Archivi tag: sea shanty

The Dreadnought shanty

Leggi in italiano

A sea song about The Dreadnought an American packet ship launched in 1853, flagship of the “Red Cross Line”, dubbed “The Wild Boat of the Atlantic”: competing companies like the Swallow Tail and the Black Ball never succeeded in exceed its performance. Yet the era of the great sailing ships was over and her life seems to be the swan song.

A red cross, the company’s logo, was drawn on her fore-topsail, and she could carry up to 200 passengers.

Montague Dawson (1890–1973) The Red Cross – ‘Dreadnought

The Dreadnought sailed into the Atlantic, mostly on the New York-Liverpoo route, to her sinking to the infamous Cape Horn after she set sail from Liverpool to San Francisco (1869).

Derry Down, Down, Derry Down

According to Stan Hugill this song was a forebitter sung on the melody known as “La Pique” or “The Flash Frigate” (which recalls “Villikins and His Dinah”). Even Kipling in his book “Captains Courageous” has it sing by fishermen on the Banks of Newfoundland.
In the capstan shanty version a longer refrain is added, sung in chorus
Bound away! Bound away! 
where the wide [wild] waters flow,
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnaught we’ll go!

The melody with which the shanty is associated is not univocal, since the “The Dom Pedro” tune is also used. The forebitter version bears the refrain of a single verse, a nonsense phrase sometimes used in the most ancient ballads. The melody is sad, looking like a lament to the memory of a famous wrecked ship; while praising her merits it’s a farewell at the time of sailing ships, now outclassed by steam ships.

Ewan MacColl

Iggy Pop & Elegant Too  from “Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys” ANTI 2013


The Dreadnoughts,
the Vancouver band took its name not from the nineteenth-century packet ship but from an innovative battle ship called “armored monocaliber” developed since the early twentieth century (Dreadnought, from English “I fear nothing”)
(stanzas I, III, IV, V)

full version (here)
I
There’s a flash packet,
a flash packet of fame,
She hails to (from) New York
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She’s bound to the westward
where the strong winds blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the westward we go.
Derry down, down, down derry down.
II
Now, the Dreadnought
she lies in the river Mercey,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea;
Out around the Rock Light
where the salt tides do flow,
Bound away to to the westward
in the Dreadnought, we’ll go.
III (1)
(O, the Dreadnought’s a-howlin’
down the wild Irish Sea,
Her passengers merry,
with hearts full of glee,)
As sailors like lions
walk the decks to and fro,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!
 

IV (2)
O, the Dreadnought’s a-sailin’
the Atlantic so wide,
While the high roaring seas
roll along her black sides,
(With her sails tightly set
for the Red Cross to show,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!)
V
Now, a health to the Dreadnought,
to all her brave crew,
To bold Captain Samuel (3),
his officers, too,
Talk about your flash packets,
Swallowtail and Black Ball (4),
The Dreadnaught’s the flier
that outsails them all.

NOTES
1)  TheDreadnoughts sings:
With the gale at her back/ What a sight does she make
A skippin’ so merry/With the west in her wake
2)  the Dreadnoughts sings:
With her sails tight as wires/And the Black Flag to show
All away to the Dreadnought/To the westward we’ll go
3) her first captain was called Samuel Samuels,, “In his own words: “Swearing, which appeared to me so essential in the make-up of an officer, I found degrading in a gentleman and I prohibited its indulgence. I also insisted that the crew should be justly treated by the officers.” He seems to have known when to turn a blind eye to the particular brand of justice which had to be handed out to over-troublesome “packet rats” by his mates. To the passengers and his officers he was the model of the young clipper captain, respected, well-groomed and quietly spoken, but always perfectly self-confident and calm in an emergency. The Dreadnought undoubtedly owed her conspicuous success at a difficult time to the personality of her master.(from here) the Dreadnoughts sings ” To bold captain Willy”
4) companies competing in the “Red Cross Line”

STAN HUGILL VERSION

Hulton Clint sings it on the tune “Dom Pedro.” It is the most extensive version of the previous one, with some variations

I
There’s a saucy wild packet,
a packet of fame;
She belongs to New York,
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She is bound to the westward
where the wide water flow;
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.
Chorus
Derry down, down, down derry down
II
The time of her sailing
is now drawing nigh;
Farewell, pretty maids,
we must bid you good-bye;
Farewell to old England
and all we hold dear,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll steer.
III
And now we are hauling
out of Waterlock dock,
Where the boys and the girls
on the pierheads they do flock;
They will give us their cheers
as their tears they do flow,
Saying, “God bless the Dreadnought, where’er she may go!”
IV
Now, the Dreadnought she lies
in the Mersey so free,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea,
For to around that rock light
where the Mersey does flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
where’er we’ll go.
V
Now the Dreadnaught’s a-howling
down the wild Irish Sea,
Where the passengers are merry,
their hearts full of glee,
her sailors like tigers
walk the decks to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
VI
Now, the Dreadnought’s
a-sailing the Atlantic so wide,
While the high rolling seas
roll along her black sides,
With her topsails set taut
for the Red Cross to show
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
 

