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Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat

Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 13 - 12:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 13 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 13 - 04:19 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Nov 13 - 07:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 13 - 08:35 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Nov 13 - 08:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 12:20 PM

Lyr. Add: THE OYSTER BOAT
Minstrel?

Found this at the Bodleian Collection. It is redolent of a time in the Chesapeake Bay and the Baltimore area in slavery times when there were a number of freed slaves in the area, and some slave holders put their slaves out for hire in waterfront jobs, some in the shellfish business.


1
Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat
Just walkin' from the shore;
Unto the darkies *say she'll float
To hunt the shelly shore,
We whistle up a jolly breeze
And hoist a square-top-sail
Den down de riber we scud wid ease
And cheat Ole Massa Gale.

Chorus-
Oh, swiftly goes &c

2
We cast our tongs in "Oyster Bay,"
An' drag um far and wide;
We haul up, while our boat so gay
Plays seesaw wid the tide,
Wid her bosom jam up full,
Of oyster fat and fine,
Away to the town we quickly pull,
And sing while our grinners shine.

Chorus-

3
The sailor in his ship may sing,
And tink he's free from harm;
Our boat can cut the sea-gull's wing
And walk right through the storm,
Then merrily to the port we dash
Fill'd wid our shelly store,
While de white folks dey *shell out deir cash,
In crowds upon the shore.
* san (= say?)

Johnson Ballads 1119; between 1845-1859; printed Kyle and Co. Seven Dials (London).
Also Harding B 15(233b), between 1846-1854; Hodges, Seven Dials, London.

Not found at American Memory, nor through Google.

Has anyone found an American printing? Or is able to identify the minstrel troupe?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 12:22 PM

Please ignore the * with shell.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 04:19 PM

DE OYSTER BOAT.

TUNE.—The Bonnie Boat.

Oh swiftly goes the oyster boat,
Jist walkin from de shore;
Unto de darkies' song she'll float,
To hunt de shelly store.
We whistle up a jolly breeze,
An hoist de square-toed sail,
Den down de riber scud wid ease,
An' cheat ole massa gale.
Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.

We cast our tongs in oyster bay
An' make 'em far an' wide,
Den haul up while our boat so gay,
Plays see-saw on de tide.
Den wid her bosom jam up full
Ob oyster fat an' fine
Up to de town we swiftly pull,
An' sing while our grinners shine.
Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.

De sailor in his ship may sing,
A' tink he's free from harm,
Our boat can cut de sea gull wing,
An' walk right through the storm.
Den safely to de port she splash,
Filled with her shelly store,
While folks come to shell out dar cash,
In crowds along de shore.
Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.

That is from

http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/minstrel/misocat.html

The lyrics are on pp 50-1.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 07:52 PM

WorldCat.org shows a catalog listing for sheet music described thus:

SWIFTLY GOES THE OYSTER BOAT : NEW NEGRO MELODY
"Composed and Sung with great applause by W. R. Barlow, The Celebrated Banjoist"
London: Blackman [ca. 1850]

But it is not viewable online, and the only library known to have it is:

Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek – Sondersammlungen [State and University Library – Special Collections]
Hamburg, 20146 Germany


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Oyster Boat
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 08:35 PM

The book, "Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy," edited by Stephen Johnson, has a sheet music engraving of W. R. Barlow and his banjo (3.12, p. 96).
Seems he was English, and performed in Australia and America, but the book cited above may have further information.

See thread 146333 posted by Joybell.
Origin I Saw Miss Rosa Dancing


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Subject: Lyr Add: DE OYSTER BOAT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 08:41 PM

From Clark's Giant Warbler. Containing 500 Comic & Sentimental Songs by William Mark Clark (London: W. M. Clark, 1857), page 22:

DE OYSTER BOAT.
A POPULAR WHARF CHAUNT.
Tune—The Bonnie Boat.

Oh, swiftlv goes the oyster boat,
    Jist walkin' from de shore;
Unto de darkies' song she'll float,
    To hunt de shelly store.
We whistle up a jolly breeze,
    An' hoist de square-top sail,
Den down de ribber scud wid ease,
    An' cheat ole massa gale.
        Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.

We cast our tongs in oyster bay,
    An' rake 'em far an' wide,
Den haul up, while our boat so gay,
    Plays see-saw on de tide.
Den wid her bottom jam up full
    Ob oyster fat an' fine,
Up to the town we swiftly pull,
    An' sing while our grinders shine.
        Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.

De sailor in his ship may sing,
    An' tink he's free from harm;
Our boat can cut de sea-gull wing,
    An' walk right through the storm,
Den safely to de port she splash,
    Filled with her shelly store,
While folks come to shell out dar cash,
    In crowds along de shore.
        Oh, swiftly goes the oyster boat, &c.


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