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Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui

DigiTrad:
COMING DOWN WITH OLD VD
GRINDING OUT A PH.D
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI (2)
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: When I Get My Ph.D/parody (18)
Lyr Req: Slowin' Down to Old Maui (33)
Lyr Req: Cruising to Maui (18)


Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 02:00 AM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM
SeanM 18 Apr 01 - 03:45 AM
Grab 18 Apr 01 - 06:33 AM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 07:21 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM
Melani 18 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 01 - 02:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM
SeanM 18 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 11:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 03:08 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 AM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 03:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM
Charley Noble 19 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM
Just another Dave 19 Apr 01 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Hal Frank 19 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM
Abby Sale 24 Mar 06 - 08:43 AM
Roberto 24 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 24 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,JimP 24 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 06 - 04:41 PM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 06 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Mar 06 - 02:25 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 07 - 09:09 AM
JudyB 31 May 07 - 08:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 07 - 09:48 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 07 - 10:11 PM
dick greenhaus 31 May 07 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Rev 31 May 07 - 10:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 07 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Rev 01 Jun 07 - 12:25 AM
Rowan 01 Jun 07 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 07 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 07 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Lighter 03 Jun 07 - 04:53 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Jun 07 - 08:22 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 07 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Rev 04 Jun 07 - 12:23 AM
MartinRyan 04 Jun 07 - 07:11 AM
Charley Noble 04 Jun 07 - 09:50 AM
MartinRyan 04 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Rev 04 Jun 07 - 02:09 PM
Charley Noble 04 Jun 07 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Rev 04 Jun 07 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Rev 04 Jun 07 - 03:21 PM
MartinRyan 04 Jun 07 - 03:53 PM
Charley Noble 04 Jun 07 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Jun 07 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Jun 07 - 12:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 07 - 12:28 AM
Charley Noble 05 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Jun 07 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Jun 07 - 09:33 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 07 - 05:35 PM
Charley Noble 06 Jun 07 - 09:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 07 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Rev 06 Jun 07 - 02:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 07 - 12:30 AM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM
Charley Noble 07 Jun 07 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Lighter 07 Jun 07 - 11:53 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 07 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 07 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Jun 07 - 08:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 08 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Aug 08 - 11:00 PM
Lighter 01 Feb 10 - 04:15 PM
shipcmo 16 Nov 10 - 08:41 AM
Lighter 16 Nov 10 - 07:55 PM
Lighter 17 Nov 10 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Overboard 27 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 04:33 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 11:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 12:42 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 02:43 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 06:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 09:23 PM
Nigel Parsons 09 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Aug 12 - 08:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 12 - 01:51 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 12 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Aug 12 - 03:31 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Aug 12 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 11 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Mariner 22 Dec 12 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM
MARINER 23 Dec 12 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 14 - 01:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 07:24 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 07:42 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 09:00 PM
Lighter 25 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,ST 13 Jul 17 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 13 Jul 17 - 08:15 AM
Jack Campin 13 Jul 17 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,ST 13 Jul 17 - 06:29 PM
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Subject: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:00 AM

Just a quickie about a version that I've heard... has an extra verse that, for instance, Stan Rogers didn't record... that sorta goes...

"And now we're anchored in the bay with ??? all around"

Anybody out there know what the ??? word is???


Search for "maui" threads


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM

The word I learned is "kanakas" -- kanaka is the Hawaiian word for man, or person, or human being. Another word for man is "kane", which is specifically male, as opposed to "wahine", woman. Given the context of the song, I would have expected the word "wahine" there--but I learned the song long before coming to Hawaii, so I always thought "kanakas" DID mean women!

The whole verse as I learned it is:

And now we're anchored in the bay with kanakas all around
With chants and soft "aloha oe's" they greet us homeward bound
And now ashore we'll have good fun, we'll paint them beaches red
Awakenin' in the arms of an island maid, with a big fat achin' head!

Of course, that may well have been folk processed from an earlier version.

Aloha,
Mark (in Hilo, which is not where John's gone--but that's another story)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: SeanM
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 03:45 AM

Mark, that's the same verse that I learned and sing...

'Kanaka' pops up a lot in pretty much anything to do with Pacific sailing. There's even "John Kanaka", a basic and fairly common shanty.

Dana mentions a ship manned by (if I dismemeber correctly) nothing but 'Kanakas' in Two Years Before the Mast, and in my readings I run into constant references to Kanaka pilots and crew, in addition to the rather well appreciated affections of the wahines...

Finally, something I can actually contribute to...

M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Grab
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:33 AM

Mark, the version I know says "big Kanakas" - blokes rowing out to meet them maybe?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:21 AM

That's the version I know Mark... ta eh!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM

Stronly suspect thaty Ol' Stan wrote that verse. It doesn't fit (stylistically) with the others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Melani
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM

I think maybe in this case "kanaka" is being used as a synonym for "Hawaiian."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM

Stan did NOT write that verse or any other for this song... His version didn't even include the last verse as mentioned above...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:25 PM

Clinton, if you check verse 6, pp. 121, of Rolling Down to Old Maui, in SONGS OF THE SEA by Hugill, you will find the verse in question "with the Kanakas all around." I don't know if Stan wrote that verse; maybe his sons could shed some light on that question. Great song and if believe Bob Webb has come up with a varient from somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM

I know Stan didn't write that song, or that verse for that matter...

Damn good song, and the same chord progression as Star Of The County Down... you can sing one as harmony to the other with very litte tweakage...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: SeanM
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM

ACtually, you can sing almost ANY song to "Old Maui" with minimal tweakage. "Gilligan's Island" fits, with the exception of the roll call at the end. "Anarchy in the UK" too. I hear that "Achy Breaky Heart" works, but haven't got the courage to try it.

M

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of this fatefull trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this sailing ship...


Hee hee hee...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM

Shape note enthusiasts will recognize this song as being in C.M., or Common Meter. (English majors will recognize it as iambic heptameter.) It's one of the, er, common metric forms for poetry in English, and thus for lots of folk and folk-style songs. So you can sing House of the Rising Sun to the tune of Gilligan's Island, and so on and so forth.

And I think it's correct that kanaka was used as a generic name for Hawaiians, especially Hawaiian sailors.

And for those who are interested, the "Hilo" in many shanties does not refer to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii but to Ilo on the coast of Peru. Discovering that fact was a great disappointment to me, as I used to look out over Hilo Bay and imagine all those sailors singing songs about it. Oh, well...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM

I yield to no man in my admiration and affection for the late Stan Hugill. BUT- I never found a source (except Stan) for the tune he sang (it's a 4/4 rendition of the Miller of Dee) or of the final verse (yes, Clinton, he sang it and included it in his book). Colcord and Huntington both collected the song sans the final verse and without the tune.

I think that if Stan picked the tune he did a brilliant job; if he wrote the final varse, he did a less-than-brilliant one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:57 PM

I'll second all of that, Dick. Stan was a certified treasure, and the tune is wonderful. But that verse?! For one thing, why would kanakas be saying "soft aloha oe's" to the sailors? I suspect that he simply said "kanaka" when he meant to say "wahine", and nobody caught the mistake.

By the way, there seemed to be some confusion earlier on this thread between two legends named Stan, Hugill and Rogers. Dick was referring to the former, who probably did write the last verse, and Clinton to the latter, who didn't. But you all probably figured that out already.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:08 AM

Thanks fer clearing that last bit up MC... too many Stans eh!

;-)

Maybe one day I'll post the lyrics I penned "Rolling Down To Old Deli"... after the move...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 AM

Hey, Clinton, I'd love to hear that one! I wonder if it's anything like my song, Greenberg's?

Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:36 AM

Sorry...

typo...

Delhi... as in India...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM

I believe that the term Kanaka was (and I believe stil is in Oz) used to refer to South Sea Islanders BUT did the sailors who sang the shanties then realy use it in the same way? Surely it was passed down in the oral tradition originaly as well so who knows how it started or who meant what? And does it realy matter?

Another question - One of the lines goes something like "and in the (something) of a moonbeams kiss, we slept in St Laurence(sp?) bay" What does this mean?

Any ideas?

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM

Now it's all clear! Too many Stans in a kitchen could spoil the duff.

Sometimes when we can't stand singing this great song one more time we sing the even slower parody version "Rolling Down to Lethargy." Ask, Brett, I'm sure he can come up with the lyrics if he's awake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Just another Dave
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:42 AM

One thing that has always puzzled me is the pronounciation of the word -- is it "KAN a kas",or "ka NA kas" -- I have heard it given both ways. I like the way "wahine" sounds in that verse.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Hal Frank
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM

There's a filk (science fiction/fantasy songs) version that strings verses from Robert A. Heinlein's "Green Hills Of Earth" to the tune of Rollin' Down: "The arching sky is calling you, spacer, back to your trade", etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 08:43 AM

I'm finally getting around to learning this great song and realize I'm not dead sure of the words. I only have Hugill singing it in which he (no big deal) makes a few tiny but interesting mistakes. Since it's not a chanty, it's not in Shanties so I can't verify direct from the source. (Even though WWW sources often attribute it there.)

