The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34323   Message #462414
Posted By: toadfrog
14-May-01 - 08:01 PM
Thread Name: The origin of Sea Chanteys
Subject: RE: BS: The origin of Sea Chanteys
It is awful hard to believe that call and response is "exclusively African," or whatever. I've heard travellers from China remark on call and response work songs from there. We can speculate on where chanteys [effete and otherwise] came from, but shouldn't get too doctrinaire about it. Hugil says, the widespread use of chanteys was from about 1830-1870, and originated on the packets. But for sure, those weren't the first work songs ever sung at sea. I think there is a 14th Century one that goes something like this:

Heisa, Heisa!
Vorsa, vorsa!
wow, wow!
One long pull!
Young blood!
More mud! [or mude]

Anyone familiar with that?