Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc

Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 01:28 AM
Fred McCormick 30 Mar 09 - 05:49 AM
Ross Campbell 30 Mar 09 - 05:54 AM
greg stephens 30 Mar 09 - 07:09 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 10:47 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 11:45 AM
Padre 30 Mar 09 - 12:12 PM
JWB 30 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 05:10 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM
Barry Finn 30 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 05:46 PM
doc.tom 30 Mar 09 - 05:48 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Mar 09 - 05:53 PM
JeffB 30 Mar 09 - 06:31 PM
Lighter 30 Mar 09 - 06:46 PM
Charley Noble 30 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM
doc.tom 31 Mar 09 - 04:36 AM
Gibb Sahib 31 Mar 09 - 02:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 31 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM
Barry Finn 31 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM
doc.tom 01 Apr 09 - 05:05 AM
Lighter 01 Apr 09 - 09:18 AM
Gibb Sahib 01 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM
doc.tom 01 Apr 09 - 03:18 PM
doc.tom 01 Apr 09 - 03:21 PM
Azizi 01 Apr 09 - 04:50 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Apr 09 - 09:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Apr 09 - 11:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Apr 09 - 12:26 AM
JeffB 02 Apr 09 - 06:40 AM
Marc Bernier 02 Apr 09 - 07:59 AM
Charley Noble 02 Apr 09 - 09:02 AM
Gibb Sahib 02 Apr 09 - 01:27 PM
Barry Finn 02 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM
Ruth Archer 02 Apr 09 - 02:39 PM
Barry Finn 02 Apr 09 - 02:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Apr 09 - 03:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Apr 09 - 09:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 Apr 09 - 11:45 PM
Barry Finn 04 Apr 09 - 04:36 AM
Barry Finn 04 Apr 09 - 04:49 AM
Barry Finn 04 Apr 09 - 04:53 AM
Barry Finn 04 Apr 09 - 05:08 AM
doc.tom 04 Apr 09 - 05:12 AM
Charley Noble 04 Apr 09 - 10:57 AM
Marc Bernier 04 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM
doc.tom 04 Apr 09 - 12:07 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Apr 09 - 01:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,rumanci 04 Apr 09 - 02:49 PM
Azizi 04 Apr 09 - 03:50 PM
Barry Finn 04 Apr 09 - 04:35 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM
doc.tom 05 Apr 09 - 05:07 AM
Charley Noble 05 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM
Barry Finn 05 Apr 09 - 02:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 05 Apr 09 - 08:34 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM
Azizi 06 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM
Azizi 06 Apr 09 - 01:57 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 03:22 PM
Lighter 06 Apr 09 - 06:50 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 06:55 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 07:17 PM
Azizi 06 Apr 09 - 07:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Apr 09 - 09:10 PM
Lighter 06 Apr 09 - 09:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Apr 09 - 10:37 PM
Tug the Cox 07 Apr 09 - 07:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 07 Apr 09 - 08:28 PM
Lighter 08 Apr 09 - 01:51 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Apr 09 - 11:26 PM
Barry Finn 08 Apr 09 - 11:59 PM
Lighter 09 Apr 09 - 09:55 AM
Gibb Sahib 09 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM
Charley Noble 09 Apr 09 - 01:06 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Apr 09 - 03:00 PM
Lighter 09 Apr 09 - 06:12 PM
curmudgeon 09 Apr 09 - 06:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM
Snuffy 10 Apr 09 - 04:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 12:14 AM
Snuffy 13 Apr 09 - 07:29 AM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 02:41 PM
Snuffy 13 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 04:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 04:04 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 04:18 PM
Snuffy 13 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM
Charley Noble 14 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM
Gibb Sahib 15 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Apr 09 - 04:04 PM
Charley Noble 27 Apr 09 - 09:11 AM
Gibb Sahib 29 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM
JWB 29 Apr 09 - 10:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Apr 09 - 10:54 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Apr 09 - 10:59 PM
Barry Finn 30 Apr 09 - 12:32 AM
JWB 30 Apr 09 - 02:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Apr 09 - 11:18 PM
SPB-Cooperator 01 May 09 - 12:16 PM
Barry Finn 02 May 09 - 03:40 AM
Gibb Sahib 02 May 09 - 05:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 May 09 - 05:54 PM
Lighter 02 May 09 - 07:13 PM
curmudgeon 02 May 09 - 08:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 09 - 10:30 AM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 09 - 12:14 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 May 09 - 07:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 16 May 09 - 09:05 PM
Barry Finn 16 May 09 - 11:04 PM
Charley Noble 17 May 09 - 02:08 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 May 09 - 09:38 PM
Lighter 31 May 09 - 12:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 31 May 09 - 12:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 09 - 02:33 PM
Gibb Sahib 31 May 09 - 04:53 PM
Lighter 31 May 09 - 09:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 Jun 09 - 09:07 PM
Barry Finn 03 Jun 09 - 10:00 PM
Lighter 04 Jun 09 - 02:40 PM
JWB 04 Jun 09 - 04:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jun 09 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jun 09 - 09:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 09 - 10:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jun 09 - 10:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 09 - 11:03 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 09 - 01:13 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 09 - 02:21 PM
doc.tom 05 Jun 09 - 03:34 PM
Gibb Sahib 05 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM
Charley Noble 05 Jun 09 - 08:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 09 - 08:53 PM
Barry Finn 06 Jun 09 - 01:55 AM
Barry Finn 06 Jun 09 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Jun 09 - 09:16 AM
Gibb Sahib 06 Jun 09 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 09 - 02:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 09 - 08:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jun 09 - 07:04 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Jun 09 - 11:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Jun 09 - 11:21 PM
JWB 16 Jun 09 - 10:43 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jun 09 - 06:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jun 09 - 07:25 PM
Snuffy 18 Jun 09 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Lighter 18 Jun 09 - 04:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 Jun 09 - 06:33 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 Jun 09 - 07:34 PM
SPB-Cooperator 21 Jun 09 - 06:56 AM
Gibb Sahib 21 Jun 09 - 12:08 PM
SPB-Cooperator 21 Jun 09 - 01:52 PM
DebC 21 Jun 09 - 02:37 PM
Barry Finn 21 Jun 09 - 04:55 PM
greg stephens 21 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 Jun 09 - 08:05 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM
SPB-Cooperator 23 Jun 09 - 11:43 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Jun 09 - 09:34 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Jun 09 - 06:54 PM
JWB 26 Jun 09 - 05:54 PM
KathyW 27 Jun 09 - 12:00 AM
Gibb Sahib 27 Jun 09 - 11:18 AM
Gibb Sahib 28 Jun 09 - 03:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Jun 09 - 10:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jun 09 - 01:20 AM
Gibb Sahib 29 Jun 09 - 08:53 AM
Gibb Sahib 01 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Guest JeffB 01 Jul 09 - 07:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Jul 09 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Guest JeffB 02 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Jul 09 - 02:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Jul 09 - 04:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jul 09 - 08:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Jul 09 - 08:12 PM
doc.tom 16 Jul 09 - 03:15 PM
Barry Finn 17 Jul 09 - 01:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jul 09 - 08:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Jul 09 - 10:11 PM
Lighter 17 Jul 09 - 11:22 PM
Lighter 17 Jul 09 - 11:46 PM
Snuffy 18 Jul 09 - 05:25 AM
doc.tom 18 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM
Lighter 18 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM
Gibb Sahib 18 Jul 09 - 11:52 AM
Gibb Sahib 25 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM
Azizi 02 Aug 09 - 09:27 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Aug 09 - 11:47 AM
Gibb Sahib 07 Aug 09 - 11:08 PM
Snuffy 08 Aug 09 - 04:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM
Charley Noble 08 Aug 09 - 11:06 PM
Snuffy 09 Aug 09 - 05:45 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Aug 09 - 10:54 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Aug 09 - 11:03 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Aug 09 - 11:34 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM
Stewie 02 Oct 09 - 01:36 AM
Charley Noble 22 Oct 09 - 04:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Oct 09 - 10:33 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Oct 09 - 10:57 PM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 09 - 09:09 AM
Lighter 23 Oct 09 - 10:25 AM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 09 - 08:31 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Oct 09 - 02:34 PM
shipcmo 07 May 10 - 12:49 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Oct 10 - 11:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Oct 10 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Lighter 29 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM
Lighter 29 Oct 10 - 12:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM
John Minear 30 Oct 10 - 09:52 AM
Lighter 30 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM
Lighter 30 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Oct 10 - 04:37 PM
Lighter 31 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM
KathyW 03 Nov 10 - 01:48 AM
JWB 05 Nov 10 - 10:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Nov 10 - 02:28 AM
John Minear 06 Nov 10 - 08:44 AM
Lighter 06 Nov 10 - 10:08 AM
JWB 06 Nov 10 - 11:04 AM
Lighter 06 Nov 10 - 12:58 PM
Gibb Sahib 06 Nov 10 - 03:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Nov 10 - 03:58 AM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 11 - 08:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Feb 11 - 10:10 PM
doc.tom 07 Jun 11 - 10:34 AM
shipcmo 07 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,A Gerttan 20 Jun 11 - 03:53 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Jul 12 - 03:45 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jul 12 - 05:43 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: 'Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 01:28 AM

I'm making this thread as a place to file certain kinds of similar chanteys in order to benefit from discussing them as a group. Let me first explain what I mean by the title of this thread.

There are numerous chanteys in Stan Hugill's SHANTIES FROM THE SEVEN SEAS especially, and also in the collections of some earlier writers, that rarely appear in recent repertoires or recordings. A lot of these seem to be Caribbean or of less-determinate Black American origin. However, I'm not so interested in ascribing this or that origin, or any particular degree or "rarity"; I'm just trying to roughly circumscribe this certain body of songs.

There is a broken link: For whatever reasons (which could be discussed), these chanteys have not survived well in the revival era. This is despite the fact that they are easily available in Hugill's popular text. They could have been preserved or revived in oral tradition through Hugill's performances, but for debatable reasons they were not. So when they are occasionally performed, it is based on the somewhat sketchy notations of Hugill and/or the few other writers, with little or no basis in oral tradition.

Because they are comparatively rarely performed, they are little-known. I wanted to make this thread as a place to discuss these, which share similarities and are discussed well as a group. There is a discussion of them started here, and of course bits in various other threads, though hard to recognize and locate.

So far, I'd consider these to be in this category:

"Mudder Dinah" a.k.a. "Sing Sally, O!" (in 2 distinct forms)
"Shinbone Al" aka "Sister Susan" aka "Gwine to git Home"
"Round the Corner Sally"

The list is much much longer, but I don't have time to generate more names just now.

It would be great to have more additions…I'm particularly interested in compiling info on who is/was performing each this chanteys in recent times, where they learned them from, etc. Hopefully this isn't too confusing!

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:49 AM

The American folklorist Roger Abrahams has written something on Caribbean sea shanties. I'm damned if I can remember what it was called or where it was published. But a bit of googling should get results.

Also check Rounder's Deep River of Song. Bahamas 1935: Chanteys and Anthems from Andros and Cat Island. Rounder 11661-1822-2, which has quite a few shanties.

Also, Nonesuch LP H-72013; The Real Bahamas in Music and Song, for a shanty called Sailboat Malarkey by Frederick McQueen.

I suspect that once you start looking, loads of stuff will turn up, both as shanties proper, and as shanties which have been adapted for other purposes. EG Caribbean Voyage: Brown Girl in the Ring. Game and Pass Play Songs Sung by Children and Adults from Trinidad, Tobago, Dominica, St Lucia, Anguilla, Nevis and Carriacou, Rounder CD 1716, has a game song called Coming Down With a Bunch of Roses, which is clearly related to Blood Red Roses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:54 AM

I'm pretty sure I've heard both "Shinbone Al" and "Round the Corner Sally" from Theresa Tooley (Shellback Chorus, UK and Mudcat's "treaties"). Heard other people sing them too, so I'm not sure what you're basing the "rarity" rating on - it may be that (at least until recently) this area (NW England) has been very well served with shanty festivals (particularly Lancaster/Glasson and Liverpool, with Hull just across the Pennines) and I've had a chance to hear many excellent shanty choirs and singers, both local and from Europe and USA, so it could just be accident that I have heard these songs and you haven't come across them. Another excellent local resource for shanty and sea-song material (CDs, tapes and books) has been the Chantey Cabin.
Liverpool's Stormalong John used to work with Stan Hugill and continue to keep many of his songs in their repertoire, many of them not so far on CD. Just looked through the listings on the Chantey Cabin website, but can't find the shanties you've mentioned.

Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 07:09 AM

The Bahamian "The Captain Go Ashore" was recorded by Frederick McQueen, Andros Bahamas. And also by the Boat Band ("Take Me over the Tide, Harbourtown casette, 1990, to be reissued on CD May 1 2009 hint hint).
This is one of the shanties mentioned by Dana in "Two years before the mast", as being sung on American ships in thne 1850's. Hugill(introduction to "Shanties of the Seven Seas") thought the song was lost, but luckily Fwederick McQueen(and the Boat Band!) knew otherwise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 10:47 AM

Specifics, as always, are welcome. Thanks, guys.

It is not so much that these chanteys (not just the few I've listed so far, but the larger category) have "never" been performed, but rather that they have been performed so infrequently (or within such a limited area, as Ross suggested) that they are very poorly known to the chantey audience at large. The second part to this is, again, the issues of how the performances were created, i.e. whether they are imagined, as best as possible, from written text. I would guess that most of these recordings that one finds are recreations of the text.

The Bahamian recordings by Lomax present us with a slightly reverse scenario. We have these "authentic" versions, recorded for posterity and there is not so much of an issue of knowing what they are like (although more than one version is always helpful). Moreover, in several cases these recordings have been seized upon by revival singers and have since become both fairly well known and based on an aural source.

Abrahams' book is obviously the best source so far if we are just looking for Caribbean shanties, in conjunction with the more recent performances by the Barrouallie Whalers. But there are plenty of other chanteys that seem to have been popular back in the day, collected by Hugill, Bullen, Terry, Sharp, & Harlow that don't appear in these.

Out of the few listed so far, "Round the Corner, Sally" is definitely the most common, but I'm not sure if Hugill's significantly unique West Indian version is a part of that knowledge.

As a related note, one book that I don't seem to ever see mentioned, but which should accompany Abrahams', is Horace Beck's FOLKLORE AND THE SEA. He prints the following chanteys, having covered (in an albeit much more sketchy way) a similar ground as Abrahams:

Yado
Sam Gone Away
Ring Down Below
Ding Well
Mountains so High (related to Poor Lucy Anna / Louisiana)
Drive Her Captain Drive Her
Stormalong ("Yankee John" version)
Long Time Ago
Blow Boys Blow
Bulldog
Man o' War Sailor
Hilo
Rosabella
Old Moses
Pappy You Done Dead

Those being noted, the focus (for me) is not on "Caribbean" chanteys per se, it just happens that many of these chanteys in this category have been sourced from West Indian singers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 11:03 AM

So here is a summary so far of sources for the songs listed.

Mudder Dinah (Hugill's version A)
Print: Hugill, SEVEN SEAS; Bullen, SEA LABOUR + SEA WAIF
Performers: Rika Ruebsaat (?); Chris Roe /Broadside/St. Elmo's Choir

Mudder Dinah (version B)
Print: Hugill, SEVEN SEAS; Sharp, FOLK-CHANTEYS; Colcord (copy of Sharp)
Performers: Rika Ruebsaat (?)

Shinbone Al
Print:Hugill, SEVEN SEAS; Bullen; Harlow
Performers: Theresa Tooley

Round the Corner, Sally
Print: Hugill (a different version sung by Harding); Sharp; Terry; Dana (title only)
Performers: Paul Clayton; Theresa Tooley; more...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: "Rare" Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 11:45 AM

In my last post I forgot to list:

Mudder Dinah (Version A)
Performer: Pint & Dale

Round the Corner Sally
Performer: Pint & Dale

These two seem to have used Hugill's text as a source for non-chantey style music.

Tom Lewis also performs "Round the Corner," but in his own, new version.
Johnson Girls and Forebitter do "Roun' de Corn," a plantation song with a related phrase.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Padre
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 12:12 PM

Roger D. Abraham's book is called, "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore (Three Essays on Shantying in the West Indies)" Published for the American Folklore Society by the University of Texas Press in 1974.

It contains the following songs:

A Coolie is Nobody
All through the rain and Squally Weather (Blow My Bully Boy, Blow my Blow)
Bear Away Yankee, Bear Away Boy
Blackbird Get Up
Blow the Man Down
Bully Long Time Ago
Caesar Boy, Caesar
Caesar oh Caesar
Dan-Dan-Oh
Do my Jolly Boy
Feeny Brown
Fine Time o' Day
Fire Down Below
Georgy, Me Neck-a-Broke
Gray Goose Gone Home
Haul Away, Haul Away
Hey, Bully Monday
Jane and Louisa
John,John the Water Man
Johnny Come Down with a Hilo
Judiano
Lee-Lee-o, Lee-Lee
Little Boy Lonzo
Long Time Ago
Man-o-War Sailor
Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Oh, Louisiana
Oh, Mr. Cobeau
Oh, My Rolling River (Solid fas')
Pull away Me Boy
Royo Groun'
Shub Her Down
Sintali
St. Peter Down at Courland Bay
Those Girls From Bermuda
Tinnego
We Are Bound Down South Alabama
When You Go, Tell Julia
who No Been Out
Woman Belly Ful o' Hair
Yankee John, Stormalong
Yard-o

The Boarding Party sang several of these songs:
Yard-o
Solid Fas'
Blackbird Get Up
Caesar, Oh Caesar

Padre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM

I performed with Stan several times at Mystic Seaport, and rarely heard him do the Carib. chanteys. He seemed to prefer the chanteys with a strong story line, which many of the West Indian songs lack.

The "popular" chanteys during the '70s and '80s (based on my experience) tended to be those from the deepwater sailors (North Atlantic packets and Cape Horners). In the mid-'90s we started hearing more of the songs of Caribbean origins at festivals and on recordings; Forebitter popularized several, and the NexTradition really got interest going.

Finn & Haddie's 2007 CD "Fathom This" has these West Indian chanteys (most from Abraham): Fine Time of Day, Hell of a Wedding, Coal Black Rosie, Georgie, Me Neck A Broke, St. Peter Down at Courland Bay, Feeny Brown.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:10 PM

Here's another of this category:
"Walkalong, Miss Susiana Brown."
Print: Hugill; Colcord
Performance: William Fender (on Folktrax CD)

Some notes:

It is a halyard chantey. Hugill doesn't mention whom he learned it from; one presumes either Harding or "Harry Lauder."

The phrase "walkalong" is reminiscent of Gulf port cotton stowing songs, including the phamous "General Taylor / Walk-'em-along John" variant of the Stormalong theme.

The other collector who gives a version of this one is Joanna Colcord, who files it under the title "Juley." In her version, the name Susiana appears as Juliana.

There is a version of this recorded on cylinder in the James Madison Carpenter collection, by a William Fender, who notes to have learned it from a stevedore in the West Indies in 1888. It goes by the name "Saucy Anna," and though I've not heard it, I'm reasonably sure it is a related song. Mudcatter dick greenhaus notes it's inclusion on a Folktrax CD, under the title "Walkalong, You Saucy Anna," here
I know a few people here have that CD; I wonder how they would compare it to Hugill or Colcord's noted version. Of course I'd also be interested to hear whether anyone out there has included this in their repertoire.

My unripe rendition is here
I've had to alter the rhythm in one part of Hugill's notation, where it didn't make much sense; again, his transcriber seems to have been defeated by syncopation or some other irregular rhythm. Also, the notation is plagued by a common problem in his text, where the durational values on notes suddenly become doubled for a phrase, then halved again in the next phrase. I used Colcord's version to get an idea, but ultimately it is just a guess about which rhythms were really intended.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:28 PM

Jerry,

Thank you very much for your details on what Stan recorded off record. I find it interesting (but not surprising) that although his SEVEN SEAS is pretty much the largest collection of chanteys, he is only known for performing a relatively small set of those. In his later books (for numerous easy to guess reasons, I think) he trims off all these "Harding chanteys" (Perhaps that is a better way to group them!). I wonder to what extend he "knew" them them well (i.e. in order to perform them) or knew them just enough to log them in his very inclusive first book.

"John Kanaka" is a funny anomaly, since I'd put it in this category and yet Hugill evidently liked it and chose to popularize it. Maybe it was because he liked doing that yodel. Maybe the story of "samoan" lyrics was gimmicky. But for whatever reason, the very similar and probably more popular "Mobile Bay / John Come tell us as we haul away" hasn't made it to any kind of renown.

Also interesting is that the more recent, wonderful interest in Caribbean chanteying still does not quite fill the gap of what seems to be many Caribbean-or-Southern-U.S.-or-minstrel-based chanteys that were once actually well known by Euro-Americans. It's mostly a different repertoire (I think?) than that represented by Abrahams, the Nevis whalers, etc.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM

I oly have 25 minutes left on this library computer, mine is done.
Thanks Jerry for your mention, drinks on me at Mystic.
I think the Johnson Girls have recorded a version of your "Walkalong, Miss Susiana Brown", I'll have to check when I get home. There's also another recording from the Lomax collection "St Peter Was A Fisherman" I forget what islands they where collected from, St Peter's maybe, you'll find, I think 2 versions of "Yard-o".
Another group that did some BWI shanties was the now defunk 'Boarding Party'.
In Doerflinger's collection you'll also find shanties from the southern islands. "Knock a Man Down" a version of "Blow the Man Down" & from the mentoned collection above; Rounder's Deep River of Song. Bahamas 1935: Chanteys and Anthems from Andros and Cat Island. Rounder 11661-1822-2 you'll find in Doerflinger's "Come Down You Bunch of Roses" which was in 2 part harmony on the recording but is is eithe 3 or 4 part hamony on the Bording Party's CD. To whom I believe credit goes to Bob Walser for taking it & expanding the song's harmonic evolution.
When my computer's back up I'll revisit this thread.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:46 PM

Ooops, I meant to type "performed off record."

Barry, I look forward to your insights. I was hoping you might spot this. For instance, I think "Roller Bowler," a song you guys champion, could be set it this category. Since you learned it via an oral tradition (as I understand it), it may be a chantey that escaped a death with the break of the oral link, which many others have not.

***
I've done a pretty crappy job so far trying to articulate the theme of this thread (though by no means is discussion limited to that theme). The thread title sucks. So one more try, now that I've though about it more:

There are a number of chanteys, ones that have been notated down (words + music) but for which the "chain" of oral transmission seems to have been broken. Yeah, maybe on some island somewhere people have handed down a version. But to the vast majority of the audience interested in chanteys, these are known only as print specimens. Interested people (in which I include myself) try a hand at developing renditions from print, but without any connection to earlier performances, we can only guess at how to perform them.

So I'm making an effort to gather info on sources for these, in an on-going list, in hopes to better inform performances, I guess. To see what other people have come up with in trying to render them, to see if any other print sources pop up to add clues.....and maybe with luck.....to see if anyone with versions handed down through an unbroken oral tradition is out there.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:48 PM

A few related notes - if they help at all!

Horace Beck: FOLKLORE AND THE SEA - his Rosabella is not the one 'everybody' sings. That came from John Short (Yankee Jack) to me & BB, thence to Collins & Mageean, thence to the world. It is one of Short's that Sharp did not publish. Short is the ONLY source apart from two close singe-verse variants noted by Carpenter.

Gibb Sahib's reference to Round the Corner Sally, above, include Sharp & Terry as sources - they both published John Short's version. At the time of publication,SHARP says: "I do not know of any printed version of this chantey, nor have I myself collected any variants", and TERRY says: "I have not heard anyone save Mr. Short sing this shanty." HUGILL - "Mentioned by Dana in Two Years Before the Mast... Terry & Sharp are the only two collectors who give it and both had it from the same shantyman, Mr. Short… My version is one of Harding's."

Similarly, with Bully In The Alley, SHARP says: "I have no variants of this nor do I know of any printed version of it." HUGILL:"Another halyard shanty of negro origin which I came across in the West Indies is Bully In The Alley. Sharp gives a version sung to him by Mr. john Short of Watchet in which all the refrains are the same but I feel that this version has all the signs of being in a worn condition, as though Mr. Short's memory, in this case, didn't serve him well... This shanty may have been one used originally by cotton screwers." In fact, Short's version is structurally different to the one Stan gives (and everybody else subseqently sings), and does appear to be much closer to an original hoosier's chant then Stan's!

It's fascinating to find that, of those shanties that Sharp/Terry published from John Short, which were not in other publications, Stan almost invariably a his own version either from 'Harding the Barbadian' or 'picked up in the West Indies'. Makes you wonder!

As to who sings them now, well, all John Short's versions of shanties (57 in all) will be newly recorded in the next 12 months in the 'Short Sharp Shanty' projects - see www.umbermusic.co.uk/s&aprojects.htm

I shall follow this thread with interest - thanks for starting it.

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:53 PM

TomB.

It's fascinating to find that, of those shanties that Sharp/Terry published from John Short, which were not in other publications, Stan almost invariably a his own version either from 'Harding the Barbadian' or 'picked up in the West Indies'. Makes you wonder!

I too am very very fascinated by this.
More later, gotta go to work now (night shift).

Barry, Johnson Girls recorded "Walkalong Miss Sally Brown." It is different, but probably also could go in this category.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JeffB
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 06:31 PM

Some years ago Johnny Collins and Jim Mageean recorded "Coming of Age" (Columns Disc/ Universal Productions), a cracking good collection of 21 favourite shanties to celebrate 21 years singing together. If you can get hold of it, you will hear a number of WI shanties in fine style. Quoting their sleeve notes :-

Bully in the Alley - (WI halyards) One of several negro shanties referring to the place Shinbone Alley (geographical or anatomical?).

John Dead - (WI whaling) Collected in Barouvalie, St Vincent, by Roger Abrahams. It was used for calling out any 'chicken' negro whaler (Grey Goose [so-called in the shanty]) to come out and hunt "Mr Fox" (the whale). Brought to our attention by the fine Scottish shantyman Rob Mhacgregor.

Blackbird get up [mentioned by Padre above] - (WI whaling shanty) A shanty from Roger Abraham's collection "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore", from the negro whalers of Barouvalie, St Vincent, who always sang this shanty when being rained upon.


The CD has a number of other shanties collected from black crews, but not necessarily Caribbean.

Not sure if you would include Florida for your purposes, but the CD also includes "Johnson girls", which the notes say was collected in 1940 from the crew of the Menhaden fishing vessel "The Boys", working out of Mayport.

A. L. Lloyd's version of "Emma let me be (Sail 'er down the bay to Julianna)" is well known, but Lloyd apparently altered the distinctive cadence of the song. Would like to know what it sounded like in the mouth of a WI shantyman. Subtle changes by collectors can be really significant, as any who can compare the "standard" version of "Sailboat Malachi" with the original recording of Frederick McQueen ("The Real Bahamas") will appreciate.

Not sure if you could strictly call it a shanty, maybe more of a stevedores' song, is "Fire Marengo".

I'm told that people of mixed race in the Caribeban in 19th cent were called "cholas", so perhaps "Shallow Brown" could be included. Admittedly, not at all rare.

Do you want to draw a line between Caribbean shanties and those sung by black American crews? If so, things could get tricky, but you would be able to include "Shiny-o", which had a thread to itself last year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 06:46 PM

I think the Starboard List recorded their rendition of "Bully in the Alley" around 1977.

Was it Ian Campbell who did "Lowlands Low" on Topic in the mid '60s?
(Not "Lowlands" but the one starting "Our Captain hails from Barbados....")


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM

Gibb-

Keep digging. This is getting interesting!

Another song that should be included (maybe I missed it) is the halyard shanty "Lowlands Low" which my group Roll & Go recorded in 2002 on Outward Bound.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 04:36 AM

Gibb - thanks for the re-definition - point taken. Perhaps the Hugill/Harding question should be a separate thread?

I was going to go through which of John Short's shanties were 'covered' by Stan as Harding/WestIndies - but it'll be a few weeks yet: will post when it's done. From the other direction, has anyone listed the 'Harding shanties' from Seven Seas? (or the 'picked up' for that matter).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 02:01 PM

Tom,

I was going to go through which of John Short's shanties were 'covered' by Stan as Harding/WestIndies - but it'll be a few weeks yet: will post when it's done. From the other direction, has anyone listed the 'Harding shanties' from Seven Seas? (or the 'picked up' for that matter).

That would be very insightful, good idea.
I did once read through Hugill with an eye to which shanties were from Harding, but I didn't keep a strict list. My goal at the time was to sketch a rough picture of the percentages of what chanteys came from where. Needless to say, that is impossible to say with any accuracy since as many people would disagree on the origins (or dismiss the effort as rather pointless). The number of course will also vary widely depending on what you count variations. For whatever it's worth though, here are some of my stats:

Total number of shanties, not including textual variants or little "sing outs," is about 181. Usually I counted each different tune as a different chantey. "Blow the Man Down" was counted as a single chantey, despite there being "Flying Fish" version, "Blackballer" version, etc.

Of these,

78 were of "Black" origin. Out of those 78, I filed 47 as Black American and 31 as Caribbean. Keep in mind that this also includes minstrel song types, which are difficult to distinguish from authentic African-American songs of the period. Also, the Caribbean number may seem low because many of the chantey, even if learned from Harding, seemed to originate in the Southern U.S., as minstrel songs, etc.

14 were "Irish" or Irish-American. This does not include the minstrel songs, which are often a sort of Black-Irish combo. As already noted, I included those under "Black"--a bias in my count, I guess.

8 were "American," exclusive of "Black" or "Irish."

"All Others," an undifferentiated category, numbered 80.

I did not note which were "English" specifically, though that number was comparatively few. Moreover, many of these are forebitters that Hugill admitted into the collection on the criterium that he'd hear one person say they had been used as a capstan song. A contrary statement one could make is that they are all really "English," since it was Stan, an Englishman, who sang them!

Take those numbers with several teaspoons of salt.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 03:17 PM

I'm going to try to make a few notes on some of the chanteys that have been mentioned.

I don't think many of the Caribbean chanteys that appear in Abrahams' book (to the extent that he also made recordings of them), or that we find reintroduced by the Nevisian whalers or in Lomax's recordings represent a broken link in oral tradition -- precisely because we have these as aural sources directly from an oral source. Many of them are indeed less known (though note the fact that, for example, that Lomax's recordings in the Bahamas, mentioned by Fred above, were drawn from by early folk revival groups). While they are less known, we have a chance of knowing them directly from an oral source.

That not only Hugill, who by happenstance got many chanteys from Black chanteymen in the Caribbean, but also Sharp, Terry, etc. collected some of the same chanteys (by name, at least) from Englishmen suggests that these were a stock of chanteys that were widely known among the international set of sailors. This may be a bit different than localized chanteys like "Feeney Brown" and such. It's the former set that I think is "extinct" or "endangered," despite us having them in print.

Then there is the category of really "lost" chanteys that we don't have much knowledge about because they have only been named in books, without many lyrics and without melody. greg stephens brought up the example of one of these that seems to have been rediscovered. Here is his thread on that topic. "Fire Maringo" would be another that could fit into that category. The issue with these is that, unless and until they are rediscovered, they remain as vague references. By contrast, the many less-known chanteys in Hugill et.al. are at least notated out.

So adding some of the chanteys that have been mentioned…

*************
"Coal Black Rose"
Print: Hugill
Performers: Tom Sullivan (recorded on "Salt Atlantic Chanteys); Finn & Haddie (here)

Notes:
Learned by Stan Hugill from Harding. It is another one of those chanteys which can be presumed to be developed from a snatch of a popular minstrel song. In this case, the song "Coal Black Rose" is believed to be one of the earliest minstrel songs, popularized by George Washington Dixon by 1829 and henceforth part of the standard repertoire of blackface performers. A copy of the sheet music to the song can be seen here

The opening phrases, especially about the banjo, with the onomatopoeia (as well as some of the melodic contour, I think) are similar enough to make it probable the chantey is partly derived from the popular song.

