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I give up. What's a HOGEYE?

DigiTrad:
HOG-EYE MAN
THE LIFEBOAT MAN


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Hogseye Man (39)
Lyr Req: Peggy in the garden? / Hog-Eye Man (2)
Lyr Add: Predecessor song to 'Hogeye Man' (29)
Lyr Req: Dirty Hog eye man? (57)
Hogeyed man (16)


Margo 04 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM
Dave Swan 04 Jun 99 - 02:27 PM
Margo 04 Jun 99 - 02:51 PM
Bert 04 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM
SeanM 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM
Art Thieme 04 Jun 99 - 03:45 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 99 - 04:07 PM
Bert 04 Jun 99 - 04:11 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 99 - 04:13 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM
SeanM 04 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM
catspaw49 04 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM
rich r 04 Jun 99 - 10:32 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jun 99 - 11:32 PM
Murray on Saltspring 04 Jun 99 - 11:41 PM
Margo 05 Jun 99 - 02:21 PM
Liam's Brother 05 Jun 99 - 06:18 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM
gargoyle 05 Jun 99 - 11:03 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 99 - 07:39 AM
Matthew B. 06 Jun 99 - 12:14 PM
Margo 06 Jun 99 - 12:52 PM
Matthew B. 06 Jun 99 - 08:43 PM
GutBucketeer 06 Jun 99 - 11:06 PM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM
Margo 07 Jun 99 - 01:04 AM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM
Bill in Alabama 07 Jun 99 - 07:44 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 08:10 AM
The Shambles 07 Jun 99 - 09:15 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 10:55 AM
Margo 07 Jun 99 - 11:29 AM
Matthew B. 07 Jun 99 - 02:04 PM
gargoyle 08 Jun 99 - 12:47 AM
Jon W. 08 Jun 99 - 03:42 PM
Chris Seymour 21 Nov 99 - 09:00 AM
Abby Sale 21 Nov 99 - 10:45 AM
Jeri 21 Nov 99 - 11:39 AM
Micca 21 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM
Jeri 21 Nov 99 - 02:34 PM
Melbert 21 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM
Micca 21 Nov 99 - 06:56 PM
Wotcha 22 Nov 99 - 11:36 AM
BanjoRay 22 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM
AKS 23 Nov 99 - 01:54 AM
Chris Seymour 25 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM
Amos 25 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM
Lin in Kansas 25 Mar 00 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM

There is a sea shanty "Hogeye" man. Among other lyrics, there are:
"She wants the hogeye man"
"Railroad navvie with his sea boots on"
"Oh the hogeye men are all ago when they go down to San Francisco"
So what's a hogeye man?
a railroad navvie?
Thanks,

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Dave Swan
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:27 PM

According to a friend of mine who sings this song, there was a kind of sailboat, sloop rigged I think, which plied the waters of San Francisco Bay, called a hog's-eye. Apparently the men who sailed them were represented in song as dashing charmers. We know a variant which repeats "She loves the hog's-eye man" . That's the way I heard it.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:51 PM

Dave, what a relief to hear that it's not a part of his anatomy!

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM

Margarita,

The mind boggles! WHAT WERE you thinking?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: SeanM
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM

As to railroad navvies, I'm going to hazard a guess...

Several songs mention 'navvies' as a generic kind of longshoreman. It isn't too far of a leap to say that rr navvies refers to the same kind of laborer, probably equivalent to a junior stevedor.

M


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:45 PM

HOGEYE MUSIC is a grand music store in Evanston, Illinois owned by Jim Craig--a fine singer.

Art


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:07 PM

I always thought that the term 'navvies' was from navigation. The people that worked on the inland waterway systems and canals in the UK were known as 'navvies' because they worked on the (inland)'navigations'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:11 PM

That's the story I heard to Sham'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:13 PM

There is more about the canals here Narrowboat songs


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM

You're all close.

