The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169613   Message #4148188
Posted By: GerryM
23-Jul-22 - 10:59 PM
Thread Name: Any May songs?
Subject: RE: Any May songs?

First stanza:

Come all you noble colored tars, that plow the raging main
Come & listen to my story boys, a thing that is quite strange
It was on the 8th of May, me boys, 1822
A schooner from Nantucket, boys with all a colored crew

Later stanzas mention the 4th of July, and the 10th of July.

The song is on the Finn and Haddie album, Fathom This. The liner notes say,

"My friend, great singer/musician & writer of sea songs & shanties, Jerry Bryant dug this up from the log of the Industry & culled it down from 40 verses to eight. Jerry put this to a traditional tune, without the chorus, as he found it. The tune here is from Neil Downey as well as its new chorus. Historically I've found the song very accurate & from the report of the Commissioners of Fish & Fisheries where in the remarks column it has the crew as "manned wholly by blacks" as well as the brig Traveler also mentioned in this song. Absalom S. Boston a Nantucketer, land owner, inn keeper & merchant put to sea at the age of 15 in 1800 & retired from sea after this voyage. He was married to the granddaughter of the famous Black/Indian sea captain Paul Cuffe who also commanded & owned a brig by the same name of Traveler only 7 yrs earlier, most likely they are one in the same although I've yet to verify this. Interestingly enough the Bostons were also no strangers to litigation. His uncle Prince Boston, a slave sailor was the first on Nantucket to sue for his ships pay & won. Absalom himself sued the state of Massachusetts on behalf of his daughter & niece for school integration of the state school on Nantucket & won, this being a first time in the nation. I'd like to thank Jerry for his blessing to record this gem."

The full lyrics are given in a Mudcat thread about the album,
/ with the subject, Lyr Add: ROLLER BOWLER + YANGTZE RIVER SHANTY etc./

Recording at
Schooner Industry ยท Finn & Haddie on YouTube