Derby Ram sea shanty

The oldest traditions of the mid-winter festival included an auspicious quest in which a group of young people went from house to house with “The Old Tup“; the custom is found in particular in Derby and Chersterfield carried on by the Mummers of the county still during the nineteenth century and up to our days: they rapresent the ritual death of a ram, whose blood in ancient times was collected in a bowl and the meat was distributed to the poor. The song that accompanied the pantomime has turned into a humorous song (or a nursery rhymes) in which the ram has become gigantic and performs prodigious enterprises.
Le tradizioni più antiche della festa di mezzo inverno prevedevano una sorta di questua benaugurale in cui un gruppo di giovani andava di casa in casa con “The Old Tup“; l’usanza si riscontra in particolare a Derby e a Chersterfield portata avanti dai Mummers della contea ancora durante l’Ottocento e ripresa fino ai nostri giorni: si metteva in scena la morte rituale di un ariete (o montone), il cui sangue anticamente veniva raccolto in una ciotola e la carne era distribuita ai poveri. 
La canzone che accompagnava la pantomima si è trasformata in una canzoncina umoristica (anche come nursery rhymes) in cui l’ariete è diventato gigantesco e compie imprese prodigiose.

SEA SHANTY VERSION
LA VERSIONE MARINARESCA

The sea shanty version spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific at the time of sailing ships is presented in various text versions, even a little coarse. Other versions always along the lines of “The Derby Ram Goes to Sea” reported by Captain Robinson (1917) and reprinted in Colcord, which we also find from Stan Hugill although in a “cleaned” version.
La versione sea shanty diffusa dall’Atlantico al Pacifico al tempo dei velieri si presenta in varie versioni testuali anche un po’ spinte.
Altre versioni sempre sulla falsariga di The Derby Ram Goes to Sea riportata dal Capitano Robinson (1917) e ristampata in Colcord, che troviamo anche in Stan Hugill anche se in una versione “ripulita”

Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag

Hulton Clint che canta la versione di Stan Hugill in Shanties of the Seven Seas.


I
As I was going to Derby,
‘twas on a market day,
I met the finest ram, sirs,
that ever was fed upon hay.
(Chorus)
That’s a lie, that’s a lie
That’s a lie, a lie, a lie!
II
This ram and I got drunk, sir,
as drunk as drunk could be,
And when we sobered up, sir,
we were far away out on the sea.
III
This wonderful old ram, sir,
was playful as a kid;
He swallowed the captain’s spyglass (1)
along with the bo’sun’s fid (2).
IV
The night was very draft (3), sir,
the wind like ice did feel;
He borrowed me suit of oilskins
And took me trick at the wheel
V
He climbed aloft sir,
so full of him to store the topsails high (4);
but halfway up he lost his nerve
he had an awful fright.
VI
One morning on the poop, sir,
afore eight bells was struck.
He climbed up to the sky’s
I yard an’ sat down on the truck (5).
VII
This wonderful ol’ ram, sir,
he tried a silly trick,
He tried to jump a five-barred fence
and landed in a rick.
VIII
This wonderful ol’ ram, sir,
it grew two horns of brass,
One grew out o’ his shoulder blade,
t’other turned into a mast.
IX
The Crew of the good Ship Jackdaw (6)
is handsome, strong and brave,
the finest Crowd of Sailors
that ever sailed over the Waves
traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
Mentre andavo a Derby,
ed era un giorno di mercato,
ho incontrato il più bell’ariete, signori,
che mai sia stato alimentato con il fieno
CORO
Questa è’ una bugia, Questa è’ una bugia
Questa è’ una bugia, una bugia – bugia
II
L’ariete ed io ci ubriacammo, signore
che più ubriachi non si poteva
e quando diventammo sobri, signore
eravamo in alto mare
III
Questo magnifico vecchio ariete,
era giocoso come un bimbo
inghiottì il cannocchiale del capitano
con la caviglia(1) del nostromo
IV
La notte era molto fredda, signore,
il vento sembrava come ghiaccio
e lui mi prestò il vestito incatramato
e mi portò alla ruota del timone
V
Montò arriva signore,/ così determinato da voler stivare le gabbie volanti
ma a metà strada si è perso d’animo
e gli è preso una strizza terribile
VI
Una mattina sulla poppa, signore
prima che la campana delle otto suonasse, 
lui si è impennato nel cielo, e io mi sono arrampicato e seduto sulla formaggetta
VII
Questo magnifico vecchio ariete,
giocò uno scherzetto
cercò di saltare cinque barili in fila
e atterrò su di un pagliaio
VIII
A questo magnifico vecchio ariete,
sono cresciute due corna d’ottone
una scaturita dalla sua scapola
l’altra trasformata in albero
IX
La ciurma della nave “La taccola” 
è affascinante, forte e coraggiosa
i migliori marinai
che mai navigarono sulle onde

NOTE
1) or spyglass
2) termine nautico vedi
3) or rough
4) stivare nel senso di sferire (toglierle dal pennone), calare le vele in coperta e riporle nel deposito vele. La traduzione della frase è suggerita da Italo Ottonello
5) la versione di Hugill è decisamente volgare
6) la strofa finale è stata modificata dagli autori di Black Flag per adattarla alla storia: La Jackdaw, varata con il nome di El Dorado, è stato il brigantino del pirata gallese Edward Kenway, nonché la nave ammiraglia della sua flotta, nel periodo in cui operò come pirata e poi come Assassino nelle Indie Occidentali, dal 1715 al 1723. continua

 

LINK
http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/lyrics/DERBYRA2.html

The Dead Horse sea shanty: Working off the Dead Horse

Leggi in italiano

kw294114Paying off the Dead Horse” perhaps derives from a custom in negotiations between breeders: once the agreement was sanctioned with a handshake there was no way to go back even if the horse died soon after.
Flogging a dead horse” or “beating a dead horse” has entered the nineteenth-century ways of saying to indicate a way of doing that has no prospects or outlets (it is useless to whip a horse when it is dead because it will never rise again).
But “to work (for) the dead horse” means wasting money to buy useless things (like a dead horse).

Working off the Dead Horse

“Working off the Dead Horse” still has a further meaning in marine jargonas, explained by Italo Ottonello: at the signing of the recruitment contract for long journeys, the sailors received an advance equal to three months of pay which, to guarantee the respect of 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.
So often there was nothing left of the advance, spended for the personal equipment (boots, wax, knives etc that were charged to the sailor) or more commonly for women and “drinks”.
Thus the sailor worked for the first month for “nothing” that is for “the dead horse”; others mean that it is the sailor who is an exploited horse because in the first month on the ship he does not work for himself, but for his creditors.
In support of the first hypothesis there are those who maintain that once the driver of a horse who was employed by a chief was responsible for the death of the horse and would no longer receive his salary until he repaid the cost of the horse.

HORSE ON THE DECK AT THE AUCTION!

A curious ceremony took place aboard the sailing vessels: a horse was assembled with discarded objects (stitched worn sails, old barrels and worn ropes) and dragged around the deck of the ship; then an auction was opened with the auctioneer who praised the good qualities of the animal, at the end the horse was hoisted with a rope on the highest flagpole and thrown into the sea, while the last part of a song’s melody was sung as requiem. called “Paying off the dead horse”.
The ceremony … became a rather half-hearted affair in the latter days of sail, whereas in days gone by it was a spectacular effort, particularly in the emigrant ships, and one of the best descriptions is given in Reminiscences of Travel in Australia, America, and Egypt,by R Tangye (London, 1884).” (Stan Hugill)

BURYING THE DEAD HORSE

The custom gradually declined and the song became a halyard shanty. Thus R Tangye writes : “Being a month at sea the sailors performed the ceremony called ” Burying the Dead Horse,” the explanation of which is this: Before leaving port seamen are paid a month in advance, so as to enable them to leave some money with their wives, or to buy a new kit, etc., and having spent the money they consider the first month goes for nothing, and so call it ” Working off the Dead Horse.” The crew dress up a figure to represent a horse; its body is made out of a barrel, its extremities of hay or straw covered with canvas, the mane and tail of hemp, the eyes of two ginger beer bottles, sometimes filled with phosphorus. When complete the noble steed is put on a box, covered with a rug, and on the evening of the last day of the month a man gets on to his back, and is drawn all round the ship by his shipmates, to the chanting of the following doggerel: oh! now, poor Horse, your time is come; And we say so, for we know so. Oh! many a race we know you’ve won, Poor Old Man. You have come a long long way, And we say so, for we know so. For to be sold upon this day, Poor Old Man. You are goin’ now to say good-bye, And we say so, for we know so. Poor old horse you’re a goin’ to die, Poor Old Man.
Having paraded the decks in order to get an audience, the sale of the horse by auction is announced, and a glib-mouthed man mounts the rostrum and begins to praise the noble animal, giving his pedigree, etc., saying it was a good one to go, for it had gone 6,000 miles in the past month ! The bidding then commences, each bidder being responsible only for the amount of his advance on the last bid. After the sale the horse and its rider are run up to the yard-arm amidst loud cheers. Fireworks are let off, the man gets off the horse’s back, and, cutting the rope, lets it fall into the water. The Requiem is then sung to the same melody. Now he is dead and will die no more, And we say so, for we know so. Now he is gone and will go no more; Poor Old Man.
After this the auctioneer and his clerk proceed to collect the ” bids,” and if in your ignorance of auction etiquette you should offer yours to the auctioneer, he politely declines it, and refers you to his clerk!”

The ritual echoes ancient propitiatory and auspicious rituals such as those of the Poor Old Horse at Christmas.

SEA SHANTY

Other titles: Poor old man, Poor old Horse
Use: Halyard e Long drag shanty

Assassin’s Creed -IV Black Flag


A poor old man came riding by.
And we say so, And we know so.
O, a poor old man came riding by,
O, poor old man.

Says I, “Old man, your horse will die.
“And if he dies we’ll tan his hide.
And if he don’t, I’ll ride him again.
And I’ll ride him ‘til the Lord knows”
He’s dead as a nail in the lamp room door (1), And he won’t come worrying us no more
We’ll use the hair of his tail to sew our sails
and the iron of his shoes (2) to make deck nails,
Drop him down with a long long rope
Where the sharks have his body
And the devil takes his soul (3)!

NOTE
1)Charles Dickens in “A Christama Carol”:  “that Marley was as dead as a door-nail”. The expression is very ancient used both by Shakespeare and even before in the Middle Ages c. 1350. Will. Palerne: For but ich haue bot of mi bale I am ded as dorenail
But William and Mary Morris, in The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, quote a correspondent who points out that it could come from a standard term in carpentry. If you hammer a nail through a piece of timber and then flatten the end over on the inside so it can’t be removed again (a technique called clinching), the nail is said to be dead, because you can’t use it again. Doornails would very probably have been subjected to this treatment to give extra strength in the years before screws were available. So they were dead because they’d been clinched.” One of our traditional ceremonial sea songs, “Dead Horse Shanty,” uses the line “dead as a nail on the lamproom door.” We might assume that these nail heads were appropriately flattened. For those who are now curious to know what a “dead horse” had to do with sailors, it was a symbol of the advance pay they or their crimp received before boarding ship. So they didn’t earn any additional pay until they had worked off the “dead horse.” (from here). 
In the old-time navy, you get the combination of a wooden ship and gunpowder – potentially troublesome. Especially as the gunpowder was stored down below decks where there were no windows to let in the light. Taking a lit torch or candle into the gunpowder store was frowned upon, often briefly and from a great height. The lamp-room was next to the gunpowder store, with a glass window to throw light on the powder without risk of ignition. Nails in the woodwork were also a source of risk, because if struck they could create a spark. Nails in the lamp-room door and around the powder store were ‘deadened’ by being painted over with pitch to protect from this eventuality. With people ashore living in wooden houses with thatched roofs, the practice of ‘deadening’ door nails with pitch or something similar was probably more widespread“,
2) the hooves
3) or
We’ll hoist him up to the main yardarm
We’ll drop him down to the depths of the sea

We’ll sing him down with a long, long roll
Where the sharks’ll have his body
and the devil have have his soul

Robin Holcomb Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI 2006

I
Poor old man came ridin’ along
And we say so,
And we hope so.
Poor old man came ridin’ along
Poor old man.
II
Well poor old man your horse he must die
And we say so,
And we hope so.
Poor old man your horse he must die
Poor old man.
III
Well 30 days have come and gone (1)
And we say so,
And we hope so.
30 days have come and gone
Poor old man.

IV
And now we are on a good month’s pay
And we say so,
And we hope so.
I think I hear our wharfing man say
Poor old man.
V
So give them grog for the 30th day
And we say so,
And we hope so.
Give them their grog for the 30th day
Poor old man.
VI
Then up hail ox (2) to the old main yard arm
And we say so,
And we hope so.
Then cut him drip and do him no harm
Poor old man.
A poor old man came ridin’ along

NOTE
1) in this version the ceremony obviously takes place after the first month of navigation
2) it was the simulacrum of the horse to be hoisted on the highest yard and then thrown into the sea, so why an ox?

Ian Campbell – Farewell Nancy 1964


I say, “Old man, your horse is dead.”
And we say so, And we know so.
I say, “Old man, your horse is dead.”
O, poor old man.
One month a rotten live we’ve led
While you lay on y’er feather bed
But now the month is up, ol’ turk
get up, ye swine, and look for work
get up, ye swine, and look for graft
while we lays on an’ yanks(1) ye aft
An’ yanks ye aft t’ th’ cabin door
and hopes we’ll never see ye more

NOTE
1) to yank: pull, or move with a sudden movement

JOHN SHORT VERSION: DEAD HORSE

Keith Kendrick – Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 3 


A poor old man came riding by.
And we say so,
And we know so.

