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Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)

DigiTrad:
RIO GRANDE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Different Version of Rio Grande (4)
Lyr Add: Rio Grande (from Leighton Robinson) (5)


Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Mar 05 - 09:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Mar 05 - 09:24 PM
Lighter 08 Mar 05 - 09:32 PM
radriano 09 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Mar 05 - 06:07 PM
masato sakurai 09 Mar 05 - 07:48 PM
masato sakurai 09 Mar 05 - 09:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Mar 05 - 06:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 11 - 09:55 PM
Keith A of Hertford 19 Jul 11 - 11:46 AM
Gibb Sahib 20 Jul 11 - 02:41 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 Jul 11 - 02:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jul 11 - 03:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM
Gibb Sahib 20 Jul 11 - 04:17 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:07 PM

Lighter has posted a link to Robinson's singing of "Rio Grande," and links to other songs recorded by Robinson in thread 72642: Robinson Rio
Rather than muddy that thread, here is one for other versions of this old song and chantey.
Perhaps the first mention in print is by G. W. Sheldon, 1882, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, July, pp. 281-286, "Sailor Songs."

"The most pretentious, though not always the most meritorious, of windlass songs were those in which the second chorus was greatly extended, and made in some instances longer than all the rest of the song. Of these, there is one in which the chorus rises and swells with the crescendo of the heaving Atlantic swell" (music given).

Lyr. Add: Rio Grande
(Sheldon, 1882)
Solo:
I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
Chorus:
Rolling Rio...
Solo:
I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
Chorus:
To my Rolling Rio Grande.
Hurrah, you Rio,
Rolling Rio.
So fare you well, my bonny young girls,
For I'm bound for the Rio Grande.
No other verses given.

Speaking of the shanthman, Sheldon says: "If he was an artist of any real cultivation, he had at least seventy-five songs at his tongue's end."
Sheldon speaks disparagingly of the quality of the songs and mentions that many were "highly objectionable on the score of morality.." But hegoes on to say that they were no worse in this respect than the songs "which one occasionally hears in the smoking car of an excursion train..."
Already, in 1882, he said: "But both the good and the bad songs ceased when the sailor disappeared, and to revive them on the deck of an iron steam-ship would be as impossible as to bring back the Roman trireme."

Lyr. Add: Rio Grande
(Carmina Princetonia, 1894)

1. Where are you going, my pretty maid?
Heave away. Heigh ho!
I'm going a-milking, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

Chorus:
Heave away, heigh ho!
Heave away, heigh ho! heigh ho!
I'm going a milking, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

2. Oh, what is your father, my pretty maid?
Heave away, Heigh ho!
My father's a farmer, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

Chorus:
Heave away, heigh ho!
Heave away, heigh ho! heigh ho!
My father's a farmer, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

3. Oh! what is your fortune, my pretty maid?
Heave away, heigh ho!
My face is my fortune, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

Chorus:

4. Oh! then I'll not marry you, my pretty maid,
Heave away, heigh ho!
Oh! nobody asked you, Sir, she said,
And I'm bound for the Rio Grande.

Chorus:
Note- The Chorus repeats the last two lines of each verse.

Printed with music. M. Taylor Pyne et al., Editorial Committee, 1894, Carmina Princetonia, The University Song Book," 8th ed. Supplementary, Martin R. Dennis & Co., Newark, NJ.

Both of these versions are earlier than those mentioned in "The Traditional Ballad Index," but the songs seem to date back to the time when the coast and ports of Rio Grande do Sul were important to seamen. Stan Hugill discusses this in his books.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:24 PM

A resemblance of the form of the first verse of "Rio Grande" in Carmina Princetonia to that of the ballad, "The Milk Maid":

Where are you going to my pretty fair maid
With your red rosy cheeks and your coal blach hair
I'm going a milking, kind sir, she answered me
Rolling on the dew makes the milk maid fair.

Harding B11 (2422). Between 1821-1850, Bodleian Library
http://bodley.ox.ac.uk/ballads/ballads.htm.

No real relationship, but "where are you going my pretty fair maid" begins several old broadsides.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 09:32 PM

Here's a text from John R. Spears, "Songs the Sailors Sing," The New York Sun, date unknown but ca 1900.

Oh, where are you going to, my pretty maid ?
Away, Rio.
Oh, where are you going to, my pretty maid ?
We're bound to Rio Grande.

Chorus:
Away, Rio,
Away, Rio,
Oh fare you well, my bonny young girl,
We're bound forthe Rio Grande.

[Similarly:] I'm going out milking, sir, she said.

May I go with you, my pretty maid ?

Oh, yes, if you wish to, sir, she said.

What is your father, my pretty maid ?

He's a kicker-out in a t'eater, sir, she said.

What is your fortune, my fair maid ?

My face is my fortune, sir, she said.

Then I can't marry you, my fair maid.

Well, nobody asked you to, sir, she said.


Hugill observes that the conversation with the maid often became "unprintable." This version suggests the direction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: radriano
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 01:41 PM

The "pretty fair maid" verses, ususally the first two in the shanty (chantey) were the regulation verses, the rest of the verses being improvised or borrowed from other shanties.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 06:07 PM

Lyr. Add: The Rio Grande
(Great Lakes verses)

Solo:
Oh, say were you ever in Rio Grande?
Chorus:
Away you, Rio!
Solo:
It's there that the river runs down golden sand.

And we're bound for the Rio Grande.
And away, haul away, away, you Rio!
It's fare you well, my bonnie young gal,
We're bound for the Rio Grande!

Oh, man the good capstan and run it around
We'll heave in the anchor, for we're outward bound.

Oh, man the good capstan, heave steady and strong,
And sing a good chorus for 'tis a good song.

Our anchor we'll weigh, and the sails we will set
And the girls in Chicago we'll never forget.

Oh, the town of Chicago is no place for me,
I'll pick up my dunnage and go off to sea.

Oh, good-bye to Sally, and good-bye to Sue
And you who are listening, it's good-bye to you.

It's good-bye, fair ladies, it's good-bye all 'round
We've left enough cash to buy half this town.

In Rio Grande I'll take my stand,
Oh, Rio Grande is a happy fair land.

It's there that the Portagee girls can be found
And they are the girls to waltz sailors around.

We'll ride in a carriage and live high and free.
Oh, that happy strand is the right place for me.

Away, Rio, away you Rio!

Composite, verses recalled by Captain William Clark, Carl Joys of Milwaukee, Ben Peckham of Oswego, and Robert "Brokenback" Collen. "All had sailed in the grain freighters between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Buffalo.
Note: Often prefaced with some stanzas from an old English nursery song beginning "Oh, where are you going, my pretty fair maid?"

Ivan H. Walton and Joe Grimm, 2002, "Windjammers, Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors," pp. 34-36, with music. Wayne State University Press, Detroit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 07:48 PM

Harper's new monthly magazine. / Volume 65, Issue 385, p. 285 ("Rolling Rio," with music).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 09:02 PM

To my regret, "Rio Grande" isn't included in the 21st edition of Carmina Princetonia (1927).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM

Thanks for giving the link to the one in my first post, Masato.

Titles for the song include "Rio Grande," "Bound for the Rio Grande," Away for Rio," Oh, Ate, Rio," and "Rolling Rio," there are others. Haven't found anything in the broadside sites yet.

