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Watered Down Shanties

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GUEST,Nick 05 Apr 03 - 03:34 PM
Charley Noble 05 Apr 03 - 05:11 PM
Gareth 05 Apr 03 - 05:51 PM
kendall 05 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM
Bill D 05 Apr 03 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,nick 05 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,celtaddict 05 Apr 03 - 11:16 PM
Marc 06 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM
curmudgeon 06 Apr 03 - 10:51 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 03 - 11:21 AM
Charley Noble 06 Apr 03 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Q 06 Apr 03 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Billy 07 Apr 03 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford working 07 Apr 03 - 06:44 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 03 - 07:03 AM
curmudgeon 08 Apr 03 - 06:26 AM
treewind 08 Apr 03 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,gareth 08 Apr 03 - 10:25 AM
Mr Red 08 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM
Cluin 08 Apr 03 - 03:16 PM
Celtaddict 08 Apr 03 - 08:52 PM
toadfrog 08 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM
Charley Noble 09 Apr 03 - 08:54 AM
curmudgeon 09 Apr 03 - 09:43 AM
Bat Goddess 09 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM
Barry Finn 09 Apr 03 - 10:06 PM
Cluin 10 Apr 03 - 01:22 AM
curmudgeon 10 Apr 03 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Apr 03 - 06:10 PM
curmudgeon 10 Apr 03 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Apr 03 - 06:28 PM
ooh-aah 10 Apr 03 - 06:31 PM
toadfrog 13 Apr 03 - 12:41 AM
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Subject: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 03:34 PM

I was reading "Shanties from the Seven Seas" by Stan Hugill and he makes several references to having to "camouflage" the lyrics of some shanties because the original was too ribald. I can understand the desire to not offend but, what about historical accuracy?


On "Blow Boys Blow" by Lloyd & McColl a line is sung in the song Blow Boys Blow "Come and get yer oats me son" Hugill says he disguised it and gives it a "Johnny get your oat cake done", I wonder if it was not "Johnny get your a%*hole done" as the line before it is "You long tall black man come round behind me."

I wonder where one can find less edited versions of such songs?
Or is this a sleeping dog best left to lie?

Nick


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 05:11 PM

The bawdy versions of many of these songs still circulates orally; some were taped at a Mystic Sea Music Festival a few years back. There are also several unexpurgated copies of Hugill's songs that people mention from time to time, the late editor G. Legman (editor of Vance Randolph's "Unprintable" songs and folklore from the Ozarks) often refered to the copy he had from Stan. Stan's widow most certainly has the original manuscript.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Gareth
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 05:51 PM

At the risk of sounding facetious try yer local Rugby Club, or Sailing Club on "Batchelors Night" - But a word of warning, the "Shanties" learnt at school or in the sea cadets, may well have been reconstructe to an obscean level.

Gareth.

"Oh the ship's dogs name was Rover.
The whole crew did him over,
They ground and ground that faithful hound,
from Singapore to Dover"


The chorus is not fit for a familly website, but does anyone know the original semi-clean version ?????


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: kendall
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 07:30 PM

I used to know a dozen of these, but, lack of use has made me forget them.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 08:22 PM

It is interesting that Stan Hugill thought they were worth remembering and writing down...but not making them available, even in this more permissive age.

G. Legman should have published them, along with the jokes & limericks. I suppose someone will one day.

(I have an offer to listen to the tape made at Mystic, and I just may cash in that offer someday....)


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,nick
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM

I know computers are great, but ... I did ask a specific question. Why do I get every related thread that had the word "Shanties: posted before my post? I see that there is a new set-up here but I await the improvement.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,celtaddict
Date: 05 Apr 03 - 11:16 PM

Do listen to it. I recorded it. The "Uncensored Sea Songs" workshop at Mystic is regularly a favorite.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Marc
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM

Nick in answer to your 'specific question' . If it works for you, use it. As brilliant a collection as it is, some people tend to use the Hugill collection a hard fast set of rules. "You can't use Haul Away Joe at the halliards, Stan say's he heard it used at sheets and tacks", or "Is that an original version of that chantey? Stan's version is different, where did you find yours in print?" Believe it or not these guys didn't learn their chanteys from books, there were probably as many versions as men. As far as the line you mentioned, I always liked to use 'Jinny keep your ringtail warm', cause knobody knows what your talking about and the double entendre is great. As a matter of fact Harlow say's, sailors never appreciated in your face smut, double entendre was always prefered, again an absolute observation.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 10:51 AM

While I do not doubt the existence of truly obscene shanties, I do question their common usage. Sailors of the 19th century were extremely class conscious; they would never knowingly utter any foul words in hearing of a "lady" or "gentleman." Nor would they do such in the presence of their "betters." By way of illustration, think back to your schooldays and remember the language you used among friends that you would never use in earshot of a teacher.

These songs were made in a time where there was no "noise pollution" to speak of. Shanties sung at dockside or in harbor were clearly audible for great distances. There were certainly many prigs among the officers. Would the dour Quakers who owned and commanded many of the whalers out of New Bedford have tolerated rude language? The presence of women on ships was more common that previouly thought. Have a look at "Women Sailors and Sailors' Women" by David Cordingly.

Much of the charm of sea songs comes from the subtleties: "I gave her my hawser and took her in tow," "I fear her little firebucket burned my bobstay through," "Take 'em off Jul-yah, lay back Jul-yah."

Also consider that Hugill's magnum opus was published in Britain in 1961. Obscenity laws were overturned in the US in 1960, but not so quickly in the UK.

Nick - The 'long tailed black man' is the Devil, who is commonly portrayed as being black in folklore.

celtaddict - Where can I get a copy of these recordings you mention?

Marc -- I'm in agreement with your thoughts -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 11:21 AM

Look, call me weird for being a dog lover IN THE PLATONIC SENSE, but Jeez, was molesting animals part of the requirements for being in the Navy? I'd have trouble looking Rover in the eye if I thought he'd been sleeping in Captain Bligh's cabin!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 11:24 AM

Gareth-

We got a charge when we were moored at a more public dock singing "Friggin' in the Riggin'" as "Singin' in the Riggin'", and whoever "slipped" on a verse had to buy the next round ashore.

G. Legman, the late editor mentioned above, provided examples of bawdy phrasing for "The Hog-Eyed Man" for the verses that are usually sung:

Sally's in the garden, a-pickin' peas,
An' the hair of her head hangin' down to her knees...

Sally's in the garden, shiftin' sand,
An' the hog-eye man sittin' hand-in-hand...

In Hugill's uncensored manuscript the verses ran:

Sally's in the garden, a-pickin' peas,
An' the hair of her snatch hangin' down to her knees...

Sally's in the garden, shiftin' sand,
With a fathom of dillywacker in her hand...

It would be nice to have more access to uncensored sets of verses, but I doubt if many of us would be bold enough, or rude enough, to sing them for a typical public performance.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 12:36 PM

Sailors, like the men in the military services, I am sure, watched their language when in the presence of "ladies," ship owners and general officers, but in the brothels, at sea, and on the march could give free rein to their imagination.
I wish I could remember the songs sung by my father and other members of the cavalry, learned during service in the First World War, and sung at reunions for years thereafter. In my pre-teens, I was too young to gather them in but a few fragments filtered down to us and were sung in the back of the schoolyard amid much sniggering. It didn't help that I (and many of my schoolmates) was unaware of what some of the terms meant.
Only after the long Victorian age, which in my mind stretched to the 1960s, were collectors willing to record them in their notebooks. Considering that the collectors were, for the most part, from the upper classes, I doubt that they would have even heard them.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 03:25 AM

Nick, am I the only one who got the punic humor in your post's title, "WATERED Down Shanties"? Good one!


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford working
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 06:44 AM

here

is a link to discussion of same expressions in Whip Jamboree


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 07:03 AM

curmudgeon
Uncle Stan says in his book right after the "camouflage" reference that readers with a bit of nouse could recreate the original. He also has said (I am told) that sailors sang about what they knew. The skipper, his bruiser, the doxies, rum and beer etc etc.

Jim Magean tells of the night they called Stan's bluff on the unexpurgated versions and they got him drunk and he still refused to sing with ladies present. I had the story confirmed by Mike Starkie (Bristol Shantymen & Westerliegh Wailers) who with Maggie runs the Dragon FC in Bristol Fri @ the Bridge Inn, (Shortwood area). Though he said it took three bottles of whisky and Maggie claims she was in the room at the time hiding behind tall men. They all confirm you just wouldn't sing them in most situations.

It has to be said that Stan only knew what he came into contact with though he quotes a lot of references. There must be many more shanties that never made it to the collecters ears. Eric Illot reckons he found a verse of a shanty in a rugby song. It was just too pat to be anything else.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 06:26 AM

Guest -- The only problem with "recreating" the original lies in which rude words one should substitute for the clean ones. Terms in common use today are not necessarily those employed by sailors over a century ago.

Celtaddict, et al. -- I still want to hear some of those aforementioned recordings. Thanks -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: treewind
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 06:59 AM

Rick, (re dogs)
I think that was supposed to be a quote from what you might hear at your local Rugby club.

While Rugby songs are in themselves an interesting little patch in the vast tapestry of folk music around the world, I don't think we can count on the Rugby club as a source of unimpeachable scholastic authenticity on the subject of the Navy, sea shanties or indeed anything...

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,gareth
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 10:25 AM

I did warn you that the Rugby Club versions tended not to authentic, and Rick, if the thought of what the crew did to the dog worries you, then you really do not wish to know what the Cabin Boy did to the Skipper - It'll make yer eyes water.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM

curmudgeon
I wuz that guest - I agree with point the reverse engineering the Bowdlerized versions.

Gareth - the skipper was probably circumspect - after. The point about rugby songs is they are first and foremost rugby songs but Eric Illot was playing detective and knew what he was on about - and if he was near enough that's as good as it gets. As long as the provenance is documented, there is little harm. Less than passing-off a yer own song as trad. And there are enough of suspected examples, starting with Robbie Burns (or maybe Henry VIII even) - some perpetrators are still with us.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Cluin
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 03:16 PM

What?

The cabin boy, the cabin boy,
the dirty little nipper,
he stuffed his ass
with broken glass
and circumcised the Skipper.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Celtaddict
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 08:52 PM

At last summer's Mystic Sea Music Festival, a group of older men from the Barrouallie village whalers sang, and had to all appearances a great time. Mixed crowd or not, they sang one of which the refrain was "time for man go cover his wife" and another in which time and time again, most of the group sang "save my money for the girls on shore" but almost every single refrain, the older man directly in front of me sang, "save my money fo' de ho's on shore" until near the end, building to the finale, when he did sing "girls" -- and the rest of the group sang the version they were obviously used to! There is no doubt in my mind that the tradition of men singing bawdier versions among themselves at work, and tidying up here and there onstage or in mixed company, is alive and well.
About tapes: performers at Mystic Sea Music Festival have in their contracts that they permit recording of their performances including workshops for the Archives of the museum, and that material from the archives cannot be released for sale without their permission. I am going to see what I can do here. Of course officially individual recording is not permitted. Of course there are always individual recorders there, often out on the table/bench/grass in front of the singers. These naturally must not be sold and are for personal use only. So drop me a PM.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: toadfrog
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 11:14 PM

This song sounds real authentic to me, and also unbowlerized. The liner notes described the words as ones sailors would sing when no officers were around. But it's in French. CAPITAINE DE SAINT-MALO


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:54 AM

Cluin- "Circumscribed" the skipper in polite company!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 09:43 AM

As an aid to those wishing to translate words from clean to rude, I am looking for my copy of "Mrs. Grundy:Studies in English Prudery." This wonderful tome has pages of terms for all the naughty bits and their actions. Some memorable ones were "babies public house" for breast, "Dr. Johnson" for erection because their was no one he would not stand up to. As soon as I can, I'll post the publication details, etc. -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM

Curmudgeon means as soon as he can lay his hands on the book, which was evidently not properly reshelved when last used. (We do have a problem with not enough bookshelf space for the amount of books in the house.)

We'll work on it today -- me amidst the book shelves and piles, and Tom in the stacks around the table while he's looking for tax information.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:06 PM

I'd have to go along with Marc's "sailors never appreciated in your face smut, double Sailors of the 19th century were extremely class conscious; they would never knowingly utter any foul words in hearing of a "lady" or "gentleman." double entendre was always prefered" & with Curmudgeon's "with Sailors of the 19th century were extremely class conscious; they would never knowingly utter any foul words in hearing of a lady or gentleman." In the late 1970's I lent an occassional hand in helping to restore the brig Carthaginian in Maui & was consider her shantyman. I met George Herbert (1st sailed in the Baltic trades & ended as a Cape Horner) on board we had a big singing bash in the hold. He went on with stories, songs & jokes & would stop short with any vulgarity if there were any women within hearing range & excuse himself for not continuing on in that line because ther were women about. Even on tapes we later swapped he'd giggle like a naughty little school boy when he'd explain some of the double entendres. Barry


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 01:22 AM

So I guess "Columbo" isn't an authentic sea shanty, then?    ;)


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 05:46 PM

Eureka! The tome was where it was supposed to be, but with a black spine that I recalled as being red. It is: Mrs. Grundy - Studies in English Prudery, Peter Fryer, London House and Maxwell, NY, 1964, Library of Congress # 64-14627.

Sadly, it did not have the vast amount of material that I remembered, but more than one might find elsewhere, aside from the 'Slang of Venery" cited there which includes some 600 terms for 'penis.' This book, by anon. must be quite rare; only three direct references in Google, and no listing at bookfinder.com.

I did, during a very cursory look, discover the the word "snatch" as cited by Charley Noble - Legman - Hugill is of late 19th C. derivation, and IMO is not all too likely to be of the antiquity one associates with that song. However, substitute quim, notch, purse, or gash, and one will be less anachronistic.

Good words to you -- tom


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 06:10 PM

Quim and notch appear in the cant dictionary of Frances Grose, so well-known by the end of the 18th century. A 1730s example of quim is gived by the OED. Snatch doesn't appear in print until about 1900 in the English Dialectical Dictionary. Gash seems to have had more to do with the mouth, and talk, in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: curmudgeon
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 06:27 PM

Fryer cites "gash" as c. 18.

- Tom


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 06:28 PM

Haul Away, Joe!

When I was a little boy,
And so my mother told me,
A-way! haul a-way! we'll haul away- Joe!
That if I didn't fuck the girls,
My balls would get all mouldy,
A-way! haul a-way!
Haul away on the pecker of the Bold Blackamoor!

From Randolph, "Roll Me in Your Arms." Legman explains that, although the Bold Blackamoor was the name of a ship, it is an allusion to the folk belief that the Negro male has a penis longer than that of the average white male.

Shenandora, or the Wide Missouri

Oh, Shenandora, I love your daughter,
(Look) Away! you mighty river!
I love the hole where she makes ater,
AWAY! (my boys,) we're gone away!
Across the wide Missourah.

Also from Randolph, "Roll Me in Your Arms." Apparently there were several versions about the Indian Chief, Shenandore and crossing the wide Missouri Territory.


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: ooh-aah
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 06:31 PM

A brief read of that wonderful rascal Rochester will give a pretty good idea of what naughty words and terms were in use in the second half of the seventeenth century. Hre's a little sample (not to be read if you've just eaten),

            I rise at eleven, I dine about two,
            I get drunk before seven; and the next thing I do,
            I send for my whore, when for fear of a clap,
            I spend in her hand, and I spew in her lap.
            Then we quarrel and scold, 'till I fall fast asleep,
            When the bitch, growing bold, to my pocket does creep;
            Then slyly she leaves me, and, to revenge the affront,
            At once she bereaves me of money and cunt.
            If by chance then I wake, hot headed and drunk,
            What a coil I do make for the loss of my punk!
            I storm and I roar, and I fall in a rage,
            And missing my whore, I bugger my page.
            Then, crop-sick all morning, I rail at my men,
            And in bed I lie yawning 'till eleven again.

And Rochester was upper-class; a marquis or somesuch! What did the sailors sing back then!


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Subject: RE: Waterd Down Shanties
From: toadfrog
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 12:41 AM


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