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Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah

Gibb Sahib 22 Mar 09 - 04:15 PM
KathyW 23 Mar 09 - 12:53 AM
Gibb Sahib 23 Mar 09 - 08:35 AM
sharyn 23 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Mar 09 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Mar 09 - 08:07 PM
KathyW 24 Mar 09 - 11:45 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Mar 09 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Mar 09 - 01:20 PM
greg stephens 25 Mar 09 - 01:58 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Mar 09 - 11:06 PM
JeffB 27 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM
Gibb Sahib 27 Mar 09 - 12:56 PM
JeffB 27 Mar 09 - 03:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 09 - 05:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 27 Mar 09 - 06:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 09 - 07:57 PM
Gibb Sahib 27 Mar 09 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,ShipSing 28 Mar 09 - 06:18 AM
JeffB 28 Mar 09 - 09:20 AM
ShipSing 28 Mar 09 - 06:05 PM
Lighter 28 Mar 09 - 06:39 PM
KathyW 28 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM
JeffB 29 Mar 09 - 12:47 PM
Lighter 29 Mar 09 - 07:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 09 - 08:39 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM
shipcmo 07 May 10 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 08 May 10 - 04:16 AM
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Subject: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah (Chantey)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 04:15 PM

I'm interested in comparing notes on this chantey. I find very little information on it, and I'm wondering if it has been preserved in the oral tradition at all or if, minimally, anyone has performed/recorded it in more recent times.

Stan Hugill gives 2 versions of it n SHANTIES FROM THE SEVEN SEAS. He learned both from his West Indian friend, Harding.

His first version is supposed to be a capstan chantey, a version of which was also published in Bullen's book (which I don't have). I see that Pint & Dale have recorded a rendition of this one, a sample is here
I'm going to assume they took it from Hugill, since they have done that with many of their songs. Of course, their style is not intended to be "typical" sea chantey style.

Hugill's second version is a halyard chantey which as printed is quite similar to one printed in Sharp's ENGLISH FOLK CHANTEYS. This one's in the Digital Tradition. Colcord reproduces Sharp's version in her book. I just recorded an attempt at this one (Hugill's, not Sharp's), without ever having heard a rendition, HERE

Could anyone kindly point me to other versions or more information? The lyrics smack of a minstrel tune, in my opinion, but that trail is also cold. Nor have I happened upon any West Indian non-chanteys that might fit the bill. Anyone have it in his/her repertoire?

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: KathyW
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:53 AM

I'm new here, and don't know this particular song. But for what it is worth, I have access to Bullen's book.

Although Bullen categorizes the song with windlass and capstan shanties, he says he first heard the song when discharging cargo at the Demerara River off of Georgetown in Guyana, on his first voyage (which began in 1869). He liked the song so much he made a special point of learning it. However, he also reports that he never heard the song anywhere else and that it was "not in common use on board ship." This is consistent with what Hugill says about it: his friend Harding told him that it was used on shore in the West Indies.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 08:35 AM

Thank you, KathyW!

That is quite helpful. At least it gives a better sense of why its form/style might be ambiguous -- that is, if it is an adaptation of a song more used for a different kind of work.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: sharyn
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM

Rika Ruebsaat sings this. You could try sending a PM to her husband Jon Bartlett and see what it gets you. If I remember rightly Chris Roe, who sings with Broadside out of Seattle, also sings it. You could find her by Googling Broadside.

Good Luck

Sharyn


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:37 AM

Excellent, sharyn! I will try those leads, thank you very much.

***
To continue this thread of lesser known West Indian type chanteys....
I have also just learned a version of another that I have not found discussed in Mudcat: "Sister Susan," a.k.a. "Shinbone Al." Here's a few note about it.

Hugill learned it from "Harry Lauder" of St. Lucia.

In its "hauling" format (as Hugill has it), it actually has the form of ~three~ solo verses (each followed by a short refrain). Earlier in the SFSS, when discussing "John Kanaka," Hugill remarked that that song had this "not so common form." However, I have noted this is not so rare. "Mobile Bay," "Kanaka," "Essequibo River," "John Cherokee," and this one all share that feature.

