Archivi tag: Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Bold Riley oh

Leggi in italiano

A sea shanty collected by A.L. Lloyd who recordered for his album “A Sailor’s Garland” (1962): “Shellbacks manning the windjammers of the West Indies trade brought back to Liverpool and Bristol more than sugar, bananas and rum; they also brought back many songs. Some of these they kept to themselves, some they handed on to vessels sailing in other waters. Thus the fine hexatonic tune of Bold Riley O, which started life as a Tobago reel, was sung at the halyards of many an East Indiaman bound for Bombay and the Bengal ports.”
Part of the song was found in the Georgia Sea Islands where a work song entitled “Riley” was collected (Roud 18160, also inThe Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 – Smithsonian Folkways anthology 2006), but it is only after Lloyd’s recording that the song knew a certain popularity in the folk circuits during the 70s.

A.L. Loyd from “A Sailor’s Garland” 1962

Clayton Kennedy from Assassin’s Creed Rogue

The folk versions prefer a slower melody that emphasizes the farewell / lament mood
Johnny Collins & Jim Mageean from Shanties and Sea Songs (1996) who sing a more extensive version of the one reported

Kate Rusby from Hourglass 1997  who learned the song from Jim Mageean’s version

The Wailin’ Jennys live 2014 (also in  Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, 2009) except first stanza


Chorus :
Goodbye, my darling,
goodbye, my dear O,

Bold Riley O, boom-a-lay (1)
Goodbye, my sweetheart(2),
goodbye, my dear O,

Bold Riley O, gone away
I
The anchor is weighed and the rags we’ve all set,
Bold Riley O, boom-a-lay
Them Liverpool judies we’ll never forget,
Bold Riley O, (has) gone away
 
II
The rain it is raining all the day long,
The northerly winds they blow so strong,
III
Cheer up, Mary Ellen (3), and don’t look so glum,
On Whitestocking Day (4) you’ll be drinking (hot) rum.
IV
We’re outward bound for the Bengal Bay (5)
Get bending, my lads, it’s a hell of a way.

NOTES
1) Nautical term in the folk versions is replaced by “Bold Riley”
2) or my darling
3) Kate Rusby sings “Well come on, Mary”
4) also quoted in Rio Grande (Boung for the Rio Grande) the Whitestocking Day was the day when the wives (mothers) of the sailors dressed well to go and collect the advance on the salary accrued by the sailor, the promissory note (advance note) it was only payable if the sailor had actually embarked the month before. The Allotment of Pay was instead issued by the Admiralty (since the Napoleonic wars) to pay in the due month, part of the salary of the sailor to his wife or to the boarding master. A practice spread also at the merchant marine that became mandatory with the Merchant Shipping Acts in the late 1800s. White cotton stockings were synonymous with elegance.
5) typhoons that are formed in the Bengal Bay have two seasonal peaks one in April and the other in October-November in conjunction with the monsoon winds

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/boldriley.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/bold-riley.html

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50732
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17866

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

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

Heave away, my Johnny sea shanty

Leggi in Italiano

The second sea shanty sung by A.L. Lloyd in the film Moby Dick, shot by John Huston in 1956, is a windlass shanty or a capstan shanty. As we can clearly see in the sequence, crew action the old anchor winch.
Kenneth S. Goldstein commented on the cover notes of the album “Thar She Blows” by Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd (1957)”A favourite shanty for windlass work, when the ship was being warped out of harbour at the start of a trip. A log rope would be made fast to a ring at the quayside and run round a bollard at the pierhead and back to the ship’s windlass. The shantyman would sit on the windlass head and sing while the spokesters strained to turn the windlass. As they turned, the rope would round the drum and the ship nosed seaward amid the tears of the women and the cheers of the men. This version was sung by the Indian Ocean whalers of the 1840s“.

The song starts at 1:50, when the catwalk is pulled off and the old spike windlass is activated, model replaced by the brake windlass around 1840



There’s some that’s bound for New York Town
and other’s is bound for France,
Heave away, my Johnnies, heave away,
And some is bound for the Bengal Bay
to teach them whales a dance,
and away my Johnny boys, we’re all bound to go.
Come all you hard workin’ sailors,
Who round the cape of storm (1);
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never been born.
1) the curse of every sailor at the time of sailing ships: Cape Horn

This sea shanty presents a great variety of texts even with different stories, so sometimes it is a song of the whaleship other times a song of emigration. (a collection of various text versions here).

WHALING SHANTY: HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNY (JOHNNIES) – WE’RE ALL BOUND TO GO

Dubbing Cape Horn was a feared affair by sailors, being a stretch of sea almost perpetually upset by storms, a cemetery of numerous unlucky ships.
The wind dominated the bow, so the ship was pushed back for days with the crew exhausted by effort and icy water that was breaking on all sides.

Louis Killen from Farewell Nancy 1964  “capstan stands upright and is pushed round by trudging men. A windlass, serving much the same function, lies horizontally and is revolved by means of bars pulled from up to down. So windlass songs are generally more rhythmical than capstan shanties. Heave Away is usually considered a windlass song. Originally, it had words concerning a voyage of Irish migrants to America. Later, this text fell away. The version sung here was “devised” by A. L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

I
There’s some that’s bound for New York town,
And some that’s bound for France;
Heave away, my Johnny heave away.
And some that’s bound for the Bengal Bay,
To teach them whales a dance;
Heave away, my Johnny boy
we’re all bound to go.
II
The pilot he is awaiting for,
The turnin’ of the tide;
And then, me girls, we’ll be gone again,
With a good and a westerly wind.
III
Farewell to you, my Kingston girls (1),
Farewell, St. Andrews dock;
If ever we return again,
We’ll make your cradles rock.
IV
Come all you hard workin’ sailor men,
Who round the cape of storm;
Be sure you’ve boots and oilskins,
Or you’ll wish you never was born.