A Hog Eye is a kind of a barge, popular in (but not exclusive to)the canals during the 19th century.

A navvy is a navigator (or pilot)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: SeanM
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM

Odd... could 'navvy' have fallen into multiple usage? Most of the later shanties that I've heard it in refer to many of them, or at least plural, and I recall the use of it being used for something that sounds laborer-ish. Could it be a corruption based around some pilots putting in time on the stevedore crews for extra cash?

Jus' thinking...

M


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM

Sean -

Sounds plausible to me.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM

Gee, how disappointing........I thought this was more in the Talkin' Blues vein.....

"course ya' can't eat hog eyes,
but I LOVE chittlins.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: rich r
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 10:32 PM

"Navvy" may have its origin on the waterways, but the term has come to be more generic of unskilled laborers who worked on canals, roads, railroads etc. Gordon LIghtfoots's "Canadian Railway Trilogy" has the line : "We are the navvies who worked upon the railway, bending our backs in the hot morning sun"

For another take on hogeye, go here: http://www.elgintx.com/hogeye/

St. Paul, Minnesota was originally called "Pig's Eye"

rich r


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:32 PM

Does Navvie further refere in William of Orange

"...were called navigators all ragged and torn,

Who built the Grand Trunk here and found a new home,

Where ever their children were born..."

to meanial laborers because that was the only work that immigrants could find?

Don


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:41 PM

Sorry, Margarita, but I think your suspicion is correct. I can't find an outright definition just now, but there are one or two suggestive references. In a book of shanties published about 1920 the author appeals to the experience of old salts, who know what the term means, and refuses to be any clearer. Legman (Horn Book, 1964, p. 401), talking about Hugill's unpublished unexpurgated collection, says that without it and one other manuscript "it would be impossible, in future times, actually to assess their erotic content from the absolutely terrified hints and dark implications (as about 'hog-eye') in all the printed chantey collections." The term isn't in Partridge's Dictionary of Slang, or its late revision by Beale, but I think a little reflection will bring the (maybe reluctant) conclusion that h-e means what it looks like, i.e. [to put it primly] the female pudendum. Sorry about that. Perhaps other Mudcatters will argue. Cheers Murray


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 02:21 PM

Matthew B's post is so simple and clear, yet Murray, you stir up the muck. :o) I really wasn't thinking there would be anything erotic about the word hogeye.

I had a muddled picture in my mind of a guy with a popeye sort of deformity, with one normal eye and one kind of bigger, bulging eye. But to think that the skipper and the mate and whole crew had the same problem didn't make sense.

My apologies for not checking every book I have. I just looked in Hugill's shanty's from the seven seas and he does have the exact same discussion in there that we have here. Cited are the explanation of hogeye simply as the barge without any "obscene entanglements". Then there is mention that both "hogeye" and "dead-eye" have obscene significance.

It is imperitive for me to understand the meaning of any song I sing. But I suppose with the possibility of the two meanings, you could let your audience think what they want............


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:18 PM

Hi!

rich r is entirely correct when he wrote above...
'"Navvy" may have its origin on the waterways, but the term has come to be more generic of unskilled laborers who worked on canals, roads, railroads etc.' The laborers who built the motorway system in Britain were called navvies.

I've heard the phrase "railroad navvy" as "big buck nigger" also. Stan Hugill uses "railroad nigger" and "big buck nigger" in his collection, Shanties from the Seven Seas. It's always been my assumption that what was swept under the rug in the song was an explicit reference to a sexual encounter between a working man of African origin and a white woman.

"Hog-eye?" Well, Afro-Americans, as we know, were frequently portrayed in popular media with big bulging eyes up until about 40 years ago. Maybe that's the answer. Maybe not.

Stan pretty much threw out the idea of "hog-eye" as coming from inland waterway barges.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BUG-EYE (Bob Kotta?)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM

I love discussions like this. It's like being at a song circle and a college seminar at the same time. Let me add a different note, with a "modified" version of The Hogeye Man that I learned from Bob Kotta in Seattle, who may or may not have written it. I have more in this genre if anyone's interested. If not, I'll keep quiet.

