Short Sharp Shanties

Yankee Jack“, come viene affettuosamente chiamato il marinaio John Short  (1839-1933) di Watchet (Somerset, Inghilterra), durante i suoi anni di navigazione ha imparato e collezionato una sessantina di canti marinareschi; il “Watchet Market House Museum Society” gli ha dedicato una statua di bronzo (dell’artista scozzese Alan Beattie Herriot), mentre se ne sta seduto sulla bitta tenendo in mano una cima, sguardo rivolto verso il mare!

Yankee Jack“, as the sailor John Short (1839-1933) of Watchet (Somerset, England) is affectionately called , has learned and collected about sixty seafaring songs during his sailing years; The “Watchet Market House Museum” dedicated a bronze statue to him (by the Scottish artist Alan Beattie Herriot), while he sat on the bitt holding a rope in his hand, looking towards the sea!

“John Short andò in mare per la prima volta nell’anno 1848. Iniziò a lavorare su navi costiere vicino alla sua città natale Watchet, poi navigò sulle navi a palo dal Québec a doppiare  l’Horn per Callao e in India, Cina e Australia. John Short continuò la sua carriera nella marina mercantile fino alla fine del 1880, successivamente fu nominato banditore di Watchet. Morì nel 1933 all’età di 94 anni, quando l’aspettativa di vita media di un marinaio era di soli 45 anni.” (tradotto da qui)

John Short first went to sea in the year 1848. He started working coastal vessels near his hometown Watchet, then sailed on windjammers from Quebec round Cape Horn to Callao and India, China and Australia. John Short continued his merchant marine career until the late 1880s, subsequently he was appointed as town crier of Watchet. He died in 1933 at the age of 94 – when the average life expectancy of a seaman was only 45 years.(from here)

Cecil Sharp gli fece visita nel 1914 e trascrisse ben 57 canzone dalla sua testimonianza, John era stato uno shantyman assunto nell’equipaggio proprio per le sue doti canore e la capacità di dirigere i lavori e ottimizzare gli sforzi, con un appropriato canto marinaresco. Così lo elogiò Sharp: “Ha la memoria tenace del cantante folk e una grandissima abilità musicale … Sarebbe difficile, immagino, trovare un esponente più esperto dell’arte del canto marinaresco

Cecil Sharp visited him in 1914 and transcribed as many as 57 songs from his testimony, John had been a shantyman hired because of his singing skills and ability to direct the works and optimize crew efforts, with an appropriate seafaring song. Sharp praised him saying: “He has the folk-singer’s tenacious memory and very great musical ability … It would be difficult, I imagine, to find a more experienced exponent of the art of chantey-singing

Tom e Barbara Brown di Combe Martin scoprirono l’eredità del marinaio, il manoscritto di Cecil Sharp nel “Vaughan Williams Memorial Library” (vedi) conservato a Londra  e diedero inizio al progetto Short Sharp Shanties per registrare tutte le canzoni di John Short interpretate da vari artisti.
Sono state prodotte ben tre compilation “Alcune delle 60 versioni sono familiari, altre sono più rare, e il resto è rimasto sconosciuto, fino ad ora. Alcune delle versioni provengono da un periodo molto precoce nelle sea shanty, e tutte sono state prese direttamente dai manoscritti di Sharp, piuttosto che dalla pagina stampata, mantenendo così le idiosincrasie che sono caratteristiche del canto di Short.”

Tom and Barbara Brown of Combe Martin discovered the legacy of the sailor, the manuscript of Cecil Sharp in the “Vaughan Williams Memorial Library” (see) kept in London and they began the project Short Sharp Shanties to record all the songs of John Short interpreted by various artists.
They produced three compilations
“Some of the 60 are familiar versions, others rarer, and the rest have remained unsung – until now. Some of the versions are from a very early period in the life of shanty-singing, and all have been taken directly from Sharp’s manuscripts, rather than from the printed page, thereby keeping the idiosyncrasies that are characteristic of Short’s singing.”

