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Maritime work song in general

GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 24 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 24 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 24 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 24 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Apr 24 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Apr 24 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Apr 24 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Apr 24 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Apr 24 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Apr 24 - 10:34 PM
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GUEST,Phi d'Conch 15 Apr 24 - 10:21 PM
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GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 Apr 24 - 10:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 11:01 PM

“Another object of great interest attracts the notice of the crew. Two long, bright green canoes, scarcely a foot out of the water, are paddled by eighteen copper-skinned Burmese in each, whilst one gaily dressed squats on the stern, guiding each canoe with a long paddle. They are the racing boats out for practice; just the sport for the white tars. Keeping time to their gay song, the rowers paddle gently, but with increasing speed, until they dash along, side by side, the short paddle dipping into the water so rapidly as scarcely to be followed by the eye, whilst the rowers sing and shout equally as fast.” [p.139]

““Heave with a will, lads!" shouted the captain, and the men commence heaving. A merry group are they: daring and fierce, but few would think those careless, merry tars were so accustomed to scenes of lawlessness and villany. They heave with a will, and clank, clank, sounds the ponderous machine as it revolves, and the handles alternately rise and fall. "Start a song, Carlo!" cries one; and now the Spaniard, with a rich, manly voice raises the song, whilst they all keep time with their work and join heartily in the gay chorus. Well may the natives pause in their canoes to listen as the rough melody from rough throats sounds cheerily over the water.

Clank, clank, goes the windlass, and again the captain's voice is heard, but the singers cease not their song.

"Haul out the mainsail! Some of you idlers let fall the foretopsail t'gallantsail and royal! Cast off the gaskets of your jib and flying jib!" Away dash some of the hands, and soon the mainsail is set, and the other sails flapping loosely from their yards.

All this while, clank, clank, goes the windlass and the tars still swell the cheering melody.

The anchor's aweigh, sir!" shouted the mate who was looking over the tars.

“Very well, Davies; heave her chock up. Now then, lads, topsail halyards!" Thus roared Grasper, while nearly a score clapped on to the foretopsail halyards, two or three clapped on beforehand, and away the others ran with a cheering song, and soon the yard was mast-headed.” [p254-55]
[The Brigantine, Pascoe, 1863]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 11:00 PM

“As soon as the hammocks were all up, and put away in the nettings on deck, the capstan bars were shipped and manned, and the chief mate shouted down the hatchway

"Are you all ready there below?”

"All ready, sir!" replied the third mate.

"Heave taut for unbitting!"

As soon as the cable was unbitted, "Heave round!" was the cry from the lower-deck.

"Heave round!" said the mate; "step out, my hearts!" The fifes struck up "The girl I left behind me," the men stamped round the capstan with a cheerful, steady step, and in a very short time the cable was nearly up and down. "Up and down, sir!" shouted the boatswain from the forecastle.

"Heave and paul!" cried the chief mate.

"Out bars, out bars! bear a hand, my lads!-Up there, topmen-loose sails! Send everybody up from below to make sail!"

"Ay, ay, sir!"
[Wilson's Tales of the Borders, New Edition, vol.XVI, Wilson, Leighton, 1863]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 10:57 PM

“The wind being contrary, the motion of the boat was very disagreeable, and the shouting, bawling, and singing of the rowers was intolerable decidedly the most inharmonious crew I ever had the misfortune of being in the same boat with.” [p.84]

“Their airs are, however, sometimes monotonous, and their choruses very like groans of disapprobation. Ten voices, often fine, singing plaintive airs in a minor key, have generally a very pleasing effect; but before the Nile voyage is over travellers get rather tired of it, as the men pretend they cannot row without singing.” [p.113]

“The men never work so well if they are not allowed to sing when they row; but if the singing is felt to be a nuisance, it can always be checked, or even stopped entirely.” [pp.342-343]
[A Winter in Upper and Lower Egypt, Hoskins, 1863]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 10:56 PM

“*An executive officer will find it greatly to his interest to obtain, at almost any cost, a few good assistants. Besides getting a good master-at-arms, he should exert himself to procure a good painter, cooper, shoemaker, and most particularly a good fiddler.”
[Seamanship, Comp. from Various Authorities and Illustrated with Numerous Original and Selected Designs, for the Use of the United States Naval Academy, Luce, 1863]
Adm. Stephen Luce (1827 – 1917)

“†CÉLEUSTE (sé-leu-st'). s.m. Terme de la marine ancienne, Celui qui donnait les ordres aux matelots et aux rameurs.
        –ETYM. … Voy. CÉLEUSTIQUE.
CÉLEUSTIQUE (sé-leu-sti-k'). s.f. Terme didactique. Art de transmittre les commandements au moyen d'instruments de musique. || Adj. Qui a raport à cet art.
        –ETYM. … , qui commande, de … commander.”
[Dictionnaire de la Langue Française, I-P, Littré, 1863]
Note: Greek text omitted.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Apr 24 - 10:54 PM

“The men took hold of the rope, and began pulling upon it; the foremost man of all setting up a song with no words to it, only a strange musical rise and fall of notes. In the dark night, and far out upon the lonely sea, it sounded wild enough, and made me feel as I had some times felt, when in a twilight room a cousin of mine, with black eyes, used to play some old German airs on the piano. I almost looked round for goblins, and felt just a little bit afraid. But I soon got used to this singing; for the sailors never touched a rope without it. Sometimes, when no one happened to strike up, and the pulling, whatever it might be, did not seem to be getting forward very well, the mate would always say, “Come, men, can't any of you sing? Sing now, and raise the dead.” And then some one of them would begin, and if every man's arms were as much relieved as mine by the song, and he could pull as much better as I did, with such a cheering accompaniment, I am sure the song was well worth the breath expended on it. It is a great thing in a sailor to know how to sing well, for he gets a great name by it from the officers, and a good deal of popularity among his shipmates. Some sea-captains, before shipping a man, always ask him whether he can sing out at a rope.” [pp.63-64]

“The white sails glistened in the clear morning air like a great Eastern encampment of sultans; and from many a forecastle, came the deep mellow old song Ho-o-he-yo, cheerily men! as the crews catted their anchors.” [p.303]
[Redburn: His First Voyage, Melville, 1863]

Note: Omissions from the first edition (1850) above.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 11:01 PM

“Her tea not being yet on board, the ship's hull floated high as a castle, and to the subtle, intellectual, doll-faced, bolus-eyed people, that sculled to and fro busy as bees, though looking forked mushrooms, she sounded like a vast musical shell: for a lusty harmony of many mellow voices vibrated in her great cavities, and made the air ring cheerily around her. The vocalists were the Cyclopes, to judge by the tremendous thumps that kept clean time to their sturdy tune. Yet it was but human labour, so heavy and so knowing, that it had called in music to help. It was the third mate and his gang completing his floor to receive the coming tea chests. Yesterday he had stowed his dunnage, many hundred bundles of light flexible canes from Sumatra and Malacca; on these he had laid tons of rough saltpetre, in 2001b. gunny-bags: and was now mashing it to music, bags and all. His gang of fifteen, naked to the waist, stood in line, with huge wooden beetles called commanders, and lifted them high and brought them down on the nitre in cadence with true nautical power and unison, singing as follows, with a ponderous bump on the last note in each bar.