O, a poor old man came riding by,
O, poor old man.

Says I, “Old man, your horse will die
Says I, “Old man, your horse will die.
And if he dies I’ll tan his hide
(if he leaves my old sail a ride?)
As I was rambling down the street
flesh young girl I chanced for to meet
say I “Young girl (whan’t you send a treat?)
Yes you’ve come to the bottom of the street
Aloft we went in a low back car
she took me to jack store’s bar
She pull him for some cakes and wine
to plumb well as my desire
I plumbed the well and the fancy was gone
but now I left her on the strand

FONTI
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/dead_horse/bone.htm
l
http://crydee.sai.msu.su/public/lyrics/cs-uwp/folk/d/dead_horse
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=108766
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/poor-old-horse.html

Roll the Cotton Down – Moses! Sea shanty

This sea shanty comes in two versions, one as halyard shanty and the other as capstan shanty  (with the addition of a large choir)
Stan Hugill reports six versions classified in the Halyards, in which the verses of the black stevedores mixed with typical themes of the sea shanties: Black Ball line, Paddy on the Railway, Long Time Ago with the ubiquitous and infamous Cape Horn.
Questa shanty si presenta in due versioni una per gli alaggi e l’altra per il sollevamento dell’ancora (con l’aggiunta di un
grande coro)
Stan Hugill
riporta sei versioni classificate nelle Halyards, in cui si accostano i versi degli scaricatori neri di cotone (Black stevedores ) con temi tipici delle sea shanty: Black Ball line, Paddy on the Railway, Long Time Ago con l’onnipresente e famigerato Cape Horn.

Captain Leighton Robinson, 1939


Oh, away down South where I was born,
Oh, roll the cotton down,
Away down South where I was born,
Oh, roll the cotton down.

A dollar a day is the white man’s pay,
I thought I heard our old man say,
We’re homeward bound to Mobile Bay (1).
Oh, hoist away that yard and sing.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Oh, via dal Sud dove sono nato
Oh scarica il cotone
Oh, via dal Sud dove sono nato
Oh scarica il cotone

Un dollaro al giorno è la paga di un bianco
credo di aver sentito il capitano dire
Siamo in partenza per Mobile Bay
Oh issa quel pennone e canta

NOTE
1) Mobile Bay was an important southern port famous for exporting cotton bales
Mobile Bay era un importante porto del Sud famoso per l’esportazione delle balle di cotone

BLACKBALL LINE version

Paul Clayton & The Foc’sle Singers in  Foc’sle Songs and Shanties (Folkways, 1959)


Oh, away down South where I was born,
Roll the cotton down,
I used to work from night till morn(ing)
Roll the cotton down.

I thought I’d go and signed the Line
and for the sailors the sunshine shine.
A dime a day is a Black man’s pay
a white man’s pay is a dollar a day.
I served my time in the Black Ball Line
it was there I wasted all my prime.
Oh the Black Ball Line is for me the line
that’s when you fly the number nine. (???)
???  I went one day
and for Liverpool town we sail away.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Oh, via dal Sud dove sono nato
Oh scarica il cotone
dove ero solito lavorare dalla notte fino al mattino/Oh scarica il cotone

Pensai di andare ad arruolarmi sulla Line
dove per i marinai splendeva il sole
Una monetina al giorno è la paga di un nero
la paga di un bianco è un dollaro al giorno
ho lavorato sulla Black Ball Line
era là che sprecai la mia gioventù.
Oh la Black Ball line è la compagnia per me
??
?? andai un giorno
e per la città di Liverpool salpiamo

NOTE
ancora delle difficoltà di comprensione linguistica nella trascrizione

Roll the cotton, Moses

On his YouTube channel, Hulton Clint began a great project, to singall the chanteys (“over 400 shanties,” ) from Stan Hugill’s book, so Hulton Clint writes: “This chantey has both a halyard and a capstan form, the later being distinguished by its grand chorus of “Roll the cotton, Moses.”… Hugill’s versions “A” and “B” have the same melody and chorus, but he seems to have divided them as such just due to the rough coherence of lyrical theme. The first “speaks to Negro nostalgia”; most of its verses are far too quaint to provide much interest nowadays. The chantey does probably derive, however, from a minstrel song that took that tone. The second version has to do with the work of screwing cotton. I selected verses from each and combined them (as would be done), rather than setting out two artificially distinct variants.”
Sul suo canale You Tube Hulton Clint ha iniziato un grande progetto, cantare tutte le canzoni (oltre 400 titoli) dal libro di Stan Hugill, così scrive “Una canzone marinaresca con la forma sia di una halyard che di una capstan shanty, la seconda essendo distinta dal grande coro di “Roll the cotton, Moses”…  Le versioni di Hugill “A” e “B” hanno la stessa melodia e ritornello, e sembrerebbe siano state divise solo per una più stretta coerenza al tema lirico. Il primo “parla della nostalgia negra”; la maggior parte dei suoi versi è troppo bizzarra per offrire molto interesse al giorno d’oggi. Il chantey probabilmente deriva, tuttavia, da una canzone menestrello che ha preso quel tono. La seconda versione ha a che fare con il lavoro dello stivaggio del cotone. Ho selezionato i versi da ciascuno e li ho combinati (come si sarebbe fatto), piuttosto che impostare due varianti artificialmente distinte.

and finally the “Sailor” version for BalconyTV Poznan (Poland)
e per finire la versione dei “Sailor” per BalconyTV Poznan (Polonia)

LINK
https://www.loc.gov/item/2017701738/
http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogspot.com/2012/02/93-101-roll-cotton-down-series.html
http://www.thepirateking.com/music/rollthecottondown.htm
https://www.jsward.com/shanty/roll_the_cotton_down/index.html
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72644

https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=114864
http://www.janetelizabeth.org.uk/shanties/RolltheCotton.pdf
https://www.wrenmusic.co.uk/gallery/roll%20cotton%20down%20lyrics.pdf

Captain Nipper

The song appeared in print around 1914 in a book entitled Shanties and Forebitters by Bessie (Mrs Clifford) Beckett, but it’s probably older.. it derives from a music-hall song and recalls the trasportation song “Shore of Botany Bay” at least in a verse “The good ship Ragamuffin” but tune and lyric are different.
La canzone è apparsa in stampa nel 1914 nel libro Shanties and Forebitters  di Bessie (Mrs Clifford) Beckett ma probabilmente risale al 1890, deriva da una canzonetta del music-hall e richiama la canzone di deportazione “Shore of Botany Bay” specie nel verso “The good ship Ragamuffin”, ma melodia e testo sono diversi.