VII
Now the Dreadnought’s has reached the banks of Newfoundland,
Where the water’s so green
and the bottom so sand;
Where the fish in the waves
They swim to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
with the ice and the snow
VIII
Now the Dreadnought’s lying
on the long .. shore
??
as we have done before
? your main topsail ?
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
IX
And now we arrived
in New York once more,
We’ll go to the land we adore,
we call for strong liquors
and merry we’ll be
Drink to the health to the Dreadnought, where’er she may be.
X
So here’s health to the Dreadnought
and all her brave crew;
To bold Captain Samuels
and his officers too.
Talk about your flash packets, Swallowtail and Black Ball,
but the Dreadnought’s
he clipper to beat one and all
XI
Now my story is finish
and my tale it is told
forgive me, old shipmates,
if you think that I’m bold;
for this song was composed
while the watch was below
and at the health
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.

LINK
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LD13.html
http://www.shippingwondersoftheworld.com/dreadnought.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/sea-shanty/Dreadnought.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/dread.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/isingofa.htm
http://czteryrefy.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/eteksty/eng_flashfrigate.html
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/dreadnaught.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62355
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85200

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOLK VERSION: Valparaiso Round the Horn

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll pay Paddy Doyle for his boots!

Leggi in italiano

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

IS PADDY DOYLE  A BOARDING MASTER..

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

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

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

a typical boarding house of Liverpool

OR A COBBLER?

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

SEA SHANTY

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

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

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag

The Clancy Brothers&Tommy Makem

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

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

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

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

Paddy West sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

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

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

PADDY WEST

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

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

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

The tune is Tramps and Hawkers


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

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

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

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

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

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

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

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

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

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

Paddy West

Read the post in English

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

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

PADDY WEST

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

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

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

La melodia è Tramps and Hawkers


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

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

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

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

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

London Road, 1908 (da qui)

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

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

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

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

Row me bullies boys row (Alan Doyle)

Leggi in italiano

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

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

In Taberna  

Strangs and Stout

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

Barnacle Buoys

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

and so on!

ITALIAN VERSION: VOGA AMICO MIO VAI

here is the italian versione in the movie


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

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

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

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

Row, bullies, row 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

Banks of Newfoundland sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

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

As a first approach I classified the titles on the first verse and grouped a first block.

  • Me bully boys of Liverpool
  • O you western ocean labourers
  • Come all me lads and fair young maids

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

Probably the best known version of “the Banks of Newfoundland”, describing the dangers of winter navigation in the North Atlantic.
The incipit is as a warning song directed to the “bully boys” of Liverpool (or Belfast according to the Irish Rovers version): they are mostly Irish workers of the mid-nineteenth century who let themselves be attracted by the short engagement time on an Atlantic line ship without realizing the hard working conditions (see the Black Ball Line study)
The ballad perhaps began in Ireland as a broadside, but it became popular as forebitter song (or capstan shanty) on the sailing ships carrying emigrants from Britain to America during the 19th century, and was preserved by maritime singers in both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Black Ball Line clipper in a strong wind: the largest sails have been reefed, and the highest sails closed

Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd from Blow Boys Blow, 1957
Lloyd notes “In winter, the westward run from Liverpool to New York was a hard trip for packet ships, through heavy ships, contrary winds, sleet and snow. The large crews were kept busy reefing as the gales increased or piling on canvas whenever the wind abated.  The Banks of Newfoundland sets out the picture of a hard Western Ocean crossing before the days of steam.” (from here)

Great Big Sea (from I to III, V,  see) same melody but marching trend

I
Me bully boys o’ Liverpool,
I’ll have you to beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship (1),
no dungaree jumpers wear (2);
But have a big monkey jacket (3)
all ready to your hand,
For there blows some cold nor’westers (4)/on the Banks of Newfoundland!
Chorus
We’ll scrape her and we’ll scrub her
With holystone and sand (5),
And we think of them cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
There was Jack Lynch from Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy and some more (6),
I tell ye where, they suffered like hell
on the way to Baltimore;
They pawned (7) their gear in Liverpool
and they sailed as they did stand,
there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
The mate he stood on the fo’c’sle (8) head, and loudly he did roar:
“Now rattle (9) her in, my lucky lads!
We’re bound for America’s shore!
Go wash the mud off that dead-man’s face
and heave to beat the band (10),
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland!”
IV
So now it’s reef and reef (11), me boys,
with the canvas frozen hard,
And it’s mount and pass (12) every mother’s son
on a ninety-foot tops’l yard.
Never mind about boots and oilskins,
but haul or you’ll be damned!
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off the Hook (12), me boys,
and the lands are white with snow,
But soon we’ll see the pay table
and have all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks,
them pretty girls will stand,
Saying, “It’s snugger with me
than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland.”

