The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151478   Message #3535638
Posted By: Lighter
09-Jul-13 - 05:21 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: 'topsails all a quiver'
Subject: RE: Folklore: 'topsails all a quiver'
The line about the fair maid is modern. No old-time shantyman, including Hugill or Rutzebeck, ever sang it. But it sure sounds salty, don't it?

Maybe the singers on Lloyd & MacColl's "Blow Boy Blow" meant breasts; or maybe they just meant the girl was like a ship in full sail. Or both. Do the analysts care to address the title of the LP itself?

Sailor slang for breasts was "catheads."