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when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost

DigiTrad:
THE BONNY SHIP THE DIAMOND


Related threads:
Chords Req: The Bonny Ship The Diamond (22)
(origins) Origin: Bonny Ship the Diamond (28)
Lyr Req: The Diamond Ship (from The Gaugers) (14)
happy? - Mar 12 (The 'Diamond' sailed, 1812) (1)
Lyr Req: The Bonny Ship the Diamond (19)
Lyr Req: The Bonnie Ship the Diamond (29)
Chords Req: The Bonny Ship the Diamond (4)


Charcloth 12 Mar 02 - 05:51 PM
Just another Dave 12 Mar 02 - 06:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Mar 02 - 06:24 PM
Susanne (skw) 12 Mar 02 - 07:14 PM
Charcloth 12 Mar 02 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Mar 02 - 08:35 PM
Marc 12 Mar 02 - 11:01 PM
Teribus 13 Mar 02 - 01:49 AM
Les from Hull 13 Mar 02 - 09:17 AM
Les from Hull 13 Mar 02 - 01:21 PM
Bat Goddess 13 Mar 02 - 03:27 PM
Irish sergeant 13 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 02 - 04:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM
Susanne (skw) 13 Mar 02 - 06:16 PM
Les from Hull 13 Mar 02 - 07:07 PM
Les from Hull 13 Mar 02 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 02 - 07:59 PM
Charcloth 14 Mar 02 - 12:11 AM
Susanne (skw) 14 Mar 02 - 03:35 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Mar 15 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,# 25 Mar 15 - 07:05 AM
The Sandman 25 Mar 15 - 12:45 PM
Lighter 25 Mar 15 - 01:26 PM
Lighter 25 Mar 15 - 01:49 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 15 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 25 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM
Lighter 25 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 25 Mar 15 - 04:12 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 15 - 04:16 PM
Lighter 25 Mar 15 - 06:05 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 15 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,# 25 Mar 15 - 07:25 PM
Lighter 25 Mar 15 - 07:52 PM
EBarnacle 25 Mar 15 - 10:38 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 15 - 03:26 AM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,# 26 Mar 15 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Dave 26 Mar 15 - 08:42 AM
Lighter 26 Mar 15 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Bruce 03 Oct 16 - 03:48 PM
mkebenn 04 Oct 16 - 09:17 AM
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Subject: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Charcloth
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 05:51 PM

Just looking for some info here. The Corries song book has the Diamond as being lost in 1830. I think the data base has the date of 1818 for the wreck, with it's first voyage as 1812. Does anyone have any difinate dates
Charcloth


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Just another Dave
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 06:10 PM

I don't remember where I got the info ... but I suppose I can get back to it if need be... but The Diamond, the Resolution, and the Eliza Swan were all lost in the winter of 1830 in the ice of Melville Bay, Greenland. In total twenty-five ships from the British whaling fleet were lost. As long as we are on the subject... does anyone know if this song was collected before the twentieth century? I know of the fragment quoted in "Moby Dick", but I've never seen the entire song printed (collected) prior to songbook inclusions in the late twentieth century.

Dave


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 06:24 PM

I'd have thought that, if it had been made up after the ship had been lost, it would have mentioned the fact. I've never heard any version of it which is anything but jubilant about them making it home safely.

So, while the words have no doubt been moved around a bit, that would seem to indicate that the original song was early.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 07:14 PM

From the notes of the album 'Leviathan!':

[1967:] Chase of the right whale, West Greenland, 1820s. As a result of merciless hunting, the greater number of whales had migrated westward from Spitsbergen by the end of the 18th century, and were found off the east coast of Greenland. But by the 1820s, they began to move westward again, into the Davis Straits. [By 1830,] Peterhead owned thirteen whalers, Aberdeen ten, Dundee nine, Leith seven; and whalers were also sailing out of Greenock, Kirkcaldy and Montrose. [...]

Sad events lie behind this most spirited of whaling songs. By the 1820s the relatively milder northern waters were fished clean, and whalemen were having to search in more distant corners of the Arctic, notably round the mighty and bitter Melville Bay in Northwest Greenland. In 1830, a fleet of fifty British whaleships reached the grounds in early June, a month before they expected. But the same winds that had helped them, also crowded the Bay with icefloes, and locked most of the fleet in, including the Diamond, the Resolution, the Rattler (not Battler) of Leith (not Montrose), and the Eliza Swan. Twenty fine ships were crushed to splinters, and many bold whalermen froze or drowned. The Eliza Swan was among those that got free and brought the sad news home. Our song must have been made only a season or two before that tragedy, for the Diamond's maiden voyage was only in 1825. One wonders if the man who made the song was up in Melville Bay, the year of the disaster, and whether he was lost with his ship. (Notes A. L. Lloyd, 'Leviathan!')

More or less the same info can be found in sleevenotes by Michael Pollard and Eric Winter, and in a little book on Scottish whaling, The Whale Hunters by Captain Smith. Peter Hall disagrees, however:

[1995:] [Diamond Ship] was written about the first whaling voyage to the Greenland Sea in 1812, when Captain Gibbons, a member of the family that owned part of the Aberdeen whaling fleet, commanded the vessel. She was commissioned in Quebec in 1801 and ended her days crushed by the ice in 1819, when the crew stayed late in the season to augment their catch and became trapped by the advancing winter. The men were saved by crossing the ice to board a sister ship. (Peter Hall, notes 'Folk Songs of North-East Scotland')

Maybe he's talking about a different ship?


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Charcloth
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 07:33 PM

Well Susanne's post confirms the discrepancy. I know there is an earlier thread which talked about whether the song was traditional or not. The conclussion was that it is a traditional song. But it held no historical info. So the question still remains was she crushed in 1819 or 1830? Or were there 2 different ships?


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 08:35 PM

Bert Lloyd's notes sound pretty authoritative, as you'd expect with him, and all the details in the song fit in with the historical facts as he presents them.

It sounds like the Quebec ship was a different one. Maybe the Diamond with the maiden voyage in 1825 was called after the one destroyed in 1819.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Marc
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 11:01 PM

There is a legend that it's not that old of song, being successfully presented, as an old song. Kind of Fiddlers Green backwards.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Teribus
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 01:49 AM

The notes on an old LP of Alex Campbell's has the song relating to a voyage from Peterhead in 1826. It then goes on to say that four years later in 1830 the ship was lost, trapped in the ice of Melville Bay, along with a number of other ships. There were few fatalities as the crews went over the ice to be picked up by other whalers, not trapped by the ice.

There is a very good museum in Peterhead covering the towns involvement with the whaling industry and as this song covers what must have been one of the major incidents, the museum should have some factual information on the subject.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 09:17 AM

1830 was the worst year in the Greenland Fishery. There were 91 British ships in the Davis Straits that year and 19 of them were lost, most of the others were damaged, and 21 returned without catching a whale. Details are in Basil Lubbock's book 'The Arctic Whalers', which, although it gives much detail about the whole of the fleet, fails to mention a whaler called Diamond, (Eliza Swan, Rattler and Resolution are mentioned).

It was a bad year for Hull (the major contributor to the whaling fleet). We lost 6 of our 32 ships.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 01:21 PM

I've just noticed appendix G of Lubbock's book - a comprehensive list of Peterhead whalers from 1788 to the 1870s. No Diamond! No Captain Thompson! (Captain A. Thom is the nearest). So my thought is that the Diamond is fictitious, although I would be pleased to hear of some real evidence. Album liner notes are often written authoritively, but they don't always show eveidence of good scholarship.

Many of these songs were written ashore by (basically) songwriters, than were written on board ship by whalermen.

The Balaena was a real ship, right enough, hunting for whales (mostly unsuccessfully), seals and walrus out of Dundee in the 1890s.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 03:27 PM

There's a very similar song, perhaps a precursor, in the Greig-Duncan collection, if I recall correctly. I know there's been some discussion as to whether Lloyd collected it or actually wrote it, but I remember hearing the song on the Greig-Duncan tape (which, unfortunately, was borrowed) and thinking, ah ha! this proves Lloyd didn't write it. ('Though he may have "improved" it.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM

The possibility of there being two ships christined Diamond is intriguing. Wouls 1830 be too early for the Diamond to be listed in Lloyd's registry of lost ships? kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 04:07 PM

The song is #11 in 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', vol. 1. In the notes it is said that the ship, commanded by Captain Gibbon, was lost in 1819. Variant I was communicated by John Ord, who later published a fuller version in 'Bothy Songs and Ballads', 1930, with Gibbon(s) the captain in both his texts.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM

Too early for Lloyd's, but there were precursor registers apparently.

