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The Advent and Development of Chanties

20 Mar 10 - 12:33 PM (#2868148)
Subject: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Recently there has been some good discussion and research on the emergence of chantey (shanty) forms in the 19th century. Much of it has been going on in this thread:

From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?

Because that thread has other specific goals and because it is just getting too large due to the related but more general, theoretical discussion of chantey origins, I am initiating this one.

By focusing on some of the aspects of chanties that have not been considered much before, and by digging deep into the now-more-than-ever available references, we are getting a more detailed picture of how chantying may have emerged.

Please note that the focus here is not on the ancient origins of work-songs, shipboard or otherwise. It is not on the origins or earliest references to singing/chanting to coordinate labour at sea.

Rather, it works from a hypothesis that at some point in the first half of the 19th century, a distinguishably new paradigm for maritime work-songs appeared or was developed. This paradigm corresponded most closely to what was to be known by a new term, "chanty." Factors such as the demographics of workers on ships and in port cities, labour flow (especially with regards to geography, like rivers, plantations), and the advent of new kinds of labour or new needs in style of conducting pre-existing labour (e.g. the need to run large packet ships with square sails, quickly, but with small crews) all look to have played a role in the advent of a new-ish method of work-singing. The idea is that, though singing at work aboard ship existed prior, at this time a huge new body of repertoire, of a particular form, was introduced/developed. Moreover, while it was introduced over a certain period of time, and then developed for another, within the span of a few decades it also stabilized. After that "generative period," the notion of chanties had perhaps become very broad and mixed, and few new songs were developed of the same form. The earlier-developed chanties were perpetuated, while new songs adopted/adapted for sea labour tended to be of a different form. The latter were "chanties," to be sure, but according to an expanded concept.

I hope it is obvious that the preceding are only my views (while nonetheless piggybacking on others'). People who have been and who would like to discuss this will definitely have others; perhaps they will refute the hypothesis altogether. However, it was necessary for me to lay out some working model to begin this thread and give a sense of the focus.

One of the methodologies has been to take stock of and analyse the known references to various instances of chanties and chantying. With this detail, I feel confident that a picture will emerge that shows the changes decade by decade.

Most likely, we will have to add links to or copy-paste from some of the other postings, to this thread, in order to get discussion rolling, but I just wanted to get it started. Plus, my slow Internet/browser at work doesn't like loading up that ginormous other thread -- which is particularly inconvenient when I am trying to skylark from my paid duties for a quick peek.

Happy discussing! And please: spell "schantee" any way you like! (Sometimes I try to use all the different spellings in one post.)

Gibb


20 Mar 10 - 01:35 PM (#2868173)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Thanks, Gibb. This gives me the chance to blather on.

The real mystery of the rise of shantying is probably the invention of the halliard shanty. Any song could be sung at the capstan, and the short-haul and bunt shanties could easily have developed from a single chanted line followed by a single syllable indicating the pull. Such "songs" would not have been noted by writers because they were just one trivial line repeated no more than once or twice.

As for the halliard shanty, here's my theory:

A sailing vessel large enough to require a crew of at least a dozen or so men is preparing to leave port in the year 1820 or so. One group is heaving anchor at the capstan, singing some song or another that has a chorus. The paractice of singing at the capstan is not universal but is not considered odd or peculiar either.

While one team heaves the anchor, another team is pulling on halliard to raise sail. It is usual for there to be a leader in such a group who calls out something trivial, like "One! Two! Three! Haul!", the sort of cry that no writer would consider to be of the slightest interest.

At some point, the leader of the halliard gang gets tired of "One! Two! Three! Four!" and starts to call out something arbitrary but amusing because it isn't just counting, something like, "Sally Brown, O Sally Brown O!" and everybody hauls at the end.

Because the capstan gang is singing, the leader at the halliards decides at some point to sing too. He sings something like "Sally Brown, O Sally Brown O!" to a simple rising and falling tune, almost the simplest possible. At some point, maybe that day, maybe the next time a yard or sail had to be handled, during a pause for breath between hauls, somebody else decides to chime in with a line like "Way-ay-ay-ay!" Eventually the leader develops his tune a little further and eventually a second refrain gets added.

Just why that should have happened is not clear, but if it hadn't, maybe the halliard shanty would still be thought of as a mere "chant." The four-line structure could have encouraged the development and importation of more or less stable verses as the "chant" became a real "song."

By the end of the voyage, at least one shanty has been composed. The chants of cotton-screwers may have inspired the first shanty or not: they certainly contributed to the practice.

This could easily have happened more than once in a period when more than one gang had to work at once so as to get a big clipper underway. That polygenesis would help explain the rather sudden rise of shantying and the rapid rate at which individual shanties seem to have appeared. An important contributing factor was the singing that was already semi-customary at the capstan. Thus the first halliard shanty developed in the spirit of a singing contest.


20 Mar 10 - 01:56 PM (#2868185)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Les in Chorlton

I guess many sailors came from a community in which singing was much more common than today. Most people leading or driving some kind of work on board would have access to a store of songs and tunes on which to draw?

L in C


20 Mar 10 - 11:23 PM (#2868420)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Ooh, this is fun! -- So, we start off, not with the nitty-gritty evidence, but with some sketches of how we might imagine it all happening. I am in total agreement with Lighter's opening statement,

The real mystery of the rise of shantying is probably the invention of the halliard shanty. Any song could be sung at the capstan, and the short-haul and bunt shanties could easily have developed from a single chanted line followed by a single syllable indicating the pull. Such "songs" would not have been noted by writers because they were just one trivial line repeated no more than once or twice.

and with some of what immediately follows. However, here is my imagined scenario of the rest.

First, I'd push it forward into at least the 1830s. There may be evidence I al overlooking that says it would have had to have been earlier. However, I want to argue that that may have been reflecting some of the earlier work-singing ("cheerly man" era, during which, yes, maybe a "Sally Brown" chant had also come into use). In my scenario, it was an *adoption* of chanties, followed of course by further development -- as opposed to an initial development. I don't think the halyard chantey was invented so much as revolutionized by a new method.

In my scene, I envision a small crew in the 1830s, one with a Black watch.   This was a high point for African-Americans in the merchant service; after the Civil War, their numbers had greatly declined. When confronted with the halyard hoisting, the hands found it only natural to raise a song. On shore, these men would never have done labour without a song, which was as much an inseparable tool of work as anything else. In light of the constant labour experience through slavery, work had developed in a way where pacing and coordinated exertion were particularly important. Men were familiar with the technique of working in gangs, as in the cotton-screwing gangs, and they knew with their familiar method they could make short work of this task.

One man, perhaps an ex-cotton hoosier "chantyman," called out, "Stowmy's gawn, that good ol' man...!" To which the others instinctively responded, "WAY storma-LONG john!," giving two coordinated pulls, steadily. The chantyman called "Oh Stowmy's gawrn, that good ol' man!" And again they pulled, "WAY hey mister STORMalong, john."

It quickly came apparent that this was a superior method for raising halyards, and the many previously created songs that fit this style of work -- whether from rowing, cotton-screwing, or loading up steamboat furnaces -- were called into play.


21 Mar 10 - 12:42 AM (#2868434)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In addition to these sort of hypothetical mock-ups -- that we can test as the evidence is presented-- I have an idea how to move forward. I propose we trace the trajectory of chanties by presenting information from each decade. We could start with the 1810s (although there will be very little). Confining ourselves to that decade, we cite references to chantying generally, specific songs, etc., perhaps along with relevant details of geography, demographics, and technology of merchant sailing.

To start off the 1810s:

LANDSMAN HAY, though not published until 1953 (?), consists of the memoirs of one Robert Hay, 1789-1847. In them, Hay is supposed to have reported seeing/hearing stevedores in Jamaica in 1811. To me the reference (which I've not seen first-hand) is vague, but it seems like they are using a capstan to work cargo. Hay notes their in chanty-like song "Grog time of day," which turns out to have been a popular song associated with the Caribbean region through the early 19th century.   

Grog time of day, boys
Grog time of day,
CH: Huro, my jolly boys,
       Grog time of day

[I don't know if the chorus marking is in the original. I've taken this from Hugill. In other references to this song, this whole bit makes up the chorus]

It's possible that such a form was at that time distinct (or fairly distinct) to either the specific region or the specific ethnic group (Afro-Caribbeans). I say this because the way in which it is described, it is as if only "others" (with respect to the author) were engaged in the practice.

For some framing context, the packet ship trade began after the War of 1812 (I don't have specific dates), with the Blackball Line for example starting in 1816. The packet ships are thought (e.g. Hugill) to have necessitated a different way of handling work with smaller crews.


21 Mar 10 - 11:01 AM (#2868589)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Excellent work, lads!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


21 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM (#2868621)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

Just to help set the context, may I quote from the Short, Sharp Shanties presentation that BB & I have been doing - quoting greater authorities than us!

"Hugill tells us that: 'the cessation of the American War of 1812 and of the Napoleonic Wars brought about a great impetus in merchant shipping. The early packet ships, not clippers by any means, began to come to London. They carried, in the main, emigrants to the New World'."

"The wooden walls of the Napoleonic period were now obsolete. America built faster, new design ships, and peace led to an economic boom as trade expanded world-wide. And with it the great period of the development of shantying had begun".

"According to Kinsey, the most creative period of shanty-singing was between 1820 and 1850. Doeflinger agrees, saying that: 'Most seem to have originated between about 1820 and 1860. They were the product of a revival in shantying in the peaceful decades between the war of 1812 and the Civil War which saw the swift rise of the United States to leadership in the deep-water shipping trade.'"

"But the British soon caught up, building ships with hardwoods rather than softwoods. Ships that would outlive the Yankee packets by decades! The glorious years of shantying were actually very short-lived. Cicely Fox-Smith points out that: - 'Shantying was at its best roughly between 1850 and 1875.' Hugill that: - 'It can safely be said that from 1860 onwards the production of new shanties ceased completely', and Whall says: 'Since 1872 I have not heard a Shanty or Song worth the name.'

The other Shanty Short heard in Québec was Cheer'ly Man. He told Cecil Sharp it was – "One of the first shanties ever invented - and the one I learned first." Hugill does not disagree, saying: 'Cheer'ly Man is only just faintly removed from singin'- out and is probably the most primitive, and one of the oldest shanties'."

Great thread - let's carry on!

TomB


21 Mar 10 - 01:03 PM (#2868657)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks for that important context, TomB.

I have been finding that the statements of Hugill and Doerflinger about a "creative period" (or what I called "generative period" etc) are supported by the evidence. So I am hoping to take that as a starting point, and see how it is born out as we look at the evidence again and find more. In addition, I'd like to break down that "creative period" into chunks to really see the trajectory.

If anyone can speak specifically to the mechanics of sailing at specific moments, that contribution would be most welcome. I myself am unclear whether the shift in sailing methods -- specifically with respect to raising yards -- was a matter of new vessels or of new conditions aboard those vessels. In other words, did the packet ships in and of themselves (in their design) require/inspire a different approach to raising yards (e.g. due to size)? Or was it the conditions aboard them: smaller crews and the need for speed? And, in which years precisely did this kind of shift begin? I realize that generally it is after the War of 1812, and that 1815 is often a date used to mark the beginning of this new "Golden Age." However, specifics would be helpful. I think it is quite probable that when Robert Hay heard the Jamaican stevedores sing "Grog time of day," there was not yet any precedent aboard ship with which to compare it.

To add to the 1810s:

I forgot to note the other Jamaican stevedore song from 1811, in HAY:

Two sisters courted one man,
CH: Oh, huro, my boys
And they live in the mountains,
CH: Oh, huro boys O.

Next,

In SERVICE AFLOAT (published 1833), a British sailor describes observations from during his service during the Napoleanic Wars. So, 1815 or earlier (probably not much earlier). In Antigua, he observed a song for rowing. It was another version of "Grog time of Day," showing that that song was spread through the West Indies. His transcription gives a better idea of the complete form of this work song:

Massa lock de door, and take away de key
Hurra, my jolly boys, grog time a day
CH: Grog time a day, my boys, grog time a day,
       Hurra, my jolly boys, grog time a day

To give a sense of how that form MAY have worked, I've created this example (no melody was given, but I set it to the matching tune of "Doodle Let Me Go":

Grog Time of Day

And in the Virgin Islands, the same author observed another boatmen's song:

Jenny go to market for buy me yarrow prantin,
Heigh me know, bombye me takey.
      Chorus—Heigh me know &c.
               Heigh me know &c.

Me nebur know before Jenny bin a bad gal,
Heigh me know, bombye me takey.
    Chorus—Heigh me know, &c.
             Heigh me know &c.

Remarking on the practice of New World Blacks, the author has this commentary. Note that he describes the basic call and response format of a chantey, though he does not compare it to anything in his own tradition.

Some of their airs are exceedingly plaintive, and the manner of singing in chorus evinces no small degree of natural taste : rowing in boats or other kind of labour, when a simultaneous effort is required, they have generally a song formed of extempore verses, the improvisatore being the stroke oar, the driver, or one supereminent among the rest for the talent. He in a minor key gives out a line or two in allusion to any passing event, all the rest taking up the burthen of the song, as a chorus, in a tenor, and this produces a very pleasing effect.

Note also the emphasis on improvisation. This is important to note re: the aesthetic of this music as well as something to remember when looking for references.

It would be great to find more references to work-songs (maritime, or, of similar form) in the 1810s. With the slim evidence so far, my contention would be that work-songs of this type had not yet found their way aboard ships in the early 1810s. It doesn't say much, but is notable nonetheless, that the British Naval officer does not compare the songs to practice on his ships even by the time of publication, 1833.


21 Mar 10 - 01:23 PM (#2868673)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

When I worked in Sierra Leone in the 1960s I lived by a beach near Freetown and when the village was hauling in nets which stretched right across the bay they sang call and response'shanties'.I wish I'd had a portable tape recorder


In the 1950s I heard some railway workers near sheffield shifting steel rails and they were singing a work song . I wonder if any railway shanties got to sea?

I've lawaysthought a lot of shantioe shave tunes reminiscent of Irish Polkas from the Cork area e.g. Yellow Girls


Could it have been a fusion of cultures?

All I've seen about 'shanties' from earlier English times were songs like Cheerly Men and Off She Goes


21 Mar 10 - 05:21 PM (#2868830)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Hi,
Excellent thread. Keep it going. As soon as I get some time I'll look out my early articles on the history of shantying. You might already have them but I'll offer them anyway. I know I have a series printed in 'Mariners Mirror' somewhere, and some articles in Sea Breezes. They may or may not be useful. I often come across snippets in Victorian nautical novels, such as those by W H G Kingston. In Hull, Yorkshire where I am I've spent a lot of time in local history records
and the Maritime Museum, though have not come across any shanties or references, some bits and pieces of ballads though and things to do with whaling customs.


21 Mar 10 - 08:33 PM (#2868948)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Bullies, I will go out on a limb to say that no earlier commentator, including the great Hugill, Whall, Colcord, and Doerflinger, knew anything significant about shantying before the 1830s (its rise or anything else) that we have not already covered on the "SF to Sydney 1853" thread.

Even Whall and Robinson were far too young to have observed the early years of shantying-as-we-know-it. The same goes for Sharp's and Carpenter's singers. Dana might have learned something useful at second hand if he'd thought to ask.

Everything they say about it is hypothetical. (Which is not to say it is necessarily wrong.) When Doerflinger writes of a "revival of shanty-singing" after the War of 1812, he's making the unwarranted assumption that shanties (songs, not singouts, made specifically for shipboard work) were well-known before the war - a statement for which we have no evidence at all. I believe these authorities were placing too much significance on the scattered references to sailors chanting or singing in ancient and medieval times.

Patterson (who gives some unique and therefore questionable info)claimed that "Whisky, Johnny" was originally sung in Elizabethan times as "Malmsey, Johnny." He gave no evidence, and there doesn't seem to be any.

Hugill showed that while the "anatomical ptogression" of the bawdy "A-Roving" did appear as a song in Heywood's "Rape of Lucrece," Heywood's song wasn't presented as a sea song and there's no reason to assume that it was. The song itself is not identical to "A-Roving."

Gibb, my placement of the dawn of the shanty around 1820 may well be a few years too early, but shanties seem to have been frequent enough on the brig Pilgrim in 1834. With no media coverage, telephones, or downloads, it must have taken at least a few years for the practice to become a custom. My guess is that that happened during the mid to late 1820s, but admittedly that's just a guess based on insufficient evidence.


21 Mar 10 - 08:59 PM (#2868961)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Great to have a lot of voices here.

A couple things I encourage here:

1) Though I am very often guilty of "vagueing up" my statements, particularly when I'm unsure... let's to to specify time period when we talk about things, when possible. A couple decades in either direction could make a huge difference (e.g., a couple decades ago, I wasn't using the Internet). I personally I looking for "Ground Zero" of what I think was a "new" phenomenon --post-Cheerly Man. Perhaps it was not, but still I've got to "zoom in" to see.

2) Let's use previous writers' thoughts as springboards or reference points, but not accept their assumptions. Let the evidence speak fresh.

mikesamwild--
By "Yellow Girls" do you mean the shanty AKA "Doodle Let Me Go"? That may be something to pursue.

And I am sure it was a fusion, but then again, what is not? The tunes may very well be of Irish derivation. The challenge will be distinguishing what precedents are most relevant to the historical context. The melodic influences on, say Jamaican stevedores, may have included Irish polkas, since what is "Jamaican culture" --or any culture-- but a fusion of past influences?   This influences become relevant when they suggest something of significance at that historical moment.

In my working sketch, the most important aspect of it all at this "moment" was a paradigm for singing while working. The non-Black commenters have remarked on Black work-singing as if it were a practice distinct from their own. My contention is that there was something culturally remarkable about African-American work-song practice. One aspect, for example, was the feature whereby a gang of workers might have an individual who *only* sings (and gets paid for it!). Another aspect is the specific *form* of these songs.

So I've an open bias towards looking to African-American work-singing for some answers, at this point. This does not mean I think "chanteys are African"; on the contrary, I think they are fusion. However, my hypothesis is that the "new phenomenon" of "chanties" was based in what at the time was a work-song practice of the African-American community.

Looking for antecedents --in a different world than The Complaynt of Scotland -- we have for example the account (published 1800) of Scotsman Mungo Park, who visited the area of Africa that is now Mali in the 1790s. He observed of the people there that, "They lightened their labour by songs, one of which was composed extempore, for I myself was the subject of it."

That was in Africa. Here's an observation from the New World a decade later, on the island of Martinique, in BELL'S COURT AND FASHIONABLE MAGAZINE, May 1806:

"The negroes have a different air and words for every kind of labour; sometimes they sing, and their motions, even while cultivating the ground, keep time to the music."


21 Mar 10 - 09:14 PM (#2868969)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lighter,

Our posts crossed a bit.

my placement of the dawn of the shanty around 1820 may well be a few years too early, but shanties seem to have been frequent enough on the brig Pilgrim in 1834.

I follow. My present belief is that the worksongs on the Pilgrim may not have been of the "new" (later to be called "chanties") type. So for that reason, that date is not as significant to me just yet; I am leaning towards the 1830s cotton-stowing observations as indications that things had not come together yet ship-board. But that is also why I think it may be fruitful to review and search the hell out of the 1810s-20s-30s!

If we've not any more 1810s stuff for now, we can move onto the more plentiful 1820s.


22 Mar 10 - 09:12 AM (#2869208)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Here is another reference to add to the possible context from which these chanty forms emerged.

It is John Lambert's TRAVELS THROUGH CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES...VOL. III, published in 1810.

The event referred to, I believe, happened in 1806. The narrator is going by boat down the Savannah River.

We started from Purrysburgh about two o'clock and were rowed by four negroes, for canoes are not paddled here as in Canada. They seemed to be jolly fellows, and rowed lustily to a boat song of their own composing. The words were given out by one of them, and the rest joined chorus at the end of every line. It began in the following manner:

Chorus.

" We are going down to Georgia, boys,
CH: Aye, aye,

To see the pretty girls, boys ;
CH: Yoe, yoe.

We'll give 'em a pint of brandy, boys,
CH: Aye, aye.

And a hearty kiss besides, boys.
CH:Yoe, yoe.            
&c. &c.

The tune of this ditty was rather monotonous, but had a pleasing effect, as they kept time with it, at every stroke of their oars. The words were mere nonsense ; any thing, in fact, which came into their heads. I however remarked, that brandy was very frequently mentioned, and it was understood as a hint to the passengers to give them a dram.


Note again the incidental nature of the text. It is impossible to identify this as the progenitor to any one specific chantey, however the basic form is that of a chantey and the ad-libbed nature is also in keeping with the tradition. Again, no analogy is made to other work-song practices in the author's own tradition or aboard sailing vessels.

More boat/rowing references to come, as that seems to be where these sorts of songs were used at this point in time.


22 Mar 10 - 09:34 AM (#2869217)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

A great discovery. In form it looks indistinguishable from a halliard shanty. Such rowing songs almost certainly influenced shanty development. The transference of such songs to halliard work as needed may have been inevitable and must have happened independently a number of times.

Interesting that these early travelers found the rowing songs notable despite the unanimous comments that they were unmelodious, with improvisational and trivial lyrics.

It certainly does support the idea that call-and-response rowing songs were not native to Britain and were presumably an African holdover.

One can move plausibly from African call-and-reponse work songs to New World call-and-response rowing songs to cotton-screwers' chants to halliard shanties.


22 Mar 10 - 11:20 AM (#2869261)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

See the end of my last post to the "SF to Sydney" thread.


22 Mar 10 - 11:41 AM (#2869280)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Morris-ey

Call-and-response goes back to ancient Greek theatre: it is, as a form, very old.


22 Mar 10 - 09:03 PM (#2869662)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

More descriptions from the decades before I allege the "new chanties" came in.

The first reference is not very insightful re: chanties, however, such early references to African-Americans singing during work are hard to locate, so I give it FWIW. It comes from "Abridgment of the Minutes of the Evidence Taken Before a Committee of the Whole House," including depositions from 1789. In one passage, the following bits of info are given with respect to African slaves working sugar cane fields in Grenada.

The cutting of canes is not very hard, tying them easy; the feeding the mills and sires are the most laborious. The rest of the work is very easy. On the whole, thinks the negroes are most healthy in, and like the crop best. Never knew them complain of work then. The mill- gang commonly sing all night. Certainly labour in crop is the hardest, as 1/2 their time, out of crop, is weeding. Holing is the most severe work out of crop.
...They often give holers weak grog twice a-day. Holing does not occasion sickness. Negroes seem fox'd of it, and commonly sing at at.


Of course, the assumption that the slaves were having fun --more so because they were singing-- was probably misguided. (Many years later, Frederick Douglas attempted to correct this assumption, arguing that the singing was not to express joy but rather to overcome sorrow.)

Next reference is to another rowing song reference. It is interesting for what seems to have been a transitional part-English/part-African dialect singing, and for the spread of this practice throughout the African Diaspora.

NOTES ON THE WEST INDIES... VOL. 3, by George Pinckard, pub. 1806.

The author's observations appear to be from the English West Indies Expedition of the 1790s.   He is traveling by boat down the Demerara River towards Georgetown (then known as Stabroek). Black slaves are manning the oars. Here is the passage, pg. 322:

Observing that they rowed with languor, and that we made but little progress, the cockswain was desired to exchange the helm for an oar, and to enliven his comrades with a song, encouraging them to join in chorus, and to pull together in musical time. This operated with magic effect. Every slave was inspired, and forgetting all sense of fatigue, they again pulled with unwearied vigour. We were not more pleased with the result of the expedient, than amused by ihe ready ingenuity with which our wizard cockswain composed his appropriate song, and gave it all the effect of enchantment. Resigning the helm to the weakest slave, he placed himself amidst the crew in the centre of the boat, and pulling his oar stronger than the others, he invented extempore lines for a favorite African tune, finishing each stanza with "gnyaam gnyaam row" "gnyaam gynaam row" in which all were to join by way of chorus; and we found that " gnyaam gnyaam row," never failed to give additional force to the oar—and consequent head-way to the boat.

The names of the slaves, their wives, their food, drink, and all their pleasures were introduced in song, and tuned to the pulling of the oar : likewise the names of each of the party whom they were rowing, their professions, qualities, and occupations, and their several intentions towards the crew, all made a part of this inspiring air, which, however ridiculous in the words and music—in its effect succeeded even to a wonder. The pulling of the oar, the directing of the helm, even the position of the slaves in the boat, and the compensation each might expect as the reward of his exertions were all adroitly included, and "gnyaam gnyaam row" accompanied each stretch of the oar in chorus. Led on by these persuasive themes, each seemed to emulate the exertions of the all-animating cockswain, and, throwing off the heavy marks of fatigue, they conducted us merrily and speedily to "Garden-Eden."


22 Mar 10 - 09:22 PM (#2869670)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A NARRATIVE OF A VOYAGE TO SURINAM.., by Albert Sack, pub. 1810. Translated from German notes.

The place is Surinam, 1805.

We continued our journey very easily. The tides in these rivers
flow, five hours and a half, and ebb six hours and a half. The
spring tides are twice a month, at the new and full moon; the
tide runs at the rate of about seven miles an hour, and as we only
pursued our course by it, our boatmen in these short stages were
not in the least fatigued: they are eight stout negroes, who sing in
chorus all the way.


In the following decades, more rowing references will come.


22 Mar 10 - 09:51 PM (#2869680)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In tracing the advent of the "chanties," it is important to distinguish the songs used for halyards from those used for capstan. For as a chantey designed for halyards, with modifications, might work for capstan, it rarely goes the other way. The forms are different. Halyards required quite a strict form; most of those chanties are of uniform...er, form. Capstan work could use material from many sources. This is what makes halyard chanties distinctive and potential revealing with respect to their origins. The form of the rowing songs appears to lend itself better to halyards this was the song format that appeared relatively new to the scene, from the perspective of the Euro-American commenters.

Capstan songs, on the other hand, had been around longer, though I cannot say specifically what their form may have been like from one period to the next.

I suggest we maintain a distinction between the songs for capstan and the ones potentially used for halyards, lest we muddle the stream of development of these different kinds of work-songs.

Here is a reference to singing at the WINDLASS from the beginning of the 19th century.
It is found in an edited volume of a poem THE SHIPWRECK by a sailor, William Falconer. This edited edition is from 1806; seems the first edition was probably 1803. It is a footnote reference to the old spoke windlass, in which one must continually remove and replace one's handspike.

As the Windlass is heaved about in a vertical direction, it is evident that the effort of an equal number of men acting upon it will be much more powerful than on the Capstan. It requires, however, some dexterity and address to manage the Handspec, or Lever, to the greatest advantage; and to perform this the Sailors must all rise at once upon the Windlass, and, fixing their bars therein, give a sudden jerk at the same instant; in which movement they are regulated by a sort of Song pronounced by one of the number. The most dexterous managers of the Handspec in heaving at the Windlass, are generally supposed to be the Colliers of Northumberland; and of all European Mariners, the Dutch are certainly the most awkward, and sluggish, in this manoeuvre.

[Was the action anything like cotton-screwing?]

For an illustration of this kind of windlass (not sure just how realistic?) see here, at 2:40:
old fashioned windlass


22 Mar 10 - 10:15 PM (#2869687)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

That is it for my 1810s and earlier references, for now. I am moving on to the 1820s. Please join in! I imagine many of these will be pilfered from the Sf-Sydney thread, including one that Lighter mentions a few posts up.

The first rowing reference comes from TRAVELS IN NORTH AMERICAN IN THE YEARS 1827 AND 1828, by Basil Hall. It's March 1828, and the author has headed into the interior of Georgia from the sea islands area.

On reaching Darien, a neat little village on the left bank of the gigantic Alatamaha, one of the largest rivers in America, but the name of which I had never even heard of before, we were met by a gentleman we had formerly known, and at whose invitation we were now visiting this part of the country. Under his escort we proceeded down the current in a canoe some thirty feet long, hollowed out of a cypress tree. The oars were pulled by five smart negroes, merry fellows, and very happy looking, as indeed are most of their race, in spite of all their bondage. They accompanied their labour by a wild sort of song, not very unlike that of the Canadian voyageurs, but still more nearly resembling that of the well-known Bunder-boatmen at Bombay.

Interesting comparisons: "Canadian voyageurs" and "Bunder-boatmen at Bombay."


22 Mar 10 - 10:23 PM (#2869692)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

This is great stuff, Gibb! I like the approach and am rowing fast to catch up. I'm afraid I wasn't paying attention and you got launched without me realizing it. Thanks for doing this and for keeping this very important discussion alive and well.


23 Mar 10 - 05:28 AM (#2869832)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

Just chuck this in to test others' opinions - it derives from analysis of dear old John Short's repertoire (which he aquired between 1855 and 1875): The capstan/windlass stuff seems to tend (yes, deliberately imprecise) to utilise shore-song narratives (often Anglo-Irish except where they derive from contemporary American popular song) whereas the shorthaul stuff seems to use much more discontinuous texts deriving from hoosier/river sources (the latter also being the opinion of Short himself given to Sharp).

We're also currntly having fun with the fact that A Hundred years Ago and Tommy's Gone Away effectivly use the same tune. And have you noticed that Santy Anna, Whip Jamboree and the Irish tune King of the Fairies (A-phrase) all share a majority of melodic phrases too!

TomB


23 Mar 10 - 06:17 AM (#2869856)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

The song I mentioned, Yellow Girls is the Doodle let me go one.

'It's of a Captain's daughter belonged to Callao etc'

I have been struck by the similarity of some shanty tunes to Irish polkas which came in during the mid 19th century boom of Quadrilles across society worldwide. London, Bristo, Liverpool and Cork could be jumping off points


Dan Worrall has just produced a good book (2 vols)on the Anglo Concertina which explores playing in various comunities amongst which is the work on black African players who use songs as an essential part of all aspects of life.


He has done a lot of work , based in Texas.using digital archives . The section on the concertina at sea is excellent ( no evidence of concertina accompaniment to shanties but used in 'forebitters')


23 Mar 10 - 09:16 AM (#2869942)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Next reference from the 1820s. I am suspending my judgement as to how "Cheerly Man" fits into all this! Where did it fall along the hypothetical "transition"? It was used for halyards, and had the "extempore" quality, yet its form was not like later halyard chanties. Had it really been around a VERY long time, or was it perhaps among the earliest of the newer songs? Are there any earlier references (i.e. that I'm overlooking) for "Cheerly Man"?

The text is JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO QUEBEC IN THE YEAR 1825, by P. Finan.

The narrator is leaving Quebec in a brig in July 1825.

A ship getting under weigh displays a lively, active scene. "Man the windlass !" was the first order of the mate: the windlass was quickly manned, and the seamen commenced weighing the anchor—and, as the great chain cable clanked along the deck, and the sailor sent forth his long and slow-toned "yeo— heave — oh!" the sounds reached the ear with more important meaning than merely that the anchor was raising from the bottom.

...

"Man your topsail sheets, and overhaul your clue-lines and buntlines!" cried the mate; the seamen sprang to their places with the greatest alacrity, and the command was soon executed. The topsail haliards, or rope by which the topsail is hoisted, was next ordered to be manned, and the hoisting was accompanied by a lively song, the words of which, being the extemporary composition of the seaman who led, afforded me a good deal of amusement.— One.man sung, and the rest joined lustily in the chorus. The following is a specimen:—

Oh rouse him up, .
Chorus—Oh, yeo, cheerly ;
Newry girls,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Now for Warrenpoint,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Rouse him up cheerly,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Oh.mast-head him,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Oh, with a will,
Oh, yeo, cheerly;
Cheerly men,
Oh, oh, yeo,
Oh, yeo, cheerly ;
Oh, yeo, cheerly.


I'm not sure if I have parsed the verse/chorus structure as intended. See the original on pg. 329, HERE


23 Mar 10 - 12:32 PM (#2870094)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Another early rowing reference that I think is really important --perhaps the earliest setting so far-- is one I've discovered in this article:

http://www.jstor.org/pss/895685

(I don't have access to read it all. If someone else does, perhaps they'd like to scan it for other gems.)

It refers to observations by W.J. Grayson (born 1788) of South Carolina, who "from his boyhood" --1790s or 1800s-- remembers African-American oarsmen that would bring people to Charleston. He describes their call and response canoe-rowing songs as "partly traditionary, partly improvised" and goes on to relate their incidental themes, as have the other authors.


23 Mar 10 - 02:58 PM (#2870196)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

The most significant "gem" follows. I'm taking it directly from its original appearance in James Kennard, Jr.'s article, "Who Are Our National Poets?" (Knickerbocker, Oct. 1845, p. 338):

"One day during the early part of the Indian war in Florida [i.e., 1835] we stepped into a friend's boat at Jacksonville, and with a dozen stout negro rowers, pushed off, bound up the St. Johns with a load of muskets, to be distributed among the distressed inhabitants, who were every where flying from the frontier before the victorious Seminoles. As we shot ahead, over the lake-like expanse of the noble river, the negroes struck up a song to which they kept time with their oars; and our speed increased as they went on, and become [sic] warmed with their singing. The words were rude enough, the music better, and both were well-adapted to the scene. A line was sung by a leader, then all joined in a short chorus; then came another solo line, and another short chorus, followed by a longer chorus, during the singing of which the boat foamed through the water with redoubled velocity. There seemed to be a certain number of lines ready-manufactured, but after this stock was exhausted, lines relating to surrounding objects were extemporized. Some of these were full of rude wit, and a lucky hit always drew a thundering chorus from the rowers, and an encouraging laugh from the occupants of the stern seats. Sometimes several minutes elapsed in silence; then one of the negroes burst out with a line or two which he had been excogitating. Little regard was paid to rhyme, and hardly any to the number of syllables in a line: they condensed four or live into one foot, or stretched out one to occupy the space that should have been filled with four or five; yet they never spoiled the tune. This elasticity of form is peculiar to the negro song."

In other words, a halliard shanty without the halliards. Such rowing songs must have been just as important to shanty development as were the cotton-screwing chants.

I'll revise my theory of shanty creation. Regardless of how later shanties were "composed," the first "halliard shanty" may have been nothing more than a rowing song sung in a new context. And maybe "Cheerly Man!" was that song!


23 Mar 10 - 04:03 PM (#2870247)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Okay, I've managed to get time to start looking at some of my references. One interesting and tantalising reference I have comes from the Times Aug 15th 2008. It refers to a sailor's journal up for auction, George Hodge, and covers the period 1790 to 1833. Apparently he was in the RN from 1790 to 1815 then joined the MN. Quote 'It includes everything from the lyrics of sea shanties to a picture of the first ship on which he served.' The auction was at Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the whole collection of his memorabilia was estimated to fetch about $50,000. I didn't manage to find out anything further, but Googling might bring up something. It would be great if the journal had been published???? or was on its way to being published.
Anybody else spot this one or know what happened to the journal?

I must add that journalists and those with a passing interest often mistake sea songs for shanties, so it may be a red herring. Even if it is it would be interesting to see what the sea songs were.


23 Mar 10 - 04:43 PM (#2870281)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a link to Dena Epstein's book. Only parts of it are on line, but if you scroll down to Chapter 9, you will find that it is on "Worksongs" and has many of the quotes and references that we have been working with so far.

http://books.google.com/books?id=WUHaLYzhiSoC&pg=PA68&dq=Worksongs&cd=5#v=onepage&q=Worksongs&f=false


23 Mar 10 - 04:59 PM (#2870296)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

With regard to Steve's note on "George Hodge", I came across this on Google Books. However, the very page referred to is "not available". Perhaps someone has this book and can take a look.


ENTER THE PRESS-GANG: NAVAL IMPRESSMENT IN EIGHTEENTH -CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE‎ - Page 140
Daniel James Ennis - Literary Criticism - 2002 - 219 pages
"The case of George Hodge, as related in his unpublished diary, is instructive.
... By the late eighteenth century, the Royal Navy began showing signs of ..."


23 Mar 10 - 05:10 PM (#2870306)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

I just Googled Hodge but all that came up were references to the auction, nothing on what happened to it after the auction. I doubt if the Ennis mentions give any detail on what's in the diary. It seems to be dwelling on impressment and his time in the RN which would not include refs to shanties. It's the 1815-33 period refs that would be of most interest.


23 Mar 10 - 06:26 PM (#2870359)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Just been rereading the articles by L G Carr Laughton in Mariner's Mirror for 1923 Vol 9 No 2. He sets out an excellent case for the slaves' shanties origin and the whole custom originating with the cotton ships coming across from the southern states post 1815 to Liverpool and then it spreading from there into the packet ships. He mentions several examples of 'Cheerly men' in use as possibly the earliet example. He also postulates there may be something more to Stevenson's 'Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest' it being a Caribbean island. I assume you have the references from the United services Journal for 1834 which give the account of shantying on a revenue cutter. Here 'Cheerly men' as with Dana is given as an example. The author claimed then that CM had been attached to revenue cutters 'for time out of mind', 'and sometimes the burden is not celebrated for its decency'.
Later Carr Laughton suggests the approximate order of development for the shanty being, the cotton trade as already mentioned; then the Packet service; the emigrant ships to America; the California gold rush round the Horn; the Blackwall East Indiamen; the tea clippers, and finally the Colonial clippers. he then goes on to link individual shanties with particular periods, largely according to their origins and content.
In a later article (1952) another writer puts forward an extremely strong case for the development of the word 'shantying' from the French in New Orleans, quoting 2 contemporary accounts. I can post this if required.


23 Mar 10 - 07:40 PM (#2870399)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Steve, I for one would love to read the etymological conjecture on "shantying."


23 Mar 10 - 08:58 PM (#2870449)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1820s, continued.

Capstan shanty description!

Fiction, from 1829: "Tales of a Voyager to the Arctic Ocean" -- excerpts discovered in THE LADY's MAGAZINE. Full context not given; a whaling vessel. :

Our visitors were particularly animated in their extemporaneous effusions, and ran round the capstan rapidly, to words signifying their hope of soon sharing an allowance of spirits; a luxury of which our prudential regime had deprived them whilst we remained beset, occasionally varying their exclamations with anticipations of the other benefits which they expected to obtain by the deliverance of the vessel from her icy fetters. The limit of the choral expression is always marked by the velocity with which the leader of the band, that is, the individual who first gives out the stave, completes a circle on the deck as he heaves round his bar, and he recommences his chant at the same spot at which it was begun. Hence, when the circumvolutions of the performers are quickened by the yielding of the obstruction to the winding-in of the warp, and the velocity of the turns will not allow the repetition of the canticle first set up, the choir break into a more brief outcry, suited to their movements; and at times, especially when reinforced by an accession of hands, they whirl round the capstan with the utmost swiftness, shrieking, laughing, dancing, and flinging out their heels, like a company of savage revelers capering about some object of convivial worship with extravagant demonstrations of mental and bodily excitement. Such was the glee of our Hialtlandmen, when they found the Leviathan, so long immovable, and consequently unprofitable, now gliding onward with increasing speed toward freedom and the possibility of exercising her whale-capturing functions. No sooner had they got the ship under weigh, and felt her yield to the impulse of their warp, as if she gradually awoke from a deep lethargy, and slowly resumed her suspended faculty of motion, than they began their song, one of them striking up, seemingly with the first idea that entered his imagination, while the others caught at his words, and repeated them to a kind of Chinese melody; the whole at length uniting their voices into one chant, which, though evidently the outpouring of a jovial spirit, had, from its unvaried tone and constant echo of the same expression, a half-wild, half-melancholy effect upon the ear. The foreign accent of the singers contributed not a little to invest their music with a strange imposing character, while the strong contrast between the import of their exclamation and its somewhat dirge-like accompaniment of voice, gave their stave a serio-comic air, well illustrated by the ludicrous display of joyous feelings depicted on the habitually grave and simple countenances of the performers. As the vessel advanced, the momentum she had received from the previous exertions of the capstan-heavers, and the strain upon the warp, yielding readily to the increasing resolution of the men, allowed them to run round with their bars at a more soulstirring pace, and the song grew fast and furious. It had begun with "Yah! yah! here's a full ship for the captain, and a full pannikin for Peytie Pevterson, la— la—lalla—la—leh; but this sentence, after many repetitions, was changed for others of briefer duration and more expressive import, as they coursed after each other with intoxicating rapidity; their steps grew frolicsome, and their voices were elevated till they cracked with energy; they shouted, shrieked, and capered ; and at length they wanted nothmg requisite to make them true representatives of a troop of roaring bacchanalians but old Silenus perched upon the drumhead of the capstan, and some of that good liquor whose very expectation had thus inspired them with frantic mirth.


23 Mar 10 - 10:39 PM (#2870485)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

There are several interesting ideas brought in here so far that I want to pursue. I will be traveling soon, however, so please don't mind me if I seem dis-engaged while just adding a boatload of historical references. I am try to get them up while I still have my "bookmarks" handy!

Here is a poem supposed to have been written aboard a frigate during the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars (i.e. pre 1815). (from an 1825 publication.) Though we know this from elsewhere it serves to reinforce the common use of fife (and drum?) rather at the capstan in that era. There is a line that also might have belonged to a chantey.

"Sailor's Song"

When the topsails are set, and the bars are all shipp'd,
And the drums and fifes merrily play,
Round the capstan we dance, till our anchor is tripp'd,
When the Boatswain bawls, "Heave and away!"
To the fife's shrill sound,
While the joke goes round,
We step with a pleasing delight;
Dry nippers clapp'd on,
We soon hear the song,
"Heave, heave, rny brave boys, and in sight."
[ETC.]


23 Mar 10 - 11:08 PM (#2870502)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Continuing with 1820s, here are examples already dredged up by folks on the SF-Sydney thread, which I'd like to file here. We begin with another Afro-Caribbean rowing song.

WEST INDIA SKETCH BOOK, vol 1, by Trelawney Wentworth (Published 1834 or earlier?). It appears to refer to events possibly of 1822 or earlier. They are headed for the island of Saint Thomas.

For some distance they had pulled at an easy rate and in silence, as if made unconscious of the work they were engaged in, by the absorbing interest of the passing scenes, but at length they were roused to activity by the word of preparation for a song having been passed among them, and the negro pulling the oar nearest to us, began a singular prelude which sounded between a grunt and a groan, like a paviour's accompaniment to his labour, or the exordium of a quaker, when " the spirit" begins to move. He became more energetic with each succeeding stroke of the oar, which produced a corresponding ardour, and greater precision in pulling among the other rowers, and when this was effected, another negro, whose countenance bore
the stamp of much covert humour and sagacity, and who appeared to be a sort of improvisatore among them, commenced a lively strain which accorded exactly in time with the motion of pulling, each line of the song accompanying the impetus given to the boat, and the whole crew joining in chorus in the intervals between every stroke of the oars. The subject matter of the song was as discursive and lengthy as Chevy Chase; and it showed an aptitude at invention on the part of the leader, as well as a tolerable acquaintance with the weak side of human nature, on the score of flattery: a small portion of it will suffice.


Hurra, my jolly boys
CH: Fine time o' day
We pull for San Thamas boys
CH: Fine time o' day
Nancy Gibbs and Betsy Braid
CH: Fine time o' day
Massa come fra London town
CH: Fine time o' day ETC
Massa is a hansome man,
             Fine time o' day.
Massa is a dandy-man,
             Fine time o' day.
Him hab de dollar, plenty too,
             Fine time o' day.
Massa lub a pretty girl,
             Fine time o' day.
Him lub 'em much, him lub 'em true,
             Fine time o' day.
Him hunt 'em round de guaba bush,
             Fine time o' day.
Him catch 'em in de cane piece,
             Fine time o' day.

It includes musical notation. Incidentally, Roger Abrahams reprinted the score in his whalers' shanties book, and Finn & Haddie used that, I presume, to work up this interpretation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DwR-ADStXQ

****

Back in the United States, this 1820s rowing reference is courtesy of Lighter on 22 March, 2010. [copy/pasted]

*SNIP*
From James Hall, "Letters from the West: Letter III," The Port Folio, XII (Sept., 1821), p. 446. Judge Hall made a trip down the Ohio from Pittsburgh to Shawneetown, Ill. This comes from a letter about Parkersburg, Virginia:

"To the admirers of the simplicity of Wordsworth, to those who prefer the naked effusions of the heart, to the meretricious ornaments of fancy, I present the following beautiful specimen verbatim, as it flowed from the lips of an Ohio boatman:

"It's oh! as I was a wal-king out,
One morning in July,
I met a maid, who ax'd my trade,—
Says I, 'I'll tell you presently,'
'Miss, I'll tell you presently!'"

Obviously the first stanza of a predecessor of the capstan shanty "New York Girls/ Can't You Dance the Polka?"

When Hall revised his article for book publication in 1828, he added a second stanza:

And it's oh! she was so neat a maid,
That her stockings and her shoes,
She toted in her lilly [sic] white hands
For to keep them from the dews, &c., &c.

So it isn't quite "New York Girls." And that unfortunately is that.

Except that Hall also quotes "the words which the rowers are even now sounding in my ears as they tug at the oar,

Some rows up, but we row down,
All the way to Shawnee town
Pull away - pull away!"

I believe Hall makes the earliest reference to the "Shawneetown" rowing song. Its form and the "pull away" chorus brings it very close to the apparently soon-to-evolve halliard shanties.
*SNIP*


23 Mar 10 - 11:17 PM (#2870507)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

More 1820s...

*SNIP*
"Waldie's select circulating library", Volume 1 (12 March 1833)

It's an account of an Italian visitor to London, observing sailors singing in a pub, circa 1826, I believe. Apparently they were singing this idly or for fun. The impression is made that it was a work song. However, it does seem a bit highly developed for that. And the lyrics say "haul," whereas such a long form suggests to me a task like capstan work. It may have been that this was a hauling song, just not a timed-pull one -- i.e. it was a stamp 'n' go. Quite probably these were navy men, as the sentiments suggest.

Here's the first verse.

British sailors have a knack
      Haul way, yeo ho, boys!
Of pulling down a Frenchman's jack,
    'Gainst any odds, you know, boys
Come three to one, right sure am I
If we can't beat 'em, still we try
To make old England's colours fly,
    Haul away, yeo ho boys

The rest can be found here, pg. 133
*SNIP*


23 Mar 10 - 11:23 PM (#2870509)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And from Lighter again. The publication date is 1826, but Lighter's biographical info suggest the singer might have learned this Sally Brown "sailors' chant" anytime between 1808 and then.

*SNIP*
Isaac Starr Clason, "Horace in New-York," 1826, p. 46: "The present Manager of the Chatham Garden Theatre, was formerly a Lieutenant in the British Navy. He was afterwards on the boards of the Norwich Company in England. He was principally applauded for singing a common sailors' chant in character, having a sort of 'Sally Brown, oh, ho,' chorus; and requiring the action of pulling a rope, spitting upon the hand, and the accompaniment of a horrid yell. In private life, both Mr. and Mrs. Wallack were much respected."

Clason's use of the word "chant" is almost as significant as "Sally Brown," "pulling a rope," and "a horrid yell." This could be the earliest clear reference to a "sea shanty as we know it," complete with Hugill-style "hitch"!
*SNIP*


23 Mar 10 - 11:53 PM (#2870516)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

That does it for the references I have, at present, to "shanty sightings" attributed to the 1820s and a few decades earlier. More could turn up if one searches creatively with different criteria. I realize it is not a lot to go on, but I would be interested, at this point, to try to think about the scene only based on the available evidence (there must be a bit more I am overlooking?), and try to block out our later impressions. Pretend the 1830s have not happened yet. What do we have?

1780s-90s:

General references to African and New World Black work-songs, from Mali, Grenada.

1800s:

General references to African-American work-songs and their style, from Martinique;
Rowing songs from Georgia, South Carolina, Guyana, Surinam;
Windlass songs, aboard vessels with sailors incl. from Northumberland and Holland.

1810s:

2 stevedore songs from Jamaica that resemble chanteys;
African-American rowing songs from Antigua, Virgin Islands;
Singing and fife-playing at the capstan on a British war ship.

1820s:

Rowing songs, from Georgia, Virginia, St. Thomas;
A version of "Cheerly Men" for topsail halyards on a brig near Quebec;
Fictional capstan shantying in the Arctic; capstan (?) song of British tars in London; chant for pulling known to an ex-British navy man. [I've also seen another reference to the phrase "British capstan song" from 1825.]

Anything more, strictly from these time periods?
Analysis to come later! ;)


24 Mar 10 - 04:58 AM (#2870586)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: IanC

Not sure why people don't read the previous threads here (and there are a lot of good ones about shanties). Here's an entry from then 1540s.

Complaynt

;-)


24 Mar 10 - 06:45 AM (#2870627)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is some excellent and extended bibliography in AFRICAN-AMERICAN TRADITIONS IN SONG, SERMON, TALE, AND DANCE 1600s - 1920, by Southern & Wright:

   http://books.google.com/books?id=GQC7pBjAsCAC&pg=PA45&dq=Aaron,+The+Light+and+Truth+of+Slavery&lr=&cd=7#v=onepage&q=Aaron%2C%20T

This link gives you the beginning of the section on "The Song", which includes many references to worksongs.

The title of Dena Epstein's book, referred to above is SINFUL TUNES AND SPIRITUALS: BLACK FOLK MUSIC TO THE CIVIL WAR. See Chapter 9.


24 Mar 10 - 09:08 AM (#2870712)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST

Here's a reference to singing of Black cotton-stowers in Savannah, in a letter from 1818. No detail, just that,

No business being done in Savannah during the summer, or sickly months, it is now all activity; nothing is heard near the water but the negroes' song while stowing away the cotton...

REMARKS MADE DURING A TOUR THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...(1817-1819), published 1821, by William Tell Harris, pg. 69

So at least we know that as early as the 1810s, the singing whilst cotton-stowing was going on, albeit nothing of its form.


24 Mar 10 - 09:21 AM (#2870720)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Last post was me, sorry.

John M. -- Thanks for that link to Epstein's book. The section on worksongs that you referenced gives nice context to these late 18th/early 19th sightings of New World Black work-songs. It also provides even earlier references that are very similar. At this point, I don't feel the urge to reproduce any more from these years (unless they have lyrics or great detail.) In fact, they are amazingly consistant (redundant!?). And I don't think I've ever seen the word "extempore" used so many times!

The "extempore" quality was clearly (to my reading) something foreign (or at least very notable) to the observers. I wonder if, in the coming decades, when non-Blacks adopted some of the Black songs/practices, this *aesthetic* was transfered as well. We know there was much *variation* in the chanties shared by later sailors, but was it quite to this degree? Did the process of petrification of verses begin only in the 20th century revivals, or had a sort of standardization already begun as soon as the genre crossed cultures? Something to think about when looking at later 19th century examples of chanties.

John, thanks also for the Southern & Wright volume. I'd found that one earlier, and I've been gradually breaking out the various relevant bits, which I will try to sort by decade as they come.

Gibb


24 Mar 10 - 09:22 AM (#2870721)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

I've just been reading 'Origins of the Popular Style' about popular music by Peter van der Merwe, Oford Clarendon press, 1989


He gives some interesting links to Arab and African worksong and also seesm to think that the middle eastern influence would have spread widely in Europe and Africa and he thinks older Hebridean work songs woud be tied ino that tradition.


So when indentured Irish and Scottish 'servants' met African slaves in the camericas there could have been fertile ground for work songs.

Does anyone remember work songs when Michael Palin was on that Slow Boat from Arabia to India?


24 Mar 10 - 05:25 PM (#2871032)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
See my post above. It would appear that the revenue cutters were using 'Cheerly Men' for 'time out of mind' prior to 1834. I interpret that to be at least as far back as 1800.


24 Mar 10 - 05:34 PM (#2871041)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Jonathan,
I just typed out the first paragraph of the MM article, wisely posted it and it vanished. I'll try once more and if it vanishes again I'll have to email it to you.


24 Mar 10 - 05:39 PM (#2871047)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Shanty term origins.
Letter by John Lyman in MM vol 38 (1952) answering the query of 1911.

This query asked for info. on the source of the word and the date of its first use for a working song afloat. the NED's oldest example is 1869 but Capt Whall recalled its use from his first going to sea in 1861. in vol 9 of MM L G Carr laughton traced the development of shantying to the Gulf cotton trade in the period 1830-60, but was forced to accept rather unconvincing connexions with shanty in the sense of a crudely built house or tavern as the origin of the term.


Fingers crossed!!


24 Mar 10 - 05:45 PM (#2871052)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Okay so far, next paragraph.

One of the arguments against deriving shanty as a song from the French 'chanter' is the change in pronunciation; another is the difficulty of explaining how a French word could have crossed the channel as alate as 1830. However, shanty as a houseis from the French 'chantier' (timberyard), via the wood-choppers' cabins in Fr-Canadian logging camps, so there need be no doubts about French 'ch-' becoming English 'sh-'. Mencken, in 'The American Langiage', derives shanty as song from French 'chanter' but calls it 'not American', and the word is not in the 'Dictionary of American English'.


24 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM (#2871053)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, Steve, that is useful to have it stated with that phrase, vague though it may be. I have been assuming, too, from other secondary sources, that "Cheerly Men" is "older." However, I would like to build up a picture from the ground, too. I am trying to hold both things in play: intuitive sense of how old things might be, and corroborating evidence.

No doubt as I turn to more literature from later decades there will be additional suggestive phrases such as "time out of mind" that add to the "intuitive sense" side. As for the hard evidence side, I am at least pleased so far to the 1825 reference with lyrics to "Cheerly" which e.g. does not appear in Hugill's work.


24 Mar 10 - 05:55 PM (#2871057)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I wonder how that article by Lyman compares with his later one:
"Chantey and Limey"
Source: American Speech, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Oct., 1955), pp. 172-175. It may be more accessible on-line, FWIW


24 Mar 10 - 06:33 PM (#2871082)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

P3
The two principal Gulf cotton ports from 1830 to 60 were New Orleans and Mobile, both settled by the French; both still celebrate Mardi gras. I have not found any accounts of loading at New Orlaeans in this period, but there are two of Mobile that illustrate clearly both the source of the term and the circumstances of its transfer to a working song afloat. the first is from 'Twenty Years at sea, by F S Hill (1893), describing a visit to Mobile in 1844;

'the cotton....was now to be forced into the ship, in the process of stowing by the stevedores by very powerful jackscrews, each operated by a gang of four men, one of them the 'shantier', as he was called, from the French word 'chanteur', a vocalist. this man's sole duty was to lead in the rude songs, largely improvised, to the music of which his companions screwed the bales into their places....
'A really good shantier received larger pay than the other men in the gang, although his work was much less laborious. their songs which always had a lively refrain or chorus, were largely what are now called topical, and often not particularly chaste.'


24 Mar 10 - 06:55 PM (#2871094)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

I'll assume it's still worth giving the full letter even though we have a later article by him.

The second account is by Charles Nordhoff in 'The Merchant Vessel' (1855) of loading at mobile about 1848:
'Five hands compose a gang, four to work the screws, and one to do the headwork.....The foreman begins the song, and at the end of every two lines the screw is forced to make one revolution, thus gaining perhaps two inches. Singing, or 'chanting', as it is called, is an invariable accompaniment to working in cotton, and many of the screw- gangs have an endless collection of songs, rough and uncouth, both in words and melody, but answering well the purpose of making all pull together, and enlivening the heavy toil. the foreman is the 'chanty-man' who sings the song, the gang only joining in the chorus, which comes in at the end of every line, and at the end of which again comes the pull at the screw handles. One song generally suffices to bring home the screw, when a new set is got upon the bale, and a fresh song is commenced.
'The 'chants', as may be supposed, have more rhyme than reason in them. the tunes are generally plain and montonous, as are most of the capstan tunes of sailors....The men who yearly resort to Mobile Bay to screw cotton are, as may be imagined, a rough set. they are mostly English and Irish sailors, who, leaving their vessels here, remain until they have saved a hundred or two dollars, then ship for Liverpool, London, or whatever port may be their favourite, there to spree it all away, and return to work out another supply.'

Thus, in 1844, Hill recognised 'shantier' as a french word; in 1848 Nordhoff found the term as 'chanty-man'; neither used 'shanty' for the song itself, although Nordhoff commented on the similarity of the screw-gang songs to the capstan songs afloat. By 1861 the shanty-man's song had become the shanty. the word 'shantyman' and ;shanty' are ceretainly American in origin, and belong in the 'Dictionary of American English'.                         JOHN LYMAN


24 Mar 10 - 07:05 PM (#2871101)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Thanks, Steve. The article by Lyman that Gibb cites is pretty well known (well, to some people). Presumably it incorporates some later thoughts.

So far as it relates to "shanty/ chantey," Lyman's later article chiefly reports his discovery of the word "chantey-man" in Nordhoff. He offers only two bits of evidence to support a French derivation. First, "chantey-men" were known to Nordhoff in N.O. at the same time as the hoosiers were singing their own chants. (N.O. makes a French influence conceivable.) Second, Frederick S. Hill in 1893 recalls that fifty years earlier, in Mobile, the singing cotton-screwers were led by a man they called the "shantier," which Hill derives from

It is possibly significant that the first English appearance of "shanty/ chantey" is in the apparent compound "chantey-man" rather than standing by itself, but with so little evidence available it may mean nothing.

It would be much more impressive if there existed a French word in use in N.O. or the Gulf or Caribbean area that sounded something like "chanteyman" or "chantey gang" and also meant something vaguely related or relatable. In that case, "chantey" could have been a back formation from, say, "chanteyman." But there seem to be no candidates.


24 Mar 10 - 07:25 PM (#2871122)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Damn! That got away from me in the middle of an important sentence! While I was revising it too!

Hill recalls that in 1843 the soloist among cotton-screwers was called the "shantier," which he derives "from the French word chanteur, a vocalist."

The more I think about this, the better it sounds. (Disregard the final paragraph of my last post as needlessly hypothetical.) *If* Hill is right about "shantier" in Mobile in 1843, and *if* the word "shantier" came from N.O. (I don't know how many French speakers were screwing cotton in Mobile in the 1840s - presumably very few), an anglicization of "chanteur" might be the source.

In that case, "shanty" would be a back formation from "shantier," on the assumption that a "shantier" was one who "shanties" and that the special songs he sings are properly called "shanties."

That would neatly explain the troublesome sound change from "ch" to "sh," and would replace the improbable idea that English-speaking seamen would have mysteriously adopted a French command to "Chantez!"

Lyman doesn't explicitly endorse the "chanteur" etymology, which is why I missed it the first time through. But yes, I think "shanty" could have come from "chanteur" through "shantier." (Hill seems to be the only writer to use "shantier," but since "chanteur" is indeed French for a male singer, the etymology of to "shanty," etc., is quite plausible.)

Case closed? It's tempting to say so.


24 Mar 10 - 07:39 PM (#2871143)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Case NOT closed in my books. :)

But I don't wish to get into it just now, ha ha!


24 Mar 10 - 10:08 PM (#2871218)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Stan Hugill, who had taken stock as well of his shanty-collecting predecessors, too, had turned up no shipboard work-song accounts from the 18th century. However by the beginning of the 18th century, we might suppose sailing vessels with European crews were singing songs at the capstan, though this work was also done to fife-playing. The earliest references I have seen to that is the supposedly 1810s mention of the phrase "Heave, heave, my brave boys, and in sight," from the poem, "Sailors' Song." However, work at the spoke windlass to a song is referenced even earlier, 1803-ish, in which the European crews "fixing their bars therein, give a sudden jerk at the same instant; in which movement they are regulated by a sort of Song pronounced by one of the number."

Actually "singing" at halliards may have been less frequent. Elsewise it was just shouting, chanting, or otherwise too "primitive" to inspire mention. The first I am seeing may well be the "Cheerly" reference from Quebec, 1825. I also put stock in the claim from the UNITED SERVICES MAGAZINE, 1834, piece mentioned by Steve, which claims "Cheerly Men" was a hauling song in use for some time. Rather than assume that this means there was a repertoire of "halliard shanties" (plural(, I am inclined to believe that "Cheerly" was one of only very few chants that were standard material for this operation, e.g. aboard war ships of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars era. Let us not assume that "halyard shanties" as a class necessarily even existed yet. There may have only been "sing outs," for hand-over-hand hauling, or fife and drum playing for the stamp and go maneuver.

My contention is that "halyard chanties" constituted a major, new class of work-song. It was one that added tons of repertoire to shipboard worksongs AND, I think, probably inspired the paradigm by which one was expected to customarilly sing whilst doing any work aboard ship -- i.e. "chanties." I think this particular kind of shanty, which is clearly distinct from capstan songs and perhaps even from the "barely removed from a sing-out" style of "Cheerly Men," was introduced concurrently with the term "chanty" and, as I said, with this new notion of songs as an essential "tool" of sailing. With that paradigm in place, the repertoire of songs continued to grow until it flattened out and, finally, shanties were killed by steam.

So while they were preceded by the distinctly different heaving songs of capstan and windless, and, I believe presently, also distinct from the few standardized hauling chants, the halyard chanties (which I like to call "chanties, proper")came about later. The aim here is to discover when / how/ from where they came about. The sense it that the time period was early 19th century, so I am trying to steer this course from he early end of that.

So far, it is African Diaspora rowing songs that are shaping up as closest progenitors to "chanties, proper" in this time period and geographic setting. However, because of my prejudices, I may be turning up more links to those.

If anyone has any other references from this time period, 1800s-1820s, from a likely geographic area, that could suggest *immediate* progenitors to the new halliard chanties, I would love to see them. So far, with respect to pulling chanties from this period, I only see definite references to "Cheerly Men" and to the "Sally Brown, oh, ho." In my opinion at this point, those may not represent the classic halyard chanty forms that were to emerge. According to another interpretation, they may be among the very earliest, which were to develop as time went on. (As I stated earlier, I tend to think that at this point in history, the new halyard chanty form did not so much evolve as it was taken over wholesale from another work activity. And for that reason, I don't feel a need for continuity between "Cheerly" and the later songs.) Incidentally, "Cheerly" and "Sally Brown" -- considering that we've no basis to assume the Sally Brown of this reference was the latter-day chanty -- may be closely related. "Cheerly" (along with "Haul Her Away," "Nancy Fanana" etc) mentions nam


24 Mar 10 - 10:13 PM (#2871221)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

cont...

...women's names as per its custom. It could have been "O Sally Brown, oh oh, CHEERLY MAN!" "Oh Polly Walker oh oh, CHEERLY MAN!"

Let's move on to the 1830s and see how the picture evolves. Again, I don't think we can say for sure that the new halliard shanties were there yet (i.e. as per my criteria). We are yet in the realm of interpretation, where common sense suggests that something must have been around "a while" before it is mentioned in literature. Still, let's see what the literature has to say...with respect to 1830s now.


25 Mar 10 - 12:05 AM (#2871287)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

errata:

"However by the beginning of the **19th** century, we might suppose sailing vessels with European crews were singing songs at the capstan..."


25 Mar 10 - 08:20 AM (#2871452)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a reference to a rowing song from Fanny Kemble's JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE ON A GEORGIA PLANTATION IN 1838-1839:

http://books.google.com/books?id=w34FAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA128&dq=%22Jenny+gone+away&cd=3#v=onepage&q=%22Jenny%20gone%20away&f=false

The setting is a boat trip across the Altamaha River from the Georgia coast to the St. Simon's island. Kemble gives a detailed description of the boat, the process of rowing and of the singing, and offers these words:

"Jenny shake her toe at me,
   Jenny gone away;
Jenny shake her toe at me,
   Jenny gone away.
Hurrah! Miss Susy, oh!
   Jenny gone away;
Hurrah! Miss Susy, oh!
   Jenny gone away."

A bit further on she quotes a fragment from another song:

   "Fare you well, and good-by, oh, oh!
   I'm gin' away to leave you, oh, oh!"

The "Jenny gone away" reminds me of the song "Ginny's Gone to Ohio". Here is another reference to the "Jenny" song from a little later (sorry to jump the gun a bit) in 1843, on the occasion of a corn-shucking. Here you have a good description of a "corn-shucking shantyman"! (my label) :

http://books.google.com/books?id=cYAAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA244&dq=Jenny+gone+away&cd=6#v=onepage&q=Jenny%20gone%20away&f=false

And here's a footnote about the reference to Jenny "shaking her toe":

http://books.google.com/books?id=bFLiWrJo5_MC&pg=PA261&dq=Jenny+gone+away&lr=&cd=11#v=onepage&q=Jenny%20gone%20away&f=false


25 Mar 10 - 09:15 AM (#2871471)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John M., for starting off the 1830s with such an appropriate quote. It connects nicely to Basil Hall's reference to rowing in the same part of Georgia from 1828. And now we've lyrics -- plus a connection to the similarly-paradigmed (my notion) corn-shucking.

I am going to file in another rowing reference from the 1830s.

This is the one from TRANSATLANTIC SKETCHES (1833) by JE Alexander, in which a river trip in Guiana in 1831 is described )(cf. Pinckard's 1790s observation, above). There is a rowing song which is a variation of what is now known as "The Sailor Likes His Bottle O".

    De bottley oh ! de bottley oh !
    De neger like the bottley oh !
Right early in the marning, de neger like the bottley oh !
    A bottle o'rum, loaf a bread,
    Make de neger dandy oh!
Right early in de marning, de neger like de bottley oh !

The passage seems to also refer by title to "Velly well, yankee, velly well oh" , which may be the "Bear Away Yankee," which Abrahams
collected in the Caribbean in the 1960s.


25 Mar 10 - 12:30 PM (#2871604)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Gibb Sahib

Also from the early 30s is this reference:

"Waldie's Select Circulating Library," II (Dec.
24,1833), p. 581:

"The pirates pulled merrily for their schooner, singing in chorus the
well known West Indian canoe song:

"The captain's gone ashore;
The mate has got the key;
Hurrah! my jolly boys,-
'Tis grog time o' day!"

This "Grog Time of Day" is the song sung by the Jamaican stevedores in 1811. John M. has just demonstrated an instance of the same work-song being used for both rowing and corn-shucking. Here, there is something important, I think: a song being used for rowing and also for loading cargo. The next step in the "chain" may have been using such a song aboard ships.

In the 1811 Jamaica case, the capstan in vaguely alluded to. However, I am unclear why the stevedores would be using a capstan to load cargo. I can imagine it working, but, unless it was extremely heavy, that would seem less efficient than hauling the cargo to a height, in halyards fashion. In point of fact, another reference I've seen (it may come later) talks about loading in this hauling/hoisting fashion. And, even better, Lydia Parrish has a photo of chantey-singing stevedores from her Georgia Sea Islands community performing such an action, just as one would haul halyards on a ship.

It would be "nice" to imagine the 1811 stevedores were also doing that when singing "Grog Time", as it would establish a firmer link between the idea of a rowing action and a halyard-hauling action. However, I'm not sure that can be established. If the stevedores were singing "Grog Time" at the capstan, then it would not indicate any necessary or special "timed action" section to the song that helped it to jump from one similar task to another. No, it would just be a song, perhaps especially associated with work among West Indians, and with a steady rhythm to be sure, but not necessarilly bound to specific jobs. Of course, as has been noted, a song with special "timed points" is nonetheless easily adapted to capstan, regardless.


25 Mar 10 - 01:41 PM (#2871671)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,mg

Would the French, Metis, Iriquois, Hawaiian etc. voyageurs made any contribution?

What about the Irish slaves in Jamaica in 1600s? Intermarried and sadly purposly bred with other slaves. But music was supposed to have merged back then. mg


25 Mar 10 - 04:12 PM (#2871791)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

'In the 1811 Jamaica case, the capstan is vaguely alluded to'
How vaguely? Was the word 'capstan' used? Could the writer be confusing it with some sort of windlass, crab winch or even a type of cotton screw?


25 Mar 10 - 05:23 PM (#2871857)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, Steve, I was intending to revisit the passage to see what had struck me as unclear. I don't have the text with me, so I am entering here the passage as cited in Hugill's SfSS:

Our seamen having left the ship, the harbour work was performed by a gang of Negroes. These men will work the whole day at the capstan under a scorching sun with almost no intermission. They beguiled the time by one of them singing one line of an English song, or a prose sentence at the end of which all the rest join in a short chorus. The sentences which prevail with the gang we had aboard were as follows...

It can be fairly assumed that their songs were sung at the capstan, however it does not say explicitly. (For example, they may have used a capstan but along with other tools, too.) To be honest, I would assume the men working working the cargo by means of a capstan and whilst singing the songs. My only hang-up is the dissonance between the use of capstan here and what seems like a more sensible use of simple hauling on a rope as cited in similar cases (e.g. the excellent photo in Parrish's book). The cargo must have been very heavy, as for example in the sketch of loading timber through the bow-port, by capstan, that appears in Hugill's book. But I can't really say; can only accept with slight disappointment :) that, yes, it was a capstan they were using!


25 Mar 10 - 05:31 PM (#2871872)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Caroline Gillman, in her "Preface" to RECOLLECTIONS OF A SOUTHERN MATRON (1852) says,

"The "SOUTHERN MATRON" was penned in the same spirit, and with the same object, as the "New England Housekeeper" - to present as exact a picture as possible of local habits and manners. Every part, except the "love passages," is founded in events of actual occurrence."   Charleston, S.C., 1837 (p. iii)

On page 76, she gives an account of a boat trip and the singing of a rowing song called "Hi de good boat Neely", with three verses:

"Hi de good boat Neely?
She row bery fast, Niss Neely!
An't no boat like a' Miss Neely,
        Ho yoi'!

Who gawing to row wid Miss Neely?
Can't catch a' dis boat Neely -
Nobody show he face wid Neely,
        Ho, yoi?

Maybe Maus Lewis take de oar for Neely,
Bery handsom boat Miss Neely!
Maus Lewis nice captain for Neely,
        Ho, yoi!

Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=1bJOTh_yVBcC&pg=PA76&dq=Hi+de+good+boat+Neely&cd=4#v=onepage&q=Hi%20de%20good%20boat%20Neely&f=


25 Mar 10 - 06:41 PM (#2871938)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Using a capstan and some sort of jib-boom like a crane with heavy cargo would certainly make sense. If it was just the men pulling on the rope through pulley blocks it could slip back. On the other hand it just says 'harbour work' which could easily mean warping large vessels around the docks from one berth to another.


25 Mar 10 - 07:27 PM (#2871989)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A contemporaneous reference to rowing song style in Sierra Leone, West Africa. 1834.

"But from each and all proceeded the rower's song. No negro spins his canoe through the water without a melody, and, if he be not alone, without the long wild chorus. All sing; and on the rivers of these glowing climes, where all is genial and laughing, as the song breaks upon his ear, the traveller forgets to be a critic. The voices may be harsh when near, the words uncouth, the artists terrible to look upon, the music startling from contempt of all artificial rule ; but, as the simple cadence comes floating over the water, and the strong chorus is mellowed by distance, when the unities of time and place are remembered, there is something inexpressibly affecting in the strange song; at least I found it so.

...

The words of these songs are generally extempore. My captain interpreted several for me. The prevailing subjects were love and irony; occasionally, as will be seen in the sequel, revenge and war formed the theme. A stanza is sung in a loud sostenuto recitative by a single voice ; and at its conclusion the whole crew rush into a stormy chorus, at the same instant springing at their oars with renewed vigour. Several of their effusions amused themselves highly; and, as the extempore verse concluded with some pungent and unexpected idea, shouts of laughter delayed their chorus."

THE WHITE MAN'S GRAVE (1836), by FH Rankin.pp199-201.


25 Mar 10 - 07:40 PM (#2872004)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A much later, auxiliary reference to the last. Here the foreign observer is on the Gabon River. RH Milligan writes this in THE JUNGLE FOLK OF AFRICA, 1908.

Their singing, like their instrumental music, has not much "tune" to it, but there is always a stirring rhythm and a certain weird and touching quality, which impressed me the more because I could never quite understand it,—the same elusive charm that characterizes the singing of the negroes of the Southern States. I do not refer to the negro songs composed by white men, which are entirely different, but the melodies that the negro sings at his work. The native songs are of the nature of chants, and turn upon several notes of a minor scale. But it is not quite our minor scale. There is one prominent and characteristic note, which I confess defied me, though it may have been a minor third slightly flat. I found it very difficult to reduce their songs to musical notation.

He seems to refer to "blue" notes. Also raises the issue of what much earlier observers meant when they described "plaintive minor melodies" -- and the issue of interpreting their musical notations nowadays.

The words of most of the songs are improvised by the leading voice, and have a regular refrain in which all join. But if they wish to sing in chorus, as in their dance-songs, any words will serve the purpose and the same sentence may be repeated for an hour. "Our old cow she crossed the road " were luminous with propriety and sentiment in comparison with the words that they will sometimes sing in endless repetition. " The leopard caught the monkey's tail," "The roots grow underneath the ground," are samples of their songs. Their canoesongs I like best of all. The rhythm is appropriate and one almost hears the sound of the paddles. They sing nearly all the time as they use the paddle or the oar, and on a long journey they say it makes the hard work easier. If they should take a white man on a journey and, not being his regular workmen, should expect a "dash"—a fee, or present, in African vernacular—the leading voice will sing the white man's praises on the journey, alluding in particular to his benevolence, while the others all respond, seeking thus by barefaced flattery 'and good-natured importunity to shame the meanness out of him.


25 Mar 10 - 07:57 PM (#2872022)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Another 1830s rowing song. I am taking the liberty of copying this from Lighter's post elsewhere on Mudcat.

*SNIP*

Not quite "Sally Brown," but sung by slave boatmen while rowing on the
Cape Fear River in North Carolina and written down (with a very simple
tune) in 1830. From David S. Cecelski, "The Waterman's Song" (2001):

Sally was a fine girl, ho! Sally, ho!
Sally was a fine girl, ho! Sally, ho!

The "collector," Moses A. Curtis, noted: "repeated ad infinitum and
accompanied by a trumpet obligato by the helmsman."

*SNIP*


25 Mar 10 - 08:20 PM (#2872038)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

From the Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, pub. 1856. The author relates a scene from 1777 (!) in South Carolina.

As evening closed in, we embarked in a good ferry-boat, manned by four jolly, well-fed negroes, to cross Winyaw Bay, a distance of four miles. The evening was serene, the stars shone brightly, and the poor fellows amused us, the whole way, by singing their plaintive African songs, in cadence with the oars. We reached Georgetown in the evening.

"plaintive" again :)

Anyway, this is interesting to note how at the earlier date they were "African" songs (presumably not in English language?). See upthread for Pinckard's 1790s expedition and the rowing song chorus that had seemingly African-dialect words mixed with English. Later it is all English. What I'm hoping to establish is the idea that the style of rowing songs current in parts of West Africa was maintained among African-American rowers in the New World. All this is by way of setting up ONE ASPECT of the work-song context from which "chanties" may have emerged: distinctly African-styled practice of singing while rowing. This is not to say that the melodies, for example, were necessarily maintained "from Africa," but that the paradigm and form persisted.


25 Mar 10 - 08:40 PM (#2872055)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Interesting that although the writers like to use words like "plaintive," none seems to choose the words "minor" (or even "modal"). Once again, this may be an artifact of too few accounts, but it is certainly more consistent with Gibb's idea that "blue" notes were used rather than not. If some later shanty tunes are considered (I'm thinking of one or two of the "Sally Brown" tunes), the early writers could have meant "modal," but my guess is that musical education in the early 19th C. at least mentioned that modes existed or "used to" exist. Maybe a musicologist knows more about that likelihood.

If we had a hundred characterizations instead of just a handful, we might be able to draw a sounder conclusion.

OTOH, if the "blues" scale really is an African importation (is it for sure?), it would be perverse of African-descended rowers not to use it two hundred years ago.


25 Mar 10 - 08:55 PM (#2872065)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Those are my rowing songs for 1830s. Now, some firemen's songs from that decade. I am not sure of the exact nature of work of the (mainly Black) "firemen" on river steamboats. Were they shoveling in coal, as on a locomotive? Was it logs they threw into a furnace, down below? More info, please! Whatever the case, the environment evokes the phrase, "Fire down below."

THE RAMBLER IN NORTH AMERICA, 1832-1833, Vol 2., by CJ Latrobe, 1835.

Of a steamboat on the Ohio River, mentions "the wild song of the negro fire-men." (pg 281).

Next, a dramatic scene in BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY, vol 4, New York, Sept. 1839,
taking place in a steamboat. Here's the song.

"THE STOKER'S CHAUNT.
The ebben tide ib floating past,
Fire down below!
The arrival time ib coming fast.
Fire down below!
Racoon cry in de maple tree,
Fire down below!
The wood ib on fire, and the fire a sea,
Fire down below!
Oo a oo oh ! fire down below!"

A chaunty? It appears to be related to a "fire down below" chantey that will continue to appear in the 19th century. Here is a rendition of the chantey as culled by Hugill, if one would like to fit the above lyrics to the framework:

The Sailor Fireman

Incidentally, Hugill cited it as a possible source for the melody to the chantey "Sacramento."


25 Mar 10 - 09:06 PM (#2872073)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lighter, the SERVICE AFLOAT reference uses "minor." I swear there are more, but I don't want to look for them, right now. In any case, I have been reading "minor" as some interpretation of listeners who aren't sure where to "file" the blue notes. They are between "major" and "minor," and I figure that, like when one does when he hears a phoneme contrast that doesn't exist in his own language, he files it as one with which he is familiar. I don't think 19th century writers had a clue how to file in "blue notes." The author from 1908, above, shows the beginnings of at least recognizing something that is to be considered on its own. If memory serves, Arnold, in Bullen's collection of 1914, also begins to take "note" of this tonality!

"Plaintive" suggests "minor" to me, even if they are not using the latter word. And I find that at odds with the fact that very few chanties as they have come down to us today are in minor modes. One possible explanation is that, again writers did not have a category for blue notes, and they just notated the songs as if they were in major modes (I realize this contradicts what I just said about "filing as minor," but I think there are different issues between notating and the lay-observers descriptions.) Or, possibly, when such songs were adopted by White sailors, the "blue note" tonality was not maintained; they became tunes in major.


25 Mar 10 - 09:32 PM (#2872087)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Another one of my posts didn't make it through the ether. To sum it up:

"Minor" is more likely to entail "plaintive" than "plaintive" is to entail "minor." "Plaintive," at least as I understand it, could cover minor, modal, and (hypothetically) blusey.

Guesswork: an early 19th C. writer hearing a blues scale and perceiving it as systematic rather than accidental (i.e., sung by someone with a tin ear) would have used words like "weird," "wild," or "savage" to describe it. Otherwise the words would be more like "out of tune," "off-pitch," "flat," "discordant," etc. ISTR "wild" being used in at least one description, though I suppose it could just as easily refer to timing as to tonality.

How far back does the blues scale go? Did it originate in Africa before 1800? Or do we know?


25 Mar 10 - 09:42 PM (#2872094)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Mention of the singing of cotton-stowers/screwers occured in Savannah the 20s, above. Now in the 30s, we get an actual lyric.

John M.'s intro:

*snip*

And here is another early reference, that can be dated as December
31,1838. Phillip Henry Gosse, in his LETTERS FROM ALABAMA (1859), also
mentions the cotton-screwing shanty, "Fire the ringo" (page 305-306,
at the very end of his book):

*snip*

On the Alabama River, here is the passage:

I have been amused by observing the crew stowing the cargo. After what I said of the way in which the cotton is screwed into the bales, you would suppose that these were incapable of further compression. But it is not so. When the stowed bales in the hold are in contact with the upper deck, another layer has to be forced in. This is effected, bale by bale, by powerful jack-screws, worked by four men. When you see the end of the bale set against a crevice, into which you could scarcely push a thin board, you think it impossible that it can ever get in; and, indeed, the operation is very slow, but the screw is continually turned, and the bale does gradually insinuate itself.

The men keep the most perfect time by means of their songs. These ditties, though nearly meaningless, have much music in them, and as all join in the perpetually recurring chorus, a rough harmony is produced, by no means unpleasing. I think the leader improvises the words, of which the following is a specimen; he singing one line alone, and the whole then giving the chorus, which is repeated without change at every line, till the general chorus concludes the stanza:—

"I think I hear the black cock say,
    Fire the ringo, fire away !
They shot so hard, I could not stay;
    Fire the ringo ! fire away !
So I spread my wings, and flew away;
    Fire the ringo ! &c.
I took my flight and ran away ;
    Fire, &c.
All the way to Canaday;
    Fire, &c.
To Canaday, to Canaday,
    Fire, &c.
All the way to Canaday.
    Ringo ! ringo ! blaze away!
   Fire the ringo ! fire away!"

Sometimes the poet varied the subject by substituting political for zoological allusions. The victory over the British at New Orleans — that favourite theme with all Americans—was chosen. Thus:—

" Gin'ral Jackson gain'd the day ;
   Fire the ringo, &c.
At New Orleans he won the day;
    Fire the ringo, fire away!"

I wonder about the possible relationship between the cotton-screwing chants and the steamboat stoker's "chaunt" -- the chorus of "FIRE", on the proper beat, being the connecting feature.


25 Mar 10 - 09:45 PM (#2872096)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

re: Blues scale

Sorry, I don't know. I am sure someone had written about its "history." My hunch is that that history would have been established in exactly the way you and I are doing -- i.e., in the absence of recordings and adequate notations, by going by the descriptions of observers.


25 Mar 10 - 10:07 PM (#2872106)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

It looks like the current learned opinion is that
"blues scale(s)" are an African-American innovation. Acc. to James Lincoln Collier in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.:

"[West African music] used scales roughly similar to European ones, but they tended to be pentatonic and seem to have avoided half-steps, either by skipping over them or by the raising or lowering of one of the pitches to widen the interval; pitches were frequently inexact by the standards of European music....

"[J]ust as some African tribal musicians seem to have avoided half-steps, so the slaves tended to adjust the diatonic scale to similar effect by lowering the third, seventh, and sometimes fifth scale degrees microtonally, thereby creating the so-called blue note...."

I assume this means that nobody found blue notes in Africa before the advent of commercial blues-playing radio. That would have been well into the anthropologically sophisticated 20th C., so if nobody noticed them it would be strong, though not conclusive, evidence for an American origin.


25 Mar 10 - 10:52 PM (#2872130)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

So much for rowing, cotton stowing, and firemen's songs of the 1830s (i.e. that I've turned up so far). Now to the shipboard work-songs attributed to that time.

These references are well know, so I will try to be brief.

Here is John M.'s intro to Marryat's text

*snip

April 3, 1837, the ship "Quebec" hoisted her anchor
in the harbor at Portmouth and sailed to New York. At the [windlass] the
crew sang "Sally Brown", according to an eye-witness, Captain Marryat,
a passenger, who recorded the words and the ongoing dialog in his book
A DIARY IN AMERICA, p.38-44.

*snip*

The crew were working at a pump windlass. Dobinson's invention had just been patented in 1832!

patent

I don't know if that was just an "improvement" or if it was *the* new pump style windlass altogether; from Marryat's surprise, it sounds like the latter. The earlier spoke windlass, pictured in the Moby Dick clip up-thread, is the one that required removing and replacing of handspikes into slots after each turn. The pump windlass chanteys tend to be akin to halyard chanties.

Here's the extended passage:

//
10, A. M.—" All hands up anchor." I was repeating to myself some of the stanzas of Mrs. Norton's " Here's a Health to the Outward-bound," when I cast my eyes forward I could not imagine what the seamen were about; they appeared to be pumping, instead of heaving, at the windlass. I forced my way through the heterogeneous mixture of human beings, animals, and baggage which crowded the decks, and discovered that they were working a patent windlass, by Dobbinson—a very ingenious and superior invention. The seamen, as usual, lightened their labour with the song and chorus, forbidden by the etiquette of a man-of-war. The one they sung was peculiarly musical, although not refined ; and the chorus of "Oh! Sally Brown," was given with great emphasis by the whole crew between every line of the song, sung by an athletic young third mate. I took my seat on the knight-heads—turned my face aft— looked and listened.

" Heave away there, forward."
" Aye, aye, sir."
" ' Sally Brown—oh! my dear Sally."' (Single voice),
" ' Oh ! Sally Brown.'" (Chorus)
" ' Sally Brown, of Buble Al-ly.'" (Single voice).
" ' Oh ! Sal-ly Brown.'" (Chorus).
" Avast heaving there; send all aft to clear the boat."
" Aye, aye, sir. Where are we to stow these casks, Mr. Fisher ?"
" Stow them ! Heaven knows ; get them in, at all events."
" Captain H.! Captain H. ! there's my piano still on deck; it will be quite spoiled—indeed it will."
" Don't be alarmed, ma'am ; as soon as we're under weigh we'll hoist the cow up, and get the piano down."
" What! under the cow? "
" No, ma'am; but the cow's over the hatchway."
" Now, then, my lads, forward to the windlass."
" ' I went to town to get some toddy-' "
"' Oh! Sally Brown."
" ' T'wasn't fit for any body.' "
" ' Oh ! Sally Brown.' "—
" Out there, and clear away the jib."
" Aye, aye, sir."
" Mr. Fisher, how much cable is there out ?"
" Plenty yet, sir.—Heave away, my lads.'"
"' Sally is a bright mulattar.'"
" ' Oh ! Sally Brown.' "
" ' Pretty girl, but can't get at her.' "
" ' Oh! '"—
" Avast heaving; send the men aft to whip the ladies in.—Now, miss, only sit down and don't be afraid, and you'll be in, in no time.— Whip away, my lads, handsomely ; steady her -with the guy; lower away.—There, miss, now you're safely landed."
" Landed am I ? I thought I was shipped.«' " Very good, indeed—very good, miss ; you'll make an excellent sailor, I see."
" I should make a better sailor's wife, I expect, Captain H."
"Excellent! Allow me to hand you aft; you'll excuse me.—Forward now, my men ; heave away !"
" ' Seven years I courted Sally.'"
" ' Oh! Sally Brown.'"
" ' Seven more of shilley-shally.'"
"'Oh! Sally Brown.'"
" ' She won't wed "—
" Avast heaving. Up there, and loose the topsails ; stretch along the topsail-sheets.—Upon my soul, half these children will be killed.— Whose child are you ?"
" I—don't—know."
" Go and find out, that's a dear.—Let fall ; sheet home; belay starboard sheet; clap on the larboard; belay all that.—Now, then, Mr. Fisher."
" Aye, aye, sir.—Heave away, my lads."
" ' She won't wed a Yankee sailor.'"
"'Oh! Sally Brown.'"
For she's in love with the nigger tailor."_
"'Oh! Sally Brown.'"—
" Heave away, my men ; heave, and in sight. Hurrah ! my lads."
" ' Sally Brown—oh ! my dear Sally !'"
"' Oh! Sally Brown!'"
" ' Sally Brown, of Buble Alley.'"
" 'Oh! Sally Brown."'
" ' Sally has a cross old granny.'"
" Oh ! ' "—
" Heave and fall—jib-halyards—hoist away." " Oh! dear—oh! dear." " The clumsy brute has half-killed the girl! —Don't cry, my dear.''...

//

Note that this "Sally Brown" has the simple call-response-call-response form of a halyard chantey. No "chorus" was needed, though what I call a "mock chorus" (having the same structure as the rest of the song) could be there for this job (it's not in this case).


25 Mar 10 - 11:10 PM (#2872137)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The famous (i.e. due to being cited by Doerflinger as his earliest chantey reference) passage in THE QUID (1832), containing observations of a passenger in an East India Company ship, is as follows:

//

All who have been on board ship must recollect heaving at the capstan. It is one of the many soul-stirring scenes that occur on board when all hands are turned up; the motley group that man the bars, the fiddler stuck in a corner, the captain on the poop encouraging the men to those desperate efforts that seem, to the novice, an attempt at pulling up the rocks by the root. It's a time of equality; idlers, stewards and servants, barbers and sweepers, cooks' mates and cooks-mate's ministers, doctors' mates, and loblolly boys; every man runs the same road, and hard and impenetrable is that soul that does not chime in with the old ditties, "Pull away now, my Nancy, O!" and the long "Oh!" that precedes the more musical strain of

"Oh her love is a sailor,
His name is Jemmy Taylor,
He's gone in a whaler,
To the Greenland sea:"

or

"Oh! if I had her,
Eh then if I had her,
Oh! how I could love her,
Black although she be."

//

The fiddle player is notable. The singing appears to be "for fun."


26 Mar 10 - 07:24 AM (#2872307)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

Apropos describing scales:
An untrained ear would not have had an appropriate language to describe out-of-the-ordinary scales - modal, blue, un-tempered or variable - their ear would only have understood the 'normal' contemporary major/minor 'classical' tempered structures which transfered into the likes of Santy Anna, Dixie, etc. Even trained musicians had problems - one classically trained musician reportedly said to Cecil Sharp "I simply do not believe that a peasant singer can sing in the Dorian mode when most musicians don't even know what it is." (!)
TomB


26 Mar 10 - 08:46 AM (#2872366)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a selection of cotton loading and boat rowing songs (I think), with music, that I haven't come across before now. It's in a piece from 1918, in a larger collection called JAZZ IN PRINT (1856-1929): AN ANTHOLOGY OF SELECTED EARLY READINGS IN JAZZ, by Karl Koenig (2002). The songs seem earlier.

http://books.google.com/books?id=sol334hPuRoC&pg=PA125&dq=cotton+loading+songs&lr=&cd=25#v=onepage&q=cotton%20loading%20songs&f=

It does introduce a genre of songs we haven't really looked at but which are also "call/response" songs, namely religious songs. The author of this article says, "the songs the Negro seems to prefer while working are the religious ones."


26 Mar 10 - 11:58 AM (#2872521)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

I'm familiar with the comment, but I believe that the idea that trained musicians were unfamiliar with modal scales in Sharp's day is nonsense. Maybe the commentator meant that many couldn't identify them by name if asked.

My understanding is that trained musicians knew exactly what "modal" meant and more or less what the scales sounded like from the study of music history, but thought they were "primitive" and thus largely unsuitable for "modern" music.

But the question is relatively moot. There are few modal shanties.


26 Mar 10 - 12:35 PM (#2872563)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Also, another word they could easily have used for hypothetically modal or bluesy melodies was "indescribable."


26 Mar 10 - 03:08 PM (#2872703)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

A lot of trad tunes that went into odd notes were often called 'Chinese' for similar reasons


26 Mar 10 - 03:39 PM (#2872721)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
Re the Doerflinger reference, I think the use of the phrase 'old ditties' is descriptive enough. I think Doerflinger was clutching at straws. I don't think the East India Company would have been your average merchant vessel, more like RN, being described complete with fiddler. No mention of any sort of worksong!


26 Mar 10 - 04:33 PM (#2872767)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: shipcmo

Gibb,
Think there is any connection between: here is another early reference, that can be dated as December 31,1838. Phillip Henry Gosse, in his LETTERS FROM ALABAMA (1859), also mentions the cotton-screwing shanty, "Fire the ringo" (page 305-306,at the very end of his book):
and: "Fire Maringo"?
Keep up the good work!
Cheers,
Geo


26 Mar 10 - 04:36 PM (#2872769)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is an account from 1852 of a voyage from San Francisco to New York by way of Panama and Jamaica. While in Jamaica, the ship took on a load of coal in Kingston. There is a description of about 50 men and women carrying coal in tubs on their heads and marching back and forth to load the ship and singing "an old plantation song" the whole time. It is the last paragraph just above the heading "Again on the deep":

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/newsucr/cgi-bin/newsucr?a=d&cl=search&d=SDU18921020.2.28&srpos=11&e=-------en-logical-20--1-byDA---capstan+s


26 Mar 10 - 05:50 PM (#2872829)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here are a few references to rowing songs down in Brazil somewhat in the general time frame. I've not had a chance to follow up on any of them.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Om1tx6ZR0hYC&pg=PA49&dq=rowing+songs+1840s&cd=5#v=onepage&q=rowing%20songs%201840s&f=false


26 Mar 10 - 07:44 PM (#2872899)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

To finish out what I have for the 1830s, there is the best known source of all, RH Dana's TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST.

Dana shipped as a common sailor in the brig PILGRIM, Aug 1834-Sept1836.

In the various editions of his text, 1840, he mentioned "sailor's songs."

There is a lengthy thread dedicated to Dana's songs HERE

Dana mentioned several songs by name, and also made reference to work-singing generally.

Here are passages.

First is to the elementary "sing-outs:

The wind was whistling through the rigging, loose ropes flying about; loud and, to me, unintelligible orders constantly given and rapidly executed, and the sailors "singing out" at the ropes in their hoarse and peculiar strains.

The following is frustrating because it does not clearly distinguish (for my taste, at least) the songs for capstan versus the ones for hoisting yards. The reference to "falls," one would assume, is to halyards and not just lighter lines that could be handled with "sing outs." This is important because, up to this point, there are actually few references to singing songs at halliards. Dana groups all the songs (without specifying use) under a certain form, a sort of call and response. This is vague because capstan chanties as we know them today do often have that quality, though they are then followed by a grand chorus (not mentioned by Dana). Because he does not mention it does not mean it was not there and, indeed, the "old ditties" from the THE QUID (thanks, Steve) and earlier are not what one would usually call a call and response type song (i.e. though they may have a soloist followed by chorus). Also, the short "sweating up" chants could also fall under Dana's description, and they are different from later halliard chanties. My opinion is that, given what else we know from the time period, the halliard songs he would have been describing were like "Cheerly Man". A single pull coincides with the chorus' "response," and the form of the "verses" does not have the sane verse form that most halliard chanties have. It sounds to me like Dana is still describing the old-style capstan songs and an old-ER kind of song for halliards, however, that is my interpretation only. Again, it is frustrating because, for example, he names a song with "heave" in the title, but he refers to pulling. Perhaps this is not just negligence; maybe the functions of the songs did not become so clearly demarcated yet. Here's the passage:

The sailor's songs for capstans and falls are of a peculiar kind, having a chorus at the end of each line. The burden is usually sung, by one alone, and, at the chorus, all hands join in,—and the louder the noise, the better. With us, the chorus seemed almost to raise the decks of the ship, and might be heard at a great distance, ashore. A song is as necessary to sailors as the drum and fife to a soldier. They can't pull in time, or pull with a will, without it. Many a time, when a thing goes heavy, with one fellow yo-ho-ing, a lively song, like "Heave, to the girls!" "Nancy oh!" "Jack Cross-tree," etc., has put life and strength into every arm. We often found a great difference in the effect of the different songs in driving in the hides. Two or three songs would be tried, one after the other; with no effect;—not an inch could be got upon the tackles—when a new song, struck up, seemed to hit the humor of the moment, and drove the tackles "two blocks" at once. "Heave round hearty!" "Captain gone ashore!" and the like, might do for common pulls, but in an emergency, when we wanted a heavy, "raise-the-dead" pull, which should start the beams of the ship, there was nothing like "Time for us to go!" "Round the corner," or "Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"

Significantly, Dana talks about how important all this singing and chanting was by that time.

