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What does 'Roll and GO' mean?

clueless don 07 Jan 13 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Don 07 Jan 13 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 07 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Lighter 07 Jan 13 - 01:28 PM
Uncle Tone 07 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM
Amos 07 Jan 13 - 04:12 PM
Ross Campbell 07 Jan 13 - 04:37 PM
Marc Bernier 07 Jan 13 - 07:37 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Jan 13 - 10:00 PM
Marc Bernier 07 Jan 13 - 10:11 PM
GRex 08 Jan 13 - 04:09 AM
Uncle Tone 08 Jan 13 - 05:36 AM
bubblyrat 08 Jan 13 - 05:42 AM
Charley Noble 08 Jan 13 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Jan 13 - 08:40 AM
clueless don 08 Jan 13 - 09:20 AM
vectis 08 Jan 13 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Jan 13 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Jan 13 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Jan 13 - 05:05 PM
Charley Noble 09 Jan 13 - 08:57 AM
Charley Noble 10 Jan 13 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Jan 13 - 08:53 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 13 - 09:44 AM
Charley Noble 11 Jan 13 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Jan 13 - 03:08 PM
ChrisJBrady 11 Jan 13 - 05:35 PM
Charley Noble 11 Jan 13 - 09:09 PM
ChrisJBrady 12 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM
beeliner 13 Jan 13 - 01:05 AM
Charley Noble 13 Jan 13 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,julia L 13 Jan 13 - 06:53 PM
Dead Horse 14 Jan 13 - 04:22 PM
Janie 14 Jan 13 - 06:08 PM
Stringsinger 14 Jan 13 - 06:12 PM
Jeri 14 Jan 13 - 06:26 PM
Jeri 14 Jan 13 - 06:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 14 Jan 13 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,GUEST; 30 Jul 14 - 06:43 AM
Mrrzy 30 Jul 14 - 02:10 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 14 - 05:19 PM
BrooklynJay 30 Jul 14 - 05:33 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Jul 14 - 06:28 PM
Richard Mellish 31 Jul 14 - 04:05 AM
clueless don 31 Jul 14 - 09:18 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 14 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Phil "Cruise" 18 May 16 - 02:22 PM
GUEST 19 May 16 - 09:43 AM
Lighter 19 May 16 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,IanA 19 May 16 - 02:34 PM
Tug the Cox 19 May 16 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: clueless don
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 11:16 AM

Hello Mudcatters,

I have been wondering what the nautical term "Roll and Go" means. I figured Google would tell me quickly, but I got absolutely no useful hits! I also tried the Mudcat search, and got lots of hits, but none that seemed promising (and too many to just try them all.)

So, in the context of sailing ships, what does Roll and Go mean?

Don


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 11:26 AM

Try "Row and go."


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 12:29 PM

"Roll and go" suggests attained momentum but not quite coming to a stop. In US I hear it is a term used to descride not comming to a total stop at a stop sign.

On another thread "Snuffy" says "There certainly seems to be some crossover between "row" and "roll" in the songs of the Liverpool Judies family: Roll, Julia, Roll is there beside Row, Bullies, Row, but I don't recall seeing anything like Rowing Down To Old Maui." There must have been a fair amount of rolling in a sailor's life from the rolling sea to rolling cannons and cannon balls and rolling the old chariot along (and what's that all about?).

Pat


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:28 PM

A ship can roll and a ship can go. Or it can do both.

Or a sailor can "roll" (swagger or amble or sashay) down the street. Or go. Or both.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM

Stan Hugill traced the 'roll' shanties to loading cotton bales.

He said of 'Roll the Cotton Down':

"The white cotton stowers used it for screwing the huge bales of cotton into place down in the dark holds of the cotton droghers, heaving at the levers of the screws on the same words of the refrains as sailors would on halyards.

"Once the cotton season was over these men would ship 'foreign', taking their 'cotton chants' with then for use at halyard and capstan, hence a new infusion of shanty blood- coloured blood- entered into the field, which perhaps up to then had been dominated mainly by Irish-shaped work songs."

