The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2870509
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
23-Mar-10 - 11:23 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
And from Lighter again. The publication date is 1826, but Lighter's biographical info suggest the singer might have learned this Sally Brown "sailors' chant" anytime between 1808 and then.

Isaac Starr Clason, "Horace in New-York," 1826, p. 46: "The present Manager of the Chatham Garden Theatre, was formerly a Lieutenant in the British Navy. He was afterwards on the boards of the Norwich Company in England. He was principally applauded for singing a common sailors' chant in character, having a sort of 'Sally Brown, oh, ho,' chorus; and requiring the action of pulling a rope, spitting upon the hand, and the accompaniment of a horrid yell. In private life, both Mr. and Mrs. Wallack were much respected."

Clason's use of the word "chant" is almost as significant as "Sally Brown," "pulling a rope," and "a horrid yell." This could be the earliest clear reference to a "sea shanty as we know it," complete with Hugill-style "hitch"!