The next passage makes clear that they were using the spoke windlass (cf. the pump windlass that, a couple years later, came into use of Marryat's vessel). It doesn't sound like they were using songs, just shouts of encouragement there. If they had a windlass for the anchor. And with "Cheerly Men" being used to cat anchor, it confirms the sense of its form that we have today: a sort of jazzed up equivalent to what was basically "one, two, three, PULL!" (i.e. not the same as later halyard chanteys).

Where things are "done with a will," every one is like a cat aloft: sails are loosed in an instant; each one lays out his strength on his handspike, and the windlass goes briskly round with the loud cry of "Yo heave ho! Heave and pawl! Heave hearty ho!" But with us, at this time, it was all dragging work. No one went aloft beyond his ordinary gait, and the chain came slowly in over the windlass. The mate, between the knight-heads, exhausted all his official rhetoric, in calls of "Heave with a will!"—"Heave hearty, men!—heave hearty!"—"Heave and raise the dead!"—"Heave, and away!" etc., etc.; but it would not do. Nobody broke his back or his hand-spike by his efforts. And when the cat-tackle-fall was strung along, and all hands—cook, steward, and all—laid hold, to cat the anchor, instead of the lively song of "Cheerily, men!" in which all hands join in the chorus, we pulled a long, heavy, silent pull, and—as sailors say a song is as good as ten men—the anchor came to the cat-head pretty slowly. "Give us 'Cheerily!'" said the mate; but there was no "cheerily" for us, and we did without it. The captain walked the quarterdeck, and said not a word. He must have seen the change, but there was nothing which he could notice officially.

Work songs of Hawai'ians are there, too. It seems as though the singing of "Mahannah" was a novel scenario that juxtaposed two cultures' practices. In any case, the reference is to singing-out at the windlass, not to songs, per se.

At twelve o'clock the Ayacucho dropped her fore topsail, which was a signal for her sailing. She unmoored and warped down into the bight, from which she got under way. During this operation, her crew were a long time heaving at the windlass, and I listened for nearly an hour to the musical notes of a Sandwich Islander, called Mahannah, who "sang out" for them. Sailors, when heaving at a windlass, in order that they may heave together, always have one to sing out; which is done in a peculiar, high and long-drawn note, varying with the motion of the windlass. This requires a high voice, strong lungs, and much practice, to be done well. This fellow had a very peculiar, wild sort of note, breaking occasionally into a falsetto. The sailors thought it was too high, and not enough of the boatswain hoarseness about it; but to me it had a great charm. The harbor was perfectly still, and his voice rang among the hills, as though it could have been heard for miles.

In lieu of Dana's early characterization of singing as fairly ubiquitous, this next passage is puzzling. If, as we have seen, African-Americans just did not row without a song...and if he is claiming that "Americans" rarely did so...is it possible to infer that the hypothetical African-American influence on shipboard worksongs had not yet occurred? I think this passage is particularly significant.

The Italian ship had a crew of thirty men; nearly three times as many as the Alert, which was afterwards on the coast, and was of the same size; yet the Alert would get under weigh and come-to in half the time, and get two anchors, while they were all talking at once—jabbering like a parcel of "Yahoos," and running about decks to find their cat-block.

There was only one point in which they had the advantage over us, and that was in lightening their labors in the boats by their songs. The Americans are a time and money saving people, but have not yet, as a nation, learned that music may be "turned to account." We pulled the long distances to and from the shore, with our loaded boats, without a word spoken, and with discontented looks, while they not only lightened the labor of rowing, but actually made it pleasant and cheerful, by their music.


I think this final passage is significant for its *lack* of mention of any chanteying besides the old standard "Cheerly men". What's more, at the time, Dana is on a larger brig the CATALINA, which one would think "needed" shanties more -- that is, if they were available.

and, this morning, preparations were made for getting under weigh. We paid out on the chain by which we swung; hove in on the other; catted the anchor; and hove short on the first. This work was done in shorter time than was usual on board the brig; for though everything was more than twice as large and heavy, the cat-block being as much as a man could lift, and the chain as large as three of the Pilgrim's, yet there was a plenty of room to move about in, more discipline and system, more men, and more good will. Every one seemed ambitious to do his best: officers and men knew their duty, and all went well. As soon as she was hove short, the mate, on the forecastle, gave the order to loose the sails, and, in an instant, every one sprung into the rigging, up the shrouds, and out on the yards, scrambling by one another,—the first up the best fellow,—cast off the yard-arm gaskets and bunt gaskets, and one man remained on each yard, holding the bunt jigger with a turn round the tye, all ready to let go, while the rest laid down to man the sheets and halyards. The mate then hailed the yards—"All ready forward?"—"All ready the cross-jack yards?" etc., etc., and "Aye, aye, sir!" being returned from each, the word was given to let go; and in the twinkling of an eye, the ship, which had shown nothing but her bare yards, was covered with her loose canvas, from the royal-mast-heads to the decks. Every one then laid down, except one man in each top, to overhaul the rigging, and the topsails were hoisted and sheeted home; all three yards going to the mast-head at once, the larboard watch hoisting the fore, the starboard watch the main, and five light hands, (of whom I was one,) picked from the two watches, the mizen. The yards were then trimmed, the anchor weighed, the cat-block hooked on, the fall stretched out, manned by "all hands and the cook," and the anchor brought to the head with "cheerily men!" in full chorus.

I'm of the present opinion that the chanteying in Dana's experience was yet of the older sort. I think "Cheerly Man" belonged to that world, and was probably not cut from the cloth of African-American work-songs. With Marryat a few years later --and the pump windlass-- there is possibly a newer kind of chantey. On the other hand, the form of that particular version of a "Sally Brown" is not far from Cheerly Man.

Whereas my hypothesis is that a new paradigm for work-singing -- roughly corresponding to halyard songs, or "chanties," as they came to be known -- was borrowed from African-American practices, I don't feel confident, from these 1830s references, that that borrowing had yet occurred on a large scale. That is, the Afr-American forms existed (rowing, cotton stowing, and fireman's songs), but had yet to be widely incorporated on large sailing vessels.


26 Mar 10 - 07:58 PM (#2872906)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Geo-- YES!

I've been being a big bully, however, and trying to keep things confined to up-to-1830s until now.

But let the 1840s now fly!-- Fire away, my Ringo, Mr. Marengo, you dear old Mandingo of my Kingdom! It's cotton-screwing season!


26 Mar 10 - 10:13 PM (#2872974)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

"Maringo!"

Charley Noble


27 Mar 10 - 07:07 AM (#2873110)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is one more little snippet from Dana, where he mentions "a set of new songs for the capstan and fall" from the crew of the "California".

"The next day, the California commenced unloading her cargo; and her boats' crews, in coming and going, sang their boat-songs, keeping time with their oars. This they did all day long for several days, until their hides were all discharged, when a gang of them were sent on board the Alert, to help us steeve our hides. This was a windfall for us, for they had a set of new songs for the capstan and fall, and ours had got nearly worn out by six weeks' constant use. I have no doubt that this timely reinforcement of songs hastened our work several days."

Here is the Google Books link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=dS6jsZLYWNAC&pg=PA336&dq=capstan+songs+1840s&lr=&cd=12#v=onepage&q=&f=false


27 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM (#2873128)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a reference to the singing of "Highland Laddie" at the capstan in an effort to move the grounded ship "Peacock" into deeper water on April 22nd, 1835, near the Gulf of Mazeira.

http://books.google.com/books?id=LW_XAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA396&dq=capstan+songs+1840s&lr=&cd=25#v=onepage&q=&f=false


27 Mar 10 - 07:38 AM (#2873134)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

And here is a reference to the adaptation of "the lively songs sung by seamen when heaving at the capstan" by Society Islanders on the island of Raiatea, which was visited by a whaling vessel on a voyage around the world from 1833 to 1836, recounted by Frederick Debell Bennett in his NARRATIVE OF A WHALING VOYAGE ROUND THE GLOBE, Vol. I (1840).

http://books.google.com/books?id=xo89AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA141&dq=capstan+songs+1840s&lr=&cd=38#v=onepage&q=&f=false


27 Mar 10 - 04:28 PM (#2873479)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

. 'What's more, at the time, Dana is on a larger brig the CATALINA, which one would think "needed" shanties more -- that is, if they were available.,'

Gibb, I may be wrong here but I would have thought the reverse would apply. The larger the ship, the more hands, the less need for shanties. If I remember rightly in the heyday of shantying they came into their own on the clippers and packets notorious for being undermanned.

'yet there was a plenty of room to move about in, more discipline and system, more men, and more good will.'


27 Mar 10 - 05:08 PM (#2873493)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
Have you looked through the old thread currently refreshed 'Origin of sea chanteys'
Look at Barry Finn's post of 25th may 01 at 04.05
particularly the Robert Hay references for the early 1800s. You may have this of course.


28 Mar 10 - 09:06 AM (#2873850)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a reference from 1838 to singing "that good old song 'O! storm along!" from NA MOTU: OR, REEF-ROVING IN THE SOUTH SEAS, by Edward T. Perkins, published in 1854.

http://books.google.com/books?id=1zxCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA99&dq=Storm+along+Stormy&lr=&cd=46#v=onepage&q=Storm%20along%20Stormy&f=false


28 Mar 10 - 10:28 AM (#2873872)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

In the 1854 publication of CHRISTY AND WHITE'S ETHIOPIAN MELODIES, in the section entitled WHITES NEW ILLUSTRATED ETHIOPIAN SONG BOOK, there is a version of "Storm along Stormy", as sung by "J. Smith, of White's Serenaders, at the Melodeon." (p. 71) Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=W2ZCAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA71&dq=%22Storm+along+Stormy%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Storm%20along%20Stormy

According to Google Book Search, Charles White's NEW ETHIOPIAN SONG BOOK was published in 1848.

http://books.google.com/books?id=n6xRQAAACAAJ&dq=White's+New+Illustrated+Ethiopian+Song+Book&source=gbs_book_other_versions

These little booklets went through many publications and re-publications and combinations at that time. I think there is a good chance that this version of "Storm along Stormy" was around in this blackface minstrel version in the late 1840s.

In his original posting of this song to the "From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?" thread, Gibb said, "I am surprised to find this amongst minstrel songs. It would appear that it was taken from the work song repertoire into popular song; usually (I'd guess) it is the other way around."

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=483#2864123


28 Mar 10 - 01:03 PM (#2873973)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

In THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM REYNOLDS: UNITED STATES EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1838-1842, by William Reynolds, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Thomas Philbrick, there is mentioned, on page 97 (Penguin Edition), that

        "Many of the girls at Point Venus [Tahiti] have learned the chorus songs common with sailors in heaving up the Anchor & other work...Their voices were good, and the ditties of "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh," "Round the corner, Sally," "Tally Ho, you know" & a dozen others were often heard along the beach for half the night." (sometime between September 18th & 24th, 1839)

Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=4fUTBBP6xRwC&pg=PA97&dq=%22Round+the+corner,+Sally%22&lr=&cd=18#v=onepage&q=%22Round%20the%20co

Two of these songs are also mentioned by Dana: "Round the corner, Sally," and "Tally Ho, you know".


28 Mar 10 - 01:25 PM (#2873987)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a somewhat similar account from 1844, from Edward Lucett's book ROVINGS IN THE PACIFIC, FROM 1837 TO 1849. The event is recorded for August 19, 1844 at Huaheine, in the South Pacific. Lucett says,

        "I was desirous of procuring the original [words], and took a person well skilled in the language to write them down for me; when, to my great surprise, I discovered that both the words and the air were a beautiful modulation of our sailors' song of "Round the corner, Sally!" (p. 82)

Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=XyQ9oaSfaMwC&pg=PA82&dq=%22Round+the+corner,+Sally%22&lr=&cd=20#v=onepage&q=%22Round%20the%20co


28 Mar 10 - 04:06 PM (#2874089)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Excellent stuff, John.
Do we have any words/tune for 'Tally ho, you know'?


28 Mar 10 - 04:56 PM (#2874134)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

John
I think the 'Stormy' song is very significant. It obviously refers to 'stowing or screwing' cotton. The important question arises, is it derivative or imitative/parody/burlesque. In my experience almost all of the early minstrel songs were imitative/parody/burlesque rather than derivative. In other words it wasn't an actual song used for stowing cotton, but using perhaps some of the words and referring to some of the tasks done by the slaves. In which case the possibility arises of yet another shanty derived from a minstrel song.


28 Mar 10 - 05:00 PM (#2874136)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: meself

FYI: I've started a thread on "Chinese Work/Sea Songs/Shanties", inspired by this thread.


28 Mar 10 - 06:08 PM (#2874194)
Subject: Lyr Add: TALLY-I-O
From: Lighter

Steve, the retired seaman James Wright sang the following for James W. Carpenter about 1928. The recording is awful and what's in brackets is solely my conjecture:

                              TALLY-I-O

                Tally-I-O was a jolly old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!
                Tally-I-O was a jolly old soul,
                        Come tally-I-O, you know!        

                What should I do with my rum, Tally-O?
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                What should I do with my rum, Tally-O?
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                We'll tell [?them we're sober] O Tally-O!
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                We'll tell [?them we're sober], O Tally-O!
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        Tally-I-O! Tally-I-O!        
                Tally-I-O was a [?drunken] old soul,
                        And sing tally-I-O, you know!

I think I posted this earlier, but it doesn't hurt to reprise it here.


28 Mar 10 - 07:25 PM (#2874256)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

. 'What's more, at the time, Dana is on a larger brig the CATALINA, which one would think "needed" shanties more -- that is, if they were available.,'

Gibb, I may be wrong here but I would have thought the reverse would apply. The larger the ship, the more hands, the less need for shanties. If I remember rightly in the heyday of shantying they came into their own on the clippers and packets notorious for being undermanned.

'yet there was a plenty of room to move about in, more discipline and system, more men, and more good will.'

You may be right, Steve. I missed the part about "more men," though that doesn't necessarily mean that on this brig there was a better ration of men:size than there was on the brig PILGRIM. However, you suggest another idea. If, say, the emergence of such shanties was very closely tied to packets specifically (clippers were not yet existing, as far as I know), then it may be that Dana is not so great a source. Though it is one of the few sources for its time period, it may be that more stuff of interest was going on elsewhere, which we don't see.


28 Mar 10 - 08:01 PM (#2874267)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

With regard to the NA MOTU reference that I posted above, I forgot that there was another reference to "Stormy" on p. 97. Here is what Lighter had in a note that first called this to my attention:

1854 Edward T. Perkins, "Na Motu, or Reef-Rovings in the South Seas" p. 97 [ref. to 1848; Perkins had served on an American whaling ship]:

         I dug his grave with a silver spade;
                O! bullies, O!
       And I lowered him down with a golden chain,
                A hundred years ago!


P. 99: "I jumped onto a rock, swung my tarpaulin, and sung that good old song—

                'O ! storm along !
                O! my roving blades, storm along, stormy!'"


28 Mar 10 - 08:17 PM (#2874276)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

(oops, messed up the HTML in my last post.)

In my reading of Dana, from a few days ago, I did not feel confident that what I envision to have been a new class of shipboard work songs (i.e. chanties) had necessarily been adopted (not developed, as per my hypothesis) -- not at least from the evidence of Dana -- in a major way, if at all.

Whereas my hypothesis is that a new paradigm for work-singing -- roughly corresponding to halyard songs, or "chanties," as they came to be known -- was borrowed from African-American practices, I don't feel confident, from these 1830s references, that that borrowing had yet occurred on a large scale. That is, the Afr-American forms existed (rowing, cotton stowing, and fireman's songs), but had yet to be widely incorporated on large sailing vessels.

However, I forgot to acknowledge the two songs mentions which there is some good reason to believe had African-American roots. One is "Round the Corner, Sally," which, as will be seen in later decades, was used by Black Americans for rowing and corn-shucking. There is no proof of where it originated, but, as I said, some good reason to associate it with that culture. The other song is "Grog Time a Day." Thanks to John M.'s critical inquiries and Lighter's scholarship, we know that Dana's original manuscript was supposed to have included "Grog Time of Day" (and not just "Round the Corner," but "Round the Corner, Sally). We have already fairly established "Grog Time" as a song popular through the Caribbean and performed by Blacks. I offer this possible reasoning for why the existence of "Grog Time" does not contradict my earlier interpretation.

"Grog Time" seems to have been widely known across cultures as, perhaps, a popular song in those days. My evidence for this is that a play, TELEMACHUS, OR, THE ISLAND OF CALYPSO (a play, republished in 1879) was first performed in 1834, which gives a stage direction for: "Music – Grog time of day, boys" Set off the coast of "a West India island." It is followed by newly composed lyrics follow. The song's appearance in another fictional work, TAR BRUSH SKETCHES by Benjamin Fiferail, 1836. (FWIW, Lighter says elsewhere, "Given the date, one can probably assume that "Fiferail's" is the song Dana heard. If so, it doesn't seem to have been a one-line, one-pull shanty. I suppose it would have belonged to capstan work.")

So, I argue, "Grog Time" had entered the sphere of "popular music," by then, as opposed to being just a "folk" song that one would only pick up from hearing a "folk" from Culture X singing it. As for "Round the Corner," I don't know. It is mainly Dana's description of the format of these songs, along with some of what he doesn't mention (i.e. whereas otherwise he is very descriptive) that leaves me skeptical that "chanties, proper" had by then a wide spread among seamen.

I don't have the figures at hand -- so please take this with salt for now -- but I seem to remember from the book BLACK JACKS (there are tables/stats in the appendix) that 1820s-1830s were some of the peak years for Blacks in the Euro-American sailing trade. I still think this must have had some bearing on how chanties came to be adopted. However, if the available evidence so far is not showing great influence of African-American songs on the shipboard work-songs, then perhaps either: 1) The idea is overstated or 2) references to the proper contexts are just not available -- In other words, these Black seamen may have brought their musical influence to the (fully rigged) packet ship trade, especially via Gulf Coast ports rather than to Boston-California brigs like Dana's!

I have to check out the since-added 1830s references, now, to see what they add to the picture.


28 Mar 10 - 09:36 PM (#2874310)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John Minear has added some 1830s references. Here (and following) is more commentary.

Here is a reference to the singing of "Highland Laddie" at the capstan in an effort to move the grounded [United States] ship "Peacock" into deeper water on [September] 22nd, 1835, near the Gulf of Mazeira. [coast of Arabia]

It's from an officer's journal. Here's the passage:

"On Tuesday morn, the 22d, the work of lightening was continued, and we saw, with feelings of regret, one half of our guns cast into the sea. The ship was lightened aloft by sending down the upper spars, and unbending the sails; and, on renewing our efforts, we had the pleasure to find that the ship moved and got into rather deeper water. The moment she began to move, new life was infused into all hands, and the men broke forth in a song and chorus, to which they kept time as they marched round the capstan, or hauled in the hawser by hand.
" ' Heave and she must go,' sang one as a leader in a high key, and all the men answered in chorus, in deep, manly tones ' Ho! cheerly.'
" ' Heave, and she will go.'
"'Ho! cheerly.'
" When she moved more easily, those at the capstan, sang to the tune of the ' Highland Laddie,'
"' I wish I were in New York town,'
    Bonny laddie, Highland laddie,' &c.


The shouts of "heave and go" sound like what Dana and others have described. This is exciting, however, in being the earliest (?) such reference to "Highland Laddie." Notably, the lyric uses the "places round the world" lyrical theme that turns out to be of major importance in chanties. This is a really significant piece of evidence! It foreshadows the appearance of "Highland Laddie " as a cotton-screwing chant. It sounds like they started singing Hieland Laddie once the load got lighter and they were able to shift to a march-like tempo.


28 Mar 10 - 09:58 PM (#2874329)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM REYNOLDS: UNITED STATES EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 1838-1842, by William Reynolds, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Thomas Philbrick, there is mentioned, on page 97 (Penguin Edition), that

       "Many of the girls at Point Venus [Tahiti] have learned the chorus songs common with sailors in heaving up the Anchor & other work...Their voices were good, and the ditties of "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh," "Round the corner, Sally," "Tally Ho, you know" & a dozen others were often heard along the beach for half the night." (sometime between September 18th & 24th, 1839)


Great to have corroborating evidence that "Round the corner, Sally" and "Tally Ho" were shipboard songs of the 1830s! Too bad it is vague, i.e. "in heaving up the Anchor & other work" -- i.e. were these capstan "ditties"? (The "Round the Corner" handed down via Hugill is a halyard chanty, but I am not getting a strong sense of that from these mentions.)

The other correspondence to note is between the 1831 Guyanese rowing song, "Right early in the marning, de neger like the bottley oh!" and this 1839 ship-transmitted "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh."


29 Mar 10 - 09:13 AM (#2874622)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is what may be a crossover between "Round the corner, Sally" and "Cheerily, Men". It comes from ETCHINGS OF A WHALING CRUISE, by John Ross Browne, and is dated 1846. The events described take place in October of 1842 (I think). The song is being used at the windless. (pp. 133-134)

        "Heave him up! O he yo!
                Butter and cheese for breakfast
        Raise the dead! O he yo!
                The steward he's a makin' swankey.
        Heave away! O he yo!
                Duff for dinner! Duff for dinner
        Now I see it! O he yo!
                Hurrah for the Cape Cod gals!
        Now I don't. O he yo!
                *Round the corner, Sally!*
        Up she comes! O he yo!
                Slap-jacks for supper!
        Re-re-ra-ra-oo-we ye yo ho! Them's 'um!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=AmtGAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA134&dq=%22Round+the+corner,+Sally%22&lr=&cd=27#v=onepage&q=%22Round%20the%20c

Here is some discussion of "Cheerily, Men" as used by Melville, and there seems to be a connection between the song above and "Cheerily", at least in Melville.

http://books.google.com/books?id=I4fBI3yuj7MC&pg=PA22&dq=%22O+he+yo!%22&cd=9#v=onepage&q=%22O%20he%20yo!%22&f=false

The other interesting thing about this song is the phrase "O he yo!" A Google Book Search will lead you to seeing this as "O-hi-o".


29 Mar 10 - 11:30 AM (#2874710)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Here's an oddity of a shanty:

From Black Hands, White Sails, by Patricia C. McKissack & Frederick L. McKissack, published by Scholastic Press, New York, US, © 1999, p. 85.

Hi Ho My Dandy-oh

Oh a dandy ship and a dandy crew,
Hi Ho My Dandy-oh!
A dandy mate and a skipper too,
Hi Ho My Dandy-oh!

Oh what shall I do for my dandy crew?
Hi Ho My Dandy-oh!
I'll give them wine and brandy too,
Hi Ho My Dandy-oh!

Notes:

From a whaling ship's log (date unknown) transcribing the singing of the Black cook "Doctor" while the crew were "cutting out" a whale, according to the historian A. Howard Clark.

Charley Noble


29 Mar 10 - 02:30 PM (#2874859)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Trying to summarize a bit, so far....

1780s-90s:

General references to African and New World Black work-songs, from Mali, Grenada.

1800s:

General references to African-American work-songs and their style, from Martinique;
Rowing songs from Georgia, South Carolina, Guyana, Surinam;
Windlass songs, aboard vessels with sailors incl. from Northumberland and Holland.

1810s:

2 stevedore songs from Jamaica that resemble chanteys;
African-American rowing songs from Antigua, Virgin Islands;
Singing and fife-playing at the capstan on a British war ship.

1820s:

Rowing songs, from Georgia, Virginia, St. Thomas;
A version of "Cheerly Men" for topsail halyards on a brig near Quebec;
Fictional capstan shantying in the Arctic; capstan (?) song of British tars in London; chant for pulling known to an ex-British navy man. [I've also seen another reference to the phrase "British capstan song" from 1825.]

1830s:

African-American rowing songs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Guyana, and "West Indies"
African-American firemen's songs on the Ohio and in general
Cotton stowing songs in Mobile Bay
"Ditties" at the capstan on an East India Company ship
A song at the pump windlass on a transatlantic voyage
Songs "for capstan and falls" and for catting anchor, on brigs off the coast of California
A capstan song on a ship off the coast of Arabia
The adoption of capstan songs and sailors' "ditties" by locals of Tahiti and the Society Islands

Summary:
Through the 1830s, references to African-American work-songs for rowing continued to appear. Since the 20s and continuing through the 30s, cotton-stowing had work-songs. The work-songs of the Black firemen/stokers in steamboats emerge in the 1830s. These all seem share some features, though it is difficult to say how similar they actually were; some songs crossed occupations.

At the same time, there is increasing reference to the songs/ditties for capstan. Though the practice was older, new songs were being added, some of which were probably popular songs of the time, for example "Grog Time of Day," which crossed cultures. By the end of the 30s, there were songs for the pump windlass that may have shared a form with what is ow thought of as a halyard chanty form. At least one instance of the jump from Black rowing songs to (perhaps from?) deepwater sailors' songs --and then to Pacific Islanders! -- is found at the end of this period in "Bottle O." "Round the Corn/er" is another song that seemed to float around between cultures and occupations; it is quite unclear to me whether it had any sort of definite form at all, or if it was a common catch-phrase.

I still wonder if, by the 1830s, the African-American style work-songs that would come to typify much of the "chanty" repertoire had yet any significant influence on the deepwater sailors.

I'd love to hear more opinions on this subject -- on whether one feels that the sort of chanty forms typified by "Roll the Cotton Down" and "Blow the Man Down" and "Whiskey Johnny" and "Hanging Johnny" etc etc had entered the scene by the 1820s or 1830s.


29 Mar 10 - 03:33 PM (#2874933)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

i think the melodeon mentioned in one reply on Stormy was a harmonium type instrument not a squeezebox and not sung at sea anyway ( neither with concertinas)


29 Mar 10 - 03:38 PM (#2874940)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: mikesamwild

Has anyone gone into any real detail on the impact of minstrel show music. It seems to have a massive impact on popular music in its day
and likely into shanties


29 Mar 10 - 03:55 PM (#2874955)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Hi Mike,
Yes I agree the impact of the minstrel stuff from about 1844 onwards is dramatic. They were the Beatles songs of their day and had enormous influence both at sea and on land.

Gibb,
Am in complete agreement on the later arrival of halyard shanties.

'Round the Corner Sally' comes from the minstrel influence. Lady of easy virtue. see Hugill p389. Its use as a reference to Cape Horn, if ever used in that way, probably came later.

Charley, what evidence is there to suggest that the cook's song was a shanty?


29 Mar 10 - 03:59 PM (#2874961)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
What I meant to imply by the 'Round the Corner, Sally' statement is that it is a well-worn phrase with a meaning and is used elsewhere other than shanties so if its name crops up at random it doesn't necessarily mean it is anything to do with the shanty of that name.


29 Mar 10 - 04:12 PM (#2874974)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

See this note and the one that follows it for more on "Round the Corner Sally":

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=488#2874274

I think that it is unclear which way the influences went on this song. It could just as easily have gone from chanty to blackface minstrel. Emmett wrote his song "Ole Aunt Sally", which contains the single line in the chorus about "round the corner, Sally", in 1843, and we have at least one earlier reference to the chanty (1839) that assumes that it has been out there for a while (Reynolds).


29 Mar 10 - 06:36 PM (#2875104)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Absolutely, the direction of influence between the different sources is a minefield. In most cases I would imagine influences were flying back and forth between the different genres at quite a rate. Some channels of influence are more obvious than others.

African-American culture parodied/utilised in minstrel genre.
Land-based work song on water-based worksong.
Once the minstrel craze took off - universal influence.
To mention but a few.


30 Mar 10 - 02:34 PM (#2875816)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I'd like to begin pulling together the references to stuff going on in the 1840s. This means culling from posts already made. Well, here goes a start.

To begin with rowing songs again.

This was posted by Lighter, 1 March 2010. I hope my copy-pasting is not objectionable; I prefer to do that rather than link, here, so we can see all the texts in one place.

//
The American Journal of Music and Musical Vistor (Feb. 25, 1845), p.
53, gives what may be the earliest ex. of an American shanty printed
with its tune. After several verbosely chatty paragraphs typical of
the period, the anonymous writer offers "Heaving Anchor. A Sailor
Song. Furnished by N. C.," a "lad who, several years since, used to
fold our papers" and who has "recently returned from a voyage to
Smyrna, up the Mediterranean." The text:

Then walk him up so lively,
Ho, O, heave O,
Then walk him up so lively, hearties,
Ho, O, heave O.

I'm Bonny of the Skylark,
Ho, O, heave O,
Then walk him up so lively, hearties,
Ho, O, heave, O.

I'm going away to leave you,
Ho, O, heave O,
Then walk, &c.


The writer then notes that in "rowing, the words are slightly altered,
as follows":

Then walk him up so lively,
Row, Billy, row,
Then walk him up so lively, hearties,
Row, Billy, row.

I'm Bunny of the Skylark,
Row, Billy, row,
Then walk, &c.

I'm going away to leave you,
Row, Billy, row,
I'm going, &c.

Sorry I can't reproduce the modal tune, but it isn't much. Its shape
resembles that of "Bounty was a Packet Ship," but I wouldn't say
they're clearly related. The solo lines, "Then walk him up so lively,
hearties" interestingly fit the meter of Dana's "Heave Away, My Hearty
Bullies!" (Plus the word "hearty" appears, FWIW.)

What I think is more important than a possible connection to any of
Dana's shanties is the sheer primitiveness of this. Of the various
shanties "N.C." presumably heard on his voyage to Smyrna, why would he
remember this one? Or to put it another way, if tuneful shanties with
interesting lyrics were being sung (like "Rio Grande" and
"Shenandoah"), why report only this one? Surely the editor of the
magazine would have preferred to print a better song. The magazine
appeared several years before the possible "shanty boom" of the
California Gold Rush, though that too may mean nothing.

It doesn't pay to overinterpret, but one does get the feeling that
"Ho, O, Heave O" (which almost sounds like a Hebridean waulking
song)may be close in form to one of the earliest sea shanties "as we
know them," and that Dana's lost shanties may have been not much
better (a possible explanation of why he didn't offer any lyrics).
//

I want to call attention between the alleged shift (whichever direction) between rowing and capstan songs. The shape of the lyric is like a typical halyard chantey. That that makes sense for rowing, too. It is not "typical" for capstan, however, due to the nature of capstan work, it is no less likely IMO. FWIW, the song strikes me (without having seen the tune) as similar to "Blow, Boys, Blow." In support of that impression, I offer this rowing text recently discovered by John M.

Row, bullies, row


30 Mar 10 - 02:39 PM (#2875820)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The firemen's songs continued in the 1840s, too.

THE BALTIMORE PHOENIX AND BUDGET, 1(11), Feb 1842, carried a story with this line in reference to a steamboat on the Ohio:

"The half-naked negro firemen busily casting huge sticks of wood into
the mouths of the row of yawning furnaces beneath the serried boilers,
accompanying their labor by a loud and not unmusical song;"


30 Mar 10 - 03:07 PM (#2875848)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And, of course, stevedore songs continued. One might suppose there was a flow of these songs between the firemen on the steamboats and the stevedores that loaded those boats. The following is a description of the songs of stevedores loading a steamboat in New Orleans in 1841. The "extempore" text makes topical reference to two Austrian ballet dancers that were in town at the time.

from, THE ART OF BALLET (1915)

"Fanny [one of the dancers] was an especial favourite, and when the
sisters left New Orleans, some niggers, who were hoisting freight from
the hold of an adjacent steamboat—and niggers are notoriously apt at
catching up topical subjects—thus chanted, as the vessel bearing the
dancers left the wharf:

Fanny, is you going up de ribber?
       Grog time o' day
When all dese here's got Elssler feber?
       Oh, hoist away!
De Lor' knows what we'll do widout you,
       Grog time o' day
De toe an' heel won't dance widout you.
       Oh, hoist away!
Day say you dances like a fedder
       Grog time o' day
Wid t'ree t'ousand dollars all togedder.
       Oh, hoist away!"

It is "Grog time of Day" appearing again, however, the form really does not match the previously seen versions. My belief is that the phrase "Grog time of Day" had become a free floating one (perhaps like "round the corner, sally") and separated from the tune and framework of the widespread "West Indian" song. Here, actually, the form is much more like a halyard chantey (cf. the 1811 Jamaicans, probably at the capstan). And from the words "hoist away," one imagines that they were using a hauling technique for loading. Personally, this, too, looks like a close fit to the "Blow, boys, blow" framework, but that match is not so significant, because very many songs fit that mold.


30 Mar 10 - 03:26 PM (#2875867)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

In the interest of getting the actual texts into this thread, here is the information on the "rowing text" that Gibb refers to above. My transcription in the other thread is skewed and has been corrected here.

"Here is a version of "Row, Bullies Row" from 1857. It is in THE KNICKERBOCKER, VOL L., 1857, in an article entitled "The Life of a Midshipmen", by "John Jenkins" (?).

http://books.google.com/books?id=ybXPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA11&dq=%22O+Shenandoh+my+bully+boy%22&lr=&cd=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false

He is at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and is being rowed out to his first assignment on board the US Frigate "Shenandoah". It is presented as a rowing song:

"Oh! I do love that good, old bottle!
   Row, bullies, row!
Oh! I do love that good, old bottle!
   Row, my bullies, row!
Why do you love that good, old bottle?
    Row, bullies, row!
Why do you love that good, old bottle?
   Row, my bullies, row!
I love it 'cause it suits my throttle!
   Row, bullies, row!
I love it 'cause it suits my throttle!
    Row, my bullies, row!

   After singing five more verses in the same elegant strain, we happened to pass a bum-boat, in which were seated a fat, old white woman and a negro boy, whereupon the singers roared out with great glee, and in a higher key than before:

'Yonder sits a dear old lady!
   Row, bullies, row!
Yonder sits a dear old lady!
   Row, my bullies, row!
How do you know she is a lady?
   Row, bullies, row!
How do you know she is a lady?
    Row, my bullies, row!
I know her by her nigger baby!
    Row, bullies, row!
I know her by her nigger baby!   
    Row, my bullies, row!"


30 Mar 10 - 03:39 PM (#2875878)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Let's segue from that sort of stevedore-ing to another: the cotton-stowers. Charley Noble, on 16 Feb. 2010, shared the source SOME RECOLLECTIONS by Captain Charles P. Low, 1906.

The author had shipped as a seaman in a packet ship TORONTO from New York to London circa 1844-1844.

Here is a passage noting the connection between "hoosiers", deepwater sailors, and singing chanties:

The Toronto was double the size of the Horatio and every spar and sail was heavy, so as to stand the heavy weather of the North Atlantic. She was fitted to carry one hundred cabin passengers and three or four hundred in the steerage. In those days there were no steamers and as every one had to go to Europe in these packets the cabins were beautifully furnished and the fare was as good as at any hotel in New York. We had a crew of thirty seamen and four ordinaries, no boys. The crew
was made up of the hardest kind of men; they were called "hoosiers,"
working in New Orleans or Mobile during the winter at stowing ships
with cotton, and in the summer sailing in the packet ships. They were
all good chantey men; that is, they could all sing at their work and
were good natured and could work hard, but they did not care much
about the officers and would not be humbugged or hazed. Besides this
large crew, we had as steerage passengers twenty men from the ship
Coromandel, an East India ship that had come home from a two years'
voyage, who were going to London on a spree. The steerage passage cost
only "fifteen dollars and find themselves." They were also a jolly set
of fellows and when we reefed topsails or made sail they all joined in
with us, so that our work was easy and we could reef and hoist all
three topsails at once, with a different song for each one. In the dog
watch, from six to eight in the evening, they would gather on the
forecastle and sing comic songs and negro melodies. There were two or three violins and accordions with them, and the time passed very much more pleasantly than on board the Horatio, where gambling was the order of the day; besides, after being on short allowance for two months I had as much as I could eat.


Whilst unloading cargo in London:

The sailors discharged the cargo and hove the sling
loads up by a winch at the mainmast. If very heavy we took the load to
the capstan; and while we were heaving away, at eleven in the morning,
the sailors struck up "Roll and go for that white pitcher, roll and
go," and the steward would come up with a great pitcher filled with
rum, and give each of us a drink. The same thing was repeated at four
in the afternoon. This was varied when we were taking in cargo, which
consisted of a great deal of railroad iron and we had to pass it in
from a lighter alongside and then down the hold. It was terribly hard
work, and instead of the rum, a quart of beer from the tap room was
brought to each one at eleven in the morning and four in the
afternoon. I do not think we could have held out without it.


30 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM (#2875899)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Time now, then, to add the hoosier / cotton-stower song references about the 1840s.

About the first, John Minear says this:

"There is a book by Charles Erskine entitled TWENTY YEARS BEFORE THE MAST - WITH
THE MORE THRILLING SCENES AND INCIDENTS WHILE CIRCUMNAVIGATING THE
GLOBE UNDER THE COMMAND OF THE LATE ADMIRAL CHARLES WILKES 1838-1842.
This book was not published until 1896, but it would seem to record
events that happened much earlier. Erskine is in New Orleans on board
the ship "Charles Carol". I think that this was sometime in September
of 1845 (scroll back up several pages until you come to Erskine's
departure from New York and there you will find a date - I realize
there is a discrepancy between the title and this date). He gives two
cotton-screwing songs: "Bonnie Laddie" and "Fire Maringo". The overlap
with Nordhoff [BELOW] is interesting."

It is perhaps the most personal account of cotton-screwing, and underscores the flow between occupations of sailor and stevedore. Erskine had arrive on a ship at New Orleans. Here is the passage, with song texts.

///
The day after our arrival the crew formed themselves into two gangs and obtained employment at screwing cotton by the day. We accepted the captain's offer to make the ship our home, and slept in the forecastle and ate our grub at the French market. As the lighter, freighted with cotton, came alongside the ship in which we were at work, we hoisted it on board and dumped it into the ship's hold, then stowed it in tiers so snugly it would have been impossible to have found space enough left over to hold a copy of The Boston Herald. With the aid of a set of jack-screws and a ditty, we would
stow away huge bales of cotton, singing all the while.
The song enlivened the gang and seemed to make
the work much easier. The foreman- often sang this
ditty, the rest of the gang joining in the chorus:

"Were you ever in Boston town,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie?
Yes, I've been in Boston town,
Where the ships sail up and down,
My bonnie Highland laddie, ho !

"Were you ever in Mobile Bay,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie?
Yes, I've been in Mobile Bay,
Screwing cotton by the day,
My bonnie Highland laddie, ho 1

"Were you ever in Miramichi,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie?
Yes, I've been in Miramichi,
Where you make fast to a tree,
My bonnie Highland laddie, ho !

"Were you ever in Quebec,
Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie?
Yes, I have been in Quebec,
Stowing timber on the deck,
My bonnie Highland laddie, ho!'

At another time we would sing:

"Lift him up and carry him along,
   Fire, maringo, fire away;
Put him down where he belongs,
   Fire, maringo, fire away;
Ease him down and let him lay,
   Fire, maringo, fire away;
Screw him, and there he'll stay,
   Fire, maringo, tire away;
Stow him in his hole below,
   Fire, maringo, tire away;
Say he must, and then he'll go,
   Fire, maringo, fire away.
In New Orleans they say,
Fire, maringo, fire away,
That General Jackson's gained the day,
   Fire, maringo, fire away! "

I found stowing cotton in a ship's hold to be the most exhausting labor I had ever performed. We wore nothing but trousers, with a bandana handkerchief tied over our heads. The hold was a damp, dark place. The thermometer stood at nearly one hundred, not a breath of air stirred, and our bodies were reeking with perspiration. This was more than my frail body could endure. When I was paid, Saturday evening, with eight silver Spanish dollars for my four days' labor, I came to the conclusion that they were the hardest eight dollars I had ever earned, and that there would be no more screwing cotton by the day for me.
////

The scene also drives home the fact of what must have been a sharing of songs/work between Black and White labourers. The 1820s cotton-screwing reference was to Blacks singing songs in Svannah. Gosse's 1838 reference in Alabama says that "the crew" stowed the cotton, which to me suggests that by then, non-Black labourers may have already begun the work, too. The song, "fire the ringo," however, sounds *to me* as something distinctly African-American. By early 1840s, via Low's account, we know that non-Black "hoosiers" had emerged. And by mid 1840s, via Erskine, this is confirmed. "Fire Maringo" seems to have remained a customary song of the trade, while now "Hieland Laddie" --very originally, Scots -- is added. An 1835 reference off the coast of Arabia had put Hieland Laddie as a capstan song. We may have evidence of the "shanty mart" (i.e. Hugill) exchange here, where a song such as "Hieland Laddie" was brought by European sailors to the cotton-stowing context before being further molded. Then again, it is possible that "Hieland Laddie" was taken from the cotton-stowers (having been borrowed much earlier from Euro sources) by that mid 1830s date -- if by then (re: Gosse) the multi-ethnic labour had already begun. (For now, I am thinking the latter scenario less likely).

cont...


30 Mar 10 - 04:51 PM (#2875918)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

...cotton-screwing cont.

Nordhoff's THE MERCHANT VESSEL, 1855

Nordhoff observed cotton-stowers in Mobile Bay (loading for Liverpool), sometime around 1845-1852. His account is famous for being the first (?) to clearly label this sort of work-song genre as "chant" and the lead singer as "chanty-man". Here is what he says:

////

All was now bustle and preparation. Numberless matters were to be attended to before the ship was really ready to take in cotton—the ballast was to be squared, dunnage prepared, the water-casks, provisions and sails to be lugged on deck, out of the way of cargo, the nicely painted decks covered with planks, on which to roll cotton, topgallant and royal yards crossed, and tackles prepared for hoisting in our freight. We had scarcely gotten all things in proper trim, before a lighter-load of cotton came down, and with it, a stevedore and several gangs of the screw men, whose business it is to load cotton-ships. Screwing cotton is a regular business, requiring, besides immense strength, considerable experience in the handling of bales, and the management of the jack-screws.

Several other ships had " taken up" cargo at the same time we did, and the Bay soon began to wear an appearance of life—lighters and steamboats bringing down cotton, and the cheerful songs of the screw-gangs resounding over the water, as the bales were driven tightly into the hold. Freights had suddenly risen, and the ships now loading were getting five-eighths of a penny per pound. It was therefore an object to get into the ship as many pounds as she could be made to hold. The huge, unwieldy bales brought to Mobile from the plantations up the country, are first compressed in the cotton presses, on shore, which at once diminishes their size by half, squeezing the soft fiber together, till a bale is as solid, and almost as hard as a lump of iron. In this condition they are brought on board, and stowed in the hold, where the stevedore makes a point of getting three bales into a space in which two could be barely put by hand. It is for this purpose the jack-screws are used. A ground tier is laid first; upon this, beginning aft and forward, two bales are placed with their inner covers projecting out, and joining, leaving a triangular space vacant within. A hickory post is now placed against the nearest beam, and with this for a fulcrum, the screw is applied to the two bales at the point where the corners join, and little by little they come together, are straightened up, and fill up the triangular space. So great is the force applied, that not unfrequently the ship's decks are raised off the
stancheons which support them, and the seams are torn violently asunder.

Five hands compose a gang, four to work the screws, and one to do the headwork—for no little shrewd management is necessary to work in the variously sized bales. When a lighter-load of cotton comes along side, all hands turn to and hoist it in. It is piled on deck, until wanted below. As soon as the lighter is empty, the gangs go down to the work of stowing it. Two bales being placed and the screws applied, the severe labor begins. The gang, with their shirts off, and handkerchiefs tied about their heads, take hold the handles of the screws, the foreman begins the song, and at the end of every two lines the worm of the screw is forced to make one revolution, thus gaining perhaps two inches. Singing, or chanting as it is called, is an invariable accompaniment to working in cotton, and many of the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs, rough and uncouth, both in words and melody, but answering well the purposes of making all pull together, and enlivening the heavy toil. The foreman is the chanty-man, who sings the song, the gang only joining in the chorus, which comes in at the end of every line, and at the end of which again comes the pull at the screw handles. One song generally suffices to bring home the screw, when a new set is got upon the bale, and a fresh song is commenced.

The chants, as may be supposed, have more of rhyme than reason in them. The tunes are generally plaintive and monotonous, as are most of the capstan tunes of sailors, but resounding over the still waters of the Bay, they had a fine effect. There was one, in which figured that mythical personage "Old Stormy," the rising and falling cadences of which, as they swept over the Bay on the breeze, I was never tired of listening to. It may amuse some of my readers to give here a few stanzas of this and some other of these chants. " Stormy" is supposed to have died, and the first song begins:
      
    Old Stormy, he is dead and gone,
Chorus—Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
      Oh! carry him to his long home,
Chorus—Carry him to the burying-ground.
      Oh! ye who dig Old Stormy's grave,
Chorus—Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
       Dig it deep and bury him safe,
Chorus—Carry him to the burying-ground.
       Lower him down with a golden chain,
Chorus—Carry him along, boys, carry him along,
          Then he'll never rise again,
    Chorus—Carry him to the burying-ground.
Grand Chorus—Way-oh-way-oh-way—storm along,
Way—you rolling crew, storm along stormy.

And so on ad infinitum, or more properly speaking, till the screw is run out.
There was another in praise of Dollars, commencing
thus:

       Oh, we work for a Yankee Dollar,
Chorus—Hurrah, see—man—do,
       Yankee dollar, bully dollar,
Chorus—Hurrah, see—man—dollar.
         Silver dollar, pretty dollar,
Chorus—Hurrah, see—man—do,
          I want your silver dollars,
Chorus—Oh, Captain, pay me dollar.

Another, encouraging the gang:

Lift him up and carry him along,
Fire, maringo, fire away,
Put him down where he belongs.

Fire, maringo, fire away.
Ease him down and let him lay,
   Fire, maringo, fire away,
Screw him in, and there he'll stay,
Fire, maringo, fire away.
Stow him in his hole below,
Fire, maringo, fire away,
Say he must, and then he'll go,
Fire, maringo, fire away.

Yet another, calling to their minds the peculiarities of many spots with which they have become familiar in their voyagings:

       Were you ever in Quebec,
Chorus—Bonnie laddie, highland laddie,
       Stowing timber on the deck,
Chorus—My bonnie highland laddie, oh.
       Were you ever in Dundee,
Chorus—Bonnie laddie, highland laddie,
       There some pretty ships you'll see,
Chorus—My bonnie highland laddie, oh.
       Were you ever in Merrimashee.
Chorus—Bonnie laddie, highland laddie,
       Where you make fast to a tree,
Chorus—My bonnie highland laddie, oh.
       Were you ever in Mobile Bay,
Chorus—Bonnie laddie, highland laddie,
       Screwing cotton by the day,
Chorus—My bonnie highland laddie, oh.

These samples, which might be continued to an almost indefinite extent, will give the reader an idea of what capstan and cotton songs, or chants, are. The tunes are the best portion, of course, in all such rude performances. But these are only to be heard on board ship.

The men who yearly resort to Mobile Bay to screw cotton, are, as may be imagined, a rough set. They are mostly English and Irish sailors, who, leaving their vessels here, remain until they have saved a hundred or two dollars, then ship for Liverpool, London, or whatever port may be their favorite, there to spree it all away—and return to work out another supply. Screwing cotton is, I think, fairly entitled to be called the most exhausting labor that is done on ship board. Cooped up in the dark and confined hold of a vessel, the gangs tug from morning till night at the screws, the perspiration running off them like water, every muscle strained to its utmost. But the men who follow it prefer it to going to sea. They have better pay, better living, and above all, are not liable to be called out at any minute in the ni":ht, to fight the storm, or worse yet, to work the ship against a headwind. Their pay is two dollars per day, and their provisions furnished. They sleep upon the cotton bales in the hold, but few of them bringing beds aboard with them. Those we had on board, drank more liquor and chewed more tobacco, than any set of men I ever saw elsewhere, the severe labor seeming to require an additional stimulus. Altogether, I thought theirs a rough life, not at all to be envied them.

Four weeks sufficed to load our barque, and the last key-bale was scarce down the hatchway, when "Loose the topsails, and heave short on the cable," was the word, and we proceeded to get underweigh for Liverpool. Our new crew had come on board several days previously, and proved to be much better than the average to be obtained in cotton ports, places where sailors are generally scarce, and the rough screw-gangs mostly fill their places.
/////


Nordhoff gives so much detail --though much still is unclear to us, today-- that I think this bears a close reading and lots of discussion. I think what Nordhoff describes might have been some sort of turning point (no pun intended). What do you guys think?

I am going to break for now, but re-reading this with the earlier references clearly established before it, I am starting to think new things about the directions of "flow" of this sort of songs.


31 Mar 10 - 01:17 PM (#2876590)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"the cheerful songs of the screw-gangs resounding over the water..."

Hmm, not "plaintive"? Not minor? Not "wild"?

But then,

"The tunes are generally plaintive and monotonous,..."

Ah, OK. There we go.

"...many of the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs, rough and uncouth, both in words and melody, but answering well the purposes of making all pull together, and enlivening the heavy toil."
"One song generally suffices to bring home the screw, when a new set is got upon the bale, and a fresh song is commenced."

Sound like there had to have been a lot of songs. Perhaps a whole repetoire, like the body of songs that seems to have appeared rather quickly aboard ships around/after this time? Funny, though, that if there were so many songs, we see the repetition of a few.

"the foreman begins the song, and at the end of every two lines the worm of the screw is forced to make one revolution, thus gaining perhaps two inches."
"The foreman is the chanty-man, who sings the song, the gang only joining in the chorus, which comes in at the end of every line, and at the end of which again comes the pull at the screw handles."

We've discussed (speculated) before about the method and style of the action of cotton-screwing -- still, as I see it, with no definite answers. Pushing? Pulling? Both (i.e. depending on one's position)? But leaving that aside for the moment, there is still the question of WHEN the "timed effort" occurred, i.e. in relation to the song texts.

I have wanted to imagine a pattern like that of typical halyard chanteys. If "Fire Maringo" were a halyard chanty, that pattern would go like this (CAPITAL letters means the time when the effort occurs):

Lift him up and carry him along,
FIRE, maringo, FIRE away,
Put him down where he belongs.
FIRE, maringo, FIRE away.

However, "at the end of every two lines the worm of the screw is forced to make one revolution." Which are the "2 lines"? Is it the whole rhyming (not necessarily) stanza as above? Or is it just, e.g.

Lift him up and carry him along,
FIRE, maringo, FIRE away,

?
Is the "one revolution" -- assumed to be literally 360 degrees-- accomplished through 1 pull? 2 pulls (FIRE,...FIRE)? 4 pulls (the whole "stanza")?

Based on this usage of "line"..."the chorus, which comes in at the end of every line, and at the end of which again comes the pull at the screw handles"... it sounds as though "two lines constitute" the whole stanza. So, 2 or 4 pulls, probably. But which is it? This sentence implies one pull per chorus. That is different than the typical halyard pattern, above. Perhaps the work was really too hard to manage 2 pulls. And WHEN did the pull occur? "At the end." What? Are we to imagine a Cheerly Man / old-school pulling sort of pattern, like

Do me Johnny Bowker, come roll me in the clover
CH: Do me Johnny Bowker DO!

?

That could work for "Fire Maringo":

Lift him up and carry him along,
Fire, maringo, Fire a-WAY,

But it is awkward for "Hieland Laddie":

Were you ever in Quebec,
Bonnie laddie, highland LAD-die,

Perhaps the timing of the pull was like in a halyard chanty, but with the second pull of each refrain, only, e.g.

Lift him up and carry him along,
fir, maringo, FIRE away,

That would sort of put it "at the end."

Why the need for a "grand chorus" in one of the songs? In shipboard chanties, grand choruses generally only occurred (or so we now believe) in capstan (or pump) songs, where much time was to pass, but no specific "timed exertion" was an issue. So,

"The tunes are generally plaintive and monotonous, as are most of the capstan tunes of sailors..."

Is he implying that these songs were a shared repertoire with capstan songs (if so, why does he not say so earlier, and why does he seem to particularize them as "chants")? Or is he just saying they are similar? Should we be looking to imagine the cotton-stower songs as more like capstan songs? -- in which case the "timed pull" issue gets very confusing indeed (there being no timed pull in a capstan chantey). Or, is it possible that the body of halyard chanties was not there yet -- to which Nordhoff could have made a comparison if it was -- and that capstan songs were just the closest thing? And since when were the capstan tunes of sailors "plaintive"? That doesn't sound like the character of the "ditties" like "Heave and Go my Nancy O"! Was something long in effect by this point -- or just not in existence at all?

"These samples, which might be continued to an almost indefinite extent, will give the reader an idea of what capstan and cotton songs, or chants, are. The tunes are the best portion, of course, in all such rude performances. But these are only to be heard on board ship."

OK, so now "capstan songs" are "chants"? Still unclear how the work action of screwing cotton may have transfered to capstan (or vice versa). Perhaps the songs were exceedingly slow (but he says "cheerful"?), which leads to that sort of ambiguity of "Shenandoah" type songs, in which there is not necessarily any strong or regular pulse. In another current thread, VirginiaTam is asking about the function of "Shallow Brown" -- that is another that has the "look" of a halyard chantey, but may have been used, in lugubrious fashion, for capstan.

"There was one, in which figured that mythical personage "Old Stormy"..."

This does not suggest that he was familiar with any popular minstrel version of "Stormy."


31 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM (#2876665)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

This is really late and not in your time frame at all, but I think it is interesting for a more contemporary comparison with regard to rowing songs. It is an article from SCRIBNERS MAGAZINE, VOLUME LXVIII, July-December, 1920, entitled "The Trail to Kaieteur", which is in British Guiana, by Eleanor Beers Lestrade (with photos).

"Sunday, May 11 (1919?)

        We, and our men and supplies were loaded into a thirty-foot boat that was to take us to the next falls at Amatuk, and we left Kangaruma soon after sunrise. The bowman stood or squatted in the bow, then came four pairs of paddlers, then Jones half asleep, then the four of us, and in the stern three paddlers and the captain, who steered. The men had short paddles that threw the water high in the air with every stroke, and clicked in unison on the gunwales of the boat.
        There was a tremendous current, and even keeping as close to the bank as we did, our progress was very slow. When we watched the water that raced past us, it seemed as if we were flying, but when we watched the bank we saw that we scarcely moved.
        One of the paddlers called out, "Water me, water me." Another splashed some water with his paddle. This meant that the first paddler had a song that he could not rest until he had sung, and the other by splashing the water showed that he was waiting with the greatest impatience to hear the song and join in the chorus. These songs, or chanteys, were very simple and monotonous in words and music, but wonderfully melodious when sun by a dozen happy, lusty blacks paddling up a tropical river. The men clicked their paddles on the gunwales in time to the chantey, and paddled much better when they sang.
        Sometimes we could understand and make sense out of the words, but more often not. The chantey-man would sing the first line of the song, and the others would join in the second line. If it was a pretentious song with more than two lines, the chantey-man would sing the third line, and the chorus would wind up the verse. This would be repeated over and over again, until the chantey-man was tired, or thought of a new song he would rather sing. Then he would call, "Compliment! Compliment!" and we would clap, and tell him we were enchanted with his performance.
        As it was Sunday, they interspersed the programme with "Sunday chanteys." One of these ran something like this:

        "David mourning for his son, Absalom;
                (Chorus) Son Absalom, son Absalom.
        David mourning for his son, Absalom;
                (Chorus) Absalom, Absalom, Absalom."

        I remember the chorus only of the other Sunday chantey, which ran:
        
        "Fire burning down below, hey ho!
        Fire burning down below!"

        Our favorite chantey, the words of which almost made sense, was: "Blow de man down." The man was to be blown down with a bottle of rum or a bottle of gin, or anything that wasn't prohibition, and he was to be blown down to Amatuk, Waratuk, or Kaieteur Falls, or anywhere the chantey-man wanted him blown. With this range of variations to choose from, this song could be kept up much longer than the others." (pp. 566-570)

http://books.google.com/books?id=814AAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA568&dq=chantey&lr=&cd=35#v=onepage&q=chantey&f=false


02 Apr 10 - 12:26 PM (#2878170)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

To complete the cotton-stowing song references of (attributed to) the 1840s, I must enter in the source already mentioned by Steve Gardham above, in the discussion of Lyman's ideas on the etymology of "chantey."

It's TWENTY YEARS AT SEA, by F.S. Hill, pub. 1893. Hill describes cotton-stowers as he saw/heard them in Mobile Bay in 1844, as follows:

////
However, the first lighter laden with cotton soon came down from Mobile, and with it a gang of stevedores who were to stow this precious cargo. At that time freights to Liverpool were quoted at " three half - pence a pound," which represented the very considerable sum of fifteen dollars a bale. So it was very much to the interest of our owners to get every pound or bale squeezed into the ship that was possible.

The cotton had already been subjected to a very great compression at the steam cotton presses in Mobile, which reduced the size of the bales as they had come from the plantations fully one half. It was now to be forced into the ship, in the process of stowing by the stevedores, with very powerful jackscrews, each operated by a gang of four men, one of them the " shantier," as he was called, from the French word chanteur, a vocalist. This man's sole duty was to lead in the rude songs, largely improvised, to the music of which his companions screwed the bales into their places. The pressure exerted in this process was often sufficient to lift the planking of the deck, and the beams of ships were at times actually sprung.

A really good shantier received larger pay than the other men in the gang, although his work was much less laborious. Their songs, which always had a lively refrain or chorus, were largely what are now called topical, and often not particularly chaste. Little incidents occurring on board ship that attracted the shantier's attention were very apt to be woven into his song, and sometimes these were of a character to cause much annoyance to the officers, whose little idiosyncrasies were thus made public.
One of their songs, I remember, ran something like this —

"Oh, the captain's gone ashore,
For to see the stevedore.
Chorus : Hie bonnie laddie, and we'll all go ashore.

"But the mate went ashore,
And got his breeches tore,
    Hie bonnie laddie," etc.
////

The improvised and topical nature of the songs is consistent with what we have read of Black American work-songs, though we know from earlier that non-Blacks were also involved in this work by this time.

"Hieland Laddie" as a lyrical theme is here again, but it appears to be a different song (i.e. different "framework") than in the other references. This one has the phrase "captain's gone ashore," which had been cited by Dana. It was also a phrase in "Grog time of Day," and the lyrical structure of this "Hie bonnie laddie" is similar to "Grog Time":

The captain's gone ashore;
The mate has got the key;
Hurrah! my jolly boys,-
'Tis grog time o' day!

VS.

The captain's gone ashore,
For to see the stevedore.
Hie bonnie laddie,
And we'll all go ashore.

The "Hie bonnie laddie" part is also reminiscent of the chantey "Pull Down Below."


04 Apr 10 - 03:01 PM (#2879507)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Cotton-stowing references:

1818 Savannah (Harris): "songs"
1838 Mobile Bay (Gosse): "Fire the ringo"
1844/5 Mobile Bay/New Orleans: reference to cotton-stowing with respect to chantey-men
1844 Mobile Bay (Hill): "Hie Bonnie Laddie"
1845 New Orleans (Erskine): "Fire Maringo," "Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie"
1845-1852 Mobile Bay (Nordhoff): "Fire Maringo," "Bonnie Laddies," "Stormy...Carry him along," "Yankee Dollar...see man do,"

Of these cotton-stowing songs, Hieland Laddie had earlier turned up as a capstan song in 1835. "Stormy" and it's lyrical theme turned up:

1) In Hawai'i, 1848, as if learned from seamen:

From above -- quoting John M....

////
1854 Edward T. Perkins, "Na Motu, or Reef-Rovings in the South Seas" p. 97 [ref. to 1848; Perkins had served on an American whaling ship]:

         I dug his grave with a silver spade;
                O! bullies, O!
       And I lowered him down with a golden chain,
                A hundred years ago!


P. 99: "I jumped onto a rock, swung my tarpaulin, and sung that good old song—

                'O ! storm along !
                O! my roving blades, storm along, stormy!'"
////

2) In Charles White's NEW ETHIOPIAN SONG BOOK, published in 1848. It looks like this minstrel version was inspired by the cotton-stowers' "traditional" song.

So, by the late 1840s, cotton-stowers' chants were well established.


04 Apr 10 - 08:07 PM (#2879674)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's another reference to "The Captain's gone ashore"/ "Grog time of day" that I don't think has been mentioned. It is from THE EVERGREEN, OR GEMS OF LITERATURE FOR MDCCL (1850), ed. by Rev. Edward A. Rice. The first "gem" is entitled "Quarter-Deck Yarns; or, Memorandums From My Log Book", by "An Old Salt". The setting is the "clipper-brig Curlew" in the New York Harbor, ready to sail for Hamburgh. During the night a favorable wind came up and and "the outward bound vessels were busied with preparations for getting under weigh."

The Curlew's anchor "had been hove short under the forefoot, her staysail and trysail were triced up, foresail dropped, mainsail hanging in the brails; and the topsails' loosened from their confining gaskets, were curtaining the caps with their snowy folds. When our boat came within hailing distance, the halliards were manned, and the good-humored crew run the yards up to the chorus of

   "The captain's gone ashore, but the mate is aboard,
   Hurrah! my jolly boys, grog time o' day."                         (pp, 10-11)

Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ueQsAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA11&dq=%22the+captain's+gone+ashore+%22&lr=&cd=7#v=onepage&q=%22the%20captain'


05 Apr 10 - 12:08 PM (#2880038)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John, for that very timely last reference. I can't find a date, but if it was published in 1850, one assumes the "log book" refers to 1840s or earlier. On the other hand, the word "clipper" is used, which I believe must make it no earlier than the late 1830; 1840s seems reasonable. It is interesting because, I think, it is the first time we've seen "Grog Time" being used at halliards.


05 Apr 10 - 01:06 PM (#2880074)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I've yet to visit/re-visit shipboard worksong references for the 1840s.

Olmsted's INCIDENTS OF A WHALING VOYAGE (1841).

Olmsted was in the whaler "North America," sailing out of New London (CT) to Tahiti and Hawai'i. Here's what he says, for 1840:

////
Tuesday. Feb. 11. I have often been very much amused by the cries and songs of the men, when engaged in hauling away upon the rigging of the ship. The usual cry is " Ho ! Ho ! Hoi !' or " Ho ! Ho ! Heavo !" which is sung by some one of them, while the rest keep time. It has a rather dolorous cadence, and a wildness that sounds like a note of distress when rising above the roar of the gale at dead of night....

[Sounds like "singing-out"]

...But there are many songs in common use among seamen, of a very lively character, which though bereft of all sentiment and sense in many instances, are performed with very good effect when there is a long line of men hauling together. Mr. Freeman usually officiates as chorister, and with numerous demisemiquavers, strikes up the song, while all the rest join in the chorus. Sometimes they all sing together as I have endeavored to represent, although it must appear very tame without the attendant circumstances. One of the songs is as follows:—

Ho ! Ho ! and up she ris - es
Ho ! Ho ! and up she ris - es
Ho! Ho ! and up she ris - es,
Ear-ly in the morn-ing.
[with music, tune shape is "Drunken Sailor"]

And another song, accompanied with the chorus, which vies with the song of the troubadours in poetic sentiment.

Nan. cy Fan - an - a, she mar - ried a bar - ber,
CH: Heave her a - way, and heave her away
Hurrah, hurrah, for Fancy Fa-na - na.
CH: Heave her a - way ! and Heave her a - way !
[with music, in 6/8 and very similar in shape to Hugill's "Haul 'er Away," though the tune is different, it seems to be a variation.]

There are many other songs that might be very easily mentioned, which, however, like a good proportion of our parlor songs are rather insipid without the music. The songs of sailors, when sung with spirit and to the full extent of their fine sonorous voices, add new vigor to their exertions, as the heavy yards and sails are mounting upwards....

[On a later occasion:]

...The teeth of the sperm whale vary from four to five inches in length, and are imbedded more than two-thirds in the lower jaw. They are susceptible of a very high polish, and are beginning to be valued as an article of merchandize, which has induced sperm whalers to collect all the teeth of their captured whales, as constituting a part of the profits of the voyage. The extraction of the teeth is the practice of dentistry on a grand scale. The patient, i. e. the lower jaw, is bound down to ring bolts in the deck. The dentist, a boatsteerer, with several assistants, first makes a vigorous use of his gum lancet, to wit, a cutting spade wielded in both hands. A start is given id the teeth, while his assistants apply the instrument of extraction to one end of the row, consisting of a powerful purchase of two fold pulleys, and at the tune of "O! hurrah my hearties O!" the teeth snap from their sockets in quick succession.

[The pulley arrangement rigged appears in an illustration. The men are hauling in a downward direction.]

////

These chanties look like they are probably the "older" ones. If we are to assume "Drunken Sailor" one was a walk-away, then one could imagine that as a continuation of that practice since, for example, Navy days. "Nancy Fanana" smacks of "Cheerly Men." It does have a possible "stanzaic" structure, that would lend itself to the "double pull" halyard maneuver. On the other hand, there is no description of that, and it is possible that it was timed like Cheerly Men. On the other hand, the command is "heave," and it is not explicitly connected to halliards, so it could have been for another task. I am really not sure.

The song for pulling whale teeth, "O! hurrah my hearties O!," to which we've seen songs with similar generic phrases before, looks like it may have had the form of a sing-out or of a Cheerly Man type deal, i.e. with the pull on the last "O!" I say that because of the nature of the action being described, which involves a stiff downward pull (e.g. as in sweating up).


05 Apr 10 - 01:57 PM (#2880104)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
It makes no mention of a capstan but clearly states 'add new vigor to their exertions, as the heavy yards and sails are mounting upwards....' Of course this might be done using a windlass.

BTW what's your earliest description of task and actual named shanty in references to British ships, excepting capstan and 'Cheerly Man'?
Regardless of where they originated I still feel strongly they were well established on any reasonable scale on American ships before it became standard practice on British ships. I know there's this 'mid-Atlantic' idea that seamen and ships were all one, but all the main impetus and input seems to come from American customs.


06 Apr 10 - 05:19 PM (#2880946)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Steve,

BTW what's your earliest description of task and actual named shanty in references to British ships, excepting capstan and 'Cheerly Man'?

Fascinating question. I, for one, don't have my sources all "in order" at this point. However, so far in *this* thread -- where I am attempting to acknowledge just about every shantying reference that has been collectively dug up...so far, into the 1840s...I am not finding anything that fits your criteria -- unless the count the 1820s London stage reference to the guy spitting on his hands and imitating a sailor's chant with "Sally Brown" chorus. Not having scoured the 1850s yet, I'd say that that could be the earliest period, but we'll see...

Others' thoughts?

Gibb


06 Apr 10 - 05:41 PM (#2880961)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Continuing 1840s shipboard,

We have this reference, courtesy of Lighter, to a song in a whaleman's diary, Sept. 11, 1842.

       The Taskar is the thing to roll
       O ee roll & go
       Her bottom's round as any bowl!
       O ho roll & go

The author was aboard the whaleship TASKAR. (Reproduced in Margaret S. Creighton's "Rites and Passages," 1995, p. 178).

It is not indicated (?) whether this was a work-song, but it certainly looks like a chantey form. There are relly not enough details to contextualize it, though the "roll and go" may connect it to known chanties.


06 Apr 10 - 06:02 PM (#2880972)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Continuing, I'd like to re-direct attention to a references cited above by John M., for this time period (1842) and context (whaling ship).

*snip*

It comes from ETCHINGS OF A WHALING CRUISE, by John Ross Browne, and is dated 1846. The events described take place in October of 1842 (I think). The song is being used at the windless. (pp. 133-134)

       "Heave him up! O he yo!
                Butter and cheese for breakfast
       Raise the dead! O he yo!
                The steward he's a makin' swankey.
       Heave away! O he yo!
                Duff for dinner! Duff for dinner
       Now I see it! O he yo!
                Hurrah for the Cape Cod gals!
       Now I don't. O he yo!
                *Round the corner, Sally!*
       Up she comes! O he yo!
                Slap-jacks for supper!
       Re-re-ra-ra-oo-we ye yo ho! Them's 'um!"

*snip*

They are off the Canary Islands. The windlass is the old-fashioned spoke windlass. And the song looks old-fashioned, too. Definitely not a "chantey" as we've come to know them today. This is old technology.


07 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM (#2881564)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb, If I may be allowed to step backwards to earlier in the century, Jonathan's intriguing reference to a performance at a NYC theatre c1826 has inspired me to ask a friend of mine who is something of a theatre historian to throw some light on it. He sometimes contributes to Mudcat as Billy Weekes. The reference is to post 23rd March at 11.23.
John's reply came mainly from the National Dictionary of Biography.
'The Wallacks were a theatrical family/dynasty of several generations with established reputations on both sides of the Atlantic. Henry Wallack (the one referred to) was born in England in 1790, ret. from the stage in 1852 and died in 1870. From c1825 was lead and in 1826 manager of The Chatham Theatre NYC. There is no mention of any RN career.

John's opinion was that the RN Lieutenant bit might have been invented to give authority to performance. It wouldn't be too difficult for one of our Naval historians to check whether there was indeed a Lieutenant Henry Wallack. John is not aware of any biography of Wallack.

Even if this is so and Wallack was imitating something he had read or even observed, what was it that he observed? We know the revenue cutters of the RN allowed some chanteying. Certainly the bigger ships didn't. Intriguing!


09 Apr 10 - 08:02 AM (#2882749)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here are several references to "Cheerily Men" from the 1840's. First of all from the MEMIORS OF THE REV. WALTER M. LOWRIE: MISSIONARY TO CHINA, ed. Walter Lowerie, 1849, perhaps talking about 1842. The occasion is the hoisting of guns out of the hold to be mounted.

http://books.google.com/books?id=eotjAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA110&dq=Cheerily,+Men&lr=&cd=139#v=onepage&q=Cheerily%2C%20Men&f=false

A second reference comes from A VISIT TO THE ANTIPODES: WITH SOME REMINISCENCES OF SOJOURN IN AUSTRALIA, by E. Lloyd, "A Squatter", 1846, perhaps referencing events in 1844. The location is Port Adelaide, and the author is reflecting on an abandoned ship and imagining the song "Cheerily men, ho!".

http://books.google.com/books?id=X8MNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA77&dq=Cheerily,+Men&lr=&cd=138#v=onepage&q=Cheerily%2C%20Men&f=false

The next reference comes from MCDONALD OF OREGON: A TALE OF TWO SHORES, by Eva Emery Dye, 1906. The biography is "based on personal statements and letters of McDonald...", etc. (p. v). The events take place in the harbor of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1849. The song "Cheerily, men, oh!" is mentioned several times in different settings, one of which is a rowing scene. There may be some question about whether this is an historical "reconstruction".

http://books.google.com/books?id=1dUVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA250&dq=Cheerily,+Men&lr=&cd=99#v=onepage&q=Cheerily%2C%20Men&f=false

And here is a reference to "Haul her away!", from Ezekiel I. Barra's A TALE OF TWO OCEANS, published in 1893, but perhaps referencing 1849.

http://books.google.com/books?id=v6oqQ1CiaGYC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=%22Haul+Her+Away%22&source=bl&ots=mdCKZL6pkZ&sig=kQ14HcLcH8QKA


09 Apr 10 - 05:41 PM (#2883176)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Had a look at 'Cheerly O' in Lawson which comes from United Services Journal 1834. I'm sure I've seen refs to this version above somewhere but a quick scan through couldn't find it. Has this 4 stanza version been posted yet or shall I enter it here?


09 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM (#2883229)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

No the UNITED SERVICES text has not been entered. Please, do, Steve!


10 Apr 10 - 03:18 PM (#2883783)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Naval Ballads & Sea Songs, Selected and Illustrated by Cecil C P Lawson, London: Peter Davies: 1933.

Excerpt from the intro by Commander Charles N Robinson, R.N.
'Mr Lawson's collection would not have been complete without a specimen of the chanty. the one he has chosen was, according to a Naval officer who described it in the United Services Journal for January 1834, used on board a revenue cruiser for want of music in order to encourage the men to pull together. On the other hand , on board a weell-disciplined man-of-war only the officers were allowed to speak during the performance of an evolution, and in place of the old-time song used to lighten the work, a fiddle, the bagpipes, or a fife played some favourite tune.

p72, Cheerly O

O, haul pulley, yoe,
    Cheerly men.
O, long and strong, yoe, O,
    Cheerly men.
O, yoe, and with a will,
    Cheerly men.
Cheerly, cheerly, cheerly, O!

A Long haul for Widow Skinner,
    Cheerly men.
Kiss her well before dinner,
    Cheerly men.
At her, boys, and win her,
    Cheerly men.
Cheerly, cheerly, cheerly, O!

A strong pull for Mrs Bell,
    Cheerly men.
Who likes a lark right well,
    Cheerly men.
And, what's more, will never tell,
    Cheerly men.
Cheerly, cheerly, cheerly, O!

O haul and split the blocks,
    Cheerly men.
O haul and stretch her luff,
    Cheerly men.
Young Lovelies, sweat her up,
    Cheerly men.
Cheerly, cheerly, cheerly, O!


13 Apr 10 - 06:56 PM (#2885928)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In my personal "hunt" for the emergence of "chanties", I am still moving...slowly...through the 1840s. So here is more detail on a maritime work-song reference from the end of that decade. It's

S.R. Thurston's CALIFORNIA ND OREGON, OR, SIGHTS IN THE GOLD REGION (first edition, 1851). The events described by Thurston happened in 1849.

Leaving Panama, headed for San Francisco, on the US steamer OREGON, he writes,

Roused at daybreak by the sailors' song at the windlass, we gazed from our state-room window at the beauty of the dawn on the distant mountains, and with watch in hand, at 5 a. m., on the morning of the 13th of March, noted the first revolution of the wheels toward the El Dorado of our hopes...

Then, off the West coast of Mexico:

Having despatched letters for our friends by the Mexican courier to Vera Cruz, we took our departure from San Blas early on Sunday morning, 25th of March. Listening to the tramp and song of the sailors at the capstan and windlass, we caught the words—

"The Oregons are a jolly crew,
   O, yes, O!
A bully mate and captain, too,
   A hundred years ago."

The second and last lines formed the chorus, and they roared it out right heartily, bringing many from below in time to behold the sun rise above the mountains of Mexico in great glory and magnificence,...


I would think the windlass he is describing is the pump type. I must confess, however, that I'm not sure why there was capstan AND windlass. Are both there, for different tasks? Or does he just take them together as a phrase (cf. "ball and chain") because capstans do in fact engage a windlass below deck? (One would "tramp" round a capstan; not so a windlass.) The reason why I ask is in order to verify the type of action.


13 Apr 10 - 07:25 PM (#2885951)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Steve, thanks very much for putting in the details on the United Services Journal version of "Cheerly."

And John, thanks for the recent references. I need to digest them. So...

MEMIORS OF THE REV. WALTER M. LOWRIE: MISSIONARY TO CHINA, ed. Walter Lowerie, 1849

John M: "The occasion is the hoisting of guns out of the hold to be mounted."

The passage is from April 18th, 1842. The Rev. Lowrie is aboard the ship HUNTRESS, bound out from New York eastward to China.

Monday, April l8th. Getting ready to go ashore, i. e., the ship is. The men have been at work most of this day getting the guns up out of the hold and mounting them. They were stowed away below shortly after leaving New York. Being quite heavy, it took several men to hoist them up out of the hold, and they raised the song of " Cheerily, oh cheerily," several times. This is a favorite song with the seamen. One acts as leader, and invents as he goes along, a sentence of some six or eight syllables, no matter what. To-day some of the sentences were, " Help rne to sing a song ;" " Now all you fine scholars ;" " You must excuse me now," &c. ; then comes in a semi-chorus " Cheerily oh !" then another sentence, and a full chorus, " Cheerily oh ~~~~~~ cheerily." Just imagine the sounds and music of that waving line! The song is exciting, and heard at the distance of the ship's length is very beautiful. I have just now been listening to music of another kind. The sea is smooth, all is quiet...

Shall we assume they used some sort of rope-pulley system to hoist the guns? It is interesting to see the persistence of "Cheerily Men" as a sort of ubiquitous "1 2 3 pull!", whenever/wherever needed.


13 Apr 10 - 07:32 PM (#2885962)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Quoting John:

A second reference comes from A VISIT TO THE ANTIPODES: WITH SOME REMINISCENCES OF SOJOURN IN AUSTRALIA, by E. Lloyd, "A Squatter", 1846, perhaps referencing events in 1844. The location is Port Adelaide, and the author is reflecting on an abandoned ship and imagining the song "Cheerily men, ho!".

I find this interesting again because it would seem to underscore the ubiquity of "Cheerily Men" -- one has only to briefly mention it, and readers should know what is being referenced.

I forgot to mention, above that Rev. Lowrie (re: his 1842 voyage in the HUNTRESS) says he read Dana's "Two Years." We would also, in that case, be familiar with "Cheerly" before he ever heard it aboard a vessel.


13 Apr 10 - 09:22 PM (#2886051)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

There is an interesting reference to a song/chant used for stowing cargo aboard an East India Company ship -- allegedly circa 1790s-1800s?

It comes in the UNITED SERVICES MAGAZINE for March 1836, in a piece called "Leaves From My Log-book," by a "Flexible Grummett." The scene takes place in Calcutta.

We joined the ship next day, and found the cargo had been all delivered, and they were now taking in a ground tier of saltpetre in bags. The mode of stowing this was, to me, highly amusing, and the seamen appeared to enjoy it; though the labour, in a hot climate, down in an Indiaman's hold, must have been excessive. Two gangs are formed of about a dozen men each, all of whom are provided with heavy wooden mauls, the handle of bamboo being four feet long. This is called a commander. The saltpetre bags are laid level, and one of the gangs beat it down with their commanders, swinging them round above their heads in the same manner that a blacksmith does his sledge-hammer when forging an anchor. That all may strike together at the same moment so as to keep time, the captain of the gang sings (and the best singer is generally chosen) a line, at the end of which down come the mauls upon the bags. The following is the song:—

"Here goes one—(thump from the commanders)
One, it is gone, (thump)
There's many more to come (thump)
To make up the sum (thump)
Of one hundred so long." (thump)

He then continues, " Here goes two, &c.," and as each distich gives five thumps, twenty complete the hundred, the only change being in the numbers, and at the last blow the words are " There's no more to come," &c. The other gang then relieves them, and the same song is gone through; but occasionally, by way of bravado, numerous snatches of songs adapted for the purpose are added to the hundred, and sometimes these are not of the most delicate nature. One I well remember was—(the maul descending at the end of every line)

"My father's a gunner,
And I am his son;
He walks the quarter-deck, boy«,
And he fires a gun ;
Fire away, gunner,
And keep your guns warm;
And a good glass of grog, boys,
Will do us no harm."

Thus eight blows more are added gratuitously, which the other gang strive to emulate, and this work continues for two or three weeks. ln the mean time other gangs overhaul the rigging, clap on fresh services, and do everything to give the ship a perfect refit.


13 Apr 10 - 11:02 PM (#2886107)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

My cumulative summary up to this point.

1780s-90s:

General references to African and New World Black work-songs, from Mali, Grenada.

1800s:

General references to African-American work-songs and their style, from Martinique;
Rowing songs from Georgia, South Carolina, Guyana, Surinam;
Windlass songs, aboard vessels with sailors incl. from Northumberland and Holland.

1810s:

2 stevedore songs from Jamaica that resemble chanteys;
African-American rowing songs from Antigua, Virgin Islands;
Singing and fife-playing at the capstan on a British war ship.

1820s:

Rowing songs, from Georgia, Virginia, St. Thomas;
A version of "Cheerly Men" for topsail halyards on a brig near Quebec;
Fictional capstan shantying in the Arctic; capstan (?) song of British tars in London; chant for pulling known to an ex-British navy man. [I've also seen another reference to the phrase "British capstan song" from 1825.]

1830s:

African-American rowing songs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Guyana, and "West Indies"
African-American firemen's songs on the Ohio and in general
Cotton stowing songs in Mobile Bay
"Ditties" at the capstan on an East India Company ship
A song at the pump windlass on a transatlantic voyage
Songs "for capstan and falls" and for catting anchor, on brigs off the coast of California
A capstan song on a ship off the coast of Arabia
The adoption of capstan songs and sailors' "ditties" by locals of Tahiti and the Society Islands

1840s:

A rowing song ("row, billy, row") (American)
Reference to Black steamboat firemen singing on the Ohio
A stevedore song ("grog time") in New Orleans
Cotton-stowing songs in New Orleans and Mobile (x3)
Cotton "hoosiers" working (and singing) aboard a trans-Atlantic
    packet
[The "Stormy" chantey adapted (?) as a minstrel song]
[Popular shanties ("A Hundred Years Ago" and "Stormy") turning
    up in the South Pacific]
A song ("Cheerly Man") for hoisting guns from below in a ship
    from New York
Generic reference to "Cheerily Men" in Port Adelaide
Unloading cargo by means of a capstan in London, to a song
A basic anchor song ("Ho, O, heave O") brought back from a Mediterranean voyage in an American vessel
A walk-away shanty ("drunken sailor"), another shanty (unknown      
    style, "Nancy Fanana"), and a short-haul song ("O! hurrah my
    hearties O!") on an American whaling ship in the Pacific
Possible stanza-form chantey on a whaleship
Spoke windlass song on a whaleship
Capstan (or pump windlass?) chantey ("A Hundred Years Ago") on
    a steamship bound for Frisco
A halyard shanty ("grog time") on a brig in New York

Summary:
Through the 1840s, references to African-American work-songs for rowing and on steamboats are fewer (though they will continue to appear in later decades). The cotton-stowing songs make a big entrance here, and they seem to have strongly influenced shipboard work-songs.   Although I believe the cotton-stowing songs (as a class) must have originated with Black labourers, by this time Euro-American labourers had also joined the trade. If, as I have hypothesized, the body of songs of a style known as "chanties" originated with African-American practices, then a question at this point would be: Where and when did it become a shared practice among the different cultural groups? Was cotton-screwing, for example, a ground zero whence the practice was taken to ships? Or had the sharing already occurred earlier – e.g. aboard ships, initially? Whereas in the past I have thought that cotton-screwing songs must be analogous in form to halyard shanties, after a close look at the literature, I begin to have doubts whether that can be said with any certainty.

Interestingly, through the 1840s there are still not many references to what one might consider "classic" halliard shanties. For pulling songs, this decade gives us, with clarity, only the well-worn, old-fashioned "Cheerly"…. Along with "Grog time of day" (in two different forms) used for hauling to load cargo and…finally as a halliard chantey. I find the latter to be most significant, because it is (arguably) the one halliard song of the decade with something like the classic form. Still, it is shy of the most typical form (i.e. of later times).

Needless to say, all this material needs much more mulling over. But if I may state, prematurely, my surprise – that there is little evidence, by the end of the 1840s yet, to say that many of the chanties we now know (especially in the typical double-pull halyard form) had by then existed.


14 Apr 10 - 07:09 AM (#2886283)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a reference to "A Hundred Years Ago" from a journal kept aboard the "Agincourt" on it's way to South Australia in 1848. The verse given is as follows:

"A hundred years is a very long time,
    Oh-ho! Yes! Oh-ho!
A hundred years is a very long time,
    A hundred years ago.
They hung a man for making steam,
    Oh-ho! Yes! Oh-ho!
They cast his body in the stream,
    A hundred years ago."

And the entry mentions that "Other favourites included:
   "Sweet Belle Malone"
   "Off to Botany Bay"
   "Sailing over the Ocean Blue"
   "Can You Bake a Cherry Pie".

The introductory comment is: "They were like monkeys moving swiftly aloft up the ratlines and sang Sea Chanties as they worked. ("Chant" is a French word)"

This comes from a posting found on the internet entitled BOUND FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA - AGINCOURT 1849-50 Journey by Diane Cummings. It looks like it is primarily concerned with the passengers list and has to do with genealogical research. There is no further documentation. Here is the link:

http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/fh/passengerlists/1850AgincourtJourney.htm

I have not found other information on this particular "Diane Cummings". But here is a reference to the "barque Agincourt" making another voyage to Australia that is dated 1852, from OUR ANTIPODES: OR, RESIDENCE AND RAMBLES IN THE AUSTRALASIAN COLONIES by Lieut.-Col. Godfrey Charles Mundy:

http://books.google.com/books?id=MVgBAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA2&dq=barque+Agincourt&lr=&cd=20#v=onepage&q=barque%20Agincourt&f=false

There are numerous other references to ships named "Agincourt".


14 Apr 10 - 07:41 AM (#2886301)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

John-

Nice reference to "A Hundred Years Ago" from a journal kept aboard the "Agincourt" and interesting verse.

Charley Noble


14 Apr 10 - 05:36 PM (#2886726)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Interesting, John. So that makes three references to "Hundred Years Ago" in the late 40s. The first is sung removed from a task, the second is in reference to capstan and/or windlass and this one is again vague. Perhaps it was halyards.

The "based upon a diary" part of this is shady. Surely the line about "They were like monkeys moving swiftly aloft up the ratlines and sang Sea Chanties as they worked. ("Chant" is a French word)" is the editor's interpretation. Unfortunately, it raises suspicion on the rest. However, though the context and precise wording of the Diary have been mangled, it seems probable that it did contain the "Hundred Years Ago" text, at least.

Incidentally, the line about how "They hung a man for making steam," if authentic, is interesting. It seems an early date (though I would not know) for that tension between sail and steam. In the Rev. Lowrie voyage to Frisco in 1849, above, he took two steamships to get there, and at least twice in his journal he recommends strongly that all passengers avoid sailing vessels!


14 Apr 10 - 06:36 PM (#2886766)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

I'm presuming we are looking mainly for influences rather than origins.
The sporadic evidence strongly suggests multiple origins and we can only guess anyway. The strongest influences on the main body of material when it was at its height seem to be various channels of African/American occupations. Whereas the cotton screwing won't have been the only channel of influence I still think it would have been one channel.

Once this study is relatively complete another interesting development would be a timeline using specific chanties. I would suggest rather than using the dates of references, use e.g., c1825 as the suggested date of when the chanty was being performed. In order to do this effectively it might be helpful to have Master Titles for those chanties known by a variety of titles. I would be willing to help and make suggestions on this one, having already developed criteria for an English folk song Master Title Index. Chanties, however, are very different to other traditional songs and a different approach is needed. For instance with other types of folk song we identify variants of one song by the text and tune, mostly the text. With chanties the text is almost irrelevant so we would look at refrains, tunes and format.


14 Apr 10 - 06:52 PM (#2886777)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Gibb beat me to it. The "diary" is also here:

http://www.angelfire.com/al/aslc/Tulle80.html

"Based on" is the tip-off.


From Basil Lubbock's "The Blackwall Frigates" (1922):

A hundred years is a very long time,
Oh-ho! Yes ! oh-ho !
A hundred years is a very long time,
A hundred years ago.

They hung a man for making steam,
Oh-ho ! Yes ! oh-ho !
They cast his body in the stream,
A hundred years ago. (OLD CHANTY.)

Note the identical, somewhat unusual spelling of "Oho!" in both sources. Lubbock's book, not coincidentally, also includes a skeletal "log" kept by a midshipman on _Agincourt_ in 1848. (I have not compared the accounts any more closely.)

Hugill gives both stanzas, though not consecutively or quite identically.


14 Apr 10 - 07:17 PM (#2886793)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

That's good suggestion, Steve. I suggest we use Hugill's titles as our starting point, to be adjusted if necessary.

His books have been the most influential over the past fifty years.


14 Apr 10 - 07:54 PM (#2886807)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

So...Gibb & Lighter, do you think the reference to "A hundred years ago" is legitimate or not? I was not exactly clear from your discussion. Do we know the owner of the original "diary"?


15 Apr 10 - 09:10 AM (#2887167)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

There's no reason to believe, from the online _Agincourt_ "diary," that the "1848 text" or even the title of "A Hundred Years Ago" was recorded by anyone who was present on the voyage or even alive in 1848.

The online writer seems to have taken the shanty from Lubbock's book to flesh out the story of the voyage, assuming that Lubbock's "Old Chanty" "must have been" sung by the _Agincourt_ crew.

Lubbock doesn't print the original "midshipman's log" he refers to. He quotes a few lines, but mostly paraphrases and expands the information in the logbook.


15 Apr 10 - 09:28 AM (#2887181)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Thanks, Lighter.


15 Apr 10 - 09:43 AM (#2887188)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

I wish I didn't have to be so negative so often, but the reliability of so many shanty sources tends to be questionable or at best indeterminate.

Davis and Tozer is my top nominee in this category.


15 Apr 10 - 12:17 PM (#2887284)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Steve,

I'm presuming we are looking mainly for influences rather than origins.

My stated interest in looking to see the "emergence" of shanties nicely (!) confounds "influences" and "origins." While influences are indeed a more realistic thing to document and while it's undoubtably true that shanties are a composite of various influences (i.e. like most things)...my personal working hypothesis (which I'm willing to abandon at any time BTW) is that, with respect to being *shipboard* songs, "chanties" were *introduced*, and relatively suddenly at that. So my pet interest does include a lean towards the concept of "origins." That being said, I hope the evidence can do its own speaking; the rest is each person's interpretation.

I fully agree that the information will have to be organized in other ways; there is a zooming in / zooming out process involved. On the big "Sydney" thread, John Minear has followed the trajectories of individual chanteys. What I want to eventually do here is create the complimentary warp to that weft. I've begun -- and I think this is what you're suggesting? -- to create a timeline with the shanty "sightings" in each year. It's a lot of info to round up, but I'll post it once I have it, and people can re-format it as they like. The process definitely requires several phases of digestion. The trick is having it condensed enought to glance over, but with enough detail so the significance is not lost. For example, it might be misleading to group all songs mentioning "Sally Brown" with that tag. Anyways, it will be a start.


15 Apr 10 - 06:32 PM (#2887521)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Sally Brown,
Agreed, but any song actually called 'Sally Brown' sung aboard we would presume was the well-known chanty unless evidence to the contrary arose. Most chanties appear to be titled in accordance with refrains which is helpful.
'Relatively suddenly' Again agreed but roughly what sort of a period do we consider, 10 years from say 1840 to 1850? I think once you've got a working list of references obviously this will become clearer.


16 Apr 10 - 11:32 PM (#2888360)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In my next post, I am going to put up my "TIMELINE" of attested 19th c. maritime work-songs. It currently goes through the 1840s. The format may not be to everyone's taste. But it is a working model; feel free to make your own modifications. And I have not nitpicked the editing...nor do I feel like taking the time now to create the HTML marks needed for Mudcat. (If someone knows a way to automatically "convert" a Word document into HTML code, please let me know.)

I have tried to be as brief as possible with each "entry." If one needs the full context and info on a reference, one can do a control-F search on the thread for the Author/Title-date, e.g. "Nordhoff" or "1855", and soon find the post(s) where the reference was discussed.

Since the songs don't have standard names, and the lyrics are so variable, I give the ""chorus lyric."" If there is no lyric at all, I give the essential phrase that describes what was seen/heard. After the lyric, where applicable, I give a standard [TITLE], for comparison. Then comes brief info on place (and vessel, when applicable) followed by the activity the song accompanied. Last comes the ((Published reference)).

Lastly, the references amassed have not explored every avenue. For example, some feel the songs of the French voyageurs had some influence, and that has not been researched so far. My personal reason for not having done so is because I think that, while such genres may well have contributed some repertoire, my hunch is that they were not very significant in developing the genre as a whole.


16 Apr 10 - 11:36 PM (#2888362)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"TIMELINE", 1770s-1840s

1777

- singing their plaintive African songs, in cadence with the oars, Georgetown, SC/Blacks rowing (Watson 1856)

1790s

- "gnyaam gnyaam row" Demerara River, Georgetown, Guyana/Blacks rowing (Pinckard 1806).

c.1790s-1800s

- canoe-rowing songs, partly traditionary, partly improvised Charleston, SC/Blacks rowing (as per Grayson)

c.1800s-1820s

- "Cheerly men" [CHEERLY] (conjecture based on comment of "time out of mind," in UNITED SERVICES JOURNAL 1834)

c.1803[or earlier]

- a sort of Song pronounced by one of the number, Europeans/spoke windlass (Falconer 1806)

1805

- eight stout negroes, who sing in chorus all the way, Surinam/Blacks rowing (Sack 1810)

c.1806

- "Aye, aye/ Yoe, yoe" Savannah River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Lambert 1810)

c.1808-1826

- a common sailors' chant in character, having a sort of 'Sally Brown, oh, ho,' chorus; and requiring the action of pulling a rope, London stage (Clason 1826)

1811

- "Grog time of day" [GROG TIME] Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

- "Oh, huro, my boys/Oh, huro boys O" Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

[1812-1815 : War of 1812]

c.1814-15

- "Grog time a day" [GROG TIME] Antigua/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- "Heigh me know, bombye me takey" Virgin Islands/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- the drums and fifes merrily play, Round the capstan we dance; We soon hear the song,
"Heave, heave, my brave boys, and in sight." Poem/capstan (1825)

[1816: Start of the Blackball Line]

1818

- the negroes' song while stowing away the cotton, Savannah, GA/cotton-stowing (Harris 1821)

1821

- "It's oh! as I was a walking out, One morning in July, I met a maid, who ax'd my trade" [NEW YORK GIRLS?] and "All the way to Shawnee town/Pull away - pull away!"
Ohio River, Parkersburg,VA/rowing (Hall 1821)

1822[or earlier]

- "Fine time o' day" Saint Thomas/Blacks rowing (Wentworth 1834).

1825, July

- the sailor sent forth his long and slow-toned "yeo— heave — oh!" Brig leaving Quebec/windlass (Finan 1825).