NOTES
1) “Packet ships” used to carry mail from Britain to America.
2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) “monkey jacket” because of its resemblance to the short jacket of the trained monkeys, it was a short, close-fitting wool jacket with double-breasted and pewter buttons favored by sailors; we find the term in Melville “no more monkey jackets and tarpaulins for me”. Yet even the toughest woolen jacket was not free to become soaking wet under a storm. For these sailors waterproofed their clothes, shoes and hair with resinous substances
4) the wind that blows from NW pushes in the South-East direction, in the wind rose it is called the Mistral wind
5) the maintenance work of the hull is carried out in the dry dock, where the ship is taken to dryness, but not having a special port basin the ship was pulled to shore at high tide and made to lay on its side
6) the crews of the Atlantic packet ships were for the most part Irish
7)  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.
8) “Fo’c’sle” is a contraction of “fore castle” (fore = foreward), the living quarters inside the hull of a ship.
9) 
In Dana Rattle down, Rattle up
10) “to beat the band” = very briskly; very fast; or “to beat all” in the sense of “doing your best” but also excelling with other clippers, especially with regard to navigation times (see here)
11) Written incorrectly as “reef and reif”: To “reef” sail is to furl and lash it to the “topsl yard” or any other yard. The crew did this while standing on a single line which they would “mount” and sometimes “pass” another shipmate to do the job.
12)  Mudcat “Mount and Pass meaning to go out on the yard (the rope is called a stirrup hence the “mount”) and pass canvas as its reefed up”
13) “The Hook” is a reference to Sandy Hook in the Long Island sound

O you western ocean labourers

The second version shares a text similar to the first one, with different melody, but resumes part of the transportation song Van Diemen’s Land (British broadside ballad [Laws K25] for variant see here, here)

Siobhan Miller from Strata 2017 (I, II, IV, V)

Teyn from Far From The Tree 2016 they follow the traditional text spread in Cornwall, with an instrumental arrangement all of their own. Reported by John Farr’s testimony of Gwithian on the north coast of Cornwall, in Canow Kernow (Cornwall songs full text here)

I
O you western ocean labourers
I’ll have you all beware (1),
when you’re working on a packet ship no dungaree oil skin (2) wear.
But have a big monkey jacket
already at your command
and I’ll bid  farewell to the Virgin rocks (3)/
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Chorus:
We’ll rub (scrape) her and scrub her
With holy stone and sand,
And we’ll bid farewell to the virgin rocks On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
As I lay on my bunk one night
a’dreaming all alone.
I dreamt I was in Liverpool
‘way up by Marylebone (4),
With my true love there beside me
and a jug of ale in my hand,
But I woke quite brokenhearted, boys on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III (5)
We had one Lynch from Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy and Mike Moore;
It was in the winter of sixty-two,
Those sea-boys suffered sore,
For they’d pawned their clothes in Liverpool,
And sold them out of hand (6),
Not thinking of the cold Northwesters
On the Banks of Newfoundland
IV (7)
We had one female passenger,
Bridget Riley was her name,
she was fourteen years transported boy for playing not the game (8)
But she tore up her flannel petticoats To make mittens for our hands,
For she couldn’t see the poor boys freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off Sandy Hook, my boys,
And the land’s all covered with snow,.
The tug-boat take up our hawser
And for New York we will tow;
And when we get to the Black Ball dock,
All the boys and girls there will stand, for if we are here we cannot be there on the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
1) or “Ye rambling boys of Erin, ye rambling boys, beware” (see)
2) dungaree jumpers
3) or “For there blows some cold Northwesters”.Virgin Rocks are a series of rocky ridges just below the surface of the ocean on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland
4) Marylebone – an affluent inner-city area of central London, located within the City of Westminster. It is sometimes written as St Marylebone (or, archaically, Mary-le-bone). Marylebone is roughly bounded by Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east. A broader definition designates the historic area as Marylebone Village and encompasses neighbouring Regent’s Park, Baker Street and the area immediately north of Marylebone Road, containing Marylebone Station, the original site of the Marylebone Cricket Club at Dorset Square, and the neighbourhood known as Lisson Grove as far as the border with St John’s Wood. The area east of Great Portland Street up to Cleveland Street, known as Fitzrovia since the 1940s, is considered historically to be East Marylebone. (tratto da qui)
5) the Teyn line:
We had Jack Lynch from Ballinahinch
Mike Murphy and some more
And I’ll tell you boys they suffered like hell
On the way to Baltimore
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
And sailed as they did stand
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
Not thinking of Newfoundland
6)  “They pawned their clothes in Liverpool and sold their notes of hand”
7) the Teyn line:
Well we had one female passenger
Bridget Reilly was her name
Unto her I had promised marriage
And on me she had claim
For she tore up all her petticoats
To make mittens for my hands
Saying I can’t see my true love freeze
On the Banks of the Newfoundland,
8)  “Play the Game” it means taking risks, not following the rules; probably refers to poaching, among the reasons for deportation to the penal colonies of Australia

Stan Hugill version: capstan shanty

Again thanks to the meticulous work of Hulton Clint (or Ranzo, nicknamed the YouTube chanteyman, from Hartford, Connecticut) that gives us back the sea shanty version as reported by Stan Hugill, an obvious parody of the sea shanty Van Diemen’s Land. In  “Shanties from the Seven Seas” Hugill writes: “Still in the realms of convict ships and transportation, we have next the old forebitter often used as a capstan song, The Banks of Newf’n’land. Its convict connection is the fact that it was really a parody of an older forebitter, itself originally a shore ballad called Van Diemen’s Land, a song often sung in Liverpool and as a forebitter often heard in Liverpool ships. A note attached to the record The Singing Sailor states that “Versions can still be heard in Scotland and Ireland, but it is in Liverpool and Salford (Lancs.) that the song lives most vigorously”. It tells of the sufferings of poachers transported to Van Diemen’s Land.”