THE BUG-EYE

Oh the bug-eyed Sprite is the car for me
Goes zero to sixty in three point three

(CHORUS)
In a Bug-Eye
Where's the heater on a Bug-Eye?
Steady on the clutch of a Bug-Eye, oh
I want the Bug-Eye Sprite

Well it's fast and straight and steady in the curve
If you've got the guts it's got the nerve, in your Bug-eye...

I thought I heard my girlfriend say
That she'd go for a ride most any day, in a...

In a bug-eyed Sprite you can have great fun
But there's not enough room to get it on, in a...

I stripped the gears and I popped the clutch
At the end of the ride she thanked me much, in my...

Well nine long months had just passed by
When she came to me with a little Bug-Eye, in a...

And now the saddest part I'll tell
My little Bug-eye I had to sell, and a...

So now I'm married, I'm a family man
And I ride around in a beat-up van, not a...


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: gargoyle
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 11:03 PM

Random House Dictionary of American Slang

vol II. 1997 pg. 119

This very nice collection of collequializms (sic) gives reference to the song you cite:

3.l the vulva or vagina. - usu. considered vulger.

1938 J. colcord Song of Sailorman 99 "The Hog-Eye Man" Terry hints at hidden obsecenity in the name itself; but if this were case, the origniators have taken their knowledge with them. 1942 s.P. Bayard Hill country 75: [In] Greene County [Pa]... "Hog Eye" has an indecent meaning....."All she had to give me was a hog-eye and a 'tatler."...."I stepped right up and kissed her swett/And asked her for some hog-eye meat." 1920-54 in Randolph & Legman Blow Candle Out 788: The famele sex organ...cunt,...hog-eye...snatch [etc.] 1966 Longstreet & Godoff Wm. Kite The famle pudendum, called jelly-roll and hog-eye by Billy Brunswick.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 07:39 AM

It would be resonable to accept the canals were the first large scale projects to use large mobile groups of unskilled workers and that is indeed the origin of the term navvie. It's later adoption for unskilled workers in general is perfectly logical, but the word comes from working on the inland navigations.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:14 PM

Margarita, Thanks for the kind words, but now that I've heard your idea (about a Popeye-like character), I think I like it better. :-)

Great. Now I can't stop singig "Hog Eye Man" in my head. But that's always the case anyway. Great Song!!

Dan, You wrote:

It's always been my assumption that what was swept under the rug in the song was an explicit reference to a sexual encounter between a working man of African origin and a white woman.

Dan, I agree that it's possible to imagine (or in your words, assume) some sort of reference to a liaison between a white woman and a black man, but do you have anything else to go on for making that guess? Are there any references out there to this sort of connection?

You know how highly I value your opinion on these matters, Dan. I know that I always feel lured to believing the wilder explanations to things myself, but then reality (usually) kicks me in the butt and puts me back into my place.

gargoyle, I just love the references you cited, but I wasn't able to find that. Which edition were you using?

But in the end, I think Shambles summed it up accurately enough to satisfy me on the point completely.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:52 PM

Really, Matthew B., in THE END? HaHa

Yes, I have seen the alternate words in Hugill's book to indicate a relationship between a black man and a white woman. Instead of "railroad navvie" he says "railroad nigger". I've heard it sung "Sally in the garden picking peas with her golden hair hanging down to her knees". A definate black/white connection it would seem.

Can you imagine if hogeye is really such an obscene reference, and me going around singing about the hogeye man in front of my kids.............

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 08:43 PM

Margarita , I'm well aware of the yellow hair, and all of its erotic imagery in this context, but I'm still not sure if there's an interracial connotation there.

