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Sea-song pronunciations question

meself 21 Jan 09 - 01:24 AM
Barry Finn 21 Jan 09 - 01:42 AM
Gurney 21 Jan 09 - 01:48 AM
Gurney 21 Jan 09 - 01:49 AM
Barry Finn 21 Jan 09 - 02:01 AM
Skivee 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 AM
Gurney 21 Jan 09 - 02:39 AM
meself 21 Jan 09 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 21 Jan 09 - 04:26 AM
rich-joy 21 Jan 09 - 05:30 AM
MartinRyan 21 Jan 09 - 05:37 AM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 09 - 06:04 AM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 09 - 06:07 AM
GUEST 21 Jan 09 - 06:12 AM
the lemonade lady 21 Jan 09 - 07:14 AM
Sugwash 21 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM
Dave Earl 21 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 09 - 09:30 AM
davyr 21 Jan 09 - 09:54 AM
PoppaGator 21 Jan 09 - 10:50 AM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM
Marje 21 Jan 09 - 11:42 AM
Snuffy 21 Jan 09 - 03:02 PM
Will Fly 21 Jan 09 - 03:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Jan 09 - 03:27 PM
Howard Jones 21 Jan 09 - 04:05 PM
the lemonade lady 21 Jan 09 - 04:26 PM
Ref 21 Jan 09 - 07:06 PM
Lighter 21 Jan 09 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Jim P 22 Jan 09 - 12:44 AM
meself 22 Jan 09 - 01:00 AM
Bert 22 Jan 09 - 01:15 AM
Snuffy 22 Jan 09 - 08:50 AM
The Vulgar Boatman 22 Jan 09 - 04:03 PM
meself 23 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM
Lighter 01 Feb 09 - 10:20 PM
meself 02 Feb 09 - 01:16 AM
SPB-Cooperator 02 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Mar 09 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM
SINSULL 11 Mar 09 - 04:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Mar 09 - 06:28 PM
Barry Finn 11 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM
meself 11 Mar 09 - 07:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Mar 09 - 09:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Mar 09 - 10:03 PM
Beer 11 Mar 09 - 10:09 PM
Barry Finn 11 Mar 09 - 10:35 PM
bubblyrat 12 Mar 09 - 05:28 AM
bubblyrat 12 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Jim P 12 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM
Tattie Bogle 12 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Mar 09 - 09:26 AM
bubblyrat 12 Mar 09 - 02:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM
Ross Campbell 12 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Lighter 12 Mar 09 - 10:36 PM
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Subject: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:24 AM

Do any of you old armchair sea-dogs have opinions one way or the other concerning deliberately-exaggerated pronunciations along the lines of "earl-EYE in the morning"? Do they have a basis in 'tradition', and if so, to what extent?

Just wondering.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:42 AM

It would sound best if you sang it in your own tongue. Don't give it an accent except your own. Sailors were an international bunch, they may have had their own slang & word usage & pharses but their speach was most influenced by where they were born & raised (my opinion only), unless of course they were sons of guns, then they probably sounded like an amalgamation of sailors.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:48 AM

Certainly some strange pronunciations were used, particularly on Britisn ships. In the RN, HMS Bellerophon was called billyruffian in the forecastle, and Valparaiso was often called wallopariser in the merchant service.
For specific cases, try 'Shanties from the Seven Seas' by Stan Hugill, or indeed any earlier shanty books.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:49 AM

..BritisH...