Now, Hugill mentions that the only other author to print a version of this chantey was Bullen (who also called it "Sister Susan"), 1914. Bullen's was a capstan version. As such, over the same span of measures, it had two solo phrases (each with a short choral response) followed by a chorus. It strikes me that this phenomenon -- a capstan song being interpreted a halyard song -- could be one of the reason why there appear to be such "three phrase" hauling chanteys.

Hugill for some reason seems to have missed that Harlow also printed a version of this song, though under the title "Gwine to Get a Home Bime By." He called it a "'Badian hand-over-Hand" chantey, and it follows the presumed format of Bullen's version. This explains much. If it was a hand-over-hand chantey, it would have a steady rhythm throughout, but also accented points for hauling; one can see how it might go either way in different hands/contexts. I could also see it as a song for working cargo.

...which brings me back to the "Sing Sally O" / "Mudder Dinah" variants. If that song was also primarilly for working cargo, I think it would have a similar tendency to "go either way" when being adopted for shipboard work.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:07 PM

Hey, 'Catters. Gibb Sahib has recorded *179* sea shanties for YouTube over the past nine months. Quite an achievement! His comments on each one are pretty interesting too.

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=58B55DD66F22060C


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: KathyW
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:45 PM

Interestingly, "Mudder Dinah" is the first song in Bullen's book, "Sister Susan" is the second-- and it too is decribed as seldom being used on ships. The note to the song says that "The circumstances under which Mr. Bullen first heard this tune are described in 'Log of s Sea Waif'."

And you are in luck, "Log of a Sea Waif" can be downloaded here: http://www.archive.org/details/logofseawaifbein00bulluoft

Download the .pdf version, and go to page 34 of the .pdf-- the song, complete with the melody, is there!

Like "Mudder Dinah," Bullen explains that he learned the song in Guyana.

I commend "Log of a Sea Waif" itself to you, it is an interesting read.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:57 AM

Thanks, Lighter, I appreciate that.
Viweres will find that they are hit or miss. I am not so worry, ultimately, if many fail as performances. My main interests are: 1) Learning the chanteys myself, with YouTube as a sort of step along the process of practicing/refining; 2) Getting the little black dots in Hugill's book into a sound format since, although many have been recorded before, many have not or else they have but not according in the often quirky versions that he offered in his first book!

KathyW, that's great! SO I checked it out and it turns out that Bullen's "Sister Susan" is almost identical to the one printed by another sailor, Harlow. The lyrics in their versions have more of a minstrel song "ring" to them, which makes sense since Hugill's version was probably a later one after the song had been shaped more by sailors.

"Shinbone Alley" of the song was mentioned in several minstrel songs, I think. One published in 1835 was called "Shinbone Alley" itself, and its first verse starts with the same structure as the chantey:

Old Miss Tuck and my aunt Sallie
Both lived down in Shinbone Alley


Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:20 PM

Harlow's chanteys are sometimes problematical. You'll have noticed that the first part of his book describes chanteying on board the Akbar in 1876, but later he begins to print songs that he does not specifically connect with that voyage. They are sometimes attributed to other sources, sometimes not. Apparently his voyage on the Akbar provided Harlow's only seafaring experiences.

The unevenness of his treatment of the songs suggests to me that Harlow had not finished his work on "Chanteying on Board American Ships" at the time of his death and left a number of loose ends. As part of his interest in the subject of chanteys, he seems simply to have jotted down some of the songs in the latter part of the book, sometimes from from printed sources, without necessarily endorsing their authenticity, particularly so far back as 1876.

Congratulations on connecting the whistling part of "The Girl in Portland Street" with Child 278. Another new insight.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:58 PM

Gibb Sahib:
Edric Connor in his book "Songs from Trinidad" has a "Sing Sally O" but it is a different song, basically. If you would like a copy I will scan and send it to you, if you PM me an email address. Edric Connor sang and acted in the Gregory Peck "Moby Dick".


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM

greg,

I know Edric Connor for his singing, but his book was off my radar. Thank you for that. Hmm...not like either one of the versions here? Do you happen to know if it is the song (chantey) that is sometimes called "Hilo Johnny Brown" and which has a chorus "way, sing Sally [oh]"? Does it mentioned "Mudder Dinah" at all? -- I'm guessing that that would be a good benchmark as to whether they are generally related.

I'll PM you.


