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What does blow the man down mean?

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (2)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (3)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (4)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (5)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (6)


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(origins) Origins: Blow the Man Down (34)
Lyr Req: Blow the Man Down (Phil Beer) (15)
Lyr Req: blow the man down (24)
Lyr Add: Blow the Man Down, Pacific NW version (8)


15 Jan 99 - 05:11 PM
Barry Finn 15 Jan 99 - 06:33 PM
catspaw49 15 Jan 99 - 08:33 PM
gargoyle 16 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM
Lesley N. 16 Jan 99 - 01:19 AM
Garry 16 Jan 99 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,juliakarena@yahoo.com 02 Nov 03 - 10:47 PM
open mike 02 Nov 03 - 11:50 PM
Skipper Jack 03 Nov 03 - 08:12 AM
reggie miles 03 Nov 03 - 08:37 AM
Amos 03 Nov 03 - 08:39 AM
Schantieman 03 Nov 03 - 12:06 PM
treaties1 03 Nov 03 - 12:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 03 - 12:58 PM
Barry Finn 05 Nov 03 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Gjpsy 15 May 07 - 01:46 AM
Mo the caller 15 May 07 - 01:57 AM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 03:26 AM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 03:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 May 07 - 07:58 AM
Charley Noble 15 May 07 - 08:16 AM
Barry Finn 15 May 07 - 09:03 AM
Amos 15 May 07 - 09:55 AM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 10:32 AM
Schantieman 15 May 07 - 01:25 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 01:31 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 01:34 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 01:35 PM
Schantieman 15 May 07 - 01:51 PM
Amos 15 May 07 - 01:57 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 01:59 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 02:19 PM
Greg B 15 May 07 - 03:37 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 03:44 PM
Amos 15 May 07 - 03:49 PM
Charley Noble 15 May 07 - 06:26 PM
Greg B 15 May 07 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 15 May 07 - 07:21 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 09:37 PM
Amos 15 May 07 - 09:47 PM
Jim Lad 15 May 07 - 09:54 PM
Barry Finn 16 May 07 - 01:49 AM
Jim Lad 16 May 07 - 02:37 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 May 07 - 03:44 AM
Liz the Squeak 16 May 07 - 03:45 AM
Jim Lad 18 May 07 - 06:40 PM
Jim Lad 18 May 07 - 06:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 May 07 - 07:21 PM
Charley Noble 19 May 07 - 12:34 PM
Jim Lad 19 May 07 - 01:01 PM
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Subject: What does blow the man down mean?
From:
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 05:11 PM

My almost 2 year old daughter keeps asking me what "blow the man down" means. Can you help?


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 06:33 PM

Knock down someone with your fists. For sailors in the golden age of sail that was one way to make your way up the ladder, seamanship would've been anotherway. The tougher the sailor, on a packet, the better able to keep other towing the line. That's really "toe on the line", make a Jack stand in bare feet with his toes alined with a deck plank & keep him there for how ever long with his toes always on that line. Barry


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jan 99 - 08:33 PM

Ask Bill Clinton. I think that's what has happened to him. catspaw


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: gargoyle
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 12:24 AM

Barry thanks for the eruditon

> I always took the meaning to be talk - hot air - blowhard - full of wind - a braggart - talltale - yarnspinner - liar and believed it to come from long hours of storytelling spent in the time off duty.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 01:19 AM

A bit more to what Barry wrote: "Blow" refers to knocking a man down with fist, belaying pin or capstan bar. Chief Mates in Western Ocean ships were known as "blowers", second mates as "strikers" and third mates as "greasers".

A tough life to say the least.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Garry
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 09:34 PM

Check out a book called "Shanties From The Seven Seas" by Stan Hugill Publisher Routledge and Kegan Paul. It explains it all. Lesly N is pretty close


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: GUEST,juliakarena@yahoo.com
Date: 02 Nov 03 - 10:47 PM

I read, in an American folksong book, that the sailors made up and sang this song as a way of coping with the unending abuse from the captains that was endured because many of the sailors were kidnapped by being knocked out, and they woke up out at sea and had to be made or forced to work. This happened because they couldn't get enough people when the reputation of the bosses got around as being so mean. They used pretty girls to lure men near the docks, as some of the lyrics allude to.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: open mike
Date: 02 Nov 03 - 11:50 PM

many of the sailors were kidnapped by being knocked out,
and they woke up out at sea and had to be made or forced to work...
...lure men near the docks...
this practice of enticing men to become sailors,
or even kidnapping them (often if they were too
drunk to know or care is waht i have heard)
is called being Shang Hied


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 08:12 AM

Then you had the landlord of a quayside pub, in the pay of the ship owner or captain, who used to "spike" the drinks of the unwary customer, who was then dragged away and on board by some of the ship's crew.. One such was Mickey Finn!

It is well illustrated in the song, "Larry Marr (The Five Gallon Jar)"


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: reggie miles
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 08:37 AM

Skipper, was Mickey Finn the spiked drink? Is that where the expression comes from to slip someone a Mickey?


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 08:39 AM

Shanghai, after the Chinese port. Mickey Finn was the tavernkeeper. Possibly apocryphal.

A


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Schantieman
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 12:06 PM

..and of course, anyone called Finn in the Navy is known as Micky!

Hugill's Shanties from the Seven Seas is packed full of shanties, variations, explanations and background, as well as some of Stan's excellent drawings. Indispensible for anyone wanting to learn about them. Less well known is his Sea Shanties, a smaller volume with a lot more explanation and thirty or so songs, some of which don't appear in the 'bible'. It also contains a number of photos of the barque Pamir in which Stan served.

Steve


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: treaties1
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the information everyone and thread creep, Hi Barry from Theresa and thanks again for the Yangtse river song


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 12:58 PM

And the other Stan Hugill book to get hold of is "Sailortown", a sort of gazetteer of all the sailortowns round the world in their heyday. Street maps of places like New Orleans and Liverpool back in the 1880s and so forth.

It give the context for the songs in the other books. As he points out, while people on shore wrote sea-songs about the sea, sailors normally made their shanties about having a good time (or a bad time) in the bars and the bawdy houses ashore.

Though there were some shore poets who got it right - in his preface to "Sailortown", Stan Hugill cites C.Fox Smith, as someone who "gives us in two lines the outlook of the windbag man":

"An Christ", says Dan, "for a night in port, an' a Dago fiddler's tunr,
An' just one whiff of the drinks again, in a Callao saloon."


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Nov 03 - 04:19 PM

Hi Theresa,

The pleasure was mine, thank you. Hearing/singing/meeting you was quite the thrill for me.

Micky Finn was born & raised in Boston. He's my father though I don't think he was old enough be the same Micky talked about here. He did tell me that in order to get him to behave properly, his parents would threaten him by telling him they were gonna put him on one of those windjammers that come into the harbor. He kept up with his rowdy behavior & used to go down to the docks hoping that he'd get shipped out.

Micky Finn's was also a large ('Army & Navy'type) chain of stores in this area, don't know if they were big any where else. Now that I've
carried this thread creep to far, sorry, I was just taken the Micky out of me.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: GUEST,Gjpsy
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:46 AM

Hi, A little off topic here... Have any of you been to a Rennaisance Faire and heard the Wenches or Rogues singing "Roll Your Leg Over"? It's sung to the tune of "Blow the Man Down" and is quite cute and witty... Many of them create their own verses to keep the song going... Most of the verses can be interpretted as suggestive or in any way possible... One such verse is "If all the young laddies were curves in the road, I'd hug them all tightly when on them I rode." This would be sung by a Wench, the Rogues also have their own rendition of verses just as suggestive or interpretive... When they get rolling with the song it can become hilarious and competitive as they keep trying to outdo one another for the best and more daring verses... lol   All in all, if you get the opportunity to hear the Wenches and Rogues singing and playing along it's a lot of fun... for all... Patrons as well as Participants... Hope you have fun at Faire...


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:57 AM

'Stan Hugill cites C.Fox Smith, as someone who "gives us in two lines the outlook of the windbag man":'

Go on then - someone has to ask - what's a 'windbag man'.
I thought I knew what a windbag was, but it doesn't fit the context.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 03:26 AM

"Blow the man down" refers to the communication system on board the older vessels. Basically a tube that ran from up on deck to "Down" below. The skipper would first blow down the pipe for attention and then bellow out his instructions to the unfortunate subordinate below.
"Blow the man down" = "Call him up"

Now I know that some of you will think, I'm pulling your legs but if you hang around long enough, I'm sure their are a number of old salts in Mudcat who will explain this one better than I.

Ahoy!
Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 03:29 AM

...I'm sure there are ...
can't beleive i done thaT.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 May 07 - 07:58 AM

I suppose if you blew the man up, that would imply some sort of explosive device.
Whereas if you blow him down, like you say Jim that could mean he was coming off his watch - albeit a bit cream crackered.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 07 - 08:16 AM

Mo-

"Windbag man" is old sailor slang for sailors who shipped out on deep-sea sailing ships (sometimes referred to as "windjammers"), rather than steamers. With a good wind, the sails would fill (if properly braced) much like a bag.