I
Ye ramblin’ boys o’ Liverpool,
ye sailor men beware,
When you go in a Yankee packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
But have a monkey jacket
all up to your command,
For there blows some cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Coro
We’ll wash her and we’ll scrub her down
With holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks
And the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had one Lynch from Ballynahinch, Spud Murphy and Mike Moore,
‘Twas in the winter of seventy-three those sea-boys suffered sore;
They popped their clothes in Liverpool, sold them all out of hand,
Not thinkin’ on the cold nor’winds,
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
We had a lady fair aboard,
Kate Connor was her name,
To her I promised marriage, and on me she had a claim;
She tore up her flannel petticoats to make mittens for my hands,
For she could not see her true love freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
I dreamed a dream the other night,
and I thought I was at home,
Alongside of my own true love,
and she in Marybone (1);
A jug of ale all on my knee, a glass of ale in hand,
But when I woke, my heart was broke
On the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
1) Liverpool’s popular district

DANCE TUNE

Come all me lads and fair young maids

Another melody for the version without refrain that shows the process of transformation through the oral tradition of a text that changes as time passes and situations. Sometimes considered as a song distinct from the previous ones referring to work on fishing vessels.
Pete Shepheard from They Smiled As We Cam In, 2018 
who noted : This is one of my favourite songs and I seem never to have tired of it since I first recorded it from St Andrews fisherman Tom Gordon in 1964. He learned it in turn from a man who had sailed on the whaler fleet out of Leith in the early 1900s. This is the only version I have come across that is modernised into the steam boat era – and incidentally dated in the text to 1906.

Matthew Byrne live, instrumental arrangement by Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton

I
Come all me lads and fair young maids, come all ye sports beware,
when you go steamboat sailing,
no dungaree jackets wear;
And always wear a life belt,
or keep it close at hand,
there blows a cold nor-westerly wind on the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had on board some passengers
the Swedies and some more
’Twas in the year of nineteen-six that we did suffer sore,
We pawned our clothes in Liverpool, we pawned them every hand,
not thinking of the nor-westerly winds on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
And we had on board a fair young maid, Bridget Wellford was her name,
To her I promised marriage
and a pawn she had a claim ;
She tore her flannel petticoats
to make mittens for my hands,
she would not see her true love perish on the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
Last night as I lay in my bunch I dream a pleasent dream,
that I was back in Scotland beside a flowing stream;
with the girl I love on my knee and a bottle in my hand,
I woke up broken hearted
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
Now we’re bound for Sandy Bay
where the high hills covered in snow,
Our steam boat she’s so hell-of-a fast, by New York we will go;
We’ll scrub her up and we’ll scrub her down with holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks and the Banks of Newfoundland.

NOTES
*text taken partly from the version of Pete Shepheard  here

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

 

LINK
https://www.irishtune.info/tune/118/
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-banks-of-newfoundland-emc/
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/bnk_newfoundland.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/banksofnewfoundland.html
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/The-Paul-McKenna-Band/The-Banks-of-Newfoundland

http://gestsongs.com/01/banks1.htm
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks3.htm
http://gestsongs.com/02/banks5.htm
https://www.springthyme.co.uk/1042/42_09.htm

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44529
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17059
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=130147

 

On the Banks of Newfoundland

Read the post in English

Ci sono parecchie  sea songs dal titolo “the Banks of Newfoundland”,  da non considerarsi propriamente come variazioni su una stessa melodia, anche se condividono un tema comune, i pericoli della pesca o della navigazione al largo di Terranova.

Come primo approccio ho classificato i titoli in base al primo verso e raggruppato un primo blocco.

  • Me bully boys of Liverpool
  • O you western ocean labourers
  • Come all me lads and fair young maids

Me bully boys o’ Liverpool

Probabilmente la versione più conosciuta di “the Banks of Newfoundland”, in cui si descrivono i pericoli della navigazione invernale nell’Atlantico del Nord.
L’incipit è quello di una warning song diretta ai “bravi ragazzi” di Liverpool (o di Belfast secondo la versione degli Irish Rovers), sono per lo più lavoratori irlandesi di metà Ottocento che si lasciano attrarre dal breve tempo d’ingaggio su una nave di linea nella tratta atlantica senza rendersi conto delle dure condizioni di lavoro (vedasi per l’approfondimento Black Ball Line)
La ballata ebbe forse inizio in Irlanda come broadside, ma diventò popolare come forebitter song (o capstan shanty) sulle packet ships nella tratta Liverpool-New York, che passava accanto alle coste dell’isola di Terranova, collezionata infine nei repertori folk di Terranova e Nuova Scozia.

