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Origin: Shenandoah

DigiTrad:
OH, MY ROLLING RIVER
SHENANDOAH


Related threads:
'Singing 'Shenandoah' for Brits (55)
Lyr Add: 'Shenandoah' in the U.S. army (9)
Lyr Add: Shenandoah (32)
Shenandoah Origin (29)
Lyr Req: Shenandoah en francais (7)
Help: Land of Misery (Shenandoah) (10)
Shenandoah (11) (closed)
Shenandoah and free melodies (8)
Origin: Shenandoah (8) (closed)
Lyr Req: Shenandoah (12) (closed)


txon@ticnet.com 04 Mar 98 - 01:52 AM
Jon W. 04 Mar 98 - 10:31 AM
Ireland O'Reilly 04 Mar 98 - 12:45 PM
Jon W. 04 Mar 98 - 12:58 PM
Bruce O. 04 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM
Jon W. 04 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM
Bruce O. 04 Mar 98 - 03:05 PM
Bruce O. 04 Mar 98 - 03:57 PM
Barry Finn 04 Mar 98 - 07:23 PM
05 Mar 98 - 03:14 AM
Bruce O. 06 Mar 98 - 02:26 AM
Eliot Greene - Dallas - txon@ticnet.com 19 Mar 98 - 03:17 PM
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wolf 19 Mar 98 - 07:46 PM
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Txon 26 Mar 98 - 10:51 AM
Richard 26 Mar 98 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: Song info:
From: txon@ticnet.com
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 01:52 AM

Appreciate any input on the song "Shenandoah". I have been advised that it originated as a sea shanty and indeed that seems correct.

One source names the song as "Shennydore".


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 10:31 AM

Curious - I know the song is considered a sea shanty - my one recording of it is from "Sailing and Whaling Songs" by Paul Clayton. However, the theme doesn't seem very nautical to me (the courtship of a white trader and an (American) Indian chief's daughter around the Missouri River). What evidence is there that it originated as a sea shanty and not, say, an American frontier song?


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Ireland O'Reilly
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 12:45 PM

The only recordin' I've got of that is also of a non-sea chantey nature. I've got it on a disc called "Western Themes". How do they figure it's a sea chantey? by the way, where did the song come from, originally?


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 12:58 PM

I also remember this as being on the soundtrack to the early 1960's Hollywood musical "How the West Was Won." Of course once Hollywood touches it all reliable authenticity goes out the window so that's probably not a good source.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM

There are lots of recordings and printings, but not much good information on where it might have originated. It sounds like a fragment of an old ballad, (perhaps something along the lines of "Little Mohea") but none such has turned up as far as I know of. On another thread recently I pointed out an excellent version on an LP by The Boarding Party where it's called "Solid Fas", and this was actually a rather recently collected version.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 01:01 PM

One more: Hyacinth Bucket, the overbearing heroine of the BBC comedy "Keeping Up Appearances", sang a line or two of this to impress a retired admiral in one episode--so apparently some British comedy writers think it's a sea shantey too.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 03:05 PM

Would anybody buy it as part of an old song by John Rolfe to Pocohantas' father? I know his name wasn't Shendoah, but it wouldn't be an old folksong if it had the right name. In spite of Missouri appearing in it, Sacajawea already had a husband, of sorts, so it can't refer to her. [The song is called a capstan shanty in Colcord's 'Roll and Go/ Songs of American Sailormen', and is said have been used on American ships after the Civil War.]


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 03:57 PM

Colcord notes that Whall (Ships, Sea Songs and Shantys, 1930) gave a different version of the song (Colcord - )'which was the story of how a white trader courted the daughter of the famous Indian chieftain Shenandoah, and bore her away in his canoe', then quotes Whall as: '...Originally it was a song, not a shanty, and had nothing to do with salt water...'.
Just what Whall gives as the song or shanty I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Mar 98 - 07:23 PM

I posted this in Jan to rec.music.folk, If I could do that cut & paste I'd do it. Scholars & collectors have yet to nail down it's origins. It's been collected by Lomax, Sandburg, Hugill, Whall, Bullen, Colcord, Doerflinger, Abrahams, Shay, Bone, etc,etc,etc. It's been found aboard ships as The Wide Missouri, The Wild Mizzourye, The World Of Misery-Solid Fas (West Indies, rowing shanty, although collected recently by Abrahams, it may be as old as most other versions), Shenandoah (& it's many spellings), The Oceanida, Rolling River. It's been claimed as a river song a sea shanty, a US Army song & by the cavalry & wagon soldiers, a song of the Caadian & American mountain men, traders, voyageurs & trappers. It's been the name of a few shanties, The Gals Of Dublin Town or The Harp Without The Crown or The Shenandoah, also The Saucy Arabella or The Davy Crockett or The Shenandoah. It's been used on board with the windlass, capstan, & winches for loading cargo. In the West Indian version, it was used at the oars while chasing the whale (Blackfish). Barry


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From:
Date: 05 Mar 98 - 03:14 AM

It is indeed the entry of this ancient into the aural lexicon of the American frontier expansion as seen from today that becomes the point of pursuit. It's Hollywood's back-up American anthem. Ken Burns can't go out of the house without "Shenandoah". Every third-grade dulcimer playing teacher forever MUST have Shenandoah. But why the Western trend? Why does it sound so American Western. I suppose because the song simply dwells on great distance over water. Any distance, any water.

With no doubt at all in it's origination as a chanty, and a flexible, durable one at that, the melody and whatever words laid on top of it over the years made it well past (and perhaps before) the c.1820 printed on a liner sleeve.

It's a song we can make up our own words to and find the product [if a chanty] still faithful:

Pull up the sails, ye strong young laddies Away, Away, let's be away 'Cross the great MacAughney. [for example]

It's when the word "Missouri" got in there that the mystery really gets under way.

At this point in research I can say a few things for sure. 1. Yes, there's no doubt we have a chanty. 2. 'Shenandoah' is MOST likely utterly irrelevant: not a word in the song, a figure nor the title itself bear "Shenandoah" spelled just such. Shen* is not the beloved object of the song, a product of Shen* has the singer's eye.

I look forward to seeing additional info on this at the Mudcat.

Thanks for your tremendous input here, esp Barry Finn. I am getting more info daily and will be happy to share with those of interest. I will post the final "conclusions" when they're sifted.

Greene txon@ticnet.com


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 02:26 AM

Randolph/ Legman's 'Roll Me in Your Arms' # 94, "The Wide Missouri" has a rare traditional text with tune.

Oh Shen a do ra I love your daughter
Away! you mighty river!
I love the hole where she makes water,
AWAY, we're gone away!
Across the wide Missouri.

Is 'Shenandoah' really the Indian chief or the river as metaphor?

Legman give references to polite texts, but points out that Hugill only printed his polite version in 'Shanties from the Seven Seas', and has a rather different one in his supplement 'Sailing Shanties'.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Eliot Greene - Dallas - txon@ticnet.com
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 03:17 PM

Hey that's great. Thanks Bruce.

The true nature of the song really shows up with what you've found. The fragment reveals yet another take on the word Shenandoah and makes plain the song's original explicitness. It helps to demonstrate the complicated background we are dealing with.

This stanza adds support to an overall evaluation of "Shenandoah". Direct and literal interpretation of the contemporary lyrics, so tempting, doesn't work. The song suggests a romance but close inspection soon washes that away. The song appears wholly metaphorical, in fact, centered on no one actual person or place after all.

Ironically, it may be that the song has little or nothing to do with obvious contemporary associations: Shenandoah as Valley, River or Indian chief. I expect that many simply will not accept that, and I certainly can be wrong, but I just cannot found the word "Shenandoah" onto the original song at this point. I feel that that exact word came into it late. While most easily peg it as a very old song (and therefor of some obscurity) it seems that the idea of the lyrics changing over the years is taboo with Shenandoah. In other postings this idea of a Shenandoah-less "Shenandoah" has been taken as fightin' words. But the well-founded association as a shanty is also dismissed by some. Go figure.

The word Shenandoah et al. is aboriginal and typically phonetic. Historical variations include Gerando, Gerundo, Shendo, Genantua, Sherando. Schin-han-dowi and a host of others may translate into River-Through-the-Woods, Silver-Water, and such. One assumes that whatever phrase Shenandoah may actually represent, it is most likely a place name and associated with water. But again, studying the etymology of the word 'Shenandoah' doesn't clue us much at all to the song by the same name.

I appreciate your example of the bawdy lyrics. No doubt shanties got quite 'robust' as the work crews of men alone sang them. The more "offensive" the better it seems, all to stir their spirit on the job. I have to smile: if only folks knew that that sweet song tinkling in the background is actually so filthy.

I think it important to dwell on just how profane shanty lyrics were as we look at "Shenandoah". Abusive, criminal and lascivious mildly describe the tone of these shanties. The "true words" to any such shanty are not likely easily revealed. The need for re-written, "tamer" versions for the historical record, as it were, must have existed all along. The naieve scholar would assume that these things can ever be nailed down patently.

I do not expect to find the song originating in America from what I've seen so far. Is or was there a Shennydore community in Ireland? Somehow I believe this was an Irish work song that went to sea.

The big mystery to me is where the word "Missouri" got in there, a far murkier quest it seems than ironing out old Shen'.

It is the song's association with Western Expansion, 'crossing the wide Missouri', that most intrigues me, as I've said. The song's transport to the West is of no question, any number of songs were sung in the West, but the current association of Shenandoah as a "western theme" is daunting. I have no background in music whatsoever, my work is in history. Help finding the above mentioned reference volumes, especially Legman's, would be appreciated.

Bruce and everyone, thank you very much for your work on this. Eliot Greene


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 05:06 PM

Eliot, check both "Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore" & "Black Jacks-Afro Americans Sailors". I don't believe this to be of only Irish or only Black making, but influenced by both. Both cultures had an extremely strong influence in the creation, spread & rise of the art of the work song at sea. During the Western Expansion the coastal water trades, of the full eastern seaboard & Islands, were dominated by Black Watermen, while the deep water trades by their white counterparts. Both worked the docks, rivers, etc. & traveled westward together or at the same point in time, to the point where the origins (of a good bit of the shanties) are from Brittish Isle/Irish/Afro/American/etc & can't, in some cases, be seperated, because the merger in the influences were so complete, complex & lost. As to words or wording used in shanties, a look into the language of the sea might be of some help. In short, whatever worked, for whatever reason, was used & kept as long as it's function continued. Function could be commands that didn't sound alike in the midst of a storm, short & sweet, clear as to their sound & meaning. We get phrases & words that last well past their usefull origins the bowline, from a once important line for sail handling to a now important knot, 'son of a gun', 'towing the line', 'cat-in the bag', 'freeze the brass balls off a monkey', port instead of the once used larboard. If Shenandoah or Missouri/Misery felt good to the singer or group/community it stayed if something else came by that fitted the scene, or I'd even say personnel preference, it may change. You could be on an endless dig, this could be an endless thread, good luck Barry


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: wolf
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 07:46 PM

i learned this song as a kid and was told that it was sung about the river. still have the words somewhere and will post them when i find them.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Txon
Date: 20 Mar 98 - 07:35 PM

As usual, you guys are fantastically generous with your help on this. Ya'll are what make the Internet great. Well, ya'll and the binarie groups. :)

Barry, I absolutely agree that going further in a search for Shenadoah as a shanty, beyond what has been done, is futile. My idea of Sheenydore, Ireland needs to be lost at sea. It was a shantie and, to a certain degree in the case of this song, a shanty is a shanty, w/no "original version" one could accurately believe in w/o the help of a time travel machine.

I would guess I need to head onto land w/this now.

Tracking down the earliest printed versions of the song may help see where it "goes West". Any idea on archives like that?


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: moireasdac@aol.com
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 08:31 PM

I think it may have gone West in two ways, first it was a shantie or Shanty used on American ships only when sailing home. I have seen references to this at least back to the 1860's and I believe earlier. I have also been told by a gentleman I knew who grew up in N.Y.N.Y. and Gavelston Tx during the last Century ( he went on to his reward back in the early 1980's at the ripe old age of 105,) that the song was known by everyone, if you heard it. That ship was bound for home, a cleaned up version might have been popular as a lot of Sailors jumped ship during the gold rushes in the Old West and they very well could of sung it while doing the back breaking work of mining. Also a Western in the 1960s used it as the theme, which would of given it a strong western identification to a lot of people today. These are logical reasons for the songs somewhat split pesonality today


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Txon
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 10:51 AM

A little bit of web-looking doesn't turn up the TV show "Shenandoah". Not even 40, my TV memories [while jam packed] don't go back that far. Nonetheless I am sure this Shenandoah TV show existed.

I so like this suggestion, it is very likely, and points to a place where this "western" song that is in no real way western became western.

The Hollywood connection.

I could drop it all right now and feel the answer has been found in good ole Hollywood. Still, one has to wonder why Hollywood of the 50's thought Shenandoah so emblematic of the West. Copyrights and royalties not withstanding, pub domain songs have their attractions, but why this song for a typical western. The name of the dang show came from the song as well, it seems, begging the question.

Mor's good work just brings the point more painfully into focus: Why is "Shenandoah" considered a theme of Western Expansion?