*******
"Come Down, You Bunch of Roses"

Print: Hugill, in several books; Doerflinger
Performers: hmm…very many, but few. See below

Notes:
Despite it being apparently very well known, I think this one belongs to this category of broken-oral-link chanteys. Doerflinger's printed version comes from another text. Hugill's come from the oral source, Harding, but so far as I know he hasn't passed that version on orally to others. In fact, he appears to later forsake Harding's version (in SEVEN SEAS) in favor of a popular revival version.

I've tried to analyze what I think is the trajectory of this chantey, since the end of sail, here. The gist of my argument is that Bert Lloyd refashioned the song, from who knows what, and that his version became so ubiquitous that even Hugill adopted it.

Now, we do have those Caribbean recordings of a sibling or parent version of the song, as noted by Fred and Barry. So there is an oral source. One question would be whether these are the same as the developed chantey.

I've made an attempt to recreate Hugill's original/Harding's version here

********
"Bully in the Alley"

Note that this is different than the "Shinbone Al" mentioned earlier in the thread.

At first glance, one might not include this one among the "broken link" chanteys of this thread, simply because Hugill recorded it. It is available to many, and many have learned it. In fact, it is so well known (in a form) that it has reached the level of Disney-fication, here and here

However, two points. One is that Hugill's notation of this chantey in SEVEN SEAS is significantly different from the popular versions. I don't have his recording, so I can't tell if the popular versions are based on that (which differs from text) or if they derive from someone's reworking of it. Second, see TomB's points, above, that John Short's rendition had some significant differences. So there is a case for saying that the oral tradition of this chantey has been broken, or at least that the way most people know it now is "off." Who popularized the current version going around (was it Starboard List, as Lighter mentions)?

Regardless, it is similar to a lot of these other chanteys.

*****
"Lowlands Low"

Print: Hugill
Performers: Ian Cambell; Mystic Seaport Chanteymen; Roll & Go

Revived in the 60s by Ian Campbell and Co.? This is post-SEVEN SEAS, but I don't know if he learned it from print or oral.
Incidentally, there are a number of recordings, by revival singers in the 60s-70s, that are recreated from text. Often they have "mistakes" in them, imperfect readings of the texts, and through their spread on record they've spread these off versions. An example might be Louis Killen's version of "Hilo Johnny Brown" which seems it must derive from Hugill but has too many inaccuracies. It may well be that he learned it from Hugill directly, in which case – sadly all too often the case—it's Hugill's notation that is way off.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM

You'll find a field recording of "Come Down You Bunch of Roses" on the Bahama 1935 recording, collected by Lomax, sung high harmony by Henry Lundy & bassed by David "Pappie" Pryor, Nassau, 1935.
Aside from the Bahama collection there's also, I'm sure many home recordings of the Barouallie Whalermen from there appearance at Mystic some yrs ago & a few who had lerded a few songs from them, themselves. There are alo a few who have copies of Roger's field recordings & have learned from them.

There was an old thread on the "possible" origins of "Coal Black Rose". The version that Neil sings on 'Fathom This' is close to what Tommy Sullivan sings, you'll note on Tommy LP that Neil is singing on that LP with Tommy & a few others

You might want to check up on the recording of the "Georgia Sea Island Singers", the Northern Nech Chanteymen & the Manhade Chanteymen for overlapping songs.

Melville & Frances Herskovits collected & recorded 352 songs on the island of Trinidad (not Lomax as I mistakenly metioned above) of wwhich only 34 cuts appear on "Peter Was A Fisherman". Thius was intended to be Vol 1 of an intended series, I don't know if there is more of this collection available.

Mudcatter Richard Adrianowicz & Peter Kasin have a few recordings with some very worth while souther island songs not commonly heard & done very well also

"American Shanties" by Mystic's Forebitter is another worth while CD in the same vein that you could mine


Nice, interesting thread, I'm off for a shanty session. Can't stay.

Gibb, Mystic's fest is not far off, get a good long playing recorder & come, you'll be tickled to death at what you'll find floating about.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BULLY IN THE ALLEY
From: doc.tom
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 05:05 AM

Re 'Bully In The Alley', The notes currently drafted to go with the new recordings of John Short's versions of the shanties read: -
"BULLY IN THE ALLEY (mss.2936) crops up only from Short via Sharp ("I have no variants of this nor do I know of any printed version of it") – except for one other version that Hugill 'picked up in the West Indies'. Judging by extant recordings and the internet, all revival versions seem to have the same structure, and stem from Hugill. Hugill's version gives Shinbone Al as a location in his text, and Shinbone Alley in is St. George's, Bermuda. There also appears to be a consensus opinion that 'bully' in the context of this shanty, means drunk and incapable. Short's version gives no location and no indication of drunkenness. The fragments of Short's text are more reminiscent of Sally In Our Alley (the composition by Henry Carey published in 1726, which became very popular in the U.S. in the nineteenth century, not the Gracie Fields 1931 song) than of Bermudan alchoholism – but either 'explanation' of the shanty is probably grasping at straws and ultimately pointless. Hugill comments, on the version published by Sharp, that "I feel that this version has all the signs of being in a worn condition, as though Mr. Short's memory, in this case, didn't serve him well." It is certainly a difficult mss to get inside. Sharp does not always mark his mss with 'solo' or 'chorus', nor does he usually mark the stresses – the conclusion must be that when he does so (as he does throughout this shanty) - it is because he has specifically checked it with Short for whatever reason. Sharp's solo/chorus markings and stresses initially did not seem logical – however, the way it seems to work, actually as Sharp recorded/published it, is this:

1) Single solo line with 'Way – ay bully in the alley' chorus all sung twice.
2) The soloist then has a short line followed by a chorus of the 1st line with Way-ay etc.
3) This is followed by another short solo finished by a Way-ay etc. chorus.
4) All stresses are marked on the 'all' of 'alley' – not on other barlines!
5) It also seems likely that the Way-ay tune variations are just that and not fixed in the structure.

This structure is much more a Hoosier's form than the later Hugill form and may therefore endorse Hugill's opinion that the shanty derived from the cotton ports.

SOLO        So help me Bob I'm bully in the alley
CHORUS        Way – ay bully in the alley
SOLO        So help me Bob I'm bully in the alley
CHORUS        Way – ay bully in the alley
        
SOLO        Bully down in an alley
CHORUS        So help me Bob I'm bully in the alley
       Way – ay bully in the alley
SOLO        Bully in Tin Pot Alley
CHORUS        Way – ay bully in the alley

ENDS"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 09:18 AM

Surely a more conventional sense of "bully" applies here: "[It's] splendid here in the alley" or perhaps "[There's a - or I'm the] bulley in the alley."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Rare' Carib. shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM

Barry,

I do plan to be in Mystic, with note pad in hand (well, probably a grimey piece of paper in pocket), and ready to sit at the feet of the masters (or stand in the dark corner behind them)!


Tom,
Thanks for those notes. They will be helpful to anyone wanting to perform "Bully in the Alley." So you say there is indeed a recording of John Short singing this one that will be released soon? In a way, that would help re-fuse the oral link. Very exciting.
If other "endangered" shanties here are also among the forthcoming CD, please do let us know.

****
A non sequitur: I've heard it claimed that English "bully" as something good derives from the British India contact (as many English slang words did). The commonly used Punjabi word /balle/, meaning basically "Bravo!" is cited as the source. (The /a/ in that word is pronounced as a schwa vowel). I doubt it, but it's an interesting anecdote.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 03:18 PM

O.K. – so here goes: I give only the shanties that Sharp/Terry printed of Short's which were NOT given by TOZER, L.A.SMITH, WHALL, BULLEN, FOX-SMITH, COLCORD, or KINSEY, except as shown. Bear in mind that Sharp published in 1914, and Terry vol.2 (the one that included Short's shanties) in 1924. (Vol.1 was published in 1921, before he had met Short).

Billy Riley. mss.3059 SHARP 58: I have no variants of this and I know of no other published version. TERRY2 (26) Sung to me by Mr. Short. I have not found any other sailor who knows it. FOX-SMITH p.52. I have come across very few of the younger generation of sailormen who have heard it. This version sung in 1850s. HUGILL remarkable resemblance between Billy Riley and Tiddy High O! Billy Riley probably started life as a cotton-hoosiers song.

Carry Him To The Burying Ground. mss.2903 SHARP 33: GENERAL TAYLOR: I know of no other printed versions of this chantey, nor have I heard it sung by anybody else. The grace notes in the chorus are very remarkable and were beautifully sung by Mr. Short. TERRY2 (30) I have heard no one sing this save Mr. Short. The tune differs at several points (notably bars 6 & 7, page 59) from C.J. Sharp's printed version taken down from Mr. Short. But I have set it down exactly as he sang it to me. HUGILL [this] comes from the same [gulf port or West Indian] part of the world and in all probability has stemmed from a slave song. As a cotton stowers chant, but to fit the words the tune must have been slightly different from the one I give [gives close variant – from Harding the Barbarian]. Several negro songs exist which point to its origin – [examples]

Do Let Me Go (Yaller Girls). mss.2958 SHARP 8: I have not heard this chantey from any one but Mr. Short, nor, so far as I know, is it printed elsewhere. The tune is in the mixolydian mode. Mr. Short always sang "doodle let me go." TERRY2 (14) This was also sung to me by Mr. Short. As he only had one verse of words, I have perpetrated the remaining two. HUGILL p.380 A capstan shanty which may be related to the foregoing [Do Let Me Lone Susan] is Do Let me Go, given also by Terry & Sharp. Gives version from Harding the Barbadian. NB: Short's text is actually the folk-song Blow the Candles Out.

Good Morning Ladies All. mss.2904. SHARP 17: I know of no variant of this chantey. The tune has some affinity with "Heave away my Johnny" (No. 26). TERRY1 (18). [NOT Short's version] HUGILL p.349-351. I feel certain that I am right in saying that any shanty including ['Good Morning Ladies All'] can be said to be of negro origin. Quotes minstrel songbook song. [version 1] Capstan shanty and Sharp, who also gives it, believes it to have some affinity with Heave Away, Me Johnnies. [version 2] also given by Terry – is a different structure.

He Back, She Back (Old Moke Pickin' On a Banjo). mss.2960. SHARP 4. The tune, which is in the dorian mode, is, as Miss Gilchrist has pointed out to me, a variant of Shule Agra. "Hoo-roo" may be a reminiscence of "Shule Agra," and the reference to "the railroad" a memory of "Poor Paddy works on the railway." Both words and tune show negro influence. The chantey is not included in any other collection. HUGILL Many new work songs were originated by the Negro and Irish work-gangs who laboured on the Iron Road. Some of these songs eventually arrived at sea and [this] was certainly one of them. Apart from myself, Sharp is the only collector who gives it. Capstan. The too-ler-oo of the chorus indicates an Irish connection, giving it a typical Irish-Negro combination found in many shanties of the forties.

Liza Lee (Yankee John Stormalong). mss.2956. BULLEN 27. Halliard. …no particular mention… SHARP 36: The only variant of this that I know of is printed by Bullen (No. 27). TERRY2 (28) Sung to me by Mr. Short. It is a better version than those sung by Sir Walter Runciman and others. I have given Mr. Short's version. COLCORD p.60. From English Folk Shanties, by permission of Cecil Sharp. HUGILL p.80. For the last of the Stormalong family we have: [this] – no source given, but not Short's tune.

Lucy Long, mss.2998. SHARP 22: I know of no other printed version of this chantey. The chorus is curiously disjointed in its rhythm.   TERRY2 (13) This was sung to me by Mr. Short. I have never heard it from anyone else. HUGILL p.396. Terry & Sharp give versions, both similar to mine which I picked up in Trinidad in 1931.

        Round The Corner Sally. mss.2961 SHARP 42: I do not know of any printed version of this chantey, nor have I myself collected any variants. TERRY2 (22) I have not heard anyone save Mr. Short sing this shanty. COLCORD (45) Mentions Dana. Short-drag shanty. HUGILL (389) Mentioned by Dana in Two Years Before the Mast. The phrase 'round the corner Sallies' is often found in nigger minstrelsy and means anything from a female 'corner boy' to a fully-fledged prostitute. Terry & Sharp are the only two collectors who give it {NB: Colcord!} and both had it from the same shantyman, Mr. Short… My version is one of Harding's.
        
Rowler Bowler. mss.2935. SHARP 12: I have no variants of this chantey and I know of no other printed version of it. HUGILL p.347. Capstan song. Another of the Negro-Irish type of sailor work-song. Sharp's version, the only one in print until now, seems to be a Liverpool shanty. It was definitely sung aboard West Indian Sugar and Rum Traders.
        
Tommy's Gone (Tommy's Gone Away). mss.2929. SHARP 60: This may be a variant of the preceding number (Tom's Gone To Ilo), though the same singer sang them both. I cannot trace it anywhere else. Mr. Short said that this was used not only as a pulling chantey but also when they were screwing cotton into the hold at New Orleans.   TERRY2 (24) This is a variant of the sentiment of 'Tom's gone to Hilo (see Pt.1) but the tune is different and not so good. The version is that of Mr. Short. HUGILL Variant of Tom's Gone to Hilo. Apart from (me) only given by Terry. My version from S. Wales seaman who had served in the copper trade.
        
Would You Go My Way. mss.3058. SHARP 56: This is not, I believe, published elsewhere, nor have I collected any variants. TERRY2 (19) This charming shanty was sung to me by Mr. Short. I have not met any other sailor that knows it. A version (differing from the present one in the music of bar 9, and the words of verses 5 & 6) is given in C.J. Sharp's collection, taken down from Mr. Short's singing, also. Mr. Short may have exercised the shantyman's privilege of varying melody or words at will. At any rate, I have set both down as he sang them to me. HUGILL [this] I picked up in the West Indies. This was a common hauling song among coloured seamen and was even a favourite with white sailors. Terry and Sharp both give a version much the same as mine. The pull came on the word 'go' in both refrains.
        
So of these 11 shanties, Hugill gives his versions coming from: Harding = 3, West Indies = 1, Trinidad = 1, Unspecified, but Negro = 4, No source given = 1 - and one from the Bristol channel – which is corroborated by Barry Island versions in Carpenter (may be a localised – Copper trade - version).

One other thing, Gibb, if anyone want to do the Short structure of Bully In The Alley, beware - it's a different tune!

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 03:21 PM

Oooops! - missed Bully In The Alley off the list after all that - so that makes twelve, and one more 'picked up in the West Indies'.

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 04:50 PM

I'm reading this thread with a great deal of interest. I've nothing to add to the information being gathered about shanties, since I just starting learning about that genre of music from reading Mudcat threads. However, I have a request as an African American whose maternal grandparents were from Barbados and Trinidad/Tobabo-not that where my grandparents were from is really significant to the point that I'd like to make, besides the possibility that Harding the Barbadian and other singers way back then could have been relatives of mine :o).

I recognize that at the time that Hugill and others were collecting songs that it was standard practice among some populations to spell "negro" with a small "n". But times have changed and referents for this population have changed (a number of times). Though it grates my nerves to see the "n" not capitalized in those sources that you are quoting, I understand that you are quoting. I just hope that in new recordings and articles that retired referent "Negro" isn't used to refer to contemporary Black people (and if you are quoting old sources could "negro" be put in quotations marks to note that you are aware that this is an archaic spelling and that spelling that word with a small "n" had and still has negative connotations?). Perhaps putting that word in quotations can't be done but at least I hope that referent isn't used for contemporary writing about this population-my people-nowadays.

Among a number of African Americans, when "negro" is spelled with a small "n" in contemporary writing, that spelling for "Negro" implies three things
1. that the person is either set in his/her way and not aware that the group referent for this population has changed

2. that the person is either not aware or does not care that using a small letter for the first letter of that group referent when other referents such as Irish, Japanese, British, Spanish, Russian are capitalized implies that people referred to as "negroes" are considered to be less than other people in the world

3.that the writer is purposely using that referent as a pejorative term for someone Black who is an "Uncle Tom", that is to say, someone who is either overly submissive to White people or purposely acts in ways that are counterproductive to the best interests of other Black people

As Gibb has used that referent in his 31 Mar 09 - 02:01 PM post to this thread, Black" is an acceptable informal referent for those people who were formerly called "Negroes". When used as a racial referent "Black" can either be either capitalized or
un-capitalized. "Black" is the informal referent and "African American" is the formal referent for the same people, though in the USA "Black people" includes more people of African descent than "African American" does.

Again, thanks for an interesting thread. I have no intention of hijacking this thread and hope that this post will not engender discussion about these points on this thread. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to share these points because there may be people who find this thread through an Internet search engine who are interested in the subject of shanties, who see the term "negro" being used, and who aren't sure which racial referent/s are acceptable to use for Black Americans.

And that said, I'm going back to lurking and reading this thread as a means of learning more about this genre of music.

Best wishes,

Azizi


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM

'Lowlands Low," mentioned above, was also recorded by Bernie Klay on the a 1980 album of songs from the Newport Chantey Festival. Stan Hugill was on the scene then, but it is unclear whether he had any influence on the rendition. The chantey is labeled as "The Island Lass."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 09:26 PM

For reference purposes, here's a (necessarily rough) list I've made of the shanties recorded by Stan Hugill. I am sure there are a few more, here and there. More importantly, individuals will have personal recordings of his performances from concerts and private gatherings. Additions and corrections are welcome.

My idea in posting this list is to use it for cross-referencing. If there is an available recorded performance by Hugill, assuming he learned all these from an oral source, then we can't say that the oral link to any of the shanties is necessarily broken. There are a few, however, that it seems are very poorly known. These recordings of Stan's are not all widely available, and not all of them are popular, so it's still interesting to see what their trajectories have been.

The list has 78 songs -- shanties and forebitters. 55 were published in SEVEN SEAS. So, 55 out of some 181 shanties in that text (by my earlier count). That's a lot of leftover.

In SHANTIES FROM THE SEVEN SEAS (1961)
The Anglesy
The Arabella
The Black Ball Line
Blow The Man Down
Bosun's Alphabet
Bulley in the Alley
Clear Away the Track (Eliza Lee)
The Companayro
Dixie Land (Way Down in Dixie)
Drunken Sailor
The Ebenezer
Essequibo River
Fire Down Below
The Fireship
The Flash Packet
The Gals Of Chile
The Girls of Dublin Town
Golden Vanitee ("The Lowlands Low")
Good Bye Fare Ye Well
Haul Away Boys
Heave Away Me Johnnies (We're All Bound to Go)
Heave Away Boys, Heave Away (which one?)
Hieland Laddie
Hilo Come Down Below
Jack all Alone
John Cherokee
John Kanaka
The Kangaroo
Larry Marr ("Virginia Lowlands")
Leave Her, Johnny Leave Her
Let the Bulgine Run
The Lime Juice Ship
Liverpool Judies
Liverpool Packet
A Long Time Ago
Lowlands ("lowlands away, me john")
New York Girls (Can't Ye Dance the Polka)
Old Moke Pickin' On The Banjo
Old Swansea Town Once More
Paddy Lay Back
Randy Dandy O
Ranzo Ray (which one?)
Ratcliffe Highway
Rio Grande
Roll Boys Roll
Roll the Old Chariot
Round The Bay Of Mexico
Sacramento
Santiana
Serafina
Shenandoah
South Australia
Stormalong ("ai-ai-ai Mister Stormalong" version?)
Whaling Johnny
Where Am I to Go, Me Johnnies

Added, in SHANTIES AND SAILORS' SONGS (1969)
Admiral Benbow
Bounty Was A Packet Ship
Strike the Bell

Added, in SONGS OF THE SEA (1977)
Eight Bells
Rolling Down to Old Maui

Others, which I haven't noticed in his print works:
The Balaena
Boston Town Ho
The Leaky Ship
The Pilots of Tiger Bay
Pull Down Below
Running Down To Cuba
Sam's Gone Away (in Beck 1973)
Shiny-O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 11:26 PM

Thanks to doc.tom for the cross-referencing of John Short's shanties.

Here's more survey and stats. This time regarding Hugill's Caribbean sources. Note: these do not correspond to all of his shanties that he believed were of Caribbean origin. Rather, they're those that he learned from men in or of the Caribbean.

There are 55 in total, at my count -- I may have missed some. So, a good third of the shanties in Hugill's text came from theses guys

From HARDING 'THE BARBARIAN' OF BARBADOS - 36 shanties:
Stormalong, John
'Way Stormalong John
Stormalong, Lads, Stormy
Sally Brown
Randy Dandy O!
High O, Come Roll Me Over
Where Am I to Go, M'Johnnies
Roll, Boys, Roll
The Codfish Shanty
Ranzo Ray (C)
Hilo, Come Down Below
Hello Somebody
Shallow Brown (B)
Can't Ye Hilo?
The Gal with the Blue Dress
Johnny Come Down the Backstay
Rise Me Up from Down Below
John Kanaka
Hooker John
Haul 'er Away (A)
Old Moke Pickin' on the Banjo
Gimme De Banjo
Haul Away, Boys, Haul Away
Walkalong, My Rosie
Coal Black Rose
Bunch o' Roses
'Way Me Susiana
Do Let Me Lone, Susan
Doodle Let Me Go
Sing Sally O (Mudder Dinah) (A)
Sing Sally O (B)
Round the Corner, Sally
Essequibo River
Alabama (John Cherokee)
Dan Dan
Hilonday

From "OLD SMITH" OF TOBAGO:
Lowlands Low
Walkalong You Sally Brown
Hilo Boys Hilo
Good Morning Ladies All (A)
Sing a Song, Blow Along (Dixie Land)
Tiddy High O

From HARRY LAUDER of ST. LUCIA:
Heave Away Boys, Heave Away (B)
Sister Susan (Shinbone Al)
Eki Dumah
Bulley In the Alley

From TRINIDAD, anonymous:
Roller Bowler
Miss Lucy Long
Miss Lucy Loo

From ST. LUCIA, anonymous:
Heave Away Boys, Heave Away (A)

WEST INDIES in general, anonymous:
Roll the Woodpile Down
Tommy's on the Tops'l yard
Haul 'er Away (B)
Good Morning Ladies All (B)
Won't Ye Go My Way?


If Hugill was writing his book in today's era of scholarship, Harding might be listed as a co-author!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 12:26 AM

Anthologie des chansons de mer, vol. 3, "Chants des Marins Anglais," Chasse-maree. Stan Hugill, with Stormalong John.
I do not have this cd. Monique may be able to help.
It includes John Kanaka and Lowlands Away.

A disc included in Michel Colleu and Nathali Couilloud, "Chants de Marins," no date, Chasse-maree.
Track 7- John Kanaka, Hugill with Stormalong John
Track 9- Jean-Francois de Nantes, Hugill with John Wright
Track 25- The Black Ball Line, Hugill with Stormalong John group.
------------------
Digression-
African, 20th c. "La Complainte du Krouman." In the above volume, with musical score.

Probable Af-Am influence, "Roll the Old Chariot Along," Lyrics in English and French with musical score; not the lyrics in Hugill, Shanties from the Seven Seas. Cahiers de chants de marins, No. 2, p. 19.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JeffB
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 06:40 AM

Quick BTW. As for meanings of "bully", the Dictionary of Historical Slang has several definitions which could apply :-

1] A protector and exploiter of prostitutes, from c. 1690; colloquial until 1750, then Standard English.
2] Companion, mate, from c. 1820. Nautical and dialect.
3] adj. First-rate, splendid: Canada, Australia, New Zealand from c. 1860, ex US. From the late 17-18th century Standard English "bully" - worthy, admirable. Applied only to persons.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 07:59 AM

Gibb; in reference to your post of 01 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM, there are some in this community, several of which attend Mystic, that consider Barry to be one of the Masters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:02 AM

Gibb-

You're really doing a great job of summarizing these shanties and their sources. And you're also provoking some excellent comments and discussion.

I note that the "minstrel" origin of some of these shanties has been discussed in depth in other threads, i. e., "Coal Black Rose." Sometimes only a few key phrases survive from the original minstrel song, i.e. "Lucy Long." Sometimes it's just the title as in "Whoop Jamboree." But minstrel songs were the pop music of the day and thus fodder for the aspiring shantyman. The same is true of shanties whose origin can be traced to British and American Music Hall songs, i.e., "The Jolly Roving Tar (Get Up, Jack, John, Sit Down)"."

I'll look forward to meeting you at Mystic.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 01:27 PM

Marc,

Gibb; in reference to your post of 01 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM, there are some in this community, several of which attend Mystic, that consider Barry to be one of the Masters.

Hence my comment!

Charley,

I'd seen your post on another thread about getting together a list of chanteys with minstrel song sources. It would be great to continue that list. I think your "just a few key phrases" idea is not only very accurate, but even can be extended from "sometimes" to "most of the time," as so far I don't recall finding that many chanteys (except "Sacramento" for example) come close enough to any known minstrel song to really consider them variants of the same.

See you,
Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM

Thanks Marc for that way too generous complement.

On another line of sourcing orgins that IMO has been far to neglected is shanties that were born out of slavery & prisons or shaties that have gone from the sea into the prisons. I haven't found many that cross but there are a few.
One being "Drinking That Wine" most recently brought to the forefront by those singing it in the Manhaden Fisheries. But it's also foound in the Prison. It's been recorded & collected by Bruce Jackson in his Wake Up Dead Man" as a 'logging' song (axe) & a flatweeding song (hoe) & earlier by Lydia Parrish in her 'Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands' collection. She 1st heard it sung by a prison road gang cutting weeds (which was usually done to the work of a hoe). Odum & Johnson published a text as early as 1925. "Hard Times In Old Virginia" (recorded on my "Fathom This" & on Kasin & Adrianowicz's "Boldly From The Westward") is one that has it origins in slavery. Again, in Lydia Parrish's collection. Also on both those CD's is "Good-Bye, My Lover, Good-Bye". Again found in the prison repertoire of Louis "Bacon & Porkchop" Houston & Jesse "GI Jazz" Hendricks & recorded by Jackson as a cotton song in 1964. "Good-Bye My Riley-O" (again on 'Fathom This' is another whose orgins are in slavery. This is again found in Lydia Parrish's collection. Frankie Quimby told me that "Riley" was the nickname of a slave driver who was well liked & therefore his real name could not be mentioned & would be missed when gone.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:39 PM

"Shanties of a more indeterminate Black American origin" might include the ones in Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands by Lydia Parrish, published originally in 1942. This includes fragments of familiar songs like "blow my bully boys, blow" and "clear the track and let the bullgine back", and less familiar ones such as "O bring me a gator, O gal when you come off the island..." A very local shanty is mentioned, but not transcribed, called "Yonder Come that Hessie".

The songs were collected from 1909 - 1934, largely on St Simon's Island amongst people we would now recognise as Gullahs. Her main sources for information on the songs were Joe Armstrong and Henry Merchant, both of whom were onetime leaders of stevedore crews.

Fully transcribed shanties:

Call Me Hangin' Johnny
Knock a Man Down
Sandy Anna
Debt I Owe
Ragged Leevy
Goodbye my Riley-o
Ole Tar River
Shilo Brown
This Time Another Year
Haul Away, Im a Rolling King (Bound for South Australia)
Sundown Below
My Soul Be at Rest
Anniebelle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 02:43 PM

A number of those mentioned above by Ruth can be found on recordings by the Georgia Sea Island Singers

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 03:36 PM

Adding to post by Ruth Archer, one she missed (I'm sure accidentally) is the chantey, "Pay Me My Money Down." It works well as a chantey, and also was collected from ex-stevedores.
Chorus and first two verses:

Pay me, Oh pay me
-Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
-Pay me my money down.

Oh pay me, Oh pay me
-Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
-Pay me my money down.

Think I heard my captain say
-Pay me my money down
T'morrow is my sailin' day
-Pay me my money down.

No. 50, With musical score, pp. 208-209, 1992 reprint of 1942 original, Univ. Georgia Press.

St. Simons Island and coastal vicinity long had a mixture of free and slave. Some slave-owners contracted with ship owners to provide labor aboard their ships; both slave and free were seamen on some vessels.
I would guess that the songs collected from the ex-stevedores are mostly post-slavery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:01 PM

Thanks for the excellent info, Barry & Ruth. Dunno why I don't have Parrish's book yet, but it's definitely on my wish list for when I get some extra cash!

***************

Logging in another of the "broken link" chanteys in print...

"Miss Lucy Long"

Print: Hugill; Sharp; Terry (pt2)
Performers: ???

Notes:

See also doc.tom's notes, above.

Although "Miss Lucy Long" was one of the more famous minstrel songs, this capstan chantey does not appear to be directly related to it. More likely, as "Miss Lucy Long" became a steroetypical figure in minstrelsy, the name of that character found its way into this chantey. In addition to Hugill, Sharp and Terry collected versions of it, both from John Short. Hugill "picked this up" in Trinidad in 1931. The melody in these versions is very similar, remarkably. The one major difference, in part of the chorus (I have incorporated the alternate notes as a harmony part in my rendition).

The opening line uses the common chantey formula of "Was you ever down in XplaceX?" which may link it to other "hoosier" songs like "Hieland Laddie," "Mobile Bay," etc.

I think it's notable that the three verses given by Sharp correspond to Hugill's first three verses. It seems unlikely that they would match up so well unless Hugill was culling from Sharp, then making up the rest of a "story" in his successive verses.    This brings up something I've wondered: whether Hugill didn't, at time, and especially with these rare chanteys that he's not known to have performed [much], just kind of piece them together from earlier texts and imperfect memory of hearing them.

My try at it is here

Who else is performing this? Tom - are you performing this for the John Short CD, or does the CD consist of Yankee Jack's recordings by Sharp in archives??? I wasn't clear on that, thanks

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 11:45 PM

"Stormalong, Lads, Stormy"

Print: Hugill; Sharp ("Wo Stormalong")
Performers: ???

Notes:
Though there are indeed many variants on the "Stormalong" theme, this one can easily be consider distinct. It's one of the few in Sharp's EFC text that he did not collect from John Short; he got it from Robert Ellison of London. Hugill got it from Harding. Sharp's makes more "sense" to me, melodically. Hugill's, assuming it is accurate, has an interesting 2-tonal-center quality to it.

I've not yet heard any renditions of this, so my own, meant to illustrate Hugill's text, is based only on it and my imagination. recording

Please do offer the names of any other recordings/performers of this one, and their source for learning if possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 04:36 AM

Way Storm Along John - Forebitter - American Sea Shanties
Yankee John, Stormalong - Kasin & Adrianowicz-Bodly From the Westward
Mister Stormalong-Bob Roberts-Sea Songs & Shanties (on Saydisc)
Stormalong - Jim Mageean & Johnny Collins - Coming Of Age

The verizon above by Kasin & Adrianowicz, Yankee John, Stormalong is pretty much the same West Indian version that Roger Abrahams gives in his "Deep The Water, Shallow the Shore". I don't recall that one being on his field recordings though, when I ever find them again I'll check.

I think there some mention of these aboive so,,,
Gwine To Get A Home - Forebitter - American Sea Shanties
Gonna Get Home By' n By' -Kasin & Adrianowicz-Bodly From The Westard

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 04:49 AM

"Sandy Anna" can be found in Lydia Parrish's "Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands"

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 04:53 AM

"John Come Tell Us", I believe I can hear Mac Bernier singing this

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 05:08 AM

"Folklore & the Sea" by Horace Beck was mentioned above, another source for

Yado
Sam Gone Away
Ring Down Below
Ding Well
Mountains So High
Drive Her Captain
Stormalong (Yankee John would you Stormalong)
Bully Long Time Ago
Blow, Boys, Blow
Bulldog (don't Bite Me)
Man-o'-War Sailor
Hilo Rosabella
Old Moses
Pappy You Done Dead


Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 05:12 AM

For what it's worth, the draft notes on Lucy Long read:

LUCY LONG (2998)        
Sharp: 'I know of no other version.' Terry: 'I have never heard it from anyone else.' Hugill: 'picked up in Trinidad in 1931.' Hugill criticises Sharp for writing 'wring' instead of 'ring' and says the word is a substitute anyway. I suspect it's actually a euphemism and that 'ring' or 'wring' (it makes no difference) was actually sung. Sharp did not publish the 'wrung her all night' verse (of course) – and Stan did not work from the mss. – only the publication!

