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The Advent and Development of Chanties

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Gibb Sahib 02 May 10 - 11:35 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 10 - 12:28 AM
Charley Noble 03 May 10 - 08:08 AM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 11:00 AM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 11:07 AM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 11:38 AM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 11:46 AM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 12:08 PM
John Minear 03 May 10 - 04:14 PM
Charley Noble 03 May 10 - 04:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 10 - 09:10 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 10 - 09:22 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 10 - 09:40 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 May 10 - 11:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 May 10 - 12:12 AM
John Minear 04 May 10 - 08:14 AM
Lighter 04 May 10 - 08:45 AM
John Minear 04 May 10 - 09:29 AM
Lighter 04 May 10 - 11:23 AM
Gibb Sahib 05 May 10 - 01:16 AM
Gibb Sahib 05 May 10 - 03:13 AM
John Minear 07 May 10 - 12:41 PM
John Minear 07 May 10 - 12:51 PM
Lighter 07 May 10 - 05:06 PM
Charley Noble 07 May 10 - 09:12 PM
John Minear 10 May 10 - 05:19 PM
John Minear 10 May 10 - 05:33 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 May 10 - 05:34 PM
Lighter 10 May 10 - 05:42 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 May 10 - 05:57 PM
Charley Noble 10 May 10 - 07:47 PM
Lighter 10 May 10 - 08:18 PM
John Minear 24 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM
John Minear 24 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Oct 10 - 03:14 AM
Gibb Sahib 29 Oct 10 - 08:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Nov 10 - 02:58 AM
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Gibb Sahib 02 Nov 10 - 03:03 AM
Gibb Sahib 02 Nov 10 - 03:21 AM
Gibb Sahib 06 Nov 10 - 03:06 AM
Gibb Sahib 06 Nov 10 - 03:10 AM
John Minear 06 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM
Gibb Sahib 08 Nov 10 - 01:06 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Nov 10 - 06:35 AM
Gibb Sahib 11 Nov 10 - 06:53 AM
Gibb Sahib 11 Nov 10 - 07:33 AM
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John Minear 11 Nov 10 - 08:28 AM
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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:35 PM

There is a reference to HILO BOYS in a piece of historical fiction (?) in CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL, Nov. 1876.

The narrator, an Englishman coming from Calcutta, has somehow found himself in a boat off Malaysia with some Papuans. There is some sort of boat race.

The next point was to make the Papuans sing. They are regular darkies; and dear old Captain Orde used to say that without a song a nigger couldn't pull against a fly ; with it, he could haul against a rhinoceros. So whilst Abou was arranging the oars, I got a lot of Papuans, and began to teach them a medley. I could not for the life of me remember the words, but the chorus went: ' Hilo boys, hil-lo !' The rest of it is unimportant, and can be supplied with any gibberish ; so I filled in with Papuan, and taught them to pull strong and slow to the words 'Hilo boys, hil-lo!' There is instinctive time and melody in the poor fellows' composition, and they took to it wonderfully kindly. We pulled away at this slow and steady, and then I taught them another which had a chorus of 'Walk away.' This was much faster, and I soon got them to pull tremendously...

Then came the proa race, for which we took our place in a line. Moussoul started us with a matchlock, and Tamula got ahead at once, followed by the other proas. We were last, singing our ' Hilo boys, hil-lo !' keeping about a hundred feet in rear of old Tamula, and going so beautifully that Abou was in raptures, and whispered to me that we could win....


Any ideas on what this "Walk away" song might have been?

LINK


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:28 AM

THE LOG OF MY LEISURE HOURS (1872), by "An Old Sailor," original preface 1868. I am confused to what this is -- fiction, or an autobiography. The author seems to switch from first person to third person midway through. In any case, the narrator claims to describe a voyage in a schooner CLEOPATRA to Georgetown, Guyana. On one scene, the loading of molasses and sugar is being accomplished. The writer says it was 1831. Thoughts on the authenticity of this?

Log of Leisure

Here is the passage of interest. Shanties are not mentioned in the book.

As the entire energies of the owners and their agents were devoted to the speedy discharge and loading of the Cleopatra, she was never detained in port, either at London or in Demerara, for more than ten or twelve days at a time. But the work in the West Indies was the heaviest; it was almost unremitting. After the seamen concluded their day's labour, a gang of negroes came on board, who worked the whole night, discharging cargo or taking on board hogsheads of sugar; and their never-ceasing songs, as they walked round the capstan, or when "screwing" or "swamping" sugars in the hold, left little chance of repose to the whites, who had been at similar work during the whole of the day.

The implication is that the crew, out of London, was all White. And though they participated in the loading of the cargo, it was the local (Guyanese) Black workers that sang songs as they worked.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:08 AM

Gibb-

I suppose that "Walkalong, Boys" might be related to the halyard shanty "Walkalong, My Rosie" as cited by Hugill, pp. 273-274, which has two pulls and would work well for the coordination of rowing.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:00 AM

Here's a reference to and a verse from "Blow the man down". It is in YANKEE SWANSON: CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE AT SEA, by Andrew Walfrid Nelson, 1913. The reference is to 1877. The verse given is:

    "Blow the man down in Grangemouth town,
       hay, hay, blow the man down."

The task at hand is one of hoisting the anchor.

http://books.google.com/books?id=uzRDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA82&dq=%22Blow+the+man+down&lr=&cd=353#v=onepage&q=%22Blow%20the%20man%20down&


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:07 AM

And here's a reference to "Cheerily, men!" from 1876, from THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE AT SEA, by Charles Chapman. The setting is in "the Downs" and the task is one of hoisting the anchor.

http://books.google.com/books?id=PY09AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA279&dq=Cheerily,+Men&lr=&cd=124#v=onepage&q=Cheerily%2C%20Men&f=false


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:38 AM

I may have missed this, but here is a reference to "Hanging Johnny", or more specifically, "Hangman Johnny". Actually it is two references to the same material. The earliest is from 1867 in an article entitled "Negro Spirituals", from THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. The second is to a book entitled ARMY LIFE IN A BLACK REGIMENT, published in 1882, but referencing the year 1862. Both are by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The song was being sung by a squad of men coming in from picket duty. Apparently these were freed slaves serving in the Union Army in South Carolina. The verses are:

    "O, dey call me Hangman Johnny!
          O, ho! O, ho!
      But I never hang nobody,
          O, hang, boys, hang!

