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What is a Shanty

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Charley Noble 23 Nov 09 - 01:10 PM
Charley Noble 29 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM
Marc Bernier 29 Feb 08 - 01:09 PM
EBarnacle 28 Feb 08 - 06:01 PM
TRUBRIT 27 Feb 08 - 10:42 PM
Seamus Kennedy 27 Feb 08 - 10:17 PM
Greg B 27 Feb 08 - 08:32 PM
autolycus 27 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM
Azizi 27 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,EBarnacle nrg1952@aol.com 09 Apr 02 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,EBarnacle nrg1952@aol.com 09 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM
53 08 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM
toadfrog 07 Apr 02 - 07:55 PM
Ship'scat 06 Apr 02 - 07:53 AM
Manitas_at_home 06 Apr 02 - 01:44 AM
toadfrog 06 Apr 02 - 12:41 AM
Snuffy 02 Apr 02 - 07:41 AM
Chanteyranger 02 Apr 02 - 12:56 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM
Melani 01 Apr 02 - 10:14 PM
toadfrog 01 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM
Chanteyranger 01 Apr 02 - 08:47 PM
Shantymanuk 01 Apr 02 - 07:51 PM
Melani 01 Apr 02 - 06:46 PM
53 01 Apr 02 - 06:32 PM
Gareth 01 Apr 02 - 06:27 PM
Shantymanuk 01 Apr 02 - 03:52 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 10 Aug 01 - 11:25 AM
Naemanson 10 Aug 01 - 11:16 AM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 01 - 11:10 AM
Naemanson 10 Aug 01 - 06:11 AM
Mark Cohen 10 Aug 01 - 03:05 AM
Charley Noble 09 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM
radriano 09 Aug 01 - 07:53 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 01 - 06:41 PM
Margo 09 Aug 01 - 05:46 PM
Mark Cohen 09 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Nick 09 Aug 01 - 03:44 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 01 - 03:38 PM
Margo 09 Aug 01 - 03:32 PM
Devilmaster 09 Aug 01 - 03:27 PM
brid widder 09 Aug 01 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Nick 09 Aug 01 - 02:54 PM
Naemanson 09 Aug 01 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Nick 09 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Nick 09 Aug 01 - 01:21 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 10:48 AM
Charley Noble 09 Aug 01 - 10:40 AM
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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 01:10 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM

Those of us who attend the Mystic Sea Music Festival on a regular basis also got to hear rowing shanties led by the Barouallie Whalers, from the West Indies. Some of their songs were featured in DEEP THE WATER, SHALLOW THE SHORE by Roger Abrahams.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 01:09 PM

That's funny Greg.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Feb 08 - 06:01 PM

Pete Seeger learned "Bye, bye, my Roseanna" from them many years ago.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 10:42 PM

Seamus -- now that is witty....


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 10:17 PM

I once heard monks singing Gregorian Chanties...

Seamus


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Greg B
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 08:32 PM

It was my privilege to have shared a weekend with the Menhaden Chanteymen a decade or so ago.

Words still fail.

The best explanation I can give is their own account that, later
in their fishing careers, yachtsmen would come out to watch them
fish and hear them sing. And as they did, the yachtsmen would
toss cans and bottles of beer into their nets.

They are distinctive among work song singers in that the actual
WORK doesn't take place during actual singing--- they sing in
between the work, unlike deep-water sailors who work in the
choruses (on halyards) or throughout (on capstan or pumps).

Rather, they work IN BETWEEN the singing, but accompany the work
with "chatter."

So they'll sing:

Johnson Girls are mighty fine girls
WALK AROUND HONEY WALK AROUND... (during this time they are pausing)

(now work) ad lib. heave it up buddy, c'mon c'mon, git it up now

Johnson Girls are might find girls
WALK AROUND HONEY WALK AROUND...

ad. lib. come on git em in you got her now

Great big legs and itty bitty feet
WALK AROUND HONEY WALK AROUND...

ad. lib...

Oh--- they were just the finest old gentlemen. Of the unique sort
of Southern African-American survivors of Jim Crow and everything
else where you just want to sit and listen, listen, and listen.

For their part, I guess they were pretty astonished at these
white folk who, instead of calling them "boy" at their venerable
age, just wanted to hear what they had to say and to sing about
their lives and treated them like the national treasures that they
were.

The honors came late, but they came in time.

I don't imagine too many of them are left, much less left singing.

Pfizer has always contributed (thanks Doug) to the Mystic Festival.

Unfortunately, they hadn't invented Viagra yet when the Menhaden
gents were with us.

Imagine it:

"Won't you help me to raise 'em boys...oh honey" right under the
Pfizer "blue pill" logo!

Now THAT would have taken sea music to a new level of commercial
value!


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: autolycus
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 04:58 PM

What is a Shanty? Mixture of beer and lemonade?

Ivor


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 08 - 01:50 PM

Here's a hyperlink to the URL about a group of Black Chantey Singers that Sinsull posted on a thread that I started*:

http://www.coresound.com/fa-menhaden.htm

-snip-

In the interest of helping to make sure that the summary statement found on that website is preserved, I'm going to post it here and on the archived Mudcat thread about shanties whose link I just posted.

Menhaden Chanteymen Worksong Singers Beaufort [North Carolina]
updated Jan. 9, 2006

"For more than a century, folklorists and ballad hunters have mined the North Carolina mountains for folksongs and traditional crafts, virtually unaware that such treasures could be found in abundance along the watery byways of the coast. Many of the richest folk traditions in the state are associated with maritime occupations, or "working the water," as people say.

In the town of Beaufort, in Carteret County, commercial fishing enterprises have long operated fleets to net huge catches of menhaden, or shad fish, as they're more commonly called by the local fishermen. In processing facilities along the water, the fish are converted to a remarkable variety of uses, from feeds and fertilizers to paints and perfumes.

The ship-board crews employed by the fisheries have been predominantly black over the years, and the work assigned to them has been physically demanding. Menhaden are caught by quickly encircling large schools of fish in two small "purse" boats, which surround the fish with their nets. This purse seine must be pulled tight or "hardened," drawing it in from the bottom in order to capture the fish and lift them to the surface of the water. A special "scoop" net then brings the catch to the hold of the main fishing vessel. Since the mid-1950s, this work has been performed with the aid of hydraulic winches and lifters; prior to this time it was done by hand. As it was not uncommon for a catch to exceed 100,000 fish, hardening the net required great strength and coordination on the part of the crew.

To help ease and pace this extraordinary labor, the men sang "chanteys" or worksongs. Generally a leader would sing out the first line of the song by himself, to be answered with another line sung in harmony by the rest of the crew. The songs or lines were drawn from many sources, including hymns and gospel songs, blues, and barbershop quartet songs, and were often improvised.

Folklorists Michael and Debbie Luster, hired by the North Carolina Arts Council in 1988 to survey the folk culture of Carteret County, were fascinated by what they'd heard of the chantey-singing tradition. They arranged a gathering of about a dozen retired fishermen, hoping that a few might be able to recall verses or even perform some of the old songs. Though they had not sung together in more than thirty years, the singers found their parts with ease. The lines were recollected almost effortlessly when they began to pantomime the action of working the net.

The great success of the venture persuaded the men to accept an invitation to perform in public at an event sponsored by the North Carolina Maritime Museum, in Beaufort. This reunion concert brought misty eyes to the audience and singers alike, and renewed the pride of the community in these beautiful sounds that once rolled across the water.

Since that memorable occasion, the Menhaden Chanteymen, as they like to be called now, have been constantly in the public eye. They have performed for the North Carolina General Assembly and the National Council on the Arts, appeared at Carnegie Hall, and have been featured on national television and radio. And every Friday night they gather at the parish house of St. Stephen's Congregational Church in Beaufort to sing for themselves and to share the fellowship wrought by decades of rugged camaraderie at sea."
-snip-
updated Jan. 9, 2006

{visit that website for additional pages and a photo]

-snip-

*That thread is only tangentially about chanteys, but readers may be interested in since it does contain some comments about chanteys and forebitters, I'll include the links to comments on that thread {beside's SInsull's post} which as of this time refer to those types of songs:

thread.cfm?threadid=108931&messages=154#2272605

and

thread.cfm?threadid=108931&messages=154#2273417


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,EBarnacle nrg1952@aol.com
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:22 PM

As has been demonstrated many times and in many places, if a song can be used to provide a working rhythm aboard a vessel (including rowing) it is a chantey. I recently met a retired man who used to live on Bequia (sp?) who used a variant on "Blow the Man Down" for launching whaling boats into the surf. The chorus he gave me was: "Way, hay, gve us some rum" wih the second chorus line "Give us some rum, we'll haul the boat down." This was not aboard ship but it certainly met the requirement of a chantey.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,EBarnacle nrg1952@aol.com
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM

As has been demonstrated many times and in many places, if a song can be used to provide a working rhythm aboard a vessel (including rowing) it is a chantey. I recently met a retired man who used to live on Bequia (sp?) who used a variant on "Blow the Man Down" for launching whaling boats into the surf. The chorus he gave me was: "Way, hay, gve us some rum" wih the second chorus line "Give us some rum, we'll haul the boat down." This was not aboard ship but it certainly met the requirement of a chantey.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: 53
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 05:55 PM

Alan, you figure it out.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: toadfrog
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 07:55 PM

What I like about chanteys as a form of folk music is that trying to sing them right imposes a form of discipline. They should be sung in such a way that the rythm could be used in work, with a regular beat for hauling. With a little imagination on the part of the "chanteyman," they can sound genuine, like something real people used as a work-song.

So what I don't understand is why they are so rarely sung that way. Go to a chantey-sing, and what you mostly hear is chanties sung as if they were camp-songs, or occasionally as if they were ballads.
And 60% of what you will hear is not chanties at all, but singer-songwriter stuff about sailors, often unbearably sentimentalized. E.g. "Mary Ellen Carter" and "Rolling Down to Old Maui," which are enormously popular, but which I refuse to believe actual sailors created, or sang, or ever would have sung. Try to picture a grizzled old hand from off a whaler singing,

"It's a rough, tough life of toil and strife,
We whalemen undergo."

Imagine any ordinary practical person from a working class background, in a song intended for his/her own use and not to impress literary folks, using expressions like "rough, tough," "toil and strife," or "undergo." The song then goes on to put on "authenticity" by adding 20th expressions like "give a damn." I further refuse to believe that before 1900, in any case, people used "give a damn" in the casual way it is thrown into that song.

And yes, I know Stan Hugil liked the song. I also think Hugil was not above pulling a fast one on credulous city audiences.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Ship'scat
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 07:53 AM

Following chanteyranger's focus on use, I'm surprised I haven't heard the one word that sums it all up - TOOL.

Shanties were tools used by seaman. Different tools USED for different jobs. Not all jobs needed these kinds of tools. Technology eliminates the job and the tool falls out of use. Good tools make work easier.

People, including seaman, didn't tend to bring their tools with them when they're out on the town. Songs and and singing were for church and music halls and family parlors - places where tools weren't generally carried. When you think of it as a tool you can understand why an old salt, knew hundreds of shanties might say he didn't know any songs.

You might also frame lyrics and any musicallity as just decorating the tool box - sort or auditory marlin spikesmanship.

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 01:44 AM

I have seen it suggested that shanties got their name from house-moving songs in the West Indies as mentioned above. A shanty is still a common name for a hut, not just in the WI. The orgin of the word is possibly Irish, sean ti or old cottage.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: toadfrog
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 12:41 AM

Chanteyranger: Some of the chanteys also found their way into bluegrass or old-time music. The NLCR did one called "Old Johnny Booker," of which another version can be found on Forum. It seems to combine two chanteys, one of them being Johnny Boker and the other being Dead Horse. The Ramblers' version starts out:

There was an young man and he went to school
And he made his living by drivin' a mule,

And a what, Johnny Booker, won't you do, do, do,
And a what, Johnny Booker won't you do?


A poor old man come ridin' by,
And he says, "Young man, your mule's a gonna die,

And a what, Johnny Booker, won't you do, do, do,
And a what, Johnny Booker won't you do?


Etc. The other one I had noticed is "Hold the Woodpile Down." That one has already got a thread of its very own, so I'll say no more.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 07:41 AM

Ashanti?


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 12:56 AM

Shantymanuk, I know Melani well. She indeed means no harm. Chalk it up to one of those internet miscommunications, I say.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 11:49 PM

How about the song whose lyrics begin with; Its only a Shanty in old shanty town ,where the roof is so slanting that it touches the ground .There s a queen waiting there in a silvery gown ,in a shanty in old Shanty town. Shanty : A decrepit, run down building. Hooverville was made up of shantys, The General burned them down. Jets


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Melani
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 10:14 PM

Shantymanuk, I was trying to be funny, not offensive. Sorry if you don't think so. If it was posted twice, it was a computer glitch. I suspect that Gareth also had humor in mind; Stan Rogers used to do what I thought was a funny parody of a chaingang song about "Rollin' out the data on the Xerox Line." You obviously did not receive the posts in the spirit with which they were sent.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 09:14 PM

Hi, Shantymanuk, welcome aboard. It has also been my experience that not all of my contributions here have been greeted with all the solemnity I might have wished for. In fact, a lot of them just get ignored. One has to maintain a certain sense of humor about that. And yet, Mudcat can be rewarding.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 08:47 PM

There was a lot of borrowing and changing of shore songs to adapt to shipboard work. Railroading songs, church songs, what have you - have been changed through the folk process into chanteys once brought aboard ship. Whites and blacks borrowed and adapted songs from each other, and railroad workers who became sailors might have brought shipboard songs of railroading origin back to the railroads, but as Charley Noble, Barry, and others have stated, it is the song's shipboard work use and how the song is adapted for that use which makes it a chantey. If a song's main claim to fame came about through its adaptation to shipboard work, it is a chantey, but if a call and response work song originated on shore for shore work, and was never found on ships, it wouldn't historically be a chantey, as I understand it.

chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Shantymanuk
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 07:51 PM

Thanks so much for the input.

I found it so stimulating that I spent many hours fo introspection looking to see if I could explain to myself the hidden depths of your real meanings.(NOT!) "Ditch these losers" is my personal interpretation. However, I find that when people react in a negative way, there is usually a reason.

Why be offensive, when you could be constructive.

GARETH, I suspect that you send that angry response in the same verse to all sorts of people. It is hardly original. It doesn't even relate to what I said in my post, as far as I can see, but if I'm wrong please post or even PM me. Just remember Swansea's part in wrecking ships, and in the slave trade that was bound for Bristol.

MELANI, yes, I have my own dictionary. Quite why you would need to send me (twice), a definition of which I am already aware escapes me. If you can piece together a post that is constructive, I would be very happy to read it.

As for "53", what sort of name is that? I am sure that you prostitute your literacy by your reply. Do you mean a "piece of shit" house or a piece of "shit house"? I would be grateful if you could post a cogent reply.

Your posts are received, I am sure in the spirit in which you sent them.

Regards,

Alan.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Melani
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 06:46 PM

A small wooden house on a boat.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: 53
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 06:32 PM

A piece of shit house.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Gareth
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 06:27 PM

That old man computer, he keeps on rolling
He don't say nothing, he needs an input,
It's Gargage input, it's Garbage output
To keep him rolling along !

It's hammer that key board,
It's feed that printer,
It's check that data. It's check that error,
But ole man computer he keeps on rolling along.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Shantymanuk
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 03:52 PM

The French colonised the west coast of Africa, along with the empires of Spain and Portugal. England also had its part to play. All four languages have their roots principally in Latin.

To chant is to sing.

Galleys were "stroked" in pre-christian times to the beat of a "drum".

The way to achieve physical effectiveness is to co-ordinate effort. If you "pull together", you survive longer, that is, you get to live a bit longer, thanks to a common purpose, however transitory. If you want to do things, do them together. Not only is it easier physically, it bonds humanity.

It is not really that hard to see where common chants come from. The constant inventiveness of man fighting hard just to survive, to do a necessary job, or to raise his spirits by companionship should not really be a mystery to any of us, if we choose to think about it. The "Nobility of Labour" of the jolly jack tar has no more of the ring of truth about it than that of the eight year old boy sent to clean chimneys, or to wriggle beneath the cotton looms to clear jams while the machines were still running.

We may wonder about what the purpose was of particular shanties, in terms of the task to be performed, but I feel that I will always have respect for the men who performed those tasks, many of them against their will, just for the money for their families to survive.

Regards,

Alan.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM

Forebit is a seamans term for posts on the foredeck of a ship where seamen could gather and sing or BS. Some people call forebits bollards, but bollard applies to the posts on quays as well. WHEN was the term forebitter introduced? I believe it is a modern term introduced by singers of sea songs and is not "historical."


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 11:25 AM

...and of course, in North Wales and the North of Scotland it is a beer and lemonade!*BG*
RtS (diving overboard before being keel-hauled!)


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 11:16 AM

"...I steal from everyone..." - W. Guthrie


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 11:10 AM

Thanks, Brett, for the compliment...I think...


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 06:11 AM

Actually, Mark, after Charley got done with it "Parking Lot Pirates" is correct. Charley rewrote the locations in the song to fit it into Portland, Maine. Charley is the ultimate folk singer. He is quite a songwriter and tinkerer. He can't leave any song alone.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 03:05 AM

Uh, Charley, as long as we're all quibbling here....it's "Lincoln Park Pirates"! And thanks for the compliment.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM

Not to worry. I don't think any of us are going to blow anyone away about singing traditional shanties ashore in all sorts of bizare situations, and singing Mark's splendid Bowling Shanty (see DT) and several other outrageous parodies. BUT we should know what we're doing historically, and functionally (if there is such a word). I always enjoy singing Steve Goodman's "Parking Lot Pirates" as the ultimate urban haul-a-way song. And I'm sure Stan is still singing something outrageous somewhere.

Try not to call other nautical songs shanties or chanteys if they were not historically (could be yesterday) used for helping pace the work aboard ship, even if that ship is located in a pond in Disneyworld.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: radriano
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:53 PM

I prefer using the word shanty myself. I took a choral class once at a City College and the teacher refered to shanties at one point and pronounced it "chanteeze" which I found sounded silly to my ear. I had always thought that shanty and chantey were pronounced the same.

I define shanty as a nautical work song. Forebitters or focsle (sp?) songs were sung for entertainment when off duty. Forebitters were just about any song. Some were sea related or just commonly sung ballads of the time while some were shore songs brought to sea. Shanties themselves were only sung aboard ships because it was considered bad luck to sing them ashore.

It is true that, to many people, the word shanty means any sea song.

Richard


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 06:41 PM

Don't know what the argument is about the derivation of the word shanty (preferred in OED; chantey or chanty in the American Merriam Webster dictionary). In the OED it is "said" to come from Fr. chantez but that is an opinion. Our word chant came from Middle English chaunten which came from Middle French chanter which came from Latin cantare. Shanty-chantey obviously fits somewhere in here. The first printed use of chantey-shanty is mid-19th Century but the word could be much older; chant goes back to the 1300's or so. What is the point here? A shanty-chantey is defined as a "sailors song, esp.one sung during heavy work." Word definitions are shifting all the time; you may try to fix them in stone but sooner or later the stone will erode. Obviously some of us would extend the meaning, and in time could become the majority. In an earlier thread someone made the point that work songs of this type were older than the stated first use of the word, regardless of what they were called.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Margo
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:46 PM

But MMario, I understand about the word chantez sounding like the word shantey, but I just don't see why a French word would have gained predominance.... I mean it's not like the French were a dominating naval presence...that's all. I found the other thread here so you all can see what else was said about the subject. Margo


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

The world is divided into two groups of people: those who divide the world into two groups of people and those who don't. As far as I'm concerned, I don't need someone to give me permission to sing a song in a certain place at a certain time, or to tell me what I can call it when I do. Though I know such distinctions are important for some people. But what do I know? After all, I wrote a bowling shanty!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:56 PM

Why would a french word be the origin? (some time check out the sheer number of english words with french derivations)

The english word CHANT is derived from the french - it has been used in th past to refer to sailor songs - one definition is : To sing or recite after the manner of a chant, or to a tune called a chant.

another definition of chant is: a repetitive song in which as many syllables as necessary are assigned to a single tone --- something I have seen happen in a lot of chanteys!


