The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2840010
Posted By: John Minear
15-Feb-10 - 12:23 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
The only songs that have a specific reference to the business of sailing, in the above listing for which we have written documentation are:

"Sally Ann" (from Captain Marryat's DIARY IN AMERICA)
"Stormalong" (along "Yankee Dollar" and "Fire Maringo" from Charles Nordhoff's MERCHANT VESSEL) .

And, "Sally Ann" is the only song actually referred to as being used on board a ship at sea in what we have come to know as a "shanty" function. The reference to "Stormalong" is in relationship to stowing cotton in port.

We may be able to find written documentation for certain antecedents or parallels to other songs in the list, but probably not for their use as sea shanties. This does not mean that they were not in use as sea shanties prior to 1855.   But our suggestions about such use can only be speculative.