    O, dey all me Hangman Johnny!
          O, ho! O, ho!
    But we'll all hang togedder,
          O, hang, boys, hang!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=250GAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA693&dq=Hangman+Johnny&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Hangman%20Johnny&f=false

And

http://books.google.com/books?id=ITcOAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA220&dq=Hangman+Johnny&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Hangman%20Johnny&f=false


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:46 AM

Here's a version of "Haul Away, Joe" from 1877, from a book entitled CRUMBS SWEPT UP, by Thomas De Witt Talmage, in an piece called "Fallacies About The Sea". There are some interesting verses here. There is reference to the ship "Kangaroo", and sailing away from "Milfred Bay".

http://books.google.com/books?id=J1g1AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA368&dq=%22Haul+Away,+Joe%22&lr=&cd=38#v=onepage&q=%22Haul%20Away%2C%20Joe%22&


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:08 PM

Here is a translation of a Scandinavian work of fiction by Jonas Lie, entitled THE PILOT AND HIS WIFE, reviewed in 1875, and translated in 1876, so written sometime before that. It contains a reference to "Haul the bowline". It's not clear to me what he task is here.

http://books.google.com/books?id=DkksAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA133&dq=%22Haul+the+bowline%22+The+Pilot+and+his+wife&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=f


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 03 May 10 - 04:14 PM

Here's a work of fiction published in 1878-79 by Horace Elisha Scudder called THE BODLEYS ON WHEELS. There is a section called "On Building a Ship", and in that section one of the girls reads a story that she has written about "The Happy Clothes-Dryer", which is about two pine trees in a forest in Maine that carry on a conversation about becoming masts on a ship. One is called "Tall" and one is called "Short". In this conversation, they mention and quote a few lines from a number of chanties: "Do, my Johnny boker, do!", "An' away, my Johnny boy, we're all bound to go!", "Away, you rollin' river", and three verses of "Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo!" Then there is an interesting verse from what appears to be a another version of "Shenandoah":

    "Aha! I'm bound A W A Y
    Across the broad Atlantic!"

And then another verse from "Johnny Boker":

    "Oh, do me, Johnny Boker, the wind is blowin' bravely!
          Do me, Johnny Boker, do!"

And another "Ranzo" verse. The children end up acting out the story, so all of these songs are being sung by children almost as children's songs. The author seems to presuppose that they were that well known by then! Here is the reference:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Pv0LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA173&dq=The+Happy+Clothes-Dryer&lr=&cd=19#v=onepage&q=The%20Happy%20Clothes-Dr


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 May 10 - 04:19 PM

John-

Where one's research leads one is an endless source of amazement!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 10 - 09:10 PM

Thanks for these, John. Now to dissect them a little!

"Here's a reference to and a verse from "Blow the man down". It is in YANKEE SWANSON: CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE AT SEA, by Andrew Walfrid Nelson, 1913. The reference is to 1877."

The ship FORSETTE out of Höganäs, Sweden, is off Bodo, Norway. It says,

When the kedge was down, we took in the slack on the line and tripped our anchor, after which all hands manned the capstan and away we went as fast as we could run around the capstan. After we got a little way on her it was easy work, because there was no current in the inlet just then. We took the line off the capstan, and all hands tailed on to the rope with a will, brought on by splicing the main brace a couple of times, and by the cook's lusty singing, " Blow the man down in Grangemouth town, hay, hay, blow the man down," and several other chanteys.

So, just to clarify, they are indeed hauling (catting anchor).

"And here's a reference to "Cheerily, men!" from 1876, from THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE AT SEA, by Charles Chapman. The setting is in "the Downs" [English Channel] and the task is one of hoisting the anchor."

It is a brigantine, "M--", of Goole (Yorkshire), circa early 1840s.

At the end of that time the sound of the sailors "Oh-ye-hoy" was to be heard all over the roadstead, together with the sound of the " pawls " of the windlass. Then as the anchors came up to the hawse pipes, and when the cats were hooked on, there came over the still waters of the Downs the familiar song, "Cheerily, men!" from all quarters, which, together with the rattling of chains, the squeaking of the blocks, the throwing down on deck of coils of rope, and all the various noises, including the boatswain's pipe, and the more gruff boatswain's voice, gave one the idea of working life.

I'd guess the "oh-ye-hoy" was one of those pre-chanty cries at the old fashioned windlass. CHEERLY is here being used for catting anchor again.

In 1840 Melbourne, there is also this note:

all hands clapped on to the weather main topsail brace, and hauled on it with a will, and with a "Yo— he—hoy!"

And later, out of context,

ln the interest of the poor fellows who are no longer able to clap on a rope and sing out, "Oh—heave—hoy !'

More singing-out, but not chanteying. I'd say this is consistent so far with what we've seen from that time period--perhaps especially in British vessels.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 10 - 09:22 PM

Great "Hangman Johnny"!

I doubt you'll ever hear a verse like this today!:

My presence apparently cheeked the performance of another verse, beginning, "De buckra 'list for money," apparently in reference to the controversy about the pay question, then just beginning, and to the more mercenary aims they attributed to the white soldiers.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 10 - 09:40 PM

"Here's a version of "Haul Away, Joe" from 1877, from a book entitled CRUMBS SWEPT UP, by Thomas De Witt Talmage, in an piece called "Fallacies About The Sea". There are some interesting verses here. There is reference to the ship "Kangaroo", and sailing away from "Milfred Bay". "

Ha! Who knows where the author got this from? I wonder if he heard it in a trans-Altlantic voyage, or if culled from elsewhere. In any case, he has mixed up HAUL AWAY JOE with the sometimes-chantey (according to Hugill), ABOARD THE KANGAROO.

Away ! Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !
Away! Haul away! now we are sober
Once I lived in Ireland, digging turf and tatoes,
But now I'm in a packet-ship a-hauling tacks and braces.[//]
Once I was a waterman and lived at home at ease,
But now I am a mariner to plough the angry seas.
I thought I would like a seafaring life, so I bid my
       love adieu,
And shipped as cook and steward on board the Kangaroo.
Then I never thought she would prove false,
Or ever prove untrue,
When we sailed away from Milfred Bay
On board the Kangaroo. [//]
Away ! Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !
Away Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !

"On board the Kangaroo" is mentioned as a popular song (i.e. non-chantey) in this March 1868 article from THE MUSICAL WORLD.

http://books.google.com/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA215&dq=%22on+board+the+kangar

So I wonder if Talmage was hearing a chantey or a forebitter.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:36 PM

Lie's Norwegian story LODSEN OG HANS HUSTRU came out in 1874.

The English translation goes,

By the occasional howls, rather than songs, which were heard around the capstan, and which accompanied the different kinds of work, it was not difficult to understand that the crew had become excited, for they had expected to have quiet until after mess-time, when around the poop they should exchange news and communications. The usual English song for hauling the bowline —

Haul the bowline,
The captain he is growling —
Haul the bowline,
The bowline haul!

was sung with offensive application by the sailors sweating and half naked in the sun, who hauled the bowline and spread the topsail. During the heavy haul wherewith they at last got the huge anchor up on the bow, the mate had shouted and encouraged them:

"Take — my men — hold — haul!" but the closing words of the song —

Oh, haul in — oh-e-oh!
Cheer, my men!

were uttered with a derisive howl.


I suppose BOWLINE is being used to haul forward a tack. And CHEERLY is again being used for catting anchor.

Here is the original Norwegian:

Af de enkelte snarere Hyl end Sange, som hørtes om Gangspillet og ledsagede de forskjellige Arbeider, var det ikke vanskeligt at forstaa, at Mandskabet var kommet i en ophidset Stemning; thi man havde ventet at have Fred til over Skaffetiden, da man omkring Ruffet skulde udveksle alskens Nyheder og Efterretninger. Den vante engelske Opsang for Bouglinehal:

Haul the bowline,
the captain he is growling,
haul the bowline,
the bowline haul!

blev sunget med forarget Hentydning af de i Solen svedende, halvnøgne Matroser, der halede Bouglinen og strakte Mersseilet. Under de tunge Hal, hvormed man tilslut kattede det svære Anker op for Bougen, havde Styrmanden raabt et opmuntrende:
„Sæt „„Kjelimen — hal"" paa!" — Men Endeordene i Sangen:

„Aa hal i — aa — i aa —!
„Cheer my men!"

udstedtes med haanlig Hujen.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:12 AM

"Here's a work of fiction published in 1878-79 by Horace Elisha Scudder called THE BODLEYS ON WHEELS."

I saw this earlier, John, and was fascinated by its use of "chanty" as a verb, as if French.

' Do, my Johnny Boker, do !' "

And Short pretended to chanty a sailor's song.


"An' away, my Johnny boy, we 're all bound to go!" must be HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES

The REUBEN RANZO verses (repetition):

' Oh, Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo !'
...
" You hear of Reuben Ranzo,
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo!"
...
" Oh Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo! "
...
" Oh, Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo ! "


The SHENANDOAH and HEAVE AWAY samples compare well with the lyrics given in "The Riverside Magazine for Young People" Apr., 1868, cited earlier by Lighter. I don't know who wrote that piece, but, chances are, if Scudder did not, then he has culled his chanties from there. Scudder was the editor of that children's magazine, so these are probably being rehashed. Perhaps Lighter will mention what some of the other chanties were in The Riverside Magazine -- they may match others in this story by Scudder.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:14 AM

Here is an interesting version of "Shenandoah" from UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, 1876, by Januarius Aloysious MacGahan. He is on the ship "Pandora" and sailing in Artic waters. They are at the capstan, hoisting anchor. Here are the verses he gives:

"Oh, Shanadoa, I longs to hear you.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I longs to hear you.
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, I've seen your daughter,
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I've seen your daughter,
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, I loves your daughter.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I loves your daughter.
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

When I return I'll wed your daughter.
Ha! ha! we are bound away.
When I return I'll wed your daughter.
Ho! Ho! the rolling water.

For seven long years I woo'd your daughter.
Ha! ha! old Shanadoa.
For seven long years I woo'd your daughter.
Ho! ho! the rolling water.

Oh, Shanadoa, where is your daughter?
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, shanadoa, where is your daughtrer?
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, beneath the water.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, beneath the water.
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water."

Oh, Shanadoa, there lies your daughter.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoah, there lies your daughter.
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water."

The verses are interspersed with commentary about the anchor coming up. Here is the source:

http://books.google.com/books?id=NC4mAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA213&dq=%22Oh,+Shanadoa,+I+longs+to+hear+you.&cd=2#v=onepage&q=%22Oh%2C%20Shan


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:45 AM

I've already posted that one from MacGahan's biography.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 04 May 10 - 09:29 AM

Sorry, Lighter. I didn't scroll back far enough. It's a good one.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:23 AM

And maybe half improvised. Or idiosyncratic, which is almost the same thing.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 May 10 - 01:16 AM

The verses are interspersed with commentary about the anchor coming up.

I am not sure what to make of it, though. Because first they are puling up the slack, and able to more or less "run" around the capstan. Then the mudhook is stuck and they are trying to break it out, etc. How is it that Shenandoah is working throughout this whole process? Conventional wisdom would say that it was sung during the really hard heaving i.e. at slow speed, and that the chantey would be have to be changed to match other tempi. So...either something is happening here that is different than the conventional understanding, or the Shenandoah text is just being used, with artistic license, to unify the writing and without regard to authentic context. (??)


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:13 AM

Logging in this item mentioned already on the "Sydney" thread. "Marcia's Fortune," a story by Katharine B. Foot, appearing in SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY, vol 13 (April 1877).

Just then the sound of a voice singing reached her ears, and she turned her head to see a little boat, with two men in it, row past—as near in shore as was safe. One was a gunner, and the other a man she knew well,— a broken-down sailor who had once shipped " able-bodied seaman," but whose day for that had long been over. As he rowed he trolled out an old sea-song, sung by many a sailor as he weighed anchor or reefed top-sails, outward bound. It was this:

"I'm bound away to leave you;
Good-bye, my love, good-bye!
Don't let my absence grieve you;
Good-bye, my love, good-bye!"


This is the first mention of this song (?), later to be mentioned, with tune, by Alden.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:41 PM

Here is an interesting book published in 1921 about the maiden voyage of the clipper ship, "Sheila" in 1877, by the Captain, W. H. Angel, called THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA" . Interspersed throughout this detailed account are sea shanties. They are not usually put into work contexts, but merely given as examples. Do they come from this voyage in 1877, or from later recollections/collections? I can't tell from scanning the text and there are no clues otherwise. I haven't had time to compare them to other collections to see if they might have come from somewhere else. Captain Angel says in his Preface, "The whole of this book has been written up by the Author from carefully kept logs, and its accuracy can be vouched for." Here is a list of the shanties and their page numbers.

"Outward Bound" 51-52
"Unmooring" 52-53
"Goodbye, Fare You Well"   55
"Across the Western Ocean"   59
"Bound for the Rio Grande"   64
"Reuben Rantzau"   73-74
"Sally Brown"   74-75
"Stormalong"   75
"Poor Old Man"   88
"Old Horse"   92-93
"So Early In the Morning"   120-121
"Johnny Boker"   120
"Paddy Doyle" 121
"So Handy, My Girls"   140-141
"Whiskey, Johnny"   144
"Poor Paddy Works On the Railway"   141-142
"Blow the Man Down"   162
"Blow Boys, Blow"   162
"A Roving"   163
"Rolling Home"   186-189
"Haul Away, Jo"   187-188
"Hilo, John Brown, Stand to Your Ground"   269-270
"One More Day, My Johnny"   277
"Farewell, Adieu"   278-279

Here is the link:

http://www.archive.org/stream/clippershipsheil00angeuoft#page/n7/mode/2up

And here is a note about all of this basically laying out the same information by Gibb on the "Rare Caribbean" thread, which I just came across:

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2608223


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 07 May 10 - 12:51 PM

I'm wondering if I've missed something. Does it strike anybody as strange that the so-called "oldest chanty of all", namely "A-Roving" hasn't showed up prior to the "SHEILA" source just posted?


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:06 PM

There's no real evidence that "A-Rovin'" itself is unusually old, even if the general idea appeared in a completely different song in 1607.

The earliest polite version seems to be in [William Allen Hayes, ed.] Selected Songs Sung at Harvard College: From 1862 to 1866. (Cambridge: pvtly. ptd., June, 1866), pp.30-31.

So it could be a clean song that got bawdified and shantyized rather than the other way around. However, Whall gives the three tamest stanzas of the anatomical version as having been part of the shanty repertoire of the 1860s.

Harlow prints part of a version he presumably learned in 1876.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 May 10 - 09:12 PM

Lighter-

"There's no real evidence that "A-Rovin'" itself is unusually old..."

That's an interesting thought, given the conventional belief on the part of the folk music community. But let's re-examine the evidence.

My family certainly sang that song from 1940 on, as did our friends in Long Island.

I'll see what I can dig up.

With regard to literary references:

In the Fireside Book of Folk Songs, © 1947, it's described as "one of the oldest of the capstan shanties; originally a shore song, p. 168. Cecil Sharp collected a shore version called "We'll Go No More a-Cruising" as cited by Hugill in his discussion of the origins of the song in Shanties of the Seven Seas, p. 44. Frank Shay traces the song back to 1608 to Thomas Heywood in his play The Rape of Lucrece in An American Sailor's Treasury, © 1948, p. 86. It appears to be John Masefield who first mentions in Sailor's Garland, © 1906, p. 323, the connection with The Rape of Lucrece. Capt. Whall in Sea Songs and Shanties also mentions the connection with The Rape of Lucrece, p. © 1910, p. 61, as does Joanne Colcord in Songs of American Sailormen, © 1938, p. 28, and Frederick Pease Harlow in Chanteying aboard American Ships, © 1962, p. 51. Frank Bullen doesn't mention the song at all, nor does C. Fox Smith.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:19 PM

Here's a reference from January, 1874, in the APPLETON'S JOURNAL, VOL. XI, in an article by Samuel A. Drake entitled "The Pepperlls of Kittery Point, Maine", to "Heave Away, My Johnnies". The verse is

   "Then heave away, my bully boys,
       Heave away, my Johnnies!"

There is also reference to this song, which is unfamiliar to me:

    "Then heave up the anchor, boys,
       Brace round the main-yard;
    Haul taut your port bow-line,
       And let the good ship fly!"

Here is the link (click on p. 66 - I had trouble with this link):

http://books.google.com/books?id=rAMZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA65&dq=The+Pepperell's+of+Kittery+Point&lr=&cd=17#v=onepage&q=The%20Pepperell'


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:33 PM

Here is another reference (snippet only) from 1875 to "Heave away, my Johnnies", from ST. NICHOLAS, VOLUME 3, by Mary Mapes Dodge.

    "Heave away, my bully boys,
    Heave away, my Johnnies;
    Heave up the anchor, boys,
    Brace round the main yard,
    Haul taut your port bow-line,
    And let the good ship fly."

Which answers the question in my previous post about that additional verse. They appear to be the same, and thus it is all one song. Is this the same chanty as "Heave away, my Johnnies"?

http://books.google.com/books?id=p3IXAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Heave+away,+my+johnnies%22&dq=%22Heave+away,+my+johnnies%22&lr=&cd=20


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:34 PM

Thanks, John. Just to add that these songs were said to be sung whilst heaving at the windlass, and that the author uses the term "shanty" -- in quotes, as if it weren't common knowledge.

I don't recognize the second one, but it looks like a "grand chorus" section to a song.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:42 PM

Charley, I believe the idea that "A-Rovin'" is "one of the earliest shanties" is based entirely on Masefield's hasty conclusion, based on his observation that the theme and even some of the rhymes of Heywood's song are much the same as those of "A-Rovin'".

Otherwise, though, the songs are dissimilar.

Heywood:
http://books.google.com/books?id=BNUUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA233&lpg=PA233&dq=%22feele+man%22&source=bl&ots=TSwGSRBj2J&sig=V5Y2fvB_OAXNr8mDhdARvW5TlhY&hl=en&ei=UnvoS_XTLsSblgf-7-WlAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22feele%20man%22&f=false

(Pp. 232-33).

What text of "A-Rovin'" did your family sing in the '40s?


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:57 PM

John,
re: the second reference.

With the info available, I strongly suspect that the 2nd/Dodge reference was just copied from the 1st/Drake. The author combined the two song fragments in a work of fiction.

Even the Drake reference may be inaccurately reproducing HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 May 10 - 07:47 PM

Lighter-

There were two sources for "A-Roving" in my family, my uncle Richard Dyer-Bennet and our old family friend Dennis Pulisten of Brookhaven, Long Island; both of them were born and raised in England. Their versions certainly predated the popular "Fireship" version that surfaced in about 1951. I'll have to check with my mother tomorrow and see if she can add any more notes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 10 May 10 - 08:18 PM

Thanks, Charley. Only *one* authentic unbowdlerized seafaring text of "The Fireship" has ever been printed (by Ed Cray).

If you've got another one, the world demands it!


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM

In his new book, JOLLY SAILORS BOLD (published by CAMSCO), Stuart Frank gives us a list of tunes found in a journal kept by Frederick Howland Smith, a whaleman. He first sailed in the Lydia on October 9, 1854. The tune list is found on a page of one of his journals kept during the period between 1854 and 1869. Frank says that it was "probably written down while serving as third mate of the ship Herald just after the Civil War." (p. 358).

One of the songs that shows up on this list is (#178) "Fanny Elssler Leaving New Orleans". We already know this song as a version of "Grog Time Of Day". Here is Gibb's original posting on this song with the lyrics:

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2875848

And here is a link back to one of the early accounts:

http://books.google.com/books?id=LOxCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA212&dq=%22Grog+Time+o'+day%22&hl=en&ei=OSzDTI_NJ8aAlAe457gE&sa=X&oi=book_resu

Fanny was a ballerina and toured the US in 1840-1842. Frank says that the lyrics for the song were "miraculously preserved through ephemeral publication in THE NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK (circa 1845)." (p. 374) I was unable to find a full copy of this book on Google Books.

We don't know either from Frank or from Frederick Smith's journal when Smith learned this song. But we do know that sometime between 1854 and 1869, the title at least shows up on board of a whaling ship. Frank says that this list of songs were probably ones that Smith knew and sang. Frank calls this song a "cargo-loading" song, "evidently originating with African-american longshoremen in New Orleans...." (p. 374).

So, this puts this version of "Grog Time Of Day" at sea between 1854 and 1869 in a whaling context. Smith's early journals are in the Kendall Collection at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM

Excellent work, John!

GROG TIME is of special interest because it seems to be one of the earliest known "chanties."

What you've posted leads to 2 insights. Please forgive me if I am repeating what you've already said, or clarify if I get it wrong.

1. Though earlier we had THE ART OF BALLET (1915) as a source for this "Fanny" song, for the purposes of this thread we now have an earlier source for it: as per Frank, THE NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK ca. 1845. That does not change our supposed date of the song being sung in 1840-42, but it does give us a more contemporary reference. I, for one, am pleased to have that.

I would *guess* that the author of ART OF BALLET got the song from NEGRO SINGER'S (or some derivation). So, the latter now becomes our primary source for this reference.

A small point: (Neither John nor I have as now seen NEGRO SINGER'S, so I am still guessing here.) It may have been that the author of ART OF BALLET reconstructed the scene of the cargo loading based on notes from an earlier book. Frank also notes cargo loading in New Orleans, so I assume (?) that in NEGRO SINGER'S there are notes on context (i.e. that ART OF BALLET could have used to sketch the scene.)

2.If the whaleman Smith copied down "Fanny" in his journal, I am not sure what implications that has that he *sang* it. Without having seen Frank's exact words, I can't form a solid opinion of how likely that was. Worldcat indicates that NEGRO SINGER'S includes no music notation (though there certainly may have been other ways to cook up the/a tune).

What stumps me most is why such an incidental, ad-libbed song would be taken and reproduced in later performance. Perhaps if a minstrel group took on the song and, after a rather artificial staged fashion, worked up a performance version of it, it would then become popular and spread itself, no longer subject to the usual "rules" of performance in the "folk" tradition.

I guess what I am voicing is my skepticism --though it may be due to lack of info-- that this "Fanny" song would have been performed by the whalemen 2 decades after it was observed on a New Orleans dock. Well, at least not in an "authentic" way. But anything is possible, I suppose.

I'll see if I can get a hold of NEGRO SINGER'S.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 24 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM

Gibb, Frank does not give any indication of contextual notes for "Fanny" in NEGRO SINGER'S. Nor does he give any references for his statement about this being a "cargo-loading" song. My *guess* is that he may have gotten this from ART OF BALLET, which takes us back to where we were before on that. There apparently was no tune printed for "Fanny" in NEGRO SINGER'S. And I would add that as near as I can tell, there were no tunes notated for any of the 230 or so songs in Frank's book. Apparently the whalemen didn't write down music. Frank does provide tunes for each of the songs, but they come from other sources, such as later chanty collections, printed music, etc. Interestingly enough, the tune he provides for "Fanny" is "Fine Time O' Day" from Trelawney Wentworth's THE WEST INDIA SKETCH BOOK!

Smith only copied the title of "Fanny" in his journal, not the lyrics or the tune. I agree with you that this leaves open the question of whether he actually ever sang the song, or whether the song was ever actually used as a hoisting chanty on board a whaler. Once again, we don't have the info on any of this. Frank says,

    "Most of Fred Smith's known song and tune collecting was been (sic) done during his first four voyages, when he was a cabin boy, seaman, boatsteerer, and deck officer in three whaleships and before he ascended to the responsibilities and distractions of marriage and command. He kept journals of all four voyages in a single volume, which also became his reference library and study guide in matters of seamanship and celestial navigation." (p. 358).

He goes on to say,

    "It would undoubtedly delight folklorists and performers today had Fred Smith or some other whaleman seen fit to transcribe shipboard fiddle and dance tunes,note-for-note, just as he knew them - preferably with grace notes and ornamentation, the way they were played in the forecastle and aftercabin at sea. But, so far, no such transcriptions have emerged, and Smith's mere list, inscribed on a single page of his journal, is about the best and most extensive documentation of such tunes on American whaleships." (p. 358)

There is some indication that "Fanny" may have been used in minstrel performances. Frank says,

    "That the song may also have been making rounds on the music-hall circuit is suggested by an allusion on an earlier page of the same songster [NEGRO SINGER'S] (p. 196), in a section entitled "Conundrums," intended as a collection of vaudeville-like dialect quips for "Negro" musicians. It is attributed to the so-called "Black Apollo," whose real name was Charles White, "and all the Colored Savoyards at the Principal theaters in the United States":
          Why is Fanny Elssler like the Bunker Hill Monument?
          Because they are both out ob town. (Frank, p. 374)   

Out of the 230 or so songs in his book, Frank only lists seven as "deepwater chanteys" All of the rest were used for some form of entertainment on the whaling ships. Frank does seem to make the assumption that "Fanny" was used as a chanty, but gives not documentation for this assumption. See page xix in an introductory essay entitled "A Few Words about Chanteys" where he says,

    "A large number of chanteys survive; probably as many have been lost since steam propulsion supplanted them. But comparatively few original cotton-steeeving songs survive. "Fanny Elssler Leaving New Orleans" [#178] is a rare specimen of known vintage."

It is also possible that if this song was actually sung on board of the whalers, it was sung for entertainment as a music hall song. Again, all that can really be said is that the song title shows up in a whaleman's journal written sometime between 1854 and 1869. It is one of 21 titles on the list.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 03:14 AM

Wow! Thanks for all that detail.

The plot continues to thicken of the GROG TIME story.

I've ordered "The Negro Singer's Own Book" on interlibrary loan, and when and if it comes I'll report back.

Now it's back to writing articles on 'jhummar' dance and Punjabi popular music.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 08:36 PM

Back in May, John wrote:

Here is an interesting book published in 1921 about the maiden voyage of the clipper ship, "Sheila" in 1877, by the Captain, W. H. Angel, called THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA" . Interspersed throughout this detailed account are sea shanties. They are not usually put into work contexts, but merely given as examples. Do they come from this voyage in 1877, or from later recollections/collections? I can't tell from scanning the text and there are no clues otherwise.

Due to a discussion with Lighter on the 'Rare Caribbean..." thread, I am suspecting that the chanty info in Angel's book is not reliable. At this point, I suspect that at least his "Stand to Your Ground" was copied from Whall's 1910 collection. Another tell-tale is the item called "Unmooring" in both texts. Another thing I haphazardly spotted is Angel's odd claim that "Stormalong" sounded great with violin accompaniment (!)

I have not compared every song! Perhaps some are original to Angel, but these issues make me inclined to throw it out as a useful reference for the 1870s.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 02:58 AM

When last I was tending to this thread we were sifting through references to chantying in the 1870s. The discussion by this point has become quite sticky, because even contemporary references from the 1870s are potentially "contaminated" by the available articles from the late '60s. Still, I'll go on with trying to cite activity attributed to the 70s, with the caveat that , for the sake of time, the authenticity of each source is not being verified.

There is a travelogue by Symondson from 1876, TWO YEARS ABAFT THE MAST, that describes his voyage in an English merchant ship SEA QUEEN. Based on the date of the preface (Sept 1876), the voyage must have started in fall of 1874 or earlier. "Chanties" are mentioned by name several times. The term is used in quotes, still suggesting, perhaps, its relative newness.

When attempting to leave London, there's this:

//
Tuesday, at eleven o'clock, the third mate returned aboard, accompanied by Mr H (one of the owners), with instructions from the owners to return to Gravesend. We were not a little amused whilst heaving round the windlass at seeing Mr H leaning over the bulwarks deplorably sick. Our putting back made the men strike up the wellknown homeward-bound "chanty"—

" Good-bye, fare-ye-well;
Good-bye, fare-ye-well!"
//

When this author says "windlass" he means capstan. So it is GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL, which I think is more of a brake windlass chanty, but here we have it for capstan.

Off Portland we have this:

//
We filled up with water and took aboard some fresh meat; and the wind having hauled round to N.E., with fine and clear weather, we weighed anchor to the tune of the "chanty,"—"I served my time in the Black Ball Line,"—and proceeded out by the west entrance of the breakwater.
//

We don't associate BLACKBALL LINE with weighing anchor by capstan today. However, the one prior reference to Blackball Line, from the 1868 "On Shanties" articles, also puts it as a capstan chanty. Weird.

Next, when in Sydney Harbour:

//
Whilst heaving up anchor prior to the tug towing us to the wharf, we had some good "chanties " —for Jack's spirits are at their highest at the thoughts of a run ashore. The "chanty" known under the name of " The Rio Grande" is particularly pretty, the chorus being:—

"Heave away, my bonny boys, we are all bound to Rio.
          Ho ! and heigho!
Come fare ye well, my pretty young girl,
      For we're bound to the Rio Grande."
//

So, RIO GRANDE.

Later while Sydney Harbour is being described generally:

//
As the sun slowly vanishes away, the perspective becomes blue and purple, the sky settles into a bright greenish hue, and the noise and flutter cease, to be replaced by an almost unbroken silence, made all the more noticeable by its suddenness. The plaintive notes of a distant sailor's " chanty " or call alone break upon one's ear at intervals; and sweetly pretty they sound, particularly at such a time and place.
//

Ooh, chanties are still 'plaintive'!

Another general comment -- giving some insight on non-Anglophones knowing chanties:

//
Since the introduction of steam, there has been a large proportion of foreigners in the English merchant service — mostly Germans, Swedes, Dutchmen, and Russian Fins. All foreigners are called " Dutchmen " at sea. However, those who sail out of England on long
voyages, have mostly been so long in our service, that practically they are Englishmen, knowing our "chanties" and sea-rules better than their own.
//

On the difference between Navy and merchant ships, the author reconfirms what we understand to be the case, that chanties were not part of Navy practice:

//
Merchant Jack laughs with contempt as he watches their crew in uniform dress, walking round the windlass, weighing anchor like mechanical dummies. No hearty "chanties" there—no fine chorus ringing with feeling and sentiment, brought out with a sort of despairing wildness, which so often strikes neighbouring landsfolk with the deepest emotion. He likes to growl—and he may, so long as he goes about his work. I have heard mates say—Give me a man that can growl: the more he growls, the more he works. Silence reigns supreme aboard a Queen's ship; no general order is given by word of mouth—the boatswain's whistle takes its place.
//

"Despairing wildness"! Nice.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 03:04 AM

Here's the link to Symondson:

TWO YEARS ABAFT THE MAST


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 03:03 AM

One reference that hasn't been logged here yet is Clark's THE CLIPPER SHIP ERA (1912). I am taking the liberty of reproducing John Minear's introduction from elsewhere on Mudcat, then I will break down the passages.

In his book THE CLIPPER SHIP ERA, Arthur Hamilton Clark says, "In the year 1849, 91,405 passengers landed at San Francisco from various ports of the world, of almost every nationality under the sun...." (p.101). That is simply astounding! And what is even more astounding is that so far nobody has turned up anything at all with regard to what just one or two or a dozen of these "Argonauts" might have written down about the work songs that they heard during their voyage to California. And we know they did write things down, in letters and journals and diaries and newspapers. They wrote about all kinds of things. But so far, not about sea chanties.

Clark does have a very detailed chapter, Chapter VII, "The Rush For California - A Sailing Day", in which he lays out what a sailing day from New York harbor would have been like. The problem is that is is not an actual historical account of an actual day, but an idealized account of a re-imagined day. However, Clark was around in those days and his accounts otherwise seem to be accurate and taken as an authority on things.

In this account, he mentions that "Almost every seaport along the Atlantic coast, sent one or more vessels (to California in 1849), and they all carried passengers." (pp. 100-101). In this chapter he says quite a bit about chanties. He says,

       "The people who gathered at Battery Park to see a clipper ship get under way, came partly to hear the sailors sing their sea songs, or chanties, which were an important part of sea life in those days, giving a zest and cheeriness on shipboard, which nothing else could supply." (pp. 109-110).

In his description of the process of a clipper ship putting to sea, he specifically mentions a number of chanties and gives lyrics and tells how and when and what they were used for: "Poor Paddy Works On The Railway", "Paddy Doyle's Boots", "Whiskey Johnny", "Lowlands", and "Hah, Hah, rolling John" ("Blow Boys Blow"). Not only is this probably an accurate list, but the lyrics he gives are probably what were actually sung on board those clipper ships headed to California. His book is specifically about the years from 1843-1869. But it was not published until 1912, and the Preface is dated 1910, about 60 years after the days of the Gold Rush.


Here is the extended reflection on chanties:

//
The people who gathered at Battery Park to see a clipper ship get under way, came partly to hear the sailors sing their sea songs, or chanties, which were an important part of sea life in those days, giving a zest and cheeriness on shipboard, which nothing else could supply. It used to be said that a good chanty man was worth four men in a watch, and this was true, for when a crew knocked off chantying, there was something wrong—the ship seemed lifeless. These songs originated early in the nineteenth century, with the negro stevedores at Mobile and New Orleans, who sung them while screwing cotton bales into the holds of the American packet ships; this was where the packet sailors learned them. The words had a certain uncouth, fantastic meaning, evidently the product of undeveloped intelligence, but there was a wild, inspiring ring in the melodies, and, after a number of years, they became unconsciously influenced by the pungent, briny odor and surging roar and rhythm of the ocean, and howling gales at sea. Landsmen have tried in vain to imitate them; the result being no more like genuine sea songs than skimmed milk is like Jamaica rum.
//

Hmm, interesting idea that back circa 1849 people were getting into listening to sailors' chanties. Had they entered the 'public consciousness'? I wonder why it took a while, then, for them to be written about. It's difficult to say, when this book was written so many years later. However, what *is* quite notable is that circa 1910 (date of the book's Preface), someone clearly had the idea that chanties originated with cotton-screwers "early in the nineteenth century".

Here is the recreation of preparations to sail, with chanties:

//
..."Maintop there, lay down on the main-yard and light the foot of that sail over the stay." " That's well, belay starboard." " Well the mizzentopsail sheets, belay." " Now then, my bullies, lead out your topsail halliards fore and aft and masthead her." " Aye, aye, sir." By this time the mate has put some ginger into the crew and longshoremen, and they walk away with the three topsail halliards:

"Away, way, way, yar,
We'll kill Paddy Doyle for his boots." ...
//

I am not sure what they mean by "walk away" here. I imagine it is not walking away while hoisting the yard, but rather just walking away with the *slack* of the halyards. I'd appreciate any thoughts. If this is the case, then this is certainly an unfamiliar use of PADDY DOYLE. What I don't think is happening: they are not using Paddy Doyle as a halyard chanty.

Continuing...

//
"Now then, long pulls, my sons." " Here, you chantyman, haul off your boots, jump on that maindeck capstan and strike a light; the best in your locker." " Aye, aye, sir." And the three topsailyards go aloft with a ringing chanty that can be heard up in Beaver Street:

"Then up aloft that yard must go,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Oh, whiskey is the life of man,
Whiskey, Johnny.
I thought I heard the old man say,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
We are bound away this very day,
Whiskey, Johnny.
A dollar a day is a white man's pay,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Oh, whiskey killed my sister Sue,
Whiskey, Johnny,
And whiskey killed the old man, too,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Whiskey's gone, what shall I do ?
Whiskey, Johnny,
Oh, whiskey's gone, and I 'll go too,
Whiskey for my Johnny."

