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Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs

GUEST,Lighter 09 Jul 12 - 02:03 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jul 12 - 02:59 PM
Thomas Stern 09 Jul 12 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Jul 12 - 05:07 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jul 12 - 05:34 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Jul 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Jul 12 - 05:47 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jul 12 - 06:23 PM
Thomas Stern 09 Jul 12 - 10:28 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jul 12 - 10:32 PM
Reinhard 10 Jul 12 - 12:15 AM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 02:32 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jul 12 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Jul 12 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 01:21 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 10 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,sturgeon 10 Jul 12 - 02:05 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 02:09 PM
RTim 10 Jul 12 - 02:11 PM
Reinhard 10 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 10 Jul 12 - 02:33 PM
Charley Noble 10 Jul 12 - 05:21 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jul 12 - 05:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 05:57 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Jul 12 - 06:06 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 06:42 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 08:42 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 10:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 Jul 12 - 11:10 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Jul 12 - 02:57 AM
Gibb Sahib 11 Jul 12 - 04:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Jul 12 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,Dan Booth Cohen 11 Jul 12 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Jul 12 - 06:04 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Jul 12 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Jul 12 - 08:09 AM
Gibb Sahib 11 Jul 12 - 02:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Jul 12 - 03:11 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Jul 12 - 09:08 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Jul 12 - 11:59 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Jul 12 - 03:23 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 12 - 04:13 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Jul 12 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 12 - 09:17 AM
John Minear 13 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM
Steve Gardham 13 Jul 12 - 05:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Jul 12 - 09:17 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Jul 12 - 09:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Jul 12 - 09:48 PM
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Subject: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 02:03 PM

After trying more than a dozen times to upload this to the Lloyd shanty thread, I'll start a new one to see what happens.

Gibb,

To judge from the catalog numbers of the albums, "Haul on the Bowlin'" and "Off to Sea Once More" both appeared in the U.S. on Stinson in 1958. "Thar She Blows" (Riverside) looks to have appeared in 1956 or '57. (I don't know the basis for the online claim that the Stinson albums appeared in "1963," but since they're re-issues of older material, it doesn't matter in this case.)

I once compared the serial numbers of these two with albums whose years of issue are listed in Lawless's "Folksingers and Folksongs in America." (There may, of course, have been a considerable lapse between the recording dates and the dates of issue.)

However, the two Stinson LPs originally appeared on Topic in the UK in 1956-1957 (http://www.mustrad.org.uk/discos/dis_txt1.htm) as three EPs: "The Singing Sailor," "Row Bullies Row," and "The Black Ball Line." This Lloyd discography (http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/lloyd/records/index.html) dates the appearance of "The Singing Sailor" to 1956.

This seemingly reliable Tradition discography dates "Blow Boys Blow" to "1957": (http://clancybrothersandtommymakem.com/trad_02.htm). (My number-based estimate was 1958.)

So while a recording date of 1956 isn't rock-solid for both "Bowlin'" and "Off to Sea," the material was on sale at least in the UK during 1957.

My entirely subjective feeling is that "Thar She Blows" (with Peggy Seeger) must have been recorded after, not before, "Bowlin'" and "Off to Sea." This MacColl site dates it to 1957: (http://ewan-maccoll.info/AlbumInfo.aspx?ID=100).

1956, of course, was the year of John Huston's "Moby Dick." It was also a busy recording year for Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 02:59 PM

Taking this from the other thread.
"Rarely did either MacColl or Lloyd say frankly that they'd changed anything."
Neither did any other singers in the revival if my memory serves me right.
Can't speak for Lloyd, though I heard that he was extremely guarded with what information he passed on.
All of us who knew MacColl and were in regular contact with him were fully aware that he collated - he discussed it often enough with us and he never suggested to us that what he did rework was 'genuine'.
I know he got a lot of songs from his father, but after a conversation I once had with Salford historian Eddie Frow (founder of the Salford Working Class Library), I came to understand that these were in fragmentary form - quote "William sang dozens of bits and pieces of old Scots ballads at socials and trades union meetings."
I know from personal experience that his mother, Betsy was a singer.
Also, an account of MacColl being 'discovered' as a singer in the early 1930s, from 'Prospero and Ariel' D G Bridson, (Victor Gollantz 1971)
"MacColl had been out busking for pennies by the Manchester theatres and cinemas. The songs he sang were unusual, Scots songs, Gaelic songs he had learnt from his mother, border ballads and folk-songs. One night while queueing up for the three-and-sixpennies, Kenneth Adam had heard him singing outside the Manchester Paramount. He was suitably impressed. Not only did he give MacColl a handout; he also advised him to go and audition for Archie Harding at the BBC studios in Manchester's Piccadilly. This MacColl duly did. May Day in England was being cast at the time, and though it had no part for a singer, it certainly had for a good, tough, angry Voice of the People. Ewan MacColl became the Voice, a role which he has continued to fill on stage, on the air, and on a couple of hundred L.P. discs ever since."

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 04:10 PM

Comment re 1963 date for the MacColl/Lloyd STINSON albums:
When LP's were introduced in the late 1940's STINSON began
re-issuing the Asch-Stinson 78rpm recordings as 10-inch LP's.
They also began a series of NEW recordings, the MacColl/Lloyd
recordings were part of that activity.
In the late 50's 10-inch records were replaced by 12-inch albums -
Stinson reprinted many of their albums on 12-inch LPs, some with additional tracks.
In the early 1960's Stinson moved to California, and issued new
jackets for the records, many with a 1962 or 1963 copyright date.
Some carried the designation "collector's series" for the reissued 78rpm albums, "high fidelity" for the "new" recordings.
Stinson jackets went through many changes over the years.
Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 05:07 PM

> Neither did any other singers in the revival if my memory serves me right.

No they didn't. But they didn't include extensive learned notes, either.

As one who was not an acquaintance of Lloyd or MacColl, I can only rephrase what I said earlier: A Lloyd-MacColl album came with the aura of scholarly authority, the sung versions sometimes drawn, as far as anyone could tell, from unique, authentic, unpublished sources.

The Clancy Bros., e.g., rarely if ever gave that impression. They just "sang Irish songs" that didn't belong to the schmaltz repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 05:34 PM

Thanks, Lighter.

I will process all that info later! -- And I will, when I get around to organizing all these folks' shanties (there are only 27-ish) in a list, by date of recording.

I have scene that very helpful site with the albums, though it helps, too, to double check their info.