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Richard
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 11:12 AM

Here's a thought for the western angle. Having done some rowing it strikes me that this song could set a pace for rowing. So, could the song have travelled from the sea up the Mississippi and Missouri with the keel boats of the fur trade. These boats were, polled, rowed, sailed and towed up river. Likely some of the men were sailors, and no doubt some were Irish. That COULD explain the MIssouri. Then, of course, there are the barges of the eastern waterways and some of those men seem to have come from the canals and "waterman" background of England.One such fellow ended up here in the goldrush of 1862 in B.C. On the English census his water was listed as a "waterman".

Richard


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: steve t
Date: 02 Apr 98 - 11:01 AM

Well, thanks people! A filker sang to me what he claimed was the original version a few years back. I HATED it -- all about a trader taking an Indian chief's daughter and the pair getting tracked down and dying -- and I naively believed it original. Nice to think that the common version is just as authentic. I've also heard something close -- Shallow Brown -- which is definitely a sea song. Right now, the common version of Shenandoah is my number one high volume song, and though I seldom get a chance to sing really high volume, after twenty minutes or so of warm-up, I can get a line or two just right. It's very satisfying.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Ole Bull
Date: 02 Apr 98 - 10:07 PM

Enough mumbo-jumbo. Doesn't any one out there have any facts... published references as to where and when does this song first appear??


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: steve t
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 02:01 AM

Some people want a simple answer to everything. Tough luck, Ole Bull.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 08:54 AM

Ole Bull, a good place to start would be to ask Joe Hickerson at the Library of Congress Folklore Archive. I used to have his e-mail address there, but seem to have lost it. Try 'Library of Congress' on a search engine, and look around for it. I think that's how I found it originally.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 May 98 - 08:36 PM

Saw one of the former 'Boarding Party' las week end and found theat "Solid Fa's" was collected by R. Abrams. Here's a short version collected in England in 1909, in JFSS V (#18) 1914.

SHanadar
O Shanadr I'll have your daughter;
Way - o, you rolling ruin;
I love her as I love the water,
Ha!---
I'm bound away across the wild Missouri

O Shenadar what is the matter?
Way O, you rolling ruin;
Your daughter's here and I am at her,
Ha! ha!
I'm bound away across the wild Missouri


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 05 May 98 - 03:06 PM

Bruce
Your last posting reminded me to go back to the "Whall" reference.

Whall (first publ. 1910) gives it as the first of his collection. He's a cormudgeonly old bastard (reminds me of Conor O'Brien, who sailed around the world in the 1920's - but that's another story) with very definite views on everything. He's worth quoting in full on this one:

"The seaman of today knows nothing of this old song but the tune and one line "O Shannadore (the usual pronunciation by American singers) I love your daughter". There must be some merit in it to have lasted so long even in a debased form.

Originally it was a song, not a shanty and had nothing to do with salt water, for the "wide Missouri" is nowhere near the sea. It is given here as a good specimen of the American sea song, of which there used to be a number. It probably came from the American or Canadian voyageurs, who were great singers; Thomas Moore drew inspiration from them in his "Canadian Boat Song". In the early days of America, rivers and canals were the chief trade and passenger rouites and boatmen were an important class. Shanandoah was a celebrated Indian chief in American history, and several towns in the states are named after him. Besides being sung at sea, this song figured in old Public School collections. When very young, I haeard a Harrow boy sing it. That must be nearly fifty years ago."


Regards


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Allan
Date: 05 May 98 - 04:40 PM

I really like Richard's approach to a history. I also see it as a keelboat song which was passed along as such songs are. This easily explains the addition of the Missouri. As to the title name, certainly there are many variations as Elliot points out. However, as the folks who live in Shenandoah County, Virginia would be quick to point out, their understanding is that it means, "Daughter of the Stars" and refers only to the river which originates nearby.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 May 98 - 04:54 PM

I'm with Ole Bull. Where is this early song? Where is the evidence that it was originally a song? [My grandfather's house was near the Missouri river. When it flooded he came 10 miles west to live with us. Almost every evening we'd go where we could see how high the water was on his tall chimney. When the flood receeded it left mud on the floor, but the walls were cleaner than pre-flood. This was called spring housecleaning.]


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 05 May 98 - 07:56 PM

Let's work this out. Whall implies that it was known in public schools in mid-nineteenth century. This suggests (both the timing and the location) a transfer via Christy Minstrels or something of that ilk.

I suspect his "Originally it was a song, not a shanty..." is wishful thinking. He thinks "shanty" implies "sea" and "Missouri" implies "not-sea" so.... . The difficulty is that it implies adoption of a shanty at a very late stage??

Regards


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 May 98 - 08:23 PM

Christy Minstrels would seem to fit with notes below

JFSS, II, (#9), 1906.
II Chanties [collected by Annne Geddes Gilchrist]

Shangadore (Pumping Chanty) Sung by Mr. W. Bolton, Southport, Jan., 1906

O' Shang-ga-dore, I love your daughter, [solo
A-ray, ye rolling river! [Cho.
I love my grog.. much more than water, [solo
Ah-ha-ha! I'm bound away, Cross the wide Missouri [cho.

'Mr. Bolton refused to give me the rest of the words! .... Two versions, with variants of the tune, are given in an article by W. J. Alden in 'Harper's Magazine', 1882, and another under the title of "The Wide Missouri" in Tozer's 'Sailor's Songs'; another in a small collection of "Old Sea Chanties," by Messrs. Bradford and Fagge. The tune appears to be of negro origin; it is at least of negro character.....

[Now why wouldn't Mr. Bolton sing the rest of the words?]


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Ole Bull
Date: 05 May 98 - 10:51 PM

Thank you Bruce O. I haven't found any Real evidence of this song before the 20th century. I wish moireasdac- above- gave more specifics. Christy Minstrels? Doubt it. I've been thru lots of C.M. stuff. It's not their style.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Eliot Greene
Date: 05 May 98 - 11:48 PM

Let my gratitude roll out like the waves, crashing upon the shores of those who so generously contribute on this.

Bernard deVoto's "Across The Wide Missouri", a history of the 'mountain men' of the early west, contains an unattributed inclusion in it's frontispiece of the song we know as "Shenandoah", but as "Shennydore".

That began this intrigue as deVoto, a Hahvahd Mahn, did not explain why he put it there.

At the Fort Davis (west Texas) gift shop during a trip to the Big Bend Nat'l Park, I picked up a cassette of "Distant Horns...Territorial Brass" (not in my hands at this second) which included an utterly haunting rendition of the subject song.

Though sung to the contemporary lyrics, the cassette's insert cites "c. 1820" as the date for the song.

Perched in camp above Glenn Springs (raided by Pancho Villa associates), I played the song from that tape over and over. The anathemas of American western history were quite striking to me at the time, this brought on by contemplation of the borderlands. The song played on.

Where the hell does Shenandoah and Missouri cross? What is this dang song? Why is it so appropriate to sitting 'here' in the Big Bend, the ghost of old Chisos glowing up on the mountain, the Rio Grande not far, and Mexico beyond.

Why is this thing so Western? Not because anyone said it should be (though 'they' do), but why did it seem to be the utter theme of the moment while I was there.

A lonely place it was, the absolute ghost town of Glenn Springs. Shenandoah is a great 'lonely' song.

So that's where this started.

Your answers are most appreciated.

Polling up to the Missouri, jumping ship at the goldrush, sloshing down from Canada, all certainly were the transfer of this shanty to land.

Missouri got in there because the melody could take any words. Why did it stick?

Then Hollywood.

A search for the earliest printed versions of the song continues. Bruce, Martin and Allan, (Mrs. Bookay, too) ya'll are great!

Thanks all for sharing in the enigma. If you are a singer to an audience, perhaps our work here will give you a little something to intrigue the crowd, beyond the old "Indian stories", though they could still prove associated, even if I doubt 'Shenandoah' by any various interprets, including the Daughter of The Stars, had a thing to do with it.

I know we'll never get the thing nailed down Solid Fast, but every contribution here is helping.

Greene

PS: Whall's 1910: "Originally it was a song, not a shanty"...and on... is baffling. I accuse the gent of poor scholarship. But, he didn't have the Internet.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 06 May 98 - 04:36 AM

Elliot

Whall was not your average scholar! I quote from his introduction:

"I was intended for the church, not the sea, and during my early years at Oxford I received a fairly thorough musical training under Sir John Stainer, afterwards organist of St. Paul's Cathedral. Going to sea then in 1861, in the old passenger-carrying East Indiamen, those sailor songs and shanties struck me as worthy of preservation. During my eleven years in those ships, I took down the words and music of these songs as they were actually sung by sailors so that what I present here may be relied upon as the real thing.

Since 1872 I have not heard a shanty or song worth the name. Steam spoilt them...."

Regards


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 06 May 98 - 01:00 PM

Stainer's collection of songbooks passed to W. N. H. Harding of Chicago, but was later purchased by Oxford University and is now in the Bodleian. Anne Geddes Gilchrist was very good on songs and tunes of all the British Isles, and knew a bit about American ones too (See her article on Wearing of the Green = Oswald's The Tulip, and it use in the U.S. for the hymn "We are coming father Abraham" in Southern Folklore Quarterly).


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Eliot Greene
Date: 06 May 98 - 06:54 PM

Martin, I agree. My bewilderment has less to do w/questions of his scholarship than I made it seem. I stand w/you on your comment:

I suspect his "Originally it was a song, not a shanty..." is wishful thinking. He thinks "shanty" implies "sea" and "Missouri" implies "not-sea" so.... . The difficulty is that it implies adoption of a shanty at a very late stage??

and ask the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Richard Wright
Date: 18 May 98 - 08:54 PM

I still vote for a shanty that came up the river with keelboats, which would also explain DeVoto's mention.

History is never clear and concise, it is written by the winners, the writers and those who take the trouble. I doubt if a keelboatman would have bothered to ask where it came from, or even remember who he learned it from. And if he did know it is unlkely he would or could have written it down.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 May 98 - 10:26 PM

FOR YEARS I SANG IT THIS WAY:

Old Bridger loved an Indian maiden, With furs his canoe was laden./

He told the chief, "I love your daughter, We want to cross the sparkling water."/

The chief he made an awful holler, Didn't want the trapper's dollars./

Gave the chief some rotgut whisky, Got him drunk and stole his daughter./

Traveled 'cross the Rocky Mountains, Settled by some crystal fountain./

"My wife, my love, I'll never leave you, My wife, my love, I'll not deceive you." Across the wide Missouri./

Jim Bridger was a part of the Ashley expedition that went up the Missouri River in 1820 (?) He was about 19 or 20. Some say he was the fellow left with Hugh Glass to care for him after the latter was badly mauled by a griz. (He left Glass alone thinking he'd surely die but he recovered miraculously---another legend of that era.)

Bridger became a well known mountain man and, later, the operator of Fort Briger, a famous spot where immigrants heading west could get stuff (which ticked off Brigham Young to no end as Bridger got to sell to 'em before they got to Salt Lake).

Later, when the beaver were gone --& the fashion changed in Europe and nobody wanted beaver hats, Bridger was a scout for the U.S. Army. The young recruits saw him as an archaic old relic of another time and made fun of his tales--many of which were true. So Jim started to embellish his tales & subsequently became a notorious tall tale teller.

As an old man, Jim Bridger went blind and sat on his daughter's porch in Kansas City until he died! Not a single author or reporter came to interview this man who had been present for so much early American western history!

Jim was "married" to a Native-American woman and they had several children. Those children were enrolled at the school run by the missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman called "The Little Log Schoolhouse On The Williamette" in the Oregon country. Those children, along with the Whitmans, were killed in the rebellion by the Indians of that area who had seen their tribe nearly wiped out by the disease infected blankets distributed to them by the whites.---(I'm hopin' this is accurate: it's how I remember it.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Carolyn Thompson
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 02:37 PM

I am looking for "The Young Voyageur," a 1700s song about fur traders on the Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Lesley N.
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 05:32 PM

This is Young Voyageur from the Fireside Book of FolkSongs

From the wilds of the North Comes a young voyageur, With his boyant canoe Well laden with fur

Chorus Gladsome and free, Little cares he For there's joy in the heart Of the young voyageur.

There's a song on the lips, Of the young voyageur, And his voice, sounding far, Sets the forest astir.

Chorus

I have a midi of it here. (Hope I did that right...)