1) Would some kind bibliophile let me know if Hugill's version in Songs of the Sea or other printed source is identical to DT - ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI #1?

2) Is there any recent advance on Greenhaus' note of being unable to find any non-Hugillian trad source of a tune?

3) If otherDave still cares, Hugill says "KAN a kas" in this song but "ka NA ka" in "John Kanaka."   I've seen a (just web, not authoritative) definition of it as sort of "gentlefolk" - distant relatives of the royals. That could easily be generalized to "Hawaiians," though as we do in the US ("Ladies and Gentlemen").

I thank youse.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI
From: Roberto
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM

Four recordings of Old Maui. R

a) Rolling Down To Old Maui
A. L. Lloyd, Leviathan! Ballads & Songs of the Whaling Trade ? Topic, TSCD497 (Original LP: 12T174, 1967)

It's an ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
Through many a blow of frost and hail
And bitter squalls of snow
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
They deck the Polar sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Once more we're blown by the northern gales
And bounding o'er the main
And the green hills of them tropical isles
We soon shall see again
Oh, it's many a day we toiled away
In that cold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui



b) Rolling Down To Old Maui
Louis Killen, Steady As She Goes, Songs And Chanties From The Days Of Commercial Sail, Collector Records

It's a damn tough life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo
We don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds did blow
We're homeward bound, 'tis a grand ol' sound
With a good ship taut and free
We don't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with a Northerly gale
Through the ice, and wind, and rain
And them coconut fronds and them tropical lands
We soon shall see again
Six hellish months have passed away
In the cold Kamchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with the Northerly gale
Towards our Island home
Our mainmast sprung and our whaling done
And we ain't got far to roam
Our stans'l booms is carried away
What care we for that sound
A living gale is after us
Thank God we're homeward bound

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

How soft the breeze from the island trees
Now the ice is far astern
And them native maids and them island glades
Is awaiting our return
Even now their big, black eyes look out
Hoping some fine day to see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui



c) Rolling Down to Old Maui
Roy Harris, Utter Semplicity, Fellside FEO44, 1985

'Tis a damn hard life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo
And we don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds do blow
O we're homeward bound, 'tis the welcome sound
With a good ship taut and free
And we don't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with a Northerly gale
Through the ice, and sleet, and rain
And them coconut fronds and them tropical lands
We soon shall see again
For six hellish months are passed away
In the cold Kamchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Ah but now we sail with a favourable gale
Towards our Island home
Our mainmast sprung, our whaling done
And we ain't got far to roam
Our stans'l booms are carried away
What care we for that sound
While a living gale after us
Thank God we're homeward bound

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

How soft the breeze in the Tropic seas
Now the ice is far astern
And them native maids in them island glades
They're awaiting our return
While their big, dark eyes even now look out
Hoping some fine day for to see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui



d) Rolling Down To Old Maui
Jolly Jack, Jolly Jack & Friends, Rolling Down to Old Maui, Shanties & Songs of the Sea, Fellside recordings FECD 140 1999 (Original LP: Rolling Home, 1986, Fellside FE035)

Once more we are blown by the northern gales
Bounding o'er the main
And the green hills of them tropical isles
We soon shall see again
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from the shore sailed we
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Through many's the blow of frost and snow
Bitter squalls of hail
Our spars were bent, our sails were rent
As we braved the northern gale
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
That deck the Polar sea
Are many many leagues astern
As we sail to old Maui
Are many many leagues astern
As we sail to old Maui

Through many's the blow of frost and snow
Our good ship bore away
But in the midst of the moonbeam's kiss
We slept in St. Lawrence Bay
For it's many's the day we whiled away
In that bold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui
I will think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui

It's an ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
But when it's over what care we
How the bitter blast may blow
For it's homeward bound that joyful sound
And yet that may not be
But we'll think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui
I will think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM

Stan H. published his now familiar version of "Maui" in an issue of _Spin_ back around 1970. At Mystic in 1988 he said that he'd learned the song from a shipmate named Paddy Griffith, who was "an old man" when Stan knew him in the 1920s.

Stan observed that Griffith's version was the only one with a tune, but that is incorrect. Frederick P. Harlow gives a text with an indifferent tune that in some places resembles "Tenting Tonight."

The Griffith/ Hugill tune was known in the 18th century as "The Miller of Dee." Lloyd's version on _Leviathan_ goes to what sounds like a hymn tune. The notes give no information as to its origin, but to judge from other songs in the album, as well as from Lloyd's usual practice, he probably picked it himself. On the other hand, it bears some resemblance to "The Miller of Dee."

"Rolling Down to Old Maui" has not often been reported by collectors. Gale Huntington offers a text from a 19th century logbook along with yet another tune.

I agree with Dick and others that Stan's final stanza - not found elsewhere - sounds like a later addition, but there seems to be no real evidence to show that he himself wrote it. Of course, he could have. And he could have composed or adapted any number of the shanty verses he published. We may never know - and it probably doesn't matter very much in the scheme of things.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,JimP
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM

I checked out my copy of Colcord, who gives the refrain as the familiar version, but the verses are different, and, to my mind anyway, look to be "improved" by the editor.

Anyway, she notes that the tune is unknown, and omits the last verse as noted above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 04:41 PM

John Roberts on his "Ye Mariners All" CD does a real nice version of this. Its a different version & tune (in the notes it says that the tune is adapted from Harlow, from his "Chantying Aboard American Ships"). It's not the same chorus rather it has Harlow's repeating last line refrain. Gale Huntington also has a different version as does Joanna Colcord from Hugills' version. Harlow, Huntington & Colcord, all great collectors (in Huntington's case also a great researcher, while Colcord & Harlow spent long spells living aboard working vessels as did Hugill) were not known for omissions or improving texts weither it be by their editors or themselves.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 04:53 PM

Hi Mark,
It seems to me that 'Wahine' is an excepable common term for women 'these days' where 'Kanaka' was an exceptable term in 'those days' but not during 'these days' & was a sailor or whaler term in common useage, where 'Wahine' does not seem to be found common in the whaler's or sailor's vocabulary.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM

No, Colcord was opposed to any "improvement" of song texts. Her publisher made her omit suggestive verses in the shanties, which she did reluctantly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 02:25 PM

Kanaka is the Hawai'ian term for man (human being) and is found with various spellings and pronunciations in other Polynesian dialects.

Throughout much of the 19th c., young Hawaiians worked on ships and on shore, many contracted out by the government of Hawai'i.
Kanaka Creek in British Columbia commemorates a settlement in that province. Hawaiian labor built Fort Langley in British Columbia, and Hawaiians worked on farms, in packing plants (Hawaiian soul food, the salmon used in lomi-lomi) and in saw mills for the Hudsons Bay Company, which had a branch in Honolulu.
Kanakas became important as voyageurs in Canada, working for the Hudsons Bay Company. They processed and loaded hides in Mexican California. And, of course, they worked on sailing vessels and whalers.
As such, Kanakas were well-known to sailors and the name appears in their chanteys.

Through ignorance, Kanaka, to North Americans and Europeans, has received a negative connotation.

The various terms for Hawaiian women might be known to those sailors who found a soft nest in the Hawaiian Islands, but contact was usually short-term.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 07 - 09:09 AM

I don't think anyone above has mentioned Stuart Frank's research on the origin of this old whaling song as published in the magazine Maritime Life and Traditions, #26, © 2005, pp. 28-31. Frank traces two early version of the song "Rolling Down to Old Mohee" transcribed by George M. Jones and Albert F. Handy of the bark Waverly of New Bedford, 1859-63 and "Rolling Down to Old Mohee transcribed by George Wilbur Piper, ship Europa of Edgartown, Massachusetts, 1868-70. Frank judges from the historical details that the song dates from the 1840's, "...just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait to pioneer the Artic Whaling grounds (1848)."

Version A - from Jones and Handy:

Once more with a fav'ring northern breeze
We are bounding o'er the main
And soon the hills of the tropic isles
Will be in view again;
Five sluggish months have passed and gone
Since first from your shores sailed we
But now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

In vapors 'neath the chilly sky
Aurora colored the wave
And slumbers beneath the moonbeam's smile
In the dark St. Lawrence Bay;
For many a weary day we toiled
In the wild Kamtschatka Sea
But as we've toiled we've laughed and sung
Of the girls of Old Mohee.

Welcome the seas where the fragrant breeze
Is filled with odors rare
Where the sunny glades and the gentle maids
Are gentle kind and fair;
'Tis their bright eyes look forth each day
In hopes some day to see
Our snow-white sails before the gale
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

We heave the lead where old Diamond Head
Looms up in Old Oahu
Our decks and rigging are clear of ice
Our sails are free from snow;
The hoary heads of the sea girt isles
That deck the Artic Sea
Are many and many a league astern
Since we steered to Old Mohee.

An ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
But our labor's o'er, what care we more
How oft the wind may blow?
'Tis homeward bound, that thrilling sound,
Although it ne'er may be
When we think of that we'll laugh and chat
With the girls of Old Mohee.