Shanties from the Seven Seas - Stan Hugill 1961 p154


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 04:12 PM

There was a ship - she sailed to Spain,
Oh, roll and go!
There was a ship came home again,
Oh, Tommy's on the topsail yard!

What d'ye think was in her hold?
Oh, roll and go!
There was diamonds, there was gold.
Oh, Tommy's on the topsail yard!

And what was in her lazareet?
Oh, roll and go!
Good split peas and bad bull meat.
Oh, Tommy's on the topsail yard!

Many a sailorman gets drowned,
Oh, roll and go!
Many a sailorman gets drowned.
Oh, Tommy's on the topsail yard!



IF you have ever sailed on a course with a quartering sea, where the swells come up from astern, you'll know the feeling. As she lifts on the swell from the quarter she dips and rolls, and then as she is swept up, she goes in a burst of speed. STeering into a swell from off the bow has a similar effect but with a different rhythm, and less of a roll. If memory serves! :D


A


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 04:37 PM

Where's Charley Noble when you need him? Assuming he has had to explain the name of his group "Roll and Go" to shanty and sea-song novices?

Ross


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 07:37 PM

Ross I was just thinking the same thing. I could offer an opinion, but this question belongs to Charley Noble.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 10:00 PM

Not a "nautical term" per se. Not really a specific term, either, I don't think. Just a phrase that got worked into some chanties -- mainly "Sally Brown" and its relatives; doesn't appear much outside of that.

Taken individually, "roll" is to go or move in some fashion, intransitive or transitive. One could argue that it's nautical, but I don't see as it has to be. "Roll" and "go" put together doesn't seem to be anything else but the two verbs put together, in a song.

If it's in reference to or inspired by a specific task, it may be relevant that "Sally Brown" was mainly a windlass chanty, to begin with at least.

Arguably earlier was the phrase "heave and go" ? a shout of encouragement to make the work go. "Roll" in the transitive sense of "move" is much like "heave"...to make go... make it go and away it goes!


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 10:11 PM

Kinda' like Rock and Roll! SorrY


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GRex
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 04:09 AM

I always assumed that it referred to the rolling seas.

          GRex


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 05:36 AM

@Gib Sahib

Exactly. I said this at 07. 01.56PM

Tone


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 05:42 AM

Come to that ,what does "Way Hey " mean ? The idea of a sea-shanty in which men are urging someone called Roland Go to weigh some hay is , frankly , ridiculous .


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 07:44 AM

Responding to a message from Ross Campbell:

Good grief! You mean I have to pay attention to Mudcat threads again? Yes, ever since I first read Joanne Colcord's sea shanty book Roll & Go, back in the Pleistocene, and heard Bill Bonyun's tribute recording to that book, I've wondered about the meaning of the term.

Stan Hugil's does explain the term somewhere in Shanties of the Seven Seas as describing what a team of sailors doing a long haul of a line does when they run out of room to haul. Those at the end of the line peal off and head back to the front end and continue hauling on the line. They "roll and go." My group Roll & Go convincingly demonstrated that technique abourd the Charles W. Morgan one year at the Mystic Sea Music Festival. "Watch Roll & Go roll and go!"

As a sea music group Roll & Go members always delight in hearing references to ourselves embedded in shanties as lead by other groups. We describe that as "product placement."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 08:40 AM

Charley, much as I respect Stan Hugill's experience, I think he was rationalizing in this case - trying to find a special seagoing meaning for a phrase that didn't have one.

Which is *not at all* to say that the actions described were imaginary - just that I don't see hauling a cable in relay fashion being described routinely as "rolling and going." It sounds like a big stretch, particularly since no writer, including Hugill himself, seems to use the phrase that way in a sentence.

And that's how I roll, dude.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: clueless don
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 09:20 AM

Thank you to everyone who responded to my question!

I take the point that "roll and go" isn't necessarily a nautical term, but I have only encountered it in sea songs (maybe I need to get out more!)

Don


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: vectis
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 09:30 AM

Here in the UK what Charley described is called Stamp and go.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 09:44 AM

Which, unlike the other, appears to have been a phrase in common use.

