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A Little-Known Shanty Collection

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Lighter 23 Jan 11 - 02:03 PM
Gibb Sahib 23 Jan 11 - 04:42 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jan 11 - 05:27 PM
shipcmo 23 Jan 11 - 06:18 PM
Lighter 23 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM
Lighter 23 Jan 11 - 06:32 PM
Taconicus 23 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM
Lighter 23 Jan 11 - 08:27 PM
Gibb Sahib 23 Jan 11 - 08:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM
shipcmo 24 Jan 11 - 06:51 AM
EBarnacle 24 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jan 11 - 01:23 PM
Lighter 24 Jan 11 - 08:39 PM
EBarnacle 24 Jan 11 - 09:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 04:13 AM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 04:28 AM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 11:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 11:28 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 11:37 PM
Gibb Sahib 18 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM
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Subject: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 02:03 PM

Shipcmo has graciously sent me a copy of an important American shanty collection that has never been reprinted in full, though Harlow acknowledges reprinting two items and Hugill quotes from it extensively in one of his later Spin articles.

Fred H. Buryeson (not "Burgeson" as Harlow's editor understandably has it) had been Secretary of the Boston branch of the International Seamen's Union during the 1890s. In 1910 he made an unsuccessful run for the California State Legislature on the Socialist ticket.

Buryeson's article, titled simply "Sea Shanties," contains the texts of twenty-one shanties and appeared in the June 23, 1909, edition of "Coast Seamen's Journal" (San Francisco).

Here's a list of the shanties in Buryeson's collection. All are in "full" texts of several stanzas. His words frequently differ somewhat from today's most familiar versions. I don't know just when Buryeson went to sea, but it may well have been as long ago as the late 1860s.

Shenandoah
Sally Brown
Rio Grande
Dixie's Isle
Blow for California
Santa Ana
Mister "Stormalong"
Maid of Amsterdam
Homeward Bound ("Goodbye, Fare You Well")
Heave Away, Lads ("Heave Away, My Johnnies")
The Dreadnought
Ten Thousand Miles Away
Tom is Gone to Ilo
'Ranzo, Boys, 'Ranzo
Whiskey, Johnny
Blow, Boys, Blow
Blow the Men [sic] Down
John Francois
Johnny Bowker
Haul on the Bowline
Haul Away, Joe.

Harlow seems to have known Buryeson personally. His text of "Dixie's Isle" was given to him by "a friend" who had rounded Cape Horn in the '60s in the ship Young America. Harlow's text is identical in every word to the version Buryeson published; though the 1909 version has no tune, Harlow indicates that it was sung to the tune of "O, Susannah!" It would appear that the most likely source of this information was Fred H. Buryeson himself.

Harlow reprints Buryeson's unique version of "Maid of Amsterdam" as well as his "Heave Away,Lads." He also appears to have taken a handful of lines from Buryeson's versions of "Mister 'Stormalong,'" "Johnny Bowker," and "Haul on the Bowline." The evidence for borrowing is that the lines in question are identical to Buryeson's, are all grouped in Buryeson's order, and come toward the end of Harlow's versions, as though tacked on.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 04:42 PM

Thanks for the exposition and framing, Lighter.

Begging your indulgence -- if the question can be answered without any extra work involved -- and because am still in a situation where my books like Harlow are 1000s of miles away:

What part of Harlow's book were the relevant chanties in? Are these interspersed in the narrative like, "So, in 1875 we left Sumatra and weighed anchor as our chanteyman Billy McBoogle sang this number [lyrics follow]"? In other words, is the Buryeson material presented as something Harlow heard? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 05:23 PM

On A-Roving II p51 all it says is 'Words by Burgeson' which to me means he is saying he feels Buryeson wrote them.

Heave Away My Johnnies II, p16 says 'As sung by Fred H. Burgeson, San Francisco'. It appears to be closely related to the well-known Tapscot stanzas but somewhat personalised.

Dixie's Isle, p 206 seems to owe something to the broadside ballad 'The Banks of the Nile' full quote 'A friend who made a voyage around the Horn, in the ship Young America, said it was very popular there. The chorus was the last line of each verse. there were more verses but the following were all that he could remember.

