The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347 Message #2823427
Posted By: John Minear
28-Jan-10 - 08:29 AM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
The other song that Olmstead gives us from his whaling voyage of 1839-41 is "Nancy Fanana" (page 116). Hugill (page 315/'61) and others suggest that this is a variant of "Cheerily Men" which we have already discussed from Dana, and accepted as a possible candidate for shanties sung on the "Julia Ann". We don't know if "Cheerily Men" was sung on the "Julia Ann" or not, or which variant might have been used. Olmstead might narrow this down for us.
Olmstead sailed out to Tahiti on a whaling vessel 13 years before Pond arrived there on the "Julia Ann". Pond's First Mate on his third and fourth voyages was Peter Coffin, a Pacific whaler with fifteen years of experience in that work prior to signing on with Pond. Coffin certainly could have known "Nancy Fanana".
In February of 1849, in Boston harbor, Ezekiel I. Barra, was preparing to sail out to California. On the docks he is watching another ship, the "Sweden" load up and cast off. On page 11 of his memoirs A TALE OF TWO OCEANS, he describes the process of getting under way and gives us "Nancy Banana" as a halyards shanty:
This means that "Nancy Fanana" aka "Haul 'er Away" was heading for San Francisco just about the same time that Franklin Pond was. He sailed for Chagres, Panama, on January 17th, 1849, on the bark "H.S. Bartlett":
So, I would say that there was a good chance that the "Haul 'er Away" version of "Cheerily Men" that we find in Olmstead and in Barra could have been sung on board the"Julia Ann" in 1853-55. Here is a link to some previous discussion on Mudcat of this shanty:
And here is a helpful comment from Gibb Sahib:
And here is Gibb's version: