Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Help: What is a bulgine?

DigiTrad:
CLEAR THE TRACK
LET THE BULGINE RUN
MARGOT EVANS (LET THE BULLGINE RUN)
OH RUN, LET THE BULLGINE RUN (halliards Shanty)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Let the Bulgine Run - New York fire? (13)
Ship Margaret Evans, songs (43)
Let the Bulgine Run ... on Nordic TV Ad (4)
Help: What is bulgine pie? (19)


CBjames 28 Dec 99 - 01:10 AM
Margo 28 Dec 99 - 01:28 AM
Metchosin 28 Dec 99 - 02:49 AM
Joe Offer 28 Dec 99 - 03:09 AM
martin 28 Dec 99 - 06:42 AM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 28 Dec 99 - 10:55 AM
Okiemockbird 28 Dec 99 - 11:52 AM
CBjames 28 Dec 99 - 02:58 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Dec 99 - 04:26 PM
Barry Finn 28 Dec 99 - 05:43 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 28 Dec 99 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Don S 02 Sep 13 - 05:57 AM
GUEST 02 Sep 13 - 06:51 AM
Leadfingers 02 Sep 13 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 02 Sep 13 - 02:30 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Sep 13 - 04:49 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 15 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,# 23 Mar 15 - 06:16 PM
BillE 24 Mar 15 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 30 Jun 16 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 30 Jun 16 - 10:46 PM
Thompson 01 Jul 16 - 11:40 AM
Helen 01 Jul 16 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 04 Jul 16 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,JeffB 04 Jul 16 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Jul 16 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Rey Mohammed 03 Dec 17 - 08:12 PM
Mrrzy 04 Dec 17 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,ripov 05 Dec 17 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 05 Dec 17 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,ripov 05 Dec 17 - 09:00 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Bulgine Run
From: CBjames
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:10 AM

What is a bulgine??

"Clear away the Track and let the Bulgine Run" The song is obviously (he said with such surety - yo ho) a square-rigger sail hauling song. But the Judy Collins {?} lyrics of the 1960s indicated "off to Greenland for to catch the whale". The Digitrad Lyrics appear more involved in freighting than whaling. Does this song have UK roots? And pray tell what IS a Bulgine???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: Margo
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 01:28 AM

Hugill says that "Bulgine" was an American slang term for a railway engine. The two versions he lists differ; one as a capstan shantey and the other as a halyard shantey. Yo ho! Margo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 02:49 AM

"Sharp says that the air is a variant of the Irish folk-song "Shule Agra" and the "low back car" would support this origin. The probability is that some Irish sailor, ashore on liberty in Mobile, sang "Shule Agra" in a water-front saloon. It pleased the ear of the negroes hanging about outside; and the next day they sang what they could remember while screwing home the great bales of cotton in some Liverpool ship's hold. Negro fashion, they put in the rattling sucession of 16th notes, and added "bulgine" for good measure. The crew of the ship heard and liked it, perhaps without recognizing its origin; and took it back with them to Liverpool. There the crew of the Margaret Evans, a well known American packet-ship, lying in the Clarence or the Waterloo Dock, picked it up and fitted in the name of their ship, and took it back to New York, with Liza Lee and the bulgine still in close conjunction with the low-backed car, to the puzzlement of future folk-lorists!" (Colcord, Johana C. 1924. Roll and Go)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 03:09 AM

I guess you know that the lyrics for the song are in our database here (click) and here (click). Click here to see what the Traditional Ballad Index says about this song. We had quite a discussion about this song a while back, but I can't find it - guess it didn't have "Bulgine" in the thread title, but maybe Barry or one of the other rowdy sea shanty guys can find it for you. I think it was said in the discussion that the song was about a train engine used on the docks. Metchosin's explanation sounds every bit as credible, but who knows?
-Joe Offer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: martin
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 06:42 AM

is bulgine not another term for tea?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 10:55 AM

here is the old thread. T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: Okiemockbird
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 11:52 AM

It isn't the bullgine, but the "track" that seems to be incongruous in a merchant marine context. But a shanty refrain probably didn't have to make sense in order to pace the work, anyhow. T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: CBjames
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 02:58 PM

Well this is amazing! Just shows to go ya what you won't know if you don't ask! Thanks all!

