The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2889474
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
18-Apr-10 - 09:43 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From John M.:

Here is a reference to ""Whiskey, Johnny" from 1857. In his book, THE MERCANTILE MARINE, E. Keble Chatterton [2009] prints a long quote from a "recently published" book by Sir Wiliam B. Forwood entitled REMINISCENCES OF A LIVERPOOL SHIPOWNER [1920]. Forwood is recollecting a voyage on the "Red Jacket" in 1857. Forwood says, "On the morning of 20th November, 1857...I embarked by a tender from the Liverpool pierhead." The anchor is heaved [via windlass] "to a merry chantie" which is "In 1847 Paddy Murphy went to Heaven".

[In 1847 Paddy Murphy went to Heaven
To work on the railway, the railway, the railway
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway]

The next morning, they were off Holy head and the order came "loose the headsails." (pp. 158-159):

"Now then, my men, lead your topsail halyards fore and aft, and up with them'. And the crew walk along with the halyards, and then with a long pull and a pull all together the topsail yards are mastheaded to the chantie:

       "Then up the yard must go,
                Whiskey for my Johnny,
       Oh, whiskey for the life of man,
                Whiskey, Johnny.'"

So, PADDY ON THE RAILWAY at the brake windlass...and WHISKEY JOHNNY at the halyards. It sounds like they may have been doing a stamp 'n' go maneuver at the halyards, but I don't see how that would work for the chanty. Reading it closer, I think the crew was perhaps just walking the slack, after which, in positions, they did a pull in place. What do others think?