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Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River

DigiTrad:
THE CHINEE BUMBOATMAN


GUEST 30 Jan 05 - 07:32 AM
Leadfingers 30 Jan 05 - 07:41 AM
My guru always said 30 Jan 05 - 08:27 AM
Snuffy 30 Jan 05 - 09:28 AM
Lighter 30 Jan 05 - 03:17 PM
JWB 30 Jan 05 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jan 05 - 06:32 PM
Shanghaiceltic 30 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM
Snuffy 30 Jan 05 - 07:39 PM
Charley Noble 30 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,folkiefrank 30 Jan 05 - 09:51 PM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM
Barry Finn 29 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM
gnomad 29 Mar 06 - 04:43 PM
EBarnacle 29 Mar 06 - 08:01 PM
Charley Noble 30 Mar 06 - 05:38 PM
LadyJean 30 Mar 06 - 11:58 PM
Mr Happy 05 Aug 08 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 08 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 05 Aug 08 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 08 - 10:18 PM
Mr Happy 06 Aug 08 - 08:48 AM
wysiwyg 27 Apr 15 - 10:07 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:32 AM

This is a comic song that I last heard in the 1970's.

The chorus goes something like -
This is the story of Win Chan Lu,
Who sailed on the Yangtze River-I-iver-I-itchicom-itchicom-
Yah-yah-yah. Sailorman no likee me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:41 AM

Its in the Digitrad as 'Chinee BumboatMan' Brouse C or look in search ! Its a good song and always was !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: My guru always said
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 08:27 AM

GUEST: I'm not sure if you know where all the Digitrad lyrics are held, but if you click here you will find the words.

There is a fantastic database of lyrics here, have a look around. They're filed in the database rather than on the discussion threads in an effort to conserve the space on the Mudcat servers which is why it's usually better to use the 'search' facilities before using the forum to find them. However, the database is by no means complete so do ask again if you can't find something. Enjoy your browsing & the song :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 09:28 AM

Hugill includes it in his Shanties of the Seven Seas. He says it was usually a forebitter, but "often used as a shanty when pumping ship. I have sung it myself in such capacity"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 03:17 PM

There is evidence to show that this once-popular but rarely printed comic song was the work of Petty Officer George Willis, USN, assigned to the Asiatic Fleet in the 1870s. Willis, a Civil War veteran, is also credited with having written the lyrics of the well-known "Cumberland's Crew" in Pensacola shortly after reading of the fight between CSS "Virginia [formerly USS "Merrimack]" and the sloop-of-war USS "Cumberland"

Willis was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1873 for "gallant and meritorious conduct...off the coast of Greenland" while serving aboard USS "Tigress."

You heard it here first.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze Ri
From: JWB
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 04:11 PM

One of the things I like about "The Chinee Bumboatman" is that it describes the mother of all food fights. For example, "The red-hot dumplings flew like lead...". Gives one a whole new perspective on dim sum.

Jerry


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Subject: DT Correction: The Chinee Bumboatman
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 06:32 PM

The version in the Digital Tradition is from Stan Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas. The DT has a few typographical errors, so I'll post corrected lyrics:

THE CHINEE BUMBOATMAN

I'll sing ye a story o' trouble an' woe,
That'll cause ye to shudder and shiver,
Concernin' a Chinese bumboat man that sailed the Yangtze River.
He wuz a heathen o' high degree, as the joss-house records show,
His family name was Wing Chang Loo,
But the sailors all called him Jim Crow-ee-eye-oh-ee-eye!

CHORUS:
Hitchee-kum, kitchee-kum, yah! yah! yah!
Sailormen no likee me,
No savvy the story of Wing Chang Loo
Too much of the bober-eye-ee, Kye-eye

Now Wing Chang Loo he fell in love, with a gal called Ah Chu Fong,
She `ad two eyes like pumpkin seeds, an' slippers two inches long,
But Ah Chu Fong loved a pirate bold with all her heart an' liver,
He wuz the capitan of a double-decked junk,
An' he sailed the Yangtze river-eye-iver-eye! CHORUS


When Wing Chang Loo he heard o' this, he swore an' `orrible oath:
If Ah Chu marries that pirate bold, I `ll make sausage meat o' them both!
So he hoisted his blood-red battle flag, put into the Yangtze River,
He steered her east an' south an' west,
Till that pirate he did diskiver-eye-iver-eye!
CHORUS

The drums they beat to quarters an' the cannons did loudly roar,
The red `ot dumplin`s flew like lead, an' the scuppers they ran with gore.
The pirate paced the quarterdeck with never a shake nor a shiver,
He wuz shot in the stern wid' a hard-boiled egg, That penetrated his liver-eye-iver-eye!
CHORUS

The dyin' pirate feebly cried, "We'll give the foe more shot,
If I can't marry Ah Chu Fong, then Wing Chang Loo shall not!"
When a pease-pudden `ot hit the bumboat's side, it caused a `orrible scene,
It upset a pot of `ot bow-wow soup, An' exploded the magazye-eenee-aye-eenee!


Shanties from the Seven Seas

@sailor @China
filename[ CHINBUM
TUNE FILE: CHINBUM
CLICK TO PLAY
JY

The tune in the Digital Tradition is exactly the same as what's in Hugill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM

Bit of background info for anyone who is interested.

In mainland China the Yangtze (also spelled Yangtse) is called the Chang Jiang which means Long River. The name Yangtze is taken from Cantonese, now known as Guangdonghua (Guangdong dialect). The name still emans the Long River however. Chang Jiang is Mandarin (now referred to in China as Putonghua, common speach).

The reason that Cantonese would have been used was the reliance in the early days of opening up China to the west on translators from the Hong Kong and Macau area whose mother tongue would have been Cantonese not Mandarin.

The reference to dumplings might not be to dim sum, which are small dumplings steamed in bamboo wicker baskets but to the larger ones called mantou, these are much bigger and could be plain or filled with either meat or a mix of chopped veggies.

Hard boiled eggs could be a reference to what are sometimes called Tea Eggs. Chicken eggs boiled in a mix of black tea, soy and water. This blackens the shell and darkens the egg white and yolk. Quite tasty and bloody hot when you first get them in your hands. Ditto the dumplings.

Pumpkin seeds are still a favourite snack here, they are roasted and ypu often see people with a bag of them cracking them between their teeth to husk them. Girls with Pumpkin seed like eyes were considered beauties, Ditto the reference to bound feet. This was no ordinary girl but one of class who was expected not to work. Footbinding made normal work impossible, and it was supposed to to enhance the beauty of a girl and make her more marriageable.

Bumboats was a general Naval reference to small boats that would come alongside ships at anchor to sell veggies, fruit, any anything else a sailor needed. Often the goods were of the female kind a sort of miniature floating brothel.

Whatever, Goerge Willis certainly knew China, he was probably part of the Yangtze Squadron which was an early example of joint naval operations against the Chinese who were rather more than upset about the opium being imported by all the foreign nations in that period. This led to the two Opium Wars.

Piracy was also rife up and down the coast of China. Though there was an established Imperial government in Beijing (Peking) it could not control the warlords in the country side. Many of these warlords also had their own fleets which were better armed than the Chinese navy of the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:39 PM

Too much of the bober-eye-ee, Kye-eye? What's the bober? I've always understodd it as Too much of a bother-eye-ee, Kye-eye (i.e. not worth bothering about).

And do you really feel comfortable nowadays singing such racial stereotypes? Or does yellow not count, only black?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 07:40 PM

Someone should suggest that this song is not politically correct.

There, I've done it.

I feel so much better.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: GUEST,folkiefrank
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 09:51 PM

Somewhere in the depths of my attic I have a recording of this song, taped from an early 70's Jim Lloyd's programme of Folk on 2 (Hellooooow), by a chap called Johnston Elwood. On the same prog he sang a song called "Dan Leno's Hornpipe" which featured a recording o f an actual Dan Leno clog dance. I suppose it must have been a record revue of an LP(remember them?) but it's so long ago I can't remember. Auld Timer's disease I call it! So Whatever happened to J.E.?...........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM

I've always understodd it as

Too much of the Barbaryee-eye-ee, Kye-eye

Poss reference to Barbary pirates or to barbarians?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 04:19 PM

A few years back I heard Shanty Jack do a great redition of this in concert at a Mystic Sea Music Festival. Plainly politcally incorrect, after a sceptial but hardy applause. The MC, Craig Edwards, handled the situation with the touch of a master by saying "here at Mystic we may not do things correct all the time but we always do them right" or something to that effect. If it doesn't get sung it on no use to let it collect dust buried in a book some where, might as well just burn the book & toss it, though a little bit of sensitivity wouldn't harm the song.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze Ri
From: gnomad
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 04:43 PM

folkiefrank: Johnston Elwood was awarded a (gold?) medal by EFDSS during the 70s, having played a large part in the survival of the Durham style of clog dancing.

He was then quite an old man and could dance only for a short time, taking his weight on his arms onto two chair backs, or with two helpers taking the place of the chairs. His sense of humour seemed strong, though, and he appreciated a comic song and dance act called, IIRC, the Marrers.

I haven't heard of his having died, but I have also not heard his name come up for a long time. Somewhere I should have some pics of the medal ceremony, better start rooting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: EBarnacle
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 08:01 PM

In his "Bowsprit Ashore," Alexander Bone refers to a Hobson Jobson and uses similar distortions to refer to a Chinese celebration, in the case of the story, a holiday. Consider that some of the distortions might have sounded like Chinese speech to the sailors hearing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 05:38 PM

Nice background information on this horrid song!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:58 PM

If you can find it, Clam Chowder recorded the shanty on one of their early collections. Look them up and you'll find Wing Chang Lu and a bunch of other great shanties.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 08:13 AM

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=v3ku0c8SrYw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 10:50 AM

I've enjoyed hearing about this song, which manages to be clever and silly at the same time.

Under the guidelines for the Enforcement Arm of the Pan-Global Association for the Relentlessly Politically Correct, silliness is permitted by paragraph 35427654(b)16-w subparagraph 4.
====
Thanks for the first-hand observations, Shanghai. That was esp. interesting about the pumpkinseeds and the eggs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 05:25 PM

As far as I recall, boberee is pidgin for idle chatter or nonsense.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 10:18 PM

That makes the most sense, so far, Boatman. Or should I call you Vulgar? On second thought, no.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: Mr Happy
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 08:48 AM

The U Tube chap sings well, but it's not exactly the same tune I've heard by singers in Cheshire & Shropshire - maybe its regional variations?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Win Chan Lu, sailed on the Yangtze River
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Apr 15 - 10:07 PM

Given the US history of Jim Crow, are there any other acceptable versions?


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