- "Oh, yeo, cheerly" [CHEERLY]" Brig leaving Quebec/topsail halliards (Finan 1825)

c.1826

- "Haul way, yeo ho, boys!" London/Navy sailors in a pub ("Waldie's select circulating library", 1833)

1828, March

- a wild sort of song, Alatamaha River, Georgia/Black rowing (Hall)

1829

- they began their song, one of them striking up, seemingly with the first idea that entered his imagination, while the others caught at his words, and repeated them to a kind of Chinese melody; the whole at length uniting their voices into one chant, which, though evidently the outpouring of a jovial spirit, had, from its unvaried tone and constant echo of the same expression, a half-wild, half-melancholy effect upon the ear. …It had begun with "Yah! yah! here's a full ship for the captain, and a full pannikin for Peytie Pevterson, la— la—lalla—la—leh; but this sentence, after many repetitions, was changed for others of briefer duration and more expressive import, as they coursed after each other with intoxicating rapidity… Fictional whaleship/capstan ("Tales of a Voyager to the Arctic Ocean", 1829)

1830

- "Sally was a fine girl, ho! Sally, ho!" Cape Fear River, North Carolina/Blacks rowing (Cecelski 2001)

1831

- "De neger like the bottley oh!" [BOTTLE O] and "Velly well, yankee, velly well oh" Guyana/Blacks rowing (Alexander, 1833)

[1832: Invention of Dobinson's pump windlass]

1832[or earlier]

- "Pull away now, my Nancy, O!" and/with "To the Greenland sea/ Black although she be" East India Company ship/capstan (THE QUID 1832)

1832-33

- the wild song of the negro fire-men, Ohio River/steamboat firemen (Latrobe 1835)

1833

- "'Tis grog time o' day!" [GROG TIME] rowing on ocean ("Waldie's Select Circulating Library," Dec. 1833)

1834, Aug-1836

- "singing out" at the ropes in their hoarse and peculiar strains, brig PILGRIM

- "Heave, to the girls!" and "Nancy oh!" and "Jack Cross-tree," brig PILGRIM/ songs for capstans and falls

- "Heave round hearty!" and "Captain gone ashore!" and "Time for us to go!" and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!" brig PILGRIM, California coast/driving in the hides (pull)

- the loud cry of "Yo heave ho! Heave and pawl! Heave hearty ho!" brig PILGRIM/spoke windlass

- Sailors, when heaving at a windlass, in order that they may heave together, always have one to sing out; which is done in a peculiar, high and long-drawn note, varying with the motion of the windlass

- "Cheerily, men!" [CHEERLY] brig PILGRIM/catting anchor

- lightening their labors in the boats by their songs, Italians rowing (Dana 1840ff)

1835

- A line was sung by a leader, then all joined in a short chorus; then came another solo line, and another short chorus, followed by a longer chorus, Jacksonville, FL/Blacks rowing (Kennard 1845)

1835, September

- "Ho! cheerly" [CHEERLY] US ship PEACOCK, the Gulf of Mazeira [coast of Arabia]/ as they marched round the capstan, or hauled in the hawser by hand (Howland 1840)

- "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] capstan (Howland 1840)

1837, April

- "Hi de good boat Neely/Ho yoi!" Charleston, SC/Blacks rowing (Gillman 1852)

- "Oh! Sally Brown" (peculiarly musical, although not refined) [SALLY BROWN] Ship QUEBEC, Portsmouth >New York/pump windlass (Marryat)

1838-39

- "Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "Fare you well, and good-by, oh, oh!" Altamaha River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Kemble 1864)

1838, December

- "Fire the ringo, fire away!" [MARINGO] Mobile/cotton-screwing (Gosse 1859)

1839, Sept.

- "Fire down below!" [SAILOR FIREMAN] Dramatic scene in a steamboat/Black fireman (BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY 1839)

- "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh," [BOTTLE O] and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Tally Ho, you know" [TALLY] & a dozen others, Tahiti/local women singing sailor songs (Reynolds and Philbrick)

c.1840s

- "grog time o' day." [GROG TIME] Clipper-brig CURLEW, New York >Hamburg/ halliards (Rice 1850)

1840, Feb.

- The usual cry is " Ho! Ho! Hoi!' or "Ho! Ho! Heavo!" whaler, New London > Pacific/hauling (Olmsted 1841).

- "Ho! Ho! and up she rises/Ear-ly in the morn-ing" [DRUNKEN SAILOR] and "Nancy Fanana, she married a barber/Heave her away, and heave her away [HAUL 'ER AWAY]
halyard

- "O! hurrah my hearties O!" short haul to extract whale tooth

1841

- "Grog time o' day/Oh, hoist away" [GROG TIME] New Orleans/stevedores loading a steamboat (THE ART OF BALLET 1915)

1842, February

- casting huge sticks of wood into the mouths of the row of yawning furnaces beneath the serried boilers,accompanying their labor by a loud and not unmusical song, steamboat, Ohio River/Black fireman (THE BALTIMORE PHOENIX AND BUDGET 1842)

1842, April

- "Cheerily, oh cheerily," [CHEERLY] Ship HUNTRESS, New York > China/ hoisting guns from hold (Lowrie 1849)

1842, Sept.

- "O ee roll & go/O ho roll & go" [SALLY BROWN?] whaleship TASKAR/song in diary (Creighton 1995)

1842, October

- "Heave him up! O he yo!" Canary Islands/spoke windlass (Browne 1846).

1843

- "Oh, Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] Virginia/corn-shucking ("The Family Magazine" 1843)

1844

- "Oh, the captain's gone ashore/Hie bonnie laddie, and we'll all go ashore" [GROG TIME?] Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Hill 1893).

- "Cheerily men, ho!" [CHEERLY] Port Adelaide/remembering a ship's song (Lloyd 1846)

1844, August

- "Round the corner, Sally!" [ROUND THE CORNER] Society Islands/local imitation of sailor's song (Lucett)

1844-45

- The crew was made up of the hardest kind of men; they were called "hoosiers,"
working in New Orleans or Mobile during the winter at stowing ships with cotton, and in the summer sailing in the packet ships. They were all good chantey men; that is, they could all sing at their…we could reef and hoist all three topsails at once, with a different song for each one, Packet ship TORONTO, NY > London/re: cotton-stowing (Low 1906)

- "Roll and go for that white pitcher, roll and go," London/unloading cargo w/ capstan

1845, Feb.

"Ho, O, heave O" heaving anchor ("American Journal of Music and Musical Vistor"1845)

- "Row, Billy, row," American sailor returned from Mediterranean/rowing

1845, Sept.

- "Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] Ship CHARLES CAROL, New Orleans/cotton-stowing (Erskine 1896)

c.1845-1851

- "Carry him along, boys, carry him along/ Carry him to the burying-ground" [WALK HIM ALONG] and "Hurrah, see—man—do/Oh, Captain, pay me dollar" and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] and "Bonnie laddie, highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] many of the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs, Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Nordhoff 1855)

1848

- "O! bullies, O!/A hundred years ago!" [HUNDRED YEARS] and "storm along, stormy!" [STORMY] Hawai'i/non-working, whaling territory (Perkins 1854)

- "Storm along Stormy" [STORMY] minstrel song collection (White1854) It looks like this minstrel version was inspired by the cotton-stowers' "traditional" song.

[1848-1855: California Gold Rush]

1849, March

- "O, yes, O!/ A hundred years ago" [HUNDRED YEARS] Steamer OREGON, Panama > San Francisco/ at the capstan and windlass (Thurston1851)


17 Apr 10 - 12:51 AM (#2888386)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A few reflections on the timeline:

Generally, it is interesting to see examples of how certain songs or at least song-formats were passed between different types of work. "Grog Time o' Day" is a shining example of this, as it seems to have been used for just about every task. (Incidentally, I wonder why it did not survive down to the present, or in the works of collectors -- or has it?) And though our contemporary sensibilities tell us that certain songs could have been (and were) used for more than one type of *shipboard* task, nonetheless I am slightly surprised by some of the cross-use in this period. I was expecting a bit more of a distinction. On the other hand, the references are often unclear what the task was; it may just be vagueness or carelessness that makes it seem so.

There are some "key" references I'd like to pull out.

1825 - "Cheerly" is being used for topsail halyards. This is the earliest evidence (from this list) to show that intermittent hauls were being done at the halyards. I am contrasting this with what I suppose were earlier methods: stamp and go, hand over hand, and "willy-nilly" -- all being techniques being better suited to larger crews, and all requiring a different sort of song. Although "Cheerly" was in its verse not quite like later halyard chanties, it shares with them the intermittent haul, i.e. it shares the same general work method, even if not the poetic form.

1835 - "Highland" at the capstan. This suggests that when we see "Highland" in use by cotton-stowers later, it may well have been brought to them via sailors. It makes a bit more sense that Euro-American sailors marching round the capstan would have used the Scots march first, rather than (presumably?) African-American cotton-stowers adapting it first. This means that although (IMO at least) cotton-stower's original songs seem to have made a great impact on sailors' songs, sailors had also brought their songs to cotton-stowing. It also suggests a correspondence between capstan songs and the cotton songs. That connection is later underscored by Nordhoff. And though I *want* to imagine cotton songs as more like halyard shanties, I can't ignore this evidence. One *possible* way of reconciling that is to propose that, *at this point*, the halyard chanties as a body had not fully emerged.

1837 - "Sally Brown" at the pump windlass. The device, brand new at the time, suggested a new form of song, I think. And this "Sally Brown" bears good similarity to later chanties.

1840s - "Grog Time" at the halliards. Not *quite*, but basically a typical halyard chanty form of later days.

1844/45 - talk of "hoosiers" on a packet ship, hoisting topsail yards, and how there was "a different song for each one." This stands in contrast to what seems to have been the case earlier, where there were a few stock songs only ("Cheerly") or the cries were too incidental to be identified as song-units. With this and the example of "Grog Time," above, I feel there is good evidence that halyard chanties "as we know them" had developed in/by the mid 40s.

1845-1851? - Nordhoff's statement that the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs. This again suggests that it was by the mid 40s when the repertoire had grown, and that such a large body of songs was now available for borrowing (in both directions?) between cotton-stowers and sailors.

In all the other trades, we have examples of songs that also made it aboard ship. However, I don't know how that happened. I tend to doubt, for example, that White men being rowed in boats decided to pick up those African-American songs. No, it would more likely be that: 1) Blacks working aboard ship introduced the songs as part of the routine -- especially since, as is over and over stated, Blacks "could/would not work without singing"; 2) Contact between White sailors and Black stevedores, OR Whites working along side Blacks in stevedoring (incl. cotton-stowing), after a certain point in history, induced the borrowing.


17 Apr 10 - 04:07 AM (#2888426)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1) and 2) of my last paragraph was meant as an either/or thing.


17 Apr 10 - 07:54 AM (#2888484)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Excellent summary of a lot of materials and good analysis of what they might mean for the advent and development of chanties. Good work, Gibb.


17 Apr 10 - 10:37 AM (#2888548)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Great timeline, Gibb! A critical scrutiny of shanty sources is something long overdue!


17 Apr 10 - 12:15 PM (#2888602)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I forgot a reference in the above "timeline":

c.1846-1852

- "Oh sailors where are you bound to/Across the briny ocean" Packet ship, Liverpool > Philadelphia/ pump windlass (Nordhoff 1855)

By a close, close reading of the text, I imagine the date could be made more precise.


17 Apr 10 - 01:17 PM (#2888648)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Roll, 1850s, Roll!

I want to start re-viewing the sources attributing chanties to the 1850s. This means digging them out of places elsewhere on Mudcat and seeing what they say about the nature and context of maritime work-singing at those times. In addition to the MANY references in the "Sydney/SF" thread, I have some more bookmarked away!

The practice of chantying seems to explode in the 1850s. I will be interested to see the qualitative differences between the 40s and the 50s.

***
In John D. Whidden's OCEAN LIFE IN THE OLD SAILING SHIP DAYS (copyright 1908), he quotes his friend Captain George Meacom, of Beverly Mass. Who wrote about the chanties he remembered from circa 1850s New Orleans. The testimony includes reference to 3 familiar songs, as pumping chanties: "Mobile Bay," "Fire Down Below," and "One More Day." It is impossible to say if these were 1850s songs though. Chantying is ascribed to more or less every shipboard task, indicating that, if the dating is accurate, chanty-singing was absolutely ubiquitous by the 1850s. It all falls within a rich passage that includes a description of cotton-stowing. Here we go:

I left the "Tirrell " in Boston, and having had enough of western ocean winter voyages, I signed the articles of the ship "Emperor," Captain Knott Pedrick, as third mate, bound to New Orleans. The "Emperor" was a ship of seven hundred tons burthen, having fine accommodations for cabin passengers. Sailing from Boston in ballast, we arrived safely, and loaded cotton for Havre, France.

New Orleans, at this time, was the great shipping port of the South for exporting cotton to Europe, although Mobile, Savannah and Charleston also shipped great quantities.
In the winter months, all along the levees at New Orleans lay tiers of shipping of all nationalities, loading cotton for the northern ports of the United States, as well as the various ports of Europe. The river front is shaped like a crescent, and from this fact New Orleans takes its name of the "Crescent City." For miles along the banks, or levees, extends the shipping, lying in tiers, loading cotton, staves, or tobacco, but principally cotton. The bales were rolled from the levee by the stevedores' gangs, generally roustabout darkies, up the staging, and tumbled on deck and down the hold, where they were received by gangs of cotton-screwers, there being as many gangs in the ship's hold as could work to advantage. The bales were placed in tiers, and when they would apparently hold no more, with the aid of planks and powerful cotton-screws, several bales would be driven in where it would appear to a novice impossible to put one.

Four men to a screw constituted a gang, and it was a point of honor to screw as many bales in a ship's hold as could possibly be crammed in, and in some cases even springing the decks upwards, such a power was given by the screw. All this work was accompanied by a song, often improvised and sung by the "chantie" man, the chorus being taken up by the rest of the gang. Each gang possessed a good "chantie" singer, with a fine voice. The chorus would come in with a vim, and every pound in the muscles of the gang would be thrown into the handle-bars of the cotton-screws, and a bale of cotton would be driven in where there appeared to be but a few inches of space.

The songs or "chanties" from hundreds of these gangs of cotton-screwers could be heard all along the river front, day after day, making the levees of New Orleans a lively spot. As the business of cotton-screwing was dull during the summer months, the majority of the gangs, all being good sailors, shipped on some vessel that was bound to some port in Europe to pass the heated term and escape the "yellow Jack," which was prevalent at that season. When they returned in the fall they could command high wages at cotton-screwing on shipboard. Some would go to northern ports, but generally the autumn found them all back, ready for their winter's work.

"Chantie" singing was not confined to the gangs of cotton screwers. In the days of the old sailing ships almost all the work on shipboard was accompanied by a song or "chantie." My old friend Captain George Meacom, of Beverly, nephew of my old commander, Captain Edward Meacom of the ship " Brutus," in an able article in the Boston Transcript, says in regard to the old time chantie songs:

"Fifty years ago, in my early sea life, when the American merchant marine was at its zenith, and the deep-water clipper sailing ship carried the broom at its masthead, no first-class well-appointed sailing ship would think of shipping its crew without having at least one good 'chantie man' among them. For with the oldstyle hand-brake windlass for getting the anchors, the heavy, single topsails and courses to handle, it was necessary, in order to secure the combined power of the men, that unison of effort should be made, especially while heaving up the anchor, mastheading the topsails, getting the tacks of the courses aboard and the sheets aft, or pumping ship, and this could better be well done by the assistance of a good 'chantie' song. With twenty-five or thirty men's efforts worked as a unit, this great, combined power would be sure to bring desired results in all heavy work. Noticing an article recently published, the writer said, 'I have passed many miserable hours pumping out leaks from wooden ships, but I was never so fortunate as to hear a pumping chantie.'

"In my early days of sea life ships were driven hard, and sail carried on the vessel to the utmost limit, that quick passages might be made, with the result that the vessel often being strained, — it not being uncommon for the whole body structure of the ship to quiver, — would leak considerably, and in order to keep her cargo from being damaged, it would be necessary to pump the water out of the vessel at stated periods, and at these times the pumping 'chantie' song came in place and served its purpose admirably. Among these songs were the following:

"'Mobile Bay

"' Were you ever down in Mobile Bay,
    Johnnie, come tell us and pump away. 

A-screwing cotton by the day,
    Johnnie, come tell us and pump away, 

Aye, aye, pump away, 

    Johnnie, come tell us and pump away,' etc.

"' Fire Down Below

"' Fire in the galley, fire in the house, 
   
Fire in the beef kid, scorching scouse; 
   
Fire, fire, fire down below: fetch a bucket of water. 
   
Fire down below,' etc.

"' One More Day For Johnnie

"' Only one more day for Johnnie,
    Only one more day: 

Oh, rock and roll me over,
    Only one more day,' etc.

" All of the named ' chanties' the writer of this once took pride in singing as a chantie man when before the mast as a sailor, and, in later years, after becoming an officer and captain, he found that the early acquisition was valuable as a critic of good 'chantie' singing, and although more than one half of a century has passed, yet the old 'chantie' song will start the blood tingling with the vim of the days of yore."


17 Apr 10 - 01:41 PM (#2888662)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Excellent stuff, Gibb.
Today I received an email from 'Billy Weekes' who is lurking. He tells me that somewhere in the thread you have assumed that the Chatham Theatre is in London (where Wallack performed his theatrical chanty). NYC stands for New York City. Although he was claiming to be an ex RN lieutenant he was performing in New York and actually managed this theatre.

Like many aspects of traditional music where cross-overs occur from one genre to another, or one place to another, the traffic is almost always a 2-way affair if not equally so.


17 Apr 10 - 02:32 PM (#2888688)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

&cdHere are some references to the 1850's. Not all of these references are to actual chanties. But there may be a connection to the later development of a particular chanty. I'm moving these over from the "San Francisco to Sydney" thread.

From SHE WAS A SISTER SAILOR: THE WHALING JOURNALS OF MARY BREWSTER, 1845-1851, there is a reference (from a snippet) to "Tally hi o you know". I can't tell what the year is from this but someone probably has this book.

http://books.google.com/books?id=_rBiAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Tally+Hi+O%22&dq=%22Tally+Hi+O%22&cd=7

From an article entitled "News From Our Digger" an account from 1852, in TAIT'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE, VOLUME 19, we have reference to "Cheerymen" and "Storm along, my Stormy".

http://books.google.com/books?id=Qt4_AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA294&dq=%22Polly+Racket,+hi-ho,+cheerymen.%22&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Polly%20

From a story called "The Boy of Chickamauga" by Edmund Kirke, in OUR YOUNG FOLKS, VOL. 1, there is a line supposedly from 1853 that may refer to "Clear the track, let the bullgine run."

http://books.google.com/books?id=rJVHAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA703&dq=%22Clear+the+track+and+let+the+bullgine+run%22&lr=&cd=39#v=onepage&q&f

We have three minstrel songs from Christy and White's ETHIOPIAN MELODIES, 1854. Various versions and editions and sections of this were published here and there at other times, and there may be some earlier publication dates out there. We have "Storm along, Stormy":

http://books.google.com/books?id=W2ZCAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA71&dq=%22Storm+Along+Stormy%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Storm%20Along%20Stormy

And then there is "Fire Down Below":

http://books.google.com/books?id=W2ZCAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA18&dq=%22Fire+Down+Below%22+Christy&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

And finally, "Whoop, Jamboree":

http://books.google.com/books?id=W2ZCAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA17&dq=%22Whoop,+Jam-bo-ree%22&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Whoop%2C%20Jam-bo-r

From MELBOURNE, AND THE CHINCHA ISLANDS, by George Washington Peck, we have a reference from 1854 to "Haul the bowline" and four different melodies without words.

http://books.google.com/books?id=c_oOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA292&dq=%22Haul+the+bowline%22+Melbourne&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

And then a reference from Solomon Northup's TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, 1855, perhaps talking about events in 1853 or earlier. He mentions some fiddle tunes and "patting juba" songs, among which are "Old Hog Eye!" and "Jim Along, Josie."

http://books.google.com/books?id=kTaJH3W2trEC&pg=PA220&dq=%22Old+Hog+Eye%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Old%20Hog%20Eye%22&f=false

From a story by Edgar S. Farnsworth called "The Yarn of the Watch" in BALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, VOL. 2, 1855, we have "Storm along, Stormy":

http://books.google.com/books?id=ta1MAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA114&dq=Storm+along+Stormy&lr=&cd=55#v=onepage&q=Storm%20along%20Stormy&f=true

From Charles Dickens' HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 1855-56, we have what may be a reference to "Drunken Sailor":

http://books.google.com/books?id=7wwHAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA167&dq=what+shall+we+do+with+a+drunken+sailor&lr=&as_brr=1&cd=14#v=onepage&q&

From John Stirling Fisher's A BUILDER OF THE WEST, we have "Storm Along," "All on the Plains of Mexico", and "Aha, we're bound away, on the wild Missouri", from the memoirs of General William Jackson Palmer, in 1856:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_OXRs_WmAY4C&pg=PA49&dq=%22Mister+Storm+roll+on%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Mister%20Storm%20roll%20

From THE KNICKERBOCKER, VOLUME 54, we have an article entitled "The Life of a Midshipman", 1857, with "Row, bullies, row!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=ybXPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA11&dq=%22O+Shenandoh+my+bully+boy%22&lr==10#v=onepage&q&f=false

From THE MERCANTILE MARINE, by E. Keble Chatterton, we have a quote from Sir William B. Forwood's REMINISCENCES OF A LIVERPOOL SHIPOWNER, 1857, which mentions "Paddy works upon the railway" and "Whiskey, Johnny."

http://books.google.com/books?id=3qCr7nTPvewC&pg=PA159&dq=Whiskey+Johnny&lr=&cd=95#v=onepage&q=Whiskey%20Johnny&f=false

From THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Vol. II, 1858, we have "Pay me the money down!", "O long storm, storm along stormy", and "Highland day and off she goes":

http://books.google.com/books?id=MbEGAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA154&dq=%22O+Long+Storm,+storm+along.%22&lr=&cd=2#v=onepage&q=%22O%20Long%20St

From an article in the OBERLIN STUDENT'S MONTHLY, VOL 1, Issue 1, from 1858, we have mention of "We're a bully ship and a bully crew", "O! haulee, heigho, cheeryman!" and "Storm along, my stormies". There is also mention of "Jim along, Josey" as a rowing song.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Ow3cAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA47&dq=Storm+along+Stormy&lr=&cd=76#v=onepage&q=Storm%20along%20Stormy&f=false

Here is "Sally Brown" from Hercules Robinson's SEA DRIFT, from 1858:

http://books.google.com/books?id=-Ku40z-xkYkC&pg=PA221&dq=%22Oh+Sally+Brown,+Sally+Brown+Oh%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22Oh%20Sally%20

From THE REAL EXPERIENCES OF AN EMIGRANT, by Ward, Lock, & Tyler, we have a reference to "Whiskey for Johnny!" that may be from 1859:

http://books.google.com/books?id=tHkFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA39&dq=Whiskey+Johnny&lr=&cd=160#v=onepage&q=Whiskey%20Johnny&f=false


17 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM (#2888694)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Just one glance at this and we surely have our burgeoning of chanty singing in the 1850s. There are about 20 titles mentioned in there.


17 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM (#2888699)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John. Does that set represent a distillation (more or less) of the 1850s references from that thread, or just some of the recent ones?

Steve -- NYC it is!


17 Apr 10 - 04:07 PM (#2888723)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, this was my attempt to pull it all together. I may have missed something but I don't think so. The dating in some cases may be open to debate. I put them into the 1850's not because that's when they were published but because that was, *as near as I could tell*, their original reference point. Here are the links to the other thread. You will see that I dropped two references that I either had second thoughts on or Lighter corrected me on.

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=544#2882167

thread.cfm?threadid=126347&messages=544#2882720


17 Apr 10 - 04:42 PM (#2888739)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Perfect, John!!

Now to digest them, bit by bit.

***

This one is great; unfortunately I don't have the book, either.

From SHE WAS A SISTER SAILOR: THE WHALING JOURNALS OF MARY BREWSTER, 1845-1851, there is a reference (from a snippet) to "Tally hi o you know".

The only thing I'll add is that [TALLY] was said to have been sung while weighing anchor. However, without more info, I don't know which device was used: capstan, spoke windlass (e.g. as in the Moby Dick film), or the pump/brake windlass (e.g. as on the CHARLES W. MORGAN).


17 Apr 10 - 04:44 PM (#2888741)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

P.S. I'd like to try that Chinese root beer.


17 Apr 10 - 05:42 PM (#2888770)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here are a couple of references I missed, but I think you've covered two of them.

{1850s} W Craig , ADVENTURES IN THE AUSTRALIAN GOLD FIELDS, 1903 "Two shanty fragments as sung on the sailing ships bringing gold seekers to Sydney. (From Warren Fahey's website).

"Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne" [pumping]
" When first we went a-waggoning" [anchor hauling]

http://warrenfahey.com/maritime-3.htm

{1850s} OCEAN LIFE IN THE OLD SAILING SHIP DAYS, John D. Whidden. Whidden's source is his "old friend, Captain George Meacom, of Beverly [Mass.]." Meacom refers to his own recollection of the 1850s, and his testimony seems to be reliable. (See Gibb's note above)

"Mobile Bay" /"Johnnie Come Tell Us As We Haul Away"
"Fire Down Below"
"One More Day For Johnnie"

http://books.google.com/books?id=cj0NAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA99&dq=%22One+more+day+for+Johnnie%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22One%20more%20day%20f

{1853} A JOURNEY IN THE SEABOARD SLAVE STATES Frederick Law Olmsted, 1861

"Oahoiohieu" / "The Sailor Fireman" ("Lindy Lowe") [riverboat]
"Oh, John, come down in de holler" [riverboat]

(scroll down):

http://books.google.com/books?id=koMIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA607&dq=You+see+dem+boat+way+dah+head&lr=&cd=33#v=onepage&q&f=false


17 Apr 10 - 05:52 PM (#2888774)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

From an article entitled "News From Our Digger" an account from 1852, in TAIT'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE, VOLUME 19, we have reference to "Cheerymen" and "Storm along, my Stormy".

So this is a trip in Australia's Gold Rush days, in a packet ship, CHALMERS, which left Aug. 1852 from Gravesend (on the Thames) and bound for Melbourne. Published 1853. The author, a gold-seeking passenger, writes:

Songs Afloat.—There is one thing in particular which is sure to attract the attention of a landsman when he first sets his foot on board ship, and this is the songs sung by the seamen whilst performing their various duties. These songs, which often, as regards words, are made impromptu, are most enlivening and spirited; and a good singing crow, with a clever leader, may, in my opinion, be looked upon in the light of a blessing on board any ship. In a little schooner in which I made a voyage up the Mediterranean, we had some excellent singers; and scarcely was a rope touched, sail set, or other heavy work done, without a song : and this may, in some measure, be accounted for by the encouragement given them by our captain, who would often promise all hands a tot of rum, if they did their work in a seamanlike manner, and sang well. The good effect of this was very visible on the men, who evidently pulled the ropes more cheerfully and with double vigour. The following are specimens:—

On Hauling up Topsail Yards, after Reefing.

Polly Racket, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull),
Pawned my jacket, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull),
And sold the ticket, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull);
Ho, hawly, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull).

Eouse him up, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull),
Pull up the devil, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull);
And make him civil, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull),
Oh, hawly, hi-ho, cheerymen—(pull).

***
I wish I was old Stormy's son,
Hurra, and storm along :
I'd give the sailors lots of rum,
Storm along, my Stormy.
Chorus—Hurra!—hurra!—hurra!—storm along,
    Storm along, my roving blades,
    Storm along, my Stormy.


Notes:

This is the first *shipboard* appearance of STORMY that I am seeing. The text's layout makes it confusing as to whether Stormy was also used for halliards. Well, it is listed as if it were, however, the full chorus is not characteristic of what we now associate with halyard chanties. (In Hugill's version, for example, this chorus seems to be chopped off.) The passenger may have noted this song, but not properly distinguished the task. If we consider that "Stormy" may have been borrowed from the cotton-stowers' repertoire...and as those "chants" were earlier (i.e. Nordhoff) compared to capstan songs, we'd expect this Stormy to be for a heaving task. On the other hand, if it was in fact used for halyards, that means cotton chants were adapted to halliards, too. Either way it is significant, but I'm not sure which way!

Interesting to see how CHEERLY persisted into this time, as a halliard chantey. In this example, there is a clear 4-phrase stanza-like form -- as it appears in Hugill. In other words, it wasn't just "say a line, then pull at the end," but rather the melodic cadences and the "hawly" phrase caused sets of 4 lines to be grouped.

Also interesting how the passenger attests hearing chanties for all work on a schooner. That statement may have to be qualified by something we are unaware of. However, it seems to contradict the idea that chanties weren't used on schooners "because they weren't needed." Perhaps the "need" for chanties on packet ships is what spurned the development, and once they became ubiquitous there, they became popular on lighter fore/aft rigged vessels, too.


17 Apr 10 - 09:35 PM (#2888899)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

THE WESTERN WILDS OF AMERICA, by John Regan (2nd. edition, 1859), mentions a riverboat trip in the Mississippi Valley (Galena River, Illinois) that he took circa 1843-1846. No specific song is mentioned, but he does describe his impression of the singing of African-American firemen:

About dark a steamer from Galena going down, called at the landing-place to take in grain, and we got on board to vary the journey and ease our limbs. The night was exceedingly hot and oppressive, and we stretched ourselves upon deck, hard by the windlass. The fires, as is usual, were upon this lower deck, served by negroes. As we lay with our hats drawn over our faces in a half doze, the firemen struck up one of those singularly wild and impressive glees which negroes alone can sing effectively. By turns the singer would break out into measured tones of laughter, followed by an outburst of musical salvoes, very singular and very commanding, coming as they did from the lungs of half a dozen or more. This would be succeeded by a sharp, piercing, "desolate howl," and this again by the full chorus of negro voices, aided by the black cook, who, captivated by the strains, would lean his breast up against his galley door, and grin out his satisfaction in true character, To describe in writing, however, the singular effect of this strange medley of sounds, would be impossible.


17 Apr 10 - 10:00 PM (#2888909)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In "Notes and Queries" for August 1851, a contributer (T.W.) mentions an earlier published firemen's song. Here is what he/she says:

In the 231st number of that excellent New York periodical, The Literary World, published on the 5th of July, there is an article on "Steamboats and Steamboating in the South West," in which I find the following passage: —

"I mentioned the refrain of the firemen. Now as a particular one is almost invariably sung by Negroes when they have anything to do with or about a fire; whether it be while working at a New Orleans fire-engine, or crowding wood into the furnaces of a steamboat; whether they desire to make an extra racket at leaving, or evince their joy at returning to a port, it may be worth recording; and here it is:

Fire on the quarter-deck,
Fire on the bow,
Fire on the gun-deck,
Fire down below !'

The last line is given by all hands with great vim (sic) and volume; and as for the chorus itself, you will never meet or pass a boat, you will never behold the departure or arrival of one, and you will never witness a New Orleans fire, without hearing it."

The writer says nothing about the origin of this Negro melody, and therefore he is, I presume, unaware of it. But many of your readers will at once recognise the spirited lines, which when once they are read in Walter Scott's Pirate, have somehow a strange pertinacity in ringing in one's ears, and creep into a nook of the memory, from which they ever and anon insist on emerging to the lips. The passage occurs at the end of the fifth chapter of the third volume, where the pirates recapture their runaway captain : —

" They gained their boat in safety, and jumped into it, carrying along with them Cleveland, to whom circumstances seemed to offer no other refuge, and pushed off for their vessel, singing in chorus to their oars an old ditty, of which the natives of Kirkwall could only hear the first stanza :

'Thus said the Rover
   To his gallant crew,
Up with the black flag,
   Down with the blue!
Fire on the main-top,
   Fire on the bow.
Fire on the gun-deck,
   Fire down below !'"


How did the song get from Walter Scott to 1840s era Black Americans? I am supposing that the song was earlier prevalent as a song in British ships. Fascinating, then, that it would have become ubiquitous among African-Americans in certain trades. Incidentally, this reminds me that, though we've touched upon it slightly elsewhere on Mudcat (e.g. in reference to "bulgine"), we've yet to bring in the possible influence of fire-fighter's songs here.


17 Apr 10 - 10:17 PM (#2888918)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's one to file back with the African-American rowing descriptions of the 1830s.

THE PLANTER, by David Brown, 1853. The narrator is on the St. Johns River, Florida. It is Feb. 1834.


What most surprised us in the negroes,—strangers till then to their peculiarities—was their remarkable talent of improvisation. Their extemporaneous songs at the oar, suited to various scenes and occasions and circumstances present, induced the natural feeling that our boatmen were a set of rare geniuses, selected by our generous friend for the purpose of giving us additional pleasure and surprise. It was afterwards found that extemporaneous singing was not uncommon among them.

The negro boatman of the South seems inspired by the improvising muse whenever he seizes the oar; and especially if it be to row a company of agreeable people on a party of pleasure. If there be young ladies of the number, they may be quite sure to be introduced by the muse, and to receive not only compliments, but admonitions.


17 Apr 10 - 10:28 PM (#2888927)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

From a story by Edgar S. Farnsworth called "The Yarn of the Watch" in BALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, VOL. 2, [August] 1855, we have "Storm along, Stormy"

It's a general reference to how a crew might sing that song. No specific occasion mentioned.


17 Apr 10 - 11:03 PM (#2888943)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

PUTNAM'S MONTHLY for Jan. 1855 had an article entitled "Negro Minstrelsy - Ancient and Modern". It contains the following passage, which includes lyrics to two songs that relate to the maritime repertoire (in an imagined Georgia):

And now, faintly heard far over the water, I distinguish the soft thump of oars in the rowlock of an approaching boat. I listen with attentive ears—for I know by experience the gratification in store for me—and soon catch the distant tones of the human voice— now more faintly heard, and now entirely lost. A few minutes pass, and the breeze once more wafts to me the swelling notes of the chorus half buried in the measured cadeuce of the oars. The wind dies away, and my straining ears again hear nothing but the measured beat of the rowers, and the plashing of the restless sea. But now, anew, I hear the sound of those manly negro voices swelling up upon the evening gale. Nearer and nearer conies the boat, higher and higher rises the melody, till it overpowers and subdues the noise of the oars, which in their turn become subservient to the song, and mark its time with harmonious beating. And now the boat is so near, that every word and every tone comes to my ear, over the water, with perfect distinctness, and I recognize the grand old triumphal chorus of the stirring patriotic melody of " Gen'el Jackson":

"Gen'el Jackson, mighty man—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away;
He fight on iea, and he fight on land,
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away.

Gen'el Jackson gain de day—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away,
Be gain de day in Floraday,
Whaw, my kingdom, flre away.

Gen'el Jackson fine de trail,
Whaw, my kingdom, flre away,
He full um fote wid cotton bale,
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away."

But the boat touches the beach; the negroes with a wild cry quit their singing, tumble out into the shallow water, drag their dug-out up high and dry upon the sand, and I am left once more with the evening breeze and the quieter harmony of nature.

The song, a part of which I have just quoted, is fresh from the sable mint in which it was coined. Its originality and genuineness every one familiar with plantation life will at once perceive; while some Georgians may even be able to point to the very river on which the dusky troubadours still chant it. I am well aware that in depriving the words of their appropriate music, I rob it of much of its attractiveness, and still it is no bad sample of what may be called the Historic Plantation Ballad. The particular naval battle in which Old Hickory was engaged, I have not been able to discover; but the allusion to the bales of cotton in the third stanza may not be without its effect in settling one of the vexed questions relating to the defence of New Orleans; and it adds another to the many examples of the superiority of oral tradition over contemporaneous written history.

It is not alone, however, on the water that these quaint songs are produced. The annual corn-shucking season has its own peculiar class of songs, never heard but on that festival; their rhythmical structure or caesural pauses not being adapted to the measured cadence of the oars. Standing at a little distance from the corn heap, on some dark and quiet night, watching the sable forms of the gang, illuminated at intervals by the flashes of the lightwood knot, and listening to the wild high notes of their harvest songs, it is easy to imagine ourselves unseen spectators of some secret aboriginal rite or savage festival. Snatches of one or two songs which on such occasions I have heard, recur to me. Could I in the following specimen give you any idea of the wild grandeur and stirring music of the refrain, I should need no apology for presenting it to my readers.

"De ladies in de parlor.
Hey, come a rollln' down—
A drinking tea and coffee;
Good morning ladies all.

"De gemmen in de kitchen,
Hey come a rollln' down—
A drinking brandy toddy ;
Good morning, ladies all."


More clues to the origin of "Fire Maringo" -- The 2nd Seminole War in Florida (1835-1842), perhaps? -- and an example of its use for rowing (i.e. not just cotton-stowing). "Good morning, ladies all" may not be the same song as the chantey, though it does have a chantey form, and it is being used for "work."


18 Apr 10 - 12:12 AM (#2888973)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

GENTLEMEN'S MAGAZINE for Oct. 1839 contains a story supposedly based on the logs of the USS CONSTITUTION in action during the War of 1812. Outside of any context, the article quotes the words to the chantey, FIRE DOWN BELOW.

"Fire! in the main-top,
Fire! in the bow.
Fire! on the gun-deck,
Fire! down below."


18 Apr 10 - 09:01 AM (#2889110)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

This looks like it might be a reference to a Gold Rush voyage to San Francisco in 1856. It is from LIFE BY LAND AND SEA, by Prentice Mulford, originally published in 1889. He is on board the "Wizard", and there is a lot of pumping going on. He says,

"For the first six weeks all the "shanty songs" known on the sea had been sung. Regularly at each pumping exercise we had "Santy Anna," "Bully in the Alley," "Miranda Lee," "Storm Along, John," and other operatic maritime gems, some of which might have a place in our modern operas of "The Pinafore" school. There's a good deal of rough melody when these airs are rolled out, by twenty or thirty strong lungs to the accompaniment of a windlass' clank and the wild, shrill sweep of the winds in the rigging above." (p. 24    Here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ClgFQ2SwJQ0C&pg=PA24&dq=%22Bully+in+the+Alley%22&lr=&cd=12#v=onepage&q=%22Bully%20in%20the%20Al


18 Apr 10 - 02:34 PM (#2889237)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Just to add to John's last entry, Mulford 1889:

The WIZARD described was a clipper ship, bound NY > San Francisco. 1856 is also my best guess -- the author makes the time period very confusing. Though he refers to a windlass in the context of shanties, that is a general reference; the songs specifically mentioned are not necessarily ascribed to that task. Each is being ascribed to pumping. They must have been using the "Downton pump" (i.e. not the brake-lever style, whose action is much like a windlass) because later he says they fitted it with "bell ropes." That means that some guys were doing a hauling action.


18 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM (#2889299)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

I can't find a thing on "Miranda Lee". I wonder what this song was about.


18 Apr 10 - 04:41 PM (#2889313)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: shipcmo

Don't suppose it had anything to do with "Liza Lee"?
Hoist one!
Geo


18 Apr 10 - 08:03 PM (#2889426)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here is the relevant passage in A JOURNEY IN THE SEABOARD SLAVE STATES by Frederick Law Olmsted, copyright 1856.

It is 1853. He is traveling on a steamboat on the Red River to Shrevport, LA.

We backed out, winded round head up, and as we began to breast the current, a dozen of the negro boat-hands, standing on the freight, piled up on the low forecastle, began to sing, waving hats and handkerchiefs, and shirts lashed to poles, towards the people who stood on the sterns of the steam-boats at the levee. After losing a few lines, I copied literally into my note-book:

"Ye see dem boat way dah ahead.
Chorus.—Oahoiohieu.
De San Charles is arter 'em, dey mus go behine.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.

So stir up dah, my livelies, stir her up; (pointing to the furnaces).
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.
Dey's burnin' not'n but fat and rosum.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.

Oh, we is gwine up de Red River, oh!
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.
Oh, we mus part from you dah asho'.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.

Give my lub to Dinah, oh!
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.
For we is gwine up de Red River.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.

Yes, we is gwine up de Red River.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu.
Oh we must part from you dah oh.
Cho.—Oahoiohieu."

[The wit introduced into these songs has, I suspect, been rather over-estimated. On another occasion I took down the following:

" John come down in de holler,
   Oh, work and talk and holler,
   Oh, John, come down in de ho ler,
Ime gwine away to-morrow.
Oh, John, &c.

Ime gwine away to marry,
Oh, John, &c.

Get my cloves in order,
Oh. John, &c.

I'se gwine away to-morrow,
Oh, John, &c.

Oh, work and talk and holler,
Oh, John, &c.

Massa guv me dollar,
Oh, John, &c.

Don't cry yer eyes out, honey,
Oh, John, &c.

I'm gwine to get some money,
Oh, John, &c.

But I'll come back to-morrow,
Oh, John, &c.

So work and talk and holler,
Oh, John, &c.

Work all day and Sunday,
Oh, John, &c.

Massa get de money,
Oh, John, &c.

After the conclusion of this song, and after the negroes had left the bows, and were coming aft along the guards, we passed two or three colored nurses, walking with children on the river bank; as we did so the singers jumped on some cotton bales, bowed very low to them, took off their hats, and swung and waved them, and renewed their song :

God bless yon all, dah ! ladies !
Oh, John come down in de holler,

Farwell, de Lord be wid you, honey,
    Oh, John, come down, &c.

Done cry yerself to def,
    Oh, John. &c.

I'm gwine down to New Orleans,
    Oh, John. &c

I'll come back, dough, bime-by,
    Oh, John, &c,

So far-you-well, my honey,
    Oh, John, &c.

Far-you-well, all you dah, shore,
    Oh, John, &c.

And save your cotton for de Dalmo!
Oh, John, &c]


The Black boat-hands singing are not working. However, one might presume (?) the songs would be the same ones they would use working -- for fireman duties. The first one, THE SAILOR FIREMAN, is attested elsewhere as a work-song, as is the famous JOHNNY COME DOWN TO HILO.

It may be notable that although Olmsted gave the work-songs on a whaling voyage in 1840 (above), he does not compare these songs to those (which were the old DRUNKEN SAILOR and "Nancy Fanana"/"Haul 'er Away").


18 Apr 10 - 08:31 PM (#2889442)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

From John Stirling Fisher's A BUILDER OF THE WEST, we have "[Hi yi, yi, yi,Mister Storm roll on, Storm Along,] Storm Along," "All on the Plains of Mexico", and "Aha, we're bound away, on the wild Missouri", from the memoirs of General William Jackson Palmer, in 1856

Unfortunately, the specific context of these songs is not noted. The passenger heard them on a packet ship from Liverpool to New York.


18 Apr 10 - 09:05 PM (#2889457)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Courtesy of John Minear:

///
Here is a version of "Row, Bullies Row" from 1857. It is in THE KNICKERBOCKER, VOL L., 1857, in an article entitled "The Life of a Midshipmen", by "John Jenkins" (?). He is at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and is being rowed out to his first assignment on board the US Frigate "Shenandoah". It is presented as a rowing song:

[As the launch (which, to my surprise, proved to be nothing more than a large boat) was heavily laden, and the tide running strong against us, the pull to the ship was a very heavy one ; so, to lighten their labors, the midshipman in charge of the boat, gave permission to ' the men ' to sing; upon which they regaled our ears with at least a dozen of the most popular sea-songs of the day, concluding with one, (which I afterward found to be a great favorite among seamen,) where the singers are two — the one (taking for his theme whatever comes uppermost in his mind) making some statement; the other asking a question in relation to it, to which the first replies — the whole boat's crew joining in the chorus. In the present instance it was as follows:]

'Oh! I do love that good, old bottle!
   Row, bullies, row!
Oh! I do love that good, old bottle!
   Row, my bullies, row!
Why do yo love that good, old bottle?
   Row, my bullies, row!
I love it 'cause it suits my throttle!
    Row, my bullies, row!
I love it 'cause it suits my throttle!
    Row, my bullies, row!

   After singing five more verses in the same elegant strain, we happened to pass a bum-boat, in which were seated a fat, old white woman and a negro boy, whereupon the singers roared out with great glee, and in a higher key than before:

'Yonder sits a dear old lady!
    Row, my bullies, row!
Yonder sits a dear old lady!
   Row, my bullies, row!
How do you know she is a lady?
    Row, my bullies, row!
How do you know she is a lady?
    Row, my bullies, row!
I know her by her nigger baby!
    Row, my bullies, row!
I know her by her nigger baby!"   
    Row, my bullies, row!            
////

I wonder about the time period. I don't find any Frigate SHENANDOAH around in 1857 (?). I wonder if this account is from quite a bit earlier. It is much like the song in The American Journal of Music and Musical Vistor, 1845 (above), and it may well have been the same song as what we now know as BLOW BOYS BLOW.


18 Apr 10 - 09:43 PM (#2889474)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

From John M.:

////
Here is a reference to ""Whiskey, Johnny" from 1857. In his book, THE MERCANTILE MARINE, E. Keble Chatterton [2009] prints a long quote from a "recently published" book by Sir Wiliam B. Forwood entitled REMINISCENCES OF A LIVERPOOL SHIPOWNER [1920]. Forwood is recollecting a voyage on the "Red Jacket" in 1857. Forwood says, "On the morning of 20th November, 1857...I embarked by a tender from the Liverpool pierhead." The anchor is heaved [via windlass] "to a merry chantie" which is "In 1847 Paddy Murphy went to Heaven".

[In 1847 Paddy Murphy went to Heaven
To work on the railway, the railway, the railway
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway]

The next morning, they were off Holy head and the order came "loose the headsails." (pp. 158-159):

"Now then, my men, lead your topsail halyards fore and aft, and up with them'. And the crew walk along with the halyards, and then with a long pull and a pull all together the topsail yards are mastheaded to the chantie:

       "Then up the yard must go,
                Whiskey for my Johnny,
       Oh, whiskey for the life of man,
                Whiskey, Johnny.'"
////

So, PADDY ON THE RAILWAY at the brake windlass...and WHISKEY JOHNNY at the halyards. It sounds like they may have been doing a stamp 'n' go maneuver at the halyards, but I don't see how that would work for the chanty. Reading it closer, I think the crew was perhaps just walking the slack, after which, in positions, they did a pull in place. What do others think?


18 Apr 10 - 10:35 PM (#2889489)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY for July 1858 contains an article on "Songs of the Sea."

Here are some passages about work-songs.

The sailor does not lack for singing. He sings at certain parts of his work;—indeed, he must sing, if he would work. On vessels of war, the drum and fife or boatswain's whistle furnish the necessary movement regulator. There, where the strength of one or two hundred men can be applied to one and the same effort, the labor is not intermittent, but continuous. The men form on either side of the rope to be hauled, and walk away with it like firemen inarching with their engine. When the headmost pair bring up at the stern or bow, they part, and the two streams flow back to the starting-point, outside the following files. Thus in this perpetual " follow-my-leader " way the work is done, with more precision and steadiness than in the merchant-service. Merchantmen are invariably manned with the least possible number, and often go to sea shorthanded, even according to the parsimonious calculations of their owners. The only way the heavier work can be done at all is by each man doing his utmost at the same moment. This is regulated by the song. And here is the true singing of the deep sea. It is not recreation; it is an essential part of the work. It mastheads the topsail-yards, on making tail; it starts the anchor from the domestic or foreign mud; it " rides down the main tack with a will"; it breaks out and takes on board cargo; it keeps the pumps (the ship's,—not the sailor's) going. A good voice and a new and stirring chorus are worth an extra man. And there is plenty of need of both.

What a great statement on the difference of work in a Navy versus a merchant vessel. It provides perfect evidence for the argument that merchant vessels "needed" chanties.

I remember well one black night in the mid-Atlantic, when we were beating up
against a stiff breeze, coming on deck near midnight, just as the ship was put about. When a ship is tacking, the tacks and sheets (ropes which confine the clews or lower corners of the sails) are let run, in order that the yards may be swung round to meet the altered position of the ship. They must then be hauled taut again, and belayed, or secured, in order to keep the sails in their place and to prevent them from shaking. When the ship's head comes up in the wind, the sail is for a moment or two edgewise to it, and then is the nice moment, as soon as the head-sails fairly fill, when the main-yard and the yards above it can be swung readily, and the tacks and sheets hauled in. If the crew are too few in number, or too slow at their work, and the sails get fairly filled on the new tack, it is a fatiguing piece of work enough to " board " the tacks and sheets, as it is called. You are pulling at one end of the rope,—but the gale is tugging at the other. The advantages of lungs are all against you, and perhaps the only thing to be done is to put the helm down a little, and set the sails shaking' again before they can be trimmed properly.—It was just at such a time that I came on deck, as above mentioned. Being near eight bells, the watch on deck had been not over spry ; and the consequence was that our big main-course was slatting and flying out overhead with a might that shook the ship from stem to stern. The flaps of the mad canvas were like successive thumps of a giant's fist upon a mighty drum. The sheets were jerking at the belaying-pins, the blocks rattling in sharp snappings like castanets. You could hear the hiss and seething of the sea alongside, and see it flash by in sudden white patches of phosphorescent foam, while all overhead was black with the flying scud. The English second-mate was stamping with vexation, and, with all his Hs misplaced, storming at the men:— "'An'somely the weather main-brace,— 'an'somely, I tell you!—'Alf a dozen of you clap on to the main sheet here,— down with 'im!—D'ysee 'ore's hall like a midshipman's bag,—heverythink huppermost and nothing 'andy.—'Aul 'im in, Hi say!"—But the sail wouldn't come, though. All the most forcible expressions of the Commination-Service were liberally bestowed on the watch. " Give us the song, men!" sang out the mate, at last,— " pull with a will!—together, men!—haltogether now! "—And then a cracked, melancholy voice struck up this chant:

"Oh, the bowline, bully bully bowline,
Oh, the bowline, bowline, HAUL!"

At the last word every man threw his whole strength into the pull,—all singing it in chorus, with a quick, explosive sound. And so, jump by jump, the sheet was at last hauled taut.—I dare say this will seem very much spun out to a seafarer, but landsmen like to hear of the sea and its ways; and as more landsmen than seamen, probably, read the " Atlantic Monthly," I have told them of one genuine sea-song, and its time and place.


The classic sheet shanty.

Then there are pumping-songs. "The dismal sound of the pumps is heard," says Mr. Webster's Plymouth-Rock Oration ; but being a part of the daily morning duty of a well-disciplined merchant vessel,—just a few minutes' spell to keep the vessel free and cargo unharmed by bilge-water,—it is not a dismal sound at all, but rather a lively one. It was a favorite amusement with us passengers on board the --- to go forward about
pumping-time to the break of the deck and listen. Any quick tune to which you might work a fire-engine will serve for the music, and the words were varied with every fancy.
"Pay me the money down," was one favorite chorus, and the verse ran thus:—

Solo. " Your money, young man, is no object to me.
Chorus. Pay me the money down!
Sola. Half a crown's no great amount.
Chorus. Pay me the money down!
Solo and Chorus. (Bis.) Money down, money down, pay me the money down! "

Not much sense in all this, but it served to man and move the brakes merrily. Then there were other choruses, which, were heard from time to time, —" And the young gals goes a
weepin',"—" O long storm, storm along stormy"; but the favorite tune was "Money down," at least with our crew. They were not an avaricious set, either; for their parting ceremony, on embarking, was to pitch the last half-dollars of their advance on to the wharf, to be scrambled for by the land-sharks. But " Money down " was the standing chorus. I once heard, though not on board that ship, the lively chorus of " Off she goes, and off she must go,"—

" Highland day and off she goes,
Off she goes with a flying fore-topsail,
Highland day and off she goes."

It is one of the most spirited things imaginable, when well sung, and, when applied to the topsail-halyards, brings the yards up in grand style.


So PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN is used for pumping (brake style), along with (implied) ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN and STORMALONG. Is the last one HIGHLAND LADDIE? Or is it perhaps something related to Hugill's "Hilonday"?


18 Apr 10 - 10:48 PM (#2889499)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

BTW, is this perhaps the first article devoted to Sea Songs?


18 Apr 10 - 11:18 PM (#2889510)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Another question: Why does the author in 1858 not use the term "chanty"?


19 Apr 10 - 03:33 PM (#2890025)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

As for minstrel songs -- those especially of the late 1830s thru 1850s -- influencing chanties, the fact is well known. But because this thread's subject is more about seeing the emergence of chanteying (i.e. maritime work-singing) as a whole, and not the individual trajectories of songs, I've not been inclined to note all the minstrel songs from those years (i.e. outside of maritime and working context).

Some deserve special note, however. We talked about STORMY appearing in WHITE'S NEW ILLUSTRATED MELODEON of 1848 -- a collection, which means the songs were popular on stage even a few years earlier, perhaps. One could make a good case that STORMY was borrowed into the minstrel repertoire from the cotton-stowing context.

So I want to mention two other songs that I think one could argue were also taken from work-songs.

The same collection has THE SAILOR FIREMAN. It had been documented before this date as a "stoker's chaunt" in 1839. And after this, it appears among steamboat hands in Olmsted's account. In other words, the song was linked to the steamboat fireman's profession. heres how it appears in the 1848 collection:

FIRE DOWN BELOW

I'll fire dis trip, but I'll fire no more
    Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
Oh, pay me my money , and I'll go on shore
    Fire down below.

Miss Fanny Bell, oh, fare you well
I'm gwine away, p'r'aps to [Hell]

A bully boat, and a bully crew
An' a bully ragin' captain, too

De possum jump, and de panther roar
I woke dis mornin' at half-past four

I crept out safely from my five
An took a dram at half-past five

Says I, "ole boat, let's have no tricks"
Her biler bust at half-past six

So now we trabbel under sail
'Kase Jonah's de man dat swallowed de whale

I'll fire dis trip but I'll fire no more
Pay me my money, an I'll go on shore

Hugill included this in his collection; he'd taken it from a Swedish chantey collection. The verses are so similar, that it seems to be this minstrel version misheard/folk-processed. Here's a rendition. Still, I believe this song's existence was not dependent on the popular stage.

The other song of note in White collection is the "other" "Fire Down Below" song. This is the whose framework may (my conjecture) go back to British Navy days, but which had become ubiquitous among African-American laborers.

FIRE, FIRE, FIRE

Composed and sung by the Pet of Minstrels, Cool White, and received nightly with thunders of applause, at the Head Quarters of all Serenaders and Minstrels, the Melodeon, 53 Bowery, New-York.

I left de husking party late,
   I began to grow quite tire,
But 'fore I got to massa's gate,
I heard de cry ob fire
Chorui: Fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire,
      An I am bound to go,
    Yes, I am bound to go;
    Den tote dat bucket ob water, [boys?]
    Dar's fire down below

De fireman rushes to de spot,
What shriek is dat I hear!
De widow hab de child forgot,
Twill perish yet I fear.
Fire, fire, fire, fire, &c.

De fireman hears dat dreadful cry,
   I golly, dat's enough ;
De smoke an fire, he both defy,
His skin am thick an tough.
Fire, fire, fire, fire, &c.

Dat shout again, 'tis one ob joy,
De hero now appears,
De widow takes her darling boy,
She thanks him wid her tears.
          Fire, fire, fire, fire, &c.

It corresponds --I say-- to this strain of song, as in Hugill's Version "D'.


19 Apr 10 - 04:03 PM (#2890049)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb, 'I don't see how that would work for the chanty. Reading it closer, I think the crew was perhaps just walking the slack, after which, in positions, they did a pull in place. What do others think?

I read the same as you here.

Why does the author in 1858 not use the term "chanty"?
I didn't think the term was in wide universal use until later. Not everyone would be familiar with it. The writer is also speaking as a very observant outsider, not someone actively involved. He was simply observing, not talking to the crew.


19 Apr 10 - 04:17 PM (#2890059)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Fire! Fire! Fire!
printed by the Glasgow Poet's Box 23rd November, 1867

Versions were also printed by Fortey of London and Sanderson of Edinburgh at about the same time.

As I went out de oder night
To take a little walk,
I ran again a fireman,
And to him I did talk.
He asked me what I wanted,
Or what I did require,
And just as he was saying dis
A nigger called out "Fire!"

Chorus--Fire! fire! fire!
Now I's bound to go;
       Can't you give us a bucket of water,
Dere's a fire down below.

Away we ran for de old engine,
To old Aunt Sally's dwelling;
Aunt Sally came to meet de flames,
To help dem I was willing
Aunt Sally jumped on de coachman's box,
I thought I should expire,
To see her grin on de old engine,
As we went to de fire.

When we got to de house on fire,
We off de engine hopped;
Aunt Sally up de ladder flew,
All for to reach de top.
Her heel did slip, and down she fell,
Instead of going higher;
She fell up to her neck in water,
And declared she was in de fire.

Aunt Sally kicked, Aunt Sally screamed,
And declared she was burnt to death;
De splashing ob de water
Soon put de flames to rest.
I caught hold of Aunt Sally's arms,
I thought she would expire;
She does declare to dis berry day,
She set de water on fire.


19 Apr 10 - 04:36 PM (#2890076)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Printed by Such of London at about the same time as the Glasgow one.

Fire! Down Below.

Oh, I am a simple country lad,
From London just come down,
To tell you the scrapes and narrow escapes
I had when last in town;
Twas market day, I'd sold my hay,
And stood things to admire,
When all at once a chap bawl'd oot,
Hey Master, mind the fire.
Fire! fire! fire!
   Fire down below;
Let us hope that we shall never see,
   A fire down below.,

I turned me round to ask a lass,
The cause of all this stir,
And if she'd a mind to be so kind,
As to tell me where it were;
Says she, "young man, yes that I can,
Do all that you require,
Just come with me and you shall see,
I'll take you where there's fire."

With that she linked her arm in mine,
And down the steeet we steered
To some back slum she called her home,
But still no fire appeared.
For a house we peep'd, upstairs we creep'd,
Three story's(sic) high or higher,
In a room we popp'd, all night we stopp'd.
But I couldn't find out the fire.

(I think I know where this is going!)

In the morning when I waken'd up,
My lady-bird had flown,
Not only lass, but all my brass.
And watch and clothes were gone;
Bare legg'd and feet, I ran in street,
My shirt my sole attire,
The women laughed, and the men they chaff'd,
While I kept bawling, "Fire!"

By some good chance I reached my home,
Half dead with shame and fright,
And all that saw me and all that knew me,
Said, "Spoony, served him right."
But the worst wasn't past, oh, it came at last,
I thought I should expire,
Say what you will I was very ill,
And the doctor said 'twas fire!

So all you good gentlemen,
Who a courting have not been,
Be advised by me, don't foolish be,
By all I have done and seen.
Don't miss your ways on market days,
Or stand things to admire,
But avoid back slums, and female chums,
And don't go catching fire.

A well-written tight little parody. Hope it gets sung again some time.


19 Apr 10 - 05:46 PM (#2890132)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In the OBERLIN STUDENT'S MONTHLY for Dec. 1858, an I. Allen has written the second (?) article devoted to "Songs of the Sailor." It is remarkably reflective. Here are excerpts.

And then, on the still morning air, there comes floating to you, mellowed by the distance, the sailor's work song, keeping time to the monotonous "click, click'' of the windlass pawls, as the anchor comes slowly up:

"We've a bully slop and a bully crew,
      Heigho, heave and go;
We've a bully mate and a captain too;
      Heigho, heave and go.''

That monotonous chorus is just as essential to the proper working of the ship as the ropes and windlass. The anchor sticks as if it had grown to the bottom, and nothing but a song can get it up....


The brake windlass song has a typical verse. The chorus seems transmutable with "roll & go," i.e a Sally Brown sort of song.

The topsails are down for reefing, and the ship strains and pitches over the "seas," while the wind over head howls and whistles the chorus of triumphant storm-fiends; but the song rises:

"Oh haulee, heigho, cheeryman !
O ! pull like brothers, heigho, cheeryman,
And not like lubbers, heigho, cheeryman;
O ! haulee, heigho, cheeryman."

And up goes the topsail: the laboring ship feels it, and plunges off like a racehorse, and the enraged wind follows whistling and howling astern.


The continued use of CHEERLY for topsail halyards. Notable perhaps that the form is "cheeryman," as in the 1852 "News from our Digger."

There was one ditty often used at the windlass, that frequently gave rise to a train of reverie in my mind, especially when combined with surrounding circumstances. The forest-crowned hills, the waving palms and cocoas, the peculiar fragrance borne to us on the landbreeze, the solemn roar of the distant surf, the red, blue and white dresses of the men, as bare-armed and footed, they worked at the windlass and elsewhere, the hundreds of swarthy forms on deck and in canoes dancing over the blue waves, all combined to give force to the idea, that you were in a foreign land. And then, amid the barbarous jargon of tongues, the crew at the windlass strike up:

"I wish I were a stormy's son;
Hurrah, storm along!
I'd storm 'em up and storm 'em down;
Storm along my stormies.
Hurrah! John Rowley,
John, storm along—
We'll storm 'em up and storm 'em down,
Storm along, my stormies.
We'll make them hear our thundering guns,
Storm along my stormies."

And then it proceeds pathetically to inform us that "Old Rowley is dead and gone," and that "they lowered him down with a golden chain," and that they'll proceed to storm somebody or other...


It's WAY STORMALONG JOHN.

...There stuck the anchor till the captain came aboard and another row, and water as a result. Then the anchor came up and we sailed away to the tune of—

"And now our prize we'll take in tow,
And tor old England we will go ;
Our pockets all well lined with brass,
We'll drink a health to our favorite lass!
Hurrah! we're homeward bou-ou-ound!
Hurrah ! we're homeward bound."


Hugill has this one under the title of OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND. Claims it was originally an old (late 18th century) ballad.

But strange as it may seem, however varied the appearance and nationality of the ship and its crew, be they from Archangel's icebound coast, or India's coral strand, Saxon or Celt, Frenchman or Turk, Russian or African, we invariably find that the strain of the sailor's worksong has the same plaintive minor key, strongly reminding one of their similarity in this respect to the sad-toned melodies of the negro race....

Ooooh, "plaintive" and "minor" again.

One evening as we were thus seated on deck, among the eager listeners to the usual songs and ghost stories, there was a young colored man who was working his passage home. "Come Pete," said one of the men, "it's your turn now; give us a song." "Can't massar only savy (know) my country song." " Oh well, let's have one of them." After considerable parleying, a dirge-like whine issued from Pete's corner, which no one suspected was intended for a song. At last one, getting impatient, cried out, "That's enough tuning up; let's have the song." Another, " What are you crying about ? We only asked for a song." "Dat my country song I" retorted the indignant Pete; and the roar with which this announcement was greeted upsetting the nerves of poor Pete, we soon found there was a slight difference between his singing and crying. Along the African coast you will hear that dirge-like strain in all their songs, as at work or paddling their canoes to and from shore, they keep time to the music. On the southern plantations you will hear it also, and in the negro melodies every where, plaintive and melodious, sad and earnest. It seems like the dirge of national degradation, the wail of a race, stricken and crushed, familiar with tyranny, submission and unrequited labor.

Wow, the author is drawing a pretty strong connection between sailors' songs and slave songs. I wonder what the abolitionist undertones may have been. Hey, it's a far cry from this 1858 statement to Cecil Sharp's 1914 statements on "the vexed question of negro influence."

And here I cannot help noticing tho similarity existing between the working chorus of the sailors and the dirge-like negro melody, to which my attention was specially directed by an incident I witnessed or rather heard.

One day we had anchored off a small town, and soon the canoe fleet of the natives was seen coming off to trade. Suddenly a well known strain of music comes floating to us on the land breeze. "Where's that singing?" cries one, " can't be that yon ship is weighing anchor ?" " Why, it's the darkies I" shouts another of the listeners; and, sure enough, there were five or six hundred of them coming off singing in two parts and keeping time with their paddles to

"Heigh Jim along, Jim along Josey, Heigh Jim along, Jim along Jo!"

They had made an advance in the scale of civilization and taken their place in the world of harmony. Then the conclusions of my speculation on the probable cause of this evident similarity between the chorus melodies of the sailor and the negro were something like these—First, the similarity of the object; that is, the unifying of effort in labor, and thus to secure simultaneous action, as in rowing, pulling, hoeing, &c., &c., by the measured and rythmical occurrence of vowel sounds.


Was not "Jim along Jo" recognized as a minstrel tune then? I'm not sure. Perhaps, again, minstrelsy took it from the folk tradition -- and that tradition may have been of (or shared with) a work-song. There is the idea (not here) that "Jim along Jo" is the same framework as "Haul Away Joe." Their prosody matches exactly. Interesting, too, that Cecil Sharp later uses "Haul Away Joe" as an example to argue why not many chanty tunes are of African-American origin. Well, he might be right. The tune might be of an Irish character, say. Of course, my take on this is that to say African-American means to imply a culture that had already absorbed influences from English, Irish, etc. African-Americans' songs are not expected to have come from Africa (just as the language is a dialect of English); what is relevant is who was singing these melodies/songs during the time under question.


19 Apr 10 - 06:31 PM (#2890162)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Jim along Josey was written by Edward Harper in 1840 in a play called 'The Free Nigger of New York'. It was printed by early nineteenth century printers such as John Pitts of London. (Pitts died in 1844 so he must have printed it between 1840-44. The Pitts copy is on the Bodleian website, Harding B11 (1787).

It's an interesting point. Were the African Americans singing minstrel songs or were the minstrel writers basing their songs on what the slaves were singing? Probably both.

The sensational Jump Jim Crow was said to have been based on actual observation of an African American.


20 Apr 10 - 01:12 PM (#2890702)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thank you, Steve. That's useful information about "Jim Along."


20 Apr 10 - 01:30 PM (#2890714)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

MELBOURNE, AND THE CHINCHA ISLANDS, by George Washington Peck, 1854, has the following. It pertains to a trip in the ship PLYMOUTH ROCK from Boston to Melbourne (via Cape Horn) in early 1854. The passenger-narrator writes:

We experienced some very heavy weather in the South Pacific, and as the voyage lengthened, the tempers of many of our gold-hunters, most of whom had come from shops and farms, and had few resources for amusement, began to be sorely tried. To contribute my part to preserve them in order, I used to make catches out of sea-songs, and we got up a little glee club, whose performances were much admired. Almost every New Englander who has aught of a taste for music, has been to a " Singing School," and can read psalmody. But we had no psalm tunes for men's voices. To remedy this deficiency, I composed some for every Sunday, the last few weeks, which we sung to hymns appropriate to our situation. Annexed are some specimens of sea-songs, which may amuse our musical readers; the list might be extended indefinitely. What the first was manufactured out of, it is not easy to imagine. The second is a scrap of something familiar. Perhaps the third may be some Dutch melody. The last is the universal favorite. It goes to the words " Haul the bowline, the Black Star bowline, haul the bowline, the bowline HAUL!" The last word is only the cry in which all join, at the pull; the rest is sung by one alone.

He does not describe the working context; BOWLINE is being used for entertainment here. However, he does describe the form. Note that the chorus came only on the last word, not the entire last phrase ("haul the bowline, the bowline HAUL!") as is typically performed today. We can assume it was a sheet shanty. The melody is given, in major key. As for the other three melodies without words, I don't believe them to have been shanties.


20 Apr 10 - 07:05 PM (#2890952)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John M. writes:

////
And then a reference from Solomon Northup's TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, 1855, perhaps talking about events in 1853 or earlier. He mentions some fiddle tunes and "patting juba" songs, among which are "Old Hog Eye!" and "Jim Along, Josie."
////

Here is the passage.

One " set" off, another takes its place, he or she remaining longest on the floor receiving the most up roarious commendation, and so the dancing continues until broad daylight. It does not cease with the sound of the fiddle, but in that case they set up a music peculiar to themselves. This is called " patting," accompanied with one of those unmeaning songs, composed rather for its adaptation to a certain tune or measure, than for the purpose of expressing any distinct idea. The patting is performed by striking the hands on the knees, then striking the hands together, then striking the right shoulder with ona hand, the left with the other—all the while keeping timo with the feet, and singing, perhaps, this song.

" Harper's creek and roarin' ribber,
Thar, my clear, we'll live forebber;
Den we'll go to de Ingin nation,
All I want in dis creation,
Is pretty little wife and big plantation.

Chorus. Up dat oak and down dat ribber,
Two overseers and one little nigger"

Or, if these words are not adapted to the tune called for, it may be that " Old Hog Eye" is—a rather solemn and startling specimen of versification, not, however, to be appreciated unless heard at the South. It runneth as follows:

"Who's been here since I've been gone?
Pretty little gal wid a josey on.

Hog Eye!
Old Hog Eye,
And Hosey too!

Never see de like since I was bom,
Here come a little gal wid a josey on.

Hog Eye!
Old Hog Eye!
And Hosey too!"

Or, may be the following, perhaps, equally nonsenaical, but full of melody, nevertheless, as it flows from the negro's mouth :

"Ebo Dick and Jurdan's Jo,
Them two niggers stole my yo'

Chorus. Hop Jim along,
       Walk Jim along,
         Talk Jim along. &c.

Old black Dan, as black as tar,
He dam glad he was not dar.
    Hop Jim along," &c


It's not *quite* "Jim along Josey" as we know it. One could say that, whether the minstrel song was based in a slave song or whether it was original in 1840, it did also have a life by this time as a folk song among Blacks. I would reason that, since the form of this does not match that of the minstrel version, that a folk version existed before and alongside the minstrel version. That is somewhat dodgy reasoning, however.

Was a version "Hog Eye" also a minstrel song? The "typical" lyrics appear in minstrelsy, I know, being floating verses. But the chorus?


20 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM (#2890985)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In SEA DRIFT, Hercules Robinson (1858) recalls his days in the British Navy and serving during the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805. I don't find where it says when he first went to see. However, it is that time (i.e. 1805 or earlier) that he refers to when giving his "Sally Brown" song.

When I went to sea first, the bellowing of officers in carrying on duty was awful, and a strong voice was a gift greatly prized. Every officer giving orders used a speaking trumpet, and the men were not half restrained in the article of noise. They were not allowed to do their work with such a song as Dickens commemorates—
" Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh !
She won't have a Yankee sailor, oh!
Cos she loves the nigger tailor, oh!!"—[Da Capo.]

But short of this refrain there was a great latitude as to exclamation and noise. My Captain, the first, Sir Henry Blackwood, had a wonderful organ, and might be heard a mile off.


Well, so they were not allowed to sing in the British Navy. It is not clear whether this song was of that time period (i.e. on non-Navy ships) or if it came in later -- in time for Dickens to commemorate it. Was it this song that Dickens commemorated, or another, perhaps as in HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 1855-56, which has an out-of-context reference to "Drunken Sailor"?

In any case, though this has the name "Sally Brown," and its lyrical theme, its form is not of the stanzaic sort, with "roll and go" chorus, that we know of later. It looks more like a "Cheerly Man" form, which would be consistent with the earlier time period and Navy context, if so. It's not Maryat's "Sally Brown" of 1837, but it does appear like the iffy "common sailor's chant" sung on stage by Wallack in the 1820s. I'm going to file it as "circa 1805-1820s."


20 Apr 10 - 07:52 PM (#2890990)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Maybe someone else can identify the three other tunes printed by Peck.

I believe that No. 3 is the tune used by one or more of Carpenter's singers for "Victorio" or "Very Well Done, Jim Crow!"

The final bars of No. 1 seem to make up a chorus that scans like that of "Stormy Old Weather, Windy Old Weather."

No. 2 reminds me a little of the Scots song "Drumdelgie" and the Irish tune "O'Keefe's Slide."

I wouldn't discount their possible use in shanties.


20 Apr 10 - 10:05 PM (#2891049)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

For the last (at present) reference that might be attributed to the 1850s, I want to copy (with minor additions) John Minear's post from elsewhere on Mudcat.

////snip
Posted By: John Minear
31-Mar-10 - 07:45 AM
Thread Name: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?
Subject: RE: From SF to Sydney - 1853 Shanties Sung?

Here is a reference to the hauling/halyard chanty "Whiskey for Johnny!" being used to "pull round the yards" on board of the packet ship "Mary Bradford" on a cruise from London to New York, from the book THE REAL EXPERIENCES OF AN EMIGRANT [(Ward, Lock and Tyler)]:

       "The passengers assisted the sailors to pull round the yards - a work of great difficulty. It was done by a series of pulls - thus: one man took hold of the rope and stood on the spar of the bulwark, singing a few words of a song - I could not make them out - the others called out, "Whisky for Johnny!" and gave a simultaneous haul, when the yard came round an inch or two, and so they continued until the sail was sheeted home." (p. 39)

The frustrating thing about this reference is that there is no publication date that I can find for the book other than "187?". And like a lot of these accounts, the writer chooses to *not* give a date for his experience! I have yet to understand this, unless it is a way of covering up a fiction. It makes me suspicious right off. He says, "On Saturday, the --day of June, 18--, I embarked on board the "Mary Bradford," then lying in the basin of the London Docks, and bound for New York." (p. 5)

There certainly was a "Mary Bradford", and she was one of the "Swallow-Tail Line of Packet Ship", sailing every alternate Thursday from New York and London. Here is an advertisement from 1859:...

She was launched in October of 1854 at Warren, Rhode Island, and immediately sailed for Mobile....

And on July 5, 1855, she was struck by lightning at Battery Wharf in Boston!...

While it is a somewhat shaky guess, I would say that this reference to "Whiskey for Johnny!" *could* be located in the later 1850s. It seems to place it in the packet trade. However, this chanty has quite a reputation for being used on board the packet ships. It is strange that this is the only reference I have been able to find that really confirms that, so far. All of the other solid references to "Whiskey Johnny" are later.
////snip

As far as dating the event goes, that makes a lot of sense to me. Additionally, the narrator mentions meeting a survivor of the U.S. steamship CENTRAL AMERICA, which used to transport gold-seekers between NY and Panama, and which sank off North Carolina in Sept. 1857. Abolitionists are mentioned, but the Civil War is conspicuously absent. So between 1858-1860 sounds about right. OK?

My suspicion is that this is not the halyard chantey "Whiskey for Johnny." Because if they were pulling the yards around (tacking), they'd be hauling on braces, right? (Someone please adjust my shaky sailing knowledge.) It sounds like a sheet shnty or a "sing-out," where perhaps there was just a hard pull on "Johnny!" Thoughts?


22 Apr 10 - 12:15 AM (#2891821)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I had forgotten this source. It is James Hungerford's THE OLD PLANTATION (1859), which includes observations of slave songs the author heard whilst visiting a relative's plantation in southern Maryland in 1832.

First passage. The people are on a boat on a creek.

"This is getting dull," said the major, after the silence had lasted some minutes ; " Come, Charley, give us a song to enliven us a little."

In obedience to this order, Charley struck up a song; the other oarsmen answered in chorus, all timing the strokes of their oars to the measure. The song was not by any means enlivening, however, either in words or tune—as the reader will perceive. I have entitled it

SOLD OFF TO GEORGY [Chorus parts are in parentheses]

1. Farewell fellow servants, (O-ho! O-ho!)
I'm gwine way to leabe you (O-ho! O-ho!)
I'm gwine to leave de ole county (O-ho! O-ho!)
I'm sold off to Georgy! (O-ho! O-ho!)

2. Farewell, ole plantation, (Oho! Oho!)
   Farewell, de ole quarter, (Oho ! Oho!)
Un daddy, un mammy, (Oho! Oho !)
Un marster, un missus ! (Oho ! Oho!)

8. My dear wife un one chile, (Oho! Oho!)
My poor heart is breaking; (Oho ! Oho!)
No more shall I see you, (Oho ! Oho !)
Oh ! no more foreber! (Oho! Oho!)

The reader will observe that the lines of the song do not rhyme ; and it may be remarked that the negro songs—that is, such as they can compose themselves—are mostly without rhymes. When they do attempt to rhyme they frequently take more than the poetic license, being satisfied—when they can not do better—if the vowel-sounds at the ends of the lines agree.

The tone of voice in which this boat-song was sung was inexpressibly plaintive, and, bearing such a melancholy tune, and such affecting words, produced a very pathetic effect. I saw tears in the eyes of the young ladies, and could scarcely restrain my own. We heard but the three verses given (such songs are sometimes stretched out to many verses) ; for at the end of the third verse the major interrupted the song.

" Confound such lively music," he exclaimed; "it is making the girls cry, I do believe. And with such slow measure to sing to, we shall scarcely get into Weatherby's Creek tonight."
" De boat-songs is always dat way, marster," said Charley —" dat is mo' er less."
"Well, try to find something better than that," said the major; " I am sure that it is impossible for any thing to be more low-spirited in words, or tune, or manner of singing."
" Yas, marster," was Charley's answer. And the negroes sang another boat-song, but not so very sad as their first.
"Charley is right," said Miss Bettie, with a laugh; "the boat-songs are ' all that way, more or less.' I think that we had better have silence than such low-spirited music. Do you not think so, uncle?"
" Entirely," said the major. " The pathetic is well enough when there is need of stirring up our feelings of humanity, but I can see no use in creating mere low spirits."
" I like the music," said Lizzie ; " it is sometimes pleasant —if I may speak such a seeming paradox—to be made sad without any personal cause for being so. Such a state of feeling may be called ' the luxury of woe.' "
Miss Susan and I agreed with her. The negroes seemed pleased at our approval.


It looks like the 'marsters' got more than they bargained for when they requested a song!

It is printed with tune. It's in 6/8, in what you could call the major pentatonic scale (CDEGA). This gives some insight on what was being called "plaintive"! This shows that plaintive wasn't necessarily minor -- though the drop down to the sixth scale degree, presumably not characteristic of English music, lends a minor-ish touch. Blue notes may have been happening, or it may have just been something else in the "tone of voice." At least this resolves (for me) some of the disjuncture between the idea of "plaintive" and chanty melodies of today. That is, this melody is not unlike chanty melodies of today, so if this was what was being called "plaintive," then other references to "plaintive" could be to the same sort of idea.


22 Apr 10 - 12:43 AM (#2891830)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The second passage in Hungerford 1859 contains the famous "Round the Corn, Sally."


" Charley looks as if he would sing us another song," said Miss Bettie. " What is that lively little song, Charley, which I heard you and some of the hands sing the other day, when you were hanging tobacco at the barn ? I am sure that you can row to that."
" Sure unnuff, young misstis," answered Charley; " I had forgot dat. But dat's a corn song; un we'll hab ter sing it slow ter row to."
" Try it, at any rate," said the major.
" Sartinly, sah, ef de marsters un mistisses wants it."
Charley was evidently somewhat vexed at the disparaging
remarks made by the petitioners on his previous performance.
Nevertheless, there came a quiet smile to his face as he began
the following song:

ROUN' DE CORN, SALLY.

1. Hooray, hooray, ho!
Roun' de corn, Sally !
Hooray for all de lub- ly la-dies!
Roun' de corn, Sal - ly I
Hooray, hoo - ray, ho !
Roun' de corn, Sal - ly!
Hoo-ray for all de lub - ly la - dies!
Roun' de corn, Sal - ly!

Dis lub's er thing dat 's sure to hab you,
Roun' de corn, Sal - ly!
He hole you tight, when once he grab you,
Roun' de corn, Sal -ly!
Un ole un ug - ly, young un prit- ty,
Roun' do corn, Sal - ly!
You need- en try when once he git you,
Roun' de corn, Sal - ly !

2. Dere's Mr. Travers lub Miss Jinny;
He thinks she is us good us any.
He comes from church wid her er Sunday,
Un don't go back ter town till Monday.
                         Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

3. Dere's Mr. Lucas lub Miss Treser,
Un ebery thing he does ter please her;
Dey say dat 'way out in Ohio,
She's got er plenty uv de rhino.
                         Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

4. Dere's Marster Charley lub Miss Bettie;
   I tell you what—he thinks her pretty;
   Un den dey mean ter lib so lordly,
   All at de Monner House at Audley.
                      Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

5. Dere's Marster Wat, he lub Miss Susan;
He thinks she is de pick un choosin';
Un when dey gains de married station,
   He'll take her to de ole plantation.
                      Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

6. Dere's Marster Clarence lub Miss Lizzy;
   Dressing nice, it keeps him busy;
Un where she goes den he gallants her,
Er riding on his sorrel prancer.
                      Hooray, hooray, ho! etc.

This song caused much amusement at the expense of each one of us who in turn became the subject of satire. The hit at Lizzie and me was the hardest, as we were both present, and was, therefore, I suppose, introduced at the end. Several laughing efforts were made by the ladies to interrupt the singing, when the words began to have reference to those who were present; but the old major insisted on " having it out," as he expressed himself. The decided " effect" produced by his song completely re-established Charley's good-humor. The old major, being the only white person present who was spared, of course enjoyed the occasion immensely; his laughter rang loud and far through the clear air, and was echoed back from the banks of the creek.
"Those are not the words, Charley," said Miss Bettie, " that you sung to that tune the other day."
" No, miss," was the answer. " Marse Weatherby's little Sam was ober at Sin Joseph's tud-day, un larnt um ter me. He said Clotildy made um un larnt um ter him dis morning.''
"But why did she make that verse," I asked, "about my 'gallanting' Miss Lizzie, as she calls it? I never rode out with Miss Lizzie till this morning."
" Sam said," answered Charley, " dat he asked Clotildy ubbout dat, un she said you was er gwine ter do it."
" I say, young Audley," said the major, " you forget that the poet has a right to foreshadow coming events. I have a dim recollection of having read, somewhere that there was a time at least
             " 'When the name Of poet and of prophet was the same.' "


Topical, ha ha! A good illustration of the qualities described by other authors. The tune is also given here, in 4/4, major scale. The harmonic structure is such that a IV chord comes at or just before the cadence, given a "modal" quality. Although it's not *exactly* what's written here (no one expects it to be), one can get a vert good sense of this melody from this rendition by The Johnson Girls. Note that while they sing the whole "hooray" part as a chorus, in Hungerford's text, that part is structured as a call and response. And of course, the harmonizing is their addition.

We also learn from this that "corn songs" were faster than those for rowing.


22 Apr 10 - 09:00 AM (#2892015)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here are three more references to "Round the Corn, Sally" as a corn-shucking song. The first is from 1848:

http://books.google.com/books?id=PCpKAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA287&dq=%22Round+the+corn,+sally%22&lr=&cd=23#v=onepage&q=%22Round%20the%20cor

I'm not sure on the dating of this one, which was published in 1894, but surely it is earlier than that:

http://books.google.com/books?id=2ncAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA260&dq=Round+the+corn,+sally&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Round%20the%20corn%2C%20sally&f

And, from SLAVE SONGS OF THE UNITED STATES, by Allen, Ware and Garrison, published in 1867, a tune:

http://books.google.com/books?id=6frfZd0-1xkC&pg=PA68&dq=Round+the+corn,+sally&cd=4#v=onepage&q=Round%20the%20corn%2C%20sally&f=


22 Apr 10 - 10:32 AM (#2892067)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

See here (pp. 206-07) for a brief (and of course inconclusive) musicological discussion of "Round the Corn, Sally":

http://books.google.com/books?id=E2OQlWHzjvEC&pg=PA206&dq=%22Roun'+de+corn,+sally%22&lr=&cd=5#v=onepage&q=%22Roun'%20de%20corn%2C%20sally%22&f=false

I don't share the author's certainty that the shanty (with "corner" rather than "corn")"surely" came first.


22 Apr 10 - 12:49 PM (#2892149)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

OK! I've put those Round the Corn refs in my timeline, thanks.

The one published in 1894 is not authentic. It uses the same lyrics (polished up) as in Hungerford's 1832 account....lyrics which were composed specifically to address Hungerford's fellows at that time!


22 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM (#2892163)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, I appreciate your close and careful reading of the sources!


22 Apr 10 - 01:45 PM (#2892185)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Being more acqainted with chanties than slave songs I had not come across the 'Round the CORN songs' before. Whereas I do think that borrowing from one genre to another is often a two-way affair, in this case I think that 'round the corner' is more likely to derive from 'round the corn' than the reverse case.


22 Apr 10 - 03:06 PM (#2892234)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's my meagre attempt to sort out the chicken-or-egg of "Round the corn(er)," with the the evidence available to me *at present*.

I think it is unlikely that the two phrases (corn/corner) coincidentally developed independently. So, one comes from the other. Having assumed that...

If we were to have evidence of the phrase "round the corner Sally" being in use in other contexts (e.g. in England, outside of maritime context) --especially if *earlier* than any of these working contexts-- then that would strengthen the originality of "Round the Corner, Sally" (shipboard song).

As far as the working songs go in the emerging "timeline," the first instance of one or the other phrase is:

1832, Maryland -- Hungerford's documented corn-shucking song Round the CORN

Next, just a few years after, comes,

1834-1836, on the brig _Pilgrim_, "Round the CORNER, Sally"

Then in 1839, "Round the CORNER" turns up in Tahiti as a song learned from sailors. CORNER turns up again in the Society Islands in 1844.

It persisted as a corn-shucking song, as evidenced by mention in 1848, and inclusion of a unique (i.e. not derivative of earlier texts) version in Allen's SLAVE SONGS.

It seems certain that, unless "Round the Corner" had become a popular song --that is, one that was widely spread and known amongst "all" people --that it's flow was the result of movement of African-Americans. I say this because, for example, I have difficulty imagining that non-Black sailors would have brought the song to plantations.

There may well have been some intermediary context, like rowing or stevedoring, which link the plantations to the sea. But in any case, I have difficulty imagining that Blacks were not the agents for the transfer. (Someone please critique my logic.) So, one might propose that Blacks either brought it to the ships when they came as sailors, or, having served as sailors, brought it to the plantations. To me, the former sounds more likely, i.e. slave song > shipboard song.

However, in terms of language, it seems to me slightly more likely that CORNER > CORN once the corn-shucking context was introduced. On the other hand, what did "corner" mean at all to sailors if it was *not* "flash girls down the alley"? (I don't buy the "Cape Horn" idea, at least not for this time period.)

I have not really clarified anything, but I will try to state my "bottom line":

If the phrase, "Round the Corner Sallies" was well established in Anglo discourse early on, then I'd learn towards CORNER coming first. Otherwise, I lean towards the CORN song coming first. In the latter case, the language scenario would be the reverse of Van De Merwe's idea: confronted with "corn," which no longer made any sense when brought to a maritime context, sailors changed it to "corner."

All that being said...if the slave song did get adopted as a sailor song, that happened at quite an early date -- before the time of cultural exchange (e.g. the cotton-stowing) that gives us a burst of new shanty repertoire. From Hungerford's 1832 Maryland to Dana's mid 1830s Cape Horn trip, that is a big leap in few years. The exchange probably would have happened quite a bit earlier. Was this one of the really early exchanges --compare GROG TIME-- during a period when African-Americans were well represented as sailing ship crew? I am too uncomfortable, with the lack of evidence, to say more.


22 Apr 10 - 04:31 PM (#2892283)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

I am just about in complete agreement with your summary, Gibb, with a reservation on the linguistic side. Corn and corner are far too close to determine which one would lead to the other. One has only to emphasize the 'n' on corn a little too much, as can happen when singing, and you have corner. Alternatively word endings can drop very easily in slang lingo (Mas' Jones = Master Jones). The only thing I can add is, to me 'round the corner Sally' rolls off the tongue marginally better, but that doesn't help at all in determining which might have come first. A lingiuistics expert would have plenty to say on this. The strong 'S' on Sally diminishes the 'er' sound on corner to the extent that there is very little difference between the two phrases. Try it. However, if you miss off the Sally, the 'er' becomes much more emphasised. Well, in my Yorkshire accent it does.

Looking back through the thread we have 'Round the corner Sally' appearing in a minstrel song in 1843. The most likely source of minstrel song material is African American. If we assume 'corner' was being used by the slaves then this means they were using both 'corn' and 'corner' and the change happened there, or at least that both were in use on the American mainland before transferring to shipboard use. Or not!


22 Apr 10 - 05:01 PM (#2892301)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Some notes on the 1850s

I count about 13 *possibly* new chanties to appear in the 1850s. When I say "new," I mean new to the timeline of references; it is of course in possible to know if these songs were truly new to the world then. The more common hold-overs from the past decades are STORMALONG (in some form) and CHEERLY.

There are several references to shantying while pumping ship in the 1850s. This task was not mentioned in earlier decades.

Before the 1850s, I see only 3 direct references to using shanties for halyards. These shanties are CHEERLY, GROG TIME, and DRUNKEN SAILOR. In the 1850s, however, there is

CHEERLY x2
STORMY
WHISKEY JOHNNY
"Highland Day"


22 Apr 10 - 05:09 PM (#2892306)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Steve,

Sorry I was unclear about "linguistic." I was not thinking about pronunciation or ease of speech or anything like that. I was thinking of the meaning of the words. That "corn" is meaningful in in the corn-shucking context is obvious. But what would "corner" mean to sailors, if not as part of the phrase meaning "streetwalkers"? Well, "corn" would mean even less to sailors, which is why I thought they might re-interpret "corn" as "corner." That particular issue is not one of hearing/pronunciation as it is one of assigning a meaning that fits.

Thanks for mentioning Emmet's minstrel song of 1843. I missed it, because I don't have it in my timeline. I have been trying to resist exploring the trajectories of individual songs, because I think that is being done quite nicely in the "warp" of John M's thread. In focusing on the "weft" here --the nitty-gritty of how chanteying in general is described-- some of non-work-song references fall through the cracks!


22 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM (#2892320)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here is a sort of distilled "set list" for shanty repertoire known to have been sung *aboard sailing vessels* (also inclusive of the sailor songs that turn up on Pacific islands) up through 1859-ish. It is taking the focus away from the broad world of work-songs, for a moment, and only looking at the songs that made it aboard ships.

c.1800s-1820s

CHEERLY
"Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"
FIRE FIRE

1830s
"Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
"To the Greenland sea/ Black although she be"
"Heave, to the girls!"
"Nancy oh!"
"Jack Cross-tree,"
"Heave round hearty!"
"Captain gone ashore!"
"Time for us to go!"
ROUND THE CORNER
"Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
CHEERLY
HIGHLAND LADDIE
SALLY BROWN
BOTTLE O
TALLY

1840s

GROG TIME
DRUNKEN SAILOR
"Heave her away"
"O! hurrah my hearties O!"
CHEERLY
"O ee roll & go"
"Heave him up! O he yo!"
ROUND THE CORNER
"Ho, O, heave O"
TALLY
ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN
HUNDRED YEARS
STORMY

1850s

"Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
"When first we went a-waggoning"
CHEERLY
STORMY
BOWLINE
SANTIANA
BULLEY IN ALLEY
"Miranda Lee"
STORMALONG JOHN
MR. STORMALONG
SHENANDOAH
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY
WHISKEY JOHNNY
"Whisky for Johnny!"
MONEY DOWN
ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN
"Highland day and off she goes"
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND

John, I'd be interested to hear how this squares with what you have come up with so far in terms of chanties that could have been sung aboard the JULIA ANN, 1853-55.


In the whole timeline, CHEERLY comes up 8 times, all in shipboard contexts. STORMY --in some form (I still need to sort out the tags, to distinguish different versions)-- turns up 7 times in that context. These are the two most common shanties.


22 Apr 10 - 07:18 PM (#2892379)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In the novel BLAKE; OR THE HUTS OF AMERICA, the first, relevant parts of which appeared in a periodical in 1859, M.R. Delany includes the following in reference to a riverboat on the Upper Mississippi:

...the boated glided steadily up the stream, seemingly in unison with the lively though rude and sorrowful song of the black firemen:

I'm a-goin' to Texas--O! O-O-O!
I'm a-goin' to Texas--O! O-O-O!


Looks like it could be a variation of the SAILOR FIREMAN.


22 Apr 10 - 07:34 PM (#2892385)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, here is what we have found *so far* over on the "San Franciso to Sydney" thread. First of all there are songs that were given with lyrics and occasionally a tune, or with clear enough titles that we can identify them with known chanties today:

"Across the Briny (Western) Ocean"
"Aha, We're Bound Away, On The Wild Missouri"
"A Hundred Years Ago"
"All On The Plains Of Mexico"
"Bottle O"
"Bully in the Alley"
"Cheerily Men"
"Drunken Sailor"
"Fire Down Below"
"A Grog Time Of Day"
"Haul The Bowline"
"Hieland Laddie"
"Mary Ann"
"Mobile Bay" / "Johnny, Come Tell Us As We Haul Away"
"Nancy Fanana"
"One More Day For Johnny"
"Outward And Homeward Bound"
"Paddy Works On The Railway"
"Pay me the money down"
"Round The Corner, Sally"
"Row, Bullies, Row"
"Sally Brown"
"Stormalong"
"Whiskey Johnny"

Here is an additional list of songs identified as sung on board ship. Some even have lyrics. None had tunes, and to my knowledge have not been *clearly* identified with chanties known today:

"Captain gone ashore"
"Dandy ship and a dandy crew"
"Fire Maringo"
"Haul way, yeo ho, boys!"
"Heave round hearty!"
"Heave, to the the girls!"
"Heigho, heave and go"
"Highland day and off she goes"
"Ho, O, heave O"/ "Row, Billy, row"
"Hurrah! Hurrah! my hearty bullies"
"O, Hurrah, My Hearties, O"
"Jack Crosstree"
"Nancy oh!"
"Pull away now, my Nancy O!"
"Roll and go for that white pitcher, roll and go"
"Tally hi o you know"
"Time for us to go"
"Yankee Dollar"

And in comparison with your list I see I missed a few:

"Miranda Lee"
"To the Greenland sea/ Black although she be"
"When first we went a-waggoning" (this can be identified with other         known versions.)

Your listing is a more precise than mine, for example, noting the different versions of "Stormalong". And in some cases our titles may be different. My "Yankee Dollar" is your "MONEY DOWN". Basically, we agree!


22 Apr 10 - 07:34 PM (#2892386)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I forget these, in the above set list, for the 1850s:

MOBILE BAY
FIRE FIRE
ONE MORE DAY


22 Apr 10 - 07:45 PM (#2892398)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

MONEY DOWN refers to Pay Me The Money Down. I don't have "Yankee Dollar" on *this* particular list, because here I am ignoring songs that were not for sailing tasks.

The title we choose, of course, are fairly arbitrary.

To distinguish the two "Fire Down Below"s, I call the "fire on the foretop/fetch a bucket of water" one as FIRE FIRE. The steamboat one I have as SAILOR FIREMAN.

I really do have to sort out my system for "Stormalong" variants. That is not yet firm; I need to refer to Hugill.

We might speculate that "Nancy oh!" and "Pull away now, my Nancy O!" were the same song, though we've both logged them separately.


22 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM (#2892444)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

All in all, it's still a pretty meagre set list for the repertoire of a chanteyman, now isn't it?

If I count the songs on my list that I would consider to be known to us today (=collected by individuals), the number comes to only some 25 chanties. One could subtract one, GROG TIME, from that because it has not come down to us today. And although I don't personally include MARINGO in that count, it is relevant to note that it was never cited as being used over deep water and it may have disappeared after the 1850s.

CHEERLY is interesting too, because it lasted so long ...and yet nowadays we don't know it (=know it to be able to perform it) very well. I will be interested to see for how long it continues to show up, and what the musical notations are like, in later years. My sense as of now is that the oral tradition of how to sing CHEERLY may have been broken.

Perhaps around 10 in the list qualify as what we'd now call double-pull halyard shanties.

I'm still waiting for the chantey EXPLOSION! Well, if Alden's "30 years ago" were more definite in refering to the 1850s, perhaps we'd have seen one.

This takes us up to the Civil War/Between the States, basically, a period after which the creation of new shanties is supposed to have gone down. Let's see!