Clipper della Black Ball Line con il forte vento: le vele più grandi sono state terzarolate, e le vele più alte chiuse

Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd in Blow Boys Blow, 1957
Lloyd scrive “In inverno, la rotta verso ovest da Liverpool a New York era un viaggio difficile per le navi di linea, con navi pesanti, venti contrari, nevischio e neve. Gli equipaggi di grandi dimensioni erano impegnati a fare serrare le vele quando il vento aumentavano o a distendere tela ogni volta che il vento diminuiva. Le rive di Terranova danno l’immagine di una dura traversata dell’Oceano Occidentale prima dei giorni di vapore.” (tratto da qui)

Great Big Sea (strofe da I a III, V, testo qui) stessa melodia ma andamento da marcia


I
Me bully boys o’ Liverpool,
I’ll have you to beware,
When ye sail in the packet ship (1),
no dungaree jumpers wear (2);
But have a big monkey jacket (3)
all ready to your hand,
For there blows some cold nor’westers (4)/on the Banks of Newfoundland!
Chorus
We’ll scrape her and we’ll scrub her
With holystone and sand (5),
And we think of them cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
There was Jack Lynch from Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy and some more (6),
I tell ye where, they suffered like hell
on the way to Baltimore;
They pawned (7) their gear in Liverpool
and they sailed as they did stand,
there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
The mate he stood on the fo’c’sle (8) head, and loudly he did roar:
“Now rattle (9) her in, my lucky lads!
We’re bound for America’s shore!
Go wash the mud off that dead-man’s face
and heave to beat the band (10),
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland!”
IV
So now it’s reef and reef (11), me boys,
with the canvas frozen hard,
And it’s mount and pass (12) every mother’s son
on a ninety-foot tops’l yard.
Never mind about boots and oilskins,
but haul or you’ll be damned!
For there blows some cold nor’westers
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off the Hook (12), me boys,
and the lands are white with snow,
But soon we’ll see the pay table
and have all night below;
And on the docks, come down in flocks,
them pretty girls will stand,
Saying, “It’s snugger with me
than it is at sea on the Banks of Newfoundland.”
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Miei bravacci di Liverpool
vi devo avvertire
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale di linea, non indossate una giacchetta di jeans ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
perchè là soffiano dei freddi  venti da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e penseremo a quei venti freddi di maestrale sui Banchi di Terranova
II
C’erano Jack Lynch
di Ballynahinch,
Mike Murphy e altri ancora;
ti dico come patirono le pene d’inferno
sulla rotta per Baltimora;
avevano preso in pegno la loro attrezzatura a Liverpool
e si misero in mare proprio quando
soffiano i venti freddi di maestrale
sui Banchi di Terranova
III
L’ufficiale stava in cima al castello di prua e forte tuonava
“Ora salite, ragazzi fortunati!
siamo diretti verso la terra d’America!
Andate a lavare via il fango da quella faccia da morto
e manovrate al meglio
perchè là soffiano dei venti freddi da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova

IV
Quindi ora si riducono le vele, ragazzi, con la tela ghiacciata indurita
è un piegare e passare a ogni figlio di buona madre, sul pennone di gabbia a novanta piedi.
Non preoccupatevi di stivali e cerate,
ma issate o sarete dannati!
perchè là soffiano dei venti freddi da nord-ovest sui Banchi di Terranova
V
E ora siamo al largo di Sandy Hook, ragazzi miei,
e le terre sono bianche come neve,
Ma presto vedremo la tabella dei pagamenti e passeremo tutta la notte a terra; e sul molo, arriveranno a stormi,
quelle  belle ragazzine,
a dire: “È meglio accoccolarsi con me
che essere in mare
sui Banchi di Terranova “

NOTE
1) “Packet ships” postali perchè navi utilizzate per trasportare la posta tra Gran Bretagna e America
2) dungaree (dungeon ) jumper, jacket= denim jacket
3) letteralmente “giacca da scimmia” per la sua somiglianza con la giacca corta delle scimmie ammaestrate, era una giacca di lana corta e aderente con doppio petto e bottoni in peltro prediletta dai marinai; troviamo il termine in Melville “no more monkey jackets and tarpaulins for me“. Eppure anche la più robusta giacca di lana non era esente da diventare bagnata fradicia sotto una tempesta. Per questi impermeabilizzavano vestiti, scarpe e capelli con sostanze resinose
4) il vento che soffia da NW spinge in direzione Sud-Est, nella rosa dei venti è detto maestrale
5) i lavori di manutenzione dello scafo sono eseguiti nel bacino di carenaggio, dove la nave viene portata a secco , non disponendo di un apposito bacino portuale la nave era tirata a riva durante l’alta marea e fatta adagiare su un fianco: all’operazione di raschiatura dell’opera viva si accompagnava il calatafaggio, l’operazione consisteva nel cacciare a forza stoppa e pece nelle fessure tra le tavole di legname per rendere stagno lo scafo.
6) gli equipaggi delle packet ships che facevano la spola tra Liverpool-New York erano per la maggior parte irlandesi
7) come ci insegna Italo Ottonello ” All’atto della firma del contratto d’arruolamento per i viaggi di lungo corso, i marinai ricevevano un anticipo pari a tre mesi di paga che, a garanzia del rispetto del contratto, era erogato in forma di pagherò, esigibile tre giorni dopo che la nave aveva lasciato il porto, “sempre che detto marinaio sia salpato con detta nave”. Tutti, invariabilmente, correvano a cercare qualche ‘squalo’ compiacente che comprasse il loro pagherò ad un valore scontato, di solito del quaranta per cento, con molta parte dell’importo fornito in natura. Gli acquirenti, procuratori d’imbarco e procacciatori vari, – gli ‘arruolatori’, com’erano soprannominati – erano indotti a ‘sequestrare’ i marinai e portarli a bordo, ubriachi o drogati, con poco o niente vestiario oltre quello che avevano indosso, e sperperare o rubare loro tutto l’anticipo.
8) “Fo’c’sle” è una contrazione di “fore castle” (fore = foreward)
9) 
In Dana scendere  verso il basso. Rattle down. A salire. Rattle up
10) “to beat the band” è un’espressione americana che trae origine dall’iberno-inglese = very briskly; very fast; potrebbe anche significare “to beat all” nel senso di “fare del proprio meglio” ma anche di eccellere rispetto agli altri clipper delle altre compagnie, soprattutto in merito ai tempi di navigazione (sull’origine del termine qui)
11)  scritto erroneamente come “reef and reif”
12) trovato su Mudcat “Mount and Pass meaning to go out on the yard (the rope is called a stirrup hence the “mount”) and pass canvas as its reefed up”
13) “The Hook”= Sandy Hook 