Stan Hugill, in "Shanties from the Seven Seas," gives several "Rio Grande" songs, including one which is a bridge to the chantey "A Long Time Ago;" "Oh, Aye, Rio." These, with 'hay ho' or 'heigh ho' in the chorus, remind of the chorus in the text from "Carmina Princetonia," given above. I will reproduce that one here, but those interested in other versions of "Rio Grande" should get Hugill's books.

Lyr. Add: Oh, Aye, Rio

Oh, lady have you a daughter fine?
Ch: Oh, aye, Rio!
Oh, lady have you a daughter fine,
Fit for a sailor that's crossed the Line?
Ch:Tim-me way, hay, ho, high, a long time ago,
To me way, hay, ho, high, a long time ago!

Oh, yes, I have a daughter fine,
Ch. Oh, aye, Rio!
Oh, yes, I have a daughter fine,
Fit for a sailor that's crossed the Line.
Ch: To me way, hay, ho, high, a long time ago!
    To me way, hay, ho, high, a long time ago!

But madam, dear madam, she is too young,
But madam, dear madam, she is too young,
She's never been courted by anyone.

Oh, sailor, oh, sailor, I'm not too young,
Oh, sailor, oh, sailor, I'm not too young,
I've just been kissed by the butcher's son.
etc.

With music, p. 87, "Shanties From the Seven Seas," collected by Stan Hugill, 1961 and reprints, American edition pub. by Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 06:09 PM

Lyr. Add: Rio Grande
(Doerflinger, 1951)

Ch:
Heave away, Rio! Heave away, Rio!
Singin' fare you well, my bonnie young gal,
And we're bound to Rio Grande!

"May I come with you, my pretty maid?"
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
Oh, may I come with you, oh, my pretty maid?
Ch: When you're bound to Rio Grande!

Chorus

You can please yourself, young man, she did say,
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
You can please yourself, she did say,
Ch: Because I'm bound to Rio Grande!

Chorus

Now, when I can come to you with open arms,
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
Oh, when I can come to you with open arms,
Ch: When you're bound to Rio Grande!

Chorus

God bless you, may I only hope for your hand,
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
God bless you, may I only hope for your hand,
Ch: When you're bound to the Rio Grande!

Chorus

Now, there is one thing that I would like to say,
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
Oh, here is one thing that I would like to say,
Ch: And we're bound to the Rio Grande!

Chorus

I pray you tell, oh, may I have your hand?
Ch: heave away, Rio!
I pray you tell, oh, may I have your hand?
Ch: And I'm bound to the Rio Grande!

Chorus

Now, if you'll come back, as you went away-
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
If you'll come back as you went away-
Ch: We'll heave to the Rio Grande!

Chorus

I'll marry you when I come back and we'll say,
Ch: Heave away, Rio!
Oh, I'll marry you when I come back and we'll say
Ch: We'll heave for the Rio Grande!

Chorus.
From Wm. Doerflinger, 1951, revised 1972, "Shantymen & Shantyboys, Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman," 374 pp., Macmillan Co.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:55 PM

Lyr. Add: RIO GRANDE

"Oh, where are you going to, my pretty maid?"
Away, oh, Rio!
"Oh, I'm going a milking, sir," she said,
For we're bound for the Rio Grande.
Oh, away, oh, Rio!
Away, oh, Rio!
So fare you well, my bonny young girl,
For we're bound for the Rio Grande.

"Oh, may I go with you my sweet pretty maid?"
"I'm sure you're quite welcome, sir," she said.

Oh man the good capstan and run it around.
We'll heave in the sugar and then, homeward bound.

We'll sing to the maidens. Come sing as we heave;
You know at this parting how sadly we grieve.

Sing good-bye to Sally and good-bye to Sue,
And you who are listening, good-bye to you.

So heave up the sugar until it is high.
"Let go! Stand from under!" the mate he does cry.

Oh, heave with a will and heave steady and strong.
We'll sing a good chorus for 'tis a good song.

The ship she went sailing out over the bar;
They pointed her nose for the old Southern Star.

So good-bye, young ladies, we'll sing you no more.
But we'll drink to your health when we all go ashore.

Chantey "using words of the old Mother Goose melody and branching off to words of the windlass chantey..."

With musical score.
Frederick Pease Harlow, 1928, The Making of a Sailor, Dover reprint of Publication Number 17 of the Marine Researck Society, Salem, MA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 11:46 AM

Here is the version given by John Sampson in his 1926 book.
He says, "This is a very popular Capstan Shanty, and was common to all ships where the English language was spoken. it has an inspiring chorus and was used almost wholly when heaving up the anchor outward bound.

Oh were you ever in Rio Grande,
Away Rio,
It's there that the river runs down golden sand,
And we're bound for the Rio Grande.

So it's pack up your sea-chest and get under way,
The girls we are leaving will get our half pay.

Sing goodbye to Sally and goodbye to Sue,
And you who are listening, goodbye to you.

We've a jolly good ship and a jolly good crew,
We've jolly good mates and a good skipper too.

Now fill up your glasses and sing "Fare you well,"
To the bonny young lasses who loved you so well.

"Goodbye, fare you well, all you girls of the town,"
When we come back again you shall have a new gown.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 02:41 PM

The earliest mention I find to "Rio Grande" in my notes comes from,

1868 Dallas, E. S., ed. "On Shanties." _Once a Week_ 31 (1 Aug. 1868).

(The author of this article is unknown.)

Part of the chorus is given, in the following passage:

There is an air of romance about California, the Brazils, and Mexico, that has a peculiar charm for Jack, and has made them the subject of many a favourite shanty, as Rio Grande, Valparaiso, Round the Horn, and Santa Anna...

Rio Grande is perhaps the greatest favourite of this description of songs, but all the beauty lies in the mournful air :—

To Rio Grande we're bound away, away to Rio ; 

Then fare you well, my pretty young girls, 
   
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


The song next turns up in,

1869        Payn, James, ed. "Sailors' Shanties and Sea Songs." _Chambers's Journal_ 4(311) (11 December 1869): 794-6.

The author of this is also unknown. However, either it is the same author re-using his/her material, or it is directly plagiarized from the previous. The description of "Rio Grande" is practically verbatim.

There is an air of romance about California, the Brazils, and Mexico, that has a peculiar charm for Jack; and he has made them the subject of many a favourite shanty, as Rio Grande, Valparaiso, Round the Horn, and Santa Anna. Rio Grande is perhaps the greatest favourite of this description of songs, but all the beauty lies in the mournful air:

To Rio Grande we 're bound away, away to Rio; 

Then fare you well, my pretty young girls; 
   
We're bound to the Rio Grande.


Without going too crazy here in the analysis...one can see that although the second passage was copied from the first, it changed the chorus from "bound FOR" to "bound TO." This helps in identifying later writers who used one or other article as a source. Basically it was the second article -- which is the source of OED's early mention of "shanty" -- that was influential. Notably, the writer of the second article may not have known anything of substance about chanties, seeing as how he was only culling earlier articles and, for instance, did not correct the (presumed) mistake of listing "Valparaiso" and "Round the Horn" as 2 diff. items.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 02:56 PM

The next "Rio Grande" I have come in

1871        Adams, Nehemiah. _A Voyage Around the World_. Boston: Henry Hoyt.

The author was the father of RC Adams, a noted writer about chanties in his famous travelogue _On Board the Rocket_.

