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Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Leggi in italiano

Paddy Lay Back is a kilometer sea shanty, variant wedge, sung by sailors both as a recreational song and as a song to the winch to raise the anchor (capstan shanty).

Stan Hugill in his “Shanties from the Seven Seas”, testifies a long version with about twenty stanzas (see), here only those sung by himself for the album ” “Sea Songs: Newport, Rhode Island- Songs from the Age of Sail”, 1980: “It was both a forebitter and a capstan song and a very popular one too, especially in Liverpool ships. […] It is a fairly old song dating back to the Mobile cotton hoosiers and has two normal forms: one with an eight-line verse – this was the forebitter form; and the second with a four-line verse – the usual shanty pattern. Doerflinger gives a two-line verse pattern as the shanty – a rather unusual form, and further on in his book he gives the forebitter with both four- and eight-line verses. He gives the title of the shanty as Paddy, Get Back and both his versions of the forebitter as Mainsail Haul. Shay, Sampson and Bone all suggest that it was a fairly modern sea-song and give no indication that any form was sung as a shanty, but all my sailing-ship acquaintances always referred to it as a shanty, and it was certainly sung in the Liverpool-New York Packets as such – at least the four-line verse form. […] Verses from 11 onwards [of the 19 verses given, incl. v. 3, lines 1-4 above] are fairly modern and nothing to do with the Packet Ship seamen, but with the chorus of ‘For we’re bound for Vallaparaiser round the Horn’ are what were sung by Liverpool seamen engaged in the West Coast Guano Trade.” (Stan Hugill)
(all the strings except III)
Stan Hugill

Nils BrownAssassin’s Creed Rogue   (I, II, III, V, VI)

I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord (Christ) I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
‘Bout ship’s stations, boys,
be handy (be handy)! (2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm.
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’ (5),
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.
IV
Now some of our fellers had bin drinkin’,
An’ I meself wuz heavy on the booze;
An’ I wuz on me ol’ sea-chest a-thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.
V
I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
An’ knew I wuz outward bound again;
When I heard a voice a-bawlin’ (calling) at the door,
‘Lay aft, men, an’ answer to yer names!’
VI
‘Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw you,
Such an ugly bunch I’d niver seen afore;
For there wuz a bum an’ stiff from every quarter,
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick an’ sore.
VII
There wuz Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrosst from France;
An’ most o’ ‘em couldn’t speak a word o’ English,
But answered to the name of ‘Month’s Advance’.
VIII
I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ‘twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.
IX
So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox

NOTES
1) pawl – short bar of metal at the foot of a capstan or close to the barrel of a windlass which engage a serrated base so as to prevent the capstan or windlass ‘walking back’. […] The clanking of the pawls as the anchor cable was hove in was the only musical accompaniment a shanty ever had! (Hugill, Shanties 414)
2)  it is a typical expression in maritime songs
3) limey – The origin of the Yanks calling English sailors ‘Limejuicers’ […] was the daily issuing of limejuice to British crews when they had been a certain number of days at sea, to prevent scurvy, according to the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act (Hugill, Shanties 54)
4) the sailor has spent all the advance on high-alcohol drinking
5) A storm-cone is a visual signalling device made of black-painted canvas designed to be hoisted on a mast – if apex upwards, a gale is expected from the North, if from the South, apex downward. The storm cone was devised by Rear Admiral Robert Fitzroy, former commander of HMS Beagle, head of a department of the Board of Trade known today simply as the Met Office, and inventor of weather forecasts.
“In 1860 he devised a system of issuing gale warnings by telegraph to the ports likely to be affected. The message contained of a list of places with the words:
‘North Cone’ or ‘South Cone’ – for northerly or southerly gales respectively
‘Drum’  – for when further gales were expected,
Drum and North/South Cone’ – for particularly heavy gales or storms. ” (from herei) (see more)

FOLK VERSION: Valparaiso Round the Horn

For his title the song has become a traditional Irish song, a popular drinking song, connected to equally popular jigs (eg Irish washer woman)! Also known as “The Liverpool song” and “Valparaiso Round the Horn”. Among the favorite pirate song of course!

The Wolfe Tones from “Let The People Sing” 1972 make a folk version that has become the standard of a classic irish drinking song
The Irish Rovers live
Sons Of Erin

I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
About ships for England boys be handy(2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser
‘round the Horn! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey barque (3) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (4)
III
There were Frenchmen, there were Germans, there were Russians
And there was Jolly Jacques came just across from France
And not one of them could speak a word of English
But they’d answer to the name of Bill or Dan
IV
I woke up in the morning sick and sore (5)
I wished I’d never sailed away again
Then a voice it came thundering thru’ the floor
Get up and pay attention to your name
V
I wish that I was in the Jolly Sailor (6)
With Molly or with Kitty on me knee
Now I see most any men are sailors
And with me flipper I wipe away my tears

NOTES
1) see above
2) or Bout ship’s stations, boys
3) see above
4) see above
5) a euphemism to describe the hangover
6) the name varies at the discretion of the singer

 LINK
http://www.folkways.si.edu/the-focsle-singers/paddy-lay-back/american-folk-celtic/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/PaddyLayBack/hugill.html
https://maritime.org/chanteys/paddy-lay-back.htm
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/12/36-paddy-lay-back.html
http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/p/paddylay.html

We’ll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!

Leggi in italiano

“We’ll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!”, the title of a popular albeit short sea shanty, it means much more than its literal translation.

IS PADDY DOYLE  A BOARDING MASTER..

According to Stan Hugill, Paddy Doyle is the prototype of the boarding masters: Joanna Colcord misidentifies him with Paddy West. (see first part)

Boarding houses are pensions for sailors, present in every large sea port. “They are held by boarding masters, of dubious reputation, that provide ” accommodation and boarding “. Often they welcome the sailors “on credit.” On the advance received by the boarders at the time of enrollment, they refer to food and lodging, and with the rest they provide their clothing and equipment of poor quality “. (Italo Ottonello).

Sailors then usually purchased a sea bag with dungarees, oilskins, sea boots, belt, sheath, knife and a pound of tobacco from the boarding master.
So the first month (or the first months depending on the advance) the sailor works to pay the boarding master, “We’ll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!”

a typical boarding house of Liverpool

OR A COBBLER?

