The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2892875
Posted By: John Minear
23-Apr-10 - 02:02 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
TomB, I really appreciate that information on John Short. Can we assume that he learned all of his songs while he was at sea, between 1857 and 1875? And do we have dates when Sharp actually took down his songs? I assume that happened before the 1915 publication of Sharp's collection. There's a forty year period between the end of Short's sea-going days and the Sharp's publication. Is it possible that Short might have picked up some of his songs after his retirement from the sea?

What I'm getting at is this. If we actually knew that he learned all of these songs before 1875, we have a clear historical marker for the development of these chanties. This would go with Whall's dates of 1861-1872 for being at sea. The same questions apply to Whall. Did he learn all of his songs between 1861 and 1872? The next collection would be *some* of Harlowe's chanties in 1877. Using the period of 1872-1877 for a marker, we actually have documentation for a substantial number of chanties in use by that point. If we could pin down Maitland and Robinson to a cut off point, this would reinforce our position on this.

I realize that 1875 is not as early as some of us would like, but as a clear and concrete historical marker, I think that it's important.