"Belay your maintopsail halliards." " Aye, aye, sir." And so the canvas is set fore and aft, topsails, topgallantsails, royals, and skysails, flat as boards, the inner and outer jibs are run up and the sheets hauled to windward; the main- and afteryards are braced sharp to the wind, the foretopsail is laid to the mast, and the clipper looks like some great seabird ready for flight. ...
//

The WHISKEY JOHNNY verses seem slightly mixed up, but reasonably authentic nonetheless. Then...

//
The anchor is hove up to:

"I wish I was in Slewer's Hall,
Lowlands, lowlands, hurra, my boys,
A-drinking luck to the old Black Ball,
My dollar and a half a day." ...
//

Nice verse. Interestingly, I believe this is the earliest (?) claim for LOWLANDS AWAY -- in the sense it is ~attributed~ to being sung in 1849. I believe the earliest print reference was Alden's 1882 mention. And this one has the "dollar and a half a day" chorus.

Continued...

//
And while some of the hands bring the anchor to the rail with cat and fish tackle, and:
"A Yankee sloop came down the river,
Hah, hah, rolling John,

Oh, what do you think that sloop had in her?
Hah, hah, rolling John,
Monkey's hide and bullock's liver,
Hah, hah, rolling John," ...
//

Catting anchor here, using a halyard chanty form. There was some discussion about the possible relatives of this "Rolling John" in the "Sydney/SF" thread, viz. "Blow Boys Blow," "Sally Brown," and Sharp's "What's in the Pot a-boiling?"

Another idealistic description of the early 1850s come later on:

//
Then when the sun has dried out ropes and canvas, the gear is swayed up fore and aft, with watch tackles on the chain topsail sheets, and a hearty:

"Way haul away,
Haul away the bowline,
Way haul away, Haul away, Joe!" ...
//

HAUL AWAY JOE for sheets. Next is the halyard chanty REUBEN RANZO:

//
The halliards are led along the deck fore and aft in the grip of clean brawny fists with sinewy arms and broad backs behind them, the ordinary seamen and boys tailing on, and perhaps the cook, steward, carpenter, and sailmaker lending a hand, and all hands join in a ringing chorus of the ocean, mingling in harmony with the clear sky, indigo-blue waves, and the sea breeze purring aloft among the spars and rigging:

"Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo,
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo,
Oh, Ranzo was no sailor,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo.
So they shipped him aboard a whaler,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he could not do his duty,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo.
So the mate, he being a bad man,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
He led him to the gangway,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he gave him five-and-twenty,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
But the captain, he being a good man,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
He took him in the cabin,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he gave him wine and whiskey,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he learned him navigation,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And now he's Captain Ranzo,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo."
//

Then, for the pumps, it is the chanty Hugill titles RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN:

//
Finally the mate's clear, sharp order comes: "Belay there; clap a watch tackle on the lee fore brace." "Aye, aye, sir!" And so every sheet, halliard, and brace is swayed up and tautened to the freshening breeze. The gear is coiled up, the brasswork polished until it glistens in the morning sun, the paintwork and gratings are wiped off, decks swabbed dry, and the pumps manned to another rousing chanty:

"London town is a-burning,
Oh, run with the bullgine, run.
Way, yay, way, yay, yar,
Oh, run with the bullgine, run."
//


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 03:21 AM

And one more reference from the above:

//
We hear the mate sing out in a pleasant, cheery voice: "Now, then, boys, heave away on the windlass breaks; strike a light, it's duller than an old graveyard." And the chantyman, in an advanced stage of hilarious intoxication, gay as a skylark, sails into song:

"In eighteen hundred and forty-six,
I found myself in the hell of a fix,
A-working on the railway, the railway, the railway.
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-seven,
When Dan O'Connolly went to heaven,
He worked upon the railway, the railway, the railway.
Poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-eight,
I found myself bound for the Golden Gate,
A-working on the railway, the railway.
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-nine,
I passed my time in the Black Ball Line,
A-working on the railway, the railway,
I weary on the railway,
Poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway."
//

It's PADDY ON THE RAILWAY at the brake windlass.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:06 AM

Here's the "set list" I've compiled for the 1870s attributions. It is just based on what is in this thread, i.e. "minor" sources -- doesn't included the later, big collections that might contain material heard in the '70s.

1870s

BLACKBALL LINE (1)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (1)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (1)
BOWLINE (2)
CHEERLY (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (1)
GOODBYE MY LOVE (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (3)
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (2)
HILO BOYS (1)
JOHNNY BOWKER (1)
REUBEN RANZO (2)
RIO GRANDE (1)
SHENANDOAH (2)
Walk away" (1)
WHISKEY JOHNNY (3)


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:10 AM

And here's the overall list of chanties that have turned up, up through the 1870s (again, not accounting for the material in later collections or on recordings by people who sailed in the 1870s). It is based on the sources we've dug up in this thread.

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (2)
And England's blue for ever"
Black although she be"
BLACKBALL LINE (2)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (2)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (2)
BONEY (2)
BOTTLE O (1)
BOWLINE (6)
BULLY IN ALLEY (1)
BUNCH OF ROSES (1)
Captain gone ashore!"
Cheerily she goes"
CHEERLY (12)
DRUNKEN SAILOR (1)
FIRE FIRE (2)
GOOD MORNING LADIES (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (2)
GOODBYE MY LOVE (1)
GROG TIME (1)
Hah, hah, rolling John" (1)
Hand ober hand, O"
HANDY MY BOYS (1)
HANGING JOHNNY (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (5)
Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes"
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (4)
Heave her away"
Heave him up! O he yo!"
Heave round hearty!"
Heave, to the girls!"
HIGHLAND (2)
Highland day and off she goes"
HILO BOYS (3)
Ho, O, heave O"
HOOKER JOHN (1)
HUNDRED YEARS (2)
Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
Jack Cross-tree,"
John, John Crow is a dandy, O"
JOHNNY BOWKER (2)
Johnny's gone"
Land ho"
LOWLANDS AWAY (2)
Miranda Lee"
MOBILE BAY (1)
MONEY DOWN (1)
MR. STORMALONG (1)
Nancy Bell"
Nancy oh!"
O ee roll & go"
O! hurrah my hearties O!"
Oceanida"
Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
OH RILEY (1)
Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"
ONE MORE DAY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (2)
PADDY DOYLE (1)
PADDY LAY BACK (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (4)
Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
REUBEN RANZO (4)
RIO GRANDE (3)
ROUND THE CORNER (3)
RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN (1)
SACRAMENTO (1)
SAILOR FIREMAN (1)
SALLY BROWN (3)
Sally in the Alley"
SANTIANA (5)
SHENANDOAH (6)
SLAPANDER (1)
STORMALONG JOHN (1)
STORMY (7)
STORMY ALONG (1)
TALLY (2)
Time for us to go!"
TOMMY'S GONE (1)
Walk away"
WALKALONG SALLY (1)
When first we went a-waggoning"
WHISKEY JOHNNY (6)
Whisky for Johnny!"