According to other interpretations Paddy Doyle was a good Liverpool shoemaker “known to all the “packet rats”* sailing out of that port for the excellency of his sea-boots, and beloved for his readiness to trust any of the boys for the price of a pair when they were outward bound across “the big pond.” (Fred H. Buryeson)
* slang term for sailors

SEA SHANTY

Perfect shanty for short haulers, used expressly to collect the sails on the yard or to tighten them.

The song is short because the work does not last long. Thus wrote A.L. Lloyd “This is one of the few shanties reserved for bunting the fore or mainsail. Men aloft, furling the sail, would bunch the canvas in their hands till it formed a long bundle, the ‘bunt’. To lift the bunt on to the yard, in order to lash it into position, required a strong heave. Bunt shanties differ from others in that they employed fewer voices, and were sung in chorus throughout. Paddy Doyle, the villain of this shanty, was a Liverpool boarding house keeper.” and he continues in another comment The men stand aloft on foot-ropes and, leaning over the yard, the grab the bunched-up sail and try to heave the ‘sausage’ of canvas on to the yard, preparatory to lashing it in a furled position. The big heave usually comes on the last word of the verse, sometimes being sung as ‘Pay Paddy Doyle his his hup!’ But if the canvas was wet and heavy, and several attempts were going to be needed before the sail was bunted

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag

The Clancy Brothers&Tommy Makem

Paul Clayton who adds the verse  “For the crusty old man on the poop”

To me Way-ay-ay yah!(1)
We’ll pay Paddy Doyle(2) for his boots!
We’ll all drink whiskey(3) and gin!
We’ll all shave under the chin!
We’ll all throw mud at the cook(4)!
The dirty ol’ man’s on the poop! (5)
We’ll bouse (6) her up and be done!
We’ll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots! (7)

NOTES
1) a non sense line than other versions such as “Yes (yeo), aye, and we’ll haul, aye”. The strongest accent falls on the last syllable of the verse that corresponds to the tear-off maneuver for hoisting a sail
2) In other versions are used more sea terms and inherent to the sailor work: We’ll tauten the bunt, and we’ll be furl, aye; We’ll bunt up the sail with a fling, aye ; We’ll skin the ol’ rabbit an’ haul, aye.
3) or brandy
4) figure of speech to insult or talk badly
5) poop means both stern-aft and shit
6) bouse= nautical term its meanings: 1) To haul in using block and tackle. 2) To secure something by wrapping with small stuff. 3) To haul the anchor horizontal and secure it so that it is clear of the bow wave.In the context the reference is to the sail that is collected in a ‘bunt’, it is raised to fix it to the yard
7)In the context of the shanty the sailor complains of food and discipline and also having to pay Paddy Doyle for his poor equipment!

LINK
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/paddyd.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/paddydoyle.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=135246
http://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/WGHerdman.html

Paddy West sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

A nineteenth-century rogue gallery of the sea inevitably includes also boarding house keeper (boarding masters) who were at the same time owners of pensions for sailors, to whom they provided lodging and boarding.
Most of them “encouraged” the sailor who had just landed with a pocket full of wages,lodging and feeding him in his propensity to drink with a lot of poor whiskey. After a couple of weeks of treatment the victim had run out of money and had to accept as soon as possible to embark again; at the time of signing the sailor received an advance equal to three months of pay in the form of promissory notes and our letch bought them at a discounted price, usually forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind: it was the sailor in fact to have to buy the necessary personal gear for the job and obviously the master of boarding was in league with the supplier and the value of the goods had doubled. The sailor was so double-plucked, upon arrival and departure!
But the most notorious names such as Rapper Brown, Shanghai Brown, Jack Ratcliff or Jackie Brown were scoundrels who hired some thieves or whores to steal from sailors just landed, taking advantage of their drunkenness, after which their gang took sailors back on board unconscious and the boarding master pocketed their advance.
This fraudulent enlistment was called shanghaiing and was mainly practiced in the north-west of the United States. The men who ran this “men’s trade” were called “crimps” and had no qualms to drug the beer of the victim with laudanum.

The authorities on the other hand were willing to turn a blind eye, because the mercantile companies needed to have sailors always available for the hardest work (like the whaling ship) and the most unfavorable routes as those of the Arctic seas.

PADDY WEST

A jesting forebitter / capstan shanty about a famous  boarding master of Liverpool, Stan Hugill says Padyy West (aka Paddy Doyle) was a “real live personage” in Great Howard Street.
Boarding houses are pensions for sailors, present in every large sea port. “They are held by boarding masters, of dubious reputation, which the sailors define as” recruiters “, who provide” indifferently lodging and boarding “. They often welcome sailors “on credit”. On the advance received by boarders at the time of enrollment, they recover for food and accommodation, and with the rest they provide them with poor quality clothing and equipment “. (Italo Ottonello)
Our Paddy to pocket a higher advance, he had invented an imaginative training school for sailors and transformed in a few days the novices in “able seamen”, so “Paddy Wester” is for a incapable sailor.

The British sailor’s uniform, regulated by the British Admiralty, dates back only to 1875, standardizing the uniform blue jacket and white trousers; even the commercial line companies were distinguished by the uniforms worn by the whole crew

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd from  Blow Boys Blow, 1957
A.L. Lloyd commented in the notes: “Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.
The sea literature of the nineteenth century is larded with tales of shanghaied seamen and corrupt boarding-house masters, who sent many a green hand to sea, swearing that they were experienced sailors. The most notorious was Paddy West, a Liverpool Irishman, who hat his fake seamen step across and old rope and walk around a cow’s horn so that he could claim that they had “crossed the line and rounded the horn.”

The tune is Tramps and Hawkers


I
Oh, as I was a-walkin’ down London Road (1),
I come to Paddy West’s house,
He gave me a feed of American hash and he called it Liverpool scouse.
He said, “There’s a ship that’s wantin’ hands,
and on her you quickly sign.
her mate is a bastard, the bosun’s worse, but she will suit you fine.”
Chorus (after each verse):
Take off your dungaree jackets (2)
and give yourselves a rest,

And we’ll think on them cold nor’westers that we had at Paddy West’s.
II
Well, when I’d had a feed, my boys,
the wind began to blow;
He sent me up in the attic,
the main-royal for to stow.
But when I got up in the attic,
no main-royal could I find,
So I turned around to the window
and I furled the window blind (3).
III
Now Paddy he piped all hands on deck, their stations for to man (4).
His wife stood in the doorway
with a bucket in her hand;
And Paddy sings out, “Now let ‘er rip (5)!” and she flung the water our way,
Sayin’, “Clew up (6) your fore t’gan’sl, boys, she’s takin’ in the spray!”
IV
Now seein’ we’re off to the south’ard, boys, to Frisco we was bound,
Old Paddy he called for a length of rope and he laid it on the ground.
And we all stepped over and back again, and he says to me, “That’s fine,
Now when they ask if you’ve been to sea, you can say you’ve crossed the Line (7)”
V
“Now there’s only one thing for you to do, before you sail away,
That’s to step around the table,
where the bullock’s horn do lay.
And when they ask you, ‘Were you ever at sea?’,
you can say, ’Ten times ‘round the Horn (8).’
And Bejesus, you’re a sailor since
the day that you was born.”
Last chorus:
Put on your dungaree jacket,
and walk out lookin’ your best,

And tell ‘em you’re an old sailor man that’s come from Paddy West’s.

NOTES
1) London Road was a busy street full of shops, and an important commercial center in a densely populated neighborhood of Liverpool

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) or rather the nineteenth-century equivalent of the blinds
4) man (v.) Old English mannian “to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men,” from man (n.). Meaning “to take up a designated position on a ship” is first recorded 1690s. Meaning “behave like a man, act with courage” is from c. 1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning. It was obviously the backyard where Paddy had a ship’s wheel rigged up
5) To let it go; to start it up. Often used as an imperative. “Her” is used in the same way that some ships and machines are referred to as female
6)  to furl a sail by gathering its clews up to the yard by means of clew lines

7) the Equator line
8) Cape Horn is the extreme point of Africa feared by sailors because of the strong winds

Dan Miller (featured Louis Killen & Mick Moloney) from Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea 1998, a similar text version but different melody

Paddy Doyle’s boots
Go to Sea once more
Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/paddywest.html
http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/paddywest.html
https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/WGHerdman.html
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/07/17-paddy-west.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=151768

Paddy West

Read the post in English

Una galleria ottocentesca di brutti ceffi del mare comprende inevitabilmente anche i procuratori d’imbarco (detti in inglese boarding master) che erano contemporaneamente proprietari di  pensioni per marinai, ai quali procuravano alloggio e imbarco.
La maggior parte di loro “incoraggiava” il marinaio appena sbarcato e con le tasche gonfie nella sua propensione verso il bere, tenendolo a pensione e foraggiandolo con del whisky scadente. Dopo un paio di settimane di trattamento il malcapitato aveva finito i soldi e doveva accettare al più presto d’imbarcarsi nuovamente, senonchè al momento della firma d’ingaggio il marinaio riceveva un anticipo pari a tre mesi di paga sotto forma di pagherò e il nostro marpione li comprava ad un valore scontato, di solito del quaranta per cento, con molta parte dell’importo fornito in natura:era il marinaio infatti a doversi comprare le attrezzature personali necessarie per il lavoro e ovviamente il maestro d’imbarco era in combutta con il fornitore e il valore della merce era raddoppiato. Il marinaio era così doppiamente spennato, all’arrivo e alla partenza!
Ma i nomi più famigerati come Rapper Brown, Shanghai Brown, Jack Ratcliff o Jackie Brown erano dei farabutti che assoldava dei prezzolati ladruncoli per derubare i marinai approfittando della loro ubriachezza o si mettevano in combutta con qualche puttana per spennare il marinaio incauto appena sbarcato, dopodichè li portavano nuovamente a bordo in stato d’incoscienza e s’intascavano il loro anticipo.
Questo arruolamento fraudolento veniva chiamato shanghaiing ed era praticato soprattutto nel nord-ovest degli Stati Uniti. Gli uomini che gestivano questo “commercio di uomini” venivano detti “crimps” e non avevano scrupoli a drogare la birra del malcapitato con il laudano.

Le autorità d’altra parte chiudevano volentieri un occhio perchè alle compagnie mercantili faceva comodo avere manovalanza sempre a disposizione anche per i lavori più duri (come sulle baleniere) e le rotte più sfavorevoli come quelle dei mari artici.

PADDY WEST

Una divertente forebitter / capstan shanty su un maestro d’imbarco  di Liverpool, è’ Stan Hugill a riferire che l’irlandese Paddy West (ovvero Paddy Doyle) era un persona reale, che teneva una pensione e una scuola per marinai in Great Howard Street.
Le “boarding houses” sono pensioni per marinai, presenti in ogni grande porto di mare. “Sono tenute da procuratori d’imbarco (boarding masters), di dubbia reputazione, che i marinai definiscono «arruolatori», i quali forniscono «indifferentemente alloggio e imbarco». Spesso accolgono i marinai «a credito». Sull’anticipo ricevuto dai pensionanti all’atto dell’arruolamento, si rifanno del vitto e dell’alloggio, e con il resto forniscono loro abbigliamento e attrezzature di scarsa qualità“. (Italo Ottonello)
Il nostro Paddy per intascarsi una quota più alta dell’anticipo, si era inventato una fantasiosa scuola d’addestramento per marinai e  trasformava in pochi giorni dei novellini in “able seamen”, così “Paddy Wester” è finito tra i modi di dire per descrivere un marinaio incapace.

La divisa del marinaio inglese  regolamentata dall’Ammiragliato britannico risale solo al 1875 standardizzando l’uniforme giacca blu-pantaloni bianchi; anche le compagnie commerciali di linea si contraddistinguevano per le divise indossate da tutto l’equipaggio

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd in  Blow Boys Blow, 1957
A.L. Lloyd commenta nelle note: “Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.
The sea literature of the nineteenth century is larded with tales of shanghaied seamen and corrupt boarding-house masters, who sent many a green hand to sea, swearing that they were experienced sailors. The most notorious was Paddy West, a Liverpool Irishman, who hat his fake seamen step across and old rope and walk around a cow’s horn so that he could claim that they had “crossed the line and rounded the horn.”

La melodia è Tramps and Hawkers


I
Oh, as I was a-walkin’ down London Road (1),
I come to Paddy West’s house,
He gave me a feed of American hash and he called it Liverpool scouse.
He said, “There’s a ship that’s wantin’ hands,
and on her you quickly sign.
her mate is a bastard, the bosun’s worse, but she will suit you fine.”
Chorus (after each verse):
Take off your dungaree jackets (2)
and give yourselves a rest,

And we’ll think on them cold nor’westers that we had at Paddy West’s.
II
Well, when I’d had a feed, my boys,
the wind began to blow;
He sent me up in the attic,
the main-royal for to stow.
But when I got up in the attic,
no main-royal could I find,
So I turned around to the window
and I furled the window blind (3).
III
Now Paddy he piped all hands on deck, their stations for to man (4).
His wife stood in the doorway
with a bucket in her hand;
And Paddy sings out, “Now let ‘er rip (5)!” and she flung the water our way,
Sayin’, “Clew up (6) your fore t’gan’sl, boys, she’s takin’ in the spray!”
IV
Now seein’ we’re off to the south’ard, boys, to Frisco we was bound,
Old Paddy he called for a length of rope and he laid it on the ground.
And we all stepped over and back again, and he says to me, “That’s fine,
Now when they ask if you’ve been to sea, you can say you’ve crossed the Line (7)”
V
“Now there’s only one thing for you to do, before you sail away,
That’s to step around the table,
where the bullock’s horn do lay.
And when they ask you, ‘Were you ever at sea?’,
you can say, ’Ten times ‘round the Horn (8).’
And Bejesus, you’re a sailor since
the day that you was born.”
Last chorus:
Put on your dungaree jacket,
and walk out lookin’ your best,

And tell ‘em you’re an old sailor man that’s come from Paddy West’s.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Oh, mentre passeggiavo lungo London Road,
arrivai alla pensione di Paddy West,
mi ha dato un piatto di pasticcio americano e l’ha chiamato stufato di Liverpool .
Disse: “C’è una nave che vuole una mano, e subito ti arruolerai su di lei;
il suo primo è un bastardo, il nostromo è peggio, ma ti troverai bene. ”
Coro (dopo ogni verso):
Toglietevi le giacche blu
e concedetevi un po’ di riposo
per pensare a quei freddi venti di nordovest che c’erano da Paddy West.
II
Bene, dopo il pasto, ragazzi miei,
il vento ha cominciato a soffiare;
mi ha mandato in soffitta,
a serrare la vela maestra.
Ma quando sono salito in soffitta,
non c’era nessuna vela maestra,
così mi sono voltato verso la finestra
e ho avvolto la tapparella.
III
Ora Paddy richiamò tutti gli uomini sul ponte, nelle loro postazioni.
Sua moglie stava sulla soglia
con un secchio in mano;
e Paddy chiama, “Ora fatela filare!”
e lei gettava l’acqua sulla nostra strada,
dicendo ” Imbrogliate i velacci,
ragazzi, è presa negli spruzzi”
IV
Ora considerando che siamo diretti a sud, ragazzi, diretti a Frisco
il vecchio Paddy chiese un pezzo di corda e la posò a terra.
e la calpestammo tutti avanti e indietro, e lui mi dice: “Va bene, ora quando ti chiedono se sei stato in mare, puoi dire che hai oltrepassato la linea. ”
V
“Ora c’è solo una cosa da fare per te, prima di salpare,
che è di girare intorno al tavolo,
dove è appoggiato il corno di bue.
E quando ti chiedono: ‘Sei mai stato in mare?’,
puoi dire “Dieci volte” intorno al Corno”.
e perdio, sei un marinaio
dal giorno in cui sei nato. ”
Ultimo coro:
Indossa la giacca blu
e  vai a fare il tuo meglio

e dì loro che sei un vecchio marinaio che viene dalla pensione di Paddy West.

NOTE
1) London Road era una trafficata strada ricca di negozi, e importante centro commerciale in un quartiere densamente popolato.

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) o meglio l’equivalente ottocentesco delle tapparelle
4) man (v.) Old English mannian “to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men,” from man (n.). Meaning “to take up a designated position on a ship” is first recorded 1690s. Meaning “behave like a man, act with courage” is from c. 1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.
Si trattava ovviamente del cortile sul retro dove Paddy aveva montato la ruota del timone
5) espressione idiomatica lasciarla andare a tutta birra/a tutto gas
6)  
Stringere la tela di una vela con gli imbrogli, prima di serrarla
7) dell’equatore
8) Capo Horn la punta estrema dell’Africa temuta dai marinai a causa dei forti venti

Dan Miller (con Louis Killen & Mick Moloney) in Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea 1998, una versione testuale simile ma diversa melodia

Paddy Doyle’s boots
Go to Sea once more
Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down

FONTI
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/paddywest.html
http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/paddywest.html
https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2013/01/WGHerdman.html
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/07/17-paddy-west.html
https://mudcat.org//thread.cfm?threadid=151768

Row me bullies boys row (Alan Doyle)

Leggi in italiano

The most recent version of this popular sea shanty comes from the movie “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” by Ridley Scott (2010), and was written for the occasion by Alan Doyle (front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea), recalling the melody and the structure of the Liverpool Judies refrain, with a text that remind the typical phrases of these seafaring songs; so obviously everyone adds the verse that he likes.

russel crow crew
I’ll sing you a song, it’s a song of the sea
I’ll sing you a song if you’ll sing it with me
While the first mate is playing the captain aboard
He looks like a peacock with pistols and sword
The captain likes whiskey, the mate, he likes rum
Us sailers like both but we can’t get us none
Well farewell my love it is time for to roam
The old blue peters are calling us home

In Taberna  

Strangs and Stout

CHORUS
And it’s row me bully boys
We’re in a hurry boys
We got a long way to go
And we’ll sing and we’ll dance
And bid farewell to France
And it’s row me bully boys row.
I
I’ll sing you a song,
it’s a song of the sea
Row me bully boys row
We sailed away
in the roughest of waters
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
But now we’re returning
so lock up your daughters
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
II
Well farewell my love
it is time for to roam
Row me bully boys row
The old blue peters
are calling us home
And it’s row me bully boys row

Barnacle Buoys

I
When we set sail for Bristol
the sun was like crystal
And it’s row, me bully boys, row
We found muddier water
when passing Bridge Water
And it’s row, me bully boys row
Chorus:
And it’s row, me bully boys,
we’re in a hurry, boys
We’ve got a long way to go
And we’ll drink as we glance
– a last look at France
row, me bully boys, row
II
We sailed away
in the roughest of waters
But now we’re returning
so lock up your daughters
III
So we’ve been away
for many a day now
So we’ll fill out our sails
and drink all the ale now
IV
So we’ll drink and we’ll feast
with no care in the least
And soon, as we’re craving’,
we’ll sail up to Avon
V
As we tied up in Bristol,
me heart was a-thumpin’
Then I found my girl Alice,
who took me a-scrumpin’

and so on!

ITALIAN VERSION: VOGA AMICO MIO VAI

here is the italian versione in the movie


CORO
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più (amico)

un altro po’, dove si va non lo so
Balliamo cantiamo e la Francia lasciamo
voga un altro po’ vai
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più
Voga un altro po’ dove si va non lo so
La Francia non la rivedremo giammai
Voga amico mio vai
E’ tardi oramai voi siete già nei guai
Voga amico mio vai
O voi non scherzate oppure rischiate
Voga voga un po’ di più
Ma non si può stare troppo via dal mare
Voga voga, voga un po’ di più
Partiamo di nuovo per non ritornare
Voga amico mio vai

ARCHIVE:
Liverpool judies (Row bullies row)
‘Frisco
New York
from Robin Hood (Alan Doyle)

LINK
https://thesession.org/discussions/24758
https://www.musixmatch.com/it/testo/Rambling-Sailors/Row-Me-Bully-Boys
http://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/misc-soundtrack-robin-hood-row-me-bully-boys-chords-s376527
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=158562
https://reelsoundtrack.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/robin-hood-soundtrack/

Row bullies row.. to New York

Leggi in italiano

“Liverpool Judies” (aka”Row, bullies, row”)  is a popular sea shanty  used as reported by Stan Hugill as Capstan shanty (but also as an forebitter) it is grouped into two main versions: one in which our sailor lands in San Francisco, the other in New York.
Both versions, however, always end up with the drunken or drugged boy who wakes up again on a ship where he has been boarded by a small group of crimps
Fraudulent conscription takes the name of “shanghaiinge“, especially in the north-west of the United States.
hanghaiinge

NEW YORK VERSION

Dirty deals in the harbor docks, drunken sailors and complacent “judies”.. but also a warning song to alert the young sailors who get drunk, because they risk ending up kidnapped and forced on board. Song best known as “Row, bullies, row”.
Stan Hugill tells us that the song must be sung with an Irish rhythm. The text is taken from “Shanties and Sailors Songs”, Hugill, Stan, (1969) (see)

Ian Campbell Group from Farewell Nancy, 1964 

The Foo Foo Band from The Foo Foo Band, 2000

I
When I wuz a youngster
I sailed wid de rest,
On a Liverpool packet
bound out to the West.
We anchored one day
in de harbour of Cork,
Then we put out to sea
for the port of New York.
Chorus
And it’s roll, row bullies roll (1),
Them Liverpool Judies (2)
have got us in tow (3).

II
For forty-two days
we wuz hungry an’ sore,
Oh, the winds wuz agin us,
the gales they did roar;
Off Battery Point (4)
we did anchor at last,
Wid our jib boom (5) hove in
an’ the canvas all fast.
III
De boardin’-house masters (6)
wuz off in a trice,
A-shoutin’ an’ promisin’
all that wuz nice;
An’ one fast ol’ crimp
he got cotton’d (7)  to me,
Sez he, “Yer a fool lad (foolish),
ter follow the sea.”
IV
Sez he, “There’s a job
is a waitin’ fer you,
Wid lashin’s o’ liqour
an’ begger-all (nothing) to do.
What d’yer say, lad,
will ye jump ‘er (8), too?”
Sez I, “Ye ol’ bastard,
I’m damned if I do.”
V
But de best ov intentions
dey niver gits far,
After forty-two days
at the door of a bar,
I tossed off me liquor
an’ what d’yer think?
Why the lousy ol’ bastard
‘ad drugs in me drink.
VI
Now, the next I remembers
I woke in de morn,
On a three-skys’l yarder
bound south round Cape Horn;
Wid an’ ol’ suit of oilskins
an’ three (two) pairs o’ sox,
An’ a bloomin’ big head
an’ a dose of the pox.
VII
Now all ye young sailors
take a warnin’ by me,
Keep a watch (an eye) on yer drinks
when the liquor is free,
An’ pay no attintion
to runner (9) or whore,
Or yer head’ll be thick
an’ yer fid (10) ‘ll be sore.

NOTES
1)  in this context roll and row are taken as a synonym
2) The word judy is a dialectal expression of Liverpool to indicate a generic girl (not necessarily a prostitute)
3) the term has become in the seafaring jargon synonymous with favorable winds that drive home (a ship that runs fast).
In this regard Italo Ottonello argues:
the mate stood in the gangway, rubbing his hands, and talking aloud to the ship, “Hurrah, old bucket! the Boston girls have got hold of the tow-rope!” and the like (from: Dana “Two years before the mast”)
At each change of the watch, those coming on deck asked those going below, “How does she go along?” and got, for answer, the rate, and the customary addition, “Aye! and the Boston girls have had hold of the tow-rope all the watch.”(from: Dana “Two years before the mast”)
4) New York, the island of Manhattan
5) Jibboom: it’s a bouncer, that is, an auction (boom) that protrudes from another auction.  Bowsprit or jib-boom extends the bowsprit and is in turn extended by the flying-jibboom
6) a boarding agent who, with more or less legal means, procured sailors to ships
7) “cottoned” =”attached” ,”caught on” (british slang); or says “likin ‘to me” or even “fancying”
8) crimp is offering the boy to help him in his craft and then tells him to leave the engagement on the ship from which he has landed to be part of his team of recruiters and make shangaiing
9)  derogatory term
10) a less cleaned version uses the term “yer knob’ll be sore” which means head of .. (an other head that is a little lower)

ARCHIVE:
Liverpool judies (Row bullies row)
‘Frisco
New York
from Robin Hood (Alan Doyle)

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/louis.killen/songs/liverpooljudies.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/136.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/judies
http://www.exmouthshantymen.com/songbook.php?id=69
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/LiverpoolGirls/index.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=61483

Row, bullies, row Liverpool Judies to Frisco

hells-pavement

Leggi in italiano

Here is a sea shanty that ended up in the repertoire of pirate songs, and also in the movie “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” by Ridley Scott (2010) (see film version). The title with which it is best known rather than “Liverpool Judies” is anyway “Row, bullies, row”.

An extremely popular maritime song used as reported by Stan Hugill as Capstan shanty (but also as an forebitter) it is grouped into two main versions (with two different but interchangeable melodies): one in which our sailor lands in San Francisco, the other in New York.
Both versions, however, always end up with the drunken or drugged boy who wakes up again on a ship where he has been boarded by a small group of crimps
Fraudulent conscription takes the name of “shanghaiinge“, especially in the north-west of the United States.

FROM LIVERPOOL TO ‘FRISCO: ROW BULLIES ROW

Probably the most popular version, at least on the web, A. L. Lloyd comments :”The song of the Liverpool seaman who sailed to San Francisco with the intention of staying there, but who got himself shanghaied back to Merseyside again, was a favourite rousing forebitter, sometimes used at capstan work when the spokes were spinning easy.”

The Spinners 1966

Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd

Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl from Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 CD1

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Sea Shanty Edition)

I
From Liverpool to ‘Frisco
a-rovin’ I went,
For to stay in that country
was my good intent.
But drinkin’ strong whiskey
like other damn fools,
Oh, I was very soon shanghaied(1) to Liverpool
CHORUS
singin’ Roll, roll, roll bullies, roll(2)!

Them Liverpool judies (3)
have got us in tow
II
I shipped in near Lasker
lying out(4) in the Bay,
we was waiting for a fair wind
to get under way.
The sailors on board
they was all sick and sore,
they’d drunk all their whiskey
and couldn’t get no more.
III
One night off Cape Horn
I willl never forget,
and It’s oh but a sigh(5)
when I think of it yet.
We was going bows
under the sail’s was all wet(6),
She was runnin’ (doin’) twelve knots wid her mainsky sunset (7).
IV
Well along comes the mate
in his jacket o’ blue(8)
He’s lookin’ for work for them outlaws(9) to do.
Oh, it’s “Up tops and higher!(10)”
he loudly does roar,
“And it’s lay aloft Paddy (11),
ye son of a-whore!”
V
And now we are sailing
down onto the Line,
when I think of it now,
oh we’ve had a hard (good) time.
The sailors box-haulin'(12)
them yards all around
to catch(beat) that flash clipper  (13)(packet) the Thatcher MacGowan.
VI
And now we’ve arrived
in the Bramleymoor Dock(14),
and all them flash judies
on the pierhead do flock.
Our barrel’s run dry
and me six quid advance,
I think (guess) it’s high time
for to get up and dance.
VII
Here’s a health to our Captain wherever he may be,
he’s a devil (bucko) on land
and a bucko (bully) at sea,
for as for the first mate,
that lousy (dirty) old brute,
We hope when he dies
straight to hell he’ll skyhoot.

NOTES
1) The verb “shanghaiinge” was coined in the mid-1800s to indicate the practice of violent or fraudulent conscription of sailors on english and american ships (it was declared illegal by the Seamen’s Act only in 1915!). The shanghaiing was widespread especially in the north-west of the United States. The men who ran this trade were called “crimps”.
The term implies the forced transport on board of the unfortunate on duty, sedated with a blow on the head or completely drunk. Upon awakening the poor man discovers that he has been hired as a sailor on the ship and he can not do anything but keep the commitment. Also written “I soon got transported back to Liverpool
2) or row (rowe is the Scottish word that stands for roll). The chorus wants to recall perhaps the use as rowing song by the whalers
3) The word “judy” is a dialectal expression of Liverpool to indicate a generic girl (not necessarily a prostitute); flash judies is a girlfriends. In the maritime language it became synonymous with favorable wind. AL Lloyd explains “When the ship was sailing at a fast speed, the sailors would say:” The girls have got hold of the tow-rope today. ”
4) other versions say “I shipped on the Alaska” or “A smart Yankee packet lies out”
5) ‘Tis oft-times I sighs
6) or: She was divin’ bows under with her sailors all wet
7) mainsky sunset is a way to give meaning to another misunderstood word: main skys’l set: or main skysail set- skysail = A set sail very high, above the royals.
8)  a hell of a stew
9) us sailors
10) “Fore tops’l halyards
11) most of the crews on the packet ship were Irish
12) box-Haulinga method of veering or jibing a square rigged ship, without progressing to leeward appreciably. It is performed by heading bow to windward until most speed is lost, but steerage way is still barely maintained. The bow is then turned back downwind to the side it came from, aftermost sails are brailed up to spill the wind and to keep them from counteracting the turning force of the foresails, and the ship allowed to pivot quickly downwind without advancing. They are, however, extended as soon as the ship, in veering, brings the wind on the opposite quarter, as their effort then contributes to assist her motion or turning. Box-hauling is generally performed when the ship is too near the shore to have room for veering in the usual way. (Falconer- 1779) from here
13 )the clippers were always competing with each other to obtain the shortest crossing time
14) Bramley-Moore Dock is a port basin on the Marsey River (Liverpool): it was inaugurated in 1848

To listen to the second melody with which the song is matched
Jimmy Driftwood from Driftwood at Sea 1962

PIRATE VERSION

Clancy Brothers version for  “Treasure Island” tv serie

I
On the Hispaniola (1)
lying out in the bay,
A-waitin’ for a fair wind
to get under way.
The sailors all drunk
and their backs is all sore,
Their rum is all gone
and they can’t get no more.
Chorus
Row, Row, bullies, row!
Them Liverpool girls
they have got us in tow. (2)
II
One night at Cape Horn
we was crossing the line
When I think on it
now we sure had a good time
She was divin’ bows under,
her sailors all wet,
She was doin’ twelve knots
with her mainskys’l set.
III
Here’s a health to the Captain where ‘er he may be,
He’s a friend to the sailor
on land and at sea,
But as for our chief mate,
the dirty ol’ brute
I hope when he dies straight
to hell he’ll sky hoot

NOTES
1) Hispaniola is the schooner purchased by Mr. Trelawney to go in search of the Treasure Island
2) the term has become in the seafaring jargon synonymous with favorable winds that drive home (a fast spinning ship)

ARCHIVE:
Liverpool judies (Row bullies row)
 ‘Frisco
New York
from Robin Hood (Alan Doyle)

LINK
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/liverpol.htm
http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/10/27-liverpool-judies.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/louis.killen/songs/liverpooljudies.html
http://ilradicchioavvelenato.wordpress.com/tag/shanghaiing
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16994
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62354
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=158562

Little Billee sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

A sea song with caustic humorism also entitled “Three Sailors from Bristol City” or “Little Boy Billee”, which deals with a disturbing subject for our civilization, but always around the corner: cannibalism!
The sea is a place of pitfalls and jokes of fate, a storm can take you off course, on a boat or raft, without food and water, it’s a subject also treated in great painting (Theodore Gericault, The raft of the Medusa see): human life poised between hope and despair.

The three sailors

The maritime songs can express the biggest fears with a good laugh! This song was born in 1863 with the title “The three sailors” written by William Makepeace Thackeray as a parody of “La Courte Paille” (= short straw) – that later became “Le Petit Navire” (The Little Corvette) as a nursery rhyme.(see first part): cases of cannibalism at sea as an extreme resource for survival were much debated by public opinion and the courts themselves were inclined to commute death sentences in detention.
The murder by necessity (or the sacrifice of one for the good of others) finds a justification in the terrible experience of death by starvation that pushes the human mind to despair and madness, but in 1884 the case of the sinking of Mignonette broke public opinion and the same home secretary Sir William Harcourt had to say “if these men are not condemned for the murder, we are giving carte blanche to the captain of any ship to eat the cabin boy every time the food is scarce “. (translated from here).
The ruling stands as a leading case and puts life as a supreme good by not admitting murder for necessity as self-defense

Little Billee
Bernard Partridge Cartoons

From notes of “Penguin Book” (1959):
The Portugese Ballad  A Nau Caterineta  and the French ballad  La Courte Paille  tell much the same story.  The ship has been long at sea, and food has given out.  Lots are drawn to see who shall be eaten, and the captain is left with the shortest straw.  The cabin boy offers to be sacrificed in his stead, but begs first to be allowed to keep lookout till the next day.  In the nick of time he sees land (“Je vois la tour de Babylone, Barbarie de l’autre côté”) and the men are saved.  Thackeray burlesqued this song in his  Little Billee.  It is likely that the French ballad gave rise to The Ship in Distress, which appeared on 19th. century broadsides.  George Butterworth obtained four versions in Sussex (FSJ vol.IV [issue 17] pp.320-2) and Sharp printed one from James Bishop of Priddy, Somerset (Folk Songs from Somerset, vol.III, p.64) with “in many respects the grandest air” which he had found in that county.  The text comes partly from Mr. Bishop’s version, and partly from a broadside.”  -R.V.W./A.L.L.

Ralph Steadman from “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006″.


There were three men of Bristol City;
They stole a ship and went to sea.
There was Gorging Jack and Guzzling Jimmy
And also Little Boy Billee.
They stole a tin of captain’s biscuits
And one large bottle of whiskee.
But when they reached the broad Atlantic
They had nothing left but one split pea.
Said Gorging Jack to Guzzling Jimmy,
“We’ve nothing to eat so I’m going to eat thee.”
Said Guzzling Jimmy, “I’m old and toughest,
So let’s eat Little Boy Billee.”
“O Little Boy Billy, we’re going to kill and eat you,
So undo the top button of your little chemie.(1)”

“O may I say my catechism
That my dear mother taught to me?”
He climbed up to the main topgallant(2)
And there he fell upon his knee.
But when he reached the Eleventh(3) Commandment,
He cried “Yo Ho! for land I see.”
“I see Jerusalem and Madagascaar
And North and South Amerikee.”
“I see the British fleet at anchor
And Admiral Nelson, K.C.B. (4)”
They hung Gorging Jack and Guzzling Jimmy
But they made an admiral of Little Boy Billee.

NOTES
Thackeray lyrics here
1) from french chemise
2) or top fore-gallant
2) his companions did not have to be very attached to the Bible (and probably Billy would have invented new ones to save time!)
4)  “Knight Commander of the Bath”, the chivalrous military order founded by George I in 1725

SEA SHANTY VERSION

According to Stan Hugill “Little Billee” was a sea shanty for pump work, a boring and monotonous job that could certainly be “cheered up” by this little song! Hugill only reports the text saying that the melody is like the French “The était a Petit Navire”, so the adaptation of Hulton Clint  has the performance of a lullaby.

I
There were three sailors of Bristol City;
They stole a boat and went to sea.
But first with beef and hardtack biscuits
And pickled pork they loaded she.
And pickled pork they loaded she
II
There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
And likewise there was little Billee.
but when they got to the Equator
They’d only left but one split pea.
III
Then gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
“I am confounded hungaree.”
Says guzzling Jimmy to gorging Jacky
“We’ve no wittles (1), so we must eat we.”
IV
Said Gorging Jack to Guzzling Jimmy,
“Oh Guzzling Jim what a fool you be..
There’s little Billy, who’s young and tender,
We’re old and tough, so let’s eat he.”
V
“Make haste, make haste” then say Guzzling Jimmy
as he drew his snickher snee (2)
“O Billy, we’re going to kill and eat you,
undo the collar of your chemie.”
VI
When William heard this information
he drope down on bended knee
“O let me say my catechism
which my dear mom taught to me”
VII
So up he went to the maintop-gallant
and he drope down on his bended knee
and than he said  all his catechism
which his dear mamy once taught to he
VIII
He scarce had said his catechism
when up he jumps “There’s land I see
Jerusalem and Madagascaar
And North and South Amerikee.”
IX
“Jerusalem and Madagascar,
And North and South Amerikee;
There’s the British fleet a-riding at anchor,
With Admiral Napier, K.C.B.”
X
When they bordered to Admiral’s vessel,
He hanged fat Jack (3) and flogged Jimmee;
as for little Bill they make him
The Captain of a Seventy-three (4).

NOTES
1)  It’s a mispronunciation of “vittles,” which is a corrupted form of “victuals,” which means “food.”
2) a particularly lethal big knife used as a weapon
3)in some versions the degree of guilt between the two sailors is distinguished, so only one is hanged
4) 73 cannon war vessel

And for corollary here is the French version “Un Petit Navire”

LINK
http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=139
http://www.bartleby.com/360/9/84.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_%C3%A9tait_un_petit_navire
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8278
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22872

The Ship in Distress sea ballad

Leggi in italiano

“You Seamen Bold” or “The Ship in Distress” is a sea song that tries to describe the horrors suffered on a ship adrift in the ocean and without more food on board. Probably the origin begins with a Portuguese ballad of the sixteenth century (in the golden age of the Portuguese vessels), taken from the French tradition with the title La Corte Paille.

