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Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty

kafclown 05 Mar 09 - 05:12 PM
Barry Finn 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM
curmudgeon 05 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM
curmudgeon 05 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM
kafclown 05 Mar 09 - 06:00 PM
curmudgeon 05 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM
Barry Finn 06 Mar 09 - 03:50 PM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 09 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Gibb 06 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM
Barry Finn 07 Mar 09 - 12:52 AM
Penny S. 07 Mar 09 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 07 Mar 09 - 05:48 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Mar 09 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,iancarterb 07 Mar 09 - 10:28 AM
Severn 07 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Mar 09 - 05:17 PM
Barry Finn 07 Mar 09 - 09:43 PM
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Subject: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600's Sea Shanty
From: kafclown
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:12 PM

I've posted this a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to be in the database.... I apologize if you see this more than once.

I'm looking for a 1600's Sea Shanty for a Henry Hudson show that I am doing.

The shanty should be

a) kid friendly (not about prostitutes or drinking, which rules out a lot of shanties!)
b) easy to learn/teach
c) appropriate to the 1600's (approximate)

Thanks in advance!

Adam


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600's Sea Shanty
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM

A Roving 1

A Roving 2

You'll be hard pressed to come up with a large selection of shanties dating back as far as the 1600's, take what you can get

Barry


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600's Sea Shanty
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM

Haul On the Bowline is perhaps the only shanty surviving from that era, as the bow line ceased to be of importance after the time of Henry VIII.

It also meets your criteria.

Best version, IMO, is MacColl/Lloyd recording, Blow Boys Blow - Tom


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600's Sea Shanty
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM

Haul On the Bowline is here in the DT.

A-Roving, while later used as a capstan shanty was more likely a forebitter in the 17th C. - Tom


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600's Sea Shanty
From: kafclown
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:00 PM

Thanks! That was quick!

I think Haul on the Bowline is what I was looking for. I'm going to modify it a little to add some more sailing terms. I might even turn it into a round of sorts. (I can see three groups singing pieces of it)

If you've got other thoughts, please keep them coming!


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:17 PM

The tune on the DT, while correct, is too fast for working. Do try to hear the MacColl recording.

If you're looking for a modicum of authenticity, sing it as a shanty, not just a song - Tom


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:50 PM

Try this for a different Trad rare version of Bowline (scroll down to # 13). You can find the words here

Barry


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM

In the Pilgrimage to Compostella, there is reference to the sailors calling out a rude chant: A-hissa, a-hoea. You could build this into a sea chantey to meet your needs such as:

I told my wife I'd quit the sea,
A-hissa, a-hoea;
She laughed and made a fool of me,
With a hiss-a, and a hoea.

etc.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 05:51 PM

There is some debate as to the antiquity of "Haul on the Bowline."
The line continued in use until after the end of the great age of sail, in the 1870's, when crew sizes and sail sizes were reduced.

The line was used to keep the leading edge of the square sails on the main mast, especially the main course, as close to the wind as possible. It is still in use on training ships and replica ships although its use is less critical to the efficiency of the more modern rigs.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM

Being totally unhelpful here, but....the poster did ask for "other thoughts"...

I'm extremely skeptical of any attempt to try to perform a chantey from the 17th century and present it positively as such. To say any chanteys we ~know~ today existed then is all conjecture. The inference of the "bowline" (i.e. a line called "bowline" which would require a chantey has not existed on vessels since such and such time) is a fine enough theory, but more like one that has just been passed down from author to author of books every time they need to supply program notes to "Haul on the Bowline." There is just too much doubt in my mind, based on everything else we know about chanteys, to positively present it as a chantey of such an age (i.e. rather than merely footnoting the theory). Basically it comes down to imagination, and a certain willful suspension of doubt (helped in this case by "experts" who may make certain statements). The "pirate" impersonators who, dressed in 18th century attire, perform 19th century chanteys, do have a lot of harmless fun but it seems like that is only possible due to their not knowing that what they are doing is inaccurate.

I was noting in another thread a source that suggests "Haul Away Joe" was an adaptation of a minstrel song (which may or may not have true African-American origins). Doesnt prove anything, but I could buy it. I thought about how in the TV series "Roots," while depicting a slaving brig in the mid 18th century they used two chanteys: "Haul Away Joe" and "Haul on the Bowline." My assumption is that they were grasping for whatever chanteys could possibly have been used back then. In light of the more recent findings, "Haul Away Joe" doesnt seem to be that old. Should I give the other chantey, "Haul on the Bowline," a pass?