The verses collected (as opposed to published) were:-


Was you ever on the Brum-a-low
Where the yankee boys are all the go
To my way-ay-ay ha ha
Me Johnny boys ha ha
Why don't you try for to wring Miss Lucy Long

As I walked out one morning fair
To view the views & take the air

There I met Miss Lucy fair
                           I do declare

Miss Lucy had a baby
She dressed it all in green

I wrung her all night and I wrung her all day
And I wrung her before she went away

In answer to Gibb's query - the recordings of John Short's shanties will all be new - Short was never sound recorded and died in 1933. Therefore there isn't a 'live' continuity and I still feel a bit of a fraud posting to this thread when that's what it's about - sorry! On the other hand, it occurs to me that when we put Short's 'Rosabella' into currency through Collins & Mageean, look what happened to it - I wish we could now trace it's passage round the shanty crews since 1978. Guess it moved around rather as the original shanties did singer to singer - but with less variation!

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 10:57 AM

TomB-

I'm been wondering where "Rosabella" came from. I believe we got it from the singing of Johnny Collins but had no clue to its origins.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM

I first heard Rosabella from Stan.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 12:07 PM

Well, there's interesting! If Stan was singing it, he must've got it from Johnny & Jim as well. He didn't publish it - nor did Sharp - it was just sitting in the Sharp mss. till we found it in '79. (It is distinct enough to the Carpenter sets - although they are related - to be sure that Short was the only source for the Rosabella 'everybody' sings. The Beck 'Rosabella' is different again).

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 01:36 PM

Although Rosabella has been discussed a bit earlier, this new info is really interesting. The working idea, in summary, is:

John Short's singing > Sharp's text > TomB & BB > Collins & Mageean > most others, including Stan Hugill

This the kind of stuff I find really interesting. If you could not already tell, I am a very skeptical person when it comes to sources and "origins." Not that I don't enjoy everything and anything regardless of the source! I just find it fascinating how forgetting, the folk process, and imagination all interact to shape our current perceptions of repertoire.

What really interests me about Stan Hugill's legacy is how is image as an "authority" (as indeed I think he was) feeds back into his scholarship. His text is a combination of tons of first-hand knowledge and lots of second hand sources, all mixed up with a few drops of "faith" which (unlike a writer like Doerflinger) adds enough ambiguity to give that sense of "it's all traditional...it's anonymous...we'll never know" etc. It all contributes to the effect of making the text like the "Bible."

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM

To add a little bit to Barry's list of other "Stormalong" type performances...

*****
"Mister Stormalong", aka just "Stormalong" (this is the one with 'aye aye aye' in the chorus)

This is prob. the most common chantey with the theme, the current 'default' as it were. Actually, it's been recorded a lot (including by Stan Hugill, who wrote that his mother sung it to him as a boy), in addition to being printed in so many collections, so I don't think it's one of these "broken link" chanteys.
*****

"Way Stormalong John"

Print: Hugill; ???
Performers: Ewan MacColl;

Notes:
Ewan MacColl & AL Lloyd recorded it in 1957 (released on more than one album - see here ). Hugill's print text didnt come until after that, and they are remarkably similar. I don't presently find any earlier print versions (though one tends to get mixed up with all the Stormy variations). Hugill says he learned it from Harding.

Does anyone know of earlier printings, that may have been a source for lloyd/MacColl? (Lloyd, of course, learned many through the oral tradition, so there isnt necesarilly one.) The plot thickens... We know that Hugill was well taken by these 1950s recordings. Could this be a case of Hugill following a recently-heard form?

In case you need reference to which "Stormy" this is, here's a scratchy + authentically-amateurish version!

****
more to come


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,rumanci
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 02:49 PM

Great, GREAT thread.   Thanks for all the fascinating new info to digest.   Wish I was sat in front of all my music and other things collected over the years to contribute some nuggets of gold too ! Hopefully, some time soon.

One thing I CAN add from a dearly remembered workshop given at a Loughborough festival donkeys' years ago by Stan himself, is that unless carried away by going down side alleys of conversation (a frequent, delightful trait FYI) and using collected and shared Caribbean shanties to illustrate a point, he chose rarely to SING some of them himself BECAUSE he felt his Welsh lilt couldn't QUITE do them justice so he preferred to steer people to hear the sources for accuracy and rhythm.

rum


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 03:50 PM

I hope that this isn't considered to be too off-topic:

I'm interested in finding possible sources for children's playground rhymes. That being the case, I'm alert to verses in old songs that are the same as or similar to verses given for those rhymes. For instance, this verse for the shanty "Lucy Long" that was included in doc.tom's 04 Apr 09 - 05:12 AM post:

"Miss Lucy had a baby
She dressed it all in green"

seems very similar to the title and this verse from the widely known playground rhyme "Miss Lucy Had A Baby"

Miss Lucy had a baby
His name was Tiny Tim
She put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim

-snip-

Is there a connection between these verses or is this just a coincidence?

**

There's a Mudcat thread on Bang Bang Rosie on which a number of members and guests have posted examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" (and a related rhyme "Miss Susie [or Lucie or some other female] Had A Steamboat"}. See this excerpt from one post on that thread:

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bang Bang Rosie
From: JohnInKansas - PM
Date: 01 Mar 07 - 05:07 PM

Guy Logsden records about a dozen verses, in The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing: and other songs cowboys sing, for "My Lulu Gal." Alternate titles noted include "Lula," "My Lulu," "Bang Away, My Lulu," Bang, Bang Lulu," "She Is a Lulu," "and many more."

Collection notes indicate the first printed reference to "Lulu" in cowboy song is from 1902, when Owen Wister has the hero in The Virginian sing one verse. The verse used is commonly known, but Wister stated "that the other 78 verses were unprintable...

-snip-

I believe that there's a connection between the minstrel song "Lucy Long" and these "Bang Bang Lulu" verses. Now I'm wondering if there is also a connection between the shanty "Lucy Long" and those "Bang Bang Lulu" verses.

Also, for what it's worth, there's this mention of "Lucy Long" in the 19th century "plantation" dance song "Old Joe Clark":

"Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark
Fare thee well (I sing) (I say) (I'm gone)
He'd foller me ten thousand miles
(To hear my banjo ring) (To hear my fiddle play) (Goodby Lucy Long)"

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4411

Of course, it's more likely that the name "Lucy Long" was included in that song because of the "popular" ministrel song and not because of the shanty...then again from where did the composers of the "Lucy Long" minstrel song get that name?

This last question was rhetorical, but the other questions weren't.

Thanks in advance for any responses to these questions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 04:35 PM

Gibb, the '"Mister Stormalong", aka just "Stormalong" (this is the one with 'aye aye aye' in the chorus)"'. That's the version Bob Roberts has on the CD mentioned above. All he says in the notes concerning where he has it from " Previously noted from old shanteymen in both England & Wales". Common enough source for Lloyd/MacColl??? (so common it's found in the collections of plenty)If you'd like further info on Bob's origins of the songyou might ask Danny Spooner when he comes to Mystic. He was a young deckhand to BoB. The only dating of this CD & it's field recording by Peter Kennedy was between 1950-1950.

Beck's version (Yankee John, Stormalong) though West Indian is very different from Hugil's & Abrahams' versions which are very similar.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM

Hi Barry,

I don't know if you're mis-reading my post or if I am mis-reading yours.

Yes, "[Mister] Stormalong" -- let's call it the "default version" -- is there in plenty; it's NOT necessarilly a "rare" chantey in the oral tradition at all. Incidentally, Bob Robert's rendition is VERY similar to Hugill's printed version, whereas many other recorded versions that I've heard have a different tune. So I wouldn't be surprised if Hugill was his source. For comparison purposes, here is my rendition of that. here In this case I ignored versions of the tune that I'd heard and just went directly from Hugill's text. The result is surprisingly similar to Bob Roberts'.

"Way Stormalong John" is the uncommon one, the one where I raised my question about its lineage and Lloyd/MacColl's role in transmitting it.

The first one Hugill learned in the cradle; the second one, so he says, he learned from Harding.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 05:07 AM

Short had four shanties inclusing Stormy.

CARRY HIM TO THE BURYING GROUND (GENERAL TAYLOR) (2903)
It may be surprising, given its widespread popularity in the revival, that this shanty is comes only from Sharp & Terry (i.e. Short, ) – and of course Stan had his own Harding the Barbadian version. SHARP: 'I know of no other printed versions of this chantey, nor have I heard it sung by anybody else. The grace notes in the chorus are very remarkable and were beautifully sung by Mr. Short.' TERRY: 'I have heard no one sing this save Mr. Short. The tune differs at several points (notably bars 6 & 7, page 59) from C.J. Sharp's printed version taken down from Mr. Short. But I have set it down exactly as he sang it to me.' HUGILL "[this] comes from the same [gulf port or West Indian] part of the world and in all probability has stemmed from a slave song. [gives close variant – from Harding the Barbarian]. May of the ordinary and the 'liverning up' verses from Mister Stormalong were used to this tune."   Note Sharp's very detailed transcription of Short's decoration – particularly compared to Terry's minimal effort! Stormy only appears in the chorus, verses include General Taylor, Dan O' Connel & Wish I was in etc.

OLD STORMEY (MISTER STORMALONG/AY-AY-AY) (2896).
Very widely published - right back to 1880s by L.A.SMITH "A hint of decidedly negro origin in the word 'Massa', A great favourite often sung after a gale of wind. Notes the contrast between solemnity of the tune and the mock-seriousness of the words." Short's word-set is the general Wish I was Old Stormy's son, Saw him die, chains & spades, verses.

STORMALONG JOHN (STORMY ALONG JOHN)(2928). Again, published by L.A.SMITH "The oldest of these [Stormy] songs [this] is rather the best." SHARP 20: "This is apparently an entirely different chantey from "Old Stormey" (No. 34) although the words of the first two verses are the same. Know of no variants except one given by Miss Smith (p. 16)." TERRY 10. This is one of the many shanties with 'Stormy' as their hero. Whatever other verses were extemporized, those relating to digging his grave with a silver spade, and lowering him down with a golden chain, were rarely omitted. Other favourite verses were: (a) I wish I was old Stormy's son. (b) I'd build a ship a thousand ton." COLCORD: [from notes to Mister Stormalong]. "Another version, differing somewhat both in words and tune, was used for pumping:
        Stormalong and round she'll go,
        To me way, aye, Stormalong John!
        Stormalong through frost and snow,
        Come along, get along, Stormalong John."

LIZA LEE (YANKEE JOHN STOMALONG)(2956) SHARP: "The only variant of this that I know of is printed by Bullen (No. 27)." TERRY2: Sung to me by Mr. Short. It is a better version than those sung by Sir Walter Runciman and others. I have... given Mr. Short's version." HUGILL: "For the last of the Stormalong family we have: [this]" No source given, but not Short's tune. Shorts word-set = Liza Lee she promised/slighted me & floating verses such as Up aloft this yard must go, etc.

So there a fair amount pre-Hugill for Lloyd et al to draw on.

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM

With regard to "Stormalong" two other collectors who published versions of this work song decades before Hugill did were Joannna Colcord in SONGS OF THE AMERICAN SAILORMEN (1924) and Cicely Fox Smith in A BOOK OF SHANTIES (1927).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 02:20 PM

To add to those F.P.Harlow has 6 none with the grand chorus

Storm Along John (Halliards)
with 2 line refrain
"To me way-hey-a Mister Strom Along"
"To me way, oh, Storm Along"

Storm Along John II (Halliards)
"To me way-a, Storm Along"
"Oh, come alon, get along, Storm Along John"

Storm Along John III (Halliards, Hand over hand)
"To me way, hey, Storm Along John"
"High-aye-aye Mister Storm Along"

Stormy (Halliards, hand over hand)
"To me way, you STorm Along"
"Aye-aye, aye, Mister Storm Along

Stormy II (Halliards, Hand over hand)
"To me way-oh, Storm Along John"
Way-oh, Storm Along John"

OLd Stormy (Hand Over Hand)
"To me way, hey, Storm Along Jon"
"Ah-ha! Come along get along, Storm Along John"

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 08:34 PM

Hi Tom and Charley,

So there a fair amount pre-Hugill for Lloyd et al to draw on.

With regard to "Stormalong" two other collectors who published versions of this work song decades before Hugill did…

Yes, but, again, the one that I'm talking about with regards to Lloyd et. al. is a completely different tune than these others that are in all the collections-- unless I've missed it.

*********
Let me attempt to sort it a bit, since the titles and variants get very confusing! Here is a survey of distinctly different "Stormy" chanteys. For reference (arbitrary), I'll use the names given by Hugill. I'm also going to put the link to my youtube versions, not because they are any good or accurate in any way, but just as a reference for the tune/chorus. The verses are, of course, completely interchangeable and very similar so we can't use the lyrics to distinguish these; we need the tune.

#1. Hugill: "Mister Stormalong" ("Stormalong," "Captain Stormalong") LISTEN
Bullen: "Storm-Along"
Colcord: "Stormalong"
Terry
Sharp: "Old Stormey"
Doerflinger
LA Smith (text only)
C Fox Smith: "Stormalong"
J.E. Thomas(1926)
?Davis & Tozer: "Stormalong"
?Whall: "Stormalong"
?Frothingham (1924): "Stormalong"
Harlow: "Storm Along John" AND "Stormy"

CHORUS:
To me way, you Stormalong
Ay ay ay! Mister Stormalong

#2. Hugill: "Stormy Along, John" ("Come Along, Git Along…")LISTEN
Terry: "Stormalong John"
Sharp: "Stormalong John"
LA Smith
?Masefield (1906):"Storm Along"
Harlow: "Storm Along John II" AND "Old Stormy"

CHORUS
Stormy along, boys, Stormalong John
Aha! Come along, git-along, stormy along, John

#3. Hugill: "Stormalong, Lads, Stormy" ("Ol' Stormalong") LiSTEN
Sharp: "Wo Stormalong"

CHORUS
Ol' Stormalong!
Stormalong, lads, Stormy

#4. Hugill: "'Way Stormalong John" ("Mister Stormalong John") LiSTEN
Harlow: "Stormy II" has some similarities, but appreciably different

#5. Hugill: "Walk Me Along, Johnny" ("Walk Him Along John", "General Taylor")LiSTEN
Nordhoff (hoosiers' chant, text only)
LA Smith (text only)
Terry
Sharp: "General Taylor"

CHORUS:
Walk me along Johnny, carry me along
Carry me to the burying ground
Then away—O storm and blow…

#6. Hugill: "Yankee John, Stormalong" LISTEN
Bullen: "Liza Lee"
Terry
Sharp: "Liza Lee"
Colcord (reprint of Sharp)

CHORUS:
Yankee John, Stormalong

#7. Beck: "Stormalong"

CHORUS:
Yankee Johnny would you stormalong
Brave bad Johnny, would you stormalong

#8. Harlow: "Storm Along John III"
Combines features of #1 and #2

********
Assorted notes…

I don't have with me several texts, like Shay, Shaw, CF Smith, and also my Doerflinger is not at hand. I put a question mark preceding some where I wasn't sure if the song listed as "Stormalong" fit that particular variant.

#1 is the common chantey. It's oral thread continues unbroken.

#2 is the next most common. Hughie Jones has recorded it, listen here, and even that Robert Shaw Chorale did it in 1960. I'd imagine the oral tradition of this would have been healthy.

#3 was noted above on Date: 03 Apr 09 - 11:45 PM. I believe this is probably one of the broken-link chanteys.

#4 is the other broken-link chantey. Harlow lists a variant that is kind of close in some respects, but not really the same. However, the correspondence between between MacColl/Lloyd's 1957 recording and Hugill's 1961 text…having so far found no other texts or earlier recordings…is mysterious! Let's say that Lloyd learned it at sea and Hugill also did get it the same way from Harding. It is still curious that no others picked up on it.

#5, well known by people nowadays, but I am intrigued by TomB's comment,

It may be surprising, given its widespread popularity in the revival, that this shanty is comes only from Sharp & Terry (i.e. Short, ) – and of course Stan had his own Harding the Barbadian version.

It would be good to look into this further to see if nowadays-known versions have a basis in oral versions or in text. I can tell for example that very many of the current versions are imitations of the recording by the Canadian Maritime band, Great Big Sea, itself seeming to be a contrived version IMHO. (It's funny how this song, probably originating among African-Americans of the Deep South, has been recruited as part of a sort of Newfie nationalism.)

#6 is quite different in each printing. Luckily, we do have an oral source in the form of the 1962 recording by Alan Lomax –the one that corresponds to Abrahams text. (And the one I assume was the source for Kasin and Adrianowicz's version)
HOWEVER, there is that question again—Hugill's version, for example, is very different from the Lomax recording. It might represent a different form of "Yankee John" (it most closely resembles Bullen's print version), in which case the oral link to that one appears to be broken. Alternatively, it might just be a horrible failure at remembering/rendering and/or notating the song. I am drawn to rumanci's comment, above:

One thing I CAN add from a dearly remembered workshop given at a Loughborough festival donkeys' years ago by Stan himself, is that unless carried away by going down side alleys of conversation (a frequent, delightful trait FYI) and using collected and shared Caribbean shanties to illustrate a point, he chose rarely to SING some of them himself BECAUSE he felt his Welsh lilt couldn't QUITE do them justice so he preferred to steer people to hear the sources for accuracy and rhythm.

Stan may have just been unable to get the "Caribbean" style, and these attempts at writing them down were very sketchy at best. If this is the case, there is little point in trying recreate Stan notation of this and many other broken-link chanteys….Caribbean ones…ones mostly obtained from Harding…because what's printed is so off.

#7 and #8 are further "Stormy" forms that did not have close correspondences among Hugill's versions.

A quote from Harlow:
"Storm Along John was very popular on all merchantmen, but the 'Badian negroes took great delight in singing the words in many variations and once started would sing one after another, changing the air to suit their mood


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM

Hi Azizi,

Sorry for not responding earlier. In answer to your questions I can only give my present opinion, since I don't know that much about the subject: It seems like the "Miss Lucy Long" in the chantey comes in just as a "floating" signifier. As you said, "Lucy Long" was a very popular minstrel song and because of that, it became a trope in many songs. As I understand it, the Miss Lucy Long of the original song was portrayed in stereotypically grotesque terms -- a promiscuous yet not very attractive lady, perhaps crass (as in the children's rhyme). Some of these connotations probably remained linked with the name (i.e. it wasn't just a name, in neutral terms, that appeared in later songs). In this chantey, there is a hint of misogyny, based in the sort of "Jezebel" connotations of "Lucy Long." Also, I feel pretty sure that when one hears the name it is understood that the lady is Black.

More popularly used as a generic name, and usually implying a mixed-race woman, is the ubiquitous "Sally Brown."

Another Lucy, "Miss Lucy Loo" from Trinidad, appears in some chanteys (I'll be posting about one, soon). Note that "Lucy Loo" though has also appeared as a Chinese name in at least one chantey (Lucy Lui?).

These are just my personal impressions.

As to your rhetorical question, I dont know why, but "Lucy Long" just sounds like a cool, alliterative name for a flashy lady. It has the "ring" of a lot of cutesy American names like a "Cindy Sue" or something. Perhaps it just "sounds good" because it has become so culturally ingrained. But I also would guess there is something phonological about it. Could "Looby Loo" (of the children's game-song) have any relation? That's one I remember from when I was little, and it always felt fun to say "looby loo"/"looby lie"!

A request in turn: if you happen to stumble upon any revealing references to Stormalong (a folk-hero that appears in many chanteys of African-American origin) please do let us know, thanks!

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 12:20 PM

P.S., "Lindy Loo" is there in chanteys, too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM

Thanks for your response Gibb and I'll be on the look-out for references to "Stormalong".

It might be significant that the name of the shanty folk hero is "John" as "John" and "High John The Conqueror" ("High John the Conqueroo"; "High John the Conker" are names of two different Southern African American folk heroes. See this Wikipedia page
John The Conqueror.

However, this article indicates that evidence points to the "John" and the "High John The Conqueror" stories being told about post-slavery and not during slavery. http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/bassr/heath/syllabuild/iguide/african.html "African-American Folktales"
Contributing Editor: Susan L. Blake.

**

For what it's worth, (because sometimes comments from people new to a subject might be helpful), it seems to me from reading the lyrics that are posted on this thead that "Stormy" and "Stormalong" are nicknames for the character named "John"

"To me way, you STorm Along"
"Aye-aye, aye, Mister Storm Along"

AND that "storm along" may also refer to how a person (should) move in spite of any storms (whether they be physical or otherwise). I don't know these songs, but I'm wondering if it would fit if "storm along" meant something like "move fast (and with confidence)?

"Yankee Johnny would you stormalong
Brave bad Johnny, would you stormalong"

**

That phrase "storm along" reminds me of the phrase "get along" and also puts me to mind of the line "Walk Chalk, Ginger Blue" that I discussed in this Mudcat post thread.cfm?threadid=47413#1702596 "Lyr Add: Sail on, Chalk Ginger Blue!" The key sentence in that post regarding "walk chalk" is "Walk a chalk line" comes from the dance later known as the "cakewalk" but here-in my opinion- means to walk through life with caution {given the dangerous, difficult circumstances one faces}.

**

Also, for what it's worth Shango is a very important Nigerian god that was transplanted to the Caribbean and the Americas was associated with thunder and lightning (hence, storms). Shango's name is actually spelled "Sango" which some could think is similar to "Shane" or "John", but I think that's too wide a speculation. I think the name "John" was used because it was a very common name. But "Shango" could have set the stage and reinforced the view that someone who faces storms was particularly "bad" (in this context meaning "very good" and courageous).

**

Again, I'll be alert to any references I find to "Stormy John" in any books or articles that I come across.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 01:57 PM

Correction:

However, this article indicates that evidence points to the "John" and the "High John The Conqueror" stories being told post-slavery and not during slavery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 03:22 PM

Thanks, Azizi

I agree, there's definitely something to do with motion to "stormalong," like "get along." The phrase "walkalong" (often spelled as one word) is also very very common in chanteys. I really don't know, but if I had to guess though I'd say that that 'poetic' aspect was something that was played with due to the sound of the name. In other words, the name (say for argument, "Shango") came first, and as it sounded like an " X along", with the very poetic "stormy" aspect, it became the subject of verbal play. The most striking chorus is the one "come along, get along, stormy along, John." Anyways, all just speculation.

"John" is also very generic for any random "sailor" (and to some extent, any random "man") so that one is probably a less fruitful line of inquiry.

Funny also the preponderance of "long", i.e. Lucy- / Storma-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 06:50 PM

Re Lloyd and Hugill before 1961:

Hugill writes that in the mid '50s he "contacted the Folk Song Department of the B.B.C." and "recorded several of the rarer shanties for their Permanent Records Library." He "also became known at Cecil Sharp House, the headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, where I was asked to give talks on the subject of shantying and shanties and where I met many well-known collectors ofsea-songs and shanties, with whom I exchanged notes on the subject."

Hugill even refers to "an excellent recording of sixteen sea-songs (forebitters) and shanties sung in fine imitation of the true style, and in particular the Liverpool seaman's style." This must be the Topic LP "The Singing Sailor," issued 1956/57, featuring Lloyd, MacColl, and the actor Harry Corbett

http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/lloyd/records/thesingingsailor.html

"Stormalong John" appeared on the 1957 Topic sequel, "The Black Ball Line," with MacColl as shantyman.   

It thus seems probable after all that Lloyd and MacColl got "Stormalong John" directly from Hugill rather than the other way around.

MacColl's "hitches" in the shanty (probably never heard before on a commercial shanty recording) are more likely to be from Hugill's influence than to be a component of an elaborate counterfeit.

The simplest explanation seems to be that "Stormalong John" came to MacColl from Harding via Hugill.

I don't believe Hugill would ever have claimed he'd learned "Stormalong John" from Harding if in fact he'd only heard it on a "revival" record (or even on a B.B.C. recording) just a few years earlier.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 06:55 PM

One more...

"Miss Lucy Loo"

Print: Hugill
Performers: Shifty Sailors (?); ??

Notes:
Hugill says very little about this one. Learned (seems, collected) in Trinidad. Heard it could be for halyards or for working cargo. That's about it!

There doesn't appear to be an oral link to this one at all. Anyone? Who performs it? Their source?

Here's one guess at what it could sound like


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:17 PM

Lighter,

Great stuff, thanks. What you say sounds very likely.

And no, I never imagined an "elaborate counterfeit" :) but I do think that secondary sources had their influence on some of Hugill's notated versions of chanteys. Since, as I understand it, he did not notated them, his naturally-human memory was subject to new influences as the years passed. The scenario I meant to propose was that Hugill did learn the chantey from Harding, but that by the time he got it in print, his remembered version of that had been influenced by hearing the other.

Since the question of "Well, then where did Lloyd get it from?" has no immediate answer, your solution sounds best.

Effective argument about the 'hitch.' But surely (playing Devil's advocate here) Lloyd (the ex-seaman) and MacColl had access to this stylistic device through other chanteymen. too?

If Hugill by chance recorded this one for the BBC, I'd love to hear it; I don't think I've ever heard him quite in that style.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 07:24 PM

Funny also the preponderance of "long", i.e. Lucy- / Storma-

And in addition to "get-along" and "walk-along" there's also "jim along" as found in 19th century (and earlier?) Southern African American dance song Jim Along Josie.

Just guessing (somewhat seriously), I'd say it has to do with bragging about the size of a particular male body part. ;o)


**

Btw, I want to clarify that I don't think that Shango, the Yoruba orisa (god) of thunder & lightning-who carried a double headed axe like the Scandinavian god Thor-had anything what so ever to do with naming Black heroes "John". I was talking more about the image of Shango that may have been grafted on to those Black folk heroes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 09:10 PM

There are thousands of uses of the name Lucy Loo (Lou); the two come together naturally.

The chantey needn't have a predecessor but see the song, "Lucy Loo," written in 1896 by Herbert N. Farrar and A. B. Sloane; a copy at the NY Public Library.
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm

"Looping the Loop with Lucy Loo" was an early British airforce song, c. 1914-1916, with its own tune. "Airman's Song Book," 1945, Ward-Jackson and Leighton Lucas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 09:38 PM

It's doubtful that Lloyd heard any Hugill-style singing in his seven months in "Southern Empress" in the '30s. According to his notes to "Leviathan!" (1967), the Welshmen on board "sang all the time: hymns, Nelson Eddy numbers, 'Just before the battle, mother' ...[and] 'The Indian Love Call.'" The rest of the crew, including Lloyd, "mostly sang film-hits or Victorian and Edwardian tear-jerkers, only a few whaling songs - 'Greenland Bound,' 'The Diamond,'...'The Balaena,'...'Off to Sea Once More.'"

It's hard to imagine where MacColl learned his "hitches," if not from a real shantyman, either in person or from some field recording.

Point of interest: "hitches" are far from general among Carpenter's singers on the two Folktrax discs. That suggests the likelihood that many shantymen sang at work without much "ornamentation." Of course, age and the recording context may have kept some of Carpenter's chaps from cutting loose. And none of the recorded singers seem to have been from the Indies - East or West.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Apr 09 - 10:37 PM

Great, great insight. Thanks, guys.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 07:50 AM

I have a copy of a Trinidadian song called 'Blow Nelson Blow' which tells the tale of a real event in the napoleonic wars when the Trinidadian garrison, mistaking nelson's fleet for the French, deserted their fort ( the Icehouse) after setting fire to it. Then to cover their guilt, blamed it on nelson and his men 'the night of the fire Lord Nelson came down, and stood his men in a line to blow ther icehouse down.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:28 PM

Adding another to the list of less-heard chanteys....

"Tommy's On the Tops'l Yard"

Print: Hugill; Masefield (1906), "Roll and Go" - text only
Performers: ??

Hugill "picked it up in the West Indies." Though this halyard chantey has similarities to "Sally Brown," it's unique enough to be considered its own song.   

Who's performed it? Sources?

For reference, here's a sketchy example of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 01:51 PM

I think you're the first to record the singing of this one, G.S.

Masefield entered the school-ship Conway as a student in 1891, at thirteen, and made his second and final transatlantic voyage as a sailor in 1895, a full generation before Hugill went to sea. So presumably he heard most or all of his shanties in the early 1890s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 11:26 PM

The next chantey that I propose to be among the "broken-link" ones is

"Hilo Johnny Brown"

Print: Hugill; Terry; Whall
Performers (recorded): Louis Killen (1964); Roy Harris, A.L. Lloyd et al (1974); Danny Spooner; some Polish groups

This one fits well into the issues of what went down in the English chantey-revival in those seminal years of the mid 50s to mid 60s.

Lou Killen's recording is well known, but I don't think Hugill recorded it (nor any one else before that time, 1964). I do not have Terry's "Part II" text, or Whall's, but I am guessing that they did not have a bearing on that recording. It would be great if someone with those books could compare the tunes (Hugill says that they are very similar to his tune, except that Whall's uses a G#, what would be a major seventh degree in a minor key-- so that's probably not it).

A bunch of people around here I'm sure know Lou Killen. Insight would be welcome as to what his process was, in those early days of his singing career, for learning and working up chanteys.

The issue with this one is that his tune (and in a way, chorus words) do not match Hugill's notated version. Was this learned orally from Hugill during such interactions as those mentioned by Lighter on Date: 06 Apr 09 - 06:50 PM ? --In which case, as is not unusual, Hugill's print version is "off" from how he'd sing it? Or was it learned from the text and...mis-read? If the latter is the case-- and with no disrespect to Killen, one of the great and influential voices of the UK revival-- then...so far as other renditions tend to be derivative of this recording...we can say that the oral link to this chantey's past does not exist.

About Hugill's notated version:
He has the chorus as "Way sing Sally". In Killen's recording it becomes "Way sing Sally-O." In the notation, "Sally" is followed by "Oooh!", but in the first verse only where, by the convention established elsewhere in the book, its spelling and the ~squiggle~ notation over it indicate that it is part of the solo. Some rhythms and pitches are different, too, but in my opinion those are less significant indicators of a possible reading-mistake since they are just as easily a notation-mistake. For comparison purposes, here is an example of a closer approximation to the tune that Hugill notated. example

In sum: The folk process is one thing. But there seems to be a "mistake" here, either in Hugill's book or in Killen's (and subsequent) recordings. Either way, it is notable that this chantey went off track.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Apr 09 - 11:59 PM

Gibb, you can ask Lou, he'll be at Mystic. You could probably ask Stan's sons a lot of questions too, both Martain & Philip Hugill will be there also.
I understand if you don't want to wait that long though

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 09:55 AM

Lloyd sings "Stand to Your Ground" on A Sailor's Garland, which I believe was the first commercial recording of the song. My fallible recollection is that Killen's version is virtually identical to Lloyd's.

Like Terry and Whall, Lloyd and Killen have "John Brown" rather than Hugill's "Johnny Brown." Terry says he heard the shanty from only two singers and prints Whall's melody as being superior to what he heard. However, Terry admits to changing W's G# to a G-natural because he believes the tune to be modal rather than minor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM

Yes, Barry, I may, thanks.
*******
Hi Lighter,

Lloyd sings "Stand to Your Ground" on A Sailor's Garland, which I believe was the first commercial recording of the song. My fallible recollection is that Killen's version is virtually identical to Lloyd's.
Ah yes, I knew I was forgetting some alternate title to search for. But I suspected Killen would have learned it from Lloyd or MacColl renditions, which may put us back in that predicament of Lloyd's 1950s renditions and where they came from.

Like Terry and Whall, Lloyd and Killen have "John Brown" rather than Hugill's "Johnny Brown." Terry says he heard the shanty from only two singers and prints Whall's melody as being superior to what he heard. However, Terry admits to changing W's G# to a G-natural because he believes the tune to be modal rather than minor.