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Subject: Round the Corner Sally
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 11:06 PM

Well, here's another to add to the bunch, since I think they are all vaguely related: "Round the Corner, Sally." I find no thread for this song, but this fragment in a different thread is relevant, HERE.

Anyway, I've just worked up a rendition of this chantey, and here are some of my notes (below). And while in this case I'm aware that this particular chantey is a bit more known, still I don't hear much of it.

"Round the Corner, Sally" is a halyard chantey, which Hugill learned from Harding. The tune of this version is different from the version published by Sharp and Terry, although the basic melodic contour is the same. Mainly it's the meter/rhythm that is different (Hugill's in 2/2, others in 6/8). Although I've noted Hugill's notations to sometimes get the rhythm wrong, say, converting compound into simple meter, in this case it may be more due to the fact that the source for one was an Englishman (John Short) while the other was sung by a Barbadian.

I also want to note that the Cecil Sharp version is of the "three-phrase hauling format" that I mentioned re: "Sister Susan." (Hugill's has the standard 2-phrase format.) I think this is significant because these two chanteys have other similarities. Of note: Hugill connects the phrase "Round the corner, Sally" to a line in a Christy's Minstrel song, "Aunt Sally" -- and "Aunt Sally" is a character in versions of "Sister Susan" chantey or another minstrel song, "Shinbone Al."

Another song is a candidate as a source for "Round the Corner, Sally." It appears in the text of a James Hungerford, in which the author describes a visit to his cousin's plantation in Maryland in 1832. With it's musical notations, it is considered to be the first extant text to contain slave songs. "Roun' De Corn, Sally" is described in the context of rowing a boat, but properly attributed as a corn-husking song. In his 1989 book, ORIGINS OF THE POPULAR STYLE, pg.206, Peter Van der Merwe makes a connection between the similar phrase in the slave song and the chantey, thinking that "round the corn" was a corruption of the chantey phrase, due to confounding the "corn" context with the original meaning. The original phrase, as supposed by Hugill, was a sort of "gal on the street," later reinterpreted as a sailor's lady-friend of locales that were around the "corner": Cape Horn. However, some recent interpreters seem to suggest that the plantation song was a source. At least that is how I interpret the inclusion of "Roun' De Corn, Sally" in the repertoire of the sea chantey group The Johnson Girls: clip

No doubt, any number of individuals made the connection between the phrase in these two songs before Van der Merwe's published statement. I actually stumbled myself upon the Hungerford text in a volume by Eileen Southern, READINGS IN BLACK AMERICAN MUSIC (1971) that I picked up by chance in a used book store in Mass. This is a supplemental text of primary sources meant to accompany her book THE MUSIC OF BLACK AMERICANS. My guess is that the chantey group Forebitter, who make the connection on one of their CD's liner notes, followed by the Johnson Girls, had discovered the plantation song in Southern's main text. However, the full set of verses is only found in "READINGS..." ("Roun' De Corn" was also reproduced, in abbreviated form, in a book by Epstein, 1977.)

For what it's worth, besides the characteristic phrase, the plantation song and the chantey don't show much similarity. They do appear to be contemporary though. The plantation song is from 1832 and the chantey is cited by name in Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST in which he describes events along the California coast in the 1830s.

recording


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: JeffB
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM

I'm not 100% if I have the same song, but in 1991 St Elmo's Choir (Trapper Graves was in the line-up then) recorded "Syrens", and one of the tracks was called "Sing Sally-o (Dinah)". It started out :-

There was a fair maid in this town, as pretty as a flower
[Refrain] Sally-o and a fa-la-la
Hoorah hoorah me bully boys
[refrain] Good morning [?] Dinah, Sally-o and a fa-la-la.

As she went to the market she met a nut-brown sailor ... etc

St Elmo's recorded only three or four tracks, so for my own amusement I made up a few more to make a bit of a story. If it's the same song I would be highly interested in seeing the original words.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 12:56 PM

JeffB,

Yes! This is a version that you have cited. Thank you! It corresponds to Hugill's version "A" and to Bullen's version (which KathyW has so graciously given me access to). Incidentally, the most significant differences between those two versions are: 1. the timing of the choral responses (actually, the choruses of Hugill's version "B" are closer to Bullen's version) and 2. the fact that Hugill's version throws in the major third of the scale in at certain point (the rest being in minor). I decided to interpret this latter "discrepancy" as some sort of attempt to account for a "blue note"; I could easily be totally wrong about that.