Harlow gives 6 versions of 'Storm Along John' pp78-84. Most texts are fairly standard but the first one looks rather artified and literary 'Their eyes were dim with more than rain' etc.

Johnny Boker, p97 Harlow implies that these are the words being sung at the time he noted them 'We roused home the tack to the tune of' Stanzas are those usually found in 'Haul the Bowline' which precedes it in Harlow on p95


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 05:27 PM

If it's not too much bother I'd like to see the texts of 'The Dreadnaught', and a descrption of what '10,000 Miles Away' contains. Is it anything much different from the original?


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: shipcmo
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 06:18 PM

One of the verses of Sally Brown is as follows:

Sally's father kept a little tavern
Just at the head of India basin.

which is part of San Francisco Bay area. The name India Basin first appeared on a map in 1868, but theories as to its origin remain murky. The best guess is that India Basin is named for the ships from the India Rice Mill Company, which docked there in the 19th century.


There are some other interesting references it the other tunes.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 06:19 PM

I wouldn't read too much into "Words by..." in Harlow. Literally it would mean that Buryeson was the author - and well he may have been. But Harlow's ms was apparently unfinished at his death in 1952, so the phtase may simply mean that this was Buryeson's version. B. gives no indication that he may have been behind "Maid of Amsterdam" or any of his other texts. If he did compose "MOA", he presumably did so at sea. And it would be just as plausible for someone else to have done so.

Either way, B's version is both unique and pretty much "folk" by definition.(How "trad" it was is another story: obviously not very or we'd have seen some or all of it elsewhere. And perhaps B told H at some point that he was the lyricist.)

Harlow places "MOA" in the middle of his Akbar shanties, after his expurgated version of the words shantyman Brooks presumably sang in 1876. But it comes after a paragraph observing "A-Roving's" resemblance to the song in Heywood, and he's careful to attribute the words to B. He does not suggest in any way that he heard B's words on Akbar.

Something similar goes for B's "Heave Away, Lads." H. simply says that there were various sets of words to the tune, then prints B's with due credit. (The fact that he says "As sung by" rather than something else is another hint that Harlow may have known B personally.)

Most of "Stormalong John II" is from Buryeson. B's words begin with stz. 4 and go to the end. Interestingly, the words are not all identical. B calls the song a "windlass" shanty, while H has it for halliards. Also, H's choruses are not B's! As before, H prints this version as an alternative, not as one he heard in 1876. I wonder if H heard B sing this one too, to a different pattern than indicated by the 1909 article.

Only two lines of "Johnny Bowker" are from Buryeson: "Our arms are sore and aching" and "Our hearts are near to breaking." (B gives "nigh to breaking.")

So, except for these two lines, H. never mixes up his 1876 shanties with B's.

One wonders if H might have met B long before 1909....

Steve, "Dreadnought" coming up.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 06:32 PM

THE DREADNOUGHT

I sing of a packet, and a packet of fame;
She's commanded by Samuels, the Dreadnought's her name.
She sails to the west'ard where the stormy winds blow;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are lying in the River Mersey,
Waiting for the Constitution to tow us to sea.
We'll tow 'round the black rock where the Mersey does flow;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing on the ocean so wide,
Where the deep and blue waters dash by her black side;
With our sails set so neatly, and the red cross will show;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing 'cross the Banks of Newfoundland,
Where the lead shows sixty fathoms and bottom of sand;
With icebergs all around and northwesters do blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

It's now we are sailing by the Long Island shore,
Where the pilot he does board us as he [sic] often done before.
And it's "back your main topsail, your fore tack let it go";
She's a Liverpool packet, brave boys, let her go.

And now to conclude and to finish my song,
I hope you'll excuse me if I have sung wrong.
For the song was composed while the watch was below;
Bound away in the Dreadnought to the west'ard we'll go.

Buryeson specifies that the song is for "windlass" and adds this note: "The two last lines of each verse constitute the chorus. The 'Constitution' was a famous side-wheeler tugboat which towed all the Liverpool packets to sea, and is no doubt remembered to this day by many an old immigrant in the United States."


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Taconicus
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 08:20 PM

Shenandoah is a shanty???


