remakes it got changed to "in bed."

Both Colcord and Masefield say that "Drunken Sailor" was sung in chorus throughout. (Though I'd like to leave open the possibility that Colcord is echoing Masefield's description, not that they necessarily corroborate one another.) Did they truly mean throughout ALL the song? Hugill, for example, has it where the thrice repetition of a line is sung as solo. And many singers interpret it still another way, where a soloist sings out the line first (as if to let the others know what the lines is to be), and is then joined by chorus on the repetitions. This would make a difference as to how we understand the text, because the last two ways of doing it allow for improvisation/creation, whereas the "in chorus throughout" method suggests that everyone would know in advance what was to be sung, and therefore a customary set of verses would have been well established.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:50 PM

Correct.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Dead Horse
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:08 PM

Verses from Cosher Bailey sung to Hob y Deri Dando, rather than as a seperate shanty.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:06 PM

The name "Cosher Bailey" doesn't appear, but a bit more investigation would have revealed more.

The shanty, "Hob-Y-Derri(n)-Dando," appears on pp. 525-528. Adventures more often associated with "Cosher [correctly "Crawshay"] Bailey" appear on p.527, attributed to "Davy Davy," and used in the same shanty.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:55 PM

"Cosher Bailey" ~~ a song about a railway train, & various people associated and their families. A rugby song, surely: is there a shanty version? Can't see what job it would go with. Is there perhaps some confusion with Hob-a-Deri-Dando [or however you spell it], the other Welsh song which springs to all our minds; & in which, as I have already noted above, the "Captain's daughter" line certainly appears?

Before posting this, loth to make a fool of myself, I have checked that "Cosher Bailey" does not appear in the index of Hugill's "Seven Seas", surely the definitive collection.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:33 PM

Nothin' about the captain's daughter in Colcord.

I may have said long ago on another thread that I first encountered the line on one of Oscar Brand's WNYC radio shows, probably in 1967.

Reflection, however, convinces me that the actual line was "What shall we do with the captain's daughter?" I'm quite certain that Brand didn't sing it, just mentioned its existence.

Hugill observes that its actual use rarely required more than two or three stanzas. There could have been lots of adlibbing since nothing had to rhyme. Of sixteen verses Hugill gives, one asks what to do with "the Queen o' Sheba." He says that some verses were "obscene, and even sacriligious," including one about the Virgin Mary.

Colcord gives one reason why the shanty was relatively uncommon:

"In a class by itself...is the so-called 'runaway song,' in which the crew sang in chorus throughout, tailing on to the rope and running with it down the deck to the stamp and go of the music. It called for a big crew, and so was not much heard on American ships in the later days; but it was one of the few shanties which have crept into songs collections ashore."

I imagine she meant "non-shanty song collections ashore." That and the limited number of stanzas given by first-hand collectors like Colcord, Terry, Masefield, and Hugill, persuades me (as if their style didn't) that most of the verses in circulation were dreamed up by student singers and recording artists after, say, World War II.

The one or two lines about the captain's daughter might have been heard at sea. The similar line in "Cosher Bailey," however, is in a solo. I think you'd get in serious trouble on most nineteenth-century ships for shouting repeatedly at the top of your lungs about getting it on with the captain's daughter - even if he didn't have one. The gals of Chile were one thing....


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 04:46 PM

The line really only need have made sense to ONE person. What I mean is, I don't believe we have any evidence (and therefore should not assume) that this lyric was widely and frequently sung.

The chanty itself does not appear to have been very common, though we can't say for sure. I feel sure, however, that our perception of how common it was is quite skewed by things that have gone on since the end of the sailing era, e.g. through influential publications, recordings, revival performances, school text books, etc.

"Drunken Sailor" is almost in a class of its own in terms of form. One could say that it is unlike 99.5% of chanties -- quite atypical. I think it was "outside" the world of the floating verses found in most other chanties, so unlikely that the lines floated over from them. It is a very old fashioned kind of chanty, and possibly obsolete or reserved for rare situations by the time mainstream modern chanties came into use.