Oh, and the lines by C. Fox Smith above are from her poem "Lee Fore Brace" and after correcting for a typo should read:


"An Christ," says Dan, "for a night in port, an' a Dago fiddler's tune,
An' just one whiff of the drinks again, in a Callao saloon."

Alan Fitzsimmonds has adapted this poem for singing, as recorded by Danny McLeod et al.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 May 07 - 09:03 AM

"Blow the man down" refers to the communication system on board the older vessels"

"Blow the man down" = "Call him up"

Can you site any references to these Jim?

First time I've ever heard of it used in that sense Jim. All written reports refering to "Blow a man Down" I've read or heard of has been to knock one down with your fists. Even some of the collected songs sing it as "Knock a man down". In the BWI's there are collected versions of the same called "Kick Him Along", the song's also been known as "knock A Man Down". I have seen the types of tube you're talking about on vessels of a later age but not on ones from the great age of sail, not that there weren't any, I've also seen them on Navy vessels used for the bousun's whistle but again of a later age.

From the British West Indies:

I hit him a lick & I fetch him a kick
    And a yea, yea, blow the man down
Blow the man down in de hole below
    'Low me some time to blow the man down

Blow the man down & a hit de man down
    And a yea, yea, blow de the man down

From 'Songs of the Sea', Hugill p.76
"'To blow" means to strike, (see Lesley N's post above) the chief
mate of Blackballers being called 'Blower' & the 2nd mate the 'Striker'"

From 'Roll & Go', Colcord, p10:
"It should be noted that in those days, "blow" meant "knock"

From 'Shantymen & Shantyboys', Doerflinger, p.17:
"It is said that packet sailors called the 2nd & 3rd mates the "blowers & strikers"-the 2 terms meant the same thing".

From 'Sea Songs & Shanties', Whall, p.69:
"'Blow" in those days was equivalent to "knock". The 3rd mate in those days was endearingly termed the 3rd "blower & striker", the 2nd mate being the "greaser"'.

I can't buy into that one Jim, sorry.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 07 - 09:55 AM

The use of speaking tubes developed in the early days of steam, IIRC, and considerable later than the expression "blow the man down". Until the advent of engines and engine rooms, the relay of orders was done on deck and upwards from there, mainly by bellowing word of mouth.

So I don't think "blow the man down" has its origins in a nautical version of "ring the lad up".

A


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 10:32 AM

Be patient: Those who do know of it will make their contributions in due course.
Trust me.
Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Schantieman
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:25 PM

I think they already have, Jim.

Also:

They gave me six months in Liverpool Town
For knocking a policeman and blowing him down

Steve


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:31 PM

Oh, Pipe Down!


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:34 PM

Just Kidding!
pipe down
A boatswain's call denoting the completion of an all hands evolution, and that you can go below. This expression is also used to mean "Keep quiet."

Heh, heh!

I've come across this before on Mudcat.
Someone asks for a definition and one is so different from the rest that it gets completely rejected.
That's why it's called a "Popular" misconception.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:35 PM

I'll find it for you but will you believe me?


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Schantieman
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:51 PM

"Pipe down" is (or used to be) the last pipe of the day made at the start of silent hours (normally 2230 or 2300). The next one, except in an emergency, was "Call the hands" at 0600 or 0630 followed, I think, by "up hammocks".

Its meaning is, of course, 'shut up and go to sleep' and it's in this context that it's used as a general admonishment to shut up.

(The instrument, btw, is the boatswain's call; pipes are the signals made using it).

Steve


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:57 PM

Jim Lad:

If you can find evidence that the use of speaking tubes predates the expression I'll be glad to consider your argument, but at present it seems improbable to me.

A


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 01:59 PM

Pipe Down: This originally nautical term was used as an officer's whistle sound denoting the completion of an above-deck work shift and thereby giving permission to go below. This expression is now used to mean "be quiet" or keep quiet".

Yes. It took about three minutes to come up with this similar definition.

All references I find to "Blow the man down" state that it means "To kill someone".

But they're wrong.
Cheers.
Jim

p.s. Those who really do know the answer are probably enjoying watching me flounder here!


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 02:19 PM

Where's Charley Noble? He'll either agree with you or know the right answer.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Greg B
Date: 15 May 07 - 03:37 PM

The expression predates steam and sailing ships, by and large
didn't have 'speaking tubes' because it wasn't necessary. Who
were you going to talk to in the cargo hold anyway?

Interesting hypotheses.

Absolute guano, but other than that, interesting.

If that doesn't convince you consider this: the songs (various
versions) refer to the Black Ball Line and the Flying Fish line.

Both pre-date steam, and the associated speaking-tubes used
to communicate with the guys in the engine room.

The song dates from the heavy-hauling required on packet
ships under sail.

So does the expression.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 03:44 PM

Oops! I see Charley's already been in here. I don't always read the names.
Greg: "The song dates from the heavy-hauling required on packet
ships under sail."
What does that mean?


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 07 - 03:49 PM

I think it means what it says, Jim!


A


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 07 - 06:26 PM

Jim-

Yes, Charley Noble's been here and gone,
Left you here to sing your song!

Good luck on your search for enlightenment. LOL

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Greg B
Date: 15 May 07 - 07:10 PM

Regarding this horse--- He's dead, Jim.

Blow the Man Down, in its several versions, is a long
drag or halyard shanty dating at least from the age of
the clippers or no less old than the 'packet' trade
which was the last gasp of sail. These were large
vessels, and somewhat under-crewed. Raising tops'l
yards is a ton (literally) of work, and was accompanied
by songs like 'Blow the Man Down' which had two pulls
on each line of the chorus.

Such songs were useless on anything so lightly rigged
as coasters or even on the 'hybrid' steam/sail vessels.

Furthermore, virtually EVERY version of Blow the Man Down
(Hugill gives at least four) has tell-tale references to
both land and sea terms which CLEARLY DATE IT FROM THE
AGE OF THE SAILING PACKETS.

To claim that it has anything to do with steam, or speaking
tubes, etc., it to ignore historical references, oral tradition,
naval architecture, and is about as silly as claiming that
'Row Row Row Your Boat' was written to accompany the pulling
of the starting-rope on an Evinrude outboard.

And by the way, it's 'Too-Lye-Ay' not bloody 'Too-Rye-Ay.'


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 07 - 07:21 PM

What it means is that the days before steam & engine rooms there was no nosie to rise above. When orders were called there was no need for sound systems or piping sound, you rose to the call of an order or you were already on deck manning the watch. As Greg said no need to pipe 'em up on deck from the cargo hold, a shout down a hatch, companionway, cowl vent, skylight was enough. At night most sailors even while asleep could tell from the sound of the sail or rigging, the movement or roll & pith of the ship or the shudder of the ship, rudder or soul if they were gonna be needed on deck. Those 6 senses more than anything else already had the ears to the mast & a weather eye open even from a deep sleep. You're talking about technology that was non existant at the time the term of phrase "blow the man down" was going out of popular use. This is not a case of the 'chicken or the egg', it's a matter of fact.

Let it go Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 09:37 PM

Ah, God love yous!
Just one thing.
I never once mentioned "Steam".
After I'm dead and gone, some eejit will resurrect this thread and say I was right but you won't believe them.
"Flogging a dead horse." That's an old cavalry thing, right?


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 07 - 09:47 PM

Jim:

You mentioned speaking tubes, I believe. In the time line of technologies, these have a certain point in time, later than that of the phrase being asked about.

A


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 15 May 07 - 09:54 PM

Thanks Amos. Just a wee clarification is all.
Cheers!
Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 May 07 - 01:49 AM

Grasping at straws? Speaking of straw.

"Flogging a dead horse." That's an old cavalry thing, right?

Actually, no. The following is from "When A Loose Cannon Floggs A Dead Horse There's The Devil To Pay (yes that's a book title) by Olivia A Isil, p.38
"'Flogging a Dead Horse".... (an excercise in futility):
The band of variable calm in the Alantic Ocean-roughly in the area of the Canary Islands-is known as the horse latitudes. They take their name from the Spanish 'Golfo de las Yeguas (Gulf of Mares). It is thought that the Spanish name stems from a comparsion between the unpredictable nature ohf the high strung Arabian mare & the capricious nature of the wind in the area. In the days of sail, when a sailor signed up for the duration of a voyage, it was customary to pay him 1 month's advance-but sailor's money never lasted long in rollicking port towns. Once their advanced wages had been spent & the ship had put to sea, sailors felt as though that they were working for nothing. Because it took approximately 1 month to reach the horse latitudes frommost ports in England, sailors bega the tradition of calling that 1st month at sea the "dead horse month". To mark it's end, the crew celebrated by stuffing a canvas likness of a horse & marching it around the deck with great pomp & ceremony. The symbolic representation of the "dead horse" was then hauled aloft to the yardarm & cut adriftinto the sea, as the sailors chanted, "Old Man [Captain], your hose must die!" Admiral William Smyth suggested that flogging a dead animal into activity was an excercise in futility as trying to get a wholehearted work commitment out of the ship's company while they were working off the dead horse month."