From Lloyd's registry website: "In 1760, the Register Society was formed by the customers of the coffee house. The Society printed the first Register of Ships in 1764 in order to give both underwriters and merchants an idea of the condition of the vessels they insured and chartered.

"In 1834, the organisation was reconstituted as Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping, and the first 'Rules' for the survey and classification of ships, were published. Sixty-three surveyors were employed in the first year and by 1840, 15,000 vessels had been surveyed in accordance with the Rules. In 1852, the organisation opened its first overseas office, in Canada, and other offices followed around the world. By 1914, the organisation became simply 'Lloyd's Register of Shipping' in recognition of its international status. In the 1900s we began to apply our expertise developed in the marine industry to other industrial sectors resulting in today's wide ranging services."


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 06:16 PM

Bat Goddess and Guest - yours is the version Peter Hall refers to (see my posting above), merely called 'The Diamond' and with a tune slightly different from the Bert Lloyd one. Question is, are the notes in Greig-Duncan correct? Are the Lloyd notes correct? It's certainly no proof that there are more references to the 1930 date as they may simply have copied what others wrote before them ...

Actually, the whaling book I mentioned above seems to be the most independent of the sources I have, and it does not include The Diamond in the boats lost in 1830:

[1993:] There were times when names and places in the songs were changed to suit a different area. One traditional song, Diamond Ship, had a string of alternative versions. The opening stanza of one went:

The Diamond was a ship, brave boys, for Davis Straits was bound
And the quay it was all garnished with pretty girls around
Where Captain Gibbons gave command to cross the mountains high
Where the sun it never sets, brave boys, nor darkness in the sky
Along the quay of Aberdeen the girlies they do stand
With their mantles all around them, the tears running down
Don't weep, my pretty fair maids, tho' you be left behind
For the rose shall grow on Greenland's ice before we change our mind

The song ended by toasting the health of the Hercules, the Jane, the Bon-Accord, and the Diamond, but in another version the ships had become the Eliza Swan, the Battler of Montrose and the Resolution of Peterhead. [...]
Gavin Greig included in his Diamond Ship collection a mysterious verse about a local girl's love for a seaman on the Jane - 'whose name I daurna tell'. (Smith, Whale Hunters 40)

The bad years ran like a scar through the history of whaling. The most disastrous year was 1830, when out of 91 British ships in the Davis Straits 19 were lost and 21 returned clean. Two of Peterhead's 13 ships - the Resolution and the Hope - were wrecked. Dundee lost two ships, the Achilles and the Three Brothers, and the Baffin and Rattler of Leith were wrecked, as was the John of Greenock. Four of Aberdeen's ten ships were also wrecked - the Alexander, Laetitia, Princess of Wales and the Middleton, whose successor, Middleton II, was to meet the same fate a few years later. Nearly every ship was damaged. (Smith, Whale Hunters 52)


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 07:07 PM

Well I've had another look in 'the book'. A whaleship Diamond (of Aberdeen!), commanded by Captain Thompson was wrecked in the ice in 1819 after taking 8 whales. I haven't yet found any other Diamonds so I think that this is the vessel we're looking for. The Diamond (371 tons and owned by the Aberdeen Whale Fishing Company had joined the fleet in 1812 under the command of Captain Moffat.

There were ships called Resolution (of Peterhead - which was wrecked in the ice in 1830), Eliza Swan (of Montrose) and Rattler (of Leith, also lost in 1819) fishing in the years 1812-1819. There are other Resolutions mentioned, one from Whitby and another (later, a replacement?) from Peterhead.

Of interest to our US friends, the Eliza Swan was captured by USS President (Commodore Rodgers) on 24 July 1813 and ransomed for £5000, and sent back to Montrose with the crews of two other Engish ships that Rodgers had captured.

