The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2833054
Posted By: Charley Noble
08-Feb-10 - 01:16 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Another forebitter was the folk-processed versions of "Lowlands of Holland" which was transformed into "The Cold Coast of Greenland" as recorded by Bill and Gene Bonyun on Songs of Yankee Whaling, Heirloom Records, © 1960.

On that same recording is "The Bonnie Ship The Diamond" in which the Bonyuns note that this whaling ship was lost with twenty other ships in the ice off Melville Bay in 1830.

Also on the recording is the mournful ballad "Ship in Distress" which focuses on the cannibalism that took place in the lifeboats after a whale sank the whaling ship Essex.

"We'll Rant and We'll Roar" is the transformation by Yankee whalermen of the old English forebitter "Spanish Ladies."

"Reuben Ranzo", the Bonyuns notes, was a shanty and a favorite of whalermen, and in one version Ranzo does end up becoming "captain of a whaler."

"The Little Mohea" (aka "The Little Maui") was also noted by the Bonyuns as a great favorite aboard the whaling ships, and they suggest that the tune itself came from the traditional Tahitian song "E Tau Hoa Here" which is also on their recording as sung by Eilienne LaRoche.

Charley Noble