At some point I determined that _The Singing Sailor_ was 1955. I don't remember how; I don't own the original album. Perhaps it was that I just found the copyright on the songs given as 1955, which in this case is relevant, too. In fact, I think it was because I was looking into "Blood Red Roses" and found that, though Moby-Dick wasn't released until 1956, Lloyd had recorded the song prior to its release.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 05:41 PM

"But they didn't include extensive learned notes,"
As far as the albums I had access to - the sea albums, at least, the ones I had didn't have e. l. n.
The Topic sea albums came with a folded foolscap sheet.
I know Goldstein did most of the Stinson notes for the later MacColl albums; I never saw the earlier ones, but I understood they came with little more than a sentence of notes for each item.
The ballad series were different, as far as I am able to make out I could see no problem with them and I never really had any dispute with what they put forward - whoever did the notes (they were uncredited; I always assumed that they were by Goldstein).
The three early albums of sea material I do have are - A Sailord Garland (notes by Lloyd), Blow Boys Blow (notes by Lloyd) and Whaler Out of New Bedfotd (uncredited)
The point I'm making is that whereas Lloyd was acknowledged as a scholar MacColl was not.
One of my greatest gripes with MacColl, a point I made when I gave a talk on the Critics Group at the symposium for his 70th birthday, was that, apart from sleeve notes, he never set anything his ideas and opinions down on paper.   
Perhaps if we could look at which particular mis-statements on the sea songs, it might clear up what is being discussed here.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 05:47 PM

> Perhaps it was that I just found the copyright on the songs given as 1955

My impression is that none of these albums (at least in their US incarnations) bore a copyright date. Nor did the individual songs.

That was even more evidence of "authenticity." Fakelore singers would claim copyright at the drop of a hat.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 06:23 PM

Google lists these couple sources with reviews of The Singing Sailor as 1954, but I don't believe it. Must be later dater issues contained within the volume. Anyway,

Gramophone (snippet view)

An ad for the album, touting Lloyd as the Shantyman in Moby Dick

Not helpful, but interesting.

Also of interest is this little review might be of interest, which compares the style of Thar She Blows to similar albums by Burl Ives, Paul Clayton, and the Almanac Singers. From Keystone Folklore Quarterly [Bucknell University], Spring 1958.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ZonYAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA25&dq=%22blood-red+roses%


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 10:28 PM

Topic TRL-3 The Singing Sailor was reviewed in GRAMOPHONE April 1955.
"The Singing Sailor is the most interesting Topic record yet issued (TRL3), more for its content than its performance. A. L. Lloyd and Ewan Maccoil are the soloists ; sometimes unaccompanied, sometimes with a concertina played by Alf Edwards, and sometimes with a chorus. Brian Daly (guitar) is also mentioned on the record label and sleeve but succeeds in remaining remarkably unobtrusive. Here are sixteen sea shanties and sailor songs and many of them will be quite unfamiliar to the vast majority of people. That the songs from this selection, which have been recorded before, have been better sung than is the case here is undeniable but as against this very few are otherwise available and those that are, are the least interesting. Technically this record is not, or at anyrate my copy is not, very good. The surface is only mediocre and the tape editing could have been better." W.A.Chislett Nights at the Round Table.

Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jul 12 - 10:32 PM

Thanks, Thomas! That's the datum I was looking for!
Gibb


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 12:15 AM

I got my date of "1956?" for The Singing Sailor from the Topic discography at Musical Traditions. Because of the Gramophoe review of April 1955 I have redated it to 1954/5 in my Lloyd discography.

The Stinson LPs I have are the 12" issues and they have a copyright date of 1962 and 1963 respectively as Thomas said. Lighter argues convincingly that because of the catalogue numbers the original 10" records must have appeared in 1958. I have redated the entries in my discography accordingly.

Thank you to all for your help.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:32 AM

Thank you, Reinhard. Your site is very helpful.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 03:36 AM

"Fakelore singers would claim copyright at the drop of a hat."
Never understood the Fakelore logic on this. On the one hand Ewan and Bert were accused of faking the authenitcity of their songs, on the other they were claiming copyright on them - doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
I had four goes at reading Fakelore, three of them I was overcome with distaste and abandoned because of the 'hit-list' approach (who shall we junk next?), the fourth I managed, but emerged none the wiser from the other end.
I think there is a danger of adopting that somewhat distasteful approach here.
All this stuff was issued over half a century ago when accessibilty to information was a thousand times reduced than it is today.
If they got it wrong, fine, let's examine what they got wrong and discuss it in the context it was presented.
If they deliberately produced false and misleading information, let's examine their claim to scholarship and see how it stands up (Dave Arthur's book seems to have made a reasonable stab in this direction for Bert - Ewan has yet to be discussed fully with this in mind; so far, all we have is a handful of urban legends).
"Saying nothing", as was suggested earlier, doesn't seem an option to me.
Apart from the enjoyment and the desire to be involved that I got from these early albums, I also wanted to know more about the subjects - something that has stayed with me all my life.
It seems as 'smug hindsightish' to berate the early singers for getting it wrong, as it did when Harker et al dismissed Sharp, Kidson, Broadwood.... and all the pioneers, without whom we wouldn't be talking to each other.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 07:54 AM

Jim, we are quite in agreement.

"Fakelore," of course, was a word coined by Richard Dorson to designate cooked-up artificial folklore in the American mass media. (Like Frank Shay's fanciful stories of the giant Cap'n "Alfred Bulltop Stormalong," allegedly a figure yarned about by every seaman.)

Harker then coined "fakesong" and applied it contentiously to the publications of scholarly (or semi-scholarly) editors and collectors.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:22 AM

You're welcome, gentlemen.

Happy to have been of assistance.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:21 PM

In an effort to get more specific, I'd like to look at the recordings as they emerged chronologically (in batches). I'll use the info from Reinhard's discography, supplemented with Lighter's notes in this thread.

My prediction is that, in each new batch, we'll be able to see an influence on Lloyd and MacColl, from either a song collection or an individual performer.

I am just going by my ears of what I hear, and comparing it to what I've seen. Just looking at their performances. But perhaps Jim's wish to see specifics about what was said about each song (in liner notes) can also be satisfied.

The broad overview of batches, introduction of new material, looks to have been as follows. The idea is that other albums reissued stuff, and these were the first appearances of new material. Please feel free to correct.

1. The Singing Sailor (1954/55)
2. The Black Ball Line (1957)
3. Thar She Blows (1957)
4. Blow Boys Blow (1957/58?)
5. A Sailor's Garland (1962)
6. Sea Shanties (with Roy Harris) (1974)
7. MacColl's stuff with Critic's Group (6 shanties that I know off) -- please date


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 01:59 PM

So here's the first batch. I am only looking in detail at the chanties (because that is my personal interest, and time is limited), but I also note the other songs in these batches.

1. The Singing Sailor (1954/55)

This shows a marked influence of the books of American shanty collectors Colcord (1924/1938) and Doerflinger (1951). I believe that all the shanties on the album were most likely based in these, or at least "adjusted" after exposure to these books. Most of the "other" songs on the album/batch also have earmarks of Colcord especially.

Haul on the Bowline
Lloyd.
After Colcord.

Santy Anna
Lloyd.
After Doerflinger. Lyrical emphasis is more towards Liverpool than Mexico.

Blood Red Roses
Lloyd.
After Doerflinger, with multiple changes by the singer, which one might argue "erase" the minstrel-y or Black American quality of lyrics.

Paddy Doyle
Led by both.
Probably after Colcord. Harmonizing the lead is a weird choice.

Other songs:
The Ship in Distress - not in Colcord/Doer
Johnny Todd - not in Colcord/Doer
The Cruel Ship's Captain
The Dreadnought - set to "Dom Pedro" tune, which is elsewhere in Colcord
The Coast of Peru
Row Bullies Row - lyrics are adjusted to give a more English perspective
Off to Sea Once More
Blow the Man Down (Corbett) - a popular version, already revived in U.S., I think
The Flying Cloud
Lord Franklin - not in Colcord/Doer
Van Diemen's Land
The Greenland Whale Fishery


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM

It's probably too late a release to be any help, but one of the vinyls I digitised last year was a Topic Sampler "Sea Songs & Shanties" TPS 235. If it would be useful I can post the text, including the track list and the notes about the songs, off the back of the cover, as I've already OCR'd it.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,sturgeon
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:05 PM

What are 'vinyls'?


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:09 PM

Charles,
We have a track listing here:

http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/folk/records/topicsampler.html#vol7

I, for one, would also be happy to see your OCR'd notes on the songs, if it's not too much bother.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: RTim
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:11 PM

The Critics Group LP's
- As We Were Sailing - ARGO ZDA137 - 1970
Includes - Slave, Ho: Billy Riley; The Alabama: So Handy; Bottle-O: Long Time Ago:
and John Dameray

- Ye Mariner's All - ARGO ZDA138 - 1971
Includes - Ja Ja Ja: Paddy Get Back: Cheer'ly Man: Bangidero: Goodbye Fare Thee Well:
Clear the Track: Galloping Randy Dandy O and Leave Her Johnny.

Critics were - Ewan MacColl, Aldwyn Copper, John Faulkner, Brian Pearson, Dick Snell,
Terry Yarnell and (Phil Colclough - only on Mariners)

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM

For a bit more details see
http://folkcatalogue.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/1970-the-critics-group-as-we-were-a-sailing/
and
http://folkcatalogue.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/1971-the-critics-group-ye-mariners-all/


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 02:33 PM

No problem at all. Here is, I believe, all text from the sleeve and any contained printed material from the Topic Sampler TPS 235, "Sea Songs & Shanties":

"""
Side 1
1. Blood Red Roses        A L LLOYD AND CHORUS
2. The Black Ball Line        EWAN MacCOLL AND CHORUS
3. Maggie May                STAN KELLY
4. The Plains Of Mexico THE WATERSONS
5. The Dreadnought        EWAN MacCOLL, acc ALF EDWARDS, concertina
6. Reuben Ranzo                A L LLOYD AND CHORUS
7. Lowlands Low                IAN CAMPBELL WITH CHORUS, acc DAVE SWARBRICK, fiddle
8. Do Me Ama                A L LLOYD acc ALF EDWARDS, concertina
9. Boston Harbour        THE WATERSONS

Side 2
1. Blow the Man Down        HARRY H CORBETT AND CHORUS
2. The Handsome Cabin Boy        EWAN MacCOLL acc ALF EDWARDS, concertina
3. Away, Haul Away        STAN KELLY
4. The Coast Of Peru        A L LLOYD
5. All For Me Grog        THE WATERSONS
6. The Greenland Whale Fishery        THE WATERSONS
7. A Hundred Years Ago        A L LLOYD AND CHORUS
8. Goodbye, Fare Thee Well        LOUIS KILLEN WITH CHORUS acc DAVE SWARBRICK, fiddle

Of all the varied kinds of English folk song, none has more broad appeal than the sailor songs. They're of two sorts: songs for diversion, and songs for working to. The amusement sort are often called fo'c's'le songs or forebitters, because they were likely to be sung either in the men's quarters below or (in good weather) up on the fo'c's'le head with the singer sitting on the bills and the crowd off-watch lolling on the hatch-covers. The work songs are called shanties, usually short songs with solo lines and choral refrains. The fo'c's'le songs tend to tell a good tale, while with the shanties the sense of the words is unimportant; the point was in the rhythm that allowed the gang to time their movements and heave or haul together. Nowadays both kinds of songs are more sung ashore than at sea. The fo'c's'le songs keep their popularity on account of their salty texts. The shanties are enjoyed chiefly because they give everyone a chance to join in heartily. As this sampler record shows, both sorts are strong, seemingly indestructible, likely to be loved by generations yet to come.

Blood Red Roses

One of the best of halyard shanties, undeservedly little-known until it became current in the folk song clubs fairly recently. Old Cape Homers have been unable to suggest the meaning of the refrain. Stan Hugill, in his excellent Shanties from the Seven Seas quotes a fragment that may be relevant:
        Ho Molly, come down
        Come down with your pretty posy.
        Come down with your cheeks so rosy.
        Ho Molly, come down

The Black Ball Line

The Black Ball line started in 1816, its little 300-500 ton ships flying the red swallow-tail flag with a black ball in the middle, ran regularly twice a month from New York to Liverpool and back, whatever the weather. They were heavily sparred and carried large crews. The officers were notoriously hard, working pressure was fierce, and a great deal of vehement singing went on. The best experts say this shanty was likely to be used either for hauling on the halyards or shoving at the capstan bars.

Maggie May

The song is heard in many sea ports, but the Liverpool variants are the best known and the widest sung. The tune is known also to the words of the Kentucky slave song, Darling Nellie Gray, published as the composition of Benjamin Russel Haxby, whose father's house in Ohio Was one of the 'stations' of the underground route by which Negro slaves were smuggled northward. Various other sets of words have been fitted to the melody, notably, Keep Your Feet Still, Geordie Hinny, and the Australian Neumerella Shore. Both Nellie Gray and Maggie May derive from a transportation song, Charming Nellie Ray, a version of which is quoted in the journal of Charles Picknell of the convict ship Kain, written in 1830. The present version is mainly from Maggie Swift of Wellington Grove.

The Plains Of Mexico

Shanties are usually sung prettied up in the folk song clubs, with tightly organised choruses and a musical discipline quite at odds with the rough and tumble work-song, ship-board origins of these songs. The Watersons sing an ocean going shanty in an ocean going way, roughly with plenty of guts. John Harrison sings the lead. The Santyanna refrain probably has a negro origin; Southern American negroes often adopted the name of the famous Mexican general Santa Ana as a song burden. It has been suggested that the phrase really derives from a seaman's prayer to Sainte Anne, the patron saint of Breton seamen.

The Dreadnought

Sailors have sung of shipwrecks, tough skippers, poor food, loose women, and of seafaring life in general; but few songs were made to celebrate the qualities of particular ships. The Dreadnought is one of these exceptions. It pays homage to the famous Western Ocean packet built at Maryport, Massachusetts, in 1853. Though not the fastest of her class, she would stand any amount of driving in hard weather, and she once ran from Rock Light to Sandy Hook in 19 days.

Reuben Ranzo

A great favourite among topgallant halyard shanties, it has been suggested that 'Ranzo' is a corruption of the name Lorenzo. American whaling ships often recruited Portuguese seamen in the Azores, and Ranzo may have been one of these. However, if the song originated in whaling vessels it seems to have spread quickly to ships of other kinds and became as well known to British as to American seamen.

Lowlands Low

The tune of this halyard shanty derives from the well-known Miller Of Dee, which became widely current after its appearance in Bickerstaff's opera Love In A Village in 1762. Sharp heard a version from a seaman in Cornwall, and Hugill gives one from a Tobago Negro. The present version mainly follows Hugill. The 'Lowlands' refrain is probably an echo of the Golden Vanity ballad.

Do Me Ama

A fo'c's'le song that probably came into being during the 18th century. It derives its story from an old chapbook tale of The Squire And The Farm Servant. The song has appeared in print a few times, most recently as Jack The Jolly Tar in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs. It is still occasionally to be heard from traditional countryside singers, and may owe its survival to the fact that in the story the common sailor most cheekily gets the better of the squire - a theme for which country singers show lasting affection.

Boston Harbour

The bold Captain W B Whall was the first to print this song in his pioneer collection of Sea Songs and Shanties. He says, "It is evidently the work of a seaman ... and was very popular between the years 1860 and 1870". It is a fo'c's'le song, a forebitter not a shanty. The Bow-wow chorus is borrowed from an influential music-hall song of the mid-nineteenth century.

Blow The Man Down

Hoisting the yards was often a long, heavy job. Accordingly, the halyard shanties were likely to be long, rambling songs. They were usually made up of alternate solo and chorus lines. The crew would rest on the rope while the shantyman sang his solo line and then lake a good pull (sometimes two) as they bawled the refrain. Blow The Man Down is a classic halyard shanty that originated in the ships of The Black Ball Line. It is led here by Harry H Corbett in true Liverpool style.

The Handsome Cabin Boy

In the 19th century, broadside texts of the Handsome Cabin Boy remainned steady sellers on the fairgrounds and in the back streets of provincial towns for sixty years and more. A very widespread song, ashore as well as afloat, it is still not infrequently found among traditional singers in eastern England and north-eastern Scotland.

Away, Haul Away

This was a favourite short-drag shanty, used almost exclusively for hauling aft the foresheet or sweating up halyards to take in the slack - jobs that called for a short pull but a good 'un. Well known both to British and American seamen on the Western Ocean run, it is first cousin to the better known Haul Away, Joe. The tune carries a whole anthology of verses, some decorous, others not.

The Coast Of Peru

The English whaling ship Emilia was the first to inaugurate the Pacific sperm whale fishery in 1788, rounding Cape Horn to fish in the waters of the South Sea islands and the coasts of Chile and Peru. By the 1840's, the days of the South Seamen were numbered but they left behind a fine memorial in their songs, of which The Coast Of Peru is perhaps the most impressive. Tumbez, mentioned in the last verse, is in the far north of Peru, on the Gulf of Guayaquil near the equator. Its girls are remembered in several whaling songs.

All For Me Grog

The Watersons got this song from the collections of Frank Kidson. Helen Creighton, the distinguished Canadian collector, found a version in Nova Scotia and suggests that the song was originally a music-hall favourite. The song is well-known in Australia in versions relating to the adventures of a pastoral worker. As a sea shanty, the song was used in English ships for both capstan and halyard work.

The Greenland Whale Fishery

How old is this song? In the Waterson's version the date 1864 is given which is thirty years too late for Greenland whaling, for by 1830 the Greenland grounds were fished out and the expeditions had transferred their attention to the seas of Baffin's Bay. In any case, we know the song is very much older than it seems, for it was already in print as a broadside before 1725. The Dutch and English had opened up the Greenland grounds (where, by the way, they fished for right whales, not sperm whales) early in the 16th century so the song came into being some time between then and the opening years of the 18th. It remained a great favourite, being reprinted over and over again by broadside publishers, and many versions of it have been collected from country singers during the present century. It's one of the great sea songs.

A Hundred Years Ago

It is not clear whether this halyard shanty was first sung aboard American or British ships. It has close associations with the Baltimore clippers, but John Masefield heard it sung on British ships in his seafaring days, and the singer who gave it to Cecil Sharp knew it as an English sailors' song. It may be a seaman's re-make of the mid-19th century minstrel song called A Long Time Ago. Whoever made it, it was a good, nostalgic sounding shanty for the long hauls.

Goodbye, Fare Thee Well

Traditionally, this one was sung at the capstan when the anchor was raised for the homeward run, a big moment for men who might have been away for a year or more. W M Doerflinger says that when the shantyman led the gang in this song, "cheering from other vessels in port rang across the water to wish the homeward-bounders luck". There are countless verses to this song. Those sung here are mostly from Stan Hugill's Shanties From The Seven Seas.


The tracks on this sampler are taken from the following records previously issued by Topic

Liverpool Packet (TOP 27)
Maggie May
Away, Haul Away

Blow The Man Down (TOP 98)
The Black Ball Line
Reuben Ranzo
Do Me Ama
Blow The Man Down

A Hundred Years Ago (TOP 99)
Blood Red Roses
The Handsome Cabin Boy
A Hundred Years Ago

The Coast Of Peru (TOP 100)
The Dreadnought
The Coast Of Peru
Farewell Nancy (12T11O)
Lowlands Low
Goodbye, Fare Thee Well

New Voices (12TI25)
Boston Harbour
The Greenland Whale Fishery

The Watersons (12TI42)
The Plains Of Mexico
All For Me Grog

TOPIC RECORDS LIMITED, TPS 235
27 N assington Road
London NW3 2TX
Printed in England by Robert Stace & Co Ltd
Made in England

Sleeve design by Ken Lees
Photography by D O Hill of a Newhaven fisherman in 1845

All rights of the manufacturers and owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorised public performance, broadcasting and copying prohibited.
"""

Regarding the last para, hopefully they'll forgive me for posting this ...


