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Black experience/ Slave trade

05 Sep 17 - 10:23 AM (#3875332)
Subject: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,Christopher Thomas

Can anyone point me at Broadsides or songs in the British tradition that feature black characters or touch on the slave trade?


05 Sep 17 - 10:53 AM (#3875343)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: meself

The Flying Cloud.


05 Sep 17 - 12:22 PM (#3875357)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,henryp

Sambo's Song written by Alan Bell

Sambo's Grave can be found at Sunderland Point, near Lancaster.


05 Sep 17 - 01:02 PM (#3875365)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: FreddyHeadey

meself's suggestion mudcat threads
Origins: The Flying Cloud
thread.cfm?threadid=54665

Flying Cloud: History
thread.cfm?threadid=14289


05 Sep 17 - 10:32 PM (#3875420)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: mg

was it thomas moore who wrote virginio?


06 Sep 17 - 06:48 AM (#3875457)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,matt milton

The song 'Desolation' has the verse:

"The captains of whalers are abolitionists
They go in for amalgamation;
A nigger or a Portuguese is treated like a man
But Americans are dogs on Desolation."

Which sounds, depressingly, exactly like the kind of nonsense you hear being whinged by racist, whites-first types in 2017!


06 Sep 17 - 09:15 AM (#3875481)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST

What is "white first" about the quote? I don't know the song but in isolation the verse seems to be praising the "captains of whalers" or is this just a knee jerk reaction to the use of the "n word"?


06 Sep 17 - 10:57 AM (#3875499)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: meself

I don't think the knee jerk-reaction is on the part of matt milton .... I don't know the rest of the song, but the verse given is clearly implying that the captains are snowflakes/libtards/leftists who are trying to destroy America by favouring the lesser races at the expense the poor oppressed Whites.


06 Sep 17 - 11:15 AM (#3875502)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: leeneia

I can't think of a single song about the slave trade.

Some things are just too awful for songs. I can't think of a single song about the death of one's baby, about Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or Hurricane Katrina either.


06 Sep 17 - 02:17 PM (#3875534)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: mg

Slave's lament was by burns. Darling nellie grey they have taken you away. Lots about slavery itself..oh boys carry me long. Irish slaves..red leg ???? Amazing grace. Lots of stephen foster songs..read original verses..


06 Sep 17 - 02:59 PM (#3875540)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: David Carter (UK)

Leenia: from very different genres, Tears in Heaven and Safe in the Arms of Jesus may have been written as a result of the deaths of the writers' children.


06 Sep 17 - 03:04 PM (#3875541)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: David Carter (UK)

Are you interested in modern songs Christopher Thomas, or just traditional ones?


06 Sep 17 - 03:09 PM (#3875542)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: David Carter (UK)

The Bristol Slaver by Show of Hands is one I was thinking of.


06 Sep 17 - 05:42 PM (#3875554)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,matt milton

"I don't know the rest of the song, but the verse given is clearly implying that the captains are snowflakes/libtards/leftists who are trying to destroy America by favouring the lesser races at the expense the poor oppressed Whites."

Yes, exactly, that was my point. The verse I quoted is the only reference to race/colour in the song and the song clearly doesn't regard "abolitionists" or "amalgamation" as good things.

The rest of the song is a grim and in many ways bleakly poetic vision of the hardships of life on Desolation Island. Were you to simply leave out that verse, you'd have quite a powerful good song, as it happens.

That's why it sprung to mind.


06 Sep 17 - 05:44 PM (#3875555)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,matt mliton

Quite a few references to slaves and slavery in the Bodleian Broadside collection.

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/?query=slaves
http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/?query=slavery

The Bodleian is an excellent resource for finding broadside ballads based on themes: just type your keyword into the search box...


06 Sep 17 - 06:02 PM (#3875558)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Joe Offer

Not traditional and not British, but I'd like to call your attention to Rhiannon Giddens (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops). Her Come Love Come is an amazingly powerful song, as is At the Purchaser's Option."
-Joe-


06 Sep 17 - 06:17 PM (#3875565)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,henryp

No More Auction Block - From The Jubilee Singers by Gustavus D. Pike, 1873
and quoted in The Music of Black Americans, A History by E. Southern, 1983

No more auction block for me
No more, no more
No more auction block for me
Many thousand gone

Songs of the Underground Railroad;
See Wikipedia page

Harriet Tubman - words & music by Walter Robinson

One night I dreamed I was in slavery, 'bout 1850 was the time
Sorrow was the only sign, nothing around to ease my mind
Out of the night there came a lady leading a distant pilgrim band
"First mate!" she yelled, pointing her hand
"Make room on board for this young man"

Amazing Grace - published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725?1807).

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life's path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination.

He was pressed (conscripted) into service in the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade.

In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion.

He continued his slave trading career until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether and began studying Christian theology.

(From Wikipedia)

Not necessarily from British tradition, but often well-known in Britain.


07 Sep 17 - 11:05 AM (#3875672)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: leeneia

Guest Christopher Thomas, where art thou?

Your question has been answered by Matt Milton, Sept. 6

As for me, I didn't say that no songs on terrible topics have ever been written, I said I had never heard one. I near folk music at places like a session, on the radio, in school, at my brother's house when he gets out the guitar, and other places where ordinary people encounter ordinary music.


08 Sep 17 - 04:49 AM (#3875790)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Jim Carroll

There are a few English equivalents in the form of Transportation ballads; I'm thinking of songs like Virginny-O which always reminds me of the Spirituals.
There are a number containing some remarkable descriptions of the slave-like conditions, like The Female Transport (Sara Collins)
Of course, The Lags (or Treadmill) Song is a perfect example of slave-labour
Jim Carroll


10 Sep 17 - 05:52 PM (#3876389)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Tootler

The shanty Shallow Brown concerns a slave being let out to a whaler during the winter when there is little work in the fields. According to Stan Hugill some plantation owners did this.


13 Sep 17 - 02:25 PM (#3876895)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Anglo

Someone above mentioned The Slave's Lament. Listen to Eliza Carthy's rendition on the first Waterson Carthy album (1994). The song's from Robert Burns.

I don't see a YouTube version of that one, but a YouTube search comes up with dozens of versions, including Jean Redpath and Dougie Maclean.


15 Sep 17 - 07:39 AM (#3877182)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Gda Music

A powerful lament from the brilliant Mighty Sparrow.

SLAVE

I`m a slave from a land so far
I was caught and was brought here from Africa
Well it was licks like fire from the white slave master every day ah down on me knees
And it took weeks and weeks before we cross the seas
To reach to the West Indies.

CHORUS
And then you work and work and get no pay
Toil and toil so hard each day
I`m dying....I`m crying....
Oh Lord oh.....
Oh Lord I want to be free.

Many times I wanted to run
But the English Slave Master standing there with his gun
Oh I know he would shoot to kill
So I stayed and prayed but I planning still
I studied night and day how to get away
Ah got to make a brilliant escape
But every time I think bout the whip and them dogs
Me body does start to shake.

In my heart there was much to say
And I hope that the boss would listen to me some day
Though he knew my request was small
Twas a sting whip that will answer me when I call
We had to chant and sing to express our feeling
To that wicked and cruel man
That was the only medicine to get them to listen
And it`s so Calypso began.

Times had changed in so many ways
Till one day someone said free the bloody slaves
I was then put out in the street
Got no food, got no clothes, got no place to sleep
I had no education, no particular ambition
This I cannot conceal
Forgot my native culture I live like a vulture
From the white boss I had to steal.

Lyrics are Sparrow`s from his book "One Hundred and twenty calypsoes to remember".
Several different *The Slave* musical performances are posted on YouTube.

GJ


15 Sep 17 - 10:42 AM (#3877193)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: meself

Thanks for that GJ - that really is powerful. I'm not exactly a Calypso aficionado, but I've never before seen Calypso lyrics that really come across in isolation, read on the page.