The song is mentioned here on the American ship Golden Fleece on a voyage, circa late 1869-70, from Boston to San Francisco, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. It was allegedly used for pumping. Only a phrase is mentioned.

...the boatswain's "Pumpship " at evening, when twelve or fifteen men entertain you with a song. Every tune at the pumps must have a chorus. The sentiment in the song is the least important feature of it, — the celebration of some portion of the earth or seas, other than here and now: "I wish I was in Mobile Bay," "I'm bound for the Rio Grande," with the astounding chorus from twenty-eight men, part of whom the fine moonlight and the song tempt from their bunks, is an antidote to monotony.

Next,

1876(Sept.) Symondson, F.W.H. _Two Years Abaft the Mast_. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons.

This one attributes "Rio Grande" during a voyage circa 1874 in the English ship Sea Queen, to Sydney. It was sung at the anchor capstan.

Whilst heaving up anchor prior to the tug towing us to the wharf, we had some good "chanties"—for Jack's spirits are at their highest at the thoughts of a run ashore. The "chanty" known under the name of " The Rio Grande" is particularly pretty, the chorus being:—

"Heave away, my bonny boys, we are all bound to Rio.
          Ho! and heigho!
Come fare ye well, my pretty young girl,
      For we're bound to the Rio Grande."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 03:16 PM

'bound for" 'sounds' better to me. But I'll let the grammar specialists argue about which is preferable.

The 1869 writer 'sounds' knowledgeable, talking of voyages and including parts of several chanties, but he seems not to have been a working member of a ship's crew. (the 1869 Chambers' is online).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM

The 1869 writer 'sounds' knowledgeable,...
It's all cobbled together from the 1868 Once a Week and another earlier article. I have compared them, and I see nothing original in the 1869 Chambers's. The chief significance of the Chambers's one IMO is that it was a "gateway." People weren't reading the articles it culled (the 1868, and one from 1858) (a fact that is evidenced by OED citing this one, not the 1868 one, as their earliest source for "shanty"). So this one became the source for later writers who were inclined to get their info from print. That being the case, it's peculiarities, and perhaps some of its mistakes, were more widely adopted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM

Next mention of "Rio Grande" is in

1879        Adams, Captain R.C. _On Board the Rocket_. Boston: D. Lothrop & Co.

Sea captain Adams was son of the earlier mentioned N. Adams. This account refers to his days on U.S. barque Rocket, circa 1865-1869 -- it was just before the time described by his dad. Adams has a section in which, from a 1879 vantage, he is talks generally about shanties they sang some 10 or more years earlier.

The third set of working songs comprises those used at the pumps, capstan and windlass, where continuous force is applied, instead of the pulls at intervals, as when hauling on ropes. Many of the second set of songs are used on such occasions, but there are a few peculiar to this use and of such are the following:

RIO GRANDE.

I'm bound away this very day.
    Ch: Oh, you Rio!
I'm bound away this very day, I'm bound for the Rio Grande.
    Chorus: And away you Rio! Oh, you Rio!
    I'm bound away this very day, I'm bound for the Rio Grande.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:17 PM

I should mention that RC Adams was the first to give a musical score. However, he has incorrectly barred the measures, so the rhythm is off/confusing if one is unfamiliar with the song.

After these comes Alden's article, described by Q at the top of this thread.

1882        Alden, W.L. "Sailors' Songs." _Harper's New Monthly Magazine_ (July 1882): 281-6.

Touches of it are unique. It uses the "fishes" theme for the solos. Musical notation is there.

The song then appears in

1883        Luce, Admiral Stephen Bleecker. _Naval Songs._ New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co.

This work reproduces the version from RC Adams, and corrects the faulty notation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:23 PM

A New York Times article next mentions "Rio Grande," and mentions the "milkmaid" theme, I believe, for the first time in connection with this chanty.

1884[Jan]        Unknown. "Minstrelsy on the Sea." The New York Times, 27 (Jan. 1884). pg. 10.

It says,

The song in which a young man meets a pretty maid, who, upon being cross-examined, informs him that her face is her fortune, and in a very pert and forward manner says: "Nobody asked you, Sir" when he announces his disinterested Intention of marrying her, has, after some alterations and renovations been transformed into a shanty, with the following somewhat irrelevant chorus: "I was bound for the Rio Grande."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:41 PM

James Runciman next mentions the song in one of his stories.

1885        Runciman, James. Skippers and Shellbacks. London: Chatto and Windus.

The story, "The Chief Mate's Trouble," is set in 1870. A barque is leaving port.

There was plenty for me to do without thinking of sentiment; yet, sweating and breathless as I was, I had time to feel sad when the shanty-man struck up, "Away down Rio." The chorus goes:

Then away, love, away,
Away down Rio.
O, fare you well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.

We were giving her the weight of the topsails, and all the fellows were roaring hard at the shanty,...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:49 PM

The 1880s was the start of the post-chanties era -- when landsmen were becoming aware of chanties while at the same time their demise was being lamented. Evidently, "Rio Grande" had become well-known enough that it could be referred to in a parody version, as in this college songster.

1887        Hills, W.H., ed. _Students' Songs_. Thirteenth ed. Boston: Rand Avery.

On pg 34 it includes a non-nautical version called "The Annex Maid," copyrighted 1881 by the author. The chorus is, "And I come from the Rio Grande."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 PM

Davis & Tozer's highly influential -- and highly contrived -- collection of chanties is my next source in the chronology of print mentions of "Rio Grande." One can expect to see these verses pop up again and again later, as this book was used by many as a source up through the early 20th century, when it was supplanted by collections like RR Terry's.

"Rio Grande" appeared in all these editions. It wasn't until the 2nd or 3rd edition that this version started having an influence on other writers.

1887[Aug]        Davis, J. and Ferris Tozer. Sailor Songs or 'Chanties'. London: Boosey & Co.

1890        Davis, J. and Ferris Tozer. Sailor Songs or 'Chanties'. Second edition. London: Boosey & Co.

1906        Davis and Tozer. 3rd edition?

1927        Davis, Frederick J. and Ferris Tozer. Sailors' Songs or "Chanties." London: Boosey & Co. "Revised edition"


There are no notes on the song's context. It is given with musical score, with the following text.

2. Away for Rio

Oh, the anchor is weigh'd, and the sails they are set, 

Away, Rio!
The maids that we're leaving we'll never forget, 

For we're bound to the Rio Grande, 

And away, Rio! aye, Rio! 

Sing fare-ye-well, my bonny young girl, 

For we're bound for the Rio Grande!

So man the good capstan, and run it around, 

We'll heave up the anchor to this jolly sound, 


We've a jolly good ship, and a jolly good crew, 

A jolly good mate, and a good skipper, too, 


We'll sing as we heave to the maidens we leave, 

You know at this parting how sadly we grieve,

Sing good-bye to Sally and good-bye to Sue
And you who are listening, good-bye to you, 


Come heave up the anchor, let's get it aweigh, 

It's got a firm grip, so heave steady, I say, 


Heave with a will, and heave long and strong, 

Sing a good chorus, for 'tis a good song, 


Heave only one pawl, then 'vast heaving, belay! 

Heave steady, because we say farewell to-day, 



The chain's up and down, now the Boatswain did say,

Heave up to the hawse-pipe, the anchor's a-weigh,


While the author was an experienced seaman, based on the rest of the collection one can suspect that many or most of these verses were composed expressly for this collection. We have no way of knowing which verses were "authentic," however I suppose a shrewd reader can tell, based on language, which verses were probably spruced up or contrived.

The important thing is that these verses have not yet (historically) been attested elsewhere, but that they do start to appear following. One can already see them in the "Great Lakes version" described by Q, above. While the author of that work said it was a composite of verses from sailors XY and Z, there is much from print sources -- that is, unless you believe that the orally-transmitted verses of the song were consistent enough to match Davis/Tozer's by coincidence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 12:30 AM

The author W. Clark Russell had experience as a sailor (before 1865), but he was also very much a "man of letters." His writings that mention chanties, beginning in 1883, describe them/quote them / title them largely based on his reading, rather than what experience he may have had. In other words, though we can envision his first-hand experience, the framework of his discussion is prior authors'.

1888[June]        Russell, W. Clark. "The Old Naval Song." Longman's Magazine Vol 12 (June 1888): 180-191.

If most of the forecastle melodies still current at sea be not the composition of Yankees, the words, at all events, are sufficiently tinctured by American sentiment to render my conjecture plausible. The titles of many of these working songs have a strong flavour of Boston and New York about them. 'Across the Western Ocean'; 'The Plains of Mexico'; 'Run, let the Bulljine, run !' 'Bound to the Rio Grande '; these and many more which I cannot immediately recollect betray to my mind a transatlantic inspiration. 'Heave to the Girls'; 'Cheerly, Men'; 'A dandy ship and a dandy crew'; 'Tally hi ho! You know'; ' Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies'; and scores more of a like kind, all of them working songs never to be heard off the decks of a ship, are racy in air and words of the soil of the States.

Despite my rather grandiose comment on the nature of Russell's writing, I can't say much based off the short phrase, except that the wording "bound to the" had previously appeared in the 1869 Chambers's, in Symondson's account, and in the Davis/Tozer collection. Which might mean nothing. It is possible (but, again, maybe meaningless) that Russell had peeked at Davis/Tozer's 1887 work, because in Russell's writings prior to 1887, though he mention several chanties he does not mention this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 12:45 AM

I was mistaken in the above. Davis/Tozer does not share a phrase with Russell.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 12:59 AM

The next author to have "Rio Grande" is L.A. Smith, in her very influential collection,

1888[June 1887]        Smith, Laura Alexandrine. The Music of the Waters. London: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co.

Smith copied heavily (verbatim) from prior writing, especially from the 1869 Chambers's article and from Alden's 1882 Harper's article. Less than 1/3 of the items were collected by Smith herself.

In the case of "Rio Grande" she gives 3 versions.

One is the "fishes" version, taken directly from Alden.

The source of the other two versions is hard to pin down. For the first, one verse only, musical score is given with lyrics beneath the staves.

Another outward-bound chanty is "To Rio Grande we're bound away ;" the tune of this last-named is very mournful, as will be found in the fews bars of the melody which follows:

The ship went sailing out over the bar,
O Rio! O Rio!
They pointed her nose for the Southron Star,
And we're bound for the Rio Grande.
Then away, love, away,
Away down Rio;
Then fare you well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


I don't think Smith collected it in the field, because her personal collections are presented differently (as musical score WITHOUT lyrics beneath). The way she describes it as "mournful," and the following passage (replete with 'mistake' of Valparaiso/Round the Horn) are straight out of 1869 Chambers's. However, even if she had slightly changed the lyrics, that wouldn't explain where the tune came from.

This then is followed by lyrics-only to another version. It provides the "milkmaid" theme in full for the first time.

"Valparaiso," "Round the Horn," and "Santa Anna," are all much in the same style as "Rio Grande."

Solo.—"Were you ever in Rio Grande?
Chorus.—Away you Rio.
Solo.—O were you ever in Rio Grande?
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
      Away you Rio, away you Rio.
      Fare you well, my pretty young girl,
      I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Solo.—As I was going down Broadway Street,
Solo.—A pretty young girl I chanced to meet,
Chorus.—I am bound to Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, away you Rio,
Fare you well, my pretty young girl,
I am off to Rio Grande.
Solo.—Oh where are you going, my pretty maid?
Solo.—Oh where are you going, my pretty maid?
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—I am going a milking, sir, she said.
Solo.—I am going a milking, sir, she said.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—What is your fortune, my pretty maid?
Solo.—What is your fortune, my pretty maid?
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande,
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—My face is my fortune, sir, she said.
Solo.—My face is my fortune, sir, she said.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—What is your father, my pretty maid?
Solo.—What is your father, my pretty maid?
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, away you Rio.
Then fare you well, my pretty young girl,
I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Solo.—My father's a farmer, sir, she said.
Solo.—My father's a farmer, sir, she said.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—What is your mother, my pretty maid?
Solo.—What is your mother, my pretty maid?
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—Wife to my father, sir, she said.
Solo.—Wife to my father, sir, she said.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—Then I can't marry you, niy pretty maid.
Solo.—Then I can't marry you, my pretty maid.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c.
Solo.—Nobody asked you, sir, she said.
Solo.—Nobody asked you, sir, she said.
Chorus.—I am bound to the Rio Grande.
Away you Rio, &c."


It's likely that the _Carmina Princetonia_ version (1894), upthread, ultimately derives from this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 01:19 AM

1888        Dickens, Charles, ed. [Unknown] "Sailors' Songs." _All the Year Round_ 1047 (22 Dec. 1888): 592-

Reproduces Smith's version with the "Southron Star." Possibly written by Smith?


***

1898[1894]        Brewer, Ebenezer, Cobham. _Dictionary of Phrase and Fable_. New edition, revised. Philadelphia: Henry Altemus.

An entry in a slang dictionary.

Shanty Songs. Songs sung by sailors at work, to ensure united action. They are in sets, each of which has a different cadence adapted to the work in hand. Thus, in sheeting topsails, weighing anchor, etc., one of the most popular of the shanty songs runs thus :—

"I'm bound away, this very day.
I'm bound for the Rio Grande.
Ho, you, Rio!
Then fare you well, my bonny blue bell,
I'm bound for the Rio Grande."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:08 AM

1900[June]        Patterson, J.E. "Sailors' Work Songs." _Good Words_ 41(28) (June 1900): 391-397.

Offers both hauling and heaving forms.

First, for the main topsail halyards.

After the fore, the main-topsail will be hoisted, and with the work we shall probably hear another outward-bound ditty, such as:

Oh, where are you going to, my yaller gal?
(Chorus.) Away to Rio! [All pull together.]
Oh, where are you bound to, bully-boys all?
We're bound to the Rio Grande! [Pull.]


Then the heaving form:

The above is also used as a windlass "chanty" when heaving up the anchor to leave home. The wording then generally runs:

Oh, where are you bound to, sailor boys all?
(Chorus.) Heave-o, Rio!
Oh, where are you bound to jolly Jack-tars? 
      
We're bound to the Rio Grande! 
   
Then it's heave-o, Rio! heave-o, Rio! 
   
And fare you well, my bonny young girl, 
   
For we're bound to the Rio Grande!
Oh, what to do there, my sailor-boys all?
       Heave o, Rio! 

Oh, what do you there, my jolly Jack-tars? 

In that far-away Rio Grande?
Then it's heave-o, Rio! &c.

After a stanza on the fever, this song goes on to say what the vessel will load according to probability—how she will return home, and what the "sailor-boys" will do on arrival—if they live to come back; and its air is as near as can be that of the independent milkmaid, whose face was her fortune.


***

1902        Lubbock, A. Basil. _Round the Horn Before the Mast_. London: John Murray.

Lubbock sailed at the turn of the century. I don't know whether he had any significant hands-on experience with chanties. The problem is that, although he leads the reader to believe that this was sung on the barque Royalshire from Frisco to Glasgow, it is a verbatim copy of Davis/Tozer's text:

We took the halliards to the small capstan forward, and mastheaded the yard to the chanty of "Away for Rio!" Jamieson singing the solo. It was pretty bad weather for chantying, but there is nothing like a chanty to put new life into a man, and we roared out the chorus at the top of our pipes….
Of all the chanties, I think "Away for Rio!" is one of the finest, and I cannot refrain from giving you the words.

CHANTY.—"AWAY FOR RIO!"

Solo. "Oh, the anchor is weigh'd, and the sails they are set,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "The maids that we're leaving we'll never forget,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio! aye, Rio! 
         
Sing fare-ye-well, my bonny young girl, 
      
We're bound for Rio Grande!"
Solo. "So man the good capstan, and run it around,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "We'll heave up the anchor to this jolly sound,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "We've a jolly good ship, and a jolly good crew,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "A jolly good mate, and a good skipper too,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "We'll sing as we heave to the maidens we leave,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "You know at this parting how sadly we grieve,"
Chorus. "For we're bound to Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "Sing good-bye to Sally and good-bye to Sue,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio 1"
Solo. "And you who are listening, good-bye to you,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "Come heave up the anchor, let's get it aweigh,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "It's got a firm grip, so heave steady, I say,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "Heave with a will, and heave long and strong,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "Sing a good chorus, for 'tis a good song,'
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "Heave only one pawl, then 'vast heaving, belay!"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "Heave steady, because we say farewell to-day,"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio!" etc.
Solo. "The chain's up and down, now the bosun did say,"
Chorus. "Away, Rio!"
Solo. "Heave up to the hawse-pipe, the anchor's aweigh!"
Chorus. "For we're bound for Rio Grande, 
      
And away, Rio! aye, Rio! 
         
Sing fare-ye-well, my bonny young girl, 
      
We're bound for Rio Grande!"
Of course the words are not exactly appropriate in the present occasion, but the chorus is one of the best I have ever heard, with its wild, queer wail.


So, these words were contrived for a musical collection and then reproduced, without citation and under the guise of folklore by someone with nautical clout. One finds the very same type of lyrics in Stan Hugill's composite, by which time all the sources seem to corroborate one another and one is led to accept them as traditional.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:25 AM

1902 Luce, S. B. _Naval Songs_. Second edition, revised. New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co.

This revised edition again includes the "Rio Grande" of RC Adams (1879). However, he adds a note about there being a milkmaid variation -- suggesting that in the interim since the first edition (1883) he read LA Smith's (1888) book.

***

1903        Whitmarsh, H. Phelps. "The Chantey-man." _Harper's Monthly Magazine_ 106(632) (Jan. 1903): 319-

When heaving anchor on an outwardbound vessel, a common one is "Rio Grande," which runs as follows:

WERE YOU EVER IN RIO GRANDE? [w/ score]

Were you ever in Rio Grande?
Away, you Rio.
Were you ever on that strand?
We're bound for the Rio Grande.
And away, you Rio,
Way, you Rio;
Then fare you well,
My bonny young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.

Where the Portugee girls can be found
Away, you Rio.
And they are the girls to waltz around,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.
And away, you Rio,
Way, you Rio;
Then fare you well,
My bonny young girl,
We're bound for the Rio Grande.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:41 AM

1904        Bradford, John and Arthur Fagge. _Old Sea Chanties_. London: Metzler & Co.

This little collection came out for performance purposes.

RIO GRANDE.

Where are you goin' to my pretty maid!
Way Heigh-ho!
O where are you goin' to my pretty maid?
We're bound for the Rio Grande.
Refrain. Then away Heigh-ho, away Heigh-ho!
Sing fare you well,
My bonnie young girl,
For we're bound for the Rio Grande.

Jolly our ship and jolly our crew,
Way Heigh-ho !
Jolly our mate Our good Skipper too
For we're bound for the Rio Grande.


This was recorded by the Minster Singers of London circa 1905.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:11 AM

1906[Jan.] Masefield, John. "Sea-Songs." _Temple Bar_ (Jan. 1906): 56-80.

...I remember a barque sailing for home from one of the Western ports. I was aboard her, doing some work, I forget exactly what, just below the fore-rigging, and the effect of these differing voices, now drawing near and ringing out, then passing by, and changing, and fading, was one of strange beauty. It was beautiful as much for its stately rhythm as for its music. It was like watching some beautiful dance in which the dancers sang as they moved slowly. The song they were singing was the old, haunting pathetic chanty of the Rio Grande. As it was sung that sunny morning, under the hills, to the sound of the surf and the cheering sailors, its poor ballad took to itself the nobility of great poetry. One remembered it, as a supremely lovely thing, in which one was fortunate to have taken a part.

[w/ piano score]

Where are you going, my pretty maid ?
O, away to Rio. 

Where are you going, my pretty maid ? 

O, we're bound to the Rio Grande. 
   
O, away to Rio, 
   
O, away to Rio;
O, fare you well, my bonny young girl, 
   
For we're bound to the Rio Grande. 


Have you a sweetheart, my pretty maid ?
O, away to Rio.


The piano score here is right out of Davis/Tozer.

Masefield mentions that he had read Davis/Tozer, Smith, and others' books. In his other book from the same year...

1906[Oct.]        Masefield, John, ed. _A Sailor's Garland_. London: Macmillan.

...he gives "Rio Grande" again with a couple more verses. Note that this volume contains many verses of songs that Masefield composed. Therefore, while the following seem plausible enough as traditional verses, one must remain skeptical.

THE RIO GRANDE 
      
(capstan)

Where are you going to, my pretty maid?
       O away Rio; 

Where are you going to, my pretty maid? 
   
We are bound to the Rio Grande. 
      
O away Rio, 
      
O away Rio, 

O fare you well, my bonny young girl, 
   
We are bound to the Rio Grande.

Have you a sweetheart, my pretty maid?

May I go with you, my pretty maid?

I'm afraid you're a bad one, kind sir, she replied,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:27 AM

1908        Hubbard, W.L., ed. _History of American Music._ Toledo: Irving Squire.

One of the best of windlass songs, in which the melody rises and falls in a manner suggestive of the swell of the ocean, runs:

I'm bound away this very day,
    (Chorus) Oh, you Rio!

I'm bound away this very day,
    (Chorus) I'm bound for the Rio Grande! 
   
And away, you Rio, oh, you Rio!
I'm bound away this very day,
(Chorus) I'm bound for the Rio Grande!


This comes, without citation, from Adams (1879).

***

1909        Williams, James H. "The Sailors' 'Chanties'." _The Independent_ (8 July 1909):76-83.

Williams was a sailor in the 1870s-1880s. His offerings are original.