I'm not one for typing up lyrics, so here is my recording, in which you'll hear all of Hugill's (4) verses. I added one more made up verse to make it longer. Warning: my rendition is only based on the printed page, and as such its that nebulous mix of "what I think it might sound like" and "what I feel like making it sound like"!
recording

As for Bullen's one verse:
"Good mornin' Mudder Dinah, how does yer shabe yer peepul?
Sing! Sally oh! Right fol de ray!"

The lyrics that the Choir used, at least in the short sample given, make it sound very "British" or "Irish" in my opinion, having erased (??) the African-American color of the song. For instance, "high brown" puts Hugill's (actually Harding the Barbadian's) version in the world of Black speech, where that was a shade along the scale of the so-called African-American "caste system." By contrast, "nut-brown" sounds to me like those dainty "maidens" sung about in Child's ballads!

I'd be really curious to know whether the Choir learned the version from elsewhere or if they changed the lyrics. I'm especially interested because I've been working with a hypothesis that the chantey repertoire has been "whitewashed" (literally and figuratively) in the 20th century, and though it may be with absolutely zero negative intent, it has contributed to (inadvertently) erasing the image of sailors of color when the layperson thinks about sea chanteys.

I think there is something Irish about the chantey, by I would guess that that comes through the Irish- and African-American mix that was characteristic of popular minstrel music of the time period.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: JeffB
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 03:40 PM

I'm very pleased to have made a contribution. Not having a copy of Hugill any more the origin of this shantey was a mystery to me up to now.

I have had another listen to my old casette tape of "Syrens" to compare with your YouTube version and your tune is pretty close to St Elmo's, so presumably they got it from Hugill. The treatment of the refrains is a bit different though.

I have just noticed that sharyn's post above mentions that Chris Roe sings this, and she too was a member of St Elmo's.

I would be happy to mail you my transcription of St Elmo's tune if you PM me with your address.

As for the text, St Elmo's did start off with the "Good morning Mother Dinah, I wonder what's the matter" verse, and they obviously sing "O Mother Dinah", not "Good morning Dinah", in the last line. I couldn't quite make out the words before now. And yes, "high brown" rather than "nut brown", which was a mistake on my part.

Just for interest, here is my version with my own additional words. (I can't think why you would be interested, but please indulge an old man's vanity)


There was a fair maid in this town, as pretty as a flower.

As she went down to market she met a rambling sailor.

He took her to the alehouse and gave her beer and brandy.

He took her to the chamber and there he plucked her flower.

"Now you must walk upon the streets and I will be your keeper."

But now he's gone and left her, the man who was her keeper.

But she still likes the sailors and buys them beer and baccy.

Sally-o and a bottle of rum, I'll bust her blocks til morning come.

(St Elmo's sang "Sally's better than good good rum, I'll be with her when the morning comes.")

I had always assumed this was mainly a stamp-and-go because of its structure, i.e. the first line sung out by the shantyman in free time with a lot of decoration ("hitches" I believe they were called) while the gang gets into position, then several hard co-ordinated pulls, another line from the shantyman while the gang comes forward to get a fresh grip, and then more heaving. But of course, it could as well been adapted for capstan. Whether it started out for halliards and had then moved ashore by the time Hugill and Bullen heard it we will never know for sure.

I don't think personally that there was any "white-washing" of shanties by collectors. I don't think it would have occurred to them that their readers did not know that crews were extremely mixed with Europeans, white Americans, black Americans and men from the Caribbean islands working and singing together. This makes deciding the origins of both words and tune difficult, if not impossible, to determine for most English-language shanties. Generally speaking, in most cases it has to be just a matter of opinion. Having said that, I think some of the West Indian shanties are quite distinctive and really wonderful.

For some reason I assumed to begin with that this Sally-o/Mother Dinah was from England, perhaps because of the "fair maid" phrase which doesn't sound to me particularly West Indian, and the "fa-la-las" in the refrain, which seem typically English. And maybe originally it was before being taken up in the Caribbean.

