The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2894323
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
25-Apr-10 - 09:57 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
These songs also serve the means of communicating the ideas of the men to their superiors, or of giving a strong hint respecting the provisions ; for instance, a captain of a large passenger-ship will scarcely like his lady and gentlemen passengers to hear the watch, who are taking a pull on the mainbrace, commence, with stentorian lungs, something after the following strain :—

Oh, rotten pork, cheerily men, 

And lots of work, cheerily men, 

Would kill a Turk, cheerily men. oh,
Cheerily men.

Nothing to drink, cheerily men, 

The water does stink, cheerily men, 

And for Christians, just think, cheerily men, 
Oh, cheerily men.

Something of this sort generally has an effect in passenger-ships, and will obtain some concession.

Finally, s/he tells us how shantying was scarce in the Navy – apparently even up to this point in time.

These remarks apply only to merchant ships ; in the Navy, the shanty is prohibited, and at the capstan the men move to the sound of the fife or fiddle—the musician being seated on the capstan-head.
Of course the songs sung in the foke'sull, when Jack is taking his ease, are of another description…