Paul Clayton & the Foc’sle Singers on “Foc’sle Songs and Shanties” (1959)
Clayton’s note “This delightful British foc’sle ditty has been collected only rarely from tradition. More than likely it was first popularized in British music halls, and taken from there to the foc’sle by one of the many sailors who frequented the music halls in their layover between ocean trips.
Clayton scrive nella nota: “Questa bella canzoncina marinaresca britannica è stata raccolta raramente dalla tradizione. Viene principalmente dal Music hall britannico e portato tra i canti di gaettone da uno dei molti marinai che frequentavano le sale da musica nei loro periodi a terra tra i viaggi oceanici


I
‘Twas the fifteenth of September
How well I do remember
It nearly broke my poor old mother’s heart;
For I shipped with Captain Nipper(2)
In a big four-masted clipper
Bound away down south for foreign parts. (3)
Chorus
And the stormy winds did blow
and the ship began to roll

And the devil of a hurricane did blow-oh, my, oh!
It nearly blew the stuffing
out the good ship Ragamuffin

And we thought to the bottom we should go.
II
Then we hoisted up our anchor,
And we set (4) our jib an’ spanker,
And the pilot took us to the harbor’s mouth.
Then from the tug we parted,
And on our voyage started,
With a compass headed east-nor’west by south
III
Then there came a good stiff breeze
That made the old man sneeze,
And carried away the sails on ev’ry hand,
And for seven long days we bore’t,
While runnin’ right afore’t,
Thinkin’ we would never see the land.
IV
But the ship got caught aback,
And the stays began to crack,
And the fore-gallant-fores’ls carried away,
So we pulled the helm over,
And headed straight for Dover,
And at last we anchored safe within the bay.

Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Il 15 settembre
me lo ricordo bene
ho quasi spezzato il cuore della mia cara madre
perchè mi arruolai con il capitano Nipper
in un grande clipper a quattro alberi
diretto a Sud verso terre straniere.
Coro
E venti di tempesta soffiavano
e la nave iniziò a rollare

e un dannato uragano scoppiò.
Stava quasi per spazzare via
la brava nave Ragamuffin

e credevamo che saremmo finiti in fondo al mare
II
Allora issammo l’ancora
e bordammo fiocco e randa
e il timoniere ci portò all’imboccatura del porto
poi lasciammo il rimorchiatore
e iniziammo il nostro viaggio,/con la bussola puntata a est-nord-ovest verso sud
III
Poi arrivò una brezza sostenuta
che fece starnutire il Capitano
e travolse le vele da ogni lato
per sette giorni le resistemmo
mentre le fuggivamo avanti
pensando che non avremmo più rivisto terra
IV
Ma la nave fu colta alla sprovvista,
e gli stralli si ruppero
e le vela di velaccino e di trinchetto portate via,
quindi mettemmo il timone
a dritta verso Dover,
e alla fine gettammo l’ancora al sicuro nella baia.

Note
1) or the fourteenth of Novembe
2) or I signed on with a skipper
3) or For a voyage round the Horn and foreign parts
4) to set a sail= bordare una vela (mollare e spiegare le vele tesando le scotte in modo che prendano bene il vento)

LINK
http://www.sssa.llc.ed.ac.uk/whalsay/2014/12/08/good-ship-ragamuffin-the/
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=65973

He Back, She Back (Old Moke Picking on the Banjo)

Hulton Clint writes: “The lyrics are cobbled together from railroad work songs, minstrel jingles, mis-hearings of “Shule Aroon” (Cecil Sharp thought it was a variant of that song), and rough ‘n’ ready sailors phrases.” (see his You Tube channel)
Hulton Clint scrive: “Il testo è un rappezzamento di canti dei lavoratori nella ferrovia, canti d’avanspettacolo [minstrel songs], un fraintendimento di “Shule Aroon” (Cecil Sharp lo reputava una variante di quella canzone) e frasi fatte marinaresche” (vedi il suo Canale You Tube)

Cliff Haslam in Leaning the Wind 2012


I
He-bang, she-bang (1), daddy shot a bear, 
Shot him in the stern, me boys
and never turned a hair,
We’re from the railroad (2), too-ra-loo,
Oh the old moke (3) pickin’ on the banjo (4).
[CHORUS]
Hooraw! What the hell’s a row?
We’re all from the railroad, too-ra-loo,
We’re all from the railroad, too-ra-loo,
Oh the old moke pickin’ on the banjo.

II
Pat, get back, take in yer slack
Heave away, me boys;
Heave away, me bully boys,
why don’t ye make some noise?
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo…
III
Roll her boys, bowl her boys,
give her flamin’ gip (5)
Drag the anchor off the mud
an’ let the bastard rip (6)
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo….
IV
Rock-a-block, chock-a-block (7),
heave the caps’n round,
Fish the flamin’ anchor up,
for we are outward bound.
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo….
V
Out chocks, two blocks,
heave away or bust,
Bend yer backs, me bully boys,
kick up some flamin’ dust.
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo….
VI
Whisky-O, johnny-O,
the mudhook is in sight,
‘Tis a hell-of-a-way to the gals that wait,
an’ the ol’ Nantucket Light;
We’re from the railroad, too-ra-loo….
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Lui spara, lei spara, papà sparò a un orso
gli sparò nel posteriore [a poppa]
e non gli aveva torto un capello
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo
Oh il vecchio Moke che suona il banjo!
CORO
Hoo-raw! Qual’è il problema ora?
Siamo tutti della ferrovia too-ra-loo,
siamo tutti della ferrovia too-ra-loo,
Oh il vecchio Moke che suona il banjo
II
Pat, torna indietro, prendi il tuo posto
issiamo, ragazzi
issiamo, miei bravi
perché non vi date da fare?
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo
III
Fatela andare ragazzi, 
datele una tirata
trascinate l’ancora via dal fango
e fate filare la bastarda
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo
IV
Fate filare il bozzello e bloccatelo
date un giro all’argano
portate su la dannata ancora 
perchè siamo in partenza
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo
V
Via le morse, due bozzelli 
issate o morite
piegate la schiena, miei bravacci,
alzate un po’ di dannata polvere
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo
VI
Whisky o marinaio o
l’approdo è in vista
è un vero inferno per le ragazze che aspettano
al vecchio faro di Nantucket
Siamo della ferrovia too-ra-loo

NOTE
1) He-bang, she-bang are nonsense vocables,  Leland’s 1890 dictionary of slang has “shebang” as American slang for a shanty (a shack) [He-bang, she-bang sono molto probabilmente parole senza senso, nel “Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant” di Leland Shebang= baracca, capanno]
2) see “Poor Paddy works on the railway.”
3) Webster’s dictionary of 1913 had not only the meanings of “mule” and “Negro”, but also “a minstrel, who plays on several instruments”. Hulton writes: A 1928 article on “Midshipman Jargon” (in American Speech, Vol. II, No. 9) has that in the American Navy man’s jargon, moke signifies “dark” or “black” and was also” for a Negro or Filipino.” A 2001 posting on the linguist listserve by Quinion has that it was originally a term for a mule, becoming first an offensive term for a Black man, then by the 1850s (around the probable time of this chantey) it was generalized to mean some foolish or contemptible person. It evolved into the form “mook.” 
[Il dizionario di Webster del 1913 traduce con “mulo” e “negro”, ma anche “un menestrello che suona diversi strumenti”. Scrive Hulton: “un articolo del 1928 su “Midshipman Jargon” (in American Speech, Vol. II, n. 9) dice che nel gergo americano della marina americana, moke significa “oscuro” o “nero” e stava per “per un negro o filippino “. Una pubblicazione del 2001 sulla lista dei linguisti di Quinion dice che in origine era un termine per mulo, diventando prima un termine offensivo per uomo nero, quindi nel 1850 (probabile periodo di questo chantey) significava in genere qualcosa di sciocco o persona spregevole.”]
4) in the railroad “pickin’ on a banjo” was a euphemism for digging with a shovel. [per gli sterratori che lavoravano nella costruzione della linea ferrovia americana “pickin’ on a banjo”= scavare con la pala]
5) Stephen Wilson writes: Give her flamin’ gip = give her hell / give her a telling off
6) let ‘er rip = espressione idiomatica, lasciarla andare a tutta birra/a tutto gas, the bastard è riferita all’ancora
7) CHOCK A BLOCK, CHOCKER Chock-a-block is an old Naval expression, meaning “Complete” or “Full up”; synonyms were “Two blocks” and “Block and block”. It derives from the use of a hauling tackle – when the two blocks of the purchase were touching each other the lower one could obviously be hoisted no further, and so the work was completed. Modern slang has corrupted the expression to “Chocker”, meaning “Fed up”. (from here)
Chok: the word is thought to have come from chock-full (or choke-full), meaning ‘full to choking’. This dates back to the 15th century This meaning was later used to give a name to the wedges of wood which are used to secure moving objects – chocks. These chocks were used on ships and are referred to in William Falconer’s, An universal dictionary of the marine, 1769: “Chock, a sort of wedge used to confine a cask or other weighty body..when the ship is in motion.  A block and tackle is a pulley system used on sailing ships to hoist the sails ‘chock-a-block’   The phrase describes what occurs the system is raised to its fullest extent – when there is no more rope free and the blocks jam tightly together. in Richard H. Dana “Hauling the reef-tackles chock-a-block.” Nautical. having the blocks drawn closetogether, as when the tackle is hauled to theutmost. (with reference to tackle having the two blocks run close together ) (from here)
“Chock a block”, talvolta anche scritto come un’unica parola “chockablock”  è l’unione di “chockfull” che significa pieno e “block and tackle” che è un tipo di paranco utilizzato sulle barche a vela; si usa colloquialmente per dire “affollato”
per sapere cosa sia un paranco e come funzioni

John Short Version

Jeff Warner in Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 3


I
He-back, she-back, daddy shot a bear, 
Shot him in the ass
and he never tuched the hair,
I’m just from the railroad, too-rer-loo,
Oh the old moke picking on the banjo.
II
Roll her boys, bowl her boys,
give her flaming gip
Drag the anchor off the mud
and let the bastard rip 
I’m just from the railroad..
[CHORUS]
Hoo-roo! What’s the matter now?
I’m just from the railroad, too-rer-loo,
I’m just from the railroad, too-rer-loo,
Oh the old moke picking on the banjo.
III
Rock-a-block, chock-a-block,
heave the caps’n round,
Fish the flaming anchor up,
for we are outward bound.
I’m just from the railroad..
IV
Out chocks, two blocks,
heave away or bust,
Bend yer backs, me bully boys,
kick up some flamin’ dust.
I’m just from the railroad…
V
Whisky-O, johnny-O,
the mudhook is in sight,
‘Tis a hell-of-a-way to the gals that wait,
an’ the ol’ Nantucket Light;
I’m just from the railroad..
VI
Pat, get back, take in yer slack.
Heave away, me boys;
Heave away, me bully boys,
why don’t ye make some noise?
I’m just from the railroad..
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
He-back, she-back, papà sparò a un orso
gli sparò nel posteriore
e non gli aveva torto un capello
Sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo
Oh il vecchio Moke che suona il banjo!
II
Fatela andare ragazzi, 
datele una tirata
trascinate l’ancora via dal fango
e fate filare la bastarda
sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo
CORO
Hoo-roo! Qual’è il problema ora?
Sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo,
Sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo,
Oh il vecchio Moke che suona il banjo
III
Fate filare il bozzello e bloccatelo 
date un giro all’argano
portate su la dannata ancora
perchè siamo in partenza
sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo
IV
Via le morse, due bozzelli 
issiamo o moriamo
piegate la schiena, miei bravacci,
alzate un po’ di dannata polvere
sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo
V
Whisky o marinaio o
l’approdo è in vista
è un vero inferno per le ragazze che aspettano
al vecchio faro di Nantucket
sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo
VI
Pat, torna indietro, prendi il tuo posto
issiamo, ragazzi
issiamo, miei bravi
perché non vi date da fare?
Sono solo della ferrovia too-rer-loo

LINK
https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4424,4424&SongID=4424,4424
https://mainlynorfolk.info/danny.spooner/songs/theoldmokepickingonabanjo.html
http://cliffhaslam.com/?page_id=322
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=71721
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/Be022.html

Bear Away Yankee, Bear Away Boy

The shanty “Bear Away Yankee” (Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore) comes from the singing of West Indies sailors, collected by Alan Lomax and Roger D. Abrahams in the smaller Caribbean islands and published in “Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore “(1974). From the field recordings made in 1962 it was released Caribbean Voyage: Nevis And St. Kitts” album
The chantey-singing fishermen, under the leadership of Walter Roberts or Reginald Syder performed songs used for boat hauling or while sailing, many reflecting past rather than contemporary practice. Notwithstanding, versions of several of the songs are also featured in Abrahams’ book about the tradition: Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore: Three Essays on Shantying in the West Indies, (Austin, University of Texas Press, 1974). (from here)
La shanty “Bear Away Yankee” (Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore) viene dai canti di lavoro nelle Indie Occidentali, collezionata da Alan Lomax e da Roger D. Abrahams nelle isole minori dei Caraibi e pubblicata nella raccolta “Deep The Water, Shallow The Shore” (1974).
Dalle registrazioni sul campo effettuate nel 1962 è stato realizzato l’album “Caribbean Voyage: Nevis And St. Kitts
I pescatori cantavano, sotto la guida di Walter Roberts o Reginald Syder, le canzoni usate per il trasporto di imbarcazioni o durante la navigazione, molte delle quali riflettevano il passato piuttosto che la pratica contemporanea. Nonostante ciò, le versioni di molte delle canzoni sono anche presenti nel libro di Abrahams sulla tradizione: Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore: tre saggi su Shantying nelle Indie occidentali, (Austin, University of Texas Press, 1974). (tradotto da qui)

A rowing chanty presumably dates back to 1831 when on a river trip in Guyana, a White British captain observed the enslaved Africans rowing his boat to sing “their favourite song: Velly well, yankee, velly well oh!
Una rowing chanty che si presume risalga al 1831 quando,durante un viaggio fluviale in Guyana, un capitano britannico bianco osservò degli schiavi africani che remavano nella sua barca cantare “la loro canzone preferita: Velly well, yankee, velly well oh!!