Once more we're bound with a fav'ring breeze
On towards our distant home;
Our mainmast sprung, we're almost wrecked,
Still she proudly rides the foam;
Our studding-sail booms are carried away,
What care we for the sound?
A living gale is after us:
Hurrah! We're homeward bound!


Version B - from Piper (includes a chorus similar to the one now sung):

Once more we are waved by the Northern gale,
We are bounding o'er the main;
The verdant hues of the tropic gale
We soon shall see again;
Five sluggish months have waxes and waned
Since from the shore sailed we
But now we are bound from the Arctic sea (ground?)
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

Chorus:

Rolling down to Old Mohee, my boys,
Rolling down to Old Mohee,
But now we are bound from the Artic ground,
Rolling down to Old Mohee.


Through many a blow of frost and snow
And bitter squalls of hail;
When spars are bent and canvas rent,
We braved the Northern gale
The hoary piles of the sea girt isles
That decked the Artic Sea
Are many and many a league astern
As we sail from (sic) the Old Mohee. (CHO)

We heave our lead where the Diamond Head
Looms up through the waste and snow,
Our masts and rigging were covered with ice
Our decks were white below;
The hurricanes on our weather beam,
The breakers on our lee;
It seemed like the blast as it whistled past,
Brought tidings of Old Mohee. (CHO)

And now we have reached our destined port,
No more we'll plough the sea;
Our cruise is done, our anchor's down,
Our head swings in the breeze;
Our yards are square, our decks are clear,
Now to the shore haste we
And we'll laugh and sing till the nut groves ring
On the Isle of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Our ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo;
But when it's o'er we care no more,
How keen the blast does blow,
We're homeward bound, that joyful sound,
But yet that may not be;
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Now it's heartfelt joy without alloy,
That fills each manly breast;
And dearer yet, far dearer yet,
Bound home on the far wide sea west;
We'll tread once more on our native shore,
The land of the brave and free
And we'll think when at home how we used to roam
On the Isle of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Frank also discusses the tunes associated with this song as sung by A. L. Lloyd and Stan Hugill; Frank's wife Mary Malloy considers them both variants of the same tune "The Budgeon it is a delicate Trade" (aka "The Jolly Miller") from John Hullah, THE SONG BOOK, 1866, p. 55.

One can always learn more about an old song! And I wouldn't hesitate to say that the song has improved with age.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: JudyB
Date: 31 May 07 - 08:19 PM

Interesting! Charley and I should talk one of these days - I had wondered where the song came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 07 - 09:48 PM

Gale Huntington, "Songs the Whalemen Sang," credits "Rolling Down to Old Mohee" (pp. 27-28, with score) to the log of the "Atkins Adams," 1858.

I suspect that there is an earlier composed version, but this is based mostly on the dates, and the verses, as given above, by Charley. And the 'feeling' that there is more to be found.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:11 PM

We might as well paste in what Huntington printed (from the DT) since we have several other versions posted in this thread:

ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE

Once more we are waft by the Northern gales
Bounding over the main,
And now the hills of the tropic isles
We soon shall see again.
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from the shore sailed we,
Now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Mohee.
Now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Mohee.

Through many a blow of frost and snow
And bitter squalls of hail,
Our spars were bent and our canvas rent
As we braved the northern gale.
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
That deck the Arctic sea,
Are many, many leagues astern
As we sail to old Mohee.

Through many a gale of snow and hail
Our good ship bore away
And in the midst of the moonbeam's kiss
We slept in St. Lawrence Bay.
And many a day we whiled away
In the bold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Mohee.

An ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo;
But when it's over, what care we
How the bitter blast may blow.
We are homeward bound, that joyful sound,
And yet it may not be,
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Mohee.

From Gale Huntington's book- Songs the Whalemen Sang. Collected
from logbook of Ship Atkins Adams 1858. Huntington says that the
tune comes from Harlow- Chanteying Aboard American Ships; also
thinks he heard it sung to tune of "The Bowery", but isn't sure.
As he points out,"This is a nice song."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:20 PM

"The hoary heads of the sea girt isles
That deck the Arctic Sea"...

The only versions I've encountered where this section doesn't appear to be mangled. Innaresting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:56 PM

I learned the verse in question from Geoff Kaufmann, who probably got his version from Stan. It's pretty much the same as Mark cites in the second post of this thread, except that one sings "wahine" instead of "island girl" or "island maid" in the last line. Based on my own research of whalers journals, they certainly were familiar with the word "wahine," quite intimately in fact, but the term "island maid" turns up pretty frequently too, so I think it's a matter of taste. I have never seen the verse in question in any whalers' journals, and am inclined to think that if Hugill didn't write it himself, it was unique to the singer from whom he got the song. As for the tune, it is also unclear if Stan wrote it, but he (almost) definitely originated that tune in folk circles.
Geoff always mispronounced the word "kanaka," singing "KAN-aka." I got a lot of weird looks when I sang it that way the first time I was in Hawai'i. It should be pronounced "ka-NA-ka," which means "person" or "human being" and which was the common Euro-American name for Pacific Islanders, Hawaiians in particular. The posters above are absolutely correct that kanaka seamen were common aboard whalers as well as other trading vessels, etc. The kanakas that Dana writes about were working in the California hide trade, and he basically says they were the finest human beings he had ever "fell in with." The word kanaka, was apparently used as a slur in the early 20th century, but in recent years has been rehabilitated. It's most common usage today is the Hawaiian term "Kanaka maoli" which means a "full-blooded" Native Hawaiian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 07 - 11:56 PM

Maoli as an adjective means indigenous, genuine or native; as an adverb it means really, truly, without doubt (Guest Rev is essentially right).

Kanaka means man, human being.
Ka¯naka (the macron should be above the first a) means people in general, the mass of people.
Kanaka as an adjective means manly, strong, or stable.

The spelling and pronunciation is different in other Polynesian languages, but several use the same root as the Hawai'ians.

The word kanaka has never been a slur in the Hawaiian language; only in the mind of some haole (foreigner).
From "The Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian-English Dictionary," Henry P. Judd. This dictionary is small and very incomplete, but it is good for beginners.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:25 AM

Yes, I didn't mean to imply that Hawaiians used the term as a slur. My point was that was used as a slur by haoles in the early 20th century, but when it was used by haole sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries they did not intend it as a slur. I'd recommend Pukui and Elbert's Hawaiian Dictionary (1986) as being more complete and updated than Judd (written in the '30's), but Judd has grammar lessons that Pukui and Elbert don't have.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:59 AM

Further to the use (and pronunciation) of kanaka, in Oz.

Because it was thought (by whites) that real people (meaning whites) could not survive hard yakka in the tropics, particularly the cutting of sugar cane, crews were employed to go blackbirding. Blackbirding was the raiding of (mostly Polynesian) communities for able-bodied people who were "indentured" against their will and brought back to Queensland to slave away on the canefields. The practice continued until the very first Commonwealth Act of the Australian Parliament in 1901, which enacted the White Australia Policy; itself only repealed in about 1965.

Kanakas (pronounced Ka nak a, with the emphasis on the second syllable, in Queensland) formed close-knit communities and there are many descendants in Oz still.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM

Guest Rev, Stan's tune, as noted last year, is the 18th Century hit, "The Miller of Dee." A modification of it is used in the shanty, "Lowlands, Lowlands, Low."

When Stan told me about Paddy Griffith's singing, he said specifically that until he published PG's tune in _Spin_, "they'd never found a tune for it. Now this is the tune everyone uses."

He was wrong about "never," since Harlow printed one; but Colcord - one of the very few collectors to give the song - commented regretfully that she hadn't found "the" [sic] tune to which it was sung.

Regarding Huntington's mention of "The Bowery," that tune would require   a very great deal of adaptation to be made to fit "Maui."

The variety of tunes applied to the lyrics suggests that many singers independently set the words to music. That suggests to me that the words circulated more widely as a recitation than as a song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 09:42 AM

Harlow notes that the version of this song printed in CHANTEYING ABOARD AMERICAN SHIPS, p. 243, was given to him by Captain R. W. Nye of the bark Guy C. Goss, who had seen service in the early days of whaling. I don't seem to find theis version of the song above so I'll post it here, pp. 228-230:

ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI (pronounced "Mo-hee")

'Tis now we're bound from the Arctic grounds
A-bounding o'er the main;
And soon the hills of the tropic isles our eyes shall greet again;
Seven long moons have waxed and waned since last from port sailed we,
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to old Maui.

Chorus:

Rolling down to old Maui,
Rolling down to old Maui,
With our baggy sails spread before the Arctic gales,
Rolling down to old Maui.


These northern gales they do blow strong,
O'er East Cape well away,
That swept through the mist by the moonbeams kissed
O'er the broad St. Lawrence Bay;
The hoary piles of shoals and isles
That deck the Arctic Sea,
'Tis many and many we've left astern,
Rolling down to old Maui. (CHO)

We'll heave our lead where old Diamond Head
Looms up on old Oahu,
With our sails and rigging all covered with ice
And white our decks below;
With a freshening gale on our port beam,
And breakers on our lee,
As the bristling wind comes whistling past
Sent tidings to old Maui. (CHO)

'Tis a fearful life of strife and care,
We whalemen undergo,
But what care we when the storm is o'er
How hard the blast did blow?
We're homeward bound, 'tis a joyful sound,
With a full ship, tight and free;
We'll not care for that, as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui. (CHO)

I'm quite impressed with the variety of pre-1900 verses we've come up with in this thread. Clearly there were many hands involved in shaping this song from a yet to be discovered original song or poem.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM

Good job, Charley.

