The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2898865
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
02-May-10 - 08:57 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
BALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, vol. 40, for August 1974. There is a story by a Colonel Brevet. He includes mention of two familiar shanties, however no realistic context is given. In fact, they are presented in the story as if they were, possibly, entertainment (not work) songs. At this point in history, I think we have reason to suspect that the chanties he gives may have been culled by some earlier text, however, for now I will treat them as independent attestation.

He uses the terms "chanty-man" and "chanty."

The men seemed of my opinion, for they went forward singing merrily one of those peculiar ditties that sailors always affect, and which you hear nowhere but in the forecastle, or else from the chanty-man when all hands are employed together doing heavy work.

The song in question ran, as nearly as I remember, as follows:

" Whiskey is the life of man—
          Whiskey, Johnnie,
Whiskey is the life of man,
So whiskey for my Johnnie, OI
Whiskey makes mo work like fun—
       Whiskey, Johnnie,
Work from rise till set ot sun,
With whiskey for my Johnnie, Ol"

I wont give you any further infliction of this peculiar song, for, like the "Higgins story," it takes a month of Sundays to get over the introduction; but I will add that if any reader wants to learn the air of this marine sonata, all he has got to do is to hum "Soapsuds over the Fence," and then he can warble it to his satisfaction.

Anyone know that ditty?

Nothing of note transpired during the night, so at six in the morning we prepared to leave Bava and the treacherous Kanakas, hoping that no other ship would ever be entrapped into capture by the wily natives.

"Way, haul away, haul away, my Josey l
Way, haul away, haul away, my Jol"

roared the gunner in stentorian voice, as he led off in a sonorous chanty, the crew joining in with wild glee, their exuberance of joy knowing no bounds at the prospect of getting away from such inhospitable regions;

More evidence to connect "Jim Along"? Or has the supposed connection become the appearance of reality in the writings of such authors? (I'd lean towards the former.) In any case, it is notable that nowadays few (in my experience) would connect HAUL AWAY JOE to the minstrel song.