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'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background

DigiTrad:
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE WILD GOOSE (2)
THE WILD GOOSE (2)
THE WILD GOOSE (2)
WILD GEESE
WILD GEESE (2)
WILD GOOSE
WILD GOOSE (RANZO)


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abbysale@orlinter.com 09 Dec 98 - 04:31 PM
Bert 09 Dec 98 - 05:25 PM
Jon W. 10 Dec 98 - 11:09 AM
Jon W. 10 Dec 98 - 01:55 PM
Barry Finn 10 Dec 98 - 04:26 PM
Abby Sale 10 Dec 98 - 04:42 PM
Barry Finn 10 Dec 98 - 05:04 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 20 - 02:09 PM
Lighter 06 Feb 20 - 03:02 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 20 - 04:40 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Feb 20 - 06:38 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 20 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Wm 06 Feb 20 - 10:37 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 20 - 11:10 PM
Dave Hanson 07 Feb 20 - 03:11 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Feb 20 - 02:19 PM
Lighter 07 Feb 20 - 07:17 PM
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Subject: "The Wild Goose Shanty"
From: abbysale@orlinter.com
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 04:31 PM

Hello All,

I have a cut of Colin Wilkie et al doing a fine job singing "The Wild Goose Shanty" ("We'll Ranzo Way") There's no liner notes. It's essentially the same text as in DigTrad. I don't see any similarity of the tune or text to my other sea-song books. Hugill, mostly, has nothing similar.

Does anyone know where this text & tune may come from? Any other verses? Colin sings only the same three verses as in DT.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE:
From: Bert
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 05:25 PM

Don't know where it came from but Lionel Bart used it in his musical "Maggie May"
It's a lovely tune that some days just won't go away.

Bert.


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Subject: RE:
From: Jon W.
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 11:09 AM

From the liner notes of "Blow Boys Blow" by Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd:

One of the great halyard shanties is "Wild Goose Shanty," seemingly better known in English ships than American ones, though some versions of it have become crossed with the American song called "Huckleberry Hunting." From the graceful movement of its melody it is possible that this is an older shanty than most. Perhaps it evolved out of some long-lost lyrical song.

By the way, does anyone know the meaning of the word "Ranzo"? I've heard it in several shanties.


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Subject: RE:
From: Jon W.
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 01:55 PM

The MacColl/Lloyd version is slightly different than the version in the DT but has no other verses.


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Subject: RE:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 04:26 PM

Jon, I'm not familar with the MacColl/Lloyd version but it may be one aslo called Huckleberry Hunting which both Hugill & Doerflinger have as the Wild Goose Shanty, even though the wild geese reference doesn't appear at all but Ranzo (Hilo me Ranzo R(w)ay) does gets in on the chorus. The tunes are also very different, at least from what I've heard. I've only heard one tune used for the Wild Goose Shanty that starts off "Did you ever see a wild goose sailing over the ocean".

Abby, if I had to guess as to the origins of the words & tune I'd say with its high hitches there's some bit of Arfo American influence but I'd lean more to it coming out of the British tradition. It doesn't lend itself in a great way for improvising & harmonies, there's not much change within the same versions, the words & phrasing ( and the fair maid replys, "she said none the better for the seeing of you"). But put me on a witness stand, Abby, & I'd deny all & say 'I don't know for sure'. Good Luck. If you find more would you post it here. Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: RANZO RAY / WILD GOOSE SHANTY
From: Abby Sale
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 04:42 PM

:-)

As you say, Barry. Colin does it a little different but not significant. But they _do_ get up a nice bit of harmony on the refrain & drag it out as long as they like.

Jon, Thanks for the advance. Huckleberry Shanty begins:

RANZO RAY

Oh, I'm shantyman of the workin' party
Timme way, timme hey, timme he ho hay
So sing lads, pull lads, so strong and hearty
An' sing Hilo, me Ranzo Ray!

I'm shantyman or the Wild Goose nation,
Got a maid that I left on the big plantation,

-snip--

Oh, the boys an' the gals went a huckleberry huntin'
The gals began to cry an' the boys they dowsed their buntin'

It's seemed to me (just to keep it confused) that "We'll Ranzo Way" is a very different song from "Ranzo Ray" even though both are sometimes called "Wild Goose Shanty."

So---- I just ordered both the MacColl/Lloyd CD ($10) & the Killen ($13) wotthehell.

(I like the song.)


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Subject: RE:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 05:04 PM

Abby, what'd ya 'spect, those Ranzos' are a disfunctional family. You gots ya Reubens, Robins & ya Rays, then thars the wild ones a berry pickin & a chasin little gals that like those by the name of Jackie Miller & they're all forever goin off to some place called Tummy Hilo Away Hey. Happy! to see hanging around here Abby. Barry


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty' background
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 02:09 PM

The lyrics Kate Rusby sings are amazingly similar to the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition. Here's the Rusby recording:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6tVU--Cbes

    WILD GOOSE
    (as recorded by Kate Rusby)

    Did you ever see the wild goose sailing on the ocean
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray
    They're just like them pretty girls when they get the notion
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray

    Chorus
    Ranzo you'll rue the day
    As the wild goose sails away

    As I was walking one evening by the river
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray
    I met with a pretty girl my heart it was a quiver
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray

    (Chorus x 2)
    I said how are you doing this morning
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray
    She said none the better for the seeing of you
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray

    (Chorus x 2)
    You broke my heart oh you broke it full sore o'
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray
    If I sail like the wild goose
    You'll break it no more o'
    Ranzo my boys oh Ranzo Ray


    Can't say I'm familiar with the Steeleye Span version, either: They sure ain't nothin' like anything I've ever heard at a chantey sing.