Roy Gumbs live Newcaste, isle of Nevis, 1962

Hulton Clint writes “The first is a recording that Alan Lomax made of Roy Gumbs and party of Newcastle, Nevis in July 1962. The second (starting 1:40) is a rendition presented by Roger Abrahams in _Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore_, from his fieldwork with fishermen in Nevis 1963-66. The textual themes are the same, but the melody noted by Abrahams is different than these men’s colleagues had sung a year or so earlier for Lomax.
La prima parte è la registrazione che Alan Lomax fece di Roy Gumbs e compagni di Newcastle, Nevis, nel luglio 1962. La seconda (a partire da 1:40) è la versione presentata da Roger Abrahams in “Deep Water, Shallow the Shore”, dal suo lavoro sul campo con pescatori a Nevis 1963-66. I temi testuali sono gli stessi, ma la melodia annotata da Abrahams è diversa da quella che i loro colleghi avevano cantato un anno prima per Lomax

Hulton Clint Saint Vincent variant 
This rendition was documented by Roger Abrahams in 1966, and the Vincentian group, The Barrouallie Whalers
He notes: Like many of these men’s songs, the lyrics have an element of taunting. Essentially, it critiques those who would not participate in the work of fishing but who would nevertheless expect to share in the spoils of that work.”
Questa interpretazione è stata documentata da Roger Abrahams nel 1966, e il gruppo vincenziano, The Barrouallie Whalers, Hulton Clint osserva: “Come molte di queste canzoni virili, i testi hanno un elemento di scherno. In sostanza, si critica coloro che pur non partecipando al lavoro di pesca, si aspettavano comunque di condividere il bottino di quel lavoro “.

Kenny Wollesen & The Himalayas Marching Band in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013


Bear away (1) Yankee, bear away boy (repeat twice)
Oh what we tell John Gould (2) today?
Bear away Yankee, bear away boy
Oh, deep the water an’ shallow the shore
Bear away Yankee, bear away boy
Bear away Yankee, bear away boy
Bear away Yankee, bear away boy

Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Vento in poppa americano, vento in poppa ragazzo (ripete due volte)
Che diciamo a John Gould oggi?
Vento in poppa..
profondo il mare e fondale basso a riva
Vento in poppa..
Vento in poppa..
Vento in poppa..

NOTE
Like many shanties, the lyrics vary from singer to singer, especially with these fairly simple examples. [Come molti chantey, i testi variano da cantante a cantante]
Pull away all through the day
Bear away to Noble Bay
1) Bear away è un termine nautico per poggiare (o puggiare)
2) John Gould is supposed to have been a shipowner who lost his cargo [John Gould potrebbe essere un armatore che ha perso il suo carico]

LINK
http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-ix.do?ix=recording&id=5936&idType=performerId&sortBy=abc
https://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/nevis.htm
http://neurosis02.gz01.bdysite.com/index.php/2019/01/13/caribbean-voyage-nevis-and-st-kitts/
http://thejovialcrew.com/?page_id=5180
http://www.tomlewis.net/lyrics/bear_away.htm
https://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2013/12/bear-away-yankee-bear-away-boy.html

Little Sally Racket

“Little Sally Racket” (“Haul her away”) is a sea shanty with peppery jokes about the women of the ports and in particular from Liverpool, the subject lends itself to naughty versions and a lot of variants. The rhythm is related to the Cheerly man shanty, revisited in rap style in the Son of Rogues Gallery compilation.
“Little Sally Racket” ma anche “Haul her away” è una sea shanthy con pepate battute sulle donnine dei porti e in particolare di quelle che bazzicavano per i moli di Liverpool, il soggetto si presta a versioni più “spinte”  e chilometriche varianti.
Il ritmo è imparentato con la Cheerly man shanty, rivisitato in stile rap nella compilation Son of Rogues Gallery.

Shanty Crew Kreuzberg (I, VI, II, V, VII)

Haul Her Away · Maddy Prior & The Girls in Bib & Tuck 2002


I

Little Nancy Dawson, haul ‘er away
She’s got flannel drawers on, haul ‘er away
So says our old bosun, haul ‘er away
With me hauley-high-O! Haul ‘er away!
II
Little Betty Picker (Baker),
Ran off with a Quaker,
Guess her mom couldn’t shake her
III
Little Suzie Skinner
She said she’s a beginner
And she prefers it to her dinner
IV
Little Kitty Carson
Got off with the parson
Now she’s got a little barson
V
Little Dolly Docket,
Washes in a bucket,
She’s a tart but doesn’t look it,
VI
Little Sally Racket
She pawned my new jacket
And she never did regret it
VII
Up my fightin’ cocks boys
Up and split her blocks now
And we’ll stretch her luff, boys
And that’ll be enough, boys
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
I
La piccola Nancy Dawson ala e vira
si è messa i mutandoni di flanella ala e vira
così dice il nostro nostromo, ala e vira
con me tira su! ala e vira
II
Piccola Betty Picker (Baker)
scappata con un quacchero/ credo che la mamma non riesca a dimenticarla
III
La piccola Susy Skinner
diceva di essere una principiante
e lo preferisce alla cena
IV
La piccola Kitty Carson
è scappata con il parroco
e adesso ha un pargoletto
V
La piccola Dolly Docker
si lava in un secchio
è una mignotta ma non lo sembra
VI
La piccola Sally Racket
si è impegnata la mia nuova giubba
e non se n’è mai pentita
VII
Su miei galletti da combattimento
su e ??  i suoi bozzelli
 e orziamo ragazzi
e basta così, ragazzi

Sissy Bounce

The rappers Freedia and Katey have integrated the text of the sea shanty rambling with rhymes and adding a hint of sissy bounce, in New Orleans style.
I rappers Freedia e Katey hanno integrato il testo della sea shanty andando a ruota libera con le rime e aggiungendo un pizzico di sissy bounce, in stile New Orleans.

Katey Red & Big Freedia with Akron Family in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/sallyracket.html
http://www.cobbersbushband.com/haul_em_away.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72326
http://www.wareham-whalers.org.uk/words/CD_words_pdf/Haul_Er_Away.pdf
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/cheerily.htm

The Coasts of High Barbary

Leggi in italiano

The George Aloe and the Sweepstake o (The Coasts of) High Barbary is considered both a sea shanty and a ballad (Child ballad # 285) and certainly its original version is very old and probably from the 16th century. So ‘in the seventeenth-century comedy “The Two Noble Kinsmen” we read: “The George Alow came from the south, From the coast of Barbary-a; And there he met with brave gallants of war, By one, by two, by three-a. Well hail’d, well hail’d, you jolly gallants! And whither now are you bound-a? O let me have your company”

French_ship_under_atack_by_barbary_pirates

BARBARY PIRATES

The Muslim pirates of the African coasts came from what the Europeans called Barbary or Algeria Tunisia, Libya, Morocco (and more precisely the city-states of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, but also the ports of Salé and Tetuan).
The most correct definition is barbarian pirates because they attacked only the ships of Christian Europe (also doing raids in the Christian countries of the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean to get slaves or to get the best redemptions). The term included Arabs, Berbers, Turks as well as European renegades.
In the affair there were also for good measure the Christian corsairs, which carried out the same raids along the coasts of Barbary (mainly the orders of chivalry of the Knights of Malta and the Knights of St. Stephen, but obviously in these cases it was a matter of “crusade” and not piracy !!

Although pirate activities were endemic in the Mediterranean Sea, the period of maximum activity of the barbarian pirates was the first half of the 1600s.

FIRST VERSION: a forebitter

Stan Hugill in his bible “Shanties From The Seven Seas” shows two melodies: one more ancient when the song was a forebitter and a faster one as a capstan chantey.
The oldest version of the ballad tells of two merchant ships The George Aloe, and The Sweepstake with George Aloe who avenges the sinking of the second ship using the same “courtesy” to the crew of the French pirate ship who had thrown into the sea the Sweepstake crew.
Pete Seeger

Joseph Arthur from  Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006 (biography and records here) rock version

There were two lofty ships
From old England came
Blow high, blow low
And so sail we
One was the Prince of Luther
The other Prince of Wales
All a-cruisin’ down the coast
Of High Barbary
“Aloft there, aloft there”
Our jolly bosun cried
“Look ahead, look astern,
Look to weather an’ a-lee”
“There’s naught upon the stern, sir
There’s naught upon our lee
But there’s a lofty ship to wind’ard
An’ she’s sailin’ fast and free”
“Oh hail her, oh hail her”
Our gallant captain cried
“Are you a man-o-war
Or a privateer?” cried he
“Oh, I’m not a man-o-war
Nor privateer,” said he
“But I am salt sea pirate
All a-looking for me fee”
For Broadside, for broadside
A long time we lay
‘Til at last the Prince of Luther
Shot the pirate’s mast away
“Oh quarter, oh quarter”
Those pirates they did cry
But the quarter that we gave them
Was we sank ‘em in the sea

SECOND VERSION: a sea shanty

The ballad resumed popularity in the years between 1795 and 1815 in conjunction with the attacks of Barbary pirates to American ships.

Tom Kines from “Songs from Shakespeare´s Plays and Songs of His Time”,1960
a version of how it was sung in the Elizabethan era

Quadriga Consort from Ships Ahoy 2013

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag  sea shanty version

The Shanty Crew

“Look ahead, look-astern
Look the weather in the lee!”
Blow high! Blow low!
And so sailed we.

“I see a wreck to windward,
And a lofty ship to lee!
A-sailing down along
The coast of High Barbary”
“O, are you a pirate
Or a man o’ war?” cried we.
“O no! I’m not a pirate
But a man-o-war,” cried he.
“We’ll back up our topsails
And heave vessel to.
For we have got some letters
To be carried home by you”.
For broadside, for broadside
They fought all on the main;
Until at last the frigate
Shot the pirate’s mast away.
“For quarter, for quarter”,
the saucy pirates cried
But the quarter that we showed them
was to sink them in the tide
With cutlass and gun,
O we fought for hours three;
The ship it was their coffin
And their grave it was the sea
But O! ‘Twas a cruel sight,
and grieved us, full sore,
To see them all a drownin’
as they tried to swim to shore

LINK
http://www.contemplator.com/england/barbary.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=137331 https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/barbaree.html http://www.ilportaledelsud.org/barbareschi.htm http://www.ilportaledelsud.org/pirati.htm
http://71.174.62.16/Demo/LongerHarvest?Text=ChildRef_285

South Australia sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

Under the heading Codefish shanty we have two versions, one of Cape Cod and the other of South Australia: the titles are “Cape Cod girls” and “Rolling King” or “Bound for South Australia” (or simply “South Australia”).
Which of the two versions was born before is not certain, we can only detect a great variety of texts and also the combination with different melodies. At the beginning probably a “going-away song”, one of those songs that the sailors sang only for special occasions ie when they were on the route of the return journey.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA VERSION

“As an original worksong it was sung in a variety of trades, including being used by the wool and later the wheat traders who worked the clipper ships between Australian ports and London. In adapted form, it is now a very popular song among folk music performers that is recorded by many artists and is present in many of today’s song books.In the days of sail, South Australia was a familiar going-away song, sung as the men trudged round the capstan to heave up the heavy anchor. Some say the song originated on wool-clippers, others say it was first heard on the emigrant ships. There is no special evidence to support either belief; it was sung just as readily aboard Western Ocean ships as in those of the Australian run. Laura Smith, a remarkable Victorian Lady, obtained a 14-stanza version of South Australia from a coloured seaman in the Sailors’ Home at Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the early 1880’s. The song’s first appearance in print was in Miss Smith’s Music of the Waters. Later, it was often used as a forebitter, sung off-watch, merely for fun, with any instrumentalist joining in. It is recorded in this latter-day form. The present version was learnt from an old sailing-ship sailor, Ted Howard of Barry, in South Wales. Ted told how he and a number of shellbacks were gathered round the bed of a former shipmate. The dying man remarked: “Blimey, I think I’m slipping my cable. Strike up South Australia, lads, and let me go happy.” (A.L. Lloyd in Across the Western Plains from here)

This kind of songs were a mixture of improvised verses and a series of typical verses, but generally the refrain of the chorus was standardized and univocal (even for the obvious reason that it had to be sung by sailors coming from all the countries).
The length of the song depended on the type of work to be done and could reach several strophes. The song then took on its own life as a popular song in the folk repertoire.
The first appearance in collections on sea shanties dates back to 1881.
hulllogo

The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem 1962 the version that has been the model in the folk environment

Let’s see them in a pirate version in the TV adaptation of the “Treasure Island”

Johnny Collins, from “Shanties & Songs of the Sea” 1996

The Pogues

Gaelic Storm from Herding Cats (1999) they recall the version of the Pogues. It is interesting to compare the same group that has also tried with the arrangement of  Cape Code Girls.