Hugill, of course, was also from the UK, and frequently used "stamp and go" to characterize the action.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 01:50 PM

I've always thought 'capstan' shanties were called 'stamp and go', and assumed it gave a certain working rhythm for co-ordinating many men to pull or push together. Could 'Way! perhaps be "Weigh" as in weighing the anchor?


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM

I've been thinking about this, and remembered seeing and hearing Africans in Senegal singing together and stamping in rhythm while pulling up their pirogues on to the beach in Kafontine, Casamance. Also, there are many 'walking the tweed' songs from the Isle of Harris where women thump the woven cloth around a table to soften it. I absolutely love working songs like these, because they sprang from practical situations and are often centuries old. They speak to me somehow!


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 05:05 PM

B., R. "A Cruise of a Revenue Cutter" _The United Service Journal_ Part 1. (Jan. 1834).

On board a well-disciplined man-of-war, no person except the officers is allowed to speak during the performance of the various evolutions. When a great many men are employed together, a fifer or a fiddler usually plays some of their favourite tunes; and it is quite delightful to see the glee with which Jack will "stamp and go," keeping exact time to "Jack's the lad," or the "College Hornpipe."

The task is unclear. Latter writers inform us that such vessels used the halyard maneuver now being called "stamp and go" or, more often, "walkaway", "runaway," and it seems likely. But the author doesn't specify what is happening here.

I find nothing after this until...

Whall, W.B. Ships, _Sea Songs and Shanties_. Glasgow: James Brown & Sons. (1910 [1913]).

In reference to "Drunken Sailor":

?It was the only song used for a "stamp and go," and when crews were reduced and it was no longer possible to " walk away" with anything, the song at once dropped out of use.

***

don--

I take the point that "roll and go" isn't necessarily a nautical term, but I have only encountered it in sea songs...

Sure, but *which* [traditional] songs? If it's only "Sally Brown" and obvious variations on that like "Tommy's on the Topsail Yard" and {THIS chantey} (or a phrase thrown into the imaginative solo verses of Stan Hugill), then it might not be "a thing" (for my lack of a more sophisticated way of saying it!).


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 08:57 AM

Odd that Colcord doesn't discuss her choice of title for the first publication of her shantybook, later titled Songs of American Seamen.

The origins of "Roll & Go" may also go back to the stevedores who rolled bales of cotton on and off riverboats in their journey from the plantations to the gulf ports. There is ample photographic evidence of three-men teams rolling the burlap-wrapped bales of cotton and such working songs as "Roll the Cotton Down." The stevedore shanty "Roll the Woodpile Down" has "roll & go" in its chorus and "Roll & Go" is its alternative title.

So what we might have is initially a "shout" of "Roll & Go!" being transformed into a full labor song by stevedores, later being adapted by deep-water sailors for their own uses, and then the term itself picking up more meaning as a popular slang term, i.e., it's time to "roll and go."

"Sally Brown" also has "roll & go" in its chorus and given its West Indies origin "roll & go" might there refer to loading barrels of rum, or even launching boats via rolling them down to the water on logs.

There's lots of room for further speculation.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 07:59 AM

And "Roll and Go" is also an intrinsic part of Randy Dandy-O, a shanty unrelated to the other two mentioned above.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 08:53 AM

The meaning if the two words is rather similar and not only do they share a protracted "o," that sound is easy to shout when you're heaving or hauling.

It's easy to "imagine" people saying all sorts of things in all kinds of special situations, but that doesn't mean they did, or that if they did that other people followed suit.

Presumably Colcord called her book "Roll and Go" because the phrase appears in a well-known shanty, sounds seafaring, and she liked to say it. Maybe the phrase in "Sally Brown" intrigued her as a child.

Surely if it had a technical meaning for her, she *would* have explained it.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 09:44 AM

Prune and rhubarb sandwich


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 11:11 AM

"Roll & Go" was also the name of a favorite Chinese take-out restaurant in Lansing, Michigan.

