The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157386   Message #3715032
Posted By: Snuffy
07-Jun-15 - 09:58 AM
Thread Name: Still wondering what's folk these days?
Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
Folk? probably. The words and tune of the chorus at least, if not the verses, seem to have been widely known among seafarers by the late 19th Century: Laura Alexandrine Smith's Music of the Waters (1888) puts it amongst her Tyneside material, and Stan Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas (1961) states:
... we next give a shanty in which the codfish and many other fishes figure. This song is called The Fishes, and although the original was undoubtedly a Scottish fisherman's song, it was sung aboard square-riggers at the capstan and often at pumps as well. The Scottish version of the chorus runs: "Blow ye winds southerly, southerly, southerly, Blow bonnie breeze, blow my lover to me." Another place of origin may have been the Tyne, as there does exist a keelman version.
He goes on to state that Colcord also collected the Scottish chorus from New England fishermen, whilst Whall (a Scot) gives a completely different tune. Hugill himself collected it from an old Bristol Channel seaman with a chorus of "Blow ye winds westerly, westerly, westerly, Our ship's in full sail, now steady she goes."