I really like the "Good mornin Mudder Dinah, how does yer shabe yer peepul" verse. I suppose it means "how do you shave your girls?", an early reference perhaps to what are called "Brazils" on this side of the pond.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Roun' de Corn, Sally
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 05:56 PM

Charlie Noble posted the text of Roun' de Corn, Sally, but in the modified form quoted in Southern, "The Music of Black Americans."

The original printing, c. 1832, from James Hungerford, "The Old Plantation and What I Gathered There in an Autumn Month," 1859, Harper, p. 191, is in the form of solo and chorus, as it was collected from boatmen rowing.
It is complete with musical score.

Lyr. Add: ROUN' DE CORN, SALLY

Solo
Hooray, hooray, ho!
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
Hooray for all de lubly ladies!
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
Hooray, hooray, ho!
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
Hooray for all de lubly ladies!
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
2
Solo
Dis lub's er thing dat's sure to hab you,
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
He hole you tight, when once he grab you,
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
Un ole un ugly, young un pritty,
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!
Solo
You needen try when once he git you,
Chorus
Roun' de corn, Sally!

2
(Solo lines only)
Dere's Mr. Travers lub Miss Jinny;
He thinks she is us good us any.
He comes from church wid her er Sunday
Un don't go back ter town till Monday.

Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

3
Solo lines
Dere's Mr Lucas lub Miss T'resser,
Un ebery thing he does ter please her;
----

Stated to have been a corn shucking song originally, but changed to a rowing chantey.
Reproduced in Dena J. Epstein, 1977, "Sinful Tunes and Spirituals, Black Folk Music to the Civil War, p. 169. Univ. Illinois Press.


Round the corner, Sally, of the minstrels, is better suited to their songs.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 06:55 PM

Q--

The original, as I mentioned above, is reproduced in Southern's other book, READINGS IN BLACK AMERICAN MUSIC. Now of ourse it is also accessible on-line: here

Don't forget, there are 3 1/2 more verses on the next page! :)

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 07:57 PM

My purpose was to show that the song has the solo and chorus form, or call and response, typical of a number of Black work songs as well as chantys. The personal references in the verses would mean little to anyone not native to that locality, moreover would probably change the next time the boat went out.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:27 PM

Jeff,

Great lyrics! I like how you develop the story.

I had always assumed this was mainly a stamp-and-go because of its structure, ...
Interesting. It's possible. I really do think Hugill's transcription is "off," and that would change the "feel" quite a bit. It would also explain the difference you noted between the version you've heard and the one I recorded. An alternative explanation is that Hugill's is correct as a version adapted to the task he heard it used for (capstan).

I don't think personally that there was any "white-washing" of shanties by collectors.
Sorry, I didn't mean by collectors, I meant by folk revival singers, very broadly speaking. Again, I don't see it as anything intended. After all, the majority of revival singers of shanties have been white Anglo-philes so, by the folk process, their performances would naturally and unconsciously be shaped by their cultural background. Why shouldn't it? But this eccentric theory of mine probably belongs in another thread; maybe I'll start one.

For some reason I assumed to begin with that this Sally-o/Mother Dinah was from England, perhaps because of the "fair maid" phrase which doesn't sound to me particularly West Indian, and the "fa-la-las" in the refrain, which seem typically English. And maybe originally it was before being taken up in the Caribbean.
Yes, the "fa -la " is also what makes it sound English or Irish to me. The lyrics of available Hugill and Bullen versions seem very stereotypically Afro-American to me. That mixture is what makes it sound "minstrel" to me, but it's just my biased interpretation; my mind's ear tends to "hear" these in an American way. I think the phrase "fair maid," if used, would tip the balance! :)

I really like the "Good mornin Mudder Dinah, how does yer shabe yer peepul" verse. I suppose it means "how do you shave your girls?", an early reference perhaps to what are called "Brazils" on this side of the pond.
Ha! I'm really stumped as to what that line might have meant. Again, one of the "nonsense" lines in minstrel songs?


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: GUEST,ShipSing
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 06:18 AM

As an aside to the discussion, regarding the version recorded on the aforementioned St. Elmo's Choir tape, Syrens:

Trapper Graves has released both Syrens and St. Elmo's other recording, White Stocking Day, on CDs. Just in case anyone wants to replace their old audio tapes.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: JeffB
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 09:20 AM

That's good news ShipSing. What do you think is the best way to get one from UK?