22 Apr 10 - 10:24 PM (#2892483)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

With the 1860's we have a peculiar problem that I have not figured out how to solve. A good number of the folks who show up in the later published collections started going to sea in the early to late 1860's. For instance, Captain John Robinson went to sea in 1859. He's got quite a developed list of chanties in his BELLMAN collection. Whall went to sea in 1861. He was only at sea for eleven years and he has quite a collection. Richard Maitland, who gave so many songs to Doerflinger, went to sea in 1869. Harding, in Hugill, probably went to sea in the late 1860's. Some of the singers in the Carpenter Collection were at sea in the 1860's. I don't know about Sharp's informants, but they were old fellows, too. And there is Joanna Colcord's father, and Hugill's father as well, along with some of Hugill's other shipmates and informants.

The problem is that their songs were "collected" much later in their lives. We don't know when they learned them. We don't know whether they come from the late 1850's or the 1880's. All I have been able to say is that they *could* have been learned as early as the '60's.

The only collections that come to my mind that I have been able to date to the sixties *to my satisfaction* are the ones from Adams in ON BOARD THE ROCKET, which I think can be dated to 1868, and the anonymous article in ONCE A WEEK, "On Shanties," also from 1868.

I'll be interested to see what we can turn up otherwise.


23 Apr 10 - 12:31 AM (#2892523)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I had this interesting piece in my bookmarked folder for the 1860s...but it turns out it refers to 29 March, 1843. "Corn-shucking in South Carolina--From the Letters of a Traveller" (in Cyclopaedia of American literature, by E. A. and G. L. Duyckinck, 1866).

More "wild" and "plaintive" stuff. :) John comes, not down to Hilo or the holler, but to the "hollow." Note the suspicious phrase, "round the corner." And another "Going away to Georgia" -- reminds of "Shallow Brown."

"Jenny gone away" reappears. And what of "Dan Dan..."?

The light-wood-fire was made, and the negroes dropped in from the neighboring plantations, singing as they came. The driver of the plantation, a colored man, brought out baskets of corn in the husk, and piled it in a heap; and the negroes began to strip the husks from the ears, singing with great glee as they worked, keeping time to the music, and now and then throwing in a joke and an extravagant burst of laughter. The songs were generally of a comic character; but one of them was set to a singularly wild and plaintive air, which some of our musicians would do well to reduce to notation. These are the words:

Johnny come down de hollow.
             Oh hollow!
Johnny come down de hollow.
             Oh hollow !
De nigger-trader got me.
             Oh hollow!
De speculator bought me.
             Oh hollow !
I'm sold for silver dollars,
             Oh hollow !
Boys, go catch the pony.
             Oh hollow!
Bring him round the corner.
             Oh hollow!
I'm goln' away to Georgia.
             Oh hollow!
Boys, good-by forever!
             Oh hollow!

The song of " Jenny gone away," was also given, and another, called the monkey-song, probably of African origin, in which the principal singer personated a monkey, with all sorts of odd gesticulations, and the other negroes bore part in the chorus, "Dan, dan, who's the dandy?" One of the songs, commonly sung on these occasions, represents the various animals of the woods as belonging to some profession or trade. For example—

De cooter is de boatman—

The cooter is the terrapin, and a very expert boatman he is.

De cooter Is de boatman.
    John John Crow.
De red-bird de soger.
    John John Crow.
De mocking-bird de lawyer.
    John John Crow.
De alligator sawyer
    John John Crow.

The alligator's back is furnished with a toothed ridge, like the edge of a saw, which explains the last line.


LINK


23 Apr 10 - 12:52 AM (#2892529)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Next is from a sort of preview to Allen's SLAVE SONGS. It comes in The Pennsylvania freedmen's bulletin, 1865. The song is "I'm Gwine to Alabamy", and it's called a "Mississippi River Boat Song." Further, it is noted that it is, "A very good specimen, so far as notes can give one, of the strange barbaric songs that one hears upon the Western steamboats."

The tunes is given, in G (natural) minor.

I'm Gwine to Alabamy
    Ohh....
For to see my mammy
    Ahh....


etc. Lyrics at the link below.

LINK


23 Apr 10 - 01:05 AM (#2892531)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

More steamboatin'.

From McBRIDE'S MAGAZINE, VOL. 2, Dec. 1868. It is an article called "Songs of the Slave."

For many years the steamboats on Western and Southern rivers were, almost without exception, manned by crews of negro slaves. Even after white labor began to encroach upon the occupation of the "deck-hand" and "roustabout," the vocation of " fireman " was peculiarly the negro's. He basked in an atmosphere insupportable to whites, and delighted in the alternation of very hard labor and absolute idleness. It was not uncommon for large steamers to carry a crew of forty or fifty negro hands, and it was inevitable that these should soon have their songs and peculiar customs. Nine-tenths of the " river songs" (to give them a name) have the same refrain, and nearly all were constructed of single lines, separated by a barbarous and unmeaning chorus. The leader would mount the capstan as the steamer left or entered port, and affect to sing the solo part from a scrap of newspaper, " the full strength of the company" joining in the chorus. The effect was ludicrous, for no imagination was expended on the composition. Such songs were sung only for the howl that was their chief feature. A glance at the following will abundantly satisfy the reader with this department of negro music:

STEAMBOAT SONG [with music]

What boat is that my darling honey?
    Oh, oh ho, ho ay yah yah-ah!
She is the "River Ruler"; yes my honey!
    Ah a... yah a...ah!

Occasionally some stirring incident of steamboat achievement, as the great race between the " Shotwell" and the " Eclipse," would wake the Ethiopian muse and inspire special paeans. But as a general rule the steamboat songs were tiresomely similar to the one just given.


23 Apr 10 - 01:36 AM (#2892535)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Probably referring to observations from the 1850s, in SOCIAL RELATIONS IN OUR SOUTHERN STATES (1860), D.R. Hundley writes:

No matter where they may be or what they may be doing, indeed, whether alone or in crowds, at work or at play, ploughing through the steaming maize in the sultry heats of June, or bared to the waist and with deft hand mowing down the yellow grain, or trudging homeward in the dusky twilight after the day's work is done—always and every where they are singing and happy, happy in being free from all mental cares or troubles, and singing heartily and naturally as the birds sing, which toil not nor do spin. Their songs are usually wild and indescribable, seeming to be mere snatches of song rather than any long continuous effort, but with an often recurring chorus, in which all join with a depth and clearness of lungs truly wonderfuL No man can listen to them, be his ear ever so cultivated, particularly to their corn-husking songs, when the night is still and the singers some distance off, without being very pleasantly entertained. But the wildest and most striking negro song we think we ever listened to, we heard while on board an Alabama river steamboat. We were steaming up from Mobile on a lovely day in the early winter, and came in sight of Montgomery just as the heavens were all a-glow with the last crimson splendors of the setting sun, and while the still shadows of evening seemed already to be stealing with noiseless tread along the hollows in the steep riverbanks, creeping slowly thence with invisible footsteps over the placid surface of the stream itself. A lovelier day or a more bewitching hour could not well be imagined. As we began to near the wharf, the negro boatmen collected in a squad on the bow of the boat, and one dusky fellow, twirling his wool hat above his head, took the lead in singing, improvising as he sang, all except the chorus, in which the whole crew joined with enthusiasm. And O Madame Jenny Goldschmidt, and Mademoiselle Piccolomini! we defy you both to produce, with the aid of many orchestras, a more soulstirring strain of melody than did those simple Africans then and there ! The scene is all before us now—the purple-tinted clouds overhead—the dim shadows treading noiselessly in the distance—the gleaming dome of the State Capitol and the church-spires of Montgomery —the almost perfect stillness of the hour, broken only by the puff, puff of the engine and the wild music of the dusky boatmen—and above all, the plump, well-defined outlines of some sable Sally, who stood on the highest red cliff near the landing-place, and, with joy in her heart and a tear in her eye no doubt, (we hadn't any opera-glass with us,) waved a flaming bandanna with every demonstration of rejoicing at the return of her dusky lover, whom we took to be our sooty improvisatore, from the glow which mantled his honest countenance, and the fervor with which he twirled his old wool hat in response to the fair one's signal.

LINK


23 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM (#2892804)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

re: McBRIDE'S MAGAZINE, VOL. "Songs of the Slave."

For many years the steamboats on Western and Southern rivers were, almost without exception, manned by crews of negro slaves.

OK, that helps us with ideas of borrowing/exchange. Here we could call the boatmen's music as essentially "Black music," no?

the alternation of very hard labor and absolute idleness.

Sounds like a sailing ship!

Nine-tenths of the " river songs" (to give them a name) have the same refrain, and nearly all were constructed of single lines, separated by a barbarous and unmeaning chorus....as a general rule the steamboat songs were tiresomely similar to the one just given.

Hence all the "O! O! O!" we've been seeing. While I have tagged several of the past song-texts seen as SAILOR FIREMAN, it may be that they just share a very *similar* refrain.

The leader would mount the capstan as the steamer left or entered port,

Capstan shanty!

and affect to sing the solo part from a scrap of newspaper, "the full strength of the company" joining in the chorus. The effect was ludicrous, for no imagination was expended on the composition. Such songs were sung only for the howl that was their chief feature.

That old "extempore" quality. And cf. Hugill's notes on the chorus of "Blackball Line," for example. He talks about the variability of that sort of "howling" chorus.

I understand better, from this, the earlier reference to the steamboat leaving the dock, and the singing connected with it by the many hands.


23 Apr 10 - 11:53 AM (#2892815)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

re: SOCIAL RELATIONS IN OUR SOUTHERN STATES.

Their songs are usually wild and indescribable, seeming to be mere snatches of song rather than any long continuous effort, but with an often recurring chorus, in which all join with a depth and clearness of lungs truly wonderful.

OK, this description is now typical. But if shanties were by then well known...and if shanties share some of the qualities just described...I wonder why these songs of African-Americans are still being described in such terms of otherness. It may just be that landsmen weren't familiar with chanties, either.

the wildest and most striking negro song we think we ever listened to, we heard while on board an Alabama river steamboat. We were steaming up from Mobile on a lovely day in the early winter, and came in sight of Montgomery...

The connection from inland, down to Mobile Bay.

As we began to near the wharf, the negro boatmen collected in a squad on the bow of the boat, and one dusky fellow, twirling his wool hat above his head, took the lead in singing, improvising as he sang, all except the chorus, in which the whole crew joined with enthusiasm.

I'm intrigued by this sort of parting song/singing that happens each time.


23 Apr 10 - 12:16 PM (#2892833)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Continuing the steamboat adventures... HARPER'S Vol. 41, 1970, in an account by George Ward Nichols called "Down the Mississippi". He is going down river from St. Louis to New Orleans.

It describes another "parting" scene, with more details.

At the hour appointed the lines were cast loose, and we backed easily out from among the crowd of steamers which lay at the levee... At the bow of the boat were gathered the negro deck-hands, who were singing a parting song. A most picturesque group they formed, and worthy the graphic pencil of Johnson or Gerome. The leader, a stalwart negro, stood upon the capstan shouting the solo part of the song, the words of which I could not make out, although I drew very near; but they were answered by his companions in stentorian tones at first, and then, as the refrain of the song fell into the lower part of the register, the response was changed into a sad chant in mournful minor key.

Standing on the capstan! There is an illustration, too. Scroll down one page at this LINK


23 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM (#2892848)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

Re 'Sharp's Informants' as queried above, John Short (Yankee Jack) of Watchet went to deep-sea at 18 yrs of age in 1857 - He says he learnt Cheer'ly Man & Stormalong (come along, get along, Stormey Along John) on his first trip - he retired from deep-sea work about 1875.

His repertoire as collected by Sharp/Terry was: Mr. Tapscott (Can't You Dance The Polka): Hundred Years on the Eastern Shore (A Hundred Years Ago): The Blackball Line: Poor Old Man (O Johnny Come To Hilo): Ranzo (Poor Old Reuben Ranzo): Lowlands (Dollar and a half a day): One More Day: The Dead Horse (Poor Old Man): Heave Away My Johnny (We're All Bound To Go): Homeward Bound (Goodbye, Fare Thee Well): Blow Boys Blow (Banks of Sacramento): Haul Away The Morning Dew: Amsterdam (A-roving): Shanadore (Shenandoah): Paddy Works on the Railway: Old Stormey (Mister Stormalong): Santy Anna (on the Plains of Mexico): Blow Boys Come Blow Together (Blow, Me Bully Boys, Blow): Haul Away Joe: (Run, Let the) Bulgine Run: Cheerly Men: Tom's Gone To Ilo: Carry Him to the Burying Ground (General Taylor): Good Morning Ladies All: I Wish I Was With Nancy: Whisky Is My Johnny: Rio Grande: Whip Jamboree: The Hog eyed Man: The Saucy Rosabella: Knock A Man Down (Blow the Man Down): Huckleberry Hunting (Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray): Stormalong John: Tommy's Gone: Rowler Bowler: Bully In The Alley: So Early in the Morning (The Sailor Likes His Bottle O): Boney Was A Warrior: Hanging Johnny: Johnnie Bowker: Times Are Hard & The Wages Low (Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her): Paddy Doyle: Fire! Fire! (Fire Down Below): Haul On The Bowline:   Handy My Girls (So Handy): Liza Lee (Yankee John Stormalong): Roll And Go (Sally Brown): Do Let Me Go: Shallow Brown: He Back, She Back (Old Moke): Round the Corner Sally: The Bully Boat (Ranzo Ray): Lucy Long: The Bull John Run (Eliza Lee): Would You Go My Way: Billy Riley: Sing Fare You Well:

What we have realised, while recording the repertoire, is that many of his versions seem closely akin to stevedore (Mobile?) chants rather than to the later, more shantified versions, generally given by Hugill.

Interesting! - great thread.

TomB


23 Apr 10 - 01:08 PM (#2892851)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

There is a work of fiction, THE ARK OF ELM ISLAND by Elijah Kellogg (1869), which nonetheless can give a sense of what work-singing was like prior to that time. And because the songs he cites can be traced to songs we know today, there is good reason to consider them to represent actual songs with which the author was familiar (save for, perhaps, incidental verse-section lyrics). According to the scholarship of Charlie Ipcar, Kellogg, born in Portland ME, went to sea roughly between 1828 and 1835. That he maintained a connection with the seafaring world is evidenced by him becoming pastor for the Mariner's Church in Boston from 1854-1866. He could have learned the chanties in his story at any time up to its publication date, one supposes.

With this disclaimer in place, I am warning that I will be treating the text as containing valid references to what went on in chantey-singing prior to 1869. Note, however, that the author still does not refer to the songs as "chanties."

We have already spoken of the natural disposition of the negro to sing when at work. Their songs have no merits of composition, being the merest trash. Neither does the negro think it necessary that they should rhyme, — they may or may not, — or that there should be the same number of feet. He will have the time correct, as he will leave out or prolong words at pleasure, with the most sovereign contempt, both of sense and tho king's English.

Continually amazed how these authors, in one breath, can trash the songs but also say they are wonderfully "plaintive," etc.

Songs of labor seem to meet a universal necessity, and supply a common want. They are in use to lighten labor, from the boatmen among the loch of Scotland to the seamen of the tropics, and ac. complish this by securing unity of action.

Suppose eight men undertook to hoist a weight which it required all their strength to raise. If each pulled separately, it would bo just the same as though only one man was pulling at the weight. No matter how many of them were pulling, it would never be raised; but the song unites all their efforts, and the more accurately they observe the time of the song, and connect their efforts with it, the lighter the labor, and the greater the economy of strength. The song also renders labor pleasurable, for there is a love of it in human nature, and, by furnishing regular periods for breathing, renders labor less fatiguing.
How much more tiresome it is to pull a boat with muffled oars, because you miss the click of the oar in the rowlocks! Who could thresh all day if the flails did not make a noise as they strike the grain? The cooper beats out a tune as he drives the hoop. What weariness comes over the soldier on a march when the music stops! and how instantly his muscles are braced when it strikes up!


A general statement on work-songs.

The songs of the negro seamen generally refer to their labor—hoisting or stowing molasses, or screwing cotton, which is severe labor, where unity of effort is of the first importance; and here the negro's accurate ear renders them most effective, and they will accomplish more, with less fatigue to themselves, than white men. No matter how many of them are on a rope, their pull tallies precisely with the time of the song, and they will put in the queerest quirks and quavers, but all in time. Perhaps there may be one negro in a million who has no idea of time. If such a one gets hold of the rope, and makes a false pull, it affects them as much as a false note would a well-drilled choir. They will instantly hustle him out, crying,—

" Get away, you waw, waw nigger! You dunno how to pull!"


The preceding underscores my argument that chanties of this period were a sort of new technology -- perhaps a newer method of working that was "imported" from the practices among African-Americans. Also mentioned are the "quirks and quavers" that Hugill would later ascribe to sailors' singing generally and Black singers especially. It continues...

These songs produce the most singular effect upon the negroes, insomuch that they seem hardly conscious of fatigue, even while exerting themselves to the utmost. Wages have been paid to a negro for merely singing when a large cargo of molasses was to be discharged in a hurry, the extra labor which he excited the rest to perform being considered as more than an equivalent for his wages, while it prevented a rival from obtaining his services.

Paid just for singing, indeed. An anecdote follows.

A singular illustration of this was given many years ago in Portland, Maine. Eight negroes were hoisting molasses, one very hot day, aboard the brig William. They were having a lively time. Old Craig, a distinguished singer, was opening his mouth like an old-fashioned fallback chaise. A negro, — an agent for the Colonization Society, — very black, dressed in white linen trousers and coat, Marseilles vest, ruffle-bosomed shirt, nice beaver on his head, with a bundle of papers in his hand, came down the wharf, and went into a merchant's counting-room to collect a subscription. As he came out, his ear caught the tune.

He instantly came on board the vessel and listened. He grew nervous, imitated the motions of those at the tackle, and, by and by, off went the linen coat, the hat and papers were laid aside, he rushed among the rest, and, clutching the rope, like a maniac, began to haul, and sing,—

"Eberybody he lub someting;
Hoojun, John a hoojun.
Song he set de heart a beating;
Hoojun, John a hoojun."

When reeking with perspiration, he stopped: the white pants, vest, and ruffled bosom were spoiled. As he went up the wharf, casting many a rueful glance at his dress, Old Craig, looking after him, exclaimed,—
" No use put fine clothes on de 'possum! What bred in de bone, dat come out in de meat."


The stevedores' song can only be what Hugill called "Hooker John." It's my personal opinion --open to lots of debate-- that the "hooker" neé "hoojun" referred to a "hoosier," a stevedore or something of that sort.

The leader sings the principal part of the song (often composing it as he goes along), while the others sing the chorus.

When the winch was introduced to discharge vessels, these songs in the northern seaports ceased, the negroes disappeared, and Irishmen took their places, the negroes refusing to work with a winch, because that kind of labor did not admit of singing.


While this work of fiction is set in the late 18th century (!), the author seems to be referring to something that actually happened more recently. The beginning of the end of chanteying?

The clank of the pawls on the ship's windlass was now heard.
" Man the windlass!" was the order.
"Slip, slap!" cried Seth. This is a sailor phrase for heaving the windlass around at one motion instead of two, as is generally practised, and as was done on board the ship.
The ship possessed the advantage at the outset of being ahead of the Ark; but, as the crew of the latter weighed their anchor in half the time, the two vessels were now abreast.
" Massa Mate," said Flour, taking that officer aside, " if you want dese niggers to show you de time o' day, jes' praise 'em, and let 'em hab de music. Black man he lub song; song make him throw hisself, tear hisself all to pieces."
The English sailors now began to sing.
"Stop that!" said the captain. "None of that noise here."
" Now, boys," said the mate, patting Isaiah on the shoulder, " give us a shout that'll raise the dead."


Without the context, the above will make little sense, but I include it to show the notions being put for -- that being that the English sailors of whatever time period is being evoked (!) were alleged to frown upon chanteying, whereas the Americans, with their Black crew to assist, were allegedly more practical, and by accepting the practice of chanteying, they gain advantage.

ISAIAH'S SONG.

" Wind blow from de mountain cool,
      O, stow me long.
Mudder send me to de school;
      Stow me long, stow me.
Den I stow myself away,
      O, stow me long.
Way, way to de Isle ob May;
      Stow me long, stow me.
Go ashore to see de town,
      O, stow me long.
Hear de music, walk aroun';
      Stow me long, stow me.
Dere I hear Miss Dinah sing,
         O, stow me long.
Washin' linen at de spring.
Double Chorus. —Ha-a, stow me long,
Stow me long, stow me.

Straight I lub Miss Dinah Gray,
      O, stow me long.
Dinah lub me, so she say;
      Stow me long, stow me.
Get her necklace, get her ring,
      O, stow me long.
Happy nigger, shout and sing;
    Stow me long, stow me.
Wind a blowin' fresh and free,
      O, stow me long.
Vessel ready for de sea;
      Stow me long, stow me.
See de tear in Dinah's eye,
         O, stow me long.
Berry sorry see her cry.
Double Chorus. — Ha-a, stow me long
      Stow me long, stow me.

Tink ob Dinah ebery day,
      O, stow me long.
Wishin' ob de time away;
      Stow me long, stow me.
Buy her gown, buy her fan,
      O, stow me long.
Dinah lub anudder man;
      Stow me long, stow me.
Wish I hadn't been a fool,
       O, stow me long.
Neber run away from school.
Double Chorus. — Ha-a, stow me long,
Stow me long, stow me."

At intervals they would unite in one universal shout on the double chorus. Then Isaiah, bringing the flat of his foot down to advertise them of what was coming, came out on the word " ha-a" with a guttural so purely African, that the negroes would jump from the deck.


STORMY, at the windlass. It's tempting to speculate whether "Stormy" was originally a mishearing of "stow me" (i.e. stowing cotton). However, the earlier texts we've seen are consistent with "stormy".

But it was most amusing to watch the effect of the song upon Flour, who was plucking some chickens at the galley for a stew. His body swayed back and forth, and he pulled out the feathers to the time of the tune, tearing the skin in all directions...
At length he could contain himself no longer, and, having put his chicken in the pot, rushed among his black friends, and gave vent to his emotions in song.

FLOUR'S SONG.

" De blue-bird robbed de cherry-bird's nest,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
He robbed her nest, and brake her rest,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
Cherry-bird chirp, and cherry-bird cry,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
Cherry-bird mourn, cherry-bird die,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
De black cat eat de blue-bird now,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
He catch him sittin' on de bough,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
He nip his head, he tear his breast,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
Pay him for de cherry-bird's nest,
      Hilo, boys, a hilo.
De gard'ner shoot de ole black cat,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
Den rJat make it tit for tat,
       Hilo, boys, a bilo.
De gard'ner pull him down de tree,
       Hilo, boys, a hilo.
Den dat square de yards, you see,
    Hilo, boys, a hilo."


HILO BOYS.

continued...


23 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM (#2892855)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

continued...

Bathed in perspiration, smoking like race horses, and wild with excitement, they struck up a still quicker tune, intermingling with the words most singular yells and quavers.
"That's the time of day, my lads!" shouted the mate, catching hold of the warp, and joining in the chorus, completely carried away by the common impulse. " That's a bully song!" he cried; " you are worth your weight in gold."

The negroes instantly manifested their appreciation of the compliment by exclaiming, —
" Gib it to her, hand ober hand! Isaiah, dat tell de story dat make de chile cry!"

"HAND OBER HAND" SONG.

"Cuffee stole my bacca,
   Hand ober hand, O.
      Scratch him,
   Hand ober hand, O.
Put it in his pocket,
   Hand ober hand, O.
    Kick him,
   Hand ober hand, O.
Now he's gwine to smoke ii,
   Hand ober hand, O.
    Bite him,
Hand ober hand, O."

The excitement now mastered Captain Rhines and his friend, who both added their efforts. By reason of so much additional strength, the Ark went ahead faster than they could gather in the slack.

" Walk away with it, my boys," said the captain; and, taking the warp on their shoulders, they walked along the deck, still keeping step to the song.

WALKING SONG.

" Take de line, an' walk away,
    Ho-o; ho, ho, ho.
Gwine to leabe you; cannot stay,
    Fire down below.
Gwine to leabe you, Johnny Bull,
    Ho-o; ho, ho, ho.
'Cause yer dunno how ter pull,
    Fire down below.
Like as do dis Yankee crew,
    Ho-o; ho, ho, ho.
Warpin' ob de ballahoo,
    Fire down below."


The last song, being used as a walk-away, is none other than the steamboat song, SAILOR FIREMAN.


23 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM (#2892869)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Later on in THE ARK OF ELM ISLAND, there is an exchange that includes shanties.

"Why can't we have a song?" said John. " Charlie is a first-rate singer; he can read music; and Isaac can sing, too. He's been three winters to singing-school; and I and Fred can sing the chorus."
" I don't know any song," said Charlie. " All I can remember is, —

" 'Was ever you in Aberdeen,
Bonny laddie, Highland laddie,
To see the duke in his Highland green,
My bonny Highland laddie ?'"


HIGHLAND LADDIE. Incidentally, in all the references to this song, I don't think we've yet seen the Scots form "hieland." Though that was presumably the "original," perhaps it was that ~American~ chantey singers simply said "highland," and that "hieland" is a later affectation (or a form used by northern British sailors, of course).

"I can learn you Flour's cherry-bird song," [i.e. HILO BOYS] said Isaac. They sat down on the hen-coop, and Isaac repeated the song till Charlie had it by heart. He then hummed over the tune till Charlie got that, and sung one verse.
"That's it," said Isaac; "that's the time. Now let's make believe get under way. John, go up and loose the main-topgallant sail. I'll get a snatch-block, so that one can take in the slack, and we'll have a song, and hoist it up."

Fred took in the slack, and they soon made Elm Island ring with, —

" Hilo, boys, a hilo."

" If you don't look out, Ben," said Joe, " these boys will heave the anchor up, or cut the cable, and run away with your brig. They have got the topgallant sails and royals hoisted up and sheeted home already."


So while earlier HILO BOYS occurred while the windlass was being operated, here they imply it is for halyards.

Boys never know when to stop when they once get excited ; for what one can't think of another can.
"Let us loose the main-topsail," cried John, "then we can have a longer song. This is too short a hoist."
" We can't furl it," said Charlie. " Ben will furl it for us."
" We can't hoist it — can't begin to."
" Yes, we can," said Isaac; " for we can take it to the capstan."
"O, that will be bully! I know a capstan song."

" 'Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes;
Chorus. — O, my poor sailor-boy, heave and she goes.'"

Sounds like a very old-fashioned capstan song.


23 Apr 10 - 02:02 PM (#2892875)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

TomB, I really appreciate that information on John Short. Can we assume that he learned all of his songs while he was at sea, between 1857 and 1875? And do we have dates when Sharp actually took down his songs? I assume that happened before the 1915 publication of Sharp's collection. There's a forty year period between the end of Short's sea-going days and the Sharp's publication. Is it possible that Short might have picked up some of his songs after his retirement from the sea?

What I'm getting at is this. If we actually knew that he learned all of these songs before 1875, we have a clear historical marker for the development of these chanties. This would go with Whall's dates of 1861-1872 for being at sea. The same questions apply to Whall. Did he learn all of his songs between 1861 and 1872? The next collection would be *some* of Harlowe's chanties in 1877. Using the period of 1872-1877 for a marker, we actually have documentation for a substantial number of chanties in use by that point. If we could pin down Maitland and Robinson to a cut off point, this would reinforce our position on this.

I realize that 1875 is not as early as some of us would like, but as a clear and concrete historical marker, I think that it's important.


23 Apr 10 - 02:07 PM (#2892877)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

TomB --

That's great info! I'm going to be bold and "file" Cheer'ly Man & Stormalong under "c.1857-58," based on Short's account.

John M--

Thanks for that lay-out of the issue of dating that comes up in this time. The dates of when these individuals sailed, recorded by you, Lighter, Charley, TomB, Snuffy, and others, is very useful info to have at hand.

What I am going to suggest is focusing on the category of what you have called "Published mention" (i.e. as opposed to collections), and stuff that can definitively be ascribed to the 1860s, first, as a matter of practicality. The collectors' experiences, which span decades, can be retro-fitted later.


23 Apr 10 - 02:18 PM (#2892887)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

John,
Short first went to sea at the age of 9 with his father on coastal work - Bristol channel, Barry Island, Gloucester Docks - and even down to Charlestown in Cornwall. However, he told Sharp (all the collecting was done in 1914 - and Sharp published, including the shanties collected in last session in September, before the end of the year!) that the first shanties he learnt were on that first deep-water trip in 1857.

After he retired from deep-sea work he worked again in the coastal trade until 1904 (according to his last references).

As we know he was a 'professional' shantyman (not just a casual sailor who remembered a few) I am of the opinion that he aquired all his shanties during those deep-sea years.

(Incidentally, the Short, Sharp Shanties project should be ready to issue the (3) CDs in early 2011, but we've already started a list of people who said they want the set. So if anyine wants to pm me with an e-mail address we'll add you to it).

TomB


23 Apr 10 - 02:31 PM (#2892895)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I forgot -- one last passage in THE ARK

The voice of Isaiah came shrill and clear over the water, singing at the studding-sail halyards, —

''De cap'n's a driver, de mate is a driver,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Drive her through de water, O, why don't you drive her?
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
De foam at our fore-foot, rolling white as de snow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We sail o'er de ocean, and we sing Johnny Crow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We're saucy to fight, we're nimble to fly,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Like de fish in de sea, like de bird in de sky,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
For de Stars and de Stripes we hab fought wid de foe,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
Now de fighting is ober, we will sing Johnny Crow,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
De fair wind he blowing, nebber cloud in de sky,
    John, John Crow is a dandy, O.
We sheet home de royal, and we bid you good by,
John, John Crow is a dandy, O."


While we are not familiar with this as a chanty nowadays (at least *I* am not), possible relatives turn up in the reference from "Corn-shucking in South Carolina--From the Letters of a Traveller", 1843, above. It includes a song with the chorus, "John John Crow," and names another as "Dan, dan, who's the dandy?"


24 Apr 10 - 01:26 AM (#2893233)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

George Edward Clark, in SEVEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE (1867) mentions several windlass chanties. The text takes us up to mid 1866, so the seven years (if continuous) must have started around 1859 -- or earlier (if not continuous).

Clark's second voyage, at around 15-16 years of age, took place c.1859-60 or earlier. It was in the barque GUIDE, from Boston to Zanzibar.

Down the rigging they leaped, and to the windlass brakes. Then as they felt the old emotion, that they were at every stroke of the brakes slowly parting their last hold on Yankee land, they broke forth in a chanting that made the sleepy crews of the numberless coasters turn out in quick time. " O, Riley, O," " Whiskey for my Johnny," and the loud toned " Storm along, my Rosa," woke the echoes far and near.

c. 1860-61, Clark sailed in a clipper ship from Bombay to NY.

When leaving Bombay:

The men sprung to duty; the anchor was lifted from its slimy bed, the men singing "Rolling River" and "Cheerily she goes;" the fluke of the anchor was out of water; the sails run up and sheeted home, and with a famous wind, the ship, with flying colors, left her berth.

Arriving NY:

The anchor came to the bow with the chanty of "Oh, Riley, Oh," and "Carry me Long," and the tug walked us toward the wharf at Brooklyn.


24 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM (#2893522)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lastly, from Clark, 2 more windlass chanties are mentioned:

In c.1865-1866, Clark was on the NASON, a fishing schooner (I assume?) out of Provincetown, sailing off the Grand Banks.

"Every man sprang to duty. The cheerful chanty was roared out, and heard above the howl of the gale. The cable held very hard, and when it surged over, the windlass sent the men flying about the deck, as if a galvanic battery had been applied to their hands. The vessel's head was often buried in the solid seas, and the men, soaked and sweating, yelled out hoarsely, " Paddy on the Railway," and " We 're Homeward Bound," while they tugged at the brakes, and wound the long, hard cable in, inch by inch."

Note that he uses the word "chanty."

That word is used elsewhere in the text -- in other contexts.

Here he is referring to stevedores, in Zanzibar:

A chanty gang was engaged to hoist out the cargo, and one of them in trying to steal hard bread, finding the bull-dog upon him, jumped overboard and swam safely ashore.......
The chanty men wanted biscuit, and waited to receive them.


So, "chanty men" and "chanty gang" had become a general term for stevedores.

In c.1866, is is about to leave St. Jago, Cuba. He notes at one point,

The Cubans have no real, go-ahead enterprise. The whites never perform any labor, but leave it to the slaves and coolies who do it all.

He is to leave on a Yankee schooner...

...when the sugar began to roll in, the crew found I was at the head of the rope, and a "chanty man." We rolled the sugar upon the stages, over the bows, and at every hogshead I gave them a different song. We worked hard all day, and generally had time at night to go ashore.

Clark, aka "Yankee Ned," was very familiar with chanties, then, and even refers to himself indirectly as a "chanty man" -- in this case, meaning someone who can lead chanties. He does put the phrase in quotes here, suggesting that maybe (though he doesn't define it for the readers) wants to mark it off as a particular usage.


24 Apr 10 - 02:19 PM (#2893536)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In GARRET VAN HORN (1863), J.S. Sauzade refers to the use of "Sally Brown."

As the ship SPLENDID leaves New York, bound for China...

I began my sailor duty by heaving away at the windlass to the tune of " Sally Brown, the bright mulatter."

This sea voyage happens before the narrator become a soldier, in which he was shipped to the Kabyle War in Algeria, mid 1857. So Sauzade implies that "Sally Brown" was sung before then...but since it is fiction, we can only date the mention to the copyright date, 1862.


24 Apr 10 - 02:39 PM (#2893545)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This comes courtesy of Lighter on March 10, 2010.

FIFTY-THREE YEARS MISSIONARY TO INDIA (1904)

On board the ship SUSAN HINKS, from Boston to Calcutta, 1862, Rev. Otis Robinson Bachelor ran a printing press. The contents of one published edition of his shipboard "newspaper" is described as follows.

In it we find good "Sunday Reading" and some amusing things; among which are " A Song for Raising Topsails," "Song on Sailing," "Song for the Halliards," and "Capstan Song." We copy as a specimen the "Capstan Song,"'with the editor's explanation that "as the motion is continuous, round and round the capstan, the object being to keep step, one or more may sing the melody and all join in the chorus: —

CAPSTAN SONG.

General Taylor gained the day,
    Hurrah Santa Anna!
General Taylor gained the day
    All on the plains of Mexico.

He gained the day at Monterey,
    Hurrah Santa Anna!
He gained the day at Monterey,
    All on the plains of Mexico.

Santa Anna ran away,
    Hurrah Santa Anna!
He ran away from Monterey,
    All on the plains of Mexico.

General Jackson's at New Orleans,
    Hurrah Santa Anna!
General Jackson's at New Orleans,
    All on the plains of Mexico.

'Twas there he gave the British beans,
    Hurrah Santa Anna!
'Twas there he gave the British beans,
    All on the plains of Mexico.


Although we have an earlier mention to the song "All on the Plains of Mexico" (1856), this is the first full text. Notably, General Taylor is gaining the day -- the ahistorical bit about de Santa Ana gaining the day (I think Hugill tried to explain it by saying that Britishers were in favour of the Mexicans) didn't necessarily come until later!


24 Apr 10 - 08:14 PM (#2893715)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Horace P. Beck gives a number of 20th Century shanties from "the West Indies" in his "Folklore of the Sea" (1973). Some are clearly versions of old standbys, others are unfamiliar, at least to me.

See my addition to the "Rosabella" thread for a now familiar example.


24 Apr 10 - 08:32 PM (#2893726)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Just wanted to log in this early African-American rowing song I found (discussed in the 'Sydney" thread).

From "The London Literary Gazette," Oct. 23, 1819. Setting, I presume is Maryland or Virginia. Rowing is referred to generally. The lyric is:

"Going away to Georgia, ho, heave, O!
Massa sell poor negro, ho, heave, O!
Leave poor wife and children, ho, heave, O!"

Compare to the "Sold off to Georgy" rowing song found in Hungerford, above.


24 Apr 10 - 08:49 PM (#2893733)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The above excerpt actually appeared originally in James Kirke Paulding's LETTERS FROM THE SOUTH (1817) and was heard in the summer of 1816. I believe that makes it the 2nd earliest published mention of such a text that I have. The earliest I have is Lambert 1810 (up thread), which has, lo and behold:

" We are going down to Georgia, boys,
CH: Aye, aye,

To see the pretty girls, boys ;
CH: Yoe, yoe.

We'll give 'em a pint of brandy, boys,
CH: Aye, aye.

And a hearty kiss besides, boys.
CH:Yoe, yoe.    "

I believe that makes 3 reference to a similar rowing, so I am going to give it a tag, AWAY TO GEORGIA.


25 Apr 10 - 01:47 AM (#2893831)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

For logging purposes of the 1860s.... Allen's SLAVE SONGS (1867) has a song called "Shock Along, John." "A corn-song, of which only the burden is remembered." He gives a full melody, which is in call-response-call-response form. However, he only has words to the refrain:

"Shock along John, shock along" (both times)

The structure of the tune, in a major key, is exactly like most halyard chanties.

Could this be related to "Stormalong"? "Shock" suggests "shuck," was meant, since after all it is a corn-shucking song. [Is it possible that Allen didn't know the word "shuck"--he'd have called it husking?] It is attributed to Maryland.

The rhythm of the verse phrase fits the poetic meter of "Stormy he is dead and gone."


25 Apr 10 - 02:15 AM (#2893836)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

To continue the log, I'd like to quote Lighter, on 10 March.

////
Probably the earliest full text of "Shenandoah," from The Riverside Magazine for Young People (Apr., 1868), p. 185:

"Man the capstan bars! Old Dave is our 'chanty-man.' Tune up, David!
                              
O, Shannydore**, I long to hear you!               
Chorus.-- Away, you rollin' river!                                                               
O, Shannydore, I long to hear you!
Full Chorus.--Ah ha! I'm bound awAY
On the wild Atlantic!
                                                   
Oh, a Yankee ship came down the river:…
And who do you think was skipper of her?…

Oh, Jim-along-Joe was skipper of her:…
Oh, Jim-along-Joe was skipper of her!…

An' what do you think she had for cargo?…
She had rum and sugar, an' monkeys' liver!…

Then seven year I courted Sally:
An' seven more I could not get her….

Because I was a tarry sailor,--
For I loved rum, an' chewed terbaccy:…

Especially good because it shows the "early" existence of some now familiar verses, the combination of "Shenandoah" with "Sally Brown," and the previously unreported combination with "Blow, Boys, Blow"!

The anonymous author says he (or she) learned this and a couple of other shanties on a recent Atlantic voyage.

.....

As I walked out one mornin',
                Down by the Clarence Dock,--
       Chorus. Heave away, my Johnny, heave away!
       'Twas there I met an Irish girl,
                Conversin' with Tapscott.
       Full chorus. An' away, my Johnny boy, we're all bound to go!

       "Good mornin' to yer, Taspcott;
                Good mornin', sir," she said….
       An' Tapscott he was that perlite
                He smiled an' bowed his head….

       "Oh, have yer got a ship," she said,--
                "A sailin' ship," said she,--
       "To carry me, and Dadda here,
                Across the ragin' sea?"

       "Oh yes, I got a packet ship,
                Her name's the Henry Clay,"--
       "She's layin' down to the Waterloo Dock,
                Bound to Amerikay."

       Then I took out my han'kerchief
                An' wiped away a tear,--
       And the lass was that she said to me, [sic]
                So, fare ye well, my dear!

       Some times I'm bound to Africay
                Some times I'm bound to France,--
       But now I'm bound to Liverpool
                To give them girls a chance."
////

I like how "Heave Away" mentions "Henry Clay." That name will turn up again in another version of "Heave Away."


25 Apr 10 - 09:36 AM (#2893969)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is another reference to "going to Georgia", which introduces the "Jenny gone away" song as well. The line is

"Oh! my massa told me, there's no grass in Georgia."

"Upon inquiring the meaning of which, I was told it was supposed to be the lamentation of a slave from one of the more northerly states, Virginia or Carolina, where the labor of hoeing the weeds, or grass as they call it, is not nearly so severe as here, in the rice and cotton lands of Georgia. Another very pretty and pathethic tune began with words that seemed to promise something sentimental -

    "Fare you well, and good-by, oh, oh!
    I'm goin' away to leave you, oh, oh!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=WaFiAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA128&dq=Jenny+gone+away&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Jenny%20gone%20away&f=false


25 Apr 10 - 09:44 AM (#2893972)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

The last post was from JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE ON A GEORGIAN PLANTATION, by Fanny Kemble, 1863, here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=w34FAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=journal+of+a+residence+on+a+georgian+plantation&cd=1#v=onep


25 Apr 10 - 10:05 AM (#2893979)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is "Jenny gone away" at a corn-shucking, from 1843, in THE FAMILY MAGAZINE, from an article entitled "Visit to a Negro Cabin" "(Extract from a Journal, kept by a Gentleman, who travelled through Virginia some years since.)".   

"Oh, Jenny gone to New-town,
   Chorus: Oh, Jenny gone away!
She went because she wouldn't stay,
   Oh, Jenny gone away!
She run'd away, an' I know why,
   Oh, Jenny gone away!
For she went a'ter Jone's Bob.
   Oh, Jenny! &c.
Mr. Norton, good ole man,
   Oh! &c.
Treats his niggers mighty well.
   Oh! &c.
Young Tim Barnet no great thing....
Never say, come take a dram....
Master gi's us plenty meat,...
Mighty apt to fo'git de drink....

http://books.google.com/books?id=cYAAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA244&dq=Jenny+gone+away&cd=6#v=onepage&q=Jenny%20gone%20away&f=false


25 Apr 10 - 01:07 PM (#2894032)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

I think this is a reference from 1858 to "Hilo, Boys, Hilo". It is found in A CUBAN EXPEDITION, by J.H. Bloomfield, published in 1896.

http://books.google.com/books?id=WlhUsSH4QeUC&pg=PA282&dq=%22Hilo,+Boys,+Hilo%22&cd=6#v=onepage&q=%22Hilo%2C%20Boys%2C%20Hilo%22

The reference to the "execution of Colonel Crittenden in Havana", found on page 1 of Bloomfield's "Introduction" is documented here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=IropAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA140&dq=shooting+of+Colonel+Crittenden+in+Havana&cd=1#v=onepage&q=shooting%20o

Bloomfield says that his expedition set sail for Cuba seven years after this event, which would be 1858. A rather complete song is given by Bloomfield.


25 Apr 10 - 01:24 PM (#2894044)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Dunno why we didn't see this one earlier! Well, it is not a work-song context, so here it is supplementary to the discussion of the origins of individual song strains.

John Dixon Long, PICTURES OF SLAVERY IN CHURCH AND STATE, 1857. An abolitionist text. Long (b. 1817) grew up and spent most of his life in Maryland, and his father was a slave-holder, so his experiences probably come from there. Exact time unknown, as he is speaking in generalities about the song.

The songs of a slave are word-pictures of every thing he sees, or hears, or feels. The tunes once fixed in his memory, words descriptive of any and every thing are applied to them, as occasion requires. Here is a specimen, combining the sarcastic and the pathetic. Imagine a colored man seated on the front part of an ox-cart, in an old field, unobserved by any white man, and in a clear loud voice, ringing out these words, which wake up sad thoughts in the minds of his fellowslaves :

" William Rino sold Henry Silvers;
            Hilo! Hilo!
Sold him to de Gorgy trader;
            Hilo! Hilo!
His wife she cried, and children bawled,
            Hilo ! Hilo !
Sold him to de Gorgy trader;
          Hilo! Hilo!


25 Apr 10 - 02:40 PM (#2894086)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Bit by bit, I am going to break out references to shanties in RC Adams' ON BOARD THE ROCKET (1879). It probably refers to the late 1860s.

While the main vessel is the barque ROCKET -- aboard which we might assume Adams learned most of the chanties he discusses later on-- there is also the ship DUBLIN. Adams sailed in the Dublin from Boston, via Richmond, VA, to the Mediterranean. Here is what happened when that ship was leaving Boston. Adams was third mate. The crew members were all Black men.

The ship was bound to Richmond, Virginia, in ballast, there to load a cargo of tobacco for the Mediterranean. In the forenoon, a negro crew of fourteen men and two boys came on board. They were mostly fine "strapping" fellows, with bright eyes and shining " ivories," and as we proceeded down the bay they made the decks ring with their songs ; the maintopsail going to the mast-head to the tune of "Come down you bunch o' roses, come down," and the foretopsail halyards answering to the strong pulls following the sentiment:

"Sally Brown's a bright Mulatto,
She drinks ruin and chews tobacco."


So, BUNCH OF ROSES and SALLY BROWN at tops'l halyards.

Once arriving in Genoa, the Dublin was unloaded.

Every morning they were waked up by the song of the crew, as they commenced at five o'clock in the morning to hoist out the tobacco, for it is not customary in port to " turn to " until six, and all day long such choruses as "Walk along my Sally Brown," and "Hoist her up from down below," rang over the harbor, with all the force that a dozen hearty negroes could give them. When the " shanty man " became hoarse, another relieved him, and thus the song and work went along,...

I presume the hoisting of cargo was a similar maneuver to halyards. WALKALONG SALLY and what could be a number of different songs, "Hoist her up from down below," are here.


25 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM (#2894091)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, I think this link can date the "Rocket" materials to 1868.

http://books.google.com/books?id=JVosAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA9-PA7&dq=%22Capt.+Robert+C.+Adams%22&lr=&cd=20#v=onepage&q=%22Rocket%22&f=tru


25 Apr 10 - 02:59 PM (#2894098)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams has an extended exposition on "Sailors' Songs." Many have musical score to go with them, however, they are rhymically unsound.

He distinguishes entertainment and work songs. Interestingly, though he uses the term "shantyman" several times, only once does he refer to a song as a "shanty." It is curious that, in the following layout, he does not refer to "shanties".

Sailors' songs may be divided into two classes. First, are the sentimental songs sung in the forecastle, or on the deck in the leisure hours of the dog-watch, when the crew assemble around the fore-hatch to indulge in yarns and music. Dibdin's songs, which the orthodox sailor of the last half century was supposed to adhere to as closely as the Scotch Presbyterian to his Psalter, are falling into disuse, and the negro melodies and the popular shore songs of the day are now most frequently heard. The second class of songs is used at work, and they form so interesting a feature of life at sea, that a sketch of that life would be incomplete without some allusion to them. These working songs may be divided into three sets :...

First he discusses sheet shanties:

First, those used where a few strong pulls are needed, as in boarding a tack, hauling aft a sheet, or tautening a weather-brace. "Haul the Bowline," is a favorite for this purpose. The shantyman, as the solo singer is called, standing up "beforehand," as high above the rest of the crew as he can reach, sings with as many quirks, variations and quavers as his ingenuity and ability can attempt, "Haul the bow-line, Kitty is my darling;" then all hands join in the chorus, " Haul the bowline, the bowline haul" shouting the last word with great energy and suiting action to it by a combined pull, which must once be witnessed by one who desires an exemplification of " a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether." This seldom fails to make the ropes " come home."

Haul the bow-line, Kit-ty is my dar-ling;
- Chorus: Haul the bow-line, the bow-line haul.

Then the song is repeated with a slight change in words, "Haul the bow-line, the clipper ship's a rolling," &c., and next time perhaps, " Haul the bow-line, our bully mate is growling."


In contrast to one of the earlier references to BOWLINE (up-thread), here it is clear that the crew sings the entire last phrase, not just the last word.

Adams digresses to speak to the duties and methods of a shantyman. This is the passage in which he uses the word "shanty":

Great latitude is allowed in the words and the shantyman exercises his own discretion. If he be a man of little comprehension or versatility, he will say the same words over and over, but if he possesses some wit, he will insert a phrase alluding to some peculiarity of the ship, or event of the time, which will cause mouths to open wider and eyes to roll gleefully, while a lively pull follows that rouses the sheet home and elicits the mate's order "Belay!" A good shantyman is highly prized, both by officers and crew. His leadership saves many a dry pull, and his vocal effort is believed to secure so much physical force, that he is sometimes allowed to spare his own exertions and reserve all his energies for the inspiriting shanty.


25 Apr 10 - 03:08 PM (#2894105)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John, that's excellent, and I had seen that earlier. Your discovery of that, along with Lighter's observation that it would have to be after the Civil War, are what led me to say late 1860s. The reason I don't yet want to say 1868 specifically is because that note is for the Rocket's voyage to Sumatra. Adams sails in the Dublin prior to that, so the Dublin reference may apply to "1865-1868." And Adams continues to sail after the Sumatra voyage. His discussion of shanties is general, and must be a composite of his experiences over several years. I I figured "circa late 1860s" would be safer (?)


25 Apr 10 - 03:31 PM (#2894115)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams, cont.

He gives two more sheet shanties:

Another common song is--

HAUL AWAY, JOE

Way, haul away; O, haul away, my Rosey.
Chorus: Way, haul away; O, haul away, Joe.

And another--

JOHNNY BOKER

Oh do, my Johnny Boker, come rock and roll me over,
Chorus: Do, my Johnny Boker, do.

In both of these, the emphasis and the pull come at the last word of the chorus : " Joe " and " do," as they end the strain, put a severe strain on the rope.


HAUL AWAY JOE is in Mixolydian mode. He uses a shorter rhythmic value on "Joe" -- emphasizing the sharpness of it, I think. Also, there is a fermata over it, implying that one does sing verse after verse in continuous meter, rather one pauses to regroup between verses. In other words, it's not a Clancy Brothers jig!


25 Apr 10 - 07:01 PM (#2894250)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams, cont.

He next goes on to describe halyard chanties:

In the second set of working songs, I would place those that are used in long hoists, or where so large a number of pulls is required that more frequent exertion must be used, than is called for by the first set, lest too much time be occupied. The topsail halyards call most frequently for these songs. One of the most universal, and to my ear the most musical of the songs, is " Reuben Ranzo." A good shantyman, who with fitting pathos recounts the sorrows of " poor Reuben " never fails to send the topsail to the masthead at quick notice, nor to create a passing interest in the listener to the touching melody: —

Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo,
    Ranzo, boys, Ranzol
Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo,
    Ranzo, boys, Ranzol

Oh, Reuben was no sailor,
       Chorus, and repeat with chorus. 

He shipped on board of a whaler,
                   Chorus, &c.

He could not do his duty,
                   Chorus, &c. 

The captain was a bad man,
                   Chorus, &c. 

He put him in the rigging,
                   Chorus, &c.

He gave him six and thirty,
                   Chorus, &c.

Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo.
                   Chorus, &c.

In this song the pulls are given at the first word " Ranzo" in the chorus, sometimes at its next occurrence in addition.


It's nice that he adds in the pulls. Also, he adds the detail that this could be a sing- or double-pull.

Of all the heroines of deck song Sally Brown's name is most frequently uttered, and a lively pull always attends it. She figures in several of these songs; one has as its chorus "Shantyman and Sally Brown." But it is used more frequently, I think, in connection with the song: —

BLOW, MY BULLY BOYS, BLOW.

Oh, Sally Brown's a bright mulatto;
    Blow, boys, blow!
Oh, she drinks rum and chews tobacco,
    Blow, my bully boys, blow!

Oh, Sally Brown's a Creole lady,
             Chorus, and repeat with chorus. 

Oh, Sally Brown, I long to see you,
             Chorus, &c. 

Oh, Sally Brown, I'll ne'er deceive you.
             Chorus, &c.

It will be noticed that neither rhyme nor sentiment has much place in these songs. Each line is usually repeated twice, even if there be a rhyme impending, for the shantyman's stock must be carefully husbanded.


"Shantyman and Sally Brown" is a chorus I've not heard of elsewhere. Perhaps it is a natural variation of "spend my money on Sally Brown," in which case he is referring to the "usual" SALLY BROWN ("roll and go") to contrast it with BLOW BOYS BLOW.

Adams includes BONEY among the long-drag shanties. I would say that he is presenting it as a single-pull halyard shanty. (In contrast to a sheet shanty, the pull does not come at the very end.):

A favorite and frequently used song, in which Bonaparte's fortunes are portrayed in a manner startling to the historian, as well as to those who may have the fortune to hear it sung at any time, is: —

JOHN FRANCOIS (*"pronounced Frans-war").

Oh, Bo -ney was a war -rior,
    A-way, hey way!
Oh, Bo - ney was a war - rior,
    John Fran-cois.

Oh, Boney went to Roo-shy,
                  Chorus. 

Oh, Boney went to Proo-shy,
                  Chorus.

He crossed the Rocky Mountains,
                  Chorus.

He made a mistake at Waterloo,
                  Chorus. 

He died at Saint Helena.
                  Chorus.


25 Apr 10 - 07:14 PM (#2894258)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams, cont.

Where Tommy actually proceeded to when he went "a high low" nobody knows, but the fact is related with continual gusto nevertheless: —

TOMMY'S GONE, A HIGH LOW

My Tommy's gone and I'll go too;
    Hurrah, you high low.
For without Tommy I can't do.
    My Tommy's gone a high low.
My Tommy's gone on the Eastern Shore,
                   Chorus. 

My Tommy's gone to Baltimore,
                   Chorus.

A person who knows a little of geography can send Tommy around the world according to his own discretion.


The emphases/pulls are missing in the original.
Our recent discussion of "Hilo" underscores that that phrase was *probably* not a place to go to (cf. speculations about Peru, Hawai'i). Whether it originally meant something is unknown, but it did come to be a common nonsense-syllable (?) chorus in slave songs. This may be another case of lost-in-translation. The "going places" theme of the lyrics influenced the later process of making the chorus a propositional statement, "Tommy's gone to 'Hilo'."


25 Apr 10 - 07:23 PM (#2894265)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Curiously, Adams has SHENANDOAH as a halyard chanty. The pull on the second refrain is in an interesting place, too -- one might expect more pulls on that refrain, or the pull to come on "away" and "Missouri".

One of the best illustrations of the absolute nothingness that characterizes the words of these songs, is given by the utterances attending the melody called " Shanadore," which probably means Shenandoah, a river in Virginia. I often have heard such confusing statements as the following:—

Shannadore's a rolling river,
      Hurrah, you rolling river.
Oh, Shannadore's a rolling river.
      Ah hah, I'm bound away o'er the wild Missouri.

Shanadore's a packet sailor,
               Chorus. 

Shanadore's a bright mulatto,
                Chorus. 

Shanadore I long to hear you.
                Chorus,

and so the song goes on, according to the ingenuity of the impromptu composer.


"Absolute nothingness"? Well, much is incidental, but I would not call it nothingness! The verses here show more overlap with "Sally Brown."


25 Apr 10 - 07:33 PM (#2894269)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Sailors are not total abstainers as a rule, and one would suspect that a song like "Whiskey Johnny " might find frequent utterance: —

WHISKEY JOHNNY.

Whiskey is the life of man,
    Whiskey Johnny.
We'll drink our whiskey when we can,
    Whiskey for my Johnny.

I drink whiskey, and my wife drinks gin,
                      Chorus. 

And the way she drinks it is a sin.
                      Chorus.

I and my wife cannot agree,
                      Chorus.

For she drinks whiskey in her tea.
                      Chorus.

I had a girl, her name was Lize,
                      Chorus. 

And she put whiskey in her pies.
                      Chorus.
Whiskey's gone and I'll go too,
                     Chorus.
For without whiskey I can't do.
                      Chorus.

Another popular song is:--

KNOCK A MAN DOWN.

I wish I was in Mobile Bay.
    Way, hey, knock a man down.
A-rolling cotton night and day.
    This is the time to knock a man down.

The words already quoted will enable a person to sing this and neariy all the songs of this set. He can wish he was in every known port in the world, to whose name he can find a rhyme. If New Orleans was selected, he would add, "Where Jackson gave the British beans." At " Boston city," his desire would be, "a-walking with my lovely Kitty." At " New York town," he would be, "a-walking Broadway up and down," or at Liverpool he would finish his education, "a-going to a Yankee school."


I am really enjoying the total fluidity / interchangeability of lyrical themes that Adams' chanties exemplify.


25 Apr 10 - 07:47 PM (#2894272)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams goes on to describe the next category, heaving shanties -- he groups pumps, capstan and windlass without distinguishing. I'd caution against, however, assuming that RIO GRANDE might be used equally for pumps and windlass, in addition to capstan just because he doesn't say it wasn't.
He notes also that many of the halyard chanties might also be used for those tasks.

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.


PADDY, COME WORK ON THE RAILWAY

In eighteen hundred and sixty-three,
I came across the stormy sea.
My dung'ree breeches I put on
Chorus: To work upon the railway, the rail - way,
To work up-on the rail - way.
Oh, poor Paddy come work on the railway.

Many other songs might be named, some of which, peculiar to the Liverpool packets, are of a rowdy nature.


Hmm, I wonder what those "rowdy" songs were.


25 Apr 10 - 08:20 PM (#2894285)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Adams finally polishes up his discussion with a statement on sing-outs.

In addition to these songs are the unnameable and unearthly howls and yells that characterize the true sailor, which are only acquired by years of sea service. There is the continuous running solo of " way-hey he, ho, ya," &c., &c , accompanying the hand-over-hand hoisting of jibs and staysails. Then for short " swigs " at the halyards, we have such utterances as " hey lee, ho lip, or yu," the emphasis and pull coming on the italicized syllables on which the voice is raised a tone. Then comes the more measured "singing out," for the long and regular pulls at the "braces." Each sailor has his own " howl" peculiar to himself, but fortunately only one performs at a time on the same rope. The effect, however, when all hands are on deck at a time, and a dozen ropes are pulled on at once, is most suggestive of Babel. One learns to recognize the sailors' method of singing: when lying in his berth in the cabin he can tell what man is leading and by the measure of his cadence can judge what class of ropes is being pulled. He thus can often divine the changes of wind and weather without going on deck. The wakeful captain with nerves harrassed by contrary winds will recognize the hauling in of the weather braces by the cry, and with only this evidence of a fair wind will drop off into the slumber he so greatly needs. At other times he will be impelled to go on deck by the evidence that the outcries betoken the hauling of clew-lines and buntlines at the approach of a threatening squall. By attention to these and other sounds, and the motions of the vessel, an experienced mariner knows the condition of affairs above deck without personal inspection.

So, there are three styles of singing-out:

1) hand over hand style for jibs and stays'ls
2) shorts swigs at halyards (i.e. sweating-up)
3) Long pulls at the braces.

I especially appreciate Adams' indication of the emphases. Hugill does not make that clear. After reading this closely, I am doubting some of what I thought I understood from Hugill. General disappointment that Hugill could not have been more organized and descriptive in presenting sing-outs, and that we don't have recordings, etc to support a better understanding of what they were like!


25 Apr 10 - 09:47 PM (#2894320)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The last of 2 sources to be considered for the 1860s (that I have) is the anonymously written (probably by W.L. Alden) article, "On Shanties," in ONCE A WEEK, 1 Aug, 1868. Though it would seem to be one of the earliest articles devoted to the subject, it was preceded by at least 2 that came in 1858. There are some correspondences between those articles and Alden's and I would not be surprised to find that he had referenced them.

The author's beginning statements acknowledge the duties and methods (i.e. improv) of the shantyman. S/he gives lyrics to CHEERLY, but does not assign its task.

At the capstan, on the topsail-halliards, in port and at sea, in calm and in storm, the ropes run smoother, the anchor comes quicker, when twenty strong voices sing,—

Pull together, cheerily men, 

'Gainst wind and weather, cheerily men. 

For one another, cheerily men, O, 
   
Cheerily men, O, cheerily men.

Truly, as I once heard an old skipper remark, a good shanty is the best bar in the capstan ; but it is impossible to give an adequate idea of them by merely quoting the words : the charm all lies in the air : indeed, few of them have any set form of words, except in the chorus ; thus the inventive as well as the vocal powers of the singer are taxed—yet the shantyman has to extemporise as he sings to keep up his prestige,—the captain, officers, the weather, the passengers, and the peculiarities of his mates, furnish him with matter.


Types of shanties. First, capstan (STORMALONG [sans lyrics], GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL, SACRAMENTO, RIO GRANDE, PADDY LAY BACK, SANTIANA, "Good morning ladies all," "Nancy Bell," "Sally in the Alley," "And England's blue forever"?, LOWLANDS AWAY, "Oceanida," "Johnny's gone," BLACKBALL LINE, and SLAPANDERGOSHEKA). Funny that s/he includes these ALL under the category of capstan, without parsing out other heaving tasks.

Shanties are of two kinds, those sung at the capstan, and those sung when hauling on the ropes ; in the former the meter is longer, and they are generally of the pathetic class. To those who have heard it at sea, what can be more sad or touching than the air of or

To Liverpool docks we'll bid adieu,
Good-bye, fare you well ; 

To lovely Poll, and pretty Sue ;
Hurrah, brave boys, we're outward bound.

More stirring is the following :—

Blow, boys, blow, for California, O, 

There's plenty of gold in the land, I'm told, 
   
On the banks of Sacramento.

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.

Oh, Santa Anna gained the day,
Hurrah, Santa Anna ; 

He gained the day, I've heard them say,
All on the plains of Mexico.

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. …

…In those lively shanties, Good morning ladies all, Nancy Bell, and Sally in the Alley, ample homage is paid to the girl he leaves behind him. Love is tempered with patriotism in this :—

True blue for ever,

I and Sue together ; 

True blue, I and Sue, 

And England's blue for ever.

There are many more capstan shanties, which I can only mention by name, such as Lowlands, Oceanida, Johnny's gone, The Black-ball Line, and Slapandergosheka, which contain a wild melody all their own ; the last named, with the incomprehensible title (repeated at the end of every line) is addressed to All you Ladies now on Land, and may seem rather egotistical. It commences,—

Have you got, lady, a daughter so fine,
       Slapandergosheka, 

That is fit for a sailor that has crossed the Line,
       Slapandergosheka, &c.


OK, so now *Santa Ana* has gained the day!


25 Apr 10 - 09:53 PM (#2894321)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"On Shanties," cont.

"Hauling shanties" come next. Hand over hand (HANDY MY BOYS) and "long pull song" (BOWLINE, "Land ho, boys," HAUL AWAY JOE, BONEY).

We now come to the hauling shanties : first, there is the hand over hand song, in very quick time; then the long pull song. When there are a number of men—perhaps twenty, or more— pulling on one rope, the reader will perceive that, to be effective, the pull must be made unanimously ; this is secured by the shanty, the pull being made at some particular word in the chorus. For instance, in the following verse each repetition of the word handy is the signal for a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull pull altogether:—

Oh shake her up, and away we'll go.
So handy, my girls, so handy ;
Up aloft from down below,
So handy, my girls, so handy.

But when the work is heavy, or hands are few, one of longer meter is used:—

Haul the bowline, the fore and main-top bowline,
Haul the bowline, the bowline haul ;
Haul the bowline, Kitty you're my darling,
Haul the bowline, the bowline haul.

Here the concluding word of each couplet, haul, gives the clue ; there are many of this sort,— Land ho, boys, Land ho; Haul away, my Josey; and Boney was a Warrior; this last is the only one I know that has the words complete :—

Oh, Boney was a warrior, away a yah, 

A bonny little warrior, John Francivaux ;

John Francivaux is the nautical rendering of 
Johnny Crapeau. In the next two couplets 
Jack avails himself of his poetic licence to 
some purpose:—

He cruised in the Channel, away a yah, 

The Channel of old England, John Francivaux ; 

John Bull pursued and took him, away a yah, 

And sent him off to Elba, John Francivaux.

After stating a few more facts, that would astonish his biographers, he is brought to St. Helena :—

And there he pined and died, away a yah ; 

There grows a weeping willow, John Francivaux, 

A-weeping for poor Boney, John, &c.


"Haul away, my Josey" provides, perhaps, a needed clue to connect "Jim Along Josey" to "Haul Away Joe."


25 Apr 10 - 09:57 PM (#2894323)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

These songs also serve the means of communicating the ideas of the men to their superiors, or of giving a strong hint respecting the provisions ; for instance, a captain of a large passenger-ship will scarcely like his lady and gentlemen passengers to hear the watch, who are taking a pull on the mainbrace, commence, with stentorian lungs, something after the following strain :—

Oh, rotten pork, cheerily men, 

And lots of work, cheerily men, 

Would kill a Turk, cheerily men. oh,
Cheerily men.

Nothing to drink, cheerily men, 

The water does stink, cheerily men, 

And for Christians, just think, cheerily men, 
   
Oh, cheerily men.

Something of this sort generally has an effect in passenger-ships, and will obtain some concession.


Finally, s/he tells us how shantying was scarce in the Navy – apparently even up to this point in time.

These remarks apply only to merchant ships ; in the Navy, the shanty is prohibited, and at the capstan the men move to the sound of the fife or fiddle—the musician being seated on the capstan-head.
Of course the songs sung in the foke'sull, when Jack is taking his ease, are of another description…


26 Apr 10 - 12:37 PM (#2894663)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I want to correct myself when I said the 1868 article "On Shanties" was "probably by W.L. Alden." I said that because it appears to be an article that was later revised (seemingly) and published in the 11 December, 1869 deition of CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL. The latter has been attributed to Alden -- by Doerflinger, with a question mark, and by Hugill, positively. Those authors had me under the impression that it was probably by Alden. However, other than their opinion, I am not finding any reason to think that Alden wrote either one.

The problem with the 1869 article is that, not only does it appear to be a quick revision-- as if to shorten it-- of the 1868....it also seems to steal from the two earlier magazine articles, from THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY and OBERLIN' STUDENTS MONTHLY, that appeared in 1858. One of those is also anonymous, and the other is by an unknown "Allen" (not Alden!). There is the *possibility* that the same author wrote 2, or even all of these. I don't think so, however. And based on comparing Alden's later, 1882 article, I don't see any reason to believe that he wrote any of the earlier ones.

The relevant point is where these writers got their info from. The 1868 and 1869 articles are quite "journalistic," and we must suspect that the author(s) may have had no first hand experience of shantying. What we can mainly get from them, then, is just dry (without reliable context!) info on what shanties were being sung by the publication date and what some of their lyrics might be like. But even in terms of what shanty was used for what task, I think these need to be critiqued.

So... the 1869 article...."Sailors' Shanties and Sea-Songs"

At the capstan, on the topsail-halliards, in port and at sea, in calm and in storm, the ropes run smoother, the work is done quicker, when some twenty strong voices sing:

Haul the bowline, the fore and main top bowline;
    Haul the bowline, the bowline haul; 

Haul the bowline, the bully, bully bowline;
    Haul the bowline, the bowline haul.


This is the opening of the 1868 article, but BOWLINE has been swapped for CHEERLY.

I remember well, one dirty black night in the Channel, beating up for the Mersey against a stiff breeze, coming on deck near midnight, just as the ship was put about. When a ship is tacking, the tacks and sheets (ropes which confine the clews, or lower corners of the sails) are let run, in order that the yards may be swung round to meet the altered position of the ship. They then must be hauled taut again, and belayed, or secured, in order to keep the sails in their places, and to prevent them from shaking. When the ship's head comes up in the wind, the sail is for a moment or two edgewise to it, and then is the nice moment, as soon as the head-sails fairly fill, when the main-yard and the yard above it can be swung readily, and the tacks and sheets hauled in. If the ship is short-handed, or the crew slow at their work, and the sails get fairly filled on the new tack, it is a fatiguing piece of work enough to ' board' the tacks and sheets, as it is called. The crew are pulling at one end of the rope; but the gale is tugging at the other. The best plan in such cases is to put the helm down a little, and set the sails shaking again before they can be trimmed properly. It was just at such a time I came on deck as above mentioned. Being near eight bells, the watch on deck had not been over-smart, and the consequence was that our big main-course was flying out overhead with a might that shook the ship from stem to stern. The flaps of the mad canvas were like successive thumps of a giant's fist upon a big drum. The sheets were jerking at the belaying-pins, the blocks rattling in sharp snappings like castanets. You could hear the hiss and seething of the sea alongside, and see it flash by in sudden white patches of phosphorescent foam, while all overhead was black with the flying scud. Our second mate, a Yankee, was stamping his feet with vexation, and without any regard for his hs, was storming away at the men. 'An'somely the weather mainbrace there; an'somely, I tell you! Now, then, what the are you all standing there for?
'Alf-a-dozen of you clap on to the main-sheet. Here, look alive ! Down with 'im. 'Andy there ! 'Aul 'im in.' But although he ran through all the most forcible expressions in his vocabulary, the sail wouldn't come. ' Give us a song, boys,' cried out our old skipper, who had just come on deck. ' Pull with a will, boys ; all together, boys.' Then a strong voice sang out:

Haul the bowline, the bowline, the bowline;
Haul the bowline, the bowline haul; 

Haul the bowline; Polly is my darling;
      Haul the bowline, the bowline haul.

At the last word ' haul' in each couplet, every man threw his whole strength into the pull—all singing in chorus with a quick explosive sound. And so jump by jump the sheet was at last hauled taut I daresay this description will be considered spun out by a seafaring man; but landsmen like to hear of the sea and its ways; and as more fresh-water sailors read this Journal than sea-water ones, I have told them of one shanty and its time and place.


The preceding passage has been plagiarized (?) from the 1858 article in THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. The funny thing is, in the old version (published in Boston), it was an English mate who had his H's misplaced, whereas in this version (published in England) it is a Yankee mate! Besides the fact that it makes no sense, this suggests to me that the 1869 author is copying as needed, and therefore s/he is not the same author as the 1858 article.

cont...


26 Apr 10 - 12:47 PM (#2894671)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL 1869, cont.

The above is what we call a hauling shanty. Shanties are of two kinds—those sung at the capstan, and those sung when hauling on a rope: in the former, the metre is longer, and they are generally of a more pathetic nature. To those who have heard it, as the men run round the capstan, bringing up the anchor from the English mud, of a ship outward bound for a two years trip, perhaps never to return, what can be more sad or touching, although sung with a good-will:

To the Liverpool docks we'll bid adieu; 

To Suke, and Sall, and Polly too; 

The anchor's weighed, the sail's unfurled; 

We are bound to cross the watery world. 

Hurrah! we 're outward bound ! Hurrah ! 

we 're outward bound !


OK, so this is actually OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND. It seems to have been fudged as "Goodbye fare you well" in the 1868 ONCE A WEEK article. Or was it?--most of the 1868 version does scan as "Goodbye Fare You Well." This shanty (Outward and Homeward) was also in the 1858 OBERLIN STUDENT'S MONTHLY article, though with a different verse. But the punctuation in the chorus is the same. It is subtle, and my argument is not very strong, but I believe these discrepancies lend evidence to the case that the author(s) of both 1868 and 1869 were not first-hand knowledgeable.

More stirring is the following :

Steer, boys, steer, for California O; 

There's plenty of gold in the land, I 'm told, 
   
On the banks of the Sacramento.

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. …

…There are many more capstan shanties, which I can only mention by name, such as Oceanida, Johnny 's Gone, The Black Ball Line, and Slapandergosheka. The last mentioned, with the incomprehensible title (repeated at the end of every line), is addressed to 'All you ladies now on land,' and may seem rather egotistical; it commences—

Have you got, lady, a daughter so fine,
       Slapandergosheka, 

That is fit for a sailor that has crossed the line ?
       Slapandergosheka, &c.


The preceding is repeated from his (?) 1868 article. But why change Sacramento from "Blow" to "Steer"? Perhaps he thought his readers would not understand "blow"?

I remember once hearing a good shanty on board a Glasgow boat; something like the following was the chorus :

Highland day, and off she goes, 

Off she goes with a flying fore-topsail; 

Highland day, and off she goes.

It was one of the most spirited things imaginable, when well sung; and when'applied to the topsail halliards, brought the yards up in grand style.


That was also stolen from ATLANTIC MONTHLY, 1858. The "Glasgow boat" is made-up B.S.—probably inspired by the word "Highland"—unless s/he wrote that old article and is now adding more detail.


26 Apr 10 - 12:53 PM (#2894673)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL cont.

We now come to the hauling shanties. First, there is the hand-over-hand song, in very quick time ; then the long-pull song. When there are a number of men—perhaps twenty or thirty—pulling on a rope, the reader will perceive that, to be effective, the pull must be made unanimously: this is secured by the shanty, the pull being made at some particular word in the chorus. For instance, in the following verse, each repetition of the word ' handy' is the signal for a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together:
Oh, shake her up, and away we'II go,

So handy, my girls, so handy; 

Up aloft from down below,
So handy, my girls, so handy.

For heavier work, or when hands are few, one of longer metre is used, such as Land O, Boys, Land O; Haul away, my Josey; O long Storm, storm along, stormy.


Land ho > Land O

"Haul away, my Josey," seeing his used of the OBERLIN article (which has "Jim Along Josey", *could* be a slight fabrication.

Most irksome is that now STORMY appears under the hauling category, whereas in the previous year he'd said it was a capstan chantey. This particular (odd) phrasing of the title reflects that it was most likely lifted from the ATLANTIC article.


26 Apr 10 - 01:14 PM (#2894686)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

So, the 1869 article is essentially "worthless." Funny -- If I remember right, that is the source from which the OED gets its first incidence of the word "shanty."

The 1868 article gives several items that were new at the time -- that is, I have not seen them in print before that. They are:

GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL
SACRAMENTO
RIO GRANDE
PADDY LAY BACK
"Good morning ladies all"
"Nancy Bell"
"Sally in the Alley"
"And England's blue forever"
LOWLANDS AWAY
"Oceanida"
"Johnny's gone"
BLACKBALL LINE
SLAPANDERGOSHEKA
HANDY MY BOYS
"Land ho, boys"
HAUL AWAY JOE
BONEY

Of these, Adams' later published work provides evidence that HAUL AWAY JOE and BONEY were already in existence.

"Good morning ladies all" and, possibly, "Johnny's Gone" (if related to "Jenny's Gone Away"), may have appeared earlier as corn-shucking songs.

And the author gives some unique verses to CHEERLY, too.


26 Apr 10 - 01:33 PM (#2894690)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Though much of the '69 article is plagiarized and paraphrased from the '68, the two are not identical. '69 adds very little of substance, however.


26 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM (#2894696)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lighter, my suggestion is that the 1869 adds *nothing*. At least, I can find nothing new in it!


27 Apr 10 - 01:28 AM (#2895063)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John, for this reference: A CUBAN EXPEDITION by J.H. Bloomfield (1896), and for your detective work placing the date of the voyage at 1858. I am going to break it out here, as usual.

Barque TYRER, from Casilda, Cuba to London.

General musings on shanties, their usefulness, their improvisatory nature. I like how he calls them "hauling choruses, not songs." :

The fore topsail rose off the cap with many jerks, and gradually got stretched out to its full height to the topmast head to the music of a "shantie," or song, given out by the carpenter, who happened to be the " shantie man" on this occasion.

Sailors' shanties—probably a corruption of chanting—or hauling choruses, not songs, are generally improvised by the "shantie man" who gives them out. The choruses are old and well known to all sailors, but between each pull and chorus the " shantie man" has to improvise the next line, or compose the "shantie" as he sings it. It is true there is not much in them, and any words or expression, no matter how absurd or incongruous, will answer as long as they rhyme with the line before. Although they are often without sequence they are not without music, and are as inspiriting to the sailor as the fife and drum is to the soldier. On one occasion at sea, after reefing the foresail in a gale, the united efforts of the whole crew were unable to board the foretack, or get it hauled down to its place on the cathead, until the mate of the watch called out: " Strike up a shantie there, one of you men." The "shantie" was struck up; the chorus was like a shout of defiance at the elements. It was fighting the gale, and was as inspiriting as a cavalry charge, and perhaps as hazardous. I enjoyed it, although every now and again a sea would break over the bows, drenching and blinding every one. The mate's voice would be heard shouting encouragingly to the men at each pull: " Well done, down with it, men, it must come; time the weather roll, bravo;" and at every shout of the chorus the men threw their whole weight, with a will, 'into the foretack, and down it came inch by inch steadily, and after a fierce struggle the tack was belayed and the crew were victorious.


And I like the observation here about how the drawn out "Oooh" gives one time to come up with lyrics. Very true, in my experience!:

The " shantie" sung this morning on getting under weigh and setting the topsails, we often heard on the passage to England, and is a good specimen of sailors' " shanties;" the men have breathing time to collect their strength and prepare themselves for the pull, while the " shantie man" is giving out the verse. At every repetition of the word "Hilo" in the chorus the men all pull together with a jerk, hoisting the heavy yard and sail several inches at every pull. " Give us ' Hilo,' Chips," the men said to the carpenter, and he began. The preliminary "Oh" long drawn out at the beginning of each verse was to gain time to improvise the verse :

Oh-o, up aloft this yard must go,
   Chorus by all hands : Hilo, boys, hilo !
I heard our bully mate say so.
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
Oh-o, hilo, bullies, and away we go,
    Hilo, boys, hilo !
Hilo, boys, let her roll, o-he-yho.
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
Oh-o, I knocked at the yellow girl's door last night,
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
She opened the door and let me in.
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
Oh-o, I opened the door with a silver key,
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
The yellow girl a-livo-lick-alimbo-lee.
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
Oh-o, watchman, watchman, don't take me !
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
For I have a wife and a large familee.
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
Oh-o, two behind, and one before,
   Hilo, boys, hilo I
And they marched me off to the watchhouse door.
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
Oh-o, where's the man that bewitched the tureen ?
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
Look in the galley and there you'll see him.
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
Oh-o, the mate's on foc'sle, and the skipper's on the poop.
   Hilo, boys, hilo!
And the cook's in the galley, playing with the soup.
Hilo, boys, hilo !
Oh-o, the geese like the gander and the ducks like the drake,
   Hilo, boys, hilo !
And sweet Judy Callaghan, I'd die for your sake.
    Hilo, boys, hilo !

"Oh, belay!" shouts the mate, cutting short the "shantie," for the yard is mastheaded.


Well, it's HILO BOYS. I love this text, the fact that it is extended and we are able to get a sense of the type of lines used -- rather than just getting a regulation verse and a note about how the rest was "nonsense."


29 Apr 10 - 04:04 AM (#2896474)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: doc.tom

Oh, what a beauty! (just to refresh!)
TomB


29 Apr 10 - 01:45 PM (#2896768)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Unprovable hypothesis alert.

John Masefield was confident that "Haul on the bowline" must go back to the 16th C. because the bowline, by the 19th, was no longer a rope that needed a shanty. Other writers have rightly criticized Masefield for his assumption. However...

It does seem unlikely that a shanty would arise telling the crew specifically to "Haul on the bowline" (and only the bowline) at a time when the labor would be unecessary. Sure, it could have started as a joke, but here's another theory.

Maybe the shanty developed from a "bowline singout" that really does go back centuries. Consider the tune of the words: "Haul on the bowline" - three close notes for five syllables. If the final syllable of "bowline" is shouted higher rather than sung lower, it becomes indistinguishable from a singout. The shanty may have developed from a repetitive singout: "Haul on the bowline!" (They haul.) "Haul on the bowline!" (They haul.)

Then one day, the proto-shantyman gets tired of "Haul on the bowline!" and follows it up with a second, more tuneful "verse," "So early in the morning!" Later, maybe years later, some crew adapts the first verse as a chorus. Ad lib to suit and voila! a shanty (maybe the earliest indeed).

No early writer would have noticed, because there's nothing interesting about sailors hauling on a bowline while someone yells, "Haul on the bowline!"

Just speculating.


29 Apr 10 - 01:59 PM (#2896772)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Lighter-

Your "Bowline" reasoning works for me.

Gibb-

I can hardly wait to hear you lead this version of "Hilo." It is a beaut!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


29 Apr 10 - 03:02 PM (#2896792)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Charley, if I can just keep doubling the number of believers every hour....


29 Apr 10 - 09:35 PM (#2897019)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Lighter-

"if I can just keep doubling the number of believers every hour...."

The math begins to work your way once you achieve one believer.

Then it's just a matter of waiting until the money really begins to roll in!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


01 May 10 - 12:18 AM (#2897809)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's my updated "timeline," up through the 1860s...

1777

- singing their plaintive African songs, in cadence with the oars, Georgetown, SC/Blacks rowing (Watson 1856)

1790s

- "gnyaam gnyaam row" Demerara River, Georgetown, Guyana/Blacks rowing (Pinckard 1806).

c.1790s-1800s

- canoe-rowing songs, partly traditionary, partly improvised Charleston, SC/Blacks rowing (as per Grayson)

c.1800s-1820s

- "Cheerly men" [CHEERLY] (conjecture based on comment of "time out of mind," in UNITED SERVICES JOURNAL 1834)

c.1803[or earlier]

- a sort of Song pronounced by one of the number, Europeans/spoke windlass (Falconer 1806)

1805

- eight stout negroes, who sing in chorus all the way, Surinam/Blacks rowing (Sack 1810)

c.1805-1820s

- "Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!" Possibly, British war ship (Robinson 1858)

c.1806

- "Aye, aye/ Yoe, yoe" Savannah River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Lambert 1810)

c.1808-1826

- a common sailors' chant in character, having a sort of 'Sally Brown, oh, ho,' chorus; and requiring the action of pulling a rope, London stage (Clason 1826)

1811

- "Grog time of day" [GROG TIME] Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

- "Oh, huro, my boys/Oh, huro boys O" Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

[1812-1815 : War of 1812]

c.1812-1839

- "Fire! in the main-top/Fire! down below" [FIRE FIRE] USS CONSTITUTION/out of context, poss. War of 1812 log (GENTLEMEN'S MAGAZINE, Oct. 1839)

c.1814-15

- "Grog time a day" [GROG TIME] Antigua/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- "Heigh me know, bombye me takey" Virgin Islands/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- the drums and fifes merrily play, Round the capstan we dance; We soon hear the song,
"Heave, heave, my brave boys, and in sight." Poem/capstan (1825)

[1816: Start of the Blackball Line]

1816, mid

- "Going away to Georgia, ho, heave, O!/ho, heave, O!" Maryland or Virginia/Blacks rowing (Paulding 1817)

1818

- the negroes' song while stowing away the cotton, Savannah, GA/cotton-stowing (Harris 1821)

1821

- "It's oh! as I was a walking out, One morning in July, I met a maid, who ax'd my trade" [NEW YORK GIRLS?] and "All the way to Shawnee town/Pull away - pull away!"
Ohio River, Parkersburg,VA/rowing (Hall 1821)

1822[or earlier]

- "Fine time o' day" Saint Thomas/Blacks rowing (Wentworth 1834).

1825, July

- the sailor sent forth his long and slow-toned "yeo— heave — oh!" Brig leaving Quebec/windlass (Finan 1825).

- "Oh, yeo, cheerly" [CHEERLY]" Brig leaving Quebec/topsail halyards (Finan 1825)

c.1826

- "Haul way, yeo ho, boys!" London/Navy sailors in a pub ("Waldie's select circulating library", 1833)

1828, March

- a wild sort of song, Alatamaha River, Georgia/Black rowing (Hall)

1829

- they began their song, one of them striking up, seemingly with the first idea that entered his imagination, while the others caught at his words, and repeated them to a kind of Chinese melody; the whole at length uniting their voices into one chant, which, though evidently the outpouring of a jovial spirit, had, from its unvaried tone and constant echo of the same expression, a half-wild, half-melancholy effect upon the ear. …It had begun with "Yah! yah! here's a full ship for the captain, and a full pannikin for Peytie Pevterson, la— la—lalla—la—leh; but this sentence, after many repetitions, was changed for others of briefer duration and more expressive import, as they coursed after each other with intoxicating rapidity… Fictional whaleship/capstan ("Tales of a Voyager to the Arctic Ocean", 1829)

1830

- "Sally was a fine girl, ho! Sally, ho!" Cape Fear River, North Carolina/Blacks rowing (Cecelski 2001)

1831

- "De neger like the bottley oh!" [BOTTLE O] and "Velly well, yankee, velly well oh" Guyana/Blacks rowing (Alexander, 1833)

[1832: Invention of Dobinson's pump windlass]

1832[or earlier]

- "Pull away now, my Nancy, O!" and/with "To the Greenland sea/ Black although she be" East India Company ship/capstan (THE QUID 1832)

1832

- "I'm gwine to leave de ole county (O-ho! O-ho!)/I'm sold off to Georgy! (O-ho! O-ho!)" and "Roun' de corn, Sally!" [ROUND THE CORNER] Maryland/Blacks rowing (Hungerford 1859)

1832-33

- the wild song of the negro fire-men, Ohio River/steamboat firemen (Latrobe 1835)

1833

- "'Tis grog time o' day!" [GROG TIME] rowing on ocean ("Waldie's Select Circulating Library," Dec. 1833)

1834, Feb.

- Their extemporaneous songs at the oar, St. Johns River, FL/Blacks rowing (Brown 1853)

1834, Aug-1836

- "singing out" at the ropes in their hoarse and peculiar strains, brig PILGRIM

- "Heave, to the girls!" and "Nancy oh!" and "Jack Cross-tree," brig PILGRIM/ songs for capstans and falls

- "Heave round hearty!" and "Captain gone ashore!" and "Time for us to go!" and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!" brig PILGRIM, California coast/driving in the hides (pull)

- the loud cry of "Yo heave ho! Heave and pawl! Heave hearty ho!" brig PILGRIM/spoke windlass

- Sailors, when heaving at a windlass, in order that they may heave together, always have one to sing out; which is done in a peculiar, high and long-drawn note, varying with the motion of the windlass

- "Cheerily, men!" [CHEERLY] brig PILGRIM/catting anchor

- lightening their labors in the boats by their songs, Italians rowing (Dana 1840ff)

1835

- A line was sung by a leader, then all joined in a short chorus; then came another solo line, and another short chorus, followed by a longer chorus, Jacksonville, FL/Blacks rowing (Kennard 1845)

1835, September

- "Ho! cheerly" [CHEERLY] US ship PEACOCK, the Gulf of Mazeira [coast of Arabia]/ as they marched round the capstan, or hauled in the hawser by hand (Howland 1840)

- "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] capstan (Howland 1840)

1837, April

- "Hi de good boat Neely/Ho yoi!" Charleston, SC/Blacks rowing (Gillman 1852)

- "Oh! Sally Brown" (peculiarly musical, although not refined) [SALLY BROWN] Ship QUEBEC, Portsmouth >New York/pump windlass (Marryat)

1838-39

- "Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "Fare you well, and good-by, oh, oh!/oh, oh!" Altamaha River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Kemble 1864)

1838, December

- "Fire the ringo, fire away!" [MARINGO] Mobile/cotton-screwing (Gosse 1859)

1839, Sept.

- "Fire down below!" [SAILOR FIREMAN] Dramatic scene in a steamboat/Black fireman (BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY 1839)

- "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh," [BOTTLE O] and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Tally Ho, you know" [TALLY] & a dozen others, Tahiti/local women singing sailor songs (Reynolds and Philbrick)

c.1840s

- "grog time o' day." [GROG TIME] Clipper-brig CURLEW, New York >Hamburg/ halyards (Rice 1850)

1840, Feb.

- The usual cry is "Ho! Ho! Hoi!" or "Ho! Ho! Heavo!" Whaler, New London > Pacific/hauling (Olmsted 1841).

- "Ho! Ho! and up she rises/Ear-ly in the morn-ing" [DRUNKEN SAILOR] and "Nancy Fanana, she married a barber/Heave her away, and heave her away [HAUL 'ER AWAY]
halyard

- "O! hurrah my hearties O!" short haul to extract whale tooth

1841

- "Grog time o' day/Oh, hoist away" [GROG TIME] New Orleans/stevedores loading a steamboat (THE ART OF BALLET 1915)

1842, February

- casting huge sticks of wood into the mouths of the row of yawning furnaces beneath the serried boilers,accompanying their labor by a loud and not unmusical song, steamboat, Ohio River/Black fireman (THE BALTIMORE PHOENIX AND BUDGET 1842)

1842, April

- "Cheerily, oh cheerily," [CHEERLY] Ship HUNTRESS, New York > China/ hoisting guns from hold (Lowrie 1849)

1842, Sept.

- "O ee roll & go/O ho roll & go" [SALLY BROWN?] whaleship TASKAR/song in diary (Creighton 1995)

1842, October

- "Heave him up! O he yo!" Canary Islands/spoke windlass (Browne 1846).

1843

- "Oh, Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] Virginia/corn-shucking ("The Family Magazine" 1843)

1843, March

- "Oh hollow!/Oh hollow!" [HILO?] and "Jenny gone away," [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "Dan, dan, who's the dandy?" [the monkey-song] and "John John Crow/ John John Crow" [JOHN CROW] South Carolina/corn-shucking (Duyckinck, 1866)

1843-1846

- the firemen struck up one of those singularly wild and impressive glees which negroes alone can sing effectively, Steamboat, Mississippi valley (Illinois)/Black firemen (Regan 1859)

1844

- "Oh, the captain's gone ashore/Hie bonnie laddie, and we'll all go ashore" [GROG TIME?] Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Hill 1893).

- "Cheerily men, ho!" [CHEERLY] Port Adelaide/remembering a ship's song (Lloyd 1846)

1844, August

- "Round the corner, Sally!" [ROUND THE CORNER] Society Islands/local imitation of sailor's song (Lucett)

1844-45

- The crew was made up of the hardest kind of men; they were called "hoosiers,"
working in New Orleans or Mobile during the winter at stowing ships with cotton, and in the summer sailing in the packet ships. They were all good chantey men; that is, they could all sing at their…we could reef and hoist all three topsails at once, with a different song for each one, Packet ship TORONTO, NY > London/re: cotton-stowing (Low 1906)

- "Roll and go for that white pitcher, roll and go," London/unloading cargo w/ capstan

1845, Feb.

"Ho, O, heave O" heaving anchor (American Journal of Music and Musical Vistor1845)

- "Row, Billy, row," [BLOW BOYS BLOW?] American sailor returned from Mediterranean/rowing

1845, Sept.

- "Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] Ship CHARLES CAROL, New Orleans/cotton-stowing (Erskine 1896)

c.1845-1851

- "Carry him along, boys, carry him along/ Carry him to the burying-ground" [WALK HIM ALONG] and "Hurrah, see—man—do/Oh, Captain, pay me dollar" and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] and "Bonnie laddie, highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] many of the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs, Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Nordhoff 1855)

- "Tally hi o you know" [TALLY] Whaleship/weighing anchor (Brewster & Druett 1992)

c.1846-1852

- "Oh sailors where are you bound to/Across the briny ocean" [ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN] Packet ship, Liverpool > Philadelphia/ pump windlass (Nordhoff 1855)

1848

- "O! bullies, O!/A hundred years ago!" [HUNDRED YEARS] and "storm along, stormy!" [STORMY] Hawai'i/non-working, whaling territory (Perkins 1854)

- "Round the corn, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Clear the way when Sambo come" corn-shucking, general (AMERICAM AGRICULTURIST, July 1848)

- "Storm along Stormy" [STORMY] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

- "Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!/Fire down below" [SAILOR FIREMAN] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

- "Fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire/Den tote dat bucket ob water, [boys?]/Dar's fire down below" [FIRE FIRE] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

[1848-1855: California Gold Rush]

1849, March

- "O, yes, O!/ A hundred years ago" [HUNDRED YEARS] Steamer OREGON, Panama > San Francisco/ at the capstan and windlass (Thurston1851)

[1851ff. – Australia Gold Rush]

c.1850s

- "Johnnie, come tell us and pump away" [MOBILE BAY] and "Fire, fire, fire down below/fetch a bucket of water/Fire down below" [FIRE FIRE] and "Only one more day" [ONE MORE DAY] Ship BRUTUS (American)/pumping (Whidden 1908)

- the wildest and most striking negro song we think we ever listened to…one dusky fellow, twirling his wool hat above his head, took the lead in singing, improvising as he sang, all except the chorus, in which the whole crew joined with enthusiasm Steamboat, Alabama river/boatmen (Hundley 1860)

c.1851>

- "Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne" Ship > Sydney w/ gold seekers/pumping (Craig 1903)

- "When first we went a-waggoning" Ship > Sydney w/ gold seekers/pumping (Craig 1903)

1851, July

- "Fire on the bow/Fire down below!" [FIRE FIRE] Mississippi steamboat/Black firemen ("Notes and Queries" 1851)

1852, late

- "cheerymen" [CHEERLY] and "Hurra, and storm along/ Storm along, my Stormy" [STORMY] Packet ship, Gravesend > Melbourne/topsail halyards (Tait 1853)

c.1853 [or earlier]
- "Hog Eye!/Old Hog Eye/And Hosey too!" [HOG EYE] and "Hop Jim along/Walk Jim along/Talk Jim along" Louisiana/patting juba (Northup 1855)

1853
- "Oahoiohieu" [SAILOR FIREMAN] and "Oh, John, come down in de holler/Ime gwine away to-morrow" [JOHNNY COME DOWN HILO] Red River, LA/ steamboat hands (Olmsted 1856)

1854, early
- "Haul the bowline, the Black Star bowline, haul the bowline, the bowline HAUL!" [BOWLINE] Packet ship PLYMOUTH ROCK, Boston > Melbourne /sheet-style chanty adapted as entertainment (Note: text contains tunes to three other possible shanties) (Peck 1854)

1855, Jan.
- "Whaw, my kingdom, fire away" [MARINGO] Imagined Georgia/Blacks rowing (PUTNAM'S 1855)
- "Hey, come a rollln' down/Good morning ladies all" [GOOD MORNING LADIES] Imagined Georgia/corn-shucking (PUTNAM'S 1855)

1855, Aug.
- "Storm along, Stormy" [STORMY] general reference in fiction to how a crew might sing that song (Farnsworth 1855)

1856

- [Titles:] "Santy Anna," [SANTIANA] "Bully in the Alley," [BULLY IN ALLEY] "Miranda Lee," "Storm Along, John," [STORMALONG JOHN] Clipper ship WIZARD, NY > Frisco/Downton pump, with bell ropes (Mulford 1889)

- "Hi yi, yi, yi, Mister Storm roll on, Storm Along, Storm Along,"[MR. STORMALONG] and "All on the Plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] and "Aha, we're bound away, on the wild Missouri" [SHENANDOAH] Packet ship, Liverpool > NY (Fisher 1981)

1857

- "Hilo! Hilo!/ Hilo! Hilo!" [HILO?] Maryland/slave song (general reference) (Long 1857).

1857?

- "Row, bullies, row!/Row, my bullies, row!" [BLOW BOYS BLOW?] Rowboat to frigate, New York (KNICKERBOCKER, 1857)

1857, November

- "Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] Ship RED JACKET, Liverpool/brake windlass (Chatterton 2009)

- "Whiskey for my Johnny/Whiskey, Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] Ship RED JACKET, Liverpool/topsail halyards (Chatterton 2009)

c.1857-58

- "Cheer'ly Man" [CHEERLY] and "Come along, get along, Stormy Along John" [STORMY ALONG] John Short of Watchet

1858

- "Hilo, boys, hilo! Hilo, boys, hilo!" Barque TYRER, Casilda, Cuba > London / topsail halyards (Bloomfield 1896)

1858, July

- "Oh, the bowline, bowline, HAUL!" [BOWLINE] Ship, trans-Atlantic/braces (THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY 1858)

- "Pay me the money down!/Pay me the money down!" [MONEY DOWN] and "And the young gals goes a weepin'" [ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN] and "O long storm, storm along stormy" [STORMY] Ship, trans-Atlantic/brake pump (The Atlantic Monthly 1858)

- "Highland day and off she goes/Highland day and off she goes." [HILONDAY?] Ship, unknown/topsail halyards (Atlantic Monthly 1858)

1858, Dec.