I don't mean to take the fun out of your activity. My point is: fun is fun (and I love fun), but conjectures aren't facts. A lot of people seem to get enjoyment out of being told how "authentic" or historically accurate a performance of tradition music is. My wet-blankety opinion is perform as/what you will, but along with it don't create any illusions of certainty. It's bad enough that most of your audience will already be imagining that the sea chanteys we know are "really really old" etc etc, which you'd be reinforcing.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 12:52 AM

Hi Gibb
From Hugill's 'Shanties of the Seven Seas' "the oldest form of Bowline shanty is given in the "Complaynt of Scotland"'. The Complaynt of Scotland was published in 1549.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:29 AM

Possibly unhelpful bit of synchronicity. Our local library was selling off books including "Everyman's Book of Sea Songs" anthologised by Richard Baker and Anthony Miall. It gives a date of c 1450 for the Complaynt of Scotland, and I hoped evidence for its dating of Haul the Bowlin' as it heads it. Unfortunately not, merely "probably popular in the reign of Henry VIII" and suggesting it was "in fact, used as a foresheet shanty" because the bowline "is a weak rope".
Miall's expertise is in the Victorian period, Baker being the source for naval information, including some interesting info about modern versifying in the navy, in which he served.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:48 AM

I thought the Hugill/Lloyd argument was that Haul on the Bowline owes its 'proof' of antiquity to the fact that the bowline became a lighter and less important line - but the song continued (as songs do!)after the time the chorus was directly synchoronous with the task for which it was being used.

Also critical here is Hugill's comment that the OLDEST FORM of the Bowline shanty is in Complaynt. Can anyone quote the form as given there? - bet it's not as we would now know it. All the shanty crews I've heard use the standard Hugill/Lloyd form.

As regard the original question, Bowline is the only shanty for which there is any evidence of that sort of antiquity.

TomB


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 07:16 AM

The full passage from The Complaynt of Scotland was posted by IanC back in July 2003:

Shanties from Wedderburn's "Complaynt of Scotland" (1549)

Nowadays it isn't hard to find the whole book online, but the quote in the Forum is convenient. I'll just re-quote the relevant passage here (IanC's transcription):

'Than thai maid fast the schank of the ankyr and the maistir quhislit and cryit tua men "abufe to the foir ra cut the raibandis and lat the foir sail fal hail doune the steir burde lufe harde a burde hail eftir the foir sail scheit hail out the bollene". Than the master quhislit ande cryit tua men "abufe to the mane ra cut the raibandis and lat the mane sail and top sail fal hail doune the lufe close aburde hail eftir the mane sail scheit hail out the mane sail boulene". Than ane of the marynalis began to hail and to cry and al the marynalis ansuert of that samyn sound

hou hou
pulpela pulpela
boulena boulena
darta darta
hard out steif hard out steif
afoir the vynd afoir the vynd
god send god send fayr vedthir fayr vedthir
mony pricis mony pricis
god foir lend god foir lend
stou stou
mak fast & belay'


Although hauling on (out) a bowline is mentioned, there's no real reason to think that the 19th century shanty 'Haul on the Bowline' is in any lineal way connected to what the anonymous writer of The Complaynt (perhaps Robert Wedderburn) reported as being sung in the mid 16th century.

Over the years a lot of very tenuous theories have been built on tentative identifications of items mentioned in passing, or briefly quoted, in The Complaynt of Scotland; often by people who haven't actually read it but are relying on what other people have said without checking for themselves. This would seem to be a case in point.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 10:28 AM

Whatever its antiquity, another a capella, work speed version of Haul on the Bowline is on Louis Killen's Sailors, Ships and Shanteys. (1995)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Severn
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM

I thought it was just ANN BOWLINE that became unnescessary after the time of Henry VIII, if that was what Curmudgeon was referring to. It was originally, I've heard it said, a one and a half verse worksong (all that was needed) until it was decided she was to be beheaded rather than hung, so they sent the song out to sea where the action of tying the knot with a Boelyn was a much less risky proposition and it somehow managed to gain hundreds of verses.



Now, I do a version of the song which mentions all this, but that's for another time and another place....



.....Or as the Beatles sang about the lady,

Here I stand
Head in hand
Turn my face to the wall....

(twist)


OK, so much for Historectomy (History once removed) and back to the authenticity.....


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:17 PM

I must throw my twopennorth in here to add weight to what Gibb and Malcolm have posted. None of the shanties extant today can be traced back to before c1830 as shanties and then most of them from about 1850-1880. Many people have put in a lot of time trying to trace back shanties before this and come up with only vague, brief descriptions in autobiographies and reminiscences. There are plenty of references to basic call and response chants, but precious little that could be described as a song. When people refer to A-Roving as coming from an earlier century they are referring to similar songs that the shanty derived from, not as such a shanty.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Seeking a 1600s Sea Shanty
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 09:43 PM

"Schooner Industry, though not a shanty, came from the 1822 log of the Idustry, a whaling schooner.

The shanty "Hard Times in Old Virginia" has it's orgins from the days of slavery

Old Riley is another from the day s fo slavery

New York Girls, the older version with the refrain "you love us for our money" dates to the 1840's the same time given for "Western Ocean" & Blow the Man Down" which is suspected of coming from the older "Knock a Man Down"

Hugil lists 11 shanties dating between 1834-1836 that were sung onboard the Pilgram & Alert

Sally Brown is was refered to being sung aboard a pact by Captain Marryat, date 1837


Barry


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