In short, there is no reason to imagine that sailors were often running up and down decks shouting "Put him in bed with the captain's daughter."

I have seen "Drunken Sailor" referenced only twice in all of the 19th century.

The first is an account of an 1839/40 whaling voyage out of New London (CT) to the Pacific.

...But there are many songs in common use among seamen, of a very lively character, which though bereft of all sentiment and sense in many instances, are performed with very good effect when there is a long line of men hauling together. ...Sometimes they all sing together as I have endeavored to represent, although it must appear very tame without the attendant circumstances. One of the songs is as follows:—

Ho! Ho! and up she rises
Ho ! Ho ! and up she rises
Ho! Ho ! and up she rises,
Early in the morning.


Source: Olmsted, F.A. 1841. Incidents of a Whaling Voyage. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

The second is a mention in non-maritime literature. A story/anecdote is related containing a scene of a woman cook at a home who gets drunk, messes up the kitchen, and is found singing the following:

Hee roar, up she rouses,
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?


Source: Dickens, Charles ed. 1855. "Two Dinner Failures." Household Words No. 256 (15 September 1855): 164-168.

In 1906, after a slew of writers had been discussing chanties with nary a mention of the "walk-away" method, much less mention of Drunken Sailor, Masefield mentioned it.

Strictly speaking, there is a fourth variety of chanty, but it is a bastard variety, very seldom used. ...The bastard variety which I have just mentioned has no solo part. It is a runaway chorus, sung by all hands as they race along the deck with the rope. You hear it in tacking ship. It is a good song to sing when the main and mizzen yards are being swung simultaneously. All hands are at the braces straining taut, and at the order they burst into song and "run away with it," bringing the great yards round with a crash. It is a most cheery kind of chanty, and the excitement of the moment, and the sight of the great yards spinning round, and the noise of the stamping feet impress it on the mind. The favourite runaway chorus is:

"What shall we do with a drunken sailor? 

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? 

What shall we do with a drunken sailor, 
         
Early in the morning? 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
         
Early in the moming.
"Chuck him in the long-boat till he 
 gets sober,
Chuck him in the long-boat till he 
 gets sober,
Chuck him in the long-boat till he gets sober, 
         
Early in the morning. 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
      
Way, hay, there she rises, 
         
Early in the morning.
It is sung to a vigorous tune in quick time. It is the custom among sailors to stamp with their feet at each "Way, hay." The effect is very spirited.


And later,

A RUNAWAY CHORUS
What shall we do with a drunken sailor? 

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? 

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? 
      
Early in the morning. 
   
Way, hay, there she rises, 
   
Way, hay, there she rises, 
   
Way, hay, there she rises, 
      
Early in the morning.

Chuck him in the long-boat till he gets sober, 


What shall we do with a drunken soldier? 


Lock him in the guardroom till he gets sober,


"Drunken Sailor" was certainly attested --after the fact-- by numerous individuals as a chanty that had been sung in 19th century. It turns up in Davis and Tozer's expanded edition (1906?), in Terry's collection (1921), in Bullen's (1914), in Harlow's (1962, in reference to 1870s), in Doerflinger (1951). At least one of the old timers recorded in the 1920s sang it. So it was certainly not rare, though somewhat mysterious why the 19th century writers ignored it.

The main idea, however, is that none of the sources I've mentioned cite the "captain's daughter" line. I think that comes first (?) in Colcord's 1924 collection. (I don't have it with me at the moment; perhaps someone could confirm.) So...whoever Colcord got it from was the "one" person who sang this line (Did any others, later, collect this line? Hugill has it, but he was culling verses from various sources, including Colcord.)