A similar mystery us the less known "Diego's Bold Shore," recently recorded by Eliza Carthy. A great rendition of something that doesn't
look like much on Colcord's printed page.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM

Might's well put one that has a French version here.

Lyr. Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI

'Tis a rough tough life of toil and strife
   We whalemen undergo
An' we don't give a damn when the gale is done
   How hard the winds do blow
So we're homeward bound 'tis a damn fine sound
   With a good ship taut an' free
We don't give a damn when we drink our rum
   With the girls of old Maui.

Cho.
Rolling down to old Maui me boys
Rolling down to old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Once more we sailed with a Northerly gale
   Through ice and sleet and rain
And the coconut fronds in the tropic lands
   Ah we soon shall see again
Six hellish months have passed away
   In the cold Kanchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
   Rolling down to old Maui

We'll heave the lead where old Diamond Head
   Lose up an old wahoo (* Looms up on old Oahu)
Our masts and yards are sheathed with ice
   And our decks are hidden from view
Ah the horrid ice of the Sekut Isles
   The deck the Arctic Sea
And miles behind in the frozen win'
   When we steer for old Maui.

How warm the breeze on the tropic seas
   Nor the ice is far astern
And them Oahu maids in the island glades
   Are awaiting our return
And the big black eyes even now look out
   Hoping sometimes they do see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
   Rolling down to old Maui.

Once more we sail with a favourable gale
Aye towards our island home
Our main yards sprung our whaling done
   And we ain't got far to roam
Our stud'l booms are carried away
   What care we for that sound
A living gale is after us
   Thank God we're homeward bound.

And now we're anchored in the bay
   With the Kanakas all around
With chats an' stuff "aloha" way
   They greet us homeward bound
And now ashore we'll have good fun
   We'll paint them beaches red
Waiting in the arms of a Oahii maid
   With a big fat aching head.

FRENCH Version

C'est une vie bien dure de travail et d'ennuis
   Que nous subissons nous les baleineirs
Et on s'en fout quand la tempête s'arrête
   De la force des vents
Nous rentrons chez nous le bruit est beau
   Sur un brave navire en bon état et libre
On s'en fout quand on boit du rhum
   Avec les filles de la vielle Maui.

En tanguant vers la vielle Maui les gars
En tanguant vers la vielle Maui
Nous rentrons chez nous depuis les mers arctiques
En tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Ene fois encore nous avons mis les voiles devant un coup de vents du Nord
   A travers la glace la neige fondue et la pluie
Et les frondes de noix de coco dans les terres des tropiques
   Bientôt nous les reverrons
Six mois d'enfer se sont écoulés
   Dans la mer froide de Kamchatka
Mais maintenant nous avons quitté les mers arctiques
Tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Nous lancerons le plomb è sonde où le vieux Cap Diamant
   Nous donners un vieux wahoo
Nos mâs et nos vergues sont recouverts de glace
   Et nos ponts sont invisibles
L'horrible glace des îles Sekut
   Le pont la mer arctique
Sont à plusieurs milles derrière nous dans le vent glacial
   Quand nous mettons le cap sur la vielle Maui.

Comme sont chauds les alizés des mers tropicales
   Maintenant que la glace est loin derrière
Et ces filles d'Oahii dans les clarières des îles
   Attendent notre retour
Et leurs grands yeux noirs nous guettent même maintenant
   Espérant bientôt voir
Nos voiles ventrues par coup de vent arri&$232;re
   Tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Nous naviguons encore avec un coup de vent arrière favorable
   Oui vers chez nous dans les &$238;les
Nos grandes vergues fendues notre chasse à la baleine terminée
   Nous n'avons plus beaucoup de chemin &$224; faire
Nos bômes ont été emportées
   Nous n'avons aucun souci du bruit
Un coup de vent bien vif nous poursuit
   Dieu merci nous rentrons chez nous.

Maintenant nous sommes mouillés dans la baie
   Les Kanakas autour de nous
Avec de la conversation et tout de la manière "aloha"
   Ils nous ont accueillis à notre retour
Et maintenant à terre nous allons nous faire plaisir
   Nous irons à la plage y semer la pagaille
Bercés dans les bras d'une fille d'Oahii
   Avec une grosse tête qui nous fera mal.

Pp. 54-55, with score, 1995, "Cahiers de chants de marins," No. 2, Le Chasse-Marée/ArMen.
May be heard on Anthologie, vol. 3, Chants des Marins Anglais, Stan Hugill, from the sailor, Paddy Griffith.
* Looms up in old Oahu- See post by Charlie Noble.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM

Well, gang, we now have so many early versions of this fine song that it presents a challenging puzzle to figure out which version came first, what verses are relics of the original, which verses are primarily later additions.

I'd actually love to have a linguist, folklorist or ethnomusicologist make some suggestions on how to tackle this puzzle. One can't totally trust the log entries, if the writers were transcribing what they heard someone sing, and the date of the log doesn't necessarily tell us when the lines were composed, just when they were written down.

The French version certainly reads well, and is a nice addition.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 04:26 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 04:53 PM

Charley, I'm afraid there is no way to tackle the puzzle. All we have are a few texts and some tunes.

Based on the above posts, the apparently independent primary texts in chronological order are:

1858 "Atkins Adams" (Huntington)

1859-63 bark "Waverly" (Frank)

1868-70 ship "Europa" (Frank)

before 1938 Colcord

before 1947 "Guy C. Goss" (Nye/ Harlow)

1967 Lloyd, "Leviathan" LP

1970 Hugill _Spin_ (rpt. in _The Bosun's Locker_ (2006)

Gotta go: more a little later


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:22 PM

Can't prove it, but I'm willing to place a small bet that the original appeared in a newspaper or magazine in the mid 1800s. A lot of poetry was published and distributed that way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM

Dick-

It's either that or it was song in a music hall in Maui or New Bedford. Stuart Frank, as I've posted above, "judges from the historical details that the song dates from the 1840's, "...just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait to pioneer the Arctic Whaling grounds (1848)."

I am quite serious about suggesting that a formal linguistic analysis of the versions would sort this song out. I'd just like to have someone more qualified than myself assume responsibility for doing it. But I'm quite willing to farm it out to a reliable friend in Australia if there is no one at Mudcat with such an inclination. As I've mentioned above the chronology of the logs may only be a rough approximation of when each version of the song was composed, a whole lot better than nothing but not the final say. And the variety of verses extent in the 1850's and 1860's suggests to me that the song was quite well known in the whaling community.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:09 PM

Charley, why did Stuart Frank judge "just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait?" How would he date this?
Bering passed through the Strait in 1728. I would be surprised if no whalers passed from the Kamchatka to the Chukchi Sea quite early. Having sufficient whales in the Kamchaka Sea would be the only reason not to proceed further.

The song does mention the Arctic ground as if it were only the Kamchatka Sea, but the limits of a song also might be the reason. Pretty tenuous reasoning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 12:23 AM

The history of whaling is pretty well documented Q, and Stuart is one of the best authorities on the topic. The first British and American whalers entered the Pacific in 1787, primarily working the Brazil Banks, and other grounds close to the West Coast of South America. Whalers didn't begin calling at the Hawaiian Islands until 1819. So the song can't have existed before then. According to Starbuck's History of the American Whale Fishery (1877 [1989]), whalers began working the northwest coast of N. America 1835, got up around Kamchatka to begin the bowhead fishery in 1843, and in 1848, Captain Royce of the bark Superior, out of Sag Harbor, N.Y., was the first to work a season North of the Bering Straits. Royce wrote that since they were the first to whales on those grounds, the whales were comparatively tame and easy to strike. So I think 1848 as the very earliest possible date for the song is right. I think the conventional wisdom on "Old Maui" has always been that it dates to the 1850s, but no one has done a definitive study. I myself might take that up when I turn my dissertation into a book, but that's still a couple of years off.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:11 AM

Just back from the Cobh Maritime Song festival, where this one threatened to become the song of the weekend, with regular outings at sessions. One of the better ones involved alternate verses in English and Polish!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:50 AM

Rev-

Thanks for posting the supporting information for Stuart Frank's dating of whaling grounds being extended north of the Bering Straits. Frank was "...Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Kendall Whaling Museum in Sharon, Massachusetts from 1981 until its merger with the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 2001. He is currently Director Emeritus of the Kendall Institute and Senior Cirator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum."

He has had access to a vast collection of whaling log books and is an assiduous researcher. He and his wife Molly Malloy have also recorded several fine CD's.

