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Stan Hugill uncensored

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GUEST,Lighter 12 Jul 12 - 02:16 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Jul 12 - 03:59 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Jul 12 - 04:15 PM
SPB-Cooperator 12 Jul 12 - 05:07 PM
Bill D 12 Jul 12 - 05:14 PM
SPB-Cooperator 12 Jul 12 - 05:34 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Jul 12 - 06:41 PM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Jul 12 - 02:52 AM
SPB-Cooperator 13 Jul 12 - 03:22 AM
stallion 13 Jul 12 - 06:05 AM
sciencegeek 13 Jul 12 - 06:25 AM
EBarnacle 13 Jul 12 - 06:29 AM
Gibb Sahib 14 Jul 12 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Jul 12 - 07:14 PM
Charley Noble 22 Jul 12 - 07:55 PM
sciencegeek 22 Jul 12 - 08:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Jul 12 - 08:40 PM
sciencegeek 23 Jul 12 - 06:54 AM
Owen Woodson 23 Jul 12 - 11:55 AM
Charley Noble 23 Jul 12 - 01:24 PM
Owen Woodson 23 Jul 12 - 03:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 12 - 06:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 12 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Jul 12 - 07:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Jul 12 - 01:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 12 - 09:07 AM
GUEST 24 Jul 12 - 11:16 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Jul 12 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 12 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM
Lighter 07 Sep 13 - 08:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Sep 13 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 08 Sep 13 - 06:56 AM
Lighter 08 Sep 13 - 12:03 PM
Mr Red 08 Sep 13 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 08 Sep 13 - 05:37 PM
Lighter 08 Sep 13 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Mar 15 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 24 Mar 15 - 10:54 AM
Lighter 24 Mar 15 - 12:00 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Mar 15 - 12:34 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Mar 15 - 04:43 PM
The Sandman 24 Mar 15 - 05:23 PM
Lighter 24 Mar 15 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 25 Mar 15 - 03:38 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM
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Subject: Stan Hugill 's lost shanties
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 02:16 PM

The current threads on shanties remind me of this.

Legend has it that shantyman Stan Hugill used to regale after-hours audiences with the uncensored words of old sea shanties that he wasn't allowed to publish fifty years ago.

It looks like these lyrics have disappeared forever.

If any Mudcatters learned any uncensored lyrics directly from Stan, now's your chance for immortality as a "collector" and a "source" and to fill out the record by posting them. What better place than Mudcat? You can even post anonymously as a "Guest."

By the standards of today's rugby songs, X-rated rap songs, and R-rated movie dialogue, they can't be that shocking.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM

I'm always uncertain about when to combine threads and when not to. There's another thread, Stan Hugill - the real words, that covers this same subject. If I combine the threads, that tends to stifle new discussion, so I'll leave the two threads separate for now and consider combining them in the future.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 03:59 PM

Lighter--

Wasn't it around 1988/89 that you met Hugill at Mystic Seaport -- presumably during one of the Sea Music festivals?

I believe that Jerry Bryant has publicly stated (or else I wouldn't be saying it) that he was in attendance at an explicit songs workshop led by Hugill at the festival, and that a good deal of that material went into his renditions under his pseudonym.

What that workshop have been the same year(s) you attended?

In recent years, the "after hours" venue at the Mystic festival (to name just one) is held in the sort of mess hall for guest performers, from about 1am till "whenever." It's were anything goes, lyrics-wise. Incidentally, however, at this last one (I only visited one of the nights) it seemed as if anything no longer goes...or doesn't go well. There were so many "kids" and so little alcohol there that I for one would have felt strange to sing anything explicit.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 04:15 PM

I will add to my anecdote, however, that word was an "alternative" after hours session was in place, for a few.

What would have been the after hours venue circa late 80s when Hugill was there? (And did he attend?)


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 05:07 PM

Over the years I knew Stan - and that was too short a time, he was sensitive to what he sang 'in public', but buying him a rum at a pub, and engaging him in conversation, he would occasionally regale some uncensored versions, well once I think in 1982!

However, when I started taking what I was doing much more seriously, I was more interested in finding out if I got the tunes right - the best compliment I ever got was "close enough".

There are sufficient 'clues' in Shanties for the Seven Seas to get an idea of where the uncensored words are, and where they should be, but I like to think that a shantyman worth his salt would be capable of using nautical language and terminology to invent maritime double-entendre.

On a personal note there is one shanty with the line "sat upon a grassy plot". I can think of two alternatives - 'sat upon a patch or grass' or 'sat upon a grassy patch'. I used to sing the latter and followed this by 'stows the cargo in her hatch' as opposed to 'likes her dinner served up hot'

The vulgar alternatives don't need that much imagination!


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 05:14 PM

I will repeat essentially what I said on the other thread.

I know the guy who recorded that session. (He was an official tech guy at Mystic for a number of years.) He says has a copy of the tape, and has offered to let me listen to it, but because it was officially the property of the festival, he will not make copies.

I have NOT gone to his house and taken him up on the offer.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 05:34 PM

Bill, I don't get your post - the thread as far as I see it is about personal recollections of hearing Stan sing uncensored version of shanties. Are you saying that you haven't any recollections because you have never listened to a tape someone alse made? I don't mean to offend, but your posting seems a bit strange to me in relation to the O/P.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 06:41 PM

More 2nd/3rd/4th-hand stuff, but Barry Finn stated once...that he believed Dan Milner had told him...that Hugill stated (to Dan or in Dan's presence) that the "ringtail" in "Jamboree" was positively "asshole."


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 02:52 AM

I met an English woman who knew Stan Hugill from festivals who was still very pissed off that Stan would not sing the uncensored songs when she was in the room.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 03:22 AM

Gibb,

That's one I heard Stan sing. (around a pub table)


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: stallion
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 06:05 AM

Tried asking Martin and Phillip Hugill?


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: sciencegeek
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 06:25 AM

Gibb, remember the line about knowing you were getting on in years when all the cops & doctors look like high school kids? Well... all the "kids" at the YTB are college students and probably would have loved a raunchy verse or more. I don't remember being put off by that when even younger then that. Besides, they are exposed to far "worse" than that from the current media.

After 20+ years as a festival volunteer, I can tell you that anything does go after hours at the YTB. Including a time when Jeff Warner declared shanties off limits for the night and it was ballads or instrumentals only. lol Or who could sing the raunchiest song.

The days of having a keg on tap seem to be over... but it has always been BYOB... just don't puke onboard the ship. I just provide the snacks.

Since the Stan Hugill "uncensored shanties" workshop was jam packed, I wouldn't be surprised if more than recording was made. Bonnie Milnar or Don Sineti might have an idea.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: EBarnacle
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 06:29 AM

For several years I attempted to get Stan to send me or sing me lyrics so that they would be published. He stated that he had sent a batch of them to Gershon Legman but that Legman was working very slowly. As we know, Legman never got them published.
I also agree that he was very inhibited in mixed company.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 12:04 AM

sciencegeek --

Hey, no complaints about the YTB sessions at all! -- it's a cool tradition/institution. Just the observation that it "felt" this time as one ("one" meaning one like me!) would feel awkward singing certain things, due to the way the atmosphere happened to turn out -- a constant variation over years, as you say. Of course the college kids could hear that stuff. But as Sandra and EBarnacle have noted, some people (e.g. Stan Hugill) feel "funny" about singing for certain audiences and under certain conditions. If younger folks, women (yes!), family relations, non-drinking people, etc !!! are there, it can be weird. The lights could even be too bright, or the room too large, or lack of background noise...and it would make some singers feel shy.

When I am among my male friends of the same age, anything goes to say. Even among workmates when I have done jobs in factories, warehouses, etc, cursing is a necessary accompaniment to every sentence. But I don't do it much around women, and even less with people below a certain age. Just old-fashioned rules of propriety.

***
Is there any sense of what all the songs are (roughly) that one would be expecting there to be unexpurgated versions of? Or is it certain verses (floaters)?

Perhaps if a list could be established, items could start being crossed off, based on the community knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 07:00 PM

Refresh, my bullies, refresh!


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 07:14 PM

I still think it might provide some focus to try to sketch up a list of what the songs needing expurgating might have been. (Unless this is "leading the witness"?)

For starters:

Sacramento
A-Roving
The Fireship
Serafina
Jamboree
Hog-eye Man
Old Moke


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 07:55 PM

The bawdiest verse I've ever heard of Serafina goes,

Serafina's got no drawers I've been ashore and seen her...
She's got no time to put them on, hardworking Serafina...

The PC version that Stan has in Seven Seas uses "shoes" instead of "drawers," which may be soulful but hardly robust.

I think I heard The Shanty Crew (Chris Roche's old group) sing this song this way on one of their recordings.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: sciencegeek
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 08:25 PM

Finally found the thread again... lol Stan would have a flask of Pussers rum that he brought to the YTB. Stan would "hold court" after hours & often gave long discourses after a particular song caught his attention. He was much like my grandfather, who would leave the "course" language behind at the docks and would be "proper" at home.

As far the workshop, there was as much "lecturing" as singing... but I'll have to check with Mike to see how much he remembers.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 12 - 08:40 PM

sciencegeek--

This kind of relates to a topic on another thread, but since you're here :) ...
:
Do you have a firm figure or an estimate of how many times Stan attended the festival?
I think he was there first in 1980 (?), and then the last festival he could have been at was '91. How many of those 11 festivals do you remember him being at? Thanks.


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Subject: A young Polish fellow
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 06:54 AM

our first festival was 1985 and Stan was regular fixture at the festival.   He may have missed once in that time, but I don't really remember. He loved being in the center of things and he really enjoyed Mystic... we brought a co-worker of Mike's one year, a young man from Poland. He was awestruck by Stan, who had the status not unlike a rock star in Poland.

Poland had just kicked out the Russians and was having a national revival. Joseph Conrad (I can never remember his true Polish name) became the equivalent of Melville. I'm not sure if his works were actually suppressed by the Communists.

Bonnie Milnar has been to all the festivals, and she was a friend of Stan's.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 11:55 AM

Please don't ask me to recall specific texts after all these years, but Stan knew a lot of bawdy versions of shanties, and he was certainly up for singing at after hours entertainments.

I recall one night in a pub called the Trawler on Liverpol Dock Road, now alas knocked down, where he sang several bawdy shanties. He then told us that he'd sent a set of bawdy texts to the Hungarian/American folklorist Gershon Legman. This would have been in the late 60s and I recall him saying he sent them anonymously, to avoid being arrested for sending obscene materials through the post.

Perhaps a search of Legman's estate might yield something.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 01:24 PM

"Perhaps a search of Legman's estate might yield something."

I'm not sure how many people have tried to follow up this lead in the years since it was first suggested but none have returned with "the goods."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 03:15 PM

Could be. Maybe we should be searching Hugill's estate


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 06:28 PM

I met an English woman who knew Stan Hugill from festivals who was still very pissed off that Stan would not sing the uncensored songs when she was in the room.

Precisely. Of course he wouldn't - he'd have regarded it as deeply discourteous and wouldn't have dreamed of doing so. I don't think that was in any way untypical of his generation.

But the "expurgated" words were just as authentic as the "censored" version. It would depend on the company - in port where there woud be women present or if there were women present on ship, passengers or family, the shanty man would watch his mouth.

That's what Stan said anyway. Modern day mores might assume that saltwater sailor wouldn't give a monkey about that kind of thing, but I rather think they are out of touch with how earlier generations actually were. And remember, even aside from this, there wasn't any business of crowd anonymity involved - it was the shanty man who determined how the sog went and if there were complaints from lady passengers they'd be directed at him.

Moreover in the latterdays of sail the crews were relatively small - making the shanties even more important as a way of getting maximum working efficiency. Stan's illustrations bring out the way the work team using the shanties were relatively small.
..... ....................

Back in 1961 I used to go to Cecil Sharp House to soing in sessions there, and also in a spin-off club we set up in a pub round the corner called the York and Albany. When Peter Kennedy was setting up the recording sessions for an LP which was issued as Shanties of the Seven Seas, the club was a convenient source for a crew to help out. In the LP we were referred to as "the York and Albany Crew".

Stan Hugill wrote of us in the LP's notes "...after a little tuition in how these songs were applied when heaving and hauling,(they) soon became a rantin' roarin' crew of Johns supplying wild hooraw choruses with all the boisterousness and fierceness of Blackball Packet Rats".   Thank you for that Stan, I still treasure the testimonial...

What that meant in practice was, for example that he found us a length of electric cable so that we could use it for hauling away when appropriate, and he had us trudging round in a circle for the capstan shanties. One point - he also wrote in his notes that "One fault noticeable to oldtimers is that we sing these shanties rather faster than would be done on shipboard."

We were supplemented by another Stan - Stan Kelly the great Liverpool songwriter. Here is a Mudcat thread to which he contributed which mentions the recording sessions.

During the breaks between recording shanties I can remember Stan sharing some of the rougher versions of verses that would only be sund out at sea, when there weren't ladies on board. They weren't that rough by modern standards.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 06:43 PM

Oops - that link to the thread with a contribution by Stan Kelly doesn't work, and I can't seem to do a blue clicky for it that works - it's called "A. L. Lloyd: History and anecdotes?" , ran from 17 Nov 1999, and a search for A.L.Lloyd throws it up readily enough. Stan Kelly's contribitions are as GUEST,skb@atdial.net


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Jul 12 - 07:20 PM

> They weren't that rough by modern standards.

Thanks for the recollections, McGrath, especially that part. It confirms my belief.

It's still hard to imagine that only one person on Mudcat (Charley) can remember only one verse to only one song!

Here is a list of shanties from SSS that Stan said he "camouflaged." Maybe it will jog some memories.

Abel Brown the Sailor
A-Rovin'
Baltimore
Billy Boy
Blow the Man Down
Blow Ye Winds
Can't Ye Dance the Polka?
Cheerily Man/ Haul 'er Away/ Little Sally Rackett
Derby Ram
Dixie
Do Let Me 'lone Susan
Donkey Riding
Drunken Sailor
The Ebenezer
The Fireship
The Hog-Eye Man
Home, Home, Home
Jamboree
John, Come Tell Us as We Haul Away
Johnny Come Down to Hilo
Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her
The Limerick Shanty
The Liverpool Judies
A Long Time Ago
Maggie May
The Milkmaid
Miss Lucy Long
Oh, Aye Rio
Paddy Doyle's Boots
Paddy Lay Back
Pretoria
Put Your Shoulder Next to Mine and Pump Away
Randy Dandy
Ratcliffe Highway
Rollin' Home by the Silvery Moon
Sacramento
Sally Brown
Saltpetre Shanty
Samuel Hall
Serafina
The Shaver
Shenandoah
Slack Away Yer Reefy Tayckle
To My Hero Bangidero
Yaw Yaw Yaw!


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 01:53 AM

Hi McGrath,

Thanks again for sharing this info.
May I gently nudge you over to the thread I started about Stan's recordings? (Ir's called "Stan Hugill Performances.)

I am particularly interested in whether you have any other recollections from the recording sessions like:

How did Stan teach you guys the songs?
Where the songs decided in advance?
Did Stan refer to any notes or lyric sheets during the process?
Any other interesting comments he made about the particular songs?
Was a published copy of his book lying around?
What was the approximate date of the recording sessions...1961 or 1962? what month?
Stuff like that.

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the album. So I'd also probably want to ask things like (!):
What variant of "Stormalong" was it that you guys recorded? Was it the "ay ay ay" one, or was it the "way stormalong john...way hay mister stormalong john" like Ewan MacColl had recorded, or what?

I'll try to get in touch with Stan Kelly, if he's still around.

Thanks! And sorry for the thread drift.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 09:07 AM

How did Stan teach you guys the songs?
He just sang us the choruses, and showed us what the shanties were for - for example where we were supposed to be pulling or whatever.

Where the songs decided in advance?
I imagine he had an idea of what shanties orforebitters he wanted to record. Or maybe one just led to another.

Did Stan refer to any notes or lyric sheets during the process?
Not that I recall - I'm pretty certainhe didn't use any.

Any other interesting comments he made about the particular songs?
I can't remember anything mch - he'd have said the same kind of stuff that was in the notes on the record, or in the book.

Was a published copy of his book lying around?
I can't remember one and I doubt it. There was no question of Stan singing from a written or printed source. He might of course have refreshed is memory in advance, but I doubt if he'd have needed to.

Stan Kelly is also known as Stan Bootle.

What was the approximate date of the recording sessions...1961 or 1962? what month?
I'm not sure - I think 1961, not later than September. Probabaly summer. EFDSS might well have a record since the recording was done in the lowest floor of Cecil Sharp House.

I'll try toget round to copying the record and send it to you, with a copy of the notes on the back as wll.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 11:16 AM

I agree that the uncensored versions really weren't all that bad... just course and to the point.

My grandfather went to sea at the end of 19th century while still a young boy. I have no doubts that he knew plenty of "unseemly" language, but he left it behind at the docks and rarely even swore at home. That's the way things were back then. And he was the "black sheep" in the family.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 01:53 PM

McGrath--

Good stuff! Thanks for the reply.

Just to be clear, I wasn't implying that Stan would *need* books for reference. I was just thinking that when people record they usually like to have a certain version worked out in advance, so some thought may have gone into selecting and determining which verses he'd like to go down on the recording--as opposed to the chantyman's usual habit of ad-libbing-- to present the shanty in an "ideal" way.

Additionally, my thought was that Stan may have chosen some of the shanties on the basis of their relative rarity or unfamiliarity, and on that basis I wondered if there was any clue that some songs were ones he hadn't sung himself much, and so they were not firmly entrenched.

And I don't know what month the SfSS book was published and available in 1961, so if, as you say, the recording may have been around summer of '61, then I wonder if there was even a copy of the book floating around yet.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 02:15 PM

"A long time ago" - but I think my impression was that Stan was more or less ad-libbing, and would have seen that as part of presenting the shanty in an "ideal" or rather "authentic" way. Something to help get the work done, rather than a performance.

Though with some of the capstan songs we recorded Stan was happy to have a squeeze box accompaniment, because they would also have been sung for sheer enjoyment as forebitters.

In the record notes Stan wrote "In the past a painful camouflage clouded (the songs), and operatic perfection in the singing killed the clarity of the words with over harmonization and full orchestras killing the full atmosphere." That was what he wanted to avoid in the recording.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Jul 12 - 02:28 PM

A snippet view shows that SSS appeared in the Cumulative Book Index for January to July, 1961.

So it must have been published before July 31.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 08:30 PM

So not one person in the Mudcat Universe ever memorized a single bawdy verse he or she actually heard Stan Hugill sing at one of his allegedly many, allegedly anything-goes pub sessions?

So here's a different question. Has anyone ever heard an old sailor sing authentic bawdy words to a shanty? Names don't matter: the genuine old-time lyrics do. To some people.

My theory is that modern rugby songs are considerably more lurid, leering, and ingenious than most of what one would have heard at sea a century ago.

Just an opinion, mind you.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 10:31 PM

My theory is that modern rugby songs are considerably more lurid, leering, and ingenious than most of what one would have heard at sea a century ago.

I agree with that opinion. At least, I haven't seen much evidence to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 06:56 AM

Mike Yates wrote an article for a magazine, Traditional Music, No 7, mid 1977: '"The Best Bar in the Capstan": William Bolton sailor and chantyman' in which he includes a few verses of shanties from Percy Grainger's song collection. Certainly, those verses are not censored! Mike doesn't give a source within Grainger's collection - perhaps they can be found on The Full English, but somehow I doubt it!
Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 12:03 PM

I appreciate the lead, Derek. I've ordered the item through the library.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 04:48 PM

The "uncensored song session" story (as related by Jim Magean) where no women were allowed by order of Stan - I told it to the Dragon Folk Club in Bristol. Maggie Starkie runs the club and she assured me that she was present, though she hid behind a group of men so that Stan didn't see her and refuse to sing.

It took a whole bottle of whisky by all accounts.

According to Jim the lyrics were not for yer average Folk Club night, by a long chalk.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 05:37 PM

A couple of Mike's examples are actually available on The Full English!
Derek


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 06:14 PM

I've just seen some.

None of the dig-in-the-ribs double entendres that current singing has led shanty fans to expect.

I can't imagine Stan singing downright racist lyrics to any audience, even in the name of beer and authenticity. And some of the uncensored stuff in Grainger (and elsewhere) is, in fits and starts, both racist and scatological. Could that be one reason why his ms. has disappeared?

As I've said elsewhere, all it would have taken to make a shanty "dirty" to publishers in 1961 and earlier would be *one* ad-libbed dirty word. And I believe it would have taken less than that to scandalize Victorians like Capt. Whall.

