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Shanties about sodomy and piracy

Jack Campin 18 Oct 08 - 07:25 PM
Peace 18 Oct 08 - 07:29 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 08 - 07:33 PM
Emma B 18 Oct 08 - 07:36 PM
Peace 18 Oct 08 - 07:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 08 - 07:53 PM
Peace 18 Oct 08 - 08:34 PM
Amos 18 Oct 08 - 08:39 PM
Joe_F 18 Oct 08 - 09:32 PM
Peace 18 Oct 08 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,Old Seadog 19 Oct 08 - 03:08 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 08 - 04:03 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Oct 08 - 04:57 AM
SPB-Cooperator 19 Oct 08 - 06:03 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Oct 08 - 06:23 AM
Snuffy 19 Oct 08 - 06:27 AM
Marc Bernier 19 Oct 08 - 12:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 08 - 01:39 PM
Michael 20 Oct 08 - 05:20 AM
Charley Noble 20 Oct 08 - 09:24 AM
Bill D 20 Oct 08 - 10:55 AM
quokka 20 Oct 08 - 11:18 AM
John MacKenzie 20 Oct 08 - 11:25 AM
Joe_F 20 Oct 08 - 11:15 PM
Bill D 20 Oct 08 - 11:23 PM
alinact 21 Oct 08 - 03:01 AM
bubblyrat 21 Oct 08 - 04:46 AM
Jack Campin 21 Oct 08 - 05:25 AM
Michael 21 Oct 08 - 06:49 AM
JWB 22 Oct 08 - 12:20 AM
Charley Noble 22 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Oct 08 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: sodomy and piracy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:25 PM

Any known shanties to go along with this maritime actvity?

http://www.chiprowe.com/bookrev/sodomy.html

People that far outside the law probably *did* make up songs about what they were doing.

Fifteen men on a dead man's, er, um, ...

Blow the man... well, not down exactly...


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:29 PM

While this subject is a pain in the ass, it deserves more mention than it receives in our history books.


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:33 PM

More


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Emma B
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:36 PM

Whip Jamboree - in the unexpurgated version I think!


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:52 PM

LOL, the lot of you. The song question is a good one.

"The cabin boy, the cabin boy,
The dirty little nipper
Shoved broken glass up the first mate's ass
And circumcized the skipper."

Only one I'm aware of and I know nothing about its history.


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 07:53 PM

Of course! I see it all now!

that's why they called him Long John!
No wonder George was merry
and few prizes for guessing how Israel Hands spent his time in the hammock!

In fact LJS refers to the Hispaniola as a 'blessed bumboat'.

I bet it was like Blackpool Tower Ballroom on tango night.


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 08:34 PM

Jack, it's going to present difficulties in the extreme to keep this thread on course. Extreme difficulty. Makes a fellow wonder whether they might have worn the condoms made from intestine, both in situ and ex rigor mortis of the animal, pardon the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Amos
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 08:39 PM

I alway swondered about that long-tailed black man coming up behind, mate. Thanks for the context!!!



A


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 09:32 PM

Peace: The song you quote is usually called The Good Ship Venus. It has some other homosexual stanzas:

The captain had a first mate;
He loved him like a brother,
And every night by the pale moonlight
They cornholed one another.

The skipper came upon the deck;
His prick was like a mast-pole --
He grabbed the first mate by the neck
And fucked him in the ass-hole.

At St Andrews University while I was there (just about 50 years ago), it had the chorus

Frigging in the rigging,
Wanking on the planking,
Buggery in the snuggery --
There's fuck-all else to do.

There is no evidence, however, that the Venus was a pirate ship. Furthermore, most of the stanzas describe heterosexual or autosexual activity.

There is a good deal of overlap between that song and Christopher Colombo, and some otherwise independent limericks get mixed into both.


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Subject: RE: sodomy and piracy
From: Peace
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 10:32 PM

Thank you, Joe. I have never heard those stanzas before. Much appreciated, both the lyrics and the history. Thanbk you.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: GUEST,Old Seadog
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 03:08 AM

There was this un that might apply

Well raise a cheer for the pretty cabin lad
Hi-come-diddle ol dannie
with the face of an angel, and his legs ain't bad
diddle ol dannie all day
We thought at first he was a maid in disguise
Hi-come-diddle-ol-dannie
But the First Mate sez he's one of the guys
diddle ol dannie all day
He's a chipper lad, and his humor's sunny
Hi come diddle ol dannie
But after five month's sail he was walkin kind of funny
diddle ol dannie all day


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 04:03 AM

When I worked on the Liverpool Docks they used to tell about the sailor who wouldn't go back to sea because he didn't want to leave his friend's behind - or maybe it was 'his friends behind' - never been sure.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 04:57 AM

I pity the matelot who was Captain Hook's bitch!

