The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2820489
Posted By: John Minear
24-Jan-10 - 03:16 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
At 10:00 a.m. on April 3, 1837, the ship "Quebec" hoisted her anchor in the harbor at Portmouth and sailed to New York. At the capstan the crew sang "Sally Brown", according to an eye-witness, Captain Marryat, a passenger, who recorded the words and the ongoing dialog in his book A DIARY IN AMERICA, p.38-44:

While I cannot document the existence of "Sally Brown" in San Francisco or Sydney between 1850 and 1855, and I have no actual record that it was sung on board the "Julia Ann", we do know from the above reference that it was in existence and had been sung on the packet ships. We also know that eventually it arrived in Australia because it is in the Carey Collection and was sung by both Pattison and Forbes:

It has been widely collected but from a later time so we know that it lasted through the remainder of the 19th century and into the 20th century. Among others, the following:


Here are two versions from Hugill, sung by Gibb Sahib: