The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2827497
Posted By: Charley Noble
01-Feb-10 - 03:48 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Another way to date some shanties is with the date of a shore song they were based on, be it a minstrel song, a music hall song, or a broadside. My favorite case in point is "Coal Black Rose", a halyard shanty collected by both Hugill & Bullen:

From SHANTIES OF THE SEVEN SEAS

COAL BLACK ROSE

Oh, me Rosie, coal black rose
Don't ye hear the banjo
Ping-a-pong-a-pong?
On, me Rosie, Coal Black Rose!

Oh, me Rosie, coal black Rose,
Strung up like a banjo,
Allu taut an' long,
On, me Rosie, Coal Black Rose!

Oh, me Rosie, coal black Rose,
The yard is now a-movin',
Hauley-hauley ho!
On, me Rosie, Coal Black Rose!

The Mate he comes around, boys,
Dinging an' a dang.
Hauley-hauley ho!
On, me Rosie, Coal Black Rose!

Give her one more pull, boys,
Rock an' roll 'er high.
Hauley-hauley ho!
On, me Rosie, Coal Black Rose!

And the minstrel song:

Coal Black Rose. Sold wholesale by L. Deming, No. 62, Hanover Street 2d door from Friend Street, Boston, [circa 1829]

COAL BLACK ROSE.

Don't you hear de banjo--tum, tum, tum;
Lubly Rosa, Sambo cum,
Don't you hear de banjo--tum, tum, tum;

Oh, Rose, de coal black Rose,
I wish I may be corch'd if I don't lub Rose,
Oh, Rose, de coal blacka Rose.

Dat you, Sambo--yes I cum,
Don't you hear de banjo--tum, tum, tum;
Dat you, Sambo--yes I cum,
Don't you hear de banjo--tum, tum, tum;

Oh, Rose, &c.....

The earliest date we document two different people singing this song, George Washington Dixon and Thomas Blakeley, is 1829. The shanty version certainly didn't make much use of the story verses of the minstrel song but the first verse is similar and it wouldn't have been long after 1829 before some sailor took the song to sea and made a shanty of it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble