Spanish Ladies with Royal Navy

“Spanish Ladies” or “Farewell and Adieu to You”, is a sea shanty singed by the shantyman on the homeward bound. The song is traced back to the Napoleon era when England and Spain were temporarily allied against revolutionary France (1793-1796).
As reported in the “Oxford Book of the Sea Song“, (Roy Palmer 1986) the text of “Spanish Ladies” is transcribed in the HMS Nellie logbook in the year 1796, and it is therefore among the oldest known sea shanties. Many argue that the British Navy would never allow sailors to sing while at work and so in “Master and Commander” movie the seamen sing it in the evening during their “free time”.
[“Spanish Ladies” al plurale, ovvero “Farewell and Adieu to You“, è un sea shanty (canto marinaresco) di quelli che si cantavano sulle navi mercantili inglesi per coordinare le manovre; questo in particolare era intonato dallo shantyman durante il viaggio di ritorno (homeward bound).Il canto viene fatto risalire all’epoca di Napoleone quando Inghilterra e Spagna furono temporaneamente alleate contro la Francia rivoluzionaria (1793-1796).
Come riportato nell'”Oxford Book of The Sea Song“, (Roy Palmer 1986) il testo di “Spanish Ladies” si trova trascritto sul giornale di bordo della Nellie nell’anno 1796, ed è perciò tra i più vecchi sea shanties conosciuti. Molti sostengono che la Marina Inglese non avrebbe mai permesso ai marinai di cantare durante il lavoro e così ad esempio nel film “Master and Commander” i marinai la cantano di sera durante il loro “tempo libero”.]

Master and Commander

Farewell and adieu
To you, Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu
To ladies of Spain,
For we've received orders
To sail for old England,
We hope in short time
To see you again.

Bill Frisell in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys ANTI 2006, instrumental version[ versione strumentale]

ROYAL NAVY VERSION

Robert Shaw Chorale: a reduced version arranged for choir  (I, II/IV, V) [una versione ridotta arrangiata per coro]

Folk Versions

From the Royal Navy this song passed to merchant ships and whaling ships. There is as an American, Canadian and Australian variant of this song with a similar tune. The American version is titled “Yankee Whalermen”, the Canadian version is titled “We’ll Rant And We’ll Roar” and the Australian version is titled “Brisbane Ladies”.
[Dalla Royal Navy è passata alle navi mercantili  e alle baleniere. C’è una variante americana, canadese e australiana di questa canzone con un motivo simile. La versione americana è intitolata “Yankee Whalermen”, la versione canadese è intitolata “We’ll Rant And We’ll Roar” e la versione australiana è intitolata “Brisbane Ladies”.]

The Conorach in 42 Days / Patriot’s Song (2010)

Sarah Blasko excellent interpretation of the Australian singer-songwriter
(I, II, V, III, IV, V ) [ottima interpretazione della cantautrice australiana]


I)
Farewell and adieu
to you, Spanish ladies,
Farewell and adieu
to you, ladies of Spain,
For we’ve received orders
for to sail for old England,
we hope in a short time to see you again (1)
(Chorus)
We will rant and we’ll roar
like true British sailors,
We’ll rant and we’ll roar
all on the salt seas.
Until we strike soundings
in the Channel of Old England (3),
From Ushant to Scilly(4)
is thirty-five leagues.
II)
We hove our ship to,
with the wind from sou’west, boys
We hove our ship to,
deep soundings to take. (5)
Twas forty-five fathoms
with a white sandy bottom,
So we squared our main yard
and up Channel did steer.
III)
The first land we sighted
was called the Dodman (6)
Next Rame Head off Plymouth,
Start, Portland and Wight;
We sailed by Beachy,
by Fairlight and Dover,
And then we bore up
for the South Foreland light(7).
IV)
Then the signal was made
for the grand fleet to anchor
And all in the Downs(8)
that night for to lie (9);
“Let go your shank painter(10),
let go your cat stopper
Haul up your clewgarnets,
let tacks and sheets fly!(11)”
V)
Now let every man
drink (toss) off his full bumper,
And let every man
drink (toss) off his full glass (bowl),
We’ll drink and be jolly (merry)
and drown melancholy,
(Singing,) here’s to the health
of each true-hearted lass (souls)!
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto*
I)
Arrivederci e Addio
A voi, Dame Spagnole
Arrivederci e addio
A voi signore di Spagna
Perchè noi abbiamo ricevuto gli ordini
Di salpare per la vecchia Inghilterra
speriamo a breve di rivedervi ancora
CORO
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Come veri marinai inglesi
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Sul mare salato
Finchè getteremo lo scandaglio
Nel Canale della vecchia Inghilterra 
Da Ouessant a Scilly 
Sono 35 leghe

