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Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang

Gibb Sahib 10 Jan 11 - 05:25 AM
Sailor Ron 10 Jan 11 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,mg 10 Jan 11 - 03:17 PM
Gibb Sahib 30 Jan 11 - 03:26 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Jan 11 - 04:02 AM
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Subject: Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 05:25 AM

Wondering if anyone here knows much about Norwegian chanties, or, perhaps Norwegian literature and language that would touch upon them.

I recently learned a short shanty from Stan Hugill's _Shanties from the Seven Seas_, "Go Rowing," whose verses are in Norwegian and written by Henrik Wergeland.
Go Rowing

Hugill got the sjantie from a collection called _Opsang fra Seilskibstiden_ from 1916 by Brochmann. Hugill's description makes it sound like Wergeland was a turn of the 20th century revisionist, who "cleaned up" schanties to make them "respectable" and/or nationalistic.

So it was my great surprise to discover after searching that Wergeland died in 1847. Most of his szanty-like songs were written in the late 1830s. They can be found in Wergeland's Complete Works, published in 1853.

Not having read it, I don't know whence the 1916 Brochmann collection got this "Go Rowing" -- an obvious take on "A-Roving." But the 1853 publication of Wergeland's works has the song with a different chorus:

"Nu muntres op saa mangt et Sind.
Paketten er nu halet ind.
Hurra! Hurra! for Singsallijo! "

It is a Norsk-ization of English "Sing Sally-O!" What strikes me is that I wasn't aware such songs, in English, were so known at that time as to spawn Norwegian derivatives. And what I am thinking is that these Norwegian texts could tell us a load about English-language chanties prior to that time. I don't know Norwegian, could struggle through some, but if anyone has more expertise so as to expedient the discovery process, let 'er rip!

The sailor songs begin on pg. 69 at this link:

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Subject: RE: Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 11:41 AM

Gibb , I don't speak anyNorse, but you could try contacting "Slogmakane Sjontkor" or 'Ship'n Wales', either direct or via the Chantey Cabin. They are both Norwegian shanty groups.   Ron

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Subject: RE: Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:17 PM

not a shanty but I have been looking for years to the original fishing words to Oleana

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Subject: RE: Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 03:26 AM

Here's some more info on Wergeland's shanties.

Paraphrasing some info from this site,

Wergeland had heard shanties, thought they were coarse. His goal was to give the sailors more decent lyrics. At the same time he realized that the lyrics had to fulfill the work function. Also decided to preserve the traditional choruses. Almost all his shanties have the same refrain [Singsallijo!]. It must have been based on some song Wergeland heard, but it's unclear what that was.

Diderik Brochmann, in his shanty collections of the early 20th century, recommended Wergeland's solo verses be sung to the airs/choruses of other known shanties, like "Rio Grande."

It's unknown whether Wergelands shanties were ever really put to use on sailing ships. Despite that, Brochmann claimed in his 1908 text that Wergeland's shanties "wer well known enough in the country ... and is sung in schools and homes."

Here's about Brochmann -- rough translation off Norwegian Wiki page:

Diderik Brochmann (born May 20, 1879, died May 24, 1955) was a Norwegian sailor, shantyman, shanty collector and author.

He went to sea as a 15-year-old and sailed for six years before he went to the skipper school in Bergen. In 1908 he released Shantimanden, the first Norwegian collection of shanties. He is our biggest and most important collector of shanties used on Norwegian ships. In addition to shanty collections also gave him a number of books on sailors'?? and seamen's languages.

He is the father of the architect Odd Brochmann and author Zinken Hop.

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Subject: RE: Norwegian chanties/shanties/opsang
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 04:02 AM

I have Brochmann's 1934 collection, "Sang Fra Sjøen." It has a handful of Wergeland's shanties, in their own section. His intro to the sections says they might be sung to any of the popular shanty tunes/choruses. When he gives the texts, he does not prescribe any particular chorus; they are only solo verses.

Stan Hugill drew from a different text by Brochmann -- in which choruses must have been prescribed. Subsequently, Hugill seems to have taken these at face value. In his own collection, he gives songs as Norwegian versions of "Rio Grande," etc. However, so far it doesn't seem like they really were.

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