The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128220   Message #3181475
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
04-Jul-11 - 06:11 PM
Thread Name: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
Whall's 4th edition adds yet more songs. It seems as though in earlier editions he sought to include only songs he deemed worthy of value. Note that he is prejudiced against what he calls "nigger songs", though it is not clear to me exactly when he means minstrel songs or songs sung by Black chanteymen. He mentioned in the 3rd edition that he deliberatly omitted "Sacramento". In the 4th edition, he seems chagrined to admit he is compeled, due to popular demand, to include "Sacramento" and other "nigger songs," of which he says there were hundreds. Incidentally, if there really were "hundreds" and our survey of the 19th century has turned up less than 150 shanties, even though the latter doesn't represent *all* shanties, "hundreds" would imply the majority of shanties.

**1920        Whall, W.B. Fourth edition.**

There is a section inexplicably called "Shakings." Several were reproduced by Hugill under the rubric of "sing-outs." The first song is not labeled, and it appears like a ballad, and not a work song. It begins,

//
On the twenty-fourth November, boys,
'Twas in the Channel we lay…
//

Then, "timber droghers would sing,"
//
Was you ever in Quebec…
//

"The West Indiaman had":
//
Give me the gal can dance fandango…
//

"the Calashie whine of"
//
Kis ki ma doo day calasie… (heard in Calcutta)
//

Kanaka "good-bye song"
//
Good-bye, my flennie…
//

French shanty (words only) given him by an ambassador:
//
C'est le capitaine du "Mexico,"
Hurrah, my boys, hurrah!
Qui donne á boire á ses matelots
A grands coup d'anspect sur le dos,
Hurrah, my boys, hurrah!
//

And, untitled, something of {HOOKER JOHN]:
//
O my Mary, she's a blooming lass
To my Ooker John, my Oo-John
O my Mary, she's a blooming lass
To my Ooker John, my Oo-John
Way, fair lady
O way-ay-ay-ay-ay
My Mary's on the high land
O yonder's Mary—yonder.
//

Then a section on "Nigger Songs."

//
The white seaman in smart ships seldom condescended to sing "nigger" songs. Perhaps the only one which gained anything like general acceptance was "Run, let the Bulgine run," one of the poorest of all. …Nigger shanties there were by the hundred. Some were better than others, but nearly all were of a poor class. … In nigger singing appeared many falsetto appoggiaturas, and a sharp rise to a "grace" note a fifth up, thus: (a sort of yelp; I can think of no other word to express it)… Both these musical tricks were freely used by untutored English ballad singers of folk-songs and such, and are not soley negro….In previous editions I have only given one example of the purely nigger shanty—"Stand to your ground." But it seems to be the wish of some of my readers that I should go further afield.
//

[SACRAMENTO]
//
The Banks of Sacramento.

The Camptown ladies sing this song,
And a hoodah and a hoodah!
The Camptown race track's five miles long,
And a hoodah, hoodah day!
Blow, boys, blow, for California, O!
[etc]
//

[CLEAR THE TRACK]
//
Clear de Track, Let de Bulgine Run.

O de worl' was made in six days and ended on de seven;
Ah he! ah, ho! are you most done
But accordin' to de contrac' it orter been eleven,
So clear de track, let de bulgine run.
//

[JAMBOREE]
//
Jamboree.

The pilot he looks out ahead,
O a hand in the chains, O a heaving of the lead!
The Union Jack at our masthead,
O I wonder if my clothes are out of pawn!
O Jamboree, O Jamboree!
O its get away, you black man, don't you come a-nigh me!
Jamboree, O Jamboree!
O I wonder if my clothes are out of pawn!
//

[BLACKBALL LINE] for windlass.
//
The Black Ball Line.

In the Black Ball I served my time
To my way, hoo-ro-ya!
In the Black Ball I served my time
Hoorah for the Black Ball Line!
//

A hauling song, favourite in London ships
//
O Fare-you-well, My Bonny Young Girls!

O fare you well, my bonny young girls
Hurrah! sing fare you well!
O fare you well! I wish you well
Hurrah! sing fare you well!
//

[HUNDRED YEARS]
//
A Hundred Years Ago.

A hundred years is a very long time!
O, yes, O!
A hundred years is a very long time,
A hundred years ago!
//

"Cawsand Bay"

"The Twenty-fourth of February"

[RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN]
//
It had no set of words, but was popular. It is of a debased kind, and was quite unworthy of its popularity.

Run, Let the Bulgine Run.

O a bulgine once was a heaving
O run, let the bulgine run
Way, Ah, oh…
Run, let the bulgine run.

O, New York town is a-burning, &c.
//

Not a shanty.
//
The Dead Horse.

They say, old man, your horse will die!
And they say so and they hope so.
They say, old man, your horse will die!
Oh, poor old man!
[etc]
//

"Maryland" – a Civil War song used as a shanty
//
I hear the distant thunder hum,
Maryland, my Maryland.
//

A variation of the familiar Dixie song.
//
Dixie.

Im wish I was in the land of cotton
Cinnamon seed and a sandy bottom
In the land, in the land, in the land, in the land.
[etc]
//

[ST. HELENA SOLDIER]
St. Helena Soldier.