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 08:02 PM

Hi - If you want to talk about Voyageurs, go to this thread, which has an appropriate title. thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: shiloh
Date: 07 Feb 99 - 10:31 PM

everyone seems to be spelling the term chanty as shanty. the New Christy Minstrels, in the sixties, claimed to have found it among a broad group of works by american writers and on one of their album liner notes they also said that they found evidence of it in Great Britain while on a tour there.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Feb 99 - 11:34 PM

Hugill goes into the spelling (& theories on the origin) of shanty on p. 20-21 of his "Shanties Of The Seven Seas". It's been found in G.E.Clark's "Seven Years of a Sailor" as "chanty" & Nordhoff uses "chantyman". E.I.Barra uses shanter, which Doerflinger thinks (& Hugill agrees) was an intermediate form between 'chant' & 'chanty'. In Chamber's Journal in 1869 an artical uses shanty & shanty songs. Whall says, in 1861, shanties. In the 1870' & early 80's shanty was the popular spelling, in the late 80's a number reverted to chanty, after that both spellings were used equally. Later Hugill says that the chant forms became slurred into shant & it's alway pronounced "shanty", no matter the spelling.
I couldn't care, one way or another, how it's spelled as long as they get sung. Barry


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Feb 99 - 01:54 AM

This was the version I learned from my grandfather

Oh Shenandoah,I long to hear you roll away, you rollin river Oh Shenandoah I can't get near you Away,I'm bound to roam Cross the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah,I love your daughter roll away,you rollin river But she called me a dirty sailor Away,I'm bound to roam Cross the wide Missouri

My theory on the song is that it was carried west ,much as Richard said,by river boatmen.Because the song described the feeling of loss and sentiment for the softer country of the east, and for loved ones left behind it undoubtedly gained popularity with many of the westward pioneers. Shenandoah referred to the Shenandoah River of Virginia, and "the wide Missouri" not only to the Missouri river,which marked the westernmost expansion of trade for flatboats pre-Civil War,but also to the Missouri Country, the early region comprising Montana, and the Dakotas."Crossing the Missouri" was an Oregon Trail era euphemism for the journey across this forbidding and dangerous country.The sea chanty connection may stem from the crossover of these freshwater sailors to saltwater, or it may be that the tune was simply a "Top 40 hit" of the time, like "Betsy from Pike".....LEJ


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Subject: ADD Version: SHENANDOAH
From: Gene
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 09:02 PM

"SHENANDOAH" - one of America's most popular folk songs, is known as a "short haul chanty" and is said to be the true story of a white trader who courted the daughter of an Indian chieftain.

The song apparently originated among American or Canadian voyageurs on the Missouri River - sometimes called the "Miz-zoo".

SHENANDOAH

The old Miz-zoo has friendly waters
Away! You rolling river
The Indians camp along its border
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

A white man loved an Indian lady
Away! You rolling river
The daughter of Chief Shenandoah
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.


Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away! You rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Away! You rolling river
I bring you tools and fire water
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

'Tis seven years since first I knew her
Away! You rolling river
She's in full bloom for a man to woo her
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, with gifts I'm laden
Away! You rolling river
Give me the hand of this young maiden
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Then Shenandoah said - Go! Forsake her!
Away! You rolling river
An Indian brave has come to take her
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.


Farewell, my love - I'm bound to leave you
Away! You rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, I'll not deceive you
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.


I moved this message from another thread, decause it was all by itself.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 02:28 PM

This is such a lovely old song and haunting melody. I always thoughts the lyrics I knew were fragmented, and began to suspect it has undergone some serious 'evolution.' It does seem likely that into the modern American era its evolution, once latched onto the fixed images of Shenandoah, and more precisely Missouri (river) the evolution stopped, or slowed. And, in this modern format, its simple story makes sense - but I would love to have heard sung some of the very early versions ... especially the sea chanties which must have differed greatly, growing within the closed, limited horizns of a ship on a transoceanic voyage. It would be a treat to go back in time and collect several verions!

This has been a great, long lived thread!


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: paddymac
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 06:59 PM

There's a barbershop arragement of this song that always seems to bring a standing ovation, no matter how well or poorly done. Beautiful evocative chord progressions! Thomas Jefferson wrote a book during 1780-81 called "Notes on the State of Virginia", which included a section on the rivers of Virginia. Note that the geographic expanse of the colony at that time was substantially different than the present state. Anyhow, his comment on the Shenandoah was limited to a single sentence: "The Shenandoah branch interlocks with James River about the Blue Ridge, and may perhaps in future be opened." (William Peden, Ed., UNC Press, 1982) I suspect that the word "about" might have been "above" originally, as the Shenandoha Drainage and the Jackson Drainage (uppermost James River Drainage)abut each other in "the great interior valley of Virginia" on the eastern slopes of the Alleghaney Mountains (in the Bath, Agusta & Highlands Counties area). In terms of the discussion in this thread, Jefferson's scant attention to the River suggests that he did not consider it of any great importance to commercial navigation, however beautiful the river and its valley might have been.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 04:03 PM

I wonder what version of this song Jefferson might have heard. That is, I suspect there would have been a version around in those days, he may have heard the song.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: paddymac
Date: 24 Oct 99 - 07:03 AM

Liam - good question, for which I have no answer. However, if Jefferson followed the folk tradition of shaping a song to fit his own desires, he probably wrapped it around the Ohio. Here is the best line from his description of the Ohio: "The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted."


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Oct 99 - 11:33 AM

Paddymac

... nice thoughts from Jefferson. Our modern presidents may not have the same frame of reference, to have deep thoughts about one of this Nations natural resources. If they travel in or around the Ohio, they fly by in plane or car, at 60+MPH. If they notice the Ohio, they do so for moments.

Our modern life has brought us many wonderful things, but one of the costs has been we've lost those occasions to get to know our natural surroundings, in the manner our forefathers did.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 02:09 AM

I was reading "Journey of the Bard" by Yvonne Owens today and remembered this thread. She included this quote from "Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales." "...the secret well brings to mind the Mysterious Well of Segais, or Connla's Well, which nobody durst visit except Nechtan and his three cup bearers. Like Mirimir's Well at the root of he Scandinavian World Tree, this well was the source of inspirattion and knowledge. Over it grew the nine hazels of wisdom, "out of which were obtained the feats of the sages." The hazel nut dropped into the well and caused bubbles of mystic inspiration to form on the streams that issued from it. Alternatively, the nuts were eaten by salmon in the well, or they passed into the River Boyne. Those designated to partake of the nuts or of the salmon obtained the gifts of the seer and the poet. The location of the well is variously described. It is the source of the Boyne, the source of the Shannon, the source of the seven chief rivers of Ireland, and it has its counterpart in the Land of Promise where the rivers that flow from it are the five senses." I'll take a stab an an explanation although I am not fully qualified to do so; and it might be far fetched. Shenandoah might have originally been Shannon's Door. The Shannon is a river in Ireland. We know that the ancient bards of northern Europe, the spiritual leaders, the artists, the poets, used symbology in their mythology and mysticism. The song was written by a bard on his journey west. I say a bard because the song is obviously an exceptional song and was written by an exceptional person. He or she was of Irish desent and is lonesome for his/her home, literally, and also lonesome for the symbolic place of wisdom and knowledge and inspiration of the bard. Cross culturally, in mythologies, entering this place of knowlege and wisdom is done so through a portal or a door: Shannon's Door. In these mythologies, the west is associated with water and renewal(the realm of Murias). This bard longs for his/her homeland but is on the Missouri River, which is also a symbolic place to gain wisdom and knowledge and inspiration. And the result of his bard work, on that day, is the song that we know of today as Shenandoah. The River Shannon would be the mother(or father), and the Missouri would be the daughter. The song has been handed down to us, as a part of our heritage, through the aural tradition. The aural tradition was the method of the bards. "Rolling ruin" was mentioned in one of the veresions of the song. Runes were the symbolic alphabet that the bards, and others, used for mystical purposes. Eric


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 03:34 AM

In Burl Ives' song book, Copyright 1953, he classifies Shenandoah as a "short haul chanty." No further info, however.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: paddymac
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 06:24 AM

The prevailing view seems to be that song beloved by so many began as a chantey, but I have never had the opportunity to hear it performed as a chantey. I have a chantey version in the song book "The New Song Fest", Dick & Edith Best, Eds.,1948, 1955, 12th Prntg, 1962, Crown Publ.; Lib.of Cong. 54-12069. Might have to give it a try. Ives' categorization of it as a "short haul chantey" might reflect the fact that the Shenandoah isn't a major river. As I recall, it's a tributary of the Potomac, and does not connect to the Ohio, which would be necessary to reach the Missouri by river.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 08:50 AM

Lee Murdock, in his Folk Songs of the Great Lakes Region study guide says "This song is thought to have come from boatmen on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers during the mid 1800s. It was also sung by Great Lakes sailors and, eventually found its way onto the salt seas in an adapted form." Then he claims the song was used as a "capstan shanty."

His first statement makes sense to me, but this ain't no capstain chantey. Sailing ships on the lakes must have had capstans, which are big winches used primarily to raise heavy anchors. Riverboats had no need for them. In any case, the rhythym of "Shenandoah" is nothing at all like the rhythm of a capstant chantey.

In 1969, I spent some time in the crew of a full-rigged ship and I know from experience that capstan chanteys have a rather fast almost staccato rhythm. Six crew nenbers would insert six heavy spokes into the capstan and use these to turn the capstan as we marched around it in a circle, with short, powerful steps, our feet pushing against wooden slats attached to the deck as treads.

Our bosun was folksinger Jody Gibson, of Newport, R.I, and when we had to man the capstan, he used chanteys with a fast, regular beat, like Santy Ano, or Clear the Track Let the Bullgine Run. The graceful, slow and flowing lines of Shenandoah would have been useless.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 04:07 PM

Well, whatever the truth is, Eric's theory is totally terrific. I love it. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Shanti
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 04:47 PM

According to Lomax, "Shenandoah, the most beautiful of all sea songs in English, probably began as a voyageur song on the rivers west of the Mississippi, taking its title from the Indians for whom the great valley of Virginia was named. It became, somehow, a capstan chantey and then a favourite song of the regular cavalry who sometimes fought the Indians out west, but also fell in love with and married Indian women."


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 08:34 PM

Wow! Interesting thread. Downeast Bob, I found your posting particularly so. Never having had ANY experience on a sea going or even river or lake going vessel, I learned a lot. The crew ACTUALLY sang as they performed their duties? I thought that was just something out of the movies.

I knew an old Arizona cowboy, and he said he had never heard any cowboys sing as they went about their work. Said by the time they bedded down at night, nobody had the strength to sing around the campfire. Sorry for the creep. Had they sung, though, maybe they would have sung Shenandoah! That gets us back on track. DougR


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 10:40 PM

I think the main reason we sang was because Jody Gibson was the bosun and, being a lover of chanteys and other sea songs, he wasn't about to miss a chance to actually use chanteys to get work done. But I still can't imagine anyone tramping around a capstan singing Shenandoah.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: DougR
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 10:44 PM

Never having knowlingly seeing a capstan, Downbeat Bob, I just can't comment. I will, however, take your word for it as you are obviously well acquainted with them. DougR


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Abby Sale
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 11:20 PM

"Shenandoah" has any number of chanty versions. See, eg "Solid Fas'" in the database. The saddest rerndition I ever heard of it, however, was a duo that learned the chanty but thought it too harsh for the modern audience so they took the chanty words but applied the Western, lilting tune. Sad.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 12:00 AM

I went to a house concert abt 10 years ago where a man and wife named Nash sang songs of the sea. He was retired Navy, and they've been collecting for years. He sang a version of Shenandoah which he got from a sailor over 90 years old, and the sailor's last line went:

away, I'm bound away, across this wide world of mis'ry.

Makes more sense than the Missouri any day.

Hey, I live on the Missouri, and I know that going across it doesn't get you anywhere but Kansas, the beginning of the Great American Desert.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 07:55 AM

'Solid Fas' is one of 3000+ songs in the DT with no tune. Could anyone post a midi to Alan of Australia or an ABC or MIDITEXT to this thread. Thanks

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 08:06 AM

Snuffy, Shenandoah is the tune Solid Fas is sung to. It's REALLY great. A friend of mine sings Solid Fas, and you can't tell the difference, if there is any.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 08:09 AM

Thanks, George

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 08:18 AM

Thanks, Abby. I have always been amazed at your knowledge of chanteys. Even sailed with you once aboard a gaff-rigged ketch once, back in about 1961 I think, but it wasn't a large enough boat to require chanteys to get the work done. Anyway. I knew nothing about Solid Fas' and it's a great chantey. I can even, for the first time, imagine it being sung in a fast 2/4 time as a capstan chantey. In fact, the title "Solid Fas'" suggests a line being made fast. (A Mainer might say "Wicked Fas'")


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:36 AM

Solid Fas' is a (west Indian) term to mean the Blackfish is caught fast to the line ("solid fas? Yes, she's solid fas"). A close version of this tune I believe has been recorded by the boarding party though their tune is closer to what Abraham's calls "All Through The Cold & Squally Weather" than how he's got "Solid Fas" recorded. I can't do the midi thing or post tunes but if Joe O or someone else can take it off their answering machine I'd be happy to put what I've got on it.

Hi Leeneia, Solid Fas' is also known as "World Of Misery".

