The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34323   Message #463293
Posted By: GUEST,Pete M at work
15-May-01 - 09:49 PM
Thread Name: The origin of Sea Chanteys
Subject: RE: The origin of Sea Chanteys
I know it was probably intended as a wind up Jody, but I'll bite. I'm with IanC about spelling, the etemology of a word can be very important in this kind of discussion. Also, if we are going to 'tackle' this problem I would have thought that the 'correct' pronunciation of words is no more, or less, inconsequential than their spelling.

Meanwhile, back to the plot. I would have to agree with Naemanson about the demise of the shanty as a true work song in 'Western' and Western influenced cultures. Certainly there are instances where these are used successfully in their 'traditional' setting by those of us with a common interest in shanties and ships, but in reality this is no more than an exhibit in a living museum. The true test is whether the form is still used to pace and assist repetitive work by those engaged in it on a day to day basis. My experience is as Naemanson says, is that it is not. I have come across several instances of the form in the Pacific islands in a traditional social setting, but not for working. That is admittedly a small sample on which to base a hypothesis and I may be being unduely pessimistic. What experience have others had?

Pete M