This further version was very popular in the south of England
A. L. Lloyd writes ‘The story of the ship adrift, with its crew reduced to cannibalism but rescued in the nick of time, has a fascination for makers of sea legends. Cecil Sharp, who collected more than a thousand songs from Somerset, considered The Ship in Distress to be the grandest tune he had found in that country.’ (from here)
Louis Killen

Martin Carhty & Dave Swarbrick from But Two Came By 1968Marc Almond from Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013

I
You seamen bold who plough the ocean
See dangers landsmen never know.
It’s not for honour and promotion;
No tongue can tell what they undergo.
In the blusterous wind and the great dark water
Our ship went drifting on the sea,
Her rigging (1) gone, and her rudder broken,
Which brought us to extremity (2).
II
For fourteen days, heartsore and hungry,
Seeing but wild water and bitter sky,
Poor fellows, they stood in a totter,
A-casting lots as to which should die.
The lot (3) it fell on Robert Jackson,
Whose family was so very great.
‘I’m free to die, but oh, my comrades,
Let me keep look-out till the break of day.’
III
A full-dressed ship like the sun a-glittering(4)
Came bearing down to their relief.
As soon as this glad news was shouted,
It banished all their care and grief.
The ship brought to, no longer drifting,
Safe in Saint Vincent, Cape Verde, she gained.
You seamen all, who hear my story,
Pray you’ll never suffer the like again (5).

NOTES
1) Marc say  headgear
2) extremity: bring to the extremes to be intended also in a moral sense
3 )the one who pulled the shorter straw was the “winner”, and sacrificed himself for the benefit of the survivors, this practice was called  ”the custom of the sea”: to leave the choice of the sacrificial victim to fate, it excluded the murder by necessity from being a premeditated murder
4) the juxtaposition between the two verses with the man ready for the sacrifice and sighting at dawn of the ship that will rescue them, it wants to mitigate the harsh reality of cannibalism, a horrible practice to say but that is always lurking in the moments of desperation and as an extreme resource for survival. In reality we do not know if the ship was only dreamed of by the sacrificial victim.
5) surviving sailors rarely resume the sea after the cases of cannibalism (see for example the Essex whaling story). In 1884 an English court condemned two of the three sailors of the “Mignonette” yacht who had killed Richard Parker, the 17-year-old cabin boy (the third had immunity because he agreed to testify); the death sentence was commuted at a later time in six months in prison. A curious case is that Edgar Allan Poe in 1838 in “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket ” tells of four survivors forced into a lifeboat who decide to rely on the “law of the sea”, the cabin boy that pulled the shorter straw was called Richard Parker!

Little Boy Billy
The Banks of Newfoundland

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/theshipindistress.html
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/sea_bold.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22872
https://anglofolksongs.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/the-ship-in-distress/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/anche-i-cannibali-hanno-un-cuoree-se-lo-mangiano-luca-luca-nave
http://www.canestrinilex.com/risorse/dudley-and-stephens-case-1884-mignonette/

The Eastern Light (the Banks of Newfoundland)

Leggi in italiano

There are several sea songs entitled “the Banks of Newfoundland”, not to be properly considered variations on the same melody, even if they share a common theme, the dangers of fishing or navigation offshore of Newfoundland.

Most sad was my misfortune in the year of ‘sixty-three

Sometimes as “The Eastern Light” the ballad of the Canadian tradition entitled “the Banks of Newfoundland” describes a fishing season on the Great Banks of Newfoundland , the fishing boat left the port of Gloucester (Massachusetts) in the month of March and our sailor was definitely drunk when boarding.

Kenneth Peacock collected it from James Rice in 1951, and published it in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, 1965, he noted that this appears to be an American ballad of New England origin, also Helen Creighton had collected this ballad in Nova Scotia as The Gloucester Fishermen,

Jim Rice [1879-1958] of Cape Broyle from MUNFLA ♪

The Dardanelles live,  (from The Eastern Light, 2011) instrumental arrangement Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton

I
‘Twas of my sad misfortune
in the year of seventy-three (1),
I set on board the fisher ship
all off a drunken spree (2),
her name it was The Eastern Light (3),
as you might  understand,
We were bound down on a salt sea trip to the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
The saturday day beein the first of March, we left Gloucester port
the girls all wove their handkerchiefs
as we sailed down the shore
we had a jar of rum on board
which gathered round all the crew,
We drank the health to the Gloucester girls, in bidding us adieu.
III
It’s early in the morning boys
our cook he give a bawls,
“Get out and get your breakfast, b’ys, get out and haul your trawls (4).
You’ll scarce have time to light your pipe, your dory (5) she do go,
You’ll have to make three sets today
no matter how hard it blows”
IV
We fished around  the foggy bank (6)
the space of seventeen days,
We boarded a couple of Frenchmen boat, no brandy could we raise.
The halibut they be in kind of scarce, we run our cod-fish gear,
our skipper he says ‘I’ll fill her up, if it takes a half a year.”
V
We fished around the foggy bank
our skipper he louded shout
“Come hoist aboard your dories, b’ys, and break your anchor out;
come hoist the …(?)
we’ll get her under way,
provisions are getting kind of scarce, we can no longer stay,
VI
And now the anchor’s on the bow
we are homeward bound,
And when we get to Gloucester port
we’ll pass the glasses round.
We’ll go down to Johnny McLoudy
and we’ll have a happy night,
We’ll drink the health of the Gloucester girls,
and success to the “Eastern Light”.


NOTES
* transcribed by Cattia Salto in part from here
1) the date changes for some is 1873. for others the 1863: also written as “in eighteen hundred and seventy-three”
2) in some verses not reported here the sailor curses his love for liquor, because if he had kept sober, he would never have boarded
3) a fishing vessel named “Eastern Light” 70 tons, was built in 1866, owned by “Maddocks and Company of Gloucester”, Massachusetts.
4) “Banks Dory” is the boat built in a serial way and in large quantities starting from 1850, flat-bottomed for one or two men depending on the dimension. see more.
5) but traditional fishing on the Great Banks at least until the end of the nineteenth century was done with lines (see more)
6)  The Grand Banks of Newfoundland are a group of underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland roughly triangular in shape often overwhelmed by storms, treacherous and dangerous due to the presence of icebergs and the frequent fog. The mixing of  the cold Labrador Current with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream helped to create one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, but it’s also causes fog in the area, and before the advent of instrumental navigation, it made the Banks very insidious

transportation song
working on a  fisher ship
the Eastern Light
captain’s death (american ballad)
shipwreck and rescue on the Banks (Canadian ballad)

LINK
https://www.mun.ca/folklore/leach/songs/NFLD1/4-12.htm
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks4.htm
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiEASTRNLT.html