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 08:27 PM

Well, yeah. But you have to cut out the synthesized strings.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 08:41 PM

Shenandoah is a shanty???
Whatever s/he is, I lubs her/his daughter. She is such a bright mullater.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jan 11 - 10:05 PM

Minor addition-

California State Federation of Labor

Sailors of the Pacific (2000)
Fred H. Buryeson
One of six delegates from Sailors of the Pacific (San Francisco) to the 1909 Tenth Annual Convention.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: shipcmo
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 06:51 AM

I find it interesting that Buryeson makes the flat statement regarding Paddy Doyle, that, "by the way, was a Liverpool shoemaker"..
Rather than Stan's "probably he was some Liverpool boarding-master etc."
I wonder if there might be a record of a business licence somewhere in Liverpool?


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 10:28 AM

Would it be possible to get a scanned copy of the book or have it posted on line somewhere?

I've just gone through my copy of The Making of a Sailor andfind no correspondence with what is being discussed so far.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 01:23 PM

Thanks, Jon!


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 08:39 PM

The Harlow book is "Chanteying Aboard American Ships" (1962, 2004). It's entirely different from "The Making of a Sailor." It's still in copyright, but you can undoubtedly order one from Amazon.com, Alibris.com, or Abebooks.com


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 09:20 PM

Thanks, I dug it out of where Lady Hillary had hidden it. Now, we're all on the same page.

Also thank you for the copy of the article.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 04:13 AM

SHENANDOAH

Shenandoah, I love your waters;
And away, you rolling river
I love your clear and rushing waters
Ah, ah, ah, we're bound away, across the wide Missouri.

The ship sails free, a gale is blowing;
Her braces taut and sheet a-flowing.

Shenandoah, I love to hear you;
Shenandoah, I long to see you.

Black-eyed Sue is sure a beauty;
To sing her praise it is our duty.

Shenandoah, I'll ne'er forget you,
But think of you and love you ever.

Give me a good old Yankee clipper,
A bully crew and swearing skipper.

Shenandoah, my heart is longing
To see again your rolling waters.

Good shipmates always pull together,
No matter what the wind or weather.

Shenandoah, I'd love to see you,
And hear again your tumbling waters.

Shenandoah, my thoughts will ever
Be where you are, sweet rolling river.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 04:28 AM

SALLY BROWN

Sally Brown was a nice young lady,
'Way, heigh, roll and go.
Just as bright and pretty as they make 'em.
I spent my money on Sally Brown.

Sally wasn't either tall or slender,
But her eyes were both blue and tender.

Sally's father kept a little tavern
Just at the head of India basin.

Seven long years, I courted Sally,
But Sally didn't want no coasting sailor.

And so I shipped on a China packet
Just for to be a flyin' fish sailor.

Seven more years I did sail the seas, boys,
When, one day, I received a letter

Telling that Sally had married a tinker
With nary a shilling--and seven small children.

So it's me for the life of a sailor
And I'll spend no more money on Sally.


RIO GRANDE.

In Rio Grande I'll take my stand,
'Way, you Rio.
For Rio Grande's the place for me.
We are bound for the Rio Grande.
Oh, Rio, Rio; 'Way, you Rio.
Sing fare you well, my bonny young girl,
We are bound for the Rio Grande.

One day I espied a damsel fair
With cherry-red lips and nut-brown hair.

"Where are you going my pretty, fair maid."
"I'm going a-milking, kind sir," she said.

"May I go with you my pretty, fair maid?"
"Oh, no, sir; that never would do," she said.

"Why may I not come, my pretty, fair maid?"
"My father would be angry, sir," she said.

"We are bound for the Rio Grande," I said;
"And, please, won't you come along, fair maid?"

"Oh, no, sir, that never can be," she said,
"For roving is not for a poor young maid."

And away she walked, this pretty, fair maid.
"I must go a-milking, kind sir," she said.

So in Rio Grande I'll take my stand,
For Rio Grande's the place for me.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 11:20 PM

Here's the text for,

DIXIE'S ISLE.

Oh then Susie, lovely Susie, I can no longer stay,
For the bugle sounds the warning that calls me far away.
It ca11s me down to New Orleans, the enemy for to rile;
And to fight the Southern soldiers, 'way down upon Dixie's Isle.

The owners they gave orders no women they were to come.
The captain, likewise, ordered that none of them were to come;
For their waists they are too slender, and their figures are not the style
For to go fight the Southern soldiers, 'way down upon Dixie's Isle.

Oh, my curse attend those cruel wars when first they began;
They robbed New York and Boston of many a noble young man.
They robbed us of our wives, our sweethearts and brothers while
We went fighting the Southern soldiers, 'way down upon Dixie's Isle.

Lighter notes above that,

Harlow indicates that it was sung to the tune of "O, Susannah!" It would appear that the most likely source of this information was Fred H. Buryeson himself.

I agree that is a good possibility. However, another possibility is that the meter of the song itself suggests "Oh Susannah" and Harlow, making that leap, took it upon himself to supply the tune. Harlow says he never heard the song. And although Buryeson may have been a friend, he may be using this article as the actual source. It seems rather suspect that Harlow's "friend" Buryeson would say "Yes, this was sung to the tune of 'Oh Susanna'" but not actually sing it to Harlow.

I also think it is funny that, if this chanty was sung to "Oh Susannah," the chorus of that song is not included. There were other noted chanties sung to the tune *and* chorus of "Oh Susanna," including one noted by Hugill and a Swedish language one.

For "Dixie's Isle," Buryeson notes that "The last line of each verse constitutes the chorus." This, to me, is more indicative of a modified ballad. Then there is also the question why Buryeson didn't say in his own article that this was related to "Oh Susannah."

So again, I think it is a good possibility that the Oh Susanna tune is correct, but I tend to be more skeptical of Harlow's work -- and I would not put it past him to assume certain things.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 11:28 PM

Adding to my last post -- That Buryeson did not call attention to the relationship to "Oh Susannah" may not seem so strange in that he also does not compare the next song to "De Camptown Ladies" etc. He notes,

"The "hoodah day," etc., I have spelt according to the way those words sounded to me when the chorus was sung, but I have no idea of their meaning or source, if, indeed, they ever had any meaning."

Here is the text to his SACRAMENTO, based on the "Ratcliffe Highway" or "Fireship" theme:

BLOW FOR CALIFORNIA.

We're bound for California I heard the old man say;
To me hoodah, to me hoodah.
We're bound for California this very good day.
To me hoodah, hoodah day.
Blow, boys, blow for California;
there is plenty of gold, so I've been told,
on the banks of the Sacramento.

As I was a-walking one day up and down
I spied a gay damsel she seemed outward bound.

I fired my bow-chaser, the signal she knew;
She backed her main topsail, for me she hove to.

I hailed her in English, she answered me thus:
My name is Sally Gubbins, and I'm bound on a cruise.

Then I gave her my hawser and took her in tow,
And into an alehouse together we did go;


And drank ale and brandy till near break of day,
When I went a-rolling down home Tigerbay.

She had rifled my lockers while I filled my hold,
And aboard of my packet I had for to scull.

With a hookpot and pannikin I got under weigh
Seven bells in the morning, the very next day.

And when I have finished a-singing my song
I hope you'll excuse me if I have sung wrong.

She was a fine frigate you must understand,
But one of those cruisers who sail on dry land;

A reg'lar old fire-ship, rigged out in disguise,
To burn jolly sailors like me, damn her eyes.

We're bound for California this very good day;
We're bound for California I hear them all say.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 11:37 PM

SANTA ANA.

Santa Ana has gained the day.
Hooray, Santa Ana.
From Vera Cruz to Manzanas Bay.
All along the plains of Mexico.

He marched his soldiers all o'er the land;
At Orizaba he took his stand.

He drove the gringoes into the sea,
And hung their leader to a gallows tree.

I wish I were in old Mobile Bay,
A-screwing cotton this blessed day.

Though Santa Ana has gained the day
A dollar a day is a nigger's pay.

But seven dollars is a white man's pay
For screwing cotton ten hours a day.

Then heave her up, boys, and let her go;
For now we're heading for Mexico.

I heard the skipper say yesterday
We're going to Matamoros Bay.

So heave a pawl, boys, the wind is fair,
Likewise the donnas who live down there.

For Santa Ana has gained the day
From Vera Cruz to Manzanas Bay.


***

MISTER "STORMALONG."

"Storma!ong" was a good old man,
Aye, aye, aye, Mister "Stormalong."
For he served his sailors grog by the can.
To me 'way, "Stormalong."

He gave us plenty of spud-hash, too,
And every Sunday we had black-ball stew;

With soup and boulli and lots of duff,
Of soft-tack, also, we got enough.

"Stormy" never put us on our whack;
No pound and pint "according to the Act."

Then shake her up and away we'll go;
We're bound to sail, blow high or low.

I wish I was with "Stormalong"
A-drinking of his rum so strong.

For "Stormalong" was a good old rip,
As good as ever sailed a ship.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM

MAID OF AMSTERDAM.

In Amsterdam there lived a fair maid.
Mark well what I do say;
In Amsterdam there lived a fair maid,
And this fair maid my trust betrayed.
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid;
A-roving, a-roving, since roving's been my ruin,
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.

I asked this fair maid to take a walk,
That we might have some private talk.

Then I took this fair maid's lily-white hand,
In mine as we walked along the strand.

Then I put my arm around her waist,
And from her lips snatched a kiss in haste.

Then a great, big Dutchman rammed my bow,
And said, "Young man, dis bin mein vrow."

Then take a warning, boys, from me,
With other men's wives don't make too free.

For if you do you will surely rue,
Your act, and find my words come true.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 12:14 AM

HOMEWARD BOUND.

We are homeward bound, come, let us all sing.
Good-by, fare you well; good-by, fare you well.
We are homeward bound, strike up with a ring.
Hurrah, my boys, we are homeward bound.

Then I thought I heard our old man say
That our store of grog gave out yesterday.

So heave her up, we are bound to go
Around Cape Horn through frost and snow.

Hurrah, my boys, we are homeward bound;
We are homeward bound to Liverpool town.

And when we get there we'll have money to spend,
With lots of good cheer, boys, and lashings of rum.

The landlord will greet us with a bow and a smile,
A-saying, "Get up Jack and let John sit down."

But when your money it is all gone
Then in comes the landlord with a frown.

A-saying, "Young man, it is time you were gone,
1 have a ship for you bound out to Hongkong."

So shake her up, bullies; let us be gone,
And sing the good news, we are homeward bound.

***

HEAVE AWAY, LADS.

Then heave away, my bully boys; the wind is blowing fair.
Heave away, my bullies; heave away, lads.
Our ship will soon be rolling home to merry England's shores.
Heave away, my bully boys; we are all bound to go.

Then break her out and square away; we are all bound to go.
Our course lies through those latitudes where stormy winds do blow.

When I was young and in my prime I sailed in the Black Ball line.
They were the finest ships e'er seen upon the ocean brine.

One morning Bridget Donahue came down the dock to see
Old Tapscot 'bout a steerage berth, and presently said she:

"Good morning, Mr. Tapscot, sir." "Good morning, ma'am," says he.
"And have you got a packet ship to carry me over the sea?"

"Oh, yes. I've got a packet ship to carry you over the sea,"
"And, please yet Mr. Tapscot, sir, what may the fare then be?"

"It 'may be' fifty pounds," says he, "and it 'may be' sixty, too;
But eight pound ten we'll call enongh, my pretty dear, for you."

"And here's the money, sir," says she. "Step right onboard," says he;
"The tide is up, the wind is fair, and soon we'll tow to sea."

"At last," says Bridget, "I am off to the far away
Where Barney went two years ago, the land of Americay."

So shake her up, my bully boys, this day we're bound to go;
The anchor is a-weigh, and now for home we'll sing heigh-ho.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 01:00 AM

TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY.

I sing of a brave and a gallant ship, a brisk and a lively breeze
A bully crew, and a captain, too, to carry me over the seas.
To carry me over" the seas, my boys, to my truelove so gay.
She has taken a trip in a government ship, ten thousand miles away.
Then blow you winds, heigh-ho, for it's roving I will go.
I'll stay no more on England's shore, so let your music play.
I'm off by the morning train to cross the raging main,
For I'm on the move to my own truelove, ten thousand miles away.

My truelove she is beautiful, and my truelove she is young,
Her eyes as bright as the stars at night, and silvery sounds her tongue.
And silvery sounds her tongue, my boys, but while I sing this lay
She is doing it grand in a distant land, ten thousand miles away.