The Great Plains Indians would flog their near dead mustangs as a last resort to to get them to rise again & get the last mile from their horse before it actually would drop dead underneath them. Not an Army practice.

No you didn't say steam Jim (don't hang your argument on that), but steam was the 1st type of power generally used in the chain of events leading towards the dimise of sail, to have said otherwise or a different fuel type would have put the era even further into the future, farther from the usage of the phrase "blow the man down".

Barry


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 16 May 07 - 02:37 AM

I was having fun with you, Barry. I honestly thought you'd catch that.
Thanks for the info just the same.
Cheers.
Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 May 07 - 03:44 AM

I think you're all missing the important question... WHEN was 'Blow the man down' written?

It seems that 'speaking tube' is the landlubbers version whereas mariners, ancient or otherwise, called it the 'voice pipe'. Wikipediment has this (amongst other stuff) to say about voice pipes: "About 1780, one captain removed a canvass voice pipe installed by an imaginative midshipman saying he was sure the topmen would "use it for an improper purpose"[1]."

So... we have a documented early dating of 1780, about 20 years before the first commercial steam boat was built. HMS Belfast built in 1954 had voice pipes in it, so that's some 170 years of use.
Here's some more info... and this is about the Black Ball Line mentioned previously.

This seems to indicate that 'Blow the man down' comes from the early 1800's, 20 years before our documented dating of the voice pipe.

Any advance?

LTS


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 May 07 - 03:45 AM

When I say mentioned previously, I meant, mentioned on the previous link....

LTS


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 18 May 07 - 06:40 PM

In the 17th Century, speaking tubes were adapted to a very special sort of hearing problem by Puritan couples who were courting. Custom of the time required the two to sit across a table from each other, and speaking tubes were used to ensure the privacy of their conversations.
Now that's the sixteen hundreds.

http://www.hearingcenteronline.com/museum.shtml

Any bets that it goes back even further.
In addition to that this quote was missed by one of you who had quoted from the same page "Later designs of the voice pipe inserted a removable cork-mounted whistle, which could be sounded by blowing into the tube from the other end." Which is exactly what I was referring to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_tube#_note-gower

The Internet is a useful tool but if your desire is to become informed then you have to resist the temptation of cherry picking your information to fit any preconceived notions.
There's nothing personal in this. Just the quest for knowledge.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 18 May 07 - 06:55 PM

Search "Speaking Tubes, Romans" and you will find that although you have me outnumbered, to state that there were no speaking tubes when the song was written is to state that the song is pre-Roman.
Could be!

Then give some thought to the line, as it is used in the song. Does it really make sense in that context?
"Blow the man down" would certainly be a command bellowed out by a skipper seeking more hands up on deck and one which would be revered by all but "Kill the man"? It doesn't fit.
Sorry guys. This one, I win.
Cheers
Jim


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 May 07 - 07:21 PM

There a rumour that it pre-dates the repeats of Howards Way on UK Gold, but I reckon that's wild talk.


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 May 07 - 12:34 PM

Jim-

I do love your speculation, which runs counter to my understanding of such lyrics. But maybe we can access a time machine and determine the validity of your hypothesis by direct observation.

I believe the common commands by the skipper or mates for rousing out more sailors for work on deck were:

All hands on deck!

All hands ahoy!

Get the fuck up here! (more contemporary)

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What does blow the man down mean?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 19 May 07 - 01:01 PM

Charley: I can, if you like, take the time to research the song & post it, along with my interpretation. I would actually enjoy that.
I have done so, with other songs and have been ridiculed, by some, for my efforts while others were grateful.
However, that is not the point I wish to make, right now.
Let me put this to you and do correct me if I'm wrong.

I was/am of the understanding that the "Lyrics & Knowledge" threads were to benefit those seeking Words, Music, Origins & meanings of songs, among other things. On this particular thread, I offered an explanation which the other participants have apparently never heard.
Now, rather than give thought to a fresh idea, many of them chose to completely reject it.
The arguments were ridiculous and some of them, I have to say, quite funny. Parts of articles were quoted but not the parts which supported my theory.
And what does Barry Finn get from all of this?
Nothing more than a Swarming display by many and an answer which he could have found on "Talklikeapirate.com" or whatever the heck the site is called.

My point? When someone asks for a definition; offer what you have and treat other's offerings with some kind of dignity.

I'm not angry at any of this. It is what it is... "A music thread", it amuses me.
I am however, saddened by the fact that someone who was looking for some insight never really had the opportunity to benefit from his quest.


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