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:21 PM

Thanks for posting this, Charlie.

It seems as 'smug hindsightish' to berate the early singers for getting it wrong, as it did when Harker et al dismissed Sharp, Kidson, Broadwood.... and all the pioneers, without whom we wouldn't be talking to each other.

Something to keep in mind during this discussion.

I really like to know how songs develop over time, and the contribution each singer makes along the way. The claim by some that what they sing is exactly what one particular source sang has always seemed fallacious to me. Frank Warner may have been one of the few singers/collectors who had the talent to record and render a song close to what he originally heard but even Frank filled in the blanks when it came to "tuning up" the melody (some of the source recordings are definitely of singers past their prime as singers) and forming "composite" songs from separate sources.

So it goes!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:36 PM

At risk of going of into "what is folk?" surely the point of folk song is not that one knows who contributed what, but that the song as currently perceived has evolved in transmission. And surely any shantyman cobbled in verses that would fit from wherever he could remember them for as long as necessary.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 05:57 PM

Cheers for the additional info, fellas.

***

Here's what I'm calling batch #2

1. The Black Ball Line (1957)

It's just a couple years after the first set, but in addition to Colcord and Doerflinger, the boys have seemed to add RR Terry to their library of source texts. They also seem to have interacted with Hugill by this time. "Stormalong" clinches that argument. The earmarks in "Ranzo" suggest Hugill, too, though they certainly did not use his melody. There is the possibility that Hugill borrowed their lyrics later on, but given the "Stormalong" evidence, why go there?

MacColl is taking the lead on shanties here for the first time. His renditions appear to be more "by the book" than Lloyd's; "Black Ball Line" is pretty much verbatim after Colcord.

Black Ball Line
MacColl.
After Colcord.

Reuben Ranzo
Lloyd.
Melody conforms closely to Doerflinger, but lyrics have earmarks of Hugill's version.

A Hundred Years Ago.
Lloyd.
Compares well with Terry's (1926) presentation.
The line "I promised her a golden ring/ she promised me that little thing" might be one of Lloyd's lines that Hugill didn't care for.

Stormalong (way, hey, mister stormalong…)
MacColl.
So close to Hugill's SfSS, and no other versions found. Earmarks suggest Hugill taught this.

Sally Racket
Lloyd.
Melody as in Moby-Dick film's "Hill and Gully Rider". Lloyd may have spliced in words from Terry's "Cheerl'y Man" (as Hugill did also do). Overall, not too much different than what Hugill got from Harding.

Other songs:
Do Me Ama
The Handsome Cabin Boy
The Gauger


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 06:06 PM

'evolved in transmission' absolutely, but there is a world of difference between what has evolved in oral tradition and what has been added/altered by collectors, antiquarians, revivalists et al.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 06:42 PM

3. Thar She Blows (1957)

-Heave Away, My Johnny
Lloyd.
After Colcord. However, he screws up the rhythm in the chorus. (Yes, I said it.)

-Reuben Ranzo
MacColl.
*I've not heard this, and I don't know how it compares to Lloyd's rendition, above. Knowing it might also help date (or position this album), i.e. as before or after The Black Ball Line -- and before or after the postulated influence of Hugill.

-whaling songs


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 08:42 PM

4. Blow Boys Blow (1957/58?)

The boys got more creative with this batch. Colcord, Doerflinger, Terry continue to be used as references, along with C Fox Smith (or a sources w/ duplicate info). These are the firm sources, while some communication with Hugill is again evident. So there is a broader pool they are drawing on to create their renditions. But it is not just a synthesis of various "authentic" sources; a bit is being made up, too.

Wild Goose Shanty
Lloyd.
Perhaps inspired by both Terry's "Wild Goose" (Huckleberry Hunting) and "Bully Boat", but if so, lots was made up fresh. Lacks the American slant of the two (possible) source shanties.

Old Billy Riley
Lloyd.
Seems based in a synthesis of C Fox Smith and Colcord, lyrics-wise. Yet Lloyd's melody doesn't appear in print; may have simply made it up.

South Australia
Lloyd
It's my opinion that he worked this up from Doerflinger and Colcord, changing much and creating in the process.

Blow Boys Blow
MacColl.
Earmarks of Hugill. There melodies don't match exactly, but neither does MacColl's melody match elsewhere. Perhaps oral version of Hugill was different (as it seems it probably often was).

Whup Jamboree
Lloyd.
The melody is what's in Terry, but the lyrics are variation (made more saucy) of Hugill's "London" version. Performed as a forebitter.

Whiskey Johnny (Rise her up from down below)
MacColl.
Melody probably adapted from Doerflinger. Lyrics completely ignore the mysterious Afro-American "rise me up" theme of Doer and Hugill's versions, instead splicing on verses from the more common "Whiskey, Johnny."

Other songs:
While Cruising Around Yarmouth
Banks of Newfoundland
Jack Tar
Paddy West


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 10:30 PM

Batch #5, but I've not said much, because I have not heard most of these. So I am not able to say how this fit in to the development of these performers and their repertoire.


5. A Sailor's Garland (1962)

Haul Away for Rosie
MacColl.
*I have yet to hear this. If it is the same as the revival version, then it mines a lot of verses from Hugill SfSS but has a melody and chorus that I've not seen published, though with similarity to what's in Sharp (1914).

Tom's Gone to Hilo
MacColl.
*I have yet to hear this.

Sally Brown
Lloyd.
*Not sure if I've heard this. Note: He would seem to have done a different rendition on later album, "Sea Shanties"

Hilo Somebody
Lloyd.
*I have yet to hear this. don't have it. Probably based in Terry, maybe Hugill.

Little Sally Racket
This time led by MacColl.
*I have yet to hear this.

Gal with the Blue Dress On
Lloyd.
*I have yet to hear this. I'm guessing it follows Hugill, thought might be based in Slade's performance (?)

Bring 'em Down
Lloyd.
Evidently adapted from Jekyl's collection of Jamaican songs. See here:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=121396

Hilo John Brown
MacColl.
*I have yet to hear this. If this is the same rendition as Lloyd does on a later album, it is based in Terry.

General Taylor
Lead by Lloyd.
*I have yet to hear this. Options for a source are Sharp or Hugill.

Bold Riley O
Lloyd.
Source? Is it partly made-up?

Other songs:
The Sailor's Alphabet
Nancy of Yarmouth
The Dockyard Gate
The Dolphin
The Trim-Rig Ducksie
The Leaving of Liverpool
Short Jacket and White Trousers


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 Jul 12 - 11:10 PM

6. As We Were A-Sailing (The Critics Group) (1970)

This one is easy, because all the shanties are based directly on versions in Colcord or Doerflinger. It is like they are just giving a demo of how these print forms would sound. I'm confused though why in the notes they don't say where the chanties come from; it's so by-the-book. All the singers sound a bit like MacColl, and they seem to have been instructed to lead shanties in a way where the chantyman comes in "early" (cutting short the meter) after each refrain.