& T, I agree with you that a work song doesn't have to have lyrics that make sense in order to work. I have used a lot of nonsense lyrics when splitting wood.

jb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Bulgine Run
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 04:26 PM

The connection between railroads and sailors in this shanty isn't unique: See "Old Moke Pickin' on the Banjo". A lot of railroaders/sailors,cowboys and loggers were part of an unspecialized labor pool, and shifted jobs from time to time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: CLEAR DE TRACK LET DE BULGINE RUN
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 05:43 PM

Whall claims this was taken from a Minstrel ditty. "The words & the tune of the 1st part were taken straight from the music hall, but the chorus was altered in tune & music. In the music hall version the chorus was":

"Walkee up, O walkee up, O walkee up, O way
Walk into de parlour for to hear de banjo play"

He list a version I haven't seen or heard before & it's very interesting in it's identifing from the Bible, I'll post some

O de worl' was made in 6 days & ended on de 7
Ah, he, ah ho are you most done
But accordin' to de contrac' it orter been 11
So clear de track let de bulgine run

Ch: To me hi-rig-a-jig & a low back car
Ah, he! ah, ho! are you most done
Hurrah, my boys & away we'll go
So clear de track, let de bulgine run

But de masons struck for wages, an dey would not work
So dey come to conclusion dat dey fill him up wid dirt

Now Adam was de firs' man an' Eve was de oder
An' Cain he was a wicked man because he kill his brother

O, way down in the garden in the garden where the apple hang low
Ole Satan got de pull & de man had to go

Young Joseph was de favorite an' eat his mush whole
But his brudders sell his coat & dey put him in the hole

Ole Moses lick de Pharaoh an drown him in de sea
An de chillen come along dat land for to see

Lil David was the boss when he finis up Goliah
But he play it pooty low down on ole man Uriah

You may talk about your yaller gals an round the corner Sallies
Dey couldn't come to tea with the queens in the forests

Daniel in de den done sleep all de night
Never mind de lion nor de tiger not a mite

Jonah was a hungry man cos he eat de whale
He manage very well till he come to de tail

Dat's all de fur dat de story goes
So hurry up to heaven in yo' best suit of clothes
^^

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: OH RUN, LET THE BULLGINE RUN (shanty)
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 06:26 PM

OH RUN, LET THE BULLGINE RUN (halliards Shanty)

Derisive and somewhat primitive slang onboard ships for an engine. Possibly picked up from Negro American slang and used by sailors. The steam version was run from a "Donkey" boiler, and the term carried over to steamships who had Donkeymen as a rating for the engine room staff. Donkey Greasers and Greasers, Stokers became Oilers or Mechanical assistants when the INFERNAL (internal) combustion engine engine was invented.

Oh we'll run all night till the morning
Chorus: Oh run, let the bullgine run,
Way-yah, oh-i-oh, run, let the bullgine run.

Oh we sailed all day to Mobile Bay Chorus:

Oh we sailed all night across the Bight (Australia) Chorus:

Oh we'll run from Dover to Callais Chorus:

Oh drive her captain drive her Chorus:

Oh captain make her nose blood Chorus:

She's a dandy packet and a flier too Chorus:

With a dandy skipper and a dandy crew Chorus:

Oh we'll run all night till the morning Chorus:

Phew! pass the rum mates I'm outa breath..... Cordially,Yours,Aye. Dave
^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Don S
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 05:57 AM

As remarked in a Minstrel show in UK in the 40's: "Surely a Bulgine is a male version of a Hengine?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 06:51 AM

http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/bulgine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?t lots of piccie
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 01:39 PM

Clicky No definition , but lots of piccies


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 02:30 PM

The following is from http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/bulgine which Leadfingers was kind enpough to turn into a Clicky.


Literary usage of Bulgine

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Punch by Mark Lemon, Henry Mayhew, Tom Taylor, Shirley Brooks, Francis Cowley Burnand, Owen Seaman (1870)
"bulgine with him means " Engine ; " but I somehow fancy that he imagines it to be French. I remark that everyone (with the exception of such ..."

2. The Writings in Prose and Verse of Rudyard Kipling by Rudyard Kipling (1904)
"He said to me after breakfast only this mornin' 'ow he thanked his Maker, on all fours, that he wouldn't see nor smell nor thumb a runnin' bulgine till the ..."

3. A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant: Embracing English, American, and Anglo by Albert Barrère, Charles Godfrey Leland (1889)
"The negro minstrel word bulgine, for a locomotive, appears to be a compound, the first part of which is derived rather from bulge than "bull," as implying ..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 04:49 AM

The word is in Chambers Dictionary, and no doubt other good dictionaries. I often wonder why people start "Help: what is a ...?" threads without just trying looking the word up first.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 15 - 11:45 AM

The John Bull was the first locomotive in America. Built in Newcastle and ran in the 1830's. Hence, clear away the track. The loco is in a museum and still steamed every decade or so. Check youtube John Bull Engine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Mar 15 - 06:16 PM

Let The Bullgine Run (Roger McGuinn) on YouTube

Click the title up near the top of the page.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: BillE
Date: 24 Mar 15 - 11:42 AM

The first locomotive to be operated in America was the Stourbridge Lion, made in Stourbridge (UK) in 1828, shipped to the US where its first official run was on 8th August 1829. Details are on Wikipedia.

John Bull did not appear till 1831, but it was made by Robert Stephenson & Co.