He also has published a definitive book on pirate songs, THE BOOK OF PIRATE SONGS.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM

Charley

Can you post publishing details of the "Book of Pirate Songs", please.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:09 PM

I've been fortunate enough to spend some time at Stuart and Mary's house, and they have a music room/library that is hard to top. Floor to ceiling bookshelves of songbooks, song indexes, and sheet music from the last two centuries... curio cabinets filled with little figurines playing accordions (OK, it's a little weird)... They're both wonderful musicians. And not only did he have this extensive career at the Kendall Whaling Museum, but he previously directed the music program at Mystic Seaport, where he started the sea music festival and symposium that we have all come to know an love. He based it on the Festival of the Sea in San Francisco, where he and Mary first met. His albums on Folkways, are great documents of the sea music revival: Sea Chanties and Forecastle Songs at Mystic Seaport (1978, FW37300), and Songs of Sea and Shore (1980, FW05256).

The pirate songs book is also great. I think there might also be a CD that goes with it. Here's the bibliographic lowdown on it...

Frank, Stuart M. 1998. The Book of Pirate Songs. Sharon, MA.: The Kendall Whaling Museum. (There are 10 copies available on Amazon as we speak).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 02:49 PM

What a team! We don't even need to consult.

But, Rev, "Stuart and Mary's"?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:15 PM

Yes Charley, her name is Mary not Molly.
Rev


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:21 PM

Although, I will say, the name "Molly Molloy" does have a nice ring to it. Maybe that was her stage name when she was a member of Morrigan back in the day.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 03:53 PM

Thanks for that...

Martin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 05:27 PM

Rev-

You're certainly correct, now that I've rechecked my notes, but "Molly Molloy" does have a nice ring. I wonder how long I've mixed up her name in my mind? ;~(

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:37 PM

Since the "Arctic Sea" (formerly known also as the "Polar Sea") is described, the song should not have originated earlier than 1848, as Rev says.

"St. Lawrence Bay" is "Zaliv Lavrentiya" in Russian. The town of Lavrentiya is located on its shore, southwest of Uelen, a village near the extreme eastern tip of Siberia.

The "Kamchatka Sea" is considerably to the southwest, off the east coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 12:20 AM

I've compared all the texts and played Bishop Percy with them to construct a plausible nineteenth-century original. I don't claim this *is* the "lost original," or that it's superior to any of the collected or rewritten versions, just that it may be somewhat closer to it than any of the known texts.

Don't bother to complain about my choices and alterations. The original song or poem was written before the Civil War in the diction of the period and that's what I've tried to stick to. Because the song's realistic content outweighs the romantic fancies, my suspicion is that the author had some real connection with the Pacific whaling industry: sailor, ship's officer, company official on Maui, or someone like that.


'Tis an ample share of toil and care
We whale men undergo,
But our labor's o'er; what care we more
How keen the blast doth blow?
"Homeward bound" - 'tis a joyful sound!
Tho' yet it may not be,
We'll not think of that as we laugh and chat
Of the girls of Old Mohee.

Once more we waft on the Northern gales,
And bound far o'er the main;
The verdant hills of the tropic isles
We soon shall view again.
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned,
Since from your shores sailed we;
But now we are bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to old Mohee.

The vapors bright of the starry height
Aurora's colors did display;
And we slumber'd 'neath the moonbeam's smile
In the silent St. Lawrence Bay.
For many a weary day we toiled
In the wild Kamtschatka Sea;
But as we wrought we laughed and thought
Of the girls of Old Mohee.

Through many a blow of frost and snow,
And bitter squalls of hail,
Our spars were bent and our canvas rent,
As we braved the Northern gale.
But the hoary heads of the sea-girt isles
That deck the Arctic sea,
Are many and many a league astern
As we steer to old Mohee.

Once more we're bound with a fav'ring gale
On towards our distant home;
With mainmast sprung, our courses slung,
Still she proudly rides the foam;
Our stu'n'-s'l booms are carried away,
What care we for the sound?
A living gale is after us:
Hurrah! We're homeward bound!

We'll heave our lead where Diamond Head
Looms up on old Oahu,
Our masts and rigging unsheathed of ice,
Our decks swept clear of snow.
The hurricane on our weather beam,
The breakers on our lee,
And the bristling wind a-whistling past,
Bring tidings of Old Mohee.

We come to the seas where the fragrant breeze
Is filled with odors rare,
And the pretty maids in the sunny glades
Are gentle, kind, and fair.
'Tis their bright eyes look forth each day,
In hope some day to see
Our snow-white sails before the gales
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

And now we have reached our destined port,
No more to plough the seas;
Our cruise is done, our goal is won,
Her head swings in the breeze;
Her yards are square, her decks are clear,
Now to the shore haste we;
And we'll laugh and sing till the nut groves ring
On the Isle of Old Mohee.

O! 'tis heartfelt joy without alloy,
That fills each manly breast;
But dearer yet, far dearer yet,
Is our home o'er the wide sea's breast!
We'll tread once more our native shore,
The land of the brave and free;
And we'll think at home how we used to roam
On the Isle of Old Mohee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 12:28 AM

'St. Lawrence Bay' of the song could be one of the bays of St. Lawrence Island, rather than Zaliv Lavrentiya, at the south entrance of Bering Strait. The 'Kamchatka Sea,' of course, would be what is now called the Bering Sea. What the poet meant geographically by Arctic Sea or Arctic ground is open to question- it could be the Bering Sea, the Strait area, or the southern part of the Chukchi.
That whalers never penetrated far until some time later is pretty well shown by the fact that Wrangel Island was not 'discovered' and named until the whaler Long found it in the late 1860's.

I agree that the song is probably post-1850 and after the bowhead became an established target; my objection is to the attempt to 'date' the song from the 'geography' in the text.
Lacking the original poem, how accurately the extant versions reflect the text of the author also is unknown.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 08:22 AM

Lighter-

You've done a fine job in my opinion of correlating the verses posted. I've been too busy to attempt that myself.

I note there is not a trace of the last verse that Hugill sang in any of the early versions, which reinforces the likelihood in my opinion that he composed it himself.

I also agree that the "original poem" was probably composed by someone with some academic training, but not necessarily an officer. Some of the crewmen, as with Dana, were relatively well educated and had romantic expectations of what a whaling voyage would be.

Wouldn't it be grand if someone turned up the original poem in a Melville manuscript?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 09:18 AM

Q, there are bays around St. Lawrence Island, but the Siberian "St. Lawrence Bay" is far larger and more sheltered. It was also known as the place where Captain Cook had first made contact with the Chukchi in 1778. Conceivably the author of "Mohee" had one of the island bays in mind, but anyone familiar with the area would be unlikely to refer to it that way except as poetic license.

"Arctic Sea" and "Arctic ground" appear in all 19th century versions, including the earliest known. "Bering Sea" appears in none. Since "Arctic Sea" carried a recognized geographic meaning, the only legitimate assumption based on the evidence is that the original described Arctic rather than sub-Arctic whaling. Therefore it cannot be earlier than 1848.

It's hard to resist suggesting that the song was actually written to commemorate the opening of the Arctic ground to commercial whaling. It was a dramatic moment for the whaling industry and undoubtedly a romantic event for versifiers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 09:33 AM

Thanks, Charlie. As you said earlier, the "wahine" stanza appears only in the Griffith/Hugill version. Who composed it we don't know; it could have been anyone.

Stan learned the song in the early '20s. My impression is that whalers wouldn't have sung of "painting the beaches red" or waking with "a big fat aching head" seventy-five years earlier. Think Kipling (about 1890 on).

Also, the earlier texts manage to conclude without the stanza, which seems to me to offer a shift in focus as well as tone.

To repeat: my version simply tries to get closer to the original than any single version we have. That's all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 05:35 PM

From an old geography book, "Key to Pelton's Outline Maps," dated 1851, lines to memorize-

Oceans, Seas, Gulfs, Bays, Straits, Channels, and Sounds.
Air- Bonny Doon, or The Winding Way.

"And now the muse delighted runs
To seek the Sound called Washington's;
Prince William Sound is in our way,
Cook's Inlet too, and Bristol Bay.
14
"Pass farther North, on Russian ground,
To take a glance at Norton's Sound;
To Behring's Strait we next shall post
Fast by the Asiatic coast.
15
"To Coronation Gulf we sail,
And feel the Arctic's icy gale;
To Bathurst Inlet next we go,
Where oft the Polar tempests blow."

Questions-
"Describe the Arctic Ocean. Ans. It is one of the largest bodies of water on the globe, lying north of North America, Europe and Asia, around the North Pole, and contains numerous islands."
"Where is the Polar Sea?" Ans. It borders on the north of the Western part of British America, and is a part of the Arctic Ocean."

The tendency then as now is for the average person to call the entire area 'polar' or 'Arctic' ground; I don't think much attention was paid to geographic distinctions except by the people living the experience. Any geographic meaning would be approximate.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 09:48 AM

Excellent point, Q. "Geographic terms" can be a fairly fluid as applied by sailors, tourists, and even natives. And, Lord knows, one can even argue over the "correct" spelling for hours.

I note that Hugill in the recently published THE BOSUN'S LOCKER, © 2006, p. 220, says in his reintroduction of "Maui" that "...(it) is probably the work of some Bowhead whaleman who had experienced the rigors of the Kamchatka Sea and warmth of the Ship Girls' welcome." On another page of this excellent book, p. 138, Higill says "This song I would place at an earlier date than the booklet (A. L. Lloyd's LEVIATHAN recording) gives (1850). Maui was the Hawaiian island where Lahaina, the greatest 'homeport' of the Bowhead whalers was situated and whalemen were rolling down from the Arctic to this excellent sheltered haven as early as 1820."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 01:26 PM

Lahaina was the famous Maui port, but the huge vats for rendering have been found at other points where ships could anchor. I would imagine that, as the Arctic season ended, Lahaina could get crowded. I have seen estimates of over 600 whalers in a season in the North Pacific-Arctic region.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 06 Jun 07 - 02:26 PM

Yes, anyone who's been to Lahaina knows that it's still a small town, and can probably imagine how crowded it got. Q's estimates are a bit off however. According to Starbuck, the largest number of American ships working the North Pacific in one year was around 300 in 1846. As we have determined, this was before the ships entered the Arctic Ocean, but were working in the areas South of the Bering Straits. The biggest year of Arctic whaling was 1852 during which 278 American ships were working the N. Pacific. The entire worldwide American whaling fleet in those years was around 700 ships. Of course there were also French, German and English whaling ships, but not in huge numbers.

The Sandwich Islands News of Sept. 30, 1846 provides a list of all the whaleships that called at Lahaina from July through September, totaling 94 vessels. Of course this still would have made Lahaina very crowded. For example in late August 1846, there were at least two dozen ships anchored at Lahaina at once. At an average crew of 30 men per ship that's 720 rowdy whalers running around that quaint little town.

Not all of the North Pacific fleet would have stopped in Lahaina at one time, because, as Q points out, there were other ports in the Hawaiian islands at which whalers called, primarily Hilo and Honolulu. The fact that whaler's try-pots have been found all over the islands (really all over the Pacific) does support this fact, but it's important to recognize that all trying-out (rendering) was done at sea. The pots were left ashore at the end of the voyage, to lighten the ship's load as much as possible when whaling was done. These were, in some cases, used by islanders in small shore-whaling ventures, or were repurposed for other uses.

One notable event in this history was the loss of 34 vessels, out of around 70 working the Arctic grounds, in 1871. Though the ships were crushed in the ice, the long time during which the ships were stranded allowed for all hands to be rescued. As a result, around 1200 whalemen ended up stranded in Lahaina and Honolulu, trying to find new ships. It was really the last hurrah for the Arctic whalers, and the Hawaiian newspapers of the day describe the chaos created by that many bored whalemen in town all at once.

Rev


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 12:30 AM

Number of whaling vessels-
I localized my figure to a part of the area; the '600+' is for the entire Pacific. The figure was 'in my head' and it took a while to recollect where it came from. Being a memory, it was corrupted. It was from the entry "Whale Fisheries" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1956, which is the latest edition I have.

"Shortly before 1850 the fleet numbered 680 sail in all; and all but 40 odd ships were employed in the Pacific in the pursuit of sperm and right whales. About the same date the right whales found in the neighbourhood of Bering Strait, the bowheads, were hunted for the first time." The author is cited as J. O. B., using references including W. S. Tower, "A History of the American Whale Fishery," 1907.

I apologize for my mistake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM

Once in a while a naval training (sailing) vessel would stop at Lahaina (this is back in the late 1970's) & it would seem as if there were sailors everywhere, so a fleet would absolutely overwhelm the place and it's hot, translated Lahaina means mercyless sun the town above Lahaina is name Luna Lahaina, or "Above the mecryless sun", a great place for a fleet of drunken whalers. The town was small even back then (1970's) so go back 100 yrs & it had to be tiny. I read somewhere that one could come close to crossing the channel hopping from deck to deck with the amount of ships at anchor there. The water traffic had to be a sight as there in no inner or outer harbors, only what's called a roadstead & nothing in the way of shelter, the depth for anchorage once off the island shelf is quite deep with strong currents in the channels & the wind barreling down the island slopes. In the winter of 1979 while I was there 26 boats dragged anchor & the following week 29 boats were caught in a second storm anchored off the Lahaina Roadstead, only one out of those survived in tack.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 10:14 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 11:53 AM

Ah, Q, Q! Find me a pre-1848 map or chart that identifies the Bering Sea as the "Arctic Sea" or "Arctic Ocean" and I'll consider the possibility that the song is older. Till then...

FWIW, I *have* seen an 1824 map that calls the entire Bering Sea the "Kamtschatka [sic] Sea," which in itself doesn't affect the dating of the song. I don't know how long that name was so applied. Perhaps of greater interest is that the map shows much of the coasts of Siberia and (still Russian) Alaska as unknown.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 01:57 PM

1. I have never said anything about a pre-1848 map identifying the Bering Sea as Arctic Sea or Arctic Ocean.
I mentioned that the Bering Sea had also been called the Kamchatka Sea- no more than that was intended.
In one version of the song:
"Six hellish months have passed away
In the cold Kamchatka Sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground...."
Clearly, the Kamchatka Sea is called 'Arctic ground' (or in some versions Arctic Sea) by the poet, who may not have been precise in his geographic nomenclature... Did Arctic ... carry a "recognized meaning" for the poet?

2. I never said that the song was pre-1850 or any other date. My post questioned when whalers passed through the Bering Strait, wondering why they had not penetrated into the Chukchi Sea at an earlier date- No more (To answer my own question, it would seem that it was unnecessary, the take was sufficient south of the Strait at the time).

3. My objection throughout is using the 'geography' of the song to date it when most people are, to use Charley's words, 'fluid' about usage. The poet seems to have used 'Arctic ground' or (Arctic sea) to indicate the cold whaling grounds- i. e., if the extant versions follow his original.

4. If the original poem was written to commemorate some event, such as passing through the Strait, surely it would have been garbaged up with more names and places.

Note- 'Sekut Isles' of one version may have been sea-cut or sea-girt isles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 07 - 02:36 PM

Lahaina is often taken to mean 'place of the Sun,' but never 'hellish sun.' Population in 1970 was about 3200, but now over 9,000. Average July high in the high 80's, nights about 70 F.
Like many low coastal areas in Hawai'i, rainfall approximates 10-15 inches only (like Kona on the Big Island, Waikiki in Oahu and the other tourist hotspots), and humidity is low. It seems hot to those used to cooler climes, but, coming from the southwest, I found it comfortable.
Lahaina Luna (upper or higher) is a little higher, and was the site of an important mission school in the last half of the 19th c. Several early books in Hawaiian were printed there (the original press is still there). Worth a visit to those interested in history.

Some sons of well-to-do settlers in California and other parts of the west were sent to school in Lahaina Luna for the equivalent of post-grade school education, rather than being sent to eastern cities.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 08:57 AM

Yes, "sea-girt isles" was almost certainly to be altered in learning the words by ear. Colcord's version calls them "the Seagull Isles."

At least "Sekut" sounds exotic.

An unrelated point: some of the other songs on the _Leviathan_ album (including the now popular "Wings of a Goney") lead me to believe that Lloyd's "Maui" is adapted from Huntington, with a new tune added.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 04:07 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 11:00 PM

I don't know or think anything different than a year ago.

I mean generally, not just in regard to this song....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 04:15 PM

A year and a half later and nothing new.

Except to say I've searched several extensive 19th C. newspaper and magazine data bases and found no trace of the song.

Also, Colcord's 1938 text seems to have appeared earlier in the 1924 edition of her book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: shipcmo
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:41 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 07:55 PM

Stuart Frank's brand-new book, "Jolly Sailors Bold" (available from the publisher, Dick Greenhaus's CAMSCO Music)unfortunately adds little to our knowledge of this song.

Besides the two texts that Charley posted three years ago from an article by Frank, the book includes an unedited transcription of Huntington's version from the bark "Atkins Adams." Huntington dated the text to 1858, but Frank's transcription plainly includes the words, "Dec 25 1859 / Bound for St Felix & Masafuera."

Huntington cleaned up the spelling and punctuation of the original considerably. He didn't alter the lyrics or add anything, however.

Thus the song is not known to have existed before the end of 1859.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:48 AM

To be pedantic, I should say "the poem."

No tunes were reported until well into the twentieth century, though Hugill's tune was almost certainly associated with the words in the late nineteenth, and the same is probably true of Harlow's as well.

As said earlier, Hugill's tune, without the Maui words, comes from the eighteenth century.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Overboard
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM

I think the tune actualy comes from a catholic mass


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM

I'm revisiting this song because I'd like to learn to sing a non-Hugill-based version. A few questions remain with me.

1. Where did Colcord get her version?

2. The version presented by Harlow, and the journal texts (incl. Huntington) all have a consistency that appears like the same song put through oral transmission. Colcord's certainly does, too, but for whatever reason (perhaps just happenstance) it looks (to me) like it stands apart. That is, the versions with a known source cohere as a group, from which Colcord's is notably different.

Now, I appreciate Lighter's directly gathered information that Hugill learned the song from Paddy Griffiths. However, I'd also note a distinct similarity between Hugill and Colcord -- Hugill's lines sometimes appearing to be "improved" versions of Colcord. I think it somewhat less likely that Hugill's and Colcord's versions would form a "branch" of variations that was distinct from the branch represented by Harlow, Huntington, etc. I think it more likely that Colcord's was a variation and that Hugill utilized it.

The speculative scenario that I propose is that Hugill heard the song sung by Paddy Griffiths, but for whatever reason (e.g. he forgot the words) he recreated his own rendition with the help of Colcord and with his own compositions. It may be notable that, in the index of Songs of the Sea, Hugill credits the song to himself.

I guess my question is: What do you think?

3. Why is it that no one (??to my knowledge) has sung "Mohee"? The journal versions all say Mohee, and both Harlow and Colcord note that it was pronounced that way -- presumably as they had heard it sung. See also the introduction of "Rolling Down from Old Mohee" to the American Canoe Club in 1885. So if Hugill heard it sung by PG, wouldn't we expect he heard it as Mohee? Why did he not sing it that way?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:33 AM

"The Music of the Waters." [review essay] _Forest and Stream_ 32(5) (21 Feb. 1889). Pg 100.

//

Among the odd bits of flotsam and jetsam m the form of song and story that are thrown up each year at this same meet [of the American Canoe Association] is a good sea song which we have never seen in print, a reminiscence of the whaling days of our correspondent "Tarpon," an old sailor as well as canoeist. The first verse is as follows:

"Once more with flowing northern gales
We're bounding o'er the main, 

Those verdant hills of the tropic isles
We soon shall see again. 

Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from those shores sailed we. 

But now we're bound from the Arctic ground.
Rolling down to old Mohea." 


"Rolling down to old Mohea, my boys,
Rolling down to old Mohea, 

We're once more bound from the Arctic ground 

Rolling down from [sic] old Mohea."
//

There is another source, though it does not quote any lyrics, that states this song was introduced to the campers in 1885.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:44 AM

Colcord, in a footnote to "Rolling Down to Old Maui," states "Pronounced "Mo-hee.""
She placed it in her section of Forecastle songs, remarks that it was a favorite with the "bow-head" whalemen who would put in to Hawai'i on their homeward voyage. The center for these whalemen was Lahaina (Roads) in Maui, where in one season, 400 ships put in there.

Maui lacks the glottal stop before the terminal 'i' (as in Hawai'i). Captain Cook's map of the Sandwich Islands shows the island as "Mowee." The word might have sounded like "mo-hee (mo-hea)" to the whalers. Hawai'i is spelled Owhyhee on the same map, the 'h' indicating a glottal stop; the whalers may have put in a glottal stop in Maui in error.

Colcord (her book first published in 1924), as noted by Gibb Sahib, gives no source.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM

The ballad "The Lass of Mohea" (The Indian Lass, The Lass of Mohee, Little Mohee and other names) is printed with music by Colcord, version of R. M. Davids, with comment "....was a great favorite with the Arctic whalers."
This song, noted in the journal of William Histed of the Cortes, 1847, may have been the source of the whalers' pronunciation (idle speculation).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM

Gibb, since Colcord had no tune for a full and coherent text, my guess is that the poem/song came from a written source - possibly a correspondent, a log book, or a fugitive broadside.

Here's some info on the "Guy C. Goss," launched in 1879:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzbound/goss.htm

And a nice photo:

http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/alaskawcanada&CISOPTR=584

If R. W. Nye was ever a whaler, it seems not to have been aboard the Goss.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:42 PM

GUEST was me, after many tries over two hours.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM

The lack of tune implies Colcord got it from a written source. Yet if so how would she know it was pronounced "Mohee"? Perhaps it was written as "Mohee" but she took the liberty to change it to "Maui." Then Harlow, who referenced Colcord, followed suit.

The bigger mystery still is why Hugill would have pronounced it "Maui" if he'd gotten it from an oral source. The explanation, "Just to be correct," does not convince me. I suggest he used Colcord's book as a guideline.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM

The song "The Lass of Mowee," Cortes 1847, does not have the spelling "Mohee" found in most versions and in the chantey. The song is printed in Huntington with a tune, which is not given a source. In the same book, "Rolling Down to Old Mohee," from theAtkins Adams 1858 (New Bedford), also has a tune; source not given.

Did Harlow comment on any source for music of "The Lass of Mowee"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 02:43 PM

One explanation is that she heard the name of the island pronounced that way by her father's crew in the 1890s.

Another is that when R. M. Davids gave her "The Lass of Mohee," he told her it meant Maui.

Or someone else told her the pronunciation had changed, and she added a footnote to indicate how it was pronounced in the old days.

William Nevens's "Forty Years at Sea" (1845) also spells it "Mohee."

Mohea, or Pulo Mohea, is a small island off the west coast of Thailand. (Conceivably it is the locale, chosen at random, of "The Lass of Mohea." That might explain why she's an "Indian" lass.)

If, as seems likely, Hugill colloquializied some of the words and even created the final stanza, why wouldn't he also have "corrected" the pronunciation to "Maui"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM

why wouldn't he also have "corrected" the pronunciation to "Maui"?

He may have, indeed. If he heard Paddy G sing "Mohee." I am suggesting that he didn't have to change it; it was already done by Colcord. Whether or not he heard Paddy G, Colcord's text may have been a bigger influence. I'm basis that mostly on text comparison.

I read Hugill's version as structured as follows:

1st verse based in Harlow. This verse appears as the last verse in documented versions, but Hugill moved it to the front due to it not making aesthetic sense after his "big fat aching head" last verse.

Subsequent verses based in Colcord. Except for the last verse, which Hugill probably wrote.

There is a general switch to a more hedonistic tone, playing up the image of wild rum-thirsty sailors who just don't give a damn damn DAMN, damnit!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM

Isn't it just as likely that if he'd used Colcord he'd have adopted her "old-time" pronunciation? And isn't it possible that PG pronounced it "Maui"?

I don't think any conclusion can be drawn about anything just from Hugill's pronunciation.

Also, my take on the credit to "Stan Hugill" in his final book is that it's most likely to assert some kind of presumption of copyright. After all, he *did* preserve a previously uncollected tune. The notice tells readers that he didn't get the song from someone else's book.

Again, I don't believe any conclusion can be drawn.

There's no reason to doubt that Hugill learned the words and melody from Paddy Griffiths, who seems to have learned the song before 1890. Whether PG's version was fragmentary and Hugill reconstructed it from Colcord, or whether he altered and elaborated on PG's song to suit his own taste w/o Colcord, I think is unknowable without a very close textual analysis of all versions. And I'm not certain that that would be conclusive either because the texts are fairly short and conventional.

It seems likely that Hugill created the final stanza, in the post-Kipling environment of the 1920s, but even that isn't certain. Maybe PG had sung part of it and Hugill simply filled in some blanks.

Of course, I haven't looked at the various versions closely in a number of years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:19 PM

To clarify, I am not asserting that anything positive can be concluded from Hugill's pronunciation. I am:

1) Remarking that it seems curious (i.e. a red flag is going up) that even though all other versions right it as "Mohee/Mohea" or note that it should be pronounced so, Hugill did not. This inconsistency doesn't by itself prove anything, but in my opinion it adds more suggestive evidence to the pile that says Hugill was greatly responsible for the form of the popular version. Or rather, it suggests, again in my opinion, that he may have had more hand in it, rather than less. That is, whatever Paddy Griffith story is attached to it, I believe we should remain cautious of letting that make the version appear too "authentic."

2) Suggesting that the pronunciation be taken in conjunction with other evidence to propose that Colcord's book, rather than PG's singing, may have been the heavier basis. It is like leaning to cards on one another to make them stand up. Take one away and it will surely fall down; I am propping up, for argument's sake, the pronunciation thing along with the text analysis.

Whether PG's version was fragmentary and Hugill reconstructed it from Colcord, or whether he altered and elaborated on PG's song to suit his own taste w/o Colcord, I think is unknowable without a very close textual analysis of all versions.

This is exactly what I've been talking about. My claim is that the other versions look to be transformations of a supposed original text that I would expect to occur in an unconscious oral process, but I think Hugill's looks like it launches of from Colcord. If it were a Paddy Griffith's form, I would expect the variations to be such that it was more unique overall. Paddy Griffiths' and Colcord's informant could not have made the same "random" variations to the text. And if you compare Colcord's line to Hugill's, in most cases it is easy to imagine where and why Hugill might have switched one word to another.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM

write it as...
learning two cards....

Sorry for numerous typos.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM

It's 104 degrees F where I am right now...has been in 100s all week, no let up. That's my excuse. Please forgive my scatterbrains and typos! Thanks :/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM

If the question is one of Hugill's influence on the revival, I have no doubt at all that his version is behind most revival performances.

The exceptions would be those that derive instead from Lloyd & co.'s singing - to a different tune - on the album "Leviathan!"

Has anybody recorded the "reconstructed" version I posted here in 2007? I bet not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM

The line that seems to be most often mangled deals with 'the horrid tiles of sea-cut ice' (this one makes sense to me) or'But the hoary heads of the sea-girt isles' (possible)or 'Ah the horrid ice of the Sekut Isles' (unlikely), or 'The horrid isles of ice cut tiles' (also unlikely) or 'The horrid isles of ice cut tiles'. To my, they all point to a single source (who may have mumbled a bit).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 09:23 PM

Lighter-- We're waiting for you to record it!

