The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #2899486
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
03-May-10 - 09:10 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Thanks for these, John. Now to dissect them a little!

"Here's a reference to and a verse from "Blow the man down". It is in YANKEE SWANSON: CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE AT SEA, by Andrew Walfrid Nelson, 1913. The reference is to 1877."

The ship FORSETTE out of Höganäs, Sweden, is off Bodo, Norway. It says,

When the kedge was down, we took in the slack on the line and tripped our anchor, after which all hands manned the capstan and away we went as fast as we could run around the capstan. After we got a little way on her it was easy work, because there was no current in the inlet just then. We took the line off the capstan, and all hands tailed on to the rope with a will, brought on by splicing the main brace a couple of times, and by the cook's lusty singing, " Blow the man down in Grangemouth town, hay, hay, blow the man down," and several other chanteys.

So, just to clarify, they are indeed hauling (catting anchor).

"And here's a reference to "Cheerily, men!" from 1876, from THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE AT SEA, by Charles Chapman. The setting is in "the Downs" [English Channel] and the task is one of hoisting the anchor."

It is a brigantine, "M--", of Goole (Yorkshire), circa early 1840s.

At the end of that time the sound of the sailors "Oh-ye-hoy" was to be heard all over the roadstead, together with the sound of the " pawls " of the windlass. Then as the anchors came up to the hawse pipes, and when the cats were hooked on, there came over the still waters of the Downs the familiar song, "Cheerily, men!" from all quarters, which, together with the rattling of chains, the squeaking of the blocks, the throwing down on deck of coils of rope, and all the various noises, including the boatswain's pipe, and the more gruff boatswain's voice, gave one the idea of working life.

I'd guess the "oh-ye-hoy" was one of those pre-chanty cries at the old fashioned windlass. CHEERLY is here being used for catting anchor again.

In 1840 Melbourne, there is also this note:

all hands clapped on to the weather main topsail brace, and hauled on it with a will, and with a "Yo— he—hoy!"

And later, out of context,

ln the interest of the poor fellows who are no longer able to clap on a rope and sing out, "Oh—heave—hoy !'

More singing-out, but not chanteying. I'd say this is consistent so far with what we've seen from that time period--perhaps especially in British vessels.