Hugill says that Shenandoah this was one of the most popular shanties at capstan & windlass. I'd say that ships of today don't use the capstan in the same fashion as was done 100 yrs ago. They no longer sail with heavy cargo & short handed crews, you won't find 4 masted vessels of 3 to 4000 tons releying on capstan alone for raising anchor nor anchoring in deep water to off load that cargo with a scope of chain laid out at a 7 or 8 to 1 ratio so that when the tide & wind is working against the ship she's got to pull in a good 1000' of chain. This was very slow & took upwards of 8 hrs sometimes so I can't see that they'd being doing a power walk behind the capstan till maybe when the hook broke free & was up & down & by that time I can't see that they'd be capable of speeding up the process after all that.
Many other of the capstan shanties collected (Banks Of Newfoundland, The Liverpool Packet, The First Of The Emigrants).
Slower capstan shanties are far fewer than the ones with a quicker pace, I'd think that the conditions that would call for long, slow capstan shanties would be what a skipper would do his best to avoid too, alot easier for vessels of today. Barry


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:43 AM

Sorry, that should've read 'many of the other capstan shanties collected ( ) were also sang at a slow pace'. Barry


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Abby Sale
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 11:46 AM

Bob: Thanks.  But I just say a lot about them.  It's Barry Finn that actually knows a lot about them.  (Him sing good, too.)    Also, as suggested, buying the two Boarding Party tapes from Camsco is a solid one-year course in sea songs.

I'm trying to think back - didn't we use a hamburger-hauling chantey on inputting supplies?

Here's another (below) - also in the database.  The Abrahams book is very good & I much recommend it.  The rowing chanteys intrigue me much.  The savants are reluctant to see anything as a "chantey" not strictly associated with work-time-setting on the great sailing ships.  The argument is good and consistant among several whose opinions I respect.  The legit rowing chantey (say, for rowing up to wind) seems a grey area.  But not being a savant, or a professional of any kind, I have no trouble seeing, say, "C'est L'Aviron" as a chantey.

The Caribbean rowing songs are generally 1) derived from tall ship sailors 2) derived from, based on or in the style of known chanteys & 3) used to set time at sea.  But the really important part of this (regardless of definitions) is the image/reality of a boatload of rowers on the open sea & going after large fish and even regularly after whale.  These were gutsy guys.  Or: Hey fellers, let's just row over to St. Thomas and see the girls ("Fine Time of Day").

They are still known and used in building construction!

Oh, My Rolling River^^^

All through the rain and squally weather
    Oh, my rolling river
All through the rain and squally weather
    We are bound away from this world of misery

Misery, I come to tell you
All through this rain and wind all squally

Salambo, I love your daughter
Salambo, this white mulatta

Seven long years we toiled the ocean
Seven long years I never wrote her

All through the rain and squally weather
All through this rain and windy squally

Misery, my captain cry out
Solid fas', my bowman cry out

I courted Sally, no pen no paper
I courted Sally with foolscap paper^^^

From Roger Abrahams's Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore.
 


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Shanti
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 12:07 PM

Thanks Abby Sale, for posting those lyrics to "Oh, My Rolling River." Will have to try singing that version sometime, and add them to my collection. Think most sailors (or seamen, "Sailor is a landlubbers word.") went to sea to get away from troubles on land. I'm sure many of them saw this as a worls of misery. At sea, no one but the captain had any authority over them...and nothing could reach them. Somehow, I've always associated chantys not so much with actual work, but with time "off watch" when the men thought about home and what they'd left on shore.

Leeneia, what part of the Missouri do you live on? Are you in Nebraska or NW Missouri? Crossing the river to get to Kansas leads me to believe you're in one or the other? I'm in SE Ohio now, but before I went to NYC (the last place before here) I spent 5 years in KC. That's a nice area. Had spent 9 years growing up there as well.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:22 AM

Barry, your comments about long, slow capstan chanteys make sense. Thanks for shedding new light on this.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 02:50 PM

Shenandoah is one of the most loved Sea Songs or Shanties ever.. Sung slowly as a capstan shanty, or just as a forebitter to relax and entertain, with loving thoughts of girls ashore.... Barry has the right point in his post above. One technical point from an "Old Salt" this was also a "warping shanty". Before ships could leave dock and set sails, they were "Warped" out into river, by hauling slowly on hawsers laid out on the piers to turn the ship around. This was how they were pulled out of dock into main channel before setting sail or taking a tug; on some ships large oars called "Sweeps" were used to assist. Sometimes ships boats towed them round to a position where sails could be set. The men would be leaving loved ones, and usually suffering hangovers, which accounts for the slowness of the shanty; as well as its melancholy tone. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:58 PM

agreed - I've always loved this song, and have wondered about its alleged sea chanty origins. Good stuff here!


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 10:03 PM

One more thing. I went back to Deep the Water today to look up the song. The several pages before it give a fascinating, frightening and detailed account of going after whale (Blackfish) in just a long boat with 6 men. Couple of small details in the account:

The "All through the rain & squally weather" words are sung while rowing out after the whale but the "Solid fas'" words (still the same tune) are sung "after a long rowin' or coming home late at night and we must pull hard." The source explains that "Solid fas'" is said when you strike the "fish." Usually by the captain but maybe by the bowman first.

Sometimes they went after sperm whale which is incredible to me in a 22-26 foot rowboat. Many times one of these would attack the boat & sometimes sink it. The men would have to swim home. In open ocean! These were (are) tough men.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Abby Sale
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 10:40 AM

By the way, the St. Vincent tunes used for "Solid Fas'" and for "All Through The Cold & Squally Weather" are about the same to my ear. But it is a significant (but easily recognizable) variation on the usual tune. The slow rhythm also makes it a good rowing chantey. Sorry to reopen this old thread...the St. Vincent song captivates me.


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Subject: RE: Song info:
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 08:50 PM

For those interested in the skills leading up to a Nantucket Sleigh Ride, a whaleboat being towed by a whale with a harpoon n is back, an obvious but nonetheless excellent suggestion is Moby Dick. There is a lot of wonderful detail.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,adamhall@btinternet.com
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:12 AM

I believe the song to have been written by John Short 'Yankee Jack', who lived in a small village called Watchet in the county of Somerset in England. He got his name because he was on a ship that blockaded ships during the Amercian civil war. I also believe he wrote the song to Rio Grande.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: IanC
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:44 AM

Adam

Seems unlikely as Sharp was collecting shanties from Short in 1914 and Whall clearly knew the song from the 1860s.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,adam again
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 04:37 PM

I suppose so, but Short was born in the 1830s, so it's possible he wrote it. This is at least the claim made by Watchet museum. I suppose what really happened was that Short new the song and changed the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 07:22 PM

Frank T. Bullen's SONGS OF SEA LABOUR has two short versions of "Shenandoah". He says that he "was before the mast in sailing ships from 1869 to 1880." He goes on to say why he only gives the opening verse and a chorus:

"The stubborn fact is that they had no set words beyond a starting verse or two and the fixed phrases of the chorus, which were very often not words at all. For all Chanties were impromptu as far as the words were concerned. Many a Chantyman was prized in spite of his poor voice because of his improvisations. Poor doggerel they were mostly and often very lewd and filthy, but they gave the knowing and appreciative shipmates, who roared the refrain, much opportunity for laughter."

He says, "Being possessed of a strong and melodious voice and a tenancious memory, Chanty singing early became a passion with me, and this resulted in my being invariably made Chantyman of each new vessel I sailed in, a function I performed until I finally reached the quarter-deck, when of course it ceased."

Bullen calls the first version a "negro Chanty" and he may have learned it while discharging "general cargo in the Demerara River off Georgetown", when he was a "first voyage laddie". He says that he had "never heard them anywhere else. They are negro chanties all right enough, but they were not in common use on board ship." (Bullen is referring to the first four Chanties in his collection, of which this song is the fourth).

[Chantyman] O Shenandoh my bully boy I long to hear you holler;
[Chorus]Way ay ay ay ay
[Chantyman] Shenando I lub ter bring er tot er rum en see ye make a swoller;
[Chorus] Way ay ay ay Shenandoh.

The tune is "brisk" and quite different from the more widely known one.

The other Chanty is called "Rolling-River". It is sung "slow, and with expression". It has the more familiar tune. He says that this "is a fine Chanty of the ordinary windlass or pump type, the main word of which is again Shanandoah, the old Southern name that the negroes would drag in, on account of its melody I suspect."

[Chantyman] Shanandoh, I long ter hear ye;
[Chorus] Away, you rolling river;
[Chantyman] Oh Shanandoh-o I can't get near ye
[Chorus] Ha ha! I'm bound away on the wide Missouri!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 09:46 AM

I was pleasantly surprised last night, as I was listening to the New Golden Ring (5 ddays singing) albums, to hear World of Misery. It can still be gotten from the Patons [just drop Sandy and Caroline a note here on Mudcat and I am sure he will be happy to help you].


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:06 AM

In their AMERICAN BALLADS AND FOLK SONGS, John and Alan Lomax give a version collected from a Major Isaac Spalding, Office Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C., called "The Wild Miz-zou-rye" as an "old Cavalry song"(pp. 544-546).

For seven long years I courted Nancy,
Hi! Ho! the rolling river!
For seven long years I courted Nancy,
Ha! Ha! I'm bound away for the wild Miz-zou-rye!

She would not have me for a lover -

And so she took my fifteen dollars -

And she went to Kansas City -

And there she had a little sh-sh-baby
["When this is sung by a group of army men, the chorus sings "sh-sh" while one lone man breaks out irrepressibly with "baby."]

She must have had another lover - He must have been a - th Cavalry Soldier -

I'm drinkin' of rum and chawin' tobacco -

I learned this song from Tommy Tompkins (!)- ,br>

------

And Carl Sandburg, in his THE AMERICAN SONGBAG gives us "The Wide Missoura" (p. 408), saying that "regular army men were singing this in 1897".

O Shannadore, I love your daughter,
Hi-oh, you rolling river.
I'll take her 'cross the rolling water,
Ah-hah, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Mizzoura.

For seven years I courted Sally,
For seven more I longed to have her,

She said she would not be my lover,
Because I was a dirty sailor,

A-drinkin' rum and a-chewin' t'baccer,
A-drinkin' rum and a-chewin' t'baccer,


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Venthony
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 08:42 AM

Either way -- any way -- you take it, it seems almost impossible to put a bad set of lyrics with such a great melody. What a gem -- truly a hell of a song.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 08:18 AM

I found this reference to a contemporary "Chief Shenandoah" very interesting, Shenandoah. There are many other sites for this Chief Shenandoah on Google. And here is some interesting information about the origins of the name "Shenandoah" as it applies to the Shenandoah Valley, which is over the mountain from meShenandoah Valley. Tantalizing, but no real connections to the song other than the name. If Virginians could end up in Wyoming, then they must have seen the wide Mizzouri. I find it very interesting that the song is bounded by the two rivers, and their valleys.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: fogie
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 06:35 AM

Just to say I have enjoyed this discussion immensely, which is why I tune in to this site.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:11 PM

I understand that the song is properly "O Seanadoir, I love your daughter". The protaganist has fallen in love with the daughter of Seanadoir David Norris and fled to the fledgling American Union of States. Can't remember any more, maybe someone else can fill the rest in.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 01:52 PM

Over fifty years ago at a school concert I heard for the first time this great song, I am always taken back to those happy days when I hear Shennadoah, bye the way I am surprised no one has mentioned the beautiful rendition by the great Paul Robeson. A great thread, and on goes my old LP of the mighty Paul. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,John Hoad
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 08:55 PM

Sorry to come late to this discussion of the song Shenandoah, but this is my take on the story.

A VERSION OF SHENANDOAH There are, as is well known, many versions of this song. My version of Shenandoah attempts to conflate certain traditions. (1) Shenandoah is named as a river in most of the traditional songs. So I have kept this tradition. It's the Shenandoah river that is addressed and longed for, even in departure from it. (2) Shenandoah was also reported as the name of the Indian chief who was father of the daughter in the song. So one verse recognizes that. (3) The song tells of a departure that can't be avoided. (4) There is no reason given in the traditional ballad for crossing the wide Missouri. In my version, we have given a reason, namely, that the young man had to make his fortune elsewhere. (5) Most traditional versions leave the ending up in the air. One version speaks of the hero being a "rover." In this version, the young man and his lady love return to the beloved Shenandoah valley after he has made his fortune further West. This is somewhat of a similar sequence to that of Danny Boy.

Old traditional songs take on new life repeatedly. It has been so with "Greensleaves" and similar tunes. Whatever the history, whatever the versions, we can have our own shot at keeping them alive. So here is my version:

SHENANDOAH

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
Look away, my rollin' river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I would be near you:
Look away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Chief Shenandoah, beside the water,
Look away, you rollin' river.
Chief Shenandoah, I love your daughter:
Look away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, we're bound to leave you,
Look away, you rollin' river.
Oh, Shenandoah, we won't deceive you:
Look away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, we'll do some tradin',
Look away, our rollin' river.
Oh, Shenandoah, we'll come back laden:
Look away, we're bound your way,
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, we love your valley,
Look away, our rollin' river.
Oh, Shenandoah, we will not dally
Look away, we will not stay
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Version by John Hoad
3.30.03


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 10:37 PM

Lyr. Add: SHENANDOAH (Whall 1910?)

