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From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?

John Minear 03 Oct 14 - 08:58 AM
Charley Noble 10 Dec 11 - 11:56 AM
John Minear 10 Dec 11 - 09:25 AM
John Minear 02 Nov 11 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Bob Walser 18 Jul 11 - 12:27 PM
John Minear 31 May 11 - 10:27 AM
EBarnacle 20 Mar 11 - 08:12 PM
John Minear 20 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM
Ruaidhri 19 Mar 11 - 08:38 PM
John Minear 17 Mar 11 - 10:59 AM
John Minear 05 Mar 11 - 07:03 PM
Gibb Sahib 05 Mar 11 - 06:26 PM
Lighter 05 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 11 - 04:46 PM
John Minear 05 Mar 11 - 08:00 AM
Gibb Sahib 05 Mar 11 - 05:03 AM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jan 11 - 04:27 PM
John Minear 10 Jan 11 - 12:31 PM
John Minear 16 Nov 10 - 10:31 AM
Gibb Sahib 16 Nov 10 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,Katedu 06 Oct 10 - 09:55 PM
John Minear 17 Sep 10 - 07:10 AM
Lighter 16 Sep 10 - 07:51 AM
John Minear 16 Sep 10 - 05:37 AM
John Minear 15 Sep 10 - 08:07 AM
Gibb Sahib 15 Sep 10 - 02:20 AM
Charley Noble 06 Jun 10 - 10:17 AM
John Minear 06 Jun 10 - 07:50 AM
John Minear 21 May 10 - 06:05 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 May 10 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Lighter 21 May 10 - 04:52 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 May 10 - 04:22 PM
John Minear 21 May 10 - 02:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 May 10 - 02:18 PM
John Minear 21 May 10 - 01:12 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 May 10 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Lighter 20 May 10 - 09:02 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 May 10 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Lighter 20 May 10 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Lighter 20 May 10 - 06:39 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 May 10 - 05:13 PM
Charley Noble 04 May 10 - 04:05 PM
John Minear 04 May 10 - 01:40 PM
John Minear 02 May 10 - 10:23 PM
Charley Noble 02 May 10 - 11:07 AM
John Minear 02 May 10 - 10:56 AM
John Minear 01 May 10 - 07:33 AM
Charley Noble 29 Apr 10 - 09:03 PM
Lighter 29 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM
Lighter 29 Apr 10 - 01:19 PM
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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:58 AM

It's been a couple of years since this thread has been aired. Here is some interesting news about Captain B.F. Pond and his ship the "Julia Ann". Martin Andersen has made a movie of the shipwreck of the "Julia Ann" and the subsequent rescue of the survivors. Here is what he says on his Face Book page:

"It is official. My film, "DIVINE PROVIDENCE:The Wreck and Rescue of the Julia Ann" will premier in one week on BYUTV at 5pm Mountain time Sunday October 5. Please tune in. It tells the story of Capt. B.F. Pond and the passengers on his ship who miraculously lived through a shipwreck in the middle of the Pacific in 1855.
Watch it on cable or Satellite TV, or catch it live on the internet at byutv.org."

There has also been a book written about this by Fred Woods. The book and a DVD are available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Providence-Wreck-Rescue-Included/dp/1462113656

And here is a bit of background on these projects, with a picture of a painting of "The Wreck of the Julia Ann" by a descendent of Captain Pond, and (finally!) a picture of Benjamin Franklin Pond himself.

http://mormonhistoricsites.org/a-divine-providence-the-wreck-and-rescue-of-the-julia-ann/

I have not yet seen either the movie or the book. I doubt if any chanties will show up in either of these or that there will be any new information about chanties that might have been sung on board the "Julia Ann" in the early 1850's before she was shipwrecked in 1855.

This is an open and ongoing thread and I am still very much interested in any new information that anyone might have about any chanties that can be documented as being sung on sailing ships out of San Francisco bound for Sydney, Australia between 1850 and 1855. You will have to scroll up a bit to see what our conclusions were in the previous research done on this thread. The documented evidence was very scant to non-existent. But that doesn't mean that it is not out there yet to be discovered!


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 11:56 AM

John-

Thanks for the update. Gibb is definitely doing some heavy lifting when it comes to researching the origin of shanties and deserves everyone's support. I've been quite impressed with his dedication and research skills, not to mention his singing.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 09:25 AM

Here's a good song sung by John Tompson from his blog "An Australian Folk Song a Day." It's called "Old Sydney Town."

http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com/2011/12/old-sydney-town.html


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 02 Nov 11 - 08:44 AM

If you have found your way to, and through(!) this thread then you are definitely interested in sea chanties and their history. I want to recommend to you a new blog from our friend, Gibb, called "Wild Chants With Doggerel Words":

http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogspot.com/

It looks like this blog is going to bring together the fantastic collection of sung/performed chanties from Stan Hugill's collection that Gibb has been doing on YouTube over the last several years, and his in depth historical research that he has been doing here on Mudcat, on this thread, but especially on his "Advent and Development" thread, along with a bunch of others. This looks like another huge project, so check it out and give him your support.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Bob Walser
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 12:27 PM

Re: Meacom, FYI: The New England Historical and Genealogical Register lists him thus: Capt. George Meacom, sea captain, born 6 June 1839 in Beverly, Mass. Died 28 Nov. 1908 in Dorchester. Mass.

click here - Google Books

I wonder if anyone has located the original publication of this letter in the _Boston Transcript_. It would likely predate his 1908 demise and Whidden's book of the same year - but by how much?


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 31 May 11 - 10:27 AM

About a year before the final voyage of the "Julia Ann", on December 3 of 1854, at Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia, the gold miners rebelled at the Eureka Stockade. Here is some history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_Rebellion

And here is a fine song, "The Cross of the South", sung by John Thompson commemorating the event:

http://ozfolksongaday.blogspot.com/2011/05/cross-of-south.html


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 08:12 PM

The posts from 4 February of last year referring to the embargo are a specific reference to the American embargo on the importation of slaves. The United States had a small fleet of gunboats on the slave coast, many of which were built locally built. To the best of my knowledge, the last one was still in existence in the late 1980's and took part in New York's OPSail '86 as Stargate, registered in the Carolinas.

After being sold out of the service, she was converted to a merchant ship and worked for 86 years, until she was driven ashore in a storm and silted in.

Shane Granger rescued her from the sand bank in the late 70's or early 80's and fixed her up, sailing her from Dakar, Senegal to Brazil, thence to the US.

My understanding is that she was finally run up a creek and abandoned. This is despite the fact that she was built of African mahogany and rosewood, which would have sold for a significant amount as recycled timber at the time.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Mar 11 - 11:57 AM

My apologies to Ruaidhri for making B.F. Pond "Captain" of the "Julia Ann" a bit prematurely in my St. Patrick's Day posting above. Ruaidhri is absolutely right that it was C.B. Davis who was the "Captain" of her on the second voyage, which was the one that brought John Mitchel to San Francisco. On the first two voyages, Pond traveled as "super cargo" (is that the proper term?) representing the owners. He is listed as "Master"/"Captain" on the third and fourth voyages. In addition to the reference above in Mitchel's Jail Journal, which says,

"We were made as comfortable on board the Julia Ann as the narrowness of the accommodations and crowd of passengers admit Capt. Davis, of Newport, Rhode Island, is our commander; and owner, Mr. Pond, of New York,is also on board." (p. 197),

here are two links to early postings in this thread where I made this a little more clear:

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=650#2808140

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=650#2810350

[This discussion continues in subsequent postings following the one above.]

Welcome to our ongoing discussion Ruaidhri. We are very glad and honored to have a direct descendent of Captain Davis as a participant. My first question to you is, of course, do you know of any chanties being sung on board the "Julia Ann" on that second voyage? Or, do you know of any chanties being sung at all in the first half of the 1850's in either California or Sydney? And, do you have any family history that talks about any chanties being sung on any of Captain Davis' voyages? We are looking for all of these things here.

Your question about the ship's name is a new one. I think if you follow the links in the early postings on this thread they will document that it was the "Julia Ann" on the Mitchel voyage and on the later shipwreck voyage. I don't have a good explanation for the apparent discrepancy. It does seem probable that we are talking about one and the same ship and set of voyages. Here is a link to a previous posting that sums up the latest information I have about these four voyages:

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=650#2872740

I look forward to hearing more from you.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Ruaidhri
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 08:38 PM

This is my first post on this forum. I joined because of this thread and John Minear's mention of the ship Julia Ann and the rescue of Irish patriot John Mitchel from Australia. My Great Grandfather was Charles Button Davis who was, in fact, the captain of the ship that brought John Mitchel to San Francisco as was mentioned on page 197 of Mitchel's Jail Journal. Mr. Pond was the owner of the ship, not the captain. There has been much family lore about this event. I remember as a child being told that Captain Davis was forced to quit traveling to British ports for fear of being arrested as a Pirate. Where I'm confused is with the name of the ship. Our family history and Captain Davis Tombstone list the name as Julian, not Julia Ann. There were ships with both names at the time of John Mitchel's escape. I expect that Capt. Davis would know the name of his ship and I wouldn't be amazed if John Mitchel got it wrong in his Jail Journal. That would bring into question that the same ship was used to save John Mitchel and later shipwrecked while transporting mormons in 1855.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Mar 11 - 10:59 AM