I guess what I am getting at is that rather than assume "captain's daughter" was a common usage of the 19th century that we need to discover, we can start with Colcord's informant. Where did he learn it. Did he make it up? What did he mean by it? Did Colcord mishear something? It may be more of a specific, incidental matter, rather than a general question of meanings.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 03:53 AM

Of course being a ' shanty ' the words don't need to make sense, just get the job done.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 12:40 AM

No-one on this thread [I haven't checked out the other yet] has mentioned any possible drift in from "See her running thru the water [refrain] I wish I was in bed with the captain's daughter", which occurs in other shanties, e.g. Hob-A-Derry-Dando; and might well have floated in from there, or been regarded as one of those commonplaces for the nightingale to insert when he ran out of ideas on a long job.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 11:02 PM

My friend told me that it "in bed with the captain's daughter" is another way to say getting flogged with a cataninetails or who ever you spell it.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 04:39 PM

She was so ugly, the tide wouldn't take her out.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM

Harking back to Deckman's post above, Walt also did a number on the verse "Put him in the bilge and make him drink it." The way he sang "Way hey and UUUUURRP she rises!" was pretty graphic.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:03 PM

Captains daughter verse IS authentic. Wot WE sing after, aint. Have you seen the captains daughter. (x3) She's got a face like an Orang Utan, sir. (x3) (then all point off in distance) Here she comes, swinging thru the riggin'. (x3) Also chorus can be: Hooray, an' up she rises, patent blocks of diff'rent sizes, Hooray an' up she rises, earlye in the morning.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: X
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:17 PM

Never with the Capt's but once with the Lt's.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:03 PM

Very interesting thread. I'll add something, totally of a personal note, and of NO VALUE historically. (actually, that's kinda' the way I'm perceiving myself these days.) I believe that that late Walt Robertson was one of the first in America to record this song, for Moses Asch on Folkways. His take on the verse in question was to greatly emphisis the line in the following chorus, Way Hey, UUUUUPPPP she rises!. Oh well, like I said, not historical, but could be hysterical. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 09:57 AM

The way I learned it was..throw him in the RACK with ...when I was in the service, the place where you slept was a "rack", and if you called it a bed, you were branded a "candy ass". Also, "kissing the gunners daughter" meant,forcing him to lie on the cannon, being tied down and treated to the "cat-o-nine tails."


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Subject: Lyr Add: DRUNKEN SAILOR
From: alanww
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 05:53 AM

The verses I sing are:-

1 What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
Earlye in the morning

Hooray and up she rises
Hooray and up she rises
Hooray and up she rises
Earlye in the morning

2 Put him in the longboat till he's sober

3 Put him in the scuppers with the hose pipe on him

4 Shave his belly with a rusty razor

5 Wake him, shake him and then you'll break him

6 Up to the crows nest until he falls down

7 Put him in bed with the captain's daughter

8 Have you seen the captain's daughter?

9 She's six feet wide with muscles all over

10 That's what we do with the drunken sailor

Don't mind the wind or the rolling sea ...
Alan


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 05:37 AM

Did naval captains really have starters? I only know of bosuns' starters, pieces of rope to enforce velocity with the deck hands, but not for punishment. Punishment was handed out with the nine tailed cat, only at the captain's orders.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: SeanM
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 04:53 AM

I'm going off of dimly remembered reference material - not the most reliable of sources, true, but I'm pretty sure I've heard it referred to a couple times.

It's possible in such a situation that the gun would be loaded at minimal charge - after all, why waste the shot? Alternately, if it WAS a case of a fully loaded gun, I'd imagine it would involve being tied down. But I'd lean towards a minimal shot. Still enough to sear anything touching the barrel, but not enough to kill anyone in the vicinity.

Who knows? I stand ready to be wrong. Given some of the punishments I KNOW are correct though, it's not out of character beyond the waste of powder in pursuit of merely punishing someone. But then again, not all the punishments were meant to be survived...

M


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 04:30 AM

""Kissing the Gunner's daughter" (i.e., having your face pressed against a cannon barrel while it is being fired)"

"Kissing the Gunner's daughter" in the Royal Navy normally was a punishment administered by the birch, or cane, and normally reserved for the younger members of the ship's crew (midshipmen, powder monkeys and nippers - boys between the ages of 9 and 14 ).