(I had a chance meeting once with Mighty Sparrow, in Toronto. It wasn't until about thirty years later that I discovered who he was, with the benefit of the internet. I had never forgotten his rather distinctive name.)


16 Sep 17 - 04:03 PM (#3877313)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: jojofolkagogo

Yes, song about Harriet Tubman is very good but better still read her history on Wiki


18 Sep 17 - 10:06 AM (#3877522)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,Christopher Thomas

Just been able to pick this up after a week away: I was looking for something in the British tradition, and not necessarily just about slaving. The evidence looks thin on the ground but thanks for the helpful pointers.


18 Sep 17 - 10:20 AM (#3877525)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Nigel Parsons

I would think you might not find much in the British tradition, as we were often the aggressors in terms of slavery.

Hardly: "aren't we good, aren't we great,
"We'll sell you workers on the slate."

Possibly the closest you'll get is Kipling The White Man's Burden
And much of his work has been put to music at some point.

Cheers
Nigel


18 Sep 17 - 02:58 PM (#3877540)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,henryp

From Australia; 'The Convict's Lament on the Death of Captain Logan' which we now know as 'Moreton Bay'.

Like the Egyptians and ancient Hebrews
We were oppressed under Logan's yoke
Till a native black lying there in ambush
Did deal this tyrant his mortal stroke
My fellow prisoners be exhilarated
That all such monsters such a death may find
And when from bondage we are liberated
Our former sufferings will fade from mind


20 Sep 17 - 01:51 PM (#3877870)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: Teribus

Not knowing the song and with only this snippet to go from and assuming it is of an age:

"The captains of whalers are abolitionists
They go in for amalgamation;
A nigger or a Portuguese is treated like a man
But Americans are dogs on Desolation."

Which sounds, depressingly, exactly like the kind of nonsense you hear being whinged by racist, whites-first types in 2017! - Guest matt Milton

I think the meaning is very plain and totally at odds with:

"the verse given is clearly implying that the captains are snowflakes/libtards/leftists who are trying to destroy America by favouring the lesser races at the expense the poor oppressed Whites.

When was the song "Desolation" written?

No-one in their right mind would ever describe the Captain or Master of any sailing ship as a "snowflake/libtard/leftist. Onboard their vessel at sea as authorities they were second only to God.

The meaning of the verse quoted?

What was the purpose of a Whaling Ship? Rhetorical question - The ship existed to make money for its owner, the Captain and the crew, in that order.

Who went to sea in the days of sail? Rhetorical question - Those that HAD TO. - The Captains of ships struggled hard to crew them so they could not be fussy about who signed on that's the "amalgamationist" and "abolitionist" bits - anybody would do.

Who would the Captain and Officers respect most among those who made up the crew? Rhetorical question - Those who were experienced "whalers" (The Portuguese) and those who could work hardest without complaint (Slaves on loan?)

Why would "Americans" be treated like "dogs on Desolation"? Rhetorical question - They were the least experienced onboard a whaling ship, initially at the outset of the voyage they literally would be a waste of space and provisions, who knew nothing, and would not be able to contribute anything until such times as they had learnt the ropes.

Absolutely nothing to do with destroying anything.

Slaving songs: Congo River would be one.


21 Sep 17 - 01:56 AM (#3877923)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST

Ugh this thread is lefty crap

Dont forget the brits ended the slave trade (except in the muslim world)

Just so we're clear on facts here


21 Sep 17 - 04:58 AM (#3877938)
Subject: RE: Black experience/ Slave trade
From: GUEST,matt milton

Chris, when you said "I was looking for something in the British tradition, and not necessarily just about slaving. The evidence looks thin on the ground but thanks for the helpful pointers"...
did you look at the broadsides linked to on the Oxford Bodleian collection? Quite a few addressing slavery, all of them British.

I'd strongly recommend anyone tempted to engage with two of the more recent comments above not to bother.