Actually, Killen's has "Johnny"-- ? at least on the version I have (from the BLOW THE MAN DOWN album, which is supposed to be a re-release of the track from '64). I can't speak to Lloyd's, I don't have it.
I made a mistake in quoting Killen's version as "Way sing Sally O," when it's actually "Way HEY Sally O." Does Terry/Whall have "hey"? I will have to get a hold of Terry's weirdly elusive "Part 2" to compare the melodies. What he did sounds rather shady.


I just spotted another textual reference to this chantey, a 1921 publication THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA". I've got to rush out now though, so will come back to it later.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 01:06 PM

The shantyman's work is never done!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 03:00 PM

OK, so...

THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA" (1921) is a diary of a voyage of a Captain W.H. Angel, in 1877, round trip from Liverpool with stops in Calcutta, Trinidad, and Guyana.

As they leave Demerara at one point, he notes this shanty:
//
Solo. Sally am de gal dat I lub dearly,
O Sally am de gal dat I lub dearly.

Chorus. Way, sing Sally,
Hilow, John Brown,
Stand to your ground.

Solo. Sally am de gal dat I lub dearly.
Her cheek so red an' her hair so curly.

Chorus.

Solo. Sally, she's a Badian bright mu-lat-to ;
Seven long years I courted Sally.

Chorus.

Solo. Nebber mind de weather, but keep yo's legs to-ged-der,
Fair land ob England, soon be showing.

Chorus.

General Chorus.
Stand to your ground, and walk him up lively.
Or de Bosun he come 'round a dingin and a dangin
Hilo, John Brown stand to your ground.
//

The Grand ("General") Chorus is interesting. This one also lacks the "Sally-O," which I allege was a contrivance of the Lloyd school.

It's unclear to me whether there might have been actual notated music in the book, because I am getting this off an Internet version produced with an optical text converter scanner thingey. There are, however, lots of ellipses between syllables, as if the text might be stretched out under a music staff. Has anyone got the actual published version?

For the record, here are other shanties quoted in the text. They are not index; one has to just pick them out (hopefully I didn't miss any):

Outward Bound
Unmooring
Good-bye Fare You Well ("...we're outward bound")
Across the Western Ocean ("Sheila whar you bound to?")
Bound for the Rio Grande
Reuben Rantzau
Sally Brown
Stormalong ("ay-ay-ay")
Poor Old Man
Drunken Sailor
Johnny Boker
Paddy Doyle
So Handy My Girls
Whiskey Johnnie
Poor Paddy Works on the Railway
Blow the Man Down
A Roving
Rolling Home
Hawl Away, Jo
Stand to Your Ground ("Hilo John Brown")
One More Day
Spanish Ladies

The entire book, which deals with transportation of indentured laborers in India to colonies in the Caribbean, should be fascinating reading. I notice that it has been reissued in a new edition somewheres. Something to add to the book wish-list...

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 06:12 PM

Basil Lubbock, Deep Sea Warriors (1910). (As the "land of Canaan" was the biblical "Promised Land," I think Lubbock may have missed certain implications of the final couplet):

       "My Sal, she's a 'Badian bright mulatto,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Sally am de gal dat I lub dearly,
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

        Stan' to yo' ground an' walk him up likely,       [sic]
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Or de mate come around a-dingin' an' a-dancin',   [sic]
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

       Seven long year I courted Sally,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally !
        Mebbe mor', but I didn't keep no tally,
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

       Her cheeks so red an' her hair so curly,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!

"Here the chanty became unprintable until the last verse, which was quite irrelevant to the rest of it:

        Nebber min' de wedder, but keep yo' legs togedder,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Fair land o' Canaan soon be a-showin',
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: curmudgeon
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 06:26 PM

Some additions and clarifications. It was MacColl who sang Hilo John Brown on the Sailor's Garland, not Lloyd. And if memory serves me, he did not include the "O" after Way,Hey, Sally! Unfortunately the LP player is covered with stuff right now.

When Terry was collecting, he was learning from old sailors. He found that many of the younger ones had trouble differentiating Dorian and Mixolydian, and thus deferred to the interpretation of the older men.

It's taken me over twenty years to find a copy of Part Two; for a while, I doubted if it had been printed. Further, Terry, in the intro to that volume promises still another collection of which I know nothing else.

On the other hand there is the possibility of a reprint of both tomes. When I get the copy I ordered, I'll post info here for others - Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM

Thanks, Tom. The plot thickens!

***********
Another possible candidate:

"Hilo, Boys, Hilo"

Print: Hugill; Terry - "Hilo Somebody"; Bloomfield (1896)
Performers: "Mr. Robinson" (1920s?); Alan Mills (1957); AL Lloyd (1962); the Shanty Crew

Notes:
Hugill learned it from "Tobago Smith." However, I don't think he ever recorded it himself.

It appears in text as early as 1896, Bloomfield's A CUBAN EXPEDITION. The voyage was circa 1875 (?). Here's a cut n paste of the relevant passage:

//
The foretopsail rose off the cap with many jerks,
and gradually got stretched out to its full height
to the topmast head to the music of a "shantie,"
or song, given out by the carpenter, who happened
to be the " shantie man " on this occasion.

Sailors' shanties — probably a corruption of chant-
ing — or hauling choruses, not songs, are generally
improvised by the " shantie man '' who gives them
out. The choruses are old and well known to all
sailors, but between each pull and chorus the
" shantie man " has to improvise the next line, or
compose the " shantie " as he sings it. It is true
there is not much in them, and any words or ex-
pression, no matter how absurd or incongruous, will
answer as long as they rhyme with the line before.
Although they are often without sequence they are
not without music, and are as inspiriting to the
sailor as the fife and drum is to the soldier. On
one occasion at sea, after reefing the foresail in a
gale, the united efforts of the whole crew were un-
able to board the foretack, or get it hauled down
to its place on the cathead, until the mate of the
watch called out : " Strike up a shantie there, one
of you men." The "shantie" was struck up; the
chorus was like a shout of defiance at the elements.
It was fighting the gale, and was as inspiriting as
a cavalry charge, and perhaps as hazardous. I
enjoyed it, although every now and again a sea
would break over the bows, drenching and blinding
every one. The mate's voice would be heard shout-
ing encouragingly to the men at each pull : " Well
done, down with it, men, it must come ; time the
weather roll, bravo ; " and at every shout of the
chorus the men threw their whole weight, with a
will, into the foretack, and down it came inch by
inch steadily, and after a fierce struggle the tack
was belayed and the crew were victorious.

The " shantie " sung this morning on getting
under weigh and setting the topsails, we often
heard on the passage to England, and is a good
specimen of sailors' " shanties ; " the men have
breathing time to collect their strength and pre-
pare themselves for the pull, while the " shantie
man" is giving out the verse. At every repetition
of the word " Hilo " in the chorus the men all pull
together with a jerk, hoisting the heavy yard and
fiail several inches at every pull. " Give us * Hilo,'
Chips,'^ the men said to the carpenter, and he
began. The preliminary "Oh" long drawn out at
the beginning of each verse was to gain time to
improvise the verse :

Oh-o, up aloft this yard must go,

Chorus by all hands : Hilo, boys, hilo I
I heard our bully mate say so.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, hilo, bullies, and away we go,

Hilo, boys, hilo !
Hilo, boys, let her roll, o-he-yho.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, I knocked at the yellow girl's door last night,

Hilo, boys, hilo !

She opened the door and let me in.

Hilo, boys, hilo I

Oh-o, I opened the door with a silver key,

Hilo, boys, hilo !

The yellow girl a-livo-lick-alimbo-lee.

Hilo, boys, hilo t

Oh-o, watchman, watchman, don't take me !

Hilo, boys, hilo !
For I have a wife and a large familee.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, two behind, and one before,

Hilo, boys, hit© I
And they marched me off to the watchhouse door.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, Where's the man that bewitched the tureen ?

Hilo, boys, hilo !
Look in the galley and there you'll see him.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, the mate's on foc*sle, and the skipper's on the poop^

Hilo, boys, hilo !

And the cook's in the galley, playing with the soup.

Hilo, boys, hilo !

Oh-o, the geece like the gander and the ducks like the drake»

Hilo, boys, hilo !

And sweet Judy Callaghan, I'd die for your sake.

Hilo, boys, hilo I


" Oh, belay ! " shouts the mate, cutting short
the "shantie," for the yard is mastheaded. The
main - topsail was next mastheaded, and the yard
braced by, and then again came the order to man
the windlass once again.
//

"Mr. Robinson"'s recording is part of the James Madison Carpenter Collection. Anyone heard it?

Terry's printed version differs from Hugill's melody most noticeably in that the former is in a major key, the latter in minor. Sometimes, I suspect, these authors did not quite know what to do with "blue notes" or other non-equal-tempered pitches, it because of this things could flip flop between minor and major in their transcriptions.

Alan Mills' widely available recording, I'm willing to bet, was based on Terry's text.

Bert Lloyd et al appeared again on the SAILORS' GARLAND album singing this. I don't have it. Any chance you folks could tell me what it sounds like? There is a good chance that it correspond to Terry's, I'd expect.

For comparison of tune, here is a performance of Hugill's noted melody. When I recorded it, I had not heard any recording or live performance of it, so it is uninfluenced and based only on my reading of Hugill.

The solo lyrics seem to borrow from another song, perhaps "The Crow Song." I wonder if even "Twa Corbies" might have been a model??

Pending knowledge of whether or not Lloyd learned his from an authentic oral source, there seems fair evidence to argue that the oral link to this chantey has been broken.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 04:56 PM

There are several instances in the Carpenter Collection of Hilo Boys by Mr Edward Robinson, who lived at 11 Trafalgar Square, Sunderland, was born in 1834, and his first ship was the collier Halcyon 1846.

However, of the 146 tracks on the Carpenter Collection double CD, there are six by Edward Robinson ranging from 16 to 27 seconds in length. None seem to fit the bill:
Cheerily Men
Fire Down Below
The Hogs Eye Man
A Hundred Years Ago
Paddy Doyle's Boots
Stormalong

So it looks like a trip to the LoC would be needed to access Carpenter's recordings, notations, or texts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 12:14 AM

Maybe another worth considering as a broken-oral-link chantey:

"Tommy's Gone Away"

Print: Hugill; Sharp; Terry; Eckstorm?

Quoting doc.tom's excellent notes:

Tommy's Gone (Tommy's Gone Away). mss.2929. SHARP 60: This may be a variant of the preceding number (Tom's Gone To Ilo), though the same singer sang them both. I cannot trace it anywhere else. Mr. Short said that this was used not only as a pulling chantey but also when they were screwing cotton into the hold at New Orleans.   TERRY2 (24) This is a variant of the sentiment of 'Tom's gone to Hilo (see Pt.1) but the tune is different and not so good. The version is that of Mr. Short. HUGILL Variant of Tom's Gone to Hilo. Apart from (me) only given by Terry. My version from S. Wales seaman who had served in the copper trade.

And adding:

There is also a "Tom's Gone Away " in Eckstorm and Smyth's MINSTRELSY OF MAINE (1927). I've not reviewed its contents.

As recordings go, I just find one for review. It's a 1994 album, TRADE WINDS, by Welsh group Calennig. In some notes for the album, here, they mention how several shanties sung by men from South Wales were recorded by James Madison Carpenter. They also seem to have done some follow-up fieldwork, and they imply that the album is based on those sources. However, I don't find this one in the Carpenter Collection. I'd ~guess~ they included it on the album due to Hugill's note of having learned it from a South Wales man.

What other performers (recorded or not) have this in their repertoire? Perhaps under a different title? I'm not finding much evidence to suggest that this oral tradition has survived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:29 AM

It's very confusing: on the Carpenter Collection CD the following song goes under the title of Johnny Come Down To Hilo, and in the indexes it may also sometimes be referred to as Pull Down Below. It is sung by Rees Baldwin of Barry, Wales

Hilo, Johnny, Hilo,
I wonder what's the matter now
Johnny come down to Hilo.
Oh pull down below

Hilo, Johnny, Hilo,
I wonder what's the matter now
Johnny come down to Hilo.
Oh pull down below

I was born down Mobile Bay
But I got in debt so I ran away
Johnny come down to Hilo.
Pull down below

Away down South where I was born
Among the fields of yellow corn
Johnny come down to Hilo.
Pull down below

Oh Hilo, Johnny, Hilo,
I wonder what's the matter now
Johnny come down to Hilo.
Pull down below

Mr Baldwin also sings a fragment of the "normal" Tom's Gone to Hilo thus (changing Tom to John):

Johnny's gone, and I'll go too
Oho, Hilo
Oh, Johnny's gone, and I'll go too
John's gone to Hilo


Then in the index there are two song texts entitled Pull Down Below with completely different first lines:
a) All my time I've been courting Allie
b) I went to church I went to chapel (this is presumably the same as recorded by Stormalong John on A Liverpool Packet

And a bit of good news received via the Traditional Drama Forum implies that by June of next year "It is expected that by this time, the first four volumes of the printed version of the [Carpenter] collection will be nearing completion. One of these volumes, edited by Bob Walser, will be on sea shanties."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:41 PM

Snuffy,

Just judging by the verses (I don't have the recording), the Rees Baldwin song seems to fit the mold of the usual "Johnny Come Down to Hilo" pretty well. I could see "Pull down below" as a substitute for "Poor old man."

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM

Gibb Sahib,

See my PM for further details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:00 PM

"Huckleberry Hunting"

Print: Hugill; LA Smith; Davis & Tozer "The Chanty-man's Song"; Bullen "What Did You Give For Your Fine Leg O' Mutton"; Whall; Terry "The Wild Goose Shanty"; Sharp; Colcord; Doerflinger; Harlow "Hilo, My Ranzo Way"

Performers: Forebitter; Johnson Girls; Jerry Bryant; Portsmouth Shanty Men; Carpenter Collection: Jimmie Cronin OR John Ferries, James Wright

Notes:

Wow! It is surprising how many texts this one pops up in --albeit by lots of different names-- given that it is not really widely known so much as other chanteys. What's more, the tunes to all these versions are quite consistent.

As far as aural sources go, it is unclear to me whether the Carpenter Collection examples might be of this chantey, or of one of the others called "Ranzo Ray" (a completely different beast). Though there are now several good recordings, I wonder: who was the link in the chain? Since many of these Northeast folks who have done it in recent years are on Mudcat, perhaps they could chime in with where they learned it from. Did one of the old-timers (say, Stan Hugill at an off-record session at Mystic) pass it on, or was it recently "revived" from texts?

(Incidently, when I tried recording this one, here, I had not heard any aural version and was only using Hugill's text. Had I cross-referenced with other texts at that time, it would have come out better, as Hugill's notation is a bit irregular, I think.)

So, an interesting case, if I'm reading the evidence accurately: A very well-known chantey from the days of sail...more or less ignored during the early revival...only to be revived in recent years.

Also, BTW, here is one mudcat thread on it.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:04 PM

Snuffy,

You are a gentleman!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:18 PM

In my previous post when I wrote "Northeast" I meant "Northeast United States." Apologies to folks in other countries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:31 PM

This message contains a couple of versions of Ilo Man (or Hilo Man in Carpenter) - related to Huckleberry Hunting, We'll Ranzo Way, etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM

Ooh, nice. So...if I'm following.. Bob Walser brings "Ilo Man" (William Fender's) to light with his work with the Carpenter Collection. Then (?) Bob Webb using it as a source for his 2000 recording is interesting.   Calennig also used it as a source.

The Harry Browns of Bristol recorded "Ilo Man" in the mid-late 90s (?). Kasin and Adrianowicz were inspired by that for their 2002 recording.

Again, the possibility that an older song was pretty much revived just in the last dozen years-- but this time with an aural source.

It will be interesting to see, as more people are exposed to the recordings in the Carpenter Collection, if and how the trajectories of some of these songs are influenced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM

Gibb-

I'm wondering where the slower halyard shanty "Tommy's Gone Away" came from. It's the version that shares the same tune as "Jenny's Gone to Ohio." Hugill references this version as having been learned from a South Wales seaman but being also collected by Terry, SSS, p. 193-194. The Boarding Party recorded this version as "Tommy's Gone to Hilo" on FAIR WINDS AND A FOLLOWING SEA, © 2003.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 06:04 PM

Charley, did you see my post of 13 Apr 09 - 12:14 AM? (I'm not sure you are responding, or posting currently about this fascinating chantey.) Either way, you've added more info. Thanks -- keep going!
Maybe let's hear more about the "Jenny's Gone to Ohio" variant?

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 04:04 PM

Adding...

"Hello, Somebody"

Print: Barker (1933); Hugill; Doerflinger
Performers: Bob Webb; Mystic Seaport chanteymen

This one is obviously 'related' to the foregoing "Hilo, Boys, Hilo," in it's "hello/hilo somebody" phrase, but there are enough differences in tune, lyrical theme, etc to identify it distinctly. Terry gave the song titled "Hilo Somebody," but that is just his name for "Hilo Boys Hilo." Also, on the 1960s SAILOR'S GARLAND recording by AL Lloyd and Ewan MacColl, they do a "Hilo Somebody"--I don't have that recording, but I presume it to be based on Terry's book. Somebody please confirm, if possible.

JP Barker, so says Hugill (I don't have this text), quotes it in LOG OF A LIMEJUICER (1933). Hugill's own version was from Harding. Doerflinger also collected a version.

Hugill does not appear to have recorded it, and without yet any information to the contrary, I presume that Bob Webb's 1995 recording and the Mystic Seaport's chanteymen's performances are based in his text.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 09:11 AM

Gibb-

I'm far afield of my reference books, here in deepest darkest Michigan, but I will give "Tommy's Gone" some more thought when I return. I used the same tune for Hamish Maclaren's "Yangtse River Shanty" which I adapted from SAILOR WITH BANJO, his 1929 sailors folk opera. Sorry, more thread drift!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:13 PM

Next one...

"Can't Ye Hilo?"

Print: Hugill
Performers: Shanty Crew

Notes:
Another that Hugill got from Harding. I know of no other printing. The Shanty Crew recorded it, in 1996 I think (the album WHERE AM I TO GO). Hearing it, I presume that they developed their version from Hugill's text. Perhaps Mudcatter SPB-Cooperator (from Shanty Crew) will chime in with info.

I recorded my version, not having ever heard it sung, HERE

I'd be interested to hear other versions, or about other historical sources.

A digression --
My performance, above, is perhaps un-chantey-like -- it is just how I imagined the song and I felt like doing something different at the time. However, I have wondered about how appropriate a back-beat/off beat sort of feel is to singing some chanteys. (* I am not worried about what is "permissible" -- I've no insecurities about doing things unconventionally*)   I am just wondering what people's take is on it, whether they sometimes do it, how it might or might not have any historical basis, etc. Perhaps this has been discussed elsewhere? thanks

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:18 PM

Gibb,

I'm not at home tonight, so can't check the accuracy of my memory, but I recall learning "Huckleberry Hunting" from Colcord's Roll and Go in the early 1990s. I had never heard anyone sing it at that point, and being eager to expand the chantey repertoire of the community, I recorded it in 1996. The melody I used is from Colcord, and some of the lyrics, but I added lines from a version of "A Roving" to round out the story.

I subsequently sang lead on it for the album American Sea Chanteys, with the all-star chorus of Forebitter, Bob Walser, Jeff Davis, and Dave Peloquin.

I remember when he first heard me do it, Geoff Kaufman remarked, "Oh my God, another Ranzo Ray chantey!"

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:54 PM

"Can't Ye Hilo" was also recorded by the Keelers on their 1993 tribute to Stan Hugill album, FAREWELL TO THE MASTER.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:59 PM

Great anecdote, Jerry. So it's possible to say that you were the trendsetter with this one! :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 12:32 AM

You could say that about Jerry. He's where I got the version of "Priest & Nuns" that I recorded which subsquently the Johnson Girls later recorded, full of surprizes that guy

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 02:56 PM

Barry,

Like my uncle Clem used to say, "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, confuse 'em with quantity." Never really knew what he meant...

I can't speak for others of my generation, but my personal journey through chanteydom started with the "classics" -- NY Gals, Blow the Man Down, Hieland Laddie -- the ones that had been recorded in the 60s and 70s and 80s. Discovering that there were actual written collections of chanteys was a tremendous thing, and I've still not recovered from acquisition fever: I've got a shelf full of chantey and sea song collections.

But even starting just with Hugill's book there was such a trove of great songs. Many of us regulars at the Mystic Festival would make it a point to "premier" a previously unheard/unsung chantey each year. For me, it was to build up the repertoire of chanteys in circulation. I figured, since they weren't writing any more of them, let's get all the mileage we can out of the ones we have.

The ones I believe I brought back to life (not having heard anyone else sing them, and not having found any recordings of them) are Huckleberry Hunting (Colcord), Priest and Nuns (Harlow), The Shaver (Hugill), and Gimme de Banjo (Hugill). There's no aural link to the past for these songs, so it's a wonderful sense of discovery to learn the tune and words and present the song to an audience.

I'm hoping that at Mystic in June there will be some "new" chanteys heard, ressurected from the old books.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 11:18 PM

Hi Jerry,

There's no aural link to the past for these songs, so it's a wonderful sense of discovery to learn the tune and words and present the song to an audience.

Thank you for this statement that I can very much identify with. Recently, someone questioned the validity of my trying to learn chanteys from "texts," implying that the only authentic learning is aural. While I'd wholeheartedly agree that aural learning of music is usually preferable, needless to say this person was under some illusions about the current state of chantey-singing and the extent to which a good percentage of even what is learned aurally comes from people using text references. For those songs where the aural link has dried up or been misconstrued, we can either leave them there on the shelf (and uphold a myth that book-learnin' spoils "folk" music) or else try to bring them to life for all the pleasure and interest they provide.

********

As Jerry mentioned it, here is a logging of...

"Gimme de Banjo"

Print: Doerflinger; Hugill
Performers: DeCormier Folk Singers; Jerry Bryant; Forebitter; Bob Webb; Daisy Nell; Hart Backbord; Craig Edwards; Jeroen Burggraaf

Notes:

Hugill's text from Harding; Doerflinger's from William Laurie. I think both transcriptions are flawed, and it is hard (for me) to see just what they were trying to convey. Hugill's has some definite rhythmic errors, and cross-referencing with Doerflinger is needed to sort it!

Like Jerry, I had never heard this sung when I attempted to recorded a version, HERE
As can be seen, I interpreted the rhythmic inconsistencies as indicative of periodic pauses, dovetailing or vocals, and free meter, etc.

Interestingly, a group called the Robert DeCormier Folk Singers recorded a version in 1964, being the title track of their album! It can be heard HERE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 May 09 - 12:16 PM

Yes, the tune and words come from Hugill, I added two or three extra verses to string it out a bit, and insert the walk jawbone Jenny verse referred to in Hugill's text

Regards

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 May 09 - 03:40 AM

Jerry, you neber had an uncle Clem

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:19 PM

Next:

"The Gal with the Blue Dress"

Print:Hugill; Davis & Tozer (1906 edition)
Performers: AL Lloyd; the Keelers; Shanty Jack

Notes:

I see that it appears in Davis & Tozer as a pump chantey, "The Girl with the Blue Dress," however I have not reviewed this. Hugill has it as a hauling song, from Harding. He suggests it was from a minstrel song. The title phrase to me, FWIW, sounds instinctively American such that I can easily see why it crops up in various songs of the folk and popular repertoires, though I couldn't say where it first originated. Despite obvious recurrences of phrases, such as in "Johnny Come Down to Hilo," this is a distinct song.

This again was recorded by AL Lloyd on the SAILOR'S GARLAND (1962) -- still hoping someday to hear a tale about how exactly that album may have interacted with Hugill's influence (and vice versa, perhaps). Other performers are also English; has it gone around much in America?

To me, the question lie again on whether Lloyd learned it from Hugill (or another oral source), in which case his recording may be considered a reference. If not, it is possible that the link has been broken, and the latter day renditions are based in text, like mine, which comes after not having heard any other singers
here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:54 PM

Jerry,

The ones I believe I brought back to life (not having heard anyone else sing them, and not having found any recordings of them) are Huckleberry Hunting (Colcord), Priest and Nuns (Harlow), The Shaver (Hugill), and Gimme de Banjo (Hugill).

I was amused to find that the Robert Shaw Chorale did "The Shaver" on their 1960 recording. I've never had the urge to buy that :) -- I've only heard a snippet on iTunes, so I am not sure if and how they may have bowdlerized it.

R.R. Terry gave 2 verses of it, with tune, in a 1920 acticle in the journal MUSIC & LETTERS. Did he give a full version in his elusive "Part Two" book? Otherwise, I'm not sure where else it might have been available to Shaw since, if I have the date right, that was before Hugill's text. Another oral source? Communication with Terry?

Anyways, thanks for reviving it! Consequently, I already had the luxury of enjoying your version before trying out one of my own, HERE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 02 May 09 - 07:13 PM

Terry (1865-1938) says he learned "The Shaver" from his uncle, the journalist James Runciman (1851-1891).

In Part II of "The Shanty Book," Terry says that only the first two stanzas "are possible in anything like their original form," and he gives bowdlerized versions of two more.

His words are not very unlike the first four stanzas printed by Hugill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: curmudgeon
Date: 02 May 09 - 08:16 PM

Terry's "elusive Part Two" is available, along with part One. Go to the Mudcat Amazon link and search for:

The Way of the Ship by Richard Runciman Terry.

It's $19.95 plus shipping, considerably less than I ended up paying for firsts of these two tomes - Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 09 - 10:30 AM

Thanks, Lighter, for confirming that Terry had "The Shaver" in his 1926 book. And thank you very much, Tom, for that info. It looks like this new edition has just come out (?). Well, now I can no longer call it "elusive"! :)

So now...thanks to Amazon...I can confirm that the 1960 Robert Shaw recording was based on Terry's book.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 09 - 12:14 PM

"Johnny, Come Down the Backstay" /John Dameray / John Damaray

Print: Hugill; Doerflinger
Performers: The Keelers (1993)/Johnny Collins; Cztery Refy (awesome Polish version); Pint & Dale (1991); Gibb Sahib

Notes:

There are similarities in sources of this to "Come Down You Bunch of Roses" -- except in this case, the chantey never go popularized and given a renewed life and new trajectory. "John Dameray" came from the same 1893 Silsbee manuscript from which Doerflinger got "Bunch of Roses." However, also like with Bunch o Roses, Hugill was able to provide an oral version as gotten from Harding.

The buck seems to have stopped there. I've no evidence so far to suggest that Harding's oral version has been passed on aurally, being revived from text only later on.

Just a WAG, but might "Demaray" be a reference to Demerara, along the lines of "John Kanaka", "John Cherokee," and "Essequibo River"?

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:25 PM

Here's what appears to be another Doerflinger-Hugill-Lloyd three-way, with the usual hanky panky.

"Rise Me Up From Down Below"

Print: Hugill; Doerflinger
Performers: Ewan MacColl ("Whiskey Johnny"); Clancy Brothers ("Whiskey is the Life of Man"); etc…but?

Doerflinger had this in his 1951 text, from Capt. James P. Barker, who learned it from a Black American named "Lemon" Curtis in the 1890s. Doerflinger notes that, "Tune given from memory"; I'm not sure, but I think this is his way of saying that he notated it from his memory, rather than a recording he might have made.

Ewan MacColl leads a performance on this, directed by A.L. Lloyd, on their 1960 (I hope I've got the date right) album BLOW BOYS BLOW. What they've done, however, is cross the lyrics with those typical of the much more well-known halyard chantey, "Whiskey, Johnny." Note that, while we all know chantey lyrics are highly variable, the two chanteys "Rise Me Up…" and "Whiskey Johnny" (traditional form) have clearly different themes. They even change "Rise ME up" to "Rise HER up" – it's as if 'HER' refers to the yard, whereas in the original, 'ME' has to do with the supernatural theme of coming up from Hell. And while MacColl + Lloyd follow the general shape of the melody, they have (perhaps carelessly?) changed it significantly.

Again, my allegations of Bert Lloyd hanky panky is just rhetorical – let us see what evidence there might be to the contrary, for Lloyd/MacColl getting their different version from some other sources. Note first that, based on other songs on the album, it seems clear that they were using Doerflinger's book as a source. And although, as per the above discussion, they may have interacted with Hugill by that time, the fact that Hugill's and Doerflinger's versions match, whereas MacColl's is different, makes it unlikely they learned this from Stan.

Hugill's notation came in 1961, based in how he learned it from Harding, who claimed it was a Jamaican work song. As mentioned, his tune has some differences from Doerflinger's but they are obviously cut from the same cloth.

The Clancys recorded it in the style of MacColl in 1968 on the HOME BOYS HOME, and Louis Killen was also involved in this sort of rendition, I think. Subsequent performances follow this style, too.

I've attempted to render Hugill's text, HERE

I'd be interested to hear who else has performed and recorded a version of this that is closer to the documented tradition. This seems to be another chantey which, in lieu of an intact oral tradition, has been skewed in a revived version.

Tangential to this discussion is my observation that what was, by all known accounts, a song from an African-American tradition might be now more commonly construed as a sort of Irish drinking song – the Clancyfication process!

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 May 09 - 09:05 PM

Time to log in another chantey to this list.

"Mobile Bay" aka "John Come Tell Us as We Haul Away"

Print: Hugill; Lubbock (1906); Davis and Tozer (1906 expanded edition); Colcord
Performers: Kasin and Adrianowicz (2005); Bristol Shantymen; The Shanty Crew; Stare Dzwony (Polish); William Warfield (classical); Marc Bernier?

The chantey is cited in a 1906 text, JACK DERRINGER: A TALE OF DEEP WATER, by Basil Lubbock. The men are at the pumps. It says:

//Jack, of course, was not the man to let the
opportunity go by without a chanty, and started
on with :

" Were you never down in Mobile bay ? "

The whole watch thundered in the chorus with
the exception of the gambler, who kept all his
breath for his mutinous talk in the foc's'le.

As they swung the bars, deep came the note :

"John, come tell us as we haul away."
(JACK) "A-screwing cotton all the day."
(Chorus) "John, come tell us as we haul away.

Aye, aye, haul, aye !
John, come tell us as we haul away."

Then Jack went on :

"What did I see in Mobile Bay?"
(Chorus) "John, come tell us as we haul away."
(JACK) " Were the girls all fair and free and gay 1 "
(Chorus) "John, come tell us as we haul away.

Aye, aye, haul, aye !
John, come tell us as we haul away."

(JACK) "Oh! This I saw in Mobile Bay/
(Chorus) " So he tells us as we haul away."
(JACK) "A pretty girl a-making hay."
(Chorus) " So he tells us as we haul away.

Aye, aye, haul, aye !
So he tells us as we haul away." //

In the same year, it was added to Davis & Tozer's collection.

Colcord (1924) does not give a full text. Hers comes from a "Negro shantyman."

Harlow (1928), who had heard it in the 1870s, says it is West Indian and used for hoisting cargo from the holds of ships. His text is maybe the rarest and particularly "ethnic."

William Warfield, circa 1950s, recorded a classical (voice and piano) arrangement – I'm guessing it is based in Davis and Tozer's book, however I don't have that book to compare. It has "heave away," so that should be a clue.

Hugill does not mention from whom he learned it, only citing the recording of chanteyman Stanley Slade of Bristol, who recorded it on HMV. This would have been sometime before the early 1950s. Where can one find this recording nowadays? I would think that if it was reasonably available in the 50s-60s, then there was at least one authentic oral source from which people may have continued the tradition of this chantey. If it was generally not heard, there is a case for saying the oral link to this one was fairly broken. Information on that recording would be appreciated.

