The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126347   Message #2840547
Posted By: John Minear
15-Feb-10 - 09:34 PM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
In the light of our discussion above, perhaps we can add "Highland Laddie", from Nordhoff's discussion in MERCHANT VESSEL, which he heard as a cotton-screwing song in Mobile, to our list of shanties that may have been influenced by Black culture. Here is my previous discussion of this shanty earlier in this thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=1#2826380

And from the same source, Charley's suggestion of "Fire Maringo". Charlie has also suggested "Congo River". I would qualify this slightly and say some versions of "Blow Boys, Blow".

Q's point about the make up of the cotton-screwing gangs is important. It would seem that sometimes there were separate white and black gangs and sometimes they were mixed. There certainly must have been plenty of opportunity to share songs.

Lighter, thanks for the additional information on Captain Whidden and his source, Captain Meacom, and for the dating on this. Meacom also mentions "Fire Down Below" and "One More Day" being used as pumping "chanties". See the link above to Captain Whidden's work, page 99. So I would also add these two shanties to my list of ones influenced by Black culture.