The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34323   Message #462335
Posted By: GUEST,Barry Finn, still out & about
14-May-01 - 06:21 PM
Thread Name: The origin of Sea Chanteys
Subject: RE: BS: The origin of Sea Chanteys
IMHO, I'd go as far as saying that African culture has had more influence on shanties than any other one culture. They've been lords of the West African coast line since the first European explorers hired them. As far back as can be recalled they've anyways used singing to help with group labor. Other cultures of course used singing for labor but were they also heavily envolved in open sea transportation, not as much as the African. They may not have been the first but when steped onboard & started to go shoulder to shoulder with the rest they made their presence felt & known. To further support CY, I'd say they eventually became cream of the crop, the old men of the sea. Before they were eventually driven from the sea & left with the cook or steward's positions, they were the sailors that had no other empolyment opportunity as did their white counterpart who only needed to make a few passages or one every so often. Unlike a lot of the fellow sailors (whom it seems were becoming younger & had fewer responsibilities) many had families & communities that strongly depended upon them for more than their daily bread. Like the black cowboy, black sailors numbered around 20% or so during their hayday but it's all in who writes the histories. Family's leaving thee Library so I gotta go, great thread CY. If I can get my computer up & running again I stop in. Barry