&hlIn October of 1853, the "Julia Ann" arrived in San Francisco on her second return voyage from Sydney, Australia. She had on board John Mitchel and his family, a famous Irish patriot who had escaped from the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land. Captain Pond and the "Julia Ann" assisted him in this escape. They picked him up in Tahiti on September 13th and brought him to San Francisco. Here is a link to Mitchel's account of this:

http://books.google.com/books?id=9_efAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA197&dq=John+Mitchel+%26+the+%22Julia+Ann%22&hl=en&ei=miCCTZfmLMGcgQfOnpjPCA&s

And here is another account:

http://books.google.com/books?id=FXxmAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA29&dq=John+Mitchel+%26+the+%22Julia+Ann%22&hl=en&ei=miCCTZfmLMGcgQfOnpjPCA&sa

And here is the Wikipedia account of John Mitchel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mitchel

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 07:03 PM

The wreckage of the "Julia Ann" as been discovered and some archeological recovery work has been going on. Here are a couple of sites that mention this work.

http://articles.latimes.com/1997-03-30/local/me-43550_1_julia-ann

http://famhist.us/histories/julia_ann_articles.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=yP0DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=wreck+of+the+%22Julia+Ann%22&source=bl&ots=5FwpcMtjxG&sig=Uc15


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 06:26 PM

That's a lotta leagues from Ushant to Scilly.

We'll chant and we'll roar like South Seas Kanakas....


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM

James Cook evidently named the "Scilly Islands" of the South Pacific in 1769.

The native names weren't much used in English till the late nineteenth century.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 04:46 PM

...she was ship-wrecked in the South Seas near the Scilly Islands.

So when did the Scilly Islands move from the South Seas to their present position a few miles off the Cornish mainland?

There is an atoll in the Society Islands, Manuae which is sometimes called Scilly Atoll. Could this be where the shipwreck took place?


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 08:00 AM

Gibb, thanks for this info. It is strange, but I believe we've found more information on chanties on the Australian end of the "SF to Sydney" connection than we have on the California end. I haven't gone back over everything here to check this for sure, but it is my impression. It is also my impression that the Australian information is usually located on voyages other than from California. We do know that gold diggers were leaving California and heading to the new gold fields in Australia. And we know that there was developing commerce between California and Australia. But no information on chanties from that direction.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 05:03 AM

No Frisco here, but it is a memory of chanties sung in 1853 to/from Australia (and Ireland) in gold rush days.

1903        Webb, Alfred. "Sailors' Chanties." _The Irish Monthly_ (January 1903): 37-42.

Irishman Webb heard/sang chanties in 1853 when he was about 19 yrs old, when he went to Australia for his health (and tried his hand at gold digging). Here he recalls three unique versions of the chanties "Cheer'ly Man," "Stormy," and "Bowline." Those three are consistent with what we've established elsewhere as among the most common for the time period.

Fifty years ago I made two long voyages in old wooden sailing ships of the period, of seven hundred and one thousand tons respectively, innocent of double topsails, wire rigging, or modern appliances. Upon the first I took somewhat to sailor work. Upon the second I served with the starboard watch, working on deck and aloft, and in bad weather having to live in the wet clothes and do with the broken rest incident to sailoring. My experiences then will never be forgotten as long as life lasts. …

The first I shall give is "Cheerily, men!" generally used when hoisting the topsail yards after reefing.
[w/ score, in 4/4]

Cheerily men!
Oh upreef'd topsail hi ho!
Cheerily men!
High in the sky, hi ho!
Cheerily men!
Oh! rouse him up, her, hi ho!
Cheerily, men!
Oh! he hi ho,
Cheerily, men!

I remember a second verse. How nonsense and often worse stick in the memory while the better is forgotten:—

    Cheerily men! 

Who stole my jacket, hi ho!
    Cheerily men! 

Sold the pawn ticket, hi ho!
    Cheerily men! 

Oh, that was shameful, hi ho!
    Cheerily men! 

Oh ! he hi ho,
Cheerily men!
...

The next is one of the best known of these chanties, "Storm along."

[w/ score]

I wish I was old Stormy's son.
Storm along, my hearties.
Gathering nuggets all the day,
Storm along, my hearties,
Away, away, away, away.
O'er the roaring seas, my hearties.
Storm along, my hearty boys.
Storm along, my hearties.

No second verses need be given. It will be seen how admirably these chanties are fitted for improvisation. All the performer here has to do, indefinitely to prolong the song, is to think of places where he and his fellows would like to be, and what they would there like to be doing. They can wish to be " in Liverpool town," "drinking whiskey all the day," or "in Erin's Isle," "with my true love all the day," and so on.
....

The third and last of my own recollection I shall give is "Haul the bowline." Different words could be alternated in the second and third bars. It has not been explained why the "bowline" in this and other sea songs is so honoured. It is a rope of secondary importance in the rigging of a vessel, and hauling upon it generally implied the blowing of a contrary wind.

