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Child-safe Sea Chanties

30 Mar 06 - 01:41 AM (#1706295)
Subject: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Musique174

So in my current job as Education Officer on the tall ship Lady Washington, I get to work with school kids every day. In fact it says in my job description that I am to teach the kids a sea chantey. Only on problem with this, has to be rather child-safe, which knock out a number. The Job Manual has these songs listed, but to tell you the truth, I am getting REALLY tired of these songs and could use some suggestions:
John Kanakanaka
South Australia
Bully in the Alley
Sam's gone away
Essiquibo River
Nelson's Blood (Roll the old chariot along)
A long time ago
Pay me my money down

30 Mar 06 - 01:54 AM (#1706300)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Barry Finn

My daughter, while in pre-school was asked to stop singing at circle time. She started "Those Balitmore whores with purple drawers comes waltzing down the alley,,,, Way, haul away, we'll haul away for Rosie" & was dicouraged from finishing. I told her there's nothing wrong with singing the song. Look at the data base in the DT enter @sailor into the search space & that'll bring you up more than you'll need. See you at Mystic. I'll keep a weather eye out for ya.
Happy Hunting

30 Mar 06 - 02:57 AM (#1706328)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Richard Bridge

Oh dear, which comes first, political correctness or history?

30 Mar 06 - 03:57 AM (#1706348)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Crystal

Bold Riley is probably pretty safe, so is General Taylor (Unless we can't mention death to kids any more!). I think that the Keel Row is a sort of Chanty too!

30 Mar 06 - 04:01 AM (#1706349)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,gsgsg


30 Mar 06 - 04:12 AM (#1706357)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Emma B

Couple of quotes about shanties -

Many a Chantyman was prized in spite of his poor voice becoause of his improvisations. Poor doggerel they were mostly and often very lewd and filthy, but they gave the knowing and appreciative shipmates, who roared the refrain, much opportunity for laughter
Frank T Bullen "Songs of Sea Labour" was jovial, forthright almost wholesome obscenity..
Joanna C Colcord "Songs of American Sailormen"

Good luck with your quest :)

30 Mar 06 - 05:08 AM (#1706379)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dave the Gnome

We learned 'What shall we do with a drunken sailor' and 'Donkey riding' at school.

Anything collected by Cecil Sharpe has probably been sanitised.

Any help?


Dave the Gnome

30 Mar 06 - 06:27 AM (#1706430)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Ernest

What do you mean by "child-safe", Musique174?
I doubt that there is any song we didn`t change ourselves when we were kids...
...and we still do - it is called zhe folk process...


P.S.: non scholae, sed vitae discimus

30 Mar 06 - 08:39 AM (#1706511)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,guest

My daughter, who is 11, sings a number of sea chanties, both in private and in public. We always talk about whether the songs are "suitable for children" and she keeps the more risque ones to herself. At a recent young people's workshop/concert she taught her group members a version of "Away Rio" that went over well.

One of my sons, when he was very small, observed that "you can't say shockin' language, not allowed to say shockin' language, but it's okay to sing shockin' language songs".....

30 Mar 06 - 08:39 AM (#1706512)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,Grab

One that I've just learnt, "Let the bullgine run", is child-safe *and* of American origin. Actually originally Irish, then borrowed by black slaves, then by railroad workers, then by sailors (likely via dockers), according to resources on the web.


30 Mar 06 - 09:05 AM (#1706540)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: sciencegeek

There are plenty of shanties and foc'sle songs out there that aren't too risque.

I'd suggest that you go onto or ebay and do a search on sea music and shanties - there are plenty of reasonably priced CDs out there. Ater listening, you'll find a number of songs that suit you and then you learn the words or goggle for the lyrics.

Don't be afraid to make a few changes if there's a word or two that might not be PC. Better the kids fall in love with the music - if they do, they'll look for more later on and can make up their own minds as to what they want to sing. You might want to hold off on Oscar Brand's "Bawdy Sea Shanties". Though that was a favorite of mine and my mom back in the sixties. We would check it out at our public library every other week. boy, have times changed.

30 Mar 06 - 09:06 AM (#1706542)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Richard Bridge

Whip Jamboree, so long as you use the "oat-cakes" chorus
Sally Brown, but you'd better use the "figure" line (but you'd better omit the verse about "kneading duff")
Fire Down Below, so long as you stick to the Hugill verses
John Dameray
John Cherokee so far as I recall
Pump or Die

30 Mar 06 - 10:04 AM (#1706591)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,JohnB

They are all child safe, it's the parents you have to worry about.
If they are old enough to sail the ship, they already know all the dirty words, just not the order you use them in.

30 Mar 06 - 11:47 AM (#1706680)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Chanteyranger

Hi, Musique -
Many chanteys can be made child-safe by excluding the risque verses. You won't be stuck with the same ones you're getting sick of. Do you have Stan Hugill's "Shanties from the Seven Seas" or Mystic Seaport's "Songs of the Sailors?" Also, former Hyde Street Pier chantey sing ranger Revell Carr and former school teacher Margaret Batt produced a book of traditional chanteys specifically for schools. let me know if interested.


30 Mar 06 - 12:36 PM (#1706736)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: EBarnacle

Oscar's Bawdy Sea Chanteys have been so thoroughly sanitized, they are probably safe for kindergarten...especially the Clean Song.

30 Mar 06 - 01:03 PM (#1706767)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

All sea songs can be tempered for your audience, I can give you examples of words that can be used in place of both Bawdy and contentious ones, if you have a song you want censored ( saving the most obviously too bawdy) send it to me i'll change the lyrics for you.

Yours, Aye. Dave

30 Mar 06 - 01:15 PM (#1706784)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Gorgeous Gary

Seconding Dave the Gnome, I believe I learned "Drunken Sailor" either at school or at summer day camp. For that matter, I distinctly recall learning a version of "Golden Vanity", as early as 3rd or 4th grade.

-- Gary

30 Mar 06 - 01:37 PM (#1706809)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dan Schatz

I did a library gig like this once; I'm trying to remember what I ended up singing. "Captain Kidd" and "High Barbary" were among them, even though they aren't strictly speaking chanties. But every kid likes a good pirate song. Also a version of "Poor Old Horse" (without the "son of a whore" line, "Sam's Gone Away," "Come Along Down," "One Hundred Years on the Eastern Shore" and especially "Paddy Doyles Boots." (The kids love singing "YAH!" at the top of their lungs.)

I think sea chanties are an especially good form of folk music for kids - they're energetic, easy to sing on, educational and fun. The fact that many of them are at least in part obscene, racist, sexist or otherwise patently offensive is a minor detail. At schools and libraries we start with the expurgated versions. They can learn the whole story later on.

Musique174, are you familiar with Andrea Aldridge? At least at one time she was very involved in the Lady Washington and wrote a beautiful song, "Outward Bound," about the ship.

Dan Schatz (about to become incommunicado for several days)

30 Mar 06 - 02:23 PM (#1706838)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Bat Goddess

We got in "trouble" at the Nottingham town show a couple years ago for singing "Paddy West" -- "her mate is a bastard, her bos'n's worse" -- ultra-Christian organizers probably noticed the word more than any children in the audience.

Somehow "her mate is the offspring of an unwed mother" doesn't quite hack it.

Laughed about it later with the town tax collector (and fiddle player) as we listed a whole bunch of things that couldn't be sung or played.


30 Mar 06 - 05:21 PM (#1706973)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Charley Noble


On "Paddy West" I occasionally sing "her mate is a BRUISER, the bosun's worse.

I have no major problem with dropping a verse or two, or substituting words, for younger audiences. Some of the shantymen did that as well when they were working on passenger-carrying tall ships.

I also remember the curious version of "Frigging in the Rigging" we used to sing when our old 40-foot ketch was tied up in some snobby place:

"Singing in the rigging,
Singing in the rigging,
Singing in the rigging,
There's nothing else to do!"

It was perfectly clean but we still had hysterics singing it, wondering who would blunder on a line first.

Now, back to the Lady Washington. Your old captain, Matt Moeller, had some neat songs he put together. You might look up his CD titled REACHING HOME.

You could also harvest some neat songs off my website, although you may want to steer clear of the "Old She-Crab": click here and search for lyrics!

Introduce yourself at Mystic.

Charley Noble
Roll & Go

30 Mar 06 - 07:25 PM (#1707054)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: cool hand Tom

Just seems to me wrapping children in cotton wool does not help anything.As i have said in another thread. i had a couisn called Luke who was never allowed to play with guns bad words etc.When he turned 18 after his obsesion with weapons,which of course he never had the toys to do what kids do,he stabbed someone to death,report on him was,he was never allowed to explore with things kids like to do.Etc toy guns,so he grew up fascinated with them,

    Just my point Tom

30 Mar 06 - 07:46 PM (#1707073)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Desert Dancer

Try this previous thread on the topic.

~ Becky in Tucson

30 Mar 06 - 08:54 PM (#1707112)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Charley Noble

Cool Hand Tom-

Oh, there are always questions of which verses are appropriate to sing, and knowing who you are singing them to should play a role in that. One memorable program we did once was for about 100 ten-year olds at their school. They all got into one of our grossest songs called "Dramamine" and at the end of the concert issued out the door toward the cafeteria chanting "You'll up an' chuck your roast beef sandwich!" Well, there probably wasn't any permanent harm done and we were impressed with their enthusiasm and fervor.

Your Cousin Luke probably had more problems than being deprived of playing with guns or saying bad words. But I hope you're not suggesting that six-year olds be issued a loaded weapon on their first day of school, along with a list of bad words to learn.

Charley Noble

30 Mar 06 - 09:44 PM (#1707133)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Willie-O

Got in trouble once by having a classful of fifth-graders make up their own verses to "Drunken Sailor". Don't try it. "What do you do with a nasty teacher?"

Social workers were called in--not completely without justification-- to interview one or two of the kids who came up with particularly disturbing concepts, suggesting that they were familiar with abuse.

True story.


30 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM (#1707163)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,Julia

After you introduce the tradition with edited versions, continue by getting the kids to make up their own verses using a traditional melody, perhaps for work they find tiresome. We once had a class do "math seat work" chanties. Garbage removal or room-cleaning are also popular. If you want to demo some actual jobs, putting them to work with a hawser and block & tackle really helps them "get it". We have also improvised a capstan with some broomsticks stuck into a chair with a rope tied to one of the legs and a large kid as the "anchor". Make friends with the janitor first...

I don't see why they need to hear the obscene or objectionable verses. Historically, most kids would never have heard these. Only kids on board a ship or urchins at the dockside, and they would have been relatively "enlightened".

Most important thing is to convey the spirit of the tradition

Bst- Julia

30 Mar 06 - 11:54 PM (#1707211)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Stilly River Sage

I don't know that most kids wouldn't have heard those--kids who were around sea chanteys probably did hear them--I certainly did!

I was thinking of "Paddy West" when I started reading this, but had forgotten that description of the crew. My Dad sang many of these songs to us as children. I remember getting on the Fauntleroy ferry in the family station wagon and my sister, aged four, piped up when a deckhand walked past her open window "Is that the dirty little cabin boy?" (Poor guy may have been puzzled if he heard her, and us, because the question was met with gales of laughter!)

There are lots of maritime songs. You could do a pretty good version of Eddystone Light and I don't think you have to go into a discussion of biology to get a laugh out of the "he slept with a mermaid one fine night" and resulting progeny verse. The Mermaid would work--they all die, but it isn't suggestive that I recall. I had a fairly liberal childhood, as have my children, so we aren't alarmed about a lot of the stuff that some of the church folks might find too suggestive.

There are silly songs for small children like "There's a hole in the bottom of the sea" that isn't a chantey but is fun.

As mentioned above, "Golden Vanity" is a wonderful little song, and "High Barbary." They're just plain fun to sing.

Songs go through my head as I consider this, and I glance over at my wall of records and recordings. Ed McCurdy, Richard Dyer-Bennett, Sam Hinton, there are lots of singers who did some sea songs or chanteys.

Of course, many more come to mind that you probably couldn't sing. And all of them are a jumble--I'll have to pull out a few albums and tapes and give them a listen.


31 Mar 06 - 12:47 AM (#1707255)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,me

Jeesh, I wouldn't want anyone singing the song I know that mentions the "dirty little cabin boy" to four-year-olds. Or five-year-olds either, for that matter.

31 Mar 06 - 01:34 PM (#1707672)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Stilly River Sage

We'll have to agree to disagree about this one! I think in the name of "protection" Americans tend to shelter their children from far too much for too long. And who do we think we're fooling? They hear it anyway, just not from you, and not in the way you might describe it. Music and humor are great teaching tools.


31 Mar 06 - 01:38 PM (#1707676)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Richard Bridge

Hells' Bells my daughter was singing the full version of Whip Jamboree to folk clubs by the age of 8, and nothing wrong with her. Smashing kid and smashing singer.

31 Mar 06 - 01:58 PM (#1707691)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: ranger1

Have you heard the way kids talk on their way to school these days? Shanties are mild by comparison to some middle school conversations I've heard! In my limited experience, it seems that it's usually the adults that are shocked and the kids don't really pay attention until they notice the adults being horrified.

31 Mar 06 - 02:45 PM (#1707730)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,Julia

Hi Ranger- they don't talk that way in class..

In the context of Musique's (and others') educational activities with shanties, the adults are the ones who are writing the check...

Unfortunately, if one is presenting these songs in a public /"professional" context, one must err on the side of discretion. There is nothing wrong with that.

As I said before, the key when dealing with such a situation is to present the tradition with integrity regarding the historical context. Not ALL the verses are objectionable, and the sailors never sang ALL the verses at any one time. So sing the socially acceptable ones to kids at the school gig and save the raunchy ones for the pub. If there happen to be kids at the pub, then good on 'em. They'll take the songs back to school and sing them to their friends and the tradition will live.

By the way, sailors did NOT historically sing shanties for fun while sitting around. Put the little buggers to work and they'll get the idea.

cheers- Julia

31 Mar 06 - 05:18 PM (#1707855)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,me

Um, people, let's get off our high-horses here - we're not talking about Sex Education; we're talking about dirty songs. If you want to teach them to your kids and discuss them and have your kids singing them in public, that's your business I guess, but the self-righteous condescension is a little irksome. Personally, I wouldn't want to deny my kids the sinful pleasure of learning them from some greasy hood in the schoolyard and imagining how shocked the strait-laced adults of the world would be if they only knew. Actually, my own kids are grown-up now; they somehow made it into fairly-healthy adulthood without ever hearing dear old dad sing about the cabin boy who "put pieces of glass inside his ass to circumcise the skipper". And they'll have to struggle into old age bereft of the benefit of that experience, I'm afraid.

31 Mar 06 - 06:20 PM (#1707888)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: McGrath of Harlow

Stan Hugill used to point out that it was common practice to vary the words to avoid upsetting any listeners, for example lady passengers, or people on the dockside who might complain. Different sets of verses were sometimes used in port and out at sea for those kind of reasons. Shantymen were pretty sharp lads about things like that.