It was a dark and a dismal morn when last she left the strand.
She bid good-by with a tear-dimmed eye, and waved her lily-white hand.
And waved her lily-white hand, my boys, as the big ship left the bay.
"Adieu," said she, "and remember me ten thousand miles away."

Then I wish I were a boatswain bold, or even a bombardier,
I'd hire a boat and hurry afloat, and straight to my truelove steer.
And straight to my truelove steer, my boys, where the dancing dolphins play,
And the whales and sharks are having their larks ten thousand miles away.

May the sun shine through a London fog; may the Thames run bright and clear;
May the ocean brine be turned to wine; may I forget my beer.
May I forget my beer, my boys, and the landlord his quarter-day,
If ever I part with my sweetheart, although so far away.

Note.--The last two shanties, as well as "Dixie's Isle," were sung more especially when pumping ship, and would therefore, perhaps, be more properly classed as pump shanties.

***

TOM IS GONE TO ILO.

Tom is gone and I'll go to.
Away, Ilo.
Tom is gone and so may you.
Tom is gone to Ilo.

For times are hard and wages low;
It's time for you and me to go.

When I was young I served my time
On board the coasting brig "Sublime."

I had but sailed a voyage or two
When I fell in love with a sweet young maid.

Straight to my captain I did go
And told him of my sad grief and woe.

"I love one girl as I love my life,
And what wouldn't I give if she were my wife."

"Go along, go along, you foolish boy,
To love this girl you'll never enjoy.

"Your love's got sweethearts, it may be,
And she'll be married before you are free."

"Never mind, never mind, but I'll go and try;
Perhaps my love will fancy none but I.

"Perhaps her favor I may enjoy
Although I am but a 'prentice boy."

And when me and my shipmates went on the spree
I asked my love would she drink with me.

And she drank with me and was nowise shy.
Although I was but a 'prentice boy.

Note.--At this juncture the shantyman having, perhaps, run out on the shanty proper, and noting that the leaches of the topsail were yet slack,
would proceed somewhat as follows:

Then up aloft that yard must go,
And down on deck we'll coil this fall.

We're bound to go through frost and snow;
We're bound to go, blow high or low.

For growl we may but go we must;
It's on to Liverpool or bust.

Then I thought I heard our chiefmate say,
I thought I heard him say "Belay!"

***

'RANZO, BOYS, 'RANZO.

'Way down in Anjou county.
'Ranzo, boys, 'Ranzo.
There lived one Reuben 'Ranzo.
'Ranzo boys, 'Ranzo

Oh 'Ranzo took a notion
That he'd cross the Western Ocean.

So he shipped onboard of a whaler
Along with Captain Taylor.

But 'Ranzo was no sailor,
And neither was he a whaler.

So they put him in the galley,
But he spoiled our morning coffee.

Then they took him to the gangway
And lashed him to a grating.

And gave him five and forty
Of stripes across his backside.

The captain was a good man;
He took him in his cabin

And gave him wine and brandy,
And taught him navigation.

Now 'Ranzo is a captain,
And navigates a whaler.

But he hasn't yet forgotten
When they lashed him to that grating.

So he treats his sailors kindly,
And gives them grog a-plenty.

***

WHISKEY, JOHNNY.

Oh, whiskey is the life of man,
Whiskey, Johnny.
For who can do what whiskey can?
Whiskey for me, Johnny.

Hard is our life and short our day,
So I'll drink whiskey while I may.

For whiskey is the friend of man,
So drink it down, boys, all you can.

It's whiskey hot and whiskey cold;
That's how we spend our hard-earned gold.

Oh, whiskey killed my father dead,
And whiskey broke my mother's heart.

It drove my sister on the street,
And sent my brother to the jail.

And whiskey made me leave my home
In foreign countries for to roam.

For whiskey is what brought me here;
It surely is the devil's cheer.

So drink it down, boys, good and strong,
And let us have another song.

Oh, whiskey is the life of man,
For who can do what whiskey can?


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 02:43 AM

BLOW, BOYS, BLOW.

And it's blow, my boys, for I love to hear you.
Blow, boys, blow.
I love to hear you roll it, bullies.
Blow, my bully boys, blow.

Then blow, my boys, for finer weather
And for a fair wind. and blow together.

A Yankee ship came down the river
And proudly flew her Irish pennants.

And who d'ye think was the captain of her?
Why, "Bucko" Brown, that damned old driver.