II)
Mettemmo in panna la nave
Con il vento da sud ovest, ragazzi
Mettemmo in panna la nave
Per gettare lo scandaglio di profondità
Dava 45 braccia
E un fondo sabbioso
Bracciammo in croce la maestra
E dirigemmo per risalire il Canale
III)
La prima terra che avvistammo
Era detta Dodman 
Poi Rame Head al largo di Plymouth,
Start (Point), Portland e Wight;
Navigammo per Beachy (Head),
Fairlight e Dover
E arrivammo 
Al Faro di South Foreland
IV)
Allora il segnale fu dato
Alla grande flotta di ancorare
E tutti nelle Dune 
Potemmo dormire l’intera notte 
“Molla la barbetta del fusto(10),
Molla la bozza del capone,
Alate i caricascotte
In bando mure e scotte”
V)
Che ogni uomo
Beva (alzi) il suo boccale pieno
Che ogni uomo
Beva (alzi) il suo bicchiere pieno,
Berremo e ci divertiremo
Per annegare la malinconia
Alla salute
Di ogni sincera innamorata.

NOTE
see all lyrics
* traduzione riveduta e corretta da Italo Ottonello che fuga ogni mio dubbio (e ignoranza) su termini nautici e traduzioni 
1) or “And we may never see you fair ladies again”[E non potremo più rivedervi belle signore!]
2) forse c’era la nebbia e il comandante non poteva stabilire la latitudine a vista così si rileva la profondità del fondo sabbioso, ma Ottonello puntualizza che quando la costa non era ancora in vista, era buona prassi scandagliare il fondo nell’atterraggio
3) Ushant= Ouessant the French isle off Brittany; the isles of Scilly is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall; they mark the border of the English Channel in its line of contact with the Atlantic Ocean
[Ouessant l’isoletta francese al largo della Bretagna e le isole Scilly al largo della costa sud-occidentale della Cornovaglia segnano il confine del Canale della Manica nella sua linea di contatto con l’Oceano Atlantico]
4) the English Channel [E’ il Canale della Manica]


5) Robert Shaw Chorale sing: “Our soundings for to see” then they skip all the next verses up to the 4th stanza (but only for the first four verses) [quindi saltano tutti i versi successivi fino alla IV strofa (ma solo per i primi quattro versi)]
6) Deadman, or Deadman’s Point= Dodman Point near Mevagissey is the highest headland on the south Cornwall coast [il più alto promontorio della costa meridionale della Cornovaglia]
7) lighthouse near St Margaret-at-Cliffe, on the cliffs of South Foreland, part of the Dover cliffs, overlooking the narrowest point of the English Channel. [faro nelle vicinanze di St Margaret-at-Cliffe, sulla scogliera di South Foreland, parte delle scogliere di Dover, che si affaccia sul punto più stretto del Canale della Manica.]
8) The Downs was a nineteen-kilometre (twelve-mile) long, and approximately five-kilometre (three-mile) wide stretch of water that ran from the North Foreland at Ramsgate to the South Foreland at Hope Bay along the east coast of Kent behind the “fatal” Goodwin Sands.(in R.M. Ballantyne, The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands, (1870).    [The Downs (in italiano le Dune) indica un tratto di mare al largo della costa del Kent appena oltre alla foce del Tamigi: Era una base per le navi da guerra inglesi che pattugliavano il Mare del Nord]
9) Robert Shaw Chorale sing: That night for to meet
10) The “Shank painter” secures the anchor’s shank outside of the foremast rigging (shrouds and backstays) letting the shank painter go lets the anchor swing from the cathead
[Italo Ottonello traduce dal gergo nautico La “barbetta del fusto” assicura il fusto dell’ancora all’esterno dell’attrezzatura prodiera (sartie e stralli) mollando barbetta consente all’ancora di restare appesa alla gru di capone (appennellata).”]
11) A series of orders to anchor, in marine slang; the verse is also written as “Haul all your clew garnets, stick out tacks and sheets” with the same meaning
Stan Hugill version is quite different:
Now the signal was made for the Grand Fleet to anchor,
We clewed up our tops’ls, stuck out tacks and sheets.
We stood by our stoppers, we brailed in our spankers,
And anchored ahead of the noblest of fleets.
sono una serie di ordini per ormeggiare la nave dati in gergo marinaresco; il verso è scritto anche come “Haul all your clew garnets, stick out tacks and sheets”con lo stesso significato
La strofa è però riportata diversamente da Stan Hugill che così traduce Italo Ottonello:
Allora il segnale fu dato alla grande flotta di ancorare
imbrogliammo i contro e filammo mure e scotte
restammo vicino a quelli che si erano ormeggiati, imbrogliammo le rande
E ci ormeggiammo davanti alla più nobile delle flotte.”

