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Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood

DigiTrad:
ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG
ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG (2)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Roll the Old Chariot-verses tell a story (4)
Lyr Req: i couldn't eat my breakfast (5)
Roll the old chariot along- or similar-want MP3 (11)
Nelson's Blood Scottish Fiddle Tune/Spiritual (5)
(origins) CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brandy (22)


GUEST,Carolee 17 Mar 02 - 02:27 PM
Sorcha 17 Mar 02 - 02:30 PM
8_Pints 17 Mar 02 - 05:04 PM
Mr Red 17 Mar 02 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,tatterfoal 18 Mar 02 - 04:49 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 18 Mar 02 - 05:37 AM
Melani 18 Mar 02 - 03:25 PM
Mr Red 18 Mar 02 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,ivor 30 Oct 04 - 07:15 AM
masato sakurai 30 Oct 04 - 07:28 AM
Leadfingers 30 Oct 04 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,ivor 30 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM
Dead Horse 30 Oct 04 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Jeremy Main 10 Dec 12 - 07:27 PM
Dave MacKenzie 10 Dec 12 - 08:06 PM
Jon Bartlett 10 Dec 12 - 10:11 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 12 - 01:31 AM
Gibb Sahib 11 Dec 12 - 02:40 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 12 - 04:03 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 12 - 04:05 AM
threelegsoman 11 Dec 12 - 07:44 AM
Snuffy 11 Dec 12 - 10:49 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 12 - 01:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Dec 12 - 02:42 PM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 12 - 03:47 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Dec 12 - 12:32 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Dec 12 - 01:15 AM
Joe Offer 12 Dec 12 - 01:35 AM
clueless don 12 Dec 12 - 09:04 AM
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Subject: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: GUEST,Carolee
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 02:27 PM

Any one have words and story behing this nonsense chorus song? Chorus goes# And we'll pull the old chariot along, We'll pull the old chariot along....... And we'll all hang on behind.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 02:30 PM

See this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: 8_Pints
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 05:04 PM

Lyrics can be found in the DT under the title 'Roll the Ol Chariot Along'.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 07:08 PM

I asked the question about was it rum (as in the reference) or brandy that Nelson was pickled in in a recent thread - I am still not clear. Great shanty tho'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: GUEST,tatterfoal
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 04:49 AM

The chariot is the storage plinth or monkey in Navy slang for the cannon balls. This was made out of brass hence the golden chariot. When the weather became realy cold the brass contracted at a different rate to the stored pyramid of cannon blalls and they would fall of resulting in the saying" its cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 05:37 AM

Thanks, Tatterfoal. So this song is also tied in to that expression. I've heard that bit about the Cannon Balls and the Iron Rings bit before, but hadn't heard it was called a chariot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Melani
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 03:25 PM

I've been told that the "roll the old chariot" reference was to a particular type of bilge pump that works by turning a wheel that has a handle on it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 03:42 PM

Please, Please all of you.
Yer brass monkey was a landlubbers affectation. On board ship they had shelves/cradles/racks that could hold all the balls in a howling gale.
there was a thread on this about 6/7 months ago. the Walrus was most authorititive on this and BTW the recent programme on Nelson on UK BBC TV recreated below-decks battle scenes and those racks were all too obvious when you looked for them, and not single brass or iron triangle/square in site let alone piles of castiron dog-doo sitting in them. & They said there that Nelson was pickled in brandy but no more on that subject - hence my other thread.
Messages from multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: a drop of nelson's blood
From: GUEST,ivor
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:15 AM

does anybody know the complete song?the chorus goes.....
rolleo the chariots along[repeat]and we all hang on behind.

not sure about the rolleo bit.


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Subject: RE: a drop of nelson's blood
From: masato sakurai
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:28 AM

See ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG in the DT.


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Subject: RE: a drop of nelson's blood
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 09:50 AM

And Add any other lines you can think of - A pint of the local beer for example .


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Subject: RE: a drop of nelson's blood
From: GUEST,ivor
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 12:49 PM

many thanks Masato and leadfingers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Dead Horse
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:54 PM

Bilge on the Kings Navee references!
It was a negro gospel tune that got transferred to merchant shipping via the cotton trade. Nelson's Blood was just one of the delights that "wouldn't do us any harm", the correct name of the shanty is Roll The Old Chariot Along.
Any other references to "chariots" is either happy coincidence or pure speculation, interesting tho they be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: GUEST,Jeremy Main
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 07:27 PM

There is one other chariot the Navy would have had a hand in - it was the technical name for the catafalque carriage in a State Funeral, and is usually hauled by the Navt as the senior service.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 08:06 PM

I don't know all the words seeing that I make them up as I go along, depending on circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 10:11 PM

well some hangin' on behind wouldn't do us any harm...

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:31 AM

"Roll" in shanties is often the seaman's pronunciation of "row": insertion of an 'l' for a vowel was quite common practice to provide an elision, so that 'row along' could become 'roll along', and could spill over where next word did not begin with a vowel. Forget whose suggestion I once came across that this was a shanty for rowing ashore on the liberty boat, which would make sense of the rest of the litany of what 'wouldn't do us any harm', i.e. while ashore, culminating with the 'night with a whore'. The ad hoc ref to the boat as a 'chariot' could be a spill over from the song's supposed spiritual origins [see above], emphasising the agreeably 'holy' nature of a brief spell ashore in the men's industrious lives.

This is probably, I am only too conscious, one of those over-elaborate 'folk derivations' which we all know we should beware of [like brass trays called 'monkeys' & cannon balls!]; but one that nevertheless appeals to me as a 'just maybe'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 02:40 AM

"Roll" in shanties is often the seaman's pronunciation of "row"
Often? Can you provide at least two examples to support that? I'm not sure if I even have one. (Though it sounds like an offhand statement that Stan Hugill would have made.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:03 AM

Interesting you say so, Gibb. IIRC it was from Hugill that I got the suggestion. I defer of course to your incomparable shanty knowledge, but will rack brains for examples and if any occur will come back. Still seems to me a reasonable suggestion [if no more ~~ see disclaimer at end of my last post] re the song under consideration here.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 04:05 AM

What, BTW, in that case, does the widely used 'roll' refer to? Movement of ship in rough seas, perhaps? Or how would you interpret it?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: threelegsoman
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 07:44 AM

My version of this song may be found by following this link:

Nelson's Blood

Merry Christmas all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 10:49 AM

There certainly seems to be some crossover between "row" and "roll" in the songs of the Liverpool Judies family: Roll, Julia, Roll is there beside Row, Bullies, Row, but I don't recall seeing anything like Rowing Down To Old Maui. :-P


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:15 PM

Further to my post of 0403 am ~~ the topic of this shanty, however one may interpret the individual words, surely appears to be a boat heading for shore leave [a liberty boat], with the crew all looking forward to the treats, none of which will "do them any harm", which await them upon arrival ~~ drink*, food, night ashore, night with a whore...

~M~

*"Some of the many other names for rum are Nelson's blood, kill-devil, demon water..." wikipedia entry on RUM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 02:42 PM

I like creative thinking! I'm just not sure why we would want to turn our gaze in the direction of some idea that is not much in evidence and then research and speculate to that end.

The song was in books of spirituals by the 1880s.

First published sailor-related mention I have in my notes is 1903, in a review of one of Basil Lubbock's books. The reviewer notes that Lubbock mentioned several chanties but neglected "We'll roll the old chariot along."

The song turns up in the collecting work, amongst sailors, of Gordon and Carpenter in the 1920s. Of the lyrics available to me, there is no mention of such a narrative of going ashore. One of Carpenter's men had "If the devil's in the way we will roll it over him."
And Doerflinger (1951), from Dick Maitland, got, "If the devil's in the road we'll roll it over him." Both spiritual lyrics.

The "grub" lyrics come in Wood's 1927 _Oxford Song Book_. Author got it from a Mr. Walter Raby, who presumably was the one who told him it was "a windlass shanty popular about forty years ago [i.e. 1880s] in Lancashire vessels." Verses are extemporized. Wood's chosen verses (from Raby?) mention scouse, sea-pie, plum duff, and a glass of whiskey hot. [Note that Doerflinger reprinted these lyrics.]

That's basically where my notes on it end. I hesitate to delve into some of the other post 1920s "collections"! I know Hugill has it, but I don't have it handy. I'd be wary, in any case, of what sort of "slant" he might have constructed in the way he presented it. He certainly had read Doerflinger, and might have wanted to play up the "old salt" stuff (as he was wont to do). I'll check later, if no one else does, first.

In all, I don't see much reason to follow a "rowing" or "going ashore" theme (the "night with a whore" sounds suspiciously like a "in bed with the captain's daughter" thing -- what's the source?).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 03:47 PM

I'm familiar with two versions of "Roll the Old Chariot Along," the two versions in the Digital Tradition. DT version 1 has the "...wouldn't do us any harm" verses. DT Version 2 has the "We'd be all right if..." verses.

A couple or more years ago, I heard a woman sing a different version at the Getaway, or maybe it was at the Royal Mile Pub after the Getaway. The verses told a funny story, and that's all I can recall of it. I don't think it was the I couldn't eat my breakfast version, but maybe it was. I haven't been able to find the lyrics I heard, and now it has faded so that I don't remember any of it. Does anybody know of a version that tells a story and isn't just a laundry list of single phrases?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 12:32 AM

Thanks Joe -- DT version 1 is the Hugill. Taking a peek in his book, he mentions the Oxford Book (and Doerflinger), and concludes it's a "Negro" shanty.

He says he is going to give his version, but gives no further details of when or from whom he learned it.

Hugill's is the first I'm seeing with "Nelson's blood." Was "Nelson's blood" even a phrase used before Hugill's time?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 01:15 AM

Eric Partridge, in his widely accepted as standard A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English gives

Nelson's blood. Dark rum: naval (?mid-)C19-20. [F.Bowen's Sea Slang, 1929]

So, yes, Gibb, it does predate Hugill.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 01:35 AM

I'm guessing the version I'm seeking was modern. Wish I could remember more of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drop of Nelson's Blood
From: clueless don
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 09:04 AM

At the risk of thread creep (but not too far, I hope), the above discussion speculating that "roll" is a pronunciation of "row" reminds me of the fact that I would like to know the meaning of the expression "roll and go".

Don


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