Here goes one,
Owe me there one,
One now it is gone,

There's another yet to come,
And away we'll go to Flanders,
Amongst our wooden comanders,
Where we'll get wine in plenty,
Rum, brandy, and genavy.

Here goes two.
Owe me there two, &c.

And so up to fifteen, when the stave was concluded with a shrill "Spell, oh!" and the gang relieved streaming with perspiration. When the saltpetre was well mashed, they rolled ton butts of water on it, till the floor was like a billiard table. A fleet of chop boats then began to arrive, so many per day, with the tea chests. Mr. Grey proceeded to lay the first tier on his saltpetre floor, and then built the chests, tier upon tier, beginning at the sides, and leaving in the middle a lane somewhat narrower than a tea chest. Then he applied a screw jack to the chests on both sides, and so enlarged his central aperture, and forced the remaining tea chests in; and behold the enormous cargo packed as tight as ever a shopkeeper packed a box-nineteen thousand eight hundred and six chests, sixty half chests, fifty quarter chests….”

““All ready below, sir," cried a voice.

"Man the bars," returned Mr. Sharpe from the quarterdeck. "Play up, fifer. Heave away."

Out broke the merry fife with a rhythmical tune, and tramp, tramp, tramp went a hundred and twenty feet round and round; and, with brawny chests pressed tight against the capstan-bars, sixty fine fellows walked the ship up to her anchor, drowning the fife at intervals with their sturdy song, as pat to their feet as an echo, —

Heave with a will, ye jolly boys,
        Heave around;
We're off from Chainee, jolly boys,
        Homeward bound.

"Short stay apeak, sir," roars the boatswain from forward.

“Unship the bars. Way aloft. Loose sails. Let fall.””
[Reade, Very Hard Cash, All the Year Round, No.214, 30 May1863]

Note: Includes music for the first lyrics.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 10:44 PM

“Allí estaba el polizon tirando de las cuerdas con sus delicadas manos ensangrentadas, ayundando á la gente al compás del zalomar, especie de canturía que usan los marineros para efectuar los trabajos de fuerza.”
[Aventuras de Gilberto: Novela Maritima, Juan Corrales Mateos (pseud.) 1862]

“CALUMARE. Att. Term. di Marina. Allentare, Fare scorrere a poco a poco, detto di funi; ed anche Tirare lentamente da un luogo a un altro, detto di barche o simili. Forse è affine d'origine a Calare; seppure non viene dal lat. celeusma o celeuma, grec. ..., voce con la quale il comito comandava alla ciurma di remare, ed anche il canto de'rematori stessi; senso che ha ritenuto lo spagnuolo calomar. Ar. Orl. Fur. 19, 53: E caluma la gomona, e fa pruova Di duo terzi del corso ritenere.”
[Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca, Vol.2, 1863]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 10:40 PM

“As the sun rises, the heat rapidly increases, and the camels and elephants are seen making short cuts across the fields, and keeping always clear of the road; when our bands have blown as much wind as they can spare into their instruments, our men strike up a song, and old windlass tunes, forecastle ditties, and many a well-known old ballad resound through the jungles or on the fertile plains of Bengal, and serve to animate our sailors and astonish the natives.”
[The Shannon's Brigade in India: Being Some Account of Sir William Peel's Naval Brigade in the Indian Campaign of 1857-1858, Verney, 1862]
Sir Edmund Verney, 3rd Baronet FRGS, DL, JP (1838 – 1910)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 10:39 PM

“As a matter of course the frigates had anchored, although we omitted to mention it, and when Lord Edgar and Harold stepped on deck they heard the orders given to turn the hands upweigh anchor-pass the messenger below-ship the bars there, bear a hand-the men leant with all their weight on the capstan bars, and stepped out cheerily to fife and drum; very soon the frigate rode, short stay-peak; loose sails, and the sails are loosened as if by magic, but not let fall.”
[Harold Overdon, Ashore and Afloat, Vol.6, Chartley Castle (pseud.) 1862]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 10:34 PM

“The waters are beaten with oars and loaded ropes, and thus the fish are frightened into a narrower space. Listen to the discordant noises on the shore! Boys shout shrilly; dogs bark loudly; and women chatter, and all these sounds mingle with the deep-toned nautical 'Yo! heave ho! yo! hoy! hoy! hoy!' at sea. Though yourself a calm reticent student when in London you catch the Cornish enthusiasm, and as if your whole venture was in pilchards you yourself shout and shriek, and jump and rave.”
[Seaside Divinity, Fraser, Humphreys, 1861]

...each spoke being propelled by one or sometimes two men, who, placing their hands on the several levers, which rise as high as the chest, push before them, at first slow and heavily, till, having obtained the momentum, the men increase their speed, till, when the load is not excessive, they break into a run, and, if sailors, accompany their labour with a song or chorus.”
[The Dictionary of Useful Knowledge: C-F, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Apr 24 - 10:32 PM

celeuma, f. celeusma.
celeusma (celeuma), atis, n. … das Commando … (= Vorgeseßten der Ruderknechte, hortator, pausarius) durch Zuruf u. Angabe des Lactes mit dem Hammer (portisculus), nach welchem die Ruder zugleich in die Höhe gezogen u. zugleich herabgestoßen werden mußten, Mart. 3, 67,4. Rutil. 1,370 (u. dazu Zumpt). Sidon. Ep. 2, 10 (u. dazu Savaro S. 153).”
[Lateinisch-Deutsches und Deutsch-Lateinisches Hanwörterbuch, vol.I, Georges, 1861]

Song, S. (used when heaving, hoisting & c.) het opzingen; mind the – ! zing op!”
[Engelsch-Nederduitsch Technisch Marine-Woordenboek, Etc, Rees, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phi d'Conch
Date: 15 Apr 24 - 10:21 PM

“At length, when our patience was well nigh exhausted, the much desired change of wind occurred. Cat's-paws, from the westward, came playing over the bay; then the vessels under Staten Island began to move more swiftly; our Captain appeared on deck beaming with delight; even the mates forget to swear; all hands went to work at the capstan, singing merrily and, as the sun threw longer shadows from her tall masts and ponderous yards, the Fearless, with anchor tripped and royals fluttering to the breeze, glided majestically forth upon her voyage.” [p.292]

“Charts were now in constant requisition, the deep sea lead was mysteriously mentioned, and an anchor got ready. Fresher blew the wind; and bets were ventured on the exact time of our arrival in port. The crew received less ill usage and more grog. Their songs sounded cheerily from the pumps, or the braces; and again, were hornpipes vigorously danced, while the blind fiddler, mounted on an empty cask, seemed to share the general animation.” [p.298]
[My Voyage in an American Clipper, Hunt's Yachting Magazine, Vol.11, July, 1862]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Apr 24 - 10:20 PM

“I speedily arrived at Plymouth, and towards evening found myself on board the African mail steamer Forerunner; and shortly afterwards the signal gun was fired; the sharp "clicking" of the catches of the capstan mingling with the merry song of the sailors heaving up anchor, was heard;...”
[European Settlements on the West Coast of Africa, Hewett, 1862]

“The Prince of Wales, lying at Port Royal, Jamaica, was suddenly ordered to weigh; the capstan was manned, and to the music of the fife the men were sending it swiftly round with a stamp and go;...”
[The Cruise of the Blue Jacket and Other Sea Stories, By Robert WARNEFORD (Lieut., pseud.) 1862]
William Russell (1806–1876)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Apr 24 - 10:17 PM

“The ship lay motionless, the officers and men were at their stations, but not the slightest movement was perceptible on board. The captain waved his hand,—in an instant the deck presented a scene of the greatest activity. Round went the men at the capstern to the sound of the merry fife; the crew flew aloft, as by magic the sails at the same moment were let fall, and away glided the "Orion" down the beautiful Gulf of Vigo.”
[My Travels in Many Lands, Kingston, 1862]

“The fife and fiddle were meantime sounding merrily, and, as with cheerful tramp the men pressed round the capstan bars, the anchor was speedily run up to the bows.”
[Marmaduke Merry the Midshipman; Or My Early Days at Sea, Kingston, 1862]

“As soon as the last of the party were out of the Lunnasting barge, she was sent back to the castle with directions to pull off to the ship when a signal should be made, at the same moment the boatswain's shrill whistle was heard, the topsails were let fall, the capstan bars were shipped, and the men tramped round to the sound of fife and fiddle. The wide extending courses next dropped from the brails, the topgallant-sails and royals were set, and the ship under all her canvas stood out with the wind on her larboard quarter by the northern passage from Eastling Sound.”
[The Fire-Ships, Vol.1, Kingston, 1862]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Apr 24 - 10:15 PM

Celeusma…. Der Gesang oder der Ruf des Rudermeisters (hortator, pausarius, … ), um die Ruderer griechischer und römischer Schiffe anzutreiben und zu unterstützen die Wogen im Takte zu schlagen (Mart. Ep. III, 67; Rutil. I, 370). Bisweilen wurde der Gesang wiederholt und von den Ruderern im Chore gesungen, bisweilen auf musikalischen Instrumenten gespielt ( in Div. Verr. 17).
Ergata.... Gangspille oder Krahn, um die Schiffe ans Ufer zu ziehen und überhaupt grosse Lasten zu bewegen (Vitruv. X, 4).
Gubernator.... Steuermann oder Lotse, der am Hintertheil sass, das Schiff zu steuern (Cic. Sen. 9), den Ruderern Befehle gab und die Segel anordnen liess (Virg. Aen. X, 218; Lucan. VIII, 193). Er stand im Commando dem magister am nächsten und unmittelbar über dem proreta (Scheffer, Mil. Nav. p. 302). Das Bild ist nach einem in Pozzuoli gefundenen Basrelief.
Helciarius. Einer, der ein Boot an dem Joch (helcium) eines Schlepptaues zieht (Mart. IV, 64. 22; Sidon. Ep. II, 10).
Helcium. Eigentlich das Joch an einem von Männern (Helciarius) gezogenen Schlepptau, welches über Schulter und Brust gezogen wird; daher wird es von einem Brustband an den Strängen von Zugthieren gebraucht (Apul. Met. IX. p.185), wie auf der beigefügten Probe nach einem Gemälde zu Herculanum.
Hortator…. Derjenige, welcher auf einem Schiffe das ... gab, indem er durch einen zuweilen mit Spiel begleiteten Gesang die Ruderer im Takte hielt und sie gewissermassen zu ihrer Arbeit ermunterte (Ovid. Met. III, 619. Vgl. Virg. Aen. V, 177; Serv. ad l.); daher der Name (solet hortator remiges hortarier, Plaut. Merc. IV, 2, 5). Er sass auf dem Hintertheil des Schiffes mit einem Stab in der Hand, mit welchem er den Takt schlug, wie das beigefügte Bild zeigt, welches dem vatikanischen Virgil entnommen ist.
Pausarius (Senec. Ep. 56). Derjenige Beamte, welcher den Gesang anstimmte (celeusma) und den Takt schlug, nach welchem die Ruderknechte die Ruder bewegten; er hiess auch Hortator. S. d. Abb. u. d. W.
Portisculus. Ein Stock oder ein Hammer, womit der, welcher an Bord eines Schiffes (s. Celeusma und Pausarius) das Signal gab, den Takt schlug, nach welchem die Ruderer gleichmässig arbeiteten (Ennius und Laber. ap. Non. s.v.; Cato ap. Fest. s.v.; Plaut. Asin. III, 1, 14). In der Abbildung nach dem vatikanischen Virgil hält ihn die auf dem Hintertheil des Schiffes sitzende Figur in der rechten Hand.
Proreta.... Ein Mann, der vorn auf einem Schiffe stand (prora), um das Meer zu beobachten und der dem Steuermann durch Zeichen andeutete, auf welchen Punkt er lossteuern solle, wie die Abbildung zeigt, nach einer Medaille. Er commandirte zu zweit nächst dem gubernator, und unter seiner Aufsicht und seinem Befehle stand alles, was zum Takelwerk und zur ganzen Ausrüstung des Schiffes gehörte (Plaut. Rud. IV, 3, 86; Rutil. Itin. I, 455; Scheffer Mil. Nav. IV,6).
Symphoniaci. Musiker, die in einem passt; denn alle bezeichnen eine VereiConcert ein Musikstück sangen oder spiel-nigung mehrerer verschiedener Dinge, ten. Besonders gab man diesen Namen z. B. der Schüsseln, Teller etc.,.. die jungen Sclaven, die man zu Chorsängern heranbildete, um ihre Herren bei Tafel zu unterhalten, ebenso einer Musikbande, die man an Bord der Schiffe brauchte, damit die Ruderer nach ihrer Musik die Ruder im Takte schlugen, indem sie das Schifferlied (celeusma) spielte oder sang, oder um durch musikalische Töne Signale oder Befehle zu geben (Cic. Div. Verr. 17; Ascon. ad l.).”
[Illustrirtes Wörterbuch der römischen Alterthümer mit Steter Berücksichtigung der griechischen, Rich, 1862]

Note: English (1849) & French (1859) editions above.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Apr 24 - 03:55 PM

“"The story of Amphion building Thebes with his lyre was not a fable," says Dr. Clarke. "At Thebes, in the harmonious adjustment of those masses which remain belonging to the ancient walls, we saw enough to convince us that this story was no fable; for it was a very ancient custom to carry on immense labour by an accompaniment of music and singing. The custom still exists both in Egypt and Greece. It might, therefore, be said that the Walls of Thebes were built at the sound of the only musical instrument then in use; because, according to the custom of the country, the lyre was necessary for the accomplishment of the work."* The same custom appears to exist in Africa. Lander notices at Yàoorie that the "labourers in their plantations were attended by a drummer, that they might be excited by the sound of his instrument to work well and briskly."

Athenæus† has preserved the Greek names of different songs as sung by various trades, but unfortunately none of the songs themselves. There was a song for the corn-grinders; another for the workers in wool; another for the weavers. The reapers had their carol; the herdsmen had a song which an ox-driver of Sicily had composed; the kneaders, and the bathers, and the galley-rowers, were not without their chant. We have ourselves a song of the weavers, which Ritson has preserved in his "Ancient Songs;" and it may be found in the popular chap-book of "The Life of Jack of Newbury;" and the songs of anglers, of old Izaak Walton, and Charles Cotton, still retain their freshness.

Among the Greeks, observed Bishop Heber, the hymn which placed Harmodius in the green and flowery island of the Blessed, was chanted by the potter to his wheel, and enlivened the labours of the Piræan mariner.

Dr. Johnson is the only writer I recollect who has noticed something of this nature which he observed in the Highlands. "The strokes of the sickle were timed by the modulation of the harvest song, in which all their voices were united. They accompany every action which can be done in equal time with an appropriate strain, which has, they say, not much meaning, but its effects are regularity and cheerfulness. There is an oar song used by the Hebrideans."

But if these chants "have not much meaning," they will not produce the desired effect of touching the heart, as well as giving vigour to the arm of the labourer. The gondoliers of Venice while away their long midnight hours on the water with the stanzas of Tasso. Fragments of Homer are sung by the Greek sailors of the Archipelago; the severe labour of the trackers, in China, is accompanied with a song which encourages their exertions, and renders these simultaneous. Mr. Ellis mentions that the sight of the lofty pagoda of Tongchow served as a great topic of incitement in the song of the trackers, toiling against the stream, to their place of rest. The canoemen, on the Gold Coast, in a very dangerous passage, on the back of a high curling wave, paddling with all their might, singing or rather shouting their wild song, follow it up," says M'Leod, who was a lively witness of this happy combination of song, of labour, and of peril, which he acknowledged was "a very terrific process." Our sailors at Newcastle, in heaving their anchors, have their "Heave and ho! rum-below!" but the Sicilian mariners must be more deeply affected by their beautiful hymn to the Virgin. A society, instituted in Holland for general good, do not consider among their least useful projects that of having printed at a low price a collection of songs for sailors.

It is extremely pleasing, as it is true, to notice the honest exultation of an excellent ballad-writer, C. Dibdin, in his Professional Life. "I have learnt my songs have been considered as an object of national consequence; that they have been the solace of sailors and long voyagers, in storms, in battle; and that they have been quoted in mutinies, to the restoration of order and discipline." The Portuguese soldiery in Ceylon, at the siege of Colombo, when pressed with misery and the pangs of hunger, during their marches, derived not only consolation but also encouragement, by rehearsing the stanzas of the Lusiad.

*Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 56.
† Deip. lib. xiv. cap. iii”
[Song of Trades, or Songs for the People, Curiosities of Literature, Vol.2, Isaac Disraeli, Benjamin Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield,) 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Apr 24 - 03:54 PM

“Maintenant “ha! ho!... hissa, ho!... hisse! hissoué!...” nous sommes à bord du chasse-marée le Père Antoine; l'équipage exécute la manœuvre. Si vous désirez en savoir plus long, lisez le Tableau de la mer de M. G. de la Landelle. Moi, je suis un profane: dans nos montagnes de l'Alsace, nous sommes peu familiarisés avec la vie navale. Mais si je vais quelque jour passer une saison au Tréport ou à Étretat, je mettrai dans mon sac de voyage le volume de M. de la Landelle. Vos baigneurs parisiens seront bien attrapés; ils prendront le mangeur de choucroute pour un vieux loup de mer.”
[La Critique Française (Revue Philosophique et Littéraire,) Blot, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Apr 24 - 03:52 PM

...The only freedom these poor wretches (whose condition is, past all power of description, horrible) are permitted, is to give vent to their agony in a kind of wild chorus expressive of their suffering, which they endeavour to time to the click of their oars in the row-lock, or the dip of their sweeps as they fall into the flashing brine. The galley slave is now only to be found in the Neapolitan, Sardinian, and Venetian states of southern Europe, those of France being now closely allied to the convicts of the English hulks. It was in Genoa and Naples that this frightful state of suffering and degradation, till lately, existed in its most revolting form.”
[The Dictionary of Useful Knowledge, Vol. III. G-N, Philp, 1861]
Robert Kemp Philp (1819 - 1882)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Apr 24 - 03:50 PM

“After being wearied with its agitations and attempts to escape, as well as exhausted by its wound, the fish is seized, and drawn into the boat. The operation has considerable resemblance to the whale fishery on a small scale. The superstitious Sicilian fishermen have an unintelligible chant, which they regard as a most essential part of their apparatus, Brydone thinks it is Greek: but be that as it may, the fishermen are convinced of its efficacy as a charm, its operation being to attract and detain the fish near the boat. There are certainly some Italian words in it, although it is said that the men believe that the fish would dive into the water and be seen no more if it happened to hear a word of Italian.”
[Swordfish, The Historical and Scientific American Miscellany, Vol.1-2, Sears, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Apr 24 - 03:49 PM

“...To this rope was fastened the noose of a heavy cable. The instant she was near enough, he gave one mighty whirl, and tossed the rope ashore. It struck one man, nearly knocked down another, while two or three immediately caught it, hauled the cable in, and slipped the noose over one of the heavy posts of the wharf; then the sailors secured the other end of it, and began to pull in, and pull in, with many a loud, “Heave-ho!” – every jerk bringing the vessel nearer the wharf, until she was safely moored alongside.”
[Early Days for 1861; Second Series, Vol.I, 1861]

“Henry Tresillian continued to gaze at Penzance with ardent and longing interest, until the loud command “Reef fore and topsails-helm a-port,” struck upon his ear, and the next moment the steamer had rounded the pier, and sweeping close alongside, dropped her anchor, while the “heave ho” of the sailors as they speedily secured her by ropes and chains to the quay-bolts, and the shrill scream of the steam as it poured its vapoury clouds from her 'scape-pipe, clearly signified that she had reached the termination of her voyage.”
[J.S.B., The Broken Troth-Plight, The London Journal, Vol.23, No.841, 23 March, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Apr 24 - 03:10 PM

“The numerous boats passing and repassing up and down was pleasantly exciting; for the black oarsmen sing songs merrily to the cadence of the oars, and then all unite in an amen chorus. This wild music on the water at night is enchanting; for the broad dome of the skies seems to reverberate the sound.”
[The Black Gauntlet: A Tale of Plantation Life in South Carolina, Schoolcraft, 1861]
The Black Gauntlet
Mary Howard Schoolcraft (1820 –1878)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Apr 24 - 03:07 PM

“The perseverance of boatmen in Norway is quite astonishing, for they pull on in the same steady manner for any length of time: on reaching our destination, after a row of about eight hours, our boatmen started at once on their return to Gudvangen, and would probably row straight home without delay. The tediousness of the rowing they sometimes beguiled by singing to the stroke of the oars: on bending forward one of the men would sing a short line suggested by the surrounding objects or present circumstances, and then, as the oars were pulled steadily through the water, all would join in the chorus of "Heighho." Another would then take up the solo, and so they would continue singing in turn, all joining in the chorus together.”
[Wild Life on the Fields of Norway, Wyndham, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Apr 24 - 03:06 PM

“After a time, a stately barge with sixteen oars was seen emerging from the river, and approaching the caravel. It was quaintly carved and gilt; the oarsmen were clad in antique garb, their oars painted of a bright crimson, and they came slowly and solemnly, keeping time as they rowed to the cadence of an old Spanish ditty. Under a silken canopy in the stern, sat a cavalier richly clad, and over his head was a banner bearing the sacred emblem of the cross.” [p.352]

“...The rowers plied their crimson oars in the same slow and stately manner to the cadence of the same mournful old ditty.” [p.358]
[The Phantom Island, Wolfert's Roost And Other Papers, Now First Collected, Irving, 1849]

“On these occasions it was that the merits of the Canadian voyageurs came into full action. Patient of toil, not to be disheartened by impediments and disappointments, fertile in expedients, and versed in every mode of humoring and conquering the wayward current, they would ply every exertion, sometimes in the boat, sometimes on shore, sometimes in the water, however cold; always alert, always in good-humor; and, should they at any time flag or grow weary, one of their popular boat songs, chanted by a veteran oarsman, and responded to in chorus, acted as a neverfailing restorative.”
[Astoria Or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains, Irving, 1849]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Apr 24 - 03:04 PM

“... the Malays in my crew striking up their usual paddle song, each in turn repeating a short verse in a high key, sentimental or witty, and the whole breaking into a chorus which ran somewhat thus

Ah! ya-no-nasi, na no
       Ah! ya no!

and sounded very prettily, while the movements of their bodies and stroke of their paddles kept time to the tune.”
[My Journal in Malayan Waters, Or, The Blockade of Quedah, Osborn, 1861]
Sherard Osborn CB FRS (1822 – 1875)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 03:55 PM

“ORTATORE NAUTICO (antic.). Eccitatore dei marinai; hortator nauticus, detto dai Romani anche portisculus. Suo ufficio era il dirigere i remiganti e dar loro legge; ed era perciò distinto dal governatore o maestro della nave, capo di tutti, che stava al timone, chiamato gubernaculum, o clavus (manico del timone). In tre modi reggeva l'Ortatore i remiganti. Con una pertica in mano, donde a lui il nome di Portisculo. Questa pertica fu delta anche Casteria; ma corrottamente. Terminava in martello; e pare che l'esortazione di pendesse dal batterla forte col mazzuolo sopra asse, o trave; e secondo la diversità e il vario numero delle percosse significasse i varii comandi. - Gli altri due modi di esortazione nautica si facevano l'un colla voce, l'altro con qualche strumento musico. V'erano certe formole con metro, cioè con voci di sei piedi antidattili. Il terzo modo era lo strumento. Da Asconto pare che si adoprasse la cetra, come i Cretesi per cominciar la battaglia. Plutarco nella nave di Cleopatra dice che il Geleusma si faceva al suon della fistola e della tibia; remi argentei agitabantur ad fistulae, tibiaeque modos. Celeusma era detto l'Ortatore nelle piccole barche da fiumi appena navigabili. Ma lo strumento più frequente era la buccina, o la tromba. Le navi erano a più ordini di remi. Conveniva che si udisse distintamente per tutto. Stava l'Ortatore per legge nel luogo in mezzo della nave, che rimaneva vuoto fra i transtri, e restava ne' vascelli coperti, ossia nelle quinqueremi, sotto del superior tavolato, o Catastroma. Ma non sedeva come i remiganti. Alcuni vogliono che stesse immobile in piedi; altri che passeggiasse; e questo par che si raccolga da Isidoro che spiega le diverse parti delle navi; e parla della Via Agia o Agea: Agia via sunt loca in navi per quae ad remiges Hortator accedit. Talvolta però si trova che l'Ortatore dava il segno dalla poppa.”
[Dizionario Universale Archeologico-Artistico-Technologico, Rusconi, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 12:20 AM

“(1) Sur la coursie (le corridorium des Latins des bas âges) se promenaient deux officiers, le hortator remigum et le symphoniacus le premier exhortant les rameurs à donner toute leur force pendant la navigation à l'aviron, les encourageant et, par un certain cri mesuré, leur indiquant les mouvements de la nage large et de la nage allongée. Ce cri ou chant était nommé jussio, d'où le hortator prenait le nom de jussor tant qu'il le faisait entendre; les Grecs nommaient cette espèce de mélopée xé??voua, d'où les Latins avaient fait le celeusma. Le céleusme et l'encouragement étaient souvent insuffisants pour exciter les rameurs, aisément fatigués; le hortator avait recours alors au portisculus, bâton qui était l'insigne de sa charge, et dont il frappait le rameur paresseux ou le maladroit qui n'entrait pas bien dans l'ensemble, si nécessaire à garder pour la nage. Quelquefois les rameurs nommaient leur hortator: portisculus, du nom de son gourdin. Les rameurs, au moyen âge, appelèrent par antiphrase comite (de comis, doux) l'officier qui, toujours armé du nerf de bœuf, présidait à l'action de la chiourme. Age! était le mot que jetait le plus ordinairement à son équipage le hortator, nommé souvent ageator, tant parce qu'il prononçait à tout moment l'impératif age, que parce que son poste était l'agea.

Quant au symphoniacus, c'était un homme qui, pour délasser les rameurs, jouait sur la flûte de certains airs bien rhythmés, ou chantait sans accompagnement de certaines chansons vives et gaies, qui avaient le pouvoir de faire oublier, jusqu'à un certain point, à ces pauvres gens et le rude métier qu'ils faisaient et le bâton du portiscule.” [pp.164-5]

“Quant au triplici versu, il exprime, à mon avis, un chant trois fois répété (1), un cri, un hourra! une espèce de celeusma dont la tradition est vivante encore dans les bâtiments où, pour tous les travaux de force, et, par exemple, quand on hale les boulines, un matelot, le véritable hortator des anciens navires, chante: Ouane, tou, tri! hourra! (one, two, three! hourra! - angl.). La tradition antique était pleine de force au moyen âge, à Venise, où la chiourme du Bucentaure, toutes les fois que le navire ducal passait devant la chapelle de la Vierge, construite à l'entrée de l'Arsenal, criait trois fois: Ah! Ah! Ah! donnant un coup de rame après chacune de ces acclamations.” [p.369]
[La Flotte de César; Jal, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 12:19 AM

“...An Irish steamer, black and large, crowded with passengers, that had been lying by the pier, just a-head of us, and bound for London, began weighing her great anchor. Three or four men were tugging at it lustily – “Heave-ho-ho-ho.” In a few minutes she was off, paddling towards the Sound.”
[A Few Rough Notes, Taken During a Western Excursion, Brooking, 1861]

“They*, however, proceeded to perform the queerest lot of manœuvres I ever witnessed, singing all the time a sort of sailors' Yo-heave-ho-and-up-she-comes chorus.”
[A Theatrical Trip for a Wager! Through Canada and the United States, Rhys, 1861]
*Shakers of Albany, New York.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 12:16 AM

“...And, as we looked upon the rugged mountains in the background raising their heads towards heaven, Cape Tourment towering high above all, while close beside us the lovely island of Orleans spread her green forests, her picturesque villages, her quaint churches and her fertile fields, we were gladdened with the rough music of the sailor's song of labour, but of cheerfulness––

“Ho cheerly men, cheerly men, ho,”

and could from our hearts pity him who could see nothing in the glorious scene except the specs of mud which dimmed the lustre of his patent leather boots while walking through the city during a summer shower.”
[Salmon Fishing in the Canadian River Moisie, The Dublin University Magazine, vol.58, October 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jan 24 - 12:14 AM


Entendez-vous au loin ces cris d'appareillage
Que la brise de mer nous apporte au rivage?
«Cheerly, men!... sans mollir!... Les cachalots, du cœur,
Cheerly, men! La hourra! Pour la France, courage!... »
Le chant improvisé par quelque beau diseur,
Est suivi de hourras que répètent en choeur

Nos marins pour haler ensemble, avec méthode,
Sans perdre un seul effort, coup sur coup, main sur main.
Quant à leur Cheerly, men! le refrain à la mode,
Il veut dire «Gaîment, les hommes, de l'entrain! »

                Ah! pour la France (Cheerly, men!)
        Avec vaillance (Ah! hourra! Cheerly, men!)
                Toujours nous naviguerons
                Et nous combattrons!... (Ah! la hourra!...)

                Belle chérie,
                Notre patrie,
        Pour toi lorsque nous mourrons,
                Content nous serons!

                Vive la France!
                Notre espérance!
        Elie a nos bras et nos cœurs,
                Gloire à ses couleurs!

                La mer jolie
                Sera remplie
        Du bruit de nos branle-bas
                Et de nos combats.

                Notre ancre est haute,
                Adieu la côte,
        Au revior, femmes, enfants,
                Pays et parents!

                Adieu, ma chère
                Et bonne mère!
        De près ou de loin toujours,
                Mes tendres amours![P]”

P. – L'air du chant de manoeuvre Cheerly, men, n'a pu être inséré dans ce recueil; les paroles sont susceptibles d'être transportées sur plusieurs airs populaires du littoral de la Manche, et notamment sur celui de la chanson Partance et Adieu, p. 146, ci-dessus.”
[Poëmes et Chants Marins, Gabriel de La Landelle, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Craig Edwards
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 04:51 PM

Phil, I've been following this thread with great interest in relation to a book I'm writing. i wonder if you'd be willing to get in touch with me? My email address


Craig Edwards

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:56 AM

“The beautiful bay of San Fransisco is left behind with the sunlight dancing on its waters. The song of the sailors on the ships floats wearily off over the gilded waters. On through the passes to the Sacramento. On over the rocking wave that comes in from the sea. On beyond the islands–the islands of grey rocks and green grass-and suddenly a panorama of prospects unfolds to view ravishing the heart, and beautiful beyond description.”
[The Story of a California Faro-Table, Southern and Western Literary Messenger and Review, Volumes 32-33, 1861]

“At an early hour in the morning Mary was awakened by the tramping of feet over her head, and the hearty “yo-heave-ho” of the men at the windlass.”
[The Canadian Captive, The Wrecker's Daughter: And Other Tales of the Forest, the Shore, and the Ocean, Ilsley, 1861]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:53 AM

“RUMBELOW. A very favorite burden to an ancient sea-song. The burden of the Cornwall furry-day song is, “With halantow rumbelow.””
[A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Obsolete Phrases, Proverbs, and Ancient Customs, from the Fourteenth Century, vol.2, Halliwell-Phillipps, 1860]


        Lo nostramo.
De botas , sachs y balas
Veniu l' estiba á umplir.
Lo vent remou sas alas
Cridantnos per sortir.
        ¡Ohió, hó!
        Lo mariner d' Espanya
        N' es lo milió.

        Los mariners.
Mentres que traqueteja
Lo cabrestant,
L' àncora que forceja
Se vá aixecant,
        ¡Ohió, hó!
        Lo mariner d' Espanya
        N' es lo milió.

        Lo nostramo.
Quant l'equinocci esquinse
Los arbres y las lonas,
Y perdem tras las onas
Los cims de Montserrat;
No amayneu l' esperansa,
Traballeu nit y dia;
Qui fa de Dèu la via
A Dèu ha de ser grat.
        ¡Ohió, hó!
        Lo mariner d' Espanya
        N' es lo milió.

        Los mariners.
D'Espanya son riquesa
Nostres perills,
Y tenim per noblesa
Esser sos fills.
        ¡Ohió, hó!
        Lo mariner d' Espanya
        N' es lo milió.”
[Jochs Florals de Barcelona, 1861]
Floral Games

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:50 AM

“The capstan was manned, and the hawsers were hove taut. Inch by inch the tide rose, and the Dolphin floated. Then a lusty cheer was given, and Amos Parr struck up one of those hearty songs intermingled with “Ho!” and “Yo heave ho!” that seem to be the life and marrow of all nautical exertion. At last the good ship forged a-head, and, boring through the loose ice, passed slowly out of the Bay of Mercy.”
[The World of Ice, Or, Adventures in the Polar Regions, Ballantyne, 1860]

“At length the order came for us to return home. Merrily we tramped round at the capstan bars to a jolly song, as we got in our anchor for the last time, and made sail from the port of Leghorn.”
[Will Weatherhelm, Kingston, 1860]
William Henry Giles Kingston (1814 –1880)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:48 AM

“We passed the remains of Port Royal, and sailed up the beautiful bay of Kingston; coming to an anchor about half a mile from the shore. Numerous boats were boarding us, and departing on different errands. A hundred ships were discharging or receiving their cargoes, to the cheerful song of the sailors….”
[Shipwrecks and Tales of the Sea, William & Robert Chambers, 1860]
William Chambers of Glenormiston FRSE (abt.1800–1883)
Robert Chambers FRSE FGS LLD (1802 – 1871)
Chambers's Edinburgh Journal

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 24 - 01:45 AM

CELEUSMA (xé?evopa). Chant ou cri que faisait entendre le chef des rameurs (hortator, pausarius, xe?evotns) pour animer les rameurs des vaisseaux grecs et romains et les aider à frapper les flots en mesure (Mart. Ep. III, 67; Rutil. 1, 370). L'air était quelquefois repris, chanté en chœur par les rameurs, et quelquefois joué sur des instruments de musique (Auson. in Div. Verr. 17).
ERGÁTA (...). Cabestan ou vindas pour amener les vaisseaux près du rivage et en général pour mouvoir des fardeaux pesants (Vitruv. X, 4).
GUBERNATOR (...). Timonier ou pilote assis à la poupe pour gouverner le vaisseau (Cic. Sen. 9), donner des ordres aux rameurs et diriger le maniement des voiles (Virg. Æn. x, 218; Lucan. VIII, 193). Il venait, dans la hiérarchie, immédiatement après le magister et au-dessus du proreta (Scheffer, Mil. Nav. p. 302). La gravure ci-jointe est tirée d'un bas-relief trouvé à Pouzzoles.
HELCIARIUS. Qui hale un bateau par la boucle (helcium) d'une corde de halage (Mart. iv, 64, 22; Sidon. Ep. 11, 10).
HELCIUM. Proprement, la boucle attachée à une corde de halage tirée par un homme (helciarius) et qu'on passe pardessus l'épaule en travers de la poitrine; de là il se dit du poitrail attaché aux traits des bêtes de voiture (Apul. Met. 185), comme dans la figure ci-joiute, prise d'une peinture d'Herculanum.
HORTATOR (...). Dans un navire, le chef des rameurs, qui dirigeait leurs manœuvres, et réglait leurs mouvements à l'aide du chant nautique appelé xé?evoux (en latin celeusma ou celeuma), auquel était approprié le pied proceleusmatique, de quatre brèves (Isid. Orig. 1, 16). Il aidait les rameurs à frapper en mesure, et, en quelque sorte, les. animait à leur tâche (Ovid. Met. III, 618; cf. Sil. Ital. VI, 360-363; Virg. Æn. v, 177; Serv. ad l.; Val. Flacc. I, 471); de là son nom (solet hortator remiges hortarier, Plaut. Merc. IV, 2, 5). Il était assis à l'arrière du vaisseau avec un bâton à la main, dont il se servait pour battre la mesure, comme le représente la gravure, prise du Virgile du Vatican.
PAUSARIUS (Senec. Ep. 56). L'officier qui entonnait le chant (celeusma), et battait la mesure, au moyen de laquelle les rameurs ramaient en cadence; il était aussi connu sous le nom d'Hortator. Voyez la figure à ce mot.
PORTISCULUS. Bàton avec lequel l'officier, qui donnait le signal à bord d'un bàtiment (voy. CELEUSMA et PAUSARIUS), marquait la mesure pour faire manœuvrer tous les rameurs en cadence (Ennius et Laber. ap. Non. s.v.; Cato, ap. Fest. s.v.; Plaut. As. III, 1, 14). Dans la gravure, empruntée au Virgile du Vatican, on voit le portisculus dans la main droite de la figure assise à l'arrière.
PRORETA ( … ) Homme qui se tenait sur un navire, à l'avant, pour surveiller la mer, et indiquer par des signes au timonier sur quel point il devait gouverner, comme le montre la figure ci-jointe, empruntée à une médaille. Il commandait en second sous le gubernator, et avait sous sa surveillance immédiate tout ce qui tenait au gréement et à l'armement du navire (Plaut. Rud. IV, 3, 86; Rutil. Itin. 1, 455; Scheffer, Mil. Nav. IV, 6).
SYMPHONIACI. Symphonistes, musiciens qui chantaient ou jouaient de concert un morceau de musique. On donnait aussi plus particulièrement ce nom à de jeunes esclaves que l'on élevait comme choristes, pour divertir leurs maîtres à dîner (Cic. Mil. 21), et à une bande de musiciens que l'on employait à bord de certains navires, pour faire plonger toutes les rames ensemble et en cadence dans la mer, en chantant ou en jouant le chant naval (celeusma), ou pour transmettre, au moyen des sons de la musique, des ordres et des signaux (Cic. Div. Verr. 17; Ascon. ad l.).”
[Dictionnaire des Antiquités Romaines et Grecques, Rich, 1859]
Note: See Rich, 1849 (above) for the earlier English version.

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 03:31 PM

“I listened. I had no need to listen intently. I soon heard noises. They were evidently caused by heavy objects striking and bumping, just as if the sailors were still busy lading the vessel. I could hear their voices, too, though not very distinctly. Now and then certain ejaculations reached me, and I could make out the words "Heave!" "Avast heavin'!" and once the "Yo-heave-ho!" chanted by a chorus of the crew.

“Why, they are actually at work loading the vessel in the night-time!”” [p.151]

“Then I heard voices–human voices. Oh, how pleasant to my ears! First, I heard shouts and short speeches, and then all of them mingling together in a chant or chorus. Rude it may have been, but during all my life never heard I sounds that appeared to me so musical or harmonious as that work-song of the sailors.” [p.462]
[The Boy Tar, Or, A Voyage in the Dark, Reid, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 03:29 PM

“...we leave the Trekroner and the Sound, ringing with sailors' songs as many a tall ship about us heaves her anchor and makes sail to the chance puffs and catspaws, and in due time creeping along the south and eastern coast of Sweden...”
[Last August in the Baltic, Fraser's Magazine, December, 1855]

“The sun rose brightly next morning, and soon afterwards the slumbers of those passengers who had been lucky enough to get any, were rudely broken by the band of The Orient-namely, two fiddles and a fife-striking up The Girl I left behind me, and the men stamping round the capstan in time to the melody, whilst weighing anchor. Such as were rash enough to venture on deck found themselves in everybody's way and their own….”
[On Board the Orient, Chambers's Journal, no.312, 24 December 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 03:27 PM

“But let us suppose that, after many hours of this sort of unprofitable labor, the floes release their pressure, or the ice becomes frail and light. "Get ready the lines!" Out jumps an unfortunate with a fortypound "hook" upon his shoulder, and, after one or two duckings, tumbles over the ice and plants his anchor on a distant cape, in line with our wished-for direction. The poor fellow has done more than carry his anchor; for a long white cord has been securely fastened to it, which they "pay out" from aboard ship as occasion requires. This is a whale-line-cordage thin, light, strong, and of the best material. It passes inboard through a block, and then, with a few artistic turns, around the capstan. Its "slack" or loose end is carried to a little windlass at our main-mast. Now comes the warping again. The first or heavy warping we called "heaving:" this last is a civilized performance; "all hands" walking round with the capstan-bars to the click of its iron pauls, or else, if the watch be fresh, to a jolly chorus of sailors' songs.”
[The U.S. Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin, Kane, 1854]
Elisha Kent Kane (1820 – 1857)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 03:25 PM

“...Then his wife* gave in generously lavish succession Mozart's "Non più di fiori," with Willman's obbligato accompaniment on the Corno di bassetto, a "Sancta Maria" of her host's composition (which she sang at sight with consummate effect and expression), a gracefully tender air, "Ah, rien n'est doux comme la voix qui dit je t'aime," and lastly a spirited mariner's song, with a sailorly burden chiming as it were with their rope-hauling. In these two latter she accompanied herself;...”
[Clarke, Life and Labors of Vincent Novello, Dwight's Journal of Music, vol.XX, no.25, 22 March 1862]
Mary Cowden Clarke (1809 – 1898)

*Maria Malibran (1808 – 1836)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM

“Rich as was the West India trade, we had even more to boast of Europe, Asia, China, and Africa were represented at our margin by their merchandise. The towering masts of the dignified merchantmen betold their presence; and the "Yo, heave ho!" of the merry mariner heralded the delivery of their treasures.” [p.21]

“This dock was an inlet to the flour store of Hugh & Joseph Ely, and Smith & Wood, and was covered at the head by a plank wharf or landing, for the convenience of their storage, as well as a passage to the Old Ferry, interrupted, however, by the small, brick cooper-shop of Sharon Carter, where, and on the platform at the door, he and his boy Job, rung the "Cooper's March," as a change to the "Yo, heave ho!" of the merry darky, as he showed up barrel after barrel from the hold of his sloop in the dock.” [p.30]

“William Fling, Jr., was, in stature and general appearance, a fac simile of his senior, both men of courage, for in that day it was a feat to venture two hundred feet above the heads below. And whether they, or either of them, trusted to the Yo, heave ho!" below, or sent up a maintop-sail man as a substitute, they endorsed the project, and were responsible for results.” [p.102]

“William S. Sontag was prominent, at No. 114, as a shipping merchant in the West India trade, which, as heretofore shown, was as profitable as it was extensive, and the life of the "Yo, heave ho!" of the merry darkies, that rent the air with their vocal powers.” [p.185]
[Philadelphia and Her Merchants, as Constituted Fifty Or Seventy Years Ago, Ritter, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 10:35 PM

“...The clank of the engine, the steady grind of the machines, and the high, wild cry of the negroes at the caldron to the stokers at the furnace doors, as they chant out their directions, or wants-now for more fire, and now to scatter the fire-which must be heard above the din, "A-a-b'la! A-a-b'la!" "E-e-cha candela!" "Puerta!" and the barbaric African chant and chorus of the gang at work filling the cane troughs; all these make the first visit at the sugar house a strange experience. But after one or two visits, the monotony is as tiresome as the first view is exciting. There is, literally, no change in the work. There are the same noises of the machines, the same cries from negroes at the same spot, the same intensely sweet smell, the same state of the work in all its stages, at whatever hour you visit it, whether in the morning or evening, at mid- night or at the dawn of day. If you wake up at night, you hear the "A-a-b'la! A-a- bla "E-e-cha! E-e-cha! of the caldron- men, crying to the stokers, and the high monotonous chant of the gangs filling the wagons or the trough, a short, improvisated stave, and then the chorus; not a tune, like the song of the sailors at the tackles and falls, but a barbaric, tuneless intonation.”
[The Process of Sugar Making, To Cuba and Back: A Vacation Voyage, The Canadian Agriculturist, and Journal of the Board of Agriculture of Upper Canada, vol.12, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 10:34 PM

CALOMAR m. calomár. Cri des matelots pour s'encourager à l'ouvrage.
SALOMAR n. salomár Se dit des matelots qui chantent tous à la fois en manœuvrant.”
[Nuevo Diccionario Frances-Español y Español-Frances, Salvá, 1860]

“...The wind commenced blowing in the evening, and increased to a gale, what the captain called a regular Levanter. Early in the night I was awakened by the song of the sailors above me. The chorus of 'cheerily ho!' was at first very pleasing, till something in the air, or the voices, suddenly reminded me so forcibly of Frank as to open the fountain of tears at once, and for a moment it seemed as though my heart would break.”
[The Missionary Sisters, Benjamin, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 10:31 PM

CALOMAR, vn naut. Chanter en travaillant à la manœuvre.
CELEÚSTICA céléoustica, s.f. Céleustique, f. l'art de transmetire des signaux au moyen d'instruments de musique.
CELEUSTICAMENTE, -mennté, ad. Céleustiquement.
CELEUSTICO, A, a. Céleustique.
NIGLARO, sm. NIGLAROS, m. chant des matelots sur la mesure duquel on réglait le mouvement des rames. 2. Petite flûte sur inquelle on jounit cet air.
SALOMA sf Sorte de chant ou de cri des matelots pendant la manœuvre.
SALOMAR. vn. Crier, chanter tous à la fois en manœuvrant (les matelots).
ZALOMA, sf. Chanson des matelots qui tirent un cáble, etc.
ZALOMAR, va. Chanter (les matelots qui tirent un cable, etc).”
[Nouveau Dictionnaire Espagnol-Francais et Francais-Espagnol, vol.2, Saint-Hilaire, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 10:30 PM

“Alarido, s.m. a cry clamour or out-cry, a shout. From A la, i.e. God, the cry de guerra among the Turks, Moors and Arabs. – Alarido de marinheiros. See Celeuma.
Celéuma, ou Seleuma, s.f. (a sea term) the shout or noise which mariners make , when they do any thing with joined strength, at which time they cry ho-up. Or when they encourage each other. Lat. celeusma; some say it is of the masculine gender.
Fáina, s.f. the shout, or noise which mariners make when the encourage each other. Our sailors cry, Ho-up!
Grita, s.f. a crying out, shrieking, halloing, a shout. –– Grita de navegantes. See Faina.
Saléma, s.f. a Moorish or Turkish salutation;… – Salema, celeuma, ou faina; see Faina.
Zalomar, v.a. (marit.) to sing out.
[A Dictionary of the English and Portuguese Languages In Two Parts, vol.1, Vieyra, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Dec 23 - 10:29 PM

“Captain Malcolm, too, has plenty to do. Crew and officers are desperately active. What a rattling of chain cable! The long useless anchor is being got ready, and the wild “anchor song” of sailors, so cheery when a ship is nearing land, so melancholy when the anchor leaves the ground of home before starting for a long voyage, is ringing from the “fokstle.””
[The Voyage of the Lady, Vol.2, Grey*, 1860]
*Henry Schütz Wilson (1824 – 1902)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:22 PM


11. The drum, besides beating for Reveille and Tattoo, is to beat for the following purposes:
Morning Roll-call and Prayers––Assembly.
Sick-call––Surgeon's Call.
Dinner––Roast Beef; Lyr Add: Roast Beef of Old England.
Supper––Canteen Call.
Great-guns––Off She Goes; Off She Goes.
Artillery––Dan Tucker; Origins: Old Dan Tucker .
Seamanship exercise––Kingdom Coming; Tune Req: Kingdom Coming (in the Year of Jubilo).
Boats––Charlie Over the Water; Lyr/Chords Req: Over the Water to Charlie.
Fencing––Boy with Auburn Hair; Lyr Req: The Red Haired Boy^^^
Infantry––Drill Call. (Drum.)
Dress Parade––Partant pour la Syrie

12. The bugle shall sound the calls for Morning and Even. ing Studies; for those at 3 p. m. on Sundays; and for all recitations.”
[Regulations of the United States Naval Academy, USNA, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:17 PM

“...Leaving them there, he returned to the quarter-deck, and gave orders for the anchor to be weighed. The hands were turned up accordingly––the boat which had brought them on board was hoisted up––the capstan was manned––Mr. Barker called out, “Are you brought to below?” “All ready!” was the answer––the fiddler struck up “Off she goes!”––the men hove round with a hearty good will––the anchor was speedily out of the ground, and the William Tell under sail, running rapidly down channel with a fair and pleasant breeze.”
[The Saucy Jack, A Blue Jacket, 1860

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:16 PM

“...On the 23d and 24th we were busily occupied in breaking out and getting ashore our right whale oil. After getting it all in casks, we launched it overboard, and, with four boats fully manned, the crews of all joining in a rattling, heaving song, we towed the casks along before the city front, attracting hundreds of the citizens to the wharves to witness the method of the Yankees at work. They seemed to be satisfied by their scrutiny, that we were the smartest nation in all creation.” [p.186]

“...The boat generally returned before midnight; and it was customary for the crew that manned it to sing a jolly heaving-song at the top of their voices — all joining in the chorus; and the nights being still and serene, the effect produced was rather startling through the silent harbor.” [p.203]
[Four Years Aboard the Whaleship: Embracing Cruises in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Antarctic Oceans, in the Years 1855, '6, '7, '8, '9, Whitecar, 1860]

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:15 PM

“...The pilot took charge of the vessel, the men were ordered to man the windlass, which order was obeyed with alacrity. Faces diminished in longitude, and were lighted up with smiles. The anchor song of “Yeo, heave O,” never sounded more musical or inspiring than on that occasion.”
[Jack in the Forecastle Or, Incidents in the Early Life of Hawser Martingale [pseud.], Sleeper, 1860]
John Sherburne Sleeper (1794–1878)

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Subject: RE: Maritime work song in general
From: GUEST,Phill d'Conch
Date: 15 Nov 23 - 05:13 PM

“Saloma, f. Matrosers Opsang ombord i Skibe under Arbeidet.
Salomar, v.n. synge Opsang omb. i Skibe.”
[Diccionario de las Lenguas Española y Noruega, Frellsen, 1859]

“Oíase en la playa el continuo choque de las menudas olas, mezclándose con el ruido que formaban barquilleros y pescadores, que volvian á sus trabajos, interrumpidos por el descanso de la noche. Añádase á esto el salomar de los marineros, unido con los ecos de molinetes y cabrestantes, que indicaban las faenas de levar anclas, y se tendrá un conjunto caprichoso, bello y variado, del cual solo puede disfrutarse en los puertos de mar, y de la importancia que tiene el que nos ocupa.”
[El Milano de los Mares, Benisia, 1859]

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