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Lyr Req: Shanty Query.

MartinRyan 10 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Apr 13 - 08:39 AM
MartinRyan 10 Apr 13 - 09:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Apr 13 - 09:59 AM
MartinRyan 10 Apr 13 - 10:08 AM
MartinRyan 12 Apr 13 - 06:37 AM
doc.tom 12 Apr 13 - 07:05 AM
MartinRyan 12 Apr 13 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,spb at work 12 Apr 13 - 08:25 AM
Mr Red 12 Apr 13 - 10:17 AM
Snuffy 12 Apr 13 - 12:54 PM
Snuffy 12 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Apr 13 - 07:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Apr 13 - 07:38 PM
Mr Red 16 Apr 13 - 06:39 AM
Snuffy 16 Apr 13 - 09:15 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM

I've had a query about what I imagine is a West Indian shanty:

There's a rowing song which has the caller singing a short line and then the rowers/reponders singing 'hiya'….. I heard Jim Mageehan and Johnny Collins singing it but can't make out the words. some of the lines I can make out......


relieve come in, hiya 

oh when the rain come down, hiya

oh madonna, hiya

evalena girl, hiya

girl come go with me, hiya


Anyone able to shortcircuit the search?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 08:39 AM

Blackbird Get Up.

There's a thread here on Mudcat: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up (West Indies chantey). I'm not sure if Jim & Johnny's version's there. (Although I've heard it countless times, I'm not sure I've got a copy of their version either).


There's also lyrics here from the Johnson Girls here: Blackbird Get Up.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 09:32 AM

Thanks a million, Mick. I'd picked up on the Johnson Girls song alright and thought it might well be the one. Your confirmation of the Jim & Johnny connection just about nails it! If you do turn up their version eventually, I'd appreciate it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 09:59 AM

Martin - I had a look through records, cds and tapes (including some personal recordings of live performances) and I don't seem to have either Jim or Johnny singing it. And although I hung out with Jim and Johnny for 25 years or so, I pretty much gave up shanty singing in the 70s, so I never paid attention to the verses (I remember the 1st verse and that's about all!).

Still there are plenty of people on here who are really interested in shanties, so I imagine someone will come along and post Jim and Johnny's version.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 10:08 AM

Not to worry, Mick - I think I've more than enough to satisfy the inquiry!

I know what you mean about remembering shanty words, alright. Many years ago, I organised a shanty/maritime music session as part of an arts festival in Athlone - about as far from the sea as you an get in Ireland. A friend of mine claimed to have difficulty remembering the choruses, never mind the verses! His solution was to write them out on a piece of card which he inserted inside a suitably nautical cap. Every so often he would dramatically whip it off and hold it in front of him to prompt!


Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:37 AM

Yep - that was the one alright. My correspondent sends his thanks!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: doc.tom
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:05 AM

Martyn, did your friend have a small repertoire - or big head?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:17 AM

doc.tom

He was/is an interesting man with a head full of nooks and crannies...

Shortly after I moved to work in Athlone (early '70's), I was in a small supermarket in the town (actually a converted bank building, curiously enough) when I spotted, across the aisles, a tall, bearded man running the length of the aisle, calling out, as far as I could make out, "Assault! Assault!". In fact he was trying to retrieve his runaway small daughter - whose name was Iseult! That was my introduction to a great, deceptively eccentric friend.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: GUEST,spb at work
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 08:25 AM

The published source is in Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore. I think what is sung is a compbination of tow version (in the same publication).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 10:17 AM

Essequibo River
I was always lead to believe this had its origins in negro work songs. Is it a sea or river song? Shanty certainly.

The problem with such a global concept as a shanty is defining the location.

I will consult Stan or William Maine tonight.

Meanwhile shanty.org thinks it is Caribbean because of Buddy tanana, we are somebody, oh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 12:54 PM

The Essequibo River is in mainland South America: it lies wholly within Guyana, but Venzuela claims all land west of it belongs to it by right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 03:38 PM

Shanty.org most emphatically does not think it is Caribbean. The article merely states: "One conjecture, voiced on the Mudcat Cafe website in February 2000 by a guest posting as Chris, was as follows: ...". Having then quoted the Mudcat posting, the Shanty.org article concludes with the following:
In over twelve years since then, nobody has produced any evidence to either support or refute these conjectures: in fact nobody has even stated whether or not they agree with them. As the old shantymen said "They thought the moon was made of cheese, Oh yes, oh, And you can believe it, if you please, A hundred years ago"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:32 PM

I'm confused.

1) How did "Essequibo River" come into this topic?

2) What does it really matter what Shanty.org thinks. I don't imagine they have any data more than anyone else (?). They are just presenting the song and providing a customary background filler. One could ask why it

3) Hugill's seems to be the only original volume to present the song. (?) And yet, the tune on Shanty.org is not Hugill's.... well, not his book version. If Hugill sang it differently on his 1962 recording that followed the book (which I've not heard), then one must wonder why he wrote it that way in the book.
Shall we assume it is a "revival" tune?—which is valid in its own right, but does not tell us anything about the history.

4) Coastal Guyana can be considered as part of the "Caribbean" world.

5) "Nobody has..." Nobody where? Who is nobody? The quote from the guest Mudcat poster is a strawman. There is plenty of evidence, not to prove definitively, but to "support conjectures" that the song originated in the Caribbean world (in which *I* include Guyana). At least, more than there is to support an idea that it originated elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:38 PM

In #2 I meant to say, One could ask why one would like to begin a description of the song with a discussion of its cultural/geographic origins in the first place. What's at stake in believing or not believing Hugill's supposition, from his Barbadian informant and from the Guyanese locale referenced in the lyrics, that it is of Caribbean origin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 06:39 AM

As I always say - you just dunna gotta have been there to know who, how, why, what. Especially when it gets down to the fine detail.

If Hugill includes it, it becomes a Caribbean sea shanty de facto by association. Anything before we wus born is old. And has been old for infinity, until proven otherwise. Not because it has to be, but because that becomes the received wisdom of the many, in my experience. Witness the debate on how recent is the word Bodhran. Which is in a dictionary in Ireland dating only from Victorian times, "Ah but" says an authority (I have to believe he is) "the word is there but not the explanation". There is always someone who knows something you don't know.

Essequibo River fits all the major criteria of the OP.
IMHO - make that IMNSHO.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shanty Query.
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 09:15 AM

Oops, no wonder Gibb is confused, because what I wrote was confused, and not what the shanty.org page actually says.

It iss not the Caribbean origins of the shanty that are doubtful, but the meaning ascribed to "buddy tanana, we are somebody-o" by a poster on Mudcat in 2000, since when nobody has produced any evidence on Mudcat to prove or disprove that assertion.

I don't believe I've ever heard anyone sing Hugill's very distinctive tune. The shanty.org tune is more or less what is commonly heard in the UK, and could well be the offspring of an illicit liaison between Hugill's tune and Sam's Gone Away, On Board A Man Of War. I have heard one British singer say that she had intended to sing one of these (can't remember which) but couldn't because "it's the same tune" and someone else had just sung the other.


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