An explanation: I like to have some understanding --when I can-- about the songs I sing. That understanding is not limited to positive knowledge, the black and white. There are also shades of grey. Even with speculation, there are shades of more and less likely. I accept that we'll never know for sure--this is the historian's credo. But when one shifts to the act of performance, one must *commit*; one goes one way or another. There is no "vague" in performance, no way to indicate the presence of the unknown. I prefaced my new comments on this thread with the note that I am revisiting this song because I'd like to sing it--with an historically informed understanding, and yet that act of performance requires acting on guesses.

My current sense is that this song would not likely have been sung with the pronunciation "Maui," therefore I reject that aspect of Hugill's performance. And I think that Hugill almost "pulled a Bert Lloyd" with this song, which makes me want to get at the "heart" of the song (so far as possible) without the distraction of what Hugill may or may not have invented ca1970.

Yeah, a personal interest, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:24 AM

Yeah, but what if he invented it not ca1970 but ca1923, when he was a shantyman and a working sailor?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:51 PM

In the back of my mind, I wonder what the commonest pronunciation of Maui was back in the 1850s-1860s, and how the Arctic whalers who came to Lahaina would pronounce it. We all seem to accept "Mohee."

The "Lass" song, 1847 Cortes, has "Mowee"; Cook's late 18th C. map has "Mowee," and I have seen that spelling in material preserved in the archives in Honolulu. Native Hawaiians would say "Mo-wee."

Was that changed in sung versions to "Mohee" to give the word more emphasis?

Lahaina on Maui was not just a whaling destination. It was the capital of Hawai'i until the move to Honolulu in 1845, and was (and is) a center for the educational and publications efforts of the missions.

I think it more likely that the visiting whalers would hear and adopt "Mo-wee" rather than the "Mo-hee" of the old song sheets, but aboard ship chantey use in work might require more emphasis, hence "Mo-hee."

Dunno!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM

Q--
FWIW it's not been documented in use as a work song anywhere.
One of the American Canoe Association publications calls it a "shanty song," but I believe they were using that term generically to refer to "sailor song."

That, incidentally is interesting in itself -- that circa early 1890s someone was using "shanty" like that, even though prior publications had made a very clear distinction that shanties were work songs. A decade later, it would be less surprising.

Lighter--

If it's discovered that Hugill invented the song ca1923, I'll make an "I love Stan Hugill" t-shirt and wear it during my pilgrimage to Aberdovey, where I will get my head shaved and then circumambulate the Hugill home counterclockwise, repeating, "No sea songs but Stan's sea songs...."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM

No, it may never have been a work song- sloppy language on my part. But it would be nice to know just how the whalers would have pronounced Maui.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM

Assuming that all whalers pronounced it the same way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 01:09 PM

This entire thread deserves a serious review for anyone considering a new post. It really represents some of the best work here at Mudcat Central.

And, Lighter, you should record (and copyright) the early version that you channeled.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, searching for fresh-water whales off the sea-girt shoals off Port Chicago


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 03:31 PM

Thanks, Charlie.

WARNING: I NOW ASSERT COPYRIGHT TO THE RECONSTRUCTED VERSION I POSTED IN 2007! HANDS OFF!! IT'S ALL MINE!!! JUST THINKING THE WORDS COULD COST YOU!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM

Lighter-

What's your going rate for leading your version at the next annual meeting of The International Association of Cetaceans?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 12:54 PM

Well, I gave it a shot. I ain't vouching for anything!
Harlow's structure, Huntington's lyrics:

Rolling Down to Old Mohee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM

Gibb-

Not bad but might be even better if you had a couple of cups of grog.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM

Alas, Charley, I was at the CVS drug store the other day loading up my giant duffle bag full of essential items I needed for my abode (I hike and bus ride, you see), and I had a large bottle of the Sailor Jerry's in tow, but had to put it back when I reached the cash register-- over budget!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Mariner
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 04:16 PM

I always associated the line given here as "once more we sail with a northerly gale" as "Once more we sail with a gnarly gale".Gnarly is a word I've heard used by old sailors to describe a dirty, messy gale. ie' "It was a gnarly old sea ".On the album "Shanties and songs of the Sea" by Johnny Collins, Dave Webber and Pete Watkinson the word gnarly is used in their rendition of Maui. At least that what it sounds like to my ear.!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM

Just how "old" were those sailors?

"Gnarly" in that sense is very much a 20th century term. Even a surfer term.

(It originally meant rough with knots or gnarls, like a tree trunk.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: MARINER
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 05:50 PM

Lighter, these would have been early 20th century sailors. I would have known them as old men when I was a young boy over 50 years ago.I come from a community where most of the men went away to sea.Many of the terms they used ,such as "gnarly" would be in common use here until recent times.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for the reply, Mariner. Whatever others may have sung, the word in the earliest noted versions was definitely "northerly."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 01:19 PM

Harlow's source, Captain R. W. Nye, is mentioned in the San Diego Union (Dec. 12, 1901) as "a whaling captain well known on the [Pacific] coast." At the age of 80 in 1924, he set sail in a 40-foot schooner from San Francisco with his wife and one crewman bound for the Galapagos Is.: " 'We want plenty thrills,' he said" (Greensboro, NC, Record (March 9, 1924). I have found nothing else about him. If they didn't make the Galapagos, I'd assume it would have been newsworthy.

Of equal interest: the San Francisco Chronicle of Dec. 25, 1910, carried a feature written by Nye called "Cruising for the California Grey Whale," describing a whaling cruise by Nye as a seaman in the 1850s. It included the words of "The Arctic Whaler's Return," a song Nye says he "wrote as boy and [which] was formerly roared out by the jolly forecastlemen."

It lacks the familiar chorus and Nye offers no tune. Otherwise it's identical to the version in Harlow, except for a few words in stanza 3.

Nye, 1910, says they'll heave their lead

...where the old Diomeds
Loom to their waist in snow.

The Diomeds are in the Bering Strait (the maritime border between the US and Russia), so that makes a lot more sense than having a ship arrive encrusted with ice in the warm waters of Hawaii. The only other difference is that Harlow's "bristling wind" is a "wintry blast" in Nye's song.

Did Harlow learn the song from Nye's singing (or that of a middleman) long after its appearance in the Chronicle? If not, how explain the appearance of the (undistinguished) tune and the illogical variant words?

One more mystery.

But the young whaler R. W. Nye was the probable author of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 07:24 PM

I looked at the manuscript of Harlow's work, and some related papers, a couple months ago, in the GW Blunt White Library, Mystic. Sorry to say that nothing regarding Nye caught my attention. I wasn't looking for it though. I'm kicking myself now over a few things I wish I'd looked for.

For what very little it's worth, I can add that "Old Maui" was in a ca.1928 manuscript that later formed 1962's _Chanteying Aboard American Ships_. (Much other material in the 1962 work was not there in 1928.) At the time, Harlow was working on two books, including _The Making of a Sailor_ (1928), and his publisher gently advised him to save the chantey-focused work for a later time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 07:42 PM

A side note:

The manuscript texts in Frank's 2005 article (which I've not seen), posted above by Charlie in '07, do not exactly correspond to the transcriptions of the same sources in Frank's 2010 _Jolly Sailors_ (which I have seen).

I don't know what sort of footnotes may have appeared in the 2005 article. Just something to watch for, particularly regarding "Diamond Head."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM

Another trivial difference. Nye, 1910, has "hath blown" for "did blow."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 09:00 PM

Just to add (not much of a revelation?probably obvious) that Harlow collected newspaper scraps and corresponded with some people about songs. I know that is a bit vague - but it is to say that n the late 1920s when he had decided to write about this stuff, he was indeed seeking out sources, as opposed to relying entirely on his recollection of 1870s experiences.


Interestingly, before the publication of _The Making of a Sailor_, which contains some chanties, Harlow was consulted by the men's Glee Club director at Univ. of Washington to create a concert program featuring some chanties. (The director's own 4-part choir arrangement of one of the chanties appeared in an early manuscript of Harlow's.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM

> to create a concert program featuring some chanties

Most interesting. It might account for some of Harlow's seemingly literary verses: tryouts for something appropriate to a '20s choral performance.

"Chanteying" (which is obviously not in finished form) could have used a more critical editor.

(Your next project?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:00 AM

Sorry for being so clueless, but what "lead" are they going to heave? A piece of heavy metal used for bullets and read as if written "led" or something else read as if written "leed"?

(Granted, it should probably rhyme with the "Diamond Head", but since I've heard "Peterhead" sung as "Peterheed" in "The Bonny Ship the Diamond" this ain't helping much. Couldn't find this verse on YouTube, either. Help me, Mudcat, you're my only hope.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:15 AM

GUEST,ST

"Mark Twain" stuffs. It's a sounding lead for measuring how deep the water and in some cases the nature of the bottom (sand, mud, gravel &c.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:27 AM

"Lead" as in the metal - a weight on the end of a sounding line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 06:29 PM

Phil, Jack, thanks a lot!


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