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:01 AM

But did they all have a special way to pronunciate EARLY? No, I don't think so. They had strange words & ways to those of dry land, maybe.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Skivee
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:34 AM

I tend to think that Err-LYE was an affectation of those damned folk singers...you know how they can be.(Loud Spit, here)
My reaserch strongly suggests that Nova Scotians don't generally sing Err-Lye in the morning while singing "Farewell to Nova Scotia"
When pushed to reveal sources those in my circle of friends who insist otherwise all seem to have learned it from Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) activities and the like in their callow youths.
A sampling of several Nova Scotian singers revealed none who did it that way. When we Pyrates Royale recorded it on BlackJack, we went with a "normal" pronunciation.
On the other hand British sailors showed a remarkable ability to mispronounce words.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 02:39 AM

Mispronounce WORDS? They mispronounce the names of whole countries!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:02 AM

Thanks for the responses. Just to clarify: I'm not asking about affecting accents or repeating accidental mispronunciations; I'm asking about deliberately exaggerated or purposefully wrong enunciation, as "earl-eye" for early, "R-eye-o" for Rio, "revolu-shy-un" for revolution, "Roo-shy-un" for Russian, etc.

I did read somewhere years ago, from some seemingly authoritative source, that that kind of thing was a playful practice common among sailor-singers; I'm wondering whether there is any truth in that or not.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:26 AM

I can't shed any light in the specific question, but BBC Radio 4 (Word of Mouth) recently ran an item about pirates, which included a piece about nautical language. The suggestion was that sailors were effectively a nation apart, with their own patois and pronunciation, which superseded native accents and vocabularies. Since a ship's company often hailed from diverse nations and ports, and spent far more time together than with people from their native regions, this was perhaps inevitable. Maybe there was also some deliberate re-invention, as there usually is with 'tribal' slang, to 'claim' words for the maritime community. These new variants would have been spread and shared as people moved from ship to ship, and mingled in ports around the world. Bear in mind also that sailors heard many languages spoken on their travels, and specially the 'correct' local pronunciations of place names, which were often at odds with both the English and the literal pronunciations as suggested by the various spellings on maps.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: rich-joy
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 05:30 AM

I recently heard someone sing this song and use the "normal" pronunciation of "Chile" (like Chilli, e.g.) as opposed to rhyming it with "a while" ..... it actually jarred, didn't scan well, and sounded quite bizarre!!!

Rounding the Horn (the gallant frigate, Amphitrite one ....)

Farewell to Valparaiso, farewell for a while,
Likewise to aII the Spanish girls all on the coast of Chile;
And if ever l live to be paid off l'll sit and sing this song:
"God bless those pretty Spanish girls we left around Cape Horn."
(version taken from the DigiTrad)


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 05:37 AM

Be thankful they didn't pronounce "while" as "w(h)illy"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 06:04 AM

Serving in the Royal Navy requires one to virtually learn a new language.Sailors have a strange fondness for Malapropisms,without necessarily knowing what they are ; for example " Men under punishment and stoppage of leave" are actually "Men under nourishment and stoppage of cheese",whilst the command "Face aft and salute ! " is actually "Chase arse in a blue suit !". In my day,the frigate Galatea was,of course, the "Galloping Tea-pot" and the submarine Superb was the "Super Bee"-----I leave the question of the frigate HMS Dido to your evil imaginations !! Naturally,among RN practitioners of the Noble Art ( Folk Music),of which there was a gratifying number(inc. me),it was considered "de rigeur" to stretch all manner of words when singing,hence Sail-eye-or, Capt-eye-in, ,Med-eye-al ( yes, "The Good Ship Calabar" !! ) Bose-eye-un,Harl-eye-ott,Strump-eye-ett- Ok I'll stop there, but you get the picture?? After about ten years, I found myself virtually unable to communicate normally with anyone NOT in the Navy !!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 06:07 AM

I should have said "Commune-eye-Kate", of course ----Sorry !!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 06:12 AM

Is it, perhaps, a case of stretching or exaggerating a word to fit within a tune? Just a thought really.

There is a meta language employed by sailors, as there is in many other trades. Tackle, for example, is pronounced take-ell, jib boom is run into jiboom, leeward is looard. Facinating subject.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 07:14 AM

And in Shenandoah, I hate it when everyone sings Misery instead of Missouri (eye) and on this site
people say Missour-ee and others say Missour-uh? As the word doesn't rhyme with anything else in the verse, it would be correct to sing it the way it was origonally sung.

