The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2892895
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
23-Apr-10 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
I forgot -- one last passage in THE ARK

The voice of Isaiah came shrill and clear over the water, singing at the studding-sail halyards, —

''De cap'n's a driver, de mate is a driver,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Drive her through de water, O, why don't you drive her?
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
De foam at our fore-foot, rolling white as de snow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We sail o'er de ocean, and we sing Johnny Crow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We're saucy to fight, we're nimble to fly,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Like de fish in de sea, like de bird in de sky,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
For de Stars and de Stripes we hab fought wid de foe,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Now de fighting is ober, we will sing Johnny Crow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
De fair wind he blowing, nebber cloud in de sky,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We sheet home de royal, and we bid you good by,
John, John Crow is a dandy, O."


While we are not familiar with this as a chanty nowadays (at least *I* am not), possible relatives turn up in the reference from "Corn-shucking in South Carolina--From the Letters of a Traveller", 1843, above. It includes a song with the chorus, "John John Crow," and names another as "Dan, dan, who's the dandy?"