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Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation

Bat Goddess 22 Feb 03 - 07:04 PM
Charley Noble 22 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM
Bat Goddess 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM
Nancy King 22 Feb 03 - 07:49 PM
Bat Goddess 22 Feb 03 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Elan 22 Sep 07 - 10:03 AM
Nancy King 22 Sep 07 - 12:57 PM
Charley Noble 22 Sep 07 - 04:19 PM
Nancy King 22 Sep 07 - 07:14 PM
Padre 22 Sep 07 - 10:12 PM
Charley Noble 23 Sep 07 - 05:34 PM
Ella who is Sooze 24 Sep 07 - 04:33 AM
shipcmo 13 Jul 10 - 02:41 PM
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Subject: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:04 PM

I've just transcribed "The Shanghaied Dredger" from The Boarding Party's LP "Tis Our Sailing Time."

The Chesapeake Bay (crab or oyster?) dredging boat in the song sounds like "fungee" or "pungee." Is this an approximation of the local pronunciation of Bugeye or is another style of boat or rig?

Jonathan Eberhart collected the song and is lead singer on it.

Assistance appreciated.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:22 PM

Linn-

I think I still have the notes that were enclosed with that record, and my memory is "pungy."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for being able to translate my thoughts above. That should have been "style of boat or rig".

Thanks for the name -- I just did a quick search at Google and found this note at The Mariner's Museum (which also answers the crab dredger or oyster dredger question):

"The Pungy

The pungy is a smaller form of schooner developed on the Chesapeake Bay to dredge oysters and carry bulk cargo. It was developed in the 1840s and into the 1850s in the Accomac region of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The name is believed to come from Pungoteague, an area in Accomac County, Virginia. This workboat has a heavy bowsprit with narrow lines down its sides. The deck is flush and the mast is raking. The pungy was a common site in Baltimore's harbor during World War I and up until the 1930s. The most unusual cargo carried by the pungy was pineapple picked green in Bermuda and delivered to Baltimore - the fruit ripened as it traveled. The problem came in heavy seas, when the pungy's lowboards allowed wash over the decks and ruined the fruit below. The use of the pungy eventually gave way to the newly developed boats like the bugeye and the skipjack."


Linn


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Nancy King
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:49 PM

The boat is a "pungy," pronounced PUN-gee, with a hard G, not J, sound. As for exactly what kind of boat it was, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ships and Boats," by Graham Blackburn, defines it as follows: "The Pungy was a local schooner type from the Chesapeake Bay, where it was used for dredging oysters during the last half of the 19th Century."   The accompanying line drawing shows a two-masted vessel with a gaff-rigged fore and main, plus jib and a small staysail. It's a more elaborate rig than either a skipjack (one mast, raked sharply back, with main and jib -- there are still a few of these on the Chesapeake) or a bugeye (which appears to have been a two-masted version of the skipjack, with no jib). Not sure that's clear, but it's the best I can do describing the illustrations!

It was definitely oysters they were dredging (pronounced "drudging") for.

Do you have the liner notes for the album? If not, you can probably get them from Folk-Legacy, or I have a few left and could maybe send you a copy.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 08:39 PM

I should have the notes somewhere -- either still inside the LP or in the letter file box that's SUPPOSED to have all the Folk-Legacy and other LP inserts/liner notes.

But all the above info answers my questions about the lyrics which I finished transcribing today. Now all I have to do is learn the song. (In time for the next Press Room shanty singaround?)

Thanks, Charley and Nancy!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: GUEST,Elan
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 10:03 AM

I've heard pungy prounounced with both the hard G or the j sound. (Pun-GEE versus Pun-Jee) There's only one on the bay now, a replica called Lady Maryland built by the Living Classrooms Foundation in 1986, by the same man that designed the Pride of Baltimore II schooner and a handful of other lovely boats that sail along the east coast (Virginia, I think Spirit of South Carolina, etc). Anyhow, she's a beauty to sail and smooth as anything. Lady M's very beam-y, the design making her very sturdy for cargo, especially during the 19th century, as Bat Goddess said. But she also resembles the Baltimore Clipper style, making her very fast - her hull speed is 12 knots.


As for Nancy King's comment, I've never heard of pungees/pungies being used for oyster dredging.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SHANGHAIED DREDGER
From: Nancy King
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 12:57 PM

My comment about oyster dredging comes from the song itself, which seems to date from the 1880-1890 period -- it was a one-page broadside in the bottom of an old trunk found in the basement of a house where a friend (Andy Wallace) was living in 1970. Other, more datable items in the trunk (including the song "The Cruiser Baltimore," which The Boarding Party recorded on the same album), plus the fact that the "oyster wars" (dredging vs. tonging, Eastern vs. Western Shores, Maryland vs. Virginia...) on the Bay were occurring about that time, indicated the probable age of the song. Many more details about the song are available in the album notes for the recording, "'Tis Our Sailing Time," Folk-Legacy FSI-97, which is still available as CD-97 from Folk-Legacy. It's a great album, by the way, and this song has proved to be one of the most popular of The Boarding Party's recordings.

Since the words are not in the DT, here they are:


THE SHANGHAIED DREDGER

Upon the far-off Eastern Shore an oyster-dredger lay,
With the seat wore out of his oilskin pants -- his hat had blown away.
His clothes were rather seedy, and his chance, he knew, was slim
Of ever reaching Baltimore in the pungy he was in.

Now, in spirit he could fancy himself in a restaurant again,
Ordering plates of liver for himself and Shorty McLain.
The dredgers stood around him, their eyes could scarcely see
From drinking five-cent whiskey -- oh, what a glorious spree.

CHO: Then lay me in the forepeak with my face toward Baltimore,
    Prayin' I never get shanghaied again down on the Eastern Shore,
    Where they feed you on corn dog and sourbelly twice a day,
    And you're counted a lucky dredger if you ever get your pay.

Our steward, he was a colored man, the best cook in the fleet.
At making India-rubber bread he never could be beat.
His shadow soup was excellent, and on a Christmas day
We'd eat dead duck that he'd picked up while sailing down the Bay.

And, oh, that Galway skipper I never shall forgive.
He'd halloo like a porpoise to throw away the jib.
On Sundays while at rest he'd swear, "I'm only for your good;
So come up, me little hearty, and saw up all the wood."

(CHO.)

It was on a chilly evening after working all the day,
The captain saw with his telescope the police sloop far away.
With sails trimmed aft and topsail set, our gallant pungy flew
Over to the forbidden grounds to catch a jag or two.

But scarce we'd started working when the police sloop hove in sight.
"Haul down your jib!" was his command, and then began the fight.
Our captain he hauled his pistol while the sloop to round us tried,
But we raised our dredge and made away upon the foggy tide.

(CHO.)


Enjoy!

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 04:19 PM

Nancy-

I've evidently been hearing and singing this line wrong all these years:

"Over to the forbidden grounds to catch a jag or two."

Over to the forbidden grounds to catch a DRAG or two.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Nancy King
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 07:14 PM

Well, "drag" would make sense, I guess, since they were dredging, but the BP did learn it from a written source, so...

If you're anything like me, Charley, your poor ol' brain won't let you change the way you sing it at this point in any case. It's called the "folk process," I believe.

Good to see you in Maine a couple of weeks ago -- hope it's not too long till I see you again!

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Padre
Date: 22 Sep 07 - 10:12 PM

Gail and I just got back from a week on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. At the Oyster Maritime Museum in Chincoteague, and at the Barrier Island Center in Machipungo, there are displays & photos of pungys used in dredging [drudgin'] oysters ['arsters'] as well as being used in cargo hauling. The curator at the BIC described 'pungy' as coming from the town of Pungateague on the bayside of the peninsula, where the type was originally built.

BTW - the Eastern Shore of Virginia is still very much unspoiled - great seafood places, lovely little towns to explore, and world-class birding on both sides of the peninsula. Did not find any live music while we were there, though.

Padre


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Sep 07 - 05:34 PM

Nancy-

You're right! It's much too late to revert back to "jag."

What a "drag" it is to be an unwitting victim of the folk process.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 24 Sep 07 - 04:33 AM

I'm just back from the Chesapeake area - I love it there!


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Subject: RE: Chesapeake Bay Dredger Pronunciation
From: shipcmo
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 02:41 PM

refresh, just to get these all together


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