The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49738   Message #4173958
Posted By: r.padgett
06-Jun-23 - 11:36 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Blow the Man Down
Subject: RE: Origins: Blow the Man Down
"Colcord’s reading of the term blow would actually tie this particular refrain to a song that has been aligned with African American origin and circulated on sailing ships: “Knock a Man Down.” In deconstructing the line through this gloss of the term blow, the collective strength of the sailors would be singing out and pushing/pulling while simulating the force of collectively knocking someone down; namely, this nameless “man.” The collective violence of this reading is interesting; for, it further underscores and supports the popular contemporary construction of the sailor as rough, ready, and prone to altercations." ~ Global Maritime history