- "Heigho, heave and go/Heigho, heave and go'' and "Hurrah, storm along!/Storm along my stormies"[STORMY] and "Hurrah! we're homeward bou-ou-ound!/Hurrah! we're homeward bound" [OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND] Brake windlass (Allen 1858)

- "Oh haulee, heigho, cheeryman!" [CHEERLY] topsail halyards (Allen 1858)

- "Heigh Jim along, Jim along Josey, Heigh Jim along, Jim along Jo!" Blacks rowing (Allen 1858)

c.1858-1860

- "Whisky for Johnny!" Packet ship MARY BRADFORD, London > NY/ to "pull round the yards" (Ward, Lock and Tyler)

c.1859-60

- "O, Riley, O" [OH RILEY] and "Whiskey for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Storm along, my Rosa"[STORMY] Barque GUIDE Boston > Zanzibar/ brake windlass (Clark 1867)

1860

- The leader, a stalwart negro, stood upon the capstan shouting the solo part of the song…they were answered by his companions in stentorian tones at first, and then, as the refrain of the song fell into the lower part of the register, the response was changed into a sad chant in mournful minor key Steamboat, St. Louis > New Orleans (Nichols 1860)

c.1860-61

- "Rolling River" [SHENANDOAH] and "Cheerily she goes" and "Oh, Riley, Oh" [OH RILEY] and "Carry me Long" [WALK HIM ALONG] Clipper ship, Bombay > NY/raising anchor (Clark 1867)

[1861-1865 American Civil War]

1862

- "Sally Brown, the bright mulatter" [SALLY BROWN] Ship SPLENDID New York > China/windlass (Sauzade 1863)

- "Hurrah Santa Anna!/All on the plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] Ship SUSAN HINKS, Boston > Calcutta/capstan (FIFTY-THREE YEARS, 1904)

1865

- "I'm Gwine to Alabamy, Ohh..../Ahh..." Slaves' songs collection Mississippi steamboat song (Allen 1867)

- "Shock along John, shock along" Slaves' songs collection, Maryland/corn-shucking (Allen1867)

- "Ho, round the corn, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] slaves' songs collection/corn-shucking (Allen 1867)

c.1865-66

- "Paddy on the Railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] and "We 're Homeward Bound" [OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND?] Schooner (?) NASON, out of Provincetown/windlass (Clark 1867)

- A chanty gang was engaged to hoist out the cargo, Zanzibar/stevedores (Clark 1867)

c.1866

- when the sugar began to roll in, the crew found I was at the head of the rope, and a "chanty man." We rolled the sugar upon the stages, over the bows, and at every hogshead I gave them a different song, American schooner, St. Jago, Cuba/ working cargo (Clark 1867)

c.1865-1869

- "Come down you bunch o' roses, come down" [BUNCH OF ROSES] and "Sally Brown's a bright Mulatto"[SALLY BROWN] Ship (all Black crew) DUBLIN Boston > Genoa/ topsail halyards (Adams 1879)

- "Walk along my Sally Brown," [WALKALONG SALLY] and "Hoist her up from down below" Ship (all Black crew) DUBLIN Boston > Genoa/ working cargo (Adams 1879)

- "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul" [BOWLINE] and "Way, haul away; O, haul away, Joe" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Do, my Johnny Boker, do."[JOHNNY BOWKER] Barque ROCKET/ tacks and sheets (Adams 1879)

- "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo" [REUBEN RANZO] and "Shantyman and Sally Brown" [SALLY BROWN] and "Blow, boys, blow!/Blow, my bully boys, blow!" [BLOW BOYS BLOW] and "Away, hey way!/John Francois" [BONEY] and "Hurrah, you high low/My Tommy's gone a high low" [TOMMY'S GONE] and "Hurrah, you rolling river/Ah hah, I'm bound away o'er the wild Missouri" [SHENANDOAH] and "Whiskey Johnny/ Whiskey for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Way, hey, knock a man down/ This is the time to knock a man down" [BLOW THE MAN DOWN] Barque ROCKET/ halyards (Adams 1879)

- "And away you Rio! Oh, you Rio!/ I'm bound away this very day, I'm bound for the Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE] and "Oh, poor Paddy come work on the railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] Barque ROCKET/ capstan or windlass (Adams 1879)

- continuous running solo of " way-hey he, ho, ya,"…accompanying the hand-over-hand hoisting of jibs and staysails, and for short "swigs" at the halyards…"hey lee, ho lip, or yu" and the more measured "singing out," for the long and regular pulls at the braces, Barque ROCKET/sing-outs (Adams 1879)

1868

- "What boat is that my darling honey?, Oh, oh ho, ho ay yah yah-ah!/Ah a... yah a...ah!"
Steamboats /Black firemen (McBRIDE'S 1868)

1868, April

- "Away, you rollin' river!/Ah ha! I'm bound away/On the wild Atlantic!" [SHENANDOAH] Atlantic, capstan (Riverside Magazine 1868)

- "Heave away, my Johnny, heave away!/An' away, my Johnny boy, we're all bound to go!" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] Atlantic/ ?? (Riverside Magazine 1868)

1868, Aug.

- "cheerily men" [CHEERLY]
journal article/braces (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "Good-bye, fare you well/ Hurrah, brave boys, we're outward bound" [GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL] and "There's plenty of gold in the land, I'm told/ On the banks of Sacramento" [SACRAMENTO] and "Then fare you well, my pretty young girls/ We're bound for the Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE] and "Valparaiso, Round the Horn" [PADDY LAY BACK] and "Hurrah, Santa Anna/ All on the plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] and "Good morning ladies all" [GOOD MORNING LADIES] and "Nancy Bell" [HURRAH SING FARE YOU WELL?] and "Sally in the Alley" and "True blue, I and Sue/And England's blue for ever" and "Lowlands" [LOWLANDS AWAY] and "Oceanida" and "Johnny's gone" [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "The Black-ball Line" [BLACKBALL LINE] and "Slapandergosheka" [SLAPANDER] journal article/capstan (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- there is the hand over hand song, in very quick time, journal article/ hand over hand (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "So handy, my girls, so handy/So handy, my girls, so handy" [HANDY MY BOYS] journal article/halyards (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul" [BOWLINE] and "Land ho, boys, Land ho" and "Haul away, my Josey" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Oh, Boney was a warrior, away a yah/John Francivaux" [BONEY] journal article/ single pull hauling (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

1869

- "Hoojun, John a hoojun" [HOOKER JOHN] Brig WILLIAM, Portland, Maine, possible fiction/ hoisting molasses (Kellogg 1869)

- "O, stow me long/ Stow me long, stow me" [STORMY] Fictional American vessel/ windlass (Kellogg 1869)

- "Hand ober hand, O/ Scratch him/Hand ober hand, O" Fictional American vessel/ hand over hand (Kellogg 1869)

- "Ho-o, ho, ho, ho/ Fire down below" [SAILOR FIREMAN] Fictional American vessel/ walk-away (Kellogg 1869)

- "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie/ My bonny Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] Fictional American vessel/no context (Kellogg 1869)

- "Hilo, boys, a hilo" [HILO BOYS] Fictional American vessel/ topgallant halyards (Kellogg 1869)

- "Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes/O, my poor sailor-boy, heave and she goes" Fictional American vessel/ capstan (Kellogg 1869)

- ''John, John Crow is a dandy, O" [JOHN CROW] Fictional American vessel/ studding-sail halyards (Kellogg 1869)

[1869 Opening of Suez Canal]


01 May 10 - 01:01 AM (#2897836)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This is my "set list" of deep water chanties, arranged by decade.

c.1800s-1820s

CHEERLY (2)
FIRE FIRE (1)
Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"

1830s

Black although she be"
BOTTLE O (1)
Captain gone ashore!"
CHEERLY (2)
Heave round hearty!"
Heave, to the girls!"
HIGHLAND (1)
Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
Jack Cross-tree,"
Nancy oh!"
Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
ROUND THE CORNER (2)
SALLY BROWN (1)
TALLY (1)
Time for us to go!"

1840s

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (1)
CHEERLY (2)
DRUNKEN SAILOR (1)
GROG TIME (1)
Heave her away"
Heave him up! O he yo!"
Ho, O, heave O"
HUNDRED YEARS (2)
O ee roll & go"
O! hurrah my hearties O!"
ROUND THE CORNER (1)
STORMY (1)
TALLY (1)

1850s

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (1)
BOWLINE (2)
BULLY IN ALLEY (1)
CHEERLY (3)
FIRE FIRE (1)
Highland day and off she goes"
HILO BOYS (1)
Miranda Lee"
MOBILE BAY (1)
MONEY DOWN (1)
MR. STORMALONG (1)
Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
ONE MORE DAY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (1)
SANTIANA (2)
SHENANDOAH (1)
STORMALONG JOHN (1)
STORMY (4)
STORMY ALONG (1)
When first we went a-waggoning"
WHISKEY JOHNNY (1)
Whisky for Johnny!"

1860s

And England's blue for ever"
BLACKBALL LINE (1)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (1)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (1)
BONEY (2)
BOWLINE (2)
BUNCH OF ROSES (1)
Cheerily she goes"
CHEERLY (1)
GOOD MORNING LADIES (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (1)
Hand ober hand, O"
HANDY MY BOYS (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (2)
Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes"
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (1)
HIGHLAND (1)
HILO BOYS (1)
HOOKER JOHN (1)
John, John Crow is a dandy, O"
JOHNNY BOWKER (1)
Johnny's gone"
Land ho"
LOWLANDS AWAY (1)
Nancy Bell"
Oceanida"
OH RILEY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (1)
PADDY LAY BACK (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (2)
REUBEN RANZO (1)
RIO GRANDE (2)
SACRAMENTO (1)
SAILOR FIREMAN (1)
SALLY BROWN (2)
Sally in the Alley"
SANTIANA (2)
SHENANDOAH (3)
SLAPANDER (1)
STORMY (2)
TOMMY'S GONE (1)
WALKALONG SALLY (1)
WHISKEY JOHNNY (2)


01 May 10 - 01:35 AM (#2897857)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And here is the "set list" overall. Some 47 songs are commonly known to us today.

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (2)
And England's blue for ever"
Black although she be"
BLACKBALL LINE (1)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (1)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (1)
BONEY (2)
BOTTLE O (1)
BOWLINE (4)
BULLY IN ALLEY (1)
BUNCH OF ROSES (1)
Captain gone ashore!"
Cheerily she goes"
CHEERLY (10)
DRUNKEN SAILOR (1)
FIRE FIRE (2)
GOOD MORNING LADIES (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (1)
GROG TIME (1)
Hand ober hand, O"
HANDY MY BOYS (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (2)
Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes"
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (1)
Heave her away"
Heave him up! O he yo!"
Heave round hearty!"
Heave, to the girls!"
HIGHLAND (2)
Highland day and off she goes"
HILO BOYS (2)
Ho, O, heave O"
HOOKER JOHN (1)
HUNDRED YEARS (2)
Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
Jack Cross-tree,"
John, John Crow is a dandy, O"
JOHNNY BOWKER (1)
Johnny's gone"
Land ho"
LOWLANDS AWAY (1)
Miranda Lee"
MOBILE BAY (1)
MONEY DOWN (1)
MR. STORMALONG (1)
Nancy Bell"
Nancy oh!"
O ee roll & go"
O! hurrah my hearties O!"
Oceanida"
Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
OH RILEY (1)
Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"
ONE MORE DAY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (2)
PADDY LAY BACK (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (3)
Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
REUBEN RANZO (1)
RIO GRANDE (2)
ROUND THE CORNER (3)
SACRAMENTO (1)
SAILOR FIREMAN (1)
SALLY BROWN (3)
Sally in the Alley"
SANTIANA (4)
SHENANDOAH (4)
SLAPANDER (1)
STORMALONG JOHN (1)
STORMY (7)
STORMY ALONG (1)
TALLY (2)
Time for us to go!"
TOMMY'S GONE (1)
WALKALONG SALLY (1)
When first we went a-waggoning"
WHISKEY JOHNNY (3)
Whisky for Johnny!"

"Cheerly Man" and "Stormalong, lads, Stormy" were mentioned most frequently.

Others that were mentioned more than twice are PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (3), ROUND THE CORNER SALLY (3), SALLY BROWN (3), SANTIANA (4), SHENANDOAH (4), WHISKEY JOHNNY (3).


01 May 10 - 07:21 AM (#2897940)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

EXCELLENT!


01 May 10 - 08:19 AM (#2897968)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Gibb-

Love these various sorted lists!

You've really done and provoked an amazing amount of work.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


01 May 10 - 03:07 PM (#2898144)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
Brilliant.
But when does the book come out?


01 May 10 - 03:21 PM (#2898155)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Very good work, indeed, Gibb!

Something else of interest. In North Carolina in 1922 or 1923, Frank C. Brown collected a call-and-response work song called "Sheep Shell Corn by the Rattle of His Horn." that scans like "Blow, Boys, Blow," and bears a tune that shows some slight resemblance:

http://www.archive.org/stream/frankcbrowncolle05fran#page/134/mode/2up

The chorus, "Blow, horn, blow!" at least makes more obvious sense than the shanty chorus. That suggests to me that it might be the original, but the evidence is too slim to allow a conclusion.


01 May 10 - 04:11 PM (#2898180)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Lighter-

"Sheep Shell Corn by the Rattle of His Horn."

Try singing that line a dozen times as rapidly as you can.;~)

Maybe an old whaler swallowed the anchor and composed a corn shucking worksong modeled after "Blow Boys Blow/Congo River."

Charley Noble


01 May 10 - 04:40 PM (#2898199)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's some verses to "Sheep Shell Corn" from Thomas Talley's NEGRO FOLK RHYMES, 1922:

http://books.google.com/books?id=C6YqAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA59&dq=sheep+shell+corn&cd=2#v=onepage&q=sheep%20shell%20corn&f=false

And the tune from Brown, mentioned above by Lighter:

http://books.google.com/books?id=sKlOYEg_5c8C&pg=PA135&dq=Sheep+shell+corn&cd=3#v=onepage&q=Sheep%20shell%20corn&f=false

I've always liked this little rhyme and I think it would make a fine chanty, being the lubber that I am.


01 May 10 - 07:10 PM (#2898279)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Talley's version isn't much like Brown's with the "Blow, horn, blow" chorus.


01 May 10 - 08:46 PM (#2898326)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

You're right, Lighter. Talley doesn't even have a chorus. It almost looks like the Talley version is a blackface minstrel song. Some of those verses show up elsewhere in that tradition, I think. It seems like the Brown version has "evolved" a bit, but maybe it went the other way. But that is a definitive line about the "sheep shell corn with the rattle of his horn", along with the the "whipoorwill" line. I think you are onto something though with the Brown version. I have that stuck away somewhere, but as I vaguely recall, there aren't really any more verses, are there? Now that you've pointed it out it sure looks like chanty material.


01 May 10 - 09:26 PM (#2898332)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks for the support, guys.

I forgot to include "Haul on the Bowline" among the shanties that were mentioned several times before 1869.

Oh, the Frank Brown collection also has the steamboat song-cum-shanty "I'll Fire Dis Trip" [i.e. SAILOR FIREMAN].


02 May 10 - 01:05 AM (#2898404)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In AMONG OUR SAILORS (1874), J. Grey Jewell describes his (?) observations of "Sailors' Songs." The preface is dated 1873. He is referring to practices in American vessels, but there is no more context than that, that I can see. His knowledge seems a little shaky, yet his do appear to be independent attestations of now-familiar songs.

As will readily be inferred by those who have read the preceding pages, there is very little to admire in the life of a sailor. Poor fellows! they try at times to enliven their work with songs, and although these are inspiriting for the moment, they are of the most ordinary character, and, as far as my observation goes, there is nothing elevating or beautiful in them. The spirit of poesy does not haunt the forecastle of a ship. I have frequently helped the men of a vessel (on which I was a passenger) haul on the braces, so that I might hear and note their songs. They have certain words and tunes for certain work, and I will append a few stanzas by way of illustration.

Funny that he only thinks of the purpose of shantying as something to "enliven."

First he gives WHISKEY JOHNNY for halyards.

When hauling up the main-yard, after reefing the maintop sail, they sing:

"Whisky makes a poor old man—
    (Chorus.)—O whisky, whisky !
Johnny met me in the street,
Johnny asked me if I'd treat—
   O whisky, whisky !
I said yes, next time we'd meet—
   O whisky is for Johnny!"


Then, HAUL AWAY JOE for the braces. It is hard to say if his observation really does "prove" the link to "Jim Along," or if he is assuming.

At each recurrence of the word whisky, the sailors give a pull on the braces. When hauling taut the weather main-brace, they sing a perversion of the old negro melody, "Hey, Jim along, Jim along, Josey!" but the sailors put it—

"Way, haul away—haul away, Josey—
Way, haul away—haul away, Joe !"

This is repeated over and over again, with any slight variation that may occur to the leader, until they cease hauling. Sometimes this is varied by singing—

" Haul the bowline—Kitty, you're my darling—
Haul the bowline—bowline haul!"


The author's credibility seems to wain when he ascribes BLOW BOYS BLOW to a heaving task. However, I suppose it could work for windlass with no problem--if that's what he saw.

When heaving up the anchor, they sing—

"A Yankee ship came down the river—
    (Chorus.)—Blow, my bully boys, blow !
They keep an Irish mate on board her—
    Blow, my bully boys, blow !
Do you know who's captain of her—
    Blow, my bully boys, blow !
Jonathan Jinks of South Caroliner—
    Blow, my bully boys, blow !"


Next, some evidence that "Ranzo" really did derive from "Lorenzo."

When hauling up the foretop-sail yard, after reefing or shaking out the reefs, they sing a song of more pretensions, as follows:

"Lorenzo was no sailor—
    (Chorus.)—Renzo, boys, Renzo !
He shipped on board a whaler—
    Renzo, boys, Renzo!
He could not do his duty—
    Renzo, boys, Renzo!
They took him to the gangway,
And gave him eight and forty —
    Renzo, boys, Renzo !
"He sailed the Pacific Ocean—
    Renzo, boys, Renzo !
Where'er he took a notion —
    Renzo, boys, Renzo !
He finally got married,
And then at home he tarried —
    Renzo, boys, Renzo !"
These, and like songs, are made to cheer the poor seaman, and in some measure to lighten the heavy load his masters (the captain and his mates) impose upon him.


02 May 10 - 06:10 AM (#2898466)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Jim Carroll

Following a stunning week-long series of programmes on maps, this week BBC 4 are running another on all things nautical.
Friday (I think) is on shanties and sea songs, hopefully done by somebody who knows how to sing them.
Jim Carroll


02 May 10 - 10:01 AM (#2898512)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

John, the "shanty-like" version has only three stanzas and a "grand" chorus "O! blow your horn, blow horn, blow" (2x).

Brown collected a few other "shanty-like" work-songs connected with corn-shucking. One even has a refrain of "Oho, we are most done," rather like "Let the Bulgine Run," though otherwise there's not much resemblance.

The more I think about the history of shanties, the more significant improvisation becomes. There seem to have been a few (perhaps late) shanties that had more than two or three vaguely "established" stanzas, but Bullen was surely right when he suggested that the lyrics were most often improvised.

That explains why most field-collected shanties are only two or three stanzas long. After that, the shantyman sang whatever came into his head, rhyming or not. Writers may have begun to think of the shanty as a "song genre" only when they noticed interesting tunes and that some recognized stanzas were almost always present in a "performance."

Before that, it was just somehwhat tuneful shouting.


02 May 10 - 11:24 AM (#2898559)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Brown also gives a "corn-shucking hollow" [sic] called "The Old Turkey Hen," with the repeated chorus "Ho-ma-hala-way." Sounds like it may once have been something like "Oh, my! Haul away!"


02 May 10 - 03:15 PM (#2898675)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Lighter, I found the complete collection of Brown on line and now you've got me looking. Here are a few interesting items. First of all, on the page across from "Sheep Shell Corn", at #195, there is another corn husking song called "Jimmy My Riley", with a chorus of "Jimmy, my-Riley ho."

http://www.archive.org/stream/frankcbrowncolle03fran#page/232/mode/2up

And on the page after "The Old Turkey Hen" that you mentioned at #205, there is "Up Roanoke and Down the River", another cornhusking song. It looks particularly old, and has a chorus of "Oho, we are 'most done."

http://www.archive.org/stream/frankcbrowncolle03fran#page/238/mode/2up

At #230, there is "Whip Jamboree" from a line of sea captains. There's a couple of good verses here (and on the page across from it, a verse from "Hog-eye Man"):

http://www.archive.org/stream/frankcbrowncolle03fran#page/260/mode/2up

And back at #186, there's a country version of "Hog-eye Man" called "Row the Boat Ashore":

http://www.archive.org/stream/frankcbrowncolle03fran#page/224/mode/2up

And there's more.


02 May 10 - 05:15 PM (#2898734)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

John et al-

The Corn husking songs are real fun for connections. The one titled "De Shucking ob de Corn" (# 199, pp. 235-236) is clearly related to one my mother's nursemaid used to sing her:

Fight Wid Ole Satan

(From singing of Ella Robinson Madison in early 1920's as remembered from Dahlov Ipcar and as collected by Winifred (Wendy) Holt)

I had a fight wid ole Satan de odder night,
As I lay half awake;
Ole Satan, he come to my bedside
An' me he began to shake;
He shook me long an' he shook me strong,
He shook me plumb outa bed;
He done grab me by de collar and he looks me in the face,
An' whaddaya reckon he said?

"Whad he say, Aunt Jane?
Whad he say?"

"All de gole in de mountain,
All de silber in de mine,
Shall all belong to you, Aunt Jane,
If you will only be mine."
He led me to de winder an' the sight was dark
An' de moon was shinin' bright;
De hills an' the mountains all aroun'
Lay terror to my sight;
He said, "All des t'ings will be yours while you live
If you will be my general when you die."
But I look ole Satan right plumb in de eye
An' whaddaya t'ink I said?

"Whaddaya say, Aunt Jane?
Whaddaya say?"

"Getcha gone, ole Satan!
Don't you ever come 'round here again;
You might fool a white man wid dat tale
But you can't fool yo' ole Aunt Jane;
Live humble, humble youself,
I got glory an' honour, praise Jesus!"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


02 May 10 - 08:57 PM (#2898865)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

BALLOU'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, vol. 40, for August 1974. There is a story by a Colonel Brevet. He includes mention of two familiar shanties, however no realistic context is given. In fact, they are presented in the story as if they were, possibly, entertainment (not work) songs. At this point in history, I think we have reason to suspect that the chanties he gives may have been culled by some earlier text, however, for now I will treat them as independent attestation.

He uses the terms "chanty-man" and "chanty."

The men seemed of my opinion, for they went forward singing merrily one of those peculiar ditties that sailors always affect, and which you hear nowhere but in the forecastle, or else from the chanty-man when all hands are employed together doing heavy work.

The song in question ran, as nearly as I remember, as follows:

" Whiskey is the life of man—
          Whiskey, Johnnie,
Whiskey is the life of man,
So whiskey for my Johnnie, OI
Whiskey makes mo work like fun—
       Whiskey, Johnnie,
Work from rise till set ot sun,
With whiskey for my Johnnie, Ol"

I wont give you any further infliction of this peculiar song, for, like the "Higgins story," it takes a month of Sundays to get over the introduction; but I will add that if any reader wants to learn the air of this marine sonata, all he has got to do is to hum "Soapsuds over the Fence," and then he can warble it to his satisfaction.


Anyone know that ditty?

Nothing of note transpired during the night, so at six in the morning we prepared to leave Bava and the treacherous Kanakas, hoping that no other ship would ever be entrapped into capture by the wily natives.

"Way, haul away, haul away, my Josey l
Way, haul away, haul away, my Jol"

roared the gunner in stentorian voice, as he led off in a sonorous chanty, the crew joining in with wild glee, their exuberance of joy knowing no bounds at the prospect of getting away from such inhospitable regions;


More evidence to connect "Jim Along"? Or has the supposed connection become the appearance of reality in the writings of such authors? (I'd lean towards the former.) In any case, it is notable that nowadays few (in my experience) would connect HAUL AWAY JOE to the minstrel song.


02 May 10 - 09:20 PM (#2898877)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The next reference I am logging in has the very same two shanties as the last (different lyrics, however), which is one reason why I begin to become skeptical of the authenticity of these attestations -- i.e. in a time after such articles as the one in Chambers's Journal. In any case, these are unique lyrics so far as I can see.

This is from THE RIVERSIDE MAGAZINE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, Sept. 1870. There is a story by a "Taffy Jack."

The setting is of a ship bound out from New York. The word "chanty" is used. I am noting that, because, before 1870, we've actually not seen that word used often.

Forty-eight hours after that we were off Sandy Hook with our jib-boom pointing toward the open sea, and all hands on the main topsail halliards, pulling away to the roaring chanty, —

"We all of us feel very sad,
   Whiskey, O Johnnie :
To leave our true loves is too bad,
   Whiskey for my Johnnie."

...

"All hands on that main brace now," sung out the mate, and away we went all together, O-he-e-o —

"O-o-o-once I knew a Yankee gal,
She was so neat and pretty:
All haul away, haul away, Joe.
And if I didn't kiss her once, I didn't do my duty:
All haul away, haul away, Joe."

That time I belayed, and squeaked out "All fast"


I like the detail of the extended "O-o-o."


02 May 10 - 09:46 PM (#2898891)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Courtesy of John Minear's link, which I neglected to log earlier:

The May 1884 edition of THE UNITED SERVICE contains recollections of a soldier in a piece called "First Scenes of the Civil War." The author notes that during the Battle of Fort Sumter, Charleston, April 1861, guns were hauled up onto the fort by means of the work-song SANTIANA at a capstan.

Work and sleep were the sole occupations in Sumter. There was no idling and no amusements. The work was hard and the workmen few. In heaving and hauling the men soon learned the value of a song in securing combined effort. The favorite song was one having the refrain, "On the plains of Mexico." We had rigged a shears, and with an improvised capstan walked the guns from the parade to the terreplein (a hoist of fifty feet) as an accompaniment to the favorite songs. ... I had given the word, " Avast heaving !"— the use of nautical terms must have been suggested by the song, —and ordered three men up to man the watch-tackle.


02 May 10 - 10:14 PM (#2898907)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Earlier I forgot to add this connection. It comes again from Allen's SLAVE SONGS (1867), which was complete by 1865. It is "Heave Away"

The connection to the more familiar "Heave Away, My Johnnies" is obvious. So far, we have seen that one in a deep-water context in the Riverside Journal, 1868. It is impossible to say which song came first. One can decide for oneself whether they think the "Irish Emigrant" version or this steamboat song is more likely to have influenced the other. My guess would be that the steamboat song was the original. Hugill shows nicely how the verses of the emigrant ballad of "Yellow Meal" could have been fitted to the "Heave Away" chanty framework. The process is comparable to what I believe was likely to have happened in the case of "Knock a Man Down"/"Blow the Man Down."

Allen says:

This is one of the Savannah firemen's songs of which Mr. Kane O'Donnel gave a graphic account in a letter to the Philadelphia Press. "Each company." be says, "has its own set of tunes, its own leader, and doubtless in the growth of time, necessity and invention, its own composer."

The lyrics are as follows:

Heave away, heave away!
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away, heave away!
Yellow gal, I want to go,
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away, Yellow gal, I want to go!

Since many have not heard this song -- it was edited out for the abridged version of Hugill-- here is a rendition I did. It's one of my favs.


02 May 10 - 10:53 PM (#2898929)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This next reference from the 1870s is intriguing because it seems to relate to Adam's ON BOARD THE ROCKET. The text is A VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD (1871), by Nehemiah Adams.

If I am getting it right --the text may need further examination-- Nehemiah was the father of R.C. Adams of "Rocket" fame and his 1879 account. The younger Adams' adventures seem to have been in the late 1860s. The voyage that Nehemiah describes looks to have been started in October 1869, *after* the stuff that happened in ON BOARD THE ROCKET. The father went to sea for his health, aboard a ship GOLDEN FLEECE, of which his son was the captain, and which was bound out of Boston for Frisco, Hong Kong, and Manila.

First he mentions some pump shanties.

...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.

The first named probably refers to "Knock a Man Down". But neither that (BLOW THE MAN) nor RIO GRANDE are usually associated with pumping, so...

The sailors were a merry set. Though only half of the crew—that is, one watch—were required each night at the pumps, all hands at first generally turned out because it was the time for a song. It was a nightly pleasure to be on the upper deck when the pumps were manned, and to hear twenty men sing. When making sail after a gale, the crew are ready for the loudest singing, unless it be at the pumps. For example, when hauling on the topsail halyards, they may have this song, the shanty man, as they call him, solo singer, beginning with a wailing strain:

Solo : O poor Reuben Ranzo! (twice. [EACH LINE IS REPEATED])
   Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: Ranzo was no sailor!
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo : He shipped on board a whaler!
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo: The captain was a bad man!
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!
Solo : He put him in the rigging!
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, Ranzo !
Solo: He gave him six-and-thirty —

by which time the topsail is mast-headed, and the mate cries, "Belay!"

When the mainsail is to be set, and they are hauling down the main tack, this, perhaps, is the song : —

Solo: " 'Way! haul away! my rosey ;
Chorus: 'Way ! haul away! haul away! JOE!"

the long pull, the strong pull, the pull altogether being given at the word "Joe;" then no more pulling till the same word recurs.

When hauling on the main sheet, this is often the song, sung responsively : —

Shanty man: "Haul the bowline; Kitty is my darling.
       Crew: Haul the bowline, the bowline haul!"


Now, these are some of the exact same shanties --same lyrics-- as RC Adams published in 1869. What to make of that? Why did the son, the experienced sea captain, need to reproduce the exact shanties as his dad, a passenger? Did he dictate these lyrics to his father in 1871? Minimally, if the father did hear these in 1869 (and out of some laziness, the son reproduced the same), then we need to date RC Adam's ROCKET shanties to 1869 (a minor change in dating).

FWIW, this Adams also uses the term "shanty man," but not the term "shanty."

The text is here.


02 May 10 - 11:35 PM (#2898948)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

There is a reference to HILO BOYS in a piece of historical fiction (?) in CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL, Nov. 1876.

The narrator, an Englishman coming from Calcutta, has somehow found himself in a boat off Malaysia with some Papuans. There is some sort of boat race.

The next point was to make the Papuans sing. They are regular darkies; and dear old Captain Orde used to say that without a song a nigger couldn't pull against a fly ; with it, he could haul against a rhinoceros. So whilst Abou was arranging the oars, I got a lot of Papuans, and began to teach them a medley. I could not for the life of me remember the words, but the chorus went: ' Hilo boys, hil-lo !' The rest of it is unimportant, and can be supplied with any gibberish ; so I filled in with Papuan, and taught them to pull strong and slow to the words 'Hilo boys, hil-lo!' There is instinctive time and melody in the poor fellows' composition, and they took to it wonderfully kindly. We pulled away at this slow and steady, and then I taught them another which had a chorus of 'Walk away.' This was much faster, and I soon got them to pull tremendously...

Then came the proa race, for which we took our place in a line. Moussoul started us with a matchlock, and Tamula got ahead at once, followed by the other proas. We were last, singing our ' Hilo boys, hil-lo !' keeping about a hundred feet in rear of old Tamula, and going so beautifully that Abou was in raptures, and whispered to me that we could win....


Any ideas on what this "Walk away" song might have been?

LINK


03 May 10 - 12:28 AM (#2898959)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

THE LOG OF MY LEISURE HOURS (1872), by "An Old Sailor," original preface 1868. I am confused to what this is -- fiction, or an autobiography. The author seems to switch from first person to third person midway through. In any case, the narrator claims to describe a voyage in a schooner CLEOPATRA to Georgetown, Guyana. On one scene, the loading of molasses and sugar is being accomplished. The writer says it was 1831. Thoughts on the authenticity of this?

Log of Leisure

Here is the passage of interest. Shanties are not mentioned in the book.

As the entire energies of the owners and their agents were devoted to the speedy discharge and loading of the Cleopatra, she was never detained in port, either at London or in Demerara, for more than ten or twelve days at a time. But the work in the West Indies was the heaviest; it was almost unremitting. After the seamen concluded their day's labour, a gang of negroes came on board, who worked the whole night, discharging cargo or taking on board hogsheads of sugar; and their never-ceasing songs, as they walked round the capstan, or when "screwing" or "swamping" sugars in the hold, left little chance of repose to the whites, who had been at similar work during the whole of the day.

The implication is that the crew, out of London, was all White. And though they participated in the loading of the cargo, it was the local (Guyanese) Black workers that sang songs as they worked.


03 May 10 - 08:08 AM (#2899079)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Gibb-

I suppose that "Walkalong, Boys" might be related to the halyard shanty "Walkalong, My Rosie" as cited by Hugill, pp. 273-274, which has two pulls and would work well for the coordination of rowing.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


03 May 10 - 11:00 AM (#2899146)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's a reference to and a verse from "Blow the man down". It is in YANKEE SWANSON: CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE AT SEA, by Andrew Walfrid Nelson, 1913. The reference is to 1877. The verse given is:

    "Blow the man down in Grangemouth town,
       hay, hay, blow the man down."

The task at hand is one of hoisting the anchor.

http://books.google.com/books?id=uzRDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA82&dq=%22Blow+the+man+down&lr=&cd=353#v=onepage&q=%22Blow%20the%20man%20down&


03 May 10 - 11:07 AM (#2899151)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

And here's a reference to "Cheerily, men!" from 1876, from THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE AT SEA, by Charles Chapman. The setting is in "the Downs" and the task is one of hoisting the anchor.

http://books.google.com/books?id=PY09AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA279&dq=Cheerily,+Men&lr=&cd=124#v=onepage&q=Cheerily%2C%20Men&f=false


03 May 10 - 11:38 AM (#2899170)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

I may have missed this, but here is a reference to "Hanging Johnny", or more specifically, "Hangman Johnny". Actually it is two references to the same material. The earliest is from 1867 in an article entitled "Negro Spirituals", from THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. The second is to a book entitled ARMY LIFE IN A BLACK REGIMENT, published in 1882, but referencing the year 1862. Both are by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The song was being sung by a squad of men coming in from picket duty. Apparently these were freed slaves serving in the Union Army in South Carolina. The verses are:

    "O, dey call me Hangman Johnny!
          O, ho! O, ho!
      But I never hang nobody,
          O, hang, boys, hang!

    O, dey all me Hangman Johnny!
          O, ho! O, ho!
    But we'll all hang togedder,
          O, hang, boys, hang!"

http://books.google.com/books?id=250GAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA693&dq=Hangman+Johnny&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Hangman%20Johnny&f=false

And

http://books.google.com/books?id=ITcOAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA220&dq=Hangman+Johnny&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Hangman%20Johnny&f=false


03 May 10 - 11:46 AM (#2899174)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's a version of "Haul Away, Joe" from 1877, from a book entitled CRUMBS SWEPT UP, by Thomas De Witt Talmage, in an piece called "Fallacies About The Sea". There are some interesting verses here. There is reference to the ship "Kangaroo", and sailing away from "Milfred Bay".

http://books.google.com/books?id=J1g1AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA368&dq=%22Haul+Away,+Joe%22&lr=&cd=38#v=onepage&q=%22Haul%20Away%2C%20Joe%22&


03 May 10 - 12:08 PM (#2899183)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is a translation of a Scandinavian work of fiction by Jonas Lie, entitled THE PILOT AND HIS WIFE, reviewed in 1875, and translated in 1876, so written sometime before that. It contains a reference to "Haul the bowline". It's not clear to me what he task is here.

http://books.google.com/books?id=DkksAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA133&dq=%22Haul+the+bowline%22+The+Pilot+and+his+wife&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=f


03 May 10 - 04:14 PM (#2899311)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's a work of fiction published in 1878-79 by Horace Elisha Scudder called THE BODLEYS ON WHEELS. There is a section called "On Building a Ship", and in that section one of the girls reads a story that she has written about "The Happy Clothes-Dryer", which is about two pine trees in a forest in Maine that carry on a conversation about becoming masts on a ship. One is called "Tall" and one is called "Short". In this conversation, they mention and quote a few lines from a number of chanties: "Do, my Johnny boker, do!", "An' away, my Johnny boy, we're all bound to go!", "Away, you rollin' river", and three verses of "Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo!" Then there is an interesting verse from what appears to be a another version of "Shenandoah":

    "Aha! I'm bound A W A Y
    Across the broad Atlantic!"

And then another verse from "Johnny Boker":

    "Oh, do me, Johnny Boker, the wind is blowin' bravely!
          Do me, Johnny Boker, do!"

And another "Ranzo" verse. The children end up acting out the story, so all of these songs are being sung by children almost as children's songs. The author seems to presuppose that they were that well known by then! Here is the reference:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Pv0LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA173&dq=The+Happy+Clothes-Dryer&lr=&cd=19#v=onepage&q=The%20Happy%20Clothes-Dr


03 May 10 - 04:19 PM (#2899313)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

John-

Where one's research leads one is an endless source of amazement!

Charley Noble


03 May 10 - 09:10 PM (#2899486)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks for these, John. Now to dissect them a little!

"Here's a reference to and a verse from "Blow the man down". It is in YANKEE SWANSON: CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE AT SEA, by Andrew Walfrid Nelson, 1913. The reference is to 1877."

The ship FORSETTE out of Höganäs, Sweden, is off Bodo, Norway. It says,

When the kedge was down, we took in the slack on the line and tripped our anchor, after which all hands manned the capstan and away we went as fast as we could run around the capstan. After we got a little way on her it was easy work, because there was no current in the inlet just then. We took the line off the capstan, and all hands tailed on to the rope with a will, brought on by splicing the main brace a couple of times, and by the cook's lusty singing, " Blow the man down in Grangemouth town, hay, hay, blow the man down," and several other chanteys.

So, just to clarify, they are indeed hauling (catting anchor).

"And here's a reference to "Cheerily, men!" from 1876, from THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF A SAILOR'S LIFE AT SEA, by Charles Chapman. The setting is in "the Downs" [English Channel] and the task is one of hoisting the anchor."

It is a brigantine, "M--", of Goole (Yorkshire), circa early 1840s.

At the end of that time the sound of the sailors "Oh-ye-hoy" was to be heard all over the roadstead, together with the sound of the " pawls " of the windlass. Then as the anchors came up to the hawse pipes, and when the cats were hooked on, there came over the still waters of the Downs the familiar song, "Cheerily, men!" from all quarters, which, together with the rattling of chains, the squeaking of the blocks, the throwing down on deck of coils of rope, and all the various noises, including the boatswain's pipe, and the more gruff boatswain's voice, gave one the idea of working life.

I'd guess the "oh-ye-hoy" was one of those pre-chanty cries at the old fashioned windlass. CHEERLY is here being used for catting anchor again.

In 1840 Melbourne, there is also this note:

all hands clapped on to the weather main topsail brace, and hauled on it with a will, and with a "Yo— he—hoy!"

And later, out of context,

ln the interest of the poor fellows who are no longer able to clap on a rope and sing out, "Oh—heave—hoy !'

More singing-out, but not chanteying. I'd say this is consistent so far with what we've seen from that time period--perhaps especially in British vessels.


03 May 10 - 09:22 PM (#2899490)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Great "Hangman Johnny"!

I doubt you'll ever hear a verse like this today!:

My presence apparently cheeked the performance of another verse, beginning, "De buckra 'list for money," apparently in reference to the controversy about the pay question, then just beginning, and to the more mercenary aims they attributed to the white soldiers.


03 May 10 - 09:40 PM (#2899498)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"Here's a version of "Haul Away, Joe" from 1877, from a book entitled CRUMBS SWEPT UP, by Thomas De Witt Talmage, in an piece called "Fallacies About The Sea". There are some interesting verses here. There is reference to the ship "Kangaroo", and sailing away from "Milfred Bay". "

Ha! Who knows where the author got this from? I wonder if he heard it in a trans-Altlantic voyage, or if culled from elsewhere. In any case, he has mixed up HAUL AWAY JOE with the sometimes-chantey (according to Hugill), ABOARD THE KANGAROO.

Away ! Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !
Away! Haul away! now we are sober
Once I lived in Ireland, digging turf and tatoes,
But now I'm in a packet-ship a-hauling tacks and braces.[//]
Once I was a waterman and lived at home at ease,
But now I am a mariner to plough the angry seas.
I thought I would like a seafaring life, so I bid my
       love adieu,
And shipped as cook and steward on board the Kangaroo.
Then I never thought she would prove false,
Or ever prove untrue,
When we sailed away from Milfred Bay
On board the Kangaroo. [//]
Away ! Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !
Away Haul away ! Haul away, Joe !

"On board the Kangaroo" is mentioned as a popular song (i.e. non-chantey) in this March 1868 article from THE MUSICAL WORLD.

http://books.google.com/books?id=_JkPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA215&dq=%22on+board+the+kangar

So I wonder if Talmage was hearing a chantey or a forebitter.


03 May 10 - 11:36 PM (#2899559)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lie's Norwegian story LODSEN OG HANS HUSTRU came out in 1874.

The English translation goes,

By the occasional howls, rather than songs, which were heard around the capstan, and which accompanied the different kinds of work, it was not difficult to understand that the crew had become excited, for they had expected to have quiet until after mess-time, when around the poop they should exchange news and communications. The usual English song for hauling the bowline —

Haul the bowline,
The captain he is growling —
Haul the bowline,
The bowline haul!

was sung with offensive application by the sailors sweating and half naked in the sun, who hauled the bowline and spread the topsail. During the heavy haul wherewith they at last got the huge anchor up on the bow, the mate had shouted and encouraged them:

"Take — my men — hold — haul!" but the closing words of the song —

Oh, haul in — oh-e-oh!
Cheer, my men!

were uttered with a derisive howl.


I suppose BOWLINE is being used to haul forward a tack. And CHEERLY is again being used for catting anchor.

Here is the original Norwegian:

Af de enkelte snarere Hyl end Sange, som hørtes om Gangspillet og ledsagede de forskjellige Arbeider, var det ikke vanskeligt at forstaa, at Mandskabet var kommet i en ophidset Stemning; thi man havde ventet at have Fred til over Skaffetiden, da man omkring Ruffet skulde udveksle alskens Nyheder og Efterretninger. Den vante engelske Opsang for Bouglinehal:

Haul the bowline,
the captain he is growling,
haul the bowline,
the bowline haul!

blev sunget med forarget Hentydning af de i Solen svedende, halvnøgne Matroser, der halede Bouglinen og strakte Mersseilet. Under de tunge Hal, hvormed man tilslut kattede det svære Anker op for Bougen, havde Styrmanden raabt et opmuntrende:
„Sæt „„Kjelimen — hal"" paa!" — Men Endeordene i Sangen:

„Aa hal i — aa — i aa —!
„Cheer my men!"

udstedtes med haanlig Hujen.


04 May 10 - 12:12 AM (#2899566)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"Here's a work of fiction published in 1878-79 by Horace Elisha Scudder called THE BODLEYS ON WHEELS."

I saw this earlier, John, and was fascinated by its use of "chanty" as a verb, as if French.

' Do, my Johnny Boker, do !' "

And Short pretended to chanty a sailor's song.


"An' away, my Johnny boy, we 're all bound to go!" must be HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES

The REUBEN RANZO verses (repetition):

' Oh, Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo !'
...
" You hear of Reuben Ranzo,
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo!"
...
" Oh Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo! "
...
" Oh, Reuben was no sailor:
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo ! "


The SHENANDOAH and HEAVE AWAY samples compare well with the lyrics given in "The Riverside Magazine for Young People" Apr., 1868, cited earlier by Lighter. I don't know who wrote that piece, but, chances are, if Scudder did not, then he has culled his chanties from there. Scudder was the editor of that children's magazine, so these are probably being rehashed. Perhaps Lighter will mention what some of the other chanties were in The Riverside Magazine -- they may match others in this story by Scudder.


04 May 10 - 08:14 AM (#2899713)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is an interesting version of "Shenandoah" from UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, 1876, by Januarius Aloysious MacGahan. He is on the ship "Pandora" and sailing in Artic waters. They are at the capstan, hoisting anchor. Here are the verses he gives:

"Oh, Shanadoa, I longs to hear you.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I longs to hear you.
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, I've seen your daughter,
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I've seen your daughter,
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, I loves your daughter.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, I loves your daughter.
Ho! ho! the cold, pale water.

When I return I'll wed your daughter.
Ha! ha! we are bound away.
When I return I'll wed your daughter.
Ho! Ho! the rolling water.

For seven long years I woo'd your daughter.
Ha! ha! old Shanadoa.
For seven long years I woo'd your daughter.
Ho! ho! the rolling water.

Oh, Shanadoa, where is your daughter?
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, shanadoa, where is your daughtrer?
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water.

Oh, Shanadoa, beneath the water.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoa, beneath the water.
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water."

Oh, Shanadoa, there lies your daughter.
Ha! ha! the rolling water.
Oh, Shanadoah, there lies your daughter.
Oh! oh! the cold, pale water."

The verses are interspersed with commentary about the anchor coming up. Here is the source:

http://books.google.com/books?id=NC4mAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA213&dq=%22Oh,+Shanadoa,+I+longs+to+hear+you.&cd=2#v=onepage&q=%22Oh%2C%20Shan


04 May 10 - 08:45 AM (#2899730)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

I've already posted that one from MacGahan's biography.


04 May 10 - 09:29 AM (#2899750)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Sorry, Lighter. I didn't scroll back far enough. It's a good one.


04 May 10 - 11:23 AM (#2899811)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

And maybe half improvised. Or idiosyncratic, which is almost the same thing.


05 May 10 - 01:16 AM (#2900319)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The verses are interspersed with commentary about the anchor coming up.

I am not sure what to make of it, though. Because first they are puling up the slack, and able to more or less "run" around the capstan. Then the mudhook is stuck and they are trying to break it out, etc. How is it that Shenandoah is working throughout this whole process? Conventional wisdom would say that it was sung during the really hard heaving i.e. at slow speed, and that the chantey would be have to be changed to match other tempi. So...either something is happening here that is different than the conventional understanding, or the Shenandoah text is just being used, with artistic license, to unify the writing and without regard to authentic context. (??)


05 May 10 - 03:13 AM (#2900364)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Logging in this item mentioned already on the "Sydney" thread. "Marcia's Fortune," a story by Katharine B. Foot, appearing in SCRIBNER'S MONTHLY, vol 13 (April 1877).

Just then the sound of a voice singing reached her ears, and she turned her head to see a little boat, with two men in it, row past—as near in shore as was safe. One was a gunner, and the other a man she knew well,— a broken-down sailor who had once shipped " able-bodied seaman," but whose day for that had long been over. As he rowed he trolled out an old sea-song, sung by many a sailor as he weighed anchor or reefed top-sails, outward bound. It was this:

"I'm bound away to leave you;
Good-bye, my love, good-bye!
Don't let my absence grieve you;
Good-bye, my love, good-bye!"


This is the first mention of this song (?), later to be mentioned, with tune, by Alden.


07 May 10 - 12:41 PM (#2902134)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is an interesting book published in 1921 about the maiden voyage of the clipper ship, "Sheila" in 1877, by the Captain, W. H. Angel, called THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA" . Interspersed throughout this detailed account are sea shanties. They are not usually put into work contexts, but merely given as examples. Do they come from this voyage in 1877, or from later recollections/collections? I can't tell from scanning the text and there are no clues otherwise. I haven't had time to compare them to other collections to see if they might have come from somewhere else. Captain Angel says in his Preface, "The whole of this book has been written up by the Author from carefully kept logs, and its accuracy can be vouched for." Here is a list of the shanties and their page numbers.

"Outward Bound" 51-52
"Unmooring" 52-53
"Goodbye, Fare You Well"   55
"Across the Western Ocean"   59
"Bound for the Rio Grande"   64
"Reuben Rantzau"   73-74
"Sally Brown"   74-75
"Stormalong"   75
"Poor Old Man"   88
"Old Horse"   92-93
"So Early In the Morning"   120-121
"Johnny Boker"   120
"Paddy Doyle" 121
"So Handy, My Girls"   140-141
"Whiskey, Johnny"   144
"Poor Paddy Works On the Railway"   141-142
"Blow the Man Down"   162
"Blow Boys, Blow"   162
"A Roving"   163
"Rolling Home"   186-189
"Haul Away, Jo"   187-188
"Hilo, John Brown, Stand to Your Ground"   269-270
"One More Day, My Johnny"   277
"Farewell, Adieu"   278-279

Here is the link:

http://www.archive.org/stream/clippershipsheil00angeuoft#page/n7/mode/2up

And here is a note about all of this basically laying out the same information by Gibb on the "Rare Caribbean" thread, which I just came across:

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2608223


07 May 10 - 12:51 PM (#2902141)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

I'm wondering if I've missed something. Does it strike anybody as strange that the so-called "oldest chanty of all", namely "A-Roving" hasn't showed up prior to the "SHEILA" source just posted?


07 May 10 - 05:06 PM (#2902316)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

There's no real evidence that "A-Rovin'" itself is unusually old, even if the general idea appeared in a completely different song in 1607.

The earliest polite version seems to be in [William Allen Hayes, ed.] Selected Songs Sung at Harvard College: From 1862 to 1866. (Cambridge: pvtly. ptd., June, 1866), pp.30-31.

So it could be a clean song that got bawdified and shantyized rather than the other way around. However, Whall gives the three tamest stanzas of the anatomical version as having been part of the shanty repertoire of the 1860s.

Harlow prints part of a version he presumably learned in 1876.


07 May 10 - 09:12 PM (#2902458)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Lighter-

"There's no real evidence that "A-Rovin'" itself is unusually old..."

That's an interesting thought, given the conventional belief on the part of the folk music community. But let's re-examine the evidence.

My family certainly sang that song from 1940 on, as did our friends in Long Island.

I'll see what I can dig up.

With regard to literary references:

In the Fireside Book of Folk Songs, © 1947, it's described as "one of the oldest of the capstan shanties; originally a shore song, p. 168. Cecil Sharp collected a shore version called "We'll Go No More a-Cruising" as cited by Hugill in his discussion of the origins of the song in Shanties of the Seven Seas, p. 44. Frank Shay traces the song back to 1608 to Thomas Heywood in his play The Rape of Lucrece in An American Sailor's Treasury, © 1948, p. 86. It appears to be John Masefield who first mentions in Sailor's Garland, © 1906, p. 323, the connection with The Rape of Lucrece. Capt. Whall in Sea Songs and Shanties also mentions the connection with The Rape of Lucrece, p. © 1910, p. 61, as does Joanne Colcord in Songs of American Sailormen, © 1938, p. 28, and Frederick Pease Harlow in Chanteying aboard American Ships, © 1962, p. 51. Frank Bullen doesn't mention the song at all, nor does C. Fox Smith.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


10 May 10 - 05:19 PM (#2904041)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here's a reference from January, 1874, in the APPLETON'S JOURNAL, VOL. XI, in an article by Samuel A. Drake entitled "The Pepperlls of Kittery Point, Maine", to "Heave Away, My Johnnies". The verse is

   "Then heave away, my bully boys,
       Heave away, my Johnnies!"

There is also reference to this song, which is unfamiliar to me:

    "Then heave up the anchor, boys,
       Brace round the main-yard;
    Haul taut your port bow-line,
       And let the good ship fly!"

Here is the link (click on p. 66 - I had trouble with this link):

http://books.google.com/books?id=rAMZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA65&dq=The+Pepperell's+of+Kittery+Point&lr=&cd=17#v=onepage&q=The%20Pepperell'


10 May 10 - 05:33 PM (#2904057)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is another reference (snippet only) from 1875 to "Heave away, my Johnnies", from ST. NICHOLAS, VOLUME 3, by Mary Mapes Dodge.

    "Heave away, my bully boys,
    Heave away, my Johnnies;
    Heave up the anchor, boys,
    Brace round the main yard,
    Haul taut your port bow-line,
    And let the good ship fly."

Which answers the question in my previous post about that additional verse. They appear to be the same, and thus it is all one song. Is this the same chanty as "Heave away, my Johnnies"?

http://books.google.com/books?id=p3IXAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Heave+away,+my+johnnies%22&dq=%22Heave+away,+my+johnnies%22&lr=&cd=20


10 May 10 - 05:34 PM (#2904058)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John. Just to add that these songs were said to be sung whilst heaving at the windlass, and that the author uses the term "shanty" -- in quotes, as if it weren't common knowledge.

I don't recognize the second one, but it looks like a "grand chorus" section to a song.


10 May 10 - 05:42 PM (#2904063)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Charley, I believe the idea that "A-Rovin'" is "one of the earliest shanties" is based entirely on Masefield's hasty conclusion, based on his observation that the theme and even some of the rhymes of Heywood's song are much the same as those of "A-Rovin'".

Otherwise, though, the songs are dissimilar.

Heywood:
http://books.google.com/books?id=BNUUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA233&lpg=PA233&dq=%22feele+man%22&source=bl&ots=TSwGSRBj2J&sig=V5Y2fvB_OAXNr8mDhdARvW5TlhY&hl=en&ei=UnvoS_XTLsSblgf-7-WlAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22feele%20man%22&f=false

(Pp. 232-33).

What text of "A-Rovin'" did your family sing in the '40s?


10 May 10 - 05:57 PM (#2904072)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John,
re: the second reference.

With the info available, I strongly suspect that the 2nd/Dodge reference was just copied from the 1st/Drake. The author combined the two song fragments in a work of fiction.

Even the Drake reference may be inaccurately reproducing HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES.


10 May 10 - 07:47 PM (#2904144)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Lighter-

There were two sources for "A-Roving" in my family, my uncle Richard Dyer-Bennet and our old family friend Dennis Pulisten of Brookhaven, Long Island; both of them were born and raised in England. Their versions certainly predated the popular "Fireship" version that surfaced in about 1951. I'll have to check with my mother tomorrow and see if she can add any more notes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


10 May 10 - 08:18 PM (#2904156)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Thanks, Charley. Only *one* authentic unbowdlerized seafaring text of "The Fireship" has ever been printed (by Ed Cray).

If you've got another one, the world demands it!


24 Oct 10 - 10:34 AM (#3014223)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

In his new book, JOLLY SAILORS BOLD (published by CAMSCO), Stuart Frank gives us a list of tunes found in a journal kept by Frederick Howland Smith, a whaleman. He first sailed in the Lydia on October 9, 1854. The tune list is found on a page of one of his journals kept during the period between 1854 and 1869. Frank says that it was "probably written down while serving as third mate of the ship Herald just after the Civil War." (p. 358).

One of the songs that shows up on this list is (#178) "Fanny Elssler Leaving New Orleans". We already know this song as a version of "Grog Time Of Day". Here is Gibb's original posting on this song with the lyrics:

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2875848

And here is a link back to one of the early accounts:

http://books.google.com/books?id=LOxCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA212&dq=%22Grog+Time+o'+day%22&hl=en&ei=OSzDTI_NJ8aAlAe457gE&sa=X&oi=book_resu

Fanny was a ballerina and toured the US in 1840-1842. Frank says that the lyrics for the song were "miraculously preserved through ephemeral publication in THE NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK (circa 1845)." (p. 374) I was unable to find a full copy of this book on Google Books.

We don't know either from Frank or from Frederick Smith's journal when Smith learned this song. But we do know that sometime between 1854 and 1869, the title at least shows up on board of a whaling ship. Frank says that this list of songs were probably ones that Smith knew and sang. Frank calls this song a "cargo-loading" song, "evidently originating with African-american longshoremen in New Orleans...." (p. 374).

So, this puts this version of "Grog Time Of Day" at sea between 1854 and 1869 in a whaling context. Smith's early journals are in the Kendall Collection at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.


24 Oct 10 - 06:24 PM (#3014573)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Excellent work, John!

GROG TIME is of special interest because it seems to be one of the earliest known "chanties."

What you've posted leads to 2 insights. Please forgive me if I am repeating what you've already said, or clarify if I get it wrong.

1. Though earlier we had THE ART OF BALLET (1915) as a source for this "Fanny" song, for the purposes of this thread we now have an earlier source for it: as per Frank, THE NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK ca. 1845. That does not change our supposed date of the song being sung in 1840-42, but it does give us a more contemporary reference. I, for one, am pleased to have that.

I would *guess* that the author of ART OF BALLET got the song from NEGRO SINGER'S (or some derivation). So, the latter now becomes our primary source for this reference.

A small point: (Neither John nor I have as now seen NEGRO SINGER'S, so I am still guessing here.) It may have been that the author of ART OF BALLET reconstructed the scene of the cargo loading based on notes from an earlier book. Frank also notes cargo loading in New Orleans, so I assume (?) that in NEGRO SINGER'S there are notes on context (i.e. that ART OF BALLET could have used to sketch the scene.)

2.If the whaleman Smith copied down "Fanny" in his journal, I am not sure what implications that has that he *sang* it. Without having seen Frank's exact words, I can't form a solid opinion of how likely that was. Worldcat indicates that NEGRO SINGER'S includes no music notation (though there certainly may have been other ways to cook up the/a tune).

What stumps me most is why such an incidental, ad-libbed song would be taken and reproduced in later performance. Perhaps if a minstrel group took on the song and, after a rather artificial staged fashion, worked up a performance version of it, it would then become popular and spread itself, no longer subject to the usual "rules" of performance in the "folk" tradition.

I guess what I am voicing is my skepticism --though it may be due to lack of info-- that this "Fanny" song would have been performed by the whalemen 2 decades after it was observed on a New Orleans dock. Well, at least not in an "authentic" way. But anything is possible, I suppose.

I'll see if I can get a hold of NEGRO SINGER'S.

Gibb


24 Oct 10 - 08:16 PM (#3014638)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, Frank does not give any indication of contextual notes for "Fanny" in NEGRO SINGER'S. Nor does he give any references for his statement about this being a "cargo-loading" song. My *guess* is that he may have gotten this from ART OF BALLET, which takes us back to where we were before on that. There apparently was no tune printed for "Fanny" in NEGRO SINGER'S. And I would add that as near as I can tell, there were no tunes notated for any of the 230 or so songs in Frank's book. Apparently the whalemen didn't write down music. Frank does provide tunes for each of the songs, but they come from other sources, such as later chanty collections, printed music, etc. Interestingly enough, the tune he provides for "Fanny" is "Fine Time O' Day" from Trelawney Wentworth's THE WEST INDIA SKETCH BOOK!

Smith only copied the title of "Fanny" in his journal, not the lyrics or the tune. I agree with you that this leaves open the question of whether he actually ever sang the song, or whether the song was ever actually used as a hoisting chanty on board a whaler. Once again, we don't have the info on any of this. Frank says,

    "Most of Fred Smith's known song and tune collecting was been (sic) done during his first four voyages, when he was a cabin boy, seaman, boatsteerer, and deck officer in three whaleships and before he ascended to the responsibilities and distractions of marriage and command. He kept journals of all four voyages in a single volume, which also became his reference library and study guide in matters of seamanship and celestial navigation." (p. 358).

He goes on to say,

    "It would undoubtedly delight folklorists and performers today had Fred Smith or some other whaleman seen fit to transcribe shipboard fiddle and dance tunes,note-for-note, just as he knew them - preferably with grace notes and ornamentation, the way they were played in the forecastle and aftercabin at sea. But, so far, no such transcriptions have emerged, and Smith's mere list, inscribed on a single page of his journal, is about the best and most extensive documentation of such tunes on American whaleships." (p. 358)

There is some indication that "Fanny" may have been used in minstrel performances. Frank says,

    "That the song may also have been making rounds on the music-hall circuit is suggested by an allusion on an earlier page of the same songster [NEGRO SINGER'S] (p. 196), in a section entitled "Conundrums," intended as a collection of vaudeville-like dialect quips for "Negro" musicians. It is attributed to the so-called "Black Apollo," whose real name was Charles White, "and all the Colored Savoyards at the Principal theaters in the United States":
          Why is Fanny Elssler like the Bunker Hill Monument?
          Because they are both out ob town. (Frank, p. 374)   

Out of the 230 or so songs in his book, Frank only lists seven as "deepwater chanteys" All of the rest were used for some form of entertainment on the whaling ships. Frank does seem to make the assumption that "Fanny" was used as a chanty, but gives not documentation for this assumption. See page xix in an introductory essay entitled "A Few Words about Chanteys" where he says,

    "A large number of chanteys survive; probably as many have been lost since steam propulsion supplanted them. But comparatively few original cotton-steeeving songs survive. "Fanny Elssler Leaving New Orleans" [#178] is a rare specimen of known vintage."

It is also possible that if this song was actually sung on board of the whalers, it was sung for entertainment as a music hall song. Again, all that can really be said is that the song title shows up in a whaleman's journal written sometime between 1854 and 1869. It is one of 21 titles on the list.


25 Oct 10 - 03:14 AM (#3014749)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Wow! Thanks for all that detail.

The plot continues to thicken of the GROG TIME story.

I've ordered "The Negro Singer's Own Book" on interlibrary loan, and when and if it comes I'll report back.

Now it's back to writing articles on 'jhummar' dance and Punjabi popular music.


29 Oct 10 - 08:36 PM (#3019007)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Back in May, John wrote:

Here is an interesting book published in 1921 about the maiden voyage of the clipper ship, "Sheila" in 1877, by the Captain, W. H. Angel, called THE CLIPPER SHIP "SHEILA" . Interspersed throughout this detailed account are sea shanties. They are not usually put into work contexts, but merely given as examples. Do they come from this voyage in 1877, or from later recollections/collections? I can't tell from scanning the text and there are no clues otherwise.

Due to a discussion with Lighter on the 'Rare Caribbean..." thread, I am suspecting that the chanty info in Angel's book is not reliable. At this point, I suspect that at least his "Stand to Your Ground" was copied from Whall's 1910 collection. Another tell-tale is the item called "Unmooring" in both texts. Another thing I haphazardly spotted is Angel's odd claim that "Stormalong" sounded great with violin accompaniment (!)

I have not compared every song! Perhaps some are original to Angel, but these issues make me inclined to throw it out as a useful reference for the 1870s.


01 Nov 10 - 02:58 AM (#3020526)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

When last I was tending to this thread we were sifting through references to chantying in the 1870s. The discussion by this point has become quite sticky, because even contemporary references from the 1870s are potentially "contaminated" by the available articles from the late '60s. Still, I'll go on with trying to cite activity attributed to the 70s, with the caveat that , for the sake of time, the authenticity of each source is not being verified.

There is a travelogue by Symondson from 1876, TWO YEARS ABAFT THE MAST, that describes his voyage in an English merchant ship SEA QUEEN. Based on the date of the preface (Sept 1876), the voyage must have started in fall of 1874 or earlier. "Chanties" are mentioned by name several times. The term is used in quotes, still suggesting, perhaps, its relative newness.

When attempting to leave London, there's this:

//
Tuesday, at eleven o'clock, the third mate returned aboard, accompanied by Mr H (one of the owners), with instructions from the owners to return to Gravesend. We were not a little amused whilst heaving round the windlass at seeing Mr H leaning over the bulwarks deplorably sick. Our putting back made the men strike up the wellknown homeward-bound "chanty"—

" Good-bye, fare-ye-well;
Good-bye, fare-ye-well!"
//

When this author says "windlass" he means capstan. So it is GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL, which I think is more of a brake windlass chanty, but here we have it for capstan.

Off Portland we have this:

//
We filled up with water and took aboard some fresh meat; and the wind having hauled round to N.E., with fine and clear weather, we weighed anchor to the tune of the "chanty,"—"I served my time in the Black Ball Line,"—and proceeded out by the west entrance of the breakwater.
//

We don't associate BLACKBALL LINE with weighing anchor by capstan today. However, the one prior reference to Blackball Line, from the 1868 "On Shanties" articles, also puts it as a capstan chanty. Weird.

Next, when in Sydney Harbour:

//
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."
//

So, RIO GRANDE.

Later while Sydney Harbour is being described generally:

//
As the sun slowly vanishes away, the perspective becomes blue and purple, the sky settles into a bright greenish hue, and the noise and flutter cease, to be replaced by an almost unbroken silence, made all the more noticeable by its suddenness. The plaintive notes of a distant sailor's " chanty " or call alone break upon one's ear at intervals; and sweetly pretty they sound, particularly at such a time and place.
//

Ooh, chanties are still 'plaintive'!

Another general comment -- giving some insight on non-Anglophones knowing chanties:

//
Since the introduction of steam, there has been a large proportion of foreigners in the English merchant service — mostly Germans, Swedes, Dutchmen, and Russian Fins. All foreigners are called " Dutchmen " at sea. However, those who sail out of England on long
voyages, have mostly been so long in our service, that practically they are Englishmen, knowing our "chanties" and sea-rules better than their own.
//

On the difference between Navy and merchant ships, the author reconfirms what we understand to be the case, that chanties were not part of Navy practice:

//
Merchant Jack laughs with contempt as he watches their crew in uniform dress, walking round the windlass, weighing anchor like mechanical dummies. No hearty "chanties" there—no fine chorus ringing with feeling and sentiment, brought out with a sort of despairing wildness, which so often strikes neighbouring landsfolk with the deepest emotion. He likes to growl—and he may, so long as he goes about his work. I have heard mates say—Give me a man that can growl: the more he growls, the more he works. Silence reigns supreme aboard a Queen's ship; no general order is given by word of mouth—the boatswain's whistle takes its place.
//

"Despairing wildness"! Nice.


01 Nov 10 - 03:04 AM (#3020530)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's the link to Symondson:

TWO YEARS ABAFT THE MAST


02 Nov 10 - 03:03 AM (#3021364)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

One reference that hasn't been logged here yet is Clark's THE CLIPPER SHIP ERA (1912). I am taking the liberty of reproducing John Minear's introduction from elsewhere on Mudcat, then I will break down the passages.

In his book THE CLIPPER SHIP ERA, Arthur Hamilton Clark says, "In the year 1849, 91,405 passengers landed at San Francisco from various ports of the world, of almost every nationality under the sun...." (p.101). That is simply astounding! And what is even more astounding is that so far nobody has turned up anything at all with regard to what just one or two or a dozen of these "Argonauts" might have written down about the work songs that they heard during their voyage to California. And we know they did write things down, in letters and journals and diaries and newspapers. They wrote about all kinds of things. But so far, not about sea chanties.

Clark does have a very detailed chapter, Chapter VII, "The Rush For California - A Sailing Day", in which he lays out what a sailing day from New York harbor would have been like. The problem is that is is not an actual historical account of an actual day, but an idealized account of a re-imagined day. However, Clark was around in those days and his accounts otherwise seem to be accurate and taken as an authority on things.

In this account, he mentions that "Almost every seaport along the Atlantic coast, sent one or more vessels (to California in 1849), and they all carried passengers." (pp. 100-101). In this chapter he says quite a bit about chanties. He says,

       "The people who gathered at Battery Park to see a clipper ship get under way, came partly to hear the sailors sing their sea songs, or chanties, which were an important part of sea life in those days, giving a zest and cheeriness on shipboard, which nothing else could supply." (pp. 109-110).

In his description of the process of a clipper ship putting to sea, he specifically mentions a number of chanties and gives lyrics and tells how and when and what they were used for: "Poor Paddy Works On The Railway", "Paddy Doyle's Boots", "Whiskey Johnny", "Lowlands", and "Hah, Hah, rolling John" ("Blow Boys Blow"). Not only is this probably an accurate list, but the lyrics he gives are probably what were actually sung on board those clipper ships headed to California. His book is specifically about the years from 1843-1869. But it was not published until 1912, and the Preface is dated 1910, about 60 years after the days of the Gold Rush.


Here is the extended reflection on chanties:

//
The people who gathered at Battery Park to see a clipper ship get under way, came partly to hear the sailors sing their sea songs, or chanties, which were an important part of sea life in those days, giving a zest and cheeriness on shipboard, which nothing else could supply. It used to be said that a good chanty man was worth four men in a watch, and this was true, for when a crew knocked off chantying, there was something wrong—the ship seemed lifeless. These songs originated early in the nineteenth century, with the negro stevedores at Mobile and New Orleans, who sung them while screwing cotton bales into the holds of the American packet ships; this was where the packet sailors learned them. The words had a certain uncouth, fantastic meaning, evidently the product of undeveloped intelligence, but there was a wild, inspiring ring in the melodies, and, after a number of years, they became unconsciously influenced by the pungent, briny odor and surging roar and rhythm of the ocean, and howling gales at sea. Landsmen have tried in vain to imitate them; the result being no more like genuine sea songs than skimmed milk is like Jamaica rum.
//

Hmm, interesting idea that back circa 1849 people were getting into listening to sailors' chanties. Had they entered the 'public consciousness'? I wonder why it took a while, then, for them to be written about. It's difficult to say, when this book was written so many years later. However, what *is* quite notable is that circa 1910 (date of the book's Preface), someone clearly had the idea that chanties originated with cotton-screwers "early in the nineteenth century".

Here is the recreation of preparations to sail, with chanties:

//
..."Maintop there, lay down on the main-yard and light the foot of that sail over the stay." " That's well, belay starboard." " Well the mizzentopsail sheets, belay." " Now then, my bullies, lead out your topsail halliards fore and aft and masthead her." " Aye, aye, sir." By this time the mate has put some ginger into the crew and longshoremen, and they walk away with the three topsail halliards:

"Away, way, way, yar,
We'll kill Paddy Doyle for his boots." ...
//

I am not sure what they mean by "walk away" here. I imagine it is not walking away while hoisting the yard, but rather just walking away with the *slack* of the halyards. I'd appreciate any thoughts. If this is the case, then this is certainly an unfamiliar use of PADDY DOYLE. What I don't think is happening: they are not using Paddy Doyle as a halyard chanty.

Continuing...

//
"Now then, long pulls, my sons." " Here, you chantyman, haul off your boots, jump on that maindeck capstan and strike a light; the best in your locker." " Aye, aye, sir." And the three topsailyards go aloft with a ringing chanty that can be heard up in Beaver Street:

"Then up aloft that yard must go,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Oh, whiskey is the life of man,
Whiskey, Johnny.
I thought I heard the old man say,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
We are bound away this very day,
Whiskey, Johnny.
A dollar a day is a white man's pay,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Oh, whiskey killed my sister Sue,
Whiskey, Johnny,
And whiskey killed the old man, too,
Whiskey for my Johnny.
Whiskey's gone, what shall I do ?
Whiskey, Johnny,
Oh, whiskey's gone, and I 'll go too,
Whiskey for my Johnny."

"Belay your maintopsail halliards." " Aye, aye, sir." And so the canvas is set fore and aft, topsails, topgallantsails, royals, and skysails, flat as boards, the inner and outer jibs are run up and the sheets hauled to windward; the main- and afteryards are braced sharp to the wind, the foretopsail is laid to the mast, and the clipper looks like some great seabird ready for flight. ...
//

The WHISKEY JOHNNY verses seem slightly mixed up, but reasonably authentic nonetheless. Then...

//
The anchor is hove up to:

"I wish I was in Slewer's Hall,
Lowlands, lowlands, hurra, my boys,
A-drinking luck to the old Black Ball,
My dollar and a half a day." ...
//

Nice verse. Interestingly, I believe this is the earliest (?) claim for LOWLANDS AWAY -- in the sense it is ~attributed~ to being sung in 1849. I believe the earliest print reference was Alden's 1882 mention. And this one has the "dollar and a half a day" chorus.

Continued...

//
And while some of the hands bring the anchor to the rail with cat and fish tackle, and:
"A Yankee sloop came down the river,
Hah, hah, rolling John,

Oh, what do you think that sloop had in her?
Hah, hah, rolling John,
Monkey's hide and bullock's liver,
Hah, hah, rolling John," ...
//

Catting anchor here, using a halyard chanty form. There was some discussion about the possible relatives of this "Rolling John" in the "Sydney/SF" thread, viz. "Blow Boys Blow," "Sally Brown," and Sharp's "What's in the Pot a-boiling?"

Another idealistic description of the early 1850s come later on:

//
Then when the sun has dried out ropes and canvas, the gear is swayed up fore and aft, with watch tackles on the chain topsail sheets, and a hearty:

"Way haul away,
Haul away the bowline,
Way haul away, Haul away, Joe!" ...
//

HAUL AWAY JOE for sheets. Next is the halyard chanty REUBEN RANZO:

//
The halliards are led along the deck fore and aft in the grip of clean brawny fists with sinewy arms and broad backs behind them, the ordinary seamen and boys tailing on, and perhaps the cook, steward, carpenter, and sailmaker lending a hand, and all hands join in a ringing chorus of the ocean, mingling in harmony with the clear sky, indigo-blue waves, and the sea breeze purring aloft among the spars and rigging:

"Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo,
Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo,
Oh, Ranzo was no sailor,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo.
So they shipped him aboard a whaler,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he could not do his duty,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo.
So the mate, he being a bad man,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
He led him to the gangway,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he gave him five-and-twenty,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
But the captain, he being a good man,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
He took him in the cabin,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he gave him wine and whiskey,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And he learned him navigation,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo,
And now he's Captain Ranzo,
Ranzo boys, O Ranzo."
//

Then, for the pumps, it is the chanty Hugill titles RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN:

//
Finally the mate's clear, sharp order comes: "Belay there; clap a watch tackle on the lee fore brace." "Aye, aye, sir!" And so every sheet, halliard, and brace is swayed up and tautened to the freshening breeze. The gear is coiled up, the brasswork polished until it glistens in the morning sun, the paintwork and gratings are wiped off, decks swabbed dry, and the pumps manned to another rousing chanty:

"London town is a-burning,
Oh, run with the bullgine, run.
Way, yay, way, yay, yar,
Oh, run with the bullgine, run."
//


02 Nov 10 - 03:21 AM (#3021370)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And one more reference from the above:

//
We hear the mate sing out in a pleasant, cheery voice: "Now, then, boys, heave away on the windlass breaks; strike a light, it's duller than an old graveyard." And the chantyman, in an advanced stage of hilarious intoxication, gay as a skylark, sails into song:

"In eighteen hundred and forty-six,
I found myself in the hell of a fix,
A-working on the railway, the railway, the railway.
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-seven,
When Dan O'Connolly went to heaven,
He worked upon the railway, the railway, the railway.
Poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-eight,
I found myself bound for the Golden Gate,
A-working on the railway, the railway.
Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway.

"In eighteen hundred and forty-nine,
I passed my time in the Black Ball Line,
A-working on the railway, the railway,
I weary on the railway,
Poor Paddy works on the railway, the railway."
//

It's PADDY ON THE RAILWAY at the brake windlass.


06 Nov 10 - 03:06 AM (#3024919)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's the "set list" I've compiled for the 1870s attributions. It is just based on what is in this thread, i.e. "minor" sources -- doesn't included the later, big collections that might contain material heard in the '70s.

1870s

BLACKBALL LINE (1)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (1)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (1)
BOWLINE (2)
CHEERLY (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (1)
GOODBYE MY LOVE (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (3)
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (2)
HILO BOYS (1)
JOHNNY BOWKER (1)
REUBEN RANZO (2)
RIO GRANDE (1)
SHENANDOAH (2)
Walk away" (1)
WHISKEY JOHNNY (3)


06 Nov 10 - 03:10 AM (#3024920)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And here's the overall list of chanties that have turned up, up through the 1870s (again, not accounting for the material in later collections or on recordings by people who sailed in the 1870s). It is based on the sources we've dug up in this thread.

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (2)
And England's blue for ever"
Black although she be"
BLACKBALL LINE (2)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (2)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (2)
BONEY (2)
BOTTLE O (1)
BOWLINE (6)
BULLY IN ALLEY (1)
BUNCH OF ROSES (1)
Captain gone ashore!"
Cheerily she goes"
CHEERLY (12)
DRUNKEN SAILOR (1)
FIRE FIRE (2)
GOOD MORNING LADIES (1)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (2)
GOODBYE MY LOVE (1)
GROG TIME (1)
Hah, hah, rolling John" (1)
Hand ober hand, O"
HANDY MY BOYS (1)
HANGING JOHNNY (1)
HAUL AWAY JOE (5)
Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes"
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (4)
Heave her away"
Heave him up! O he yo!"
Heave round hearty!"
Heave, to the girls!"
HIGHLAND (2)
Highland day and off she goes"
HILO BOYS (3)
Ho, O, heave O"
HOOKER JOHN (1)
HUNDRED YEARS (2)
Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
Jack Cross-tree,"
John, John Crow is a dandy, O"
JOHNNY BOWKER (2)
Johnny's gone"
Land ho"
LOWLANDS AWAY (2)
Miranda Lee"
MOBILE BAY (1)
MONEY DOWN (1)
MR. STORMALONG (1)
Nancy Bell"
Nancy oh!"
O ee roll & go"
O! hurrah my hearties O!"
Oceanida"
Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
OH RILEY (1)
Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"
ONE MORE DAY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (2)
PADDY DOYLE (1)
PADDY LAY BACK (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (4)
Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
REUBEN RANZO (4)
RIO GRANDE (3)
ROUND THE CORNER (3)
RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN (1)
SACRAMENTO (1)
SAILOR FIREMAN (1)
SALLY BROWN (3)
Sally in the Alley"
SANTIANA (5)
SHENANDOAH (6)
SLAPANDER (1)
STORMALONG JOHN (1)
STORMY (7)
STORMY ALONG (1)
TALLY (2)
Time for us to go!"
TOMMY'S GONE (1)
Walk away"
WALKALONG SALLY (1)
When first we went a-waggoning"
WHISKEY JOHNNY (6)
Whisky for Johnny!"

Of these, the most cited shanties have been:

1. CHEERLY (12 times)
2. STORMY (7)
3. BOWLINE (6) / WHISKEY JOHNNY (6) / SHENANDOAH (6)


06 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM (#3025017)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Lots of good work, Gibb. Do we stop here or do we try to figure out how we got from here to the "later collections"? There seem to be some interesting discontinuities, but I'm not sure how to lay them out. You've done an excellent job pointing out on numerous occasions some of the probable "continuities" where someone has "borrowed" from someone else. But is it my reading or something else that a significant number of the chanties that we have found so far don't show up in the "later collections"? And almost all of a sudden "new" ones (albeit somewhat more familiar to us at times) start showing up.   What happened?


08 Nov 10 - 01:06 PM (#3026822)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Hi John,

I have been wondering the same. Perhaps the only really "safe" way to do a literary survey is to go chronologically by date of publication...and yet my own interest is in something other than a history of *writings on* chanties, so the attempt has been to follow the chanties, themselves, chronologically. Considerably less certain, but up until the 1870s I don't think it was so bad. There weren't *too many* instances of the publication date being far later than the time described. And even those later publication dates might be said to have been in the "not yet too contaminated" era which is worth something.

As I said, 1870s got more tough. And I felt unsure, for example, about using THE CLIPPER SHIP SHEILA, 1912, to get statements reported to be about 1849. I'm a little worried I've mixed in bad data with good. Having included it speaks to the multiple purposes I have in mind. One of those is simply recording and extracting info from the texts that are not focused on chanties.

Even though the chronological (by date of publication) survey is not my main goal (it is certainly of interest to me, and it's sort of hovering in the back of my head at the same time)...nonetheless I think the best method at this point would be to stay grounded by following that technique. I am going to continue looking for and discussing references published in the earliest times possible -- now that basically means 1880s. I'll deal with, say, Whall's chanties (possibly all learned in 1860s-70s) once we get to the 1910s, and retroactively add them to the various lists.

I expect to go at least into the 1910s before stopping; I have lots of bookmarks up through then!

In the end, the data will still all be there, to be rearranged however one wants to. But I think if we move along this way -- keeping the date of attribution as close as possible to the date of 'publication' (/recording) -- then it will remain most coherent.

Gibb


11 Nov 10 - 06:35 AM (#3029159)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I've been able to see a copy of NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK. I had to get it on an interlibrary loan, and even then it was just on microfilm.

It's a songster without any author given. In fact, the introduction is written in eye-dialect or minstrel language, and signed by "Ole Hardtimes." However, WorldCat attributes it to "Henry B Anthony". Neither is any date given, but WorldCat says "no earlier than 1843." That seems to be based on the fact that it purports to contain "every Negro song that has ever been sung or printed," and yet it is limited to earlier tunes. It's long--448 pp. No organization scheme that I noticed. Many songs are repeated several times, here and there. Seems like a third of them are set to the tune of "Dan Tucker." No music notation, but in a majority of cases a familiar tune is referenced.

There are several interesting examples in it that could point to the origin of certain chanties. I am curious to know what influenced a songster like this might have had on chanties. My assumption is that chanties inspired by minstrel songs would have developed from hearing the songs in live performances. However, the discussion above, that a whaleman jotted down in his journal some songs from this one, makes me wonder if written texts were any contributing factor?

Anyway, the discussion above, which led me to look for this book, was about GROG TIME in the Fanny Elssler context.
In NEGRO SINGER'S it appears as 3 verses (6 lines), pg. 337:

//
FANNY ELSSLER LEAVING N. ORLEANS

Fanny, is you gwyne up de riber,
       Grog time o' day;
When all dese here's got Elslur feber?
       Oh, hoist away.
De Lord knows what we'll do widout you,
       Grog time o' day;
De toe an' heel won't dance widout you.
       Oh, hoist away.
Dey say you dances like a fedder
       Grog time o' day;
Wid tree tousand dollars all togedder.
       Oh, hoist away!
//

Absolutely nothing else is given. Most of the songs in the book are attributed to a performing minstrel artist or group, if not the composer, too. That this has no such notes suggests (to me) that it was not only a "real" worksong but that also it was not (yet, at least) co-opted as a stage song. I imagine it must have been taken from, say, a newspaper report, and included in the interest of making the "ultimate collection of negro songs EVER, dude!!"

Stuart Frank may then have gotten his idea of it as a cargo loading song, etc, from THE ART OF BALLET. A peak at his bibliography would confirm this, unless he does it as a "Works Cited" format.


11 Nov 10 - 06:53 AM (#3029166)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

...also lots of dwelling on "bullgines" and General Taylor all over the place in this collection.


11 Nov 10 - 07:33 AM (#3029189)
Subject: Lyr Add: A DARKEY BAND AND A DARKEY CREW
From: Gibb Sahib

NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK has a song that appears to be related to a chanty. On pg. 180, it's:

A DARKEY BAND AND A DARKEY CREW.

Tune -- "Yankee Ship."

A darkey band and a darkey crew,
    Tally ya ha higho!
Are out in de West care killers so true,
    Ya ha! ha! an' higho!
We spread our sail to de talkin' breeze,
    An' we pull away de oar,
An' den wid some whiskey, bread an' chew,
    Our songs de ribber out roar.

    A darkey band and a darkey crew,
          Tally ya ha! higho!
    Are out in de West, care killers true,
          Ya ha! ha! an higho!

A darkey band and a darkey crew,
    Tally ya ha higho!
Can see when de sky am black an' blue,
    Ya ha! ha! an' higho!
We travel up and down de stream,
    Wid our hog an' our coon skin store
An' we nebber put on de steam,
    Till we get on de shore

    A darkey band and a darkey crew,
          Tally ya ha! higho!
    Are out in de West, care killers true,
          Ya ha! ha! an higho!
//

I suppose this fits TALLY I O, no? It could also work, to some extent with "Blow Boys Blow". We already have attestations of TALLY from the 1830s-40s, so this would be consistent with that.

What is notable is the reference tune "Yankee Ship." One assumes it would have to be familiar enough already to be referenced as such. And we can guess that "Yankee Ship" was a chanty. Perhaps it began w/ the stock line (i.e. which is being parodied here), "A Yankee ship and a yankee crew..." Or was this *not* a parody? This song itself makes reference to riverboat travel, and also to rowing.

Even though this is a popular song given without context, I think there is enough to say that it provides evidence of some sort of chanty being widespread then. I can tentatively speculate that that chanty was "Tally I O."


11 Nov 10 - 08:10 AM (#3029213)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Very interesting, Gibb! Surely the form, at least, of "Fanny Elssler" preserves that of the "Grog Time of Day" shanty. (Or have we already established that? I forget.) The "hoist away" chorus shows that the minstrel at least had a work song in mind. Too bad there's no tune.

The song reminds me in vague ways (scansion and sentiment) of both "Blow Boys Blow" and "Shallow, Shallow Brown." But that may not mean anything.


11 Nov 10 - 08:28 AM (#3029226)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Frank does not reference ART OF BALLET as far as I have been able to discover. At least he does not seem to mention it in JOLLY SAILORS BOLD. He does refer us back to his unpublished Ph.D. dissertation at Brown University (1985) "Ballads and Songs of the Whale-Hunters, 1825-1895; from Manuscripts in the Kendall whaling Museum". There may be a bibliographical reference in this earlier work, but I obviously don't have access to that.

Thanks for "A Darkey Band and a Darkey Crew", Gibb. It sounds like a working song. I am also intrigued by your suggestion that the "Fanny" song may have started out as an actual working song and then been taken up in a collection of "Negro" songs, and ended up on a whale man's list of songs.


11 Nov 10 - 08:34 AM (#3029233)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And here's "A Yankee Ship and a Yankee Crew" from 1840 -- it's Tally I O!. Gotta wait till later to dissect it, but enjoy!

http://books.google.com/books?id=9IwvAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA34&dq=%22yankee+ship+and+a+ya


12 Nov 10 - 02:09 AM (#3030046)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Whoops -- so I guess some of you guys already discussed the "A Yankee Ship and a Yankee Crew" song when talking about Dana's shanties. It doesn't seem like a chanty to me but I think it can reasonably be conjectured that it is related to the Tally I O szanty. I am at a loss, however, to say whether the "real" Tally chantey may have influenced it, or if the shanty was based in the song.

I am going to leave it aside for the purpose of this thread, because I don't think there is sufficient grounds to call it an attestation of chanteying happening. And because the "Darkey Crew" seems just a parody of the popular song, for the time being I am going to leave it out of things, too.

re: Fanny Elssler/Grog Time

My hypothetical scenario of the sich is as follows. "Grog Time of Day" was a chanty in use since at least the 1810s. In the early 1840s, the dockworkers in NOLA indeed sang something of that form when Fanny was leaving. An observer wrote a news article about it, including reconstructed lyrics. The author of NEGRO'S OWN used that recent news article as one of his sources in compiling his songster. Later, the author of ART OF BALLET used the hypothetical news article as a source for his historical account.

Whatever the details, I think there is enough to safely assume that *some* version of "Grog Time" was observed in the early '40s in NOLA.


13 Nov 10 - 05:39 AM (#3030947)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Well now. Here's a song that's quite a lot like "Blow, Boys, Blow".

NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK, pp239:

//
ORIGINAL OLE TAR RIVER

Banjo and ance accompaniments.
Sung by the Virginia Minstrels.

Its way down in ole Carolinar,
    Oh, ah, oh, ah
'Twar on de bank ob ole Tar riber,
    Dah, da, tiddle dum de da.

'Tis dar I met Aramintah Glober
She wanted me but I choose anudder.

Jim Carron katch a turkey buzzard
Black Betsy charmed dis nigger's gizzard

Her figure set dis heart a trotting
Her shabe war like a bale ob cotting

I ride upon de rolling riber
Wid a sail made ob a waggon kiver

Ole fat Sam died ob de decline
An dey dried him for a bacon sign

Is dere any one here loves massa Jackson
Yes I's de nigga loves General Jackson

He had a wife and a big plantation
De odder one in de choctaw nation

He thrashed the red coats at Orleans
He gib Packenham all sorts of beans

He is growing old, and will hab to leab us
His going will make a nation griebous

Along come a nigger wid a long tail coat
He wanted to borrow a tend dollar note
Says I go away, nigger, I ain't got a red cent
//

If the Virginia Minstrels sang this -- perhaps circa 1843 -- would they still be that obsessed w/ Andrew Jackson enough to make a new song? Or could we guess that they were performing a much older song? Jackson died in 1845, so it was created before then. And the line about "he's going to leave us" makes perfect sense for 1843-ish. But still I wonder if the subject matter wasn't original developed back just after the War of 1812. Notably, no composer is credited.

It does have the form of a halyard chantey/ rowing song, but there's no way to tell if that's what it originally was.


13 Nov 10 - 07:31 AM (#3030981)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In Longman's Magazine Vol 12 (June 1888) there is an article "Old Naval Songs." The author, W. Clark Russell, sees fit to bring in chanties, although he familiarity with them is questionable. Several that he mentions are clearly pulled from Dana's TWO YEARS, but he passes of the titles as if they were songs that were part of his experience.

//
THERE are two kinds of sea-songs: those which are sung at concerts and in drawing-rooms, and sometimes, but not very often, at sea, and those which are never heard off shipboard. The latter have obtained in this age the name of ' chanty,' a term which I do not recollect ever having heard when I was following the life. It is obviously manufactured out of the French verb, and there is a 'longshore twang about it which cannot but sound disagreeably to the elderly nautical ear.
//

Hmm. Never heard the term 'chanty'? Possible. When did he sail?

//
This sort of song is designed to lighten and assist the sailor's toil. It is an air that enables a number of men pulling upon a rope to regulate their combined exertions. It is also a song for sailors to sing as they tramp round a capstan and heave upon a windlass. Of the melodies of many of them it is difficult to trace the paternity. Some are so engaging that they might well be regarded as the compositions of musicians of genius, who wrote them with little suspicion of the final uses to which they would be put. Why their destination, having been sung perhaps at the harpsichord and the guitar by ladies and gentlemen, should be the forecastle; why, being appropriated by the sailor they should be so peculiarly his, that no one else ever dreams of singing them, there is no use in attempting to guess.
//

Forecastle? He's talking about chanties, right?

//
The reader will not require me to tell him that the marine working songs are to be heard only in the Merchant Service. In a ship of war the uproar caused by the hoarse bawling of half-a-dozen gangs of men scattered about the decks would be intolerable, nor could the working song be of service to the blue-jackets, who are quite numerous enough to manage without it. It was always so, indeed ; a frigate getting under way would flash into canvas in a breath ; sails were sheeted home, yards hoisted, jibs and staysails run up, and the anchor tripped, as though the complicated mechanism were influenced by a single controlling power producing simultaneously a hundred different effects. There were men enough to do everything, and all at once ; but the ship's company of the merchantman were always too few for her. A mercantile sailor is expected to do the work of two, and, at a pinch, of three and even four. When one job is done he has to spring to another. There are 'stations' indeed in such manoeuvres as tacking or wearing; but when, for instance, it comes to shortening sail in a hurry, or when the necessity arises for a sudden call for all hands, the merchant sailor lays hold of the first rope it is necessary to drag on, and when he has ' belayed' it, he is expected to fling himself upon the next rope that has to be pulled. Here we have the secret of the usefulness of the working song. Let the words be what they will, the melody animates the seaman with spirit and he pulls with a will; it helps him to keep time too, so that not so much as an ounce of the united weight of the hauling and bawling fellows misses of its use on the tackle they drag at. I have known seamen at work on some job that required a deal of heavy and sustained pulling, to labour as if all heart had gone out of them whilst one of the gang tried song after song ; the mate meanwhile standing by and encouraging them with the familiar official rhetoric; till on a sudden an air has been struck up that acted as if by magic. The men not only found their own strength, every fellow became as good as two. This, I believe, will be the experience of most merchant sailors.
//

OK, so more confirmation of the lack of chanties in navy ships, and the reasons why.

Next, types of chanties:

//
There are tunes to fit every kind of work on board ship; short cheerful melodies for jobs soon accomplished, over which a captain would not allow time to be wasted in singing (for I am bound to say that the disposition of a sailor is to make a very great deal of singing go to the smallest possible amount of pulling), such as hauling out a bowline, mastheading one of the lighter yards, or boarding a tack. Other working choruses, again, are as long as a ship's cable. These are sung at the capstan or at the windlass, when the intervals between the starting of the solo and the coming in of the chorus do not hinder the work an instant.
//

Next he states he could not fins mention of chanties in older British accounts, concluding they may be American in origin:

//
It would be interesting to know when and by whom the working song was first introduced into the British Merchant Service. In old books of voyages no reference whatever is made to it. There is not a sentence in the collections from Hakluyt down to Burney to indicate that when the early sailors pushed at handspikes or dragged upon the rigging they animated their labours with songs and choruses. I have some acquaintance with the volumes of Shelvocke, Funnell, and other marine writers of the last century, but though many of them, such as Ringrose, Dumpier, Cooke, Snelgrave, and particularly Woodes Rogers, enter very closely into the details of the shipboard work of their time, they are to a man silent on this question of singing. It is for this reason that I would attribute the origin of the practice to the Americans.
//

//
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.
//

'Heave to the Girls', 'Tally hi ho! You know', 'Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies'
'Cheerly, Men', 'A dandy ship and a dandy crew' -- clearly come from Dana.

'Bound to the Rio Grande' could be his observation. But that exact wording appeared also in Chambers's Journal, 1869.

'Across the Western Ocean' - This exact phrase has not turned up yet in this thread.

'The Plains of Mexico' -- was there prior.

'Run, let the Bulljine, run!' -- I'm seeing this for the first time.


Then he moves onto sea songs, emphasizing the improvised, incidental, and 'doggerel' nature of chanty verses:

//
The other kind of songs—the songs of Charles and Thomas Dibdin, Shield, Arnold, Arne, Boyce, &c., are of a very different order. The working song is often at best but little more than unintelligible doggerel. It is the sailor's trick to improvise as he goes along, and rhyme and reason are entirely subordinate to the obligation of shouting out something. But the sea-song, as landsmen understand the term, is accepted as a composition of meaning and even of poetry...
//


13 Nov 10 - 10:10 AM (#3031045)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Though born in NYC, W. Clark Russell (1844-1911) was a very popular and respected English writer of sea stories. His father, Henry Russell, was the composer of the parlor song, "A LIfe on the Ocean Wave." The younger Russell was born in NYC, but both parents were English and he sailed on British ships, making his first voyage as a midshipman in 1857. He left the sea in 1865.

So I believe him when he says he can't recall hearing the word "chanty/shanty" used at sea. Remember that except for Nordhoff's (American) testimony from the 1840s, the word doesn't appear in print till 1868, after Russell had swallowed the anchor. As Nordhoff connects the word with the cotton-stowers of New Orleans, it may not have become generally applied to shipboard songs, even in the Gulf and the Caribbean, till during or just after the Civil War. Russell's observation should be taken seriously.

Neither Whall nor Robinson, who served at sea in Russell's time, insist that they'd heard the songs actually *called* shanties by the mid '60s. Even if they had, that doesn't mean that the word was universally known, as it apparently was by the '70s. (Without the broadcast media, new words didn't become entrenched as quickly then as now; even Davis & Tozier in 1888 thought they needed to put the word in quotes.)

When Russell wrote "in the forecastle," he meant, like many writers, "among deckhands," and not literally in the forecastle.

Russell's opinion that shantying arose in American ships looks more and more likely all the time.


13 Nov 10 - 04:44 PM (#3031285)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Great info!

This testimony of Russell, coupled with his details, is thought provoking.

I too believe Russell when he says he didn't hear the word "chanty". But I am not sure what exactly that means for us.

Should we take it as some evidence that the word really was not common at sea ca. 1857-1865? Sure, that's possible. But though I am on board with the idea that the word didnt become common until relatively late (vagueness intended), it seems unlikely to me that it would go *this* late. If the first print mentions of chanty/shanty are 1867/1868, one could equally argue that terms are around awhile (e.g. at sea) before they get into print.

Or should we take it that 'chanty' was simply not in Russell's *personal* experience. Was he only in Navy ships? If so, that might explain why, if it was common, he did not come across it. Perhaps he heard sailors singing chanties but was not involved in them much.

It could also be that he sailed in British vessels and at that time 'chanty' was not there. This would inadvertently (?) help to prove his point about chanties originating in America. I think it was Steve Gardham who was investigating a while back the date at which shanties became prevalent in British ships.

It would be interesting to know how it is that now (i.e. 1880s -- he has earlier works with similar material) he knows the word 'chanty.' What has he been reading or hearing? (FWIW, the prominent 1868 and 1869 articles use the "shanty" spelling.) Has he since been observing sailors' speech? Or is his knowledge based in his reading?

I am not convinced (yet) that Russell knew much about chanteying from first hand experience, despite his nautical credentials in some areas. I prefer to read this for what it says (doesn't say?) *about* knowledge of chanteying.


13 Nov 10 - 05:04 PM (#3031296)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's more from W. C. Russell. SAILOR'S LANGUAGE (London, 1883)

//
...I quote these verses at length, as a fair sample of the sort of " growling " Jack puts into his songs. Unfortunately he is somewhat limited in melodies. Some of them are very plaintive, such as "The Plains of Mexico " and "Across the Western Ocean," and others have a merry, light-hearted go, such as "Run, let the bulljine run!" "Whisky, Johnny!" "Time for us to go," " I served my time in the Blackwall Line."
//

He cites SANTIANA, ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN, RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN, WHISKEY JOHNNY, "Time for us to go", BLACKBALL LINE.

That's the earliest mention I've seen in print so far of "Run Let the Bulljine Run," suggesting it may be a unique addition. But then "Time for us to go" is one of those "lost" chanties of Dana. If he knows his chanties, why does he have to throw in Dana's titles?

In the continuation of the passage, he uses the term 'chantey'. Had that spelling turned up yet?

//
But the lack of variety is no obstruction to the sailor's
poetical inspiration when he wants the " old man" to know
his private opinions without expressing them to his face, and
so the same "chantey," as the windlass or halliard chorus is
called, furnishes the music to as many various indignant
remonstrances as Jack can find injuries to sing about.
//


Finally, he quotes the Salt Horse rhyme:

//
The provisions have for years been a sore subject with the sailor.
His beef and pork have earned more abuse from him than any
other thing he goes to sea with. " What's for dinner to-day,
Bill ? " I remember hearing a sailor ask another. " Measles,"
was the answer, that being the man's name for the pork aboard
his vessel. " Old horse," is the sailor's term for his salt beef;
and some old rhymes perhaps explain the reason :—

"Between the main-mast and the pumps
There stands a cask of Irish junks;
And if you won't believe it true,
Look, and you'll see the hoof and shoe.
Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here,
After carrying turf for so many a year,
From Bantry Bay to Ballyack,
Where you fell down and broke your back ?
With kicks, and thumps, and sore abuse,
You're salted down for sailor's use.
They eat your flesh and pick your bones,
Then throw you over to Davy Jones."
//


13 Nov 10 - 05:09 PM (#3031301)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Russell has a story in Longman's Magazine Vol. 3 (Nov. 1883), called "Jack's Courtship."

//
Miss Hawke then somewhat bashfully asked if I would sing. (What! before ladies, thought I. Never!) I told her that my knowledge of music did not enable me to reach to anything higher than a windlass chorus.

'Then give us one of the old chanteys,' exclaimed my uncle. "Haul the Bowline," or "Whiskey, Johnny," or " Run, let the Bulljine run." Why, the mere sound of those old songs takes me back forty years, and I seem to be standing in the lee scuppers up to my neck, or holding on with my eyelids as I try to roll up the foreroyal single-handed.'
//

He adds BOWLINE to his repertoire. Still "chantey". Must have changed it to "chanty" later on.


13 Nov 10 - 05:18 PM (#3031309)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Russell's 1888 collection THE MYSTERY OF THE 'OCEAN STAR' has a version of his "Old Naval Songs" article above-- presumable collected in this volume. It's called "The Old Naval Sea-song." The chanty-related passage is the same. The preface is dated July 1888.


13 Nov 10 - 05:52 PM (#3031344)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Russell again discusses sailor's songs in his THE ROMANCE OF JENNY HARLOWE (1889). This time, however, he is more opinionated.

//
In fact, there are two distinct sorts of sailors' songs, compositions of which only a very few indeed are sung by sailors, and compositions which nobody but sailors ever dream of singing. These last are well worthy of brief consideration. Some reckless modern has hurled the execrable term "chanty" at them, and the word, I am sorry to say, has stuck. I suppose the etymology of it must be sought in the French verb chanter. The "chanty," as it is now the custom to call it—pronounced "shanty," I believe, but I am very unwilling to have anything to do with it—is the modern generic appellation of the mariner's working song or chorus. It may be presumed that there is no landsman who needs to be told that when sailors heave upon a windlass, or wind round a capstan, or haul upon ropes, one of them will break into a song, which the rest at regular intervals pick up in a rousing chorus. These are Jack's working songs, and they are to be heard only on board ship.
//

Ouch! OK then, he really never heard 'chanty'! Still again -- I wonder where he first heard it. Has it been 'hurled' at sailors or landsmen by these 'moderns'?

//
The words of these compositions might make the exclusiveness intelligible were it not that some of the melodies are so pretty, so plaintive, so catching, so full of the salt aromas of the deep, as to make one wonder that they should not long ago have found their way ashore, fitted to words more proper for the drawing-room and the concert hall, than Jack's rhymes to them. Such airs as "Across the Western Ocean," "The Plains of Mexico," "Yon rolling River," "Blow, Boys, Blow," and a few others—not many, I admit—harmonized by an able musician, and associated with good poetry, should scarcely fail, I think, to captivate the shore-going ear, and hold to it with scarcely less tenacity than may be witnessed in its adherence to maritime memory and sympathy.
//

He has added SHENANDOAH and BLOW BOYS BLOW to his list.

I wonder if he read Adam's ROCKET of 1879. Lots of similarities in their expositions.

More on American origin of shanties:

//
I think it may be taken that we owe the sailors' working song as we now possess it to the Americans. How far do these songs date back ? I doubt if the most ancient amongst them is much older than the century. It is noteworthy that the old voyagers do not hint at the sailors singing out or encouraging their efforts by choruses when at work. In the navy, of course, this sort of song was never permitted. Work proceeded to the strains of a fiddle, to the piping of the boatswain and his mates, or in earlier times yet, to the trumpet. The working song then is peculiar to the Merchant Service, but one may hunt through the old chronicles without encountering a suggestion of its existence prior ot American independence and to the establishment of a Yankee marine. It is at least certain that the flavour of many of these songs is distinctly Transatlantic. The melodies it might be impossible to trace. Just as " Yankee Doodle " is an old English air Americanized by the inspirations of the Yankee poet, so there may be many an old tune that owed its existence to British brains appropriated by the Boston and New York lyrists, and fitted to words so racy of the soil as to render the whole production as entirely Yankee to the fancy as are the stripes and stars or the cotton white canvas of the ships of the States.
//

Attesting that despite steam, chanteys are still current:

//
But the working chorus takes a distinctive character when you think of it in reference to the small crew of a merchantman. Captains and mates so well understand the heartening influence of the song upon the sailor's toil, that half the official rhetoric of the forecastle and the quarter-deck is formed of entreaties to tbe men to sing out; to " Sing and make a noise, boys ! " To " Heave and pawl! " To " Heave and raise the dead ! " To " Sing to it, lads; sing to it!" A new song will sometimes be as good as a couple of new men to a ship's forecastle; hence in the merchant service sailors' songs, in the strict sense of the expression, are of incalculable value. To be sure in these days steam and patent machinery have diminished something of the obligation of these chants. A donkey engine does its work without a chorus; it needs not a fiddler to set a steam capstan revolving. But the manual windlass is still plentiful, the capstan bar of our forefathers is not yet out of date, though the single topsail is halved there is yet the upper yard to masthead; and these, with a hundred other jobs to be done aboard a sailing ship, keep the sailors' sea-song actively current.
//

Next he quotes from THE QUID (1832):

//
An old sailor recalls with a sigh the heaving of the capstan of his day. " It is one of the many soul-stirring scenes," he says, " that occur on board when all hands are turned up ; the motley group that man the bars, the fiddler stuck in a corner, the captain on the poop, encouraging the men to those desperate efforts that seem to the novice an attempt at pulling up the rocks by the root. It is a time of equality; idlers, stewards and servants, barbers and sweepers, cooks and cooks' mates, doctors' mates and loblolly boys; every man runs the same road, and hard and impenetrable is that soul that does not chime in with the old ditties, 'Pull away now, my Nancy O!' and the long ' Oh !' that precedes the more musical strain of—
" ' Oh, her love is a sailor,
His name is Jemmy Taylor;
He's gone in a whaler
To Hie Greenland Sea.'

" Or—
" Oh! if I had her,
Eh, then, if I had her,
Oh ! how I could love her,
Black although she be!'"
//

On improvisation, variability:

//
The sailor's trick of improvising furnishes a very varied character to his working songs. A man having exhausted all the rhymes he knows, with a good deal of pulling and hauling still remaining, will often venture upon a doggerel of his own instead of repeating what he has already said. "Words of certain songs have indeed a permanency, but I doubt if it would be possible to express the peculiar nature of the sailors' working songs, by printing the verses which are supposed to accompany the airs. Words are varied again and again; line after line is made up on the instant; the reader may reject with confidence any collection that is offered to him as samples of the poetry which Jack roars out when he heaves or drags. In truth, but a very little of the real thing would bear the light of day.
//

Lastly, he claims to be very familiar with shanties first hand. OK, I'll buy it. Funny thay he never prints any verses though.

//
I remember a lady writing to ask me to assist her in forming a collection of the sailors' working songs, and I could not help thinking that if by Jack's songs she meant the "chanties," as they are now called, she would be starting on a quest which I might expect to hear in a very little time she had relinquished with a hot face and a shocked heart. No, the mariner is not very choice in his language. His working ditties are a little too strong for print, on the whole. The few examples I have seen in type are Bowdlerized out of knowledge. He may have reformed in this matter of late years; he may sing nothing to-day that is not virginal in purity; but in my time—and it is not so very long ago either—his working choruses reeking with forecastle fancies, were as full of the unrepeatable and the unprintable as his biscuit was of weevils. In sea stories, however, the sailors' working song is seldom or never given. Dana will speak of the crew having struck up such and such an air—"Cheerily, Men," or "Heave to the Girls," or "Tally hi ho, you know," but he confines his reference to the titles.
//


13 Nov 10 - 07:33 PM (#3031416)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

The 1889 passages are especially interesting. I'd almost bet that the lady who asked Russell's assistance was L. A. Smith, ca1883.

The reference to Dana makes it pretty clear that he knows those shanties by title only. I'm not surprised that he offers no words.
He obviously doesn't think much of them, and he may not remember them very clearly. He hadn't been at sea for nearly 25 years, and as far as we know he was never a shantyman himself; so the words he'd memorized would have mostly been the choruses. It is also possible that

1. the shantymen he'd known were so vulgar (by Victorian standards) that he'd have felt uncomfortable quoting anything they sang. A serious Victorian frowned on any reference to getting drunk or disorderly, any use of the word "damn" or "bloody," any suggestion of hanky-panky, and perhaps even on a song like "Sally Brown," in praise of a mulatto woman. Minstrel-type lyrics were simply foolishness (Whall pretty much says that's how he felt.) "Uplift" was the watchword.

2. the shantymen he'd known extemporized so freely and unpoetically that the words were just too dull to quote

3. he knew that the inoffensive stanzas floated so freely from song to song that he didn't feel they belonged to any one shanty and so would not be "representative" of any particular song

4. Russell's editor thought that it would be a waste of space to quote doggerel, particularly since the books of L. A. Smith and Davis & Tozier were now available.

Altogether, I don't see anything disingenuous about Russell's failure to quote lyrics, though of course it's disappointing. My guess is that he didn't pay much attention to the shanties in the first place except for the melodies. I'll also guess that the shanties he mentions (except probably those mentioned by Dana) were the most widely sung in his experience.

The "reckless modern" had "hurled" the name not at the sailors or the landsmen but at the songs themselves. "Them" must refer to "these last," which refers to the songs.


13 Nov 10 - 08:56 PM (#3031468)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The "reckless modern" had "hurled" the name not at the sailors or the landsmen but at the songs themselves. "Them" must refer to "these last," which refers to the songs.

Grammatically, sure. But the question I am getting at is who was using the word 'chanty,' and what exactly is he alleging? Did the agent who introduced the word (i.e. in his imagination of it) come from among sailors or from among literateurs? Were sailors using a word that had become trendy among outsiders and then put into their vocabulary? Or does he believe sailors began using the word natively among themselves? If the latter, why so much disdain for the sailors' own language? What could he possibly think was their motivation to adopt the term or for someone among them to introduce it?

I am mainly using Russell as a foil here. His statements remind me of the yet unanswered issue of how/why/when the term 'chanty' came about -- the answer to which, of course, would help show from who/where they came.

The cotton-stowers and stevedores in many ports had the term "chantyman' or 'chanty" with them. There is a notable association with African-Americans, but it is not necessarilly the case that most were. Use of chanties (by whatever name) seems to have become common on ships (qualified by nationality, geography) by the Gold Rush. Assuming there is at least some significant relationship between the African-Americans' worksong practice and later shipboard practices...Did the term 'chanty' not come with the songs? Was it that the songs mostly came, and that only some 'deep' in-the-know would refer to them as 'chanty'? And if, for some time, the practice of these songs went on without most people calling them chanties, when/why did the term finally gain prominence? What would it come to prominence so long *after* the adoption of the practice?


13 Nov 10 - 11:52 PM (#3031548)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

One last (?) statement by WC Russell comes in an essay called "A Claim for American Literature" in THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, Feb. 1892.

It shows his high regard for Dana.

He puts his American origins of chanties idea down in an even more positive fashion than previously.

//
However, I will not here assert that the Americans have taught us any particular lesson in the direction of forecastle fare. They invented the double topsail yards ; they invented the "chanty," the inspiring choruses of the windlass and the capstan, such hurricane airs as "Across the Western Ocean," " Run, Let the Bulljine Run!" " Shanadoah," " Old Stormy," " Bully in the Alley," " Cheerily, Men !" and scores besides ; they were the first to lighten the sailor's labor by bidding him lift up his voice when he hove or shoved ; they-imported into their commercial marine fifty useful time- and labor-saving ingenuities, all which we on our side, blind with the scaly salt of centimes of dogged seagoing, were very slow to see, to apprehend, and to apply. But the imaginations, the inventions, of the American nautical mind seemed to have come to a stand at the Sign of the Harness Cask.
//

He adds "Old Stormy" -- which I will attempt to class under the keyword I've been using, WALK HIM ALONG -- and "Bully in the Alley" to his named shanties.

The title "Old Stormy" appeared as such in Nordhoff but nowhere else that I can see. BULLY IN ALLEY occurred only once so far, in a book by Mulford in 1889. Russell doesn't mention that title in his writings prior to 1889 but now he adds it to his list. Whereas one could argue that Rio Grande and Bowline and Whiskey Johnny were commonly known, Bully in the Alley being mentioned here raises my eyebrow. It is entirely possible that he mentions it independently but... there still remains an issue for my purposes at least. Which is that if this is an independent mention then I want to record it as such, while if Russell is for some reason just mentioning previously-mentioned songs (regardless of his own experiences) then it messes with my data....damnit!

In any case, these Russell examples are great because they show an Englishman, at the cap (?) of the shanty era stating his belief that szanties were American creations...which we can then compare to the growing belief in the 20th century that shanteys were essentially British.


14 Nov 10 - 01:00 AM (#3031567)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This reference comes via Q, who posted it 28 Jun 09 on the "Rare Caribbean" thread.I am taking the liberty of copy-pasting it because it has all the information.

Robert C. Leslie, in "Old Sea Wings, Ways and Words in the Days of Oak and Hemp," , London, 1890, Chapman and Hall Ltd., describes the sailing of an American Black X ship from St. Katherine's Docks, bound for New York, p. 233: "Yankee seamen (almost an extinct race now) were then noted for their capstan chants, and the chorus of "Good Morning, Ladies All," swells quaintly up at intervals above the other sounds."" [Leslie was speaking of the 1880s]

So, GOOD MORNING LADIES, which was also mentioned as a capstan chantey in 1868 ONCE A WEEK article.


14 Nov 10 - 01:49 AM (#3031590)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In another work of historical fiction, Elijah Kellogg sets a scene of Black men at work in Portland (ME) using chanties. Like in his other works, the shanties (at least in my opinion) look like they were based in some existing songs. The book is A STRONG ARM AND A MOTHER'S BLESSING, published 1881.

Stevedores are unloading casks of molasses (by means of hoisting with rope) to make way for lumber. We are expecting either a halyard-like action or else a hand-over-hand.

//
Shepard, a tall, intelligent-looking mulatto, covered with molasses from head to foot, took his place at the hatchway, and the stevedore cried :

"Come, Bob Craig, call de mourners, strike de music, short song, my bullies, short song; we've lost much time dis mornin', and de brig must be discharged to-night."

Thus exhorted, Craig, a very tall, sinewy negro, black as night, opened a mouth so capacious that it resembled an old-fashioned fall-back chaise, but the voice that issued from this cavern, though of tremendous volume, was sweet and well modulated. The words were silly enough, but the time was perfect, — and this accomplishes the object of the song, which is to cause every man to lay out his strength at the same instant; it also excites the negro to such a degree that while singing he is scarcely conscious of fatigue. Craig, obeying the command of the stevedore, proceeded to "call de mourners," standing on a plank placed across the hatchway that elevated his tall form far above the rest.

"Born in a frying-pan, raised on a shovel,
Tidee-i-dee ah, tidee-i-dee ah ;
Way down south among de corn and de cotton,
Tidee-i-dee ah, tidee-i-dee ah,
Dere I growed to be such a coal-black darky,
   Tidee-i-dee ah, tidee-i-dee ah."

The other blacks giving the chorus.
//

I can't place it. Thought about "Tiddy High O," but it doesnt fit Hugill's version.

//
Under the stimulus of this quick time six casks came up in a hurry, when Craig struck up :

"Gen'ral Jackson's a fightin'-man,
    Fire, my ringo, fire away;
He opened his forts, fired away,
    Fire, my ringo, fire away."
//

MARINGO!

The following exchange underscores the idea of the chantyman as a singer who doesnt work. In his ARK OF ELM ISLAND (1869), Kellogg also refers, as if to an actual event, to this "Old Craig" singing while hoisting molasses from the brig WILLIAM in Portland. Is he reusing his ideas here? It's not unreasonable to think that Kellogg did see something like this "many years" before 1869, however we can't place the shanties.

//
"Dat's fust-rate song," cried the stevedore, delighted. He then said to Arthur:

"Dat big man what gives de song — dat's Bob Craig; no man like him eber I see ; I give him most wages. I've knowed Massa Jake Knights give hitn nine shillings a day, 'cause he 'fraid somebody else hire him, and Craig neber touch his hand to de rope, but stand at de rail, and sing, and beat de time with two belayin' pins."

"I don't see why he paid him for singing if he didn't work."

"Paid him 'cause he made de rest work — paid for de sing; black man no like a white man, song stir him all up ; no song, he lazy, no do nothin'; give him good song, den he throw himself."
//

And one more song:

//
One of the negroes now cried :
" Dis song too quick, Jack Groves; men no get dere breath ; must have longer song."
" Stick to it, bullies; three more casks, den have longer song."
After hoisting three more casks, Craig began another ditty.

"My name is Johnny-jump-round,
And every person knock down,
Ho, ho, Highland a'!
Round de corner Sally,

My breast is made of steel-plate,
My arms are made of crowbars,
Ho, ho, etc.

And if you don't believe me,
I'll give you leave to try me,
   Ho, ho, etc."

[line breaks are mine]
//


14 Nov 10 - 02:02 AM (#3031599)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And here's more from Kellogg.

//
The importance of the negro stevedores and seamen gradually diminished with the decay of the West India trade. But the first severe blow was inflicted in 1833, when the brig Oscar, belonging to Jacob Knight, a prominent West India merchant, came into Boston with a cargo of molasses. Mr. Knight took his blacks and went to Boston to discharge the vessel, and bring her back to Portland. He took a large crew of the smartest negroes, first-rate hoisters and singers, with the tackles and other gear, and Robert Craig for leading singer, with the two Shapleigh's, Isaiah Thomas, Young, Jere Brown, and Stewart, a man of enormous bulk and lungs in proportion. The derrick was raised, the gear rove, and Craig commenced his favorite song:

"Crow, crow; why don't you crow?"

in tones that were distinctly heard in South Boston, East Boston, and over the entire peninsula, while the rest of the crew resolved to show the Boston people how it was done, put in a fearful chorus of

"John, Johnnie Crow is a dandy, O."

In half an hour there were five thousand people on the wharf, and the vessel's rigging was filled with boys and loafers from the leading-blocks to the cross-trees.

Some one bent on mischief raised the cry of fire; the Old South bell rang; the firemen turned out, and rushed wildly about to find the fire, for there was no smoke visible, and no fire telegraph then. At length the police were summoned to disperse the crowd and stop the noise, and to their infinite disgust the negroes were forbidden to sing, upon which they refused to work, when the matter was compromised by their being permitted to sing in a low tone, with a policeman on the quarter-deck to enforce the order. Craig avenged himself and his mates by lampooning the policeman in his song, and most of the time sung a mournful ditty, the chorus of which was:

"Poor old man."

In the mean time Knight went among the shipping, and found cargoes there were discharged with a winch, that this required less men, and more work could be done in the same time for less money. He therefore bought a winch (windlass turned by cranks) and brought it home in the brig. The negroes would have nothing to do with it, because they could have no song, for this machine did not admit of it. There was neither poetry, music, nor pleasant associations connected with turning a crank, and the Irish filled their places; the lumber was cut off; the negroes gradually disappeared and sought other employments, and the entire course of trade changed.
//

Kellogg made a similar claim about the winch in his 1869 work.

1833 was during the time that Kellogg was at sea. I'm beginning to think this stuff has basis in fact in which case Kellogg's observations would really give some insight to *early* work-singing.

More facts could be checked. Here's the link to the book.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QksqAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA151&dq=negro+sing+%22fire+awa


14 Nov 10 - 04:06 AM (#3031629)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A reference to shantying probably in the 1870s (after the Civil War but no later than 1881) is the following, introduced by John Minear in the "Sydney" thread thus:

Here is another one of those very interesting references in which the events are not dated. My sense is that this is from the 1870s. The book is FORE AND AFT: A STORY OF ACTUAL SEA LIFE, by Robert Brewer Dixon, in which he describes a voyage from New York to Vera Cruz, Mexico, on the "brig Elizabeth." The book was published in 1883. I have tried to locate information on the brig "Elizabeth", but there apparently were several of them dating back to the time of the American Revolution. I couldn't pin it down. The same was true with "Captain Bradley". There was a Robert Brewer Dixon who became a prominent physician in boston. He studied for his MD at Harvard from 1876-79. It is likely that this is the same person, in which case, these events at sea probably happened prior to his time at Harvard. He mentions in his first chapter that he has been at school at "Chauncy-hall School, Boston, and was at home on my summer vacation..." (p.2)

The shanty passages are as follows.

When leaving NY:

//
The pawls of the windlass rattled merrily to "Shanandore, I love your daughter," led by our "shanty-man," the crew coming in on the chorus of "Hurrah, you rollin' river!"
...
The top-sail sheets were hauled taut and "bowsed down;" the halyards were then run through a snatch-block, manned by all hands; and, with another song from our "shanty-man," the yard was "mast-headed," and the sail filled with the breeze.
//

SHENANDOAH at the brake windlass, and a reference to halyard chanties.


In Vera Cruz, Mexico, cargo is being discharged a a group of stevedores -- no Americans among them -- as described herein. The work involves a pulling action.

//
Some of the logs were monsters, ten of them weighing nearly six tons each; these were about fifteen feet in length, and nearly four feet square, and required a large and powerful purchase to get them over the rail and into the hold without accident. The winch was not strong enough to lift them, so the purchase had to be taken to the windlass.

Some of the "shanty" songs, which the stevedore's crew sang as they hove in and stowed away the logs, were highly interesting and melodious. The "shanty-man" was a large, powerfully built Portuguese, who had charge of the work. He would lead off in a song; and the rest of the gang would come in on the chorus, all pulling at the same time, as the word or sign was given in the song. All of the men were Mexicans, except the Portuguese, and a young Swedish sailor who had left his vessel, and had since" been living on shore, working for the stevedore.
//

//
There is a great deal of melody in these sailorsongs, and a good "shanty-man" has at least fifty songs in his repertoire. One of the most spirited " pulling-songs " was the " Bowline," a favorite with the men, constantly called for when a log refused to move; and almost continually the echoing chorus of this or some other equally pleasing song resounded through the hatchway while the cargo was stowing.

We'll haul the bowline so early in the morning;
(Chorus.) We'll haul the bowline, the bowline haul!
[w/ musical score]

"Rosa," another "pulling-song," undoubtedly of negro origin, was a favorite of mine.

Oh ! Rosa in the garden, hanging out clothes
(Chorus.) Stand below you coal black rose.
[w/ music]
//

So, BOWLINE and COAL BLACK ROSE mentioned for the first time. The melody is different than the one supplied by Hugill.

//
"Pulling-songs" should have but one chorus, while windlass-songs invariably have two. One of the widest-known and most melodious of all windlass-songs is " Shanandore." This is also of negro origin: as now sung, the wording is changed almost entirely, but the original air remains.

For seven long years I courted Sally.
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
I courted Sally down in yon valley
Ah, ha! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri.
[w/ music]
//

SHENANDOAH again. When he says "as now sung," I understand it to me that he believes the "Shanadore, I love your daughter" version (i.e. as opposed to a Sally Brown version) is the the altered form, which the sailors (as opposed to these stevedores) sing.

//
These few are enough to give an idea of sailor-songs. The Portuguese had a good voice for "shanty " singing, and his clear tones would ring out with the line of the song; while the men, catching up the air, would come in heartily on the chorus, and give a quick strong pull at the proper time. It was remarkable to see, when a song was started up, how quickly the men would move a heavy log that before they could not stir. The song not only inspired them with vim and enthusiasm, but gave them the time for pulling all together.
//

FWIW, "shanty" continues to be used in quotes.


14 Nov 10 - 04:26 AM (#3031635)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

and, from Dixon:

//
The following morning, Sept. 18, all hands were called at daybreak; and the windlass was manned, and the anchor hove short, to " Lowlands," the wildest and most weird of all sailor-songs, led by the second mate.
//

LOWLANDS AWAY


Dixon's lyrics and tunes compare well with RC Adams' (1879).


14 Nov 10 - 04:39 AM (#3031638)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This collection of STUDENTS' SONGS (13th edition, ed. W.H. Hills, 1887) has a parody version of RIO GRANDE. It is by Hills and copyrighted 1881. Just goes to show how well known the chanty must have been by then.

http://books.google.com/books?id=U68QAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA34&dq=%22heave+away%22&lr=&as


14 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM (#3031652)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The March 5, 1887 issue of CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL contains an unsigned article about a trip to North Bimini (Bahamas) at the end of 1881. The travelers meet with some boat rowers, who sing a work song:

//
One of the large island boats, rowed by twelve stout blacks, took us the three miles to the landing-place, as, though we were only about two miles from the island then, we had to circumnavigate the reef which projects across the narrow strait dividing North from South Bemini, and which strait, sheltered by the reef, forms a most excellent harbour for the schooners and smaller craft of the island. These black rowers then started a chant, of a more Anglican than Gregorian tone, the music of which was prettier than the words, though this is not high praise, the words being:

Oh, I wish I was in Mobile Bay—
   Sally, get round the corner;
Loading cotton all the day—
   Sally, get round the corner;
//

This reads like a passage from the 1830s! Funny that the author doesn't connect this 'chant' to 'chanties,' but I suppose s/he didnt have the experience.

Is this ROUND THE CORNER SALLY?


14 Nov 10 - 06:14 AM (#3031666)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I take back what I said about Dixon. Looks like his stuff, and some of his ideas are from Alden's 1882 article (not yet dissected in this thread), which would have just come out recently before. He even talks about "Lowlands" as the "wildest" chanty, like Alden, and uses Alden's "shanty-man." And he refers to two versions of Shenandoah in the same way. The tunes are the same as Alden.

The exception is Coal Black Rose. I don't know where that came from.

Also -- Comparing Russell's work to Alden, his titling is conspicuously similar. "Across the Western Ocean" had not been mentioned until Alden. "Plains of Mexico". Russell and Alden have "bound TO the Rio Grande," where elsewhere it is "for." Use of the title "Old Stormy."

The unique phrases in Russell so far are 'Run, let the Bulljine, run!' and "I served my time in the Blackwall Line". I am skeptical of the rest, and I won't include it in any tally.


14 Nov 10 - 05:07 PM (#3032154)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Going back a bit, here is relevant reference to non-maritime work-singing. RH Dana evidently took a trip to Cuba in Feb. of 1859, and the result is his travelogue, TO CUBA AND BACK (1859). At one point he visits a sugar plantation and observes the round-the-clock slavery of converting the cane into raw sugar. Here is is description of the singing.

//
The smell of juice and of sugarvapor, in all its stages, is intense. The negroes fatten on it. The clank of the engine, the steady grind of the machines, and the high, wild cry of the negroes at the caldrons to the stokers at the furnace doors, as they chant out their directions or wants—now for more fire, and now to scatter the fire—which must be heard above the din, "A-a-b'la! A-a-b'la!'" "E-e-cha candela!" "Pu-er-ta!", and the barbaric African chant and chorus of the gang at work filling the cane-troughs ;—all these make the first visit at the sugar-house a strange experience. But after one or two visits, the monotony is as tiresome as the first view is exciting. There is, literally, no change in the work There are the same noises of the machines, the same cries from negroes at the same spots, the same intensely sweet smell, the same state of the work in all its stages, at whatever hour you visit it, whether in the morning, or evening, at midnight, or at the dawn of the day. If you wake up at night, you hear the "A-a-b'la A-a-b'la!" "E-e-cha! E-e-cha!" of the caldron-men crying to the stokers, and the high, monotonous chant of the gangs filling the wagons or the trough, a short, improvisated stave, and then the chorus;—not a tune, like the song of sailors at the tackles and falls but a barbaric, tuneless intonation.
//

In 1859, Dana is still using his terminology of "song at tackles and falls". I wonder if, while away from sea, his vocabulary has been updated or not. Probably not, and it's not surprising he doesnt say "chanty."

But what is more deserving of careful thought: He says that these short, improvisated [intoned] staves, followed by chorus were *not* like the sailors' songs. Well, not like them for their lack of "tune" -- though his definition of "tune" is certainly subjective. One presumes he means that they didnt have much in the way of melodic leaps and they had a very narrow ambit, though they were still tunes at some level if ~intoned~. I think what he is saying is fairly clear, but I do wonder if he is comparing this to the "songs at the tackles and falls" of *his* day -- remembering that we are unclear what the songs/chanties were like in his day.


14 Nov 10 - 10:37 PM (#3032342)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

It's come time....*drumroll*....to break out the source that may be "ground zero" for much of what is now contained in the shantying collections. It is Alden's July 1882 article in HARPER'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, "Sailor Songs." It has been mused over quite a bit in the Sydney/Frisco thread. Now to look at its details in relation to what came before it and to see if it indicates anything about the trajectory of chanty development.

Before starting, I will include Jon Lighter's sketch/remarks on Alden, back from Ja. 2010, for easy reference:

Born in Williamstown, Mass., William Livingston Alden (1837-1908) was just old enough to have learned his shanties in the 1850s, but neither _Who's Who_ nor his obituary in the N.Y. Times suggests that he took a sea voyage before 1885, when he was appointed U.S. Consul- General in Rome by Pres. Cleveland. He held the post till 1889.

Wiki warning: Despite the authoritative sources, Wikipedia's brief bio claims he held the office of Consul-General for the rest of his life - another indication of Wikipedia's unreliability. (If they could get that wrong....) What he did do was to remain in Europe, living in Paris and London while writing professionally.

Alden practiced law during the Civil War, then became a journalist and editorial writer. He wrote humorous editorials for the Times for
a number of years, and was well known for his books for young people and a biography of Columbus. He helped introduce sport canoeing to the United States in the early 1870s.

Unfortunately, we know nothing about when Alden learned his shanties. His Harper's article suggests that he'd heard them sung often - quite possible for an interested journalist living in New York City.

On the other hand, he didn't move to NYC, apparently, till the 1860s.
Until then, all his residences seem to have been landlocked.

It seems as though "thirty years ago" was a literary device and that none of Alden's shanties can be dated that far back on the basis of his 1882 article.


And a warning: I'm keeping my skeptic's / Devil's-advocate's hat on for now. This is the first focused article on chanteying after the similar 1868 and 1869 articles from ONCE A WEEK / CHAMBERS'S. I expect to see some correspondences.

ok...


14 Nov 10 - 11:08 PM (#3032346)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Alden, 1882, cont.

He begins by speaking of the decline of sailors, and thus their songs. He presents it as a salvaging project. This is very different from the tone of previous articles. As I can see, only Adams, so far, has made a comment about steam's effect on things, and even he (3 years earlier) says that chanties are still going along well. Perhaps we can begin to see the early 1880s as the "beginning of the end" for chanties.

//
Let us, then, in the interest of archaeological science, make an effort to preserve the memory of his songs before the last man who heard them, and can give testimony in regard to them, is gone.

The present race of marine brakemen who form the crews of steam vessels can not sing. There is but one solitary song that is ever heard on board a steam-ship, and that one belongs to the least artistic class of sailor songs. The "shanty-man"— the chorister of the old packet ship—has left no successors. In the place of a rousing "pulling song," we now hear the rattle of the steam-winch; and the modern windlass worked by steam, or the modern steam-pump, gives us the clatter of cogwheels and the hiss of steam in place of the wild choruses of other days. Singing and steam are irreconcilable. The hoarse steam-whistle is the nearest approach to music that can exist in the hot, greasy atmosphere of the steam-engine.
//

Alden was first to use the orthography "shanty-man."

He reinforces the idea of Black origins of chanties, which seems to be tied up with this consistent idea that they (or their melodies) are "wild." Funny that he thinks Emmett's minstrel songs were so evocative of "African melodies." I suppose nowadays we are so accustomed to these musical forms as "American" or even global popular music style that they don't stand in such contrast to supposed "non-African" melodies.

He says other chanties were the work of English sailors, but cites only CHEERLY. This is important because, as we have documented, "Cheerly" seems to have been one of the very early chanties that existed, at least as I allege, before an influx of African-American songs to the trade that exploded the genre.

//
The old sailor songs had a peculiar individuality. They were barbaric in their wild melody. The only songs that in any way resemble them in character are "Dixie," and two or three other so-called negro songs by the same writer. This man, known in the minstrel profession as "Old Emmett," caught the true spirit of the African melodies—the lawless, halfmournful, half-exulting songs of the Kroomen. These and the sailor songs could never have been the songs of civilized men. They breathe the wild freedom of the jungle, and are as elusive as the furrow left by a ship on the trackless ocean.

Undoubtedly many sailor songs have a negro origin. They are the reminiscences of melodies sung by negroes stowing cotton in the holds of ships in Southern ports. The "shanty-men," those hards of the forecastle, have preserved to some extent the meaningless words of negro choruses, and have modified the melodies so as to fit them for salt-water purposes. Certain other songs were unmistakably the work of English sailors of an uncertain but very remote period. Of these the once famous " Cheerly, men," is a typical specimen. They were, however, frowned upon on board American ships because of their English origin, and no American crew would ever ape the customs prevailing under the flag of an effete monarchy by singing "Cheerly, men."
//

Of course, he is wrong about "Cheerly" in American ships. Perhaps this is a clue about what he *hasnt* read.

Next, basic features of the genre that ring true today. The emphasis on variability and improvisation remains.

//
Sailor songs may be divided into two classes—pulling songs and windlass songs. The former were used merely to aid the men, when pulling on a rope, to pull at the same precise instant. The latter were intended to beguile the men, while getting up the anchor or working the pumps, into temporary forgetfulness of their prosaic labor. As might be expected, the latter are much the more elaborate and pretentious. The one class, however, passes into the other by subtle gradations. There are pulling songs which approach so closely the structure of windlass songs that they were sometimes made to do duty at the windlass or the puinp by shanty-men whose artistic consciences were somewhat dull.
All sailor songs consist of one or more lines sung by the shanty-man alone, and one or two lines sung by the men in chorus. Windlass songs always have two choruses, while pulling songs should have but one. The choruses are invariable. They are the fixed and determinating quantities of each song, while the lines sung by the shanty-man were left in a measure to his discretion. It is true that custom wedded certain lines to certain songs, but the shanty-man was always at liberty to improvise at his own pleasure. He was also permitted to slightly vary the melody of his part, and the accomplished shanty-man was master of certain tricks of vocalization which can not be reproduced in print, but which contributed vastly to the effectiveness of his sinking. Those who have heard Irma Marie in Barbe Bleu may remember that in some of her songs, notably in the first act, she had a trick of slurring from a note in her proper register to another in her head voice. This was one of the favorite mannerisms of the shanty-man.
//

Some mention at the end of vocal technique. To my mind, this sounds like normal scooping or gliding in singing that any non-classical singer would do unconsciously today?


14 Nov 10 - 11:13 PM (#3032348)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I forgot to mention that the inclusion of music notation in Alden makes it the first collection to have that (after Adam's briefer exposition, also with musical examples). It does a lot to add to the originality of the article.


14 Nov 10 - 11:42 PM (#3032363)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
Let us suppose ourselves on board a Liverpool packet thirty years ago. The maintopsail has just been reefed, and the men are vainly trying to hoist the heavy yard, which refuses to move. Presently some one says, "Oh, give us the 'Bowline,'" whereupon the shanty-man's sharp clear voice is heard, the men join in the chorus, and as they sing the last syllable they haul on the halyards, and the stubborn yard yields. Verse follows verse until the yard is up, and the virtue of the pulling song has been vindicated. This is the "Bowline," one of the purest of generic pulling songs:

We'll haul the bowline so early in the morning,
(Chorus) We'll haul the bowline, the bowline haul!
[w/ score, throughout]

Another pulling song of almost equal popularity in old days was the following one:

Way, haul away, haul away, my Josie.
Way, haul away, haul away, Joe.

These have, as is seen, but a single chorus. Their purely nautical origin is manifest and they are undoubtably very old.
//

SO he begins with the same two sheets shanties (though not identical forms) as Adams, BOWLINE and HAUL AWAY JOE. He attributes "Bowline" to raising a yard, which is a plausible use -- momentarily if it gets stuck -- but not typical.

The melodies for these here and as given in Adams are, to my mind, conspicuously similar. Sure, they didnt vary much perhaps, but my intuition is telling me to wonder.


15 Nov 10 - 12:13 AM (#3032374)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Next he mentions halyard shanties.

//
Closely resembling them, but nevertheless advancing a step in the direction of windlass songs, were those pulling songs which consisted of four lines instead of two, the words of both the choruses being the same, but the melody of each being different. Of these the two following were often heard:

I'm bound away to leave you
Good-by, my love, good-by
I never will deceive you
Good-by, my love, good-by...

Come get my clothes in order
Shallow, Shallow, Brown.
The packet sails tomorrow.
Shallow, Shallow, Brown.

Finally there were pulling songs with a double chorus, each chorus differing both in words and melody from the other. These were in structure precisely the same as the windlass songs, but it was very "bad form" to use them except for pulling purposes. It is one of these that is the sole surviving song which steam-ship crews ever use. They would have shown better taste had they chosen for preservation the ballad of Jean Francois, whoever he may have been.

O drive her, captain, drive her!
Way-a-yah!
O drive her, captain, drive her!
To my Johnnie Franswaw.
//

GOODBYE MY LOVE was mentioned once earlier (1877).
This is the first time for SHALLOW BROWN.

BONEY was also in Adams, however he says it referred to Bonaparte (whereas Alden is not positive).

He never mentions "the sole surviving song which steam-ship crews... use". ?? What was it, and what did they use it for?


15 Nov 10 - 12:53 AM (#3032381)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Great detail on performance practice! And stringing-out.

//
It was in the windlass songs that the accomplished shanty-man displayed his fullest powers and his daintiest graces. When he began a song, he usually began by singing the first chorus as an announcement of what he expected of the men, who, being thus duly warned, joined in the second chorus. He was always careful to rest his voice while the others were singing, and it was considered the proper thing for him to begin his lines so closely after each chorus as to make his first note a prolongation of the last note of the preceding chorus. His lines were expected to rhyme, but he was prudently economical of them, generally using only one line, repeated twice, for each verse.

One of the best known of the windlass songs was the " Shanandore":

You Shanandore,I long to hear you.
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
You Shanandore, I long to hear you.
Ah, ha, you Shanandore.

This is clearly of negro origin, for the "Shanandore" is evidently the river Shenandoah. In course of time some shanty-man of limited geographical knowledge, not comprehending that the "Shanandore" was a river, but conceiving that the first chorus required explanation, changed the second chorus. Thus the modified song soon lost all trace of the Shenandoah River, and assumed the following form, in which it was known to the last generation of sailors:

For seven long years I courted Sally.
Hurrah, you rollin' river!
I courted Sally down in yon valley.
Ah, ha! I'm bound away on the wild Missouri.
//

I'm going to assume for now that by "windlass" he means "capstan." SHENANDOAH would be awkward at the brake/pump windlass, no?

//
Perhaps the wildest, most mournful, of all sailor songs is "Lowlands." The chorus is even more than usually meaningless, but the song is the sighing of the wind and the throbbing of the restless ocean translated into melody.

I dreamt a dream the other night.
Lowlands, Lowlands, Hurrah, my John.
I dreamt I saw my own true love.
My Lowlands aray.

Much care was evidently given to "Lowlands" by the shanty-men. It has often been improved. In its original form the first chorus was shorter and less striking, and the words of the second chorus were, "My dollar and a half a day." It is to be regretted that no true idea can be given on paper of the wonderful shading which shanty-men of real genius sometimes gave to this song by their subtle and delicate variations of time and expression.
//

It's the first text of LOWLANDS AWAY. (The title was mentioned in 1868.) Note the "aray."


15 Nov 10 - 10:13 PM (#3033144)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

What is the "aray" supposed to be? A typ-o of "away"? Is it a phonetic rendering of "hurray!" as it would sound coming after the word "lowlands"?

When it appears in later literature, is it pretty safe to assume that those authors have copied Alden? What did *they* think it meant (i.e., why just copy verbatim)?


15 Nov 10 - 10:39 PM (#3033157)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

"Aray" is almost certainly a misprint for "away." At least I've never seen it anywhere else.

If Alden had meant "hurray," he'd have written it.

So yes, I'd say at this point that all later writers must slavishly have copied "aray" from Alden.


15 Nov 10 - 11:00 PM (#3033167)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
Of the same general character as " Lowlands," though inferior to it, is the song that was usually known as " Across the Western Ocean." There were, however, several variations of the second chorus, none of which could be called improvements.

I wish I was in London town.
O say where you bound to?
That highway I'd cruise round and round.
Across the western ocean.
//

There were 2 (probable) mentions of ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN early, but this is the first to call it by that name, and to supply the music. "Several variations of the chorus" might include Nordhoff's "across the briny ocean."

//
It may be assumed that the predominance of Santa Anna's name in sailor songs is due to the Southern negroes, who still sing songs of which the name of the Mexican general is the burden. We may therefore class the "Plains of Mexico" with those sailor songs which are of African descent.

Did you never hear tell of that general?
Hurrah, you Santy Anna
Did you never hear tell of that general?
All on the plains of Mexico.
//

The first instance of music for SANTIANA.


21 Dec 10 - 03:05 AM (#3058311)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Continuing my logging/break-down of Alden 1882...

We continue with a version of NEW YORK GIRLS.

//
Another Santa Anna song is more unmistakably negro from the fact that the expression "my honey," so common among the negroes of the South, occurs in it. It is a cheerful song, in spite of the painfully mercenary spirit expressed in the second chorus:

As I was lumbering down the streets of bully London town,
I spied a Yankee clipper ship to New York she was bound.
(Cho.) And hurrah, you Santy, my dear honey; Hurrah, you Santy, I love you for your money.
//

Hmm, I really didn't know the phrase "my honey" would tip off an African-American influence. But while we haven't seen NEW YORK GIRLS for sure yet up to this point, we've seen a reference to a Black rowing song from Ohio with similar solo lyrics--though no full semblance of the chanty we know.

Alden goes on to give two different Stormy chanties.

//
"Old Stormy" is a mythical character often mentioned in sailor songs. Who Stormy was, and why he received that evident nickname, even the most profound and learned shanty-men always confessed themselves unable to explain. The oldest of these songs is rather the best of them:

Old Stormy he is dead and gone.
To me way hay storm along, John.
Old Stormy he is dead and gone.
Ah, ha! come along, get along, stormy along, John.

Here is another "Stormy" song that contains a hint of negro origin in the word "massa," and suggests that perhaps the legend of "Stormy" is an African rather than a nautical myth:

Old Stormy he was a bully old man.
To me way you storm along.
Old Stormy he was a bully old man.
Fi-i-i, massa, storm along.
//

As far as I can tell, this is the first time that these *particular* Stormy chanties, what I have been tagging as STORMY ALONG and MR. STORMALONG, are mentioned in literature.


21 Dec 10 - 03:33 AM (#3058317)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

continued...

//
Quite as popular as Stormy was another mysterious person--Randso. Of this person it is alleged in an unusually coherent narrative song that "he was no sailor"; that, nevertheless, "he shipped on board of a whaler," and as "he could not do his duty," he was brought to the gangway, where "they gave him nine-and-thirty." Obviously Randso was not a model for sailors.

O Randso was no sailor.
Ah, Randso, boys, ah, Randso.
He shipped on board of a whaler.
Ah, Randso, boys, ah, Randso.
//

It's REUBEN RANZO with the regulation verse.

Then he gives HUCKLEBERRY HUNTING

//
In the following song not only is the mysterious Randso mentioned, but a word of fathomless meaning and of very frequent recurrence in sailor songs is introduced. Perhaps Max Müller could attach some meaning to "hilo," but in that case he would do more than any sailor ever did. It will not do to suggest that it is really two words--"high" and "low." It occurs in too many other songs as an active verb to leave us any room to doubt that to "hilo" was to be, to do, or to suffer something. It can not be gathered from the insufficient data at our command whether or not the act of "hiloing" was commendable in a sailor, but from the frequency with which the fair sex was exhorted in song to ''hilo," it is evident that it was held to be a peculiarly graceful act when executed by a young girl. The syllable "yah" which appears in the first chorus of this song is not necessarily the negro "yah." The best nautical pronunciation gave it a long sound, something like "yaw," whereas the negro, who is popularly believed to remark "yah I yah I" whenever he is amused, really says " yoh! yoh!"

I've just come down from the wildgoose nation.
To me way hay E O yah.
I've left my wife on a big plantatlon.
And sing hilo, me Randso, way.
//

This is there first time it appears as a chanty, though the song is known in minstrelsy since the 1840s.


21 Dec 10 - 03:55 AM (#3058320)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
In another song, which is chiefly concerned with the celebration of the great deeds of the first Napoleon, we find the expression "hi-lon-day." It has been held by learned nautical commentators that this word should be written ''Allan Dale." It is a good theory, and the only fault to be found with it is the fact that there is not a particle of evidence in support of it. This song departs from the usual pattern of windlass songs in having but one chorus; but that chorus is so elaborate that it fully satisfied the artistic desires of marine vocalists.

O Boney was a warrior.
(Cho) Ah hilonday.
O sigh her up, my yaller gals, a hi, hilonday
//

First appearance of HILONDAY. Note that it is ascribed to capstan use and especially that the entire bit after "warrior" is the chorus. So, the form is diffferent from the hauling form that Hugill later describes.

//
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.
//

He is referring to a 'grand chorus'.

//
Of these there is one in which the chorus rises and swells with the crescendo of the heaving Atlantic swell.

I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
Rolling Rio.
I'll sing you a song of the fish of the sea.
To my Rolling Rio Grande.
Hurrah, you Rio, Rolling Rio.
So fare you well, my bonny young girls,
For I'm bound to the Rio Grande.
//

The by now well documented RIO GRANDE.


21 Dec 10 - 04:17 AM (#3058325)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
But one sailor song has ever been tamed and made to do land service. The song of the "Railway" was caught by some negro minstrel, and with sundry improvements made to do duty as a comic song on the minstrel stage. It is still occasionally sung by street boys, who fancy that it is an Irish national air.

In eighteen hundred and fifty-three I sailed away beyond the sea.
O! I sailed away to Amerikee
(Cho.) To work upon the railway, the railway.
O! I'm wearied on the railway.
O! poor Paddy works on the railway.
//

Huh! Interesting theory about PADDY ON THE RAILWAY. However, I believe there is a broadside of this about, right? I wonder what evidence he had -- or recent observation -- to claim that the song began as a chanty. Well, we've got references for the chanty to/from the 1860s. Any of the broadsides predate that?


21 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM (#3058339)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
It may be imagined that the specimens of sailor songs already given illustrate the highest possible achievements of man in the direction of vocal idiocy. This would be a mistake. There are songs which in elaborate unintelligibility and inanity of chorus are so appalling that it would be unkind to lay them before the sane reader. The following song is bad enough in this respect, but there are others which are infinitely worse. It has, moreover, the redeeming trait of true melody, and was once, perhaps, the most universally popular of its class.

O the wildest packet you can find--
Ah he, ah ho, are you most done?
Is the Marg'ret Evans in the Black X line.
So clear the track, let the bulgine run.
To my high rigajig in a low-back car.
Ah he, ah ho, are you most done?
With Eliza Lee all on my knee.
So clear the track, let the bulgine run.
//

It seems to be the first reference to CLEAR THE TRACK. The only earlier thing that might be related is a corn shucking song, mentioned in 1848 (AMERICAN AGRICULTURALIST, above) called "Clear the track when Sambo come."

//
It is not the purpose of this article to give the entire repertoire of the shantyman. If he was an artist of any real cultivation, he had at least seventy-five songs at his tongue's end. Those which have been given will afford a fair idea of the best of the sailor songs which will bear translation from the windlass to the columns of a magazine. It must be admitted that, in spite of the simplicity and purity of character ascribed to the sailor by novelists, not a few of the songs which he sang were highly objectionable on the score of morality. They were, however, no worse in this respect than the songs which one occasionally hears in the smoking-car of an excursion train, and were decidedly better than certain opera-bouffe songs which some ladies seem to enjoy when the song-writer's indecency is picturesquely illustrated by a clever French-woman. 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.
//

Clearly, Alden knew more chanties than what he has given.

With the end of the article, another lament for the end of sailing ships...and chanties.


22 Dec 10 - 12:40 AM (#3059082)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I've found the only (???) reference to chantying in the 18th century, so far. It's basically something we've seen, but an earlier version with a much earlier date.

1784[1769]        Falconer, William. An Universal Dictionary of the Marine. New Edition. London: T. Cadell.

Falconer died 1769. He had sailed in British merchant ships from 1748 or '49 through the 1750s. I was not able to access the first, 1769 edition of this, but it seems to have had the same content as the 1784 (he was dead, and it doesn't look to have been revised). The passage is as follows.

From the entry on "WINDLASS":

As this machine it heaved about in a vertical direction, it is evident that the effort of an equal number of men acting upon it will be much more powerful than on the capftern; becaufe their whole weight and ftrength are applied more readily to the end of the lever employed to turn it about. Whereas, in the horizontal movement of the capfrern, the exertion of their force is considerably diminifhed. It requires, however, fome dexterity and addrefs to manage the handfpec to the greateft advantage; and to perform this the failors muft all rife at once upon the windlafs, and, fixing their bars therein, give a fudden jerk at the fame inftant, in which movement they are regulated by a fort of fong or howl pronounced by one of their number.
        
The moft dexterous managers of the handfpec in heaving at the windlafs are generally fuppofed the colliers, of Northumberland: and of all European mariners, the Dutch are certainly the moft aukward and fluggifh in this manoeuvre.


So, he is making the distinction between working the spoke windlass versus capstan. In his capstan entry, incidentally, no songs are mentioned. Capstan did not need coordination as, he explains, the spoke windlass did. He does not call it a "song" but rather a "SORT OF song or HOWL." Doubtful if this was any kind of "chanty" as we know them, however it was a similar practice. The question is whether it was anything more notable than a "yeo heave ho." Speaking of which...in his French dictionary, he later gives this entry:

UN, deux, troi, an exclamation, or fong, ufed by feamen when hauling the bowlines, the greateft eftbrt being made at the laft word. Englifh failors, in the fame manner, call out on this occafion,—haul-in—haul-two—haul-belay!

In a way, this is "negative testimony" suggesting that the French and English of that time did not have songs for hauling. True, that is not necessarily the case, and only the "bowlines" are discussed here. But I think it is reasonable to infer that if there were songs he would have mentioned them, no?


23 Dec 10 - 04:24 PM (#3060256)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

My last article source for the 1880s is one called "Sailors' Songs" starting on pg. 592 in Charles Dickens' edited ALL THE YEAR ROUND, no. 1047, 22 December 1888. The name of the author is unknown.

This postdates LA Smith's collection, which I suppose it would make sense to critique first...however I feel like getting all the articles out of the way first! Nevertheless, I am sure that much will reference Smith's text.

S/he begins with the idea that true sailors' songs are unlike the parlour songs represented as sailor songs on shore. I don't get the sense, however, that chanties had actually yet been appropriated and transformed as parlour songs.

SPANISH LADIES is first mentioned with a tip of the hat to Marryat, as did Smith. The lyrics more resemble Smith than Marryat. And the idea is added that it was used as a chanty.

//
You may also still hear, sometimes as a forecastle song, but more often adapted, in time and metre, as a Chanty, a song which was popular in Captain Marryat's time:

Now, farewell to you, ye fine Spanish ladies,
Now, farewell to you, ye ladies of Spain,
For we've received orders to sail for Old England,
And perhaps we may never more see you again.

We'll range and we'll rove like true British sailors,
We'll range and we'll rove all on the salt seas,
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of England.
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-five degrees. ["leagues" in original source]

There are four more verses given in "Poor Jack," and the whole song has been incorporated by Mr. Chappell in his "Music of the Olden Time."
//

Ah, so it looks like this author and Smith both copied their versions from Chappell. Chappell's work, in which Spanish Ladies is not represented as a chanty, dates from 1850 or earlier. Gotta get it.

cont...


23 Dec 10 - 05:11 PM (#3060284)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Steve Gardham

Gibb,
Have copies of Chappell if you need it, including his own personal copy.

Paddy Works. There is no broadside as such. There are broadsides possibly related with this title and similar c1850 all mentioning Greenock in Scotland. There is useful info on it in Folk Songs of the Catskills where they mention a sheet music copy seemingly written by J. B. Geoghegan in the Levy Collection. It mentions tunewise the connections to 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' which is also claimed by Geoghegan. 'Paddy works on the Erie' about canal building may be older. When was the Erie Canal built?

I'm pretty certain it must be an American song of Irish navvies inspired perhaps by the Scottish song.


24 Dec 10 - 02:45 AM (#3060487)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, Steve!

Well, I was able to see a preview on-line of Chappell. I was just trying to find out when Chappell published "Spanish Ladies" for the very first time. There were some misleading links suggesting that "Music of the Olden Time" existed as early as 1850, however, I guess the actual publication dates of the volumes range from 1855-59.
In mentioning "Spanish Ladies," however, Chappell says that he had it in his earlier work, which must be his "Collection of National English Airs." Those volumes range from 1838-1840. I have not been able to see the text to verify. Marryat gave "Spanish Ladies" in his POOR JACK of 1840, and Chappell implies that that came after his own offering. For now, that is close enough for me -- since I am not trying to track down the origins of the song.

Steve, according to Wikipedia, the Erie Canal "was under construction from 1817 to 1825 and officially opened on October 26, 1825."


24 Dec 10 - 03:10 AM (#3060493)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

continuing with the ALL THE YEAR ROUND article...

//
While the sailors are "making poetry" their lives are neither bright nor comfortable; but they are infinitely better than they would be without song. It is song that puts spirit and "go," into all their work, and it is often said at sea that a good "Chanty-man" is equal to an extra hand. The chanties, or working songs, are the real sea songs of sea life. It may be that they are going gradually out of use nowadays, when so much is done by steam; but, wherever the concentrated strength of human muscles is needed, even on a steamship, there is nothing like a chanty for evoking the utmost motive power.
//

The "extra hand" bit comes from Smith.

//
Chanties are of various kinds, adapted to the different varieties of work on shipboard, and without a chanty a crew is as listless as a gang of South Carolina darkies without their plantation songs. In truth, there is a good deal in common between the working songs of sailors and of niggers, and it is curious that many of the most popular sea-chanties are wholesale adaptations of plantation airs, and often of the words also.
//

Let us not this observation of comparability between chanties and African-American worksongs.

//
For quick haulage, working at the sails, and so forth, one of the most favourite chanties is this:

We'll haul the bowlin' so early in the morning.
(Chorusl We'll haul the bowlin', the bowlin' haul.
Haul on the bowlin', the fore and maintop bowlin'.
(Chorusl Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin' haul.
Haul on the bowlin', the packet she's a rollin'.
(Chorusl Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin' haul.
Haul on the bowlin', the Captain he's a growlin'.
(Chorusl Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin' haul.

There is not much poetry in this, you will say. Well, there is not; but there is an immense amount of vigorous music when ten, or twelve, or twenty strongthroated seamen give voice to the hearty chorus, and with each recurrence of the word "haul," strain every muscle of the body in combined effort. That is where the chanty is invaluable—in timing the moment for the concentration of force. It makes all the difference in the world in the working of a ship, and the chanty will often be changed several times at some special job, until the right one is got, which sends the men together like the beat of a conductor's baton in an orchestra. A good chanty-man—that is, the soloist who starts the songs, and gives the time to the chorus —is one of the most popular, as well as the most useful, men on board a ship.
//

BOWLINE here has the format of Alden (with "We'll") while combining the lyrics to Smith's two versions.


24 Dec 10 - 03:22 AM (#3060495)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The idea of variability and improvisation is there:

//
The airs to which the chanties are sung are pretty much common property—that is to say, you will hear thom all the world over. Miss Smith has scored many of them, and musical readers cannot do better than consult her pages if they want to test the quality of Jack's music. But the words of the chanties vary very much. There is a sort of general range of subject for each air, while a great amount of latitude is exercised by the chanty-man. In fact, a clever "improvisatore" who can adapt the lives and the peculiarities of officers and crew to the metre of the chanty he is leading, is very much esteemed. Like everybody else, Jack enjoys hearing the foibles of his fellows humorously hit off. and he does not object to being "dressed" a bit himself in turn.

Thus, then, the words of a chanty may be altered according to the ability of the chantyman and the opportunity afforded by the incidents and personages of each separate voyage. All that is wanted is that hauling chanties shall be short and lively; that windlass chanties be more measured; that pumping chanties be adapted to the monotonous movement of the work, and that capstan chanties be in long metre, and of a more tender character in general. Thus it is, that in the capstan chanties, when the men run round and round from slow to quick as the anchor comes "home," we find usually both more sentiment, and more of the semblance of part-songs.

Here is one capstan chanty:

To the Liverpool Docks we'll did adieu,
To Suke, and Sally, and Polly, too;
The anchor's weighed, the sails unfurled,
We are bound to cross the watery world.
Hurrah, we're outward bound!
Hurrah, we're outward bound!

The first four lines may be either sung as a solo, with the last two in chorus, or the four lines by divisions of the men, and the last two in unison. Of course, for "Liverpool Docks" will be substituted the name of any other place from which the ship is parting.
//

This OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND evidently comes from the 1869 Chambers's Journal article. It is verbatim. Smith had another version of the shanty, w/ Catherine's Dock, which probably led the author here to his/her idea about substitution.


24 Dec 10 - 03:35 AM (#3060497)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

RIO GRANDE here is from Smith:

//
Here is another very favourite outwardbound chanty:

(Solo) The ship went sailing out over the bar.
(Chorusl O Rio! O Rio!
(Solo) They pointed her nose for the Southern Star.
(Chorus) And we're bound for the Kio Grande.
(Together) Then away, love, away, away down Rio.
Then fare you well, my pretty young girl,
We're bound for tho Rio Grande.

(Solo) Oh, were you ever in Rio Grande?
(Chorus) Away, you Rio.
(Solo) Oh, were you ever in Rio Grande?
(Chorus) We're 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.

As capstan work is long, we may take this as only the beginning of the song, the rest of which will depend on the chantyman's ability to weave in some narrative. Failing that, the words of the old song, "Where are you going to.my pretty maid?" will be utilised, each line being sung twice by the soloist, followed by the Rio Grande chorus. The effect is curious, but very pleasing.
//


The next again, STORMY ALONG, is the author's interpretation of Smith.

//
Another capstan song is sacred to the memory of a certain mythical being called "Old Stormy" or " Old Storm Along":

(Solo) Old Stormy he is dead and gono.
(Chorus) To me, way, hay, storm along John.
(Solo) Old Stormy he is dead and gone.
(Chorus) Ah ha, come along, get along, storm along John.
(Solo) Old Stormy he was a bully old man.
(Chorus) To me, way, you storm along.
(Solo) Old Stormy he was a bully old man.
(Chorus) Way, hay, storm along John.

There are several variants of this chanty, and one of the versions gives to the soloist these curious words:

When Stormy died I dug his grave,
I dug his grave with a silver spade,
I hove him up with an iron crane.
And lowered him down with a golden chain,
Old Storm Along is dead and gone.
//


24 Dec 10 - 03:42 AM (#3060498)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LOWLANDS AWAY comes from Smith (orig. from Alden)

//
One of the most beautiful in a musical sense of all the chanties, is that known as "Lowlands Low." The words are nothing, and, as usual, many versions are used; but the air is singularly wild and mournful, and is an immense favourite with Jack It generally begins somewhat like this:

(Solo) I dreamt a dream the other night.
(Chorus) Lowlands, lowlands, hurrah, my John.
(Solo) I dreamt I saw my own true love.
(Chorus) My Lowlands, aray.
//

HOME DEARIE HOME also is from Smith 1888.

//
The most sentimental and also the most poetical of all the capstan chanties, is "Home, Dearie, Home ":

Solo.
Oh, Amble is a fine town, with ships in the bay,
And I wishwithmy heart I was only there to-day;
I wish with my heart I was far away from here,
A-sitting in my parlour and talking to my dear.
Chorus.
And it's home, dearie, home, oh, it's home I want to be,
My topsails are hoisted and I must out to sea.
For the oak, and the ash, and the bonny birchen tree,
They're all a-growin' green in the North countree.
Oh, it's home, dearie, home, it's home I want to be.
Solo.
Oh, there's a wind that blows, and it's blowing from the west,
And of all the winds that blow, 'tis the one I like the best;
For it blows at our backs, and it shakes the pennon free,
And it soon will blow us home to the North countree.
(Chorus as before.)

The next verse refers to the ei arrival of a little stranger:

Solo.
And if it be a lass, she shall wear a golden ring;
And if it be a lad, he shall live to serve his King;
With his buckles, and his boots, and his little jacket blue.
He shall walk the quarter-deck as his Daddy used to do.
(Chorus as before.)
//


24 Dec 10 - 04:21 AM (#3060518)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

OK, so I went through the rest of this painful Dickens edited article, and it's all culled from LA Smith. Here are the rest of the chanties noted:

HANDY MY BOYS
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
REUBEN RANZO
UP A HILL
PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN (orig. from the 1858 Atlantic Monthly)
HILONDAY
BONEY
HAUL AWAY JOE
SHENANDOAH
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (another variation)
and some forecastle songs like THE MERMAID


24 Dec 10 - 05:33 AM (#3060543)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The remaining 1880s publications on chanties, that I know of, are:

1883: Luce - I think most of the chanties are taken from Adams 1879
1887: Davis and Tozer
1888: L.A. Smith

Right now I want to mention Davis and Tozer. The vagarious editions (each quite different) are hard to come by. Once Lighter put up the table of contents for the first edition. Here it is:

1. Sally Brown
2. Away for Rio
3. We're All Bound to Go
4. The Wide Missouri
5. Leave Her, Johnnie ###
6. Can't You Dance a Polka? ###
7. The Black Ball Line
8. Hoodah Day ###
9. Homeward Bound
10. Whiskey for My Johnnie
11. Reuben Ranzo
12. Blow Boys, Blow
13. Blow the Man Down
14. Tom's Gone to Ilo ###
15. Hanging Johnnie ###
16. Haul Away Jo'
17. Haul the Bowlin'
18. Paddy Doyle's Boots
19. A-Roving
20. Storm Along
21. Mobile Bay
22. Salt Horse
23. The Dead Horse
24. Eight Bells

I won't have access to this edition (unless I fly to Dublin), but I am going to get a later edition and assume that the earlier shanties were unchanged. For now, I thought I'd take note of which of these songs had appeared in literature already up to this point. I don't mean the same lyrical versions, I just mean if the song had been mentioned at all.

So, all the chanties have turned up in some form (A-Roving not as a chanty). The songs with ### after them, however, have a significantly different or original phrasing.

In all, the book appears to be quite original (despite the common songs, they look like they'd be original versions). What intrigues me more is the possibility that many of these forms set the mold for future interpretations.


24 Dec 10 - 09:42 AM (#3060647)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Some good reading and fine analysis here, Gibb. I am enjoying this very much. I appreciate the way you are tracing out the historical lineage of these works and untangling the possible borrowings and sources. This transition period seem to sum up the fragmented past and to lay the foundations for future "interpretations". I like the care with which you go about this work and also your willingness to put forth your own theories and conclusions. Keep up the good works.


24 Dec 10 - 10:05 AM (#3060662)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

&printsecGibb, I don't think this source has been mentioned, but I confess to not having done a thorough look-through. It doesn't show up in the Mudcat search system. The book is THE CRUISE OF THE YACHT MONTAUK, by James McQuade. This cruise took place between February 21, 1884 and May 3, 1884, and was a trip to the West Indies. As near as I can tell, the book was written in 1884. Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=7jEn_Inpb6wC=frontcover&dq=James+McQuade&hl=en&ei=jrMUTZqBJsXflgfh09DADA&sa=X&oi=book_

On page 102, McQuade mentions shanties and lists "Ranzo", "Haul Away, Joe" and "Knock-a-man-down" specifically by saying that they "rarely animate the sailor in this period of maritime degeneracy."

http://books.google.com/books?id=t2QXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA102&dq=%22Knock+a+man+down%22+shanty&lr=&cd=16#v=onepage&q=%22Knock%20a%20man

And on page 103, he gives the words to an unfamiliar chanty he calls "Largy-Kargy", of West Indian origin:

http://books.google.com/books?id=t2QXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA103&dq=Largy+-+Kargy&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=Largy%20-%20Kargy&f=false


24 Dec 10 - 02:45 PM (#3060805)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Hate to have this old minstrel song that I posted above ignored in the discussion of where and when "stormy" first surfaced:

As sung by J. Smith of White's Serenaders at the Melodeon, New York City, from White's New Ethiopian Song Book, published by T.B. Peterson & Bros., Philadelphia, US, © 1854, p. 71,

Storm Along Stormy


O I wish I was in Mobile bay,
Storm along, Stormy.
Screwing cotton all de day,
Storm along, Stormy.
O you rollers storm along,
Storm along, Stormy.
Hoist away an' sing dis song,
Storm along, Stormy.

I wish I was in New Orleans,
Storm along, Stormy.
Eating up dem pork an' beans,
Storm along, Stormy.
Roll away in spite ob wedder,
Storm along, Stormy.
Come, lads, push all togedder,
Storm along, Stormy.

I wish I was in Baltimore,
Storm along, Stormy.
Dancing on dat Yankee shore,
Storm along, Stormy.
One bale more, den we'be done,
Storm along, Stormy.
De sun's gwan down, an' we'll go home.
Storm along, Stormy.

This minstrel song is clearly inspired by a stevedore song, sung while the worker gangs were rolling burlapped-wrapped bales of cotton down the dock.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


24 Dec 10 - 11:58 PM (#3060981)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Happy Christmas, friends!

Cool, John, it's always good to see more travelogues; they usually have some 'gems' that are not in the deliberate articles.

The schooner MONTAUK was out of New York. This part of the voyage, between Bermuda and St. Kitts, was in March 1884.

McQuade seems to have read Adam's 1879 ON BOARD THE ROCKET, I think. He is not noting these chanties because he heard them, but rather knows of them from elsewhere (and noting that he did not hear them). Adams' text is the only one that had the "Knock a Man down" at this point (well, along with Luce 1883, who got it from Adams). That, and the way he invokes Dibdin as Adams did, suggests that he read it.

For recording purposes, here is the passage:

//
Since the general employment of steam in navigation, the habits of sailors have naturally changed so as to conform, in some degree at least, to the existing condition of sea service. The old Jack tar, with his natty blue jacket, immaculate white trousers, flowing neckerchief, and jaunty tarpaulin hat, is being merged in the greasy stoker. The dust, smoke, cinders and soot of the steamship make sad havoc with the purity of white duck; the stiff tarpaulin has no place in the sweltering confines of the boiler-room and coal-bunker; everything is done by machinery; the anchor is hoisted by steam, the sails set by steam, and even the vessel steered by steam. William and Black-eyed Susan belong to the stage, and the oil-stained sailor of to-day is but a grimy representative of the airy and romantic jolly tar, who danced the sailor's hornpipe, wielded a heavy cutlass as if it were a toothpick, and blasted his 'eyes, and shivered his timbers, and avasted, and ahoyed, in days of yore. As steam has so largely superseded manual labor, the sea-songs with which sailors used to keep time when pulling and hauling in combined and simultaneous effort, are dying away in faint echoes, and soon they will only mingle with the discredited strains of the nearly forgotten mermaid. True there are navies to keep up the old standard, and sailing vessels and yachts to maintain the recollection and traditions of the blue jackets, but they are fast being smothered by steam. Occasionally we hear some of the familiar chants, but " Ranzo," " Haul Away, Joe," and "Knock-a-man-down," rarely animate the sailor in this period of maritime degeneracy. Of course seamen have to be educated in their vocation, but the sailor has become something like the mechanic. Large manufactories and mills, with complex labor-saving apparatus, have done away measurably with the journeyman who served his time as an apprentice to an experienced master. Machinery not only works, but thinks, and the machine-feeder takes the place of the skilled mechanic.

The sea-songs of Dibdin and others were really made for landsmen, and are different from the sailors' chants proper, which were of other material; like their working toggery, expressive and matter-of-fact. Prosody received but scant consideration, but the rhymes were a sort of rugged doggerel, with a refrain strongly accentuated, which served as a signal for all to pull away together. They were called Shanty songs, from the French word chanter, to sing, and many of them are familiar, having been incorporated in magazine articles and published in books.
//

But then we have the new chanty!: LARGY KARGY, attributed to the West Indies.

//
One of the sailors aboard the Montauk, who has been in the West Indies, furnishes the following example of a Shanty song, which is evidently the composition of some one possessed of a better ear for rhythm than the ordinary chanteur, as the measure is reasonably accurate. The refrains, Largy Kargy and Weeny Kreeny, are evidently corruptions of Spanish words, probably intended for Largo Cargo and Buena Carina—big cargo, and good little girl:

We're bound for the West Ingies straight,
    Largy—Kargy, Haul away O—h.
Come lively, boys, or we'll be late,
   Weeny—Kreeny, Haul away O—h.

We'll have rum and baccy plenty,
    Largy—etc.,
Cocos, yams, and argy-denty,
    Weeny—etc.

No more horse ' and dandy funky,
But St. Kitten's roasted monkey.

We'll go fiddle with black Peter,
Dance all night with Wannereeter.

At Kooreso we'll get frisky,
Throwing dice with Dutch Francisky.

When we've found the pirate's money,
We'll live on shore eating honey.

Wear big boots of allygator,
Taking Nance to the thayayter.

We'll bunk no more with cockroaches,
    Largy—Kargy—Haul away O—h,
But ride all day in soft coaches,
    Weeny—Kreeny, Haul away O—h.
//

I love it!

Charlie-- Yes, I love that one, too. It is such a cool example to have -- a song in a minstrel context that does not disguise its work song roots (?). No, we're not forgetting that one -- I think somewhere along the line we found that it could be dated to at least as early as 1848, so it is "filed" there at present. The same text also had a version of the "Sailor Fireman " (stoker's chant) and "Fire Down Below". Cheers!


25 Dec 10 - 12:10 AM (#3060984)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Wow, 400 posts on this subject/thread!

My personal aim at this point (it changes slightly now and then) is to get through the 19th century, to kind of create a nice, round, pausing-point. That includes both texts written in the 19th century (my main priority) and those referencing events in the 19th century.

I am sorting the material according to both chronology of reference and chronology of publication. At this point, I've posted the more or less complete reference chronology up through the '70s. That one is to get a picture of the development of chantying, and I'll continue to update it as part of this discussion.

I've also been creating a publication chronology -- an annotated bibliography of texts referring to chanties -- which is a personal thing that I'll use in he future. The reason why I mention this one is because it explains why I am so interested in recording the specific details: it aids in later constructing the bibliography. The thread becomes something that is a "one stop" source where it's easy to search and see, for example, who first said "chanteur" or who first mentioned Dibdin.

I'd like to write some sort of article about this stuff eventually.


25 Dec 10 - 01:32 AM (#3060997)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1883 Luce, (Admiral) Stephen Bleecker. Naval Songs. New York: Wm. A. Pond.

Luce's collection is full of a variety of sea songs, with score. I can only find the 1902 edition on line right now, but I have the 1883 with me. The editions are not the same. First I'll deal with the 1883.

At the end of his introduction, Luce breaks into a discussion of shanties. He praises Adams' ON BOARD THE ROCKET, and then launches into a series of long quotes from it. As it goes along, he reproduces all of Adams' shanties (all of the ones in the section of his books that was specifically about shanties), but actually corrects the notation! I believe that in most cases one can correct Adams' notation just on what musically makes sense. But I wonder, too, if in some cases one might have to be previously familiar with the songs.

Then, the collection proper begins, with non-chanties for the most part. There are several forebitters tht I will note, only for reference and because they are songs that, in works like Hugill's, at some point have also been said to have been used as chanties. Luce also has a couple real chanties in this section. Here are the songs that I would note:

THE FLASH FRIGATE - 9
HIGH BARBARY (minor mode) - 16
ROLLING HOME - 17
SONG OF THE FISHES - 19
SAILING BY THE LOWLANDS - 25
GOOD-NIGHT, LADIES - 34
HOMEWARD BOUND ("to Pensacola town I'll bid adieu")- 38
"OLD STORM ALONG. "CHANTY SONG"" - 41
THE MERMAID - 42
THE DREADNOUGHT - 68
BLACK BALL. "CHANTY" SONG. - 79
TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY - 90

cont...


25 Dec 10 - 02:18 AM (#3061004)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Luce 1883...

Starting on pg. 129, Luce gives several "SHANTY SONGS".

It begins with the first mention of HOGEYE as a shanty:

//
OH, THE HOGEYE MEN ARE ALL THE GO
Oh the hogeye men are all the go when they do come from Callao
In a hogeye,
railroad nigger in a hogeye
Row the boat ashore in a hogeye
All she want's a hogeye man.
//

Next is SANTIANA. Interesting with this and other shanties, Luce does not give the commonly accepted (at least nowadays) titles.

//
OH! GEN'RAL TAYLOR GAINED THE DAY
Oh Gen'ral Taylor gained the day,
Down on the plains of Mexico;
And Santa Anna ran away,
Hurray! Santa Anna.
//

The melody phrases in this seem to be flip-flopped. Next is ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN.

//
OH! LIVERPOOL JACK
Oh! Liverpool Jack with a tarpaulin hat;
Amelia, Where're you bound to,
The Rocky Mountains is my home
Across the Western ocean
//

Then, MR. STORMALONG:

//
I WISH I WAS OLD STORMY'S SON
I wish I was old Stormy's son.
Aye, Aye, Aye, Mister Stormalong;
I'd build a ship of a thousand ton.
To my way stormalong, Way hey, Stormalong.
//

I think the following is the first shanty reference to HANGING JOHNNY:
//
OH! THEY CALL ME HANGING JOHNNY
Oh! They call me hanging Johnny,
Hurray! Away;
Because I hang for money;
So, hang, boys, hang.
//

Then a version of GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL that is apparently for halyards:

//
FOR "SHEETING HOME" TOPSAILS
We're outward bound this very day.
Goodbye, fare you well, Goodbye fare you well.
We're outward bound this very day.
Hurrah! My boys we're outward bound.
//

The following looks to be the first reference to A-ROVING as a shanty (someone please correct me if i am mistaken):

//
LEE-GANGWAY CHORUS
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,
And her you ought to sea.
In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,
And making baskets was her trade.
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.
A-roving, a-roving, since roving's been my ruin,
I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.
//

What's a "lee-gangway chorus" by the way? Is it a stamp 'n' go chanty?

This also appears to be the first reference in literature to the bunt shanty PADDY DOYLE:

//
FOR "ROUSING UP" THE BUNT OF A SAIL
To my way, hey, hey-yah, We'll all drink brandy and gin.
To my way, hey, hey-yah, We'll all shave under the chin.
To my way, hey, hey-yah, We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots.
//

Good stuff! Lots that seems to be original and new.


25 Dec 10 - 03:07 AM (#3061007)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Finishing up with Luce,

In the middle of the collection there are two chanties. Strange that he uses the "CH" spelling here, and the "SH" elsewhere. It's as if he is getting them from some particular (?) source.

The first has the "Stormy" lyrical theme, but the tune and chorus belong to GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL:

//
OLD STORM ALONG.
"CHANTY SONG."

Old Stormy was a good old man,
O good-bye, fare you well, Good-bye fare you well.
Old Stormy was good old man,
Hurrah! my boys, we're homeward bound.

I wish I was old Stormy's son
"

I'd buy me a bark of a thousand ton
"

I'd fill her up with New England rum
"

And my old shell-backs they'd have some
"

Now if ever again I get ashore
I'll wed the gal that I adore

And if ever childer we should have
I'll bring him up as a sailor lad
(Gruffly) Belay.
//

And the second is BLOW THE MAN DOWN. This would be the first literary mention of the shanty with "blow" in it. That "Blow the Man Down" was not necessarily well known (or, not outside of merchant sailors) is suggested in that Luce merely names it after the Blackball line theme of the solo.

//
BLACK BALL. "CHANTY" SONG.
Sung in the merchant service in heavy-hauling. No interval between verses.

Come all ye young fellows that follow the sea,
With a yeao, ho! blow the men down;
And pray pay attention and listen to me,
Oh! give me some time to blow the men down.

'Twas on board a Black Baller I first served my time,
To my yeo, ho! blow the men down;
And in the Black Baller I wasted my prime,
Oh! give me some time to blow the men down.

'Tis when a Black Baller's preparing for sea,
You'd split your sidea laughing at the sights you would see,

With the tinkers and tailors and soldiers and all,
That ship for good seamen on board a Black Ball,

'Tis when a Black Bailer is clear of the land,
Our boatswain then gives us the word of command,


"Lay aft!" was the cry "to the break of the poop!"
"Or I'll help you along with the toe of my boot,"

'Tis larboard and starboard on the deck you will sprawl,
For "Kicking Jack Williams" commands the "Black Ball,"

Pay attention to orders, yes, you, one and all,
For see right above you there flies the "Black Ball,"

'Tis when a black bailer cornes back to her dock,
The lasses and lads to the pier-head do flock,
//


25 Dec 10 - 03:49 AM (#3061012)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Luce's 1902 edition has some differences.

The "shanty-songs" in this edition are placed in an appendix at the end. There is new text with it, that is not just copying of Adams.

//
SHANTY SONGS.
{Folk Songs of the Sea.)

Shanties, sometimes spelled "Chanteys" are peculiar to the Merchant Service. The word is doubtless derived from the French word chanter, to sing. These songs are essentially working songs, and have been used from time immemorial to cheer the seaman in his labors of pulling, hauling, and heaving. This class of songs has been mentioned by some of the modern writers about the sea, Mr. Richard II. Dana in " Two Years Before the Mast" being perhaps the first. Clark Russell, Rudyard Kipling, and several others have also written on the subject. There is an excellent dissertation on shanties in an interesting book, entitled " On Board the Rocket," by Captain Robert C. Adams, from which, with the kind permission of the author, we take the liberty of making a few extracts. Shanties are generally classed under three heads, viz., the Short Drag, the Long Pull, and the Heaving shanties. The latter may be subdivided into windlass, capstan and pumping shanties. A few of these songs have several verses, such as the "Dreadnought," "High Barbary" (capstan shanty), and "The Black Ball," sometimes called "Blow the Man Down" (a long drag shanty), and have, on that account, been placed in the body of the book; but, generally speaking, each shanty has but one or two lines peculiar to it; just sufficient, in fact, to identify it with its melody. After those are sung, the "Shanty-man" is relied upon to improvise, or to use some of the stock phrases which are well known to sailors. Captain Adams says:...
//

So, he is also influenced by Russell now.
We get the idea that DREADNOUGHT and HIGH BARBARY were capstan shanties. And he add the "Blow the Man Down" title -- something I'll bet he became aware of only in the interim between editions.

He starts to quote Adams again...with quotation marks...but it is not verbatim. Weird. He seems now to be trying to work all the chanties from the first edition into one narrative. He adds the organizational terms "short drag" and "long drag," which were not used by Adams. (Who introduced these?)

After the short drag examples, he makes as if quoting Adams, but this never appeared in Adams:

//
"Among the short drag shanties may also be classed one which was very popular and is used for tossing the bunt of a foresail up on the yard. A foresail is very heavy; and a ship is generally short handed,— moreover, the foresail is seldom furled except in the worst weather, unless the ship is coming into port (when of course all sails are furled). So when the men have succeeded in gathering the sail up close to the yard, the shanty-man leads the following ditty; and at the last word every man gives a mighty pull. Two or three verses are generally enough to bring the sail up on the yard, when the gaskets are passed and the work finished.

FOR 'ROUSING UP' THE BUNT OF A SAIL....
//

AFter going through "long drag shanties" as per Adams, Luce throws in BLOW BOYS BLOW:

//
A Yankee ship came down the river,
Blow, boys, blow,
A Yankee ship came down the river,
Blow, my bully boys, blow

A Yankee ship with a Yankee skipper, Blow, etc.
A Yankee crew and a Yankee clipper,

Oh, how d'ye know she's a Yankee clipper?
Because the blood runs from the scuppers.

What d'ye think they have for dinner?
Monkey tails and bullock's liver.
//

He follows this with his version of ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN from the first edition.

Then adds HANGING JOHNNY. Then a new one for this edition: HANDY MY BOYS.

cont...


25 Dec 10 - 09:05 AM (#3061100)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Gibb-

Got to love the multiple editions. The story never ends.

"Lee-gangway chorus" certainly conjures up an image of a crew marching in line as they haul along the lee rail as the haul, as in stamp-an' go" or "roll an' go."

My image of "haulin' on the lee fore brace" is one of hauling in place, the line moving back while the gang is securely braced.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


26 Dec 10 - 03:05 AM (#3061365)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Luce 1902 cont.

He then injects POOR OLD MAN with some words about it -- still in misleading quotation marks.

"Knock a Man Down" is repeated from the first edition, but with this new note:

//
"There is another song very much like the above, called 'Blow the Man Down.' The melody will be found under the head of the 'Black Ball.' 'Knock a Man Down' was one of the negro songs of the southern cotton ports, while 'Blow the Man Down' was one of the regular breezy Western Ocean Shanties, and is one of the best specimens of the shanty to be found. It makes a fine topsail halyard shanty.
//

Luce indicates here, haphazardly, what are some of the forebitters that were also chanties: HIGH BARBARY, YANKEE MAN-O-WAR, ROLLING HOME.

//
"There are other songs of similar character which will be found in the body of the book; they are frequently used as working songs at sea: Such as ' High Barbary,' 'The Yankee Man-o-war,' 'Rolling Home,' etc.
//

Moving on to "heaving" shanties, he gives RIO GRANDE as in Adams, but adds a note about the "milkmaid" lyrical variation that I feel may have come from reading LA Smith.

He has HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES in a form that corresponds to an article in THE SEA BREEZE of 1900 -- thought that article did not supply tune! The Characteristic phrase is "Sometimes we're bound for England...," along with the fact that he gives "heave away, my bullies."

LOWLANDS AWAY is here, in a form not yet noted. Minor mode.

//
I thought I heard the old man say.
Lowlands, lowlands, my Johnny,
That this would be our sailing day,
A dollar and a half a day.
//

He gives A-ROVING as in the first edition -- but now he actually calls it "A-Roving" and says it is "A favorite pumping shanty."

Next comes CLEAR THE TRACK, taken from Smith.

His version of SANTIANA has now be changed to as follows:

//
SANTA ANNA.
Oh, Santa Anna's dead and gone,
Away, oh, Santa Anna,
Oh, Santa Anna's dead and gone,
All on the plains of Mexico.
//

Luce also revises his "Old Storm Along" (MR. STORMALONG) by correcting his flip-flopped past version, and adding this note:

//
"'Old Storm Along' was a favorite pumping shanty and was considered to be a song of triumph over the storm fiend, notwithstanding which fact it is a somewhat dismal song, being sung in slow time and usually with many embellishments.
//

Instead of "Across the Western Ocean," he puts a new LEAVE HER JOHNNY in this edition:

//
Oh, the times are hard and the wages low,
Leave her, Johnny, leave her,
And there's sick foot of water in the hold,
Oh, it's time for us to leave her.

"In this song the shanty-man rehearses all the miseries of the crew, and though 'Growl and go' is considered a 'good man,' the singing of this song was often the forerunner of trouble, and was never sung by a contented crew.
//

The last new thing to be found here is a version of BLACKBALL LINE. It has a melody that I'd not encountered before.


26 Dec 10 - 03:27 AM (#3061369)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And as for the songs in the non-shanties section of Luce 1902, here are the ones I find notable:

Sailing by the Lowlands 41
Rolling Home 47
Song of the Fishes 53
The Yankee Man-o-War 56
The Dreadnought 67
High Barbary 77
Good-Night Ladies 106
On Friday Morning We Set Sail (The Mermaid) 118
The Merman 130
The Black Ball Liner Shanty Song 155
Homeward Bound 179
The Flash Frigate 183

These differ from the 1st edition in:
1) Adding The Merman
2) Removal of the "Stormy" song set to Goodbye Fare you well form. Perhaps he thought that was an irregularity that needed revising.


26 Dec 10 - 03:48 AM (#3061373)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Another 18th century reference to maritime work-singing--

THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE for October 1775 has this note,in an unsigned "Essay on Musical Time," pg. 465:

//
Seamen at the windlafs, and on other occafions, fing, that they may all act together.
//


26 Dec 10 - 04:00 AM (#3061377)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

THE NEW AND COMPLETE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Vol. 2, (London: Edward and Charles Dilly) by John Ash, 1775...has this entry:

//
Ve'a (s. a fea term) The cry made by failors when they pull or heave together.
//


26 Dec 10 - 04:16 AM (#3061381)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

BOYER'S ROYAL DICTIONARY, abridged, by Abel Boyer, additions by N. Salmon. London: Meffra, etc.1802.

Entry for French "voix":

"...Voix, Mar. fong employed by failors in heaving, hoifting, hauling, &c...."


26 Dec 10 - 04:24 AM (#3061383)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Oops, here's an earlier appearance of the same, in Boyer's 1780 DICTIONNAIRE ROYAL FRANCOIS-ANGLOIS ET ANGLOIS-FRANCOIS. Lyon: Jean-Marie Bruyset.


"Voix, (en termes de mer.) The fong employed by failors, as in hauling hoifting, heaving, &c."


26 Dec 10 - 11:57 AM (#3061524)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Here is an entry from 1886, by Robert C. Leslie, entitled SEA PAINTER'S LOG. There are two mentions about maritime work songs. The first has to do with fishermen hauling their boats ashore with the use of a capstan. Here is the link (p. 174):

http://books.google.com/books?id=7DY9AAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=A+Sea+Painter's+Log&cd=1#v=onepage&q=An%20Old%20Sea%20Song&

In the second reference on page 242, Leslie discusses some specific chanties and gives us the words for: "A Hundred Years Ago", "Storm Along, Stormy", and "Good Morning, Ladies All."

http://books.google.com/books?id=7DY9AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA242&dq=the+old+Black+X+sailing-liners&hl=en&ei=CHMXTcu-DoOBlAevp8S3DA&sa=X&oi

Here, Leslie is recollecting an earlier time about the "old Black X sailing-liners", who were "notable for their musical crews".


26 Dec 10 - 12:44 PM (#3061542)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

This source was mentioned in the "SF to Sydney" thread, but I don't think it has been listed here so I will add it. John Mason's BEFORE THE MAST IN SAILING SHIPS recounts his experience on a cruise in 1884, from Newcastle in New South Wales (Australia) to San Francisco, with a cargo of coal. At one point he mentions and quotes from three chanties: "The Banks of the Sacramento", "Santy Anna", and "Sally Brown". The songs are being sund by "Campbell's men" as they load wheat at Port Costa.

http://books.google.com/books?id=JirozwWDDaMC&pg=PA66&dq=Campbell's+men+were+splendid+chanty+men&hl=en&ei=j3wXTfrMN4K0lQfZy4TLCw

Later on, in Liverpool (I think), they hove up the anchor and made "the Mersey ring", singing "Leave her, Johnny, Leave her," and "Sally Brown". Mason gives us quotes from those two songs.

http://books.google.com/books?id=JirozwWDDaMC&pg=PA118&dq=we+fairly+made+the+Mersey+ring&hl=en&ei=0H0XTYSYCYT7lweTwP3_Cw&sa=X&oi


26 Dec 10 - 02:40 PM (#3061597)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

"Oh, the times are hard and the wages low,
Leave her, Johnny, leave her,
And there's sick(SIC) foot of water in the hold,
Oh, it's time for us to leave her."

Typo alert?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


26 Dec 10 - 10:42 PM (#3061771)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

This is very similar to the experience of Basil Hall in the 1820s:

1849        Lyell, Sir Charles. A Second Visit to the United States, in the Years 1845-6. Vol. 1.

Going down the Alatamaha river from Darien, GA on Dec. 31, 1845.

//
...He came down the river to meet us in a long canoe, hollowed out of the trunk of a single cypress, and rowed by six negroes, who were singing loudly, and keeping time to the stroke of their oars. …
…For many a mile we saw no habitations, and the solitude was profound; but our black oarsmen made the woods echo to their song. One of them taking the lead, first improvised a verse, paying compliments to his master's family, and to a celebrated black beauty of the neighbourhood, who was compared to the "red bird." The other five then joined in chorus, always repeating the same words. Occasionally they struck up a hymn, taught them by the Methodists, in which the most sacred subjects were handled with strange familiarity, and which, though nothing irreverent was meant, sounded oddly to our ears, and, when following a love ditty, almost profane.
//


26 Dec 10 - 10:48 PM (#3061774)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And another rowing reference from a Britisher visiting the Charleston area, from June 1819

1823        Faux, William. _Memorable Days in America_. London: W. Simpkin and R. Marshall.

//
I noticed to-day the galley-slaves all singing songs in chorus, regulated by the motion of their oars; the music was barbarously harmonious. Some were plaintive love-songs. The verse was their own, and abounding either in praise or satire, intended for kind or unkind masters.
//


27 Dec 10 - 12:18 PM (#3062002)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Lighter

Gibb, it would be too easy to miss the significance of the French "voix" from 1780. I believe it's a quite a discovery.

It would be most interesting to know more about how widespread the term was and precisely what songs it was applied to.

It would be striking indeed if French had a *technical word* for "shanties" long before English - and that that word had nothing to do with French "chanter"!

Any serious French scholars out there who can add to our understanding?


27 Dec 10 - 05:02 PM (#3062175)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Well, there's this; please stop me if this sort of thing is already part of the chanty etymology discussion. It is a sort of definition of "chanty-man":

1844. Gocvic, E. and H.G. Jansen. UNIVERSEL, HISTORIQUE ET RAISONNÉ, français-hollandais DE MARINE ET DE L'ART MILITAIRE. La Haye and Amsterdam: Les Fréres Van Cleef.

//
Chanteur, m. Mar. (Ouvrier ou matelot qui a la voix forte, et qui par un cri de convention, donne le signal du moment où les gens qui travaillent à une même manœuvre, doivent réunir leurs efforts). Opzinger, opzanger, m.
//

With the help of Google:
"Singer, m. Mar. (Worker or sailor who has strong voice and a shout of agreement, gives the signal when the people who work in the same maneuver, must combine their efforts). Opzinger, opzanger, m."

Those last two words are Dutch.


27 Dec 10 - 05:17 PM (#3062182)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

And, pg 127

//
CHANTER, v. n. Mar. (Faire certains cris de convention , pour donner le signal de l'instant où plusieurs hommes, employés à une même opération, doivent réunir leurs efforts et agir tous ensemble). Opzingen.
//

"Sing, V. n. Mar. (Make some calls convention to signal the moment when several men employed in the same transaction, should unite their efforts and act together). Opzingen."

http://books.google.com/books?ei=oQkZTdXHOY2WsgOOs4nQAg&ct=result&output=text&id


29 Dec 10 - 12:59 AM (#3063064)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Lighter,

I was thinking the same. Also wondering what this "ve'a" thing was. Is it just a phonetic realization of some nonsense sound? Or could it be an Anglicization of 'voix' perhaps? It is unclear to me whether it is the name for the 'cry' or else the word that is shouted when one cries.

I have a feeling that the French texts about shanties have mulled over these things already, but I have not read any of those. On the other hand, Hugill (for one) seems to have gobe through some of those. I don't know if he read them closely or just harvested texts from them. I'm inclined to think that he read them. And if that was the case, he never brought up any special insights they may have supplied.

Please let me apologize to any chanty scholars who read this and who have studied French sources -- I don't mean to imply that you have not.

Anyway, as for a word for shanty that the French may have had before English-speakers, there is of course "chant."

My coming upon "chanter", as the verb for singing the maritime work song, and "chanteur", for the person who sings, is pretty exciting for me. But again I say that I don't know how significant that really is in adding to work of people like J. Lighter and S. Gardham on the etymology issue. That is, I don't know if it's a situation like "Yup, we already knew that. What we still need to really confirm is XYZ."

What we don't have, indeed, is the noun. I presume it would have been "chant", but I'd like to see it -- specifically, with reference to "maritime worksong" for example.

"Chant" does seem a little obvious. It is not a "special" word for a thing in French -- it would only have had extra connotations...versus in English where it is a special/unique term.

If "chant" is the word, then we still need the gaps filled as to how exactly it got borrowed and applied to what English speakers were doing. I would also like to know if "chant" had any particular connotations, in both the French and English uses, for types of song. Did English speakers borrow it when they were still in the days of the rudimentary "yeo heave ho" songs, or was it only first used in application to the African-American style worksongs?

Were the cotton stowers observed by Nordhoff calling their songs "chants" in the regular English sense, or were they French-influenced folk (i.e. the Creole environment) using it similarly to a description of maritime work songs in use by the French?

Anyway, Boyer's French-English dictionary was first published as early as 1702 it seems (a copy was recently digitized on Google), and FWIW the maritime definition of "voix" is not there. Nor is there anything of note under "chanteur" or "chanter." That may suggest that this meaning didnt come round until later in the 18th century.


29 Dec 10 - 01:44 AM (#3063076)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's an earlier reference to "chanter" and "chanteur" with maritime meanings.

1792. Romme, Charles. _Dictionnaire de la marine françoise._ Paris: Barrois l'aîné.

//
Chanter. v. n. To song. C'est saire certains cris de convention, pour donner le signal , de l'instant ou plusieurs hommes employés à une même opération , doivent réun? leurs eíforts & agir tous ensemble. — La maniere-de chanter où le cri de convention est variable suivant les chanteurs.
//

"Sing. v. n. To song. It's necessary some cries of agreement, to give the signal, the time or more men employed in the same transaction, must meet? eíforts & their act together. - The manner of singing where-the-art convention varies according to the singers."

//
Chanteur. s. m. Ouvrier qui agissant concurremment avec d'autres , leur donne le signal, par un cri de convention , du moment où ils doivent déployer ensemble toutes leurs sorces , pour produire par leur réunion, un effet déterminé , qui exige non seulement toutes ces piússancas , mais aussi leur concours simultané.
//

"Singer. s. m. Workman acting in conjunction with others, gives them the signal, a cry of agreement, when they should deploy all their sorces together to produce by their union, a specific effect, which requires not only all the power rating, but also assist simultaneously."


29 Dec 10 - 01:56 AM (#3063078)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1825. Willaumez, Jean-Baptiste-Philibert. _Dictionnaire de marine_. New edition. Paris: Bachelier.

//
CHANTER, v. n. Vieil usage de faire crier quelques hommes qu'on nommait chanteurs, pour donner le signal de réunion d'efforts àfaire par plusieurs sur une bouline, ou pour toute autre opération qu'on exécute dans les ports et sur les grands bâtimens. Dans un bâtiment de guerre bien ordonné, on ne permet plus de chanter ainsi. Voy. Boulina.
//

"SING, v. n. Old custom to yell a few men who were called "chanteurs," to give the signal for both business meeting by several efforts on a bowline, or any other operation that executes in ports and on major buildings. In a warship well ordered, we can no longer "sing" as well. Voy. Boulin."

//
BOULINA-HA-IIA ! Arrache ! Boulina-ha-ha, déralingue ! etc. Ancien chant des matelots français pendant qu'ils bâient sur les quatre principales boulines , notamment celle du grand et du petit hunier. Ce chant est si ridicule que plusieurs capitaines militaires le défendent.
//

"Boulina-hA-hA! Hard! Boulina-ha-ha, déralingue! etc. Former French sailors sing while on the four main bâient bowlines, including that of large and small topsail. This song is so ridiculous that many defend military captains."

The translation needs tweaking...


29 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM (#3063080)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

//
HISSA, O, HA , HISSE: chant de l'homme qui donne la voix pour réunir les efforts de plusieurs autres sur un même cordage afin de produire un plus grand effet. Ce chant ou cri n'a plus guère lieu que dans quelques ports.
//

"HISSA, O, HA, HISSE: song of the man who gives voice to unite the efforts of several others on the same rope to produce a greater effect. This song or cry has hardly place in a few ports."


29 Dec 10 - 03:45 AM (#3063100)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry to interrupt:
Anybody within the receiving range of Irish 'Lyric FM' can catch three - hour long radio programmes on sea songs over the next three nights, starting at 6.00pm tonight and described as "a three part exploration of Ireland's song tradition" and are as follows:
Wed - 'Hard Men To Shave', narratives in the shanties and ballads of the 19th century.
Thur. - The Tumbling Wave, Coastal songs, including tales of shipwrecks, smuggers, drownings and heroic rescues.
Fri. - Love is Tempestuous.
The programmes have been researched and are presented by Mary Owen.
Jim Carroll


29 Dec 10 - 04:25 AM (#3063120)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A few details on the Mason book introduced above by John Minear. The original of _Before the Mast in Sailing Ships_ came in 1928. It deals with the 1880s-90s.

Aug. 1884. Having left SF bay, up the Sacramento river. Heaving anchor, to moor at Port Costa, with stevedore crew. Fully rigged British ship. SACRAMENTO, SANTIANA, SALLY BROWN. Pg 66:

//
Campbell's men were all splendid chanty men and they fairly made the harbour ring with the melody of their strong voices. The leading man was a negro who had a powerful voice. The first song was "The Banks of Sacramento." The words are:—

"Blow, boys, blow, for Californio,
For there is plenty of gold,
So as I have been told,
On the banks of Sacramento," etc.

Another good chanty was:—

"Oh, Mexico, I do very well know;
Hooray, Santa Anna;
For Santa Anna has gained the day
Along the plains of Mexico," etc.

Another was "Sally Brown"—:

"Oh, Sally Brown was a bright Mulatto.
Was a bright Mulatto,
She drinks rum and chews tobacco;
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown," etc.
//

Pg. 74:

//
A very dull-looking crowd manned the capstan until Potter, the Englishman, started a chanty:—
"He are homeward bound for Falmouth Town…"
''

Pg117:

//
As we walked merrily around the capstan Cockney Bob was at his best. His first chanty was:
"We are homeward bound for Liverpool Town,
Good-bye fare ye well, good-bye fare ye well;
Homeward bound for Liverpool town…"
//

In the Mersey (Liverpool area), heaving anchor on final arrival, early 1885. Adds LEAVE HER JOHNNY . P118:

//
As we hove up anchor that afternoon we fairly made the Mersey ring with our chanteying. Cockney Bob started with "Leave her, Johnnie, leave her":

"I thought I heard our captain say,
        Leave her, Johnnie, leave her.
Come along and get your pay;
        Leave her, Johnnie, leave her.
"Times are hard and wages low,
        Leave her, Johnnie, leave her,
A hungry ship and a drunken crew;
        Leave her, Johnnie, leave her."
Etc., etc.

Another chantey was "Sally Brown":

"Oh, Sally Brown was a bright Mulatto,
She drinks rum and chews tobacco;
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown,
Way hay, roll and go."
                        Etc., etc.
//

//
With no discernable context, 1885. MR. STORMALONG. pg 121:

Old Stormalong has gone to rest,
Of all the sailors he was the best;
We'll dig his grave with a silver spade,
And lower him down with a golden chain—
        By all his shipmates blest.
To my aye, aye, Mister Stormalong.
                Etc., etc.
//

P157:

//
The first chantey was "Leave her, Johnny, leave her":

"A leaky ship and a drunken skipper,
It is time for us to leave her;
Captain drinks whisky and rum…"

There might be more chanties; I've only previewed this.
//


29 Dec 10 - 01:24 PM (#3063327)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Seems to me that the French "chanter" in this case means/ meant something like English "to sing out an order (for sailors to get to work)," rather than "to sing a shanty."


29 Dec 10 - 05:40 PM (#3063461)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

George H. Haswell was a passenger on board S.S. Pamaratta, London to Sydney, in the fall of 1879. He noted ten shanties with their melodies as sung during the voyage and published them in the passengers' on-board newspaper, "The Paramatta Sun." Graham Seal transcribed Haswell's work in a booklet called "Ten Shanties Sung on the Australian Run 1879" (Antipodes Press, 1992).

This is an extremely valuable collection because it was made on the spot before much on shanties - or their music - had been published.

Even more interesting, L. A. Smith tells us in "Music of the Waters" (1884) that another Pamaratta passenger had sent her all the shanties Haswell had printed, and she includes them, mostly accurately and complete, in her own book. This is unfortunate because that publication allowed the Pamaratta shanties to influence all post-1884 collectors to some degree when otherwise they would have been a unique standard of comparison for later versions.

Anyway, the following shanties from "Music of the Waters" can be dated definitely to 1879, are entirely authentic, and do not represent lines conflated by a landlubber editor from different versions.

The shanties are:

1. Heave Away, My Johnny
2. Haulin' [sic]the Bowlin'
3. Handy Jim
4. [Away] Haul Away
5. The Dead Horse
6. Bonny [i.e., Boney]
7. Whisky [Johnny]
8. Blow the Man Down
9. Ranzo
10. Good-bye, Fare Ye Well

Had there been more issues of the "Paramatta Sun," there may have been more shanties - but no such luck!


29 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM (#3063473)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: shipcmo

Jeez,
Just as I thought I had all the publications I should have.
I recently ordered "Around Cape Horn to Honolulu on The Bark Amy Turner 1880" By: L. Vernon Briggs

But thanks anyway for the "heads up".

Cheers,

Geo


30 Dec 10 - 05:39 AM (#3063683)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Excellent info, Lighter -- and timely! I am about the dissect/log LA Smith; it is the last (for now!) textual source of the 1880s that I have.

***

L.A. Smith, _Music of the Waters_ (London, 1888).

The editor of _The Shipping World_ had commissioned her to write a series of articles on shanties. Do we know these articles?

Introduction dated June 1887. I believe that is too late to have had access to Davis and Tozer's collection FWIW.

She learned some schanties directly from sailors. The introductory notes make much of this, though we know that so many of her items were just culled from other texts.

I see some plagiarism so far from the unsigned 1869 Chambers's Journal article, so we know for sure that she read that (or wrote it?!).

The chapter of interest is the first,

//
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN "CHANTIES;" OR, WORKING SONGS OF THE SEA.
//

I begin at a passage saying how chanties were not part of navy life:

//
On vessels of war, the drum, fife, or boatswain's whistle furnish the necessary movement regulator. There is a vast difference between the merchant sailor and his fellow "salt," the man-o'-war's man, whom they call "Johnny Haultaut," or "John o' Fight." They hold each other in mutual derision, although without any unfriendly feeling. Accustomed to the comparative independence and free life of a merchant-vessel, they look with scorn on the binding discipline and severe penalties of a man-o'-war, and laugh contemptuously as they watch the crew in uniform dress walk round the windlass, and weigh anchor like mechanical dummies:—
    "Your work is very hard, my boys,
    Upon the ocean sea,
   And for your reefing topsails,
       I'd rather you as me—
I feather my oar unto the shore,
So happy as I be in the Guard-ship, ho!"

No hearty chanties there—no fine chorus ringing with feeling and sentiment, brought out with the sort of despairing wildness, which so often strikes neighbouring landsfolk with the deepest emotion. He likes to growl —and he may, so long as he goes about his work. I have heard mates say, "Give me a man that can growl : the more he growls, the more he works." Silence reigns supreme aboard a Queen's ship; no general order is given by word of mouth, the boatswain's whistle takes its place. There, where the strength of one or two hundred men can be applied at one and the same effort, the labour is not intermittent, but continuous. The men form on either side of the rope to be hauled, and walk away with it like firemen marching with their engine, when the headmost pair bring up at the stern or bow, they part, and the two streams flow back to the starting-point outside the following files. Thus in this perpetual "follow my leader way" the work is done, with more precision and steadiness than in the merchant service. In it the heavier work is done by each man doing his utmost at the same moment. This is regulated by the "Chanty," and here is the true singing of the deep sea—it is not recreation, it is an essential part of the work. It will masthead the topsail-yards, on making sail; it will start the anchor, ride down the main-tack with a will, it will break out and take on board cargo, and keep the pumps going. A good voice and a stirring chorus are worth an extra man.
//

A similarly worded passage occurred in Symondson's 1876 TWO YEARS ABAFT THE MAST

cont...


30 Dec 10 - 08:54 AM (#3063743)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Charley Noble

"A good voice and a stirring chorus are worth an extra man."

"five extra men"

"10 extra men"

A phrase which has become so inflated with each repetition that it currently rivals the total of posts on "The Mother of All BS Threads."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble et al


30 Dec 10 - 09:03 AM (#3063745)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

No excuse for failing to proof-read.

The correct name of the vessel is "Parramatta." And, as Gibb observes, the correct publication date of Smith's book is 1888.


31 Dec 10 - 01:26 AM (#3064266)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Indeed, Charley! If you search this thread for "extra" you can see the development of that theme. In fact, it looks like that line first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly of 1858, and Smith has copied it here. This appears to be ground zero for that cliche, as I don't find it in any of the earlier sources.

***
LA Smith, cont.

The sentiment that steam has killed chanties -- an I idea which I believe "first" appeared in Alden (1882). Dunno who wrote for the "St. James's Gazette."

//
A writer in the St. James's Gazette of December 6th, 1884, says: "The beau-ideal chanty-man has been relegated to the past. His death-knell was the shriek of the steam-whistle, and the thump of the engines. When he flourished British ships were manned by British seamen, and carried much stronger crews in proportion to their tonnage than their successors. In those days gipsywinches, patent windlasses and capstans, had no existence, and the heaving and hauling had to be performed by manual strength and labour; and to make the work 'go' lighter, the chanty-man chanted his strange lays, while the tars with hearty good-will joined in the refrains and choruses. ...

... Old tars tell us that the chanties are not what they were before steam became so universal: one added, on telling me this, " I'll tell you what it is, Miss, steamboats have not only taken the wind out of our sails, but they have taken the puff out of us too, and them as remembers ship-life as it was, will scarcely recognize it now-a-days." This advocate of the old school was one of many "old salts" whose acquaintance I made, and who goodnaturedly sang for me several of their best-remembered chanties in a Sailors' Home in the North of England. I was very agreeably surprised at the effect of some of these chanty choruses; some of the men present had really good voices, and they sang with a life and spirit, and with as much rhythmical accuracy as though they were miles away on the briny ocean "heaving the windlass round, or hoisting the ponderous anchor."

Whilst on the subject of Sailors' Homes, I should like to digress for just one moment to express my cordial thanks to all those connected with the institutions that have so greatly helped me in the matter of collecting these chanties. To the Secretaries, Missionaries, and sailor inmates of many of the English Homes, I am indebted for much of the information I have obtained. ...
//

So she cites her human subjects: old gents at sailors' homes. We will see, I hope, just which chanties came from them and which were drawn from elsewhere.

Several types of chanties:

pg7
//
There are several kinds of chanty, though I believe, properly speaking, they should only be divided into two classes, namely, those sung at the capstan and those sung when hauling on a rope: but there are, over and above these, pumping songs—pumping being part of the daily morning duty of a well-disciplined merchant-vessel, just a few minutes' spell to keep the vessel free and the cargo unharmed by bilge-water; it is not a dismal sound at all, rather a lively one, on the contrary. There are also chanties used when holy-stoning the decks, and when stowing away the cargo; and indeed I think one may safely conclude that every one of Jack's duties, from Monday morning to Saturday night, is done to some sort of music, and according to the-Philadelphia catechism his labours do not end then, for in it we are taught that—

"Six days shalt thou labour and do all thou art able, And on the seventh, holy-stone the deck and clean-scrape the cable."

There is one job that sailors seldom fail to get, even when the weather is such as to prevent other work being done, and that is holy-stoning the decks. The men have to kneel down and push backwards and forwards a goodsized stone (usually sandstone), the planks being previously wetted and sprinkled with sand. From the fact of kneeling to it, this unpleasant task is known at sea under the title of " saying prayers."
//

Another cliche begins here. And this is the first mention of holystoning chanties.


31 Dec 10 - 02:39 AM (#3064281)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Capstan shanties. The prose is from 1869 CHAMBERS'S, but the chanty YEO HEAVE HO is a new addition:

//
In the capstan chanties the metre is generally long, and they are of a more pathetic nature than the hauling ones. To those who have heard it as the men run round the capstan, bringing up the anchor from the English mud of a ship outward bound for a two or three years' trip, perhaps never to return, what can be more sad or touching, although sung with a hearty good-will, than "Yo, heave ho!" [with tune]

Yo, heave, ho! Round the capstan go!
Round, men, with a will! Tramp, and tramp it still!
The anchor must be heaved, The anchor must be heaved.
(Chorus.) Yo, ho! Yo, ho! Yo, ho! Yo, ho!
//

This is followed by the 1869 CHAMBERS'S versions of OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND and SACRAMENTO, then the intro to RIO GRANDE, but with a new tune and more than one set of lyrics. Is this another original? She also mentions SANTIANA and PADDY LAY BACK (though, as Hugill would later note, she notes it as if it were 2 different songs, viz. "Valparaiso" and "Round the Horn" -- merely repeating the mistake in CHAMBERS'S).

//
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.

"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."
//

The next bit is also lifted from CHAMBER'S:

//
American vessels, I think, may be charged with the following, which are all capstan chanties,—" Oceanida," "Johnny's Gone," " The Black Ball Line," and" Slapandergosheka," the last-named with the incomprehensible title is addressed "To all you ladies now on land," and may be said to be slightly egotistical; it commences—
"Have you got, lady, a daughter so fair? [*"fine" in CHAMBERS'S]
       Slapandergosheka,
That is fit for a sailor that has crossed the Line?
       Slapandergosheka."
//


31 Dec 10 - 02:59 AM (#3064284)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

pg. 12
On the ethnic and national associations of chanties, Smith says it is impossible to distinguish British and American ones, but then goes on to say that there are some about which there is no doubt. No examples. Then notes that Black singers made up a lot of them.

//
It is almost impossible to discover which are British and which American, amongst the chanties, they are so mixed up with each other, and any which may formerly have been characteristic of the one country, have become so cosmopolitan, that the sailors themselves have been unable to discriminate between them. I have, therefore, acting upon some very reliable advice, thought it better to classify under one heading all chanties with English words, although there are many cases where the nationality is beyond doubt. Coloured men being, as a rule, such good singers and ingenious poets, may be credited with many; and most probably "Slapandergosheka' was first pronounced by some more than usually clever nigger.
//

The next passage (which I'll refrain from posting) is based on ATLANTIC MONTHLY 1858 introducing BOWLINE. However, she makes the mistake of calling it a capstan chanty. And the text + tune given are out of Alden 1882.

She admits her debt to CHAMBERS'S here:

//
This very practical and certainly nautical explanation of the use of a capstan chanty I found in an old number of Chambers' Journal, to whose clever and instructive columns I owe many hints on the subject of sailors and their songs.
//

This is the second time she called "Bowline" a capstan chanty. Is it a typo (twice), or is she really that confused about chanty forms? It does seem to undermine her credibility.

Another version of "Bowline" follows, that appears to be one of the Haswell shanties noted by Lighter up-thread:

//
Another version of "Haulin' the Bowlin'."
i. Haul on the bowlin', the fore and main-top bowlin',
Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin', Haul.
2. Haul on the bowlin', the packet she's a rollin',
Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin', Haul.
3. Haul on the bowlin', the captain he's a growlin',
Haulin' the bowlin', the bowlin', Haul.

At the word Haul, which terminates each couplet, the tars give a tremendous jerk on the rope.
//


31 Dec 10 - 03:15 AM (#3064287)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith, pg. 14, give the rough tune, no lyrics, to JOHNNY BOKER, with this note:

//
I have no words to the next bowline song, which rejoices in the name of " Johnny Polka."
//

This pretty much proves that she did not read Adam's ROCKET.


07 Jan 11 - 02:00 PM (#3069382)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST

Just got my copy of   L. Vernon Briggs, "Around Cape Horn to Honolulu on The Bark Amy Turner 1880", and found the following references:

"Old Horse", p44,
"What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?", p86-7
"The Ship "Neptune"", 87-9
"As I Was A Walking Up Dennison Street", 89-91
"Ranzo". p92-4
"Orenso", p95-8
"Haul Away, Joe", p98-100
"Blow, My Bully Boys, Blow", 100-02
"Whiskey for My Johnny", p103-04
"Santa Anna on the Plains of Mexico", p170-2

I came upon the reference to this book in the Carpenter Online Catalog.


08 Jan 11 - 04:09 PM (#3070081)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith, cont.:

The following passage, introducing LOWLANDS AWAY and ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN is essentially copied from Alden 1882. Smith does one little trick in that she runs w/ Allen's note about how "My dollar and a half a day" could be a chorus variation, and she goes ahead and fits it into a full stanza. However, Alden had said that it was the "second chorus," but she puts it as the first.

//
One of the wildest and most mournful of the sailor songs is "Lowlands." The chorus is even more than usually meaningless, but the song is the sighing of the wind and the throbbing of the restless ocean translated into melody:—

I dreamt a dream the other night:
Lowlands, Lowlands, Hurrah, my John!
I dreamt I saw my own true love:
My Lowlands a-ray!
                  
Much care was evidently given to "Lowlands" by the chanty-men. It has often been improved. In its original form the first chorus was shorter and less striking, and the words of the second chorus were, "My dollar and a half a day."

Solo.—Lowlands, Lowlands, away, my John.
Chorus.—My dollar and a half a day.
Solo.—I took up my clothes and I went away.
Chorus.—Lowlands, Lowlands, a-ray.

Of the same general character as " Lowlands," though inferior to it, is the song that was usually known as "Across the Western Ocean." There are several variations of the second chorus, none of which could be called improvements.

I wisht I was in London town:
Oh, say, where you bound to?
That highway I'd cruise round and round,
Across the Western Ocean.
//

Following this, Smith copies STORMY ALONG and MR. STORMALONG from Alden.


09 Jan 11 - 01:22 AM (#3070319)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith, cont.

Smith next gives two more "Stormy" texts, without score. The first, a MR. STORMALONG, is one that I've not seen yet exactly in print, and it appears to be one Smith collected in her fieldwork.

//
This is a great favourite, and often sung after a gale of wind.

Solo.—Old Storm Along is dead and gone,
Chorus.—Ay ! ay ! ay ! Mr. Storm Along!
Solo.—When Stormy died, I dug his grave,
I dug his grave with a silver spade,
I hove him up with an iron crane,
And lowered him down with a golden chain
Old Storm Along is dead and gone.
Chorus.—Ay ! ay ! ay ! Mr. Storm Along.

Each line is repeated twice. The solemnity of the air and the mock-seriousness of the words have a most comical effect, and reminded me very much, when I heard them sung, of the tale of " The Death of Cock Robin," the well-known favourite of the children's picture-books. ...
//

This is followed by a STORMY harvested from Leslie's SEA PAINTER'S (1886):

//
I have since come across a somewhat different version of the words of this chanty, in which "Stormy" was written "Starmy," and of which the ending was—

Solo.—We carried him along to London town,
Chorus.—Starm Along, boys, Starm Along.
Solo.—We carried him away to Mobille Bay,
Chorus.—Starm Along, boys, Starm Along.
//


09 Jan 11 - 01:57 AM (#3070327)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Next comes...

//
HAULING CHANTIES.

Of these, there is first the hand-over-hand song, in very quick time; then the long-pull song, when there are, perhaps, twenty or thirty men pulling on a rope. To be effective, the pull must be made unanimously. This is secured by the chanty, the pulling made at some particular word in the chorus. For example, in the following verse the word "handy" is the signal, at each repetition, for a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together:—

Chorus.—Oh, shake her up, and away we'll go,
So handy, my girls, so handy;
Up aloft from down below,
So handy, my girls, so handy.

For heavier work, or where hands are few, one of longer metre is used, such as "O Long Storm, storm along, Stormy," which must not, however, be confounded with the capstan chanty," Old Storm Along."
//

HANDY MY BOYS has been taken from Chambers's 1869. Smith lists the whole thing as "Chorus," as if it were done hand-over-hand style, although the description makes it out to be a double-pull halyard chanty.

The note about the "longer metre" had been in the 1868 article, followed by a sheet chanty. The 1869 got it messed up, by making a false contrast between "So Handy" for halliards and other examples for halliards. Furthermore, "O Long Storm, storm along, Stormy" had been lifted from the Atlantic Monthly 1858 (where it was a pump chanty) and plopped into the 1869 in the wrong place. Smith is perpetuating the error, I think. Again I think that Smith really did not get the difference between types of chanties, and how she categorizes them should be viewed with skepticism.

Smith is the "first" to name BLOW THE MAN DOWN in print. We are forced to conclude that she collected it, though she does say it was "one of the most well-known."

//
One of the best and jolliest quick-time songs, and certainly one of the most well-known, is "Blow the Man Down." It is very tuneful, and though, perhaps, the words are scarcely to be admired, still it is a genuine chanty, and has a verve and vigour about it that speak of its value as an incentive to the labour of hoisting the topsail-yards or any other hauling work :— [with score]

I'm a true English sailor, Just come from Hong-Kong,
Tibby, Heigh, ho, blow the man down!
My stay on the old English shore won't be long,
Then give me some time to blow the man down.

Then we'll blow the man up, and well blow the man down,
Tibby! Heigh, ho, blow the man down !
So we'll blow the man up, and we'll blow the man down!
Then give me some time to blow the man down.

Solo.—As I was a-walking down Winchester Street—
Heigh-ho, blow the man down;
A pretty young girl I happened to meet,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down.
Chorus.— So we'll blow the man up, and we'll blow the man down,
Heigh-ho, blow the man down.
We'll blow the man up, and we'll blow the man down,
Oh, give me some time to blow the man down.
//

Funny how she has divided Solo and Chorus -- not like a halyard chanty at all. My guess is that someone sang it for her solo, and she did not understand where the chorus parts would come in.


09 Jan 11 - 02:38 AM (#3070334)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

cont...

REUBEN RANZO looks to be an original collection by Smith:

//
"Reuben Ranzo" is, perhaps, the greatest favourite with the men of all the chanties. The tune is mournful and almost haunting in its monotony:

[musical score]

Solo.—Pity Reuben Ranzo,
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo.
Solo.—Oh, pity Reuben Ranzo,
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo.
Solo.—Reuben was no sailor,
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo.
Solo.—Reuben was no sailor,
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo.
Solo.—By trade he was a tailor,
Chorus.—Ranzo, &c.
Solo.—He went to school on Monday,
Chorus.—Ranzo, &c.
Solo.—Learnt to read on Tuesday,
Chorus.—Ranzo, &c.

The chorus continues the same all through, the pull always being made at the word "Ranzo." Each line of the solo is also repeated.

Solo.—He learnt to write on Wednesday,
He learnt to fight on Thursday,
On Friday he beat the master,
On Saturday we lost Reuben,
And where do you think we found him?
Why, down in yonder valley,
Conversing with a sailor.
He shipped on board of a whaler;
He shipped as able seamen do;
Oh, pity Reuben Ranzo.
The captain was a bad man,
He took him to the gangway,
And gave him five-and-forty.
The mate he was a good man,
He taught him navigation;
Now he's captain of a whaler,
And married the captain's daughter,
And now they both are happy.
This ends my little ditty,
This ends my little ditty.
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo!
Belay there, lads, belay.
//

Next she quotes Alden on HUCKLEBERRY HUNTING. She adds her own note about "hilo," mentioning TOMMY'S GONE, but does not offer lyrics.

//
I have a song amongst my collection entitled "Tommy's gone to 'Hilo,'" which again upsets the theory that "hilo" was an active verb; at least, in this instance, it rises to the dignity of a proper noun :—
//

Then the unique collected chanty, UP A HILL. It is reminiscent of a Grimm fairy tale. Smith may have remembered it wrong.

//
There is another topsail-yard chorus something like this :—

Solo.—There once was a family living on a hill,
And if they're not dead they're living there still.
Chorus.—Up, up, my boys, up a hill;
Up, up, my boys, up a hill.
//

I've interpreted this HERE.

And it is sung to the tune of "Blow the man down." Then there is the well-known topsail-halyard song, " Sally Racket," greatly used by the sailors when loading their ships with timber at Quebec. In this chanty some of the lines are much longer than others, and to any one not acquainted with Jack Tar's style of singing, it would seem impossible to make them come in, but the sailors seem to be able to manage it. Like "Reuben Ranzo," the solo lines of Sally Racket are always repeated, the same chorus occurring after each solo line:


09 Jan 11 - 03:12 AM (#3070341)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Smith's CHEERLY also looks original -- characterized by her giving the melody without the words beneath the notes. Actually, it is not clear here how the words should fit the melody she gives. But here is the description, where she calls the chanty "Sally Racket":

//
Then there is the well-known topsail-halyard song, " Sally Racket," greatly used by the sailors when loading their ships with timber at Quebec. In this chanty some of the lines are much longer than others, and to any one not acquainted with Jack Tar's style of singing, it would seem impossible to make them come in, but the sailors seem to be able to manage it. Like "Reuben Ranzo," the solo lines of Sally Racket are always repeated, the same chorus occurring after each solo line:

Solo.-- Sally Racket, hoy oh,
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Sally Racket, hoy oh!
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Sally Racket, hoy oh!
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men; a haughty hoy oh! cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Pawned my jacket, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Pawned my jacket, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men; a haughty hoy oh! cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Sold the ticket, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- Sold the ticket, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- And sold the ticket, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men; a haughty hoy oh! cheerily, men.
Solo.-- That's not the worst, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.-- And that's not the worst, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- And that's not the worst, hoy oh.
Solo.-- And that's not the worst, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men; a haughty hoy oh! cheerily, men.
Solo.-- She left me in the lurch, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, &c.
Solo.-- I don't care a rap, hoy oh.
Chorus.-- Cheerily, men.
Solo.—If she never comes back, hoy oh.
Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—I can get another girl, hoy oh.
Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—Good-bye, Sally Racket, hoy oh.
Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—You can keep my old jacket, hoy oh.
Chorus.—Cheerily, cheerily, men.
Solo.—And burn the ticket, hoy oh.
Chorus.—Cheerily, cheerily, men.
(Spoken) That'll do, boys.

The words at the end of the song are spoken by the man in charge of the work—mate, second mate, or boatswain. In the chorus the word "men" is accented by the pull; and in the solo lines the word "oh" is where another pull is taken.
//

Well, this is interesting. Pull on "oh" and "men"? I thought it was one pull on "cheer-". I could see how it could possibly work, but with the melody she gives, those words are on unaccented notes...

The "pawned my jacket/sold the ticket" idea also appeared in a Cheerily up-thread, from 1852.

Smith follows this with a curious note that, despite the quaint wording, rings rather true to me in the context of this thread:

//
I am told that the oldest chanty on record is one that goes by the name of "Cheerily, men; oh holly, hi-ho, cheerily, men." But at what time, in what place it is used —or I should say, was used, for I think it is almost obsolete now—I cannot say. It is, however, a typical specimen of an English sailor-song of a remote period, for undoubtedly many of the sailor-songs are of negro origin. They are the reminiscences of melodies sung by negroes stowing cotton in the holds of ships in Southern ports. The "chanty-men" have, to some extent, kept to the silly words of the negroes, and have altered the melodies to suit their purposes.
//


09 Jan 11 - 03:29 AM (#3070343)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Smith has PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN, with lyrics taken from Atlantic Monthly 1858. I don't know where she gets the "English comic song" idea, and the "pay me my money" seems quite in line with stevedore songs.

//
Any quick, lively tune, to which you might work a fireengine, will serve for the music of a pumping song. The words vary with every fancy. "Pay me the money down" is a very favourite pumping chorus. Somehow thus the verse runs (it is known as an English comic song):—

Solo.—Your money, young man, is no object to me.
Chorus.—Pay me the money down.
Solo.—Half-a-crown's no great demand.
Chorus.—Pay me the money down.
Solo & Chorus.—Money down, money down;
             Pay me the money down.

It seems a very strange song for men so little given to avarice as sailors are. Their parting ceremony on embarking is usually to pitch their last shilling on to the wharf, to be scrambled for by the land-sharks. Nor yet does there seem much sense in it, but it serves to man and move the brakes merrily. The following tune is sometimes used for this chanty :—
PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE. [score]
//

Even though she got the lyrics from a book, did she hear this sung? Otherwise, how does she know the tune?

Then comes "Highland day and off she goes," from Atlantic Monthly.

Her RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN is original:

//
RUN, LET THE BULL CHIMES RUN. [score]

This is another favourite pumping song :—

Chorus.—Run, let the bull chimes run,
Chorus.—We'll run,—
Solo.—Away to America.
Chorus.—Way aha, way aha!
Way aha, way aha!
Chorus.—We'll pump her dry and get our grog.
Solo.—Run, let the bull chimes run.
Chorus.—We'll pump her dry and away we'll go,
Solo.—Away to America!
//

Once again, the solo - chorus structure anfd the notation don't quite jive.


09 Jan 11 - 04:32 AM (#3070366)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Smith next gives "THE LION MAN-O'-WAR," without saying it is a chanty, only that it was "A very popular song at Portsmouth..."

She follows it with HOME DEARIE HOME, the shore composition. Her version of the words, unless they were popular in periodicals/broadsides of the time, may have come from James Runciman's SKIPPERS AND SHELLBACKS (London: Chatto and Windus, 1885).

http://books.google.com/books?id=OrwNAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA207&dq=%22amble+is+a+fine+tow

The idiosyncratic words match exactly (e.g. "Amble" rather than "Falmouth")...but then where does her tune come from? ANd she says that it is "Amongst the favourite chanties of North-country sailors..." but I don't know what the proof of that is. Chanty for what?

Next she gives a stanza, with tune, of GOLDEN VANITY, which she calls 'the capstan song of "Lowlands"'.

Then comes a version (text only) of OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND that I've not seen exactly before:

//
There is also a " Homeward Bound " song very well known to them :—

"At Catherine's Dock I bade adieu
To Poll and Bet, and lovely Sue;
The anchor's weighed, the sails unfurled,
We're bound to plough the watery world;
Don't you see we're outward bound.

But when we come back to Catherine's Docks,
The pretty girls they come in flocks;
And Bet to Poll and Sue will say—
'Oh, here comes Jack, with his three years' pay;'
Don't you see we're homeward bound?
Then we all set off to the 'Dog and Bell,'
Where the best of liquor they always sell;
In comes old Archy, with a smile,
Saying ' Drink, my lads, it's worth your while ;'
Don't you see we're homeward bound?"
//

No information as to whether it was a chanty.

I believe that her next song, WHISKEY JOHNNY, came from the Haswell 1879 source.

//
The chanty known by the name of "Whisky for my Johnny," or "Whisky Johnny," has many different verses, all more or less bearing upon the same subject, and none betraying much delicacy or refinement of expression. It has been sent to me from several different quarters where I have applied for chanties, so I - conclude from this fact, that it must be fairly well known amongst the sailors, and may be even a great favourite. As I have before remarked, the sailors' songs are truly characteristic of the men they belong to, and so long as they adapt themselves to the purpose for which they are intended, and help to lighten the labour and regulate the work at sea, we must be content to take them as they are, and not look for drawing-room rose-water sentiment in the ideas that originate and find favour amongst the hardy toilers of the briny ocean.

[w/ score]
Oh, whisky is the life of man;
Oh, whisky! Oh, Johnny!
Oh, whisky is the life of man!
Oh, whisky for my Johnny!

Solo.—Oh whisky makes me pawn my clothes,
Chorus.—Oh whisky, Oh Johnny;
Oh whisky makes me pawn my clothes,
Chorus.—Oh whisky for my Johnny.
Solo.—Oh whisky gave me a broken nose,
Oh whisky gave me a broken nose,
I thought I heard the old man say,
I thought I heard the old man say,
I thought I heard the old woman say,
I thought I heard the old woman say,
Oh whisky up and whisky down,
Oh whisky up and whisky down,
I thought I heard the steward shout,
I thought I heard the steward shout,
Chorus.—Here's whisky for my Johnny.
If I can't get whisky, I'll have rum,
Chorus.—Whisky, Johnny;
Oh that's the stuff to make good fun,
Chorus.—Oh whisky for my Johnny.
For whisky men and women will run,
Chorus.—Oh whisky, Oh Johnny;
I'll drink whisky when I can,
That's the stuff to make you frisky,
Chorus.—Whisky, Johnny;
Give me whisky and I'll give you tin,
If you have no whisky give me gin,
If you have no whisky give me gin.
      BELAY THERE!

Belay is generally said when the song comes to an end, or "Coil up the ropes there, boys."
//


09 Jan 11 - 04:41 AM (#3070376)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Correction: The above WHISKEY JOHNNY was not the one from Haswell (I see that coming later).


09 Jan 11 - 03:28 PM (#3070737)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

In the next section of LA Smith, she introduces (without naming him) her Haswell/Parramatta Sun source (explained by Lighter, above) and explicitly attributes some items to him. I find her tone amusing; we'll see if the most of here shanties were really collected out in the field as she makes out.

//
It is not either necessary or would it be interesting for me to relate at any length, the manner in which many of these chanties have been obtained. I have taken down myself the greater part from the sailors ; sometimes at my own house, sometimes at one of theirs, occasionally in a hospital, or on board ship. There have been difficulties often in my way, in spite of the great kindness I have everywhere had shown me, but I have never had the experience of one of my numerous correspondents—namely that of having the chanties sung to him sotto voce. It appears that he, like many others, had entertained the idea of collecting the Sailors' songs and had accordingly made a beginning, which he has since handed over to me. "I was," he says, "some time ago making a ninety days' voyage in an old 'sailer' and as a pastime I commenced what you have since so ably completed, the task of making a collection of the working songs of the sea. I took notes of the best of the capstan and other songs included in the repertoire of our not very large crew. At first I jotted down the words and music in my note-book while the men were actually hauling at the ropes—but this method promised to yield as many versions of each song as there were sailors (for each man had his own pet way of leading), so that I was constrained to try some other plan. It was this. I selected the most vocal of the crew—a splendid fellow, as supple as a panther, and first at everything. He visited me in my cabin at stated moments, and as his presence was a grave breach of the rules, he had, like Bottom, to ' roar him as gently as any sucking dove.' In a word the songs were given out in a sort of roaring whisper, or whispering roar, which greatly exercised the curiosity of the passengers in the adjacent saloon. Even this chosen songster proved untrue to himself and gave me the same song in different ways, at different times, and this accounts, no doubt, for the discrepancies that exist between some of the songs as given by you, and as taken by myself." I believe it is for this reason, that the chanties have remained so long uncollected. Of course, I have found these same discrepancies over and over again, and many times have almost given up the idea of the collection, in consequence. It is the same amongst all nations of sailors. The writer of the letter just referred to, sent me some of the chanties he had taken down in secret in his cabin, and the versions both of music and words are different to mine.
//

From my own 21st century perspective it is hard to imagine just what the problem was -- the funny argument that the chanties could not be collected because of their variability. Well, just collect what you hear! But I do understand why they might not have done that. They were looking for cannon. Perhaps this explains why so many copied texts from earlier publications. LA Smith must have heard many more chanties than she lets on, but may have decided to use previously published versions as a sort of "standard."

Smith then gives Haswell's WHISKEY JOHNNY.

//
For instance, "Whisky Johnny " he gives as " Whisky " (hauling chanty), and though the sentiment is the same he gives it in quite other words :—

Solo.—O! Whisky is the life of man,
Chorus.—Whisky, Johnny!
          I drink whisky when I can,
Chorus.—O! Whisky for my Johnny.
Solo.—I drink it out of an old tin can,
       Whisky killed my poor old dad,
       Whisky drove my mother mad,
       Whisky caused me much abuse,
       Whisky put me in the Calabouse,
       Whisky fills a man with care,
       Whisky makes a man a bear.

The tune is also different, so I give that to which these
words were sung. A query is appended to " Whisky," as to
whether it be an anacreontic or a teetotal hymn? The
sentiment is mixed, and it might serve for both. [score]
//


09 Jan 11 - 03:43 PM (#3070749)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Next from Haswell comes BLOW THE MAN DOWN. Incidentally, I believe this would make Haswell's the first (to my knowledge, of course) publication of the chanty.

//
He gives the same melody as I have done for " Blow the Man Down," but different lines.

1. "Blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down;
    Blow the man down, bullies, pull him around.
2. Blow the man down, you darlings, lie down,
Blow the man down for fair London town.
3. When the Black Baller is ready for sea,
That is the time that you see such a spree.
4. There's tinkers, and tailors, and soldiers, and all,
They all ship for sailors on board the Black Ball.
5. When the Black Baller hauls out of the dock,
To see these poor fellows, how on board they flock.
6. When the Black Baller gets clear of the land,
'Tis then you will hear the great word of command.
7. 'Lay aft here, ye lubbers, lay aft, one and all,
I'll none of your dodges on board the Black Ball'
8. To see these poor devils, how they will all 'scoat,'
Assisted along by the toe of a boot.
9. It's now we are sailing on th' ocean so wide,
Where the deep and blue waters dash by our black side.
10. It's now when we enter the channel so wide,
All hands are ordered to scrub the ship's side.
11. And now, my fine boys, we are round the rock,
And soon, oh! soon, we will be in the dock.
12. Then all our hands will bundle ashore,
Perhaps some will never to sea go more."
Chorus.—Wae! Hae! Blow the man down,
Give me some time to blow the man down.
//

Luce in 1883 had also given a Black Ball Line theme.

And now Haswell's REUBEN RANZO, which Smith quotes.

//
"Reuben Ranzo"(a true story?), of course is given in yet another form, both as regards music and poetry; this favourite hauling chanty seems to have as many different versions as a pickpocket has aliases. The remark made by the collector on this song is worth remembering; he says, "Ranzo is suspiciously like a 'crib' from a wellknown old sea-song concerning a certain 'Lorenzo,' who also 'was no sailor.' However the versions of Reuben Ranzo may alter one salient point in each remains, and that is the fact of' his being no sailor.'" The last lines of this poem run :—

"I wish I was old 'Ranzo's' son."
Chorus.—Ranzo, boys, Ranzo.
"I'd build a ship of a thousand ton;
I'd give my sailors plenty of rum
Old ' Ranzo' was a good old man,
But now old 'Ranzo's ' dead and gone,
And none can sing his funeral song."
//

The theme here reminds us of Stormalong.


09 Jan 11 - 06:13 PM (#3070846)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

"Chalk and Charcoal – Outlines of a Trip to Europe!" Syracuse (N.Y.) Daily Courier (July 25), p. 1:

"GLASGOW, Scotland, July 12th, '67. … [Steamer Caledonia, Anchor Line, N.Y. to Glasgow] In hauling up the sails, the sailors sang to a wild old Boreas air – this impromptu verse, which they varied indefinitely:

                Blow away – blow a man down,
                A bonnie good mate and a captain too,
                A bonnie good ship and a bonnie good crew,
                Give me some time to blow a man down.

                                CHORUS.

                Away, away, blow a man down."

The first two lines were evidently transposed in typesetting.


09 Jan 11 - 11:14 PM (#3071016)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith, cont.


Here's her collected version of TOMMY'S GONE AWAY:

//
The next song, "Tommy's gone to Hilo," is one of the mournful style of chanties, with a very long dragging chorus. [with score]

Solo.--Tommy's gone, what shall I do?
Chorus.—Hurrah, Hilo.
Solo.—Tommy's gone, what shall I do?
Chorus.—Tom's gone to Hilo.
Solo.—To Liverpool, that noted school,
To Liverpool, that noted school,
Tommy's gone to Quebec town,
Tommy's gone to Quebec town,
There's pretty Sail and Jenny Brown, ,
There's pretty Sail and Jenny Brown,
A-dancing on that stony ground,
A-dancing on that stony ground,
Tommy's gone to Baltimore,
A-rolling on the sandy floor,
Tommy's gone to Mobille Bay,
To roll down cotton all the day,
He's gone away to Dixie's Land,
Where there's roses red and violets blue,
Up aloft that yard must go,
I thought I heard the skipper say,
That he would put her through to-day,
Shake her up, and let her go,
Stretch her leech and shew her clew,
One pull more, and that will do,
Chorus.—Hurrah, Hilo.
Solo.—One pull more, and that will do,
Chorus.—Tom's gone to Hilo.
BELAY!

Like most chanties, the lines of "Tommy's gone to Hilo" are repeated every time, the chorus being the same for the first repetition, and changing a little at the second. The pull is made on the word "Hilo."
//

From these comments and elsewhere, it looks as if Smith's informants did a lot of "stringing out." If what she says about "Hilo" is accurate, this was a single pull chanty.

Smith next gives a ballad, "Married to a Mermaid," which uses "Rule Britannia" as a chorus. Nowhere does it say if this was a chanty, but the existence of a chorus suggests that it could have been.

Then comes paraphrasing of Alden 1882 for:
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY
BONEY
HILONDAY


09 Jan 11 - 11:54 PM (#3071031)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Smith's three versions of BLOW BOYS BLOW look independent. IMO this is one of her best examples, with interesting, varied verses and tune (just one).

//
A YANKEE SHIP.
[with score]

Solo.—A Yankee ship came down the river,
Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—A Yankee ship came down the river,
Chorus.—Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Solo.—And who do you think was skipper of her?
And who do you think was skipper of her?
Dandy Jim from old Carolina,
Chorus.—Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Solo.—Dandy Jim from old Carolina,
And who do you think was second greaser?
Why, Pompey Squash that big buck nigger,
And what do you think they had for dinner?
Monkey's lights and donkey's liver,
And what do you think they had for supper?
Hard tack and Yankee leather,
Then blow, my boys, for better weather,
Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—Then blow, my boys, for better weather
Chorus.—Blow, my bully boys, blow.
Solo.—What do you think was the name of this clipper?
The Flying Cloud, with a cranky skipper,
Then up aloft that yard must go,
One more pull and then belay,
I think I heard our old man say,
Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—He set more sail and give her way,
We'll hoist it high before we go,
Another good pull and make it stay,
And then we've finished for to-day,
And then we've finished for to-day,
Chorus.—Blow, my bully boys, blow.

This chanty is sometimes called " Blow, boys, blow," and the verses vary, not so much in the theme or the locale, which is always America, but in the dramatis personae. For instance, in one version I found—

Solo.—Who do you think was captain of her?
Who do you think was captain of her?
Old John Brown, the boarding master,
Old John Brown, the boarding master,
Who do you think was looking after?
Who do you think was looking after?
Cock-eyed Bill, the West-end barber,
Cock-eyed Bill, the West-end barber.

In another—
Solo.—Oh blow, my boys, I long to hear you. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—A Yankee Liner coming down the river. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—And how do you know she's a Yankee Liner? Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—By the stars and stripes she hangs behind her. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—A Colonial packet coming down the river. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.— How do you know she's a Colonial packet? Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—She fired a gun, I heard the racket. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.

And so on. This version was given me by a young Scotchman, whose time at sea had been limited to fifteen months, nevertheless he had a very intimate knowledge of shiplife, and sailors' ways and songs, and was furthermore possessed of a good voice and a better ear ; he sang several chanties for me, and acted, as far as he was able in a drawing-room, the heaving and hauling which they accompanied.

The tune is, however, the same for both titles, and whether known as "A Yankee Ship" or " Blow, boys, blow," it is always fathered on America.
//

After this comes a JOHN BROWN'S BODY collected by Smith:

//
The same may be said of "John Brown," which follows:

[score]

Solo. — In eighteen hundred and sixty-one
The Yankee war it was begun.
In eighteen hundred and sixty-one
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah!
Glory, halleluiah!
As we go marching along.

Solo.—In eighteen hundred and sixty-two
The niggers made a great ado,
In eighteen hundred and sixty-two
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah ! &c.

Solo.—In eighteen hundred and sixty-three
The niggers they were all set free,
In eighteen hundred and sixty-three
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah! &c.

Solo.—In eighteen hundred and sixty-four
The Yankee war it was no more.
In eighteen hundred and sixty-four
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah! &c.

Solo.—Old John Brown was the Abolition man,
Old John Brown was the Abolition man,
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah! &c.

Solo.—John Brown's knapsack was number 92,
John Brown's knapsack was number 92,
As we go marching along.
Chorus.—Glory, halleluiah! &c.
//

This is followed by several non-chanties.


10 Jan 11 - 12:11 AM (#3071036)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Taking a break from L.A. Smith for a few other notes.

Geo--

Thanks for the song list from "Around Cape Horn to Honolulu..."! Does it give lyrics and/or tunes? And are all of them meant to be shanties/work-songs? Any clue to how or when they were used?

What is "As I Was A Walking Up Dennison Street"? "Blow the Man Down"?

What's the difference between "Ranzo" and "Orenso"?

Lighter--

Boo-yah! You've been holding out!
Thanks too for the idea of "Blow *A* Man Down." That phrase seems to get a lot more earlier hits on searches...and it would make sense if, presumably, related to "Knock a Man Down" and before, possibly, "THE" became the standard.


10 Jan 11 - 12:31 AM (#3071040)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John M. wrote:

Here is an entry from 1886, by Robert C. Leslie, entitled SEA PAINTER'S LOG. There are two mentions about maritime work songs. The first has to do with fishermen hauling their boats ashore with the use of a capstan. Here is the link (p. 174):...

In the second reference on page 242, Leslie discusses some specific chanties and gives us the words for: "A Hundred Years Ago", "Storm Along, Stormy", and "Good Morning, Ladies All." ...

Here, Leslie is recollecting an earlier time about the "old Black X sailing-liners", who were "notable for their musical crews".


And here are the texts:

p174
//
Then from midnight and on through the small hours of morning, the beach is lively with the song of the men hauling the boats up from the wash of the sea; after which a steady tramp, tramp round the capstan brings them slowly but surely above highwater mark.
//

p242
//
An Old Sea Song.

Years ago, when the (little) Great Western was fighting an almost solitary battle of steam versus sail power upon the Atlantic, the old Black X sailing liners were notable for their musical crews; and capstan songs, as they were called, always came rolling aft from a liner's forecastle, as the men tramped round winding in the warp that was slowly moving her out of dock (all done now by rattling, whizzing, steam-winch power). I recollect the airs of many of these songs; but the words, except the choruses, were hard to catch; and some of these were coarse, or not worth much when caught. The following was written down as a very superior piece of poetry; and it was sung by a fellow of most "comly making."

Solo. Late one evening as I vas a valking,
Chorus, all. Oh, ho, yes—Oho.
So. O there I heard a loving couple talking:
Ch. A hundered years ago.

So. It was a serious good old woman,
And she vas a saying of things not common,

She vas a saying unto her darter,
O mind, then, vords o' mine herearter,

Red-nosed men frequent the ale-'ouse,
Sandy-'aired men are always jailous,

The fat will coax, the lean will flatter,
O marry none of them, my darter,

So. But marry a man of a comly making,
Ch. Oh, ho, yes—Oho.
So. For in him there's no mistaking:
Ch. A hundered years ago.

So. In so doing of w'ich you'll please me,
Ch. Oh, ho, yes—Oho.
So. And so of my troubles ease me:
Ch. A hundered years ago.

But long before the song reached this point it was usually cut short by the mate singing out, "Vast heaving there for'ard; out bars and lay aft some of ye," &c. Then soon a fresh song would burst from another part of the ship, perhaps the following wild kind of thing:—

So. Oh, poor old Starmy's dead and gone.
Ch. Starm along, boys—Starm along.
So. Oh, poor old Starmy's dead and gone.
Ch. Starm along, Starmy.

So. I dug his grave with a silver spade—
Ch. Carry him along, boys, carry him along.
So. I lowered him down with a golden chain—
Ch. Carry him along, boys, carry him along.

So. We carried him along to London town—
Ch. Starm along, boys—Starm along.
So. We carried him away to Mobille Bay,
Ch. Starm along, Starmy.

Or, just as the ship was passing the dock-gates, this favourite chorus to a very lovely air, which I am sorry I cannot give with it:—

So. Now we're outward bound from London town,
Ch. With a heave oh—haul.
So. With a last farewell and a long farewell.
Ch. And good morning, ladies all—
But we're homeward bound to New York town.
With a heave oh—haul.
And it's there we'll sing and sorrow drown,
Good morning, ladies all.
//

tags: HUNDRED YEARS, STORMY, GOOD MORNING LADIES


10 Jan 11 - 01:22 AM (#3071054)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A note from (arguably) pre-shanty days --

This is a supposedly true story, "My Adventures (Part VI)", by an "O.P.B." from Connecticut, aboard a ship the TRAVELER (slave ship disguised as merchant ship) out of New York and, at this point, at Rio, Brazil. It's in _The Rural Repository_ (Hudson, NY: William B. Stoddard) Vol. 12(23), 16 April 1836.

I believe the period described in the account is the late 1820s.

There is a section where work orders are given. They are being pursued by a schooner. Pg. 180:

//
'Ship them then at once. Man the capstan bars, my men. Send up that drunken fifer, Tom, and let him play Yankee Doodle. That's it. Round with you men, round with you cheerily. Heave, and she must come. Walk her up, my lads, walk her up. What are you doing there you black rascal, leaning your whole weight on that bar. Cook, steward, come out of the cabin, you yellow, sneaking scoundrels and bear a hand on deck here. By the Lord, the schooner's hoisting her topsails. Do you mean to lose this fine land breeze, you long, lubberly villains. Do you mean to sleep in jail to night, you poor, good for nothing devils ?' This last exhortation seemed to have the desired effect, and in a few minutes the anchor was at the larboard cathead, and amid the general confusion Captain Talbot and his bo.us crew came aboard. 'Man the topsail halliards, hoist away' and up went the topsail yards to the inspiring tones of the fife, the sails catching the fresh breeze from the land, and the ship already beginning to feel its influence, and dashing the smooth water in mimic waves from her bows.
//

So, there is a conspicuous absence of singing mentioned. Only the fife is used.


10 Jan 11 - 01:48 AM (#3071062)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1855 Marryat, "Frank". _Mountains and Molehills_. London: Longman, Brown, Green. and Longmans.

Marryat is mining at Tuttletown (Tuolumne County) in California during the Gold Rush. It is January 1852.

//
A sailor in the mines is at best a rough and uncomely fellow to the sight; but will you show me anything more pleasing to contemplate than that sturdy fellow there who plies his pickaxe to the tune of " Oh, Sally Brown! " that he may take at night to his sick friend in the tent hard by the luxuries he needs ? The sailors in the mines have been ever distinguished for self-denial; and whenever I see " prim goodness" frown at the rough, careless sailor's oath that will mingle now and then with his " ye-ho ! " I think to myself, " Take out your heart, 'prim goodness,' and lay it by the side of Jack's and offer me the choice of the two, and maybe it won't be yours I'll take, for all that you are faultless to the world's eye."
//

The son of Frederick Marryat would certainly know "Sally Brown."


10 Jan 11 - 02:07 AM (#3071067)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1887 Edwards, George Wharton. "The Figurehead of the James Starbuck." _St. Nicholas_ vol. 14(10) (August 1887) 742-746.

An imagined scene of older times. Not an eyewitness account. Just using the chanty text for literary effect:

//
...Beneath, through the open door of the shed, we can see long lines of men sitting on low benches and sewing away on huge strips of new canvas; singing in chorus, as they ply the short, thick sail-needle and waxed thread, some old-time ditty of the sea. Hark!

'' 'Where are you going, my own pretty maid?'
    Hey-ho! Blow a man down!
    'I'm going a-sailing, sir,' she said.
    Give a man time to blow a man down!"
//

So, BLOW THE MAN DOWN is becoming popularly known in the 1880s?


10 Jan 11 - 02:31 AM (#3071071)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1851 Fuller, Thomas, Jr. _Journal of a Voyage to Liberia_. Baltimore: Printed by John D. Toy.

The narrator is a passenger on a packet barque from Baltimore to Liberia, carrying emigrant free Blacks. It's Sept. 1851. He notes STORMY at one point, though not with any particular work mention:

//
All being on board, Tom Williams, the leader of the band, struck up his favorite air, "old stormy long." And in a short time we were under way for Cape Palmas.
//


10 Jan 11 - 03:03 AM (#3071075)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1887   Unknown author. "Experiences of an English Engineer in the Congo." _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_ 864(142) (Oct. 1887).

The narrator is on the Congo River at Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool). He is being hauled ashore from a boat.

//
I landed in the usual fashion, being carried from the boat through the shallow water by two natives. The boat, by the by, was that belonging to the Congo Free State factory, and the " Kruboys" who manned her, dressed in neat uniforms, pulled steadily and in good time, to the tune of "One more river to cross!" This air is known to them as "Stanley song" —they or their predecessors having learnt it from Bula Matadi himself, as a "chantee," when hauling the steamers overland between Vivi and Isanghila.
//

Just noting the use of "chantee" here by the author.

The song alluded to may have been this one in Higginson's "Negro Spirituals" (1867), a work mentioned up-thread:

pg. 687

//
The following begins with a startling affirmation, yet the last line quite outdoes the first. This, too, was a capital boat-song.

X. ONE MORE RIVER.

O, Jordan bank was a great old bank I
Dere ain't but one more river to cross.
We have some valiant soldier here,
Dere ain't. &c.
O, Jordan stream will never run dry,
Dere ain't, &c.
Dere 's a hill on my leff", and he catch on my right,
Dere ain't but one more river to cross."

I could get no explanation of this last riddle, except, "Dat mean, if you go on de leff, go to 'struction, and if you go on de right, go to God, for sure."
//


10 Jan 11 - 03:14 AM (#3071077)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Another source that shows a conspicuous absence of chanties--

1835. Disraeli, Isaac. "Songs of Trades, or Songs For the People." In _Curiosities of Literature_. Vol. 2. Paris: Baudry's European Library.

The English author is speaking of work-songs throughout the ages and different places.

//
Our sailors at Newcastle, in heaving their anchors, have their "Heave and ho! rum-below!" but the Sicilian mariners must be more deeply affected by their beautiful hymn to the Virgin...
//


10 Jan 11 - 04:09 AM (#3071097)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1836 Weston, Richard. _A Visit to the United States and Canada in 1833._ Edinburgh: Richars Weston and Sons.

The narrator leaves Greenock (Scotland) for New York on the ship JOHN DENNISON in July 1833. Whilst warping out they used this hauling song:

//
July 11.1833.—8 o'clock A.M. A warp was sent out and made fast to a buoy in the stream. It was stretched along the deck, and manned by the seamen. The captain, whose name was M'Kissock, desired some of the passengers to lend a hand to assist the seamen ; and, accordingly, many of the emigrants were put on the warp. When every thing was got ready, a sailor sung the following words, or something like them, to a lively air, and keeping time to the music, as they all pulled:

Pull away,, my hearty boys—pull away so cheerily,
She moves along, my boys—pull away so heartily !
We are for America ; the wind is whistling cheerily,
Then bouse away together,, boys, and see you do it merrily!
//

I imagine that may have been done as a hand-over-hand.

The next day, there is a scene of heaving anchor and hoisting yards. The early "Sally" style halliard chanty makes an appearance.

//
July 12.—At three o'clock, A.M. All hands were ordered up to weigh the anchor; the morning was clear, and the wind fair. The windlass went cheerily round with the assistance of the emigrants, who lent a willing hand. The words "Yo heave "ho!" were sung cheerily by one of the seamen at the bar. The sails were loosened and sheeted home, and the halyards manned, the emigrants giving every assistance they could. The yards were then hoisted up, a seaman singing, in order to keep the hands all pulling together, words something like the following—

Sally is a pretty girl—Sing Sally-ho,
Sail she is fond of me—Sing Sally-ho !
We are for America, so cheerily we'll go ;
Then pull away strongly, boys, and sing Sally-ho!

The yards were braced round to catch the wind, accompanied by songs of various metres, according to the length of the pull and the number pulling.
//

The phrase "songs of various metres..." makes it sound somewhat sophisticated.

Holystoning songs are also alluded to, after arriving in New York in August:

//
The seamen were put to holystone the deck, and as they rubbed, one of them sung a song, rubbing and keeping time.
//

Being the early 1830s, this was also the start of the boom in minstrel music...that would have such an influence on chanties. Here is a scene in New York, with "Coal Black Rose" and "Jump Jim Crow." Note the segregated African-American audience also in attendance.pg. 68:

//
In the evening I went to the theatre; the play was Inkle and Yarico. The people of colour were huddled into a place by themselves ; the pale faces, though liberty is continually in their mouths, lord it over them on every occasion. The Americans boast of having given the slaves their freedom in New York, but they still treat them as such, and expose them to every kind of indignity and insult. The performance, upon the whole, was very poor; but there was an excellent comic actor who played the part of a negro, and sang two of their songs, which kept both audiences, black and white, in a roar of laughter. One of the songs ran thus:

   Lubby rose, will tu tum,
   When tu hear te bango ?
   Tum! — tum! — tum !
   O rose, de coal-black rose!
   Wish I may be corched ib I dont lub rose.

The other was :

Turn about, jump about, turn about so ;
Ebery time I turn about, jump Jem Crow.
//

It must have been T.D. Rice that he saw perform.


10 Jan 11 - 04:18 AM (#3071102)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1880. _Echoes from the Counties._ London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co.

It's a florid passage about Greenland whaling, but not with any specifics, just images.

//
But though the route to the remotest realms of ice and darkness is now seldom taken, the commerce with the Baltic along the old beaten track still flourishes in greater vigour than ever, and still may be heard amid the clank of great chains and the rattle of tarry cordage, this favourite old refrain, as the brawny sailors step round the groaning capstan—

''Sally's going to Petersburgh—
             Sing, Sally, ho!"
//


10 Jan 11 - 06:42 AM (#3071171)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,shipcmo

Gibb,


Only the lyrics, no tunes

< And are all of them meant to be shanties/work-songs? Any clue to how or when they were used?>

Briggs states: "There are several kinds of shanty: the capstan or hoisting shanty, sung when at the capstan, warping or weighing anchor or hoisting topsails; the halyard shanty, sung when the topsails and topgallants are being mast-headed; and the sheet-tack and bowline shanty, used when the fore, main and other sheets are hauled aft and the bowlines made taut.   There is also the bastard shanty, so-called; it is a runaway chorus, sung by all hands as they race across the deck with a rope; you hear it in tacking ship."


Right the chorus is: "Oh, give me the time to blow the man down!"
And he gives 14 verses
But: The Ship "Neptune" also has a chorus line: "Give me some time to blow the man down!"


Briggs states that Orenzo was "Another version of the same shanty was written for me by Lawrence, an old sailor of our crew."
with 22 verses.

Also, There is mention of a shantie: "Here Comes Old Wabbleton a-Walking the Deck", but there is a line in The Ship "Neptune" that goes "Oh! don't you see Wabbleton walking the poop?"


10 Jan 11 - 07:19 AM (#3071189)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,shipcmo

Upon further reading I find the following passage, referring to a situation off Cape Horn: "He himself (meaning the Captain) worked with the sailors, cheering them and telling them to "pull for their lives"--and for the first and only time on the voyage I heard him break into a shanty, leading off with the first verse of "Baltimore Bell", the Seacond Mate taking up the alternate verses, as the men strained at the ropes to the rhythm of the chorus."


10 Jan 11 - 08:49 AM (#3071249)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,shipcmo

Reference up-thread:
"The words "Yo heave "ho!" were sung cheerily by one of the seamen at the bar."
I cannot but wonder what a landsman(landlubber)would make of the phrase "at the bar"
Cheers,
Geo


10 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM (#3071411)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, your reference to "1855 Marryat, "Frank". _Mountains and Molehills_" may be the first real evidence we have of an actual chanty being sung in connection to the Gold Rush! I'm going to copy this note over to the "SF to Sydney" thread. If the sailors were singing "Sally Brown" while they were mining for gold, then they may well have been singing it on the outward bound ships from San Francisco to Sydney.


12 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM (#3072748)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Learning the shanties in Hugill's collection has really been a ...erm... learning experience for me, expecially for the fact that I think actually being *forced* to perform them (and thus get a practical sense of them) occasionally brings some insight that might occur if just looking at the texts. All of us here have performed chanties, and I think we have all had that experience to some extent. Anyways, I had finished learning all the English-language songs (the end was mostly dregs). Lately I've felt a bit burnt out, and one thing I realized is that I was not having a steady diet of the chanties keeping me going as it had for the last 2 1/2 years. But though I thought I'd need lots of help covering the non-English ones, and especially daunted by the idea of (as is my policy) memorizing them, have been trying some out.

I am rambling here... but I am getting to the point that which is that learning the non-English chanties has broadened my horizons with respect also to what we are doing in this thread. I am wondering what these of linguistic chanty "traditions" and sources can tell us about what was going on.

I posted a query about Norwegian shanties here:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=134867#3071130

What is blowing my mind is that these "sjömandsviser" (sailor songs, I suppose) are from the late 1830s/early 40s. SOme form of maritime worksongs must have been well known by them. True, maybe they were mainly capstan songs, and not necessarily "chanties." But there must have been enough of a repertoire..or maybe a pretty standard form?...so that a Norwegian poet would treat them as a generic genre (!) within which to compose. I think the inspiration was English songs, but there may have been Norwegian songs, too. I only wonder what more the Norwegian (and other language) songs can tell us about what was going on.

The songs by Wergeland have a "Sing, Sally-o!" chorus. Almost all have this. Was he just supplying a generic chorus, with the assumption that one could fit the solo couplets to any chanty "framework"? Or is that that, mainly, "Sing Sally O" was just THE song, and people made endless variations on it. Are some of these halyard chanties? Were the "original" shanties really ribald, as Hugill claims, such that Wergeland had to clean them up? If so, might we find more details somewhere about the ribald originals, which would have formed a significant body?

I am vaguely aware, FWIW, that the written language in Wergeland's time was basically what's now thought of as Danish. This collection gives no explanation of the sailor songs. I wonder what might happen if we open up our literature searches to these languages.

Anyway, it's late and I am just vamping here...


12 Jan 11 - 05:58 AM (#3072776)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith cont...

Smth next reproduced some texts of non-shanties (incl. SPANISH LADIES) from the story "The Man-of-War's Man," by "S.," published in the Jan. 1822 issue of _ Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_ 60(9).

http://books.google.com/books?id=PNhT1uVIZvYC&pg=PA20&dq=%22greenland+is+a+cold+

Then come Alden's versions of CLEAR THE TRACK (with a typo, "sig-a-jig"), SHENANDOAH, and SHALLOW BROWN.


12 Jan 11 - 03:12 PM (#3073218)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"insight that might NOT occur if just looking at the texts"
"I am wondering what these OTHER linguistic chanty "traditions" and sources can tell us about what was going on."

Whoops. Look at the time of my post, which may explain some of the cloudiness.


12 Jan 11 - 03:40 PM (#3073237)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The next two are L.A. Smith's original contributions.

First, SALLY BROWN.

//

[score]

Solo.—Sally Brown was a bright mulatto,
Chorus. —Way! heigh! Roll and go.
Solo—Oh! Sally Brown was a bright mulatto,
I'll spend my money on Sally Brown.
Sally Brown was a bright mulatto.
Cho—Way! heigh! &c.
Solo—Sally Brown she had a daughter,
Cho—Way! heigh! &c.
Solo—Oh! Sally Brown she had a daughter,
Her name it was Matilda Jane.
Sally Brown she had a daughter.
Cho—Way! heigh! &c.
Solo—Seven long years I courted Sally,
Cho--Way! heigh! &c.
Solo.—Oh! seven long years I courted Sally,
I mean to marry Sally Brown.
Oh ! seven long years I courted Sally.
Chorus.—Way! heigh! &c.

The last verse resembles the other version somewhat....
//

By "the other version"she must mean Alden's Shenandoah, which has Sally Brown lyrics.

Then comes our "first" SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

//
...The verses are not at all times consistent with the next song, also a capstan one, and they are too numerous to quote in full.

I give the melody as I got it from a coloured seaman at the " Home,"together with a verbatim copy of his verses :—

[score - starts with grand chorus]

*Solo.—South Australia is my native home,
Chorus.—Heave away! Heave away!
Solo.—South Australia, &c.
Chorus.—I am bound to South Australia,
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away, you ruler king,
I am bound to South Australia.
Solo.—There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
Chorus.—Heave, &c.
Solo.—To leave my dear wife and child behind.
Chorus.—I am bound, &c.
Solo.—I see my wife standing on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me.
When I am on a foreign shore,
I'll think of the wife that I adore.
Those crosses you see at the bottom of the lines,
Are only to put me in mind.
As I was standing on the pier,
A fair young maid to me appeared.
As I am standing on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the girl that I adore.
For I'll tell you the truth, and I'll tell you no lie,
If I don't love that girl I hope I may die.
Liza Lee, she promised me,
When I returned she would marry me.
And now I am on a foreign strand,
With a glass of whisky in my hand;
And I'll drink a glass to the foreign shore,
And one to the girl that I adore.
When I am homeward bound again,
My name I'll publish on the main.
With a good ship and a jolly crew,
A good captain and chief mate, too,
Now fare thee well, fare thee well,
For sweet news to my girl I'll tell.
//

Then comes Haswell's collected version of HAUL AWAY JOE.

//
"Haul away." This is a short-rope pulling song of almost equal popularity in the olden days with "Haul the Bowline." It is one of the most characteristic melodies amongst the chanties. At the word "Joe," all hands give a pull.

"Oh once I had a nigger girl,
And she was fat and lazy.
And then I got an Irish girl,
And she was double-jointed.
And then I had a Dover lass,
She ran away with a soldier."
"Away, haul away—Haul away, Joe.

Away, haul away—Haul away, Joe.
Away, haul away—Haul away, Joe."

[score]
//

Then Alden's other SHENANDOAH. Smith seems confused here, first in not recognizing (?) that Alden gave two versions of "Shenandoah," and second in calling the river "Shenandore."

//
The following is a windlass song of negro origin, River Shenandore:—

[score, as in Alden]
//

Then, she has RIO GRANDE (fishes version) as in Alden.


13 Jan 11 - 06:19 AM (#3073604)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

LA Smith goes on to give a few of Haswell's chanties.

First, HANDY MY BOYS:

//
"Handy Jim," a long-rope hauling chanty, I am told is a Portsmouth favourite:—

[score]

Solo.—" I'm Handy Jim from Caro-line,
Chorus.—So handy, me boys, so handy."
(The chorus is throughout the same, and follows each line of the solo.)
Solo.—"I courted a girl named Sarah Jane,
    So handy, me boys, so handy.
Sarah Jane was a kitchen maid,
And ofttimes into her kitchen I strayed,
And had a good blow-out of something hot.
But one fine night, through my good luck,
The missus came home—in the copper I got;
But the missus had come the clothes for to wash.
The fire being lit the copper got hot,
And the missus she came to stir up the pot,
And out I jumped, all smoking hot,
The missus she fainted, and cried ' Stop thief!'
But I was off like a shot of a gun.
When the missus came to there was an awful row;
Poor Sarah, she got the sack next day,
Then she came to me straightway, and said,—
'I've lost my character, place likewise.'
Says I,' My dear, now never you mind,
Next Sunday morn' we'll go and get wed ;'
Next Sunday morn' I was at sea instead.
So now, my boys, when courting you go,
If the missus turns up, in the copper don't go,
If you're handy there, you're handier here.
One more pull, and up she will go,—
The mate cries ' Belay!' so below we will go."
//

Then, BONEY. Funny though how she doesn't seem to recognize it as "Boney," though she has already given another version of it (??).

//
The following "Bonny" is another hauling chanty, somewhat after the style of " Whisky Johnny."

1. Oh, Bonny was a warrior,
Chorus.—Wae! Hae! Ha!
2. Oh, Bonny was no Frenchman,
    Wae! Hae! Ha!
3. Bonny beat the Rooshins,
4. The Prooshians, and the Osstrians,
5. At the Battle of Marengo.
6. Bonny went to Moscow,
7. Moscow was o'foyre.
8. Bonny lost his army there,
9. Bonny retreated back again.
10. Bonny went to Elbow,
11. And soon he did come back again.
12. Bonny fought at Waterloo;
13. There he got his overthrow.
14. Bonny went a cruising,
15. In the Channel of Old England.
16. Bonny was taken prisoner,
17. On board the Bella-Ruffian {"Bellerophon")
18. Bonny was sent to St. Helena,
19. And never will come back again.
   Wae! Hae! Ha!

[score]
//

//
The following are both good capstan songs:

HEAVE AWAY, MY JOHNNY.

[score]

As I was going out one day, Down by the Clarence Dock;
    Heave away my Johnny, Heave away...
As I was going out one day, down by the Clarence Dock,
    Hand away, my jolly boys, we're all bound to go.

2. I overheard an emigrant conversing with Tap Scott
I overheard an emigrant conversing with Tap Scott.

3. "Good-morning, Mr. Tap Scott." "Good morning, sir," said he.
"Have you got any ships bound for New York, in the States of Amerikey?"

4. "Oh, yes! I have got packet-ships. I have got one or two,
I've got the Josey Walker, besides the Kangaroo.

5. I've got the Josey Walker, and on Friday she will sail,
With all four hundred emigrants, and a thousand bags o' mail."

6. Now I am in New York, and I'm walking through the street,
With no money in my pockets, and scarce a bit to eat.

7. Bad luck to Josey Walker, and the day that she set sail!
For them sailors got drunk, broke into my bunk, and stole out all my meal.*

8. Now I'm in Philadelphia, and working on the canal,
To go home in one o' them packet-ships, I'm sure I never shall.

9. But I'll go home in a National boat, that carries both steam and sail,
Where you get soft tack every day, and none of your yellow meal.

In this song each line is repeated, so that the anchor may be up ere it is finished.
//

And, GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL, set to the "Dreadnought" ballad theme:

//
GOOD-BYE, FARE YE WELL!

This is the last of the English chanties I shall quote. It is also a capstan song:—

[score]

Solo.—It's of a flash packet, a packet I've seen,
Chorus.—Good-bye, fare ye well. Good-bye, fare ye well.
Solo.—She's a hearty flash packet—the Dreadnought's her name.
Chorus.—Hurrah, me boys! we're bound to go!

2. She sails to the westward, where stormy winds blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

3. It's now we are hauling right out of the dock,
Where the boys and the girls on the pier-head do flock.

4. They give three loud cheers, while the tears downward flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

5. Oh, now we are lying in the River Mersey,
Waiting for the tug-boat to take us to sea.

6. She tows us round the black rocks where Mersey does flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

7. It's now we are sailing on the wild Irish shore,
Our passengers all sick—and our new mates all sore.

8. The crew fore and aft—all round to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

9. Oh, it's now we've arrived on the banks of Newfoundland,
Where the water is green and the bottom is sand.

10. Where the fish of the ocean swim round to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

11. Now we are running down Long Island shore,
Where the pilot does "board " us, as he's oft done before.

12. Then back your main top-sail—rise your main tack also,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.

13. It's now we've arrived at New York once more,
Where I'll see my dear Polly, the girl I adore.

14. I'll call for strong liquors, and merry will be,
Here's a health to the Dreadnought, where'er she may be.

15. Here's a health to the captain and all his brave
crew, Here's a health to the Dreadnought and officers too.

16. And this song was composed when the watch went below,
Bound away in the Dreadnought, to the westward we'll go.
//


13 Jan 11 - 06:35 AM (#3073615)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The last English chanty bit in L.A. Smith comes later on in the volume:

//
The following extract is from "A Land-Lubber's Log," in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle:—

BURYING THE DEAD HORSE.

Auctioneer.—"A poor old man came riding by.
   Chorus.—And they say so, and they hope so.
Auctioneer.—A poor old man came riding by.
   Chorus.—A poor old man,
               A poor old man came riding by.
Auctioneer.—They say, old man, your horse will die.
If he dies I will tan his hide,
And if he lives I will ride him again;
I'll have his hide to make my shoes.
We'll drag him along to his burial-place,
O pull, my boys, and make a noise.
You, poor old horse, what brought you here,
After carrying turf for many a year
From Bantry Bay to Ballyack,
When you fell down and broke your back?
You died from blows and sore abuse,
And were salted down for the sailor's use.
The sailors they the meat despise,
They turned you over and (ahem'd) your eyes,
They ate the meat and picked the bones,
And gave the rest to Davy Jones;
And if you don't believe it's true,
Go look in the harness cask, and find his shoes."

"The music to this extraordinary song," says the writer, "was strange and crude, but marked by a weird, mournful melody, recalling what one has read of the caoine that was formerly sung by the Irish over their dead. . . . Each line was sung twice over by the auctioneer, and the crew followed in chorus with the alternate refrain." The ceremony of " Burying the Dead Horse" is now almost an obsolete one, and is rarely witnessed save on Australian bound passenger-ships. As to its origin I cannot find any authentic information, the custom is certainly confined to the British mercantile service. "The Dead Horse" is typical of one month's pay advanced on shore, and which, after twenty-eight days, has been worked out. The horse's body is made out of a barrel, and his extremities of hay or straw, covered with canvas, the mane and tail of hemp, or still better, of manilla; the eyes consist of two ginger-beer bottles, which are sometimes filled with phosphorus. When the horse is completed, he is lashed to a box, which is covered by a rug and then drawn along, in Egyptian fashion, on a grating.

A very humorous description of this ceremony, and another set of lines and music known as "The Dead Horse," I had sent me, in a copy of The Parramatta Sun (a serio-comic magazine, issued fortnightly, during the voyage of the ship Parramatta from London to Sydney, September 9th, 1879, to December 8th, 1879).

BURYING THE DEAD HORSE.

"On Thursday, October 2nd, lat. 7-32° N., long. 25-20° W., Mr. Richard Tangye, the well-known judge and buyer of blood stock, attended the Parramatta sale, and purchased the animal which was too celebrated to need mention by name. At about eight o'clock a vast multitude of those interested in the turf were assembled on the poop, anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse of the noble animal as he emerged from his stable in the fore part of the ship. His jockey having mounted him, proceeded to the main-deck amidst a crowd of the ship's crew, singing as they did a song which would have deterred anybody with less spirit than Mr. Tangye from bidding. It appeared that the horse was a victim to fate, and that his dirge was being sung :—

"Oh! now poor horse your time is come,
       And we say so, for we know so.
Oh! many a race I know you've won:
         Poor old man.
2. I have come a long, long way,
       And, &c.
To be sold upon this day.
       Oh, poor old man.
3. I have made Fordham's heart jump with joy,
And, &c.
For many a long time he tried a Derby to win,
4. But I was the moke to carry him in.
So I hope I shall fetch plenty of tin.
5. Oh! gentlemen, walk up and speculate;
   If I go cheap, my heart will break.
6. So now, Mr. Auctioneer, you can begin.
And, &c.

"Put up, therefore, he was before the poop, the auctioneer introducing him to the public by narrating his past and prosperous career, and quickly inducing them to make spirited bids. The bidding commenced at five shillings, and speedily ran up to six pounds ten shillings, each person being answerable for the amount of his or her bid. The horse and jockey being knocked down, the crew sang the following requiem, the melody being the same as that for the dirge :—

"Now, old horse, your time is come,
       And we say so, for we know so.
Altho' many a race you have won.
         Oh, poor old man.
2. You're going now to say good-bye,
       And, &c.
   Poor old horse you're going to die.
       Oh, &c.

"The procession moving forward, the horse and jockey were attached to a rope and hauled up to the main-yardarm, and were then, amid plenty of blue fire (stay, the jockey, who happened to be alive, was spared) committed to the deep. The crew then sang:—

"Now he is dead and will die no more,
    And we say so, for we know so.
It makes his ribs feel very sore,
      Oh, poor old man.
He is gone and will go no more,
    And we say so, &c.
So good-bye, old horse!
    We say good-bye!"

[score]
//


13 Jan 11 - 11:16 PM (#3074168)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thank God I'm finally done logging in the chanties from L.A. Smith's MUSIC OF THE WATERS! Now to summarize its contents.

The following are the shanties named or described, and where I think they most probably came from. I am only noting songs offered as chanties (though sometimes it is ambiguous), so for example I am not including "Spanish Ladies," which Smith quotes from Chappell's old work and not as a shanty. I name the chanties according to their "tag" titles that I have been using fairly consistently.

1. 1858 Atlantic Monthly:

BOWLINE
"Highland day and off she goes"
PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN

The first two were also in the 1869 Chambers's article, however, because I don't locate "Pay Me the Money Down" anywhere else (?), I feel Smith must have read this article, too.

2. 1869 Chambers's Journal:

OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND
SACRAMENTO
PADDY LAY BACK
SANTIANA
"Oceanida"
"Johnny's Gone"
"The Black Ball Line"
SLAPANDERGOSHEKA
HANDY MY BOYS

This means Smith cannibalized essentially all the material in that article.

3. 1872 Bennett, William Cox. "Songs for Sailors" London: Henry S. King & Co. (??):

YEO HEAVE HO

Not sure about this one. I think Smith got it from a text, and this text does have it in the same lyrical version. However, Bennett did not give a tune though Smith supplied one. There may be another little source for this, as I honestly don't think Smith collected it in the field.

4. 1879 Parramatta Sun:

BOWLINE
WHISKEY JOHNNY
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
REUBEN RANZO
HAUL AWAY JOE
HANDY MY BOYS
BONEY
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL
DEAD HORSE

These are all of the Haswell chanties.

5. 1882 Alden:

LOWLANDS AWAY
ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN
STORMY ALONG
MR. STORMALONG
HUCKLEBERRY HUNTING
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY
BONEY
HILONDAY
CLEAR THE TRACK
SHENANDOAH
SHALLOW BROWN.
SHENANDOAH (2)
RIO GRANDE

So, most of what was in Alden.

6. 1886 Leslie (Sea Painter's Log):

STORMY
HUNDRED YEARS

7. Probably collected by Smith in the field:

RIO GRANDE
JOHNNY BOWKER
MR. STORMALONG
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
REUBEN RANZO
UP A HILL
CHEERLY
RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND
TOMMY'S GONE AWAY
BLOW BOYS BLOW
JOHN BROWN'S BODY
SALLY BROWN
SOUTH AUSTRALIA

8. Unknown:

RIO GRANDE
CHEERLY
GOLDEN VANITY
WHISKEY JOHNNY

One of my main reasons for doubting these were collected by Smith is that Smith's others consist of music notation (where applicable) without the words directly under the notes. I think these may have come from other sources like correspondence (perhaps with Clark Russell?) and minor articles.

I hope I haven't forgotten or confused anything, though it's likely I probably have.

Smith does not seem to have been influenced by either Adams' or Luce's notable prior works.

What I am seeing here in terms of historiography goes something like this: The Atlantic Monthly 1858 provided a model and some material, greatly expanded, for the 1868 ONCE A WEEK article. For whatever reason, that one was not reference so much afterwards, but the 1869 CHAMBERS'S article is mostly a copy, and it is the one to later feed Smith. Smith was also fed by Alden's 1882 article in HARPER'S. Another stream is represented by Adam's and his replicators, including Luce who cleaned up his notation. These streams are separate at the time of Smith's publication, though Luce's revised version does then reference Smith. I am not sure at this point how Davis/Tozer might fit in. Much of the early 20th century chanty references seem to rely on Smith (or a predecessor in her lineage). In any case, these are the foundational shanty sources. My guess is that Whall would be the next big contributor to how shanty repertoire is perceived, but before his 1910 publication, much in print would rehash the widely-read (attractively packaged and accessibly titled) Smith.

Thoughts?


14 Jan 11 - 12:42 AM (#3074188)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I also see Smith may have been influenced from reading James Runciman's _Skippers and Shellbacks_. I'll dig that one out in a bit.

***

Smith's _Music of the Waters_ was reviewed in _The Musical Times_ Vol. 30 for 1 July, 1889. Here are some excerpts.

The water music, however, with which Miss Smith has to deal is of a particular sort, and is primarily confined to those songs known as "chanties" (pronounced shanties, probably from the French chanter), which are sung by the sailors of the mercantile marine at their work, at the fo'c'sle head or during the dog watches.

"Chanty" was obviously not entirely common, and the author got it mixed up.

The fact that a large number of sailors' songs are primarily employed to regulate their movements in the performance of some manual labour, may prepare us for the apparently meaningless and perfunctory nature of the words attached to them. No doubt there is a substratum of sense somewhere, but one has to dive very deep to discover any coherence in the literature of the capstan-bar. Take, for example, "Old Stormy," of which the following lines may serve as a sample :—
...
The foregoing lines are decidedly difficult to construe —almost as difficult as the astounding English versions set to Brahms's new Part-songs (Op. 104), by Mrs. John P. Morgan, of New York. There are, of course, some good songs—from the literary point of view—in the repertory of the sailor, whether blue jacket or merchant manner, but they are few and farbetween. "Home, dearie,home," given on page 25, is a touching and pathetic ballad; but Miss Smith has erred in imagining it to be an old established favourite, and beguiled some of her reviewers into the same error; the words being really an admirable imitation of the old style from the clever pen of Mr. W. E. Henley. Miss Smith has a superabundance of enthusiasm, but she is conspicuously bereft of all critical instinct....


This want of arrangement pervades the whole book and deprives it of all value as a work of reference. Furthermore, the musical illustrations are almost invariably characterised by blunders of the grossest order. For example, on page 255, the Russian National Anthem is given with no less than eight solecisms—an inexcusable proceeding when one reflects that Miss Smith could have found it correctly given in at least a dozen collections. But we can almost forgive Miss Smith anything in our gratitude for the delightful bull which she has perpetrated on the following page. ...

;-D

Now there is a good deal to admire in this strange scrap-book of Miss Smith's—notably her enthusiasm in her subject. But it would be idle to pretend that she has fulfilled her aim. That aim, as we said at the outset, is an admirable one, but it has not been achieved by Miss Smith. Only a scholar and a musician could do justice to such a subject, and she unfortunately is neither.


14 Jan 11 - 01:33 AM (#3074201)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

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

Son of coastguardsman Walter Runciman. Also a journalist; may have been familiar with some shanty articles. These are short stories, some of which mention shanties.

In "The Chief Mate's Trouble." Set in 1870. A barque leaving port. A chorus from RIO GRANDE.

//
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, when I saw what I wanted to see. My bonny was out on the end of the jetty....
//

In "An Old Pirate." Set after 1878.

//
I guessed what Tom meant, and a few minutes afterwards I hummed the shanty—

"So where they have gone to, there's no one can tell—
   Brandy and gin and a bottle of rum;
But I think we shall meet the poor devils in hell,
   Brandy and gin and a bottle of rum."

Tom turned sharp.
"You know it, do you 1 Many's the time I've heard that for an hour on end when we was having idle time, and the stuff was plenty. Know any more V
I sang—

"We went over the bar on the 13th of May,
   Brandy and gin and a bottle of rum;
The Galloper jumped, and the gale came away,
   Oh ! brandy and gin and a bottle of rum."

"You ain't got it right. You've heerd it aboard a collier, maybe?"
I had heard the wicked shanty on board a collier brig, as it happened, but my version was corrupt. The gruesome song which Mr. Louis Stevenson lately printed is also corrupt. In fact, Mr. Stevenson's verse is so artistically horrible that I rather fancy he composed it himself.
//

I assume he's referring to "yo ho ho and a bottle of rum." He may be fanciful in calling this a "shanty."

In "Lancelot Hinhaugh's Long Voyage."

//
...Then he starts singing again one of the ordinary capstan songs with a chorus, and you could hear the hum of his voice all over, for there was no wind to speak about. He climbs into the boat, and I went by him careless like, and he says, "Damn the thing! I can't get it right. Here, you, tell the carpenter this is his job; and so he gets the only man near out of the way. Then, with his back to me, he sings rather low:

"Look out to-night in the middle watch—
    Roar, my boys, I like to hear you;
Oh ! keep your eye on all the lot,
   And, my Way-O, we'll make her ring.'

You would have thought he was only going through a common shanty, as the men will do at their work; but I heard the words plain, and I knew the time was come for me. Before the man came back from the carpenter, the sailor went on:

"Keep your eye on Donovan—
Cheerly, men in the Quebec Line;
He's got the rope to throw round your arms—
I-oh, cheerly men, cheerly men.
I'll stand by as long as I can—
Cheerly men, why don't you sing?
But there's just me and Jimmy to face the gang—
I-oh, cheerly men, cheerly men."
//

Using chanties to send messages! Well, the second is similar to CHEERLY, but it may be all made up.

In "A Chapter of Accidents." Ship bound for Boston.

//
The second mate was a fine young chap, and a good seaman, but the trouble unmanned him and he lost his senses. He began to try singing shanties, and his hoarse shrieks were awful to hear in the pauses of the gale. With chattering teeth and contorted face, he yelled:

"Now, my bully boys, all get ready,
   We'll be stiff when the sun shall rise;
And here's to the dead already,
   And hurrah for the next that dies."

Then they heard him sing:

"The standards was gone and the chains they was jammed—
   With a heigh-ho, blow the man down;
And the skipper, says he, 'Let the weather be damned—
    Oh, give me some time to blow the man down.'"
//


14 Jan 11 - 03:14 AM (#3074214)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

"Yo, heave ho!" -- as a phrase -- has been noted numerous times. I think we've generally seen that it constituted a sort of chant in the pre-"chanties" days. It's still not totally clear to me if it was at all more like a song, if it had more complicated texts, etc. But I have a few more references, to add to the picture.

1807 "A Gentleman Lately Returned from the West Indies." "Descriptions, Remarks, Anecdotes, and Sentiments, during a Voyage from the West Indies to North America, and from thence to England, and during the Author's Rambles in the two latter Countries." _The European Magazine and London Review_ 51 (Feb. 1807). pp110-

It's a voyage in June 1806 from Jamaica to New York.

//
About two o'clock P.M. our poor cook died; and soon after, having read the funeral service over him, his body was committed to the deep. An affecting circumstance of him [ cannot forbear here to relate. In the morning he was extremely weak, and some what delirious. The Captain went to see him, and asked him how he was. The poor fellow said he was "Pretty well," and began to sing out " Yo, heave ho!" as if heaving at the capstan or windlass; but soon feeling, as it were, the hand of death already on him, he called out, "Come my boys, heave away bv yourselves, for I can't any longer lend you a hand."
//

***

Dibdin's song, "Tom Tough." This taken from an anthology, _The Universal Songster_ Vol. 3 (London: John Fairburn, 1826).

//
...   
    So I seized a capstan bar.
    Like a true honest tar,
And, in spite of sighs and tears, sung out, yo, heave ho!
//

***
1854 Unknown. "Down the River." _The Leisure Hour_ 149 (2 Nov. 1854). pp. 698-700.

Musings on the Thames and the Port of London.

//
One moment it is the roaring of our captain to some self-willed coal-barge a-head, which has strayed into our track, and threatens us with a sudden stoppage or a collison—then it is the rattling crash of some cataract of Wall's-end into a lighter—then it is the shrill cry of the sailor-boy at the mast-head of some tall ship, or the "yo heave-ho!" of the men at the capstan who are warping her into dock, where she will discharge her cargo...
//

***

1853 Sherer, John, ed. _The Gold-Finder of Australia_.London: Clarke, Beeton, & Co.

Vignettes of the Australian Gold Rush. Preface dated July 1853. Author left England in fall of 1851 on the MARY ANN. Goes to Melbourne. The musical activities of the encamped gold diggers is described. pg. 75

//
In my opinion, life in any situation is always apt to degenerate into monotony, unless it is diversified by both physical and mental exertion— at least, so have I ever found it; and even the diggings, with all their excitement, would have engendered ennui, had other resources than gold-seeking not opened themselves, of a more ideal or intellectual character. These were found in the music, the dancing, and the literature of the diggers, all of which were of such a mixed and various kind that their quality might readily be mercifully dealt with, in consideration of the variety which they offered to the gratification of the senses. The musical instruments consisted chiefly of accordions and flutes; here and there a stray fiddle might be heard within the precincts of some Irish tent, or a cornet-a-piston blowing mellowly from the lips of some German, who sent its notes swelling over the ranges or amongst the woods with a sweep that transported the ear far beyond the sounds of the cradle or the pick. A German hymn, sung in chorus, would occasionally relieve this, which again would be lost in the ruder throats of a party of our own Anglo-Saxon seamen, who, with "Yo, heave ho !'' or some such capstan or windlass chorus, would rend the air as one would think they were endeavouring to do their lungs from the stentorian force with which, every now and then, they would commence the first note of the burden of their song. All this was, more or less, to be heard nightly; but it was on Saturday evening, when the end of the week had brought to a close the toils of the labourer, that enjoyment was more particularly on the wing...
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=F80NAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA75&dq=%22yo,+heave,+ho%22+cap


17 Jan 11 - 05:16 AM (#3076214)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

I will be making an effort, now, to take stock of the references up through the 1880s as included here. Because there is so much material now, I will make an effort to summarize (roughly) each decade as I go.

18TH CENTURY (1750s-1790s)

Summary: British and French vessels had a practice of singing or chanting or howling cries to coordinate their labor during certain tasks. This goes back until at least about the 1750s. "Ve'a" and "Voix" (French) are given as tow terms for this in the 1770s-80s. The texts of these cries are not noted. By the 1790s, "chanter" was a French verb referring to the act of these cries, and "chanteur" referred to the lead crier. The French sources give the sense that the practice (though not necessarily the terms) were old and had more recently declined, e.g. under military influence.

From the 1770s, African-American rowing songs are noted in South Carolina (twice) and Guyana. They are improvised, traditional, plaintive.