And what d'ye think they had for breakfast?
A chunk of salthorse and deviled lobcouse.

And what d'ye think they had for dinner?
A monkey's lights and a bullock's liver.

And who d'ye think was "the chief mate of her?
'Twas "Lily" White, the big Georgia nigger.

And as we passed her by to leeward
Our skipper hailed that nigger chief mate:

"And how's things 'way down in Georgia?"
"Why, red hot, sah, an' still a-heating."

Then blow to-day and blow to-morrow
And blow away all care and sorrow. '

No matter what the wind or weather,
We are the boys can blow together.

***

BLOW THE MEN DOWN.

Oh, blow the men down, bullies, blow the men down.
To me 'way, heigh, blow the men down.
An~ blow the men down from Liverpool town.
Give me sometime to blow the men down.

Oh, blow the men down on board of this craft
For blow the men down is the word from aft.

As I was a-walking down South Castle street
A cheeky policeman I chanced for to meet.

He opened his gob, and he gave me some jaw,
And I laid him out stiff with me Erin go bragh.

I up with my helm and ran for Lime street,
And there an old skirt-rigged craft I did meet.

"Oh, Jack," says she, "will you stand a treat?"
"Oh yes, my dear, when next we meet."

She up with her fist and she knocked me down.
"I'll show you," says she, "how to blow the men down."

So blow the men down, bullies, blow the men down,
For that is the style of Liverpool town.

***

JOHN FRANCOIS.

Oh, Bonny was a warrior,
To me 'way, heigh-ho.
But we licked him at Trafalgar.
John Francois.

He tried to conquer all Europe,
But he couldn't, conquer old England.

Oh, Donny went to Russia,
To Austria, Spain and Prussia.

And Bonny went to Moscow,
But Moscow was a-burning.

There he lost a bunch of roses,
A bonny bunch of roses.

Twas a token of disaster;
Bold Wellington was his master.

At Waterloo we caught him
And sent him to Saint Helena.

Oh, Bonny was a warrior,
But he couldn't conquer old England.

For he lost his bunch of roses,
His bonny bunch of roses.

***

JOHNNY BOWKER.

Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, come, rock and roll me over;
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, do.

Come, rock and roll me over from Calais town to Dover.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, the ship she is a-rolling.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, the old man is a-growling.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, the wind it is a-howling.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, I'd like to marry your daughter,
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, and take her across the water.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, come, give us finer weather.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, come, let us pull together.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, the gale is still a-blowing.
Come, do. my Johnny Bowker, this sheet is still a-flowing.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, our arms are sore and aching.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, our hearts are nigh to breaking.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, the sheet is now a-straining.
Come, do, my Johnny Bowker, and nothing are we gaining.
(Belay!)

***

HAUL ON THE BOWLINE.

Haul on the bowline, the bonny, bonny bowline.
Haul on the bowline, the bowline, haul.

Haul on the bowline, for something is a-holding.
Haul on the bowline, we'll either bend or break her.
Haul on the bowline, and if she won't we'll make her.
Haul on the bowline, we are the boys so handy.
Haul on the bowline, but that one was a dandy.
Haul on the bowline, and fiddlest ring her braces.
Haul on the bowline, we'll give her merry blazes.
Haul on the bowline, the mate says, "Haul 'em tauter."
Haul on the bowline, and send her 'cross the water.
Haul on the bowline, she's making heavy weather.
Haul on the bowline, and buckle off together.
Haul on the bowline, and drive the ship along, boys.
Haul on the bowline, let's drive her good and strong, boys.
Haul on the bowline, a gale of wind is coming.
Haul on the bowline, and then she'll go a-humming.
Haul on the bowline, we'lI either bend or break her.
Haul on the bowline, and may the devil take her.
(Belay!)

***

HAUL AWAY, JOE.

Away, haul away, boys, and haul away, my rosies.
Away, haul away, and haul away, Joe.

Away, haul away, boys, and haul, my bunch of posies.
Oh, once I loved an Irish girl, she damned near drove me crazy.
And then I loved a Deutscher girl, she was so fat and lazy.
And then I loved a Spanish girl, she was so proud and haughty.
And then I loved a French girl, oh my, but she was naughty.
And then I loved a Yankee girl, she was so tall and slender.
And then I loved an English girl, her eyes were blue and tender.
And then I loved a Scotch lass, she was so fair and bonny.
But she wouldn't look at me for either love or money.
Then away, hau1 away, boys, I'm through with all love-making;
And away, haul away, boys the game is too heart-breaking. '
(Belay!)