Whaling ships shanty

This shanty was adapted by sailors stationed at New Bedford, the large whaling center on the Atlantic
[La canzone è stata adattata dai marinai imbarcati sulle baleniere di stanza a New Bedford, il grande centro baleniero sull’Atlantico]

Paul Clayton in Sailing And Whaling Songs Of The 19th Century 1956


I)
Farewell and adieu
to you Spanish ladies
Farewell and adieu
to you ladies of Spain
Our captain’s commanded
we sailed for New England
But we hope in a short time
to see you again
CHORUS
We’ll rant and we’ll roar
like New Bedford whalers
We’ll rant and we’ll roar
on deck and below
Until we sight the New Bedford Light
Then straight down the Channel (1) 
to anchor we’ll go

II)
We hove our ship to
with the wind from the sou’west
We hove our ship to
for to strike soundings clear
Then we filled our main topsail
and bore right away, boys
And right up the Channel 
our course we did steer
III)
Now let every man
toss up a full bumper
And let every man
toss up a full glass
And we’ll drink and be jolly
and drown melancholy
Saying – Here’s a good health
to each true-hearted lass”
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I)
Arrivederci e Addio
A voi, Dame Spagnole
Arrivederci e addio
A voi Signore di Spagna
Il nostro capitano ha dato l’ordine
Di salpare per la Nuova Inghilterra
Ma speriamo a breve
Di rivedervi ancora!
CORO
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Come balenieri di New Bedford
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Sopra e sotto coperta
Finchè avvisteremo il faro di New Bedford
Poi davanti al Canale
Getteremo l’ancora

II)
Mettemmo in panna la nave 
Con il vento da sud ovest,
Mettemmo in panna la nave 
Per scandagliare il fondo
Poi dispiegammo le nostre vele
E filammo dritti, ragazzi
E per risalire il Canale 
Dirigemmo la rotta
III)
Che ogni uomo 
Alzi il suo boccale pieno
Che ogni uomo 
Alzi il suo bicchiere pieno
Berremo e ci divertiremo
Per annegare la malinconia
Dicendo -“Alla salute
Di ogni  sincera innamorata”.

NOTE
1) in questo contesto il tratto di mare non è più il canale della Manica

We’ll Rant And We’ll Roar (The Ryans and the Pittmans)

The version released in Terranova tells the story of a sailor named Bob Pittman who would like to set sail home to finally get married with his dear “Biddy”
La versione diffusa a Terranova racconta la storia di un marinaio di nome Bob Pittman che vorrebbe salpare verso casa per sposasi finalmente con la cara “Biddy”

Notes from The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs (Edith Fowke, 1973):
“This rollicking tale of a young fisherman’s love affairs is a Newfoundland offshoot of the widely known English capstan shanty Spanish Ladies, which described the headlands sighted in a homeward voyage through the English Channel. Pacific whalermen later re-made it to tell of the Talcahuano Girls, with a chorus: ‘We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true Huasco whalermen,’ and Australian drovers sang their farewell to their Brisbane Ladies. “The Newfoundland version has borrowed some verses from the whalers’ song; the remaining verses about Bob Pittman and his courtship were those composed by Henry W Le Messurier who was editor of the Evening Herald and later deputy minister of customs in St John’s. James Murphy [1867-1931] printed it in Old Songs of Newfoundland in 1912; it appeared in all the Doyle booklets; and Mrs Greenleaf heard it from Mr Le Messurier himself and also from Tom White of Sandy Cove, whose version had acquired some variations. (from here)
Note dal Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs (Edith Fowke, 1973):
“Questa esuberante storia degli amori di un giovane pescatore è un germoglio di Terranova della nota shanty inglese “Spanish Ladies”, che descriveva i promontori avvistati in un viaggio di ritorno lungo la Manica. I balenieri del Pacifico in seguito la rifecero per parlare delle “Talcahuano Girls”, con un coro: “We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true Huasco whalermen,”, e i mandriani australiani hanno cantato il loro addio alle loro “Brisbane LadiesW. “La versione di Terranova ha preso in prestito alcuni versi dalla canzone dei balenieri; i versi rimanenti su Bob Pittman e il suo corteggiamento erano quelli composti da Henry W Le Messurier, che era direttore dell’Evening Herald e poi vice ministro delle dogane di St John’s. James Murphy [1867-1931] la stampò in “Old Songs of Newfoundland” nel 1912; è apparsa in tutti gli opuscoli di Doyle; e la signora Greenleaf  la sentì dal signor Le Messurier stesso e anche da Tom White di Sandy Cove, la cui versione aveva preso delle varianti. 