We are proud of the Lion in Stourbridge!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 10:39 PM

M: The word is in Chambers Dictionary, and no doubt other good dictionaries. I often wonder why people start "Help: what is a ...?" threads without just trying looking the word up first.

Why ask why?

OP: What is a bulgine??

GUEST,Don S: As remarked in a Minstrel show in UK in the 40's: "Surely a Bulgine is a male version of a Hengine?" (see 02 Sep 13 - 05:57 AM, above)

As you were.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 10:46 PM

The American circus does have a different back-story for the origins of the word "bulgine." (fwiw it's not in my two editions of Webster's. Go figure.)

The UK quote above is lifted from an old minstrelsy comedic routine known as a Locomotive Lecture. It was generally performed as a companion piece to the Locomotive dance that imitated the new steam engines.

See also Lighter's old post here:
detail.cfm?messages__Message_ID=2686761

Dancer George "Great Western" was one of the first to develop the form. He was also the father of the Star Sisters, Lucille & Helen Western, who followed into minstrelsy after his death. John Wilkes Booth supposedly carried Helen Western's cabinet card in his pocket.

William M. "Billy" Whitlock toured with the "Great Western" in 1843 as a member of the Kentucky Minstrels (banjo & comic lecture.) By 1845 Whitlock added his own dancing for the Virginia Minstrels tour. It was one of his regular routines for several years.

Both ensembles spent part of their 1843-45 seasons in London so 'bulgine' ("Great Western" &c) may be a play to British audiences but the 'real' etymology would have been more like Yogi Berra meets Abbott & Costello.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: Thompson
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 11:40 AM

Die Buline or "the bugline" is given in Colette G Craig's book Noun Classes and Categorization with the meaning of a ships rope, also shroud, sheet, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 02:23 PM

Just a thought: could the word have been made up simply from comparing a steam locomotive to a bull, which is big, roars and snorts "steam" from his nostrils?

An interesting thread. I am learning a lot from it.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 02:13 AM

Best to locate the original(s) methinks.

An American circus minstrel's Locomotive Bulgine Lecture had no boundaries of reason or logic. It was nonsense on steroids. Imagine it's the year 2180 and the only thing our progeny have to work with is an unsigned Robin Williams monologue.

The full 'bulgine' routine: stand up comedy skit; song, with lyrics; and the dance; made up about about half the entire show. An 1840-50s minstrel troupe could hardly get on stage without one. Or a least a parody of the other guy's act.

Somewhere I have a reference for a song. Darned if I can remember where or what though. For some reason I'm thinking it was an early Daniel "Dan" Emmett banjo tune, Locomotive Bulgine or Lettin' Off Steam or some variation of "Clear the Track or...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 09:24 PM

Partridge's Dictionary of Historical Slang : Bulgine. An engine: nautical: mid-C.19-20.

It hasn't occurred to anyone that a small steam engine might have been used on the NY docks to move goods between dockside and warehouse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 07:51 PM

Jeff: There are a couple of posts to that effect in the chanty threads. The problem comes with quotes like Hugill's:

"...but there was a theme of sorts which some shantymen adopted, that of running the 'bulgine' to and from all sorts of places:

Oh, we'll run from Callyo to Dover.

Oh, we'll run down south to old Cape horn.
&c."

And from there the author mingles in the later minstrel fireman's chaunt genre in:

"Oh, New York [London] town is a-burnin,..." &c.

Obviously we need more than one definition for the century or so of usage.


Lastly...

It's not a legal play in Scrabble.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Rey Mohammed
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 08:12 PM

My understanding is that small, sturdy engines were used to haul cargo to the dockside for loading ("Portside" was once "larboard" [from "loadboard"], but that was easily confused with "starboard"from a distance). These little engines that could were called "bull engines" because they were built for strength, not speed. That became "bullgine".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Dec 17 - 09:38 AM

To me hey, rig-a-jig, in a lowback car (hi ho yo ho are you most done) with Liza Lee all on my knee (o, clear the track let the bullgine run).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 05 Dec 17 - 06:35 PM

"Jaunting car" on our (long departed) 78


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 05 Dec 17 - 06:37 PM

Rey Mohammed: Any sources for that? I've heard quayside locomotives called dock tanks; mules & tuggers but have never heard nor seen "bulgine" used in that context.

Fyi: The standard combustion engineering definition of 'bull engine' is a pendulum pump; originally known as a Bull's Engine, after the pioneering Cornish engineer Edward Bull (1759-1798) an associate of Richard Trevithick and one-time subcontractor to James Watt.

It's a fixed, stationary, dewatering mechanism, ie: no need to "run with" or "get out the way."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: What is a bulgine?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 05 Dec 17 - 09:00 PM

Try again!

"clear the track" suggesting a railway rather than nautical connection, I looked and found this this Their Motto - 'Clear the Track' (p20)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 December 8:15 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.