O you western ocean labourers

La seconda versione condivide un testo simile alla prima, con una diversa melodia, ma riprende parte del testo della transportation song Van Diemen’s Land (British broadside ballad [Laws K25] per le varianti vedi qui, qui)

Siobhan Miller in Strata 2017 (I, II, IV, V)

Teyn in Far From The Tree 2016 ♪ seguono il testo tradizionale  diffuso in Cornovaglia, con un arrangiamento strumentale tutto loro. Riportato dalla testimonianza di John Farr di Gwithian sulla costa nord della Cornovaglia, in Canow Kernow (in italiano Canti della Cornovaglia (testo completo qui)


I
O you western ocean labourers
I’ll have you all beware (1),
when you’re working on a packet ship no dungaree oil skin (2) wear.
But have a big monkey jacket
already at your command
and I’ll bid  farewell to the Virgin rocks (3)/
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Chorus:
We’ll rub (scrape) her and scrub her
With holy stone and sand,
And we’ll bid farewell to the virgin rocks On the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
As I lay on my bunk one night
a’dreaming all alone.
I dreamt I was in Liverpool
‘way up by Marylebone (4),
With my true love there beside me
and a jug of ale in my hand,
But I woke quite brokenhearted, boys on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III (5)
We had one Lynch from Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy and Mike Moore;
It was in the winter of sixty-two,
Those sea-boys suffered sore,
For they’d pawned their clothes in Liverpool,
And sold them out of hand (6),
Not thinking of the cold Northwesters
On the Banks of Newfoundland
IV (7)
We had one female passenger,
Bridget Riley was her name,
she was fourteen years transported boy for playing not the game (8)
But she tore up her flannel petticoats To make mittens for our hands,
For she couldn’t see the poor boys freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
And now we’re off Sandy Hook, my boys,
And the land’s all covered with snow,.
The tug-boat take up our hawser
And for New York we will tow;
And when we get to the Black Ball dock,
All the boys and girls there will stand, for if we are here we cannot be there on the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
O voi lavoratori transatlantici
vi devo avvertire
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale di linea, niente giacca cerata
ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
e dirò addio alle Virgin Rocks sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks
sui Banchi di Terranova

II
Una notte che stavo nella mia cuccetta
dormivo tutto solo.
Ho sognato di essere a Liverpool
laggiù a Marylebone,
con il mio vero amore accanto a me
e una brocca di birra in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto, ragazzi sui Banchi di Terranova.
III
C’era un Lynch da Ballinahinch,
Jimmy Murphy e Mike Moore;
era nell’inverno del sessantadue,
quei marinai soffrirono assai,
perché avevano impegnato i loro vestiti a Liverpool,
e li hanno venduti senza discussioni,
senza pensare al freddo maestrale
sui Banchi di Terranova
IV
Abbiamo avuto un passeggero femmina, si chiamava Bridget Riley
aveva un ragazzo di quattordici anni mandato alle colonie penali per non aver seguito le regole, ma lei stracciò le sue sottane di flanella per fare guanti per le nostre mani, perché non riusciva  vedere i ragazzi poveri congelarsi
sui Banchi di Terranova.
V
E ora siamo al largo di Sandy Hook,
ragazzi,
e la terra è tutta coperta di neve,
il rimorchiatore prese la nostra gomena e ci trascinò a New York;
e quando arriveremo al molo della Black Ball,
sarà pieno di ragazzi e  ragazze, perché se siamo qui non possiamo essere là
sui Banchi di Terranova

NOTE
1) il verso d’inizio è anche “Ye rambling boys of Erin, ye rambling boys, beware” (vedi testo)
2) dungaree jumpers
3) oppure”For there blows some cold Northwesters”. Le Virgin Rocks sono una serie di creste rocciose appena sotto la superficie dell’oceano sui Grandi Banchi di Terranova
4) Marylebone – una ricca area del centro di Londra, situata all’interno della città di Westminster. A volte è scritto come St Marylebone (o, arcaicamente, Mary-le-bone). Marylebone è approssimativamente delimitata da Oxford Street a sud, Marylebone Road a nord, Edgware Road a ovest e Great Portland Street a est. Una definizione più ampia indica l’area storica come Marylebone Village e comprende il vicino Regent’s Park, Baker Street e l’area immediatamente a nord di Marylebone Road, che contiene Marylebone Station, il sito originario del Marylebone Cricket Club a Dorset Square e il quartiere noto come Lisson Grove fino al confine con St John’s Wood. L’area ad est di Great Portland Street fino a Cleveland Street, conosciuta come Fitzrovia dagli anni ’40, è considerata storicamente East Marylebone. (tratto da qui)
5) I Teyn dicono:
We had Jack Lynch from Ballinahinch
Mike Murphy and some more
And I’ll tell you boys they suffered like hell
On the way to Baltimore
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
And sailed as they did stand
For they’d pawned their gear in Liverpool
Not thinking of Newfoundland
6) la frase in origine doveva essere  “They pawned their clothes in Liverpool and sold their notes of hand” (impegnarono il loro anticipo e vendettero i loro pagherò)
7) una diversa versione dei Teyn
Well we had one female passenger
Bridget Reilly was her name
Unto her I had promised marriage
And on me she had claim
For she tore up all her petticoats
To make mittens for my hands
Saying I can’t see my true love freeze
On the Banks of the Newfoundland,
8)  “Play the Game” vuol dire prendersi dei rischi, non seguire le regole; si riferisce probabilmente alla caccia di frodo, tra i motivi di deportazione nelle colonie penali d’Australia

La versione di Stan Hugill: capstan shanty

Ancora grazie al meticoloso lavoro di Hulton Clint (o Ranzo soprannominato  lo YouTube chanteyman, da Hartford, Connecticut) che ci restituisce la versione sea shanty così come riportata da Stan Hugill, una evidente parodia della sea shanty Van Diemen’s Land come pubblicato nel suo “Shanties from the Seven Seas” che così scrive in merito: “Ancora nei regni delle navi e dei trasporti forzati, abbiamo la prossima  vecchia  forebitter usata spesso come capstan song, The Banks of Newf’n’land. Il suo riferimento al trasporto forzoso è il fatto di essere una parodia di una vecchia  forebitter, originariamente una ballad  dal titolo Van Diemen’s Land, una canzone spesso cantata a Liverpool e come forebitter spesso ascoltata nelle navi di Liverpool. Una nota allegata al disco The Singing Sailor afferma che “Le versioni possono ancora essere ascoltate in Scozia e in Irlanda, ma è a Liverpool e Salford (Lancs.) che la canzone è più radicata”. Racconta delle sofferenze dei bracconieri trasportati nella terra di Van Diemen.


I
Ye ramblin’ boys o’ Liverpool,
ye sailor men beware,
When you go in a Yankee packet ship, no dungaree jumpers wear;
But have a monkey jacket
all up to your command,
For there blows some cold nor’westers
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Coro
We’ll wash her and we’ll scrub her down
With holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks (1)
And the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had one Lynch from Ballynahinch, Spud Murphy and Mike Moore,
‘Twas in the winter of seventy-three those sea-boys suffered sore;
They popped their clothes in Liverpool, sold them all out of hand,
Not thinkin’ on the cold nor’winds,
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
We had a lady fair aboard,
Kate Connor was her name,
To her I promised marriage, and on me she had a claim;
She tore up her flannel petticoats to make mittens for my hands,
For she could not see her true love freeze
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
I dreamed a dream the other night,
and I thought I was at home,
Alongside of my own true love,
and she in Marybone (2);
A jug of ale all on my knee, a glass of ale in hand,
But when I woke, my heart was broke
On the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Ragazzacci di Liverpool,
voi marinai attenti
quando vi imbarcate su di un postale americano, niente giacca di pelle, ma tenete a portata di mano una giacca da scimmia,
perchè là soffiano i venti freddi di Nord-Ovest sui Banchi di Terranova!
Coro
La laveremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks
e ai Banchi di Terranova

II
C’era un Lynch da Ballinahinch,
“Spud” Murphy e Mike Moore;
era nell’inverno del settantatre,
quei marinai soffrirono assai,
perché avevano impegnato i loro vestiti a Liverpool, e li vendettero senza discussioni, senza pensare al freddo vento del Nord
sui Banchi di Terranova
III
Abbiamo avuto una bella signora a bordo, si chiamava Kate Connor
le promisi di sposarla e su di me aveva credito,  lei stracciò le sue sottane di flanella per farne manopole per le mie mani, perché non sopportava di  vedere congelarsi il suo vero amore
sui Banchi di Terranova
IV
Ho sognato l’altra notte
e credevo di essere a casa
accanto al mio vero amore
di Marybone,
una brocca di birra alle ginocchia e in  in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto,
sui Banchi di Terranova.