Any man who had stood with me on the shores of a South American harbor in the early dawn and heard the strains of "Rio Grande" come rolling across the placid bay while a ship's crew were heaving their anchor would have to confess that it was about the most inspiring vocal music he had ever heard.

"In Rio Grande, I'll take my stand,
Heave away, to Rio,
Oh, Rio Grande, a happy fair land,
We're bound to Rio Grande.
Heave away, to Rio;
Heave away. oh, Rio;
So fare you well, my bonny brown maid,
We're bound to Rio Grande."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:46 AM

1909 Buryeson, Fred H. ['El Tuerto']. "Sea Shanties." _Coast Seamen's Journal_ 22(40) (23 June).

Buryeson wrote from his experience as a sailor from the 1880s and/or earlier.

RIO GRANDE.

In Rio Grande I'll take my stand,
'Way, you Rio.
For Rio Grande's the place for me.
We are bound for the Rio Grande.
Oh, Rio, Rio; 'Way, you Rio.
Sing fare you well, my bonny young girl,
We are bound for the Rio Grande.

One day I espied a damsel fair
With cherry-red lips and nut-brown hair.

"Where are you going my pretty, fair maid."
"I'm going a-milking, kind sir," she said.

"May I go with you my pretty, fair maid?"
"Oh, no, sir; that never would do," she said.

"Why may I not come, my pretty, fair maid?"
"My father would be angry, sir," she said.

"We are bound for the Rio Grande," I said;
"And, please, won't you come along, fair maid?"

"Oh, no, sir, that never can be," she said,
"For roving is not for a poor young maid."

And away she walked, this pretty, fair maid.
"I must go a-milking, kind sir," she said.

So in Rio Grande I'll take my stand,
For Rio Grande's the place for me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM

Norwegian, composed version of "Rio Grande" [VIDEO]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:57 AM

This a rendition of "Oh, Aye, Rio," which was given by Q, above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKWL11AZ4Sg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:40 AM

"Smell of bilgewater pumped out at Hong Kong"? "Tanned from the tropics"?

These sound to me like "literary" not "folk" phrases.

Most of the lyrics sound to me like Harlow's rewrite of the bawdy song known today as "The Three German Officers." (Not there wasn't just one sailor!) Hugill suggests as much.

Some day I'll release my research into this whole family of songs. Problem is, I've too much information to organize!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 01:18 PM

Chanteymen were varied in their repertoires, I see no reason to be "skeptical" of their verses or combinations of lyrics from different songs. I can't imagine "Rio Grande" or any chantey retaining the same lyrics over time, that ain't natcheral.

I also would dispute that sailors would always have sung bawdy lyrics. A bible-beating mate or skipper would have shouted "belay that!" - (or was that actually said in the 19th c.? Have to check my Lighter).

"Tanned from the tropics" and "smell of bilgewater" do seem to be a stretch too far.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM

Chanteymen were varied in their repertoires, I see no reason to be "skeptical" of their verses or combinations of lyrics from different songs.

Ah, but it is not "chantymen" about which I am skeptical, it is about the published texts of many authors who either were not chantymen or who had ideas that things should be changed for publication, in accordance with either propriety, artistic aesthetics, or with what had come before in writing. I only mentioned being "skeptical" of Masefield. Just look at his version of "Lowlands" in the same volume, and you'll see that it's ridiculous -- he obviously made it up for publication. If he does that and he also is borrowing from other books, it casts doubt on *all* his verses, as far as I am concerned -- having been a sailor doesn't give him a free pass. Likewise, Hugill presents many verses from Masefield, presenting them as part of "variants." Hugill's clout as a chantyman compels us to consider them, but they aren't something chantymen are documented to have sung.

Luckily, by looking close at the source, we can get a pretty good idea which are chantyman's and which are writer's lyrics.

I can't imagine "Rio Grande" or any chantey retaining the same lyrics over time, that ain't natcheral.
Also a goal of the historical survey: to notice which versions are too similar to be naturally likely...thus suggesting a copycat writer.

I also would dispute that sailors would always have sung bawdy lyrics.
No one said that they did. There are plenty of accounts that say they didn't. But it was Harlow who emphasized how common dirty verses were on his voyages, and he admits to bowdlerizing them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:58 PM

Gibb, with the exception of "He was green and wet with weeds so cold," I think you'll find that most of Masefield's verses are lines from or near to the broadside "Young Edmund in the Lowlands."

I think that if he'd been out to fake a complete text of "Lowlands," he'd have done a better job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM

"made it up for publication" = disingenuous in presenting it as a "halliard chanty." It also contains the funny "a-ray" chorus that is an earmark of Alden's version via Smith. Remember that Masefield was sure that "A-rovin'" derived from "The Rape of Lucrece", so if he assumed Lowlands must come from the broadside, he would have no qualms about creating a ballad-like (i.e. concise narrative) version of Lowlands that "must have" been sung. Perhaps he didn't, but he offers plenty of reasons to be skeptical that his texts were traditional or in practical use.

I suppose Hugill could have also done a better job when he lifted Masefield's verses and added some rhymes to them!

Out of curiosity, what do you think of Masefield's line in "Rio Grande"?:

I'm afraid you're a bad one, kind sir, she replied

Also, do you guys have any thoughts on why Masefield would have included all the piano accompaniments by Davis/Tozer in his article, but gave none of the actual singing melodies? Perhaps he didn't have access to anyone with musical abilities, and assumed that Tozer's scores would be close enough to match to his own lyrics...and then the editor forgot to print the melodies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 06:36 PM

That "a-ray" seems pretty damning. My guess is that by the time he wrote his article, Masefield had forgotten - or had never fully recollected - the words he'd heard sung, so he turned to L. A. Smith.

Some of his lyrics also seem to be from "The Lowlands of Holland." I personally doubt that Masefield would have consulted two separate ballads to fake his lyrics. Why bother? He wrote actual poetry himself.

"Drowned in the windy lowlands" is pretty clearly a poetic revision of "drowned in the lowland sea" or something of that sort. It also sounds more like Masefield's poetic style than anything remotely traditional.

The Davis & Tozer problem is a mystery, but I can't imagine that Masefield created it intentionally. He may well have used D&T's melodies & arrangements for precisely the reason you suggest - or else his publishers decided that melodies were needed and D&T was handy.

I don't know anything about Masefield's own musical abilities.

While a female narrator in a song like "Lowlands," sung by men at work, would probably be impossible today, Masefield may have picked up the outline of his version from somebody who'd learned it thirty years before M. went to sea - in other words, the 1860s, near the height of sentimental Victorianism. It might not have seemed so peculiar then.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that a shanty with a refrain of "Lowlands, lowlands...!" would borrow lyrics from two well-known broadside ballads about lowlands. I'll even suggest that the form of Masefield's shanty (though not every word of it) may well represent the original pattern. The dead lover could easily have been changed to a female later on. I don't have Hugill handy so I can't tell what his corresponding version is like.

But the "a-ray" remains difficult to explain.

The line "I'm afraid you're a bad one, kind sir, she said," is absolutely believable, esp. if "bad one" was pronounced "bad 'un," a fairly common 19th C. phrase.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 10:10 PM

The next reference to "Rio Grande" in my notes comes in Whall's collection.