Here are the listings:

1750s-1760s

- a sort of Song pronounced by one of the number, Europeans/spoke windlass (Falconer 1784)

1775

- Seamen at the windlafs, and on other occafions, fing, that they may all act together, incidental mention in an essay in British journal (GENTLEMAN'S 1775)

- Ve'a…The cry made by failors when they pull or heave together, dictionary entry (Ash 1775)

1777

- singing their plaintive African songs, in cadence with the oars, Georgetown, SC/Black rowing (Watson 1856)

1780

- Voix…The fong employed by failors, as in hauling hoifting, heaving, &c, French-English dictionary (Boyer 1780)

1792

- Chanter…To song…cris de convention, pour donner le signal , de l'instant ou plusieurs hommes employés à une même operation, and Chanteur…Ouvrier qui agissant concurremment avec d'autres, leur donne le signal, par un cri de convention,
French maritime dictionary (1792 Romme)

1790s

- "gnyaam gnyaam row" Demerara River, Georgetown, Guyana/Blacks rowing (Pinckard 1806).

c.1790s-1800s

- canoe-rowing songs, partly traditionary, partly improvised Charleston, SC/Black rowing (as per Grayson)


17 Jan 11 - 05:25 AM (#3076216)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1800s

Summary: The African-American rowing songs continue to appear, in Surinam and Georgia.

We get the idea that the common cry for heaving capstan or windlass on ships was "Yo heave ho."

It's possible that by this decade (if not 2 decades later), two hauling phrases/chants/songs existed. One is CHEERLY and the other uses "Sally Brown oh!" These are possibly related or one and the same (cf. the Sally Racket style song).

Sources:

c.1800s-1820s

- "Cheerly men" [CHEERLY] (conjecture based on comment of "time out of mind," in UNITED SERVICES JOURNAL 1834)

1805

- eight stout negroes, who sing in chorus all the way, Surinam/Black rowing (Sack 1810)

c.1805-1820s

- "Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!" Possibly, British war ship (Robinson 1858)

c.1806

- "Aye, aye/ Yoe, yoe" Savannah River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Lambert 1810)

1806, June

- "Yo, heave ho!" as if heaving at the capstan or windlass, Jamaica > NY (European Magazine 1807)

c.1808-1826

- a common sailors' chant in character, having a sort of 'Sally Brown, oh, ho,' chorus; and requiring the action of pulling a rope, London stage (Clason 1826)


17 Jan 11 - 03:02 PM (#3076581)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

To me, Falconer's "sort of song" suggests more than a sing-out, less than a fully developed melody.

Think of vendors' street cries: "sort of" songs.

Something with three or four distinguishable notes perhaps. "Little Sally Rackett" may be a little more primitive melodically than the related "Cheer'ly Man." Maybe an abbreviated "LSR" with a "Cheer-i-lee Man" chorus?

Sheer conjecture is fun even when groundless.


17 Jan 11 - 04:24 PM (#3076647)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

To me, Falconer's "sort of song" suggests more than a sing-out, less than a fully developed melody.

Think of vendors' street cries: "sort of" songs.


I am with you.

Something with three or four distinguishable notes perhaps. "Little Sally Rackett" may be a little more primitive melodically than the related "Cheer'ly Man." Maybe an abbreviated "LSR" with a "Cheer-i-lee Man" chorus?

Your comment reminds me that I wanted to elaborate on what I am imagining re: how "cheerly" and "sally brown oh ho" possibly refer to more or less the same chant.

My proposal is that instead of connecting the "sally brown" in these references to later "Sally Brown" chanties (i.e. about the "bright mulatto," etc.), it may just be part of "Cheer'ly." The name of "Sally Brown" may have functioned just like "Sally Racket," "Polly Riddle," etc. Compare to Hugill's "Oh Sally Racket, hi o! -- cheerly man!"

The found phrases "Sally Brown, oh, ho," and "Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!" are, arguably, appreciably distinct from the sort of "way hey roll and go" or "spend my money on Sally Brown" that we'd expect to find in the Sally Brown chantey form.

However, in time, Marryat's windlass song "Oh! Sally Brown," which has the "bright mulatto" theme and which has a similarly primitive and yet wholly distinct form from Cheer'ly kind of messes up that theory!


17 Jan 11 - 06:24 PM (#3076721)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1810s

Summary:

A plethora of African-American worksongs are noted. Rowing songs in Antigua, Virgin Islands, South Carolina (twice), and Maryland or Virginia. "Going Away to Georgia" has so far been a repeated theme.

Black Americans in Georgia are noted to sing while stowing cotton.

And stevedores in Jamaica sing while working the capstan. One of their songs, "Grog Time of Day," is shared with boat rowers.

In European ships, we get reference to the fife and drums accompanying the capstan.

Perhaps significantly, the European/Euro-American observers of the African-American songs have not made comparison to any shipboard songs from their tradition.

Sources:

1811

- "Grog time of day" [GROG TIME] Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

- "Oh, huro, my boys/Oh, huro boys O" Jamaica/stevedores at capstan (Hay 1953)

[1812-1815 : War of 1812]

c.1812-1839

- "Fire! in the main-top/Fire! down below" [FIRE FIRE] USS CONSTITUTION/out of context (not a work song), poss. War of 1812 log (GENTLEMEN'S MAGAZINE, Oct. 1839)

c.1814-15

- "Grog time a day" [GROG TIME] Antigua/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- "Heigh me know, bombye me takey" Virgin Islands/Blacks rowing (SERVICE AFLOAT, 1833)

- the drums and fifes merrily play, Round the capstan we dance; We soon hear the song,
"Heave, heave, my brave boys, and in sight." Poem/capstan (1825)

[1816: Start of the Blackball Line]

1816, mid

- "Going away to Georgia, ho, heave, O!/ho, heave, O!" Maryland or Virginia/Blacks rowing (Paulding 1817)

1818

- the negroes' song while stowing away the cotton, Savannah, GA/cotton-stowing (Harris 1821)

1819, June

– the galley-slaves all singing songs in chorus, regulated by the motion of their oars, Charleston SC/Blacks rowing (Faux 1823)

c.1819-1835

- "Hi de good boat Neely/Ho yoi!", plantation near Charleston, SC/Black rowing (Gilman 1838)


17 Jan 11 - 07:03 PM (#3076755)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1820s

Summary:

The War of 1812 has recently ended; the Black Ball Line as started.

On Euro/American vessels, the fife is still noted to inspire both capstan and halyards. As for texts in that cultural context (and I hope I am not mixing up military versus merchant vessels here), phrases like "yo, heave ho!" and "Haul way, yeo ho, boys!" are remembered. We also get one more elaborate description of, I suppose, what would have been the ad-libbed and incidental (an therefore less liable to be transcribed) parts that came after/between the heave ho's: repeated, non-rhyming phrases (see the 1829 reference). Well, that is for long, heaving tasks. For hauling, we see our first detailed transcription if a "cheerly" chant.

I made the mistake earlier of saying that the French references to "chanter" etc. suggested it was a dying practice. It is at *this* time that the definitions are revised (i.e. from the 1790s ones) to suggest that these were "former" practices.

African-Americans are heard to sing as they row in Virginia, Georgia, and St. Thomas. These songs tend to resemble halyard chanties.

Sources:

1820s

- Send up that drunken fifer, Tom, and let him play Yankee Doodle, ship TRAVELER, New York > Rio, Brazil/capstan (Rural Repository 1836)

- up went the topsail yards to the inspiring tones of the fife, ship TRAVELER, New York > Rio, Brazil/topsail halyards (Rural Repository 1836)

1821

- "It's oh! as I was a walking out, One morning in July, I met a maid, who ax'd my trade" [NEW YORK GIRLS?] and "All the way to Shawnee town/Pull away - pull away!"
Ohio River, Parkersburg,VA/rowing (Hall 1821)

1822[or earlier]

- "Fine time o' day" Saint Thomas/Blacks rowing (Wentworth 1834).

1825

- CHANTER…Vieil usage de faire crier quelques hommes qu'on nommait chanteurs, pour donner le signal de réunion d'efforts àfaire par plusieurs sur une bouline, ou pour toute autre opération qu'on exécute dans les ports et sur les grands bâtimens, and BOULINA-HA-HA! Arrache! Boulina-ha-ha, déralingue! etc. Ancien chant des matelots français pendant qu'ils bâient sur les quatre principales boulines, and HISSA, O, HA , HISSE: chant de l'homme qui donne la voix pour réunir les efforts de plusieurs autres sur un même cordage afin de produire un plus grand effet, French maritime dictionary (Willaumez 1825)

1825, July

- the sailor sent forth his long and slow-toned "yeo— heave — oh!" Brig leaving Quebec/windlass (Finan 1825).

- "Oh, yeo, cheerly" [CHEERLY] Brig leaving Quebec/topsail halyards (Finan 1825)

1826>

- So I seized a capstan bar…And, in spite of sighs and tears, sung out, yo, heave ho!, Dibdin's song, "Tom Tough" (Universal Songster 1826)

c.1826

- "Haul way, yeo ho, boys!" London/Navy sailors in a pub ("Waldie's select circulating library", 1833)

1828, March

- a wild sort of song, Alatamaha River, Georgia/Black rowing (Hall)

1829

- they began their song, one of them striking up, seemingly with the first idea that entered his imagination, while the others caught at his words, and repeated them to a kind of Chinese melody; the whole at length uniting their voices into one chant, which, though evidently the outpouring of a jovial spirit, had, from its unvaried tone and constant echo of the same expression, a half-wild, half-melancholy effect upon the ear. …It had begun with "Yah! yah! here's a full ship for the captain, and a full pannikin for Peytie Pevterson, la— la—lalla—la—leh; but this sentence, after many repetitions, was changed for others of briefer duration and more expressive import, as they coursed after each other with intoxicating rapidity… Fictional whaleship/capstan ("Tales of a Voyager to the Arctic Ocean", 1829)


17 Jan 11 - 08:56 PM (#3076829)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1830s

Summary:

Quite a significant increase in references to this decade. The brake/pump windlass comes into existence in this decade.

African-American worksongs:
Rowing in North Carolina, Georgia, Guyana, Maryland, Florida (twice), and on the Ohio River. We also see phrases from corn shucking and cotton stowing songs that match rowing ("Jenny Gone Away") and bear similarity to chanties. The riverboat firemen also sing "wild" songs, The stevedores' songs at the capstan in Guyana are "never-ceasing."

More texts of capstan songs in British vessels. They don't seem to have much by way of choruses. "Cheerly" continues to be used for hauling in deepwater vessels, along with the various yo-heave-ho's. A reference from the English Channel from as late as 1840 suggests that this was still basically the "system" in British vessels.

Pointing the way, I think, to the chanties as we would come to know them, a U.S. ship uses a capstan song "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie." Note, however, that while this march-like song is quite consistent with many later chanties, the ship was still using "Cheer'ly" for hauling. It's possible that at this time "halyard chanties" (double-pull form) had not yet come into general use.


"Grog time" and "Off to Georgia" themes continue in the Black songs.
"Sally" is a part of different songs across the board. There is a "ho! Sally, ho!" and "Roun' de corn, Sally!" for rowing. Dana used "Round the corner, Sally" for driving hides in California. There's a "and sing Sally-ho!" for halyards crossing the Atlantic. The latter phrase seems to have been picked up as a model for the Norwegian poet Wergeland's capstan songs. And at the brake windlass in America there is "Oh! Sally Brown."

Two references are particularly illustrative. Weston 1836 shows a ship on a translatlantic voyage at a time when, I would argue, chanties had still yet to hit the scene. It is great because it does note chants for halyards, heaving, braces, and even holystoning. Some kind of singing-out had become a definite need in packet ships, therefore. However, the hauling chants are the already established "Cheer'ly" and "Sally-ho!", and the heaving was the familiar "yo heave ho." What is fascinating is that the observer of these ends up at a minstrel performance in New York, where songs like "Coal Black Rose" (later adapted as a chanty) were performed. One could imagine a scenario whereby, in the 1830s, chanting has become useful on ships and where minstrel songs were about to become a major influence.

The second, more familiar reference is Dana. Writing about the same time, I submit that the scene he describes is quite comparable to Weston. We again get the sense that singing-out had become standard for various tasks, but that the cries are of the older sort, with the rudimentary "heave round hearty" phrases. Also, Dana's comment about how the Italians sang while rowing while his people had not yet learned that technique, is striking. What I think most jumps out of Dana, by way of pointing towards chanties, are the titles "Captain gone ashore!", "Time for us to go!", and "Round the corner, Sally". The first and last might very well be connected to the "Grog Time" and "Round the Corn" songs that had previously been noted only among African-American workers. (**Also, "Tally hi O" should be in there somewhere -- I may have to revise my list to reflect the various Dana editions.)

Also notable in the last regard are the alleged references to Tahitians having picked up the sailor songs of "Round the Corner," "Bottle O," and "Tally," as the first two, again, can be traced to Black rowing songs -- which we might imagine had been adopted by deepwater men.

Sources:

1830s

- "Oh, Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] Virginia/corn-shucking ("The Family Magazine" 1835)

1830

- "Sally was a fine girl, ho! Sally, ho!" Cape Fear River, North Carolina/Blacks rowing (Cecelski 2001)

1831

- "De neger like the bottley oh!" [BOTTLE O] and "Velly well, yankee, velly well oh" Guyana/Blacks rowing (Alexander, 1833)

- their never-ceasing songs, as they walked round the capstan, or when "screwing" or "swamping" sugars in the hold, schooner CLEOPATRA, Georgetown, Guyana/Blacks loading sugar+molasses [fiction?](THE LOG OF MY LEISURE HOURS, 1868)

[1832: Invention of Dobinson's pump windlass]

1832[or earlier]

- "Pull away now, my Nancy, O!" and/with "To the Greenland sea/ Black although she be" East India Company ship/capstan (THE QUID 1832)

1832

- "I'm gwine to leave de ole county (O-ho! O-ho!)/I'm sold off to Georgy! (O-ho! O-ho!)" and "Roun' de corn, Sally!" [ROUND THE CORNER] Maryland/Blacks rowing (Hungerford 1859)

1832-33

- the wild song of the negro fire-men, Ohio River/steamboat firemen (Latrobe 1835)

1833

- "'Tis grog time o' day!" [GROG TIME] rowing on ocean ("Waldie's Select Circulating Library," Dec. 1833)

1833, July

- "Pull away, my hearty boys—pull away so cheerily," ship JOHN DENNISON, Greenock (Scotland) > New York/warping out (hauling – hand over hand?) (Weston 1836)

- "Then pull away strongly, boys, and sing Sally-ho!," ship JOHN DENNISON, Greenock (Scotland) > New York/halyards (Weston 1836)

- The windlass went cheerily round with the assistance of the emigrants, who lent a willing hand. The words "Yo heave "ho!" were sung cheerily by one of the seamen at the bar, ship JOHN DENNISON, Greenock (Scotland) > New York/windlass (capstan?) (Weston 1836)

- The yards were braced round to catch the wind, accompanied by songs of various metres, according to the length of the pull and the number pulling, ship JOHN DENNISON, Greenock (Scotland) > New York/braces (Weston 1836)

- The seamen were put to holystone the deck, and as they rubbed, one of them sung a song, rubbing and keeping time, ship JOHN DENNISON, Greenock (Scotland) > New York/holystoning (Weston 1836)

- "O rose, de coal-black rose!" [COAL BLACK ROSE], New York/minstrel performance (probably T.D. Rice) attended by sailors (Weston 1836)

1834, Feb.

- Their extemporaneous songs at the oar, St. Johns River, FL/Blacks rowing (Brown 1853)

1834, Aug-1836

- "singing out" at the ropes in their hoarse and peculiar strains, brig PILGRIM

- "Heave, to the girls!" and "Nancy oh!" and "Jack Cross-tree," brig PILGRIM/ songs for capstans and falls

- "Heave round hearty!" and "Captain gone ashore!" and "Time for us to go!" and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!" brig PILGRIM, California coast/driving in the hides (pull)

- the loud cry of "Yo heave ho! Heave and pawl! Heave hearty ho!" brig PILGRIM/spoke windlass

- Sailors, when heaving at a windlass, in order that they may heave together, always have one to sing out; which is done in a peculiar, high and long-drawn note, varying with the motion of the windlass

- "Cheerily, men!" [CHEERLY] brig PILGRIM/catting anchor

- lightening their labors in the boats by their songs, Italians rowing (Dana 1840ff)

1835

- A line was sung by a leader, then all joined in a short chorus; then came another solo line, and another short chorus, followed by a longer chorus, Jacksonville, FL/Blacks rowing (Kennard 1845)

- Our sailors at Newcastle, in heaving their anchors, have their "Heave and ho! rum-below!", English author speaking gen. of work-songs throughout the ages (Disraeli 1835)

1835, September

- "Ho! cheerly" [CHEERLY] US ship PEACOCK, the Gulf of Mazeira [coast of Arabia]/ as they marched round the capstan, or hauled in the hawser by hand (Howland 1840)

- "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] capstan (Howland 1840)

1837, April

- "Oh! Sally Brown" (peculiarly musical, although not refined) [SALLY BROWN] Ship QUEBEC, Portsmouth >New York/pump windlass (Marryat 1837)

1838-39

- "Jenny gone away" [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "Fare you well, and good-by, oh, oh!/oh, oh!" Altamaha River, Georgia/Blacks rowing (Kemble 1864)

1838, June

Brief: 1838, June - The fall was manned, the song rose cheerily on the morning air, whaling ship HUDSON, Brazil/ halyards (Hazen 1854)

1838, December

- "Fire the ringo, fire away!" [MARINGO] Mobile/cotton-screwing (Gosse 1859)

1838-1843

- "Sing, Sally! Oh!" and "Singsallijo!/ Singsallijo! / Hurra! Hurra! for Singsallijo!", composed, published Sjömandsviser (sailor songs) for Norwegian sailors by Henrik Wergeland/mainly for capstan? (Wergeland 1853)

1839, Sept.

- "Fire down below!" [SAILOR FIREMAN] Dramatic scene in a steamboat/Black fireman (BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY 1839)

- "So early in the morning the Sailor loves his bottle oh," [BOTTLE O] and "Round the corner, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Tally Ho, you know" [TALLY] & a dozen others, Tahiti/local women singing sailor songs (Reynolds and Philbrick)


17 Jan 11 - 09:38 PM (#3076848)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Dibdin's reference to "yo, heave ho!" at the capstan dates from 1798.


18 Jan 11 - 05:36 AM (#3076973)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1840s

Summary:

African-American songs of many types. Just one rowing song, in Georgia (perhaps this practice was becoming obsolete?). However, fireman songs come in as a possible influence. Corn-sucking songs in South Carolina, with proto-chanty themes. Perhaps most profound are the cotton-stowing references at Mobile and New Orleans, especially because they directly share shipboard themes as the prior "Highland Laddie" and coming "Stormy." This work is most significant as a place where two different working cultures met: Black shoreside work gangs, with their concept of the dedicated chanty-man, and Euro/American sailors, who moved between professions.

"Grog Time" appears again as a stevedore's song -- and appears as one of the first clear examples of a modern halyard chanty when used on a run by a brig out of New York.

The Black songs seem to have fed the minstrel genre to some degree. Songs connected to or resembling "Tally," "Blow Boys Blow," "Stormy," and "Fire Down Below" are all ones for which we could make a good case had inspired, rather than were inspired by, their minstrel cognates.

While the "Blow Boys Blow" lyrics have a downhome Southern touch about them, we also see the possibility that "Row, Billy, Row" was a transformation of an old style heaving song.

Speaking of which, the old yo-ho's and "cheerl'y" are still plentiful. Among them, songs that stand out as "modern" chanties are "Hundred Years Ago," "Stormy," "Across the Briny Ocean." Their symmetrical (or binary, balanced) form certainly is well suited to the brake windlass, and, when specified, they seem most applied to that function. I am not seeing any other (except Grog Time) explicitly named as a halyard song.

The phrase "roll and go" appears for the first time, twice in this decade.

*I am leaving out the last (Clark) reference; I don't trust it as a reliable source for this period.

Sources:

c.1840s

- "grog time o' day." [GROG TIME] Clipper-brig CURLEW, New York >Hamburg/ halyards (Rice 1850)

- "yeo, heave ho", Clipper-brig CURLEW, New York>Hamburg, [spoke?] windlass

- "Oh-ye-hoy" brigantine, M--, "the Downs" [English Channel]/ windlass (Chapman 1876) [1840]

- "Cheerily, men!" [CHEERLY], brigantine, M--, "the Downs" [English Channel]/catting anchor (Chapman 1876) [1840]

- all hands clapped on to the weather main topsail brace, and hauled on it with a will, and with a "Yo— he—hoy!" and clap on a rope and sing out, "Oh—heave—hoy !" brigantine, M--, Melbourne/braces (Chapman 1876) [1840]

1840, Feb.

- The usual cry is "Ho! Ho! Hoi!" or "Ho! Ho! Heavo!" Whaler, New London > Pacific/hauling (Olmsted 1841).

- "Ho! Ho! and up she rises/Ear-ly in the morn-ing" [DRUNKEN SAILOR] and "Nancy Fanana, she married a barber/Heave her away, and heave her away [HAUL 'ER AWAY]
halyard

- "O! hurrah my hearties O!" short haul to extract whale tooth

1841

- "Grog time o' day/Oh, hoist away" [GROG TIME] New Orleans/stevedores loading a steamboat (THE NEGRO SINGER'S OWN BOOK ca1843-45; THE ART OF BALLET 1915)

1842, February

- casting huge sticks of wood into the mouths of the row of yawning furnaces beneath the serried boilers,accompanying their labor by a loud and not unmusical song, steamboat, Ohio River/Black fireman (THE BALTIMORE PHOENIX AND BUDGET 1842)

1842, April

- "Cheerily, oh cheerily," [CHEERLY] Ship HUNTRESS, New York > China/ hoisting guns from hold (Lowrie 1849)

1842, Sept.

- "O ee roll & go/O ho roll & go" [SALLY BROWN?] whaleship TASKAR/song in diary (Creighton 1995)

1842, October

- "Heave him up! O he yo!" Canary Islands/spoke windlass (Browne 1846).

c. 1843[or earlier]

- "A darkey band and a darkey crew, Tally ya ha higho!" [TALLY] rowing song, minstrel collection (Negro Singer's 184x)

- "Oh, ah, oh, ah/Dah, da, tiddle dum de da," lyrics evoke "Blow Boy, Blow," minstrel collection (Negro Singer's 184x)

1843, March

- "Oh hollow!/Oh hollow!" [HILO?] and "Jenny gone away," [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "Dan, dan, who's the dandy?" [the monkey-song] and "John John Crow/ John John Crow" [JOHN CROW] South Carolina/corn-shucking (Duyckinck, 1866)

1843-1846

- the firemen struck up one of those singularly wild and impressive glees which negroes alone can sing effectively, Steamboat, Mississippi valley (Illinois)/Black firemen (Regan 1859)

1844

- "Oh, the captain's gone ashore/Hie bonnie laddie, and we'll all go ashore" [GROG TIME?] Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Hill 1893).

- "Cheerily men, ho!" [CHEERLY] Port Adelaide/remembering a ship's song (Lloyd 1846)

1844, August

- "Round the corner, Sally!" [ROUND THE CORNER] Society Islands/local imitation of sailor's song (Lucett)

1844-45

- The crew was made up of the hardest kind of men; they were called "hoosiers,"
working in New Orleans or Mobile during the winter at stowing ships with cotton, and in the summer sailing in the packet ships. They were all good chantey men; that is, they could all sing at their…we could reef and hoist all three topsails at once, with a different song for each one, Packet ship TORONTO, NY > London/re: cotton-stowing (Low 1906)

- "Roll and go for that white pitcher, roll and go," London/unloading cargo w/ capstan

1845, Feb.

"Ho, O, heave O" heaving anchor (American Journal of Music and Musical Visitor 1845)

- "Row, Billy, row," [BLOW BOYS BLOW?] American sailor returned from Mediterranean/rowing

1845, Sept.

- "Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] Ship CHARLES CAROL, New Orleans/cotton-stowing (Erskine 1896)

1845, Dec.

- rowed by six negroes, who were singing loudly, and keeping time to the stroke of their oars, Alatamaha river, GA/Black rowing (Lyell 1849)

c.1845-1851

- "Carry him along, boys, carry him along/ Carry him to the burying-ground" [WALK HIM ALONG] and "Hurrah, see—man—do/Oh, Captain, pay me dollar" and "Fire, maringo, fire away" [MARINGO] and "Bonnie laddie, highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] many of the screw-gangs have an endless collection of songs, Mobile Bay/cotton-stowing (Nordhoff 1855)

- "Tally hi o you know" [TALLY] Whaleship/weighing anchor (Brewster & Druett 1992)

c.1846-1852

- "Oh sailors where are you bound to/Across the briny ocean" [ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN] Packet ship, Liverpool > Philadelphia/ pump windlass (Nordhoff 1855)

1848

- "O! bullies, O!/A hundred years ago!" [HUNDRED YEARS] and "storm along, stormy!" [STORMY] Hawai'i/non-working, whaling territory (Perkins 1854)

- "Round the corn, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] and "Clear the way when Sambo come" corn-shucking, general (AMERICAN AGRICULTURIST, July 1848)

- "Storm along Stormy" [STORMY] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

- "Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!/Fire down below" [SAILOR FIREMAN] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

- "Fire, fire, fire, fire, fire, fire/Den tote dat bucket ob water, [boys?]/Dar's fire down below" [FIRE FIRE] minstrel song collection (White 1854)

[1848-1855: California Gold Rush]

1849, March

- "O, yes, O!/ A hundred years ago" [HUNDRED YEARS] Steamer OREGON, Panama > San Francisco/ at the capstan and windlass (Thurston 1851)

1849 (ideal look back)

- "We'll kill Paddy Doyle for his boots" [PADDY DOYLE] clipper ship, New York harbor (ideal) / walking away with slack (?) of halyards (Clark 1912)

- "Whiskey, Johnny/Whiskey for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] clipper ship, New York harbor (ideal) / topsail halyards (Clark 1912)

- "Lowlands, lowlands, hurra, my boys/My dollar and a half a day" [LOWLANDS AWAY] clipper ship, New York harbor (ideal) / anchor capstan (Clark 1912)

- "Hah, hah, rolling John," clipper ship, New York harbor (ideal) / catting anchor (Clark 1912)

- "Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] clipper ship, New York harbor (ideal) / brake windlass (Clark 1912)


20 Jan 11 - 04:35 AM (#3078458)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1850s

Summary:

The Gold Rushes have happened. Before these, as far as shipboard-related items are concerned, we've seen no more than maybe 10 songs that we might know today. The rest is in the order of "heave ho" and lost ditties. Chanties have indeed arrived, but we don't get the sense there was necessarily much repertoire in the deepwater trade. It was the cotton-stowers who had "endless" songs--"chants." However, the Gold Rush(s) is a time when we expect to see lots of new repertoire.--right?

Non-shipboard songs in this decade include:

Mississippi and Alabama firemen's songs, Patting juba and other plantation songs in Louisiana and Maryland, and allusions to more rowing and corn-shucking in Georgia. They suggest the origins of such themes as "Hilo," "Hog-eye," and "Haul Away Joe."

"Cheer'ly" and yo heave hos are still being noted.

"Stormy" has emerged as a major theme, and its use at halyards on what must have been a British ship to Melbourne, in 1852, is notable.

Many of the references to actual chanties are unsatisfying as they are written at a much later time from when they were supposed to have existed. However the first focused expositions on chanties (but still not calling them such) come out. The two articles really bring home the "recently" acquired importance of chanties. One makes a very dramatic comparison between chanties and African songs. The other would become one of the text sources to be mined by later authors.

For interest's sake, if one is to note the known shipboard chanties that are mentioned *only* in *contemporary* sources up to this point (i.e. not looking back from much later dates), we have:

up through 1829

"yo, heave ho"
CHEERLY
'Sally Brown, oh, ho"

up through 1839

"Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
"Pull away, my hearty boys—pull away so cheerily,"
"Then pull away strongly, boys, and sing Sally-ho!"
"Oh! Sally Brown"
"Heave, to the girls!"
"Nancy oh!"
"Jack Cross-tree"
"Heave round hearty!"
"Captain gone ashore!"
"Time for us to go!"
ROUND THE CORNER
"Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"

Up through 1849

HIGHLAND LADDIE
DRUNKEN SAILOR
"Nancy Fanana, she married a barber/Heave her away, and heave her away"
"Then walk him up so lively/ Ho, O, heave O!"
GROG TIME

Up through 1859/start of Civil War

STORMY
HUNDRED YEARS
BOWLINE
ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN
MONEY DOWN
"Highland day and off she goes"
"Heigho, heave and go/Heigho, heave and go''
"Hurrah! we're homeward bound"

Strictly speaking, then, the evidence for the times really doesn't show us too many familiar chanties even before the Civil War. Of course that doesn't mean they weren't there -- but a lot of the familiar stuff is appearing on "shore". And remember, the songs have yet to be called "chanties" by observers.

Sources:

c.1850s

- "Johnnie, come tell us and pump away" [MOBILE BAY] and "Fire, fire, fire down below/fetch a bucket of water/Fire down below" [FIRE FIRE] and "Only one more day" [ONE MORE DAY] Ship BRUTUS (American)/pumping (Whidden 1908)

- the wildest and most striking negro song we think we ever listened to…one dusky fellow, twirling his wool hat above his head, took the lead in singing, improvising as he sang, all except the chorus, in which the whole crew joined with enthusiasm Steamboat, Alabama river/boatmen (Hundley 1860)

- "Haul away the bowline/ Way haul away, Haul away, Joe!" [HAUL AWAY JOE] clipper ship (ideal) / sheets (Clark 1912)

- "Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo" [REUBEN RANZO] clipper ship (ideal) / halyards (Clark 1912)

- "Way, yay, way, yay, yar/ Oh, run with the bullgine, run" [RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN] clipper ship (ideal) / pumps (Clark 1912)

c.1851>

- "Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne" Ship > Sydney w/ gold seekers/pumping (Craig 1903)

- "When first we went a-waggoning" Ship > Sydney w/ gold seekers/pumping (Craig 1903)

1851, July

- "Fire on the bow/Fire down below!" [FIRE FIRE] Mississippi steamboat/Black firemen ("Notes and Queries" 1851)

1851, Sept.

- "old stormy long" [STORMY], packet barque, Baltimore > Liberia/no particular work mentioned (Fuller 1851)

1852, Jan.

- that sturdy fellow there who plies his pickaxe to the tune of "Oh, Sally Brown!", central California during the Gold Rush/sailors mining (Marryat 1852)

c.1852

- the ruder throats of a party of our own Anglo-Saxon seamen, who, with "Yo, heave ho!'' or some such capstan or windlass chorus, outside Melbourne, Australian Gold Rush/musical activities of diggers (Sherer 1853)

1852, late

- "cheerymen" [CHEERLY] and "Hurra, and storm along/ Storm along, my Stormy" [STORMY] Packet ship, Gravesend > Melbourne/topsail halyards (Tait 1853)

c.1853 [or earlier]
- "Hog Eye!/Old Hog Eye/And Hosey too!" [HOG EYE] and "Hop Jim along/Walk Jim along/Talk Jim along" Louisiana/patting juba (Northup 1855)

1853
- "Oahoiohieu" [SAILOR FIREMAN] and "Oh, John, come down in de holler/Ime gwine away to-morrow" [JOHNNY COME DOWN HILO] Red River, LA/ steamboat hands (Olmsted 1856)

1854, early
- "Haul the bowline, the Black Star bowline, haul the bowline, the bowline HAUL!" [BOWLINE] Packet ship PLYMOUTH ROCK, Boston > Melbourne /sheet-style chanty adapted as entertainment (Note: text contains tunes to three other possible shanties) (Peck 1854)

1854, Nov.
- the "yo heave-ho!" of the men at the capstan who are warping her into dock, London/ general reference (Leisure Hour 1854)

1855, Jan.
- "Whaw, my kingdom, fire away" [MARINGO] Imagined Georgia/Blacks rowing (PUTNAM'S 1855)
- "Hey, come a rollln' down/Good morning ladies all" [GOOD MORNING LADIES] Imagined Georgia/corn-shucking (PUTNAM'S 1855)

1855, Aug.
- "Storm along, Stormy" [STORMY] general reference in fiction to how a crew might sing that song (Farnsworth 1855)

1856

- [Titles:] "Santy Anna," [SANTIANA] "Bully in the Alley," [BULLY IN ALLEY] "Miranda Lee," "Storm Along, John," [STORMALONG JOHN] Clipper ship WIZARD, NY > Frisco/Downton pump, with bell ropes (Mulford 1889)

- "Hi yi, yi, yi, Mister Storm roll on, Storm Along, Storm Along,"[MR. STORMALONG] and "All on the Plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] and "Aha, we're bound away, on the wild Missouri" [SHENANDOAH] Packet ship, Liverpool > NY (Fisher 1981)

1857

- "Hilo! Hilo!/ Hilo! Hilo!" [HILO?] Maryland/slave song (general reference) (Long 1857).

1857?

- "Row, bullies, row!/Row, my bullies, row!" [BLOW BOYS BLOW?] Rowboat to frigate, New York (KNICKERBOCKER, 1857)

1857, November

- "Oh, poor Paddy works on the railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] Ship RED JACKET, Liverpool/brake windlass (Chatterton 2009)

- "Whiskey for my Johnny/Whiskey, Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] Ship RED JACKET, Liverpool/topsail halyards (Chatterton 2009)

c.1857-58

- "Cheer'ly Man" [CHEERLY] and "Come along, get along, Stormy Along John" [STORMY ALONG] John Short of Watchet

1858

- "Hilo, boys, hilo! Hilo, boys, hilo!" [HILO BOYS] Barque TYRER, Casilda, Cuba > London / topsail halyards (Bloomfield 1896)

1858, July

- "Oh, the bowline, bowline, HAUL!" [BOWLINE] Ship, trans-Atlantic/braces (THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY 1858)

- "Pay me the money down!/Pay me the money down!" [MONEY DOWN] and "And the young gals goes a weepin'" [ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN] and "O long storm, storm along stormy" [STORMY] Ship, trans-Atlantic/brake pump (The Atlantic Monthly 1858)

- "Highland day and off she goes/Highland day and off she goes." [HILONDAY?] Ship, unknown/topsail halyards (Atlantic Monthly 1858)

1858, Dec.

- "Heigho, heave and go/Heigho, heave and go'' and "Hurrah, storm along!/Storm along my stormies"[STORMY] and "Hurrah! we're homeward bou-ou-ound!/Hurrah! we're homeward bound" [OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND] Brake windlass (Allen 1858)

- "Oh haulee, heigho, cheeryman!" [CHEERLY] topsail halyards (Allen 1858)

- "Heigh Jim along, Jim along Josey, Heigh Jim along, Jim along Jo!" Blacks rowing (Allen 1858)

c.1858-1860

- "Whiskey for Johnny!" Packet ship MARY BRADFORD, London > NY/ to "pull round the yards" (Real Experiences 187?)

1859, Feb

- the "A-a-b'la A-a-b'la!" "E-e-cha! E-e-cha!" of the caldron-men crying to the stokers, and the high, monotonous chant of the gangs filling the wagons or the trough, a short, improvisated stave, and then the chorus;—not a tune, like the song of sailors at the tackles and falls but a barbaric, tuneless intonation, Cuba, sugar plantation/non-maritime work-singing of slaves (Dana 1859)

c.1859-60

- "O, Riley, O" [OH RILEY] and "Whiskey for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Storm along, my Rosa"[STORMY] Barque GUIDE Boston > Zanzibar/ brake windlass (Clark 1867)

c.1860-61

- "Rolling River" [SHENANDOAH] and "Cheerily she goes" and "Oh, Riley, Oh" [OH RILEY] and "Carry me Long" [WALK HIM ALONG] Clipper ship, Bombay > NY/raising anchor (Clark 1867)


20 Jan 11 - 08:40 AM (#3078555)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, I appreciate this summary for the decade of the '50's. There's actually quite a lot of material there in the bits and pieces. The musical silence of the California Gold Rush with regard to chanties continues to mystify me.


21 Jan 11 - 01:36 AM (#3079172)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

John,
I must admit that even after looking back over this material I feel unsatisfied (or at least less satisfied than I expected). The condensed summaries are too vague to see the picture...and the detailed texts too much info to hold in the brain at once... I'm jumping back and forth, but I haven't yet quite felt like "Ah, that must be it; that's how it all probably happened." I am even still on the fence about whether "modern" chanties generally came in in the 30s, 40s, or even later!


21 Jan 11 - 03:14 AM (#3079186)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Here's an article from The New York Times, 27 Jan. 1884 (pg. 10).

It contains a text of SHENANDOAH that has not yet featured in this thread. Much of what I've cut is redundant waxing about the "wild" and "plaintive" qualities and affects of the songs.

//
MINSTRELSY ON THE SEA.
SONGS WHICH THE REAL SAILOR
SINGS AT HIS WORK.
GOOD MUSIC AND DOGGEREL WORDS WHICH
OFTEN DELIGHT THE HEARERS AND
HELP JACK'S LABORS VERY MUCH.

... The words and music of the majority of the sea songs now in
use were composed gonerations ago. ... The words are, as a rule, mere doggerel,
but there is a wild beauty about many of the airs that leads to the conviction that their
composers were gifted with a rude sort of musical
inspiration. ...
Jack is very proud of tIle songs which he has inherited
from his predecessors, but he rarely sings
them except on shipboard. ... The sea airs have
had very little chance to become popular
on shore, owing to the fact that comparatively
few landsmen have ever heard them....
The genuine sea songs do not abound
with poetic sentiments. They consist largely of
matter-of-fact remarks and rude legends, with
an occasional rhyme thrown in to give a flavor
to the words....
The most popular of the sea songs are known
as "shanties." Whether this is an original word
or is a corruption of "chants" it would be difficult
to say. Whenever the sailors heave up the
anchor, or man the pumps, or undertake some
difficult operation which requires the use of the
capstan they are apt to indulge in "shantying."...
The "shantyer," or soloist,
chants one or two rude Iines and is followed by
his comrades in a brief chorus. In nearly all
shanties there are two choruses, which are sung
alternately.
//

Interesting, the use of the word "shantyer."

//
The following is a portion of one of
the most popular of the shanties:

Shanadore is my native valley,
Chorus--Hurrah, rolling river,
Shanadore I love your daughters,
Chorus -Ah-ha, bound away 'cross the wild Missouri.
For seven long years I courted Sally,
Hurrah, rolling river,
Seven more and I could not get her,
Ah-ha. bound away 'cross the wild Missourl.
Seven long years I was a 'Frisco trader,
Hurrah, rolling river,
Seven more I was a Texas ranger.
Ah-ha, bound away 'cross the wild Missourl.
//

Next is MR. STORMALONG described.

//
...
Another beautiful sea air is known as "Storm-along."
... In the words of the librettist
of the song which immortalized him,
Storm-along "gave his sea boys plenty of rum."
The shantyer's face invariably glows with enthusiasm
when he reaches this line, while the
chorus of "Aye, aye, aye, Mr. Storm-along,"
which follows is given with a will. ...
//

And LOWLANDS AWAY

//
A very touching sea air is known as "Lowlands Away." The choruses
of this are "Lowlands Away, my John," and "My dollar and a half a day." ...
//

The next part is interesting because it seems to suggest that the Civil War era MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA, contrary to what we'd probably assume, has only recently become a shanty.

//
One or two land songs have of late years been
transformed Into shantys. "Marching Through
Georgia" is becoming a great favorite with Jack,
although the air of this does not compare with
those of several of his shantys. 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."
//

The last was RIO GRANDE, with the Mother Goose-y "milkmaid" theme that Harlow also documented.

And LEAVE HERE JOHNNY.

//
There is however, one shanty the words of which were very appropriate. This is rarely sung except by the crew of some sinking vessel who are about to abandon her. Those who have heard it under these circumstances say that it Is very touching. It begins as follows:

She's a gallant ship with a gallant crew,
Chorus.-Leave her, jollies, leave her.
She's a gallant ship. so's her Captain, too,
Chorus.-Oh! It's time for us to leave her.
//

The next section seems to be describing "sweatin' up" chants or sheet shanties. However, the author, possibly, gets mixed up when s/he puts HANGING JOHNNY and WHISKEY JOHNNY in the category.

//
There are a number of songs which sailors sing
while hauling on the ropes which are not called
shantys, but are in many respects similar to the
latter. The soloist chants a line, and his comrades
follow with a chorus, at the last word of which they give the rope a terrific tug. One of
these songs is known as "Hanging Johnny." Although the air is singularly sweet
the words breathe forth a most diabolical
spirit. The soloist, in somewhat plaintive
tones, announces the fact that he Is
called "Hanging Johnny." His comrades
encourage hIm by exclaiming: "Hurrah,
heigho!" He then states that his acquaintances
conferred upon him the title mentioned for the
reason that he has hanged a large number of persons.
A fit of hanging enthusiasm seizes the
members of the chorus, who yell: "Hang, boys, hang." 'The soloist then proceeds to relate a few of his achievements in the hanging line. He
states unblushingly that after hanging his poor
old father by the neck until he was dead,
he strung up his venerable and sainted
mother. He then turned his attention
to his kinsmen and friends, whom, by
the aid of a noose artistically handled,
he succeeded in jerking from this world into the
next. He afterward in the same manner cut
short the days of an estimable young woman
whom he mentions rather tenderly as "sweet
Nelly."

Another rope-hauling song begins with
the announcement that "Whisky is the life
of man," and points out the numerous
advantages which may be obtained from
a Iiberal consumption of corn juice.
When seamen are called out on a cold night
to make sail, one of them is apt to start the
whisky song. They all smack their lips occasionally
by way of a hint to the Captain, and the
line, "I drink whisky when I can," is given with
emphasis.
//

PADDY DOYLE, with a fairly unique (?) lyric:

//
There are a number of similar songs
which are rarely used except when the seamen
are hauling on the ropes.
When seamen furl one of the larger sails it
requires their united efforts to roll the canvass
up on to the yard. For the final effort they stimulate
themselves by a brief chant at the last word
of which all pull together. In the selection of
the two sets of words which Jack has set to
this chant he has displayed his love of
honesty and truthfulness. One version of
the yard-arm chant is "Wea-hay-hay; we
will pay Paddy Doyle for his boots."
The composer of these words undoubtedly owed
a man named Patrick Doyle for a pair of boots,
and he took a public occasion for announcing
his intention of paying for them like an honest
man. The other version of the chant is "Wea-hay-
hay; oh, my wife she's a devil for gin." The
composer of this sentiment was doubtless thinking
of his wife when he first gave utterance to
the immortal line. He wanted to say somethillg
about his life partner, but as he could relate
nothing good of her, and being a truthful man
he mentioned the peculiarity which he deemed
most characteristic of her.
//

Brief mention of forecastle songs, with "The Dreadnaught" as an example:

//
There are a few songs which Jack reserves for
forecastle use, but he only indulges in these on
rare occasions. There is one quite popular ballad,
the words and music of which were composed
by a foremast hand on the famous packet ship
Dreadnaught which ran between this port
and Liverpool a number of years ago. The song Is
descriptive of one of the Dreadnaught's voyages
from Liverpool to New-York. ...
//


21 Jan 11 - 09:45 PM (#3079774)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

A comment: Interesting to see, up to this point, how very little overlap there seems to be between chanties and so-called forebitters. If one looks at the picture presented of the shanty repertoire by Stan Hugill --in part because his aim was to be so inclusive-- we see that very many of the items are songs that were generally understood to be non-chanties but which had supposedly been "used as chanties" at one time or another. However, in the 19th century references we have not really seen that. I will be interested to see at what time that might have started happening more, and/or what writers may have started mixing them (e.g. the situation that Bullen may have been responding to in 1914 when he had to be firm about excluding certain kinds of songs from his collection).


22 Jan 11 - 09:04 AM (#3079974)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

My impression is that sailors sang ordinary songs at the capstan, as the spirit moved them, even in the 18th C. I don't know, however, if it was an established practice, as shantying became in the 19th C.


22 Jan 11 - 10:11 PM (#3080408)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks to shipcmo for introducing "Around Cape Horn..." to this discussion. I am going to give some more details from it, now that I have my hands on a copy.

1926[1925]        Briggs, L. Vernon. _Around Cape Horn to Honolulu on the Bark "Amy Turner" 1880_. Boston: Charles E. Lauriat Co.

Bark leaves Boston in July 1880, for Honolulu. Briggs had a copy of "Two Years Before the Mast" with him, though he does not make any comparisons re: shanties that I can see.

Shantying or singing-out is ascribed to the officers. Pg. 84

//
We often heard the "Haw-haw" and the call of the Mate in pulling at the sheets, but the songs or shanties on our vessel were reserved for use in bad weather to inspire the men to put forth their best efforts after long hours of duty or when their task was unusually difficult.
//

Pg. 85

//
During the four weeks that we were off Cape Horn we heard the shanties every time the men were able to get on deck and pull at a rope. Such songs as "The Ship Neptune", "Here Comes Old Wabbleton a-Walking the Deck", "Wey, Hey, Knock a Man Down", "Whiskey for My Johnny" or "Orenso was no Sailor, Boys", encouraged the sailors to lay out twice their usual strength. The men would take hold of the sheet in a sort of half-hearted way—their clothes had been wet for days, their hands were sore and they had had no hot food to eat. In a few minutes the Second Mate or one of the crew with a good voice would start a favorite shanty. Immediately the sailors would brace themselves, grip the rope with a firmer hold and, remaining in position until the line or verse was finished, would heave their bodies with a tremendous movement and bend all their strength to the rope, as they sang the refrain "Pull, ye devils, pull!"—varying it between the verses with "Pull, ye landlubbers, pull", "Pull, ye hellions, pull!", "Pull, ye seadogs, pull!" and other variations which would not look well in print.
        Many of these shanties (or "chanteys") are quaint and very old. Their verses are legion and vary on every ship. I will give some of the words sung on the "Amy Turner", which I have taken down or had written for me by the sailors.
        There are several kinds of shanty: the capstan or hoisting shanty, sung when at the capstan, warping or weighing anchor or hoisting topsails; the halyard shanty, sung when the topsails and topgallantsails are being mast-headed; and the sheet-tack and bowline shanty, used when the fore, main and other sheets are hauled aft and the bowlines made taut. There is also the bastard shanty, so-called; it is a runaway chorus, sung by all hands as they race across the deck with a rope; you hear it in tacking ship. It is sung to a vigorous tune, in quick time and increasing in volume. One of the most popular bastard shanties is the following:

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR?

What shall we do with a drunken sailor? [X3]
        Early in the morning.

Wey, hey, there she rises!
        Early in the morning.

Chuck him in the longboat till he gets sober.
        Early in the morning.

Wey, hey, there she rises!
        Early in the morning.
//

I believe that's only the second reference so far to DRUNKEN SAILOR in this thread.
In the following note, Briggs seems to imply that BLOW THE MAN DOWN was also a stamp 'n' go, however, he later states its use for halyards. I suppose he was just noting that the "way hey" is similar. The theme of this is a bit of "The Black Ball Ship" and "The Dreadnought" combined.

//
        In the shanties with a "Wey, hey" chorus, the men pound the decks with their feet when they say "Wey, hey", as in the following shanty:

THE SHIP "NEPTUNE"

Solo:--Now the "Neptune" is bound out on a float
        Chorus: Wey, hey, knock the man down!
Solo:-- Now the "Neptune" is bound out on a float
        Chorus: Oh, give me some time to knock the man down!

Oh! The "Neptune"'s a hard one—Oh, Lord let her go![x2]

Oh! Don't you see Wabbleton walking the poop? [x2]

Oh! Here's to the "Neptune" and her officers too—[x2]

Oh! Along comes the Mate with his big sea boots on—[x2]

If you don't be aware he'll alight you along—
With the toe of his boot he'll alight you along—

Next come the greaser, the pride of the day—[x2]

He'll sing out, "Lay aft, one—Lay aft one and all!" [x2]

For right over your head there flies the black ball—[x2]

Oh, there is a crew here—Oh, guess who was there!—[x2]

There was butchers and bakers and tinkers and Quakers—[x2]

There was soldiers and sailors and horse-hair braiders [x2]

Oh, the "Neptune"'s arrived, she's in Liverpool town—[x2]
//

It's almost all "stringing-out". I wonder how that practice might be mapped. In which eras or places, or amongst which crews, was it more common? Why did some sailors seem capable of creating rhymes while others stretched out "bachelor" lines? I understand the reasons for why one would "string-out". What I am wondering is if there was any observable shift towards that practice as a *general* style or trend that we might see. because its not so common in the earlier references -- leaving aside the possibility that the chanties were *written down* in couplet form to be more interesting or save space.

Next comes another BLOW THE MAN DOWN. It's solo themes resemble "Paradise street" and "flying fish sailor" ones.

//
Another hoisting shanty with the same chorus was:

AS I WAS A WALKING UP DENNISON STREET

Oh, as I was a walking up Dennison Street—
        Wey, hey, blow the man down!
Oh, as I was a walking up Dennison Street—
        Oh, give me the[/some] time to blow the man down!

Oh, it was a young jaunt that I chanced to meet—[x2]

Oh, she says, "Young man, can't you stand treat?"[x2]

"Oh, yes, young dame, at the head of the street"—[x2]

So we entered the alehouse, so snug and so neat—[x2]

With contentment and pleasure the time passed away—[x2]

And I never did leave her until the next day—[x2]

As I was a walking up Waterloo Road—[x2]

I met with a damsel and these words she said—[x2]

Oh, she say, "Young man, where are you from?" [x2]

"I'm a flying fish sailor—I'm just from Hongkong"—[x2]

Then she says, "Young man, oh give us your arm!" [x2]

"For I'm one of the posies—I'm just on the town!" [x2]

Chock up to the sheave hole this yard it must go—[x2]
//

continued...


23 Jan 11 - 12:13 AM (#3080441)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Briggs, cont.

I'm enjoying the fresh lyrics of some of these chanties.

Next is two versions of REUBEN RANZO -- great to have such an example of two person's variations from the same ship.

//
A hoisting and windlass shanty frequently heard in bad weather was:

RANZO

Solo: Oh Ranzo was no sailor, boys—
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo!
Solo: Oh Ranzo was no sailor, boys—
Chorus: Ranzo, boys, a Ranzo!

He shipped aboard a whaler, boys—

And he could not do his duty—

Oh, they took him to the gangway,

And they gave him one-and-twenty.

Oh, the Captain was a good man,

And he took him to the cabin,

And he taught him navigation.

Oh, the Captain had a daughter,

And she loved poor Reuben Ranzo—

Oh, poor Reuben Ranzo!

Oh, he now sails captain of her,

And he thinks of the times he used to have

While he hugs the Captain's daughter.

Three cheers for Young Reuben Ranzo!

And I'll bid adieu to the girl I loved—

Adieu to the girl with the red topped boots

We touch our glass with a good-bye lass—

(These words are as copied for me by a sailor. The last two lines are apparently improvised and difficult to fit to the tune.)

Another version of the same shanty was written for me by Lawrence, an old sailor of our crew.

ORENSO

Solo: Orenso was no sailor—
Chorus: Orenso, boys, Orenso!
Solo: Orenso was no sailor—
Chorus: Orenso, boys, Orenso!

He was apprenticed to a tailor—

And he did not like his master—

So he thought he'd be a sailor,

And he shipped on board, a whaler—

He shipped as able seaman.

And he could not do his duty.

The Mate he was a bad man;

He lashed him to the capstan,

And he gave him six-and-thirty.

The Captain was a good man;

He took him to the cabin,

And he learned him navigation;

And he had a only daughter—

Orenso used to court her.

Now he's married the Captain's daughter.

Now he sails the South Seas over.

He is captain of a whaler,

And when he gets a sailor

That can not do his duty,

He takes him down the cabin

And learns him navigation.
//

Then, HAUL AWAY JOE. I'm not sure what to make of the many verses, in light of the idea that not many were needed for this. Does Brigg's transcription represent a single performance (actual or ideal), or is it a compilation of verses?

//
        The shanty we most often heard when boarding a main tack or hauling aft the fore sheet was:

HAUL AWAY, JOE

Solo: Once I had a yaller gal—I kept her like a lady—
Chorus: Way, haul away, haul away, Joe!
Solo: Once I had a yaller gal—I kept her like a lady—
Chorus: Way, haul away, haul away, Joe!

Now I've got an Irish girl, she's dirty, fat and lazy—

You'd better sell your fiddle and buy your wife a gown—

I wouldn't sell my fiddle for all the wives in town.

Now I'm sparking a Spanish lass—She almost sets me crazy—

Oh, thence, boys, I'll never give her up for Miss Long-legs-Daisy.

O boys, I'll pass the grog around when i marry the Spanish lady—

O, my boys, she's the lass—She'll court you nice and easy—
//

Next, BLOW BOYS BLOW, with a few fun and original verses. "Monkey's nuts" is interesting!

//
Another shanty frequently heard was:

BLOW, MY BULLY BOYS, BLOW

Solo: Holler, my boys, I long to hear you—
Chorus: Blow, boys, blow!
Solo: Holler, my boys, I long to hear you—
Chorus: Blow, my bully boys, blow!

Blow today and blow tomorrow—

A Yankee ship goes down the river—

Then how do you know she's a Yankee packet?

She fired a gun and I heard a racket.

Where do you think that she was bound to?

For Hongkong, and that's in China.

And what do you think we had for cargo?

Doll's eyes and fly paper.

Who do you think was captain of her?

Old Tom Jones, the big Kanaka.

Who do you think was Chief Mate of her?

Jimmy Brown, the big-bellied sinner.

And who do you think was steward of her?

A long-tailed Chinaman who spoiled the dinner.

What do you think we had for dinner?

Monkey's nuts and baboons' liver—
//

And, WHISKEY JOHNNY:

//
        But the most popular shanty, sung on our bark during the fiercest gales was:

WHISKEY FOR MY JOHNNY

Solo: Whiskey is the life of man—
Chorus: Whiskey, Johnny!
Solo: Whiskey is the life of man—
Chorus: Whiskey for my Johnny!

Whiskey made me a drunken man—

Whiskey made me what I am.

Whiskey drove me to the sea.

Whiskey gave me a broken nose.

Whiskey made me pawn my clothes.

Whiskey made go to prison.

Whiskey killed my poor old dad.

Whiskey drove my brother mad.

Whiskey and me, us do agree.

I drink whiskey when I can.

Now, whiskey gone, my song goes too.

        The shanties for hauling the fore and main sheets are the most ancient.
//

Briggs goes on another voyage in late 1882. The AMY TURNER is off Cape Cod, and they need to get the anchor up in a storm. The 70-yr. old chanteyman gives one of the older chanties, SANTIANA:

//
It was not easy to work the capstan in such a gale and John Miller, of East Boston, the ship-keeper, nearly 70 years old, who had spent many years on the United States Ship "Ohio", started a shanty, of which he sang the verses, while the sailors joined in the chorus and pulled with a will. I took down the words, as follows:

SANTA ANNA ON THE PLAINS OF MEXICO

Santa Anna gained the day—
        Hurrah, Santa Anna!
Santa Anna gained the day—
        All on the plains of Mexico.

He gained the day at Monterey.

He sailed away one fine day—

Oh, that creole gal, she's the gal for me!

She wears red-top boots and her hair does shine—

She's just the girl to make them pine—

We're bound to have her in the black-ball line—

Oh, was you ever in Mobile Bay?

Screwing cotton by the bale—

'Tis there you'll find the boys to shine—

But the girls are all of the blackest kind—

Now we sail from Mobile Bay—

We are bound for Liverpool town—

Oh, there you'll see the girls come down—
//


23 Jan 11 - 07:13 AM (#3080538)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

The following is the updated "set list" of shipboard work-songs claimed to have existed up through the 1880s. Re: number of appearances, I have made an effort to excluded from the tally any citations that were clearly repetitions of prior text sources. There are 101 chanties here. The usual disclaimers about vague references, subjectivity in tally, etc. apply. Remember, these are only ship-board songs.

ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN (4)
A-ROVING (2)
And England's blue for ever"
Baltimore Bell"
Black although she be"
BLACKBALL LINE (4)
BLOW BOYS BLOW (5)
BLOW THE MAN DOWN (9)
BONEY (4)
BOTTLE O (1)
BOWLINE (9)
BULLY IN ALLEY (1)
BUNCH OF ROSES (1)
Captain gone ashore!"
Cheerily she goes"
CHEERLY (13)
CLEAR THE TRACK (1)
DEAD HORSE (3)
DRUNKEN SAILOR (2)
FIRE FIRE (2)
GOLDEN VANITY (1)
GOOD MORNING LADIES (2)
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL (7)
GOODBYE MY LOVE (2)
GROG TIME (1)
Hah, hah, rolling John" (1)
Hand ober hand, O"
HANDY MY BOYS (2)
HANGING JOHNNY (3)
HAUL AWAY JOE (8)
Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes"
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES (6)
Heave her away"
Heave him up! O he yo!"
Heave round hearty!"
Heave, to the girls!"
HIGHLAND (2)
Highland day and off she goes"
HILO BOYS (3)
HILONDAY (1)
HOGEYE (1)
Ho, O, heave O"
HOOKER JOHN (1)
HUCKLEBERRY HUNTING (1)
HUNDRED YEARS (3)
Hurrah! hurrah! my hearty bullies!"
Jack Cross-tree,"
JOHN BROWN'S BODY (1)
John, John Crow is a dandy, O"
JOHNNY BOWKER (3)
Johnny's gone"
Land ho"
Largy Kargy"
LEAVE HER JOHNNY (2)
LOWLANDS AWAY (3)
Miranda Lee"
MOBILE BAY (1)
MONEY DOWN (2)
MR. STORMALONG (6)
Nancy Bell"
Nancy oh!"
NEW YORK GIRLS (2)
O ee roll & go"
O! hurrah my hearties O!"
Oceanida"
Oh fare you well, my own Mary Anne"
OH RILEY (1)
Oh Sally Brown, Sally Brown, oh!"
ONE MORE DAY (1)
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND (3)
PADDY DOYLE (3)
PADDY LAY BACK (1)
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY (5)
Pull away now, my Nancy, O!"
REUBEN RANZO (9)
RIO GRANDE (6)
ROUND THE CORNER (3)
RUN LET THE BULGINE RUN (3)
SACRAMENTO (3)
SAILOR FIREMAN (1)
SALLY BROWN (6)
Sally in the Alley"
SANTIANA (9)
SHALLOW BROWN (1)
SHENANDOAH (8)
SLAPANDER (1)
Sing, Sally, ho!"
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (1)
STORMALONG JOHN (1)
STORMY (9)
STORMY ALONG (2)
TALLY (2)
Time for us to go!"
TOMMY'S GONE (3)
Up a hill"
Walk away"
WALKALONG SALLY (1)
When first we went a-waggoning"
WHISKEY JOHNNY (10)
Whisky for Johnny!"
YEO HEAVE HO (1)

The most frequently appearing items overall are:

CHEERLY (13)
WHISKEY JOHNNY (10)
STORMY / BOWLINE / BLOW THE MAN DOWN / REUBEN RANZO / SANTIANA (9) SHENANDOAH / HAUL AWAY JOE (8)


23 Jan 11 - 07:47 AM (#3080556)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

About 86 "unique" (this number is quite subjective) new references were discovered for the 1880s.

About 15 (quick count) of the 101 items in the list were *first* to be cited in reference to the 1880s.


23 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM (#3080558)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

It is always exciting to find another new/old source, and one with such detail. Thanks shipcmo for the "Amy Turner" and thanks Gibb for unpacking all of that information. Your comprehensive list for the 1880's is impressive. There are some indications that some of these chanties had been around for awhile, maybe even thirty or forty years. But if Briggs can be so interested in 1880, why didn't we find such interest back in the '50's, if such chanties were around then? I know I keep asking the same question, but it intrigues me. Was there some kind of change in reporting styles or literary styles or just plain consciousness? What happened between Dana and Briggs? We know folks were keeping all kinds of journals about sea voyages during those many decades. But such rare mention of sailors singing.


26 Jan 11 - 05:59 AM (#3082589)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1860s

Summary: The American Civil War is on, and the shanties that we know are finally starting to pop up everywhere. Is it because so many chanties were being created/adapted then? Or, were they perhaps being reconstituted in some way that made them more "notable"? Or, is the preponderance of chanties just an illusion having to do with the legacy of written works and those who wrote them? Previously, I had the notion that most of the chanties were done being created by the Civil War. However, the queer lack of references to much repertoire in the 1850s does not support that.

If I'm not mistaken, all the vessels referred to here were America, though that may not necessarily mean anything, what with transatlantic runs and mixed nationality crews.

Here's a rough idea of what new was added to the repertoire for the 1860s -- and this list only includes reasonably contemporary references:

SHENANDOAH
RIO GRANDE
SACRAMENTO
SANTIANA
GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES
TOMMY'S GONE
REUBEN RANZO
WHISKEY JOHNNY
BLOW BOYS BLOW
BLOW THE MAN DOWN
BONEY
HAUL AWAY JOE
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY
OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND
BUNCH OF ROSES
BOWLINE
JOHNNY BOWKER
GOOD MORNING LADIES
Nancy Bell
Sally in the Alley"
True blue, I and Sue/And England's blue for ever"
LOWLANDS AWAY
Oceanida"
BLACKBALL LINE
SLAPANDER
HANDY MY BOYS
Land ho, boys, Land ho"
HILO BOYS
JOHN CROW

Sources:

ca.1861-1880s

- "Shenandoah" [SHENANDOAH] and "Sally Brown" [SALLY BROWN] and "Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE] and "Dixie's Isle" [OH SUSANNA?] and "Blow for California" [SACRAMENTO] and Santa Ana [SANTIANA] and "Mister "Stormalong"" [MR. STORMALONG] and "Maid of Amsterdam" [A-ROVING] and "Homeward Bound" [GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL] and "Heave Away, Lads" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] and "The Dreadnought" [DREADNOUGHT] and "Ten Thousand Miles Away" [TEN THOUSAND MILES], gen. discussion, remembered by ex-sailor from U.S./windlass (Coast Seamen's 1909)

- "Tom is Gone to Ilo" [TOMMY'S GONE] and "'Ranzo, Boys, 'Ranzo" [REUBEN RANZO] and "Whiskey, Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Blow, Boys, Blow" [BLOW BOYS BLOW] and "Blow the Men Down" [BLOW THE MAN DOWN" and "John Francois" [BONEY], gen. discussion, remembered by ex-sailor from U.S./topsail halyards (Coast Seamen's 1909)

- "Johnny Bowker" [JOHNNY BOWKER] and "Haul on the Bowline" [BOWLINE] and "Haul Away, Joe" [HAUL AWAY JOE], gen. discussion, remembered by ex-sailor from U.S./sheet shanties (Coast Seamen's 1909)

- [PADDY DOYLE], gen. discussion, remembered by ex-sailor from U.S./bunt shanty (Coast Seamen's 1909)

- "Miss Rosa Lee" and "Somebody Told Me So" and "Yankee John, Storm Along" [YANKEE JOHN STORMALONG], gen. discussion, remembered by ex-sailor from U.S./timber stowing ascribed to Blacks in South (Coast Seamen's 1909)

1861, April

- "On the plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] Battle of Fort Sumter, Charleston/hauling up guns onto fort w/ capstan (THE UNITED SERVICE, May 1884)

1862

- "Sally Brown, the bright mulatter" [SALLY BROWN] Ship SPLENDID New York > China/windlass (Sauzade 1863)

- "Hurrah Santa Anna!/All on the plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] Ship SUSAN HINKS, Boston > Calcutta/capstan (FIFTY-THREE YEARS, 1904)

- "O, dey call me Hangman Johnny!" [HANGING JOHNNY] South Carolina/Freed slaves in Union Army coming in from picket duty (Higginson 1867).

1865

- "I'm Gwine to Alabamy, Ohh..../Ahh..." Slaves' songs collection Mississippi steamboat song (Allen 1867)

- "Shock along John, shock along" Slaves' songs collection, Maryland/corn-shucking (Allen1867)

- "Ho, round the corn, Sally" [ROUND THE CORNER] slaves' songs collection/corn-shucking (Allen 1867)

- "Heave away, heave away!/ Heave away, Yellow gal, I want to go!" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES], Savannah/firemen's song (Allen 1867)

c.1865-66

- "Paddy on the Railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] and "We 're Homeward Bound" [OUTWARD AND HOMEWARD BOUND?] Schooner (?) NASON, out of Provincetown/windlass (Clark 1867)

- A chanty gang was engaged to hoist out the cargo, Zanzibar/stevedores (Clark 1867)

c.1866

- when the sugar began to roll in, the crew found I was at the head of the rope, and a "chanty man." We rolled the sugar upon the stages, over the bows, and at every hogshead I gave them a different song, American schooner, St. Jago, Cuba/ working cargo (Clark 1867)

c.1865-1869

- "Come down you bunch o' roses, come down" [BUNCH OF ROSES] and "Sally Brown's a bright Mulatto"[SALLY BROWN] Ship (all Black crew) DUBLIN Boston > Genoa/ topsail halyards (Adams 1879)

- "Walk along my Sally Brown," [WALKALONG SALLY] and "Hoist her up from down below" Ship (all Black crew) DUBLIN Boston > Genoa/ working cargo (Adams 1879)

- "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul" [BOWLINE] and "Way, haul away; O, haul away, Joe" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Do, my Johnny Boker, do."[JOHNNY BOWKER] Barque ROCKET/ tacks and sheets (Adams 1879)

- "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo" [REUBEN RANZO] and "Shantyman and Sally Brown" [SALLY BROWN] and "Blow, boys, blow!/Blow, my bully boys, blow!" [BLOW BOYS BLOW] and "Away, hey way!/John Francois" [BONEY] and "Hurrah, you high low/My Tommy's gone a high low" [TOMMY'S GONE] and "Hurrah, you rolling river/Ah hah, I'm bound away o'er the wild Missouri" [SHENANDOAH] and "Whiskey Johnny/ Whiskey for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Way, hey, knock a man down/ This is the time to knock a man down" [BLOW THE MAN DOWN] Barque ROCKET/ halyards (Adams 1879)

- "And away you Rio! Oh, you Rio!/ I'm bound away this very day, I'm bound for the Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE] and "Oh, poor Paddy come work on the railway" [PADDY ON THE RAILWAY] Barque ROCKET/ capstan or windlass (Adams 1879)

- continuous running solo of " way-hey he, ho, ya,"…accompanying the hand-over-hand hoisting of jibs and staysails, and for short "swigs" at the halyards…"hey lee, ho lip, or yu" and the more measured "singing out," for the long and regular pulls at the braces, Barque ROCKET/sing-outs (Adams 1879)

1867

- "Dere ain't but one more river to cross", Af-Amer gospel-cum-boat song (Higginson 1867)

1867, July

- "Away, away, blow a man down" [BLOW THE MAN DOWN], Steamer CALEDONIA, NY > Glasgow/ halyards (Daily Courier 1867)

1868

- "What boat is that my darling honey?, Oh, oh ho, ho ay yah yah-ah!/Ah a... yah a...ah!"
Steamboats /Black firemen (McBRIDE'S 1868)

1868, April

- "Away, you rollin' river!/Ah ha! I'm bound away/On the wild Atlantic!" [SHENANDOAH] Atlantic, capstan (Riverside Magazine 1868)

- "Heave away, my Johnny, heave away!/An' away, my Johnny boy, we're all bound to go!" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] Atlantic/ ?? (Riverside Magazine 1868)

1868, Aug.

- "cheerily men" [CHEERLY]
journal article/braces (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "Good-bye, fare you well/ Hurrah, brave boys, we're outward bound" [GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL] and "There's plenty of gold in the land, I'm told/ On the banks of Sacramento" [SACRAMENTO] and "Then fare you well, my pretty young girls/ We're bound for the Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE] and "Valparaiso, Round the Horn" [PADDY LAY BACK] and "Hurrah, Santa Anna/ All on the plains of Mexico" [SANTIANA] and "Good morning ladies all" [GOOD MORNING LADIES] and "Nancy Bell" [HURRAH SING FARE YOU WELL?] and "Sally in the Alley" and "True blue, I and Sue/And England's blue for ever" and "Lowlands" [LOWLANDS AWAY] and "Oceanida" and "Johnny's gone" [TOMMY'S GONE?] and "The Black-ball Line" [BLACKBALL LINE] and "Slapandergosheka" [SLAPANDER] journal article/capstan (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- there is the hand over hand song, in very quick time, journal article/ hand over hand (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "So handy, my girls, so handy/So handy, my girls, so handy" [HANDY MY BOYS] journal article/halyards (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

- "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul" [BOWLINE] and "Land ho, boys, Land ho" and "Haul away, my Josey" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Oh, Boney was a warrior, away a yah/John Francivaux" [BONEY] journal article/ single pull hauling (ONCE A WEEK 1868)

1869

- "Hoojun, John a hoojun" [HOOKER JOHN] Brig WILLIAM, Portland, Maine, possible fiction/ hoisting molasses (Kellogg 1869)

- "O, stow me long/ Stow me long, stow me" [STORMY] Fictional American vessel/ windlass (Kellogg 1869)

- "Hand ober hand, O/ Scratch him/Hand ober hand, O" Fictional American vessel/ hand over hand (Kellogg 1869)

- "Ho-o, ho, ho, ho/ Fire down below" [SAILOR FIREMAN] Fictional American vessel/ walk-away (Kellogg 1869)

- "Bonny laddie, Highland laddie/ My bonny Highland laddie" [HIGHLAND] Fictional American vessel/no context (Kellogg 1869)

- "Hilo, boys, a hilo" [HILO BOYS] Fictional American vessel/ topgallant halyards (Kellogg 1869)

- "Heave and she goes, stamp and she goes/O, my poor sailor-boy, heave and she goes" Fictional American vessel/ capstan (Kellogg 1869)

- ''John, John Crow is a dandy, O" [JOHN CROW] Fictional American vessel/ studding-sail halyards (Kellogg 1869)

1869 Oct. – 1870

Don't tally: Repeat of RC Adams, though earlier pub. date.[[- "I wish I was in Mobile Bay" and " I'm bound for the Rio Grande," [RIO GRANDE] ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/pumping (Nehemiah Adams 1871).

- "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!"[REUBEN RANZO], ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/topsail halyards (Nehemiah Adams 1871).

- "'Way! haul away! haul away! Joe!" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul!" [BOWLINE], ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/tacks+sheets (Nehemiah Adams 1871). ]]


28 Jan 11 - 06:55 PM (#3084367)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1870s

Summary:

Danger ahead! -- Beware that, in trying to construct a narrative, there may be more than usual tendency towards conjecture on my part, in this decade.

I see this as the decade in which chanties became "standard." The word "chanty/shanty" itself has become widely known to and used by the sort of people who hold the privilege of writing. And while we can't say for sure if the word wasn't already very common amongst "common" sailors, the awareness of it by writers suggests to me that the genre itself had reached some stage of "everyday knowledge" -- at least as a concept. Establishing the word and using it in discourse (not just literary) seems to lend a more definiteness to the genre. It all becomes a bit more regular.

That may be reflected by the pieces of repertoire, which doesn't grow much in the decade.

The only reasonably new song mentioned is DEAD HORSE.

A major disclaimer, however, is that this survey has not taken much into consideration the oral sources and testimonies in much later collections (e.g. Harlow) who sailed at this time. 1870s is really the earliest decade about which the John Shorts and Carpenter's singers and people like that could tell us, I think -- Sure, a few were at see in the 60s, but how does one reasonably separate what one may have learned in the 60s from the 70s? And since my division by decade is really somewhat arbitrary, "late 60s" is not necessarily a different "era" from, say, 1974. Add to this an idea -- that the 70s was really the "last" decade for chanties. The early 80s authors already talk about chanties as a by-gone practice. In any case, despite what can be no doubt that some new repertoire was added afterwards (I'd think, especially popular songs during later wars)...It may be possible to say that the 70s was when things "flattened out" (creatively speaking) and chanties began their decline.

Including the later-published and -recorded accounts would certainly yield a higher number, but there is the uncertainty about the authors adding items heard/seen in later decades. Besides, even if we look at Harlow, his "Akbar" shanties add very few title to what would be noted by the 80s. That being said, there is some interesting material in Bullen, or in Hugill (via his West Indian informants), etc., but I cannot consider it at this time.

To make another dramatic statement: Might we say that "chanties as we know them" (as repertoire and as form/usage -- not in terms of performance style, etc.) were a product of the 1870s (or late 60s)? Not in terms of origin, of course, but in terms of the collective body, fully developed, that constituted a named genre.

Sources:

1869 Oct. – 1870

- "I wish I was in Mobile Bay" and " I'm bound for the Rio Grande," [RIO GRANDE] ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/pumping (Nehemiah Adams 1871). [Repeat of RC Adams, though earlier pub. date.]

- "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo!"[REUBEN RANZO], ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/topsail halyards (Nehemiah Adams 1871).

- "'Way! haul away! haul away! Joe!" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Haul the bowline, the bowline haul!" [BOWLINE], ship GOLDEN FLEECE, Boston > Frisco, Hong Kong, Manila/tacks+sheets (Nehemiah Adams 1871). ]]

[1869 Opening of Suez Canal]

c. 1870s

- "Oh, ho, yes—Oho/ A hundered years ago" [HUNDRED YEARS] and "Starm along, boys—Starm along/ Starm along, Starmy" [STORMY] and "With a heave oh—haul/ And good morning, ladies all" [GOOD MORNING LADIES], memory of work on Black X liners "years ago" (Leslie 1886)

1870

- The leader, a stalwart negro, stood upon the capstan shouting the solo part of the song…they were answered by his companions in stentorian tones at first, and then, as the refrain of the song fell into the lower part of the register, the response was changed into a sad chant in mournful minor key Steamboat, St. Louis > New Orleans (Nichols 1870)

1870, Sept.

- "Whiskey, O Johnnie/ Whiskey for my Johnnie" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] ship, New York> /topsail halyards [fiction] (RIVERSIDE MAGAZINE Sept. 1870)

- "All haul away, haul away, Joe" [HAUL AWAY JOE], ship, New York> /braces [fiction] (RIVERSIDE MAGAZINE Sept. 1870)

c. early 1870s

- "Stand below you coal black rose" [COAL BLACK ROSE], Vera Cruz, Mexico/stevedores discharging cargo [pulling] – possibly contrived (Dixon 1883)

1873

- O whisky, whisky ! / O whisky is for Johnny!" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Lorenzo was no sailor / Renzo, boys, Renzo!" [REUBEN RANZO], Sailors' songs in American vessels/halyards (Jewell 1873)

- "Way, haul away—haul away, Josey/ Way, haul away—haul away, Joe!" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "Haul the bowline—bowline haul!" [BOWLINE], Sailors' songs in American vessels/braces (Jewell 1873)

- "Blow, my bully boys, blow!" [BLOW BOYS BLOW], Sailors' songs in American vessels/windlass (Jewell 1873)

1874

- "Whiskey, Johnnie / So whiskey for my Johnnie, O" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Way, haul away, haul away, my Josey / Way, haul away, haul away, my Jo" [HAUL AWAY JOE] [possibly culled from elsewhere] (Brevet, August 1974)

- "Haul the bowline, The bowline haul!" [BOWLINE] Norwegian/tacks (Lie 1874)

- "Aa hal i — aa — i aa —! / Cheer my men!" [CHEERLY] Norwegian/catting anchor (Lie 1874)

- "Good-bye, fare-ye-well!" [GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL], English merchant ship SEA QUEEN, London > / capstan, "homeward bound chanty" (Symondson 1876)

- "I served my time in the Black Ball Line" [BLACKBALL LINE], English merchant ship SEA QUEEN, off Portland / anchor capstan (Symondson 1876)

- "Ho! and heigho!/ For we're bound to the Rio Grande" [RIO GRANDE], English merchant ship SEA QUEEN, > Sydney Harbour / anchor capstan (Symondson 1876)

1874, Jan.

"Then heave away, my bully boys/ Heave away, my Johnnies!" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] (Drake 1874)

1875

[[- Harlow]]

1876

- "Oh, Shanadoa, I longs to hear you/ Ha! ha! the rolling water" [SHENANDOAH],
ship PANDORA, Arctic/anchor capstan (MacGahan, 1876)

1876, Nov.

- "Hilo boys, hil-lo!" [HILO BOYS] and "Walk away", rowing a boat off Malaysia [historical fiction?] (CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL, Nov. 1876)

1877

- "Blow the man down in Grangemouth town, hay, hay, blow the man down," [BLOW THE MAN] ship FORSETTE out of Höganäs, Sweden, off Bodo, Norway/catting anchor (Nelson, 1913)

1877, April

- "I'm bound away to leave you/ Good-bye, my love, good-bye!" [GOODBYE MY LOVE], rowing [fiction] (Foot 1877).

1878

- "Aha! I'm bound AWAY/ Across the broad Atlantic!" [SHENANDOAH] and "Do my, Johnny Boker, do!" [JOHNNY BOWKER] and "An' away, my Johnny boy, we 're all bound to go!" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] and "Ranzo, boys, O Ranzo!" [REUBEN RANZO] [fiction, maybe rehashed from RIVERSIDE Apr 1868] (Scudder 1879)

1879, fall

- "Haul on the bowlin', the bowlin', Haul" [BOWLINE] and "Whisky, Johnny!/ O! Whisky for my Johnny" [WHISKEY JOHNNY] and "Wae! Hae! Blow the man down/ Give me some time to blow the man down" [BLOW THE MAN DOWN] and "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo" [REUBEN RANZO] and "Away, haul away—Haul away, Joe" [HAUL AWAY JOE] and "So handy, me boys, so handy" [HANDY MY BOYS] and "Wae! Hae! Ha!" [BONEY] and "Hand away, my jolly boys, we're all bound to go" [HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES] and "Good-bye, fare ye well. Good-bye, fare ye well/ Hurrah, me boys! we're bound to go!" [GOODBYE FARE YOU WELL] and "And we say so, for we know so/ Poor old man" [DEAD HORSE], steamship PARRAMATTA, London > Sydney/ transcriptions of various sailors' chanties (Seal 1992)


29 Jan 11 - 09:24 AM (#3084640)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Snuffy

1870s is really the earliest decade about which the John Shorts and Carpenter's singers and people like that could tell us, I think -- Sure, a few were at see in the 60s, but how does one reasonably separate what one may have learned in the 60s from the 70s? And since my division by decade is really somewhat arbitrary, "late 60s" is not necessarily a different "era" from, say, 1974.

With Carpenter's informants, at any rate, I think that we may safely set the parameters back 20 years before your cut-off date. Many of them were at sea in the 1850's and some even in the late 1840's: it was not unusual to have 12-year-old lads on board.
* Edward Robinson - born 1834 - to sea 1846
* Mark Page - born 1835 - to sea 1849
* James Forman - born 1844 - to sea 1856. Forman claimed that Bully in the Alley was "learned as a boy before going to sea", and also gave Carpenter a song "learned when seven or eight years old; sung in 'guysens' (serenading, with faces blacked) on New Year's Day; did not celebrate Christmas"


29 Jan 11 - 10:32 AM (#3084676)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Hi, Snuffy.

Robinson's repertoire would be especially interesting, since he was at sea (though we don't know where) during the Gold Rush era.

If shantying was well-established in the late '40s, he would presumably have learned most of his shanties (though we don't which)in his first year before the mast.

Mark Page's repertoire would be equally worthy of investigation. I do know he sang "The Hog-Eye Man" for Carpenter.


29 Jan 11 - 10:45 AM (#3084682)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, I've been puzzling over these transitions from occasional, mostly random notices of chanty singing to the early "collections" in magazine articles to the later "published collections". I'm thinking off the top of my head here, but roughly speaking, the history seems to move from "actual practice in working situations" to a much more "literary" enterprise of "collecting". And the "literalizing" (?) of the genre roughly coincides with the phasing out of "actual" use in the workplace.

We've wondered why there were not more instances of mention of these chanties earlier on (say from 1840 to 1860) in the various accounts of the day. It seems that it is only when they become a literary phenomenon that things pick up. I was struck by your use of the phrase "the sort of people who hold the privilege of writing". This seems to signal the establishment of a "genre" for secondary interests. And of course there is also a feedback loop wherein the new published information can re-impact the original chanty singers. Surely we see that happening in someone like Harlow.

But what is occurring to me this morning is this. Is the process that we are observing with regard to "sea chanties" that runs roughly through the second half of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century really any different from the same or a similar process that happened in relation to other genres of "traditional folk music". Child published his "collection" of ballads between 1882 and 1898. These were primarily if not exclusively drawn from literary sources. Child seemed to think that actual living oral sources no longer existed or weren't worth seeking out. He certainly ignored the oral situation in America! It wasn't until Cecil Sharp came along in the early 20th century (following the lead of Olive Dame Campbell and others) that the American oral traditions began to be tapped and recorded. What kinds of literary evidence do we have in the 19th century for the "ballads"? I am aware of the Broadside dimension. But what about the worksongs and play party songs, etc. that were being sung throughout the 1800's? Are they any more noted than were the sea chanties? Has anybody even done the kind of re-searching for these sources for other folk songs that you have been doing with the chanties?

In other words, what happens when we place "the advent and development of chanties" in the larger historical context of the "advent and development" of "folk" music in general throughout the 19th century and go looking for the published remains for other "folk" songs? Could we learn anything about the process that affected the mentioning and collecting of sea chanties? And would this possibly highlight how they might have been unique (for instance they were supposedly "never sung ashore" or were "too obscene")?

When I've gone looking for the "origins" of a particular folksong, I have never gone behind or beyond the early collections. It will be interesting in the future to apply the "Google book search" method to this process and see what comes up. My guess is that it is going to be about as scarce as it has been for sea chanties.


30 Jan 11 - 06:16 AM (#3085139)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Leadfingers

500 ??


30 Jan 11 - 03:42 PM (#3085417)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, Snuffy. That's exactly the kind of info that I, for one, am looking for!...or *will* be looking for when I get far enough along to critique Carpenter's singers. Unfortunately I've been overloaded with masses of data so far yet in the recently-published material through the 1880s. I can't wait, however, to study the Carpenter stuff more closely and see how it might fit. We do have one published source, albeit from the 1880s, that also attributes "Bully in the Alley" to the 50s, which is great corroboration. I do maintain, however, that it is *generally* difficult to trust the shanty knowledge of someone interviewed in the 1920s, even if they went to sea in the 50s/60s, that the shanties they know weren't necessarily learned afterwards. In this case, the date they *left* the trade becomes equally important. The exception is when they do specify when they learned the song, as in the examples you provided.

John - Big thoughts! Too bad not too many of the "general" folk music people are reading this (I'm sure we lost them long ago...the posts are too long, and there is not enough bickering :) ). Otherwise you'd be blowing their minds, ha!

Leadfingers-- Uh, yeah? What's more, all the posts have been substantial. Thanks for giving the old "Mudcat blessing" of a one-word random post! ;D


31 Jan 11 - 09:30 AM (#3085843)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST

"John - Big thoughts! Too bad not too many of the "general" folk music people are reading this (I'm sure we lost them long ago...the posts are too long, and there is not enough bickering :) ). Otherwise you'd be blowing their minds, ha!"

That's not to say we aint reading it all, rather that we aint got nothing constructive to post and maybe we dont want to muddy the waters for them what has. :-)


02 Feb 11 - 12:15 AM (#3086987)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

GUEST -- You're always welcome!

*****

I was just rereading over some sources and kind of struck by the similarity in phrasing here. Probably means little, but still interesting.

So, a 1775 essay "On Musical Time" states,

Seamen at the windlass, and on other occasions, sing, that they may all act together.

Then Dana in 1840 (I forget wish edition exactly) says,

Sailors, when heaving at a windlass, in order that they may heave together, always have one to sing out.

I can't help but think that, even if Dana had not read (and unconsciously paraphrased) the first, these two statements support each other -- Specifically, they support the idea that was was being done at the windlass in those times was certainly a "sing-out," not a "song" (or chanty). It's interesting because Dana of course talks about his "songs for capstan and falls," but nothing for windlass. Anyways, if anyone cares :) I am thinking about this in terms of the role the *new* windlass (brake/pump style) may have had in the development of chanties.


13 Feb 11 - 03:11 AM (#3094192)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1900        Mather, Fred. _In the Louisiana Lowlands: A Sketch of Plantation Life, Fishing and Camping Just After The Civil War, and Other Tales._ New York: Forest and Stream.

The narrator is on a steamboat journey down the Red River at Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1860. He has come upon a White banjo player in the saloon. A song called "The Lowlands" is requested: (pg 9)

//
I was not surprised when I saw a young white man at the end of the saloon just winding up an obligate and retiring for a rest. But he was vociferously recalled and "The Lowlands" was demanded. The air was a singular one, with a refrain that began slowly and ended fast; it was:

"In the Louisiana lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, In the Louisiana lowlands, low."

And from this song the title of this sketch was chosen.

Later in the night at a landing for wood I heard one of the negro roustabouts singing of old Gen. Andrew Jackson:

"Gen'el Jackson mighty man—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away!
He fight on sea an' he fight on lan'—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away!

"Gen'el Jackson find de trail—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away!
He make a fort wid cotton bale—
Whaw, my kingdom, fire away!"

There was more of it, for all these songs are spun out to cover the time of wooding up or of heaving up the levee. A livelier song was sung in the morning as we rounded to. It had a refrain of:

"Heave away! heave away!
I'd rather court a yallow gal
Dan work fo' Henry Clay!"
//

"Louisiana Lowlands" is a local or parody variation of the "Golden Vanitee" ballad. The work-songs are of more interest here. First is MARENGO, then the relative of HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES. The account is supposed to be based on the author's notes on the journey. Both songs are problematic, however, because they appeared in comparable versions in print earlier. The first was as early as 1855 and the second was in Allen's SLAVE SONGS from 1867. So I can't tell if he is making it up, or if he is using published material to refresh the memory.


13 Feb 11 - 03:58 AM (#3094202)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1898        Whitmarsh, H. Phelps. _The World's Rough Hand._ New York: The Century Co.

Author born 1863. Clipper ship Bosphorus bound out of London to Adelaide ca. 1884.

"Singing-out" is decribed, Pg 5:

//
When I reached the pierhead, it was nearly high water; the dock gates stood wide open; and the Bosphorus, with a gang of riggers aboard, was hauling briskly through the still water of the basin toward the river. Upon her forecastle-head, a bunch of men, bending almost double over the bow line, surged rhythmically back and forth to the quaint, nautical "singing out" of the leader; and the rope plashed in the water ahead of them after each pull.
The hauling-song began something like this: "Way-ho!" (jerk), "Way-ho-hu!" (jerk), "O-le-obo-ho!" (jerk), increasing in sound, volume, and power as it progressed; then running into a wordless chant,—a vowel song,—which, with a pulling emphasis, and a melody as weird as a Gaelic psalm-tune, rose and fell like the song of the shrouds when the wind pipes strong.
//

They haul out of the dock to HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNIES at the capstan, pg7:

//
The gangway was withdrawn, the lines cast off, the order given to "Heave away on your capstan!" and we hauled slowly through the gates to the tune of the favorite outward-bound chantey:

Sometimes we 're bound to London town, 

Sometimes we 're bound to France,
Chorus: Heave away, my bullies, heave away.
But now we 're bound to Adelaide, 

To give those girls a chance!
Chorus: Heave away, my bully boys; 
         
We 're all bound to go.
//


13 Feb 11 - 06:41 AM (#3094265)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Dead Horse

Duh! Last 'Guest' was me, without noticing that cookie had been filched.

The stuff collected in Louisiana particularly interested me as Cajun music is my favourite genre after shanties. Mebbe I could now combine the two with "Heave away, ma Jolies" :-)
The wife dances Appalachian flatfooting so I am often called upon to sing some really fast stuff for her to hoof to.
You aint lived til you have heard "Johnny come down to Hilo" or "South Australia" sung at a speed that would enable the off duty crew to go water skiing to........


13 Feb 11 - 07:21 AM (#3094284)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

DH, I'd love to find some instances of "White" Appalachian influence on the advent and development of sea chanties. This could be dance tunes (fiddle & banjo), ballads, "love songs", work songs, and religious songs. So far as I know and can remember, we've not had any examples of this kind of influence. I am talking here about influence moving from the mountains to the sea, rather than vice-versa. Or, possibly, just shared material.


13 Feb 11 - 12:33 PM (#3094402)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: John Minear

Gibb, I found some references to "In the Louisiana Lowlands". It appears to have been minstrel song that was popular with the Northern troops during the Civil War. Here are the lyrics from SONG-BOOK OF THE COMMANDERY OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA (1902):

http://books.google.com/books?id=LMYVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA24&dq=%22In+the+Louisiana+lowlands%22&hl=en&ei=EP5XTfDcDIjrgQerwaCWDQ&sa=X&oi

And here is a reference to it in relation to the war - 1882 (scroll up a page for the beginning }:

http://books.google.com/books?id=2JIvAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA310&dq=In+the+Louisiana+Lowlands,+lowlands,+low&hl=en&ei=FgxYTdK_IonEgAel76Wf

Here is a parody using "In the Virginia lowlands low" (1893 & 1864):

http://books.google.com/books?id=UsESAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA96&dq=%22In+the+Louisiana+lowlands,+lowlands,+low%22&hl=en&ei=ogtYTaKIFIndgQe

and,

http://books.google.com/books?id=ND09ZBPerW8C&pg=PA14&dq=In+the+Louisiana+lowlands,+lowlands,+low&hl=en&ei=sAxYTaeMM4L2gAfgjJnHD

And another parody using "In the Shenandoah lowlands, low" (1886):

http://books.google.com/books?id=_tbNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA562&dq=%22In+the+Louisiana+lowlands,+lowlands,+low%22&hl=en&ei=bgtYTfrkLoyr8A

And finally, a mention of the song in the context of a campfire sing around in Florida. Here the song is being sung by local (?) black folks (1882). I'm not clear if this was being sung also as a rowing song or a chanty.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Cs3UAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA64&dq=%22In+the+Louisiana+lowlands%22&hl=en&ei=rf5XTcrEH4LagAfcw7nUDA&sa=X&oi


13 Feb 11 - 02:01 PM (#3094485)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Lighter

Don't stop now!


13 Feb 11 - 05:48 PM (#3094634)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

Thanks, John M. neglected to note, too, that the song *with score* was in Mather's book.

(Scroll up a page or 2:)
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZKQcAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA1&dq=%22louisiana+lowlands%22

From the score, one can see that it did indeed go to the tune (or at least one of the well known tunes) of the "Golden Vanitee" ballad.

***

On another note --
I have decided to keep going with this thread to round out at least the 19th century -- I have an itch for some kind of "completion" like that. From me you'll most likely see more published references through the 1890s (I have a load of them to follow up on in my notes, which I've not yet read). Then, I will probably shift to trying to work in the recorded or other archived info. As usual, any and all contributions (don't mind my own, somewhat arbitrary structure) are welcome.


14 Feb 11 - 02:20 AM (#3094828)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1876        Warner, Charles Dudley. _My Winter On the Nile, Among the Mummies and Moslems._ Hartford, CT: American Publishing Company.

Preface dated Oct. 1875. Warner is on a sail-boat on the Nile in December 1874. Some of the chants of Egyptian boatmen are mentioned, e.g. "Yah! Mohammed!" In one of the descriptions, he indicates that the English would refer to the singer as "shanty man." It would seem that he heard this in use; it is possible he also read the term in an earlier work—though only N. Adams (1971) had previously used that orthography.

Pp153-154:

//
The morning finds us still a dozen miles from Asioot where we desire to celebrate Christmas; we just move with sails up, and the crew poling. The head-man chants a line or throws out a word, and the rest come in with a chorus, as they walk along, bending the shoulder to the pole. The leader—the "shanty man" the English sailors call their leader, from the French chanter I suppose—ejaculates a phrase, sometimes prolonging it, or dwelling on it with a variation, like "O ! Mohammed!" or "O! Howadji!" or some scraps from a love-song, and the men strike in in chorus: "Ha Yalesah, ha Yalesah," a response that the boatmen have used for hundreds of years.
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=mFYoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA153&dq=sailors'+%22chants%22&


14 Feb 11 - 03:09 AM (#3094831)
Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: Gibb Sahib

1894[1889] No author. _More Maritime Melodies._ Second edition. San Francisco: Commercial Publishing Co.

I believe only the Second edition of this is available. However, the first, it seems, had no chanties, anyway. The preface explains:

//
In 1889, as a Christmas greeting to the friends of the Commercial News and the Commercial Publishing Company, Maritime Melodies, edition 1,000 copies, was launched. The demand exceeded the supply, as is usually the case when good things are given away, and this Christmas a new edition, entirely changed, and it is hoped, improved, is put forth, and a copy sent you with the compliments of the season.
//

It is mostly sea-related poetry, though it also contains a version of "The Dreadnaught" (pp.21-23). The Appendix conatins a section called "Chanties" with texts (pg. 60ff).

The blurb is interesting for its positive assertion that chanties originated with Black cotton-stowers and that, moreover, they were French (i.e. Creoles). Was this something "generally known" at the time, or did the author read of it? Alden (1882) did give a statement that connected chanties to cotton stowers, and L.A. Smith repeated that. I believe that, if anywhere in print, this is where the author would have gotten the idea from. S/he mentions an English chanty collection, which may have been Smith's or Davis/Tozer's—I'd guess Smith's, for this reason. But now where does the French/Creole idea come in? Is it conjecture based on the presumed French etymology of 'chanty'? Or did this author, closer to the historical events, have some better sense than we do nowadays that the cotton-stowers may have actually been Creoles?

Interesting that it uses both (ch/sh) spellings of shchanty.

It quotes a verse from SACRAMENTO, the exact form of which does not show up previously.

//
IT WAS the intention to give in this edition of "Maritime Melodies" a number of chanties, but without the music, the action and the very spirit of the sea, words are feeble.

The "Chanty," a corruption of the French verb to sing, came from New Orleans, where the French darkies made up songs to suit the occasion as they loaded the Yankee clipper ships with cotton. The Yankee sailor in turn "caught on" and calling their songs "Shanties," made rhymes and fitted them to music that assisted in heaving anchor, setting and furling sails, pumping out the ship, etc. And now the "motif" is explained.

With the decadence of the American marine since "the late unpleasantness" between the brethren North and South, who, before and since that episode have dwelt together in unity, it has been an unfortunate fact that the American Mercantile Marine is more of a theory than a condition. With the ship, the American sailor has also disappeared. But the Shanty remains. Listen. The fine 100 AI British ship California, a good ship with a good name, but flying the flag of Great Britain, instead of the Stars and Stripes, officered and manned by lusty Britons, good fellows all, but unfortunate in not being born here: The fine ship California is leaving the State for w hich she is named, and on the