Slave, Ho
Aldwyn Cooper
Straight outta Colcord.

Billy Riley
John Faulkner
From Colcord.

The Alabama
Terry Yarnell
From Colcord.

So Handy
Brian Pearson
Straight outta Doerflinger.

Bottle-O
Terry Yarnell
From Colcord + 1 added verse.

Long Time Ago
John Faulkner
From Doerflinger.

John Dameray
Brian Pearson
Straight outta Doerflinger.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 02:57 AM

"All the singers sound a bit like MacColl,"
Could not agree less - each one of them sound exactly like themselves - that was basically what the Critics group was about; developing a range of tones pitches, efforts ornamentation to enable you to select from the entire repertoire.
When the album was conceived you could go into any club in Britain and find Carthy copiers, Waterson wailers, Rose remakes and Bellamy bleaters..... and Killen sinuses. We used to have a bet with each other where some of the singers had learned their songs - and when we followed it up, we were
Even MacColl didn't sound "like MacColl" when he performed - he approached his songs as individual items, and sang them as the objective of the song demanded, allowing his analysis of the song to select the tone, effort, speed.....
My wife Pat played an album of Ewan's to a workkmate who had never heard folk-song once once; her response was, "very interesting - which one was MacColl?"
For the life of me, I've never undertood where this "sounding like MacColl" came from, especially in a revival that seemed hell-bent of copying their particular flavour of the month.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 04:11 AM

Jim--

It's a matter of the perspective, and you may also chalk it up to my somewhat casual listening in this case. (Casual because, as much as I am interested in the shanty genre, I'm not very keen on listening to recordings for pleasure...would not even listen to my own meagre attempts!...and especially not such literal "out of the book" recordings as these.) I can certainly see how "they all sound like MacColl" could sound like a slight, but, clumsy as it was, it was just an observation.

I have the recordings in digital format in my "iTunes", where the artist is only listed as "Critics Group", and I swear that up to this point I thought that it was MacColl singing them all (in different shades of voices, as you say). I am not aware that there is something out there where people refer to "sounding like MacColl." Though I do remember, years ago, that I myself, being quite a big fan of MacColl's voice, being "accused" by someone of trying to sound like him. And I was not trying, though I may have been doing it unconsciously.

I made the remark here because they actually do sound to me to be singing the shanties in the style of MacColl --- that is, sound much more like MacColl than they sound like Lloyd or Killen or, really, anyone else I have ever heard sing shanties -- with one exception. The exception is that I feel I have heard many English shanty-singers of lesser renown, of recent decades, sound like that. Not all Chinese people look alike, but they look alike compared to your typical African, if you catch my drift.

Make no mistake that I love MacColl's voice -- it's tone. But for shanties -- for my taste -- it sounds a bit like someone on stage, too polished, too "straight." It's reigned in somehow, and I can almost see the notation when I hear it. Not "dirty" enough, and not enough variety from one verse to the next.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 04:20 AM

I have to confess that I have worn corduroy trousers like the ones Ewan was wearing at St Georges Hall, Liverpool, at The Liverpool Folk Festival around 1970. But I have never tried to sing like him other than using my lungs, throat and mouth in a similar fashion.

I don't suppose it's worth mentioning but in the 50s and 60s we were still working out what singing old songs, acousticaly in small pub rooms should be like.

No, forget that

Thanks Ewan and all the others

Les


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Dan Booth Cohen
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 04:30 AM

Are there MP3 of the tracks on Thar She Blows (or its twin) available for download or purchase anywhere? My childhood album disappeared. I can hear it all in my head, but I would love to hear the actual music.

I have some digitized MP3s from other albums of that era and genre I would be glad to swap and add to a library.

danboothcohen@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 06:04 AM

" ... you could go into any club in Britain and find Carthy copiers, Waterson wailers, Rose remakes and Bellamy bleaters..... and Killen sinuses."

And you still can, Jim! I've lost count of the times I've heard poor copies of leading revival singers or people who say things like, "this is X by Steeleye Span" - and then sing a traditional song that Steeleye Span happen to have recorded.

I also agree that MacColl was a remarkably versatile singer whose song interpretation was matchless. One of the first folk LPs I ever bought was 'A Sailor's Alphabet' by MacColl and Lloyd (I think that was the title - because I can't seem to find it at the moment). On that album, MacColl sang 'The Leaving of Liverpool'. Up to that time I had only heard that particular song belted out by The Spinners (and their inevitable imitators). Suddenly, in MacColl's interpretation, the song made sense - it's about a world-weary sailor who is not welcoming the prospect of going to sea again - but has no choice. MacColl brought that degree of authenticity and insight to all of his song interpretations.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 07:59 AM

Although to be fair Dave most people don't sing like Martin, The Watersons, Rose or Peter - bacause the can't

Les


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 08:09 AM

> That the songs from this selection, which have been recorded before, have been better sung than is the case here is undeniable.

Two generations later, this assertion is remarkable. Would anyone here concur with it?

The reviewer is clearly judging L & M by the standards of pop or classical music, which is how shanty performances used to be judged. It wasn't because the critics were especially insensitive; it was just an unquestioned assumption of the day, and not just among critics, that any singing worth listening to was defined by a polished, mellow delivery. That's what made it "music."


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 02:30 PM

I am going to skip over the second Critics group shanties recording because it looks like more stuff straight out of the books (Colcord and Doerflinger).

The last (?) batch of chanties introduced by Lloyd or MacColl then, is:

7. Sea Shanties (with Roy Harris) (1974)

Lloyd seems to have hit the jackpot in discovering recordings of The Bahamas/Caribbean. I'd kill to know what he thought when he heard "Come Down You Bunch of Roses," which he would surely have when exploring the recordings.

Roll 'er Down the Bay
Lloyd
Lloyd gor from Caribbean source (who?), and changed it a bit.

Sailboat Malarkey
Lloyd
From Frederick McQueen, Bahamas recording

Sally Brown
Lloyd
From Sharp (1914).

Ho Bowline, Bowline Haul
Lloyd
From the 1935 Bahamas recording

Around the Bay of Mexico
Lloyd
From the 1935 Bahamas recording


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 03:11 PM

Can anyone provide more data about the content of the _Sailor's Garland_ recordings? Even links to "cover" versions would be helpful, in lieu of being able to hear the originals.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 09:08 PM

A couple friends have come forward and helped me out with A Sailor's Garland. Listening to it now with interest!