[w/ score]
Haul the bowline, Katey is my darling,
Haul the bowline, the bowline haul!


http://books.google.com/books?id=fskaAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22irish+mo


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 04:27 PM

I only wish "Frank" Marryat had said more about chanties. It seems he should have had the opportunity to hear them as he traveled to the U.S. However, the example he gives also happens to be the one chanty that his dad emphasized in his own writings. The senior Marryat was a British Navy officer in the 1830s, which is presumably why he didn't note any chanties until he heard "Oh, Sally Brown" off-duty in America.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:31 PM

Here is a note from Gibb over on the "Advent & Development of Chanties" thread with a reference to the singing of "Sally Brown" by sailors in the gold mines of California in 1852. This is an important find! It is one of the very few instances where we have any mention of any chanties being sung in relation to the Gold Rush, from that actual period.

Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib - PM
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 01:48 AM

1855 Marryat, "Frank". _Mountains and Molehills_. London: Longman, Brown, Green. and Longmans.

Marryat is mining at Tuttletown (Tuolumne County) in California during the Gold Rush. It is January 1852.

//
A sailor in the mines is at best a rough and uncomely fellow to the sight; but will you show me anything more pleasing to contemplate than that sturdy fellow there who plies his pickaxe to the tune of " Oh, Sally Brown! " that he may take at night to his sick friend in the tent hard by the luxuries he needs ? The sailors in the mines have been ever distinguished for self-denial; and whenever I see " prim goodness" frown at the rough, careless sailor's oath that will mingle now and then with his " ye-ho ! " I think to myself, " Take out your heart, 'prim goodness,' and lay it by the side of Jack's and offer me the choice of the two, and maybe it won't be yours I'll take, for all that you are faultless to the world's eye."
//

The son of Frederick Marryat would certainly know "Sally Brown."


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:31 AM

Gibb, I continue to 'get that feeling" as well. These are some helpful examples. And thanks for that link. There are some other interesting (and early) songs there. It's not clear that they are all "minstrel" pieces in that section. But I can't tell.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 03:49 AM

Just an idea, though nothing new per se, on "South Australia", which we were discussing once here. I was saying how the song strikes me as "downhome," by which I mean it has the sort of musical style of Southern US music -- the shared tradition of country and popular music that seems to be mixed up with both "folk" music and minstrelsy.

John and I were both imagining hearing a hypothetical 'original' inspiration for South Australia in a Southern or other minstrel song.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2871899

Something like, "In Alabama I was born...amongst the cotton and the corn" -- which would be ripe for parody as "In South Australia I was born...South Australia 'round Cape Horn."

Anyways...before I forgot I just wanted to log in these (other) possibilities for inspiration.

In 1840s, NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK had this version of

WALK JAWBONE, JENNY COME ALONG, IN COME SALLY WID DE BOOTEES ON

(A copyright song)
Sung by Jenkins, Hallet, Cool White and others.

Tune - first part of Cracovienne

In Caroline whar I was born,
I husk de wood, and I chop de corn
A roasted ear to de house I bring,
But de driver cotch me and he sing--
    Walk jawbone, Jenny come along
    In come Sally wide de bootees on,
    Walk jawbone, Jenny come along
    In come Sally wide de bootees on.

A version of "Old Pee Dee," in an 1847 collection, runs:

THE OLD PEE DEE.

In Souf Carolina whar I was born
I husk de wood, an chop de corn,
A roasted ear to de house I bring,
Den de driver kotch me an I sing.
    Ring de hoop, sound de horn,
    I neber seen de like since I was born,
    Way down in the counteree,
    Four or five miles from de ole Pee Dee,

http://books.google.com/books?id=yRkNAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA269&dq=%22like+since+i+wa

NEGRO SINGER'S also has a song called "Ole John Tyler," which appears to be a variation on "Old Dan Tucker" -- that tune is indicated.

In ole Virginny, whar I whar born
I eat hoe-cake an' hoe de corn;
And Massa Tyler, he not slow
To shew me how to hoe my row....

I am not suggesting that "South Australia" was necessarily a rewrite of any of these songs, just marking the prevalence of the opening line of "In X where I was born." Which, like I said, is nothing new...but it does help me place the feeling that the SA lyrics are "downhome" and not quite "South Australian"!


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Katedu
Date: 06 Oct 10 - 09:55 PM

Wow, this is a long thread and I didn't read it all. However, I wanted to respond to the person looking for songs that Hughill wrote were mentioned in a source. I am guessing that he was not infallible and that he indeed might have mis-remembered some things, because I went through "Landsman Hay" with a fine-toothed comb and only found mention of two of the three fiddle tunes Hughill said were in there. It's still possible I missed the third, but I really tried hard to find it!