Great Big Sea


I)
I’m a son of a sea cook,
I’m a cook and a trader (1),
I can dance, I can sing,
I can reef the main boom (2);
I can handle a jigger (3),
I cuts a fine figure,
Whenever I gets in a boat’s standing room (4).
CHORUS
We’ll rant and we’ll roar
like true Newfoundlanders
We’ll rant and we’ll roar
on deck and below
Until we strike bottom inside the two sunkers (5),
When straight through the channel
to Toslow (6) we’ll go

II)
Farewell and adieu
to ye young maids of Valen (7),
Oderin and Presque, Fox Hole and Brule;
I’m bound for the westward
to the wall with the hole in (8),
I can’t marry all or it’s yokey I’ll be.
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I)
Sono il figlio di un cuoco di mare
sono un cuoco e un trafficante,
so ballare, cantare
ridurre le vele
maneggiare un bozzello
faccio la mia bella figura
ogni volta che salgo su una barca
CORO
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Come veri Terranoviani
Lo grideremo con un ruggito
Sopra e sotto coperta
Finchè getteremo lo scandaglio
Poi attraverso il Canale
andremo a Toslow

II)
Arrivederci e Addio
A voi, Dame di Valen
Oderin e Presque, Fox Hole e Brule
Sono diretto a Ovest
alla parete con il buco dentro
non posso sposarvi tutte o sarei un folle

NOTE (from here)
1) standard version“…a cook in a trader”: a trader is a coastal vessel that visits small outports, buying fish or furs and selling groceries and durable goods= cuoco in una nave container
2) “reef the main boom”: shorten the mainsail, especially in high winds
Boom – pole securing the bottom of a sail, allowing more control of the sail’s position.
Reef – to partially lower a sail so that it is not as large. This helps prevent too much sail from being in use when the wind gets stronger.
3) “jigger”: Unbaited, weighted hook used with a line to catch cod or squid
4) Standing room: compartment between the thwarts of an undecked fishing boat
5) “Until we strike bottom inside the two sunkers”, but striking bottom (going aground) would seem to be poor seamanship. The alternatives “sight bottom” or “see bottom” seem to be more appropriate.
Sunker: A submerged rock over which the sea breaks.  The two sinkers are two weights on the end of the rope used to fathom the depth. When you chuck the rope in, both disappear until you reach shallow water (off a coast), when the top one stays clear of the water. At this point, you can “see the bottom” between the 2 sinkers. It means that after a long time on the open sea, you’ve struck land (usually shortly before coming into harbour or a river estuary).
While striking bottom is done by heaving the lead, it usually has only one sinker on the line, a tapered thing like a sash-weight, with a hollow cup indented on the bottom for the wax plug used to collect bottom sample. I have never seen or heard of a two-lead method, and I think this is an invention born of misunderstanding. Sinkers, or sunkers, are submerged rocks, so named because they have a nasty habit of sunkin’ yer boot when you least expect it.” -except that it is usually called “sounding”, not “striking bottom”.
STRIKE, to, the act of lowering the colours of a warship in battle as an indication of surrender.
A vessel also strikes soundings when she can reach the bottom with a deep-sea lead when coming in from sea. This is today generally accepted as the 100 fathom contour, and a ship is in soundings when she is inside this line.
    -The Oxford Companion To Ships And The Sea.
Striking soundings (at 600ft.) is not at all the same as striking bottom, except perhaps in the minds of landlubbers in “an invention born of misunderstanding” as Amos says.
This is a common enough phenomenon, as Rod Stradling shows in his magazine Musical Traditions:
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/mondegre.htm
It would not surprise me if a singer changed “see bottom” to “sight bottom”, and another heard it as “strike bottom”. As a sailor, “striking bottom” is the last thing I want to think about.
6) Toslow  A fishing community on Placentia Bay
7) Valen: Properly, Isle of Valen, a community on Placentia Bay (now abandoned)
Oderin: Oderin Island in Placentia Bay (now abandoned)
Presque: A small community on Placentia Bay (now abandoned)
Fox Hole: No town by that name, but there is a Fox Harbour on the Avalon Peninsula and a Fox Cove on the Burin Peninsula, both of which are adjacent to Placentia Bay. There is also a Fox Island Harbour (now abandoned) on Fox Island, at the end of the Burin Peninsula.
Brule: The town of Great Brule, on Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay (now abandoned)
8) una località o una espressione colloquiale per tana?

LINK
http://mightyseas.perso.sfr.fr/marhist/furness/duddon/nellie_bywater.htm
http://rock.genius.com/Naval-songs-spanish-ladies-lyrics http://www.jsward.com/shanty/SpanishLadies/hugill.html http://hallnjean.wordpress.com/sailors-worlds/introductory-remarks-on-observing-%E2%80%98this-part-of-the-world%E2%80%99-past-perceptions-and-present-viewpoints/%E2%80%98north-about%E2%80%99-from-%E2%80%98london-river%E2%80%99/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49621
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=7339

http://gestsongs.com/27/pitt.htm
http://gestsongs.com/10/rantroar.htm
http://gestsongs.com/32/rant.htm
http://gestsongs.com/18/ryans.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=51862

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati.