Archivi tag: pirate song

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

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

Asshole Rules the Navy

Leggi in italiano

“Asshole Rules the Navy” is a sea song in a bawdry and very trash style, for a perfect “pirate song”: recorded by Salty Dick for his album “Uncensored Sailor Songs” (2004) it is also titled “Backside rules the Navy” in the Oscar Brand version ( 1958).

Oscar Brand from “Bawdy Sea Chanteys.” 1958: in a “British gentleman” accent for a very fun story (I, II, VI)

Iggy Pop & A Hawk and a Hacksaw from Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 ( I, II, VI)

Pyrates! from Uncharted Lands 2014: the dutch “Pyrates!” add some more stanzas


I
Let us sing a bit of good old Captain Kitt,
Who sat one morning early in the head.
A bee came flying past and it stung him on the ass,
And this is what the gallant captain said.
“Asshole(1) rules the Navy,
asshole rules the sea.
If you want a bit of bum,
better get it from your chum –
You’ll get no ass from me.”
II
Now we’ll hear some rhymes of Yeoman Second Grimes
Who ran the hook that hoisted up the mail.
One day as he stood watch it caught him in the crotch
And he cried as he went flying o’er the rail/”It doesn’t matter..”
III
Let us sing at gait (2),
as cook was running late
as the second mate searched below the decks
He caught him dashing past, run him up his mast
and this is what the shipman had to say..

IV
The skipper wore his caps, over good old fashion maps
and for the good ole seaman he did call
they started having fun, as he filled him up with…..rum
and this is what the captain had to say….
V
Next we’ll sing a while, of a man with bags o’ style
for his shoes were made of Aussie crocodile
as he sat there on the docks,
We showed him all our….rocks
and this is what the bos’n had to say….
VI
And now to end my song I’ll sing of AB Long
Whose member was not like his name at all.
When asked if he would tell how
he got along so well
His answer simply was as I recall,
“It’s very simple…”

NOTES
1) or Backside
2) our own way

Link
http://www.shantynet.com/shanties/histories-and-additional-info/arsehole-rules-additional-information/

http://www.horntip.com/mp3/fieldwork/horntip_collection/p/micca_patterson/sambo_was_a_lazy_coon__asshole_rules_the_navy.htm
http://www.horntip.com/mp3/2000s/2004_salty_dicks_uncensored_sailor_songs_(CD)/02_asshole_rules_the_navy.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=73406

All for me Grog

Leggi in italiano

Yet another drinking song, “All for me Grog”, in which “Grog” is a drink based on rum, but also a colloquial term used in Ireland as a synonym for “drinking”.
grogThe song opens with the refrain, in which our wandering sailor specifies that it is precisely because of his love for alcohol, tobacco and girls, that he always finds himself penniless and full of trouble. To satisfy his own vices, johnny sells from his boots to his bed. More than a sea shanty it was a forebitter song or a tavern song; and our johnny could very well be enlisted in the Royal Navy, but also been boarded a pirate ship around the West Indies.

Nowadays it is a song that is depopulated in historical reenactments with corollaries of pirate chorus!
Al Lloyd (II, I, III)

The Dubliners from The Dubliners Live,1974

AC4 Black Flag ( II, III, VI)

 CHORUS
And it’s all for me grog
me jolly, jolly grog (1)
All for my beer and tobacco
Well, I spent all me tin
with the lassies (2) drinkin’ gin
Far across the Western Ocean
I must wander

I
I’m sick in the head
and I haven’t been to bed
Since first I came ashore with me plunder
I’ve seen centipedes and snakes and me head is full of aches
And I have to take a path for way out yonder (3)
II
Where are me boots,
me noggin’ (4), noggin’ boots
They’re all sold (gone) for beer and tobacco
See the soles they were thin
and the uppers were lettin’ in(5)
And the heels were lookin’ out for better weather
III
Where is me shirt,
me noggin’, noggin’ shirt
It’s all sold for beer and tobacco
You see the sleeves were all worn out and the collar been torn about
And the tail was lookin’ out for better weather
IV
Where is me wife,
me noggin’, noggin’ wife
She’s all sold for beer and tobacco
You see her front it was worn out
and her tail I kicked about
And I’m sure she’s lookin’ out for better weather
V
Where is me bed,
me  noggin’, noggin’ bed
It’s all sold for beer and tobacco
You see I sold it to the girls until the springs were all in twirls(6)
And the sheets they’re lookin’ out for better weather
VI
Well I’m sick in the head
and I haven’t been to bed
Since I’ve been ashore for me slumber
Well I spent all me dough
On the lassies don’t ye know
Across the western ocean(7)
I will wander.

NOTES
1) grog: it is a very old term and means “liqueur” or “alcoholic beverage”. The grog is a drink introduced in the Royal Navy in 1740: rum after the British conquest of Jamaica had become the favorite drink of sailors, but to avoid any problems during navigation, the daily ration of rum was diluted with water.
2) lassies: widely used in Scotland, it is the plural of lassie or lassy, diminutive of lass, the archaic form for “lady”
4) nogging: in the standard English noun, the word means “head”, “pumpkin”, in an ironic sense. Being a colloquial expression, it becomes “stubborn” (qualifying adjective)
5) let in = open
6) the use of the mattress is implied not only for sleeping
7) western ocean: it is the term by which the sailors of the time referred to the Atlantic Ocean

A GROG JUG

1/4 or 1/3 of Jamaican rum
half lemon juice (or orange or grapefruit)
1 or 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.
Fill with water.

Even in the warm winter version: the water must be heated almost to boiling. Add a little spice (cinnamon stick, cloves) and lemon zest.
It is a classic Christmas drink especially in Northern Europe.

 GROG

( Italo Ottonello)
The grog was a mixture of rum and water, later flavored with lemon juice, as an anti-scorb, and a little sugar. The adoption of the grog is due to Admiral Edward Vernon, to remedy the disciplinary problems created by an excessive ration of alcohol (*) on British warships. On 21 August 1740 he issued for his team an order that established the distribution of rum lengthened with water. The ration was obtained by mixing a quarter of gallon of water (liters 1.13) and a half pint of rum (0.28 liters) – in proportion 4 to 1 – and distributed half at noon and half in the evening. The term grog comes from ‘Old Grog’, the nickname of the Admiral, who used to wear trousers and a cloak of thick grogram fabric at sea. The use of grog, later, became common in Anglo-Saxon marines, and the deprivation of the ration (grog stop), was one of the most feared punishment by sailors. Temperance ships were called those merchant ships whose enlistment contract contained the “no spirits allowed” clause which excluded the distribution of grog or other alcohol to the crew.
 (*) The water, not always good already at the beginning of the journey, became rotten only after a few days of stay in the barrels.
In fact, nobody drank it because beer was available. It was light beer, of poor quality, which ended within a month and, only then, the captains allowed the distribution of wine or liqueurs. A pint of wine (just over half a liter) or half a pint of rum was considered the equivalent of a gallon (4.5 liters) of beer, the daily ration. It seems that the sailors preferred the white wines to the red ones that they called despicably black-strap (molasses). Being destined in the Mediterranean, where wine was embarked, was said to be blackstrapped. In the West Indies, however, rum was abundant.

LINK
http://www.drinkingcup.net/navy-rum-part-2-dogs-tankys-scuttlebutts-fanny-cups/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=5512
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/allformegrog.html
http://www.lettereearti.it/mondodellarte/musica/la-lingua-delle-ballate-e-delle-canzoni-popolari-anglo-irlandesi/

THREE DRUNKEN MAIDENS

Un classico delle rievocazioni storiche in tema Bucanieri questa allegra drinking song, risalente alla metà del 1700: il titolo è anche semplicemente “Drunken Maidens” e le fanciulle sono talvolta “Three drunken maidens” ma anche “Four drunken maidens”.
A.L. Lloyd associò una melodia di sua composizione al testo che aveva trovato in “A Pedlar Pack of Ballads and Songs” di W H. Logan’s  (1869) e registrò la canzone, accompagnato da Al Jeffery al banjo,  nel suo album “English Drinking Songs” (1956) , che ebbe un discreto seguito nei circuiti dei folk clubs.
In seguito Lloyd trovò nel “Tune Book” (1770) di John Vickers la melodia originaria che accompagnava la canzone,  ma orami la versione standard era diventata la sua.
La canzone viene associata a Christy Moore e considerata una irish driinking song, ma è stata eseguita anche dai Fairport Convention e gli Steeleye Span.

ASCOLTA A.L. Lloyd in All For Me Grog, 1961

ASCOLTA The Planxty live

ASCOLTA Denis Murray & Napper Tandy live 1997


I
There were three drunken maidens
Come from the Isle of Wight (1)
They drunk from Monday morning
Nor stopped till Saturday night
When Saturday night would come, me boys
They wouldn’t then go out
Not them three drunken maidens,
they pushed the jug about (2).
II
Then in comes bouncing Sally
Her cheeks as red as blooms
“Move up me jolly sisters
And give young Sally some room
Then I will be your equal
Before the night is out”
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
III
There’s woodcock and pheasant
There’s partridge and hare
There’s all sorts of dainties
No scarcity was there
There’s forty quarts of beer, me boys
They fairly drunk them out
And these four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
IV
And up comes the landlord
He’s asking for his pay
“It is a forty pound bill, me boys
These gobs have got to pay
That’s ten pounds apiece, me boys”
But still they wouldn’t go out
These four drunken maidens
They pushed the jug about
V
Oh where are your feather hats
Your mantles rich and fine?
They all got swallowed up, me lads
In tankards of good wine
And where are your maidenheads
You maidens frisk and gay?
We left them in the alehouse
We drank them clean away(3)
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’erano tre signorine ubriache
che veniva dall’Isola di Wright
bevevano dal lunedì mattino
e non smettevano fino alla notte del sabato.
Quando arrivava sabato notte, ragazzi,
non avrebbero poi voluto uscire
non queste tre fanciulle ubriache
che facevano girare la bottiglia!
II
Allora entrò la rotondetta Sally
dalle guance come rose fiorite
“Spostatevi, mie allegre sorelle
e fate un po’ di posto alla piccola Sally
allora sarò vostra pari
prima che la notte sia finita”
Così queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
III
C’erano la beccaccia e il fagiano
c’erano la pernice e la lepre
e di tutte le prelibatezze
non c’era penuria.
C’erano quaranta litri di birra, ragazzi
e li bevvero tutti equamente
e queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
IV
Ed ecco che arriva l’oste
e chiede di essere pagato
“E’ un conto di 40 sterline, ragazzi
dovete pagare questo gruzzolo,
sono dieci sterline a testa, ragazzi”
Eppure non volevano andarsene
queste quattro fanciulle ubriache
facevano girare la bottiglia
V
Dove sono i vostri cappelli piumati
i mantelli preziosi e belli?
“Sono stati tutti inghiottiti, ragazzi
in boccali di buon vino.”
E dove sono le vostre verginità
voi fanciulle sveglie e allegre?
“Le lasciammo in birreria,
ce le siamo bevute”

NOTE
1) l’isola di Wight era un deposito per i contrabbandieri di liquori provenienti dalla Francia
2) Non è automatico tradurre in italiano il temine jug: in fiorentino si direbbe boccia, che richiama l’immagine delle bottiglie di vino da 5 litri (una bottiglia piuttosto grande con il collo stretto). Ma può essere anche una caraffa con tanto di manico e collo più svasato che assomiglia a una brocca. Potrebbe anche essere un vaso di vetro per conservare marmellate o ortaggi o il barattolo del miele. Un termine quanto mai generico che a me richiama l’orcio toscano, il recipiente di terracotta, panciuto e di forma allungata con il collo ristretto, spesso a due manici in cui si conservavano o trasportavano i liquidi. In antico era una unità di misura equivalente a circa 38 litri, ma rimpicciolito ecco che l’orcio era usato come una brocca.
jug= boccia, brocca, caraffa, bottiglia.
3) non avendo soldi per pagare l’oste, hanno pagato in natura

FONTI
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/thedrunkenmaidens.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=274

Barnacle Bill the Sailor

Una drinking song popolare in America variamente intitolata “Barnacle Bill ( o Bollocky Bill- Abraham Brown), the Sailor ”
Il contesto è quella di una night visiting song con botta e risposta tra la fanciulla e il marinaio, inevitabili le versioni pecorecce e anche nelle versioni “pulite” non mancano i doppi sensi.
La situazione è ripresa anche nei cartoons, vediamola nel triangolo Olivia, Bracio di Ferro e Bluto (nei panni di Barnacle Bill)!

ASCOLTA Kembra Phaler w/ Antony/Joseph Arthur/Foetus Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 (su Spotify) nella versione  la leggiadra fanciulla è un uomo che canta in farsetto e la voce del vecchio sporco marinaio infoiato è di Kembra Phaler -con effetto esilarante

Testo nella versione di Kembra Phaler
I
Who’s that knocking at my door?
Who’s that knocking at my door?
Who’s that knocking at my door?
Cried the fair young maiden!
II
I’ll come down and let you in
I’ll come down and let you in
I’ll come down and let you in
Cried the fair young maiden
III
Well, it’s only me from over the sea
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
I’m hard to windward and hard a-lee,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
I’ve newly come upon the shore,
And this is what I’m looking for,
A jade (1), a maid, or even a whore
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
IV
Are you young and handsome, sir
Are you young and handsome, sir
Are you young and handsome, sir
Cried the fair young maiden
V
I’m old and rough and dirty and tough
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
I never can get drunk enough,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor,
I drinks my whiskey when I can
Drinks it from an old tin can,
For whiskey is the life of man,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
VI
Tell me when we soon shall wed
Tell me when we soon shall wed
Tell me when we soon shall wed
Cried the fair young maiden
VII
You foolish girl, it’s nothing but sport,
Says Barnacle Bill the Sailor
The handsome gals is what I court
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
With my false heart and flatterin’ tongue
I courts ‘em all both old and young
I courts ‘em all, but marries none
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
VIII
When will I see you again
When will I see you again
When will I see you again
Cried the fair young maiden
IX
Never no more you fucking whore,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
Tonite I’m sailin’ from the shore
Said Barnacle Bill the sailor.
I’m sailing away in another track
To give other maid a crack,
But keep it oiled till I come back,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I LEI
Chi è che bussa alla mia porta?
Chi è che bussa alla mia porta?
Chi è che bussa alla mia porta?
Gridò la leggiadra fanciulla!
II LEI
Scendo e ti farò entrare
Scendo e ti farò entrare
Scendo e ti farò entrare
Gridò la leggiadra fanciulla!
III LUI
Beh, sono solo io da oltre il mare
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
Ce l’ho duro controvento e sottovento
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
sono appena sbarcato a terra
e questo è quanto cerco: una cavallona, una fanciulla o anche una puttana -disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
IV LEI
Siete giovane e bello, signore?
Siete giovane e bello, signore?
Siete giovane e bello, signore?
Gridò la leggiadra fanciulla!
V LUI
Sono un vecchio sporco brutto ceffo
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
e non mi ubriaco mai abbastanza
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
bevo whiskey quando posso
lo bevo da una vecchia lattina
perchè il whiskey è la vita di un uomo
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
VI LEI
Dimmi quando presto ci sposeremo ?
Dimmi quando presto ci sposeremo ?
Dimmi quando presto ci sposeremo?
Gridò la leggiadra fanciulla!
VII LUI
Sei pazza, non è altro che divertimento
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
alle belle ragazze faccio la corte
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
con cuore falso e lingua
ingannevole
le corteggio tutte, vecchie e giovani
le corteggio tutte, ma nessuna sposo
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
VIII LEI
Quando ci incontreremo di nuovo?
Quando ci incontreremo di nuovo?
Quando ci incontreremo di nuovo?
Gridò la leggiadra fanciulla!
IX LUI
Mai più fottuta puttana
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
stanotte sto salpando da terra
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
in partenza per un’altra scia
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio
ma tienila oliata finchè non torno
-disse Barnacle Bill il marinaio