And as for "railroad nigger" I was surprised to learn that "railroad navvy" was the original term in the song, and "nigger" was only pasted in there later on, to suit the racist tastes of those singing it -- who may have added the other aspect of the reference, namely the interracial thing.

So I'm still unconvinced.

But you're certainly right about one thing: I usually get it in the, um, end.

;)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 11:06 PM

Hugh Williamson posted "Original Bawdy Versions" of several sea shanties at rec.music.folk a couple of years ago. His introduction to the post is provided below. One of the songs was Hogeye Man and it makes reference to the black - white tryst discussed above. If anyone wants the post send me a message and I will send it to you. The words are pretty bawdy and I don't feel comfortable posting them generally.

Original Post starts here:-------

Sea Chanties...the "original-wink wink, nudge, nudge" versions.

As part of my ongoing search for sea chanty and associated materials, I have uncovered what are claimed to be the authentic words to several well known chanties. As reported by Gershorn Legman, in his extensively footnoted collection "Roll me in your arms", these versions were given to him by Stan Hugill, as the authentic versions of chanties which he rewrote (ie cleaned up) for publication in his major works on Shanties.

I am still trying to locate a copy of Hugill's original vresions.

Hugh Williamson


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM

A couple of other lines that would be food for thought.

The Hog eye man is the man for me
He's blind in one eye & cannot see (does that mean he's only one eye to start with?)

Who's been here since I've been gone
A railroad navvy with his sea boots on (navvy boots?)

Another in this, can I say area, Whup Jamboree = Jinny get your (ringtail/oatcakes) (warm/done).

Sailors were masters of double & triple entredre (sp?), what they said &/or what they meant to say could be worlds apart. You may have had to have been there.

Hi Margarita. A dead eye is a fitting that has been replace by the turnbuckle. It's round with two (eye) holes on the upper part & one (mouth) hole on the bottom part. Through these hole goes, from the upper, the part of the standing rigging called a stay or shroud & the lower part would generally go to the chainplates. The tension on the rigging from here could be ajusted. There's also mentioed in song (Banks Of Newfoundland) the Deadman (go wash the mud (not blood) off the deadman's face). The deadman, like the deadeye has the same 3 holes but instead of a round object it's more resembles a skull. The anchor chain is lead from the ship's bow overboard to the mouthpiece of the deadman then from the other 2 holes runs an anchor chain from each hole so that two anchors can be set from what was originally one chain line. I've never heard of a deadman or deadeye being used in any other way.
Barry

Barry


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 01:04 AM

Thanks for the technical explanation of deadeye and deadman. I actually knew about the deadeye, but I don't quite see how one can make an obscene reference to it.

There are plenty of double entendres in sea songs. It must have been something that would break up the ennui aboard ship on long voyages. Personally, I like them.

The people at song circle know me as the lady who likes shantys. I am directing a children's choir this summer. You needn't guess what we're singing. Sea songs, of course. But cleaned up a bit: I want to have the option of teaching next year.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM

Margarita the best of luck to you & the kids. I thought it a bit funny when I found out that my kid was singing 'Your Baltimore Whores with purple drawers comes waltzing the alley' at circle time, of course if one of your students went home singing that their parents may not be as amused. Love to help out if you're in want or need, though I usually lean towards the more adult versions. Barry


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 07:44 AM

The term Navvy has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, and has always been used to refer common laborers on any project which requires digging/excavation: canals, earthworks, pipelines, levees, railroads. Later, when a machine was developed to do this work, it was called--as one might expect--the steam navvy. The term was, indeed, taken from the word navigator, but not in any way limited to seafaring--more having to do with surveying.

The tow-path driver responsible for the draft animals which towed barges and canal boats on the old canal systems was known as the HOGGY; that possibly might be the basis for the term hog-eye, through folk etymology.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM

There's a version of "Whip [Whup] Jamboree" with "come and get your oats, my son" in the chorus, (instead of "Jenny get your oat cakes done", which smacks (oops!) of Bowdlerism to me). Just in case you don't say that in your country, "getting one's oats" = "having carnival knowledge"; a useful expression you won't find in the phrase boks!

