The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2834113
Posted By: John Minear
09-Feb-10 - 11:14 AM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
This about sums up my efforts to look at "whaling shanties" as an early category of shanty that might have been sung on board the "Julia Ann" in 1853-1855. We've already suggested that "Drunken Sailor" and "Highland Laddie" and "Nancy Fanana"/"Haul Her Away" ("Cheerily") could have been sung on the "Julia Ann" from earlier discussions. I would now add "Tis Advertised in Boston" and "The Greenland Whale". And I'm going to add "Ranzo".

Out in Australia, we find "Rueben Ranzo", "Drunken Sailor", and "Donkey Riding" (a version of "Highland Laddie") in the Carey Collection (from Warren Fahey's AUSTRALIAN FOLKLORE UNIT webpage), collected from George Pattison. We also find "Rueben Ranzo" and "Goodbye Fare You Well" from Malcolm Forbes in the same collection.

Before I add either "Tommy's Gone to Hilo" or "Sister Susan", I want to do some more research on them in other contexts. And the same is true of "Santy Anna" and "Goodbye, Fare You Well". Colcord's reference with regard to "Santy Anna" is a late reference, and her reference to "Goodbye" is undated.

Of these, we find versions of "Ranzo", and "Goodbye, Fare You Well" from the Barouallie whalers. We also find versions of "Blow Boys Blow", "Rio Grande", "South Australia", "Sally Brown", and "Time for Us to Leave Her" being used as whaling shanties by the Barouallie whalers, which are all songs we have discussed above as possible candidates for the "Julia Ann". I'm not exactly sure how to get from the Baroullie whalers back to the early 1850s though.

Before I leave the subject of the whalers, I wanted to call attention to this link about Cape Verde whalemen:

And to highly recommend this CD by my friend, Danny Spooner, called "The Great Leviathan - Songs of the Whaling Industry". There are also some whaling songs on his earlier CD "Launch Out On The Deep" (scroll down):