Oh and Rio Grande; should it be Ryo Grande? The people from there say Rio Granday.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Sugwash
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM

Sorry, the guest above was me sans cookie.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Dave Earl
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM

There are place names in Sussex where the "y" ending is pronounced "eye"

For example Ardingly is pronounced Ar-ding-l-eye.

I have always thought that the "eye" ending (does it always follow an L?) was an Sussex or Southern counties "dialect" thing - I could well be wrong.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 09:30 AM

As in Lyminster (Littlehampton),home of my ancest-eye-orrs !


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: davyr
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 09:54 AM

"Men under nourishment and stoppage of cheese"

Ah, I always wondered where Ben Gunn's strange craving came from...

The Sussex "eye" usually comes after "L", but "chimnEYE" may be a notable exception (As in the Copper Family's "Sweep, Chimney Sweep").


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 10:50 AM

"Missouri" is pronounced "Mizz-our-ee" by most Americans outside the state, as well as by many folks in the metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, but as "Miss-our-uh" by rural folk and other natives of the Show-Me State.

It's hard to say which is "correct," either on land or on sea.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM

I have a very good ( I think !!) version of "Shenandoah" on my "Step Stone" CD of Walt Michael & Co.The vocalist,the estimable John Kirk,most definitely sings "Missourah"----Plus,in the film "Josey Wales", Clint Eastwood refers to "The Missourah Boat-Ride", so I guess that settles it ,at least for me !!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Marje
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:42 AM

There are other examples of the "eye" for "ee" in the Copper family songs. I can't remember chapter and verse but I'm sure I've heard, "I bold- lye walked up to her.." And also there are "lye" rhymes at the end of lines that would't work with the "lee" pronunciation.
A similar case is "wind" which was certainly pronounced to rhyme with "mind" at one stage, even when it meant the wind that blows.

So I wouldn't be too quick to assume that either sailors or folk singers were just messing about. Sailors (and others - Winston Churchill for one) may had had a mischievous habit of deliberately mispronouncing foreign place names, but many everyday words have simply changed their pronunciation in the last couple of centuries or so, and it's fair enough for traditional singers of old songs to respect those conventions, especially when the rhymes are affected.


Marje


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 03:02 PM

Peter Kennedy's Folktrax label issued a double CD of field recordings of shanties from the James Madison Carpenter Collection sung by retired sailors, some born as long ago as the 1830s and 1840s.

On all three recordings of Drunken Sailor it is pronounced earl-ee not earl-eye.

Rio appears as both Ree-o and Rye-o, and Hilo as High-low and Hee-lo (in the same line in one case!)


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 03:21 PM

The Sussex "eye" doesn't just follow an L (as in ArdinglEYE and ChiddinglEYE) - the village named Ansty is pronounced AnstEYE. There are even curiouser village pronunciations in the county. Burwash - once home to Kipling - was pronounced Burrish, and nearby Heathfield was pronounced Heffle. I'm sure other counties do similar things - Puncknowle in Dorset is pronounced as Punnel - like funnel...

I think any community develops its own internal language traits, and ships were certainly self-contained communities.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 03:27 PM

Spanish words were given English pronunciations by English-speakers.
My grandfather, in Colorado, was raised with Rye-o, even though the Rio Grande River was nearby.
Of course the Rio Grande of sailors was a South American port, and Hilo often referred to Ilo (Sp. ee-lo) which is in Peru.

Earl-LIE may have been used for emphasis is a chantey or two, but I doubt any general use.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:05 PM

Hugill says in Shanties of the Seven Seas, regarding "Drunken Sailor": "The word 'early' was always pronounced 'earl-eye'. Sailormen liked the sound, as can be seen from his pronunciation of 'California' in Sacramento - 'Californ-eye-O'."