Steve


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:10 AM

Oops - sorry!!
I ought to point out that a phrase bok is a South African antelope whose postillions have been struck by lightning. (Not to be confused with phrase book, which isn't.)

Steve


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 09:15 AM

The canals were initially referred to as 'inland navigations', hence the word 'navvie'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:55 AM

You may be interested to know that there are many pubs in Britain called the Navigation, because they were built near a canal. In fact, there is always a pub within a hundred yards of a bridge or lock - very handy!


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 11:29 AM

Bill in alabama: I'm glad you made mention of the beasties that pull the barges. It appears that the origins of the lyrics all have logical roots.

Steve, I think perhaps your fingers got carried away excitedly dancing on the keyboard, your mind racing ahead with flitting visions of what the lyrics might mean....and hitting an extra key or two. I think you meant "carnal" knowledge. :o) My carnival knowledge is limited to clowns and elephants..............

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 02:04 PM

Hmmm...

Now that you mention it, Margarita, I do seem to recall spending some time on a carnal boat.

;o)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: gargoyle
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 12:47 AM

Mathew B.

The edition is 1997, vol. II (It only goes to the letter "o" at this time - the third volume is yet to come.)

However, this edition does also make mention of the "barge" context to which you refer:

Calif. a kind o barge. Now hist.
1870 In Whall Sea Songs 94: Oh, the hog-ey men are all the go,/Wehn they come down to San Francisco. 1925 Baily Shanghaied 39 [ref. to 1898] kSenn was trying to make his getaway by the last hog-eye (barge). 1910-27 Whall Sea Songs 93 [ref to a 1872] [around San Francisco] there was a great business carried on by water, the chief vehicles being barges, called "hog-eyes." The derivation of the name is unknown to me.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jon W.
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:42 PM

With an engine just under 1 liter displacement, I assume you meant the Bug-Eye Sprite went from 0 to 60 in 3.3 minutes, not seconds. Still I always wanted one back in those days.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 09:00 AM

I've heard the fabulous Heather Wood sing "the Hogeye Man" and am looking for a full set of words and even a recording. I didn't find the words in DigiTrad. Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 10:45 AM

It's there in DigTrad, filename[ HOGEYEMN


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOG-EYE MAN
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 11:39 AM

And a different version from the one in the DT:

HOG-EYE MAN

Go fetch me down my ridin' cane,
For I'm goin' to see my darlin' Jane

And a hog-eye,
Railroad navvy with his hog eye,
Row ashore with a hog-eye,
Oh, she wants a hog-eye man

Oh the hog-eye men are all the go
When they come down to San Fransisco

Now it's who's been here since I've been gone,
A railroad navvy with his sea boots on

Oh Sally in the garden pickin' peas,
Her golden hair hangin' down to her knees

Oh Sally in the garden, shellin' peas,
With her young hog-eye all a-sittin'on her knees

Oh a hog-eye ship and a hog-eye crew,
A hog-eye mate and skipper too

--------------
This version (the melody at least) dates from the 1860s and is from the singing of Ian Campbell & group on _Blow the Man Down_, Topic, TSCD464
The notes to the CD say Vance Randolph collected several versions from Missouri hill-folk, but Randolph's manuscripts are locked up in a sex research institute in Indiana. ----------------------
The Boarding Party also recorded this song. Check it out at Folk Legacy.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Micca
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM

Hey Jeri, you missed the verse (from the singing aboard a British merchant ship in 1965,of Bert Grey of Shetland)
Sallys in the kitchen making duff
and the cheeks of her a***e go chuff chuff chuff.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 02:34 PM

Micca, that verse is in the Boarding Party's version, but not in the one I transcribed, and I was trying to write what I heard. I don't know if it was deliberately not included in that version. (Guess - probably)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Melbert
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM

I thought Hogeye was the last of the Mohicans. Didn't he have a Scots brother, Hogeye the Noo?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Micca
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 06:56 PM

Melbert yeah him and his Scouse Apache mate Hang-on-a-mo'


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Wotcha
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 11:36 AM

Hogeye is certainly a nautical term ... thanks for clearing it up Barry! I seem to recall a conversation on this topic at Radio Mexico after a sing at Southstreet Seaport last February ...