JM


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:03 AM

Without going into detail (unless I am pressed) the double-entendre in the use of maritime jargon is quite blantent (or at least pretty suggestive).

Piracy tended to be more a subject of forebitters.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:23 AM

Yardarms?

¦¬]


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 06:27 AM

Try Salty Dick's Uncensored Sailor Songs


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 12:27 PM

There are tons of ssong on the subject(s). Few shanties though.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 01:39 PM

Go down you blood red roses!

who they were going down on, I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Michael
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 05:20 AM

I'm buggered if I know any!

But as nobody has mentioned the apocryphal 'Roger the cabin boy' from Capt'Pugwash, I will.

Anyway, as the saying goes "Sodom, for Gommorah we die"

Mike


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 09:24 AM

There's a number of shanties that mention "hoisting Blue Peter" and there is also the "Salt Peter Shanty."

"Sodomy" aboard a Royal Navy ship was considered a capital offense. Few were hanged for that offense but the law probably did act as a deterrent.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 10:55 AM

"Few were hanged for that offense but the law probably did act as a deterrent."

Since the captain's cabin was often the only 'private' place on a ship, that may have helped....


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: quokka
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 11:18 AM

I seem to remember 'The Good Ship Venus' was to the tune of Whiskey in the Jar - is that correct? It was the first dirty song I ever learned LOL!


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 11:25 AM

That Able Seaman should have been bloody well hung!
He was ducky, he was!


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Joe_F
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 11:15 PM

quokka: I have heard "The Good Ship Venus" to a couple of tunes, but neither bears any resemblance to that of "Whiskey in the Jar".

Charley Noble: As to the Royal Navy, the 20th-century song "Stripey and Blondie", a takeoff on "Frankie and Johnny" collected by Cyril Tawney in _Grey Funnel Lines_, gives the impression that having a boyfriend is no big deal, but you had better not let your girlfriend find out about it: "Never run an OD winger/And a blond barmaid as well". Tawney explains in his gloss on "winger":

Originally this meant a young novice sailor taken "under the wing"
of a veteran, usually a "Stripey" or Petty Officer. It might or
might not imply a homosexual bond....


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Oct 08 - 11:23 PM

Snuffy's link above will let you hear common tunes to these songs...a couple differ a bit from the ones I remember, but that how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: alinact
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 03:01 AM

You MUST listen to Loudon Wainwright the Third's (or if you're Irish, the turd's) version of On The Good Ship Venus, off the Rogues Gallery double CD. Not only one of his best ever recordings, but also of that particular song.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 04:46 AM

Of course,many a nautical phrase ,expression or word can be misinterpreted to humourous effect,leading perhaps to misunderstanding. In any case,there is a world of difference between homosexuality and nautical sodomy; in normal circumstances gay men are drawn together through mutual attraction and proclivity,whereas seafarers,particularly in the 17th & 18th centuries,had no alternative,being often confined to their ships (for fear of desertion) for years on end ;at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar,for example,many of the sailors on the British ships hadn't been allowed ashore for seven years or more! So,whilst it may well have been a serious offence (if you got caught"in flagrente dilecto" )officially, it would have had tacit acceptance as a fact of shipboard life and an everyday( if you had access to a handsome cabin-boy ! ) activity.So probably not considered to be worth composing a song about ,to be honest (other than a Pumping Shanty ?),although one can have lots of fun with one's imagination and phrases like "Haul away Joe" and "As we walloped around Cape Horn " etc. Even dear old Captain Pugwash has his place in the scheme of things---apparently, his name means "blowjob" in Australia,although I know nothing of antipodean sailors other than that they spent a lot of time "down under" !!


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 05:25 AM

From the book review I started this thread with, it looks like there was *not* a world of difference. Men mostly chose to be pirates, and for a gay man that meant a life (albeit probably a short one) entirely outside any legal code that might interfere with expressing their sexuality. They could probably have it off at midday on the foredeck without anyone caring.


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Michael
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 06:49 AM

Whilst not a song but musical nevertheless, George Melly's autobiography was 'Rum, Bum and Concertina'.
Just thought you might like to know.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: JWB
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 12:20 AM

In Hugill's collection he mentions that The Shaver was a rare chantey dealing with homosexuality. (Being away from home I can't check page number and exact quote). But there is a version of The Shaver on Salty Dick's record.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 10:31 AM

Old Sea Dog, in my opinion, has done the best job of dredging up a song that sounds as if real sailors might have sung it.

I was reviewing Cyril Tawney's GREAT FUNNEL LINE and thought that "Sod Them All" had some potential but, no, it's just a general protest song against all the higher ranked people that plague the common sailor.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Shanties about sodomy and piracy
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 10:43 AM

Great, Charley?

¦¬]


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