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 17 Sep 10 - 07:10 AM

I wondered about that, too, Lighter. Speaking of Roger Abrahams, I am currently reading another of his books entitled SINGING THE MASTER, THE EMERGENCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE IN THE PLANTATION SOUTH (1992). I've found a couple of references to this book on Mudcat, but not necessarily with regard to its primary focus, which is the "corn-shucking ceremony." Since this ceremony has come up in our discussions here a number of times in relationship to work songs that may be related to chanties or precursors to them, I thought this might be of interest. The book is well written and gives a lot of background on the Southern Plantation system and culture and also on the ways of interaction between master and slave. Abrahams is particularly concerned with how the two groups perceive each other and how the "entertain" each other.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 07:51 AM

The "Calais to Dover" bit sure doesn't sound local to the West Indies.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 16 Sep 10 - 05:37 AM

Since this thread is still up this morning, I would like to add to the "Sally Brown" collection/discussion. I don't believe that this item has been mentioned. In his book, DEEP THE WATER, SHALLOW THE SHORE, Roger Abrahams has given us "Feeny Brown" (p. 59), from the island of Nevis. We have already looked at "Feeny". But in addition to this he gives two verses from the Barouallie whalers of St. Vincent (p. 117), about the "the whores of Rosebank. His source says:

   "The shanty was made up on the people of Rosebank. He belongs to Barouallie here. He used to be down there fishing. Perhaps he ain' make it up, but he is the first person we heard sing it. Mr. Swaby Fredrick.

   The whores on shore love sailor' man money
   Roll, roll, roll and go.
   Roll and go from Calais to Dover
   (I) spend my money on the whores on shore.

   Those Rosebank whores love sailor's money
   Roll, roll, roll and go.
   Roll and go from Calais to Dover
   (I} spend my money on the whores on shore."

This version is less ambiguous about how one's money is to be spent than some of the more recent versions I have heard. Abrahams says of this song:

   "And, as in every West Indian tradition, there are a few songs of contempt for people in neighboring towns. The following takes aim at the girls of Rosebank, branding them as whores."


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 08:07 AM

Hey, Gibb, good to hear (& see!) from you. I think you have finally managed to clear the Clancy Bros. out of my head with this version of "South Australia". I like the way this one goes on for awhile. At first I felt impatient, and then I found myself settling into it and ended up actually wanting to go do some work. That's pretty good.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 02:20 AM

RE: The "South Australia" discussion, I finally got around to interpreting Harlow's version.

Harlow's "South Australia"

I think Harlow's version is pretty important to the historiography of the chanty, however I've never hear anyone record it (?)

The lyrics sound like a good portion of them were probably ad libbed, and Harlow probably cobbled together the memory of what he'd heard into something with slightly more narrative coherence.

Ironically, though I have recorded it to give the example of the unique specimen of Harlow, I could not bring myself to sing the melody *exactly* as notated because I think the transcription has some errors -- or more accurately, that it reflects the incidental performance of one time thru a verse, but not necessarily the "ideal" form that most verses would shoot for...if that makes any sense.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 10:17 AM

I think there are a lot of additional connections that can and will be made between shanties and prison work songs, field songs, riverboat songs, and Appalachian songs and tunes.

I was always intrigued by the occasional Southern Appalachian song such as "Handsome Molly" that resonated sailortown origins but was collected in the those Southern hills and valleys.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 07:50 AM

In a couple notes that I posted back at the end of February, I mentioned the work of Bruce Jackson, and in particular his book WAKE UP DEAD MAN!, and the CD of some of the music behind that book. I was struck by a comparison between the Southern penitentiary chain-gang songs that he documents and the maritime work songs we call chanties. There seemed to be some common roots of origin. Here are the original notes:

thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2852320

and

thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2852454

I have just come across a video done by Jackson and Pete & Toshi Seeger of these Black chain gang songs on folkstreams.net. You can see it here:

http://www.folkstreams.net/film,122

As we continue to explore the origins and development of sea chanties, I think that this connection to Black work songs is important, both with regard to form and to content.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 21 May 10 - 06:05 PM

That's a great addition, Gibb. Important, too. I like that tune. Maybe it will encourage some new materials out there.

Lighter, I tend to agree with you about "covers" (when did that word enter our musical lexicon?). Which leads me to say that I am always amazed at how "thin" (that's a real technical term) seems to be the "backstory" research on a lot of contemporary (last 50 years) recordings of old songs. Speaking in the broadest of generalizations, it seems to me that many don't go beyond the hearing of someone else's recording. There is some interesting "folk processes" that take place along the way.

I wonder when someone will write a study on the evolution of particular chanties over the past half century. I'll bet that there is not going to be much more documentation on the last fifty years than we've been able to turn up on that fifty year period from 1820-1870! Relatively speaking. Every time I ask "Where did you get that from?" I tend to get inconclusive answers. For a whole lot of varied reasons. I'm thinking of my friend Danny's response on his version of "Shallow Brown". A good honest answer from a good honest and great singer. And that's been the nature of a lot of the folk processes of the last fifty years, it seems to me. Do we really need to know more? Well, I for one would like to know if there is any connection between "Shallow Brown" and "East Virginia" and it's derivatives as far as tunes go. That information might add significantly to our understanding of the historical context for the emergence of "Shallow Brown". Does it come strictly from a Black background or is it possible that it was musically influenced by Southern Appalachian mountain music as well.