Since we registered the name years ago, Roll & Go has been contacted numerous times by businesses dealing with porta-potties, container-ships, and things too strange to mention on a family friendly forum. If we ever disband, we know one sure way that we can finance our retirement.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 03:08 PM

> porta-potties

You gotta admit the brilliance of that one.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:35 PM

"Roll and go" features in this folk song that I have been after for years.

The Ballad of Gypsy Moth IV by The Pennine Folk

"Hey, ho, roll and go,
Around the Horn in the months of snow,
How many time can a man defy,
The raging seas and the rolling sky?"

"Roll" refers to the rolling ocean, the rolling motion of a sailing ship in rough seas, or the rolling sky seen by standing on deck and looking upwards to watch the clouds or stars roll around the top of the mast as the ship rolls around on the waves. Feeling sick yet? "Go" simply means make progress - but unsteadily.

Indeed does anyone remember the Pennine Folk group? I first heard them on a BBC folk prog. from Manchester in the 1960s when I was at college in Loughborough. This song they sang is still maggoting around my brain. It was called 'The Ballad of Gypsy Moth' just after Sir Francis Chichester's epic single-handed round the world voyage on his ketch. Incidentally this has just recently been restored for sail training for youngsters.

Does anyone have the rest of the words, or a recording please?


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 09:09 PM

CJB-

Now that's a different verse. I don't know if it's a child of "A Long Time Ago" or some other shanty, or a contemporary interpretation of all of the above; I suspect the latter.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM

Maybe "roll and go" also refers to a drunken sailor (whomsoever) rolling along the pavement to go home after closing time.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: beeliner
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 01:05 AM

The New Wine Singers, who later evolved into Spanky and Our Gang, used to sing a union song that began, "It's that UAW-CIO that makes the army roll and go...", referring to wartime manufacture of tanks, jeeps, and other military vehicles.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 01:31 PM

"Roll and Go" is certainly one of those expressions that sailors used for many things, including announcing when it was time to leave the ship, the pub, or wherever they happened to be. But I still believe the expression was coined for specific work aboard ship.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 06:53 PM

Hmmm perhaps it's the equivalent of "love and leave her" ?
j


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 04:22 PM

Tongue-in-cheek mode set to ON.
Very educational. And all this time I have been under the delusion that the term referred to eating weevilly bread Rolls and then having to Go to the heads afterwards. That also explains Heaving.
Tongue-in-cheek mode set to OFF.
There is such a thing as over-examination, you know. :-)


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Janie
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:08 PM

Amos has spent enough aboard that I think it likely his take is at least one meaning.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:12 PM

"Roll, Alabama, Roll" another chantey. Stan Rogers wrote "Rollin' Down to Old Maui".
Shenandoah, originally a chantey, "away you rollin' river".......


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:26 PM

Stan Rogers wrote some good songs, but not "Rolling Down to Old Maui."


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:38 PM

Apparently, "...Old Maui" was in Gale Huntington's Songs the Whalemen Sang, and it says the song was taken from the 1958 log of the ship Atkins Adams out of New Bedford. Earlier, it was in Colcord (1938). More here, at contemplator.com

The phrase occurs often enough, I've never thought about it too much, and just assumed it meant "get the hell out of Dodge".


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 07:32 PM

Ugh, stop the silliness! Language has meaning in context.

Step 1: Cite where the phrase "roll and go" actually occurs.

Not just "roll" or "rolling" (the meanings of "roll" by itself is a separate issue).
Not where you imagined it occurred.
Not vague statements that it occurred everywhere and here and there.
Not occurrences that are recent and obviously just inspired by individual imagination about the past.

Once you do this, I think you will find the evidence quite limited.

Step 2: Give the necessary context surrounding those occurrences.

Step 3: Discuss.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,GUEST;
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 06:43 AM

CJB's reference to the Ballad of the Gypsy Moth sung by The Pennine Folk
relates to song written by Ken Campbell (the group's songwriter)to mark the return of the yatch to Greenwich after Francis Chichester's epic round the world single-handed voyage, sometime in the 1960s. The words "Roll and Go" are in the chorus.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 02:10 PM

Way, hey, roll & go / bet my money on Sally Brown were the choruses in a sea chantey we used to have on vinyl...


