The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152346   Message #4056212
Posted By: Lighter
31-May-20 - 07:15 AM
Thread Name: 'Obscenity' in Chanties/Shanties
Subject: RE: 'Obscenity' in Chanties/Shanties

“[W]hen crossed, as it often was, with Sally Brown, …not even the most broad-minded collector could call it clean!”

Only a few lines from the bawdy “Sally Brown” would suffice to dirty up “Shenandoah,” particularly since its music is regarded as one of the most melodically beautiful in tradition. Legman prints one stanza, which he collected independently in 1954 from a U.S. Navy veteran who’d learned it as the complete song during World War II:

        Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter….
        I love the place where she makes water….

This is notably milder than Jim's version.

Cf. the similar stanza in the English country song “Twankydillo,” allegedly collected by Hammond in Dorset in 1906:

If ever I should meet with the old shepherd’s daughter,
I’ll stop up the hole where she do make water.

Or was it? Frank Purslow printed it these words in The Constant Lovers (1972), p. 105, attributing it to Hammond, who supposedly got it from singer John Hallett.

Yet when James Reeves printed Hallet’s “Twankydillo” in The Everlasting Circle (1960), pp. 270-71, he noted that Hammond had written “Final verse too indecent to write down.”