I am currently reading that very wonderful book called BLACK JACKS, by W. Jeffrey Bolster about "African American Seamen in the Age of Sail". I am really learning a lot of new stuff from this book. It seems clear to me that the back and forth nature of commerce and sailing along the Eastern Seaboard and around the Chesapeake Bay, etc. certainly provided the opportunity for the intermixing of music and that it's very possible that tunes "leaked" out of the mountains and made their way to the port cities, just as they came off of the plantations and down the rivers. In fact it is often very difficult to determine whether certain songs found along the inland rivers are of White of Black origins, especially when they become instrumental pieces.

Two areas, that are intertwined historically, that we have not really looked at in terms of sources for chanties are first of all these White, Appalachian Mountain songs, and secondly, the whole area of both White and Black religious music. I was fascinated by Bolster's account of the African American preachers/sailors in the Dartmoor Prison during the early 1800's. And he suggests that on board ship, it was the Black sailors who were often more religious. Some chanty tunes must have been influenced by this.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 May 10 - 04:58 PM

OK! My attempt at "South Australia" as it appears in SfSS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSfDiW4sC24


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 May 10 - 04:52 PM

The explanation may be that folkies mostly learn their songs from the same recordings.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 May 10 - 04:22 PM

Thanks, John!

Stay tuned for a version of the Hugill SSfS melody, which I will put up soon, if only for reference purposes.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 21 May 10 - 02:44 PM

Perhaps it would have been more accurate for me to just say that the "Lloyd" version sure seems to have dominated the recordings of "South Australia", and that I, too, am surprised that there doesn't seem to be recordings using the "earlier" tunes, verses, etc. And I still like your "truck-driving" version as a nice variation on the "revival" melody. And I'm still working on getting the Clancy Bros. and Burl Ives to sit on the shelf long enough so I can hear these songs in a different way. I like both the Clancy's and Ives very much, but I now hear them in a different way as well.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 May 10 - 02:18 PM

Disclaimer: I don't want to reify the suggestion that Lloyd's and Laurie/Doerflinger's were necessarily related. It's just a theory. Nor do I want to reify the idea of two tune strains, which is again just a way of working out possibilities. The main thing is that I am surprised that what seems to have been a once-current style of singing the song, never seems to have reared its head in the revival era, even with access to popular texts and even with Hugill's performances.

My old YouTube version is (in the moving truck), again, not based off the "old" (?) melody, but rather off of the commonly established "revival" melody. I had heard Hugill himself sing that melody, and thought that, "Well, oral trumps print." I still think it does, ultimately, but for historical interest I hope that the other version is someday acknowledged.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 21 May 10 - 01:12 PM

It's interesting to me how influential the "Laurie/Doerflinger-Lloyd/Howard" tune (and some verses) has been over the last 50+ years. I did a quick cruise through the fifty options on I-Tunes for "South Australia" and I think that every one of them uses this tune. The variations tend to be in speed and accompaniment choices. It was almost possible for me keep moving down the list and not miss a beat! It is a rousing good song in this version, but it's curious to me that the modern shanty culture has not been more varied in its approach to this song. Why hasn't the "other" tune strain been tried, to say nothing of the words offered by Smith and Harlow? I'm not saying that the I-Tunes list is exhaustive, and there may well be many versions out there that I haven't heard. I would be interested in what they might be and who did them.

One of the aspects of trying to re-imagine what was happening in the 1850's is to try to get as "true" a version as possible. In this case I mean "true to the time and place" of either SF or Sydney in the middle of the 19th century. It has been a steady learning experience for me to discover and separate out what I would call contemporary shanty culture interpretations from what might have been more "true" earlier on. In other words I seriously doubt that anybody was singing the "South Australia" version we know and love back then. They may have been singing Harlow's version in the 1870's and perhaps Laura Smith's version as well. But maybe not the "L/D-L/H" version.

I recognize that my idea of "true" is full of potential headaches and I mean it to be taken lightly, please. And I like Gibb's "truck-driving" version of this song (although I can't quite tell if he's in a truck or not.) Here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/hultonclint#p/c/58B55DD66F22060C/100/s65rUw-Z2Og


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 May 10 - 10:00 PM

Lighter,
Yes! Those are the correspondences I am talking about. The similarity in tune --similar enough (less melodious or not) to be considered of the same strain IMO -- between Lloyd's and Laurie/Doerflinger's, along with the correspondence of heave-haul --conspicuously absent elsewhere, and unlikely in the first place -- are the connections. I am not looking at solo verses. We don't know what Ted Howard sang like, so my suggestion is that, while Lloyd may have heard him sing the song and took some solo verses from him, that the Doerflinger text may have been the source for Lloyd to fuller re-construct the song.

