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Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?

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Mr Red 23 Sep 02 - 10:02 AM
EBarnacle1 23 Sep 02 - 04:31 PM
curmudgeon 23 Sep 02 - 04:35 PM
curmudgeon 23 Sep 02 - 05:37 PM
curmudgeon 23 Sep 02 - 05:54 PM
Chanteyranger 23 Sep 02 - 09:57 PM
Abuwood 24 Sep 02 - 03:00 AM
Mr Red 24 Sep 02 - 02:03 PM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Sep 02 - 02:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM
curmudgeon 24 Sep 02 - 07:25 PM
Mr Red 24 Sep 02 - 08:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 02 - 08:34 PM
Dead Horse 25 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM
Mr Red 26 Sep 02 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,BDog 26 Sep 02 - 08:48 AM
EBarnacle1 26 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,BDog 27 Sep 02 - 06:35 AM
Mr Red 03 Oct 02 - 08:57 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 02 - 09:08 AM
Mr Red 03 Oct 02 - 09:13 AM
Charley Noble 03 Oct 02 - 09:09 PM
Manitas_at_home 04 Oct 02 - 01:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 05 Oct 02 - 05:16 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Oct 02 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Sue Griffiths - Mollyhawks 07 Apr 03 - 07:48 PM
Melani 07 Apr 03 - 10:05 PM
toadfrog 07 Apr 03 - 11:26 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 08 Apr 03 - 03:58 PM
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Subject: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 10:02 AM

Recent UK radio 4 quiz program "Quote, Unquote" claimed Ewan McColl said it. I somehow doubt he was the source, Stan Hugill always said it though he may have had the number different. Masefield would have said it but in print? Captain Whall &/or R.R.Terry may have put pen to paper on this.
One quote I have come up with is William Main Doerflinger "Songs of the Sailor and Lumbermen" page 1 (paper back reprint) - "A shanty" shellbacks say "is worth a hand on the rope" - and I don't doubt it was in the 1951 edition (titled "Shantymen and Shantyboys")
as this program only really responds to written evidence anyone with knowledge of this kind of phrase in print earlier than 1951?
and if we all sang it together would it make it easier?


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 04:31 PM

Try Alec Bone. This is one of those 'salty legends' which are always attributed to some old shellback who cannot come around to defend himself 'cause he's a) off at sea or b) a departed sea daddy. The fact is, however, true. The coordination given by a chantey adds strength to the crew's efforts.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 04:35 PM

Quoted , without citation, by A.L.Lloyd, "Folk Song In England," p. 294, " ' A good shantyman's worth six more hands on the rope' was the saying."

IMO, this seems to be a bit of classic "folk wisdom" that nobody ever wrote. -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 05:37 PM

R.R. Terry, "The Shanty Book," Part I, p, (xi) opines, "A good shantyman with a pretty wit was worth his weight in gold. He was a priveleged person, and was excused all work save light or odd jobs."

Still searching -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 05:54 PM

Joanna Colcord, in "Songs of American Sailormen," p. 22, echoes Terry when she writes, "The shantyman who could surprise a laugh from the crowd on the rope, made the work lighter."


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:57 PM

Hugill had it as a shanty worth ten men on a line. The man quoted by A.L. lloyd must have been on a ship with stronger men :-).


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Abuwood
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 03:00 AM

So why don't they sing shanties on the BBC Big Ship? instead of 2-6 heave all the time?


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 02:03 PM

Thanks folks keep hauling on the memory - it is written records I need. I lied about the 5 it was quoted as 10 but Jim Magean probably said it as five quoting uncle Stan.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 02:08 PM

I have The Seven Seas Shanty Book by John Sampson. He sailed from 1886 to 1898. The publishing date is 1926. There is a foreword by John Masefield who writes "It used to be said that 'a song was ten men on a rope.' "
Haul away,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM

Probably some Roman or Greek or Phoenician, I imagine. Or somone involved in erecting Stonehenge or the pyramids.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 07:25 PM

BTW Mr. Red, just what was the program's written evidence that it was said by MacColl?

Let us hold them tight to their own standards.

-- Tom


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 08:19 PM

They didn't give the book just the alledged source. They love dialogue but need substance once they are challenged - which is fair. Looks like one of my guesses is leading the field.
McGrath of Harlow - that Roman of yours said voce maximus est dexter - Latin scholars discuss.
Though we should remember that Roman military was constructed of conscript/mercenary cohorts and most spoke Greeko/Tuetonic and I wouldn't begin to guess on those.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 08:34 PM

It's the same thing whichever language you say it in.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM

I suppose those blighters on the BBC Big Ship were being traditional for once, assuming that the original vessel was Kings Navee and not merchant John. The navy could only count, not sing.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:34 PM

It was in the later days of sail (last part of the 19th century) that ships used to have reduced crews, so the shanties were particularly important.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:39 AM

Dead Horse
The silent Service
someone said on the Mudcat that you could hear 30 miles at sea on a clear day - that's way way over the horizon. A bit of a giveaway if you are about surprise the enemy.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: GUEST,BDog
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:48 AM

Dead Horse. I'm not sure the crew of 'The Ship' were being traditional. Throughout the series , my wife and I have been questioning some of the points raised, including 'two-six heave'. Cook and his crew were civilians, not Navy, and sailed under the Red Ensign just as the present crew have. I believe the captain of the present Endeavour is or was a Navy man, and several of the crew are serving Navy men. So I think it has been more a matter of Navy habits win, and bugger tradition.