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 05:19 PM

To roll in my twopennorth and then go, The two words have multiple meanings and without a contemporary explanation I think we can only guess. For my money Lighter's simple explanation on 7th Jan 13 at 01.28 is very plausible, followed by Amos's experienced explanation at 04.12 the same day.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 05:33 PM

The phrase also turns up in Where Am I To Go, Me Johnnies (at least, the version I like to do). It's in the verses and the chorus:

"Way, hey hey, way the roll and go."

Now, "way" might conceivably be "weigh" - I don't know. But, I was never able to figure out the meaning from the song's context.


Jay


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Jul 14 - 06:28 PM

In only a very few shanties does the chorus have any relation to the ephemeral solo.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 04:05 AM

Gibb Sahib said (some time ago)
Step 1: Cite where the phrase "roll and go" actually occurs.
Step 2: Give the necessary context surrounding those occurrences.

Heave a pawl, oh heave away,
Way, hey, roll and go.
The anchor's on board and the cable's all stored,
To me rollicking randy dandy oh.

Dunno the provenance of that one, but it's sung in the revival.

Seems to refer to starting a voyage. Note the word "randy". Maybe reminiscing about sex the night before? "Roll" as in "rolling in the dew", "roll in my sweet baby's arms" etc. "Go" simply referring to leaving the wife/girlfriend/whore and going back on board ship.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: clueless don
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 09:18 AM

When I started this thread, I was particularly thinking of a song called "The Pump Chanty" on the CD Keep Calm and Seek Revenge by the Pyrates Royale. It contains a segment which goes (from memory, so I may not have it exactly):

The Captain says It's Roll and Go
But I think we're bound for Davy Jones

What I didn't realize when I started the thread, but which I now suspect, is that this may be a contemporary song, written "in the style" of a shanty. If so, it doesn't of itself establish "Roll and Go" as a traditional nautical term. But I have the impression (supported by some of the responses to this thread) that I have heard the expression in many songs or other usages, always associated with the sea.

Don


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 14 - 11:39 AM

Gibb has pitched in and has sat on the fence, when he is probably the most able to give us a likely meaning as he has access to the earliest extant usage.


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,Phil "Cruise"
Date: 18 May 16 - 02:22 PM

I'm a little late to the party, but I stumbled across this while doing some research for something else.

"Roll and Go" means to roll out of your hammock or rack at daybreak, weigh anchor or cast off mooring lines and set sail before doing anything else. No breakfast, no chores, just "Get the hell outta dodge" as Jeri says.

I suppose I cannot verify that as historical, but this is the specific meaning for crew aboard Lady Washington. It also fits the context of a song about weighing anchor and getting underway.

Phil "Cruise"


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 16 - 09:43 AM

These are work songs not art songs. If if fits the rhythm and tempo of the job why does it need to "mean" anything?


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 May 16 - 01:06 PM

Jeremiah Role was a famous sailors' outfitter in the early 1800s.

Sailors knew his equipment was the best, so naturally they sang about him whenever they could:

"Way, hey, Role & Co.!"

Later generations corrupted this to "roll and go."

And that's all there was to it.

(None of this is true, by the way.)


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: GUEST,IanA
Date: 19 May 16 - 02:34 PM

A suggestion. Unsupported, but it makes sense to me. Ships often had to beach themselves in order to take on cargo (Wuz ye ever in Miramashee, where ye tie up to a tree?) The tide would go out, cargo was loaded and the tide came back in but the ship had settled, aided by the extra weight of cargo, into the mud and to free it they had to roll the vessel in order to break the seal. A rope is passed around an 'immovable object' on shore and the capstan on board, and the vessel is rolled. They are free to go. Roll and go.

Ian


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Subject: RE: What does 'Roll and GO' mean?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 May 16 - 03:52 PM

'Its six o'clock, in the hold below
Sundown sundown below,
time for us to roll and go'

This is a stevedores song and marks the end of the days work, the ship is not yet ready to sail as a later verse makes clear. This is in line with Hugill's explanation, but of course, a with all real language issues, there may have been more than one origin, and later singers were free to incorporate it if it fitted the rhythm.


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