Oh, Missouri, she's a mighty river,
Away you rolling river.
The Red-skins' camp lies on its borders,
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

The white man loved the Indian maiden,
Away you rolling river.
With notions sweet his canoe was laden.
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

"O Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
Away you rolling river.
I'll take her 'cross yon rolling water."
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

The chief disdained the trader's dollars:
Away, you rolling river.
"My daughter never you shall follow."
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

At last there came a Yankee skipper,
Away you rolling river.
He winked his eye, and he tipped his flipper.
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

He sold the chief that fire-water,
Away you rolling river.
And 'cross the river he stole his daughter,
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

"O Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
Away you rolling river.
Across that wide and rolling river."
Ah-ha, I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.

This thread is long, with several versions and much speculation, but surprisingly no one has posted the version printed by Whall, the first in print (1910). The music and text printed by the Fifes purports to be Whall's; I don't have his volume, so I print from the Fifes' book.
In a posting above, someone claimed that Whall states that the song was heard in the 1860s, but not having seen the book, I don't know if that is true, or if Whall was just speculating. No quote is given. As Malcolm Douglas has stated, there is no printed evidence of the song before 1910.

A post by Abby Sale opens up another possible line of investigation, dealing with Caribbean rowing songs.

Fife, Austin E. and Alta S., 1969 (and reprints), "Cowboy and Western Songs," #1, pp. 2-3.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:32 PM

From Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties, collected by W.B. Whall, Master Mariner, 3rd edition (Glasgow: James Brown & Son, pp. 1-3) [1st ed. was published in 1910]:
                      Shenandoah

    The seaman of to-day knows nothing of this old song but the tune and one line, "O Shannadore,* I love your daughter." There must be some merit in it to have lasted so long, even in a debased form.
    Originally it was a song, not a shanty, and had nothing to do with salt water, for the "wide Missouri" is (like Alcala in another song) "nowhere near the sea." It is given here as a good specimen of the American sea song, of which there used to be a number. It must be quite fifty years since it was sung as a song. It probably came from the American or Canadian voyageurs, who were great singers; Thomas Moore drew inspiration from them in his "Canadian Boat Song." In the early days of America, rivers and canals were the chief trade and passanger routes, and boatmen were an important class. Shenandoah was a celebrated Indian chief in American history, and several towns in the States are named after him. Besides being sung at sea, this song figured in old public school collections. When very young, I heard a Harrow boy sing it. That must be nearly fifty years ago.

*"Mizzourah," and "Shannadore," were the usual pronunciations by American singers.

    This was not the only "song," by any means, which was used as a shanty. Dana told us long ago that one of the shanties used in his day was--
                   "Cheer up, Sam,
                   Don't let your spirits go down," etc.
which was made familiar to us by the old Christy Minstrels.
The 1st stanza of the version quoted (with tune) is as follows ("Oh" at the beginning is lacking):
(SOLO) Missouri, she's a mighty river
(REFRAIN) Away you rolling river.
(SOLO) The red-skins' camp lies on its borders.
(REFRAIN) Ah-ha I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:35 PM

The 3rd edition I referred to was published in 1913.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:52 PM

Thanks, Masato for clearing up what Whall actually wrote. I take it that I was correct in assuming the words printed by the Fifes were those previously printed by Whall (or close thereto).
The solo vs. refrain definition clarifies the delivery of the song.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 06:48 AM

Q
The quote from Whall (by me) was there, alright - even if it was five years ago!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Vince
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 11:35 AM

I'm pretty sure the first time i ever heard Shenandoah sung as a sea shanty was on an LP of shanty songs i had years & years ago (maybe 30) by Colin Wilkie & Shirley Hart. Anyone remember them?? Great LP! Recently heard it nicely sung as a shanty by Dave Wetherill (sorry 'bout spelling) at the joiners in Miggy!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 12:53 AM

Replying to a post on this thread by "Txon," dated 26 Mar 98, yes, there was a one season western titled "A Man Called Shenandoah," which ran from 1965 to 1966. It starred Robert Horton, who had made a name for himself playing the trail scout, Flint McCullough, on the tv series "Wagon Train."

Although the critics liked "A Man Called Shenandoah," it was up against "The Andy Griffith Show," and "The Andy Williams Show," and died of poor ratings.

I believe the show opened each week with the title character, wearing a great overcape, riding his horse slowly through a snowy landscape among towering pines, accompanied by the melody of "Shenandoah."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: LadyJean
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 01:03 AM

I'm not sure which of the "Golden Ring" recordings includes a version that begins:
Shananadoah I love your daughter,
way hey you rolling river.
Shananadoa the bright mulatta.
We are bound away from this world of misery.

I believe they placed it in the West Indies.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 10:10 AM

Going back to the origins and geographical contradictions, consider that by the early 19th century, it is likely that Shanadore's band or tribe had been displaced to the West, which then would have been at or near the Missouri River. "World of Misery" could be simple folk process or a reflection on the ways of civilization. At this point, who knows what is original and what is process?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 06:02 PM

A note regarding Robert Horton, of the tv series, "A Man Called Shenandoah," and the song, "Shenandoah."

If you go to www.roberthorton.com/awards.htm , you will find the following:

"The Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II (19 May 1960)

On December 27, 1959, Bob was invited to perform at the world famous London Palladium. He was such an overwhelming success that in May of 1960, he was invited back to England to perform for the Queen in a Royal Command Performance at the Victoria Palace Theater, an honor accorded few Americans at the time. The song he chose to sing for her Majesty started out as an English sea chanty, but it is now known as an American folk song, the lovely ballad, 'Shenandoah'."

If you visit the above mentioned webpage, and wait patiently for it to load (may take several minutes), you will hear Mr. Horton singing "Shenandoah" in what appears to be a live performance, presumably the Royal Command Performance. He has a good voice, which explains his starring in a number of Broadway musicals during the sixties.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Cynthia
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 05:36 PM

I'm looking for an a capella version of this song. Does anyone have any information as to where I could find it?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 06:21 PM

Go to: A-cappella
and enter Shenandoah in the Search. Several arrangements of this so-called traditional song (Music by Dvorak, words by several).


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 06:31 PM

In finding information, use both a cappella and a capella in a search for information. Both spellings are O. K., but the sheet music company uses a cappella.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 07:17 PM

Yikes! Both "Going Home" and Shenandoah running through my mind and the wires crossed. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Nancy King
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 07:31 PM

The recording LadyJean refers to is on "Five Days Singing: the New Golden Ring" (Folk-Legacy CD-41).

Closely related is the song "Solid Fas'," as recorded by The Boarding Party on their album " 'Tis Our Sailing Time" (Folk-Legacy CD-97). This version was collected by Roger Abrahams in Barouallie on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent in 1966, still in use there as a rowing shanty. It appears in Abrahams' wonderful but out-of-print book, "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore." In this version, all reference to the Missouri and Shenandoah have disappeared, but the tune is the same, and it contains the refrain line, "We are bound away from this world of misery." Jonathan Eberhart of The Boarding Party agreed with the theory outlined above by EBarnacle on the "Missouri/Misery" connection. Abrahams was kind enough to send Jonathan a copy of his original field recording, and the BP guys fell in love with its unusual harmonies, which they reproduce in their own version.

It's a beautiful song, in any of its many variants.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 10:46 PM

Jo Stafford did a grand arranged record of this fine song.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 12 May 04 - 02:06 PM

Oh, Shenandoah

I love your daughter, Away!

You mighty river!

Haiku origins?? Thanks for some interesting info everybody! :)


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Les
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 01:53 AM

I just asked about this song in another forum, and was directed here. I never imagined this much info - I'm overwhelmed.

Anyhow, I remember this song and tune from my childhood, growing up in London, and have been trying to track down it's source and from where I remember it from. It may have been a theme, sung in a film?, but I seem to remember singing this old American folk song at school in early/mid 60's London.

I'm no nearer finding the answer, in fact I'm more confused and uncertain - what with other lyrics found here. I'm almost certain that the lyrics I remember went like this -

O Shenando' I long to hear you,
Away, you rolling river
O Shenando' I long to hear you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

O Shenando' I long to see you
Away you rolling river
O Shenando' I long to see you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

'Tis seven years since I have seen you
To hear your rolling river
O Shenando' I long to see you
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

O Shenando' I'll not forget you
I'll dream of your clear waters
O Shenando' you're in my mem'ry
Away, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri

Thanks for a confusing, but entertaining thread!
Les
London


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Cookieless IanC
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:08 AM

Yeah, Les - it was in Singing Together. Have a look at the entry in FolkInfo ... they're compiling songs from old Singing Togethers

:-)


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Les
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM

Thanks for the pointer. I'll go have a look.

Les


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 08:04 PM

Bruce O, post of 05 May 98, mentions that A. G. Gilchrist, in JFSS II, no. 9, 1906, says that Harper's Magazine, May, 1882, in an article by W. J. Alden, mentions the tune O' Shang-ga-dore with variants, and the line 'I love your daughters'.

I have searched that issue and there is no such article or note. No article or note by that author is listed for other issues of 1882, although I have not searched them page by page.

Does anyone have further information?

Any proof of the use of this song in the 19th c.,, except as a chantey?
Any credible mention of soldiers singing the song during the U. S. Civil War?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: goodbar
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:25 PM

we sang this song in music class in fifth grade. when i started to see good traditional bands play i was just like "holy shit! i sang that in fifth grade with that ho of a lady!"

i remember her telling us it was a sea shanty deal and mentioning something about a river.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM

The Gilchrist reference to Harpers names only the year 1882, not the month. You may have to go through a whole years's worth. There was, I think, a separate European edition, printed in London, at that time; they seem to have had different volume numbers and quite possibly variant content. It isn't clear whether or not Miss Gilchrist was referring to the American or European version, so that adds to the uncertainty! Finally, Shangadore was the name given the song by Henry Burstow (who would only sing one verse to a lady); the name(s) given it in Alden's article may be different.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:20 AM

Thanks for the clarification. The American edition is on line, but unfortunately not the London edition.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Abby Sale
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:32 AM

Bruce was pretty careful. His citatations were often obscure but rarely wrong.

For what it may add, Roud gives
Whall, Ships, Sea Songs & Shanties (2nd edn., 1912) pp.1-3, collected in the 1860's.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:36 AM

Interesting. This thread has been around for 6 years, and nobody has mentioned that Eugene O'Neil's "Mourning Becomes Electra", begins with someone singing "Shenandoah".


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:01 AM

I should have said William Bolton, not Henry Burstow.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 08:29 AM

I have photocopy of the entire article, so it's real.

Alden's texts (with the melodies) are all brief, but the period he refers to seems to be (IIRC) just before the Civil War. I posted his "Shenandoah" text in another thread. Capt. John Robinson, writing in "The Bellman" about 1917, also recalled a version from the '50s or '60s.

There seems to be no truly contemporary record of the song during the Civil War, but neither can there be much doubt that it was sung at that time as a shanty.

I don't believe I've ever noticed any first-hand reference to the song being sung by soldiers during the Civil War. Carl Sandburg recalled that it was being sung in the army by 1898, when he was a soldier.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 01:09 PM

Here are Alden's 1882 texts of "Shenandoah." This important article laments the imminent end of the sea shanty with the burgeoning use of steam power. The examples he gives are said to be from "thirty years ago."

"One of the best known of the windlass songs was the 'Shanandore' :

You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Hurrah, you rollin' river !
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Ah, ha, you Shanandore.

"This is clearly of negro origin, for the 'Shanandore' is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time...some shanty-man...changed the second chorus. Thus the...song...assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors :

For seven years I courted Sally.
Hurrah, you rollin' river !
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
Ah, ha ! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri."

Note that Alden, at least, believed that the reference to the " wild Missouri" was a later addition.

Another early version, never before reprinted, comes from the article "Songs the Sailors Sing," by John R. Spears, in an undated issue of "The Sun," New York City, about 1900. It was sent to Robert W. Gordon in 1925. I have modernized the spellings :

"A popular shantie among negro crews (negroes being about the only real American sailors afloat [nowadays]) runs thus (omitting [the repetition of each solo within each stanza]):

Shenando' is my native valley,
Whoa there, rollin' river.
Shenando' I love your daughters.
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri.

For seven long years I courted Sally,
Whoa there,rollin' river.
Seven more and I couldn't get her.
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri.

Seven long years I was a Frisco trader,
Who there, rollin' river.
For seven more was a Texas Ranger,
Whoa there, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM

Thanks Lighter, I appreciate your help.
Does your photocopy have the date and page numbers?, and was it the Harpers' American or London edition? Monthly Indexes for the American edition, 1882, do not show an article by Alden.
I would like to add the complete article to my notes, and if it is the American edition, I can copy from the website.

I have been looking for any evidence that the song was known to soldiers of the Civil War, but there seems to be none. That it was a chantey at the time is fairly well-established.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:28 PM

The article is from the July, 1882 issue of Harper's Monthly Magazine (65: 281-286). This should be the American ed. Alden's byline does not appear with the article - not terribly unusual for the 19th century, though I think by the '80s the practice was getting old. (It was so much more "romantic" and mysterious not to know the author's name!) It's been a long time, but I think Alden must be credited in the annual index.

*Some* Civil War soldiers (and a lot more Civil War sailors) undoubtedly knew a few verses to the shanty, but the idea that the song was a pop megahit like "Tramp Tramp Tramp" or "The Bonnie Blue Flag" is demonstrably wrong. I don't even know of any evidence that the melody alone was part of the usual repertoire.