Elsewhere he explains that "seamen always pronounced these soft 'i's' - in songs - as 'eye' eg Rio - 'Rye-o', California - 'Californ-eye-O' etc. Therefore 'Hilo' was sung 'High-low' in the second refrain and the solos, but in the first refrain I feel that I am right in saying that the soft sound was used - 'hee-lo-o-o', in this case it being a sort of yodel aimed at by good singers of shanties." (He also says that while "Hilo" may refer to a port, either in Peru or Hawaii, it was also a general word meaning a jamboree or a dance, and could even be a verb).

It seems that these pronunciations are authentic, but in shanties rather than general speech.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 04:26 PM

Isn't it all wonderful. I think that Bristol could have been Brist-o because the accent down there puts an 'ol' on the end of some words. This could mean that lots of words and place names even, have their spelling effected by the way the locals speak.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Ref
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 07:06 PM

Barry hit the nail on the head ear-LYE on in this thread. Our language used to be a lot more elastic than it is now, and sailors were a thoroughly mixed lot, often speaking a pidgen landsmen wouldn't follow at all. Shanties were composed to fit a rhythm, and words would be twisted to fit the meter and rhyme. I also think Barry's right that you should sing what comes naturally to you, not to some model of "authenticity."


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 07:41 PM

Hugill also writes that one of his British seafaring correspondents, referring to the 1890s, concurred that "Sailors...sang 'Rye-O' not 'Ree-O,' for though they well knew it was called 'Ree-O,'that word was not a 'mouth-opener' like 'Rye-O.'" In "A-Rovin'," Hugill prints "ru-eye-in."

Colcord, who virtually "grew up" at sea in the '90s wrote in 1924 that "the American sailor disdained any other pronunciation than 'Ry-o.'" But she doesn't say anything about "Early" in "Drunken Sailor."

Captain Leighton Robinson, a Cornishman also at sea in the '90s, sang
"Oh, Rye-O Grand' lies far away! Way-ay, Rye-O!"

C.F. Smith too insists (1927) that sailors sang "'Ry-o' not 'Ree-o.'" But she also seems to prefer the spelling "early."

Hutchinson's notes made in 1886 also prescribe "Rye-O."

The other authentic authorities, including Whall, Terry, and Doerflinger, seem to be silent on these matters. Sailors sang the songs as they learned them and "eye" in certain words must have been a common but not universal practice.

To make what Howard said more emphatic, there is absolutely no evidence that sailors (including pirates)said "earlye" or "ru-eye-in" in ordinary talk. "Rye-O" may be an exception, since 19th C. practice, unlike today's, was generally to anglicize the sound of foreign words. Byron expects us to pronounce "Don Juan" like "Don Joo-un." So "Rye-O" may have been so familiar that few writers thought it was worth mentioning.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 12:44 AM

From Whall, p. 30:

"One word as to the way in which these songs were sung. They, an all like ditties, had a regulation pronunciation which has quite gone out. I give the first verse phrased as an old sailor would have sung it:

O come list a-whidle adnd you soodn shadll hear;
By the rodling sea lived a maiden fair
Her father followed the sum-muggling trade
like a wardlike hero,
Like a wardlike hero that never was aff-er-aid."

This is from his notes on "The Female Smuggler," p. 30 in my copy.

I think this fits well with the concept of the old sailors being a nation apart with their own patois. He doesn't weigh in on the "rio/rye-" issue, only giving an explanation of U.S. Thanksgiving day for his British audience.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 01:00 AM

Some great responses here, of the sort I was hoping for. Keep'm coming!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 01:15 AM

I had a friend in the merchant navy in England who swore that sailors deliberately mispronounced words, especially the names of ships.

Kinda like the way some old Cockneys deliberately mispronounce words of three syllables or longer. And should you use such a word correctly they will make a comment such as "We 'ad one o' those and crossed it with a Flemish Giant"


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 08:50 AM

Jim P, that trait was also common among land-based singers - they didn't like extending a single syllable over more than one note, so would tack on a nonsense syllable to fit the tune.

Often, as here, it was a -d- but a vague -a- sound was also common. Percy Grainger for one noted these pronunciations in his transcriptions.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 04:03 PM

Hang on, we are talking about the same nation who, almost to a man, pronounce that island's name Eye-beetha...


