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Hamborger Veermaster

28 Nov 20 - 10:40 AM (#4081206)
Subject: Hamborger Veermaster
From: GUEST,saulgoldie

So I smoke a pipe tobacco called "Hamborger Veermaster." Curious, I looked it up on the Web to investigate the meaning. Turns out that it is a sailing ship. AND...there is a song!

Hamborger Veermaster

Did anyone ever hear of this?


28 Nov 20 - 11:56 AM (#4081217)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: Snuffy

Blow, boys, blow, for Californ-i-o;
There's plenty of gold, so I've been told,
On the banks of Sacramento

I first heard it at an international youth camp in Alsace back in the summer of 1964 while the world teetered on the verge of annihilation over the Gulf of TonKin incident.

28 Nov 20 - 01:02 PM (#4081225)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: Reinhard

See the 2011 posting ADD: Hamborger Veermaster (Banks of the Sacramento).

28 Nov 20 - 01:03 PM (#4081226)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: leeneia

To answer your question, no, I've never heard of Freddy and of Hamborger Veermaster.

But I have heard the song about California - I remember hearing it in childhood. For some reason, the state is pronounced Cal-i-FORN-eye-oh. (no EE oh, as in the video). And it should be "on the banks of THE Sacramento" because the Sacramento referred to is a river, where one looks for placer gold.

Now, is Hamborger Veermaster Dutch, German or some other language? Where does the pipe tobacco come from?

28 Nov 20 - 01:27 PM (#4081230)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: GUEST,Grishka

"Banks of Sacramento" is a well-known chantey in English language. The first verse usually begins "A bully ship and a bully crew"; I remember a rarer version starting "Around Cape Horn in the months of snow", which seems to describe the itinerary from England to California. Genuine gold rushers tend to have little knowledge of geography.

The Hamburger lyrics, apparently a parody or joke song from the 20th century, is in a macaronic hybrid of Hamburg Low German (Plattdeutsch) and English. "Blow, boys, blow!" – haha!

The tune in most Youtube renderings is slightly altered, but easily recognizable.

28 Nov 20 - 02:27 PM (#4081238)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: Reinhard

Leeneia, Freddy Quinn was in the early 1960s one of the best selling German singers with several #1 hits, specialising in romantic sailor songs.

28 Nov 20 - 03:15 PM (#4081239)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: Joe Offer

Hmm. I don't know of any places on the Sacramento River where there was placer mining - all the mining took place on the tributaries of the Sacramento, like the North Fork American that goes near my home. There was a confluence of many mountain streams with the Sacramento north of Redding - the Sacramento might have been a good place for placer mining upstream from that confluence (which is now under the surface of Lake Shasta.
And there really are no "Banks of the Sacramento" any more. Levees line the river from Lake Shasta to San Pablo Bay, a distance of some 200 miles. Before the levees were built, the river would flood the Central Valley almost every year, making a paradise for waterfowl (and malaria-bearing mosquitoes).


29 Nov 20 - 09:16 AM (#4081301)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: GUEST,Susanne (skw)

I grew up with that song, being born near Hamburg, and still like to sing it! I also grew up speaking Plattdeutsch, but have almost no one left to speak it with. Yes, and I do remember Freddy Quinn - seems, he is still alive and turned 89 two months ago.

29 Nov 20 - 01:16 PM (#4081320)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: leeneia

Joe, you're probably right, but

"There's plenty of gold so I've been told
on the banks of the various tributaries of the Sacramento"

doesn't scan.

30 Nov 20 - 07:56 AM (#4081405)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: GUEST,saulgoldie

The tobacco comes from Germany. The Dan Tobacco Company.

And now I am going to have to learn the song!


03 Dec 20 - 04:09 AM (#4081745)
Subject: RE: Hamborger Veermaster
From: Gibb Sahib

Have sung the song many times AND smoked a tin of the tobacco. I prefer "Balkan" style tobaccos though ;)
It's rare, in my experience, to hear a rendition of the song that isn't dressed up with stringed instruments and/or the modern German/Dutch "choir" treatment, so as an alternative I sing in more "traditional" chanty style, at slower, windlass tempo.