About thirty odd years ago Madame Tusaud's in London had an exhibition that portrayed what conditions were like on the main gun deck of HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar. The Navy was asked to assist in getting a recording of the noise a 32pound cannon made when it was fired. This recording was made in Portsmouth Dockyard. One of Victory's guns was inspected and declared safe to fire, a pit for the gun to fire into prepared, and the gun was rigged and duly fired. The noise was terrific, the recoil of the gun even more so. In position on a gun deck, the only means they had, at that time, to check the recoil of the gun was to rig heavy blocks and tackle running on each side of the gun attached to the gun carriage and ships hull. So unless the guns of that period in the USN were rigged differently - having witnessed the above - nobody in their right minds would stand anywhere near the gun when it was fired. The risk of death or serious injury would have been too great, not only for the person being punished, but also for those holding him in position.

Re: the thread I would go along with "Put him to bed with the Captain's/Bosun's Starter" - sounds more like it fits, as does the line in the first verse which reads, "Put him in her scuppers with the yard-arm under" as opposed to "Put him in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him"


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: SeanM
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:19 AM

True. But to sum up here, the Captain and Bosun both had 'starters' - most specifically, this was VERY common in the Royal Navy of the UK (during the sail era, in this discussion). Captain's would likely be much worse - the bosun would apply it more or less wantonly throughout the day, whipping when the officer in question felt the person 'needed' it or what have you.

The Captain's device of punishment was a much worse thing from accounts I've read. It was only used as a direct punishment by the captain, and therefore could be capable of serious harm (the bos'n, normally, while vicious would not be aiming to seriously injure the crew. They DID need SOME sailors to keep the ship moving).

"Kiss of the bos'n's daughter", "Kissing the Gunner's daughter" (i.e., having your face pressed against a cannon barrel while it is being fired), "Kissing the Captain's daughter" and the like are all punishments from the "Golden Age" of sailing and before. Makes me rather glad I didn't hit the USN until 1990.

M


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Gary T
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 11:41 PM

Celtic, those points are discussed, if not resolved, in the thread Joe linked.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 11:30 PM

That's one of the interpretations from the thread that Joe linked to in his post. The whip or club may have been called a "starter" (i.e. a motivator). It's not far to go from "captain's starter" to "Captain's daughter", especially when singing the words.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 09:00 PM

I had heard that "The Captains Daughter" was a whip for punishment...putting one to bed with that might have meant to bludgeon someone unconscious.

Not that I am any sort of historian, but this song does come up in the circles I travel.

Anyone know if there is any accuracy to this? :D


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 08:54 PM

thanks for the link, Joe. I think I'll go with the "captain's starter" type of explanation.


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 08:10 PM

Historiclly accurate verse...

Throw him over side with the chain shot on him...

:-)


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 08:09 PM

Hello, long-lost Jon W - there is a related thread (click) on this very subject....


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 08:08 PM

My version is: "You ain't seen the captain's daughter, you ain't seen the captain's daughter, you ain't seen the captain's daughter, she looks like Margaret Thatcher."


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: BillR
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 08:06 PM

When I've heard this verse sung it is almost always followed by "You ain't seen the Captain's daughter". This seems like a reasonable explanation of why this might be done. But it also just occured to me that the drunken sailor's reaction upon waking up sober enough to realize just where he is might be the intended punishment.

-Bill


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Subject: RE: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 07:50 PM

I think it is the "getting caught" part that is the punishment. Of course, the Captains daughter fell off the ugly tree.


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Subject: In bed with the captain's daughter
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 07:30 PM

I've been thinking of doing the song "What Shall we do with a Drunken Sailor" at my next song circle. One verse that I've heard a lot recently, though it's not in the DT version, is "Throw him in bed with the captain's daughter." This seems like an odd sort of punishment on the face of it - unless of course the old man catches him there. Then I got thinking, is this some nautical slang I'm not aware of? Or maybe the verse isn't really traditional, just some person's comical invention. What about it?


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