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Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)

IanC 14 Jul 03 - 05:54 AM
Charley Noble 14 Jul 03 - 08:22 AM
Dead Horse 14 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM
masato sakurai 14 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM
Nancy King 14 Jul 03 - 09:43 PM
Chanteyranger 15 Jul 03 - 01:42 AM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 15 Jul 03 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,MMario 15 Jul 03 - 04:04 PM
Nerd 16 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM
Snuffy 16 Jul 03 - 06:50 PM
toadfrog 16 Jul 03 - 11:47 PM
Abby Sale 17 Jul 03 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 03 - 03:49 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 03 - 03:52 PM
Nancy King 17 Jul 03 - 11:21 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 03 - 12:32 PM
Nancy King 18 Jul 03 - 09:44 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Aug 03 - 06:54 PM
toadfrog 02 Aug 03 - 07:33 PM
Nancy King 03 Aug 03 - 03:49 PM
shipcmo 14 Apr 10 - 11:20 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Apr 10 - 04:44 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: IanC
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 05:54 AM

Shanties from Wedderburn's "Complaynt of Scotland" (1549)



This post from the "Origin of Sea Shanties" thread gives quotes by R. B. Whall from "The Complaynt of Scotland" (supposed 1549).

Wedderburn's (1550) publication of this has now been transcribed by The Bodleian Library, Oxford and can be found here (you have to agree to their terms). Here's the whole section containing the sea shanties (my punctuation).

[f32R…] I leukyt far furtht on the salt flude there i beheld ane galiasse gayly grathit for the veyr lyand fast at ane ankir and hyr salis in hou. I herd mony vordis amang the marynalis bot i vist nocht quhat thai menit zit i sal reherse and report ther crying and ther cals. In the fyrst the master of the galiasse gart the botis man pas vp to the top to leuk far furtht gyf he culd see ony schips than the botis man leukyt sa lang quhil that he sau ane quhyt sail than he cryit vitht ane skyrl. Quod he "I see ane grit schip". Than the maister quhislit and bald the marynalis "lay the cabil to the cabilstok to veynde and veye". Than the marynalis began to veynd the cabil vitht mony loud cry ande as ane cryit al the laif cryit in that samyn tune as it hed bene ecco in ane hou heuch and as it aperit to me thai cryit [f32v] thir vordis as eftir follouis.

veyra veyra veyra veyra
gentil gallandis gentil gallandis
veynde i see hym veynd i see hym
pourbossa pourbossa
hail al ande ane hail al and ane
hail hym vp til vs hail hym vp til vs

than quhen the ankyr vas halit vp abufe the vattir ane marynel cryit and al the laif follouit in that sam tune.

caupon caupona caupon caupona
caupun hola caupun hola
caupun holt caupon holt
sarrabossa sarrabossa

Than thai maid fast the schank of the ankyr and the maistir quhislit and cryit tua men "abufe to the foir ra cut the raibandis and lat the foir sail fal hail doune the steir burde lufe harde a burde hail eftir the foir sail scheit hail out the bollene". Than the master quhislit ande cryit tua men "abufe to the mane ra cut the raibandis and lat the mane sail and top sail fal hail doune the lufe close aburde hail eftir the mane sail scheit hail out the mane sail boulene". Than ane of the marynalis began to hail and to cry and al the marynalis ansuert of that samyn sound

hou hou
pulpela pulpela
boulena boulena
darta darta
hard out steif hard out steif
afoir the vynd afoir the vynd
god send god send fayr vedthir [f33r] fayr vedthir
mony pricis mony pricis
god foir lend god foir lend
stou stou
mak fast & belay

Than the master cryit "and bald renze ane bonet vire the trossis nou heise". Than the marynalis began to heis vp the sail cryand

heisau heisau
vorsa vorsa
vou vou
ane lang draucht ane lang draucht
mair maucht mair maucht
zong blude zong blude
mair mude mair mude
alse flasche false flasche
ly a bak ly a bak
ang suak lang suak
that that that that
thair thair thair thair
zallou hayr zallou hayr
hips bayr hips bayr
til hym al til hym al
viddefullis al viddefuls al
grit and smal grit and smal
ane and al ane and al
heisau heisau
nou mak fast the theyrs

Than the master cryit "top zour topinellis hail on zour top sail scheitis vire zour liftaris and zour top sail trossis & heise the top sail hiear hail out the top sail boulene heise the myszen and change it ouer to leuart hail the linche and the scheitis hail the trosse to the ra". Than the master cryit on the rudir man mait "keip ful and by a luf cumna hiear holabar arryua steir clene vp the helme this and so".

Than quhen the schip vas taiklit the master cryit "boy to the top schaik out the flag on the top mast tak in zour top salis [f33v] and thirl them pul doune the nok of the ra in daggar vyise marynalis stand be zour geyr in taiklene of zour salis euery quartar master til his auen quartar boitis man bayr stanis & lyme pottis ful of lyme in the craklene pokis to the top and paueis veil the top vitht pauesis and mantillis gunnaris cum heir & stand by zour artailzee euyrie gunnar til his auen quartar mak reddy zour cannons culuerene moyens culuerene bastardis falcons saikyrs half saikyrs and half falcons slangis & half slangis quartar slangis hede stikkis murdresaris pasuolans bersis doggis doubil bersis hagbutis of croche half haggis culuerenis ande hail schot ande ze soldartis & conpangzons of veyr mak reddy zour corsbollis hand bollis fyir speyris hail schot lancis pikkis halbardis rondellis tua handit sourdis and tairgis".

Than this gaye galliasse beand in gude ordour sche follouit fast the samyn schip that the botis man hed sene and for mair speid the galliasse pat furtht hir stoytene salis ande ane hundretht aris on euerye syde the master gart al his marynalis & men of veyr hald them quiet at rest be rason that the mouyng of the pepil vitht in ane schip stoppis hyr of [f34r] hyr faird of this sort the said galiasse in schort tyme cam on vynduart of the tothir schip.

Than eftir that thai hed hailsit vthirs thai maid them reddy for battel than quhar i sat i hard the cannons and gunnis mak mony hiddeus crak "duf duf duf duf duf duf". The barsis and falcons cryit "tirduf tirduf tirduf tirduf tirduf tirduf". Than the smal artailze cryit "tik tak tik tak tik tak tik tak". The reik smeuk and the stink of the gun puldir fylit al the ayr maist lyik as plutois paleis hed been birnand in ane bald fyir quhilk generit sik mirknes & myst that i culd nocht see my lyntht about me quhar for i rais and returnit to the fresche feildis that i cam fra.


Four different shanties, with moslty comprehensible words. I specially like the "Yellow hair, yellow hair/Hips bare, hips bare" in the last one!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 08:22 AM

What a thoughtful post to those of us who want to know more. Let's hoist a can of grog to Ian!

Cheerily.
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Dead Horse
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM

...............gin!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM

Thanks, Ian, for the link and editing.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Nancy King
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 09:43 PM

One of those songs has been enjoying something of a revival in (relatively) recent years. In the 13th novel in the Aubrey-Maturin series, "The Thirteen-Gun Salute," (published in 1989), Patrick O'Brian includes some Orkneymen in the crew of the Surprise (while she was sailing as a Letter of Marque, not a Naval ship). These hands sing chant-like songs as they raise sail, one of which is clearly the one above that begins, "Heisau, heisau." I don't have a copy of the book here, so I can't check whether the other chants in the book are also from the "Complaynt." I'll check it at work tomorrow if I get a chance and the Library's copy is in.

I recognized "Heisau" because, in 1987 or 88, The Boarding Party recorded a version of it on their album, "Fair Winds and a Following Sea," (Folk-Legacy C-109). They called it "Heise, all." Jonathan Eberhart worked on it a little bit, consulting with any number of authorities in his compulsive way, and came out with something reasonably singable, giving it a simple modal tune. He explained the whole process in the extensive album notes.

Cheers,
Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (15
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 01:42 AM

Thanks, Ian! Hey, no complaynts here!

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 03:51 PM

Just checked O'Brian's "The Thirteen-Gun Salute," and one of the other "songs" the Orkneymen sing goes:

Afore the wind, afore the wind
God send, God send
Fair Weather, fair weather,
Many prizes, many prizes.

Which is clearly a part of the third bit from the "Complaynt." I'm not sure why this fascinates me so, but I guess it does show that O'Brian was reading "The Complaynt of Scotland" back in the 1980s.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 04:04 PM

And that he cared enough to put in authentic bits not widely known.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Nerd
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, O'Brian was even more obsessive than many of us, as he had to be to write books we don't poke holes in. But of course it's unlikely that these shanties would have been preserved for so long...

Thanks for the post, Ian! I wonder if they really sang "that that that that, there there there there"? It does sound like an imperfect memory of a shanty, as one might expect given the circs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 06:50 PM

Sounds very likely to me. Everybody would know the words for that part.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: toadfrog
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 11:47 PM

For sure, we'll never know whether they really sang that. I guess we gotta suspend disbelief.

Thanks from me, too, Ian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (15
From: Abby Sale
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 11:45 AM

Hi, Nancy. How goes?

The BP's rendition of "Heise, All" is to me, one of the most striking songs of those two wonderful records. Worth buying for that alone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (15
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 03:49 PM

At the risk of thread creep, there is a CD out of traditional sailor songs that O'Brian refers to in his books. It's "Roast Beef of Old England". Doesn't have Heise All -- probably because the Boarding Party has the definitive version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 03:52 PM

and a most excellent CD it is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Nancy King
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 11:21 PM

Hi Abby -- thanks for the kind words!

I wouldn't say The Boarding Party's is the "definitive" version, but then how many versions are there? As Toadfrog points out, nobody will ever know how the sailors heard by the writer of the Complaynt sang -- or chanted or shouted -- it. O'Brian's Captain Aubrey was quite taken with the Orkneymen's vocalizations and pointed them out to Maturin. In the recorded version of the book, narrator Patrick Tull, who is really great, gives it a more chant-like interpretation. The song (in known written form, at least) is nearly 500 years old and has no doubt evolved a bit over that time, as folksongs do.

Trivia alert: This is the song that prompted Jonathan to make a special trip up to Folk-Legacy to re-record the last word, having realized only after the song was already recorded what the last bit should be. Sandy's expert razor-blade work edited it in seamlessly.

I'm kicking myself for not picking up "Roast Beef of Old England" at Mystic, when I had the chance. Guess I'll have to see if Camsco has it.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (15
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 12:32 PM

Nancy,

Roast Beef is available on www.woodenshipsmusic.com and at www.essaycd.com.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Nancy King
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 09:44 PM

Thanks, I'll check 'em out!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Aug 03 - 06:54 PM

Would anyone care to translate the text from IanC's post into modern English? There are quite a few words there I don't understand.

Exactly what language or dialect is that, anyway? It seems to be a variety of old Scots or English, but I don't quite recognize it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: toadfrog
Date: 02 Aug 03 - 07:33 PM

Note: If Camsco don't have it, they will get if for you! And if you phone, you have the privilege of talking to Dick Greenhaus! Don't assume that the only stuff Camsco has is what you see on line!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Nancy King
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 03:49 PM

I plan to get "Roast Beef of Old England" very soon -- thanks for all the leads.

I would never presume to "translate" the text of the Complaynt, but I can provide a brief synopsis, quoted from Jonathan's notes for "Heise, All":


        "…The Complaynt of Scotland…was printed in 1549 and hardly mentions ships or sailing at all, being instead a turgid political tract about tensions between Scotland and England at the time. Partway in, however, the author (whose identity is disputed) declares himself fatigued by such heavy stuff and decides to go for a walk – about which he reports to the reader in fascinating detail, ranging from a tally of the birds of the field to a shepherd's discourse on meteorology and pre-Copernican cosmology.

        "During his sojourn, (much of which was included only as a fortunate afterthought, by cutting out some of the book's original, already printed pages and replacing them with others), the author wanders down by the seaside, where he 'sat doune to see the flouying of the fame.' There he catches sight of a ship called a galliasse, probably a cross between an oared galley and a sail-equipped galleon, lying at anchor and fitted out for battle. Suddenly, a sailor sent aloft on watch cries, 'I see a grit schip!', whereupon the master of the galliasse promptly begins issuing orders in preparation for giving chase.

        "What follows is action-packed, jargon-filled and historically priceless – particularly including the four shanties that the author hears and writes down (ostensibly verbatim) as he looks on. Surrounded by detailed descriptions of the handling of the rigging, the first is used for weighing anchor, followed by a shorter one for 'catting' or 'fishing' it. The next accompanies the hauling of the main bowline (though Captain W. B. Whall, in his Ships, Seasons and Shanties, unaccountably assigns its latter lines to a separate shanty for hoisting the lower yard).

        "The last, and the one we've recorded here, appears to be for raising the main yard (though Whall seems to have made two shanties out of this one as well). Among the unanswerable questions about it is the basic one of whether it is even a shanty at all, in the conventional sense of having a tune (no music appears in the Complaynt), or merely a 'sing-out,' which is more of a call-and-response shouting. …"


Jonathan went on to describe how he came up with the tune the BP used, and then observed:

        "The words, however, are the toughest part of all, and not just because the original Complaynt is written in 400-year-old Scottish nautical terminology. Some terms have changed, and the author admits that 'I heard many words among the mariners, but I knew not what they meant.' …"


We probably just have to guess at some of it, but actually I've been surprised at how much of it I can figure out if I take the time.

The indentation, italics, and underlining included in the Word document I copied this from failed to appear here. You'll just have to do without, I guess. Sorry. Anyhow, hope this is helpful.

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (15
From: shipcmo
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 11:20 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sea Shanties from 'The Complaynt' (1549)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:44 PM

Google books has an edition printed in 1801:

The Complaynt of Scotland: Written in 1548. With a Preliminary Dissertation and Glossary edited by John Leyden (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1801). The chantey beginning "veyra, veyra" begins on page 62 of the Complanyt. (Page numbering begins over with 1 after the 292-page dissertation.) The glossary begins at page 305.

Many other books quote from the Complaynt. You can see some of them listed here: Search Google Books for "veyra veyra".

Some of those books might have translations or other commentaries; I haven't examined them all.

[By the way, when I first started posting links to Google Books, I often heard from British Mudcatters that they couldn't always see the same things I could see. Is that still the case? Can you see the text in my first link above? Does it make any difference if you use http://books.google.co.uk/ instead of http://books.google.com/ ?]


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