In the most recent decades, "Mobile Bay" has been revived by several performers. Some of the recent ones (whose texts appear to be based in Hugill) overlap the solos and chorus, in a way that seems to me more befitting of a halyard chantey and not really workable (??) at the pumps. Their 3rd chorus phrase doesn't correspond to Hugill's or the other notations I've seen, so I wonder whether it is a misreading or if it is based in a particular, authentic oral source that I am not aware of. This different chorus is a feature of the recording by Mudcatter Radriano – I know he once had his album notes up, but I no longer find them. It will be good to hear is story about how he and Peter Kasin worked up a version.

The version I recorded, HERE, was based directly on Hugill's notation. It is also based in my belief that "Mobile Bay" was probably the root form of "John Kanaka." "Kanaka" seems to have been a much rarer chantey, and we know it really only because of Hugill's single-handed popularization of it. My 'theory' is that it was a variation of Mobile Bay, and that the "kanakanaka" part may have even started out as nonsense syllables or a parody, only later codified as something meaningfully related to Pacific sailors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 May 09 - 11:04 PM

"Performers: Kasin and Adrianowicz (2005); Bristol Shantymen; The Shanty Crew; Stare Dzwony (Polish); William Warfield (classical); Marc Bernier?"

There should be no question mark after Marc, he definitly does a great "kick 'em & kill 'em" job on this one.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 May 09 - 02:08 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 May 09 - 09:38 PM

Just logging in a quick one; not much "story" to tell from my end...

"Hooker John"

Print: Hugill; Whall (?)
Performers: Richard Adrianowicz (2002); Pint & Dale (1991); Graeme Knights; The Mollyhawks; Ship'n Whales (2001); Shellback Chorus; Perły i Łotry; Gibb Sahib

Notes:
Hugill quotes Whall's earlier printing of this, which is very Scottish sounding in lyrics. Then he goes on to give the version he learned from Harding, which is much more African-American sounding. I don't have the Whall text. Can someone who has it please say whether he gave a tune and, if so, how it compares to Harding's?

Of the recordings, I've only heard Richard's. His website notes are no longer up, but there's a Mudcat post with them here. The recordings are probably all based off Hugill's text; not sure about Graeme Knight's(?from 80s or 90s). Adrianowicz's chorus melody differs from Hugill print; what is it based in?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 31 May 09 - 12:16 PM

Gibb, Slade's performance is available on his Folktrax CD, which you may be able to get through Dick Greenhaus.

Interestingly - very interestingly - Slade's version is about identical to that printed by Davis & Tozer. BTW, the song appears in all three editions of D & T, including the first (1886).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 May 09 - 12:53 PM

Ooh! thanks for that, Jon. Looks like that Folktrax CD will also inform on "Round the Corner Sally" and "Girl Asleep With a Blue Dress on."

And thanks for correcting my faulty eyes on the Davis/Tozer edition.

So BIG question based on your provocative comment -- Do you have any, or are you aware of any, cause to believe that Slade learned some of his repertoire from secondary sources?

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 09 - 02:33 PM

Whall (6th ed) put seven little known chanteys under the heading "Shakings," all without titles.
The one Hugill called "Ooker John" appears with no comment, solo and chorus with music.

The music is not the same at that given in Hugill for "Hooker John." I could email the music if you pm me.

The solo, O my Mary, she's a blooming lass, is on a descending line, the last three syllables all D, just below the staff.
The short chorus is rather similar, but the full chorus again differs.

Whall does not mention it in his short discussion of black songs.
A comment of interest is that in their singing "appeared many falsetto appoggiaturas, and a sharp rise to a "grace" note a fifth up (a sort of yelp); I can think of no other word to express it.."
He gives examples, and says the "yelp" was paticularly noticeable in the leadman's song.."
"Both these musical tricks were freely used by untutored English ballad-singers of folk-songs and such, and are not solely negro. A similar trick was the long "ah" at the end of a verse, which is as old as Shapespeare. Thus an old-fashioned seaman in singing "The Female Smuggler" would sing-
"By the rolling sea lived a maiden fair-ah," a sort of final groan."
He discusses other "queer tricks" such as inserting a "d" in many words.
He also says that "white seamen in smart ships seldom condescended to sing "Nigger" songs. Perhaps the only one which gained anything like general acceptance was "Let the Bulgine Run," one of the poorest of all." [This seems to have its origin in a minstrel song, as both Whall and Hugill note].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 May 09 - 04:53 PM

That's very helpful information, Q. And thanks for the other fascinating excerpts on singing style.

I'll send a PM. Perhaps the melody of Whall's version will ring some bell.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 31 May 09 - 09:26 PM

Unfortunately Whall is racially condescending - or worse - to black shantymen. His stylistic observations, however, are extremely significant to shanty history. This is especially so as Hugill (by far the most influential of all shantymen on revival singers) claimed to have learned so much about shanty singing, notably the use of "hitches" in the voice, from West Indian seamen.

Recall how *few* "hitches" and "yelps" appear in the singing of Carpenter's unanimously white singers.

IIRC (less likely than it used to be!) any shanty of Slade's whose title also appeared in D & T is likely to have the same text as theirs. A reasonable explanation, I suspect, is that Slade (and his landlubber chorus) were recorded singing from a BBC copy of D & T. My most charitable guess (and I hope I'm right) would then be that Slade recognized those shanties but could recall only fragments of what he'd learned independently at sea. He thus relied on D & T's versions as good enough - and possibly even more authentic than what he could remember.

Carpenter's seemingly unrehearsed singers tended strongly to sing only a bare handful of verses, usually repeating the solo lines in the practice Hugill refers to as "stringing out." This effectively reduces the number of stanzas by half from what one might expect to see in a song book, despite the fact that shipboard tasks often must have required longer songs. (Of course several two- or three-stanza
lyrics strung together would have worked quite as well.)

My guess is that at least some of the singers had used fuller versions at sea twenty-five to (in a couple of cases)seventy-five or more years earlier, but they could not remember all the words, possibly because they hadn't thought about them much after they'd left the sea, till Carpenter asked for them. Part of the explanation might also be that they used to ad lib a lot with lines that didn't rhyme or were otherwise unmemorable.

The fact that Carpenter recorded a (very) few bawdy stanzas shows that at least some of the singers weren't entirely reluctant to sing such material. FWIW, the language of those stanzas is pretty mild by today's standards, though certainly "unprintable" in the 1920s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Jun 09 - 09:07 PM

I was fortunate to receive a copy of "Ooker John" (Whall) from Q. It does match the overall pattern of Hugill/Harding, in my opinion, even if many of the pitches are different. From my experience performing music, to which I'm sure many others can relate, it's easy to drift into alternate melodic phrases when remembering old tunes -- especially phrases that are some specific harmonic interval away. It's a bit like recalling, erratically, a harmony part to the tune. For this reason, I am fairly liberal in ascribing relatedness among orally spread tunes. That being said, Whall's text is probably an unlikely source for subsequent performances of the chantey.

Lighter wrote:

[Whall's] stylistic observations, however, are extremely significant to shanty history. This is especially so as Hugill (by far the most influential of all shantymen on revival singers) claimed to have learned so much about shanty singing, notably the use of "hitches" in the voice, from West Indian seamen.

Recall how *few* "hitches" and "yelps" appear in the singing of Carpenter's unanimously white singers.


I'm unclear on your position. Do you mean that Whall's observations cast some doubt on Hugill, or vice versa?

Were Carpenter's singers all British? If so, does this leave room for White Americans and the hitch, in your point of view? So far I'm unconvinced that only Black singers would have sung like that -- isn't it, for example, very common in country music of Whites in America, too? And I don't recall ever learning it from chantey singers, Black or White, before I started singing that way. It is possible that what we hear in the Southern White singing is the influence of Blacks...and that my countless, untraceable influences since birth in America enculturated me to the sound unaware of sources. Hard to say.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jun 09 - 10:00 PM

Whall does not claim the yelp to be only under the ownership of Black shnatymen. Note under his heading "Nigger Songs" (p.121-current edition)
"Both these musical tricks (yelps & grace notes) were freely used by untutored Bnglish bakllad singersof folk songs & such, & are not solely negro. A similar trick was the long "ah" at the end of a verse, which is as old as Shakespeare."

Also see Doerflinger (page X of the Preface) for more of stylistic "hitches, grace notes, high breaks, unexpected stresses & holds & embellishments-variations as Captain Tayluer called them".

Also see Doerflinger's discussion under the chapter heading "The Rise of Shantying" (97p.) with specific mention to the Negro shanyman , his singing, his effect on other shantymen

You may want to also take note of the difference of the origins of sea ballards or forebitters & check out of those songs that have survived what are of anglo decent & what percentage is of Afro-American or Afro-Caribbean.
My belief is that while one (White) sung shanties for work & the other (forebitters) for pleasure, the other (Black) sung shanties for both work & pleasure.

I have to go now

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 02:40 PM

I'm not persuaded by Whall's reference to English ballad singers. I've never heard a field recording of an English traditional using anything like the exclamatory yelps, particularly at the beginning of a line, that Hugill makes on his recordings.

However, a kind of brief falsetto glide (can't remember the tech term for this) at the *end* of some lines ceratinly does exist, esp. in the Southern United States. Without further evidence, it may be safer to assume that this is what Whall had in mind.

At any rate, my point is simply that the testimony of Whall and Hugill, balanced by Carpenter's recordings, indicates that yelps were more common among West Indian shantymen, and others, like Hugill, who learned directly from them.

Short of grant money and a time machine, we will never know definitively whether this was true. Undoubtedly singers varied, maybe even from shanty to shanty. But in the light of what we can hear directly from Carpenter's singers (as well as those on the L of C LP, recently rereleased on CD), I think it is a mistake to *assume* as historical fact, that *most* shantymen used as much ornamentation as did Stan Hugill.

One or two of Carpenter's singers were Americans, as are most of those on the L of C album.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 04:16 PM

Reading in Hugill's introduction (p. 29 of the 1984 Routledge edition), I find his assertion that "…this yell was the very essence of the shantyman's art…These yells had no real functional value except, in certain cases, to stimulate the crowd for the next pull. Nearly every verse of a hauling song would commence with one, and, although sometimes omitted from the first solo line, it was invariably sung at the commencement of the second." This indicates that all chanteymen – Black, White, Lascar, Kannaka – used "hitches" as a matter of course because it was the norm for a chantey, not because it was part of the ballad practice in their cultures.

Could it be that the hitches, rather than being merely stylistic in nature, had a practical purpose? It's easy to imagine that a chanteyman used "these wild falsetto 'yodels'" to be heard above the noise of wind and wave; yodeling was used to communicate over distance by some folks at least, so it's possible that a high-pitched yelp at the start of each verse was necessary so the men, tailed onto the lee fore brace in a fresh breeze, could keep up with the leader. Perhaps this is what Stan meant by "stimulate the crowd for the next pull." Chanteys were tools, and I can see hitches as a way of making the tool more effective.

Lighter, put me on the list for when you get your time machine and grant. I'm happy to be your roadie.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 05:05 PM

Barry,

Whall does not claim the yelp to be only under the ownership of Black shnatymen

Yes, which is why I was unclear of the nature of Lighter's implying that Hugill was a relatively rare case of a White chanteyman to sing so.   Thanks for the other reference.

Lighter,

I'm not persuaded by Whall's reference to English ballad singers.
I wonder why you think he would make such a statement then. If anything, perhaps due to his prejudice, I'd think he would want to distance White singers from a "negro" practice.

I've never heard a field recording of an English traditional using anything like the exclamatory yelps, particularly at the beginning of a line, that Hugill makes on his recordings.

However, a kind of brief falsetto glide (can't remember the tech term for this) at the *end* of some lines ceratinly does exist, esp. in the Southern United States. Without further evidence, it may be safer to assume that this is what Whall had in mind.


This is a good point. These vocal ornaments seem to be only vaguely defined. Perhaps a really close reading of all the references would sort it out a bit, but I am hardly clear on exactly what they're supposed to mean. I think I'm set on what 'hitch' is meant to describe (or, at least a meaning has ossified in my mind). When you say "falsetto glide," I imagine you're talking about the same. To get on the same page -- I mean the ornament at the end of each first phrase in "Way Stormalong John" (Ironically, someone just posted a comment about "hitches and and yelps" on this vid.)

This is, minimally, what I thought Whall had in mind.

I think it is a mistake to *assume* as historical fact, that *most* shantymen used as much ornamentation as did Stan Hugill.

I agree.   By the same token, those singers on the Carpenter recordings represent men of a certain background at a certain historical moment, so nor will I assume that they are representative of the wide world of chantey singing -- the reason for my skepticism again being the unlikelihood that White singers didn't ornament their music then until suddenly now...they do!

I'll admit defeat in ever being able to say what parts of American vernacular singing come from "White", "Black" or "other" origins. However, I'd conjecture that by within the 19th century, the admixture had already taken place.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM

Gibb,

Remember that Whall was educated in an art-music tradition decades before folksongs were being taken very seriously - especially folk styles of singing. It's very possible that the resemblance he saw between shanty-singing and ballad-singing was influenced by his assumption that neither was *musically* defensible.

My reading of Whall's intention is that he wanted to preserve the "best" shanties primarily out of nostalgia. Nothing wrong with that - we're in his debt! - but like nearly all shanty collectors before Doerflinger, he was not much interested in a close analysis of the material.

Actually the upshot of all this is that the degree of ornamentation used by the mythical "average shantyman" is unknowable, but we have every reason to regard Stan Hugill as way above average in his regard for shantying as an "art" and for his desire to perpetuate its most notable features. If you listen to pre-Hugill "revival" singers, they almost never yelp. Post Hugill, they all do. Regardless of its history and distribution, he effectively made the yelp "mainstream."

JWB,
I'll let you know when my machine is ready. Should be soon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 09:52 PM

Continuing on with the discussion of individual chanteys...

"John Kanaka" is, of course, not rare by any means. However, in every other way it really fits into this "category." I just want to make a couple notes.

Print: Hugill (1961 and 1969); Eckstorm (1927)
Recording: Hugill in 1962, then...on to the stratosphere

Notes:
One of those "one-source" chanteys that, had Hugill not popularized it for whatever reason, would be in the same boat with the others here. It's from Harding, and Hugill said very little about it in the first text-- no doubt unaware of the popularity it would achieve.

I have said earlier that I think there is a cluster of chanteys cut from the same mold, which may include: Kanaka, "Mobile Bay," "John Cherokee," "Essequibo River," and maybe even "John Dameray." They all have a format with 3 solo phrases, the third being more vocables than lyrics. They're all ascribed to the Caribbean; all but 1 from Harding.

My question is whether anyone has discussed the song included in Eckstorm's MINSTRELSY OF MAINE (1927), titled "Too-li-aye", with the text,

//
Jan Kanaganaga, too-li-aye
//

Although Colcord had mentioned it in conjunction with "John Cherokee," Hugill does not mention it (not in his bibliography).

The Eckstorm book is out of print, though found in quite a few libraries I think. Unfortunately I don't have convenient access to one these days. Can anyone with it make a statement of its resemblance to Hugill/Harding's version?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:32 PM

Kanaka ascribed to the Caribbean? !!?
---------------------
Mahana occurs as a place name in several parts of Hawai'i.

One is the Ahupua'a neighboorhood of Lanai City on Lanai. Another is on Maui.
The most likely area on which the lost song is based, however, is near the south tip of the Big Island; Papakolea Beach in Mahana Bay near South Point is known also as Mahana Beach, or Green Sands Beach. The area had important temples, and permanent canoe moorings are preserved near there at Ka Lai.

Mahana means warm, but that doesn't help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:54 PM

Q,
The supposed "Samoan" chorus is part of the mystique of the song, but there is no evidence that I know of to connect it to that part of the world.

To me, "jaan kanaka naka too lai e" means about as much as "buddy tana na, we are some-buddy o" or "john come tell us as we haul away." At best, "Kanaka" is a fanciful imagining of the generic Polynesian sailor, but the song is still in the format of other Caribbean chanteys.

Revell Carr's PhD diss, "In the Wake of John Kanaka," could probably shed some light on it, but I'm still waiting to read that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 11:03 PM

"Tu lai-e" in "Johnny Kanaka" may have come from the Hawaiian Puu lae, a headland or projection. No 't' in Hawaiian. If la'e is used, Puu la'e is a shining projection or headland.

(or John Kanaka-naka tu lai-e may refer to a 'projection' of John's)

Probability that I am right- one out of a hundred, but it's an interesting thought.
Western Canada has descendants of Hawaiians who worked for the trading companies as voyageurs, sailors, builders, farmers, miners and whalers. A recent book names and describes the work done by some of them. Many returned to Hawai'i, but others stayed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 01:13 AM

Lahina was at one point home the Pacific whaling fleet. There is also a Mahana beach just south of Lahina, very popular localy for nude bathing & sunbathing

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 02:21 PM

Adding to Barry's post, those huge pots left behind in Hawai'i, used for rendering whales, look just like those in cartoons of cannibal islanders boiling missionaries or long pig.

"John Kanaka" probaby originated among the whaling fleets and their Hawaiian harpooners and sailors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 03:34 PM

Just caught up with the thread again! Not that I had much to add anyway. However, to go back slightly to the decorations/yelps etc. of English singers/shantymen, it might be interesting to quote Cecil Sharp on John Short. Short was White and went deep sea, at 18 years of age, in 1856. He finally retired from the sea in 1904 although he'd given up deep water by the mid-1880s. I cite this just to position Short historically within the develpoment of shantying.

Sharp recorded that:- "His voice is rich, resonant and powerful, yet so flexible that he can execute trills, turns and graces with a delicacy and finish that would excite the envy of many a professional singer." Looking at the transcriptions of what Short sang to Sharp, his decoration and variation is, at times, extraordinarily complex. Sharp also comments on occasionally 'ejaculted' syllables and gutteral utterances. It was also noted that when, after retirement, John Short was engaged as Town Crier, his words could be heard two miles away from Watchet, in Donnington!

We start recording all Short's repertoire in September at Wild Goose.

Yipee!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM

Tom,

Thanks, great info to add to the body of remarks on the subject!

******

As for John Kanaka origins, I maintain that there is no evidence outside the word "Kanaka" and the supposed Samoan (according to Hugill -- not Hawaiian) syllables (for which no translation has been offered, by the way) that it had any real connection to Polynesia. On the other hand, it has earmarks of chanteys from the greater Gulf of Mexico / Caribbean area, including that it is nearly the same as "Mobile Bay." I really think (although I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise!) that the whole Polynesia thing has been trumped up as a gimmick -- a point of interest for audiences, including children and people who want to experience the "multicultural" dimension of chanteying in a very obvious way. And I think this accounts for much of its popularity. Of course, Revell Carr could say much more, since I'm sure he investigated influences of Kanaka sailors on chanteying.

My own interest here is not origins (birth) so much as the life of these post-sailing days. And to that end I'm interested whether "Kanaka" is a "one-source song," or if the Eckstorm text, too, has contributed anything. Eckstorm clearly did not know the concepted of "Kanaka" (i.e. based on her alleged rendering of the text), so I don't imagine she made any Polynesian connection.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:30 PM

It's a pity we don't have a recording of John Short.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:53 PM

And absolutely no evidence that 'John Kanaka' stems from the Caribbean.

Samoan is wrong; kanaka is strictly a Hawaiian generic term for man.

Samoa has different and more complicated usages, e. g. a common man, without title, is taulealea

But to return to Hugill-
"This halyard song is the only known representative of a sizable group of Anglicized Polynesian work-songs popular at one time among seamen in the various Pacific Islands trades." (His later book, "Shanties and Sailors' Songs").
He goes on to say that this chantey became widespread "in most American sailing ships of the mid-nineteenth century." Further, he noted its spread to the Caribbean, and collected his version from coloured seamen from Barbados. He mentions Gale Huntington's comments about Anglicized Polynesian songs being favorites with south sea sperm whalers.


Of course 'kanaka' was applied by english-speaking seamen to Polynesians because they were most familiar with the many Hawaiians who worked as seamen and guano collectors.
(Not mentioned before, but many worked off American ships collecting guano from Pacific Islands.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 01:55 AM

I agree with Q & his staging of "Kanaka". The word was still well known while I lived there in the very early 80's but it was not a tem you'd here anyone use unless they were Hawaiian themselves. and as Q mentioned the Samoan language is very different from the Hawaiian & in no way does "Kanaka" remotely come close to Samoen.
It is distintley Hawaiian & not Polynesian or Somoan at all. Think the use of the word "Nigger". Though I'm sure that was not the case in the days of the Golden Age of Sail.
Another use of the term is found in "Rolling Down to Old Maui" a song of & about the Hawaiin Islands as a whaling port. The term is used affectionately just as the Hawaiian word Wahine (woman) is.
Besides, had it been influenced with Samoan origins the song probably would've been titled "Jon Kanaka" seeing as the ports in Somoa where used by Germans.
As to the "tulai-e" part of the chorus being Somoan as Hugill supposes, Im not taking much stoch in that seeing as sailors loved their playing with the soundings of foriegn tongues & wordplay.


Gibb;
"I have said earlier that I think there is a cluster of chanteys cut from the same mold, which may include: Kanaka, "Mobile Bay," "John Cherokee," "Essequibo River," and maybe even "John Dameray." They all have a format with 3 solo phrases, the third being more vocables than lyrics. They're all ascribed to the Caribbean; all but 1 from Harding."


"John Cherokee" & "John Dameray" do not fit the mold you discribe as a "3 solo phrase". Of the 3 left that you mention Hugill does not say where his sourse of his printed version comes from. The other 2 are from Harding which only means that Harding had at least 2 shanties in his repitoire that used the "3 solo phrase" (your term not mine) form, which was probably very well suited to the related work he choose to sing them too. By no means does or should that alone lead us to believe that they are West Indian or Caribbean shanties.

I have some thoughts & a theory on "yelps" & I'm thinking that the discripion of John Short's singing is just another factor that comes into play. Short sailed at 18 in 1856, pretty much the height of Blacks role in Shanteydom (if we agree it's dated somewhere just after the 1812 & 1815 Wars & lasting up until-I'm in agreement with Whall, around 1875, when Jim Crow at sea was just about under full sail). So we have a number of documenters giving discriptions of "yelps" etc. from sailors of color. Sailors of color by my take & what I've come across were "the "old hands/men of the sea". By then (meaning at the tail end, say post Civil War till 1875, many white 'greenhorns' who'd come to sea did so more frequently as 'Johnny Come Lately's' & more stood their watch only a hand full of times & more than less moved on to more friendly occupations. Blacks did not have those other oppertunities to move on to so they were forced to stay at sea longer even as their oppertunities ere beginning to deminish. So we have Whall (& others stating by 1875) shanties were dying if not deead as a replenishing tradition, timing coincenadently with the sea slowing losing it's sailors of colors). So we have by the turning of the century a diminishing trade under sail (which lasted up to bewteen the 2 world wars) a diminishing of "old salts left to pass on their trades to a younger generation that wants no part of haiving seafaring as a life long career. Now you have those few like Sharp who'd picked up their trade from the "old salts" & by my figuring the majority of "old salts" would be "sailors of color" so there were the few like Short & Hugill that would be the recipentients of what ever was available & left over for them to be passed down. By this I would say (if I'm heading in the right direction) that they were an anomaly rather than the likes of those sailors coming from a culture in the West Indies or elswhere in the Caribbean where the singing styles picked up in yesteryear would've stayed far more current in the living tradition & probably were in an atmosphere the styles would've been nourished. So after all that it may have been a style of singing used mostly among sailors of color in the early days & stayed with them till their last days at sea & were only picked up by those few from other backgrounds who had the oppertunity to sail with this dying breed & by the time the collecters can around the "Old Salts of Color" had long passed on & only the very who'd picked up from them were left to sing their songs.

Did any of that make sense, I read it & it does but that doesn't mean squat at 2 in the morning?
G'nite

"They call me yelping" Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:01 AM

'"John Cherokee" & "John Dameray" do not fit the mold you discribe as a "3 solo phrase". Of the 3 left that you mention Hugill does not say where his sourse of his printed version comes from"

Meaning the song "Mobile Bay"

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 09:16 AM

Based on the available evidence, there's no possible way Hugill could have known whether "J.K." was sung "in most American sailing ships of the mid-nineteenth century."

Writers on folk music love to make broad assertions from intuition alone (there's so little real evidence to go on).

Hugill's "J.K." is a great song for group singing nonetheless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 12:29 PM

re: "John Kanaka"

Let me try to explain where I am coming from. The idea of this sort of thread, besides being simply a "slot" for filing, is to see what happens when we take these songs as a body. What similarities emerge? Are there any common traits one might observe in this sphere of chanteys? And, can we suss out a possible relationship between the various songs that past authors in performers, working with a more limited body of information, may not have noticed?

When I propose that the shanties I mentioned may belong to the same class, I am saying just that -- not that they are variants of the same song. Think more general than "song variants," and more specific than "genre." Call it a sub-type or modality within the repertoire. Remember, the interest is in seeing similarities that help these belong to a group (it stands to reason that chanteys from this area would have certain similarities). That is a bit different from the usual "Describe the hell out of one song in particular and try to find exactly what it is." I view these songs rather fluidly--despite the fact that their latter-day setting in print has petrified them--more like a 12-bar blues for example. Songs in the 12 bar blues form are distinct, yet share a certain feel and shape; many are quite similar if we stretch our ears beyond text. This means that songs will share a certain number of similarities (not necessarily all of them). When I mentioned "John Dameray" (Barry), I said "and maybe even" because it doesn't fit so many characteristics, being a more distant possibility. As for what makes the others similar, if people don't see it, I'd have to take a different, longer :) post to explain it. I will say though that Hugill called "J Kanaka" "closely related to Mobile Bay," and Colcord related "John Cherokee" to "JK"—via Eckstorm. So it's not just me!

I think, and I'm sure many agree, that it is a mistake to over-analyze or put too much weight on text in chanteys. It is too often interchangeable, incidental, or just nonsense. If the song said "John Mandarin, hap ki kong," would we be saying it was a Chinese song? Would some go to fiercely try to de-code "hap ki kong"? Would others argue that "Mandarin" makes no sense in describing the southern Chinese that sailors would have met more often? Or would it be fairly obvious that the chorus was made up based on the slimmest of notions of Chinese culture by Anglo-phone sailors, and that the text itself was not important but rather just fit the format of the work song? How is it that "John Cherokee," an "Injun man from Mirimichi" and a "slave down in Alabam" can be understood as a somewhat nonsense song of the Caribbean/Gulf trade (from Harding of Barbados, and from Bahamas), but "John Kanaka" must be Hawai'ian?

My most liberal viewpoint is that sailors who were outsiders to Polynesian culture (though they may have sailed to Hawaii, etc., as whalers, etc, sure thing) have included the generic character of "John Kanaka" in the same manner as a John Cherokee or John Chinaman. My more conservative view is that the "kanakanaka" (note: never is it /kanaka/) was a variation of nonsense syllables (cf. Eckstorm's rendering "jan kanaganaga") which may have been heard as a mondegreen. Keep in mind that it was only Hugill who has scanned it for us as "Kanaka."

Aside: Was not "Kanaka" a generic term for Polynesian sailors, used by non-Polynesians? Since non-Polynesians are singing the song, they would use it without regard for nationality. Whether it is precisely Hawai'ian is a moot point. Do you really think Hawaiians would be singing about themselves, "Kanakanaka"? I don't say the song is Samoan (I say it probably isn't); it is Hugill that has called it Samoan. He bases that, it seems, just on the "tulai e" – but he never does define (to my knowledge) what that was. In fact, his chastising, "There's no 'R' in the Samoan language" is presumptuous! Does it really make a difference whether it related to a Hawaiian, Samoan or Maori?

When Hugill published SfSS in 1961, I don't think he had any idea what trajectory these songs would take in the Revival. "John Kanaka," it seems, became sort of a "pet" song for him. Audiences love to get the little spiel in the beginning about what "Kanaka" means. Plus, Hugill used it to show off his yodel.

SfSS, while not always the most rigorous, has a general "scholarship" tone. Hugill included and weighed any and all information he could dig up about each song. He was not afraid to say, "I know X as a capstan chantey, but I have found a reference for its use at halyards." By the next book (1969), the tone had switched to a popular one. In that framework, he had to make very concise and positive (really, falsely positive!) statements. He would have to say "X is a capstan chantey." Period. He'd have selected his favorite and most interesting interpretation of facts to present to the readers. Compare: In SfSS, re: "JK", he only postulates the idea of chanteys based in Hawai'ian songs. He says that if they did exist, "they have all been lost—unless our John Kanaka is the one survivor." In other words, he presents the idea as complete speculation.

Between that time and the next, popular-audience book, Hugill had become part of the Revival. He'd recorded "JK." The story had no doubt developed. Q's quotation:
"This halyard song is the only known representative of a sizable group of Anglicized Polynesian work-songs popular at one time among seamen in the various Pacific Islands trades." (His later book, "Shanties and Sailors' Songs").
He goes on to say that this chantey became widespread "in most American sailing ships of the mid-nineteenth century."


Can we not see that this is B.S.? He jumped from imagining (1961) that there might be such songs and, if there were, "J Kanaka" might be one, to positively saying that there definitely were a "sizeable" amount and this was the "last"! And to echo Lighter, how in the world would he suddenly know it was widespread in the 19th century? How would that even make sense if, to his knowledge, he was the only person to collect it (i.e. it was rare)?

Barry,
"John Cherokee" & "John Dameray" do not fit the mold you discribe as a "3 solo phrase". Of the 3 left that you mention Hugill does not say where his sourse of his printed version comes from"

Meaning the song "Mobile Bay"


Harding's version of "John Cherokee" has the 3 solo phrase format. The popular version that has gone around seems to be based in Robiinson's text via Colcord, which repeats the characteristic "way hey" phrase. Singers have done this to "regularize" chanteys. Incidentally, I was hoping, soon, to seek the expertise and experience of you and others about "John Cherokee"'s trajectory in the revival. We really can't systematically compare "Cherokee" to others in this mix using the Revival version that people now usually sing.

"Mobile Bay," as you say, is not cited in SfSS. Hugill does mention Slade's recording which, as Lighter posits, may have been based in the Davis & Tozer text. I don't know what that text says about it, but Harlow (see earlier post) does say "Mobile Bay" is West Indian, and Colcord got it from a "Negro." Besides, the chantey is about Mobile Bay. The geographic-culture "sphere" that I envision, as I've tried to correct myself now and again in this thread (then lapsing back to shorthand!) is inclusive of the Gulf of Mexico (southern U.S. states) on down through the Caribbean, mainly inclusive of Black singers. Sorry if that is confusing.

Q,

And absolutely no evidence that 'John Kanaka' stems from the Caribbean.

What sort of evidence would you require to say that any sea song stems from the Caribbean (or anywhere else)? (*And again, by the shorthand "Caribbean" I meant to include the wider Black maritime world of the Gulf down to the top of South America.) I am not in the business of ascribing precise "origins" to traditional songs, but rather to see what something most resembles. And in this case, by way of non-textual features, I think "JK" comes closest to the Black-Caribbean/Gulf style of chantey. Certainly that style, once established as a paradigm (such as 12-bar blues) had been carried to some other parts of the world. A sailor like Harding may have been lying on the beach in Lahaina and, inspired by his new friends and the fun sound of the word "Kanaka," included it in his new song. But that song would nonetheless be built on a paradigm of his style of chanteying. How else do you explain "Mobile Bay"? Did the cotton hoosiers get it from a Hawai'ian song?

Thanks for the great discussion, guys.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM

One more note on "J.K." At Mystic in 1988 or '89, Hugill criticized those who sing the chorus as "tu-RYE-ay." He said, correctly or not, I don't know, that only the "l" sound is genuine, as there is no "r" sound in Samoan.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 02:58 PM

No 'r' in Hawaiian, either.

kanaka- a man, a human being.
kánaka- (the n with a tail)- people in general, the mass of the people.
kanaka adj.- manly, strong, stable.

Html is short on symbols for foreign languages.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 08:12 PM

Although sometimes informally named 'Kanaka', none of the many Hawaiian seamen who sailed or were discharged in Honolulu bore that name, according to the records. Records quoted below are for whaling ships.