NOTES
1) Kingston upon Hull (or, more simply, Hull) is a renowned fishing port from which flotillas for fishing in the North Sea started from the Middle Ages. In the song, the departing ships also head for the Indian Ocean (see routes )

Barbara Brown & Tom Brown  from Just Another Day 2014, from the repertoire of the seafaring songs of Minehead (Somerset) collected by Cecil Sharp from only two sources – the retired captains Lewis and Vickery.

trad and Tom Brown verses
I
As I walked out one morning all in the month of May,
Heave away, me Johnny, heave away,
I thought upon the ships and trade that sailed out of our bay,
Heave away, me jolly boys, we’re all bound away.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Wexford town and sometimes for St. John,
And sometimes to the Med we go, just to get the sun.
III
We’re running to St. Austell Bay, with coal we’re loaded down;
A storm came down upon us before we reached Charlestown.
IV
There’s dried and pickled herring we’ve shipped around the world,
Two hundred years of fishing, until they disappeared.
V
It’s green oak bound for Swansea town, it’s salt we bring from France,
But it’s down into the Indies to lead those girls a dance.
VI
With a cargo now of kelp, me boys, for Bristol now we’re bound,
To help them make the glass, you know, all in that famous town.
VII
Flour and malt and bark and grain are on the Bristol run;
The Jane and Susan beat them all in eighteen-sixty-one.
VIII
We’ve sailed the world in ships of fame that came from Minehead hard,
And Unanimity she was the last from Manson’s Yard.

NEWFOUNDLAND VERSION

Genevieve Lehr (Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook # 49) was released by Pius Power, Southeast Bight,  in 1979 Genevieve Lehr writes “this is a song which was often used to establish a rhythm for hauling up the anchors aboard the fishing schooners. Many of these ‘heave-up shanties’ were old ballads or contemporary ones, and very often topical verses were made up on the spur of the moment and added to the song to make the song last as long as the task itself.”

The Fables from Tear The House Down, 1998 a cheerful version with a decidedly country arrangement

I
Come get your duds(1) in order ‘cause we’re bound to cross the water.
Heave away, me jollies,
heave away.
Come get your duds in order ‘cause we’re bound to leave tomorrow.
Heave away me jolly boys,
we’re all bound away
.
II
Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool,
sometimes we’re bound for Spain.
But now we’re bound for old St. John’s (2) where all the girls are dancing.
III
I wrote me love a letter,
I was on the Jenny Lind.
I wrote me love a letter and I signed it with a ring.
IV
Now it’s farewell Nancy darling, ‘cause it’s now I’m going to leave you.
“You promised that me you’d marry me, but how you did deceive me.(3)”

NOTES
1) duds in this context means “clothes” but more generally the large canvas bag containing the sailor’s baggage
2) Saint John’s, known in Italian as San Giovanni di Terranova for the Marconi experiment, is a city in Canada, capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located in the peninsula of Avalon, which is part of the Newfoundland island
3) clearly a “flying” verse taken from the many farewells here is Nancy answering

 

broadside ballad: The Banks of the Sweet Dundee ( Short Sharp Shanties)
 emigration song: The Irish girl or Mr Tapscott

LINK
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/heave-away,-my-johnnies—kingston.html
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/heaveawaymyjohnny.html
http://www.kinglaoghaire.com/lyrics/722-heave-away-my-johnny
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/05/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/24/heave.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/02/heave.htm http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2011/07/13-were-all-bound-to-go.html
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/default.htm

Blood Red Roses, a whale shanty

Leggi in italiano

Ho Molly, come down
Come down with your pretty posy
Come down with your cheeks so rosy
Ho Molly, come down”
(from Gordon Grant “SAIL HO!: Windjammer Sketches Alow and Aloft”,  New York 1930)

To introduce two new sea shanties in the archive of Terre Celtiche blog I start from Moby Dick (film by John Huston in 1956) In the video-clip we see the “Pequod” crew engaged in two maneuvers to leave New Bedford, (in the book port is that of Nantucket) large whaling center on the Atlantic: Starbuck, the officer in second, greets his wife and son (camera often detaches on wives and girlfriends go to greet the sailors who will not see for a long time: the whalers were usually sailing from six to seven months or even three – four years). After dubbing Cape of Good Hope, the”Pequod” will head for Indian Ocean.
It was AL Lloyd who adapted  “Bunch of roses” shanty for the film, modifying it with the title “Blood Red Roses”. It should be noted that at the time of Melville many shanty were still to come

Albert Lancaster Lloyd, Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger

It’s round Cape Horn we all must go
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
For that is where them whalefish blow
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Go down, you blood red roses, Go down
It’s frosty snow and winter snow
under’s many ships they ‘round Cape Horn
It’s your boots to see again
let you them for whaler men

oswald-brierly
Oswald Brierly, “Whalers off Twofold Bay” from Wikimedia Commons. Painting is dated 1867 but it shows whaling and the Bay as it was in the 1840s

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Nils Brown, Sean Dagher, Clayton Kennedy, John Giffen, David Gossage)


Me bonnie bunch of Roses o!
Come down, you blood red roses, come down (1)
Tis time for us to roll and go
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
Oh, you pinks and posies
Come down, you blood red roses, Come down
We’re bound away around Cape Horn (2), Were ye wish to hell you aint never been born,
Me boots and clothes are all in pawn (3)/Aye it’s bleedin drafty round Cape Horn.
Tis growl ye may but go ye must
If ye growl to hard your head ill bust.
Them Spanish Girls are pure and strong
And down me boys it wont take long.
Just one more pull and that’ll do
We’ll the bullie sport  to kick her through.

