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Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor

doc.tom 16 Nov 10 - 11:29 AM
Charley Noble 16 Nov 10 - 12:52 PM
EBarnacle 16 Nov 10 - 01:24 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Nov 10 - 01:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 16 Nov 10 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,squeezer 16 Nov 10 - 05:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 16 Nov 10 - 06:49 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Nov 10 - 02:52 AM
doc.tom 18 Nov 10 - 04:56 AM
Charley Noble 18 Nov 10 - 07:43 AM
radriano 18 Nov 10 - 12:34 PM
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Subject: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: doc.tom
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:29 AM

John Short [as in Short Sharp Shanities project] had a verse to this which goes:

       "He Shipped with Captain Taylor
         The man who shot the sailor"

There are several contemporary references in Short's texts - does anyone know of a Captain Taylor who shot a sailor? Any help gratefully received.

TomB


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:52 PM

There was a "John Taylor" who was captain of a pirate ship in the 1700's but that is probably too early for inspiring the shanty verse.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: EBarnacle
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 01:24 PM

New to me.


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 01:26 PM

I think there is probably little more to it than the fact that "Taylor" happens to rhyme with 'whaler' & 'sailor'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 01:48 PM

Tom,

Unfortunately, Michael's reasoning is most probable. But good luck finding something!

Might I also note the fondness for singing of "General [Zachary] Taylor" in the minstrel songs, which seems to have been passed on to shanties.


From NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK (1840s minstrel songster):
"Get out de way for General Taylor
To whip the Mex'cans he's a whaler."

They most certainly mean Zachary Taylor, but odd to rhyme it with "whaler"! (I realize whaler doesn't necessarily meanwhaleman, but still the couplet is awkward and seems forced.)


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: GUEST,squeezer
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 05:56 PM

Whale can also mean to hit or beat Gibb. It is related to "weal" and should probably be spelled "wale".


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 06:49 PM

Thanks, squeezer, that's what I meant by "doesnt necessarily mean whaleman," but I wasn't being clear at all.

(And sorry for this tangent, by the way, TomB.)

But wow -- Am I going nuts? I can't recall ever seeing the word "wale [on]" (as in "beat") ever in print, and I can't say I knew how to spell it either -- but it's a perfectly normal word that I've said as far back as I can remember. With everyone's indulgence: Is this a typically used/know word in English, or is there some weird reason why it would be in my upbringing. You've got me curious.


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 02:52 AM

"He used to always whale {sic} me when he was sober and could get his hands on me," says Huckleberry Finn of his father at the beginning of Chapter 3. Huck's spelling is, of course, not entirely reliable ~ part of Mark Twain's 1st-person-narrative joke in this great novel. But it is probably OK here: Chambers Dict, as well as 'wale' in the sense of to thrash, also gives 'whale' in the same sense, 'perhaps from 'wale' or perhaps from whalebone whip'. So it seems that Gibb's Captain Taylor the whaler could have been thus spelt and still mean he was a whipper of 'Mex'cans'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: doc.tom
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 04:56 AM

So perhaps it should have been 'The man who whaled the sailor'? - only joking. Thanks for the thoughts people - I'll keep looking. For those interested - we go back in the studio on Saturday, with Kendrick, Mageean and Oates following on, to finish the recording of the Short Sharp Shanties - hence me trying to get all the notes finished!
TomB


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 07:43 AM

When Captain Thomas waled the sailor,
You should have heard 'im wail,
And it weren't "Thar she blows!"

Cheerily,
Charley "Whaling" Noble


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Subject: RE: Shanty: Reuben Ranzo, Captain Taylor
From: radriano
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:34 PM

Damn all those who shoot sailors.

It ain't right, I tell ye.


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