Records included pay they received on discharge. E. g.,
Kanaku- discharged from "Bark Ontario II," home port New Bedford, Nov. 2, 1861, received $31.85;
others did not fare as well, "Congress II," Capt. Francis E. Stranburg, New Bedford, 1861, listed seven discharged, all "in debt," and two "Deserted" [deserted to the goldfields?];
all received pay (eleven) from the "Adeline Gibbs," 1856, Capt. George T. Pomeroy, Fairhaven MA, ranging from $58.00 (Kaiakahi) to $82.44 (Kuhei); a Jack Allen received $195.95 but he was probably American.
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/whaling/discharge_a_e.asp

Many Americans also are listed as hiring on in Honolulu, as well as Hawaiian citizens. Records at the Bernice Bishop Museum cover the period 1856-1893. Ship, as well as the name, is listed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 09:15 PM

Hawaiian songs about whaling exist in writings left by Hawaiian seamen, but no chanteys found so far. Some 5000 Hawaiian seamen are listed in port shipping records, 1842-1867 alone.
The newspapers of Hawai'i from 1834- may have poetry and songs, but they are only beginning to be digitized.

Kaulana ke anu i Alika,
Ka lalawe i ka ili a puni.
(Famous is the cold of the Arctic,
Overwhelming your entire body.)

The first account here has some interesting descriptions of the Inuit.
http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/6778/1/JL40105.pdf

The following are the first few lines of a song by Ku, of O'ahu, a whaling song he wrote in the 19th c.

Makemake na Au e 'Ike ia Kaleponi

Makemake na au e 'ike ia Kaleponi
I ka 'aina o ka nani a me ka maika'i.
Maika'i 'oko'a no ke kai kuono o
Hukekona.
He nani Papine me Kaliona.
Ka home i aloha 'ia na na holokahiki
I aloha 'ia i ka leo ho'oholehole o ka
hulipahu,
I na olelo ke aloha a ke kolomeki.

The entire whaling song by Ku in "Na Mele Welo: Songs of Our Heritage," Bishop Museum Press, 1995. Reproduced in the following, p. 46. No translation provided.

http://pnclink.org/pnc2005/chi/Presentation-PDF/081-Susan%20A.%20Lebo-Aus%20Panel.pdf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 07:04 PM

Here's the beginning of a list (not sorted in any way) of the chanteys so far that have been focused on in this discussion -- by way of taking stock. Hope no one really minds the excess verbiage; it helps me keep track.

Mudder Dinah/Sing Sally, O! (A + B)
Shinbone Al / Sister Susan / Gwine to git Home
Round the Corner Sally
Walkalong, Miss Susiana Brown
Coal Black Rose"
Come Down, You Bunch of Roses
Bully in the Alley
Lowlands Low ("Island Lass")
Miss Lucy Long
Stormalong, Lads, Stormy / Wo Stormalong
Mister Stormalong / Stormalong
Way Stormalong John
Stormy Along, John / Come Along, Git Along
Walk Me Along, Johnny / Walk Him Along John / General Taylor
Yankee John, Stormalong
Gimme de Banjo
The Gal with the Blue Dress
Johnny, Come Down the Backstay /John Dameray / John Damaray
Mobile Bay / John Come Tell Us as We Haul Away
Miss Lucy Loo
Tommy's On the Tops'l Yard
Hilo Johnny Brown / Stand to Your Ground
Hilo, Boys, Hilo
Tommy's Gone Away
Hello, Somebody
Huckleberry Hunting
Can't Ye Hilo
Hooker John
?JohnKanaka?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 11:01 PM

Just thinking about the Mystic fest and how this repertoire figured in (or didn't), to get a sense of its rarity/popularity.

I can remember hearing only:

--Some version of "Huckleberry Hunting"?? Not sure; it didnt have the "classic" "shantyman of the wildgoose nation" lines, and I was busy at the time jockeying for a space at the bar.

--"Bully in the Alley" -- of course, but in the faux-capstan version which repeats the first verse like a grand chorus.

--some sort of "Stormalong," but I forget which (probably one of the more common).

--Marc B's "John Come tell us". Heard it twice -- once in use as a hand over hand chantey. It's a bit different from Hugill's version. Notably, he doubles the "way hay" part, effectively creating 4 (rather than three) sets of solo-chorus. Also, the chorus sings along on the "way hey" part. This is like has been done to "John Cherokee."

--so..."John Cherokee". I was hiding, hoping this song wouldn't find me, but it did a few times. In one of the pub-sing performances, the leader tried desperately to maintain a 3-phrase format, but the mass audience kept adding a fourth. This meant that by the time they shut up, each time around, the leader had already finished most of his solo first line.
(*oops, never officially logged "John Cherokee" into this thread yet, but it is pretty well covered in the other current thread). The renditions were, of course, in the modern style. Jacek Sulanowski's rendition was particularly full of off-beats.

--It was a pleasure to hear Tim Reilly's "Haul Away, Boys, Haul Away" -- not yet discussed yet in this thread. That's one that Hugill recorded, but which differs significantly from his text version. Tim sang the recording style, but noted the discrepancy with the text.

--Was surprised, and yet not surprised, I didnt hear "John Kanaka." If "Drunken Sailor" is more or less considered to banal for any ears but lubbers', then I supposed "Kanaka" reached that level in the context of this community-- it's only for tourists and kids (?)

--my contribution was "Hilo, Boys, Hilo". I doubt anyone knew that chorus (Hugill's, via Tobago Smith). (It didnt help that I sang it about 2 octaves too high for a castratto)

--"Come down, Bunch of Roses" was of course done in the form of "Hang down, Blood Red Roses". But Rika (?) made up for it with her excellent clever parody. Incidentally, I just noticed that Stuart Frank once recored a version of "Blood Red Roses" that was sung at the Seaport in 1978. Sources for that, Stu?? :)

Please note any others you guys may have heard, people who were there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 11:21 PM

oh, also someone did "Doodle Let Me Go"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 10:43 PM

Gibb,

My old memory cells don't hold as much data as they used to, particularly after a couple tots of gin, so I can't recall everything I did hear at Mystic last weekend. It's actually easier to list what I *didn't* hear, these being what I think of a "Rare Caribbean" chanteys, based purely on my personal experience of how infrequently I hear them sung at various events. That list includes "Sailboat Malarky", "Essiquibo River" (which was very popular 10-15 years back), "Bound Down Trinidad", "Shallow Brown" (maybe I went to bed too early),and "Running Down to Cuba."

I would love to trace the popularity of certain chanteys in the revival, to discover why some catch on so quickly and widely and then fade out (e.g. Essiquibo River), or stay present in the popular repertory (e.g. John Cherokee). Another thread, p'raps.

You get the pub-sing laurel, though, Gibb, for the free-style "Hilo, Boys, Hilo". If Stan himself had been there he would have been impressed (though he might have opined that your voice wasn't "strident" enough for a true chanteyman, 2 octaves too high or not). You did a great job with that one.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 06:18 PM

Ah, interesting, Jerry. I suspect part of that reason has to do with individual singers who have led the charge with certain songs, then maybe backing off. More interesting would be the phenomenon where those songs become played-out. Like I said about "Drunken Sailor" --people in such an "elite" gathering would GROAN if you raise that one (though "Roll the Old Chariot" is basically the same song, and it was raised several times). Probably tons of other reasons.

There's also the sort of "Black 'n' soulful" niche of songs which, for some people at least I'm sure, amount to a sort of code-shift. It's not too hard to trace the individuals who are especially responsible for popularizing these great songs. But most of them (of the ones I'm talking about) are more recent additions (eg.post-Mehaden fishermen phenom)...whereas there is a mine of songs once coded as "Black" in the "old" repertoire that have yet to be revived in such a manner. I dunno really though, just casual observations and guesses.

Incidentally, Dave Iler of the Seaport sang "Shallow Brown" (a fast version) towardsthe end of the Thurs concert. I liked it -- his voice and way of singing it-- a lot.

Thanks, Jerry, for the compliment; it really means a lot to me. I'm really interested in developing a sort of chantey singing that treats the "tradition" as a format or shell (for example, like "the Blues form") rather than the "tradition" as specific texts that just happened to have been collected, written down, and set. Of course, this only applies to a certain portion of the chantey repertoire, and my viewpoint is an eccentric one.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 07:25 PM

I don't think I've logged this one in properly yet in this thread, so...

"Sister Susan" / "Shinbone Al"

Print:Hugill; Bullen; Harlow ("Gwine to Git a Home Bime By")
Performers: Theresa Tooley, Forebitter

Notes:

Discussed in this thread.. Summary and more, here.

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.

Bullen first gives it in LOG OF A SEA-WAIF, 1899.    He observed a ship's cargo being discharged by stevedores in Demerara:

"Streaming with sweat, throwing their bodies about in sheer
wantonness of exuberant strength as they hoisted
the stuff out of the hold, they sometimes grew so
excited by the improvisations of the "chantey
man," who sat on the corner of the hatch solely
employed in leading the singing, that often, while
for a minute awaiting the next hoist, they would
fling themselves into fantastic contortions, keeping
time to the music. There was doubtless great
waste of energy; but there was no slackness of
work or need of a driver. Here is just one speci-
men of their songs; but no pen could do justice to the vigour, the intonation and the abandon of the
delivery thereof...."

He goes on to print one verse, with music. Bullen also gave the song in 1914's SONGS OF SEA LABOUR (*thanks to KathyW for the source).

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 Bullen's version closely. Lighter (in the other thread) suggested he may possibly have lifted it from Bullen's text. Harlow's is different in having more verses and syncopation in some spots. There is enough difference I think to suggest that Harlow heard it first-hand, but it is also notable how similar the versions are.

So it has been ascribed to St. Lucia (in a way), Guyana, and Barbados. However, a minstrel song published in 1835 was called "Shinbone Alley" itself (in addition to others that might mention the place), 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

Forebitter recorded the song as "Gwine to Get a Home," circa 1991 (??). There's is based off of Harlow's text (a few small changes to the melody, some extra-syncopated bits, and a swing-feel read into it). I don't know on what basis they list it as a "windlass or pumping chantey" in their liner notes.   Interestingly, I suspect they had not referenced Hugill's version (filed under a different title) at the time of that recording, on the slimmest evidence -- the fact that they sing "by ME by" since Harlow spells it in dialect as "bime by" (it is clearly "by 'n' by," and Hugill's text would have made that obvious.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 10:02 AM

Carpenter collected a couple of examples in 1929, but each source claims to have learned the song some 75 years earlier: i.e. in the early 1850s (which may possibly point to a minstrel origin).

First line - "I lost my jacket in the alley" from Edward Robinson, of Sunderland. Born 1834, to sea 1846. Carpenter's notes say Captain Page heard the chantey about 1853. (He collected from both Capt Mark Page and Capt Edward Robinson in the same retired sailor's home in Sunderland, which may explain the ambiguity of the note)

First Line - "O, I lost my coat in Story's Alley" from James Forman, of Leith, born 1844, first ship 1856. "Learned as a boy before going to sea" and a further note "Story's Alley in Leith".

I'm not at home at present, but at least one version (Forman?) is on Kennedy's selction of Carpenter recordings, and the chorus sounds very much like "I'm Billy in the army"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 04:30 PM

Here's what I hear Forman singing in 1928:

                O-oh, I'm Billy in the alley!
                
        I lost my coat in Story's Alley.
                O-oh, I'm Billy in the alley!

        [I] put it in the [unintelligible: kelleekaim?] was my fancy.
                O-oh, I'm Billy in the alley!
        
        She put me out because I'd no money.
                O-oh, I'm Billy in the alley!

Story's Alley, it turns out, is in Leith, where Forman lived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 06:33 PM

Great to see more sources for "Bully in the Alley."

***********

Logging more of these chanteys...

Title: "Heave Away, Boys, Heave Away" -- 2 DIFFERENT CHANTEYS

Print: Hugill
Performers: Hugill w/ Stormalong John; The Shanty Crew

Notes:
There are two different chanteys, though with these same words for the chorus. Hugill seems to have been the first and only to print them. He learned chantey "A" from a Black sailor from St. Vincent, and chantey "B" from Harry Lauder of St. Lucia.

One interesting point is that both are supposedly halyard chanteys, yet they use the word "heave." Hugill opined that this indicated they had been used for cotton screwing. (However, in another thread, where we were brainstorming about the action of cotton screwing, I got the idea it was a pulling action??)

Stan Hugill recorded a chantey by this title, with Stormalong John backing, on 1989's A SALTY FORE TOPMAN. I've not heard it. Can anyone who has tell which chantey it is, A or B? The Shanty Crew has done version B (I'd ~guess~ that Hugill's recording is of the same?)

I recorded trial examples of each of these.
Heave Away. Boys -- "A"
Heave Away. Boys -- "B"
It would be great to hear about other renditions and sources.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:34 PM

Back to "Bully in the Alley" for a sec --
I just heard the version recorded by The Shanty Crew, and wanted to note that it's the only one I've heard that uses the chorus melody ~printed~ in Hugill's book. However, they also follow the popular but inauthentic practice of using the first verse as a repeated sort of grand chorus throughout.

I don't think I've posted a link to my try to represent the Hugill text-version. (With respect to form and melody only, of course -- the arbitrariness of the text called for more made-up verses).   HERE it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 06:56 AM

We (Shanty Crew) recorded both versions - the (A) 'White Mans Dollars' on the 2nd recording "Stand To Yer Ground", and the (B) on 'Where Am I To Go'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 12:08 PM

SPB, that is great to hear. So the (A) version, from what I can tell was released in 1989, and (B) in 1996.

Since the recordings aren't readily available in all parts -- though I do understand they have very extensive accompanying notes-- could you say a word about how you guys learned these? Were they based on Hugill's book (which I have had to do), or did you also have available a recording by Hugill, Hugill's own advice, or the performances by other shantymen? thanks

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:52 PM

I learned both versions long before we recorded throgh the painstaking process of a combination of sight reading and using whatever musical instrument came to hand. The words and tunes come from SFSS and the feedback we got from Stan was "that's close enough" - praise indeed.

The additional verses are mine and these were used to pad the song out a bit.

The likely orginal use of the shanties is with a device for cotton stowing which is best described as a back-to-front corkscrew (thus the term "cotton screwing"). What this did was to pack/compress the cotton bales into the hold, thus shipping more tons of cargo.

On less sturdy and less watertight vessels this could be dangerous as it was know for the cotton to expand on getting wet and split the vessels' seams.

Hope that helps...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: DebC
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 02:37 PM

What a fantastic thread!! This is what the Mudcat is all about and why I keep coming back. So much knowledge and so many wee tidbits of information here.

Keep going, folks.

Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 04:55 PM

Even on sturdy vessels cottn packed or compressed to tightly when wet or soggy expanding could cause structural damage

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM

For those interested in rare Caribbean shanties, Hugill etc, and would like to hear about a recording of the rather rare "Captain Go AShore" (and a lot of other sea stuff) try this thread. That will tell you about "Take Me Over the Tide", the Boat Band reissue CD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 08:05 PM

SPB,
What a fascinating bit of detail. Thanks for that.

As for cotton screwing, I think we get the basics of the device as you said, but what I was still unsure of is whether the action itself was a "heaving" or "hauling" one. We discussed it a bit in THIS THREAD. I even found some diagrams, and a photo of a White cotton-screwing gang (alas, not at work).

***

Incidentally, while I think it's very possible that these couple chanteys were used for cotton screwing, I am more inclined to explain the "heave" wording by the fact that in local Caribbean shantying the word "heave" isn't used so literally. I guess I'd have to come up with examples to prove that now, but I don't remember any off-hand. I can, however, use this video as an example of my point. Watch from 1:46 The people are saying "heave," when technically they are hauling. It's a fairly common swap.

***

Debra,
Glad you found this. Please do be on the lookout (hear-out) for sightings/hearings of these lesser-known/performed songs :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 06:47 PM

Adding "Dan Dan" to this list, but by way of its own separate thred.

"Dan Dan" thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 11:43 PM

In the video the work is also called 'warping' where a line/rope would go round a bit (bollard) on the dock and the crew would 'heave' the vessel to the bit to create the forward momentum (similar to heaving a ship to an anchor). Hauling generally refers to when something in hauled up.

On later vessels, once they are rigged, this job can be done using a general-purpose capstan, and of course modern vessels use thrusters.....

A canal enthusiast friend once showed me warping marks on a canal bridge. These are from the days when canal barges were horse drawn and the tow path went up over the bridge and the bridge itself was used to provide leverage and over the years the tow-ropes cut into the stonework of the bridges.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:34 PM

Time to add another to the bunch. Ideas are especially appreciated, as I'm now trying to work on an interpretation of this one, thanks!

Title: "Hilonday"

Print: Hugill; LA Smith; Terry; Alden
Performers: ??!!

Notes:
Hugill had his version from Harding, who said it was for t'gallant halyards. But before him, LA Smith (1888) and Terry (in his "Part II") had given it. Smith said it was a windlass chanteyBoth Hugill and Smith's notations, while similar, have a certain irregularity about them. Hugill's makes more sense to me (for whatever it's worth!), but I suspect there was something about the way of singing this, either an overlap of solo and chorus parts or a special rubato or something that may have made it tricky to easily notate. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to know what that was. (I've ordered the Terry book, will have it soon but can't speak about it yet.) Turns out, WJ Alden (1882) also mentioned it ("hi-lon-day") in Harper's Monthly -- a place where it looks like Smith lifted a lot of info from. And James Masicon Carpenter included it in his diss. (1929) , in some form?

Hugill seems to suggest that "hilonday" might be read as "Highland Day," based on Smith, but actually Smith is saying she thought that another chantey, which she chose to render as "Highland Day," might as well have contained the mysterious phrase "hilonday." Just brainstorming... I wonder if indeed the phrase "Hieland Laddie" could have become a nonsense-y sort of phrase, considering that the chantey by that name was evidently popular (i.e. Nordhoff) among the cotton-screwing "chanty-men." There is of course also that mysterious word "hilo," to which this bears a resemblance.   Finally, a real stretch, but Smith's version of "Handy Me Boys" has a little resemblance, but only in a very broad sense-- you have to squint your eyes to see it!

The texts (Hugill and Smith, at least) use verses of "Boney."

So who performs this? what de we know about it?

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 06:54 PM

re-fresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 05:54 PM

Gibb,

I have to admit that in 30 years of listening to chanteys I can't recall ever hearing Hilonday. I must go look it up in Hugill. This is a rare bird, indeed.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: KathyW
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 12:00 AM

A belated and (at this point) somewhat off-topic comment:

There is a scanned but not OCR'ed .pdf of The Clipper Ship "Sheila" by W.H. Angel available online, but alas it does not include music for any of the songs, just the lyrics. You've probably found that out already by now. Fascinating reading, though. (E.g. the writer explains that for the "crossing the line" ceremony, Neptune and his court marched along the deck singing "Ruben Ranzo." Lyrics for "Sally Brown" and "Stormalong" are given in the same chapter, implying to me that they were also sung as part of the festivities.) You can read the book online here: http://www.archive.org/stream/clippershipsheil00angeuoft#page/n7/mode/2up.

Also, more on topic, by chance it happens that I ordered a reprint of Terry's book (which includes the elusive Part II) from Amazon a few months ago. In case your copy has still not yet arrived, the notes for "Hilonday" are as follows:

I learned this in boyhood from the late Mr. James Runciman. I do not know in which ship he picked it up, but one of my earliest recollections is hearing him and W. E. Henley give tounge to it at the house of the latter (in the days when he lived at Shepherd's Bush-- then an outlying suburb). Henley's knowledge of the sea (like R. L. Stevenson's) was the acquired knowledge of the literary landsman, but shanties-- especially the grim ones-- had a special appeal for him, and he was fond of singing them. The sea song, 'Time for us to go', which he incorporated in the play of Admiral Guinea (calling it a 'chanty') I learnt from him in my boyhood, to a tune which I understood was his own composition. It is a good imitation of a capstan shanty, but I do not include it in this collection as it was never sung at sea; I hope one day to publish it separately.

The first half of the "solo" and the chorus in Terry's version is nearly the same as the version given in Hugill's book, but the tune is somewhat different.

Like Hugill's it is in 6/8 time, but the lyric in the second part of the "solo" for the first verse goes "Oh rise you up, my yeller gels" rather than "Rise me up my yeller, yeller gals" and Terry's tune is . . . ho boy, I'm not sure how to do this . . . here are the three relevant measures, I hope I'm transcribing this correctly in a way that maybe you can figure out:

A (quarter note) B (eighth note) C (quarter note) B (eighth note)
day.             Oh-             -                -

A (quarter note) G (eighth note) E (quarter note) D (eighth note)
rise             you             up,             my

middle C (quarter note) D (eighth note) E (quarter note) F (eighth note)
yel -                   ler             gels,             Ah

Then it goes back like the Hugill version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 11:18 AM

Thanks, Kathy!! - for satisfying my curiosity a little bit on what Terry had. (yeah, I'm still waiting at the moment for my copy to come in from Amazon!) I think I could figure out your transcription fine.

Well, from what I can tell, the different versions don't look so different. Hmm...still trying to make a decision on the timing of it. And on how it might (or might not) be interpreted as something "Caribbean." I suppose if we knew what the word "hilonday" was supposed to sound like (in what accent / in whose hearing and rendering of the sounds) it would give a better clue.

I'm going to try recording a really straightforward, literal-ish version, soon.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 03:22 PM

Here's one that I'm sure people will have something to say about...

Title: "Roller Bowler"

Print: Hugill; Sharp;
Performers: Finn & Haddie; Stormalong John; Qftry; Bristol Shantymen; John Townley; Richard Adrianowicz; Monkey's Orphan;

Notes:
Hugill's was from Trinidad (anonymous) and Sharp's was from John Short. They have a similar shape, but the pitches vary a lot. Impossible to say whether this was the free variation that characterizes oral transmission, or goofs in transcription (accidently jumping up/down an interval of a fourth/fifth would not be the first time it happened in Hugill).

Stormalong John recorded it (I haven't heard that), but so far as I know, Stan himself did not-- though they may have learned it from him.

The Polish szanty scene has been a site of diffusion. Marek Szurawski is no doubt to be credited for this. His group Stare Dzwony recorded it. Qftry also recorded it in Polish, I think theirs bears the influence of Finn & Haddie's, just because of the way they shout out the Polish equivalent of "timme!"   I don't know much about the Bristol Shantymen, except that they seem to interact a lot with Polish groups -- based on the fact that these groups record many of the same body of less-common chanteys. They sing what I believe are Barry Finn's verses.

Barry Finn learned "Roller Bowler" from Szurawski in 1992. Some of the details of the circumstances are relayed in this mudcat post
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=77252#1379069

I picked up this song from Mareck Shakowsky (that's how it sounds, I sure it's not how it's spelled) in the summer of 92 during the tall ships (sail-op) visit to Boston. Mareck was acting as laison between the cadets & the captain (basically the 1st mate) aboard the wishbone schooner the Zawisza Czarny (translated; the Black Knight). I got invited (because I was singing on board with a fiddler who had just signed on) to go for an afternoon sail & as soon as we cleared the pier Mareck picked up a concertina & started playing (maybe as a call to work?) while playing he started shouting out orders & the crew/cadets started in with setting the sails with Mareck then starting to sing shanties, Londion Julie being the 1st & following it with Roller Bowler accompanied by 2 long time sea musicians, John Townley & Simion Spaulding & a few of the musicians in the crew with the others handling the sails & singing the responses. It was heaven.

For those who have not heard Finn & Haddie's rendition, see HERE.

After John Townley and the Polish crew of Zawisza Czarny returned home they recorded shanties from the voyage, incl "Roller Bowler", see HERE.

Barry says elsewhere that Townley refreshed his memory of Szurawski version later on.

Richard Adrianowicz recorded the song on his 2002 album. His notes:
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49087#751280

My version of this shanty is a combination of some of the verses from Barry Finn and the setting that Shay Black sings. I first heard of this song from Barry Finn (minus the full chorus) who got it from Polish shanty singer Marek Siurawski. I had heard that Shay Black sang it too but with a full chorus. I heard Shay's version when he, chanteyranger, myself, Skip Henderson, and Jim Nelson sang some shanties for the dedication of the new MUNI (local light rail) F-Line which ends up a block away from Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco. Shay Black told me that he used to sing Roller Bowler when he lived in Liverpool and was singing with the band Stormalong John. I believe Shay learned the song from Stan Hugill who used Stormalong John as his shanty chorus for one of his concert tours. You can hear Shay singing the song on Stormalong John's cd Liverpool, a re-release of songs from earlier cassette tapes they had made. There is no indication on the Liverpool cd of who is in the band but there's no mistaking Shay's distinctive voice and he confirmed that it was indeed he on that recording. There is also a recording of Roller Bowler sung by Shay Black on a cd of a French sea music festival, Les Musiques De La Fete: Brest '92. It's too bad Barry Finn never has recorded it because he does a wonderful job on it [LATER RECORDED IN 2007].

I had fun with the "timme!" yells in the chorus. I sing the yells as solo lines simply because I like the way it sounds - it's not traditional to do it that way.


Though Richard says it is based in the setting of Shay Black, that sounds pretty much like all the versions I've heard (including Barry's). Still having not heard Stormalong John's version, it would seem that they set this now-common melody form. Monkey's Orphan, who also learned it from Shay Black, have this to say:
http://www.robingarside.co.uk/moremb.htm

Shanty Jack thinks he may have got this from the singing of Shay Black, sometime member of Stormalong John of Liverpool. This version differs somewhat from the 2 versions in Hugill, both of which have two short choruses and a longer one in each verse. This version has one short chorus and one long. We don't know whether it's an authentic version or just a result of approaching senility. Stan associates the song firmly with capstan work and the W. Indian sugar and rum trades.

Now, for whatever it's worth, the melody of all the foregoing interpretations is different from the print versions of both Hugill and Sharp. It seems Stormalong John may be ground zero for the new trajectory of this chantey. The question would be then, from where and how they learned it. Was it their own creation/variation, or learned orally from Stan -- in which case again his book is far off (though certain similarities corroborated by Sharp's version make the latter unlikely).

Here's an interpretation of what Hugill has in SEVEN SEAS. The harmony line is my own addition:

Roller Bowler


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 06:24 PM

Hugill was prone to assumptions which, on examination, do not stand up.
One of these is a statement, in "Shanties from the Seven Seas," in his discussion of "Good Morning, Ladies All," or "Roller Bowler."
Without foundation is: "The line 'Good morning, ladies all' brings us to two more shanties which include this fairly obvious Negro phrase, and I feel certain phrase, and I feel right in saying that any shanty including it can be said to be of Negro origin. His only reference is a minstrel song of the 1850s and the statement with it that Here is "a genuine Negro song given by a southern slave owner."

The phrase in known in both England and North America, used to greet a group of female students or other group of women. An example from England is found in a play for teenage girls by John Spurling, presented at Cheltenham Ladies College, "Racine at the Girls' School," where the young women are met with the greeting from Racine, "Good morning, ladies all!"
Other examples may be found in google search of literate English usage.

Robert C. Leslie, in "Old Sea Wings, Ways and Words in the Days of Oak and Hemp," , London, 1890, Chapman and Hall Ltd., describes the sailing of an American Black X ship from St. Katherine's Docks, bound for New York, p. 233: "Yankee seamen (almost an extinct race now) were then noted for their capstan chants, and the chorus of "Good Morning, Ladies All," swells quaintly up at intervals above the other sounds."" [Leslie was speaking of the 1880s]

Terry learned the song from "Northumbrian sailors" He speculated on a "more southerly" origin, but no more than that. In his version, the sailing is from London docks to New York town, the course of the sailing described by Leslie.
Perhaps the chantey is of Black X origin.

Leslie's book is reproduced in full here:
http://www.archive.org/stream/oldseaswingsways00leslrich/oldseaswingsways00leslrich_djvu.txt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Jun 09 - 10:56 PM

Q, I agree with you that Hugill's stated argument for the phrase "Good Morning, Ladies All" indicating Black origins is pretty weak. However, I think he had other causes to believe that these particular chanteys developed in or were influenced by Black culture.

One is that while "Good Morning, Ladies All" might be a generally English phrase, it did not necessarily occur in song. And knowing that so many other chanteys have borrowed catch phrases from pre-existing minstrel songs and Black-American and -Caribbean songs, there is something to his suggestion about the song he cites. You are right though that it is a bold assumption to cast any song with that phrase as having such-n-such origin.

Indeed, the chantey you reference in Terry (Pt.1) would have the least to connect it to Black America. Because Hugill has, however, grouping together three (wholly different) chanteys based on their all having the phrase "Good Morning, Ladies All," that one got chucked in there. That one, call it "Good Morning, Ladies All - (B)" might have been connected to the others less cautiously. Basically, as I see it Hugill's cause to file it with "Black" chanteys is based in:
1) it has the "good morning" phrase, and while that alone is not enough evidence, that there are 2 other chanteys (and a minstrel song) with that phrase makes a suggestion
2) He learned it from West Indian seamen
3) It has the combination of "heave" and "haul" that, in Hugill's hypothesis, indicated an origin in cotton-screwing.

Q, thanks for that Leslie reference. I'm not sure what to make of it either way. We don't know which "Good Morning" chantey he was referring to. And by the 1880s, the creolization process and creative process of chanteys was basically complete. Terry and Sharp -- the latter whom collected a version of Hugill's version (A) of "Good Morning" (a totally diff. chantey) -- both collected from White men in Britain, but that's not to say that many of their chanteys did not have Afro-American origins.

"Good Morning..." - version (A) has the additional "clue" of the "yeller gals" phrase. It was learned by Hugill from Tobago Smith. Sharp got it from John Short.

Back to "Roller Bowler," it has several phrases, including "high rig a jig," that have appeared in other chanteys ascribed to a Black or creole American context (e.g. "Clear the Track").

For reference to tunes, here are my tries at interpreting the two additional "Good Morning" chanteys. I don't know of any other chantey-singers who have recorded them (??) -- tho no doubt Tom (up-thread) has worked on John Short's version.

Good Morning Ladies All - (A)

Good Morning Ladies All - (B)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: RIG-A-JIG
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 01:20 AM

Ascribing 'rig-a-jig' to black or Creole origin is a stretch too far. The reverse is more likely.

Rig-a-jig is the name of a Celtic group from Canada and Rig-a-jig Jig of a Norfolk fiddle group.
Riga-jig is a common children's rhyme, U. S., Australia and UK. A book of dances for kids by Mike Johnson (Australia) is called "Rig-a-jig Jig."

As I was walking down the street,
Down the street, down the street,
A friend of mine I chanced to meet
Hi hi ho hi hi ho hi ho
Rig-a-jig and away we go,
Away we go away we go,
Rig-a-jig and away we go
Hi hi ho hi hi ho hi ho.

I remember this from childhood. There was a game attached which I can't remember. A longer one, similar, at kididdles.com, the kids' website.
In the 19th c., the common verses were (white play party song and game, not reported from black sources):

Lyr. Add: RIG-A-JIG
"Weaver's Maid," vers. at U. C. Berkeley.
(This version from "Heart Songs")

1
As I was walking down the street,
Heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o
A pretty girl I chanced to meet, Heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o.
Chorus:
Rig-a-jig jig, and away we go, away we go, away we go;
Rig-a-jig jig, and away we go, Heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o.
heigh-o (8x).
2
Said I to her, "What is your trade?"
Heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o,
Said she to me, "I'm a weaver's maid,
Heigh-o, heigh-o, heigh-o.

Did this inspire the chantey or vice versa?

"Rig-a-jig Jig" is dance music from southern England, (Norfolk fiddle music). It is the name of a set of 20 cds of this music put out by Topic Records. www.folkmusicnet.
"Down on Pichelo Farm" has a chorus "and a rig jag jig jag..."

Any bait fisherman knows how to rig a jig.

And old seamens' books speak of a 'jig' or 'jigger,' which Lever defines as "a purchase used in Merchant Ships to hold on the Cable" (1819).

