The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122362   Message #2685009
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
21-Jul-09 - 11:04 PM
Thread Name: Ship Margaret Evans, songs
Subject: RE: Ship Margaret Evans, songs
Bulgine was used in the minstrel routines, but the word comes from the Bull engine (English inventor but many copies and variations).
And to me "good Ethiopian" means blackface minstrel.
I have not seen Lovell's article, but I assumed his 'negroism' reference meant black origin, which I disputed- it may refer to minstrel use, which I would agree with. Someone here may have access to that journal.

Perhaps I misread your thrust, but your statements, and your citations from Hugill, imply to me that you consider many chanteys of Black origin when the only evidence is that the chantey or a variant was collected in the Caribbean (your thread, 'Rare' Caribbean shanties....). Some of them are, but you throw too wide a loop.

With regard to "Clear the Track..." I said the origin of the chantey was the minstrel routine, not that the chantey was taken word-for-word from the minstrel show-music hall. Of course the chantey singers had to revise so that it could be used as a work song aboard ship; also true of other songs that they took up.

Bully in the Alley, Shinbone Alley, date to M. T. Rice, 1833, another minstrel performer. Some have guessed, including myself, that the song has a Black origin, but this is only a supposition.
The only evidence seems to be undated music at Levy, posted in thread 43952, "Long Time Ago," and "De Oder Song;" but these also are of minstrel origin and probably of similar date. Bully songs were popular in Black music in the latter part of the 19th c., but the inspiration for them is uncertain.

I consider that "Clear the Track, Let the bulgine run," belongs to chanteys originally from the North Atlantic routes, esp. those of the mail-passenger packets. Its origin is the minstrel-music hall, from which source some chantey singer obtained it and revised it for work.