The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #3102076
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
24-Feb-11 - 02:48 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Gibb, what makes Gordon's "South Australia" enigmatic?

Ha! Well, nothing! I am speaking subjectively about "South Australia", its origins, and the "meaning" of parts of its text. For example, the "Ruling King" phrase, whether it originally had much to do with South Australia, how the tune should "really" go (before being mangled by one or more sloppy writers), the heave/haul thing, etc. Its not necessarily any more mysterious than any other song, but I (again, subjectively) reserve a special place for it, so it interests me to hear it more than, say, Rio Grande (despite that having an equal number of unknown aspects).

Hugill cites Robinson several times, and a few of his versions seem like they may have owed a lot (lyrically) to Robinson, e.g. Dance The Boatman and Derby Ram. On the other hand, he cites Robinson in his bibliography with an error in spelling, so I guess it's possible that he got the info secondhand through Colcord (I have not done a 3-way comparison).

BTW (for John M.), I remember our discussion of some of Robinson's writing in the Sydney-Frisco thread, after Lighter had got a hard copy.

Evidently, a couple weeks after that post, the Bellman was digitized! Hurroh för de Internet!

Songs of the Chanty-Man

I'm going to go through my usual, somewhat tedious and somewhat overkill exegesis-cum-data entry of the whole of it, gradually. Geo had been making some MIDIs from it, and I figured it would be a good time to jump to this one while the iron is hot.