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Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships

shipcmo 15 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM
Charley Noble 15 Mar 10 - 07:16 PM
RTim 15 Mar 10 - 07:23 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 10 - 08:23 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Mar 10 - 10:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Mar 10 - 10:23 PM
Dead Horse 16 Mar 10 - 07:51 AM
Charley Noble 16 Mar 10 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Gibb Sahib 16 Mar 10 - 09:17 AM
shipcmo 16 Mar 10 - 10:04 AM
Lighter 16 Mar 10 - 11:18 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM
bubblyrat 16 Mar 10 - 02:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 10 - 04:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 10 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Stuart Frank 20 Jul 10 - 06:18 PM
Charley Noble 20 Jul 10 - 08:34 PM
shipcmo 09 Aug 10 - 01:22 PM
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Subject: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: shipcmo
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM

In addition to the Shanties there were other tunes that were heard on the sailing ships of yore.
Dan Worrall in his book "The Anglo-German Concertina", under the heading: "Types of music played on concertinas at sea" mentions forebitters such as "Tom Bowling",popular songs such as "Loreana", and Hymns as "The Old Rugged Cross". And there was dancing; the most famous "Jack's the Lad" which has become known as the "Sailor's Hornpipe".
On another thread some eminent Mudcatters have been authenticating shanties. I would like to propose trying to collect other music.
Cheers,
Geo


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 07:16 PM

Good luck, George!

Do you want to narrow it down to what the sailors and the officers sang for their own entertainment?

And you also seem to be interested in tunes.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: RTim
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 07:23 PM

This is TOO HUGE for me to really contemplate!
I am currently just looking into Sea Songs collected in Hampshire (England) by one collector from 1905 till 1909, and it is too large!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:23 PM

Irish collector Tom Munnelly pointed out that there were no shanties collected in Ireland, but he recorded a wonderful description from blind storyteller Henry Blake of Kilbaha, on the Shannon estuary, describing how, as a young man, he was working the land and he heard the sound of shanties drifting across the water from a passing sailing ship.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:19 PM

Irish collector Tom Munnelly pointed out that there were no shanties collected in Ireland

What an interesting statement, Jim, and it certainly rings true from what I've seen. I am trying to make sense of its significance, however. With the huge number of Irish sailors that sang and contributed to the shanty repertoire, one wonders why this would be the case. Was it that they "all" ended up settling in England, North America, and Australia? (!) Or was it just happenstance that, quite literally speaking, none of the individuals engaged in song collecting in Ireland happened to run across any on that soil?

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:23 PM

Let me be the first to mention the so-called "fufu band."

Scholar J. Revell Carr (Jr.) dealt with sailors' instrumental music quite a bit in his dissertation from University of California, Santa Barbara: "In the Wake of John Kanaka..." Hopefully soon he will come out with a book!

Also, not "authentic" by any means, but this scene from MOBY DICK is quite provocative in imagining communal music-making aboard 19th century ships:

Starts at 5:12


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Dead Horse
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 07:51 AM

I can state quite categorically that after extensive research and numerous field trips with my trusty notebook and recording equipment, that there were absolutely NO shanties recorded in Milton Keynes before 1884.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 08:18 AM

Surely there must have been an old sea song or two collected in Ireland. Me thinks I recall one titled "When Irish Sheets were Beguiling" and another old favorite "Why Paddy's Not on the Tops'l Yard Today."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 09:17 AM

Geo,

One place to start (perhaps you already have) may be to take that great bibliography you have been developing, and pick out the non-shanty bits. Then divide it into songs versus instrumental music. The instrumental music references will be far fewer, so probably more manageable. The songs part is tough because sailors might sing ANY song that was around then, though through LOADS of work (maybe more than you'd like), you could determine which ones tended to be most associated with sailing ship men. In any case, you may have to decide on some more limiting criteria for this.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: shipcmo
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:04 AM

Gibb,
Interesting enough, David Proctor in his "Music of the Sea" has a picture c.1912 of a 'fou fou' band, but with no mention of what they played.

Charley,
How about "Baidin Fheidlimidh, d'imigh go Ghabhla".

My boat is at the dock behind the house, not going anywhere soon. So why not keep busy.

Cheers,
Geo


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:18 AM

Sailors sang anything they could think of in their brief time off. That included music-hall songs, Child ballads, sentimental and patriotic favorites, you name it.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 12:27 PM

Gibb Sahib,
As far as I know there were no ships identified specifically as 'Irish'.
Ireland was, for all intents and purposes, part of Britain and anything collected from Irish seamen (according to Hugill, there was plenty), was automatically lumped under 'English. There were, as far as I know, no shanties collected on Irish soil, though there were certainly sea songs found, Father Ranson's, 'Songs of the Wexford Coast' probably contains the best examples.
I have a copy of an excellent article on Irish Song and Folklore of the Sea if anybody wants to pm me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: bubblyrat
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 02:25 PM

When I was in the Navy, "Fou Fou", or "Foo Foo " was definitely "powder, talcum, perfumed, balls (not cannon), for the drying of" as per messrs Johnson, Yardley, et al.

It might be worth looking at a few films to see what their take on period sailing-ship music might have been (real or imagined)---for example, in the rip-roaring British navy yarn "Damn the Defiant" starring Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde, and Anthony Quayle, the crew are shown on deck taking exercise by "rapping" to the tune we often know as "Chase Me Charlie", or "Aunty Mary Had A Canary” etc. The Gey Gordons?? (Note the correct spelling of "gey”!!).

Otherwise, I’d have thought that they'd have been too tired, too busy, too fatigued, too poxed up, too thrashed, and too dispirited with malnutrition, piles, scurvy, and generally having a shit time, to bother with singing & dancing.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:20 PM

The logs and diaries of ships and seamen are the most reliable source.
Gale Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang has a large collection.
Colcord and others have published them; almost any popular or minstrel song is a candidate, as well as old 'favorites' sung ashore.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:21 PM

Mase a mess. Put a period before Colcord and it will be understandable.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: GUEST,Stuart Frank
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 06:18 PM

To date, the only sailors' tune list recovered from 19th-century American sailing ships is that of Frederick Howland Smith (1840-1918) of Dartmouth, Mass., compiled in the 1850s and '60s aboard a series of whaleships in which he was a green hand, seaman, boatsteerer, and officer before becoming a captain. The tunes are identified and published --many of them with words excavated from other 19th-century whalemen's manuscripts-- in my softbound monograph entitled *'Musick on the Brain': Frederick Howland Smith's Shipboard Tunes, 1854-1869,* published as Kendall Whaling Museum Monograph #12 (Sharon, Mass.: 2000), available inexpensively from the New Bedford Whaling Museum (www.whalingmuseum.org), Mystic Seaport (www.mysticseaport.org), Amazon, Amazon UK, and various antiquarian booksellers on the internet.


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:34 PM

Thanks, Stuart.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Music Heard at Sea on Sailing Ships
From: shipcmo
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 01:22 PM

Finally received my copy of Stuart's booklet this morning. Looks very interesting.

Cheers,

Geo


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