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM

I'm going to send this thread up for another slide down the page, to see if anyone has anything to add.

Many thanks for the various facts and opinions, contradictory as they may be. Now I have a much more solid basis for my confusion ... !


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 09 - 10:20 PM

More on "earlye," etc.

The New York magazine Vanity Fair (not the modern mag of the same name), in its issue of Feb. 16, 1861, includes a story in which an old man, singing "Peggy Gordon," pronounces "brandy" as "brand-eye" and very as "ver-eye."

This supports the idea that "earlye," "Rye-o," and so on represent a very old-fashioned folk mannerism that was not always restricted to sea songs.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 01:16 AM

Great stuff, Lighter! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 02 Feb 09 - 10:15 AM

The reason for -eye rather than -eee is that the former is a more forceful vowel sound which carried better than the latter in the conditions in which the songs were sung.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 01:09 PM

More evidence that "Rye-o" was a familiar pronunciation:

In a WPA interview conducted around 1939, 91-year-old Ben Kinchlow, a African-American ex-cowboy, recalled that "I fell in love with a Mexkin girl once. They was two of them girls an' they lived on a ranch owned by Ed Daughtery on the Ryo Grand (Rio Grande) an' the caporal (head man) was their father."

The glosses are by the interviewer, Florence Angermiller. Kinchlow is regularly quoted as saying "Rye-o," not "Ree-o."

Different Rio Grande, different occupation, same pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM

It's safe to say that since the olden days, i and ee sounds have traded places rather often.


...oh wind,
if winter comes,
can spring be
far behind?

(it seems that 'wind' had a long i in the 1800's.)
----------
... gave me her promise true,
which ne'er forgot shall be,
and for bonnie Annie Laurie
I would lay me down and die.

(it seems that 'die' was pronounced 'dee.')
-----------
to see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die
with thee again, in sweetest sympathy.

(either die is dee or sympathee is sympa-thigh)


I doubt whether anybody knows which way to go to fix these now-broken rhymes. One thing is for sure - it's a waste of energy to decide that an unfamiliar pronunciation is a mere affectation.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 04:28 PM

The Boarding Party's Solid Fas' (derived from Shenandoah)is all about misery:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SOLID FAS'

Solid fas', I come to tell you
HURRAH, MY ROLLING RIVER
"Solid fas'," our captain cry out
WE ARE BOUND AWAY FROM THIS WORLD OF MISERY

Nobody knows about our toilin'
Only God Almighty knows about our danger

"Whale ahead," my little gunman cry out
"Solid fas'," my little captain answer

And on our way, she roll and shiver
Down in our way, she spout dirty water

"Make her so bold," my strokeman cry out
"Haul and gi' me," my centerman cry out

Nobody knows about our hardship
Our shipowner, she don't know our hardship

Misery into the ocean
Misery in the deep wide ocean

Recorded by the Boarding Party
(rowing shanty from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent,
derived from "Shenandoah")
@sailor @whaling
filename[ SOLIDFAS
MC

I guess the locals heard "Misery" and not Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:28 PM

"Solid fast" is an old expression, it seems to survive in sea songs. It means to hold steady, without deviation, or that something is attached solidly, secure, rigidly, etc.
It is in Roget's Thesaurus. I'm curious about when it came into use and if it was originally nautical. Not important for any reason, but wondering how it was first used.

The shanty posted by Sinsull is known in several forms; as "Oh, My Rolling River" on Nevis. (See Roger D.
Abrahams, "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore," pp. 73-74. In all of them, "misery" is used; it is sung in squally weather.
It is believed that the song was obtained from whaling ships, which afforded employment to West Indian sailors and fishermen.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM

Mary, it may not have been so much as what they did or didn't hear as it might have been that Missouri had no meaning whatsoever for them & as sea term & music normally go the words sometimes change so that they have meaning to those that sing them.
From the same area that we get the song 'Solid Fas' we get "Rayo Groun'" again a coruption of someting more meanful to the locals than "Rio Grand"?
(These are fro the British West Indies just in case any one' wondering)

This should be linked to the ongoing "Yaller Gal" thread

Barry


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: meself
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 07:11 PM

Yaller Gals thread - there we go.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 09:35 PM

Ryo was used discriminatorily by some Anglos in Texas-New Mexico, insisting on the 'Ryo' pronunciation even when they knew better.