It's again a matter of interpretation, but mine is that tunewise Lloyd and Doerflinger are similar enough and all other documented versions are different enough from those (but similar to each other), that either there were two distinguishable melody strains for "South Australia" (with one of them independently appearing in both the case of Laurie and Ted Howard) or that Laurie/Doerflinger's independent appearance was a "deviation" (I use the term rhetorically only) that got continued through Lloyd's adapting it.

As for the other tune strain, independent attestations of the same type of tune by LA Smith and Harlow establish it.

I can imagine other scenarios, but this one is ringing most true to me right now.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 May 10 - 09:02 PM

Gibb, Doerflinger gives one stanza only ("...born,...Horn"). The chorus includes both "heave" and "haul," but the tune is a bit less melodious than Barry/Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 May 10 - 08:14 PM

Yes, of course Hugill varied the stanzas -- I would imagine it would be contrary to his sensibilities not to. To me, it is not the exact form so much as specific earmarks that betray influences. But, to clarify: if I had to guess, I don't think he consciously adopted a version of this or that. (So I don't think conscience, clear or otherwise, is an issue so much.) I think that the "revival" version(s) -- earmarked especially by tune features and such lyrical features as "Nancy Blair" and the combination of "heave" and "haul" -- had become the generally accepted way of rendering the song. I'd have to go back, but I do seem to remember that the earlier collected versions had melodies (with the exception of the one in Doerflinger -- I don't have my books with me) that were more like Hugill's book version.

I am not really surprised that the dominant "revival" version would influence Hugill's performance by the late 70s-90s, but it is curious there has not been more *acknowledgment* (to my knowledge), either by Hugill or others, that the "original" form was appreciably different.

I also find it worth further investigation that the tune that Lloyd ostensibly got from Ted Howard is like Laurie's in Doerlinger (along with heave+haul) yet unlike the others. This could all just be wacky coincidence, and I know that people tend to be releuctant to put borders around musical forms. I happen to think it is possible to distinguish versions. And if the versions do break down the way I claim, then it suggests that 1) Lloyd's version may have owed more to his reading of Doerflinger than to Ted Howard; and/or 2) Hugill's text version might have reflected the influence of print versions (e.g. LA Smith), rather than being a transcription of his singing.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 May 10 - 06:50 PM

As for the tune, my guess is that Hugill just liked it better. Since Lloyd wrote that it came from an old sailor, Hugill could sing it with a clear conscience.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 May 10 - 06:39 PM

The "revival" version of "South Australia" was recorded by Lloyd & MacColl on "Blow, Boys, Blow," ca1961.

Lloyd's note says he got it from "Ted Howard, of Barry."

Hugill sings Barry/Lloyd's tune but varies the stanzas somewhat. The ones about "blind drunk" and "lizards, flies, and sand" don't appear either in Shanties from the Seven Seas or in Lloyd's version. Hugill sang them at Mystic in 1988, however, to the Barry/Lloyd tune.

Harlow has,

South Australia is my native land,
Mountains rich in quartz and sand.

It's hard to know what to make of this resemblance.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 May 10 - 05:13 PM

Just FYI a kind Dutchman just posted up excerpts of Stan Hugill's performances at Workum in 1990. (I know that much of this was already up, on Joe Stead's YouTube, but these are a bit more complete.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQu7YHAYEfk

The first excerpt reminds me again of the "South Australia issue" -- Hugill's performance here owes much to the "Nancy Blair" revival version (which may have been largely influenced by he version in Doerflinger). The melody is unlike what he gives in his own book -- and which I've never heard performed.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 May 10 - 04:05 PM

John-

Glad you were able to make the connection with Danny Spooner. He is a wealth of information with regard to what he sings.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:40 PM

I heard back from Danny Spooner on his "Shallow Brown" and this is what he had to say:

"someone showed me your mudcat discusions about shanties - very interesting stuff well done - I am pretty sure I would have got Shallow Brown from Bob but as I think I've said before I don't sing songs they sing me and it is quite possible that the tune version I use has recreated itself over the years. I always felt that there are hints of the Shenandoar tune here."

He also sent along this interesting bit of information on "The Jolly Wagoner" which was used as a pumping shanty at one point.

"Somewhere in you correspondences 16th Jan 10 you mention The Jolly Waggoner and English folksong the tune of which was used by the goldfields entertainer Charles Thatcher for a goldfields ditty he created called the Jolly Puddlers. Puddling was a method of gold seeking used in Oz."

Thanks, Danny.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 02 May 10 - 10:23 PM

You're right, Charlie. I should try to catch up with Danny and ask him about his version of "Shallow Brown". I'll get an email off to him soon.

As I thought about this some more I realized that I may be confusing "East Virginia" with "Man of Constant Sorrow". I've always thought there was a link between these two songs. The "Constant Sorrow" piece got quite a bit of over exposure with "O Brother", and that version is not what I have in mind, although John Hartford's instrumental version on the sound track is close. I'm hearing something closer to the folk revival (not Dylan) versions, like that of Baez.