Hugill sometimes opined without real evidence, and at a distance (he wrote his books after WW2, having left sea occupations in the 1930s); he worked as a translator (Japanese) until 1959-1960; at that time he had sufficient support and funds to compile his information and write for publication. He had been a seaman with a strong interest in the days of sail.
This is not to denigrate his labors; his work in assembling chanteys and finding their origins and uses is unequaled, and is largely responsible for the continued interest so many have in the old chanteys.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 08:53 AM

Q,
Your point comes through loud and clear. Hugill OFTEN opined without real evidence. You don't have to convince me -- after all, I'm the person who thinks the "John Kanaka" story is bull :)

Luckily, in his first book (as opposed to the later ones), he lays out all the information he has (scanty as that may be), so that when we does opine, it is fairly transparent to the careful reader that he is just trying to make some sense out of things.   When one is deeply familiar with a whole body of songs, one starts to have a bit of an intuitive sense about how they are related -- a sense that won't come to someone else who just looks at one songs and tries to make conclusions based on the immediate evidence. So I am glad that he included his opinions, in an effort to highlight possible connections, origins, etc. I would have been disappointed if he only wrote "I don't have any specific evidence so I won't say anything about this.

With "rig a jig," like with "good morning ladies," you are of course right that it could be used in a variety of English setting by different people. It is not so much where it could be used though, as where it did happen to be used, in this case in a minstrel-ish chantey ("Clear the Track, Let the Bulgine Run"). And that suggests they may share the same idiom -- enough to give an opinion, in lieu of "hard" evidence. Mind you, this is not a scientist's "opinion," as the humanities rarely offer that kind of hard evidence. You have to say something!

We can say, "Hey Stan, this chantey is not necessarily of Black origins, since you cannot prove that for sure," but I think he knew that -- he makes plenty of disclaimers to that effect. If we have an opinion that the chantey is of another origin X, then we can say that and offer reasons, but we'll be subject to the same criticism of "not necessarily; no hard evidence." So I think positive reasons to suggest (!) an alternate scenario are also helpful.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 06:53 PM

Well, here's my interpretation of "Hilonday"

HILONDAY

I decided to go with the melody from Terry Pt II (which I finally got, by the way -- hurray!). The reason was, as I mentioned earlier, Hugill and Smith's notations had irregularities (what's more, different in each) that suggest something funky. I'm not averse to funkiness, but without knowing more about how to interpret it I opted for Terry's "regular" form.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Guest JeffB
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 07:26 PM

I would like to make a very brief acknowledgement of your mention of the Bristol Shantymen vis-a-vis Polish shanty groups, since I sing with the Bristol Shantymen and it's very gratifying to get a mention on Mudcat - a first, I believe.

I was not in the line-up when the group sang at the Cracow Festival of the Sea in the late 80s-early 90s (at any rate during the Glasnost era before the fall of the communist state there). They were utterly astounded by the enthusiastic reception they had from Polish audiences, who, it seems, had not heard very much at all from Western singers. At one concert they sang for 5000 people. For a short time their rendition of "John Cherokee" was a national hit, and pretty high on the charts, if not number one. As "Roller Bowler" was, and still is, in our repertoire, and as very warm and mutually appreciative contacts were made with Polish shanty singers, it may well be that that is how it became known there.

As for "rig-a-jig", a nautical meaning has never entered my head, but I suppose there must be something in it. The phrase is in the chorus of our version of "Bullgine" - "To me hey rig-a-jig in a sporting car .. etc". As "jig-a-jig" is a more or less international term for bonking, I had always assumed that the chorus was about having it off with a young woman in a hired pony and trap on a jaunt around Central Park. Oh well, must be wrong again ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 10:17 AM

Hi JeffB,

It's really great to hear from you here. It's really interesting to learn about the interactions between the Bristol Shantymen and the Polish szanty scene. I have noted many correspondences in repertoire --these "lesser-known shanties" -- between the Bristol boys and Polish groups. Sorry if I have only mentioned these a few times in the thread.

Perhaps others here can also fill in details of what was going on around the time you mention, late 80s, in the interactions between Britain and Poland. Stan Hugill, Bristol Shantymen, and, I'd imagine, Stormalong John were all in attendence in Krakow in those years. But rather than just think about the inter-national exchanges, there were also probably some notable intra-national exchanges between the UK performers that were brought together for the occasion. Also there was probably a certain bit of new development or codification of repertoire in prep for performances, I'd think.

Related, here's the link to Stan's notes about his first visit to Krakow in '87: LINK
an excerpt:
Four Poles, two of them oceanographers, one a journalist and one a television producer, sent a video of their shanty singing, in Polish, to Tony Davis of the Liverpool folk group, the Spinners. As a result they were invited to take part in last year's Liverpool Shanty Festival, where they delighted everyone with their music. This group was called Stare Dzwony - the Old Bells. After that several shanty singers were invited by Jacek Reschke to Krakow to take part in the international shanty festival. As well as myself the invitation included Tony Davis who was in charge, Stormalong John from Liverpool, the Bristol Shantymen, Solant Breezes and two individual singers, Ian Woods and Rod Shearman. We were greeted with TV cameras, we were all mentioned in the Krakow newspapers and Marek, of the Old Bells, wrote a column about us in the magazine Wybrzeze. The Old Bells were formed in 1982 by Marek Szurawski and three friends and obtained their songs, which they translated into Polish, from my book Shanties from the Seven Seas. It seems that long before I reached Poland my name was known to a large following ofteenagers and I was told that I had been with them "in spirit" since the first performance in 1978.

What's really interesting for me is that the Polish singers (at first anyway) would not have been part of the "scene" through which they would automatically sing the most popular shanties of the Revival. By taking Stan's book and selecting songs to translate, it was something of a fresh look at it, and as a result, more of the less-performed songs would have been selected, by chance. And that might be one reason why we see so many Polish examples of these songs that are hardly performed in Anglophone circles.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Guest JeffB
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:53 PM

Thanks very much indeed for that Gibb. I will point this thread out to the other members of the group. It will bring back many happy memories of the festival. I'm sure they will be delighted.

regards JeffB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 11:15 AM

Updated, on-going list (of course, reflecting my opinion only):

Mudder Dinah/Sing Sally, O! (A)
Mudder Dinah (B)
Shinbone Al / Sister Susan / Gwine to git Home
Round the Corner Sally
Walkalong, Miss Susiana Brown
Coal Black Rose"
Come Down, You Bunch of Roses
Bully in the Alley
Lowlands Low ("Island Lass")
Miss Lucy Long
Stormalong, Lads, Stormy / Wo Stormalong
Mister Stormalong / Stormalong
Way Stormalong John
Stormy Along, John / Come Along, Git Along
Walk Me Along, Johnny / Walk Him Along John / General Taylor
Yankee John, Stormalong
Gimme de Banjo
The Gal with the Blue Dress
Johnny, Come Down the Backstay /John Dameray / John Damaray
Mobile Bay / John Come Tell Us as We Haul Away
Miss Lucy Loo
Tommy's On the Tops'l Yard
Hilo Johnny Brown / Stand to Your Ground
Hilo, Boys, Hilo
Tommy's Gone Away
Hello, Somebody
Huckleberry Hunting
Can't Ye Hilo
Hooker John
John Kanaka
Heave Away, Boys, Heave Away (A)
Heave Away, Boys, Heave Away (B)
Dan Dan
Hilonday
Roller Bowler
Good Morning Ladies All (A)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM

Only tentatively logging this one -- it may be borderline for some of the criteria of inclusion. Still, it can't really hurt to line out a bit of "What Do We Know?" about it.

Title: Billy Riley

Print: Hugill; Sharp; Terry; Colcord; CF Smith
Performers: AL Lloyd, Johnny Collins; Hanging Johnny; Rum & Shrub Shantymen; The Mollyhawks; Shanty Jack; ...many more

Notes:

As can be seen from the "Performers" list, there are plenty of performers keeping some version of this alive. However, like a chantey like "Come Down, You Bunch of Roses," that does not preclude the possibility that the many performances nowadays don't reflect the pre-Revival form(s). Hence my being unsure how if to include it.

Sharp & Terry's versions are very similar. Each of those guys got it from John Short and said they never heard it from any other singer -- perhaps a bid for its rarity. Colcord has a very similar version, but she doesnt seem to say where she got it from or anything substantial about it. I've not seen C Fox Smith's, but Hugill describes its text a little.

Hugill's version, one again, has some notable differences -- much like the scenario we've seen a lot already, where he gives a version from Harding that is unique from his predecessors'. Here, I can't seem to spot where he learned it from. He does connect "Billy Riley" closely with the next chantey, "Tiddy I O," which he got from Tobago Smith. Also, he gives his opinion (not proof, friends :) ), that this was connected with cotton-screwing. So a wee bit of a picture emerges of "Billy Riley" as something belonging to the Gulf/Caribbean world, that spread among deepwater sailors but evidently not enough to propel it into the "common knowledge" (eg "Blow the Man Down") level.

AL Lloyd recorded it on "Blow Blows Blow" album of 1960. His version corresponds to none of the print versions I've seen. I've u hunch that his text, at least, draws some inspiration from C Fox Smith, as he uses the line "Master of a drogher bound for Antigua." Other than that, I can't tell if this is one of his versions that was handed down to him from the God of Folk Music or some Deep Throat that he doesn't mention. His liner notes from the album are vague, speaking of the chantey as if it were just something one "knows."

Johnny Collin's rendition looks to me based in Colcord -- at least it resembles that version most. See HERE for a way to here it.

Now, I've not heard other renditions that I can recall, and while I'd guess that many are based in AL Lloyd's rendition (which I believe to be dubious if history is your focus), I wonder where they all lie.

Hugill's version combines 3/4 and 4/4 meters in an odd way, which only suggests to me that the solos were not necessarily in strict meter, or that there was an overlap between soloist and chorus that could not be represented in the one-staff notation he used. Because of the irregularity of Hugill's, one may be inclined to use Sharp, Terry, or Colcord's versions as sources. However, it would be nice to get a sense of what Hugill did hear, as his versions are often more gritty and interesting.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 02:56 PM

whoops, I forgot 2 important recorded sources for "Billy Riley" that got lost in my mix. One is Stuart Gillespie at Mystic. The other is Tom Sullivan aboard the UNICORN. Both have the fast pace and chant-like quality, similar to Lloyd's, and not conforming to any of the collected versions I've seen. The liner notes to these albums don't say anything.

So my curiosity remains piqued as to whether this chantey lived on into the Revival through the oral channels, or if it was re-adapted in the Revival, after being found to be an indeed effective "fast" halyard chantey (these versions are up to twice as fast as the speed, say, indicated by Terry).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 11:39 AM

Title: "Tiddy High O" , "Tiddy I O"

Print: Hugill; Sharp
Performers: as below

Notes:
Yet another duet (duel?) between two extant versions, Hugill's and Sharp's. Hugill's is from Tobago Smith; Sharp's is from "Mr. Rapsey, at Bridgewater" in 1906. The lyrics of these samples suggest the interaction between British and Caribbean sailors via the rum and sugar trade. Hugill seems certain that it is of Caribbean origin and picked up by Bristol sailors, but from the texts alone I don't see any reason why it couldn't just as be the other way around. Though the style of singing in the two cultures would certainly differ, from this plain notation it could easily be English or a folksong of the Anglophone Caribbean -- based on what I've heard of folk songs of Jamaica and Trinidad, this is a very common sort.

In any case, it does have status of semi-rarity. I note no recordings by old shellbacks, including Hugill. When it does appear to have surfaced in the revival, there seems to have been a trend in singing it amongst UK groups between the late 80s and mid 90s. The Bristol Shantymen (1988) were the first I see, and theirs comes obviously from Hugill's text. Then: Hanging Johnny (from Plymouth, 1996), The Keelers (Newcastle, 1993), Landlocked (Doncaster, 1995), the Portsmouth Shantymen.

The Carpenter collection does have one "Tally-i-o" that might be related. Recorded from James Wright, who was at sea from 1860s to 1910s. Says, 'Heard in Accrington, a Liverpool ship, in Calcutta         45-50 years ago. Nigger cook. Used for a chantie.'
It's on the Folktrax CD. Perhaps someone with that could say if there is any similarity.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 04:53 PM

The Folktrax recording of Wright's "Tally-I-O" is badly damaged with both static and skips. It is very problematic. For example, the Carpenter site transcribes the first line as "...was a jolly old soul," but after repeated listenings I still can't hear any "j" sound.

Here's the best I can do. I believe that everything is close to accurate but for what's in brackets.

                Tally-I-O was a silly old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!
                Tally-I-O was a silly old soul,
                        Come tally-I-O, you know!        

                What should I do with me rum, Sally-O?
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                What should I do with me rum, Sally-O?
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                We'll tell [them we're sober, O Sally-O!]
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                We'll tell [them we're sober, O Sally-O!]
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        And sing Tally-I-O, you know!

The tune seems to me to resemble Hugill's but is not identical. Of greater interest is that "Tally hi ho, you know" is the title of one of the "lost" shanties mentioned by Dana as having been sung aboard the brig "Pilgrim" in 1834. There is also a song by J. S. Jones, in print by 1842, that begins with some shanty-like lines:

                A Yankee ship and a Yankee crew,
                Tally hi ho, you know;
                O'er the bright blue waves like a sea-bird flew;
                Sing hey aloft and alow.

Otherwise it's very flowery and was often reprinted. Finally, there are several shore songs with the refrain "Tally-hi-o, the Grinder," going back in print to 1804.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:44 PM

"Tally I O, the Grinder," is mentioned as a capstan chantey from Tyneside, on a couple of websites.
See thread 81169 for the version by the Hush.
Tally-I-O

A little more of "A Yankee Ship and a Yankee crew."

Chorus-
A yankee ship and a yankee crew
Tally hi ho, you know;
O'er the bright blue waves like a sea bird flew,
Sing hey aloft and alow.

1
Her wings are spread to the fairy breeze,
The spray sparkling is thrown from her prow;
Her flag is the proudest that floats on the seas,
Her way homeward she's steering now.
2
A yankee ship and a yankee crew
Tally hi ho, you know;
With hearts on board both gallant and true,
The same aloft and alow.
3
The blackened sky and the whistling wind,
Fortell the quick approach of the gale;
A home and its joys flit o'er each mind
Husbands! Lovers! "on deck there," a sail.
4
A yankee ship and a yankee crew,
Tally hi ho, you know;
Distress is the word, - God speed them through;
Bear a hand aloft and alow.
etc......

Full lyrics in -. P. Morris, "A Hundred Writers," 1841, Linen and Fennell, NYC.; on line at www.archive.org/americanmelodies


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:12 PM

Title: "Haul 'Er Away" -- 'version B'!

Print: Hugill; Olmsted
Performers: Tom Sullivan; Gibb Sahib; more...gets confusing due to similar titles

Notes:
Lyrically, related to "Cheerly Man" on one hand (known for having been referenced in Dana and Melville) and to what Hugill called 'version (A)' (known for its tune being that of the common JA song, Missa Ramgoat/Hill 'n' Gully). The "Sally Rackett" theme tends to suggest a song is shaped in the Caribbean (as in the previous, "Tiddy High O").

The one other print source, that I know of, that mentions THIS chantey, is Olmsted INCIDENTS OF A WHALING VOYAGE (1841). The tune has some variations, but it is clearly the same chantey.

Hugill doesn't mention a source by name, just that he learned it in the West Indies. Performances on record are infrequent. One recording I am aware of is Tom Sullivan's on the SALT ATLANTIC CHANTEYS record (1980). It is fairly clear that his is a work up of Hugill's text. Incidentally, he attributes it to Harding, which may not be correct.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 03:15 PM

Hello again!

Billy Riley: SHARP 58: I have no variants of this and I know of no other published version. TERRY2.26: Sung to me by Mr. Short. I have not found any other sailor who knows it. FOX-SMITH p52: I have come across very few of the younger generation of sailormen who have heard it. This version sung in 1850s. 3 verses. COLCORD p74: Halyard shanty. 3 verses. HUGILL: remarkable resemblance between Billy Riley and Tiddy High O! Billy Riley probably started life as a cotton-hoosiers song, but at sea it was used at halyards. 4 verses

Fox-Smith's comment is interesting - she published 'A Book of Shanties' in 1927.

TomB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Barry Finn
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 01:50 AM

Gibb, if you're up to the Portsmouth Maritime Music Festival this (late) September I'll ask Neil to sing the version he recorded with Tommy Sullivan, if you remind me, he does a great job of it.

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 08:25 PM

Lighter & Q,

Fascinating stuff. Seems there is much more definite that can be said about the "tally" than the "tiddy"! I personally am not yet sure whether to actually connect them.

Tom,
Interesting they all say "I've never heard it before/much"...or else they don't say much of anything. I think I've convinced myself that "Billy Riley" does belong at home amongst the rare 'n' broken link shanties!

Barry,
That sounds great. You know, I'm real curious in general how everything worked out on the Unicorn...in terms of vessel size, crew size, difficulty of work, and how those factors all blended together to determine the chanteys and the speeds they used.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 10:11 PM

Title: Run, Let the Bulgine Run

Print: Hugill; LA Smith; Sharp; Colcord ("Run with the Bullgine"); Terry; Bullen; Davis/Tozer
Performers: Kasin & Adrianowicz (2006); Gibb Sahib; ?...

Notes:
Classic rare/broken chantey?
Many major collectors print it, with remarkably similar tunes. Yet, it does not seem to be popular in performance today. Kasin & Adrianowicz had to revive it from Hugill's text (also changing a melodic phrase). Hard to gauge how much more it's been done, since the similar title causes it to get mixed with the far better known "Clear the Track"/"Eliza Lee".

Interestingly, this chantey has a "way hey -- oooooh" yodel-ish solo phrase like that has appeared in several of the chanteys already compared here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:22 PM

Jack Murray, Aberdeen, for Carpenter:

       Oh, New York was on fire,
                Run with the bullgine, run!
                Way-ay! O-o-oh!
                We'll run with the bullgine, run!

        Oh, New York was a-blazin',
               Run with the bullgine, run!
                Way-ay! O-o-oh!
                We'll run with the bullgine, run!

James Forman, Leith, for Carpenter:

                                          
        Oh, have the fire-bell rung, run!
                Run with the bulljohn, run!
                Way-ay! O-o-oh!
                Run with the bulljohn, run!
        
        London tops is afire!
                Run let the bulljohn, run!
                Way-ah! O-o-you!
                Run with the bulljohn, run!

        Oh, New York city's in a fire.
                Run with the bulljohn, run!
                Way-ah! O-o-oh!
                Run let the bulljohn run!

The tunes are nearly identical, and essentially the same as Gibb's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 11:46 PM

After playing with the graphic equalizer, I'm starting to hear "Tally-I-O" like this - including "jolly" for "silly"! Am posting it to suggest just how difficult transcribing from a damaged wax recording can be:                 
               
                Tally-I-O was a jolly old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!
                Tally-I-O was a jolly old soul,
                        Come tally-I-O, you know!        

                What should I do with my rum, Tally-O?
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                What should I do with my rum, Tally-O?
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                We'll [?come clean and] sober, O Tally-O!
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                We'll [?come clean and] sober, O Tally-O!
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 05:25 AM

I tried to find out more about bulgines and fires in this thread but with little success.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 05:32 AM

C# from John Short

(Run Let the)Bullgine Run. (originally noted as Bulljohn!)

We'll run from night till morning
O run let the bulgine run
Way-yah oo, oo, oo, oo, oo, oo
O run let the bulgine run

We'll run from Dover to Calais

We'll run from York to London

Very elaborate decoration of the Way-yah o-o-ooo-o.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 09:22 AM

Snuffy, thanks for the thread ref. You're quite right: it's London "docks," not "tops," which doesn't make much sense.

The shanty makes it pretty clear that a "bullgine" was a fire engine and not (at least in this case) a locomotive.

I suspect that the New York fire-engine stuff was inspired by the 1848 smash-hit show "A Glance at New York," which introduced the character "Big Mose," a NYC "Bowery Boy" who was also, prominently, a volunteer fireman. More information here, including references to Mose's supposed adventures at sea:

http://ahistoryofnewyork.com/2009/02/big-mose-must-of-dropped-it.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 11:52 AM

Lighter, no need to convince (me) any further how difficult that transcription can be! I can barely hear any of it :) (I've heard the recording now, through the kindness of Snuffy.) I suppose it's not worth much then, to say that I hear "silly" -- your earlier suspicion.

Great job with the transcriptions, all around, guys.

I'm also happy to learn about this new (to me) "fire" theme in relation to the bulgine. I'm trying to imagine a possible evolution of this song, now that the fire idea puts in a twist. Previously I would have thought it started as a minstrel song (strictly entertainment) and that a work song (chantey) was based in it, off of some key lyrical and melodic phrases. But the "fire" theme suggests to me that that form was developed as a shore work song, first (i.e. before being adopted by sailors). And I'm wondering what that might have been....Can this halyard-chantey-type pattern work for some railroad task?

Unrelated, but I was struck by the similarity of the description of the Bowery B'hoys to Jamaican "Rude Bwoys" (and later urban working class dandies, like the Teds and Skinheads).

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 07:45 PM

Here's an updated/corrected (hopefully) tally of Hugill's contributed by stated Caribbean informants. This applies to the abridged version of SHANTIES FROM THE SEVEN SEAS. (I don't own the unabridged version, but from my examination of the "limited preview" available on-line it shows no additional chanteys gathered in the Caribbean.)   This is just to list Hugill's cited sources, not to say that these chanteys are necessarily of Caribbean origin.

There are a total of 54 chanteys. That comes out of a text (abridged version) with approximately 279 songs-- 228 unique chanteys, by my reckoning.

From HARDING 'THE BARBARIAN' OF BARBADOS - 37 shanties:
Stormy Along, John
'Way Stormalong John
Stormalong, Lads, Stormy
Sally Brown
Randy Dandy O!
High O, Come Roll Me Over
Where Am I to Go, M'Johnnies
Roll, Boys, Roll
The Codfish Shanty
Ranzo Ray (C)
Hilo, Come Down Below
Hello Somebody
Shallow Brown (B)
Can't Ye Hilo?
The Gal with the Blue Dress
Johnny Come Down the Backstay
Rise Me Up from Down Below
John Kanaka
Hooker John
Haul 'er Away (A)
Old Moke Pickin' on the Banjo
Gimme De Banjo
Haul Away, Boys, Haul Away
Walkalong, My Rosie
Coal Black Rose
Bunch o' Roses
'Way Me Susiana
Do Let Me Lone, Susan
Doodle Let Me Go
Sing Sally O (Mudder Dinah) (A)
Sing Sally O (B)
Round the Corner, Sally
Essequibo River
Alabama (John Cherokee)
Dan Dan
Hilonday
Pay Me the Money Down

From "OLD SMITH" OF TOBAGO (6):
Lowlands Low
Walkalong You Sally Brown
Hilo Boys Hilo
Good Morning Ladies All (A)
Sing a Song, Blow Along (Dixie Land)
Tiddy High O

From HARRY LAUDER of ST. LUCIA (5):
Heave Away Boys, Heave Away (B)
Sister Susan (Shinbone Al)
Eki Dumah
Bulley In the Alley
Pay Me the Money Down

From TRINIDAD, anonymous (3):
Roller Bowler
Miss Lucy Long
Miss Lucy Loo

From ST. VINCENT, anonymous (1):
Heave Away Boys, Heave Away (A)

WEST INDIES in general, anonymous (5):
Roll the Woodpile Down
Tommy's on the Tops'l yard
Haul 'er Away (B)
Good Morning Ladies All (B)
Won't Ye Go My Way?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM

Title: Pay Me the Money Down

Print: Hugill; LA Smith; periodical articles from 1858 and 1911.
Performers: The Keeler's; Kimber's Men; Trim Rig & a Doxy; Lime Scurvy

Notes:

Hugill got it from Harry Lauder of St. Lucia, with additional lines from Harding. He thought it may have been a West Indian shore worksong taken to sea (for halyards). It certainly shares characteristics with other Caribbean songs.

The earliest reference I find is in THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, June 1858, which gives these lyrics to a pumping song:

Solo: Your Money young man is no object to me
Cho: Pay me the money down!
Solo: Half a crown's no great amount
Cho: Pay me the money down!
Solo & Cho: Money down, money down, pay me the money down!

LA Smith's work (1888) basically plagiarizes this source (something, I've noted. she also did elsewhere.)

Harriette Wilbur also mentions the song in an issue of THE CATHOLIC WORLD, 1918. It looks to me like a more well-disguised plagiarizing of the preceding!

There is also the well-known "Pay Me My Money Down," as recorded by Parrish in the Georgia Sea Islands in 1942, which is probably a relative. See up-thread for some of Q's notes on that song, and also Barry Finn's notes here.

But while that song has been widely performed (albeit usually in highly co-opted form), the chantey does not get performed as much. I suspect that any versions ultimately derive from Hugill's text. However, I'd be very interested to hear about what some of the earlier revival performances are. (Most of my references, above, are very recent recordings.)

I also wonder about when the popular line about "half a crown or I don't drop 'em down" may have come into the picture.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 09:27 PM

Gibb, I'm just popping in to say Thanks for your work on this subject. This is very interesting reading.

And BTW, I'm also glad to say that this is post #200.

It's rare that I get that posting, so that's worth singing about.

:o)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 11:47 AM

Thanks, Azizi! More to come!...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 11:08 PM

Here's another Hugill/ Sharp-Terry (John Short) split.

Title: "Won't ye Go My Way?"

Print: Hugill; Sharp; Terry (pt 2)
Performers: Foc'sle Singers (1959); Peter Bellamy/Louis Killen (1972); Bob Webb (1995)

Notes:

Here's Tom's, from up-thread:

Would You Go My Way. mss.3058. SHARP 56: This is not, I believe, published elsewhere, nor have I collected any variants. TERRY2 (19) This charming shanty was sung to me by Mr. Short. I have not met any other sailor that knows it. A version (differing from the present one in the music of bar 9, and the words of verses 5 & 6) is given in C.J. Sharp's collection, taken down from Mr. Short's singing, also. Mr. Short may have exercised the shantyman's privilege of varying melody or words at will. At any rate, I have set both down as he sang them to me. HUGILL [this] I picked up in the West Indies. This was a common hauling song among coloured seamen and was even a favourite with white sailors. Terry and Sharp both give a version much the same as mine. The pull came on the word 'go' in both refrains.

I note also that Revival versions differ significantly in their melodies from these texts, so unless they had another oral source that I've yet to identify (?), there was probably some creative reading of the notation going on.   The recorded versions include the Foc'sle Singers (1959), which pretty much has a different melody (starts on DO) to the same rhythm, and Peter Bellamy's (1972), which was later done by Bob Webb (1995) (starts on MI).
I've endeavoured HERE to give a sample representing the 1st phrase as recorded by the collectors (starts on RE).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 04:32 PM

Won't You Go My Way is #8289 in the Roud Folksong index, and as well as Sharp and Terry, it lists a 1950 recording made by Peter Kennedy for the BBC of the singing of Bristol shantyman Stanley Slade. I've not heard that one. but it could be the "missing" oral source you're looking for. You can hear a couple of Slade's songs on Last FM.
    Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song. (Joe Offer)

      Won't You Go My Way

      DESCRIPTION: Hauling shanty. Refrain: "Won't you/ye/yiz go my way?" Verses describe either consorting with a prostitute and now being glad to be married, or describe courting in general.
      AUTHOR: unknown
      EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Sharp-EFC)
      KEYWORDS: shanty sailor whore courting
      FOUND IN: West Indies Britain
      REFERENCES (2 citations):
      Hugill, p. 505, "Won't Ye Go My Way" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, p. 373]
      Sharp-EFC, LVI, p. 61 "Won't You Go My Way" (1 text, 1 tune)

      Roud #8289
      File: Hugi505

      Go to the Ballad Search form
      Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
      Go to the Bibiography
      Go to the Discography

      The Ballad Index Copyright 2010 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


    Lyrics Here (click)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM

Thanks much for that, Snuffy, I think you've nailed it. I've not gotten the FolkTrax CD yet (I'm stone broke right now!), but hopefully someone else can chime in who's heard it. However, I've just now checked the liner notes of the Foc'sle Singers, which they learned it "from a BBC recording." Surely that was Slade's 1950 recording. (It burns me, tho, that they don't come out and name Slade or whoever specifically. It only perpetuates, to my mind, the sort of vague, anonymous agency that gives the illusion that all songs are the "common knowledge")

Peter Bellamy's is a different story, I suppose.

Earlier as well, Lighter raised the issue of some of Slade's recordings maybe not being from personal experience but from published-source interpretation. The plot would thicken a bit if so...!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 11:06 PM

Gibb-

It really is hard to penetrate the wall of anonymity. But you're making progress.

I'm still looking for information on who were the UK singers on an early bawdy sea music recording titled Up the Foc'sle.
from 1966. Whomever they were they had a great recording session:

Combined Record Sales, © 1966, evidently of British extraction.

The recording was done in a live setting, with party or pub sounds in the background, and includes the following selections:

1. She'll be Coming Round the Mountain
2. The Old Red Flannel Drawers that Maggie Wore
3. Poor Blind Nell
4. John Brown's Body
5. Poor Little Angeline
6. The Sailor Coming Home on leave
7. The Sailor's Prayer
8. Harry My Boy (recitation)
9. Jenny Wren Bride
10. Roll Your Leg Over
11. The Good Ship Venus
12. Eskimo Nell (recitation)

Sound like something that Cyril Tawney might have had something to do with but no direct clue about performers or anything else for that matter. Great cover art of British sailors in HMS embroidered caps and tattoos by Maddocks.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Won't You Go My Way
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 05:45 AM

"Won't You Go My Way?" is also on the CD Hzard, Hardship and Damned Little Pay released in 2000 by Australian shantymen The Roaring Forties.
WON'T YOU GO MY WAY?

It was on one summer's morning, WYGMW
In the morning bright and early, WYGMW

I met a pretty fair maid
Yes, I met a pretty fair maid

Her figure was trim and cosy
And her cheeks was red and rosy

Well I asked her for to tarry
But she said she'd rather marry [the Foc'sle Singers have this the other way round

Well I left her in the morning
In the morning bright and early

And now I'm bound for Frisco
Yes, I'm outward bound for Frisco

It was on one summer's morning
In the morning bright and early
The tune is that used by the Foc'sle Singers but the notes are singularly unhelpful on provenance. Only 3 out of 23 songs are actually referred to in the sleeve notes, but this is one: "The long heaving tasks were more likely to be accompanied by a song with a narrative to divert the crew (e.g. "We're All Bound To Go" or "Won't You Go My Way")."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: HILO
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 10:54 PM

Eckstorm & Smyth's book MINSTRELSY OF MAINE (1927) has a number of unique chantey texts (words only) that they collected. They're nice for the way they blur the lines between the chantey categories that have maybe become established through other published sources. E & S seem relatively uninfluenced by other published sources (they do mention Colcord), so there is no urge to squeeze them into others' labels. Well, that is just my impression.

Anyway, here's one of those texts.

Title: HILO

Arise, old woman, and let me in
    Way! hi-lo!
Arise, old woman, I want some gin!
    Hi-lo, somebody! hi-lo!

p. 236. Mrs. Laura E. Richards from Gardiner, Maine said the verses were learned in 1852 by her mother...on a sailing vessel bound from Italy to America.

Posting this in this thread to support the sources for the chantey best known as "Hello Somebody," which it seems closest to...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: A LONG TIME AGO (Hilo version)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:03 PM

Here's another interesting one from Eckstorm & Smyth. It is so perfectly mixed (from our present, reified impressions) that it is hard to tell if it might have been sung like the familiar "A Long Time Ago," or if --this is what I think-- it was a variant of "Tom's Gone to Hilo."