NOTE
1)   i Grandi Banchi di Terranova sono un tratto di mare dal fondale basso a sud-est dell’isola canadese di Terranova, di forma grosso modo triangolare spesso sconvolto dalle tempeste, infido e pericoloso per la presenza di iceberg e la frequente nebbie. Le Virgin Rocks sono una serie di creste rocciose appena sotto la superficie dell’oceano, un’ottima  base di pesca per le golette dell’Ottocento
2) le golette da pesca uscivano in mare a maggio e non rientravano sino a settembre
2) quartiere popolare di Liverpool

LA MELODIA DA DANZA

Come all me lads and fair young maids

Altra melodia per la versione senza ritornello che mostra il processo di trasformazione attraverso la tradizione orale di un testo che muta al passare del tempo e delle situazioni. A volta considerata come un canto distinto dai precedenti riferito al lavoro sui pescherecci.
Pete Shepheard in They Smiled As We Cam In, 2018 
che scrive nelle note : Questa è una delle mie canzoni preferite e non mi ha mai stancato da quando l’ho registrata per la prima volta dal pescatore di St. Andrews Tom Gordon nel 1964. L’ha imparato a sua volta da un uomo che aveva navigato sulla flotta baleniera da Leith nel primi anni del 1900. Questa è l’unica versione che ho incontrato e che è stata modernizzata nell’era delle barche a vapore – e incidentalmente datata nel testo al 1906.

Matthew Byrne live, arrangiamento strumentale Matthew Byrne & Billy Sutton


I
Come all me lads and fair young maids, come all ye sports beware,
when you go steamboat sailing,
no dungaree jackets wear;
And always wear a life belt,
or keep it close at hand,
there blows a cold nor-westerly wind on the Banks of Newfoundland.
II
We had on board some passengers
the Swedies and some more
’Twas in the year of nineteen-six that we did suffer sore,
We pawned our clothes in Liverpool, we pawned them every hand,
not thinking of the nor-westerly winds on the Banks of Newfoundland.
III
And we had on board a fair young maid, Bridget Wellford was her name,
To her I promised marriage
and a pawn she had a claim ;
She tore her flannel petticoats
to make mittens for my hands,
she would not see her true love perish on the Banks of Newfoundland.
IV
Last night as I lay in my bunch I dream a pleasent dream,
that I was back in Scotland beside a flowing stream;
with the girl I love on my knee and a bottle in my hand,
I woke up broken hearted
on the Banks of Newfoundland.
V
Now we’re bound for Sandy Bay
where the high hills covered in snow,
Our steam boat she’s so hell-of-a fast, by New York we will go;
We’ll scrub her up and we’ll scrub her down with holystone and sand,
And we’ll bid adieu to the Virgin Rocks and the Banks of Newfoundland.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Venite tutti, ragazzi e ragazze giovani e gentili,  fare attenzione ai vostri passatempi, quando vi imbarcate su di un battello a vapore,  non indossate una giacchetta di jeans ma indossate sempre una cintura di salvataggio o tenetela a portata di mano dove soffiano i freddi venti di nord-ovest,
sui Banchi di Terranova!
II
Avevamo a bordo dei passeggeri, svedesi e molti altri
era il 1906 che ci fece tribolare tanto,
abbiamo dato in pegno i nostri vestiti a Liverpool con leggerezza,
senza pensare ai venti di nord-ovest
sui Banchi di Terranova!
III
E avevamo a bordo una bella giovane, si chiamava Bridget Wellford
le promisi di sposarla
e un pegno pretendeva;
si strappò le sottane di flanella
per fare guanti per le mie mani,
non avrebbe visto il suo vero amore perire sui Banchi di Terranova.
IV
Una notte che stavo nella mia cuccetta
feci un bel sogno
che ero in Scozia accanto a un ruscelletto
con  la mia ragazza sulle ginocchia e una bottiglia in mano,
ma mi svegliai con il cuore afflitto,
sui Banchi di Terranova
V
E ora che siamo diretti a Sandy Bay, dove le alte colline sono ricoperte di neve, il nostro battello a vapore corre spedito e andremo a New York.
La raschieremo e la strofineremo
con la pietra pomice e la sabbia
e diremo addio alle Virgin Rocks sui Banchi di Terranova

NOTE
* testo tratto in parte dalla versione di Pete Shepheard  qui

transportation song
la pesca sui Banchi
the Eastern Light
morte del capitano (ballata americana)
naufragio e soccorso sui Banchi (ballata canadese)

 

FONTI
https://www.irishtune.info/tune/118/
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-banks-of-newfoundland-emc/
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/bnk_newfoundland.htm
https://mainlynorfolk.info/martin.carthy/songs/banksofnewfoundland.html
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/The-Paul-McKenna-Band/The-Banks-of-Newfoundland

http://gestsongs.com/01/banks1.htm
http://gestsongs.com/01/banks3.htm
http://gestsongs.com/02/banks5.htm
https://www.springthyme.co.uk/1042/42_09.htm

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44529
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17059
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=130147