We have also questioned the amount of time that has been spent rediscovering the lost art of doing what isn't lost. If they'd bothered to ask the right people, instead of assuming that because the historians didn't know how to do things, then no-one else did, they would have found that hauling on ropes, navigating by sextant alone, and heaving the log (without being pulled overboard) are all still in use today. Not everyone uses GPS and an engine.

Another thing we noticed was when heaving the lead, they measured the depth, but never took samples of the seabed. Perhaps that wasn't done until latter in history.

Anyway 'two-six heave' is a misquote. It's really a warning to stay clear of a couple of unwell sailors, as in .... Two sicks heave! :-)

Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 11:26 AM

Arming the lead with tallow and bringing up samples to examine probably precede the common use of charts. When navigating by ded [deductive] reckoning, it is good to be able to cross reference your estimates with a known mark, such as a specifically localized type of bottom at a specific depth.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: GUEST,BDog
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:35 AM

Thanks for your input on that EBarnacle. I would have expected it to have been in use at that time, but wasn't sure. However, they didn't use it in 'The Ship', which was supposed to be following Cook's route along the Great Barrier Reef and across the Timor Sea, using his charts and methods of navigation.

In seemed to me that having got so much rightin the reconstruction, the ship, the crews diet, using the charts of the time etc. They seemed to completely miss the boat (excuse the pun) in other respects.

As for the original subject of this thread. I'd guess that the phrase would have been in common usage long before anybody got to write it down.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 08:57 AM

EBarnacle - PM
your lead weight - with tallow
"just call me shallow tallow"
quite literally plumbing the depths there wasn't I?
cue pedants explanation..........


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 09:08 AM

it's actually "2-4-6 Heave" (for those not educated in the fine art of gun drill #1 2 4 & 6 were the numbers of the men in the gun crew detailed to heave the gun back into postion after (muzzle)loading) and would have been used during gun drill by Merchantmen; who commonly had experienced naval training. Gun drill on defensively equipped Merchant Ships would follow naval rules. 2-6 or 2-4-6 heave is a shortened variance on the call to heave by the gun captain.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 09:13 AM

I got off at a tangent
Nigel Rees replied twice to one e-mail so he may have visited here & may this very moment be reading this. Nigel - Red is a subriquet.

GUEST,BDog
Yep I was hoping for the earliest in print and it looks like John Masefield is the front runner until shown otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 09:09 PM

Guest above has it right, I believe, with regard to "2-4-6 Heave" being related to gun crews in the old sailing navy. The same numbers were used for other work such as launching ship's boats and other tasks, usually by seamen who hadn't a clue (and would care less) where the term derived from.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 01:55 AM

With regard to the tallow, It's surely only worth doing in waters you know. If you're an 18C English seaman in the English channel it can help you tell where you are. If you're in unknown waters it'll just tell you whats on the bottom.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 05:16 AM

It being Saturday, I thought I would share with fellow shanty enthusiasts a little more of John Masefield's words on this.

It is perhaps impossible, for anyone who has not had the privilege of hearing them sung under the condition for which they were made, to realise how much they helped the work. It used to be said that " a song was ten men on the rope." This was not an exageration. Every sailor must have seen men failing to do a piece of work without a song, yet doing it with pleasure and ease with the song to help them. Part of the value of the songs, no doubt, was in the timing of the haul, but the great results achieved by them came from the excitement and zest which the singing gave to the task. It often seemed as though new life entered the singers as they sang. Perhaps nobody ever heard one of these songs being sung at the rope or capstan without feeling that song was indeed a divine thing and the gift of gods to men.

Haul away me Rosie,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 11:39 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: GUEST,Sue Griffiths - Mollyhawks
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 07:48 PM

Richard Henry Dana's "Two years before the mast: Twenty-four years after" First printed 1840 "... as sailors say a song is as good as ten men"


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: Melani
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 10:05 PM

I imagine anyone who ever hauled on a line said it at least once.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: toadfrog
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 11:26 PM

GUEST Sue: Thanks for the cite. That's in Chapter 15, though, rather than "Twenty Four Years After," which was first published in 1869.


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Subject: RE: Who Said - Shanty worth 5 men?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 03:58 PM

Frederick Pease Harlow, CHANTEYING ABOARD AMERICAN SHIPS


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