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Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses

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DRUNKEN SAILOR


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GUEST,chanteyranger 16 Apr 02 - 06:57 PM
Gareth 16 Apr 02 - 07:17 PM
Jon Bartlett 16 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,chanteyranger 16 Apr 02 - 08:11 PM
SeanM 16 Apr 02 - 08:11 PM
Coyote Breath 16 Apr 02 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Winters Wages 16 Apr 02 - 09:48 PM
Dicho 16 Apr 02 - 10:45 PM
Dicho 16 Apr 02 - 10:52 PM
Bo Vandenberg 17 Apr 02 - 02:39 AM
Skipper Jack 17 Apr 02 - 05:25 AM
Charley Noble 17 Apr 02 - 09:04 AM
Dave Bryant 17 Apr 02 - 10:32 AM
Kim C 17 Apr 02 - 10:41 AM
radriano 17 Apr 02 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,honest frankie 17 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
Naemanson 17 Apr 02 - 06:25 PM
Dicho 17 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM
Gareth 17 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Owain 18 Apr 02 - 02:01 PM
Dead Horse 18 Apr 02 - 02:05 PM
Dead Horse 18 Apr 02 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Owain 18 Apr 02 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Barracuda d'Morte 18 Apr 02 - 02:37 PM
The Walrus at work 18 Apr 02 - 02:41 PM
Bert 18 Apr 02 - 02:50 PM
MMario 18 Apr 02 - 02:52 PM
Chip2447 19 Apr 02 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Pete 19 Apr 02 - 01:30 PM
Dead Horse 19 Apr 02 - 07:34 PM
EBarnacle1 07 May 02 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Gareth sans Cookie 07 May 02 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Dan In Nova Scotia 08 May 02 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,JohnB 08 May 02 - 12:30 PM
Charley Noble 08 May 02 - 02:24 PM
Dead Horse 08 May 02 - 03:20 PM
greg stephens 08 May 02 - 06:42 PM
GUEST 04 May 15 - 10:30 AM
PHJim 04 May 15 - 10:39 AM
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Subject: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,chanteyranger
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 06:57 PM

Anyone know the meaning of "Pull out the plug and wet him all over" and "put him in the long boat til he's sober" from the song "Drunken Sailor"? Should I assume that the long boat verse means put him in the lifeboat that's aboard ship in order to put him out of sight til he sobers up, or does it mean put him out to see in a lifeboat? I'm clueless about the "pull out, etc. verse.

Thanks in advance!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 07:17 PM

In sailing Days the Longboat, one of the ships boats was carried on beams over the main deck. They were sometimes used as coops/pens for live stock.

In dry climates they would be filled with water to keep the planks moist and thus water proof. Dry planks shrink and thus let in water through the seams.

With that 1/. possibly put him in the animals pens till he sobered up.

Or 2/. Any small boat has plug at the stern to let accumulated water out. Hence place the drunk under the boat, pul the plug, and let a stream of water rain, or whatever was pumped in, fall over the drunk.

Don't think it would apply to towing behind in the long boat, to much risk of losing a seaman over the wall.

Gareth - but I prefer Put him in bed with the Captin's Daughter,...


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 08:03 PM

How about: "Put him in a cab to an AA meeting..."


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,chanteyranger
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 08:11 PM

Many thanks!

chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: SeanM
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 08:11 PM

I've not heard the 'plug' verse before, but as far as I'm aware the 'put him in the longboat until he's sober' is pretty literal - put him some place uncomfortable until he sobers up, and then deal with him.

M


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 08:29 PM

I always liked "put him in the scuppers with the hose pipe on him" and "give him the hair of the dog that bit him"


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Winters Wages
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 09:48 PM

In the case of the "Starboard Watch" Just pull the plug! ArrrGH!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dicho
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 10:45 PM

A good source for older sea terms (such as longboat) is R. H. Dana's "Dictionary of Sea Terms" written in 1851 and available on the web. Dana, who wrote "Two Years Before the Mast," a must for everyone interested in life aboard a sailing vessel in the old days, was a keen scholar of the sea. Sea Terms

He discusses life in Monterey and San Francisco in "Two Years..." as well.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dicho
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 10:52 PM

Try again: Written out, it is http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~morris3/DanaSFLex.html.
Sea Terms


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Bo Vandenberg
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 02:39 AM

I've used

"Feed him his nuts in an ice cream bucket"

but then I'm just mean.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 05:25 AM

What about the verse, "Hang him on the leeward 'til he brings his dinner up"?