In spite of all bravado of the song (incidentally, my brother's favourite), the Diamond did not have a very spectacular career.

I can recommend the Basil Lubbock book. It's chock full of information culled from many sources and deals with each season in turn. It dates from 1937 (mine is a Brown, Son and Ferguson reprint of 1978). I can also recommend the excellent Maritime Museum here in Hull, with a large section devoted to the Greenland Trade (whaling). Hull was for many years the main supplier of ships and men to this trade, and there's plenty to see in this section of the museum.

Les from Hull (doing his bit for Hull's tourist industry)


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 07:41 PM

More information on the other Aberdeen whaling ships mentioned by Susanne

Bon Accord (363 tons, Bon Accord Whale Fishing Company, Aberdeen) had her first voyage in 1813 and was still mentioned in 1833).

Hercules of the Aberdeen Whale Fishing Company, sailed from 1798 till sold into the timber trade in 1834.

Jane (of the Union Whale Fishing company, Aberdeen) was first mentioned in 1804, and, on 10 August 1810, landed the largest cargo of whale oil ever brought into Aberdeen from 17 whales (after giving a 'fish and a half' to another ship). Apparantly, this gave rise to a song

We'll gae into Jean Mackenzie's
And buy a pint of o' gin
And drink it on the jetty
When the Jane comes in

(quoted by Mr James Pyper in an article in the Scottish Naturalist)

Sadly, Jane was wrecked on 24 June 1829, although the crew was saved.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 07:59 PM

The Greig-Duncan Collection was edited by Patrick Shuldrum-Shaw and Emily Lyle. They don't come any better than Emily Lyle. They quoted from The Aberdeen Journal of Wednesday, March 18, 1812: "The fine new Ship, Diamond, Gibbon, sailed on Thursday last, for the Davis' Straits Whale Fishery.", but cited no published account of the shipwreck, although they note the crew were all saved.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Charcloth
Date: 14 Mar 02 - 12:11 AM

Thanks folks I now know a lot more than I did before
Charcloth


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 Mar 02 - 03:35 PM

Thanks, Les, I'll have to look out for that book!


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 06:18 AM

I came across this information which sounds authoritative though no references are given,

The Diamond sailed to the Davis Strait every year from 1812 to 1819, heading north for 'Baffin Bay where the whalefish blow'. Though this version of the song says she sailed from Peterhead, in fact she sailed from Aberdeen, as sung in other versions.

The whalers would be away for several months, so their womenfolk dressed in their best shawls to see them off. The sailors boasted that when they came back they would be so rich they would burn the whale oil lamps during the day as well as at night.

In 1819 the ships named in this song were waiting in April at a great wall of ice for the pack ice to melt, but the wind changed and they were all caught and frozen in. The sailors knew this might happen and they had put tree trunks inside across the hulls to make the ships stronger. One by one the ships were squeezed flat, but the sailors knew by the sounds that this was going to happen and they could escape onto the ice. They lived in tents made from the sails and burnt their ships' timbers for warmth.

They suffered greatly, but after many months they were rescued and came home. They left the Bonnie Ship the Diamond and the other ships behind, crushed flat by the Greenland ice.
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/genericcontent_tcm4555598.asp


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST,#
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 07:05 AM

According to AL LLoyd, The Diamond's maiden voyage was 1825. See

http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/thebonnyshipthediamond.html


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 12:45 PM

BERT did a lot of good for the uk folk revival, but I would not take everything he said as gospel


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 01:26 PM

The song in one version or another goes back to at least the end of the 19th century. Grieg and Duncan collected several examples in the Aberdeen area around 1900.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 01:49 PM

The "Nautical Magazine" for April, 1852, gives a list of "the ships lost since the first discovery of a passage through Melville Bay" in 1819.

Twenty ships, by far the largest number, were lost in 1830. Among them are listed "Rattler" and "Resolution."

"Eliza" had been lost in 1822. All three were lost in Davis Strait.

The "Diamond" was lost near or on the coast of Greenland in 1819.

Since the song isn't about the loss of the ships,but about a joyous homecoming, it would seem to date from 1819 or earlier. I haven't discovered just when "Diamond," "Rattler," "Resolution," or "Eliza" were launched.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 02:50 PM

The song is way older than any of the above info. There is a 17th century broadside printed in London and the ships were sailing from London which they would have been at that time. Here are some facts re the Scottish version. You can put two and two together if you want.

The Scottish versions all refer to whaling out of Peterhead and Aberdeen c1819.

Peter Buchan, the great ballad fabricator, had his printing press first in Peterhead and then in Aberdeen around this time. He is thought to have written 'Bonny Lass of Fyvie-o' based on the English broadside ballad 'Pretty Peggy of Derby'. Several of the Scottified ballads in his mss are taken straight from English broadsides. As far as I know 'BSTD' does not survive as a Buchan broadside but then rather mysteriously very few of PB's broadsides have survived.

I don't think BSTD is a late piece. I think the Scottish version was made just after the events it describes. There simply was no-one collecting this type of folk song in Scotland until Greig and Duncan came along.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM

McGrath of Harlow says ....

Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM

Too early for Lloyd's, but there were precursor registers apparently.

Snip.. Snip...
**********************************************************************
Now..... Lloyd's Registers from 1764 till 1899 are available for inspection online at

Lloyd's Register

The Register for 1830 shows 10 ships named the DIAMOND, 1 ship, 4 brigs, 3 schooners, 1 snow and 1 sloop.
(A snow is essentially a brig, but the spanker is rigged on a third mast stepped closely behind the main mast)

Those of you with more time on your hands than I've got!!! may wish to search through the registers. Just remember that not all ships were entered into the registers.

There are also various supplements at the back.

- Falmouth Packets
- Ships in the Service of the East India Company
- Ships Trading to India
- Ships Trading to Van Diemans Land
- Supplement. (Late Entries?)

Jake


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 03:51 PM

> I haven't discovered just when "Diamond," "Rattler," "Resolution," or "Eliza" were launched.

I missed GUEST'S post that put the Diamond's launching at 1812.

The belief that all the named ships were lost at one time is clearly in error.

> There is a 17th century broadside printed in London and the ships were sailing from London which they would have been at that time.

Steve, can you direct us to the broadside?


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 04:12 PM

The 17thc precursor is at Bodleian Harding B39 (188) but the chorus exists in other sea songs from the 18thc, one called 'The Prince of Wales'(ship). Also in another song 'Squire Bell's Welcome'.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 04:16 PM

Aaargh! Cookie gone again. Somebody should write a song about it. That last one was obviously me.

Steve


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 06:05 PM

Well, it's about whaling, and the refrain is,

"Look chearful, my boys, let your hearts never fail,
Be brisk Harpenears when you strike in a whale."

Other than that, I don't see enough resemblance with "The Diamond" to call it the same song at all. Indeed, it bears a slightly greater resemblance to the later song that scholars, fans, and presumably nobody else, call "The Greenland Whale Fishery" solely because of that resemblance.

Melville's "Moby Dick" (1850) tantalizingly includes the lines,

"So be cheery, my lads, let your hearts never fail,
While the bold harpooneer is striking the whale!"

These are identified merely as being from a "Nantucket Song."

Perhaps Melville got the lines from J. Ross Browne's "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise" (1846), where they make up the refrain of a song ("Captain Bunker") that is an odd hybrid of "The Greenland Whale Fishery," "The Bonny Ship the Diamond," and "The Coast of Peru."


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 06:27 PM

Yes I should have perhaps said something like it has its inspiration in older ballads. Later users of the theme, not necessarily whalers, have other bits related to BSTD.

Here's 'The Prince of Wales'

You pretty girls of Parkgate and Chester now attend,
And give ear unto these lines which for you I have penn'd.

We like true hearts undaunted, a voyage intend to go,
All on board the Prince of Wales, captain Briscoe you know.

Therefore be cheerful, my lads, let your hearts never fail,
When the brave Prince of Wales she on the sea doth sail.

First to London we did go, loaded with lead and cheese,
Loaded again for Chester, for Chester you do see.

When to Chester we do come, we'll drink a glass of wine,
You may drink to your sweetheart, and I'll drink to mine.

Come all ye pretty maidens, that live at home at ease,
Don't forget the Prince of Wales while the lads on the seas.