    This is the Killen version I'm familiar with:


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty' background
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 03:02 PM

I have little doubt that the "standard" lyrics originated with A. L. Lloyd, perhaps on "Blow, Boys, Blow."

He may have elaborated them from a stanza or two in W. Roy Mackenzie's "Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia" (1928) and altered the tune somewhat as well.

Gibb may know more.


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 04:40 PM

Here's the A.L. Lloyd version:
Also see Huckleberry Hunting.


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Huckleberry Hunting

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: "To me, Hilo, me Ranzo boy!" Boys and girls went huckleberry hunting, with the boys naturally chasing the girls. In the end a boy proposes to a girl (perhaps after seeing her garter)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917
KEYWORDS: shanty courting
FOUND IN: US(MA) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Doerflinger, p. 32, "Huckleberry Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord, p. 69, "Huckleberry Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow, pp. 88-89, "Hilo, My Ranzo Way" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Hugill, pp. 249-250, "We'll Ranzo Way" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, pp. 181-182]
Sharp-EFC, XIV, p. 17, "Huckleberry Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 102, "The Wild Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
Terry-Shanty1, #12, "The Wild Goose Shanty" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, (RANZORAY* -- the text here is very similar to Doerflinger's, but the tunes are so different that one wonders if they could be the same shanty)
ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). "Huckleberry Picking" is in Part 1, 7/14/1917.

Roud #328
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Ranzo Ray" (floating lyrics, form of chorus)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Sing Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray
File: Doe032

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



We have two "Ranzo Ray" songs in the Digital Tradition:

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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 06:38 PM

22 years late, but Ranzo is a shortening of the proper name 'Lorenzo'.


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 07:38 PM

This song, Wild Goose Chantey might as well be sung for entertainment as it has no credible or lasting usage/value at the halliards; neither as long haul or short drag work or hand over hand stay sail hauling. It reminds me of Toms/Tommy's Gone to Hilo. Not practical. The verses are too short and the chorus too much like a drinking song chorus. Huckleberry Hunting is an entirely different animal; not for halliards but for pumps or windlass.


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 10:37 PM

From Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia (W. Roy Mackenzie). First edition 1928; transcribed from the edition of 1963.

THE WILD GOOSE

The brief version which follows I secured from Ephraim Tattrie of Tatamgouche, Colchester County. The air is a particularly fine one, of the type which in the eighteenth century was characterized as "wild and melancholy."

Did you ever see a wild goose floating on the ocean?
Ranzo, ranzo, away, away!
It's just like the young girls when they take the notion.
Ranzo, ranzo, away, away!

--

The melody given in the back of the book seems more or less to be a rhythmically stricter form of what Lloyd sang.


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 20 - 11:10 PM

Hi, Wm. I went to Mackenzie, intending to post the full lyrics from his book. But what you posted, is all there is. Here are his notes. At least I can add that. The book groaned as I put it in the scanner. It will never be the same.

102
THE WILD GOOSE
This is to be regarded as a halliard shanty, although it apparently served ar times for the men who were heaving at the capstan bars. Terry lists it as a windlass and capstan shanty. It is of all shanties the most conspicuous for variability, and the investigator must be guided chiefly by the swing and metre of the lines and refrains and by the appearance of “Ranzo” in one or both of the refrains. Sometimes the “wild goose” figures in the first line; but while this is to be sought for, it is by no means always to be found. Bullen and Arnold (Songs of Sea Labour, p. 18) print a version under a title which is also the first line of the song, “Oh, what did you give for your fine leg of murron? Terry (Sailor Shanties, First Selection, pp. 4-5, and The Shanty Book, pp. 26—27) entitles it “The Wild Goose Shanty,” and his version begins, "I'm the shantyman of the wild goose nation.” Davis and Tozer ("Sailors' Songs" pp. 50—51) give it the generic title “The Chanty-Man’s Song” and present a version which begins with “I’m Chanty-man of the working party.” These strangely differentiated versions are all English, and the song seems been in use on British ships much more than on American ones. Two versions, however, have been printed in the United States: one by Captain John Robinson (The Bellman, July 14, 1917) with the title “Ranzo Ray” and beginning “We’ve passed the cliffs of Dover in the good old ship the Rover,” and one by Colcord, (p. 23) entitled “Huckleberry Hunting” and starting off with "Oh, the boys and the girls went a-huckleberry hunting.”
The brief version which follows I secured from Ephraim Tattrie of
Tatamagouche, Colchester County. The air is a particularly fine one, of the type which in the eighteenth century was characterized as “wild and melancholy":

    Did you ever see a wild goose floating on the ocean?
    Ranzo, ranzo, away, away!
    It’s just like the young girls when they take the notion.
    Ranzo, ranzo, away, away!


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Feb 20 - 03:11 AM

The Kate Rusby version is a travesty, Wild Goose Flying or Ranzo is a shanty not a twee love song.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Feb 20 - 02:19 PM

Agree completely, Dave, but songs have always jumped from one genre to another and these work songs are very rarely sung in context any more. Some are sung as long drawn out dirges, some have become very twee, but don't forget a good number of the chanties originated themselves in other genres, minstrel songs, stevedore songs, slave songs, shore songs of all types.


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Subject: RE: 'Wild Goose Shanty (Ranzo)' background
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Feb 20 - 07:17 PM

"Zip Coon, Comic Song" (N.Y.: Thos. Birch, 1834), stanza 3:

Did you eber see the wild goose, sailin' on de [sic] ocean,
O de wild goose motion is a berry pretty motion,
Ebry time de wild goose beckons to de swaller,
You hear him google google google goller


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