The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #170472   Message #4122953
Posted By: Stewie
14-Oct-21 - 08:31 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
Subject: RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses - the (NZ) sealing song
I posted the lyrics and the brief note from Neil Colquhoun's 'Song of a Young Country' to the Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook thread. For some unknown reason, the thread will not come up in a forum search. Anyhow, here is the note:

'Blood Red Roses' is a work song, a halyard chanty. When we string the different chanty-man cries together, they tell a story - a woeful one, but hardly exaggerated, for most sealing gangs that worked the southern bays and islands suffered from lack of food, exposure to wind and cold or to being completely forgotten. In 1813, one boat took five men off the Solanders. Two of them had been there since 1808. They had made their own clothing and shelters of sealskin and had eaten nothing but seal meat. The yankee whale ship, 'Enterprise', rescued three men from the Snares in 1817. These men had been set down in 1810 with but one quart of rice, a half-bushel of potatoes and an iron pot. 'Song of a Young Country' p12.

The 'Sources' page of 'Song of a Young Country' indicates that the version therein was collected by John Leebrick and the 'Young Country' collection was its earliest published source.

Make of that what you will.