Maybe the song entered the (western) army repertoire, at some point, through hearing sailors sing it in San Francisco Bay. Army versions, BTW, are mostly about "Sally Brown" - which is why Sandburg calls the song "The Wide Mizzourye."

It may have been mentioed above that Captain Whall, writing in 1910, claims to have heard an English school chum sing a song (not the shanty) about Shenandoah and his daughter before the Civil War. Whall always tries to be fussily accurate, so his recolection is proably correct. I don't believe this song has ever been recovered or solidly identified.

A search of American memory finds no relevant songs under "Shenandoah" or "wide" or "wild Missouri."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM

Yep, American edition. Interesting article.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 05:31 PM

Now that I have everyone's attention, let me clarify what appears to have been the status of "Shenandoah" during the Civil War.

It's hard to imagine more than a tiny percentage of Civil War soldiers knowing anything about this shanty. Since the lyrics were, so far as we know, not in print till long after the war, the only way anyone could learn the song was from someone who already knew it. Any soldier who had served any length of time as an ocean-going sailor was likely to know a few verses, but the work-related context of a shanty makes it unlikely that even many of these men would, say, start a "Shenandoah" singalong around the campfire. Other soldiers, from maritime areas, undoubtedly picked up the melody and maybe a few words from overhearing it sung at the capstan when a ship was in harbor, and undoubtedly some more well-to-do soldiers had heard it sung on an ocean voyage. Some others may have learned a little from seafaring relatives. There is absolutely no primary evidence that anyone has produced to show that "Shenandoah" in any version was the "common property of all Americans" during the Civil War.

As for the melody, that would have surely stuck in more minds than any of the partly improvised "texts" that sailors were singing. I suppose that if the "makes water" stanza was in existence at the time it may have made the rounds as a "dirty ditty," but the better known it was, the less likely its tune would have been played in front of ladies. So the idea of Virginia troops marching off to war with a band playing "Shenandoah" is, with the possibility of in the inevitable weird exception, just fantasy.

So far as has been discovered, no version the fabulous melody was in print either, under any likely title. Once again, the only source was sailor singing.

As the above examples show, many versions of the song as sung by real 19th century shantymen had inspipid or incoherent lyrics. Theer was in fact no "established" text until collectors began publishing their findings in the 20th century. And as is well known, few shantymen - with the weird exception that somebody will always jump on - seem to have paid any attention to the coherence of a shanty. They sang what they knew or what popped into their heads.

So the likelihood of Civil War soldiers in the main knowing, singing, and loving a modern printed version of "Shenandoah" OR the Sandburg/ Dolph/ Lomax "army" version is as close to zero as you can get. Their loss, of course. And like today, the pop culture of the time was churning out new stuff for them to sing and play, much of it highly sucessful.

The most likely scenario I envision would be something like the following:

"Hey Sam! Silas! Hoss! Come over here! Sailor Jack knows a song!"

"Let's hear it, Sailor Jack!"

"Hell, it ain't much. Here goes, 'Aw, Shanadaw, I love yer daughter!'"

"Who's Shanadaw?" "She got another daughter?"

"Hoe the hell should I know. You want to hear this or not?"

"Sing it!"

"Oh ho, ye rollin' river!"

"What river?"

"I ****** the ****** where she *******!"

(Others dissolve in hysterical laughter, some gigglng, "You're a caution, Jack. I swan! Gotta remember that 'un!" Another mutters "filth!" and walks off.)

[Civil War continues as previously.]


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 11:23 PM

Russia


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 08:25 PM

I'd hate muddy the waters of somebody else's river, but.....

I learned a 'stock' version of 'Shenandoah' at school. In my late teens I heard a radio programme which included a partially different lyric. I recall these lines (or something like them):

Missourie she's a mighty water,
And away you rolling river,
The Yankees march along her border
And away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
And away you rolling river,
Seven years ago I came to court her
But away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

A few years now, the war'll be over,
And away you rolling river,
Then I'll come back to take my lover,
But away I'm bound to go,
Cross the wide Missouri.

Anyone know anything at all about this version?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 09:36 PM

Maybe it was written specially for the show? Otherwise I don't have a suggestion.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 05 - 09:55 PM

Barrie, sounds like a variation, at least the first verse, on the one from Whall, posted above (April, '03), and this one in Lomax and Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, p. 546. Both are sea songs.

Shenandoah, 1st verse of a version sent by Captain A. E. Dingle, Cave Cottage, West Bermuda, to the Lomaxes.

Missouri, she's a mighty river,
Away-ay, you rolling river.
The Indians camp along its borders,
Aha, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

What the substitute line, 'the Yankees march along her borders' refers to, I don't know. And what war? Dunno. What was the program about?
Lighter is probably right.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 06:31 PM

My aging memory tells me that the programme was about the American Civil War, but what aspect I don't recall.
If nobody else has come across anything similar then it may well have been adapted for the programme.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,justmeabe
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 06:16 PM

This is ardent collector Abrahams. Thx for the kind words about Deep the Water. It is in print, incidentally, from the folks at the Mystic Museum.

Shenandoah, though both a river and a valley beautiful, nevertheless is the Indian chief, Skenandoah, an Iroquois (Seneca, I think) chief famed for being a great speaker during the Condolence Ceremony who sent Molly Cooper to the soldiers at Valley Forge with a load of Indian corn. You can google that many ways to get the Iroquois version of the story.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Steve T.
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:06 PM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Steve T.
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 07:12 PM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

"In 1716 ... the colorful deputy governor of Virginia Colony, Alexander Spotswood, explored ... the Valley with his small but well-provisioned band of adventurers. They forded the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, which he named the Euphrates." -- Official website of the Town of Stanley, VA.

"O Yoofrateez,
I long to hear you!"


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:49 AM

Albert Richardson (1905-1976) of Burwash (best known for his rendition of 'the Old Sow') had Shenandoah in his repertoire. Probably learnt when he was in the Rover Scouts in 1928 - unless there is a latent Sussex singing tradition with it in I don't know about. Richardson also sung 'the Punch Bowl' - is this 'Fathom the Bowl', or is there something else with this as the title?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,coheeboy@earthlink.net
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 09:24 PM

Folks from the Valley really love the song, regardless of its origins, and frankly there is enough alienation and loss in the "American Pageant" to let everyone have a piece (mixing metaphors, but). I'm just glad it wasn't a Tin Pan Alley contrivance.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 07:58 AM

Further investigation shows that by 1746, the Indian name "Shannandore" (so spelled) for the river had come to be used by white settlers. Excellent choice.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: radriano
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 01:51 PM

Shenandoah may have been an actual Indian chief but there are versions of the shanty (chantey) that are clearly not about an Indian chief. The singer in one version in particular is simply from the Shanandoah Valley and is singing about longing for home.

From Stan Hugill's book "Shanties from the Seven Seas":

SHENANDOAH

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I long to hear you
Way ay, ay-ay-ay, Shenandoah
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I long to hear you
Way ay, ay, ay, Shenandoah

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I took myself a notion
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, to sail the stormy ocean

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I'm bound away to leave you
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I will not deceive you

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, how I love yer daughters
Oh, Shenandoah, I love to hear the music of yer waters

'Tis seven years, oh Shenandoah, since I last seen you
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I will never grieve you

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, she's my native valley
Oh, Shenandoah, beside her waters I do love to dally

Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, she's a lovely river
Oh, Shenandoah, my bully boys, I never will forget you


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,carol1211k
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 01:28 AM

I've been reading previous posts trying to get a handle on the origins of "Shenandoah", and I'm pretty well convinced that I'm not going to get back to the beginnings on this one.

Since it has become a theme song of western expansion, and a song possibly known to Thomas Jefferson, any possibility it would have been known to, and possibly performed by, members of the Lewis and Clark expedition as they traveled on the "wide Missouri"?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 08:05 AM

It seems nearly impossible that Thomas Jefferson would have known the sea shanty "Shenandoah." Ditto for Lewis & Clark.

There's just no evidence that the song goes that far back.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 09:45 PM

Bruce O mentioned "Shanandore" in the article, "Sailor Songs," by W. L. Alden, Harpers New Monthly Magazine, July 1882. Alden said: "One of the best known of the windlass songs was the "Shannandore." Here is his version, with his intercalated remarks.

"Solo
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Chorus
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
Solo
You Shenandore, I long to hear you.
Chorus
Ah, ha, you Shenandore."

"This is clearly of negro origin, for the "Shanandore" is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time some shantyman of limited geographical knowledge, not comprehending that the "Shenandore" was a river, but conceiving that the first chorus required explanation, changed the second chorus. Thus the modified song soon lost all trace of the Shenandoah River, and assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors:"

"Solo
For seven long years, I courted Sally.
Chorus
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
Solo
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
Chorus
Ah ha! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri."

The music is the same as that used in most collections.

W. L. Alden previously wrote a short article titled "Sea Songs," 1869, in Chambers Journal, 11 Dec. 1869, pp. 794-796, which I haven't seen.

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/gifcache/moa/harp/harp0065/00297.TIF6.gif


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 09:03 AM

From http://iroquoisindians.freeweb-hosting.com/webdoc71.htm It looks like the chief Skenandoah of the Iroquois nation lived in the late 18th century. Date mentioned was 1794. I suspect that the song would have been written either around that time or after.

So, to answer carol1211k, I don't think it likely the song would have been heard BEFORE the Lewis and Clark expedition, but more probably after it.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 12:22 PM

I dunno, George. Maybe the "Shenandoah" verse in the shanty was just taken over from an older sentimental song or poem.

Can a music historian comment on the melody ? Does it show characteristics typical of any particular era ?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 01:05 PM

Several writers have commented that the form and melody are similar to those of Negro song. Except for the general call and response form of many simple songs, there doesn't seem to be any firm relationship and Negro origin is only a possibility. I don't recall any analysis by a modern musicologist, but I am not familiar with their journals.

The melody is an earworm, sticking in the mind. Perhaps it is like "Ashokan Farewell;" an original composition that reminds us of times past and half-remembered.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:31 AM

I have gone back over all of the "Shenandoah" threads and discussions and I did not find this version anywhere. It is from W. Roy MacKenzie's BALLADS AND SEA SONGS FROM NOVA SCOTA,(Harvard University Press, 1928)p. 270, with the tune on p. 402. MacKenzie says it is "from the singing of Ephraim Langille, Tatamagouche, Colchester County, [Nova Scotia]."

             "Rolling River"

O if I had a dog I would call him Hunter,
Hooray, my rolling river!
O if I had a dog I would call him Hunter,
I'm bound away on the wild Missouri!

And every roll her topsails shiver,
Hooray, my rolling river!
And every roll her topsails shiver,
I'm bound away on the wild Missouri!

MacKenzie says that "this is a windlass and capstan shanty,..." T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:50 AM

That's really a nice version.

Wish I had the MacKenzie book! Oh well!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Clive Goodhead
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 10:37 AM

I have just picked up this fascinating thread, having sung the song itself last week at a concert in north Germany. The version I used came from The New National Song Book, published in the UK just after the second world war with the express purpose of providing cheering family entertainment. The book includes a range of Sea Shanties (sic) arranged by Sir R R Terry. Unfortunately it does not give references for the origins of any of the pieces or their words. But Terry's arrangements are beautiful and deserve wider hearing. My programme notes and introductions for future concerts will be a lot fuller now than they have been so far!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,heididoiron@msn.com
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 08:38 PM

Hi I am looking for the Shenandoah version that sings about the wanting to see you and rolling river....and smiling valleys.....across the wide missouri.....can anyone help me??? my daughter knows part of it but we are having a very hard time finding the rest of it....please help!!!!!!!!!


from Canada


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 09:27 PM

Listen to Jo Stafford's singing of this song here.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM

Terry published two "parts" (volumes) of _The Shanty Book_ during the 1920s. He was a prominent musician who had learned shanties in childhood from seafaring relatives and later from other sailor singers, at sea IIRC.

Despite the inevitable bowdlerization and collated texts, Terry's _Shanty Book_ remains an important source, with plentiful background notes.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 02:44 PM

State Song Search Hits Sour Note
House Panel Says 'Shenandoah' Is Out of Tune With the Times


By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 2, 2006; B03

RICHMOND, March 1 -- The lone, angelic voice did a slow dance through the sixth-floor board room at the state Capitol, lulling the assembled group of Virginia delegates into silence.

"Oh Shenandoah, Virginia's beauty," sang Erin Merceruio, who, along with her college choir, was commissioned to help convince the House members that the lullaby she was singing, "Shenandoah," should be adopted, at least temporarily, as the Old Dominion's song.

"Away, you rolling river, from coast to mountains through the valleys," joined in the women in Shenandoah University's choir. Then the men chimed in: "Away, we're bound away, 'cross our fair Virginia."

"Wow!" House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said, as the 13-member group, dubbed the Shenandoah Singers, finished their rendition of the song that many experts believe has been sung for more than 150 years.

But as sweet as the notes may have sounded, the effort to persuade delegates to bless the song landed with a thud in the House Rules Committee. The panel decided that the four-stanza tune, while certainly a pretty ditty, wasn't quite the right fit for the state and tabled Senate Bill 682, sponsored by Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William).

