The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63103   Message #1022798
Posted By: Barry Finn
21-Sep-03 - 10:05 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo / Fire Marengo
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo
Hugill reefer's to 4 examples of capstan or cotton songs from Nordhoff's "The Merchant Vessel, A Sailor Boy's Voyages". I'd side with Martin & Malcolm assessment of Hugill's guess work here. Aside from Nordhoff there's also Doerflinger (though he states no reason why) who considers this to also be of "Negro" origin (Doerflinger was a very respected researcher by Hugill among many others). Hugill's example for his clue, the word Maringo, seems (IMHO) to me to be in a song closer to British in origin except for the word Maringo that seems to be stuck in the middle of a semi quasi British structure by mistake. I can't think of any examples of American, Irish or British sailor's bodies being stowed below unless their name was Nelson. It's usually over the side unless the ship was moored close to land or along dockside. I would also be inclined to see more of a possibility of it coming from a gulf or southeastern port & picked up in cotton screwing trade where the trading of the songs between stevedores & sailors was more like a shanty swap meet. White sailors taking songs of black origin to sea & stevedores doing just the opposite. If I had to "GUESS" (which seems to be all that anyone's done with this so far except that the original tune is lost) I'd guess that this was an export from the cotton ports rather than a sailor's import from the sea. Johnny Collins also does a nice version of this.