NOTE
1) jade arriva dai tempi di Shakespeare per indicare una ragazza che vale poco perchè consumata proprio come ol termine spregiativo per indicare una “giumenta” (jade)

FONTI
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/whosthat.htm
http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/b/barnaclebillthesailor.html
https://perfect-beaker.livejournal.com/175213.html

Sono gli stronzi a governare la Marina

Read the post in English

“Asshole Rules the Navy” è una sea song in stile sboccato e molto trash, per una perfetta  “pirate song”: registrata da Salty Dick per il suo album “Uncensored Sailor Songs” (2004) è intitolata anche “Backside rules the Navy” nella versione di Oscar Brand (1958).

Oscar Brand in “Bawdy Sea Chanteys.” 1958: l’accento è molto  “British gentleman” e rende la canzone ancora più spassosa! (strofe I, II, VI)

Iggy Pop & A Hawk and a Hacksaw in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 (strofe I, II, VI)

Pyrates! in Uncharted Lands 2014: gli olandesi Pyrates! aggiungono ulteriori strofe


I
Let us sing a bit of good old Captain Kitt,
Who sat one morning early in the head.
A bee came flying past and it stung him on the ass,
And this is what the gallant captain said.
“Asshole(1) rules the Navy,
asshole rules the sea.
If you want a bit of bum,
better get it from your chum –
You’ll get no ass from me.”
II
Now we’ll hear some rhymes of Yeoman Second Grimes
Who ran the hook that hoisted up the mail.
One day as he stood watch it caught him in the crotch
And he cried as he went flying o’er the rail/”It doesn’t matter..”
III
Let us sing at gait (2),
as cook was running late
as the second mate searched below the decks
He caught him dashing past, run him up his mast
and this is what the shipman had to say..
IV
The skipper wore his caps, over good old fashion maps
and for the good ole seaman he did call
they started having fun, as he filled him up with…..rum
and this is what the captain had to say….
V
Next we’ll sing a while, of a man with bags o’ style
for his shoes were made of Aussie crocodile
as he sat there on the docks,
We showed him all our….rocks
and this is what the bos’n had to say….
VI
And now to end my song I’ll sing of AB Long
Whose member was not like his name at all.
When asked if he would tell how
he got along so well
His answer simply was as I recall,
“It’s very simple…”
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Lasciateci un po’ cantare del buon vecchio Capitano Kitt
che si è seduto un mattino presto a prua,
un’ape venne volando e lo punzecchiò sul culo
e questo è ciò che quel galantuomo disse
“Sono gli stronzi a governare la Marina,
gli stronzi a governare il mare
se hai voglia di culo
è meglio che lo prendi dal tuo camerata
perchè non avrai il mio culo”
II
Abbiamo sentito dei versi dall’Ufficiale di Seconda classe Grimes
che gestiva il gancio per sollevare la posta
un giorno che stava in piedi a guardare, lo presero per il cavallo dei pantaloni
e lui gridò mentre volava fuori dalla fiancata/ “Non preoccuparti ..
III
Lasciateci cantare a modo nostro
quando il cuoco era in ritardo
mentre il secondo lo cercava sotto coperta
lo soprese con un balzo; e lo fece correre sulla sua asta
e questo è quello che il capitano aveva da dire..
IV
Il comandante indossava i berretti su delle brave muffole vecchio stile
e chiamò il bravo vecchio marinaio, iniziarono a divertirsi mentre lo riempiva con .. il rum
e questo è quello che il capitano aveva da dire..
V
Poi canteremo ancora di un uomo con un sacco di eleganza
perchè le scarpe erano fatte di coccodrillo australiano e quando si sedette sul molo noi gli mostrammo le nostre .. “rocce” e questo è quello che il nostromo aveva da dire..
VI
E ora per finire la canzone canterò di AB Long
il cui membro non era affatto come il suo nome.
Quando interrogato se avesse voluto raccontare come si trovasse così bene
la risposta fu semplice se ben ricordo/”E’ molto semplice ..

NOTE
1) Backside in italiano possiamo tradurre anche con “idioti”
2) our own way

FONTI
http://www.shantynet.com/shanties/histories-and-additional-info/arsehole-rules-additional-information/

http://www.horntip.com/mp3/fieldwork/horntip_collection/p/micca_patterson/sambo_was_a_lazy_coon__asshole_rules_the_navy.htm
http://www.horntip.com/mp3/2000s/2004_salty_dicks_uncensored_sailor_songs_(CD)/02_asshole_rules_the_navy.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=73406

Good Ship Venus

“Good Ship Venus” ( o “Friggin in the Riggin”) è una canzone del mare decisamente volgare, una canzonaccia da pirati ubriachi (una “bawdy drinking song”) con un crescendo descrittivo di atti osceni presumibilmente avvenuti sulla nave Venus. Secondo alcuni la canzone è stata ispirata dall’ammutinamento sul brigantino Venere  sobillato da Charlotte Badger, la prima donna pirata australiana (1806). Originaria dello Worcestershire, era una poverella che per campare e nutrire la famiglia si dedicava a piccoli furti, finchè fu sorpresa a rubare un fazzoletto di seta e qualche moneta, e finì ai lavori forzati nel Nuovo Galles del Sud (Australia). Il sistema carceraio ai tempi era severissimo e chi rubava (ai ricchi) passava come minimo sette anni in galera (o nelle colonie penali d’oltreoceano). Dopo aver scontato la sua pena Charlotte si imbarcò sul “Venus” ma il capitano del brigantino Samuel Chase era un sadico, che godeva a frustare le donne, e si accanì contro Charlotte e una sua compagna Catherine Hagerty.
Le due donne convinsero i passeggeri a ribellarsi e riuscirono a prendere possesso della nave dirigendosi verso la Nuova Zelanda (o la Tasmania): della nave non si seppe più nulla e anche sulle  due piratesse ci sono scarse notizie, secondo un racconto la nave fu catturata dai nativi maori che la bruciarono e si cibarono dell’equipaggio. Un’altra storia racconta che Charlotte riuscì a nascondersi sull’isola e ad imbarcarsi su una baleniera americana travestita da uomo.

ASCOLTA Loudon Wainwright III in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys ANTI 2006 (senza ritornello)

Registrata anche dai Sex Pistols e dagli Anthrax con il titolo “Friggin in the Riggin” con l’aggiunta del ritornello e alcunie varianti nelle strofe (vedi)

Friggin’ in the riggin’
Friggin’ in the riggin’
Friggin’ in the riggin’
There was fuck all else to do
I
On the good ship Venus
By Christ you should have seen us
The figurehead was a whore in bed
Sucking a dead man’s penis
The captain’s name was Lugger
By Christ he was a bugger
He wasn’t fit to shovel shit
From one ship to another
II
And the second mate was Andy
By Christ he had a dandy
Till they crushed his cock on a jagged rock
For cumming in the brandy.
The third mate’s name was Morgan
By God he was a gorgon
From half past eight he played till late
Upon the captain’s organ
III
The captain’s wife was Mabel
And by God was she able
To give the crew their daily screw(1)
Upon the galley table
The captain’s daughter Charlotte (2)
Was born and bred a harlot
Her thighs at night were lily white
By morning they were scarlet
IV
The cabin boy was Kipper
By Christ he was a nipper
He stuffed his ass with broken glass
And circumcised the skipper
The captain’s lovely daughter
Liked swimming in the water
Delighted squeals came when some eels
Found her sexual quarters
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Fottere nel sartiame
Fottere nel sartiame
non c’era un cazzo d’altro a fare
I
Sulla buona nave Venere
per Cristo dovresti vederci!
La polena era una puttana nel letto
che succhia il pene di un uomo morto.
Il nome del capitano era Lugger,
per Cristo era un sodomita
buono solo a spalare merda
da una nave all’altra.
II
E il secondo era Andy
per Cristo sembrava un damerino
finchè gli hanno pigiato il cazzo su una roccia aguzza
e fatto venire nel brandy.
Il nome del terzo ufficiale era Morgan
per Dio era una gorgone,
dalle otto e mezza fino a tardi suonava sull’organo del capitano
III
La moglie del capitano era Mabel
e per Dio se era capace
di dare alla ciurma la “sturata” giornaliera sul tavolo della cambusa.
La figlia del capitano Charlotte
nacque e fu allevata da una prostituta
le sue cosce di notte biancogiglio
al mattino erano scarlatte.
IV
Il mozzo era Kipper
per Cristo se era birichino,
si è ficcato in culo i vetri rotti
per circoncidere il capitano.
La bella figlia del capitano
amava nuotare nell’acqua
deliziosi squittii fece quando delle anguille
trovarono le sue parti intime.