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Jul 12 - 11:59 PM

OK! Here are my updated notes on A Sailor's Garland (1962).

Not unsurprisingly, at this point there is a great influence of Hugill's work on the performers.

Haul Away for Rosie
MacColl.
Seems based in Hugill SfSS, but melody is reinterpreted. Major (Ionian) becomes Mixolydian.

Tom's Gone to Hilo
MacColl.
From Hugill SfSS.

Sally Brown
Lloyd.
From Sharp (1914). However, this was also in Hugill SfSS, and without any other indication that he'd used Sharp's collection, I'd guess he got in from Hugill. (Damn, his added "n***er" lines seems to me uncalled for.)

Hilo Somebody
Lloyd.
A synthesis of Terry and Hugill SfSS.

Little Sally Racket
This time led by MacColl.
Like Lloyd's on earlier album, but sung in ametrical style where the soloist keeps coming in early after the choruses.

Gal with the Blue Dress On
Lloyd.
From Hugill SfSS

Bring 'em Down
Lloyd.
Evidently adapted from Jekyl's collection of Jamaican songs. See here:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=121396

Hilo John Brown
MacColl.
After Terry, with additions and mis-readings of score.

General Taylor
Lloyd.
Originally appeared in Sharp, but was reproduced in Hugill SfSS, which is probably where they found ir.

Bold Riley O
Lloyd.
Source?


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 03:23 PM

Now to venture to summarize what I've observed from listening to all the tracks, with respect to the sources of Lloyd and MacColl's renditions, and how they developed them.

These observations are not based in comprehensive reading of liner notes, though I feel I have read enough for general purposes. The interesting thing about the notes is that although they give more information (or at least "stuff") about the songs, they do not cite sources. Sometimes they'll mention a writer, which is an oblique way of saying that that writer's book may have factored into their rendition. The songs are being presented to an audience that is presumed not to be familiar with them. They are presented as "folklore" (the word is used). Yet again, rather than the folklorist's habit of saying where they got the info from -- which I would think they would like to say if they got it from independent sources -- they take the approach like "let's assume this was floating around out there among the Folk, abundantly growing on folk trees and ready to be plucked."

This all means that when I see that their rendition closely matches something in a book, I view it as most likely that they got it from that book. (I am speaking especially about melody.) The fact is that if you look at all the presentations of chanties in books, except where the authors have plagiarized one another, there is usually enough of a variation in each independent version that one can distinguish them. One can hear if a revival singer's performance was close to one or another. It's true that the singer may have learned the song from yet another, oral source and it just happens to resemble a particular book version because, after all, it is the same song. But this is not so likely -- for why would all the book versions vary that much from each other? And as for differences between the revival singer's rendition and the book version they most closely resemble, the revival singer has most likely made deliberate or inadvertent changes -- that is, rather than their being a subtly unique oral version. This is reinforced when they don't cite a source. This is all just "If it walks like a duck..." logic.

What I see then is that Lloyd and MacColl made use of just a few sources. They often made significant additions or changes as they crafted their renditions. Many such creative changes, in my opinion, were quite good, while plenty more missed the mark or, in hindsight at least, misinterpreted the genre. Lloyd was more "creative" than MacColl. The Critics Group albums, presumably under the direction of MacColl, are mostly direct performances of book presentations, and other MacColl renditions stayed close to the text -- unless he was following Lloyd's lead.

The main sources they used were Colcord's book, which generally doesn't cite its sources, and Doerflinger's book, which is one of the most meticulous in citing sources, however it is arranged in a way so these sources don't get "in the way" of the reader's experience too much. After the first album, they were using Terry's collections, too. They possibly also used C Fox Smith. And to correct my earlier guess that they didn't see Sharp's collection directly, by the time of A Sailor's Garden (as evident from the liner notes) they did. None of their chanties seem to me to have been based in Whall's book (though the song "Do Me Ama" must have come from there??) or really any other books. No articles, no research into historical sources. Yet again, books *were* the main source. Their renditions were not coming out of the earlier chanty revival that largely followed Terry's books. They are not doing any "Johnny Come Down to Hilo" or "Drunken Sailor." They started with Colcord and Doerflinger and got their sense of the field from there. I am not saying that all the songs were created by first looking in one of these books, and then adapting the versions therein. They certainly would have had other experiences with chanty renditions that factored in. But I think this was the general method.

Starting with A Sailor's Garland, they made good use of Hugill's recently published SfSS. Yet before that, there is evidence that Hugill likely shared some material with them. This is a fascinating issue that I think we need to know much more about.

And much later, Lloyd used recordings of West Indian material.

As for additions/changes, I hardly recognize the addition of verses as changes per se. This is because, in my view, chanty lyrics are meant to be totally variable (though of a certain style, of course) and therefore, by adding or changing verses, one does not change the chanty. One does not even really create a new "version" per se. One just sings what one sang at that time. Of course, once these one-time renditions were recorded and emulated, they established firm "versions" of a sort. Anyway, if Lloyd and MacColl's shanties are mainly based in particular books, as I argue, then we could go through the exercise of listing what verses were in those books and what lyrics were sung by L/M. I am not going to do that because, again, I don't think it is really a change to the chanties. Where it becomes relevant is for just two issues that I can think of.

The first is the issue of simply tracing the origin of certain verses that are now commonly known. One might like to know if certain verses were ever documented in history or if they were made up by L/M. If the comparison shows different verses in L/M from the source books, and knowing that L/M did not use obscure sources and *supposing* that L/M didn't have much in the way of private, undocumented oral sources, then we can reasonably suspect that L/M made them up. Not that they are bad for making them up -- but just if for some reason we need to separate historical stuff from new stuff.

The second is the issue -- apparently of great interest to me, but yet to occupy many other people, ha! -- of how the lyrics selected, changed, or made up by L/M reflected their particular view of the world of chanties and how, moreover, this has gone on to influence audiences in their wake. Lloyd changed places to "Liverpool" as much as possible. These guys avoided or discarded lyrics that talked about America more, had a Black style or a minstrel-y bent. That was certainly their prerogative, but I read it as part of the re-orienting of chanties as a British folk song.

