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'Scrimshaw' mentioned in songs

2 in harmony 22 Aug 01 - 07:08 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Aug 01 - 10:59 AM
Liz the Squeak 22 Aug 01 - 11:09 AM
2 in harmony 22 Aug 01 - 03:19 PM
Liz the Squeak 22 Aug 01 - 05:55 PM
wysiwyg 22 Aug 01 - 06:27 PM
Naemanson 22 Aug 01 - 08:47 PM
2 in harmony 22 Aug 01 - 10:58 PM
Nancy King 23 Aug 01 - 12:23 AM
Chanteyranger 23 Aug 01 - 01:08 AM
Charley Noble 23 Aug 01 - 10:37 AM
2 in harmony 24 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Jun 18 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Jun 18 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Gerry 17 Jun 18 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 18 Jun 18 - 04:44 AM
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Subject: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: 2 in harmony
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 07:08 AM

Looking for lyrics of songs including references to "scrimshaw" Have only located "The Captain's Shanty" (Susan Dean and Sarah Newcomb) Any assistance with both songs or history appreciated. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 10:59 AM

Do you mean a history on Scrimshaw?

I've looked a bit, but only that one song shows up mentioning scrimshaw.

Were you looking to sing about scrimshaw?


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 11:09 AM

Scrimshaw is the art of carving/engraving pictures onto whale or walrus ivory and rubbing it with black ink to bring the picture out. Is that what you mean?

LTS


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: 2 in harmony
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:19 PM

Thanks Liz. Your definition of "Scrimshaw" is exactly what I'm talking about. And thanks George. I'm interested in adding references in music to other information. Not sure I will sing the songs - depends on the songs. (Historical references in terms of music, not extensive overview.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:55 PM

I once heard a story song about a particular piece of scrimshaw, which the singer carried with him, but I'm blowed if I can remember either the song, the singer or the story. The scrimshaw was of a whaling ship though, and it was ghostly - I think the scrimshaw carver was supposed to have died on the ship, before finishing the work, but it was all complete before the ship docked again.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 06:27 PM

I am still learning the finer points of Google searching, but I found the following with the search term SCRIMSHAW LYRICS:

The Kendall Whaling Museum Monograph Series 2000
... Massachusetts, was a fiddle-player, scrimshaw artist, harpooneer, and whaling captain ... old chestnuts, others are quite obscure; lyrics are supplied from fellow ...
www.kwm.org/museumshop/monograph/monograph.htm

Waiting For You Lyrics
... best. Do you get that restless yearning when you think about your dad and the scrimshaw that he had of an old schooner roving neath a sky that's ironclad ...
www.geocities.com/WileyMike/4Waiting.html

Music, art & images
... moment, but when it's active again it'll provide lyrics for 114,500 songs. ... Peabody Essex Museum. Another page has examples of Scrimshaw and Maritime Folk Art. ...
www.ils.unc.edu/maritime/music.html

Untitled
... best Do ya get that restless yearning when you think about yer dad And the scrimshaw that he had Of an old schooner rovin' 'neath a sky that's ironclad There's ...
www.mageenet.net/Lyrics/Restless.txt

Please be sure to bring back any info you find, to share here!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:47 PM

My Dad is a scrimshander from way back, except he works in standard bone instead of rare bone. My belt buckle is a picture of the USS Constitution under full sail. I have a few other pieces he did. My sister made fancy macrame necklaces from his work and sold them in Portland, Maine, for pocket money while in college.

He would love to hear of songs about his hobby.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: 2 in harmony
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 10:58 PM

Hi Naemanson, Hope the expert Mudcatters continue to search. I'm new to computers altogether & happy to have found Mudcat so soon.

This is a tentative guess, but there might be songs of whalers with references to acquiring whale teeth or references to carving even if the word 'scrimshaw' is not in the song.

As I learn more about this, will be sure to report back to all.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STARBUCK'S COMPLAINT
From: Nancy King
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 12:23 AM

I don't know any songs that mention scrimshaw, but I know one that was written in scrimshaw. The Boarding Party, on their 2nd Folk-Legacy album, "Fair Winds and a Following Sea," include a song they call "Starbuck's Complaint." They found the words engraved in scrimshaw on a whale's tooth (probably dating from the mid-19th-century) in the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. No pictures or other decoration, just the two stanzas of poetry plus one shorter verse, and an inscription reading "To Captain E. Smith from his affectionate nephew E. C. Starbuck." The words raise a lot of questions about the circumstances and what was going on with nephew Starbuck -- no way to know, of course. The Boarding Party set the verses to a couple of traditional tunes. There's a lot more detail about the song in the album notes (casette and notes available from Folk-Legacy).


STARBUCK'S COMPLAINT

While on the sea, my days are spent
In anxious care, oft discontent.
No social circles here are found;
Few friends to virtue here abound.
I think of home, sweet home, denied,
With her I love near by my side.

See hoisted high the flag of love,
By heavenly breezes waved.
Here, sailors, stop, and orders hear.
Obey and you'll be saved.

When will kind fortune set me free,
That I can quit the boistrous sea?
I love my friends, I love the shore,
I long to leave the ocean's roar.
Then home, sweet home, shall by my pride,
With her I love near by my side.

(Chorus)

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:08 AM

Anything mentioning Scrimshaw in "Songs The Whalemen Sang" collected by Gale Huntington? That book is out of print, but try libraries. Don't have that one myself. Maybe other 'Catters do.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 10:37 AM

Not a very productive search. There are lots of verses and couplets, and only a couple of verses that refer to the process itself, in the context of impressing someone's sweatheart:

Poem from a busk in the collection of W.W. Bennett Cited in The Yankee Whaler by Clifford W. Ashley

"Scrimshaw"

Accept, dear Girl this busk from me;
Carved by my humble hand.
I took it from a Sparm (sic) Whale's Jaw,
One thousand miles from land!

In many a gale,
Has been the Whale,
In which this bone did rest,
His time is past,
His bone at last
Must now support thy brest (sic).



Couplet from a tooth decorated off the coast of Japan on the first voyage of the whaler Susan in 1829 Cited in The Yankee Whaler by Cliford W. Ashley

Death to the Living,
Long live the Killers,
Success to Sailors' wives, and Greasy Luck to Whalers.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: 2 in harmony
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM

Thanks to all you expert Mudcat searchers. Naemanson, you might share what has been found on the thread with your Dad re: his hobby. Charles, the song you found was very much to the point & added the love connection of the time period. Thank you. And Nancy I appreciate both the resources & the words found on a whale's tooth. Someone asked if I would be singing songs. So far, the only song I know related to whales is a very moving one against the hunting of whales. Appreciation to all even if I forgot to include your name.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Jun 18 - 06:59 PM

A bit of trivia from the 'camboose' files:


Scrimshaw wiki - “The word first appeared in print in the early 19th century, but the etymology is uncertain.”


“The origin of “scrimshaw” is, as you discovered, a mystery. It first appeared in print (as far as we know at this point) in 1825, in the variant spelling “scrimshonting.” Other forms include “scrimshander” and “scrimshandy,” and a maker of scrimshaw is called a “scrimshoner.”

There are, of course, theories as to the origin of “scrimshaw.” One suggestion ties “scrimshaw” to a military term of the same era, “to scrimshank,” meaning “to shirk duty.” That seems plausible, but it doesn’t get us very far because “scrimshank” appeared after “scrimshaw” was already in use, and no one has the faintest idea of where “scrimshank” came from either.

One of the more intriguing facts bedeviling etymologists for years is that “Scrimshaw” is also a surname in England. No connection between the proper name and the ornate carvings has ever been established, although the existence of an especially artistic seaman named Scrimshaw is clearly a possibility.

Serendipitously, however, earlier this month Stephen Goranson, a poster to the American Dialect Society mailing list, suggested a truly plausible connection between the name and the carvings. It seems that there was, in the 19th century, a woman in London named Jane Scrimshaw who was famously reputed to have lived to the age of 127 years. The tale itself is obviously unlikely. But Jane Scrimshaw’s name became synonymous with “a long time,” especially a long time served in an occupation or endeavor. And in light of the fact that some early mentions of scrimshaw are actually phrased as “scrimshaw-work” (“… anything made by sailors for themselves in their leisure hours at sea is called Scrimshaw-work,” 1864), it seems likely that Jane Scrimshaw’s name and legendary lifespan gave us a word meaning “crafts done to pass the time while at sea for a really, really long time.”
[http://www.word-detective.com/2010/04/scrimshaw/]


fwiw: There are two ways to get a tattoo, drunk and sober. No seriously, it's “freehand” original art or “traced” from a book of standard patterns.

“Scrim” was fractional ounce sail cloth, ie: spinnaker, parachute weight. The word still hangs on today in engineered composites. White linen scrim made for first class tracing paper & patterns btw.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Jun 18 - 08:13 PM

PS: Scrim is also the best stuff to remove the excess lamp black or whatevs with during polishing. As above, the word and technique still hang on in metal work and etching.


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Subject: RE: 'SCRIMSHAW' MENTIONED IN SONGS
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 Jun 18 - 09:55 PM

Enda Kenny, Australian singer-songwriter of Irish origin, wrote a song with a mention of scrimshaw. This was early in his career. I'm not sure whether the song made it onto any of his albums. He has a website, http://www.endakenny.com.au


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Subject: RE: 'Scrimshaw' mentioned in songs
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 18 Jun 18 - 04:44 AM

pps: "shond" is old timey for "show." The transfer/etching doesn't really show up or reveal until you rub off all the excess black with the scrim cloth.

Grandpa, Dad & uncles were all carvers. Happy Fathers Day (RIP)


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