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Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA

alison 17 Jan 02 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 17 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM
alison 17 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM
katlaughing 17 Jan 02 - 09:32 PM
Naemanson 17 Jan 02 - 10:51 PM
Shantymanuk 19 Jan 02 - 09:01 AM
Amos 19 Jan 02 - 12:33 PM
Wotcha 20 Jan 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 20 Jan 02 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 20 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM
Barry Finn 20 Jan 02 - 01:52 PM
WyoWoman 20 Jan 02 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: alison
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 02:49 AM

copied from the "help" forum

Subject: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA From: alangiles@btopenworld.com Date: 16-Jan-02 - 11:48 PM

There are lots of work songs from the USA which relate to sea, river and shore, many of which I already know, but they are mainly from modern songsmiths; these songs are great; but my major interest now is in northern Atlantic USA songs and their own stories about work, fishing, trade, and also for the the part that they played in the northern end of the "underground railroad". I believe that many escaping slaves actually left the USA via the north-west seaboard of the USA or headed north for Canada. Anything relating to Novia Scotia and the South Coast of England would be particularly welcome as I understand that there is a thousand year-old connection between my native port of Poole in Dorset, England and Nova Scotia. I cannot see why such an association should have formed, but historians on both sides of the pond say it is so. It is possible that the slave trade through Bristol, England, may have been a part of this.

All replies are welcomed, and I will reply personally.

Regards,

Alan.


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM

can't help you but I just read a novel, so I don't know if it is true or not but it said they used to hang quilts on lines as a signal that it was a safe house..they had a black center. mg


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: alison
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 09:04 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 09:32 PM

Wow, thanks, Alison, for bringing this into the forum. It should get interesting!


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 10:51 PM

Alan, you need to check out the work of Sandy Ives. He is a folklorist who has put in some serious time in the Atlantic Maritimes and New England. His latest book is "Drive Dull Care Away" which is a history of his collecting trips to Prince Edward Island. He has written about Larry Gorman and andother old time song maker and logger. Sandy is still around and you may be able to contact him with questions.

You will also want to check into the collecting of Gale Huntington who worked in the Long Island Sound area as well as the coast of New England. Gale is gone but his work lingers on. I have on small volume of his songs but I know there is more out there.

Others who have worked in this area include Joanna Colcord and Helen Creighton. Both have published extensive works.

Another work with information for you is "Minstrelsy Of Maine" which is a collection published back in the 40's, I think.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: Shantymanuk
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 09:01 AM

Alison, thanks for moving this thread to where it can be seen, and for helping out a newcomer.

mgarvey, thanks for your interesting bit about quilts. I hadn't heard this one, but black buckets on fence posts have been suggested.

Katlaughing, thanks for your interest.

Naemanson, you have given me enough research material for about six months, I think! All interesting stuff. Thanks for your help.

Alan.


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: Amos
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 12:33 PM

And, Alan, welcome to the Cat -- a good Shantyman is always welcome!!

A


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: Wotcha
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:06 AM

Alan,
Welcome! I'll be in the Blandford area in July ... any good shanty sings in the vicinity?
Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 12:37 PM

There is a large African-Canadian (perhaps not African but Carribean) community in Halifax that has been there for a while. I am not sure of their origins, whether they were originally African or from the Islands. But it would perhaps be a good place to focus your research. Also, didn't they cross the Great Lakes as one of the last steps? mg


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 12:45 PM

I did a google search under black history Halifax and found lots of interesting prospects. Here is a good site to start:

http://www.intersectionmag.com/february/canada.htm


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 01:52 PM

A long reply (sorry) that might cover some of the post. England outlawed slavery before they did here in the US. Up till the Civil War in some major Northern ports the census of sailors boarding houses reported as much as (Providence, Rhode Island in perticular) 30% or more of the cities sailors were of color. From the pre Revolution to the Civil War days the eastern seaboard's inshore trades were pretty much manned by Afro Crib/American sailors. The water offered the only trades where there was freedom of movement for freemen as well as slaves & a chance for equality & wage. Many of their communities survived & subsisted upon mostly the earnings of it's waterman. The offshore trades were manned more by black deep water sailors than history would have one to believe. The network for these sailors/watermen was the North Alantic rim and many found England as well as Haiti to be far more excepting of them & so made some of these places their homes, slaves more than freeman. All this died for the sailors of color by the time the Civil War came about & so along with their trade went their international source of information (word & news of love ones as well as news about other places the grass may be a bit greener), the freedom & equality that a sailor was allowed, chances of good wages, the education & storytelling begot from their world wide of sailoring. The only area where they stayed at sea longer was as stewards & cooks (to which many belonged to the Steward & Cooks Marine Society's, also for sailors but no officers) & onshore for awhile as stevedores. Their sea culture also died with their trade as well as their influence on the art of the sailoring. Towards the end of these days they were the old salts, white sailors found better paying & less dangerous work & the average age of the white sailor (around these times) grew younger & younger & they endoured less & less voyages, their knowledge of seamanship became less & less till the old men of color were left to teach the young whipersnapper white greenhands the little of the trade that their short time allowed. One of the few areas were they left their mark was their music & their influence on the sea music as a whole. These times I believed caused more & more blacks to find lands that offered better homes.
See 'Black Jacks' by Jeffery Bolster, these autobiographies of Fredick Douglass & his many other writtings, the "Life of Olaudah Equiano", "The Negro in the Navy & Merchant Service, 1798-1860 by Harold Langley, of the Nantucket American-Afro/Indian sea Captain "Narrrative of the Life & Adventures of Paul Cuffe, a Pequot Indian", "the Big Sea by Langston Hughes. Also the log of the Schooner Industry - Nantucket Maritime Museum & "Absalom F Boston" by Cary & Cary, Remarks of the Schooner Industry & the Brig Traveler from the Report of the Commissioner of Fish & Fisheries.
What was the guestion again?
Best in my opinion for music is anything recorded by & from the Georgia Sea Island Singers, any thing recorded & collected by Roger Abrahams (also see his Book "Deep the Water Shallow the Shore, on Rounder "Deep River of Song-Bahamas 1935" from Lomax's collection, CD on Global Village "Virginia Traditions- Viginia Work Songs", on Rounder "Peter Was a Fisherman" field recordings from Trinidad 1939, some of the later cd's from Mystic Seaport's Forebitter & cd by the Johnson Girls "the Johnson Girls.
Sorry for the long winded post.
Good luck, Barry


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Subject: RE: Shanties, migration, and work songs; north USA
From: WyoWoman
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 02:18 PM

Not long-winded at all, Barry. This is great stuff. I don't know anything about it, so I have nothing to contribute but my enthusiasm, as is so often the case. But y'all definitely have that.

This would be a great movie, wouldn't it? A story about black sailors just as the world started turning in such a way that it limited their options. (From the "It Sucks to be Marginalized" file ... whence I seem to get unending ideas for stories.)

ww


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