https://open.spotify.com/album/67EsXhxQNi2OWtMKgEGb8V

Short Sharp Shanties: Sea Songs of a Watchet Sailor, Vol. 1

2011

1. Sing Fare You Well -Keith Kendrick
2. The Blackball Line -Roger Watson
3. Mr Tapscott -Sam Lee
4. A Hundred Years on the Eastern Shore -Jeff Warner
5. Fire! Fire! -Jackie Oates
6. Hanging Johnny -Tom Brown
7. Rio Grande -Roger Watson
8. Cheerly Man -Barbara Brown
9. Poor Old Man (Johnny Come Down to Hilo) -Keith Kendrick
10. The Bully Boat (Ranzo Ray)-Tom Brown
11. Stormalong John (Stormy Along, John) -Jim Mageean
12. Blow Boys Blow (Banks of Sacramento) -Tom Brown
13. Carry Him to the Burying Ground (General Taylor) -Sam Lee
14. Bulgine Run (Let the Bulgine Run) -Barbara Brown
15. Shallow Brown -Jim Mageean
16. Won’t You Go My Way? -Jeff Warner
17. Blow Boys, Come Blow Together (Blow, Me Bully Boys, Blow) Keith Kendrick
18. Tommy’s Gone (Tommy’s Gone Away) -Jackie Oates

https://open.spotify.com/album/5GscZsXZ8JpSRiJorKlBnn

Short Sharp Shanties: Sea Songs of a Watchet Sailor, Vol. 2

2011

1. Rowler Bowler – Barbara Brown
2. Whisky Is My Johnny -Jim Mageean
3. So Early in the Morning -Jeff Warner
4. Boney Was a Warrior -Jackie Oates
5. Lucy Long -Tom Brown
6. Roll and Go (Sally Brown)– Roger Watson
7. Tom’s Gone to Ilo -Sam Lee
8. Huckleberry Hunting (Hilo Me Ranz)-Barbara Brown
9. Haul on the Bowline / Paddy Doyle / Johnnie Bowker -Keith Kendrick, Jim Mageean, Tom Brown
10. Santy Anna / Whip Jamboree -Roger Watson, Tom Brown
11. Good Morning Ladies All -Jeff Warner
12. Knock a Man Down -Sam Lee
13. Shanadore (Shenandoah) -Barbara Brown, Keith Kendrick
14. A-roving – Jim Mageean
15. Times Are Hard and Wages Low -Jeff Warner
16. I Wish I Was With Nancy -Tom Brown
17. One More Day -Keith Kendrick
18. Sweet Nightingale -Sam Lee, Jackie Oates

https://open.spotify.com/album/7zqTKVLClkaVNNaqkQeaYQ

Short Sharp Shanties: Sea Songs of a Watchet Sailor, Vol. 3

2012

1. Rosabella -Sam Lee
2. Dead Horse (Poor Old Man) – Keith Kendrick
3. Heave Away, My Johnny (We’re All Bound to Go) – Barbara Brown
4. Bully in the Alley – Tom Brown
5. Liza Lee (Yankee John Stormalong) – Jim Mageean
6. Hog-eyed Man – Jackie Oates
7. Old Stormey (Mister Stormalong) – Barbara Brown
8. The Bull John Run (Eliza Lee) – Sam Lee
9. Billy Riley – Jeff Warner
10. Handy My Girls (So Handy) – Keith Kendrick
11. Blow Away the Morning Dew– Jim Mageean
12. Rando (Reuben Ranzo) – Barbara Brown
13. Paddy Works on the Railway – Keith Kendrick
14. He Back, She Back (Old Moke Picking on the Banjo) – Jeff Warner
15. Round the Corner Sally – Jim Mageean
16. Do Let Me Go (Yeller Gals) – Jackie Oates
17. Haul Away Joe – Sam Lee
18. Lowlands (Dollar and a Half a Day) – Jeff Warner
19. Homeward Bound (Goodbye, Fare You Well) – Roger Watson
20. Crossing the Bar (Tennyson/Arbo) – Jeff Warner

FONTI (LINK)
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/shortsharpshanties.html
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/SSSnotes.htm
http://brightyoungfolk.com/records/short-sharp-shanties-sea-songs-of-a-watchet-s-1
http://www.wildgoose.co.uk/displayAlbum.asp?PRODUCT_ID=203

http://www.folkworld.eu/56/e/book.html

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