NOTES
1) this line most likely was created by A.L. Lloyd for the film of Mody Dick, reworking the traditional verse “as down, you bunch of roses”, and turning it into a term of endearment referring to girls (a fixed thought for sailors, obviously just after the drinking). I do not think that in this context there are references to British soldiers (in the Napoleonic era referring to Great Britain as the ‘Bonny bunch of roses’, the French also referred to English soldiers as the “bunch of roses” because of their bright red uniforms), or to whales, even if the image is of strong emotional impact:“a whale was harpooned from a rowing boat, unless it was penetrated and hit in a vital organ it would swim for miles sometimes attacking the boats. When it died it would be a long hard tow back to the ship, something they did not enjoy. If the whale was hit in the lungs it would blow out a red rose shaped spray from its blowhole. The whalers refered to these as Bloody Red Roses, when the spray became just frothy bubbles around the whale as it’s breathing stopped it looked like pinks and posies in flower beds” (from mudcat here)
2) Once a obligatory passage of the whaling boats that from Atlantic headed towards the Pacific.
3) as Italo Ottonello teaches us “At the signing of the recruitment contract for long journeys, the sailors received an advance equal to three months of pay which, to guarantee compliance with the contract, it was provided in the form of “I will pay”, payable three days after the ship left the port, “as long as said sailor has sailed with that ship.” Everyone invariably ran to look for some complacent sharks who bought their promissory note at a discounted price, usually of forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind. “The purchasers, boarding agents and various procurers,” the enlisters, “as they were nicknamed,” were induced to ‘seize’ the sailors and bring them on board, drunk or drugged, with little or no clothes beyond what they were wearing, and squandering or stealing all sailor advances.

Sting from “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys” ANTI 2006. 
The textual version resumes that of Louis Killen and this musical interpretation is decidedly Caribbean, rhythmic and hypnotic ..


Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

It’s flamin’ drafty (1) ‘round Cape Horn
Go down, you blood red roses,
Go down

Oh, you pinks and posies Go down,
you blood red roses, Go down
My dear old mother she said to me,
“My dearest son, come home from sea”.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn we all must go
‘Round Cape Horn in the frost and snow.
You’ve got your advance, and to sea you’ll go
To chase them whales through the frost and snow.
It’s ‘round Cape Horn you’ve got to go,
For that is where them whalefish blow(2).
It’s growl you may, but go you must,
If you growl too much your head they’ll bust.
Just one more pull and that will do
For we’re the boys to kick her through

NOTES
1) song in this version is dyed red with “flaming draughty” instead of “mighty draughty”. And yet even if flaming has the first meaning “Burning in flame” it also means “Bright; red. Also, violent; vehement; as a flaming harangue”  (WEBSTER DICT. 1828)

Jon Contino

“Go Down, You Blood Red Roses” is a game for children widespread in the Caribbean and documented by Alan Lomax in 1962

(second part)

LINK
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/debunking-myth-that-go-down-you-blood.html
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/11/coming-down-with-bunch-of-roses-lyrics.html

http://songbat.com/archive/songs/english-americas/blood-red-roses
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/bloodredroses.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=34080 http://www.well.com/~cwj/dogwatch/chanteys/Blood%20Red%20Roses.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/36/blood.htm http://will.wright.is/post/1367066738/jon-contino

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Read the post in English

Paddy Lay Back è una sea shanty kilometrica, zeppa di varianti, cantata dai marinai sia come canzone ricreativa che come canzone all’argano per sollevare l’ancora (capstan shanty) .

Stan Hugill nel suo “Shanties from the Seven Seas”, ci testimonia una lunga versione con una ventina di strofe (vedi), qui si riportano solo quelle cantate da lui stesso per l’album “Sea Songs: Newport, Rhode Island- Songs from the Age of Sail”, 1980
Così scrive in merito: “Era sia una forebitter che una capstan shanty e anche molto popolare, specialmente sulle navi di Liverpool. […] È una canzone abbastanza vecchia che risale agli scaricatori del cotone di Mobile e di norma ha due strutture: una con strofe di otto versi – questa era la forma delle forebitter; e la seconda con strofe a quattro versi – la tipica struttura degli shanty. Doerflinger dà uno schema con strofe a due  versi per la shanty – una forma piuttosto insolita, e più avanti nel suo libro dà la versione forebitter con strofe a quattro e a otto versi. Dà il titolo della shanty come Paddy, Get Back e entrambe le due versioni della forebitter con il titolo Mainsail Haul. Shay, Sampson e Bone suggeriscono che si trattava di una canzone del mare abbastanza moderna e non davano notizie che fosse cantata come una shanty, ma tutti i miei contatti sulle nave da crociera si riferivano ad essa come shanty, ed era certamente cantata nella tratta dei postali Liverpool-New York per lo meno con le strofe di quattro versi. […] Le strofe dall’11 in poi sono abbastanza moderne e non hanno nulla a che fare con i marinai delle navi di linea, piuttosto sono relazionate al coro “For we are bound for Vallaparaiser round the Horn”, erano quelle cantate dai marinai di Liverpool impegnati nel Commercio del guano sulla costa occidentale”
(tutte le strofe tranne la III^)
Stan Hugill

Nils BrownAssassin’s Creed Rogue   (strofe 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
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era una fredda e triste mattina di Dicembre
e avevo speso tutti i soldi
dove andai per Dio non mi riesce di ricordare, ma alla fine mi sono trovato davanti all’ufficio per l’arruolamento
CORO
Paddy rilassati
finisci il lavoro
fai un giro intorno all’argano-
passa la castagna 
sulla nave, ai posti di manovra,
ragazzi datevi da fare
perchè siamo in partenza per Valparaiso
a doppiare il Corno
II
Quel giorno c’era una grande richiesta di marinai
per le Colonie e Frisco e per
la Francia
così mi sono imbarcato su una barca di limoncini la “Hotspur”
ed ero ubriaco fradicio con il mio anticipo
III
L’ho raggiunta in una fredda mattina di Dicembre
sfregandomi le pinne per tenermi al caldo
con un cono verso sud innalzato come avvertimento
che stava per l’arrivo di una tempesta
IV
Alcuni dei nostri compagni stavano bevendo e io stesso ci davo dentro,
ero sul mio vecchio baule a pensare di trasformarlo in una branda per un sonnellino
V
Mi svegliai al mattino con un malanno
e sapevo di essere di nuovo
in partenza, quando sentìì una voce abbaiare alla porta “Alzatevi, uomini, e rispondete al vostro nome”
VI
Fu sul ponte dove vi vidi la prima
volta
dei così brutti ceffi non li avevo mai visti prima
perchè c’era un barbone e un cadavere in ogni direzione
da far venire triste e afflitto il mio povero cuore
VII
C’erano Spagnoli e Tedeschi
e Russi
e un Johnny Crapoos appena arrivato dalla Francia
e nessuno di loro sapeva parlare una parola d’Inglese
ma rispondevano al nome di “Mese d’anticipo”
VIII
Sapevo che nel baule avevo una bottiglia che l’arruolatore aveva messo lì,
e volevo qualcosa per bagnarmi la gola,
qualcosa per scacciare le noiose faccende quotidiane
IX
Così mi sono gettato sulle ginocchia come un fulmine e ho messo la mano sul fondo del baule,
ma con mia grande sorpresa
ho trovato solo una bottiglia di medicina per il vaiolo!

NOTE
1) Pawl ( castagna): specie di arpione mobile che impediva all’argano di girare in senso inverso inserendosi in una serie di fori alla sua base. Per consentire la rotazione in senso contrario c’era una seconda castagna con forma diversa. Il suono secco prodotto dalla castagna mentre il cavo si avvolge fa da accompagnamento musicale alla shanty
2)  “Be handy” è un espressione tipica nelle canzoni marinaresche : letteralmente si traduce in italiano come “essere a portata di mano” C’è anche una lieve di allusione sessuale. Possibili significati: rendersi utile ma anche trovarsi a portata di mano (come in handy),
3) gli americani chiamavano i soldati inglesi limely per via della razione di limone distribuita per prevenire lo scorbuto dopo un certo numero di giorni in mare (secondo il  Merchant Shipping Act  del 1894)
4) cioè ha speso tutti i soldi dell’anticipo sulla paga in bevute ad alto grado alcolico
5) “Storm cones”  (coni tempesta) erano delle segnalazioni approntate lungo le coste irlandesi e britanniche per segnalare l’arrivo di una tempesta alle navi . Il sistema era stato messo a punto dal capitano Robert FitzRoy nel 1860 e consisteva in un collegamento telegrafico tra le stazioni meteo di terra e tutti i porti delle isole britanniche, di modo che venissero esibiti degli appositi segnali (coni neri o luci) lungo le coste non appena era segnalata una tempesta. I segnali di avvertimento  indicavano la direzione in cui infuriava il maltempo in modo che le navi di passaggio potessero prendere gli opportuni provvedimenti.
“Nel 1860 escogitò un sistema di emissione di allerta burrasca via telegrafo ai porti che potevano essere colpiti.Il messaggio conteneva una lista di località con le parole:
‘North Cone’ o ‘South Cone’ – rispettivamente per i venti settentrionali o meridionali
“Drum” – per quando ci si aspettavano ulteriori venti,
Drum and North/South Cone ‘- per venti di burrasca di notevole entità
” (tratto da qui) (continua)

LA VERSIONE FOLK: Valparaiso Round the Horn

Giocoforza per quel Paddy del titolo, la canzone è diventata un traditional irlandese, una popolare drinking song, collegata ad altrettanto popolari jigs! Anche conosciuta con il titolo “The Liverpool song” e “Valparaiso Round the Horn”. Tra le canzoni preferite dei pirati ovviamente!

The Wolfe Tones in “Let The People Sing” 1972 ne fanno una versione folk che è diventata lo standard di una classica 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
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Era una fredda e triste mattina di Dicembre
e avevo speso tutti i soldi
dove andai per Dio non mi riesce di ricordare, ma alla fine mi sono trovato davanti all’ufficio per l’arruolamento
CORO
Paddy rilassati
finisci il lavoro
fai un giro intorno all’argano-
passa la castagna 
sulle navi per l’Inghilterra ragazzi datevi da fare, perchè siamo in partenza per Valparaiso a doppiare il Corno
II
Quel giorno c’era una grande richiesta di marinai
per le Colonie e Frisco e per
la Francia
così mi sono imbarcato su una barca di limoncini la “Hotspur”
ed ero ubriaco fradicio con il mio anticipo
III
C’erano Francesi e Tedeschi, c’erano Russi
e c’era un Jolly Jacques appena arrivato dalla Francia
e nessuno di loro sapeva parlare una parola d’Inglese
ma rispondevano al nome di
Bill o Dan
IV
Mi svegliai al mattino con un malanno
e sapevo di essere di nuovo
in partenza
quando sentìì una voce abbaiare alla porta “Alzatevi, uomini, e rispondete al vostro nome”
V
Vorrei essere al “Marinaio Allegro”
con Molly o con  Killy sulle mie ginocchia
ma vedo solo marinai attorno
e con le mie pinne mi asciugo le lacrime

NOTE
1) vedi nota sopra
2) oppure Bout ship’s stations, boys
3) vedi nota sopra
4) cioè ha speso tutti i soldi dell’anticipo sulla paga in bevute ad alto grado alcolico
5) un eufemismo per descrivere i postumi della sbornia
6) il nome del locale varia a discrezione di chi canta

 FONTI
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

LITTLE DRUMMER BY FRANK HARTE

Ho sentito questa ballata nella versione dei Planxty che la registrarono nel loro album “Cold Blow and the Rainy Night” (1974) Nelle note di copertina leggiamo “Frank Harte of Dublin taught us The Little Drummer, it tells of a novel style of courtship where the scorned lover threatens to shoot himself on finding that his chosen bride is reluctant to have him.”
“Little Drummer” (da non confondersi con la christmas carol The Little Drummer Boy ) è una courting song un po’ melodrammatica tipica del sentimentalismo irlandese: un giovane tamburino resta colpito da una bellezza a passeggio per il porto e detto fatto il giorno dopo si mette tutto in tiro per conquistarla; lei fa la preziosa e si atteggia a gran dama, lui minaccia di spararsi un colpo in testa, lei casca ai suoi piedi e i due corrono a sposarsi.
Non è una ballata tra le più note ma è finita nella soundtrack della sea shanty edition di Assassin’s Creed Rogue, il video gioco ambientato al tempo della guerra dei sette anni tra Francia e Inghilterra, in particolare sul fronte nord americano, per il controllo del Nuovo Mondo (1752-1761).

ASCOLTA Planxty 1974

La ballata deve essere stata portata in America dagli emigranti irlandesi e la ritroviamo tra i boscaioli  della Pennsylvania settentrionale e del sud di New York; Ellen Stekert la registrò nel suo album “Song of a New York Lumberjack” (1958) avendola ascoltata da Ezra “Fuzzy” Barhight un boscaiolo in pensione che viveva a  Cohocton, New York che così inizia
“Early one morning, one bright summers’ day
Twenty-four ladies were making their way
A regiment of soldiers were marching nearby
The drummer on one of them cast a rude eye
And it’s so hard fortune.” continua
ma la versione della ballata in Assassin’s Creed Rogue non è quella americana bensì quella dublinese di Frank Harte


I
One fine summer’s morning both gallant and gay
Twenty-four ladies (1) went out on the quay
A regiment of soldiers it did pass them by
A drummer and one of them soon caught his eye
II
He went to his comrade and to him did say
“Twenty-four ladies I saw yesterday
And one of those ladies she has me heart won,
And if she denies me then surely I’m done”

III
“Go to this lady and tell her your mind
Tell her she has wounded your poor heart inside
Go and tell her she’s wounded your poor heart, full sore,
And if she denies you what can she do more?”
IV  (2)
So early next morning the young man arose,
Dressed himself up in a fine suit of clothes,
A watch in his pocket and a cane in his hand
Saluting the ladies he walked down the strand
V
He went up to her and he said “Pardon me,
Pardon me lady for making so free,
Oh me fine honored lady, you have me heart won,
And if you deny me then surely I’m done.”

VI
“Be off little drummer, now what do you mean (3)?
For I’m the lord’s daughter of Ballycasteen.
Oh, I’m the lord’s daughter that’s honored, you see,
Be off little drummer, you’re making too free.”
VII
He put on his hat and he bade her farewell
Saying “I’ll send my soul down to heaven or hell
For with this long pistol that hangs by my side,
Oh, I’ll put an end to my own dreary life.”
VIII
“Come back little drummer, and don’t take it ill,
For I do not want to be guilty of sin,
To be guilty of innocent blood for to spill.
Come back little drummer, I’m here at your will.
IX
We’ll hire a car and to Bansheer we’ll go (4).
There we’ll be married in spite of our foes.
Oh, but what can they say when it’s over and done,
But I fell in love with the roll of your drum?”
Tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
In un bel mattino d’estate tutte intrepide e allegre
24 dame passeggiavano per la banchina del porto
un reggimento di soldati tosto passò loro accanto
e una di loro catturò lo sguardo del tamburino
II
Andò dal suo commilitone
e gli disse
Ho visto 24 dame ieri
e una di loro mi ha conquistato
il cuore
e se lei mi respinge sarò di certo finito!

III
Va da questa dama e dille i tuoi propositi, dille che ti ha ferito nel profondo del cuore
va e dille che ha lacerato il tuo povero cuore dolente
e se lei ti respinge che cosa altro potrà fare?”
IV
Così  il mattino seguente il tamburino si alzò,
si vestì con un bel
completo
l’orologio nel taschino e un bastone in mano,
salutando le dame
passeggiava per la via maestra
V
Andò da lei e disse
Chiedo scusa,
perdonatemi per la mia franchezza
Oh mia bella dama degna di rispetto,
voi avete conquistato il mio cuore
e se mi respingerete sarò di certo finito”

VI
“Smamma piccolo tamburino, adesso che mi significa?
Sono figlia di un Signore
di Ballycasteen.
sono una rispettabile figlia di Lord
come vedi

smamma piccolo tamburino e non prenderti tante libertà”
VII
Lui si mise il cappello e la salutò dicendo
“Spedirò la mia anima in cielo
o all’inferno

con questa pistola appesa al mio fianco
metterò fine alla mia desolata, giovane vita”
VIII
“Torna indietro giovane tamburino non prenderla così male,
non voglio essere responsabile del peccato, 
essere responsabile per il sangue innocente versato, torna indietro giovane tamburino, sono alla tua mercè.
XI
Noleggeremo un calesse e andremo a Bansheer
là ci sposeremo in barba ai nostri nemici
perchè che cosa avranno da dire quando sarà tutto finito se non che mi sono innamorata del rullare del tuo tamburo?”

NOTE
1) nelle ballate le brigate sono sempre 24 di numero per lo più giovanette o giovanetti intenti nel gioco della palla (vedi)
2) strofa saltata in Assassin’s Creed
3) nonostante le sue pretese di nobiltà a me questa “dama” mi sembra più una popolana!
4) oggi viene da tradurre car come automobile, ma siccome la ballata risale quantomeno all’Ottocento è più probabile che si tratti di un calesse;  nella versione di Ellen Stekert dice
‘Oh, we’ll go to the stable and saddle a horse
To London we’ll ride, and married we’ll be!
And what will we say when the deed it is done?
I’ll tell them that you won me with a roll of your drum .’

FONTI
http://www.folkways.si.edu/ellen-stekert/songs-of-a-new-york-lumberjack/american-folk/music/album/smithsonian
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6190
https://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/little-drummer/
https://www.itma.ie/goilin/singer/harte_frank

PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN

La working song afroamericana “Pay Me My Money Down” è nata tra i lavoratori portuali nelle isole dello stato della Georgia forse intorno al 1880. All’epoca la schiavitù era stata abolita anche negli stati del Sud, ma i lavoratori neri erano comunque sfruttati come schiavi. Così la canzone di protesta è stata raccolta da Lydia Parrish e pubblicata nel 1942 (in Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands).

Scrive Riccardo Venturi “Sebbene la canzone risalga con tutta probabilità a circa il 1880 (solo pochi anni dopo la nominale abolizione della schiavitù negli stati del Sud, dopo la guerra di secessione), la melodia è molto più antica: Alan Lomax, il principale studioso delle folk ballads americane, nella sua opera capitale Folk Songs and Ballads la fa risalire ad un motivo per banjo intitolato Lynchburg Town.” (tratto da qui)

ASCOLTA The Weavers 1955

ASCOLTA Bruce Springsteen in We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

ASCOLTA Assassin’s Creed Rogue


I thought I heard the Captain say
Pay me my money down
Tomorrow is our sailing day
Pay me my money down
CORO
Oh pay me, oh pay me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down
As soon as the boat was clear of the bar
The captain knocked me down with a spar
I wish I was Mr. Steven’s son
Sit in the shade and watch the work done
I wish I was Mr. Howard’s son
Sit in the shade and drink good rum
Traduzione di Cattia Salto
Mi è parso sentire dire al Capitano
(dammi la mia paga)
domani si parte
(dammi la mia paga)
CORO
Pagami, pagami
dammi la mia paga
pagami o va in galera
dammi la mia paga
Non appena la barca iniziò a navigare
il capitano mi stese con una spranga
Vorrei essere il figlio del signor Steven
seduto all’ombra che guarda lavorare gli altri
Vorrei essere il figlio del signor Howard
seduto all’ombra a bere del buon rum

FONTI
https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=7921&lang=it
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/643.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=7301

DON’T FORGET YOUR OLD SHIPMATES

La canzone del mare “Don’t forget your old shipmate” semi-sconosciuta prima del suo esordio nel film “Master and Commander” (2001)  è stata scritta dall’irlandese Richard Creagh Saunders (1809-1886), che ha trascorso ben 26 anni nella Royal Navy. Charles H. Firth (in Naval Songs and Ballads 1908) data la composizione al 1860 quando Saunders era di servizio sulla HMS Marlborough, la nave ammiraglia inglese della flotta mediterranea, poco dopo viene assegnato al servizio a terra come Istruttore Navale presso la Royal Naval School di Londra, un ente caritatevole per i figli degli ufficiali meno abbienti.

Jerry Bryant nel suo breve saggio “Long we’ve toiled on the rolling wave: One sea song’s journey from the gun deck to Hollywood” (2010) è riuscito a tracciare la genesi della canzone e il “folk process” che l’ha portata fino alla sua comparsa nel film, individuando la trasmissione di due distinte fonti coeve all’autore, le sue due pubblicazioni testuali e melodiche (la prima solo per il testo nel 1908, la seconda anche con la melodia nel 1931) e il suo rimaneggiamento durante il folk revival degli anni 70.
Il primo folksinger che la registrò, recuperandola dall’oblio, fu Jim Mageean nel 1978, il secondo che ci mise mano fu Dave Peloquin al di là dell’Oceano nel 1989, finchè venne registrata da Jerry Bryant nel 2000 il quale ebbe l’idea di lasciare un bel po’ di copie del suo Cd (Roast Beef of Old Englandsulla HMS Rose, la replica di una fregata inglese del XVIII secolo -che era finita nel 1985 a Bridgeport nel Connecticut per essere restaurata e rimessa in condizioni di navigare. Nel settembre 1991 alla Rose venne attribuita la Certificazione di Nave Scuola di Classe A, risultando così la più grande nave scuola a vela americana (vedi).

Sennonchè la nave fu “scritturata” nella parte della H.M.S Surprise del capitano Jack Aubrey dalla Fox Studios e una copia del Cd di Jerry Bryant finì nelle mani del regista Peter Weir .. per essere cantata in una scena del film

Da Master and Commander (strofe I e III)

Il successo commerciale del film ha portato alla popolarità anche la canzone “Don’t forget yer old shipmate” dando origine all’equivoco sulla sua datazione: la canzone viene spacciata come risalente alle guerre napoleoniche solo perchè il film è ambientato nel 1805.

Scrive Jerry Bryant nel suo saggio: “We can picture Naval Instructor Saunders in the ward room of the Marlborough, singing his new song for his fellow officers, and being asked in the following weeks to sing it again and again.  When visiting officers from other ships in the fleet joined the company, they would likely have heard the song and  joined in on the chorus as a decanter of port went round the table.  Perhaps it was at just such a convivial event that John Knox Laughton heard the song”. (tratto da qui)
John Knox Laughton amico fraterno di Saunders  è stato il tramite che ha passato la canzone a Charles H. Firth per la pubblicazione del testo senza però la melodia, nella sua già citata raccolta .
La canzone come la conosciamo oggi proviene però da un’altra fonte James Runciman, amante del mare (e figlio di un capitano di mare e poi guardia costiera del Northumberland), che in qualche modo e nonostante la sua breve vita è venuto in contatto con la canzone di Saunders per cantarla al nipote Richard Runciman Terry colui il quale la pubblicò nel suo “Salt Sea Ballads” (1931) con tanto di melodia e partitura per pianoforte.
Il folk revival tuttavia s’impossessa della canzone solo negli anni 70 quando Jim Mageean trovò nella Biblioteca di Newcastle upon Tyne il libro di Sir Richard R. Terry e al momento della registrazione ne modifica la struttura melodica.

ASCOLTA Jerry Bryant & Starboard Mess in Roast Beef of Old England (2000)

ASCOLTA Assassin’s Creed

La canzone è cantata da Joe che ricorda Jack, il marinaio con cui aveva fraternizzato sull’ultima nave: finito il loro arruolamento si domanda se ci saranno ancora occasioni d’incontro e amicizia anche a terra o su un’altra nave (che i marinai prima o poi s’imbarcano di nuovo!).


I (1)
Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar (2), Jack (3).
Safe and sound at home again, let the waters roar, Jack.
Chorus
Long we’ve tossed on the rolling main, now we’re safe ashore, Jack.
Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!
II
Since we sailed from Plymouth Sound (4), four years gone, or nigh, Jack.
Was there ever chummies (5), now, such as you and I, Jack?
III
We have worked the self-same gun, quarterdeck division.
Sponger (6) I and loader you, through the whole commission.
IV
When the middle watch (7) was on, and the time went slow, boy,
Who could choose a rousing stave (8), who like Jack or Joe, boy?
V
There she swings, an empty hulk (9), not a soul below now.
Number seven starboard mess (10) misses Jack and Joe now.
VI
But the best of friends must part, fair or foul the weather.
Hand yer flipper (11) for a shake, now a drink together.
Tradotto da Cattia Salto
I
Sani e salvi a casa siam, iI mare urla forte, Jack,
Sani e salvi a casa siam iI mare urla forte, Jack,
CORO
A lungo le onde cavalcato abbiam, ma ora siamo al sicuro a terra Jack
Non scordarti il tuo vecchio compagno di bordo!
II
Da quando partiti siam dalla Rada di Plymouth passati son quasi 4 anni,  Jack, ci sono mai stati fratelli, come te ed me Jack?
III
Abbiam lavorato allo stesso cannone, nella nostra divisione.
Io scovolavo, tu caricavi, per tutta la missione.
IV
Quando era il turno della guardia notturna e il tempo passava lento, ragazzo, chi sapeva scegliere una linea melodica entusiasmante, come Jack o Joe, ragazzo?
V
Adesso lei dondola là, come un pontone, senza nessuno dentro
Ora, il rancio numero sette dei destrali,
ha perso Jack e Joe.
VI
Ma anche i migliori amici devono separarsi, con il bello e il brutto tempo, qua la pinna per una stretta, ora beviamo insieme

NOTE
1) sulla querelle in merito al verso della prima strofa rimando alla trattazione di Jerry Bryant (qui)
2) letteralmente “il fragore delle acque”
3) guarda caso il nome del capitano Aubrey è proprio Jack, soprannominato il Fortunato
4) la baia sulla Manica nei pressi di Plymouth: sound è un termine marinaresco per rada, baia in cui si ha un buon ancoramento; significa anche Stretto o passo tra due terre (to sound sondare, scandagliare.)
Plymouth è un importante porto commerciale e base militare sulla foce dei fiumi Plym e Tamar in fondo a una rada ampia e articolata, “The Sound”, protetta ovunque da fortificazioni militari. (da Wikivoyage)
5) chummy è usato come aggettivo nel senso di amichevole, amicone
6) la bocca del cannone doveva essere ripulita dai residui di polvere prima di essere ricaricata con una nuova palla
7) la guardia notturna che va da mezzanotte alle 4 del mattino
8) oppure “Who could tune a rousing stave
Un tempo c’era in Gran Bretagna un curioso mestiere quello del “bussatore” ( knocker-up o knocker-upper) che con un lungo bastone detto “rousing stave” bussava alla finestra dei clienti per svegliarli. In alternativa era usata una cerbottana per lanciare legumi secchi contro i vetri dei dormienti.
La figura del bussatore era abbastanza nota durante l’Ottocento, viene descritto in “Grandi Speranze” di Charles Dickens.
La lunga pertica veniva usata anche in chiesa per dare la sveglia a coloro che sonnecchiavano durante la funzione (vedi). In questo contesto tuttavia stave non significa bastone quanto pentagramma e la frase si riferisce a una melodia stimolante in grado di fare stare svegli
9) hulk body of an abandoned vessel. Italo Ottonello suggerisce la traduzione di “pontone”: lo scafo delle vecchie navi era utilizzato per l’effettuazione di lavori pesanti

alloggio equipaggio sul clipper Cutty Sark

10) Number seven starboard mess: la traduzione suggerita da Italo Ottonello: Rancio (mess) numero sette dei destrali (starboard watch= guardia di dritta). L’alloggio equipaggio era diviso in due parti, una per ciascuna guardia dove gli uomini dormivano e mangiavano
11) flipper sta per mano

FONTI
http://www.hardtackers.com/JerryBryantPaper.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48079

Don’t forget your old shipmates…

ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLACK FLAG & ROGUE

Finita l’epoca dei grandi velieri il repertorio delle canzoni marinaresche (sea shanty), documentato dai veterani in pensione, è sbarcato sulla terra diffondendosi tra i non marinai e gli amanti della musica folkloristica “..alcune delle canzoni che ho citato ora sembrano sciocche vedendole scritte. Non sono il genere di canzoni da stampare. Sono canzoni che devono essere cantate in certe condizioni, e dove quelle condizioni non esistono, appaiono fuori luogo. In mare, quando sono cantate nel tranquillo gaettone, o alando le cime, sono le più belle di tutte le canzoni. È difficile scriverle senza emozione, perché sono parte della vita. Non si possono separare dalla vita. Non si può scrivere una parola di loro senza pensare ai giorni andati, o a compagni da molto tempo diventati corallo, o a belle, vecchie navi, una volta così maestose, ora ferro vecchio.” (John Masefield in “Sea Songs” 1906)

After the Golden Age of Sail , the repertoire of maritime songs (sea shanty), documented by retired veterans, has landed on the shore spreading among non-sailors and folk music fans “

Una raccolta moderna dei canti marinareschi ovvero Shanties from the Seven Seas è di Stan Hugill (1961) con informazioni di prima-mano, la cosiddetta “shantyman’s bible“!

A modern collection is titled “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1961) with first-hand information, the so-called “shantyman’s bible”!

Una grande rivalutazione di questi canti è avvenuta poi più recentemente con la produzione in versione piratesca del famosissimo videogioco Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (2013); la trama è un’intricata vicenda basata sui ricordi del pirata Edward Kenway  ed è ambientata nel mare dei Caraibi in un arco storico che va dal 1715 al 1721.

A great re-evaluation of these songs took place more recently with the production of a pirate version of the famous Assassin’s Creed videogame: Black Flag (2013); the plot is an intricate story based on the memories of the pirate Edward Kenway and it is set in the Caribbean Sea in a historical arch that goes from 1715 to 1721.

Come già sottolineato da più parti, per quanto il lavoro svolto dai creatori del videogioco Assassin Creed abbia portato le canzoni marinaresche in auge tra i giovani, si è trattato di una mistificazione: molti dei canti sono del secolo successivo e ogni riferimento alla cultura afro-americana che ne è stata per buona parte la fonte è volutamente ignorato.

As already underlined by many parties, although the work done by the creators of the video game Assassin Creed has brought maritime songs in vogue among the young, it was a mystification: many songs are from the next century and all references to African American culture source has been deliberately ignored.

Ma tanto di cappello per l’enorme produzione articolata in una serie di Cd e in particolare Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Sea Shanty Edition, Vol. 1 e 2) e Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Sea Shanty Edition) il sequel del video-gioco distribuito nel 2014

But hats off for the huge production articulated in a series of CDs and in particular Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Sea Shanty Edition, Vol. 1 and 2) and Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Sea Shanty Edition) the sequel of the video game released in 2014

Sono raccolte non solo canzoni marinaresche ma anche ballate e canzoni del mare, antiche drinking songs (canti di taverna) e qualche rebel song.

Not only maritime songs are collected, but also ballads and sea songs, ancient drinking songs (tavern songs) and some rebel songs.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (Sea Shanty Edition, Vol. 1 e 2)

ADMIRAL BENBOW
ALL FOR ME GROG
BILLY RILEY
BLOW AWAY THE MORNING DEW
BULLY IN THE ALLEY
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN WARD (Child  #287)
CHEERLY MAN
COASTS OF HIGH BARBARY (Child  #285)
DEAD HORSE
DERBY RAM
DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN
DRUNKEN SAILOR
FATHOM THE BOWL
FISH IN THE SEA
GOLDEN VANITY (Child #286)
GOOD MORNING, LADIES ALL
HANDY ME BOYS
HAULEY HAULEY HO 
HERE’S A HEALTH TO THE COMPANY
HI-HO COME ROLL ME OVER
HOMEWARD BOUND
JOHNNY BOKER
LEAVE HER JOHNNY
LOWLANDS AWAY
MAGGIE LAUDER
MAID OF AMSTERDAM
NIGHTINGALE
PADDY DOYLE’S BOOTS
PADSTOW’S FAREWELL
PATRICK SPENS
RANDY DANDY-O
RIO GRANDE
ROLL AND GO
ROLL, BOYS, ROLL! (Sally Brown)
ROLLER BOWLER
RUNNING DOWN TO CUBA
SAILBOAT MALARKAY
SO EARLY IN THE MORNING
SPANISH LADIES
STORMALONG JOHN
TROOPER AND THE MAID
WILD GOOSE SHANTY
WILLIAM TAYLOR
WHERE AM I TO GO M’JOHNNIES
WHISK(E)Y JOHNNY
WORST OLD SHIP

Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Sea Shanty Edition)


BLOOD RED ROSES
BOLD RILEY
BONNIE LASS O’FYVIE
DONKEY RIDING
DON’T FORGET YOUR OLD SHIPMATES
GO TO SEA NO MORE
HAUL AWAY JOE
HEAVE AWAY MY JOHNNY
HENRY MARTIN (Child  #250)
HI FOR THE BEGGERMAN
JOLLY ROVING TAR
KATIE CRUEL
LITTLE DRUMMER
LIVERPOOL JUDIES
MY BONNIE HIGHLAND LASSIE
NEW YORK GIRLS
ONE MORE DAY
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY
PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN
PADDY LAY BACK
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI
ROUND THE CORNER SALLY
SHALLOW BROWN
STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN
WE BE THREE POOR MARINERS
WINDY OLD WEATHER
YE JACOBITES