The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63103 Message #2567132
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
14-Feb-09 - 08:27 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo / Fire Marengo
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo
Nordhoff's word was 'chaunty-man'. "Seeing the World: A Young Sailors Own Story." In the same book, he referred to "Old Stormy" (he gives 7 verses solo and response, burying ground version) as a 'chant.'
In another thread, 118540, Nordhoff Chantey, We're Going Away, I was trying to find more of the chantey that he quoted in part and that was sung as they were leaving Liverpool.
In the same book, he described, "The men who yearly resort to Mobile Bay to screw cotton are, as may be imagined, a rough set. They are mostly English and Irish sailors, who, leaving their vessels here, remain until they have saved twenty or thirty pounds, then ship for Liverpool ... Screwing cotton is ...the most exhausting labour that is done on shipboard. Cooped up in the dark and confined hold of a vessel, the gangs tug from morning till night at the screws, the perspiration running off them like water, every muscle strained to its utmost. But the men who follow it prefer it to going to sea. They have better pay, better living, and above all, are not liable to be called out at any minute in the night, to fight the storm, or work the ship against a head-wind. Their pay is eight shillings per day, and their provisions furnished. They sleep upon the coton bales in the hold, but few of them bringing beds aboard with them. Those we had on board, drank more liquor and chewed more tobacco than any set of men I ever saw elsewhere, the severe labour seeming to require an additional stimulus. Altogether, I thought theirs a rough life, and one not at all to be envied."
"Four weeks sufficed to load our barque; and the last key-bale was scarce down the hatchway, when 'Loose the topsails, and heave short on the cable,' was the word, ....."
Although Nordhoff completed formal education at age 13 and added 3 years as a printer and typesetter before taking off for the sea, his prose is polished, clear and fresh as an ocean breeze. He was still in his twenties when his first book was published.