Title: A LONG TIME AGO

I wish I was in Baltimore,
    I-i-i-o!
A-skating on the sanded floor,
    A long time ago;
Forever and forever.
   I-i-i-o!
Forever and forever, boys,
    A long time ago!

p. 237. Mrs. Laura E. Richards from Gardiner, Maine said the verses were learned in 1852 by her mother...on a sailing vessel bound from Italy to America.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MOBILE BAY
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:34 PM

One of the most interesting ambiguous chantey texts in Eckstorm & Smith. The given title is "Mobile Bay," but it's certainly not just the "Mobile Bay" discussed earlier in this thread. It starts like "John Come Tell Us," having the question-answer theme ("Was you ever?"/"Oh Yes"). It then starts to look like "Clear the Track/Eliza Lee"...but then it morphs into the ending of "Roller Bowler." I wonder what it sounded like.

Title: MOBILE BAY

Was you ever in Mobile Bay?
    A-hay! a-hue! ain't you most done?
A-screwin' cotton by the day?
    A-hay! a-hue! ain't you most done?
    Oh, yes, I've been in Mobile Bay
    A-screwing cotton by the day;
    So clear the track, let the bullgine run,
       With a rig-a-jig-jig and a ha-ha-ha,
            Good morning, ladies all!

p. 237. Indents are as in text. Mrs. Seth S. Thornton of Southwest Harbor, Maine said it was sung in her father's day. Topsail halliard chantey.

I challenge anyone to pin this down as one or another specific chantey found elsewhere!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM

Been a while. Here's another entry for consideration.

TITLE: High O Come Roll Me Over

Print: Hugill; Masefield 1906 ("Roll Him Over"); Shay
Performers: Jim Mageean (1978); The Keelers *1991); The Portsmouth Shantymen; Shanty Crew (1996)

Hugill's notes about it are very brief. He got it from Harding, and most interestingly that Barbadian claimed at the time (1932) that it was still being used in the West Indies for "rolling logs." There is only one "pull" per chorus, and I suspect this is why Hugill also states he thought it would have been good for tacks/sheets -- though Harding and Masefield both ascribed it to halyards. Shay also had a version in one of his collections, but I don't have that to verify (oddly, Hugill mentions that "I have seen another version in print" but does not mention Shay by name). As usual, it would be very nice if any interested person having that text could comment as to how it compares to Hugill's version. Masefield's, by the way, is text-only, and differs very little from Hugill's (the chorus "Aha, come roll him over" as opposed to "high-o, come roll me over"). Masefield also incorporated the song, in an incidental fashion, in one of his short stories from around the same time (in A TARPAULIN MUSTER, 1907).

I'd hazard a guess that Jim Mageean was first to record a version of this, on the 1978 album "The Capstan Bar" . His is at a quick tempo, and formed into a 2/4 (or otherwise duple) meter....whereas the notation in Hugill sets it in 3/4. Melodically, too, it differs quite a bit from what Hugill put down, though I can't imagine Mageean had another source (?). An oral source?...or just a free interpretation of the general contour of Hugill's print version? As usual, any ideas on that would be great to hear. Mageean's interpretation can be heard on this page, HERE, towards the end of the program.

I've not yet heard Portsmouth Shantymen's version, but the Shanty Crew's version is clearly cut from the same cloth as Mageean's/The Keelers'. Interesting thing about theirs: it is not in meter.

The notation of Hugill, if we are to consider that it is one of the very few sources for learning this chantey, is notably irregular in its own rhythm. This is one of those cases where I'd suspect there is something funky that goes on that his basic notation is not able to capture well. Either the song was indeed not in strict meter (think of the breath-like rhythm of slow chanteys like the menhaden ones) or there was some overlapping of soloist and chorus that, when rendered by a singer without chorus, or notated on a single staff, does not come out quite right.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:36 AM

Gonzo's blogspot has an old LP on the defunct Greenwich Village label available for download: 'Stan Hugill Reminisces: Shanties and Stories of Life Under Sail'. It has been nicely restored.

Click.

Scroll down a bit. I know some 'catters are a bit precious about blogs but my view is that, if the stuff is out of print, the bloggers are doing the music a service by keeping it alive and making it available again.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 04:15 PM

Gibb-

Have you run across this stevedore song from Guyana?

Traditional stevedore song from Demerara, British Guiana, 1969.
Collected and transcribed by Frank T. Bullen (1857-1915) as published in THE LOG OF A SEA-WAIF, published by D. Appleton & Company, New York, US, © 1899, pp. 33-34.

Gwineter Git a Home Bimeby


Sis-ter Susan, my Aunt Sal,
Gwineter git a home bime-by – High!
All gwineter lib down Shin Bone Al,
Gwineter git a home bime-by.

Chorus:

Gwineter git a home bime-by – High!
Gwineter git a home bime-by;
Gwineter git a home bime-by – High!
Gwineter git a home bime-by.


Notes:

Bullen provides a vivid description of the stevedores at work aboard the Arabella.:

"Streaming with sweat, throwing their bodies about in sheer wantonness of exuberant strength as they hoisted the stuff out of the hold, they sometimes grew so excited by the improvisations of the 'chantey man,' who sat on the corner of the hatch, solely employed in leading the singing, that often, while for a minute awaiting the next hoist, they would fling themselves into fantastic contortions, keeping time to the music."

"Bimeby" is a common name, as evidenced by its appearance in many African-American folk tales but can also mean "quickly" as it does here.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 10:33 PM

Thanks, Charley!

Actually, I mentioned it on the first post of this thread :) :) ...and it's discussed a little further down, also under the titles "Sister Susan" and "Shinbone Al."

But there is not a lot of detail, so thanks for contributing this information.

Gibb

P.S. I always just thought it was phonetic spelling of "by and by", "by 'n' by," which I have gotten the sense was, for some 19th century speakers, almost just a superfluous phrase...akin to today's "noamsayin" (know what I'm saying)!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 10:57 PM

Been a while since I logged anything here. Are the chanteys drying up? ;-0

Title: Walkalong, You Sally Brown

Print: Hugill SfSS
Performers: Craig Edwards; Johnson Girls; Pat Sheridan and Brasy

A variant on the "Sally Brown" theme but as a halyard chantey, this has probably West Indian origins. Hugill learned it from "Tobago" Smith. He is the only author I know to have published it.

By any account it is now a "rare" chantey; the actual performance style of it is surely lost. And it does not help that the notation is Hugill's text has clear irregularities. As I've noted before, I think these regularities suggest either that the chantey was sung non-metrically or in an unexpected meter...or was highly syncopated...or the lead and chorus voices overlapped a lot...or a combination of those things -- thus foiling Hugill's efforts to sing it solo and his brother's efforts to try to transcribe it.

Has anyone noted the similarity between this and "Shenandoah"? In fact, versions of "Shenandoah" have used verses of "Sally Brown." The 2 songs, even the names, are closely connected in my mind (mind you, I'm biased towards thinking paradigmatically, I guess).

Past performers are Craig Edwards (since when?), The Johnson Girls (2000), and Pat Sheridan & Brasy (2008). My hunch is that they share a similar rendition, though I've not had the fortune of hearing any of these. It would be good to know who is mainly responsible for reviving it in that vein, and insightful to hear what their process was.

I have imagined what is likely a very different rendition of what it might have sounded like.   Dunno if it makes sense.

My attempt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 09:09 AM

Gibb-

I did do a search first but missed your reference to this song and also the thread where KathyW provided more discussion and a link to Bullen's wonderful book of chanties.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 10:25 AM

Gibb, this is one of your best yet. Nice all around.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 08:31 PM

Gibb-

"Sally Brown" is nicely rendered and I love the graphic!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, guys, for the encouragement.

I look forward to hearing other interpretations, or, as a stop gap, descriptions of those interpretations from folks who might stumble on this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: shipcmo
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:49 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 11:09 PM

Here's a follow up to the discussion on "Hilo John Brown" that begins up-thread, here:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=119776#2607791

I recently had a look at Whall's text version of this, and gave a shot at singing it.

Stand To Your Ground

And I had some thoughts about it.

In critiquing Whall's printed version, I find that the text must surely have been lifted from the earlier (and earliest known) mention of this chanty, in THE CLIPPER SHIP 'SHEILA' (by Angel, 1877). Whall's text is practically verbatim from that, which means he most likely took it from that or some other common source unknown to me. However, Angel did not give a tune. So where did Whall's tune come from? If he had learned the chanty orally (and got the tune that way), why did he need to lift the precise text of what was surely a highly-varible and largely ad-libbed song?

In the Preface to his original edition, Whall rather proudly states that his chanties derive from what he heard as a captain at sea. However, in the Preface to the 2nd edition, he notes that he expanded the text, and he does not explicitely state where the new songs came from. I am not sure at present if this was a later edition (i.e. thus relieving Whall from suspicion of lying!), but it does seem to owe an influence to Angel regardless of what sort of hanky panky went on with Whall and his ilk.

Speaking of hanky panky, shanty-collector Terry went on to publish this song, but he removed the leading tones/raised fourth degrees (G# in the key of D minor) and made them natural fourths. Because he thought it was probably more right. Hmmm...

Then we have Stan Hugill's version. For his tune, he also notes that he used G naturals, but his text says he did that in bars 2 and 3, which makes no sense. And, his first measure of melody is significantly diff. from this one. It is as if the first notes have been misplaced, one line lower on the staff than they should be. Now, that could be the way it was actually sung, but judging by Hugill's notation track record, it could very easily have been transcribed wrong, too. We are worse off in that, to my knowledge, Hugill never recorded his version (?). More frustrating still, he does not say whom he learned it from (something he usually does with most of his chanties), only that it is his version. And he says "Terry and Whall give a tune similar to mine..."

Now, people can talk all they want about "the folk process," but I think it likely that one or the other of these tunes is "more correct." I don't mean to prescribe a tune, I only mean that I suspect an unintentional error happened in one or the other that has to do with transcription, not with natural variation during oral transmission. And if I had to bet, I'd lay down my money on Whall's tune -- based on the fact that I think it makes more musical sense. But where is Whall's tune from? His stealing text from Angel raises suspicion on its authenticity.

Ewan MacColl was first to record this on an album in 1962. I've not heard that version. Note however, that it comes after the publication of Hugill (1961), so all the collectors' texts (Angel, Whall, Terry, Hugill) would have been available to him. In any case, his was followed by a recording of his protoge, Louis KIllen in 1974. Killen has clearly referenced Hugill. His lyrics derive from it *and* he uses the idiosyncratic opening melodic phrase of Hugill. However, the last phrase is incorrect when compared to Hugill.

The other "error" in these revival recordings is that they have misread the text to include an "Oh" in the chorus as in "Way hey Sally-Oh." In reality, the "oh" was a completely incidental pick-up phrase to the soloist's line in one of the verses; it does not belong in the chorus.

When this is usually performed nowadays, what we seem to have then is a version based in Hugill's unsubstantiated version. It includes what I believe may have been Hugill's transcription error in the first measure, and adds to that errors in reading the notation, so that the last measure's melody is off and the chorus includes an off-time, superfluous "Oh."

*Outstanding questions/issues:

-Rhythm error in Whalls notation of the chorus
-Angel's version mentions a grand chorus
-Haven't heard MacColl's recording
-Don't know what edition of Whall this first appeared in


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 03:38 AM

*Killen 1964

Thinking about this one some more and utterly frustrated by how it seems Whall, Terry, and Hugill may have each done something to mess with reality!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 07:12 AM

Gibb, years ago I compared the contents of Whall's various editions. The note is a little hard to read, but it seems clear that "Stand to Your Ground" was in the first edition, 1910.

Apparently indisputable is the fact that _The Clipper Ship Sheila_ didn't appear till 1922.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 12:01 PM

I se there was a slightly earlier edition of Angel's book in 1921.

Here's the version in Basil Lubbock's "Deep Sea Warriors" (1909):

        "'My Sal, she's a 'Badian bright mulatto,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Sally am de gal dat I lub dearly,
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

        "'Stan' to yo' ground an' walk him up likely,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Or de mate come around a-dingin' an' a-dancin',
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

        "'Seven long year I courted Sally,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally !
        Mebbe mor', but I didn't keep no tally,
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.

        "'Her cheeks so red an' her hair so curly,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!'"

"Here the chanty became unprintable until the last verse, which was quite irrelevant to the rest of it:

        "' Nebber min' de wedder, but keep yo' legs togedder,
                Wa-ay, sing Sally!
        Fair land o' Canaan soon be a-showin',
                Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground.'"

The final stanza should have been "unprintable" by 1909 standards also, but evidently nobody noticed. Harlow gives a somewhat different text with essentially the same final stanza. Angel's "England" seems euphemistic to me.

MacColl's version (on A Sailor's Garland) goes like this:

Sally is a gal that I love dearly
Way, hay, Sally O!
Sally is a gal that I love dearly
Hilo, John Brown, stand to your ground!

Bbarbadian beauty....
Always in a hurry to do her duty....

My Sally girl she's hard to beat, boys....
Always pulling at the old main sheet, boys ....

Sally, how shall I stow the cargo? ...
Stow some for'ard and stow some after....

Sally is a gal with long black hair, O! ...
She'll rob you blind and skin you bare O!...

Round her out and stretch her luff now....
I think, by God, we've hauled enough now....

Lloyd's liner note is typically chatty but gives no source for the text, which I suspect he or MacColl elaborated creatively.   

"'Hilo John Brown.' Many shanties sing of Hilo. Some say it means the sailor-town on the eastern side of Hawaii Island; some say that it refers to the dusty nitrate port of Peru; others say that, as often as not, it just means 'Hullo' or even 'Haul-o.' R. R. Terry heard this halyard shanty sung by Tyneside seamen, but it surely owes its origin to sunnier, southerly climates."

Terry says he'd only met two sailors who knew the song.

Hugill alone gives "Johnny Brown" in the chorus, which suggests to me that his version is authentic and at least partly independent. He silently "camouflages" the "fair land of Canaan."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 07:36 PM

You're so right, Lighter. Gah! I confused myself with my own notes -- Of course 'SHEILA' is 1921 (1877 is the voyage described)! Things make a bit more sense now.

So if "Stand To Your Ground" was in Whall's first (1910) edition, then we can presume his version is likely authentic or independent. He does say also that he had previously published some (?) of the chanties in journal articles. I haven't looked for those yet.

And so it seems that it was Angel who (probably) copied from Whall or some yet unidentified derivation of that. The "Canaan" bit also bothered me. It makes total sense that it would have been Canaan originally but that Angel would change it to "England." The other way around makes little sense. I wonder why Angel (if he was the first) decided to turn one of the verses into a grand chorus. It makes one wonder if he really understood that it was a halyard chanty. (A halyard chanty could conceivably have a grand chorus, but it is weird.)

What is actually great about this --with bearing on my interest in establishing a timeline of chanty development-- is that it exposes Angel's work as an unreliable gauge of what chanties were around c.1877. Closer analysis may suggest that Angel culled many of Whall's chanties, which he popped willy nilly into his text.

I didnt realize/remember this was in Harlow, too. (I moved to California a few months back, with only a duffle bag of minimal possessions, and I don't have easy access to my books!) Is it in his original/first part, about the 1875 voyage, or is it in that end, kitchen-sink section? In any case, I believe the earliest part of Harlow first appeared in 1928...then in the 40s...then more widely in 1962. Though I tend to doubt that Harlow had much or any influence on Revival performances, it can help assess the historical form of the song.

Lighter brings up another intriguing/confusing (!) issue with Lubbock's version. 1909/10 is so close to Whall's date of publication, and it is not clear if the authors would have had access to each other's work. The verses have the same content, though completely different wording. What are the chances that this chanty was consistently sung to such verses? I'd like to imagine that independent versions would vary *more*. Perhaps not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM

Oh, and tangentially -- I didnt think "fair land o' Canaan" was something that would require bowdlerization. Perhaps I am being naive :) But I just read it as a religion-based sentiment/expression, and particularly one that African-Americans might use. I thought that Angel would change it because, even if it wasn't "too Black," then it at least might be an unfamiliar reference to his presumably largely Anglo-European audience. Just speculating here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: John Minear
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 09:52 AM

Gibb, I don't think anybody would call you naive about any of this :). Perhaps I am reading back into history something that was not there at the time, but it makes sense to me that "land of Canaan" stands for something like "God's gift", "the promised land", "the place of abundance", "flowing with milk and honey", etc. All of which might "soon be a-showin" if Sally doesn't "keep her legs togedder"...   "Hi-lo, John Brown, stan' to yo' ground!"   I suspect that the "sacred and profane" were not so very far separated if we look at this from either a religious perspective and/or an "African-American" perspective. I don't find it unusual or out of place for a so-called religious/theological concept to show up in a bawdy song as a potent metaphor.

For an interesting update on this check out the Indigo Girls (their use of the metaphor is a bit different but perhaps related):

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/sy-14210989/indigo_girls_land_of_canaan_official_music_video/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:28 AM

I feel as John does (though Lubbock's editors must have thought more like Gibb!). Especially since "The Happy Land of Canaan" was a minstrel song used for a number of soldiers' parodies during the Civil War.

Thus the phrase was "in the air" in completely secular contexts.

Hugill's treatment of the line shows that what he "camouflaged" can be far from "obvious" and didn't necessarily replace words that were crude in themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM

Harlow's version, complete with tune, is on p. 87, suggesting that he heard it in 1876, though he doesn't say so specifically. At least he seems to have collected it from a person, not from print. He says it's from Barbados. Importantly, Harlow's second chorus is not "Hilo John Brown, stand to your ground!" but simply "Sally am de gal fo' me."

Though all the known versions have certain similarities, I think they're different enough to be independent, though clearly based on certain "regulation" verses.

Unsurprisingly, MacColl-Lloyd differs the most. The double-entendre verses "sound" so authentic that I'm tempted to suggest they got them at first hand from Hugill himself. But they could have just made 'em up. He once told me that Lloyd's semi-bawdifications were too coy for the sailors he'd known. He instanced, as particularly ridiculous, "Your little behind, love, /Would freeze in the wind, love."

But FWIW, Hugill recommended "A Sailor's Garland," on which those lines appear, as one of the best sea-song albums.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 04:37 PM

the Indigo Girls...

Good one! heh heh

Though all the known versions have certain similarities, I think they're different enough to be independent, though clearly based on certain "regulation" verses.

In many other situations I would agree, but the correspondence between Whall and Lubbock bugs me. I can certainly accept that they are independent (especially with no evidence to the contrary), but for my personal feeling that is just too many "regulation" verses, and a weird coincidence that they use *only* those verses. The differences between Whall and *Hugill* are more what I would expect to find. It may just mean that I have to accept that what I presumed would be much more varied really was not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 10:35 AM

Maybe the words of the shanties didn't vary quite so widely. After all, it's harder to invent than to memorize and vary a little.

The texts Walton collected from Great Lakes sailors in 1932 are disappointingly similar to but never identical with the more familiar ones.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: KathyW
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 01:48 AM

Speaking of Harlow, I just finished reading "The Making of a Sailor," published in 1928, the story of his first few voyages when he was a young boy, on a coaster and on a longer voyage to Australia. It gives one a sense of deja vu if one has already read "Chanteying Aboard American Ships" because it covers two of the same voyages decribed more briefly in that book, in some cases using nearly the same descriptions for events that occured.

However, lest I get too off topic: "Making of a Sailor" doesn't include "Way Sing Sally," which is as Lighter notes in "Chanteying Aboart American Ships." That also implies that Harlow must have heard the song on his later voyage to the Caribbean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 10:09 PM

It is so interesting to sift through the collections and really look at one song in depth. I pulled out my copy of Harlow, and find that on page 85 he describes the group of chanteys which include "Way Sing Sally" thusly: "...purely West Indian negro chanteys sung while hoisting cargo from the hold of ships and seldom if ever sung by sailors at the halliards." That would imply that Whall, Hugill, Lubbock, et al, heard the song in port and not out to sea. But did Harlow have any evidence but his own experience upon which to base such a proclamation?

Speaking of bowdlerization, I imagine that no revival performer would present Harlow's version as is:

Sally am de gal just like a daisy.
Way, sing Sally.
She turns me around till I'm half crazy.
Sally am de gal fo' me.

Sally she's a 'Badian bright mulatto;
She nebba' uses snuff or chews tobacco.

Sally am de gal dat lubs dis nigga';
Now stay away black man, yo' cuts no figga'.

Sally dressed up in her new suit ob clo's;
See all de nigga's look around where ebba she goes.

Nigga' in the corn fiel' actin' up bold,
Oh, Sally hit de nigga' an' knocks him out cold.

It is h'ist an' sing while de mate is naggin;'
He growls all de day wid his dingin' an' a-dangin'.

Nebba min de weather, but keep yo' legs togedda;
De fair land ob Canaan will soon be a-showin'.


And to top all, Harlow describes the song as a "'Badian coon chantey". It would be far more acceptable today to sing bawdy lyrics than these, eh?

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 02:28 AM

In what context, may I ask, does Harlow present "Way Sing Sally"? (Sorry, again; I no longer have access to my book.) I gather from Kathy that it was not on the voyage on the Akbar. Is there any descriptive context, or is it just "Here are some Bajan stevedore songs:" ?

I remember that "Lindy Lowe" was one of the other alleged Bajan stevedore songs. In a Mudcat thread on that, I gave my argument as to why I think Harlow B.S.'d that one -- I think he took it from a written source and added fanciful details about how it was used. For me, that cast doubt on many of his chanteys from a certain part of the book. I'm wondering if there might be something shady about "Way Sing Sally," too. Lighter says Harlow seems to have gotten it from a person, but I'm not clear on that.

What's the tune like? I can't imagine singing "Sally am de gal fo' me" to the same melody as "Hi lo John Brown, Stand to your groun'".

There is at least one minstrel song with a "Sally is de gal for me". If Harlow did cook this up a little (I'm not saying that he necessarily did) from earlier references, he may have decided that the way to go was to use such cliched "coon song" lyrics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: John Minear
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 08:44 AM

I am intrigued by one of the verses in Harlow's "Way Sing Sally" that Jerry has given us above. It is:

   Nigga' in the corn fiel' actin' up bold,
   Oh, Sally hit de nigga' an' knocks him out cold.

This sounds like it came right out of a "corn song" from the corn shucking frolics. I've just about finished reading Roger Abrahams' very fine book SINGING THE MASTER, THE EMERGENCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE IN THE PLANTATION SOUTH, which is a thorough documentation of the corn shucking tradition. He discusses the role of these events in the Black/White relationships in the South before and after the Civil War. And in an extended set of appendices, he prints out almost all of the known (as of 1992) accounts of specific corn shucking events. Many of these contain song fragments and many of them have been mentioned either in the "Advent & Development of Chanties" thread or the "SF to Sidney" thread. Harlow's verse doesn't show up in any of them that I recall, but it sure sounds like it could come from that context. Given a number of our discussions on origins and development of these songs, I highly recommend this book. I could only wish that Abrahams himself had made a more direct link between this book and his book on DEEP THE WATER, SHALLOW THE SHORE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 10:08 AM

To say that "Way Sing Sally" was "rarely if ever sung by sailors at the halliards" is to say that he himself never heard it sung at the halliards.

Harlow's melody seems absolutely authentic. He would not have invented a shanty, accompanied it with an explanation that it wasn't used at sea, and then created a tune to go with it. He must have learned it from a living person, as he implies. The tune is much like "Hilo John Brown." The second chorus begins on the "Hilo" note and is followed by a straight modal descent.

It's altogether likely that Harlow heard his Caribbean shanties when he sailed to Georgetown shortly after his 1875-76 voyage on the Akbar.

We don't know if he jotted his shanties down in the '70s or merely recollected them later. (Hugill's technique.) If he recollected them, the words may not be entirely accurate, but at least they're largely informed by a genuine 1870's sensibility. In other words, the older Harlow must have been satisfied that his lyrics were correct in spirit and that his nineteenth-century shipmates would have approved of them. That's not the same as having had a cassette recorder on board, but it's of some historical significance.

Had he messed consciously and seriously with the lyrics, he'd have said so. Why not? He could then have claimed credit for "improving" the songs and making them "fit to print."

Harlow's texts, by the way, seem to me to be slightly less bowdlerized than others. And, like Hugill, he identifies the songs he's bowdlerized. He didn't claim to possess a twenty-first century critical sensibility, but I see no reason at all to doubt Harlow's basic honesty in presenting what he knew and what he'd read or been told.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: JWB
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 11:04 AM

Gibb, I don't have "Making of a Sailor", but in "Chanteying..." Harlow inserts the group of Barbadian cargo chanteys (which include "Sun Down Below", "Mobile Bay", and "Hilo, My Ranzo Way" as well as "Way Sing Sally") in the midst of his story line about the Akbar, describing the crew setting the mizzen upper topsail to "Storm Along John" and "Reuben Ranzo".

I just noticed this interesting tidbit: Harlow gives this note for "Sun Down Below" -- "Words by Masefield". Can it be that Southern black longshoremen sang a chantey the words of which were written by England's one-time poet laureate?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 12:58 PM

There's no evidence that the poet John Masefield had any connection to this song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:01 PM

Thanks for clearing that up, Lighter (and Jerry). Your characterization makes sense. My wonder/worry was if this chanty had been included in a section like where "Lindy Lowe" is. While Harlow's other songs are wonderfully unique and authentic, he ones in that section seem to be culled from elsewhere and, in some cases, tweaked without acknowledgement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 03:58 AM

Might this be the progenitor of "Huckleberry Hunting"/"Ranzo Ray"?

From NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK, ca.1843(?), pp148-9:
//
WE AM DE NIGGERS FROM DE WILD GOOSE NATION.

Written and sung by the Luminaries.

We am de niggers from de wild goose nation,
    Come dis night to sing to you;
We're just arrived from de old plantation,
    Down on the banks of de O-hi-o.
To de fields, to de fields must go,
    When de driber calls we must obey
To chop de wood, de corn to hoe,
    And work hard all the day.

[Full Chorus]
Den sing away, sing away,
    Tambourine and de banjo play;
Happy niggers while we sing,
    Today we work no more.

Ebery morning bright and early,
    How dese niggers hates to rise,
Because dey am all-ways attacted,
    By de ting called the Blue-tailed fly.
To de fields...

When the big white moon am shining,
    De niggers de am out fore soon;
And up the cimmon tree are climbing,
    For to catch de possum and coon.
To de fields...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 08:15 PM

Won't You Go My Way is the song for Feb 2 in Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day project.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Feb 11 - 10:10 PM

Thanks, Joe.

Thanks for reminding me of this one. Revisiting, I am fascinated by how the standard Revival version lyrics affect me. Most are certainly chanty style, but they are held together by a sensibility that is "English folk-song-y" IMO. I don't know how to explain it, but they make me feel like the meeting of boy and girl is in a nice English forest between a gentleman and lady...when I am expecting something between a kind of Long Ike and Sweet Betsy affair and a Jack Tar and Maggie May encounter. It is all white gloves -- the only hint of coarseness in it is the name of good ol' "Frisco".

Here are my doggerel lyrics to "Won't Ye Go My Way?"

I met her on the Bowery
I met her on the Bowery

She backed her main tops'l smartly
Yo ho, my Jack, my hearty

Her name was Juliana
She sang and played piana

She spent my money freely
She grabbed the lot or nearly

She made me broke and left me
And she never bereft me

I loved you, Juliana
The belle of Lousiana

Now she's in Indiana
And I'm stuck in Montana

I married Flo Fanana
She can't play the piana

And now that I am married
I'm sad I didn't tarry

Haul for better weather
We''l haul and sing together

Rock and roll me over
We'll soon be in the clover

[Additional Punjabi-English verses!:]

On the train to Ludhiana
She asked, "tu kithe jana?" [where'e you goin'?]

I said, "I'm from Samana."
And gave her a banana.

jadon pahunch gae assin station [When we arrived at the station]
I gave her another ration


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: doc.tom
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 10:34 AM

So long since I managed to get into this thread - my computer keeps refusing to look at threads of this length and just hangs up - but I found a new way in! Nice to catch up.

Just to say that the first of three CDs with recordings of John Short's version of his shanties has now been released - these are, of necessity, all broken contunuity versions (as per the original intent of the thread). The full document of notes, which I've often quoted earlier in this thread, is also now available on the web at www.umbermusic.co.uk/SSSnotes.htm.

The recordings on the first CD are:
1. Sing Fare You Well - Keith Kendrick
2. The Blackball Line - Roger Watson
3. Mr. Tapscott (Yellow Meal) - Sam Lee
4. A Hundred Years On The Eastern Shore (Hundred Years Ago) - Jeff Warner
5. Fire! Fire! (Fire Down Below) - Jackie Oates
6. Hanging Johnny - Tom Brown
7. Rio Grande - Roger Watson
8. Cheerly Man - Barbara Brown
9. Poor Old Man (Shake That Girl With the Blue Dress On) - Keith Kendrick
10. The Bully Boat (Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray) - Tom Brown
11. Stormalong John (Stormy Along John) - Jim Mageean
12. Blow, Boys, Blow (Banks of Sacramento) - Tom Brown
13. Carry Him To The Burying Ground (General Taylor) - Sam Lee
14. Bulgine Run (Run, Let the Bulgine Run) - Barbara Brown
15. Shallow Brown - Jim Mageean
16. Won't You Go My Way - Jeff Warner
17. Blow Boys, Come Blow Together (Blow Me Bully Boys, Blow) - Keith Kendrick
18. Tommy's Gone Away - Jackie Oates

Copies of the CD can be had from the record company - www.wildgoose.co.uk, by PMing me, or from the singers themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: shipcmo
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM

All I have to say is: Got it! Get it!
Cheers,
Geo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: GUEST,A Gerttan
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 03:53 PM

Just taken a couple of hours reading through this thread.....
Would like to add that Stormalong John (group) recorded - Lowlands Low/Emma Let Me Be/Coal Black Rose back to back as one track on the CD."Through Stormy Seas" and that Lowlands Low, and Emma Let Me Be were recorded as individual tracks by Shanty Jack on his CD "Maiden Voyage".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 03:45 PM

Recently having a deeper look at the chanties in Horace Beck's FOLKLORE AND THE SEA, mentioned now and again in this thread. "Deeper" in the sense that in trying to learn some, I've had to try harder to figure out what was going on.

One thing I wonder is if anybody knows if Beck recorded this stuff, and if those recordings have been made available somewhere.

The problem is that Beck's transcriptions (i.e. in lieu of recordings) are really unclear. It is hard to study them and, incidentally, even harder if one wishes to perform them. The latter was not their purpose, but it is perhaps notable that no one (to my knowledge?) has tried "reviving" songs from this book. (Taking a few lyrics doesn't count!)

Lomax's Cultural Equity site, which now permits streaming of full songs, does have examples of at least two of the chanties that Beck encountered. They are a good guide to style, even though Beck's forms seem to differ significantly.

I recently tried my hand singing "Rosabella" as in Beck, but I am sort of shooting in the dark (or at least at dusk). HERE

One of Beck's Caribbean chanties that I haven't seen discussed is "Ring Down Below."

Here's my attempt to make sense of the transcription.

Alan Lomax recorded a variation of this in Carriacou, Grenada in 1962.
http://research.culturalequity.org/get-audio-detailed-recording.do?recordingId=2

I obviously don't have the correct "feel" (perhaps too hard to achieve overdubbing oneself), but FWIW I was trying to follow Beck's melody and rhythm which, as you can hear, were quite different...assuming they are not notational errors.

As far as connections to other songs, "Ring Down Below" reminds me of "Sun Down Below" -- especially if one keeps the chorus rhythm regular, as I've done here.

It also reminds me of "Come Down You Bunch of Roses" in the one recording we have of that from the Bahamas.

I wonder if the "ring" in the title has any connection to the "ring games" -- the game song context to which it seems "bunch of roses" and others may have been connected.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 'Rare' Caribbean shanties of Hugill, etc
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 05:43 PM

Gibb-

"Rosabella" as you've recorded it certainly sounds more at home on a Caribbean beach than the version most of us revival singers achieve. So after launching the boat do you and your clones pass around the rum jug?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 September 10:22 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.