The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2869942
Posted By: GUEST,Gibb Sahib
23-Mar-10 - 09:16 AM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Next reference from the 1820s. I am suspending my judgement as to how "Cheerly Man" fits into all this! Where did it fall along the hypothetical "transition"? It was used for halyards, and had the "extempore" quality, yet its form was not like later halyard chanties. Had it really been around a VERY long time, or was it perhaps among the earliest of the newer songs? Are there any earlier references (i.e. that I'm overlooking) for "Cheerly Man"?

The text is JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO QUEBEC IN THE YEAR 1825, by P. Finan.

The narrator is leaving Quebec in a brig in July 1825.

A ship getting under weigh displays a lively, active scene. "Man the windlass !" was the first order of the mate: the windlass was quickly manned, and the seamen commenced weighing the anchor—and, as the great chain cable clanked along the deck, and the sailor sent forth his long and slow-toned "yeo— heave — oh!" the sounds reached the ear with more important meaning than merely that the anchor was raising from the bottom.


"Man your topsail sheets, and overhaul your clue-lines and buntlines!" cried the mate; the seamen sprang to their places with the greatest alacrity, and the command was soon executed. The topsail haliards, or rope by which the topsail is hoisted, was next ordered to be manned, and the hoisting was accompanied by a lively song, the words of which, being the extemporary composition of the seaman who led, afforded me a good deal of amusement.— sung, and the rest joined lustily in the chorus. The following is a specimen:—

Oh rouse him up, .
Chorus—Oh, yeo, cheerly ;
Newry girls,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Now for Warrenpoint,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Rouse him up cheerly,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Oh.mast-head him,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Oh, with a will,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Cheerly men,
Oh, oh, yeo,
Oh, yeo, cheerly ;
Oh, yeo, cheerly.

I'm not sure if I have parsed the verse/chorus structure as intended. See the original on pg. 329, HERE