1910        Whall, Captain W.B. _Sea Songs and Shanties_. Brown, Son and Ferguson.

1913        Whall, W.B. Ships, _Sea Songs and Shanties_. Third edition, enlarged. Glasgow: James Brown & Sons.


Whall probably learned his shanties in the 1860s-1870s. His "Rio Grande" includes musical score.

Bound for the Rio Grande.

O, say, was you ever in Rio Grande?
O, you Rio!
It's there that the river runs down golden sand,
For I'm bound to the Rio Grande.
And away, you Rio! O, you Rio!
Sing fare you well, my bonny yound girls,
For I'm bound to the Rio Grande.

Now, you Bowery ladies, we'd have you to know,
We're bound to the Southward, O Lord, let us go!

So it's pack up your donkey and get under way,
The girls we are leaving can take our half-pay.

We'll sell our salt cod for molasses and rum,
And get back again 'fore Thanksgiving has come.

And good-bye, fare-you-well, all you ladies of town,
We've left you enough for to buy a silk gown.


***

1914        Bullen, Frank. T. and W.F. Arnold. _Songs of Sea Labour_. London: Orpheus Music Publishing.

Bullen was English, like Whall, but more of a hands-on chantyman. Learned most of his deepwater chanties in the 1870s, I believe. His also includes musical score, pg. 13. The opening melodic phrase is appreciably different from other versions.

14. Rio Grande.

Oh Captain, oh Ca-apten heave yer ship to;
Oh! you Rio
For I have got letters to send home by you.
And I'm bound to Rio Grande
And away to Rio Oh to Rio
sing fa-are you well my bonny young gal,
For I'm bound to Rio grande.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 10:42 PM

1914        Sharp, Cecil K. 1914. _English Folk-Chanteys_. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd.

For this collection, Sharp based his material on fieldwork. However, he admits that in order to create performance ready presentations, he sometimes made minor changes and/or fleshed them out with verses from multiple informants.

This was collected (the core of it, at least?) from John Short

XXI. Rio Grand.

I think I heard the old man say:
o you Rio,
I think I heard the old man say:
We're bound for Rio Grand.
And away for Rio,
O you Rio,
So fare you well, my bonny young girl,
We're bound for Rio Grand.

O Rio Grand is my native land.

It's there that I would take my stand.

She's a buxom young maid with a rolling black eye.

She came from her dwelling a long way from here.

I wish I was in Rio to-day.

Buckle [bucko] sailors you'll see there,

With long sea-boats and close cropped hair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 10:57 PM

1915        Meloney, William Brown. "The Chanty-Man Sings." _Everybody's Magazine_ 33(2) (August 1915): 207-217.

Most of Meloney's stuff is copied/plagiarized. For instance, he presents the exact wording of Masefield's "Lowlands," however he inserts it into a narrative in which he claims to have heard a tall Norwegian man singing it!! So yes...I also recommend skepticism in the case of his chanty forms.

For "Rio Grande," he presents a Frankenstein's monster which uses the exact melody from Bradford and Fagge's collection, with a different text tacked onto it. The matching does not work; the phrasing does not fit the music; the patchwork is obvious. As for the words, I don't know where they come from, but they come closest to LA Smith's.

This source is not reliable!

The Rio Grande

The ship she's a-sailing out over the bar.
Away Rio! Away Rio!
The ship she's a –sailing out over the bar.
We are bound to the Rio Grande!


Link


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 11:06 PM

1916        Sharp, Cecil J., A.G. Gilchrist, Lucy E. Broadwood, Frank Kidson, and Harry E. Piggott. 1916. "Sailors' Chanties." _Journal of the Folk-Song Society_ 5(20):297-315.

Collected by Harry Piggott. Sung by John Perring at Dartmouth in 1912. With score.

26. Rio Grande.

I thought I heard our Captain say,
Oh Rio
I thought I heard our Captain say
"We are off to Rio Rande"
Then away Rio…Away Rio,
So fare you well my bonny young girl,
We are off to Rio Grande.

So heave up your anchor and let us away.

We've a jolly good ship and a jolly good crew.
A jolly good mate and a good captain too.

So set all your sails, 'tis a favouring wind;
Say good-bye to the lass you are leaving behind.

For twelve long months we'll be away.
And then return with our twelve months' pay,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 11:18 PM

1917        Robinson, Captain John. "Songs of the Chanty-Man: II." _The Bellman_ 23(575) (21 July 1917): 66-72.


Rio Grande.

The anchor is up and we're sailing away,
Way you Rio
And the wind it is fair to sail out of the bay.
for we're bound for the Rio Grande!
        And away you Rio! Oh! you Rio!
        Then fare you well, my bonny young girl,
        for we're bound for the Rio Grande!


The score reflects a way of writing (singing?) the chanty, -- I have seen before but not noted it -- where the "Ri" of "Rio" occur before rather than on the downbeat.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:02 AM

1921        Angel, Captain W.H. _The Clipper Ship "Sheila"_. London: Heath Cranton Ltd.

Quotes Whall's version, passed off as his memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:28 AM

WARNING! I don't have my copy of this book handy. The text excerpt below has been copied from a site on the web.

1924        Colcord, Joanna C. _Roll and Go_. London: Heath Cranton.
1938         Colcord, Joanna C. _Songs of American Sailormen_. New York: Norton.


I don't know what Colcord says about where she got this, nor can I compare the tune, since I don't have the book with me. However, if the verses below are accurate, then she definitely "borrowed" them from prior publications.

Verse 1 compares to Whitmarsh 1903, sorta
Verse 2 not seen earlier
Verse 3 is Whall (1910)
Verse 4 is Whall
Verse 5 compares to Davis/Tozer (1887)
Verse 6 is Whall
Verse 7 from Terry, Part 1 (1921)

Oh, say, was you ever in Rio Grande?
Way, you Rio!
Oh, was you ever on that strand?
For we're bound to the Rio Grande!

And away, you Rio!
Way, you Rio!
Sing fare you well, my pretty young girls,
For we're bound to the Rio Grande.

(2) Oh, New York town is no place for me;
I'll pack up my bag and go to sea.

(3) Now, you Bowery ladies, we'll let you know
We're bound to the south'ard - O Lord, let her go!

(4) We'll sell our salt cod for molasses and rum,
And get home again 'fore Thanksgiving has come.

(5) Sing good-by to Nellie and good-by to Sue,
And you who are listening, good-by to you.

(6) And good-by, fair ladies we know in this town;
We've left you enough for to buy a silk gown.

(7) Our good ship's a-going out over the bar,
And we'll point her nose for the South-er-on Star.


I think I remember analyzing some of Colcord's other offerings and realizing she would sometimes give the first 1-3 verses from what she collected, then fill out the song with verses from prior publications (without citation).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:43 AM

My post on this disappeared. Here's a quick re-write.

1921        Terry, Richard Runciman. The Shanty Book, Part I. London: J. Curwen & Sons.

Terry said that his shanties were based in versions that he learned/collected, but that, for performance purposes, he combined or added to them.

His "Rio Grande" was learned from a "sailor uncle." I presume that was James Runciman. His version compares well to the Runciman text given up-thread, particularly with regards to the phrase "down Rio." The only other version to appear in print so far with that phrase was LA Smith's. Terry does also acknowledge that some of his texts were similar to Smiths because they both collected in Tyneside.

Verse 1 was in Alden, via Smith
Verse 2 is Davis/Tozer
Verse 3 is Smith
Verse 4 is "Spanish Ladies"
Verse 5 - unseen by me
Verse 6 is "Hame, Dearie, Hame"

Bound for the Rio Grande

1. I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
Oh Rio.
I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea
And we're bound for the Rio Grande.
Then away love, away, 'Way down Rio,
So fare ye well my pretty young gel.
For we're bound for the Rio Grande.

2. Sing good-bye to Sally, and good-bye to Sue,
And you who are listening, good-bye to you.

3. Our ship went sailing out over the Bar
And we pointed her nose for the South-er-en Star.

4. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain
And we're all of us coming to see you again.

5. I said farewell to Kitty my dear,
And she waved her white hand as we passed the South Pier.

6. The oak, and the ash, and the bonny birk tree
They're all growing green in the North Countrie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 01:17 AM

With these predecessors in place, one can look at Sampson and Harlow (already quoted).

1927        Sampson, John. _The Seven Seas Shanty Book_. London: Boosey.

I don't have this text in front of me. How are the sources characterized? I'm going off the lyrics posted by Keith, above.


1) Oh were you ever in Rio Grande,
Away Rio,
It's there that the river runs down golden sand,
And we're bound for the Rio Grande.

= from Whall

2) So it's pack up your sea-chest and get under way,
The girls we are leaving will get our half pay.

= from Whall. Unscannable "donkey" replaced by "sea-chest"

3) Sing goodbye to Sally and goodbye to Sue,
And you who are listening, goodbye to you.

= from Davis/Tozer and others

4) We've a jolly good ship and a jolly good crew,
We've jolly good mates and a good skipper too.

= from Davis/Tozer

5) Now fill up your glasses and sing "Fare you well,"
To the bonny young lasses who loved you so well.

= unseen by me

6) "Goodbye, fare you well, all you girls of the town,"
When we come back again you shall have a new gown.

= from Whall

Even if there were some common, consistent verses to this chanty (and I'm sure there were), I find the degree of similarity to Whall and other print texts too strong not to conclude that Sampson's presentation was based on print sources, not oral ones.

***
1928        Harlow, F.P. _The Making of a Sailor_. Salem, Mass.: Marine Research Society.

1962        Harlow, Frederick Pease. _Chanteying Aboard American Ships_. Barre, Mass.: Barre Publishing Co.


Some of the verses seem like "regulation" verses to me (and for this reason they are common/similar), while others are original. The one verse that jumps out as ~possibly~ influenced is the "good-bye to Sue."

It sounds totally plausible as a traditional verse. On the other hand, it has been copied from print. The first print version in which it appears is Davis/Tozer, and it comes in the middle of the song. Most of their verses, by that point, were fudged. And the two 4 other writers who used the same verse up to this point can be reasonably argued to have taken it from Davis (or each other). Not sure what Harlow heard/saw.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:06 AM

Lighter wrote,

"Smell of bilgewater pumped out at Hong Kong"? "Tanned from the tropics"?

These sound to me like "literary" not "folk" phrases.

Most of the lyrics sound to me like Harlow's rewrite of the bawdy song known today as "The Three German Officers." ...


Yeah, I followed Hugill's clue on "Slapander" and went to Harlow to get more lyrics to make the song longer. In those days I was making a lot of composite versions.

Incidentally, I don't connect this song much with "Rio Grande" -- it's just that there was a question about how the song goes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: John Minear
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 09:28 AM

Gibb, I really appreciate you putting all of this material into this thread! And it's good to see the discussion with Q and Lighter. I hope that this might set some precedent for the future discussion of individual chanties and encourage others to jump in and go looking. And, as usual, I like the way you combine the "found" information with your own analysis. We get to deal with more than just data! This begins to put these chanties into a different kind of historical framework and that should launch some interesting discussions about the contemporary chanty business, or not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM

".... contemporary chanty business, ...."
That brought a smile.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:40 PM

That could be a good title for a book: "The Making of the Contemporary Chanty Business." :)

Song "origins" *are* quite interesting, but I always get defeated eventually by the absurdity of the concept of origins. I'm personally more interested in development, or 'trajectory' (or some other fancy name).

It's bracing to consider that the vast majority of chanty forms performed today derive from (or were mediated through) print sources. Published chanty texts don't merely provide evidence about chanty singing practices (and they may not do that at all), rather they have *become* the practices. Certainly it's not always the case. I learned some chanties, back in college, off the Library of Congress recordings, for instance. But it is the case most of the time, and most of what you'd learn orally from a sing-around has its basis in print. (Why I stress making up/improvising new lyrics, at least -- breaks us out of the vicious cycle!)

"Rio Grande" is a tricky example for going through this exercise (chronological presentation/analysis of print references) because it was indeed such a popular chanty and so well known. Oral/aural familiarity with the song co-existed with writing. More people writing (i.e. relative than some other chanties) probably actually knew the song well, and this makes the chronological run-down too simplistic. I shudder to think :) that even some of the really 'authentic' informants of the early 20th century had heard popular/commercially recorded versions, and were being "contaminated" by them.

I'm not sure if this "exercise" really yielded anything. I guess, at least for me, it gives me a sense of which print sources were original or the most 'authentic.' I was hoping it would also reveal what Hugill came up with, but that turns out to be very convoluted business. Because instead of just borrow lyrics, he made them his own by tweaking them. Things that appear to be from earlier print sources ...*maybe*... have been camouflaged with Hugill's personal phrasing. It makes it very hard to say whether what Hugill gives is an independent variation of a common, orally-passed lyric, or whether he pulled it from a book and just changed "you" to "yiz", "get" to "git", "New York" to "Liverpool", "and" to "an'", etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 04:17 PM

Lyr. Add:

Oh n'as-tu jamais visité le Rio Grande
Au large vers Rio
C'est là où les eaux ruissellent sur les plages dorées
Et nous sommes cap sur le Rio Grande

Au large les gars au large
Chantons adieu mes filles de Liverpool
Et nous sommes cap sur le Rio Grande


Où avez-vous mis le cap mes braves gars
Cap pour les pays du Brésil mes brave gars

Nous en avions marre de la plage quand on n'avait plus d'argent
Alors nous nous sommes engagés sur ce courier pour le faire marcher dur

Sois heureuse Mary Ellen et n'aie pas l'air triste
Pour la fête des bas blancs tu boiras du rhum chaud

Nous sommes un courier de Liverpool avec un équipage de Liverpool
C'est possible de rester le long de la cô mais je serai damné si on le fait

Donc c'est fini les moteurs de treuil nous partons à la voile
Les filles que nous quittons recevront notre demi-solde

Je ne chanterai qu'un choeur pour Steven les gars
Chanterai qu'un choeur la tempê souffle.

P. 28, with score. Cahiers de chants de marins, Nr. 2, Chasse-Marée/Armen.
Translated from Hugill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:08 PM

Illustration from Sampson's book.
"We're Bound For The Rio Grande" by Kenneth D Shoesmith.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/53138138@N05/sets/72157627139792451/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 09:32 AM

Another fine drawing.
http://www.dnfa.com/webpic/max/347554-19.jpg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM

Artist, Arthur Briscoe - Bound For Rio Grande.


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