The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34323   Message #462130
Posted By: Charley Noble
14-May-01 - 02:46 PM
Thread Name: The origin of Sea Chanteys
Subject: RE: BS: The origin of Sea Chanteys
I'm sure CY is correct in given Aficans credit for playing a major role in the development of shanties, chanties, or whatever they're called, although I'm sure that work chants were also alive and well in England, France, Scandinavia on land and on the sea. I believe Stan Hugil gives Africans in the Caribbean and Southeastern US full credit for many fine shanties ? references to the Mobile Bay shanty factory.

As an aside I remember waking up one morning in rural Ethiopia (the Gurage Agar) to the sound of a "shanty"; the neighbors were transplanting big banana-like plants (Ensete), and heaving 'em up with a modal chant quite like "Blood Red Roses." When I asked my students what the words meant, they were all embarrassed; they claimed "They're not singing the right words; what they're singing is very rude!" Well, I've got it all on tape and some day Roll & Go will sing homage to the great Thunder God "Boja" and whatever he was doing with that lovely young lady...