31 Mar 06 - 06:58 PM (#1707905)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Stilly River Sage

Well this is Mudcat, and we're bound to support the liberal education of our children! I make a point not to flinch when my children candidly discuss things I was wondering if I should bring it up because they really need to know them. Their candor is their salvation--being able to understand the world around them, to appreciate and to evaluate situations. It's much easier to address topics as they come along than trying to set a time when you can sit down and bring up a difficult topic. So dirty songs are fine with me--I can tell them what I think about it.

There was a modern one that was a mix of rap and reggae that played on the radio about six or seven years ago, and the first time I listened to the words it was on the kids' favorite station and we were all in the truck. I burst out laughing, turned around and looked at the kids, and we all laughed, because it was clear we ALL understood what it was about. That is a great point from which to make a remark or two to give them some guidance. I remember several times when my Dad explained what the meanings of his songs to us.

We also got to stay up late and watch the Smothers Brothers and That was the Week that Was. (And I just looked it up--talk about good music--Cleo Laine was on it.)


31 Mar 06 - 07:10 PM (#1707913)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Barry Finn

Sailors sang what they pleased when they pleased. Out of earshot they could be quite crude within earshot of women children or passangers they would tend to tone it down. An old cape horner, George Herbert (RIP) that I met yrs ago sang what he said was a very crude song but that he was a "very crude fellow", so. I thought his crude songs fairly mild & that he wasn't too crude at all. But when women & children were around he'd even tone it down more than what I'd consider pretty mild. Hugill states as others do, that while within hearing range of passangers sailors would be apt not to sing cruder versions of the songs. I don't know weither or not it was a unwritten understanding among themselves or if it was known to displease the captain & his sense of rightousness in the mist of gentlemen & women who'd happen to be onboard, for some captains could out do the sailors once they've all left the shore behind.
That being said I don't know why one wouldn't just use there own judgement & if you need to field complaints, deal with it as the shit hits the fan. You may not be asked to sing again or you may be applauded for not being politcialy correct but for being right.

31 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM (#1707925)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: cool hand Tom

Guest ME
          I would very much hope that my children would not no what dirty little cabin boys where at 4 or 5 ,but i suspect as they get to a certain age things would click.Even some regular soaps that i dont watch but i know the kids do with there mother,has Homosexuality in it,thing is to educate rather than hide away.My father had a Gay pal when i was young,being young it never bothered me, and this open
wisdom i pass on to my kids.

       Regards Tom

31 Mar 06 - 09:47 PM (#1707934)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,me

Stilly & cool hand - No offense, but you've completely missed the point of what I was saying. Oh, well. I don't have any particular interest in pursuing the issue.

31 Mar 06 - 10:25 PM (#1707957)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Eventually, most everyone becomes a whore for something, someone, someplace.


sorry for your ignorance, sorry for the children, sorry for the parents - that prostituted you. We already know the status of the school-board. Which is worse the Hooker, the John, or the Pimp?

31 Mar 06 - 10:58 PM (#1707974)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

I think you have missed the point Guest Me. Most people on here would cater the songs to their audience. However, when you are with adults and make it clear you are singing the songs in their original format, you must expect to hear profanity and politically incorrect words. If that will offend some people they should leave the room and realise thigs were different in the "old days".

31 Mar 06 - 11:14 PM (#1707982)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Stilly River Sage

we're not talking about Sex Education; we're talking about dirty songs.

Jeesh, I wouldn't want anyone singing the song I know that mentions the "dirty little cabin boy" to four-year-olds. Or five-year-olds either, for that matter.

The one missing the point was you, Guest,"me." We ARE talking about sex education, we're talking about a general understanding of life and humor and the stuff people talk and sing about and how it may or may not have anything to do with their own lives. And when children should be exposed to it. The kind of stuff going on in these songs is mature and not all of it is appropriate for all children. But some are so little they won't understand any of it, others are so young it will go right over their heads, and by the time they begin to get an idea of what the songs are about, it doesn't hurt to have an open dialog established with your children and let them understand what it is about or where you stand on the matter, if in fact you feel the need to take a stand of some sort.


01 Apr 06 - 12:07 AM (#1707993)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,me

I've stated I have no interest in pursuing this issue, but I would like as a courtesy to acknowledge those who have addressed me: Yes, I've read your posts. Thank you for your futile attempts to lift me from the dark depths of ignorance in which I dwell. I'd love to stay and chat, but duty calls - sorry.

01 Apr 06 - 10:03 PM (#1708570)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Stilly River Sage

Well, whoever that dense guest is, they at least come back to read the responses to their oddball posts. Too bad it doesn't sink in.


01 Apr 06 - 10:51 PM (#1708599)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: JWB

In case Musique174 is still looking for chanteys for kids, here are some more suggestions:
Cape Cod Girls
Hieland Laddie
Spanish Ladies
Whaling Johnnie
Roll the Woodpile Down
One More Day
Randy Dandy Oh
Rueben Ranzo
Away Rio

Sing 'em like you mean 'em.


06 May 06 - 02:18 PM (#1734137)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Melani

As I recall, the Lady Washington has fairly ridiculous requirements for kid chanteys. When I was on board several years ago, we asked what the standards were for school groups and were told, "No bad words, no drinking, and no splicing Sally Brown." Well, that pretty much lets out everything sailors ever did.(Or do.) The first mate did a version of "Paddy Lay Back" where instead of getting paralytic drunk on his advance, he went out and bought a new pair of pants.

I would just go ahead and sing what you want, leaving out or changing bad words and obvious sex references. The ban on meantioning drinking makes the whole thing virtually impossible, so just assume that 4th graders know alcohol exists and people sometimes drink it. Besides, they love the story about "Nelson's Blood!"

There is also a Lady Washington songbook, but I don't think everything in it is considered kid-safe, especially "Coming Down With Old VD."

06 May 06 - 02:41 PM (#1734149)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

Not sure if it is in the DT but here is one the kids all love.


From Yarmouth Harbour we set sail
The wind was blowin' the devil of a gale
All our ring tails set and our bafflin' was in peak
And our dolphin striker is a-ploughin' up the deep

With a big bow-wow
Tow row row
Fol dee rol dee ride all day

Our captain comes up from down below
He looks aloft and he looks alow
He looks alow and he looks aloft
Sayin' coil those ropes boys, fore and aft

Then back to his cabin he quickly crawls
Unto his steward he loudly calls
Go bring me a glass that will make me cough
For it's better weather here than it is up aloft

It's we poor sailors standin' on the deck
With the blasted rain pourin' down our necks
Not a drop of grog will he to us afford
But he damns our eyes with every other word

Now there's one thing we sailors crave
For him to find a watery grave
We'll shove him down in a dark deep hole
Where the sharks will have his body, and the devil take his soul

06 May 06 - 08:14 PM (#1734197)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Barry Finn

Not nit-picking just trying to clear up, so it's more understandable.
The above song, "Big Bow Wow" or "Boston Harbor" the line should read;

"With our ring-tail set abft the mizzen peak".

Abft - aft, after, towards the stern

Peak - outer end of the gaff boom or the upper corner of a gaff sail.

Mizzen - The after most sail on a vessel

Ringtail - a small sail set abaft a mizzen sail or a spanker(sail) usually only set in light winds.

So the ringtail is a sail that is set even father aft then the spanker or mizzen (a fore & aft sail, not a square sail) from the end of the gaff boom at the peak & from the clew or foot (bottom outer most corner of a sail) of studding boom (an extention of the mizzen or spanker boom) that's sometimes extended from the mizzen or spanker boom (lower & last boom on a vessel). Sort of like the (portable) extending or studding yard on a squre rigger used to fly a studding sail or a stun'sa'l. Hope the explantion makes sense.

"Jinny keep your ringtail warm"


07 May 06 - 03:17 AM (#1734406)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Richard Bridge

AFAIK - from the signing of the Watersons recorded in the early 60s - it's

"Bing bow wow"

and "Rule Britannia rolling up the deep"

07 May 06 - 03:18 AM (#1734407)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Richard Bridge

Oh, and the Good Ship Venus is not a shanty.

And there is a huge difference between vulgarity or endorsement of antisocial behaviour for the sake of entertainment, on the one hand, and history on the other.

07 May 06 - 05:25 AM (#1734437)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Skipper Jack

I run shanty workshops for schools in my area. It is a simple matter to omit the bawdy verses and replace them with more "child-friendly" versions.

I give the children a brief history of the shanty and an idea of what life was like on board ship in those far off days and they tend to act it out when actually singing.

It's great if you have the relative props during the sessions such as a capstan. The children love heaving it around.
Their favourite shanty is "The Drunken Sailor."

I had a class who performed in the presence of the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their visit to Swansea a number of years ago.

07 May 06 - 01:13 PM (#1734576)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Charley Noble

I was thinking there's always "Rub-a-dub-dub" but then what were those three men doing in that tub?

I do truly wish people who started a thread like this would have the courtesy to occasionally acknowledge what is posted. Some of it seemed very helpful, not at all as sarcastic as my suggestion above. I must be losing patience with this topic.

Charley Noble

07 May 06 - 01:18 PM (#1734580)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,Friend of the Ancient Mariner

Jolly Roving Tar by Great Big Sea

Capo: 3rd fret

Intro: D G D A

D                  G
Ships may come and ships may go
    A                   D
As long as the sea does roll
D                      G
Each sailor lad just like his dad
    A                   D
He loves the flowing bowl
D               G
A trip ashore he does adore
       D                  A
With a girl who's nice and round
When the money's gone
It's the same old song
       A               D
Get up Jack John sit down

      D                     G
Come along, come along, You jolly brave boys,
       D                   A
There's lots of grog in the jar
       D               G
We'll plough the briny ocean
          A            D G D A
With the jolly roving tar

Jack comes in, it's then he'll steer
To some old boarding house
They'll welcome him with run and gin,
And feed him on pork scouse
He'll lend and spend and not offend
Till he's lying drunk on the ground
But when the moneys
gone it's the same old song
get up Jack, John sit down


Jackie then ahh then he'll sail
Bound out for Newfoundland
All the ladies fair in Placentia there
They love that sailor man.
He'll go to shore out on a tear
He'll buy some girl a gown.
But when the moneys gone
it's the same old song
get up Jack, John sit down


When Jack gets old and weatherbeat,
Too old to roam about,
They'll let him stop in some rum shop
Till eight bells calls him out.
Then he'll raise his eyes up to the skies,
Sayin' ``Boys, we're homeward bound.''
But when the moneys gone
it's the same old song
get up Jack, John sit down

Chorus (x2)

07 May 06 - 01:52 PM (#1734603)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: GUEST,thurg

Jolly Roving Tar is not "by" Great Big Sea - it is trad., as far as I know; at least, it long pre-dates them.

07 May 06 - 02:37 PM (#1734641)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: curmudgeon

Jolly Roving Tar was collected by Frank and Anne Warner from Lena Bourne Fish of Jaffrey NH.

07 May 06 - 05:07 PM (#1734749)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Charley Noble


I seem to remember some old Mudcat thread where "Jolly Roving Tar" was even traced back to a music hall song. The song lost a couple of superfluous verses shipping out to sea and by the time Frank and Ann Warner collected it back ashore the song was nicely folk-processed.

No doubt Great Big Sea does a great job leading it, and they may have processed it a bit more, but I would hope they would credit the Warners for collecting the song, and making it available to the folk music community. I still have one of Frank's albums where he is singing this song with his usual great gusto!

Charley Noble

07 May 06 - 07:16 PM (#1734855)
Subject: RE: Child-safe Sea Chanties
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

Yeah it's a traditional song, my friend was giving you the version he learned off the group Great Big Sea.