Or "Have you seen the Old Man's daughter?" To be followed by, "She is like an orang-utan, sir!"

I gave my junior shanty group this verse: "Put him in detention that'll teach him!"

Like the old shantymen, you can add verses of your own.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:04 AM

Boot 'im up and whipe his hard drive!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 10:32 AM

I still prefer "Shave his belly with a rusty razor".


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Kim C
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 10:41 AM

I always figured a lot of these things don't have any meaning, since shanty verses were sometimes made up on the spot by whomever happened to be singing them. And that's the beauty of it - you can make up your own verses. :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: radriano
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:17 PM

My favourite verse is:
"Nail his scrotum to a stump then push him"

In "Shanties from the Seven Seas" Stan Hugill says that the chorus to this song, "Way, hey, and up she rises" is used because of the inability to write down the "wild yells" of the sailor.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,honest frankie
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

Just another drunken sailor line:

Put him at the helm of the Exxon Valdez


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 06:25 PM

Gareth, I don't think your suggestion of filling the boats with water is correct. Generally the ship's boats were built using lapstrake construction where the planks overlap and are riveted together.

Boats in general are very strong in their element and very fragile when out of it. If you took a ship's boat and filled it with water you would have a huge amount of weight pressing against the seams in the wrong direction. Add to that the unstable environment of a ship's deck and you will destroy the ship's boat.

If you want to keep the boat wet just tow it overside. In that case, if the drunken sailor is in the boat and you pull the plug (which stops up the drain hole in the bottom of the boat), then the sailor will get wet. Plus he will sober up fast when he thinks he is sinking.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dicho
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM

The longboat was the largest one carried on a vessel. It was carried between the fore and main masts. It was used for shore parties and carrying new supplies from port. Sometimes fowl were kept in it but never any animals that could damage it. It would be a heck of a job to bail it if the plug was removed ("put 'im in the longboat and let 'im bail 'er.").


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Gareth
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM

Fairish comments. Lapstake, or clinker construction was the usual construction.

Copper rivets yes, but far more were fastened by Trenail's ( wooden plugs which relied upon friction and wedges and an interference clearence to retain strength.) Given drying circumstances the boats had to be kept moist. Otherwise the planks and ribs would dry and shrink and any caulking would lose it effectivness.

I agree that the basic strngth of any boat is designed to support presures on to the frames from outside. And if a boat is on the beams the bilge and rest of the hull is not supported there is a possibility of distortion if intenal presures are such that the planks are not pushed back against the frames.

The Linseed Oil bath is one way of overcomming this. Replacing and sealing the moisture in the wood.

Naemanson, I concur that modern construction of traditional boats (An Oxymoron) tends towards roves or rivets, but the operational conditions meant that ships boats needed to be kept wet, and whilst i agree that towing behind was an agreed method of keeping the "take up" this would not be always possible.

Whilst the more brutal "hard horse" officers may have been minded to tow the drunks behind, drunkennus was a way of life and not even Piggot ( see the Mutiny threads) would have stomached the loss of trained seamen this implies.

BTW how does a Lamb, Hogget or Pig damage the structure of a ships boat ?

No I will stand on my first post though concur that boats were not filed to the brim whilst on the beams.

En Passent I once owned a plywood dinghy which I used as a Tender to my 19 foot sloop. Even a week out of the water required, and this was on the Medway in Kent, a good hour of soaking (taking up) before she would stop leaking.

Indentifieable leaks were delt with by fiberglass !

Ah well, it's all good fun !!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Owain
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:01 PM

Hey Gareth, "Put 'im in bed with the Captain's Daughter" is my favorite, too. But I think(someone correct me if I'm wrong, please)the Captain's Daughter was a euphemism for the 'cat o' nine-tails', yes? The daughter part referring to the strands of leather resembling long hair...My sister-in-law used to admonish me for singing this verse while playing 'pirates' with my 4 and 5 year old nephews. I tried to explain what it meant, but she was resolute and I had to stop...lol They're both in their 20's now and this is the only 'folk song they know all the way through.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dead Horse
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:05 PM