Of these, the most cited shanties have been:

1. CHEERLY (12 times)
2. STORMY (7)
3. BOWLINE (6) / WHISKEY JOHNNY (6) / SHENANDOAH (6)


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM

Lots of good work, Gibb. Do we stop here or do we try to figure out how we got from here to the "later collections"? There seem to be some interesting discontinuities, but I'm not sure how to lay them out. You've done an excellent job pointing out on numerous occasions some of the probable "continuities" where someone has "borrowed" from someone else. But is it my reading or something else that a significant number of the chanties that we have found so far don't show up in the "later collections"? And almost all of a sudden "new" ones (albeit somewhat more familiar to us at times) start showing up.   What happened?


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 01:06 PM

Hi John,

I have been wondering the same. Perhaps the only really "safe" way to do a literary survey is to go chronologically by date of publication...and yet my own interest is in something other than a history of *writings on* chanties, so the attempt has been to follow the chanties, themselves, chronologically. Considerably less certain, but up until the 1870s I don't think it was so bad. There weren't *too many* instances of the publication date being far later than the time described. And even those later publication dates might be said to have been in the "not yet too contaminated" era which is worth something.

As I said, 1870s got more tough. And I felt unsure, for example, about using THE CLIPPER SHIP SHEILA, 1912, to get statements reported to be about 1849. I'm a little worried I've mixed in bad data with good. Having included it speaks to the multiple purposes I have in mind. One of those is simply recording and extracting info from the texts that are not focused on chanties.

Even though the chronological (by date of publication) survey is not my main goal (it is certainly of interest to me, and it's sort of hovering in the back of my head at the same time)...nonetheless I think the best method at this point would be to stay grounded by following that technique. I am going to continue looking for and discussing references published in the earliest times possible -- now that basically means 1880s. I'll deal with, say, Whall's chanties (possibly all learned in 1860s-70s) once we get to the 1910s, and retroactively add them to the various lists.

I expect to go at least into the 1910s before stopping; I have lots of bookmarks up through then!

In the end, the data will still all be there, to be rearranged however one wants to. But I think if we move along this way -- keeping the date of attribution as close as possible to the date of 'publication' (/recording) -- then it will remain most coherent.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 06:35 AM

I've been able to see a copy of NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK. I had to get it on an interlibrary loan, and even then it was just on microfilm.

It's a songster without any author given. In fact, the introduction is written in eye-dialect or minstrel language, and signed by "Ole Hardtimes." However, WorldCat attributes it to "Henry B Anthony". Neither is any date given, but WorldCat says "no earlier than 1843." That seems to be based on the fact that it purports to contain "every Negro song that has ever been sung or printed," and yet it is limited to earlier tunes. It's long--448 pp. No organization scheme that I noticed. Many songs are repeated several times, here and there. Seems like a third of them are set to the tune of "Dan Tucker." No music notation, but in a majority of cases a familiar tune is referenced.

There are several interesting examples in it that could point to the origin of certain chanties. I am curious to know what influenced a songster like this might have had on chanties. My assumption is that chanties inspired by minstrel songs would have developed from hearing the songs in live performances. However, the discussion above, that a whaleman jotted down in his journal some songs from this one, makes me wonder if written texts were any contributing factor?

Anyway, the discussion above, which led me to look for this book, was about GROG TIME in the Fanny Elssler context.
In NEGRO SINGER'S it appears as 3 verses (6 lines), pg. 337:

//
FANNY ELSSLER LEAVING N. ORLEANS

Fanny, is you gwyne up de riber,
       Grog time o' day;
When all dese here's got Elslur feber?
       Oh, hoist away.
De Lord knows what we'll do widout you,
       Grog time o' day;
De toe an' heel won't dance widout you.
       Oh, hoist away.
Dey say you dances like a fedder
       Grog time o' day;
Wid tree tousand dollars all togedder.
       Oh, hoist away!
//

Absolutely nothing else is given. Most of the songs in the book are attributed to a performing minstrel artist or group, if not the composer, too. That this has no such notes suggests (to me) that it was not only a "real" worksong but that also it was not (yet, at least) co-opted as a stage song. I imagine it must have been taken from, say, a newspaper report, and included in the interest of making the "ultimate collection of negro songs EVER, dude!!"

Stuart Frank may then have gotten his idea of it as a cargo loading song, etc, from THE ART OF BALLET. A peak at his bibliography would confirm this, unless he does it as a "Works Cited" format.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 06:53 AM

...also lots of dwelling on "bullgines" and General Taylor all over the place in this collection.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A DARKEY BAND AND A DARKEY CREW
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 07:33 AM

NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK has a song that appears to be related to a chanty. On pg. 180, it's:

A DARKEY BAND AND A DARKEY CREW.

Tune -- "Yankee Ship."

A darkey band and a darkey crew,
    Tally ya ha higho!
Are out in de West care killers so true,
    Ya ha! ha! an' higho!
We spread our sail to de talkin' breeze,
    An' we pull away de oar,
An' den wid some whiskey, bread an' chew,
    Our songs de ribber out roar.

    A darkey band and a darkey crew,
          Tally ya ha! higho!
    Are out in de West, care killers true,
          Ya ha! ha! an higho!

A darkey band and a darkey crew,
    Tally ya ha higho!
Can see when de sky am black an' blue,
    Ya ha! ha! an' higho!
We travel up and down de stream,
    Wid our hog an' our coon skin store
An' we nebber put on de steam,
    Till we get on de shore

    A darkey band and a darkey crew,
          Tally ya ha! higho!
    Are out in de West, care killers true,
          Ya ha! ha! an higho!
//

I suppose this fits TALLY I O, no? It could also work, to some extent with "Blow Boys Blow". We already have attestations of TALLY from the 1830s-40s, so this would be consistent with that.

What is notable is the reference tune "Yankee Ship." One assumes it would have to be familiar enough already to be referenced as such. And we can guess that "Yankee Ship" was a chanty. Perhaps it began w/ the stock line (i.e. which is being parodied here), "A Yankee ship and a yankee crew..." Or was this *not* a parody? This song itself makes reference to riverboat travel, and also to rowing.

Even though this is a popular song given without context, I think there is enough to say that it provides evidence of some sort of chanty being widespread then. I can tentatively speculate that that chanty was "Tally I O."


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 08:10 AM

Very interesting, Gibb! Surely the form, at least, of "Fanny Elssler" preserves that of the "Grog Time of Day" shanty. (Or have we already established that? I forget.) The "hoist away" chorus shows that the minstrel at least had a work song in mind. Too bad there's no tune.

The song reminds me in vague ways (scansion and sentiment) of both "Blow Boys Blow" and "Shallow, Shallow Brown." But that may not mean anything.


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Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 08:28 AM

Frank does not reference ART OF BALLET as far as I have been able to discover. At least he does not seem to mention it in JOLLY SAILORS BOLD. He does refer us back to his unpublished Ph.D. dissertation at Brown University (1985) "Ballads and Songs of the Whale-Hunters, 1825-1895; from Manuscripts in the Kendall whaling Museum". There may be a bibliographical reference in this earlier work, but I obviously don't have access to that.

Thanks for "A Darkey Band and a Darkey Crew", Gibb. It sounds like a working song. I am also intrigued by your suggestion that the "Fanny" song may have started out as an actual working song and then been taken up in a collection of "Negro" songs, and ended up on a whale man's list of songs.


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