As for shaving, a girl in the sex industry without pubic hair could be passed off as a young virgin by the brothel keeper. Naturally, she would cost a lot more.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: ShipSing
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 06:05 PM

I just signed up as a Mudcat member so you can send me a personal message. If you send me a message, I'll give you Trapper's contact information so you can get St. Elmo's Choir CDs from her.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 06:39 PM

To "shave" used to mean to cheat or to swindle.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: KathyW
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM

Incidentally, if anyone else wants to consult Bullen's "Songs of Sea Labour," I've put a copy on my personal website for downloading here:
http://www.yellowzeppelin.net/frank%20bullen.html. (Opens in new window.)


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: JeffB
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 12:47 PM

KathyW, that's just terrific. Thanks so much for taking the trouble. I'll be spending the next day or so happily transposing those Ab majs or whatever they are to something I can play.

There is a lot of interest in the introductory notes as well. I loved the story of taking a mooring near the palace of the "King of Oudh" (unless I'm mistaken, Oudh is the region to the NE of Delhi, so it seems as if Bullen's ship had gone a very long way up the Ganges. Could this be right?). And another of a crew which responded so vigorously to a shanty that a spar was broken.

I suppose nowadays we have to smile ruefully at the prejudices of Bullen and his friend Arnold, which seemed so obvious, so axiomatic at the time. The comments on the pentatonic scale, for instance, which is "of the most primitive form of modality known", and so is the basis of Celtic and Hungarian music, among others, including "most savage races". And black stevedores are happy, simple children. Fortunately, their prejudices were swept away by the power of the sound of the shanty, sung with a will by hard-worked labourers, and so we have this wonderful document. Thanks again.

Lighter, you're quite right and it was the first meaning that occurred to me too. But I thought that "your people" was more likely to refer to the members of a household than the customers.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 07:17 PM

JeffB:

I now find that James M. Carpenter collected a brief version in 1928 that contained the line, "Mr. Barber, how do you shave your customers?"

Which came first, of course, is probably unknowable.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 08:39 PM

Shaver, "an acute cheat," is in Grose, 'Dictionary of the vulgar tongue', which puts it in use in the late 18th c.
To shave, meaning to remove a portion, is probably as old.

These are meanings that easily suggest themselves, they could be much older.


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM

I loved the story of taking a mooring near the palace of the "King of Oudh" (unless I'm mistaken, Oudh is the region to the NE of Delhi, so it seems as if Bullen's ship had gone a very long way up the Ganges. Could this be right?).
Yes, it could be right. Isn't it mind-blowing though? There is a great historical novel that recently came out by A. Ghosh, SEA OF POPPIES, set in the 1830s. It describes ships coming from up river beyond Benares. I'd have to guess that maybe the "King of Oudh" at that time was in Allahabad. And to think that the chantey raised was "Johnny Come Down to Hilo." What a life!

I suppose nowadays we have to smile ruefully at the prejudices of Bullen and his friend Arnold, which seemed so obvious, so axiomatic at the time.
The language is indeed very quaint, but notably the stereotypes are very positive ones. Really, Bullen was probably the first early writer to really acknowledge the Black origins of chanteys. I mean, he really emphasizes it. His selection of songs, too, reflects that opinion, especially in the way that he clearly excludes the two really English-type songs from the category of "chanty."

It wasn't next until Hugill's text, I think, that the great contribution of Black chanteymen was again emphasized. But even his presentation had the affect of less emphasis than Bullen (...but this is a long, side topic).

Compare this with Cecil Sharp's ENGLISH FOLK-CHANTEYS, which came out in the same year as Bullen's. (One of the operative words is "English".) He was less enthusiastic when referring to "the vexed question of negro influence." He instead emphasizes a "stock of peasant tunes" that was supposed to be in the memory banks of "every country-bred sailor."


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: shipcmo
Date: 07 May 10 - 01:22 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Sing, Sally-O / Mudder Dinah
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 08 May 10 - 04:16 AM

I think Rika Ruebsaat's version derives entirely from St. Elmo singers.

Jon Bartlett


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