Navvy/Navvie is almost an epithet in the UK -- commonly associated with the Irish who were "imported" to work the roads and canals in the 1700s and still seem to be there to this day ... (I am of Irish origin too ...)

The Pogues (dare I mention them on this website) render an interesting song entitled "Navigator" referring to Navvie contributions to empires, conglomerations, at their expense. "Navigator, navigator rise up and be strong/...there's work to be done ..." A great song. Check it out.

Cheers, Allahamdalla, Brian


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM

Debbie McLatchy sings an American old-time song called Hogeye (I think) which has similar words in places to the sea shanty, but without any of the nautical aspects. She gives the explanation that the hog-eyes were boats in San Francisco that used to bring ashore passengers and crew from larger sailing ships. During the '49 gold rush (in which an ancestor of hers took part, and found gold!) ships crews used to leave the ships to go prospecting, leaving behind many rotten old hulks. These people were apparantly known as the hogeye men. Cheers Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: NAVVY BOOTS (from The Dubliners)
From: AKS
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:54 AM

What can be agreed on here, is what these hogeye & navvy men were interested in. The Dubliners' (I think they've also recorded The Navigator mentioned earlier) version of The Navvy Boots adds 'the courtroom bit' to the story of the two in DT:

NAVVY BOOTS
Trad
As recorded by The Dubliners on "Original Dubliners" (1993)

I am an old navvy and I work on the line,
And the last place I worked was Newcastle-on-Tyne.
I'll tell me misfortune. It happened in fun,
And it happened one night I'd me navvy boots on.

That night after supper I shaved off me beard.
To meet me fair Elaine I was well prepared.
To meet me fair Elaine I then hurried down,
And I met her that night with me navvy boots on.

I knocked on her window. My knock it was low.
I knocked on her window. My knock she did know.
She jumped out of bed saying, "is that you, John?"
"Oh, be cheerful! It's me with me navvy boots on."

She came to the door and invited me in,
Saying, "draw to the fire, love, and warm your skin."
Well the bedroom was open and the blankets rolled down,
So I jumped into bed with me navvy boots on.

Now all of that night how we sported and played,
Never thinking of time as it soon passed away.
Then she jumped out of bed crying, "What have I done?
Now the baby will be born with his navvy boots on!"

I chastised me loved one for talking so wild.
Are you foolish, young girl? You'll never have a child,
For all that I've done now 'twas only in fun."
But I run like hell with me navvy boots on.

And very soon after I was summoned to court
To pay for me sins just like any man ought.
I pay ten bob a week now for all of my fun
That I had that night with me navvy boots on.

greet's AKS


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM

Getting back to this fascinating thread, since I'm learning the song:

JAB-could you please send me the uncensored lyrics to Hogyeye Man you got from the newsgroup you mentioned? (I couldn't figure out how to send you this message privately, but I'm hoping you can figure out how to send one to me!)

Matthew--How did you learn that later singers had replaced 'navvy' with the racist epithet beginning with 'n'?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM

There's also a thread through this interesting discussion of the one-eyed trait which has its own trail of references in folk literature. One-Eyed Reilly is the first that comes to mind. One eyed-ness is traditionally associated with peckers, for obviosu reason, and could have been the basis for thoughts about dead-eyes as a resonance to that notion.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 03:52 PM

Geez, the things you learn on Mudcat! I always assumed "navvie" was a small corruption of "navy"--glad to be enlightened!

Lin


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