"Although the words were beautiful . . . I'm not sure this is the best song to represent the entire commonwealth," said Del. R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) whose district includes part of the Shenandoah Valley. "Fredericksburg is different from the Shenandoah Valley. Salem is different, Bedford is different. . . . I'm just not sure this song is as inclusive as it should be."

And there was that pesky point about the song's story line: The narrative is about a white trader who falls in love with the daughter of a Native American chief named Shenandoah, the same man for whom the Virginia valley and river were named, experts believe. Is that really about the state of Virginia?

And would-be historians on the committee also pointed out that the song evokes a period in Virginia that maybe shouldn't be celebrated through rhyme and verse.

"It's about a time in Virginia history when everyone was migrating out of the state because the conditions had gotten to the point economically that things were better in the West," said House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). "I don't think it's appropriate to have a state song that's about folks leaving the state of Virginia."

None of this pleased Colgan, who this year took over the long, tedious process of finding a state song. Lawmakers retired the last state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," in 1997 because its lyrics were considered racist, leaving the state as one of only a few without one.

To assuage House members' concerns, Colgan had Shenandoah University Dean Charlotte Collins rewrite the original lyrics to make them more Virginia-friendly. For instance, the amended version mentioned the state several times and did not include the original's ode to the Missouri River.

The original goes:

"Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter . . . Away I'm bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri."

Colgan remixed the song so that the line would have read: " Oh Shenandoah, I'm bound to leave you . . . 'Cross our fair Virginia ."

"The state song is for children," Colgan said. "This song can be sung in school by children . . . at graduations, inaugurations. It's a great song." In a follow-up interview, he remained hopeful: "I think one day it will be our state song." And even though delegates were not swayed by the siren call of the Shenandoah Singers, who traveled from Winchester to serenade them, the group, like Colgan, were convinced that one day the effort may succeed.

"Whether they took it or not it was worth the effort . . . it's a beautiful song," said Merceruio, 20. "It's really special."


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 06 - 08:05 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to Jo Stafford's rendition of Shenandoah?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Jed on a borrowed PC
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 08:44 AM

I found some new and interesting verses in my Civil War research. Maybe OK or even AR will like this version.

It starts out with a typically first 2 verses, then:

At Talequah on the reservation
Far away you rolling river
I joined General Pike and the Cherokee Nation
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

The Yankees came to Elkhorn Tavern
Far away you rolling river
The Southern hopes and nations shattered
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter
Far away you rolling river
The Cimmeron and Red Fork waters
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Rex
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 02:55 PM

Hey Jed, this is most interesting. Would you tell us where you found it?

Rex


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 11:11 PM

Perchance the Cimarron?

Brig. Gen. Albert Pike, Confederate States America, for a short time before The War Between the States, was an Indian Commissioner for the Confederacy. In the late 1850's, his law practice represented the Cherokees. He led a brigade of Cherokee Indians at the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), 1862.

It seems he had no contact with the Cherokees after the War.
He edited the "Memphis Appeal," and then moved to Washington, D. C., where he practiced law. He was a Scottish Rite Mason and wrote extensively on Masonic ritual.

He also was a poet, and wrote "Ode to a Mocking Bird" among many others. He was supposed to be fluent in seventeen languages but this cannot be verified.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 06 - 11:29 PM

Echo of Rex- Source?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Someinterest - Connecticut
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:25 AM

Tonight I Googled, disgruntled with a PBS rendition of Shenandoah that didn't sync with childhood versions from IL and MO. Hit this thread - what a banquet! And how much we've lost. I remember my great-grandmother (part Seminole) and she remembered her's. Three leaps and we are back to 1830's. Three generations with oral "common-history" opportunities to pass forward - not taken - lost facts & lost insights on their evolution in everyday thought and social adaptation.

Nice to think that data banks connected to the internet might retain knowledge captured in the millions of threads like this in cultures around the world - though unlike buried hordes of ancient clay tablets, these modern caches will more likely be erased to free up data space.

But in optimism, a memory of IL/MO Grandpa, who said movies & TV didn't depict towns like Hannibal and Qincey as they were in the 1800's - because they didn't show where the dirt streets sank half way to the knees in muck and horse manure all seasons but drought; where skirt hems sweept down those streets encrusted with said manure, spit, and chewing tobacco; and where every porch and boardwalk was lined with civil war amputees begging, singing, and strumming their war tunes for coins - one he hummed when he repeated the stories was "Shannendah".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 11:50 PM

That reminded me-
aYears ago my grandfather watched a scene in a western where four men were walking down a board sidewalk. He commented that it wasn't realistic because you couldn't hear their heels striking the wood. In his day, there were only leather heels and anyone walking on a board sidewalk made a racket if they walked normally.


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Subject: Origins of Shenandoah
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:27 PM

There used to be another thread on this subject, but you can n longer post to it - so I thought I'd continue the disucssion here.

I had been asked the source of the lyrics I'd posted,lyrics that seemed to tie the Indian Nation history to that of the Civil War, and it seems to me the battle of Pea Ridge, as we now call it. Here's the answer I posted to the broken thread:

There's a little shop in Atoka OK, called the Confederate Museum. Here's the link. I drive by it on my way to Kansas City and points North. I stopped in one day and visited. Browsed the museum and the shop. Bought a book and ran into an old boy and his dog at the rest stop. He'd stopped for lunch apparently but was playing his guitar and singing as I was heading out - so I stopped, listened and chatted for a while. He played the song with those words, as near as I remember. I asked him about the story and he said he'd learned it that way. Said he didn;t know the history. I wrote it down as soon as I got back into my truck.
    I'm confused, Jed. Everything seems OK, so I combined the two threads.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins of Shenandoah
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 12:30 PM

Here're the lyrics I posted to the old thread:

It starts out with a typically first 2 verses, then:

At Talequah on the reservation
Far away you rolling river
I joined General Pike and the Cherokee Nation
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

The Yankees came to Elkhorn Tavern
Far away you rolling river
The Southern hopes and nations shattered
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah I love your daughter
Far away you rolling river
The Cimmeron and Red Fork waters
Away I'm bound away
Across the wide Missouri


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Subject: RE: Origins of Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:36 PM

? The very interesting Talequah verses you posted in thread 4257, Origins: Shenandoah, are accessible. (I have refreshed that thread, which was running a day or so ago.
I think the problem may be that you posted as Guest "Jed on a borrowed PC" (02 Aug 06, 08:44AM), so the post does not show on your list of posts.

Or am I missing something? I checked the closed posts, and found nothing applicable.

The pre-1910 anecdotal references to non-chantey versions are numerous enough that I think proof should be found before too long.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 03:37 PM

Refresh


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Subject: Lyr Add:Shenandoah
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Sep 06 - 03:47 PM

So many versions. Let's add one more
Nigel


SHENANDOAH
Sea Shanty

Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
A-way, you rolling river!
Shenandoah I long to hear you;
A-way we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

The ship sails free, a gale is blowing
A-way, you rolling river!
The braces taut, the sheets a-flowing
A-way we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Shenandoah, I'll ne'er forget you
A-way, you rolling river!
Till I die, I'll love you ever,
A-way we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri


These words from Community Sing-Song Book Two: Published by Keith Prowse & Co Ltd (these arrangements copyright 1927)
NP


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Subject: RE: Origins: Shenandoah
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Sep 06 - 11:49 PM

you could 'em all together and record an entire CD: one song!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Jo Jo Tater
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 03:25 PM

What would be the version if it was sung during the time of the Civil War?


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 04:07 PM

Quien sabe!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Jo Jo Tater
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 05:25 PM

Peut-être certains viendront le long qui

I've read all of the posts--all of them. I'm hoping someone will drop in to reveal the answer, if there is one.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 05:47 PM

Since a verified version from that time has not been found, only speculative answers can be given.

See post by Lighter, 29 Jan 05.

Don't give up hope; anecdotal reports suggest that it may be out there, as yet undiscovered.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,bjtinney
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 03:33 PM

Wow! What amazing information and great references! Thank you to everyone who contributed. This song has a long tradition and history. I hope there is some way to preserve this information for the coming ages. If it is this hard to trace the information today, then in the next 50 years it will be impossible.

And I remember singing it in the 5th grade too! As well as the movie with James Stewart. Today - I heard it played on a PBS broadcast - Celtic Woman. It was a beautiful rendition played on a violin. But I couldn't remember the words... thanks to everyone who helped restore my memory and more!


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Dec 06 - 04:27 PM

W. B. Whall and John Robinson each knew at least one version of "Shenandoah" learned apparently in the 1860s, though neither writer is absolutely specific on this point. Robinson went to sea about 1859 and Whall a few years later. Both began learning shanties immediately.

Whall's version, not published till 1909 or '10, is similar to Hugill's version "b" that begins, "Oh, Missourah, she's a mighty water." Hugill says that this pattern, with its "skipper" and "maiden," was "very popular at sea."

Robinson's text, published in 1917, starts on a more familiar note, yet manages to be more "literary" as well as less interesting. The great melody must have encouraged various sets of words ad lib from early on:

Shenandoah! I long to hear you--
Hurrah! you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah! I long to hear you--
And hurrah! we're bound away!
On the wide Missouri!

Seven long years since I lost Dinah;
I've searched seven years. I cannot find her.

'Twas down in Shenandoah's sweet valley,
Where first I met and courted Sally.

To Shenandoah I am returning,
My heart for thee is ever burning.

When wide Missouri's call is over,
I will go back and stay forever.

Robinson says, "I have endeavored to carry the spirit and the sense of the originals into the words I have written down." How much of his "Shenandoah" is from the '60s and how much may result from later "reconstruction" is, regrettably, not clear.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Ô Schenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 05:06 PM

Version of the chantey, in French, from Scouts website, France.

Lyr. Add: Ô SCHENANDOAH
Scoutspremiere, France

T. = Chorus, S. = Solo
1.
S. Ô Schenandoah, sachem des Prairies
T. Au loin, sur le fleuve d'or,
S. Ô Schenandoah, sachem des Prairies.
T. Il part sur son canot, sur le grand Missouri.
2.
S. Ô Schenandoah, sachem des Prairies
T. Au loin, sur le fleuve d'or,
S. Ô Schenandoah, j'aime ton enfant.
T. Il part sur son canot, sur le grand Missouri.
3.
S. & Oh mon enfant, écoute ton coeur
T. Au loin, sur le fleuve d'or,
S. & Oh; mon enfant, écoute ton coeur.
T. Il part sur son canot, sur le grand Missouri.
4.
S. Oh laisse-nous partir tous les deux
T. Au loin, sur le fleuve d'or,
S. Oh laisse-nous ensemble être heureux.
T. Partir sur son canot, sur le grand Missouri.
5.
S. Oh mes enfants, soyez donc heureux
T. Au loin, sur le fleuve d'or,
S. Oh mes enfants que le Ciel vous garde..
T. Partir sur son canot, sur le grand Missouri.

Not sure, but there may be minor errors in the web text. I have not changed it.

Scout songs

Or direct to song-
Schenandoah


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Subject: Lyr. Add: The Wide Missouri
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jun 07 - 05:58 PM

As "The Wide Missouri," Shenandoah appeared in Davis and Tozer, 1887.

Lyr. Add: THE WIDE MISSOURI
Davis and Tozer, 1887, in
"Sailor's Songs or Chanties."

Solo
Oh, Polly Brown, I love your daughter,
Chorus
Away my rolling river!
Solo
Polly Brown, I love your daughter,
Chorus
Ah! ah! we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.
2.
Solo
Oh, Polly's girl just took my fancy,
She's clipper built, her name is Nancy
3.
Solo
She lives alone in London City,
Perhaps you'll think it more's the pity
4.
Solo
I take her coral beads and laces,
I love to call her "Queen of Faces"
5.
Solo
The ship sails free, a gale is blowing,
The braces taut, the sheet's a-flowing   (sheets?)
6.
Solo
Oh! Polly Brown, I love you dearly,
My heart is yours, or very nearly

No. 4, p. 10, of the 3rd revised edition, 1910, but unchanged from the 1st Ed. of 1887.
Frederick J. Davis and Ferris Tozer, "Sailors' Songs or "Chanties," Boosey & Co., Ltd. London.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 07 - 02:06 PM

Unusual line in this verse of Shenandoah-Shenandore-Wide Missouri:

SHENANDORE (fragment)

Shenandore, I love your daughter;
Away you rolling river;
We're bound for the green fields and the mossy River;
Ah, ha, ha, I'm bound away across the wide Missouri.

William H. Smith Collection;, "Sung aboard vessels out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, in the 70's, 80's and 90's,." Smith sailed aboard vessels carrying lumber and fish to the Caribbean and South America; also as a carpenter and rigger in Liverpool shipyards.

Edith Fowke, ed., 1981, "Sea Songs and Ballads from Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia: The William H. Smith and Fenwick Hatt Manuscripts," p. 24,; Folklorica, NY & Phila.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 05:50 PM

Lyr. Add: SHANNYDORE

Oh, Shannydore, your good wife Carrie,
   Away, my rolling river!
She says your daughter I may marry,
   Ha ha, we're bound away
   Across the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shannydore, I love your daughter,
   Away, my rolling river!
I'll take her across the stormy water,
   Ha ha, we're bound away
   Across the wide Missouri.