Back to changes: I view changes to melody as more significant. This is because, while lyrics of chanties were "meant to" be varied, melodies were not. Let me be clear that, of course, melodies did vary. That was the result of oral transmission and such. But the core "identity" of a chanty, according to my view, was its tune and its chorus. They were the skeleton upon which variable lyrics were hung. Melodies varied according to natural process of transmission, but to *deliberately* change the melody (or to misread the notation!) is to me something where an "error" has occurred. This is a change, moreover, that in this case seems to be a result of L/M's relationship to the book sources. They either didn't have the time or patience to figure out what the chanty sounded like from the notation, and they did sort of rough approximations, in some cases, from what was there, based on what sounded good and typical to them. This to me is bothersome because it seems to contradict the whole academic "folklore" side of the venture. You're putting these words behind your performances, saying that the song came from such and such and was about this or that and with full faith that it was existing "out there" as a bit of culture, but then you kind of just make up your own form of it out of your head.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 04:13 PM

Gibb,
This is all very interesting to you and me and a handful of others, but are there really that many people out there that think that L&M's performance stuff was genuine?
Surely now it is widely acknowledged that they altered their material. As researchers in traditional song we simply don't include any of their performed material.

As singers, what does it matter? I happily sing their stuff because I'm a fake chantyman. On the few occasions I was involved in hoisting a sail there was always a winch of some sort available.

Jon
As a man on the spot are there really knowledgeable people still on your side of the pond who would take any of L&M's recorded output, and bookwise anything but TSofE&S, as the real thing? Oh and I ought to add the excellent story of Ben Bright sent to me recently by Jim.
Ta, Jim!


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 04:38 PM

Hi Steve

What "matters" all depends on one's goal and one's interests, as you say. "As researchers in traditional song we simply don't include any of their performed material." Ah yes, but I, for one, am not (just) a researcher in traditional song. I am an ethnomusicologist. If I am simply looking for the history of shanties during the age of sail, then I disregard L/M's performances as data. But suppose I am also interested in the history of shanties as a genre of entertainment music (with perceived links to the past) as it has developed and continues to develop in the 20th century? Suppose I am interested in the current shanty scene? Maybe i am interested in the topic of the nature of "music revivals" and their various forms? Maybe I am an anthropologist or folklorist studying the culture of the "sea music" scene, the attitudes and beliefs of its participants , their repertoire, etc.? Maybe, too, I am interested in doing critical history, wherein one of the principles is that perceptions of the present...that emerged in more recent years...can and has coloured the was we and others perform our "historical" research? As an ethnomusicologist, I am not interested in just the dry details of how songs developed in a remote period. I like to make larger statements about how media, past scholarship, changing historical circumstances, changing geography, changing ethnic/class/gender constitution of audiences, etc. have a bearing on music. The specifics gleaned from certain situations/genres lead to broader points, that can often be applied to other scenarios and inform one's greater sense of the nature of music in the world.

Even as singers, there's fake and then there is fake. Some people, others not, like to have an understanding of where what they are doing fits in. They may assume something is not "authentic" -- but they would like to know (or might be surprised to know) exactly what is inauthentic and in what specific way. People may know that L/M were not authentic...but much of their material was. How are we to separate? Are we consciously aware of what part of our knowledge and interpretations come from them?

On a minor point, there may be something historical we can get from L/M. If Hugill taught "Stormalong" to MacColl, for example, then in MacColl's performance we are getting some portion of information that is otherwise gone -- because SfSS certainly does not convey to us how the song should be sung, but MacColl probably got a good idea from Hugill's oral performance.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:17 AM

Another indication that they were in contact with Hugill in 1954-55 may be the appearance of "Off to Sea Once More."

I don't believe it was published anywhere before that except by Doerflinger. His text is fragmentary and his tune is different.

SSS, however, has it complete with the well-known melody.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: John Minear
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM

Gibb,

I sure have been enjoying this discussion. I think it is fascinating how personal histories become a part of the larger historical context of an "age". My first sea chanty was "Rio Grande" which I somehow remember learning from my Grandpa, who was the son of Captain Franklin Pond, although my dear mother doesn't have any memories of her father singing anything. And then it was Burl Ives' "Down to Sea in Ships" and the little paperback songbook that had all of these songs in it. I dearly loved the Clancy Brothers' album of sea chanties. Paul Clayton's whaling songs were a real jewel for me. And when I finally did hear L&M I thought I had finally found "the real thing". Early childhood formation (i.e. prolonged adolescence) has a very lasting influence.

But I was trained professionally in "historical critical" techniques, and inevitably, my '60's love of folk music was going to collide with my historical critical sensitivities. And when it did, I discovered that like so much of the stuff of my life from the 1960's, not only did I have a very "romantic/romanticized" view of sea chanties, but a totally a-historical understanding of them. This discovery is now only about ten years old. And the learning curve of the past decade, whether it be with sea chanties or ballads or "folk songs" in general, has been steep, but worth every inch of the climb.

So I really appreciate the way you are bringing together these various perspectives and interests in this discussion (and in all of the work that you do). Yes, there is a huge difference between "the academic study of...." and "pure entertainment". When I turn on the tv I don't expect to learn much about history that is very reliable. But when the entertainment is well-grounded in some solid historical research, I enjoy it even more. And, we are all part of history and history-making, some of us more than others, so why shouldn't we be subjected to some serious study and analysis. Where did we come from and how did we get here and what have we brought along with us that is important. And who showed us the way. I think all of this is important. Keep up the good work.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:38 PM

Gibb,
An excellent summary of why this information is important. I was simply looking at it from my own limited perspectives.

Your perspective of why Lloyd's and MacColl's versions and contributions are important has a lot in common with why Child's anthology was so important. There is a heck of a lot of stuff in there that is suspect in one way or another and at times he pointed this out, but Child included all of it because even the suspect ones might contain a vestige of genuine oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:17 PM

Another indication that they were in contact with Hugill in 1954-55 may be the appearance of "Off to Sea Once More."

I don't believe it was published anywhere before that except by Doerflinger. His text is fragmentary and his tune is different.

SSS, however, has it complete with the well-known melody.


Good point. I haven't heard that Lloyd recording. I've heard a snippet of Lloyd's rendition on the mid-60s Leviathan! album, which should be a unique recording, however I don't know if he altered the rendition.

MacColl did the song on 1957's Thar She Blow's, and that one sounds to me distinctly Hugillian. That would be consistent with the by-1957 influence that seems evident elsewhere.

Paul Clayton had already recorded "Off to Sea Once More" before L/M -- on his circa 1954 "Whaling Songs" album. Well, I am supposing it came out before The Singing Sailor. Google turns up three reviews in 1955 publications, and I've not hear that one either, but it is said that for some songs on the album Clayton consulted whalers' logs.

Carpenter had published a text to song in 1931, and Gordon collected it, but those would have to bearing.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:19 PM

Oops, the song did appear a few other times earlier under the title "Jack Wrack." I've not compared them.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 09:48 PM

ugh... missed the fact that Doerflinger gave his collected version to the Lomaxes in 1934. Probably not relevant anyway.

Would be interesting to look at The Singing Sailor in a bit more detail, to see how likely the Hugill influence may have been.


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