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:44 PM

I agree that a ship board work song is the best general definiton, and the vast majority of this kind of singing is associated with maritime pursuits but the fact remains that shanties were and still are sung in places other than a ship and are still Shanties. Once again I will point out this is something confirmed by Stan Hugill, a more athoritative source can not be found on the subject.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:38 PM

Go back to the old thread "Sea shanties." Many good comments, including those by Barry Finn on the contribution from African work songs and shanties, etc. The African contribution has long been recognized by students of the subject; black sailors were frequently employed on the ships in the early days. Anyone have any Lascar shanties? Shanty is defined as applying to sea work songs, but the songs were also used on the Great Lakes boats.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Margo
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:32 PM

Actually the origin of the word shantey is not really know. It is not necessarily from the french Chantez. It is also thought that the word may have come from the fact that the shanteyman was often a black man who lived in a shantey ashore, hence the shantey man term. I'd be more inclined to go with the latter explanation. Why would a french word coin the term? Also in another thread (sorry I have no link) it was mentioned that the call and response type song started in Africa.... Margo


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Devilmaster
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:27 PM

Nick, As I'm sure you well know, Tom Lewis, former RN submariner, wrote the last shanty. I would consider it a shanty.

But what the point everyone is trying to make is that the traditional meaning for a shanty is a work song used to keep the pace of a job on ship.

But as times change, so do definitons. Nowadays, I believe for the average person, shantys basically are any song in a folk style dealing with the sea.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: brid widder
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 03:10 PM

have you heard Sid Kipper's 'corset lacing shanty...'cross the wide Miss Audrey'


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:54 PM

I was just thinking... In Stan Hugil's book he talks about quarry men who sing shanties to this day. If Stan says says you can sing a shanty on dry land it is good enough for me.

A side note: I just got a copy of Stan Hugill live at the Mystic Seaport. Not for the faint of heart, one of the least musical CD I have ever heard! Interesting yes, musical ? just barely!


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:47 PM

The last shanty is not a shanty because its rhythm structure would make it very hard to sing slowly enough to work to it, or vice versa, it would be very difficult to work with it guiding the the movements of the crew.

I don't strictly hold to location on the singing of shanties. After all a song doesn't change with location. Perhaps a better definition would be that the song CAN be used for working at sea.


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM

Warning This is not a shanty....

I'm working now at Mickey D's Oh yes Oh.... Slapping on a piece of cheese Oh yes Oh.... I get to wear a real neat hat Oh yes Oh.... Would You like some fries with that? Oh yes Oh.... I slather on the special sauce Oh yes Oh.... I speak in spanish just like me boss Oh yes Oh.... And when you order from me your fries Oh yes Oh.... I ask would you like em super sized? Oh yes Oh.... Two all beef patties and a sesame bun Oh yes Oh.... Life at McDonald's is so much fun Oh yes Oh.... if from my job the boss me does spring Oh yes Oh.... I can go to work at Burger King

Remember this is not a shanty Unless sung at one of the seagoing fast food outlets. Nick


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:21 PM

If I sing The Plains of Mexico and I am not on a boat, and not working then by definition it is not a shanty!?

Folk music is not something you can just put in a nice little box. Well I guess you can but that really sucks the fun right out of it.

So The Last Shanty is not one because by the time it was written nobody on a ship sang as they worked?

Hand me another box please!


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 10:48 AM

whoops! sorry - I wasn't clear above - I meant that Roustabout songs were a class of work song - not a sub-class of shanties!


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Subject: RE: What is a Shanty
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 10:40 AM

You can lead a duck to water but you can't grow moss on its back?;-)


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