Of course, as Hugill says, a very few shanties existed in a "dirty version" only. And unlike Whall, he meant "dirty" even by today's standards.

As for "clues" in Stan's camouflaged versions (and Terry's too), they're generally too vague to tell anyone what the original words were, particularly since the whole line rather than the rhyming word itself might be the bawdy part! And sometimes Stan even seems to have changed the rhyme!

Example: could anyone possibly deduce the real first and third refrains of "The Gals o' Chile"? They were "nothing more than bawdy alterations of Spanish phrases." What's more, even the stanzas have been "altered to make the song printable." "Saltpetre Shanty" is similar.

And the words of the second refrain, supposedly unchanged, are "We'll dance an' all drink pisco" (with the music), but under the music they're "We'll all drink lots o' vino!"


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 07:01 AM

Refresh, buckos.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 10:54 AM

I never met Stan Hugill, but I did once phone him in the hope that he could help me identify a song. Following my request, there was a pause on the line and then Stan said something like, "I usually expect to get paid for information like that". I was certainly not getting paid for my work, so, sadly, I thanked him for his time...and put the phone down!


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 12:00 PM

Say it ain't so!


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 12:34 PM

Odd, that, Mike. I wrote to him once, about the shanty sung by Captain Cuttle in Dickens's "Dombey & Son", and received a most courteous and informative reply, with no suggestion that he had found it any trouble or expected any payment. I looked out the letter, which I still have, when this thread started.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 04:43 PM

Jon,
The rugby song repertoire by its very nature is bound to have more lurid scatological and sexist lyrics than any other genre. Even the forces songs of WWII contain a wide variety of material with SOME lurid pieces and you would expect a similar smaller percentage of more extreme material among seamen.

Here are a few possible reasons: The rugby groups revel in the extremeness of the material and they are ALL young men delighting in each other's company and competing to be as bawdy as possible. Seamen and forces personnel and indeed comparable groups have a wider age-range and spread of backgrounds, so you get a much wider range of material, sentimentality, subtlety, cleverness, wider range of sources etc.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 05:23 PM

perhaps you got him out of the bath,MikeYates.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 06:22 PM

Points well taken, Steve. The rugby singers, moreover, being generally more literate than the 19th century working class, are more likely to appreciate nuance, wordplay, tonal effects, Establishment-blasting excess, etc.

My guess, though, is that many of the rugby songs originated in or were enormously encouraged by the singing of junior military and naval officers in the First World War. We know a little about the rowdy off-duty sing-songs of RAF pilots - from the same social strata as the rugby players, and quite as likely to make new songs or parody old ones. And rugby was also an enormously popular off-duty activity. We also know a little about the RN tradition of the "sods' opera," a pastime largely devoted to the circulation of bawdy songs. (Presumably it predates 1914.)

Very much of the current rugby repertoire seems to have been in place by 1945. Speaking generally, (white) American bawdy songs seem, until recently, to have been cruder in diction, less elaborate, less numerous, and less ingenious than the rugby songs - despite a certain amount of overlap. (See Randolph-Legman, for example). We know very little of black American bawdy songs before the blues (and even after), but the recitation of bawdy so-called "toasts" - with no holds barred - is likely to be well over a century old. "Toasts," of course, are the chief progenitors of rap.

The Australian repertoire seems to be much like the British, equally witty but possibly even coarser.

But these conclusions are tentative and possibly incorrect. We'd know much more if Legman's vast collection were to appear, but I have no information that that is likely to happen.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 03:38 AM

Soldier - you may well be right! After all, we all have off days.


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Subject: RE: Stan Hugill uncensored
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 03:03 PM

'elaborate'-'ingenious'-'witty'!

We must be discussing different things, Jon. These are not words I would use to describe the rugby song repertoire. 'very basic' 'catalogue songs'. Double entendre rarely comes in. They are extremely obvious and explicit.

The 2 main books of Rugby Songs contain the usual repertoire but they have been filled out with a few cleverer ballads from the folksong canon.

The rugby song repertoire is very definitely the more sordid pieces from the armed forces, but as I said earlier the sods' operas contained all manner of material, sentimental (Died for Love was a staple), community songs, war songs, songs about conditions in the forces, old songs from the 19thc like McCaffery, etc.


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