I remember looking for San Juan Street in San Antonio, TX, back when I was in the army and stationed there. The Anglo policeman I asked said he didn't know of any such street, but he finally remembered a San Jew-an street. I tried to correct him and had to run like mad to keep from getting a busted head. My uniform probably kept me from getting shot. I think the majority there at the time were Hispanic, but many wouldn't vote because of the poll tax cost or having to wait for verification at the polls.
Now such discrimination is rare, but that was over 50 years ago.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:03 PM

ValAparaiso with an extra A? In HEEl-e, of course!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Beer
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:09 PM

Came on this thread late. Wish I had something to contribute but afraid not. I do however find it fascinating.
Thanks for starting it meself.
No I didn't start it, you did meself.
Gee this gets confusing.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 10:35 PM

I wasn't intending to start another Rayo discussion. That's the spelling of the song as titled in the bood & it ground rather than grand. If I remember correctly from Roger's the field tapes there's also a reference in a chorus 'shallow ground" but I can no longer find that

Barry


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 05:28 AM

I'm off to Reading to buy some D'adda-rye-o guitar-strings,some poll-eye-ish,and some string clean-eye-err.I might get a new cap-eye-o and some pleck-try-ums whilst I'm at it.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM

Should have said Red-eye-ing, really ( I live in Hen-lye-ee,although I am in Mar-lye -owe this morn-eye-ing, actual,my chappers).


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM

As for "wind" being pronounced with a long "I":

    So now we've took that ship, my boys, God speed to us fair wind
    That we might sail to Plymouth town, if the heavens prove so kind

From "Warlike Seamen." Just another data point.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM

It IS pronounced that way when it's a wynd (passageway)- which can be very windy!


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 09:26 AM

It's not only sea songs. I have often wondered why, in so many Irish songs about emigration, America is called "Americay." I have heard this pronunciation only in Irish songs. Is it an affectation adopted by folksingers? Or is it an authentic tradition? If traditional, was it used in ordinary speech, as well as singing? If it was ever in common use, I assume it has died out now.

Of course it is not uncommon for us to pronounce names of countries differently. Nobody in the US pronounces "Mexico" the way the Mexicans do. But there you are talking about two languages: English vs. Spanish. It seems very odd for two nations that both speak English to pronounce "America" so differently.

(Pardon the thread drift, if that's what it is.)


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 02:14 PM

But you wind (not wynd) a narrowboat in a "Winding Hole" on the canals.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 02:44 PM

"Americay" is used in some 19th c. song sheets Both English and American printers). I don't know if this emphasis was by the song writers, or it was a pronunciation in normal conversation.
Here is a bit from a song sheet. I picked it because of its other common 'Irishisms':

Innocent Mike
(Tune- The Low-backed Car)

I am a wandering Irishman, they call me Innocent Mike,
I came across the Atlantic on a very stormy night,
I came across the Atlantic commonly called the say,
To roam in this dear country called swate Americay.
I'll be two months here the day I'm settled down all right,
Hould on and I'll tell you all about meself, poor innocent Mike.
(and four more verses)

America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets, American Memory.
Printer G. W. Anderson, NY.


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM

You might still hear "Americay" among older people in Northern Ireland and probably other parts as well. Sometimes it sounds like "Americ-ya" which I take to be a transitional move towards the standard pronunciation.

How did "Canada" get to be "Canadee-i-o"?

Ross


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Subject: RE: Sea-song pronunciations question
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 10:36 PM

In 1879, in a very serious poem, Matthew Arnold (English, not Irish)rhymed "Lusitania" with "say."


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