The man singing "Shallow Brown" in the song certainly had a constant sorrow! And he may well have been from E. Virginia as well. You can go to Amazon's Mp3 page on "Constant Sorrow' and hear a clip of the Hartford piece, or you can hear it at ITunes.

According to the Wikipedia article on 'Man of Constant Sorrow", Charles Wolfe suggested that the tune may be borrowed from an Old Regular Baptist hymn called "Wandering Boy". I think that Roscoe Holcomb sings this hymn on John Cohen's movie documentary "The High Lonesome Sound". Here's some background on that:

http://www.southernspaces.org/contents/2008/matthews/1j.htm


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:07 AM

John-

Here's a link to Danny Spooner's website: Click here for website

There's a contact link within the website and I'm sure Danny would be happy to explain the origin of his version of "Shallow Brown." Several of his songs were learned from Bob Roberts (last sailing barge skipper) when Danny was working with him as a deckhand many years ago.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 02 May 10 - 10:56 AM

On his album "We'll Either Bend Or Break Her", Danny Spooner sings a very interesting version of "Shallow Brown". This is an old album but it may be available from Dick G. at CAMSCO. Danny's tune is somewhat unique, which I only realized when I put it in the midst of a whole bunch of other versions. I have never asked Danny about his version of this song and how it came together for him, so I don't know the history of this particular version. He will be in the DC area this week for a few concerts. If anybody sees him you might ask him. He's great.

Danny has a verse that goes:

   "Bound away to old Virginia,
       Shallow, Oh, Shallow Brown.
   Love you well, my Julianna,
       Oh, Shallow, Oh, Shallow Brown.

When I heard this verse, something clicked for me. I realized that the lead part of his tune is very close to "I Was Born In East Virginia". As I say, I don't know the history of Danny's version, but I found this intriguing. Of course, there are many ways to sing "East Virginia", from a very slow, old time mountain way in a minor key to a very fast bluegrass way in a major key, with everything in between. The Carter Family did a major re-working of it. Go to the Mp3 section of Amazon if you want to hear more than you probably want to hear of "East Virginia". All of the classics are there for this song. Unfortunately I can't find any links to Danny's song.

Danny's "Shallow Brown" is in a minor key. I don't know whether it's just Danny's version that seems related to "East Virginia" or whether the music folks can hear a relationship in other versions of "Shallow Brown". And I don't know the age of "East Virginia", but my sense is that the "mountain" version(s) have been around for a long time.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: John Minear
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:33 AM

I want to call attention to Gibb's excellent listings of all of the songs that we have been able to find so far, with references, by decade and as a set list to compare with what we know today. You will find all of this over on the "Advent & Development of Chanties" thread beginning here:

thread.cfm?threadid=128220&messages=281#2897809

I want to thank him for doing this very good summary. When you look at his last "set list", it is amazing that there are 47 documented songs on there that we know today. That means songs with some lyrics that are familiar. It is also very interesting what is *not* on there. Three that stand out in my mind are "South Australia", "Shallow Brown", and "Banks of the Sacramento". The search goes on.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 09:03 PM

Lighter-

"Blow Boys Blow" certainly has as one of its major themes a menu of to my tastes weird things to eat.

I'm also not sure of what Sheep "spunks" might be unless they are related to "Rocky Mountain Oysters." I've also wondered about such things as a "Donkey's cropper" or "Salt fish color or sand lice liver." There are some things that it is better left to the imagination in folk songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 07:56 PM

Sharp prints an unusual shanty that he calls "What is in the Pot a-Boiling? (Pulling Chanty)" that bears some vague resemblance to "Rolling John." Sharp collected it in 1914 from H. C. Alison of Perth .

The tune is a lot like the usual "Sally Brown" tune.

What is in the pot a-boiling?
O row, heave and go.
Two sheep's spunks and an apple dumpling.
O row, heave and go.

Resemblances: "Sally" tune connection and "Sally" in the Savannah version. Sally's "Roll and go" could have become "Rolling John." Food lyrics as in "Blow, Boys, Blow," one line of which appears in RJ. A repeat chorus in this and in RJ.

Flimsy yes, but just enough connection to allow a clear conscience while you sing "Rolling John" to Sharp's tune, ad libbing as you go.

I won't guess at the meaning of sheep's "spunks." "Sheep-shanks," on the other hand, would reasonably be boiled.


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Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 01:19 PM

The tune is not exactly what we're used to hearing, but recognizably close..

Sharp describes Perrey as an American, "the son of Irish immigrants. He is a typical chanty-man of the old school, having spent upwards of forty years in sailing ships. I came across him in the S.S. _St. Paul_ on my return from America in 1915."

So Perrey presumably went to sea in the 1870s.


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