In South Australia(1) I was born!
Heave away! Haul away!
South Australia round Cape Horn(2)!
We’re bound for South Australia!
Heave away, you rolling king(3),
Heave away! Haul away!
All the way you’ll hear me sing
We’re bound for South Australia!

As I walked out one morning fair,
It’s there I met Miss Nancy Blair.
I shook her up, I shook her down,
I shook her round and round the town.
There ain’t but one thing grieves my mind,
It’s to leave Miss Nancy Blair behind.
And as you wallop round Cape Horn,
You’ll wish to God you’d never been born!
I wish I was on Australia’s strand
With a bottle of whiskey in my hand

NOTES
1) Land of gentlemen and not deportees, the state is considered a “province” of Great Britain
2) the ships at the time of sailing followed the oceanic routes, that is those of winds and currents: so to go to Australia starting from America it was necessary to dub Africa, but what a trip!!

3) Another reasonable explanation  fromMudcat “The chanteyman seems to be calling the sailors rolling kings rather that refering to any piece of equipment. And given that “rolling” seems to be a common metaphor for “sailing” (cf. Rolling down to old Maui, Roll the woodpile down, Roll the old chariot along, etc.) I would guess that he is calling them “sailing kings” i.e. great sailors. There are a number of chanteys which have lines expressing the idea of “What a great crew we are.” and I think this falls into that category.” (here)
Moreover every sailor fantasized about the meaning of the word, for example Russel Slye writes ” When I was in Perth (about 1970) I met an old sailor in a bar. I found he had sailed on the Moshulu (4 masted barque moored in Philly now) during the grain trade. I asked him about Rolling Kings. His reply (abridged): “We went ashore in India and other places, and heard about a wheel-rolling-king who was a big boss of everything. Well, when the crew was working hauling, those who wasn’t pulling too hard were called rolling kings because they was acting high and mighty.” So, it is a derogatory term for slackers. (from here).
And yet without going to bother ghostly Kings (in the wake of the medieval myth of King John and the fountain of eternal youth) the word could very well be a corruption of “rollikins” an old English term for “drunk”.
Among the many hilarious hypotheses this (for mockery) of Charley Noble: it could be a reference to Elvis Prisley!

There is also a MORRIS DANCE version confirming the popularity of the song

Codefish Cape Cod Girls

LINK
http://www.historicalfolktoys.com/catcont/95301.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/cape-cod-girls.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/paul-clayton/cape-cod-girls/american-folk/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.capecod.com/about-cape-cod/cape-cod-history/
http://www.cavolettodibruxelles.it/2014/11/cape-cod
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/southaustralia.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/codfish/index.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/australia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australia_(song)
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48959
http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/barnaby-smith/morris-dancing-broken-knuckles-bells-folk-festivals-150327/default.htm

Cape Cod Girls

Leggi in italiano

Under the heading Codefish shanty we have two versions, one of Cape Cod and the other of South Australia: the titles are “Cape Cod girls” and “Rolling King” or “Bound for South Australia” (or simply “South Australia”).
Which of the two versions was born before is not certain, we can only detect a great variety of texts and also the combination with different melodies.

At the beginning probably a “going-away song”, one of those songs that the sailors sang only for special occasions ie when they were on the route of the return journey.

CAPE COD GIRLS

cape-cod-girlThe most demented version and therefore by “pirate song” that goes for the most in the Renaissance Fairs is that which comes from the peninsula of Cape Cod (State of Massachusetts).
Cape Cod was the first landing of the Mayflower – the first ship that carried the English “pilgrims” on the land overseas, the “New England”.
The activity was based on fishing for fish (especially cod) and whaling.

The climate is mild thanks to the Atlantic currents: there it is summer (warm-cool) or winter (cold-mild) and summer lasts until early December, it is the so-called Indian Summer, always due in the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, which slowly spreads the heat forfeited during the summer.

Yarmouth Shantymen

The Crew of the Mimi 1984

Baby Gramps in “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys“, ANTI- 2006. The particular voice as Popeye is  a vocal style: “The style is called “vocal fry”.  It has been variously employed for effect by heavy metal artists among others.  The techniques used to achieve it are akin to those used by Central Asian throat-singers and Tibetan monks, though of a lesser order.  Its appropriateness for the singing of pirate songs will be a subject for lively debate” (Tipi Dan)

Gaelic Storm from The Boathouse, 2013


Cape Cod(1) girls
ain’t got no combs,
Heave away, haul away!
They comb their hair
with a codfish bone(2),
And we’re bound away for Australia(3)!
So heave her up, me bully bully boys,
Heave away, haul away!
Heave her up,
why don’t you make some noise?

And we’re bound away for Australia!

Cape Cod boys
ain’t got no sleds,
They ride down hills
on a codfish head.
Cape Cod mothers
don’t bake no pies,
They feed their children
codfish eyes.
Cape Cod cats
ain’t got no tails,
They got blown off
in northeast gales.

Other lines variously combined in which the cod are mentioned in all the sauces !!

Cape Cod girls
don’t wear no frills
They’re plain and skinny
like a codfish gills.
Cape Cod doctors
ain’t got no pills,
They give their patients
codfish gills.
Cape Cod folks
don’t have no ills
Them Cape Cod doctors
feed them codfish pills
Cape Cod dogs
ain’t got no bite,
They lost it barking
at the Cape Cod light.
Yankee girls
don’t sleep on beds,
They go to sleep on codfish heads.
Cape Cod girls
have got big feet,
Codfish roes is nice an’ sweet.
Cape Cod girls
they are so fine,
They know how to bait a codfish line.

 NOTES
1) the port par excellence of Cape Cod and of the fishermen of Massachusetts is the port of Provincetown
2) think about the sirens who are notoriously on the beach or a rock to comb their long hair while singing
3) the ships at the time of sailing followed the oceanic routes, that is those of winds and currents: so to go to Australia starting from America it was necessary to dub Africa, but what a trip!!

 

“South Australia” version

LINK
http://www.historicalfolktoys.com/catcont/95301.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/cape-cod-girls.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/paul-clayton/cape-cod-girls/american-folk/music/track/smithsonian
http://www.capecod.com/about-cape-cod/cape-cod-history/
http://www.cavolettodibruxelles.it/2014/11/cape-cod
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/southaustralia.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/codfish/index.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/australia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Australia_(song)
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=48959
http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/barnaby-smith/morris-dancing-broken-knuckles-bells-folk-festivals-150327/default.htm