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 04:22 AM

Dixie's Isle scans well to the tune of HIGH GERMANY, and the lyrics also have many similarities, including the recurring title phrase in the last lines. So a "modified ballad" it well may have been originally, and only retro-fitted to "Oh Susannah"


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: GUEST,David C Kendall
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 06:12 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for access to this amazing collection!
These are better than anything I've been singing. I've sung Sea Chanteys for 25 years in Southern California. I thought I knew great material, but now I shall have to relearn everything. I'll remember to credit the source -- 'A Little Known Collection of Shantys' ... again,thanks...marvelous!


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:55 AM

Thanks. It's good to know one is appreciated.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 10:02 AM

Lighter, is there musical notation in this collection? Background notes?
Can I get a copy?
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: GUEST,Bunting Tosser
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 05:11 AM

Can anyone confirm if the origins of Drunken Sailor was apart from being a shanty was also used/developed as a teaching song to educate non sailors the parts of a ship?


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:23 AM

Joe, sorry to have overlooked your query till now.

No music, no song notes.

PM your e-address and I'll try to forward it to you. Gibb has posted most or all of the lyrics above.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:27 AM

I doubt that a "teaching song" would focus on what you do with a drunken sailor, or never be collected in a version of more than two or three stanzas till it became a folkie standard.

But maybe that's just me.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 07:10 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 11:06 PM

"Dixie's Isle" is a rewrite of an earlier Anglo-American song, "High Germany." Which had its own major/minor tune.

But the sailors probably found the "Oh! Susanna" tune handier. It would have been enormously familiar from music hall performances.

Likely, too, they had never heard the original tune of High Germany, only saw the words printed, say, in a broadside, and some apt sailor adapted the theme.

Bob


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 06:39 AM

Hi, Bob. The more you explore, the more you realize that *in theory* any broadside song could be sung acceptably to any tune that scanned.

Very few would have objected: outside of the stage and the hawking of songs, singing was for personal expression within one's circle of acquaintances, not for pleasing an audience of fans.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 11:36 AM

One major reason why some ballads like 'Dark-eyed Sailor' 'Villikins' nearly always have the same tune is that they probably came from some stage production and were so immediately popular and spread so rapidly that everyone knew the tune. Lesser-known pieces are more likely to have a wider range of tunes.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 07:30 PM

Very true, Steve. My point, however, is that if someone in 1860 found a tune he liked better for one of these, and always sang it, the objections from others would probably have been far less than they would be today.

Merely an opinion, of course.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Mar 15 - 04:27 AM

I agree with that opinion. The point of the ballad seller singing the song on the street in order to sell his wares was that by and large he was singing it to a fresh audience who hadn't heard the song before so they would be none the wiser regarding the tune. At the same time familiarity with an aspect of the ballad is often desirable from a buyer's point of view, and using a well-worn tune could supply that want.

I'm aware of thread drift here but it did follow a natural progression.


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 07:35 AM

Came across this online:

Coast Seamen's Journal

Harry


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Rumncoke
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 11:22 AM

Paddy Doyle sold boots.

There is a very short pull 'shanty' which is sort of ready steady pull which goes

'We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his BOOTS!'


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for refreshing this old thread.

Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: A Little-Known Shanty Collection
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Jul 16 - 11:15 PM

Thanks, Harry Rivers, for the link to the digitized version (which I also stumbled upon recently). (As you may gather, it was not posted to archive.org until 2 years after this thread was begun.)

In a manuscript I'm working on, I've summarized Buryeson and his article:

Another writer in this vein was Swedish-American Fred Buryeson, whose article "Sea Shanties" (note the phrase) was published in a San Francisco seamen's magazine in the same year [1909]. Buryeson had sailed for over thirty years under flags of many nations. The article, which included extended lyrics to twenty-two chanties, _also_ stated that chanties had then gone out of use. Buryeson's chanty texts may date from as early as 1872, when he first sailed in the American ship _Ivanhoe_.


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