Don't you like Liverpool girls, out of sight out of mind,
For if ever I return I'll be constant and kind.

Says Gilles to a pretty girl, at Parkgate I lie on shore
Says Wills to a Liverpool girl, 'tis her I adore.

So be cheerful, my lads, let your hearts never fail,
Whilst the brave Prince of Wales is plowing with her sail.

Printed at Falkirk, late 18thc garland.
Obviously this didn't originate in Falkirk. Possibly printed first in Chester.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST,#
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 07:25 PM

"Bonnie Ship the Diamond

The Diamond is a ship, my lads
For the Davis Strait she's bound
The quay it is all garnished
With bonnie lasses 'round
Captain Thompson gives the order
To sail the ocean wide
Where the sun it never sets, my lads
Nor darkness dims the sky"

that is from
   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/audio/whaling-shanty-bonnie/

I looked up Captain Thompson and got the following:

THOMPSON          DIAMOND               ABERDEEN       1819

from

http://explorenorth.com/whalers/features/whalecaptains2.htm


Now I am thoroughly confused.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 07:52 PM

I don't see the confusion.

The reference to Thompson simply means that Basil Lubbock's book on whaling mentions Thompson as commander of the Diamond in 1819. Since that was the year the ship was lost, it makes sense that that would be the voyage Lubbock mentions.

There's no necessary contradiction between Aberdeen as home port and the "Peterhead" of the song. Perhaps the ship called in at Peterhead - about 25 miles northeast - and that visit (or those earlier visits) prompted the lyrics. In any case, the songwriter would not necessarily have known - or cared - that the Diamond belonged not to Peterhead but to Aberdeen.

Just guesses.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Mar 15 - 10:38 PM

On a snow, the "third mast" is called a Spencer mast and mat be stepped on deck. The purpose of the spencer mast is to allow the gaffs not to interfere with the rigging of the yards which, in that era, were held to the mast with parrels.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 03:26 AM

When I first started researching the song way back in the 60s I discovered that at least one of the whalers mentioned had been a Hull ship. The whaling boats were frequently sold between the whaling ports. Also the more southerly port ships regularly stopped off at the Scottish ports to take on extra crew. Shetland was the most important place for this. I agree with you, Jon, on this one.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 06:56 AM

Lighter; Melville's "Moby Dick" (1850) tantalizingly includes the lines,
"So be cheery, my lads, let your hearts never fail,
While the bold harpooneer is striking the whale!"

The words of a song with this chorus have now been found.

Jeff Warner sang it last night - but you'll have to ask him where it was found.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST,#
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 07:16 AM

Thank you, Lighter. Makes sense now.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 08:42 AM

'The Prince of Wales' would be mid-18th century, when Parkgate (where I am typing from) was a busy port, mostly for trade with and passage to Ireland, there was some shipbuilding, and there were several families of Briscoes in the area. There was a Briscoe's quay.

Source: "Neston - Stone age to Steam Age", edited by Susan Chambers, The Burton and Neston History Society (ISBN: 0 9509145 3 3)


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 11:11 AM

Jeff's song is essentially Browne's, skillfully revised and fitted to the "Diamond" tune.

You can hear it on Jeff's album "Long Time Traveling."

He does great shanty soloing on Mudcatter Doc Tom's three-CD collection of John Short's shanties as collected by Cecil Sharp: "Short Sharp Shanties."

Mostly reconstructed texts (Short didn't offer many lyrics), but I recommend it highly recommended for melodies, style, atmosphere, performance, and performers.

Great background notes too! One of the great revival shanty collections.


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: GUEST,Bruce
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 03:48 PM

There is a vessel named the 'Diamond' registered in Peterhead in September 1815. It was owned by a Thomas Darg and the Masters name registered is Thomas Darg too. This is taken from A Historical Account of Peterhead. Not sure if this is or could be the same ship?


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Subject: RE: when was the Bonny ship the diamond lost
From: mkebenn
Date: 04 Oct 16 - 09:17 AM

My lord, I never even considered the Diamond to be an historical vessel, and I've been singin' it since Dave Guard and the Whiskey Hill singers in the middle of the last century! Now my head hurts. Mike


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