"Have you seen the Old Man's daughter?" "She is like an orang-utan, sir!" THEN "Here she comes, swinging thru the rigging"
Our made up ones include "Give his name to the C.S.A. sir!" "Kick him in the knackers and pinch his wallet" "Tattoo I love Bruce, on his bum, sir" then "Sign up Bruce as the bo'sun" and could I suggest that for a Catters shanty night "Delete his cookie and make him a Guest, sir!" and one could go on......and on and on and.... P.S. Rusty razor is a modern(ish) corruption of "hoop iron razor" So what IS a hoop iron razor?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dead Horse
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:11 PM

P.P.PS. We shall be singing "Incoherent Matelot" (our name for this song) and a few hundred others on Saturday evening at the Shipwrights Arms, Hollow Shore, Faversham. Kent.
To all those within earshot, I send advance apologies...........


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Owain
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:14 PM

'Hoop iron razor' Probably, refers to a blade of some sort fashioned out of 'hoop iron'. Sounds kinda of subversive like making a knife out of a spoon in prison...anybody else w/an idea?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Barracuda d'Morte
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:37 PM

We sing: Put him in charge of an Exxon tanker (scans better).


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:41 PM

The only "hoop iron" I know of is a 1930's building technique (rapidly abandoned), however, could a "hoop iron razor" merely be a name for the sharpened edge of the iron hoop of a broken cask? It would be of poor quality for a blade unable to hold an edge, with no "body" behind it (anyone who has tried using an open razor will understand0 and will blunt rapidy - not good in a razor.

Regards

Walrus.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Bert
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:50 PM

Er, it wasn't his BELLY that was shaved.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: MMario
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:52 PM

that would have been my guess as well, Walrus.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Chip2447
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 03:38 AM

I've been known to use
"Put him in a dress and leave him in a whorehouse"
or
"Dress him like a girly when the fleet comes in"
Chip2447 (thankfully none of my shipmates had ever heard that tune when I was a drunken sailor)


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 01:30 PM

Owain could be right about the captains daughter meaning the cat o' nine tails.I believe 'kissing the gunners daughter' meant receiving a flogging in the army


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dead Horse
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 07:34 PM

The "gunners daughter" came to the army VIA the navy, and the "captains daughter" explanation sounds right, but doesn't alter the effectiveness of the lyric - in fact it gives a nice double meaning 'tween decks.
And what was it they would do with the Queen of Sheba? I only ask 'cos I expect it was nice and rude...........


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 07 May 02 - 03:04 PM

Just a couple of comments: No boat builder would put a lapstrake boat together with trunnels. The size of the fasteners would be too big and would make the edges split. They would use clenchnails or rivets. The Koreans and Chinese sew their plank edges together with very small woden or iron pins.

The iron hoop razor probably refers to the "razor" made of a barrel hoop that was used as part of the "crossing the line" ceremony. A pollywog could not become a shellback until he had been shaved, no matter how old he was or how many sea miles he had.

A friend of mine once did a school session and threw out the usual request for verses to the kids. All they could come up with was "Drag him 'cross the deck 'til he's full of splinters." Clearly folk music!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Gareth sans Cookie
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:06 PM

E Barnacle - I wonder, in mort clinker built boats Ive seen the edges of the laping planks have not been fastened, relying on the bow of the wood and the fastnings of the planks to the ribs and stringers. I have seen roves used to hold scarfed joints together, but to be candid my wood butchery skills depend more upon GRP and Epoxy than skilled work.

I concur that planking could not be held in lap together with trunnels, for the reasons you gave, and that there would be insufficient length of wood for an interfrence fit to hold. But the framimg structure, ah! that a different story.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,Dan In Nova Scotia
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:25 AM

I still like the line:

Send him to the movies with Pee Wee Herman.

We can thank DAvid Stone here in Halifax for that one.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 08 May 02 - 12:30 PM

In the words of Rambling Syd Rumpold "Hit im in the nadgers with a Bosun's scrummock" had a way with words did old Syd. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:24 PM

Give 'im a haul on his reef-tackle-fall!

From memories of singing "Cruisin' Round Yarmouth."

John, what's a "Bosun's scrummock"?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: Dead Horse
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:20 PM

"Bosun's scrummock"?
Same as a mate's scrummock, but cheaper.
Hows about "Brail his shank painter with an old pair of futtocks "?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:42 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 15 - 10:30 AM


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of a few Drunken Sailor verses
From: PHJim
Date: 04 May 15 - 10:39 AM

I've heard it as "Make him the captain of an Exxon tanker"


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