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Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'

Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 09 - 10:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 09 - 11:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Gibb 11 Feb 09 - 02:21 AM
Barry Finn 11 Feb 09 - 02:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 09 - 11:59 AM
Lighter 11 Feb 09 - 01:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 09 - 01:38 PM
shipcmo 16 Nov 10 - 09:29 AM
Charley Noble 16 Nov 10 - 03:51 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:52 PM

Charles Nordhoff, in "Seeing the World, A Young Sailor's Own Story," tells of leaving Liverpool on a merchant ship which had unloaded cotton and was bound away with cargo and passengers. The windlass was manned by the passengers, who demanded sailor songs.

"The chaunty-man was called for.
Said he, 'Now, just wait; I'll set all the men and women crying before you know it.'
He struck up to a rather slow and plaintive tune an old capstan song, which begins as follows:

Chaunty-man: 'We're going away from friends and home,
Chorus: Oh, sailors, where are you bound to?
C-M: We're going away to hunt for gold.
Chorus: Across the briny ocean.
C-M: Father and mother say good-bye,
Chorus: Sailors, where are you bound to?
C-M: Oh, sisters, brothers, don't you cry,
Chorus: Across the briny ocean.

"They [passengers] had come up on deck laughing and talking; but the first two stanzas of this plaintive old song had not been sung, when all the women had their aprons to their eyes, and the men were not long in following suit- the fellows who had manned the windlass dropping the handspikes and sobbing like children. It was rather cruel sport, I thought, yet I would scarcely have believed that they would have been so easily affected.
"We had to pay for our fun by heaving the anchor up ourselves, and were glad to start up a more cheerful tune, to win Paddy back to his usual bright spirits."

Is this chantey known more fully?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:03 PM

In the very old copy of this Nordhoff volume that I have, this is penned on the flyleaf-

"Dec, 18, 1868
The romance of the sea is buried in the coal bunkers.
Capt. McNell Boyd

It would be interesting to find out something of this man.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM

My copy is the same volume as pictured here, but the front cover of mine has become detached.
Classic bindings

These bindings were used on copies presented to students for outstanding work. The crest of Brunswick House Barnet is on mine, and it was presented to Mast. John Bell. The inscription by Capt. Boyd was added.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:21 AM

I've interpreted that to be a version of "Across the Western Ocean" (which some might say developed into "Leave her, johnny." It makes sense, too, what with the setting in the 1840s and Irish emigrants crossing the Atlantic. You could flesh it out with verses from those chanteys.

"Amelia, where ya bound to...?"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 02:27 AM

That shantey runs very close/similar (not knowin or hearing a tune to this though, who knows) to "Across the western ocean" also known by "Amelia, Where You Bound To" a older version of what was later a pumping or/and a capstan shanty "Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her".


Oh, the times were hard & the wages low
Amelia, where ya bound to
The Rocky Mountains is my home
Across the western ocean

Hugill dates this ("Amelia Where You Bound To") to probably being around the time of the Irish potato famine & sung in the Western Ocean Packets.
Windless or capstan, they're two different mechanisms & 2 different actions, which does not mean that one song can't be sung to both, but a capstan shanty is generally a verse a chorus, a verse another short chorus all followed by a grand chorus.

Here's goes the debates


Is there anything said that would date what you present?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:59 AM

"Seeing the World..." was first published in 1867.
Charles Nordhoff, an American born in Germany, started publishing his sea adventures in 1856, when he was 26. He published "Nine Years as a Sailor" in 1857; the first part of his sailing aboard a man-of-war on a voyage to China as cabin-boy.
He was the grandfather of Charles Bernard Nordhoff, who wrote "Mutiny on the Bounty."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:19 PM

Irrespective of spelling, Nordhoff is the earliest writer known to have to used the word "shanty" in connection with sailors' work songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:38 PM

The chantey does have elements of "Across the Western Ocean," as well as "Liverpool Packet," "As Off to the South'ard We Go," and even "Across the Wide Missouri."
Of course, a good chantey-man would know many verses, and could invent more, and I expect that they combined ideas and verses from different chanteys as the mood took them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: shipcmo
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 09:29 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nordhoff Chantey 'We're Going Away'
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 03:51 PM

I wonder if it was Nordhoff who invented the term "chantyman," inspired by his research of the stevedore worksongs along the New Orleans waterfront in the 1840's.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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