Robert Frothingham, editor, 1924, "Songs of the Sea and Sailors' Chanteys," Houghton Mifflin.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 04:53 AM

From "Sailor Songs," by William L. Alden (Harper's new monthly magazine. / Volume 65, Issue 386, July 1882, p. 283):
One of the best known of the windlass songs was the "Shanandore":

SOLO. Andante.
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
CHORUS.
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
SOLO.
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
CHORUS.
Ah, ha, you Shanandore.

This is clearly of negro origin, for the "Shanandore" is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time some shantyman of limited geographical knowledge, not comprehending that the "Shanandore" was a river, but conceiving that the first chorus required explanation, changed the second chorus. Thus the modified song soon lost all trace of the Shenandoah River, and assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors:

SOLO. Andante.
For seven long years I courted Sally.
CHORUS.
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
SOLO.
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
CHORUS.
Ah, ha! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Song info: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 02:46 PM

The original is still unknown. Alden is one of many who speculated on the origin.

The Missouri also appears in early versions; it should be noted that the Missouri was an important artery, first for flatboats, but before the time of the Civil War was carrying a large number of steamboats. Several writers have speculated that the song originated with early shipping on the Missouri.

In 1852, the boilers of the steamboat Saluda exploded at Lexington and 200 passengers and crew perished. The ferry at Lexington, an important crossing, was started in 1819. The river was considered especially treacherous.

Lighter posted the lyrics from Alden in '05 in this thread. He noted that Alden, writing in 1882, speaks of the song being known 30 years before. Versions like Polly Brown (posted above) could point to another possible origin.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Jim Longley
Date: 27 Dec 07 - 09:38 PM

I only found out recently that my old friend from my Newport days (1967 thru 1970) had passed away. I sang a little country, folk, and sea chanty at the Black Pearl with Jody Gibson (I was just an unknown sailor) and he even invited me up on stage with him a couple of times to accompany him on songs that needed two instruments. Hadn't been back to Newport since 1991 and hadn't been in touch with Jody for longer than that - that city sure did change.

Is anyone here in touch with either of Jody's daughters? I would like to get in touch with Joyce if I could and I can't locate her on the web.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,knowitall
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:16 PM

Shenandoah is PROBABLY an early 19th century shanty song that has evolved lyrically through the past two centuries to fit the needs of the musician performing the piece. The intoduction of the word Missouri into the piece most likely stems from the western migration of early pioneers, most probably from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is inconcievable that such a popular old song would not have changed at all from its beginnings until now. It is impossible to portray an accurate history of such a piece without any verifiable written documentation


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 08:33 PM

I'm still partial to the version I sang and posted way up above in this thread. Whew, that was 1998--------------and we're still here.

Best regards to all of us survivors!

Art Thieme -- October 3rd, 2008


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Oct 08 - 08:11 AM

I haven't read many of the above postings, but - if this hasn't been raised before - surely there is a big connection between Shanandoah and Shallow Brown


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 May 09 - 08:40 PM

The New York Times, January 27, 1884, p. 10.
Article, "Minstrelsy On the Sea. Songs Which the Real Sailor Sings at His Work."
.......
"The following is one of the most popular of the shanties:

Shanadore is my native valley
Chorus- Hurrah, rolling river.
Shanadore, I love your daughters,
Chorus- Ah-ha, bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri.
For seven long years I courted Sally,
Chorus- Hurrah, rolling river.
Seven more and I could not get her,
Chorus- Ah-ha, bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri.
Seven long years, I was a 'Frisco trader,
Chorus- Hurrah, rolling river.
Seven more I was a Texas Ranger,
Ah-ha, bound away, 'cross the wide Missouri.

"These unattractive lines were set by some dead-and-gone old salt, who must have been a genius in his way, to a wild air which is really beautiful."

Also mentioned- "Stormalong," "Lowlands Away," a transformed "Marching Through Georgia," the parlor song with the non-relevant chorus "I Was Bound for the Rio Grande," "Leave her, Johnnie, Leave Her," "Hanging Johnny," "Whiskey Is the Life of Man," "Paddy Doyle" (with variants), and one about the packet "Dreadnaught," a forecastle song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Steve O'Terry
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 08:58 PM

Wow! I've had a ball reading through this thread today. I've recently discovered this melody (yes, I live a secluded life) and have recently been looking fervently for a definitive version of the lyrics. However, I have had no luck in such a search until I found this thread. Here I found a bunch of variants and I picked versions and stanzas that struck my fancy. After much borrowing and stealing and adding my own interpretation of the story I came up with the following lyrics. Nothing earthshattering here but I like this one a lot. I do it in couplets with breaks in between. My $.02:

Now the Missouri is a mighty river
Away, you rolling river
And you'll find Indian camps along her border
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

'Twas there I fell in love with a beautiful keegsquaw
Away, you rolling river
She was the daughter of Chief Shenandoah
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

It's been seven years since first I knew her
Away, you rolling river
Now she's in full bloom for a man to woo her
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, I've come to see you
Away, you rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, may I speak with you
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Away, you rolling river
I want to take her 'cross yon rolling water
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, with gifts I'm laden
Away, you rolling river
Please give me the hand of this fair maiden
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Then Shenandoah said you must forsake her
Away, you rolling river
For an Indian brave has come to take her
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, I'll not deceive you
Away, you rolling river
Farewell my love I'm bound to leave you
Away, I'm bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:14 PM

Anything that lasts this long and is so pervasive in the musical repertoire must contain very special qualities. "Shenandoah" seems a great example of the "folk process." Its roots may be lost in obscurity; perhaps originally an adaptation using the melody of a familiar nautical song. It has been "gentrified" with strings and choruses added, made into a theatrical and motion picture theme, played on a harmonica in numerous olf "B" westerns of the 1930's and '40's and sung around campfires ad nauseum.

Yet, though many verses and variants have undoubtedly been added, it remains a stalwart part of the folk song book and is still much loved. The melody is the key, at least to me. It speaks lyrically of longing and lonliness and could, even without words, convey those feelings.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,HB out west
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 09:21 PM

Here's a peice of documentary info that's interesting if not explanatory on this topic. I didn't notice it while scanning previous posts but may have just missed earlier references, because it would be surprising not to have this on here yet. So maybe this is old news, but there is a very famous (at one time, anyway) Pulitzer prize winning nonfiction book about the western fur trade in the late 18th and early 19th century entitled Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard De Voto, first published 1949. De Voto was a highly noted scholar and author of many books on American History. The frontispiece of the book presents a three verse version of the song he apparently thought was itself entitled Across the Wide Missouri. So he actually named his most famous book after the song, and the song is posted without any attribution or explanation about authorship or history,etc., traditional or otherwise. Considering that this guy was a famous historian, writer and educator and unquestionably wanted to be careful with information, documenting stuff assiduously, it seems that 1n 1949 he certainly thought that these were the lyrics of a very old traditional song indigenous to his subject. He didn't say that though, and of course he could have been wrong about it anyway. Here are the first lines of each verse as he chronicled them:

Oh, Shennydore, I long to hear you;

'Tis seven long years since I first seed 'ee;

Oh, Shennydore, I love your daughter;


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Slag
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 10:45 PM

This is by far, one of the best threads I've read to date here at the 'cat. Most of it appears scholarly, at the very least knowledgeable.

Intuitively I would opt for a rowing song as it has a flexible cadence, a roll if you will, for those long strokes together that a team must make if they want to get anywhere.

Now my two cents: I remember my Dad singing this song in the mid 50's. I'm not sure but the version I remember had the words "for seven long years, I courted Saray (ser-ee) A-way you rolling river and for seven more I've tried to leave her, A-way, I'm bound a-way across the wide Missouri". My Dad and his brothers were all great singers as was my Grandfather (beautiful tenor voice) and I'm told that my Great Grandfather was also a singer so there is a musical tradition that goes back quite far.

As to the origins of this most lovely song, I'll stay tuned. Thanks all.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 10:49 PM

See my post of 05 May 09 and earlier posts by Lighter and Masato. The "Shenadore" version was reported by Alden in 1882, and he said it was known to him from 30 years earlier, thus ca. 1850.
Mention of San Francisco in one of these versions of the sailor's song also suggests that time period.

The 'wide Missouri' likely refers to Missouri territory, not the river.
Did Shenadore derive from Shenandoah? Possibly.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 11:20 PM

Slag, that Saray- Saree line is in one of the reported versions, but I have no idea now where I saw it.
Someone here should know.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 09:11 AM

There is some extended discussion of the possible origins and development of "Shenandoah" here, which goes on for about 10 or 11 posts (This is a long thread and takes a while to come up):

thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2877977

And a followup note here:

thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2885057


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 10:18 AM

Yeah, I hate to say it, but my later research into Alden's shanties (on one of those other threads) makes it very unlikely that he'd known "Shenandoah" or *any* others for "thirty" years.

The most we can say is that Alden's source or sources told him in the '70s or '80s, or gave him the impression, that they'd known them all in the '50s.

Shanties were not a subject that nineteenth-century writers thought they needed to be very precise about. They were just songs sung by laboring sailors - for centuries as far as they knew.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 02:11 PM

The Carpenter Collection index lists only 3 items for "Shenadoah", but over 30 (including duplications) for "Shanadore".

One collected from Alex Henderson of Tayport, Dundee bears the notation Mixture of Sally Brown, while another from Henderson is noted Alternative title "Shallow in the Morning". Mr Henderson is noted Shipped 1885; left sea 1902; was in American ships.

I'm not sure if this clears anything up, or adds to the confusion.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 10:25 PM

Lyr. Add: OH MY ROLLING RIVER
Rowing song, St. Vincent

Solid fas' I come to tell you,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
"Solid fas'," our captain cry out,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

Nobody knows about our toilin',
Hurrah, my rolling river.
Only God Almighty knows about our danger,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

"Whale ahead," my little gunman cry out,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
"Solid fas'," my little captain answer,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

And on our way she roll and shiver,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
Down in our way she sport dirty water,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

"Make her so bold," my strokeman cry out,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
"Haul an' gi' me," my centerman cry out,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

Nobody knows about our hardship,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
Our shipowner she don't know our hardship,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

"Solid fas'," my gunman cry out,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
"Solid fas'," my little second bow'e cry out,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

Misery into the ocean,
Hurrah, my rolling river.
Misery in the deep wide ocean,
We are bound away from this world of misery.

With musical score.

"You see, when you strike the fish, anyhow, the captain say "Solid fas'." Sometime the bowman in action already pullin' up the fish. He turn to the captain so the captain have better position to see....... Soon as somebody see the fish, 'e say "Spout-o!" And then we blackfish boys, we start to pull, and I say "Draw-way, boys, draw way." Then the boys start to chant dey, pulling hard....."

In the whaling days, much of the work was done on boats, often following a whale far from the ship. Some of these practices, and song lines, seem passed down from those days in these songs of Antilles fishermen.

Collected at Barouaillie, St. Vincent.
Roger D. Abrahams, 1974, Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore, American Folklore Society, published by the University of Texas Press.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:16 AM

Video of the Whalers performing the song posted last by Q:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq4SMyj4R_I

I shot it June 2010 at Mystic.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:24 AM

Incidentally, I played the B. Whalers' rendition in my World Music class last semester, and I was disappointed that none of the students (So. California) claimed to recognize the "Shenandoah" tune.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 13 - 01:35 PM

Lyr. Add; Shenandoah
From W. B. Whall, Sea Songs and Shanties

Solo
Missouri, she's a mighty river
Refrain
Away you rolling river
Solo
The redskin' camp lies on its border
Refrain
Ah-ha I'm bound away 'cross the wide Missouri

The white man loved the Indian maiden,
With notions his canoe was laden.

"o, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
I'll take her 'cross yon rolling water."

The chief disdained the trader's dollars:
"My daughter never you shall follow."

At last there came a Yankee skipper,
He winked his eye, and he tipped his flipper.

He sold the chief that fire water,
And 'cross the river he stole his daughter.

"O, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
Across that wide and rolling river."

Uncertain whether Whall remembered these verses from his days at sea, or heard them from "a Harrow boy."

Sixth Ed., 1927. Note: Songs added to the Second Edition, 1912.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Ann
Date: 04 Feb 16 - 11:49 AM

There are several different versions of this song. One version may be about Shenandoah Valley derived from the Civil War. "I long to see her." Another version of this song the lyrics may refer to a run away slave missing his love one.

Other versions may be about a fur trader who has fallen in love with a duaghter of an Indian Chief.

The song no matter what set of lyrics are put to it tells a story of love.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Shenandoah
From: GUEST,Ann
Date: 04 Feb 16 - 11:49 AM

There are several different versions of this song. One version may be about Shenandoah Valley derived from the Civil War. "I long to see her." Another version of this song the lyrics may refer to a run away slave missing his love one.

Other versions may be about a fur trader who has fallen in love with a duaghter of an Indian Chief.

The song no matter what set of lyrics are put to it tells a story of love.


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