NOTE
1) screw significa in questo contesto “cavatappi”, da qui il senso di “sturare” sinonimo di sveltina
2) probabile riferimento alla piratessa Charlotte Badger

FONTI
http://terreceltiche.altervista.org/emigration-songs/

LA FANCIULLA MARINAIO

The Cry of Man by Harry Kemp

The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.”—Harry Kemp

“The Cry of Man” è un adattamento musicale dei versi del  poeta e scrittore Harry Hibbard Kemp (1883–1960), idolo dei giovani americani del tempo, che amava farsi chiamare «the Vagabond Poet»: assiduo frequentatore del Village Vanguard (il jazz club del Greenwich Village aperto nel 1935, quando agli esordi si suonava folk e si recitavano poesie beat), ma che visse a lungo in una baracca tra le dune di Provincetown, Capo Cod (Massachusetts ) dove morì; da giovane andò marinaio, viaggiò per gli States spostandosi con i treni come un hobo e scrisse alcuni libri autobiografici sulle sue esperienze di vagabondo che ebbero un discreto successo editoriale negli anni 1990-1939.

Oh yes, Harry Kemp was a shack person. When an abscessed tooth nagged him, he removed it himself with a screwdriver. He scratched out his verses with a seagull feather, wore beach rose garlands in his light colored hair, and fancied wearing capes. He knew Greek and Latin (self-taught, of course) and was a serious student of the Bible. Handouts from friends kept him alive. (tratto da qui)

la baracca di Harry Kemp a Provincetown

Seppure non sia una canzone del mare, “The Cry of Man” esprime in pieno lo spirito inquieto e vagabondo del marinaio, la sua inestinguibile sete di avventura.
ASCOLTA Mary Margaret O’Hara – in Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.


I
There is a crying in my heart
That never will be still
Like the voice of a lonely bird
Behind a starry hill
There is a crying in my heart
For what I may not know
An infinite crying of desire
Because my feet are slow
II
My feet are slow,
my eyes are blind,
My hands are weak to hold:
It is the universe I seek,
All life I would enfold!
There is a crying in my heart
That never will be still
Like the voice of a lonely bird
Behind a starry hill …
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
C’è un grido nel mio cuore
che mai tacerà
come la voce di un uccello solitario
dietro a una collina di stelle. (1)
C’è un grido nel mio cuore
per ciò che forse non saprò,
un lamento infinito di desiderio
perchè i miei passi sono lenti.
II
I miei passi sono lenti,
i miei occhi ciechi,
le mie mani hanno una presa debole:
è l’universo che cerco,
tutta la vita lo vorrei abbracciare!
C’è un grido nel mio cuore
che mai si quieterà,
come la voce di un uccello solitario
dietro a una collina di stelle

NOTE
1) c’è sempre qualcosa oltre l’orizzonte

FONTI
http://www.eoneill.com/library/newsletter/iv_1-2/iv-1-2f.htm